Hope seems to be a big word these days. It’s taken the place of pivot. People are hopeful about recovery. People are hopeful about things returning to normal in the foreseeable future. And people are hopeful they can soon travel and visit loved ones they haven’t seen for a while.
If recovery is right around the corner, now is the ideal time to revisit your marketing strategy and plan. Making critical changes now can bring you into alignment to make the most of recovery. Plus, it’s possible the needs and desires of your target audience have changed.
Asking yourself the following questions about your business and marketing can help ensure that you have the data and information you need to make the most of the looming recovery.
- Who is your ideal customer? Has it changed with COVID?
- What is your marketing goal in 2021? What are your objectives/tactics for getting there? How will you measure success or how will you know when you’ve reached that goal?
- What is your brand tone? Try this exercise: “We are ____ but not ____.” For example, we are informative but not boring.
- What is your reputation in your industry and your community? What do people think of when they think of your brand/product/service?
- Where is your target audience on social media (Facebook, Insta, etc.)? Are they still easily reached where you thought they were?
- Are people still reading your blog?
- What customer problem do you solve?
- Do you sell through fear, inspiration, or solving a problem? Does that course of action still work for you?
- What is the open rate on your newsletter? Has that changed with the pandemic?
- Are you using a tracker that shows you where people are clicking on your website and/or newsletter? If yes, where are they clicking and where aren’t they clicking? What does that tell you about their needs?
- Do you have an email list?
- What data are you currently tracking and what are you doing with it?
- What kind of content do your customers like best/have the most interaction with?
- How many active followers do you have on each social media platform you participate on? How has that changed with COVID?
- Do your customers enjoy a type of content you are not providing such as podcasts or videos?
- What story are you telling?
- How much does your average customer cost?
- What are your customer retention strategies and how are you implementing them?
- How has your product or service evolved over the past year? How has your marketing message changed? Does it need to?
- What’s your call to action and does it fit where it is used? For instance, you don’t invite someone to buy when they’re just getting to know you on the About Us page of your website. Speaking of…
- What are you doing to help people get to know, like, and trust you?
- What part of your business is off-putting or scary for first-time buyers? What can you do to make it less so? For instance, gyms may be intimidating for the out-of-shape first timers. How can you reach them and be more inviting? A get-fit challenge is a solution to that because participants would know they’d be with other newbies.
- Do you have a defined success metric for every campaign you implement?
- In what area(s) is your competition falling short? In what areas are they strongest? How do you compare?
- How many referrals (and/or reviews) are you getting? What vehicle/strategy are you using to get more?
These questions are easily answered but implementing the answers/solutions takes more planning. It’s a lot of work now but once you put it in, you’ll be glad you did.
Businesses join the chamber of commerce for several reasons. Years ago, it may have been expected; just something you did when you opened a business and wanted to be in good standing in the community.
But these days it’s more likely a business joins because there is a direct advantage to them personally. Maybe they wanted a ribbon cutting or need the advocacy or wanted a marketing opportunity that membership allowed them.
Yes, there are many reasons to join the chamber and tons of benefits your business can receive from membership. But aside from simply writing a check and receiving a set of benefits, there are reasons why you should become personally involved with the local chamber of commerce.
Plus, the chamber extends its benefits to all of your employees so you can use chamber membership benefits as employee benefits. Share this with them as well.
4 Reasons to Get Involved with the Chamber
Let’s place the advocacy, marketing, advertising, and public relations benefits of chamber membership on the back burner. This article is about what the chamber can do for you and your employees specifically, not the business. Yes, the chamber can bring more attention to your business, which can create more sales opportunities, but these benefits and this personal involvement are things that can help you outside of the business.
The chamber has a number of education opportunities where you and your employees can learn about important matters for free (or at a very low cost). Chamber webinar topics may include things like diversity, how to excel in social media, and economic interests in your area. They can help you become a more well-rounded professional, change careers, or get up-to-date on important topics in the community.
