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Advice

Advice

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Advice:

Sometimes you have to take it with a grain of salt.

Have you ever had someone give you their professional opinion or worst yet, paid for professional advice only to walk away with an uneasy feeling?

Here are some examples of advice perhaps better off ignored. BTW, my favorite is the example from Avinash Kaushik.

 


 

Julie Fleischer
Director, Data + Content + Media, Kraft Foods Group
@jfly
Julie FleischerHands down the worst advice I’ve received is to religiously input past results into forecasts of future ones and then build plans accordingly. Consumers and the communications landscape are changing too fast to keep doing what you’ve always done and expecting the same (or better!) returns.

Success requires knowing your consumer today (not yesterday), open-mindedness to new ideas, media experimentation and innovation.

 


 

Avinash Kaushik
Digital Marketing Evangelist, Google
@avinash
Avinash KaushikAnything that starts with “All you need is to rock SEO!” The bit at the end could be Email, Social, Site Experience, Paid Search, Affiliate, anything really. That advice is a demonstration of I’m a one-trick pony and so let me do the one dance I know.

It takes a complex mix of marketing strategies by companies to win. We’ve grown up with silos. Any advice related to optimizing one silo falls in the category of “worst marketing advice.”

The best employees/consultants obsess about optimizing for a Marketing Portfolio and possess the incredible capacity to understand each channel’s purpose, are able to recommend content matches in response to the customer need, and finally measure success of that portfolio strategy. [I call this the See-Think-Do-Care framework.]

You know you have great marketing advice if it represents clear thought for the entire marketing portfolio and the advice’s role in it.


 

Michelle Lapierre
Senior Director, Customer Experience & Social Media at Marriott Rewards
@mmlap
Michelle LapierreHere’s the brand style guide – don’t deviate”. As if:
* What worked in print and email channels would magically transfer to social channels.
* Talking about ourselves – with the right font and color palette – was the priority. * Giving no regard to the social conversation, and adapting to that conversation, was the norm.
* The command-and-control method of brand marketing still existed.

 


 

Mei Lee
VP, Marketing – Digital at Conde Nast Entertainment
@himelee
Mei LeeThe worst marketing advice I’ve heard recently is to use the same ad creative across all social media platforms because you want your campaign message to be consistent everywhere.

Customers behave differently on each social media platform. Their need states vary from Facebook to Instagram to Vine. Your ad copy and call-to-action should be customized to meet specific need states. 

 


 

Rebecca Lieb
Industry Analyst, The Altimeter Group
@lieblink
Rebecca Lieb
I recall getting a call from a junior-level marketing person at a major publishing house. A big-brand, very conservative, financial publication. Her boss had numbers to meet, so instructed her to buy a shady piece of software (from Russia) off the web that scraped email addresses. He needed bigger email marketing lists. Her desperate query to me was, “I know this is wrong. Could you please help me to explain to him why this is wrong?”

 


 

Matt McGowan
Strategy at Google (COO of Americas Ad Agency Business)
@matt_mcgowan
Matt McGowan

“Do it for the for the award shows!”

 

 

 



Jennifer Mesenbrink

Senior Manager, Digital and Social Content Strategy Motorola Solutions
@EditorThink

Jennifer MesenbrinkMy personal pet peeve with managing social media is that people assume you can just delete negative comments or ignore them. Yes, you can choose that path with your personal social media accounts, but when you’re managing a business account, that is literally the exact opposite way to handle those interactions via social media. Social media is about entering into a conversation with those vocal dissenters – answering their questions, solving problems, addressing their concerns in a legitimate way — so you can change that customer’s opinion. It’s not a problem – it’s a social opportunity.


 

Joe Pulizzi
Founder, Content Marketing Institute and Author, “Epic Content Marketing”
@JoePulizzi

Joe PulizziOne thing that has really bothered me is how many times I hear these two words – Have to.
* You “have to” be on Facebook.
* You “have to” blog.
* You “have to” do Google Adwords.

