November 25, 2019The Importance of Your Google My Business Page
Why do you need a Google my business page? The answer can be boiled down to one reason; to get noticed. In this day and age where a large number of searches are being done with local intent (45%, by Google’s estimates), it makes the concept of Google my business a lot easier to understand. Interestingly, although this feature is free, many people are not using it. This is a pity since it is one of the fastest ways to get noticed for businesses. The following is a brief look at the main ways in which Google’s feature can be very useful for your business.
Mapping Your Future
If you were to recount all the times you looked for a business, whether it was a restaurant or tire shop, on your computer or phone, you may have noticed Google showed all the options on a map. This is no accident. All those businesses that populated the screen with red markers, signed up for Google my business page. Once you do it, your business will also start popping up on Google maps business listings as well.
Be Part of the Pack
There was a time when a customer searched for a business, and Google returned with a map showing where similar businesses were located, they would show as many as seven listings. This was known as Google seven-pack. Now, Google only lists three, hence the Google three-pack. It’s crucial to get listed in these three. And one of the best ways to be part of the three-pack is by signing up for this feature and being relevant.
Keeping Up with Quality
There are several criteria Google takes into account when displaying search queries. One of them is how well the business is rated by customers. Therefore, even if you are using Google my business, higher ratings will get priority. There is no short cut here, other than consistently giving customers a good experience and the business keeps getting those five-star reviews.
Take Advantage of the Features
Google my business has features such as “Insights” among others. The Insights feature is a good way to know what your customers want. The analytics will also show you how noticeable your product or brand is to customers. Regardless of what type of business you’re in it is important to know who your customers are and what they are looking for, and Google can help you with that with their analytical tools.
What to Take Away
The bottom line is that in this highly competitive world, getting noticed is the difference between having a successful business or not having a business at all. The more eyeballs you attract makes all the difference and Google my business is one more tool you can use to increase your business visibility.
For more information on your companies’ Google My Business page, contact soOlis at 443-735-1446.
November 17, 2019Are You There When Your Members and Prospects Are?
The chatbot market is expected to rise to $1.25 billion U.S dollars by 2025, which is a significant increase from 2016’s $190.8 million U.S dollars. Gartner also predicts that 25% of all customer service operations will use AI virtual assistants by 2020. As the popularity of chatbots continues to grow, all businesses need to take advantage of the benefits of AI technology. If you are still deliberating, here are the benefits of using chatbots for your business.
Reducing Operational Costs
Chatbots automate customer service operations such as query collection, providing instructions, and repetitive answers. Funding your agents to be available 24/7 all year-round is costly. According to IBM, businesses spend $1.3 trillion to respond to 265 billion customer service call every year. You can use chatbot technology to answer up to 80% of routine queries and free up your agents for free your customer service agents for more critical queries. Consequently, you can slash your customer service costs by up to 30%.
Around the Clock Customer Service
Chatbots are virtual assistants that do not need sleep, customer breaks, vacations, and are not prone to illnesses or disasters. They provide 24/7 customer service assistance to your customers. You can also update your virtual assistants to collect information from customers, sell your company’s portfolio and catalog, and make a recommendation based on previous customer preferences. Both your business and clients will stay happy after interacting with chatbot technology.
Did you know that 91% of unsatisfied customers will not return for a service? If you keep losing new clients, there is a high chance that your business will sink. As more customers continue to seek immediate responses, not being able to respond immediately will leave them unsatisfied and cause them to find solutions from your competitors.
Chatbots provide instant answers and engage clients as soon as they visit your website. They also inform a client that their query has been received and direct them to customer service agents, which will help you gain their goodwill.
Consistent Customer Service
While human beings can deal with queries that you cannot automate, they also work depending on their mood. Personal problems, general dislike, hunger, and the time of the day can affect the productivity of your customer service agents. If your agent is not in the right mood, they may not give your customers a satisfying experience.
Chatbots, on the other hand, work tirelessly and always adhere to rules. They only respond as programmed, in a polite manner, which provides consistent customer service. If you need responses in multiple languages, you can achieve it with a program – a skill that may be challenging for your customer service agents. Once you program the virtual assistants to work in various languages, you will improve the customer service experience in your business.