The chamber offers a lot of opportunities to volunteer for different committees or events. You may find a volunteer position in a subject that interests you like women leaders, diversity, workforce development, or marketing. Not only can these volunteer positions be added to your resume, but volunteering could also help you meet people with similar interests and help you grow your professional network. Speaking of…
Getting involved with the chamber can help you meet more people and grow your professional network and make friendships. Even in communities where social gatherings are still mostly virtual, chambers have networking sessions to help you stay connected.
Business Expansion and Hidden Opportunities
As you grow your network, you may learn of additional business possibilities that you could add to your business or you could use to launch a new one. You may learn of seed money, grants, SBA funding, or private opportunities.
Often business deals get made before anything is formally published or requested. Being personally involved in the chamber may help you be a part of those types of discussions and make you aware of opportunities before they become public.
The same may be true of the hidden job market. A contact may tell you they’re looking for someone before posting it on a job site, giving you the advantage.
Chamber benefits for your business are amazing. They can really help you increase your number of customers and get your name out there. But those aren’t the only benefits. If you get involved individually, there are many benefits to your professional growth and career. Plus, those benefits can be given to all of your employees too. That can be a real selling point for someone looking for a great company culture.
Many of us have spent this year concerned over the health of our businesses or those in the community. Ultimately, a healthy business has a good balance sheet. It has more coming in than it does going out. But that is not the only indicator of business health.
In today’s world, where a quick decision from a politician can radically affect your business overnight, it’s important to know the early indicators of business peril. This of these things as your business’ “canary in the coal mine.”
Signs Your Business Is Healthy (before you see it on the books)
Before you see any issues in the balance sheet, you can spot a healthy business in these areas:
- Referrals. While it’s never easy to get people to refer you even when they love you, a healthy business harnesses the power of the referral and makes it easy for happy customers to bring in more happy customers.
- Reviews. Just like referrals, reviews are the signature of a healthy, well-loved business. But they don’t happen automatically. A healthy business asks for them, makes it easy to give them, and repurposes them in their marketing collateral.
- Promotes from within and trains accordingly. A healthy business promotes from within with clear pathways to additional challenges even when the business is small enough not to have additional levels to climb. It recognizes employees who are committed to the business, doing a great job, and those that require additional challenges or training.
- Looks for needs. If your business moves in another direction, opens a new market, or branches out, you may not be able to promote from within. A healthy business is clear about what each employee’s strengths are and what they may need to obtain from outside whether that be from an additional hire, vendor, or partner.
- Builds loyalty outside of sales. Loyalty is not owned by the sales department. Loyalty is built by customer service and marketing. A healthy company looks for ways to keep customers engaged and feeling like they are part of the brand. It creates enjoyable experiences for customers at each touchpoint whether they are calling to complain, buy, or simply spend time on social media.
- Remains agile. This one is certainly a lesson learned in 2020. A healthy business must be ready to align its offerings and services with those of their loyal customers and the larger market. Small businesses may not have had a lot of operating capital when the pandemic hit but they did retain the ability to move quickly and that helped a lot of them stay in the black.
Is your business healthy outside of the balance sheet? Go through this list and ask yourself how many of these qualities your business meets. If you’re missing a few, you may want to see how quickly you can add them. After all, they are a good indicator of business health long before you begin to see signs of trouble in the balance sheets or books.
News stations are finally embracing the word that COVID numbers are going down and vaccine administrations are going up. That’s allowing people to see the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. If you have weathered the storm so far, you know your business is not completely in the clear. There are always unexpected challenges like freak snowstorms and mass electrical outages that are keeping us all on our business toes, regardless of where you sell or operate from. Nothing will tell you faster how interconnected we are than understanding how weather in one part of the country can stimy business operations in another.
But as we begin to see COVID numbers drop and (eventually) restrictions loosen, there are several common marketing mistakes you’ll want to avoid.