I’ve had the opportunity to listen to literally dozens of marketing speeches where so-called experts have said these two words. Not once have I ever agreed with that. Marketing is both art and science.

There is no “one way” to do things. If you ever hear someone say that there is something you MUST do…that there is no other way…my advice is…run.


 

Mark Schaefer
Consultant, Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker, Adjunct Marketing Professor, Rutgers University
@markwschaefer
Mark SchaeferThere is a lot of bad advice out there but one mantra that sticks in my head is to “be controversial” to get traffic to your site.

To me, this is like playing with fire. I can’t imagine convincing my boss that a company and a carefully-groomed brand should mindfully be associated with forced negativity. If the thing blows up in a bad way, you’re into damage control and even if it works, can you really sustain “controversy” as a strategy? This is different than holding a legitimate opinion or taking a stand in an authentic way.

What is the worst marketing advice that you have ever received or heard? Share with our readers in the comments below.

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Why Backlinks are Important for your site?

Why Backlinks are Important for your site?

If you want your site to rank high on search engine results without delving into paid advertising, then search engine optimization (SEO) is your best option. SEO is a process which uses different tactics and methods to boost your site’s visibility and ranking among search results on Google, Yahoo or Bing.

And one of the most effective ways to do that is through backlinks.

 

What are Backlinks?

Backlinks Google SEO

Backlinks Google SEO

Backlinks are inbound links on other webpages, blogs or documents, which when clicked, direct the user to pages on your website. Before search engines were popular, backlinks were the primary means of web navigation but now they serve a second purpose of driving up your page’s rank in search engine results.

The context of the placement of backlinks proves the good value and quality of your site to people and search engines. For example, somebody adding a link to your food blog in their 10 best food blogs of 2015 will give a good impression to readers and increases your page rank.

 

Why are they are important?

Anybody who is involved in SEO cannot stress the importance of using backlinks enough. Search engines like Google, use backlinks to determine the popularity of a site and identify the page rank of its webpages. The higher number of inbound links from sites which are relevant to your blog, the higher will your site be on search engine results.

It is highly unlikely that people will discover your site on their own. Backlinks are like recommendations from other sites. A reference builds trust from readers. Having your site mentioned on a good quality blog is a great way for potential followers to find you, trust you and remain loyal to you.

However, beware of having spammy links on your site or mentioning links to dubious websites. That will not only decrease your page’s rank, but will label your site as spam-related. Google among other search engines is all about quality, and gives more weightage to links from authoritative websites.

Working in Real Estate? Upgrade your website to keep with the times and competition

Working in Real Estate? Upgrade your website to keep with the times and competition

 

Mobile phones are changing the world as we see it. There’s no need for us to tell you. Look right and left and you’ll see everybody in the vicinity glued to their smartphones and tablets. People not only rely on their mobile devices to stay connected to others, but use them for a multitude of tasks which includes online shopping and searching for information online. Information like, where can I find my dream house in the locality?

As of 2015, 60% of global mobile consumers use their mobile device as their primary or exclusive internet source. That means that more than half of the visitors to your site come via a mobile device. Even those interested in big purchases like a house, search for listings and prices online through their portable devices. For those working in real estate, these visitors come looking specifically for information. If your website is not optimized for mobile, you can lose a potential client in a matter of seconds. A mobile-friendly site is able to display text and images within a small screen size in an organized way, without the user needing to pinch, zoom or navigate around helplessly to find what they need. In short, if you want to attract and retain online visitors to your site and converting them into a customer, then it is imperative that your site is both mobile and desktop friendly.

Responsive-Web-Design-Mobile-Desktop-Real-Estate

One solution to the problem is to assign a separate URL and coding for a desktop version of the site, and separate one for the mobile version. But a more versatile and efficient approach is the Responsive Web Design; officially recommended by Google. The responsive design seamlessly adapts the website according to the device the user is using. According to the search engine company, it allows for your website to be more easily shared and linked to, as well as, helps the Googlebot efficiently crawl and index the content of your site online.