Extended Marketing Avenue
Chatbots do more than improve customer service- they can also market your business. How? As they engage your customers, they can sell products to your customers in a personal way. Since these virtual assistants retain customer query data, they can recommend products based on a customer’s previous queries. You can also improve your business’s customer reach by automating responses on multiple platforms. It would be impossible to expand your reach at the same rate if you do it manually. Lastly, virtual assistants also eliminate gaps in your sales funnel by responding immediately to customer queries. They smoothen the transition between engagement and conversion to improve your marketing and sales.
Utilizing chatbots for your business has numerous benefits. They cut down operational costs, provide 24/7 consistent customer service, extend your marketing, and help you retain customers.
For more information on chatbots click this link.
November 5, 2019Customer’s Experiences are Changing- Is Your Business
The marketplace is complex and characterized by marketing messages, advertisements, and offers which can overwhelm consumers. Customers prefer receiving messages that are tailored, relevant, and timely. Companies like Amazon, Netflix, and Uber are cognizant of this and have taken the lead in providing personalized customer experiences.
These companies design bespoke customer experiences based on the past actions and behaviors of a customer, or how they predict them to act in the future. These offers are consistent across all channels.
What Possibilities Does Technology Avail in Terms of Customer Experience?
AI offers a host of intelligent technologies that can help organizations design personalized customer experiences. This ranges from demand forecasting, optimizing inventories, detecting, and intervening in case of customer dissatisfaction. AI and upcoming technologies can continuously learn and improve, collecting and analyzing structured and unstructured data to formulate and hypotheses in search of new customer insights. These intelligent solutions provide;
1. End to End Visibility
AI links marketing and supply chain management to create an enterprise that is more responsive to customer demands. This helps organizations optimize available resources. Having an integrated enterprise provides end to end visibility, which helps companies create personalized customer experiences.
2. Intelligent Agents
Chatbots can comb through volumes of data, providing customers with rapid responses to a wide range of queries. Intelligent agents significantly reduce the amount of time that customers have to wait before they obtain the action or information that they need. This helps companies improve their efficiency in handling customer queries by reducing call center volumes. Many businesses have also come to the realization that most customers prefer, are more active and open with intelligent agents like chatbots as compared to humans.
3. Intelligent Solutions
AI and other intelligent solutions can be used to gather accurate data and all other information that can aid in the designing and execution of personalized customer experiences.
4. Prediction of Demand
There’s nothing that damages customer experience more than a stock out. Machine learning and AI can be used to analyze internal sales data and external market trends to provide accurate and timely sales forecasts.
5. Prediction of Customer Needs
Both businesses and customers benefit when marketing campaigns are tailored to customer needs. AI and machine learning improve targeting, which makes brands more relevant. This improves customer experience as well as sales.
How Companies are Bridging the Gap Between Their Perceptions and What Customers Want
1. Better Information Management
Transforming rich data to useful information is critical for real-time marketing. Cognitive technologies can take raw data, transform it with powerful analytics, and then use these real-time insights to provide personalized offers.
2. Complete Customer Profiles
Creating complete customer profiles is a challenge for many businesses. How do you collect all this data across channels to create a holistic customer profile? Cognitive technologies are instrumental in the creation of personalized customer profiles.
3. Offline and Online Insights
How do you merge data from the web, social media, and traditional sources? In the past online and offline data was stored separately. AI and similar technologies easily tie up all this data to create bespoke customer experiences.
4. The Power of Analytics
Cognitive technologies are used in data mining, modelling, correlation, and forecasting. This provides businesses with powerful analytics to optimize customer experiences.
Since care is the new commerce, AI, and other intelligent technologies are not only instrumental in designing personalized customer experiences, but also eliminating organizational silos to optimize customer service.
October 28, 2019Why Content Marketing Is Important
Content marketing is one of the most important digital marketing strategies of them all. Content is anything on your website that’s informative, helpful, and useful to your audience – typically blog posts. By sharing your expertise, you build up trust with your leads.
Content marketing stands out from other approaches because it raises your visibility in search engines. Good content gets shared and linked to by others. This creates a small but steady flow of targeted Web traffic, introducing people to your site at the moment they need you.
Gyms are in an especially good position to benefit from content marketing.
People who search for health and fitness topics often feel overwhelmed by all the conflicting information they see. Content establishes you as an expert voice they can trust. That makes it more likely that, when they finally decide to take action, they choose you over the rest.