Just Getting the Work Done by Putting Out Fires
“The world hates a vacuum.” Have you ever heard that phrase? Said another way…wherever there is emptiness, it will become full. The same is true of your business day and marketing. You can be busy putting out fires, doing the busy work, or you can grab command of your day and insist on purpose.
If you come up with and commit to accomplishing 2-3 things for your marketing each day, you’ll get more done each week and start to really see a difference in your business. Many people will argue that they come up with goals but are then derailed by more important things that need their attention.
If you find this to be true, you’re either not prioritizing well or you’re letting the demands of others derail your business goals. Always ask yourself with each activity you take on during the day, “Is this moving me closer to where I want to be in my business or is it setting me adrift from my goals?” Once you begin framing everything that way, you will find it easier to stay on task.
That is not to say, your marketing goals never need to be adjusted. If there’s one thing COVID has taught us, it’s agility. We need to be able to bend and redirect. But always do so with the business in mind. If you’re going to rebalance your goals, do so with the destination in mind, not as a reaction to a “squeaky wheel.”
Being All Things to All People
“Everyone” is not an ideal customer. Even if you think “everyone” loves your product and service. Case in point, let’s say you’re in the business of making really wonderful coffee, and you charge $6 a cup for it. First, everyone doesn’t love coffee. Secondly, not everyone sees the value in a $6 cup when there are options at lower price points. Yes, some people understand that you roast your own beans and that makes a difference in the flavor and some people will love you have six different types of organic creamers. Those people are your ideal customer, not people who buy $.59 cups of coffee at the gas station.
But if you think all coffee drinkers are the same, you could spend a lot of money trying to reach the economy buyers who will never spend anything with you. Instead, focus on reaching people who will appreciate your home-roasted beans and fancy creamers. They’re more likely to convert when you get your messaging in front of them.
We get it. Numbers are scary. But you’ll never know how you’re doing if you don’t look. Check out your Google Analytics but don’t get fixated on today’s (or even yesterday’s) data. This resource is most effective when you use it to track changes and notice what moves the meter over time.
You can use data to tell you what content topics resonate with your audience, what referral sources are your most lucrative, and whether you’re spending your ad money wisely. Let’s face it, no one has money they just want to throw away, especially now.
So, take a look at those numbers and the trends. They’ll become a good road map for you going forward.
You current clients/customers are likely an untapped resource of additional revenue. After all, it is much easier to sell to someone who already likes you than it is to win over a new person.
But there’s a lot of competition out there.
There’s a saying in the restaurant industry that a diner who described their meal as “satisfactory” will never be back again. In order to get return customers, upsells, and referrals you must do better than just meeting expectations. You must exceed them.
Thankfully, as they say, the difference between ordinary and extraordinary is just a little extra. In this article, we’ll give you seven quick ideas on how to create those extra opportunities that will translate into greater upsell and referral opportunities. When someone is “wowed” they will buy more and talk about you (exactly what you need for referrals).
How to Go from Ordinary to Extraordinary for More Upsells and Referrals
- Offer samples without people requesting them. When someone is looking at something in your business, offer them samples. Don’t even ask. One restaurant brings individual samples of gelato to the table at the end of the meal. Even if the diners don’t buy any, they leave with a (literal) pleasant taste in their mouth which could yield a return visit or referrals.
- Send/give swag. If you mail your products or bag them, consider adding something unexpected in the package. Pure Vida sends branded stickers. Some companies stick in a postcard. The surprise needn’t be expensive. The point is it’s unexpected and that is delightful.
- Invite engagement. Make sure every purchase is accompanied with a request to engage on social media but don’t make it about you. Most people are excited when they make a purchase, and they want to show it off. Invite them to share a picture of themselves using the product or service. Give them a hashtag and perhaps some incentive to share such as a contest entry or a future discount. If you have a well-known brand sometimes simply retweeting them and being on your radar is enough.
- Send “just because” discounts. Some companies send birthday offers but not everyone feels comfortable giving you their birthdate these days. Instead, send “just because specials” periodically and thank them for being a fantastic customer. If they haven’t purchased recently, tell them you miss them and give them reason to return.
