How Custom On Hold Messages Help Your Business

34ways_long1 In today’s advanced technology era, it’s easy to forget about technology that’s been around for many years. On hold messaging is one of those. But, customers still value and use the phone. Even with multiple options for communication, customers are still using the phone to connect with businesses when they need them. Spectrio is one of the nation’s leading end-to-end technology-enabled audio and video marketing companies. Here’s what they report about the importance of on hold messaging.

  • 61% of customers prefer phone over e-mail and online knowledge when they need assistance or support. 
  • 69% of customers rated voice as the method that provided the highest satisfaction for receiving support.

A bad calling experience can cause customers to hang up. Most marketing budgets are spent on getting customers to call. All of that marketing can go to waste if the customer calling experience is bad.

  • 60% of callers hang up when left on hold in silence.
  • 34% of callers who hang up don’t call back.

The messages that customers hear on hold can lead to sales. Hold messaging is an opportunity to connect with a highly engaged audience, which is why it can lead naturally into sales, up-sales, and cross-sales.

  • 16-20% of callers make purchases based on the information they hear on hold.
  • 45% of customers initiated a purchase over the phone in the last year.

What Makes Great Custom On Hold Messages?

To get the most out of custom on hold messages, the content must follow best practices. The best messages use the:

Correct Length. A hold message can frustrate if it includes the same message repeated over and over. You want your message to be long enough so that callers hear new information during their wait.

Correct Tone. Like all important customer touch points, the custom calling experience must accurately reflect your company vibe and values. It should reinforce brand consistency, match what is expected in your industry, and also use the language and tone that resonates best with your specific target audience.

Correct Messages. In order to use custom on hold messages to initiate sales, inform customers, promote specials, and keep callers on the line, you need to use the right language and copy. The script must speak directly to your target audience while delivering the most important messages in a salesy, friendly, and concise way.

This list is a basic look at the elements that make an effective hold message. Each of these categories includes a variety of strategies that can make your message more powerful and impactful.

16 Video Marketing Benchmarks That Make Your Video More Impactful

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video_marketing_largeVidyard recently spent hundreds of hours analyzing video data from more than 250,000 videos and 600 million video streams to put together the first-of-its-kind Video in Business Benchmark Report. What they learned is very helpful for marketers. This infographic shows 16 of their greatest findings you can use to see how your video stacks up.

How to Get More Prospects to Engage In Your Social Media

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In the 2017 State of Inbound report, more marketers reported they planned to add social channels like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to their marketing efforts than in the previous year’s survey. The reason we’re seeing this spike is because the use of social media by prospects is so pervasive. But, finding the right platform and right approach on social media to reach prospects can be tricky. The key is to make sure you’re always testing new strategies to see what works and what doesn’t. But, beyond this, we as marketers need to evolve our views on social media. And, not just how we use it but also why we are using it.

For awhile now the goal of social media strategy has been laser focused on generating leads and then trickled down to brand and content promotion. This isn’t a bad plan. It’s a great one – if you are coming at it from the right perspective. The focus isn’t on your company. It has to be on your prospects – what are their interests and goals and challenges? We have to consider our social media an opportunity to be social with our prospects and not promotional. There’s a big difference between these two. Here are some ideas to help you retool your social media approach.

  1. Do Your Homework

There’s a lot of information out there on your prospects if you take the time to go looking for it. And, to make it easier, you can start by looking at the analytics you already have for your current social media campaigns. Which ones got your prospects to engage? What information did they find relevant? Once you know this, design your social media around what you already know is of interest to your prospects.

Make sure if you’re going to share a blog or e-book on your social media that you first make sure the information is relevant to your prospects and then that you present it in a manner that is preferred by your prospects – think infographics, videos, etc.

  1. Think Like Your Prospects

When you start evaluating how to generate more likes, comments, and shares from your social media audiences, think about how you personally use each platform. It’s a good idea to create a detailed marketing persona for your prospects so everyone on your team has a good understanding of whom your messages are talking to. Consider how they spend their time on the different platforms and what it is they want to see on each.

  1. Apply Your Marketing Knowledge to Your Social Media

Most likely, social media is “new” to you, but marketing isn’t. And, social media is just another tool to market to your prospects. So, use your marketing knowledge to make your social media the most impactful. Use tried and true marketing approaches like making sure you have a call to action, you test approaches, and you use professional quality graphics with titles and subtitles when necessary.

And when it comes to creating content, think about how you optimize blog posts with on-page SEO elements, creating titles, headers, meta descriptions, and URL structures to help your blog posts and webpages rank in search engines. Apply this thinking to your other social platforms.

If you follow these tips, your social media engagement rate should increase because you’re creating prospect-centered content on platforms that resonate with your prospects. You’ll see that more of your prospects will begin to like, comment, and share your posts.

 

E-Mail Continues to Prove Its Effectiveness to Reach Prospects…Learn How

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According to a June 22, 2017, article in Entrepreneur, the first marketing e-mail was sent nearly 40 years ago by a marketer named Gary Thuerk from Digital Equipment Corporation. Wanting to promote his company, Thuerk decided to send an e-mail to approximately 400 people. It worked! His company saw a huge spike in sales. And, the rest is history.