Let’s consider some of the best ways gyms can use content:
Share Exercises and Workout Routines
When future customers are checking out gyms, they want to know where to get started and how to get results. It’s difficult for them to figure out an appropriate set or maintain the proper form on their own. Interactive content, such as quizzes, can help them assess their fitness needs. Then, videos can show them exactly how to make the most of their gym time.
Explore Healthy Eating and Lifestyle Topics
Not everything in your content strategy needs to be about exercise. Related topics can bring you traffic and highlight your add-on services. For example, if you have dieticians or nutritionists on staff, you can discuss healthy eating and encourage readers to schedule a consultation. You can also post about building positive habits and keeping up a gym schedule.
Show Off Your Members’ Results
Social proof is evidence that demonstrates to would-be customers that others like them have had success with you. There’s no better social proof than customer testimonials and case studies. These can be effective as videos or in the form of a short brochure. Showing off results from a variety of members with differing fitness goals will capture attention from more readers.
Demonstrate Your Team in Action
From Pilates to spin to yoga, many gyms are offering classes these days. If that describes you, why not video your trainers at their best? You can have them give advice directly to the camera – which can be a simple smartphone – or even record one of your class sessions. Just be sure to get a release from any members you record or include the release in your membership contract.
Amplify It All With Social Media
Social media is a great way to get the most from all of your content initiatives. Twitter is the best platform for meeting potential new members, followed by Instagram. On the other hand, Facebook stands out for its ability to build a community and communicate with existing members. You can even offer special offers to attract lapsed members or inspire up-sells.
Consistency is the key to getting the most from Web content. A few months of investing time and energy into content, especially blogging, will help you develop a competitive advantage that newcomers can’t beat. Plus, it’s one of the most cost-effective approaches around.
No time to write a blog? No problem. Our team will help you build and stick to a content-heavy digital marketing strategy that works. We can do it all for you while you stay focused on what you do best – giving you plenty of time to hit the gym. To learn more, contact us.
October 23, 2019Voice Integration For Business
At the start of 2019, Amazon announced more than 100 million devices have been sold with its Alexa voice assistant software. Latest figures on Siri place it on more than 500 million devices. Since thousands of “smart home” devices are compatible with Google Home, estimates of its installed base vary – but it’s a safe bet the billion-unit mark is in sight.
In the coming years, it will be possible for users to make an ever-growing variety of requests from an ever-growing number of devices. Those devices, in turn, will collect a treasure trove of information about the users they serve and share those details with dozens of peer devices.
Over the last ten years, mobile displaced desktop as the platform of choice for accessing online content. About 81% of Americans own a smartphone. An increasing number of those are using the phone as their principal means of internet connectivity.
In 2020 and beyond, voice-enabled devices will drive a huge share of online engagement. This will include not only smartphones, but a variety of smart housewares integrated into the fabric of daily life. Each device opens the door to new marketing, advertising, and sales opportunities.
Businesses already have the technical resources they need to prepare for the voice-driven future. Unfortunately, most companies large and small have not yet started the process of adapting to it.
How Voice Integration Will Impact Website Views, Traffic, Lead Generation, and More
Voice integration will give enterprises unprecedented opportunities to reach their customers in new ways. However, it’ll also challenge assumptions about the best ways to connect and engage.
Marketing teams can no longer plan around the idea that users will read their content. Instead, website interactions will be mediated by a hands-off interface. Text will be interpreted through an additional layer of technology, read aloud by virtual assistants.
Here’s how businesses can expect the digital landscape to change:
1. New Content Must Be Optimized for Voice Platforms
What does it mean for content to be voice-optimized? For one thing, voice platforms focus on natural language queries without lots of formatting. They find and present content best when that content is concise and question-focused. Voice will also present a whole new set of search queries businesses need to build content for to ensure search visibility.
2. Advertising Must Add Voice Into the Mix
This one’s easier said than done: Thus far, voice platforms have struggled to implement onboard advertising solutions in the vein of Google Ads. However, that day is sure to come, and brands should have a team waiting in the wings to adapt their ad copy. Pay-per-click strategy will also need to adjust to fold voice into budgeting and analytics.