- Drop expiration dates. If you use coupons, don’t turn someone away because their coupon is past the expiration date. Make it well known that you will accept coupons whenever the customer is ready to use them.
- Put everyone to work. It may not scale to have your CEO or owner answer customer support questions all day. However, giving leadership the opportunity to field the occasional question or post a response on social media or to a review can make someone’s day and get them talking about you. The customer will be in shock that leadership responded. And it will make them (and everyone who reads the interaction) think that leadership is reading every review or comment.
- Follow and respond on social media. Don’t simply post what’s going on in your world. Learn what’s going on in your customer’s as well. Set Google alerts for mentions of your business, what you sell, and your area. Listen to conversations going on around you and join them when it makes sense and when you can add value. Also, don’t hide behind the brand. When you are posting, use your name even if you’re responding from your brand’s account. People are more likely to interact with a person than a company name.
If you want to cut through the noise and get more upsells and referrals, you want to make people feel special and valued. Think about experiences you’ve had as a customer. How can you replicate those in your business?
A few years ago, a trend hit—customizing your offerings to what your customers wanted. It involved surveying every part of their experience and shaping your business based on results. Customer-designed offerings kept a lot of businesses alive during COVID. The idea is a great one, give them what they want, make them feel important, and they’ll return.
This premise was so widely adopted that we all became professional survey takers. Now every moment you spend with a business (online or in-person) is followed by a survey on your experience. From airlines to doctors, they’re all doing it. These requests are exhausting and make people regret giving out their emails.
But it’s important to ensure your business offerings are in-line with what your customers want, right? So how do you ensure this without giving them survey fatigue? Here are a few ideas that will help you get the information you need without annoying them.
Skip the Survey: Learn What Your Customers Want in More Meaningful Ways
- Exit Drop Box. If you have an in-person business, at the end of the transaction give people red and green poker chips (they can be made out of cardboard) and ask them to drop the color that best fits their experience today in the box by the door. The other one can go in the recycling box. This gives you a quick idea of whether your customer experience for a given day is as good as it should be.
- Website Pop-up. At the end of an online transaction, give your customer a single question based on something you want to know. Make it a radial button answer for a quick response. Don’t ask a generic question like “did you enjoy the experience?”. Make it something more revealing like “did you find our website easy to navigate?”. Ask different questions each week but stick with one at a time. Add a meaningful thank you message after they answer.
- Social Media. Post a customer experience or product/service question to social media but invite people to answer in a fun way by using emoticons, for instance, to signify their most recent experience doing business with you. Or ask them to use a gif to describe it. It’s not an exact science but it can be fun.
- Interactive menus. Thanks to COVID, a lot of businesses like restaurants aren’t using paper menus. They’re using QR codes to access online menus. If you’re using online menus in your business, make them interactive. Allow people to hover over and see pics of the items and add comments or use emoticons. These “comments” then serve as social proof for future customers.
- Text. Remember passing notes in middle school asking someone if they liked someone else? You can do the same funny type of question using SMS. Make it creative and fun and people are likely to respond to it. You can use that same middle-school format leveraging you against your competition in an “us or them” rivalry. You may not always get the answer you want but it can be fun for you and your customers.
- Reviews. Forget polls and surveys. Those things are just for your own info and other than giving you an idea to change your business for the better, they don’t really do anything for you. Reviews, on the other hand, do. So, the next time you want to put a survey in front of your customers, consider asking them to review you instead.
Surveys are great tools for learning more about customer experience but these days they’re too overdone. No one has time for them and they’re mildly annoying when they clutter up the email inbox. That doesn’t mean you should forgo asking your customers’ opinions. You just need to do that in a fun, less intrusive way.
One of the most embarrassing things you can do on social media for your business is to mess up a post. For some of us, that might be a spelling or grammar mistake, for others, it may involve a humiliating auto-correct situation. For others still, it might mean giving away a company secret earlier than intended. Whatever it is that you’ve done or might do, you can ensure it doesn’t happen again with this handy social media post checklist.