While there’s no denying the effectiveness of e-mail, one of the inherent problems for marketers is the reality that prospects have short attention spans. But, there is good news on that front. After analyzing data from billions of e-mail opens from 2011 to 2016, Litmus just released a report that states the average time spent reading an e-mail has increased by nearly 7% since 2011.

That’s great news, but the reality is that attention spans are still pretty short. So, for our e-mails to be the most effective, we need to keep these guidelines in mind:

  • All of your e-mails MUST be mobile friendly. If they aren’t, you will lose subscribers.
  • Make sure your subject line speaks to what is in the content of your e-mail. If it doesn’t, your readers feel tricked.
  • Take advantage of headlines, subheads, and bullets to quickly communicate information.
  • If you are going to use an image, make sure it’s a good one that grabs attention and connects relevantly to your content.
  • E-mails that take a long time to load because there are too many large images won’t get read. Period.
  • Sometimes you need to write a long e-mail, and that’s okay. Just make sure you don’t go over 102kb because if you do, it will likely get clipped by the e-mail provider.
  • Always test your e-mail across platforms to make sure it can be opened and read and that all of the links work.

 

 

5 Ways to Improve Your Digital Customer Experience

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For quite awhile we’ve thought of digital marketing as just what we do on the Internet, mobile phones, and smart devices. But, the ante has been upped. In-store digital display advertising is becoming an increasingly more important player. And, more and more of your customers are expecting you to provide comprehensive in-store digital solutions. So, businesses would be wise to embrace the full spectrum of digital solutions because they dramatically improve the customer experience. Here’s how:

 

  1. Enhance Execution of Customer-Centric Strategies

By combining digital technologies and operating capabilities in an integrated, well-sequenced way, you’re able to reshape your customers’ experience. And, happy customers spend more and have greater brand loyal. Focus on simple, immediate, and individualized digital solutions to build a dynamic digital ecosystem that addresses your customers’ needs. Functionality is key, with customers preferring function over form. The right combination of digital strategies will help build revenue, deepen customer experience, and reduce cost.

2.Design a Customer-Centric Path to Purchase

Rethink your approach. By using the feedback from your customers that your digital (and other) strategies deliver, you are primed to design a path to purchase that speaks to the needs of your customers from beginning to end.

  1. Establish Cross-Functional Collaboration

Businesses tend to focus on optimizing internal capabilities, but the real attention should be paid to meeting your customers’ needs. The advantage of incorporating digital marketing into your strategy is that it enables you to gather instantaneous information from your customers. This enables you to continuously test and change approaches relatively easily.

  1. Be Open to Real-Time Insights

Digitization provides an abundance of “real time” insights. Use this information to its fullest to design the best customer journey.

  1. Keep Trying to Achieve Customer Participation

It will take a while for customers to adopt your digital channels. Be patient. And, use the data you collect to make changes to your approach. Make sure you inform your customers about your digital options, keep the path to purchase relevant, and guide customers to engagement.

As digital disruptors continue to reshape and dictate in the business landscape and in-store digital marketing becomes even more prevelant, customer demand for these options will continue to rise. Businesses will be smart to respond to demand, putting their customers’ needs and wants at the center of their digital transformation strategy.

 

5 New Facebook Features You Should Know About

34ways_long1 facebook-likeFacebook has made some big announcements lately that are expected to boost this platform’s usefulness for those looking to use Facebook as a tool to connect with prospects. Here are the top new Facebook features available in 2017.

 

  1. New Ways to Create and Distribute Content

Facebook has created new content formats, such as Facebook Live, 360 video, and Instant Articles, aimed at making the process of sharing content better. Of special note is the new feature that allows you to share multiple Instant Articles in a single post, like a mini digital newspaper. Here’s what it will look like:

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  1. More Tools for Analyzing Content Performance

Facebook is offering more video analytics insights. That means you’ll have access to more meaningful metrics for how live and regular videos perform on Facebook, such as total minutes viewed and total engagements.

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  1. Safeguards to Prevent Fake News

After reports showed fake news stories outperformed real news stories on Facebook during the U.S. election, Facebook announced they have made it harder to publish and easier to identify hoax news. This is done through using third-party fact checkers, disrupting financial incentives for posting fake news, and making it easy for Facebook users to dispute content they believe is fake. Content in dispute will be lower in the News Feed and will include a warning that the content is under review. In addition, disputed content cannot be promoted or turned into an ad. Here’s how disputed stories and warnings will appear in the News Feed:

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  1. Another Option for Live Broadcasts

Facebook Live was launched in 2016. It enables users to broadcast live video from their mobile phones directly onto the Facebook News Feed. Now you can also broadcast live video from your computer. Mobile devices lend a “reporting live” feel while video from a computer can be more polished and professional.

 

  1. Mid-Roll Video Advertisements

This option allows ads to be inserted into your videos. Videos must be at least 90 seconds in length AND viewers have to watch for at least 20 seconds. Facebook will sell the ads and share 55% of the sales with publishers. This is similar to YouTube.

These new options are exciting tools for marketers. Facebook’s initiatives are continuing to make it a valuable platform for doing business.