Social Media: The Case For Print Providers to Embrace Google+

If you haven’t already, now is the time to set up a G+ page for your business. It’s not just about social media effectiveness it’s about SEO. As mentioned in several of my previous articles, SEO represents a great opportunity for print providers to extend their marketing reach and cultivate new business.

  • Google search plays favorites. Having a Google+ page will help with your SEO. Google+ is Google and Google is search. Search is what drives traffic to your site. For print providers, it’s about extending your reach and generating leads. Don’t miss this opportunity.
  • Marketing is the top category on Google+ (followed by education and non-profit). Google+ has responded by becoming more marketing oriented. Google+ now allows brands to email their followers without having access to their email address. Google now segregates the emails into Inbox, Social and Promotional. That’s a win for brands and followers.
  • Many companies restrict employee access to social media sites. They either ban it on the browser level or set policy that restricts it. That isn’t the case with Google+. That’s an additional 8 hours available for potential engagement that Google+ offers.
  • Using the Google+ circles, following or un-following a brand allows the Google+ user to control what content they wish to see. They get to create their own experience. This contrasts sharply with the Facebook experience whereby Facebook decides for you what content you will see. And with the latest algorithm change (December), unless you are paying Facebook for promoted posts, your reach rates are continuing to decline.

There are lots of other slick features that Google+ provides (Hangouts) but for now, the best plan of action is to set up an account and begin to utilize it.

I’m happy to discuss this or any other marketing needs or questions you may have. Feel free to reach me at pat@greatreachinc.com or on the web at greatreachinc.com.

8 Thoughts on SEO for Printers to Consider

When it comes to SEO, it’s my practical belief that most print providers should focus on producing (sharing, posting, mailing, etc.) well-written, engaging content and let the SEO take care of itself. That being said, here are some things to consider:

  1. If you’re focused on beating the system and hoping to get over on Google, you’re wasting time that could be used to promote thought leadership by writing about things you know about. You will never outsmart Google. Good SEO has always been about good content.
  2. If your content resembles a Wikipedia page (jumplinks, keywords repeated verbatim throughout), think about how impersonal that makes you look. Being perceived as fake or phony is a brand killer.
  3. Create content for people, not search engines. If it’s relevant to your customers, then it will contain keywords that are beneficial for your SEO as well.
  4. Google plays favorites. Having a Google+ account and Google Authorship are good for SEO.
  5. Yesterday, Google announced changes to its Ad Rank (pay per click) formula. These are generally considered to not be good for small businesses.
  6. Using free articles commonly found on the web (Mashable, Forbes, Regan, etc.) may be fine for social media purposes but it is not an effective website content strategy.
  7. Google likes sites that add fresh content, but quality trumps quantity.
  8. I’m a huge fan of infographics. However, infographics provide no SEO value.

Great Reach Communications is a content producer specializing in providing printers and mailers with direct mail and online marketing solutions. You can reach us at greatreachinc.com or 978-332-5555.

Patrick Whelan
pat@greatreachinc.com

Five Things You Need to Know About Content

These days content marketing is the big buzz. I’ve spent the last 18 years providing content marketing solutions to the print industry so this is an area of expertise for me.

If you are currently utilizing or plan on utilizing content to help grow your business, here are 5 quick things to think about.

  • Search is now the primary method of information discovery. It’s the first place people go when they want to try something new. Is your site rich with unique engaging content? How often is your content updated?
  • 85% of searches are organic search. This means that 85% of the people who find your site will also find other sites (your competitors). How well does your content compare to that of your competitors? In a sea of marketing noise, your content needs to stand out and position your brand as a thought leader. This is absolutely critical.
  • Search continues to drive more meaningful traffic than social. But social still drives significant value because it triggers search traffic. Are you also utilizing content for social media marketing efforts?
  • Google doesn’t like to look at the same content. If you are using one of the in-the-can industry websites it will not perform well on searches. Make sure to be supplementing it with unique content such as a blog page.
  • ZMOT. The zero moment of truth. It relates to all of the above. Google it and learn about it or contact me to discuss.

Some information above was gathered from Direct Marketing News. Joe Ryan. Interview with Tom Gerace, CEO of Skyword.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind, Out Looking Elsewhere

The president of a design firm in our building recently shared with me that they were “open” to exploring an alternative source for their printing needs. He explained that despite purchasing over $100,000 in print annually, they no longer felt the same level of appreciation that they did when their relationship began a year ago. He said that they rarely hear from the printer, are always the ones who have to initiate contact to check on job status, and that they never get thanked (printing it on the bottom of an invoice doesn’t count!). He further noted that the person who takes their calls, while providing accurate information, seemed to lack enthusiasm.

Undoubtedly, many of your competitors offer a quality product and service, with prices and delivery standards that are reasonable or excellent. Given this, how can you continuously attract and win new clients as well as prevent your current clients from being drawn away by competitors? All things being equal, your clients will naturally go where they consistently feel well treated and appreciated.

Sure you care about your clients, but what happens if you’re too busy to show it? The answer is to do a little more planning and be more thoughtful, attentive and creative about the quality of your communication. Set up a series of “nurturing” mailers throughout the year — a continuous client contact program that will demonstrate at regular, pre-planned intervals that you honestly and sincerely care about their well-being.

Start growing the relationship. Offer useful tips, stop by occasionally in person, engage them with social media and website content. Mail (and email) case studies, newsletters and other greetings that remind clients of your commitment to service, value, quality, innovation and loyalty. After all, it’s a lot easier (and less expensive) to keep clients than it is to find new ones. Your growth depends on it!

9 Marketing Tips Worth Repeating

The average person is only capable of retaining 3-5 brands per category in their memory. If you want to introduce your company into someone’s consideration, you need to push another company out of consideration. Repetition is fundamental to top-of- mind success.

If you won’t tolerate a poorly performing employee or a poorly performing MIS system, then why is there such widespread acceptance of a poorly performing website?

Whether or not you’re marketing to your customers, you can be assured that your competitors are.

The abandon rate for social media is VERY high. Beware of creating marketing graveyards. This also applies to outdated website content.

Dollar for dollar, investments in client retention are 5 times more profitable than new client acquisition.

Irrelevant communications contribute to customer defection and alienation. Content is king. Otherwise, your efforts are just part of the marketing noise that people tune out. How does your content compare to your competitors?

Impersonal websites fail. Sites with with no names and generic email addresses (Sales@, info@) struggle to foster trust. Sales is about relationships. View your website as a one on one conversation with your best customer.

It’s not one or the other for effective marketing. You should be utilizing outbound, inbound and social media strategies. Again, many of your competitors are.

If it isn’t growing, it’s dying. Data goes bad at a rate of 2% per month. How does your database compare to a year ago? How does your web traffic compare to a year ago?

4 Quick Thoughts Regarding Marketing Your Print Services

In an age when competitive advantage is fleeting, brand differentiation should be the ultimate goal for printers, mailers and marketers.

What many companies believe are efforts to differentiate are in reality, efforts to replicate. A quick look at your website and marketing collateral may confirm this.

There is too much emphasis on teaching sales people to be good closers when in fact, being a great listener and having the ability to communicate are the most valuable sales traits.

There is still a product mentality and that needs to change. Engage customers in conversations about their business and their challenges. Focus on understanding their needs rather than selling your products.

Keep the conversations going with highly relevant marketing content. This applies to outbound and inbound marketing. Avoid the temptation to use generic content (replication). It’s actually worse than doing nothing.

Keep the focus on differentiating your brand and the sales rewards will follow.