On a more personal note – I didn’t take this advice this week and posted something on facebook and didn’t catch in the comments that they were referring to an actual event, not wondering if I had a product in stock, and I sure felt silly once it was pointed out to me. So even if you think you have all your ducks in a row, do a little more thinking to make sure what you are posting (or responding to) is conveying your intention.
Social Media Post Checklist
Very little can be taken back on social media. A mistake in a post can be embarrassing or deeply troubling to your PR department. It can alienate customers or cause them to question your professionalism. Before hitting send, post, or tweet, run your potential post through this handy checklist.
- Proofread before sending to avoid silly mistakes. We all love spell check but it’s not always enough. Spell check doesn’t always catch homonyms (words that sound alike but are spelled differently) and depending on your settings, it may not catch a misspelled word if you have it in caps or it is capitalized. Don’t forget to double-check auto-correct issues, especially when sending from your phone. However, never blame autocorrect for your mistakes as it usually only corrects your words with frequently used ones.
- Be funny, not offensive. Humor is great but not if it alienates customers, vendors, or partners. You can lose lucrative relationships over something as simple as a tweet. You’d be surprised how few second chances are given on social media.
- Use sarcasm sparingly and obviously. Are you saying what you mean? What is your tone conveying? Is that the only way it could be interpreted? Sarcasm is very difficult to master in print or on social media. Just look at Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal where he <satirically> suggested eating children in order to solve the problems of famine and poverty in the early 1700s. Many believed his idea to be a serious proposal. It is much better to use the strong words you mean than to post something in jest. Meaning can be lost in social media unless you accompany it with some emotional clues like emojis.
- Check stats and claims. If you’re quoting a source make sure you haven’t transposed numbers or wrongly attributed a claim. Ensure you use a “not” if that’s what you mean. After all, there’s a big difference between 3 billion and .3 million as well as 83% of adults are on Facebook or 83% of adults aren’t on Facebook. There are also a lot of people on social media who enjoy correcting people.
- Check your quote. Quotes, especially image quotes, receive some of the biggest shares out there. However, before you attribute something to a famous person, check the sources. There are entire books written on this subject and some very famous quotes are often misattributed. For instance, Gandhi never said “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” and George Washington never claimed, “I cannot tell a lie, even on the internet.”
- Test the link. Always check your link by copying it into another tab and double-checking that it works. When you’re copying and pasting, it’s easy to copy and paste the wrong one or leave off the last character so checking is always advisable.
- Double check the image. When you’re using an image from elsewhere, wherever possible give attribution through a tag. Not only is it the polite thing to do, but it can help your business. It will call attention to your post and the original content creator will be made aware of you. They may even share your post. Even if you decide not to tag the original content creator, watch for watermarks. If there is one or you’re reposting something that’s been shared by multiple sharers, go to the original site mentioned in the post before you share it. You don’t want to share content that one of your followers could follow back to the original poster only to find it’s an unsavory group.
- Use scheduling software. If you use scheduling software, you’re not going live immediately. We all know there’s something inexplicable about posting. Your post looks perfect until you hit the post button then magically all of the errors are visible. (At least that’s how it seems.) If you use a scheduler instead of going live immediately, you’re creating a buffer that will help you see mistakes before they’re in someone’s stream. Many schedulers also have spell-check features.
- Use with permission. If you’re posting to social media, always use attributes for quotes and materials. Give the content creator credit for saying/writing it in the first place. That’s common courtesy. However, this becomes much more important when your posting is posting to a blog and not merely a quote. If you’re using a cartoon, song lyrics, more than 10% of a printed work, or an image, and you’re publishing it on a business blog, you should seriously consider getting permission from the content owner. If your usage is for educational purposes, the rights holder may be more lenient. But if you stand to make money off of it, don’t be surprised to receive a cease and desist letter. Grammar rules have become less enforced with social media. Copyright law has not.