If a person is searching for house listings on his or her phone, that does not mean he is cooking up plans and fantasies but is rather planning to take action. A survey says that 70% of mobile searches lead to online action within an hour. That is almost three times the percentage done on desktops. The reason being that mobile users are mostly on the go and use their phone with the intent of quick action.

If we haven’t convinced you of adopting a responsive web design, perhaps these statistics will:
• 80% of internet users use a smartphone.
• More than 20% of Google searches are done on phones and tablets.
• 61% of people have a better opinion of brands when they offer a good mobile experience.
• In 2012 over half of all local searches were done on a mobile device. That was three years ago…
• Tablet users spend 50% more than PC users.

If you’re ready to invest in a good quality responsive web design to attract all kinds of internet device users, then we can help you. At Crimmco, we are more than capable to help transform your business presence online using the latest technology and methods, so that you and your business are never left behind.

EveryOne Loves Referrals

EveryOne Loves Referrals

Use These 10 Steps to Get Referral Business from Your Clients

10 Steps to Get Referral Business from Your Clients

Everyone loves referral business! Unfortunately, not everyone takes an active interest in generating referral leads. Consider the following statistic: 91 percent of consumers are willing to give referrals, yet only 11 percent of people ask for them. It doesn’t take a math wiz to see there’s a gold mine of referral dollars being left on the table.

Despite what you may have heard, referral business won’t take care of itself. In fact, drumming up referrals can be quite a challenge. You not only have to lead the horse to water, but you also have to make the water worth drinking—and that means being proactive and providing exceptional value.

Take an active interest in your clients’ happiness and they’ll be more likely to return the favor. With that in mind, try our 10-point proactive approach to earning (and increasing) referral business long-term.

How to Get Referral Business - Step 1

Think about your past experiences—your greatest successes and your most dismal failures. See any patterns? Timing is everything, and finding the right time to ask for referral business can be a matter of trial, error and strategic adjustment.

Consider your best successes, determine when you made the initial referral request and base future inquiries on the same timeframe. If you’ve found that asking for referrals too early in the transaction puts relatively unfamiliar clients on the defensive, implement a more patient approach. Speaking of patience…

How to Get Referral Business - Step 2

While asking for referrals in the early stages of the transaction may not yield the best results, that doesn’t mean you can’t drop a few hints along the way. As Paul Simon once said, “you don’t need to be coy, Roy.” After all, 85 percent of small businesses say word-of-mouth referrals are the number one way new prospects discover their businesses.

Let clients know that your business thrives on word-of-mouth and referral leads, and that means you’re willing to do everything within your power to make sure they’re satisfied with the transaction and willing to tell their friends about it. Planting this seed early will make the actual referral request that much easier later on.

How to Get Referral Business - Step 3

It should go without saying, but everything we’re talking about hinges on a job well done. Anything less and you can kiss those referral leads goodbye! Pay close attention to the feedback you receive directly from customers or through online reviews and use that information to improve your services. By delivering the best experience possible, you’ll make your customers happy, and happy customers tell their friends!

How to Get Referral Business - Step 4

Once the transaction is complete, many people pat themselves on the back and prepare to move on. This is a huge mistake. Consider the following:

A recent survey by AutoTrader.com found that 69 percent of consumers have experienced buyer’s remorse after purchasing a car.

The Washington Post reports that one in four homeowners experience buyer’s remorse after buying a new home.

Buyer’s remorse is very real, and it’s NOT industry specific. It doesn’t matter if you’re selling insurance, real estate or beauty products, your clients will likely experience a period of self doubt and regret just following their purchase.

Here’s a hot tip: It’s never a good idea to request referrals from a client in the throes of buyer’s remorse. You might not receive the response you were hoping for!

Instead of worrying about referrals at this stage, focus on keeping your client 100 percent satisfied and happy with the transaction. Following up with a customer shows them you care about their well-being and you’re available if they need you. This solidifies your relationship, builds customer loyalty and gently reinforces the client’s purchasing decision.

This is also a great time to request feedback and offer useful content such as how-to videos and articles that will further enhance the client’s experience with your product. By being there for your clients when they need you most, you increase your chances of receiving referral business later on.

