Posts Tagged ‘Digital Marketing with Beyond Indigo Funerals’

It’s All About Content

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

ContentContent is an such important word. It refers to the star player in all online marketing programs, and the success of your brand relies on it. Here’s a breakdown of why it’s important.

  1. SEO (Search Engine Optimization):Content dictates how and where your website is ranked on Google. Fresh, original content helps you rank higher.
  2. Education: Content educates people about funeral homes and funeral services. It teaches people about your offerings and explains why they should pay for your assistance.
  3. Engagement: Content needs to be compelling and interactive. It should foster dialogue, so you can have meaningful experiences with your current and potential clients.

Different Platforms, Different Content

Resist the urge to cut and paste the same content across all of your marketing outlets. Each platform, from websites and blogs to social media and eNewsletters, has its own guidelines. Your message can always be the same, but shape your content to fit its intended channel.

Online Reviews: Content must be accurate, timely, and courteous. We recommend responding to positive reviews with prompt thank-you messages and to negative reviews with action-oriented, heartfelt messages.

Websites: Content should consist of 400-500 words per page, be highly informative, detail services rendered, and be optimized for funeral and local keywords.

Blogs: Content should take the shape of short paragraphs, bullet points, and easy-to-understand funeral and grieving topics.

Social Media: Content should mirror the style of a relaxed coffee shop conversation. Mix funeral and grieving topics with community events and other general interest items.

Curious about how well your content represents your business? Contact Melissa Neff for a free content consultation at 877-244-9322, ext. 100 or email melissa@beyondindigo.com.

Google Places: How to Sign Up and How It Can Help Your Business

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Google Places for business is a free promotional platform for local businesses. Your Google Places listing can help your business get found in local Google search results. Claiming your listing enables you to make your services stand out by giving you control of your profile. You can add photos, videos, and offers to show customers why they should choose you. You’ll also be able to post updates and respond to reviews that are submitted about your business. Monitoring your Google Places account will also help you learn more about your customers: How many times did searchers show interest in your listing? What are the top search queries that they are using to search for you? But first, you need to create your account…

  1. Go to www.google.com/placesforbusiness to sign up. (Free!)
  2. You will need to create a Google account first, if you don’t already have one. Best to not use a personal one and just create one for the business. Google has pretty clear instructions that walk you through the process.
  3. Many businesses that have been around awhile already have Google Places listings that can be pulled in from various sources such as online data aggregators. If you type in Your Business Name, City, State in Google Maps search [maps.google.com] and see a listing link to the left of Google Map search results with red map pinpoint next to business name, this should indicate if one exists or not. Also, Google can check for you—when you go to the “Google Places for Business” page, Google searches to see if you have a listing when you type in your business phone number, and then walks you through the process of claiming or editing your listing. However, it’s best to take advantage of any existing listing with good reviews and conduct a manual search as mentioned above, so you can be sure of which listing is being claimed. If you have a brand new business, needless to say, this won’t be an issue and new businesses can sign up directly at www.google.com/placesforbusiness.
  4. If you DO have a listing that already exists, click on the business name link, which will take you to your listing. Once you are on the actual listing page, click on the link in the upper right that says “Business Owner?” You will be prompted to sign in to Google in order to edit info in your listing. (Once you have verified your listing, that same link will change to “Owner Verified Listing.”)
  5. At the end of the process, Google will prompt you with a verification code that can be sent via mail or phone. The mail option can take a number of weeks and gets tossed inadvertently. Best to choose the phone option and have someone standing by at your main business number, because the verification process is automated and the call will be sent immediately. (New businesses that are creating a listing from scratch will only have the mail option.) Google is using your business number to verify you are indeed a real business and you’re not misrepresenting yourself and trying to rip off someone else’s listing. Once you have the verification PIN #, plug that number into the field where Google prompts you to, and you’re done. You now can edit away, consolidate any duplicate listings, and add information.
  6. Best to add service keywords about your business to the “Category” section, as well as add specific services to the business description section. Google has streamlined the listing display, so some information in the admin area of your listing may not show up in the public display.
  7. Consider asking satisfied customers if they might be willing to share their thoughts online at Google (and other sites). It’s always best to “capture the moment” when a client offers positive feedback and inquire if they would be willing to “digitize” their comments, which can then help others just like themselves…  Plentiful positive reviews is one factor that can help your Google Places listing rise to the top of local search results. Some businesses put up a review page on their website with links to online listings to help precipitate action on this; others also offer an incentive (raffle entry or similar offer) to encourage follow through, so you might consider these options to help gain good reviews. A raffle entry is considered a better incentive, as direct discounts for each review posted is considered less ethical (like buying reviews).
  8. Keep your Google Places listing current to show how your practice stands out from the rest. You can post information about your business, monitor website traffic, post coupons, and so on. Check out the Google Places YouTube channel  and Google Places Support to find out more about how this can work for your business.

 

3 Simple Rules for Internet Marketing

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

The old saying goes that if you build it, they will come. We’ve found that saying doesn’t apply to online marketing. When it comes to the Internet, not only do you have to build it, you have to be sure it is built correctly. What’s more, you have to market it!

Here are a few simple rules that will help you on your way to online marketing success:

1. Content is King.

This phrase has been said so often that it’s become cliché, but that’s only because it’s so true! Just like you can count on your dog to actually sniff that fire hydrant, you can count on users to visit websites that have good and interesting content. Nowadays we are swimming in data; the key is to make sure the data your offering to your users is more interesting and compelling than that of your competitors. This is what will keep them coming back.

2. Consistency = Comfort.

We already know that your content needs to be compelling. Another key in online marketing is making sure your content is consistent. Think of McDonald’s. Whether or not you eat there, you know exactly what they offer and what you can expect from them as a brand. This is the type of consistency we as consumers have been trained to respond to. We trust brands that offer us consistency, and we’re more likely to buy from the brands that we trust.

3. Multiple Platforms Reach Multiple People.

Your clients are spending their time in a lot of different places these days, so it no longer makes sense to place a yellow page ad and think that they’ll come to find you. You need to go and find them in the places where they already are, namely: Facebook. We know it can be a little daunting if you’re not familiar with social media, but when you consider that 93% of adult Americans are on Facebook, it becomes a no-brainer. Your customers are there, and they expect you to be too. Don’t let fear of the unknown prevent your business from reaching potential new clients.

We are here to help you succeed! Call our Sales and Marketing Manager, Melissa Neff at 877.244.9322 x100, or send her an email.