- Look at the published post. After you post your item, always double-check it again. Click on the links. Take another look at the spelling and grammar. Some social media platforms (like Facebook) allow you to edit your posts so you could save yourself some issues if you’re the one who catches it.
Finally, if after all of this checking something still escapes your attention and causes someone dismay, remedy the situation quickly. If it’s grammar thank them for their attention to detail and get it corrected. If it’s a public relations issue, consult the appropriate decision maker about how it should be handled. Remember, doing so quickly is your best course of action. That’s why so many businesses have a protocol in place on how to handle a social media faux pas. If you don’t, you should consider making those decisions ahead of needing them.
Did any of you make it out to the grand reopening of VFW Bingo? Duane was pretty excited to get that going again. I know our outings have been a little sparse since COVID-19 took us all by surprise, but hopefully this year we can get stuff moving again, gather-together, and get to enjoy life in our communities. Until things move back towards normal we do have some beautiful things to explore in our little neck of the Flint Hills that don’t require a bunch of money or gas.
Have you received a $10 Chamber Buck for doing your part to help KS Beat the Virus? If so, take them to any member business and use them like cash. They are a gift to you from the Grant Program the Family Resource Exchange successfully applied for and received. Make sure you sign them when you use them. I have received them back from AMPRIDE, Ralph & Izzy’s, The Spot, The City (you can use to help offset your electric bill!), Heartland Foods, and more! Don’t just hold on to them, is what I am saying. Our businesses struggled this year, and the generous gift of Chamber Bucks to our community members will help build up member accounts while allowing you to get something nice in return. Businesses – if you have Bucks bring them to me at the Chamber Office and I will cut you a check. Thanks to everyone who is doing their part to help Kansas beat the virus!
If you have any events make sure you get them to me as soon as possible so I can get them on the website calendar and table toppers. I have templates created for the next 6 months so you don’t have to wait until the event is closer to start promoting it. Get the word out early so the communities can plan to attend! I am going to be trying to promote out of town for your events as well, so any extra lead time will be extremely helpful. Even with my new set-up for the table toppers I do still need events/info by the 25th of the month so that I can finalize everything and get them out to everyone. If you are a business owner and would like a table topper, please email me how many you would like – with capacity limits and whatnot I am having a difficult time knowing how many you need. I am working on building a new spreadsheet that I can adjust as things reopen and more people can be in any location.
I am also working on updating contact info for member businesses. I am getting a lot of phone calls that numbers aren’t working, or they have changed, and while I can usually track people down (in my former life as an oil and gas landman and highway ROW agent I was VERY good at finding people) it would be much easier if I had a master list. I know some of you have had a visit from me when I couldn’t get a number to share with a potential customer. I think things would work smoothly if I had a list and best way to contact – from phone calls to email to messenger – that I could give out to community members when they call.
We have finalized the date for the Annual Banquet so mark off April 5th on your calendar! The Chamber Board has come up with a really fun idea and I think you are really going to enjoy it! I will share more as it gets closer. Start looking for invites end of February/early March.
We are working on the father-daughter dance details but those are still up in the air and I will share more when info becomes available.
We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 updates and ask that we use phone or email communication as much as possible, and, when that is not possible, practice safe social distancing measures. Masks are required in the building.
As always, please reach out to me if I can help you in anyway, if you have a problem or an issue I can help with, or just any way I can help your business day run a little smoother.
I can be reached at 785-258-2115 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a great week, Tri-County!
This year has been a little more difficult to figure out new year’s resolutions. Part of that is because we’re all still reeling from the “lessons” we learned in 2020. Even the best prepared businesses lacked preparation for a global pandemic. Still, the new year is a great time to reexamine what you’ve been doing and how it can get better. Here are a few ideas:
The following ideas are a good start and in case you are one of the “words” people when it comes to year themes, we’ve worked those in as well.
