Cintia Miranda

Cintia Miranda

edge contributor

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Wednesday, 13 August 2014 14:16

Four ways to show customer appreciation

There are plenty of examples of businesses going above and beyond to make their customers feel special mostly because when this happens, the results go viral. Customers love feeling appreciated, and when they are hit with a random act of kindness, they are more willing to spread the word. While businesses should always be appreciative of their customers, it's not always easy to show it. Here are four easy ways that you can show customer appreciation to your most loyal patrons.

Send a thank you note

As a marketer, I often come across small businesses that are unintentionally hurting their brand by trying to handle their marketing 'on the go' without paying too much attention to branding guidelines and consistency with their marketing materials. Many businesses are too relaxed with the use of their logo, brand colors, tag line and even with their mission statement. While these everyday mistakes may seem harmless at first, over time they might give your audience the wrong impression of your brand. Here are three reasons why brand consistency is very important for your business:

Differentiate from competitors

Wednesday, 23 July 2014 10:25

Five SEO dont's for 2014

It is important to stay up to date with the latest trends in search engine optimization (SEO), but with Google making changes to their search engine algorithm every so often, it can be difficult. We've put together a list of five SEO don'ts that are definitely out of styleand some are even considered to be black hat SEO techniques.

Don't use unnatural links

Wednesday, 16 July 2014 10:12

Five SEO do's

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) best practices change so frequently that it is sometimes hard for marketers to keep up. What we did a few years ago can now drastically harm your website's performance, and what we do now will most likely need to be revisited in a year or two. We've put together a list of 5 SEO 'do's' that will are fundamental in increasing your website's traffic and proving your brand to be a leader in the industry.

Do update content often

Content is one of the keys to SEO, but in order for it to have a positive effect, content must be done right. To keep content updated and fresh,

We recently wrote an article about the importance of integrating visual content into your social media marketing strategy for 2014. In the digital age we live in, people no longer have the time or patience to read through lines of content even if there is an attention-grabbing title. The shift from text to visual content has been going on for a while, but as we are nearly a third of the way into 2014, there is no time like the present to jump on the visual marketing bandwagon if you haven't already. One way you can start incorporating visual content into your online marketing is through Vinethe video sharing app acquired by Twitter in 2012. Here are a few ways to use the Vine app features to enhance your online marketing.

Utilize the stop motion video feature

It may seem obvious that successful business depends on satisfied customers. However, many businesses don't realize that customer service goes far beyond answering a question or replacing a defective product.

Providing great customer service means understanding what's important to your customers and how well your business performs around those priorities.

To some, the distinction between an inquiry and a lead is simple. To others (especially those new to marketing), the terms seem to be used interchangeably. And to both groups, determining the quality of leads can be tricky. So, for both newcomers to the profession and those veterans already running through the difference in your minds, here are some useful tips to help the process.

An' inquiry' is a window shopper, someone browsing your website. These individuals are not ready to make any decisions yet, but are just looking around to research or gather information. A 'lead,' in contrast, is a browser who's working toward a decision, someone who takes the next step by asking a question or filling out a form on your website (for instance, to download more information or to receive your monthly newsletter). B2C marketers can think of a lead as a shopper who comes in to try a product or request a sample, while an inquiry stands outside looking through the store windows. Though the sale is still not complete, leads carry a much greater potential for conversion.

Although driving demand is crucial to the success of inbound B2B marketing, it doesn't guarantee conversion. Most B2B prospects visit websites to research, not to buy in fact, only a small percentage will close a deal within the first 48 hours of contact. However, studies show that undecided and fickle prospects can make up a significant portion of future sales. For marketers, this means that each unconverted prospect potentially stands at a different point of the decision-making process, and should be accordingly - and carefully - cultivated.

In order to maximize conversions, it's important to tailor your offerings to each audience you are courting. The types of online material considered the most valuable will not only vary from one prospect to the next; they'll also likely change as that prospect becomes more informed about your product or service. In general, it's best to begin by offering basic information to engage new prospects, such as a white paper or how-to guide. Then, as each prospect progresses through the evolving cycle, gradually work up to more detailed content like webinars or checklists. Try offering a variety of choices as well - for instance, combine content relevant to the prospect's current decision stage with content that touches on the next stage, or content that poses a call to action. Moving through a series of offers with escalating value is a great way to better define your prospects' challenges and how your service or product can help them, as well as to guide them from one stage to the next in the sales cycle.

Social media can often be a tricky marketing channel to use for seasonal businesses. When your doors are closed for a few or perhaps most months of the year, do you shut down your social accounts also? As you can probably imagine, it is not recommended that you leave your social media unmonitored after your business season has ended. In fact, social media presents a great opportunity to engage your customers and get them excited about your brand even during the off-season. Instagram, the increasingly popular visual social media platform launched in 2010 and purchased by Facebook in 2012, is one tool that more and more businesses are taking advantage of to reach its 200 million monthly active users (Source: Instagram). Here's how you can use Instagram to engage seasonal customers year-round:

The first thing to remember is you don't have to post on Instagram every day, especially during the off-season. Instagram feeds don't move as fast as Twitter, so you don't have to worry about your photo getting buried too deep if you post every other day. It is important to also share your photos on your other social media platforms. Instagram offers easy sharing buttons to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr and foursquare; use this feature to further the reach of your photos or videos.

If you've ever volunteered in the community, you have probably seen the impact it has made on yourself and on others. You meet new people, feel accomplished and make great memories, all while making a societal difference. Community involvement is not only something you should do as an individual or family, though, it is also a great way for employees to work together for a common good. It can not only benefit your employees, but it can also help your brand in a variety of ways. Here are just a few reasons why community involvement is good for your brand.

Increase brand awareness. This may be one of the more obvious benefits, but when your brand is involved in the community it is a great way to increases awareness of your business. Not only do you gain awareness while you are participating, but you can also use the experience as a great talking point for social media, traditional media or a blog post before and after the event. When you're getting involved in your community, take photos to help you remember the moment and be able to share it with others later.

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