How to Get Referral Business - Step 5

Once you’ve delivered your client to their happy place, you can turn your attention to the business of asking for referrals. But don’t jump the gun! First, take the time to decide exactly what it is you’re looking for.

Traditional word-of-mouth and referral leads are a good place to start, especially when you consider that 92 percent of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family above all other forms of advertising.

Meanwhile, 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, making reviews on third-party sites such as Yelp, Facebook and Google invaluable.

Finally, 68 percent of consumers trust opinions posted online, which makes client testimonials valuable additions to your website and marketing campaigns.

How to Get Referral Business - Step 6

Now that you’re in the sweet spot, it’s time to make your move. Stop dropping hints and cash in on the trust you’ve earned through hard work and dedication. Let them know how much you appreciate their business and how important they are to you. You’re happy to see them happy and you’d like to spread that same joy to their friends, family and business colleagues. Just remember to be direct, polite and humble.

How to Get Referral Business - Step 7

Once your client agrees to help you out, it’s impolite to leave them hanging – and the longer you wait, the more likely they are to lose interest. Have a process in place to accommodate eager clients. Have business cards at the ready for face-to-face interactions. If you’re asking for an online testimonial or review, make the process easy. Send them interview questions or links to sites like Yelp, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+. Anything you can do to make the referral or review process simple and convenient will improve your chances of success.

How to Get Referral Business - Step 8

So you’ve gotten what you want and it’s time to move on, right? Wrong! You’re in this for the long haul. You never know when and where a referral opportunity will occur, so it’s important that you nurture client relationships to maintain trust, encourage customer loyalty and earn ongoing referral business.

This is where content marketing is critical to the referral process. Instead of simply promoting yourself, focus on providing content that will be valuable to your clients. For example, a client who’s just purchased a home doesn’t want to be inundated with new listings and mortgage rates.

Instead, send something of interest, such as helpful home maintenance tips or information on DIY upgrades that will enhance their home’s value. This type of content not only shows you’re interested in maintaining a relationship, but it also paints you as an industry expert and trusted professional.

How to Get Referral Business - Step 9

Building your reputation through great content is only half the battle. You also need to remain top of mind so that clients will remember your name months or years down the road and continue to recommend your services. This is where email marketing and social media come into play. The numbers speak for themselves:

By giving past clients multiple opportunities to engage with your brand and content in their inboxes and social feeds, you stay top of mind when referral opportunities arise.

How to Get Referral Business - Step 10

Quality business referrals are born out of customer loyalty, which has to be earned over time. By maintaining contact with past clients and continuing to provide them with valuable content, you strengthen your relationship and build a solid, mutual sense of trust. This earns you the right to occasionally ask for a favor, and ensures your clients will be happy to oblige!

What kind of experiences have you had with referral business? If you have an interesting success story – or an educational story of hard-fought failure – share it in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you! And be sure to sign up for our Sunday Edition.

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5 Reasons Having Reviews Beyond Yelp is Important

5 Reasons Having Reviews Beyond Yelp is Important

Yelp may be the most well-known review site out there but it is by no means the only one. There are other review sites gaining steam and one in particular that is geared specifically toward garnering more positive reviews for real estate agents.

As we will show you below, reviews are very important to how your agency is perceived by potential clients. If you are only on Yelp and those reviews are skimpy or unflattering, you will find it very difficult to compete. Here are the top 5 reasons why:

#1: Users Only Need 3 Reviews or Less

Before people were shopping online, the only way reviews most people trusted were reviews from their friends and family. Now that the internet and sites like Yelp have come along, your agency can be reviewed by millions of people around the globe instantly.

That is an extremely important reason for maintaining positive reviews and weeding out bad ones. According to a recent study, it only takes three reviews for 40 % of users before they form an opinion about a business. That is a number that is on the rise.

Most people will read at least through the first page of search results before selecting a business. If your positive reviews are buried beneath 3 or 4 pages of negative ones, your online reputation is going to suffer.