Get ready to retake your day. There are so many ways you can use automation to simplify tasks. From drip marketing campaigns to nurture leads into sales to daily briefings your AI can play to help you start your day (or “if, then” sequences) with the necessary information, you can spend less time on the administrative tasks and more time generating revenue.
You know all that hard work you’ve been putting in to engage your audience on those social channels? If you’re not monitoring and analyzing the data behind your efforts, you’re not getting any value out of it. Take a little time to understand your most popular posts and the time of day that garners the most reactions. Look to see which sites are performing and which aren’t.
While you’re at it, check Google Analytics to see how your site is performing. If you send out a newsletter, get to know the tools your sender offers. Some allow you to see where people are spending the most time on your newsletter content. All of them will show you open rate and clicks. Take a look at the correlation between subject line and open rate.
In the past two months my debit card has been reissued because of fraud. I haven’t been able to track down how that compromise occurred, but this is a common problem. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that because you have a 2-person operation, no one is interested in your data. If there’s the potential for money and fraud, how many employees you have won’t matter to them. They’re looking for easy ways to get data. If you’re unprotected, you’re an easy mark.
“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Sound familiar?
But there is some truth to that. And since people buy from those they know, like, and trust, making 2021 the year you discover or reignite your passion is a solid idea to creating a more loyal customer base. Sharing what makes you tick and gets you excited can help people connect with you. It also can help safeguard you against burnout.
Take some time to explore your passions, even if you have to schedule it on your calendar.
The new year is a great time to start those things you’ve been putting off because it’s a natural reset/fresh start moment. However, you can work toward these goals at any time. And when you do, you’ll feel a whole lot better about your path to recovery or success.
If you spend any time speaking with copywriters or website writers, they will tell you a lot of businesses understand the importance of an effective About Us page on their website. As there’s been a lot of information written about telling your business story over the last decade and how customers want to do business with people they know, like and trust, many realize the value. You likely know that the About Page has the potential to become one of the most heavily visited pages on your website.
However, that’s where most businesses miss an opportunity.
They stop at the About Us page. Their business story never moves beyond it. But for the story to be believable, understood, and remembered—and thus effective—it has to spring off the About Us page and into these other places.
4 Places You Should Be Telling Your Business Story
Stories are more memorable than marketing or sales copy. But if you’re keeping your business story imprisoned in your About Us page, you’re losing an opportunity for a larger, more loyal audience. If you’re hoping that telling your business story will create more sales, you need to use it everywhere including:
Every new employee should hear your business story. Employees should experience the story as part of their onboarding training or first day on the job. It’s a great way to get them excited about where they work. Plus, you want to encourage them to tell your business story in the future so sharing it with them right away will highlight its importance.
Your Social Media Channels
Since you also want to ensure your new customers know your story, you want to tell it on social media. There are several ways to do this. You can create a video, use image quotes, write it in a social media post, write a blog post, and tell your story through images. You can also tease your social media audience by telling part of it on the page and directing the audience back to your website for the remainder of it.
Donations or Growth That Corresponds with Your Story
Your business story cannot exist on “an island,” meaning it must be exhibited in other spots besides your About Us page and be part of your culture. You achieve that by continuing to exhibit and embody the spirit of your business story. That can mean supporting nonprofits that reflect your business vision and story or volunteering with groups that share your vision. You can also partner with like-minded businesses that share a similar story.
By helping to bring your business story to life and continuing it through your culture, people will begin to understand it better and it will resonate with them on a higher level. After all, people remember actions far more often than words.
Your business story should be fresh in every employee’s mind and so it should flavor all of your business communications, even emails. However, that doesn’t mean you repeat it word for word. People will grow tired of it. Instead, think about your favorite musical group or singer. Often, without even knowing a song, you can pick out your favorite just by their “sound.” Think of your story the same way. Your audience should be able to hear undertones of your story in all of your communications.
If your story isn’t told in these spaces consistently, there will be a disconnect with your customers. They need to hear your story and see it on a regular basis to believe it, and thus, become emotionally invested in it. Once they do, you’ll see it in your sales and your repeat business.