3. Analytics Must Evolve for New Forms of Content Consumption
The rules are about to change when it comes to measuring site success. More traffic will arise from within devices, which will make it harder to attribute traffic and determine buyer journey stage. Brands will need to work vigorously to tie site activity to users across all channels. Metrics will also change meaning, with “dwell time” becoming harder to measure.
4. Lead Generation Must Proceed Seamlessly in Voice
Lead generation will still be the foremost goal in the voice-first future. Short transactions that move users toward their immediate goals will become much more important than the long-form landing pages of today. Traditional “storytelling” techniques in sales and marketing will take a backseat to relevance, usefulness, and immediacy.
Tomorrow’s most successful enterprises will be those who prepare for the voice revolution today. For expert help getting your business ready for voice integration, contact us.
August 20, 2019The Power of Transmedia Storytelling
Today’s consumers make purchasing decisions based on their interactions with brands over time. To build meaningful customer relationships, you need to deliver valuable content via multiple touchpoints and in ways that encourage the audience to assume an active role in the interactions.
Transmedia storytelling is a technique that will help you cut through the clutter and get noticed in the competitive fitness industry. Here’s what you need to know:
What’s Transmedia Storytelling?
Also known as transmedia narrative or multiplatform storytelling, transmedia storytelling is the technique of delivering a single story experience using multiple platforms and formats with digital technologies. Content can be distributed via blog posts, videos, ebooks, social media posts, movies, mobile apps, and more. The content pieces are unified by a common thread, through which the consumers play an active role in shaping their experience.
While the content is constructed around a single theme, the pieces on each medium and platform are unique. Users have to piece them together to complete the story and in the process, creating an engaging brand experience that transcends the individual content pieces.
The Power of Transmedia Storytelling In Fitness Marketing
Relationships are the keys to increasing sales and retaining customers in the fitness industry. Transmedia storytelling is uniquely suitable for building trust and improving engagement with the audience:
- Great stories are authentic. They evoke emotions and humanize your brand, making it relatable to consumers.
- You can capture potential customers using the media and platforms of their choice to increase visibility and gain exposure to new market segments.
- People like to share good stories and a transmedia storytelling strategy can help you create highly sharable pieces to increase brand awareness and engagement.
- Transmedia storytelling allows you to share your brand story, philosophy, brand personality, and unique selling points consistently without hitting your audience over the head.
- The technique uses various formats, including visual content such as videos and images, which are highly effective for many social media platforms.
- The storytelling experience can be extended to one-to-one interactions, such as sales and customer service, to drive conversion and improve customer retention.
For more information concerning transmedia storytelling, contact soOlis here.
August 8, 2019Benefits of a Comprehensive Content Marketing Strategy
You have probably noticed that many of your competitors are publishing blog articles, sharing photos, and/or posting videos to promote their fitness business. While you don’t want to fall behind, you may also wonder if content marketing is indeed worth the investment.
After all, generating and promoting content does require some time and effort and you want to make sure it’s paying off. The key to maximizing ROI in content marketing is to make sure that you aren’t just throwing spaghetti on the wall — here’s why you need a comprehensive content marketing strategy designed specifically for your fitness business and target market:
Improve SEO And Drive High-Quality Traffic To Your Website
80% of consumers use search engines to find local businesses while local searches lead to purchases 28% of the time. Meanwhile, 92% of searchers only click through to websites listed on the first page of Google. In order to drive more high-quality prospects to your website, it needs to rank high in relevant local search results.
Regularly publishing high-quality content signals relevance to search engines and helps them better index your website so you can improve SEO and get found by more potential clients.
Establish Credibility And Build Relationships
Consumers make purchasing decisions based on trust and relationships so it’s important that your prospects consider you as an expert and resonate with your unique approach and personality.
Publishing relevant and helpful information can position you as an authority in your area of expertise. Meanwhile, promoting the content via email and social media can help you stay top of mind, engage your audience, and increase the “like, know, and trust” factor to build relationships with your prospects so they’re more likely to become clients.
Increase Your Fitness Internet Marketing ROI
Content marketing is very scalable and you can start with a small budget to gain momentum. Instead of having to pay for online or print ads, you just have to invest a few hours each week to create and promote high-quality content. In addition, organic searches tend to be more cost-effective in the long run compared to paid ads because you don’t have to keep paying to have your content to show up on search results.