#2: High Star Ratings are King

Even if you have never actually gone onto a site and rated a service or product you are probably likely familiar with the star rating. It is how most review sites enable users to rate different business. The higher the star the more likely someone will choose you.

In fact if you have a four star or higher overall rating, nearly 95% of users will consider using your business over others. That is good news for a real estate agent with plenty of positive reviews. Yet if your reviews are only found on Yelp, you are not getting the full effect of your high star rating.

#3: The More Reviews the Better

One of the main reasons why you should look beyond Yelp to amass reviews of your real estate business is because the more reviews the better. The only measure other than star rating that influences users is the number of positive reviews.

Even if you have a few negative reviews if the positive ones far outweigh the negative ones, users will still consider your business. However, users do punish businesses whose reviews are older than six months. You have to stay relevant and have frequent visitors in order for reviews to be effective.

#4: Reviews Carry a Lot of Weight

Online reviews don’t carry as much weight as personal reviews but they are close. 80% of users give online reviews almost as much weight as personal reviews. That means that if all things being equal but your reviews are higher than another agent in your area, you will more than likely win that business.

#5: Fake Reviews Don’t Work Anymore

Finally a word of caution in case you are tempted after reading all of that above to go out and buy some reviews. Fake reviews do not work anymore. Users have caught on to this trick where businesses hire people to post positive reviews on review sites like Yelp and Trulia.

Today, users do not blindly trust reviews. They give them weight but take them with a grain of salt if they look suspicious. While over 90% of online shoppers use reviews to judge a business, nearly all of them assess the legitimacy of those reviews before they hand over their trust.

Let's Talk About Getting Reviews For Your Real Estate Business!

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Real Estate Blogs Should Have These

Real Estate Blogs Should Have These

By 

Have you ever considered what makes your blog a place people would like to visit?  To attract a larger following and to enhance your online marketing success, be sure to add these 10 aspects to complete your real estate blog.

1. A well designed blog header.  It doesn’t have to contain professional designer quality illustrations. However, your header should definitely contain clear and visually appealing images.  It should be neat, possess easy to read fonts and include your blog’s name.

2. A stylish background.  A background is not mandatory. But if you are going to use one, go with the less is more theory.  A clustered background is not an option!  Anything distracting or flashing should have no place on your blog.  Research has indicated that a dark print on light backgrounds are easier on the eyes and more inviting to your audience.

3. Use consistent color scheme.

4. Blogger profile. This should consist of a picture of the blogger and a short introduction to your site.  3 to 5 sentences is plenty.

5. Pages and Categories.  These are tabs, icons, image/thumbnail links that allow users to navigate to other relative content on your site.  For example, your real estate pages may consist of: – Sponsor Information including blog statistics, ad space sizes, prices, and inclusions. – Contact Information – Contributions and awards

* You should always include a Home page!  This will allow users to get back to your main page no matter where they are on your blog.

Your category icons can consist of:

– Real estate tips

– Listings

– Photography

6. Social Media links. Links will allow users to connect and follow you via your social media profiles. It is best if they can do this through new windows.  This function makes a blog user friendly.

Not sure how to make your links open in new windows?  Check out Blogging Resources, Tools, Widgets, HTML, etc. you should check out!

7. An archive of related posts.  Want to keep your viewers on your page longer?  This is one simple way to do it!  If they like your current post, they will be more apt to read something similar if there is a link jumping off the page just waiting to be clicked on.  The best place for related posts to be displayed is directly under your posting area.

8. A list of popular posts.  These are your most viewed and clicked on content.  They were viewed most for a reason so why not display them proudly?   This type of material is what the audience appears to like the most, so give the people what they want.

9. Add sign up forms. The more places where readers can subscribe to your blog, the better. Add forms to the sign up page, the About page, or even at the bottom of every post.

10. Attractive headlines. Headline writing isn’t easy.But this is a critical aspect to catching the audience’s attention. The best content in the world won’t be read if the opening headline doesn’t pique the reader’s interest. Spend a little extra time to make sure each blog post has a strong headline.

There you have it. 10 things your real estate blog should have.

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