While it may take some time and effort to gain traction, keep in mind that all the content pieces you create and publish will live online forever so they’ll keep driving traffic and help engage your audience long after it’s posted. To reap such long-term benefits and make sure you’re spending your time and resources most cost-effectively, you need a comprehensive strategy to guide your effort so you can maximize ROI.
July 10, 2019Why Your Business Needs To Incorporate AI Voice Now
AI voice assistants (e.g., Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri) are increasingly popular among consumers. In fact, there are over 1 billion devices today that provide voice assistant access and 61.5% of smartphone owners use voice assistants on a monthly basis.
The trend is undeniable — AI voice for business is here to stay. The wide adoption will impact how businesses interact with and provide services to their customers.
The Benefits Of Using AI Voice Assistants For Your Business
AI voice assistants interpret verbal instructions from users and perform tasks such as voice search, scheduling, shopping, and more. The technology is changing how consumers use the Internet and interact with businesses digitally.
Increasingly, consumers want the convenience of interacting with a business whenever and wherever they want. By providing the ability to perform tasks, such as scheduling an appointment with voice assistant via smartphones, you can reduce friction in the purchasing process and deliver timely customer services to drive more sales.
AI voice assistants can also automate customer interactions such as setting up appointments, providing answers to frequently asked questions, or delivering customized content, so you can offer responsive customer service without increasing costs.
AI voice for business has many applications, such as:
- Integration with your website so visitors can make purchases or perform searches on products and services using voice-activated technologies.
- Integration with a scheduling system so customers can book an appointment without interacting with a screen.
- Integration with your CRM system to deliver relevant and timely information and offers based on each customer’s real-time interaction with your business.
Consumers enjoy the convenience of AI voice technology, which represents a new way through which businesses can engage with and support customers. It enables you to deliver seamless services that will improve customer acquisition and retention by making it easy to make a purchase or schedule an appointment.
The popularity of AI voice technologies is increasing rapidly:
- 76.5 million people in the US will own a smart speaker by 2020.
- The availability of digital assistants on smartphones will reach 90% by 2023.
- Voice commerce is expected to grow sixfold compared to other channels.
In order to stay relevant in the marketplace, businesses need to leverage AI voice technologies in their customer touch points. With the fast-evolving customer expectations and rapid adoption of the technology, you can’t afford to wait to implement AI voice in your business.
Contact soOlis to find out how to impliment voice activation in your business.
June 17, 20193 Reasons to Stop Listening to Your Customers
You’ve no doubt heard the ever-popular service phrase of “the customer is always right”. But is it really true?
We’ve put together three reasons you shouldn’t listen to your customer and what you should do instead.
1. You Are the Expert
The digital age we live in allows anyone to write whatever they want and share it on the internet for millions to see. In the fitness industry, many people feel a quick Google search will make them a master nutritionist or a professional personal trainer based on a single blog post they read. This can lead them to disagree or even berate those who have the proper education and training in this field.
While you should always take time to hear what your customers have to say, it’s vital you remember that you are the expert. Take the time to teach them the proper information and gently advise them of incorrect data they may have read in the past.
2. Customers Don’t Always Know What They Want
The great automobile innovator Henry Ford has been attributed with once saying, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”
While faster horses may have been a possibility through new training methods, changes in their diet, and other adjustments, Ford chose to focus on developing an entirely new product instead. Read between the lines of customer feedback to determine the true source of the issue, how you can solve it, and how it will affect your customer’s buying journey.
3. People Share Opinions with Heightened Emotions
Though this is not always the case, many clients and customers tend to share feedback at points where they are either overly happy or greatly displeased with a product or service. These mindsets tend to lead reviews toward emotional responses that focus too much on personal problems and not on their overall experience.
To avoid this, a good practice is to get customer feedback immediately after their initial purchase, again after a set period of time during their use, and once after they have stopped using the product or service. You’ll be able to identify the varying factors at each stage of the process and make necessary changes to accommodate them.
Focus on Educating Your Customers
Regardless of everything said above, you should always give your customers the chance to provide feedback, whether negative or positive. Take everything they say into consideration, but remember that you are the one with the final say in your business.
Take the time to share your knowledge with them by using storytelling and other marketing practices. As you do this, you’ll find greater success and lead more people through their fitness journey.
Be sure to check out the soOlis blog for more ways you can benefit your fitness business.