3 Ways That Site Answers, Feedback and Customer Service Are Winning Over New Customers

3 Ways That Site Answers, Feedback and Customer Service Are Winning Over New Customers

Long gone are the days when brands could simply rest on their laurels, blast out marketing messages, and wait for the customer orders to come pouring in. That’s just not how business works anymore, nor should it.

For any business to succeed in the modern economy, you have to recognize and embrace the incredible power of two-way customer communication. Just as much as you want to tell potential customers about your products and services, you should be just as eager to hear what they have to ask and say too.

If a potential customer can’t quickly and easily find the answer to their question, they’re apt to look elsewhere. Conversely, by capturing that initial interest and nurturing honest and open communication with site answers, you could be winning over a new customer by building the foundation for a long-term relationship. As you know, repeat customers are the best customers, and that sort of positive relationship is often founded on great customer service.

But, as a business, how do you ensure that your customers are being heard in a timely and effective manner? How can you deliver top-notch site answers in a seamless and responsive way? Here are three solutions to consider.

#1. Wix Answers

Wix answers for site answers

You might already be familiar with Wix and its powerful website builder solution. The company found that it needed an appropriately robust yet accessible site answers solution, and that’s how its subsidiary offering, Wix Answers, was born. Wix Answers is open to mass markets, including at the enterprise level where scale is critically important, making it an ideal solution for enterprise and SME businesses that need a robust, all-in-one customer service solution.

On its surface, Wix Answers appears to be a help desk solution. And indeed, it has a great ticketing and support system so that customers can conveniently ask for the help they need, and customer support staff can respond to these queries in a timely and efficient manner. But, Wix Answers goes well beyond that.

At its core, the basic components include a ticketing system, a call center, and a knowledge base. What’s remarkably useful here is that all three components are intelligently integrated with one another. Many businesses waste tons of time learning and configuring 3rd party plug-ins that integrate into their help desk platform, in order to create a perfectly customized solution that fits their needs. Since many help desk solutions on the market are siloed, in a sense that they offer various components that need assembling, Wix Answers comes off as extremely handy for businesses that want to focus on the customer, instead of the customer support platform.

Wix Answers offers advanced SEO capabilities so that you can create some extremely effective SEO-oriented knowledge-base pages. By targeting specific keywords, the knowledge-base web pages can not only reduce the number of support tickets but can actually attract new leads who search for specific questions on Google.

Furthermore, even if a customer cannot find the answer on an existing knowledge-base page, a support chat widget can appear to initiate a conversation. When the customer types in a question, a ticket automatically opens on the agent’s dashboard (that is if there’s no existing ticket for the customer in question). Following the chat, if the support agent wishes to talk over the phone, the call can be initiated from within the ticket and recorded for later review. Support agents can add new entries to the knowledge base and make feature requests to the development team according to the conversation with the customer, all from the same interface.

This all works as part of Wix Answers’ One Tab ticketing system. Traditionally, customer support staff would need to navigate through multiple tabs as part of the support process. They might need one to see past tickets, another to ask for help from other staff, another to look for relevant articles, another to connect to the call center, and so on. With Wix Answers, all these touch points are integrated and easily accessible from just one ticketing tab. This decluttering makes it far easier for support agents to offer the best site answers possible.

The knowledge base, ticketing system, and call center all work together seamlessly. Bundles including all three products start from $30/month.

#2. Ultimate FAQ

Ultimate FAQ Demo for site answers

Do you already use WordPress to power your website? The content management system is incredibly popular among all sorts of site owners, from bloggers to eCommerce professionals. While you could create a basic page inside WordPress to list the most frequently asked questions from your customers, the Ultimate FAQ plugin by Etoile Web Design is a purpose-built solution that delivers more.

Whether or not you’re on board with the Gutenberg block interface and design, it’s good to know that this WordPress plugin has been created to support that style of design for displaying site answers. You can choose from several different layouts, including a default layout with expandable text and a colored blocks layout for greater contrast, among others. You also have the option to display all site answers, instead of having them as expandable text blocks. In addition, there is a built-in search function so users can search for their question rather than sifting through a potentially very long list of questions, even if you organize them into categories.

If you’re using WooCommerce to power your eCommerce store, another feature that you’ll really enjoy in Ultimate FAQ is the ability to add a FAQ page to each and every product page. This can be very useful when you have more than a few products, but not all questions are relevant to all products. All you have to do is create a FAQ category with the same name as the product where you’d like the FAQ to appear.

The basic plugin for WordPress is free. The premium license for additional features starts from $34.47 for a single site, including six months of free support. Support is $15 per six-month period after that.

#3. Hootsuite Insights

Hootsuite Insights for site answers

With a help desk, the customer is actively seeking assistance on a matter. With site answers, the customer is already on your website and looking for answers. But, what’s important to note is that not all customer feedback is going to reach you or your employees directly. Customer service, in this way, can benefit greatly from a more proactive approach rather than relying simply on a reactive approach.

Social media has played very heavily into this, as users may be talking about a company or a brand, but they may not tag that brand directly or they may not seek out assistance directly. That’s where a social media monitoring tool like Hootsuite Insights can come into play. They call it “richer social listening” to empower “smarter business decisions” by helping you “understand the conversations happening around your brand with… real-time social analytics.”

This starts with simply monitoring for brand mentions, but it also looks beyond your own social channels to find relevant conversations where opportunities may await, identify emerging trends and unusual spikes in volume, and gauge the overall sentiment surrounding your brand so you can better serve customers. You can then take in that feedback and act on it, focusing on the specific segments that matter the most to your business.

Hootsuite Insights subscriptions are based on a custom pricing model.

Use site answers to increase user engagement on your site

With billions of active websites and blogs on the internet today, the concept of getting Traffic to your site is no big deal. However, what is important is what that Traffic does when they are on your site.

With user engagement in mind, the most important area for you to focus your efforts on is with the value proposition and experience each user has on your site. If they find it of value, they are more likely to stick around and will also trust more in your brand.

To increase ROI, user engagement, and repeat Traffic, be sure to start implementing these top solutions and methods to site answers today.

Guest author: Zac Johnson is a world-renowned blogger and entrepreneur with nearly 20 years of experience in the online marketing space and has helped his readers generate millions of dollars online. He shares his story and guidance at ZacJohnson.com

The post 3 Ways That Site Answers, Feedback and Customer Service Are Winning Over New Customers appeared first on Jeffbullas's Blog.

Q3 Wrap-Up: What’s Changed For B2B Marketers & What’s Ahead in 2020?

QQ Digital Marketing Recap Standing Businesspeople Image

QQ Digital Marketing Recap Standing Businesspeople Image

We’ve now reached the end of the third quarter of 2019, one filled with many significant B2B marketing changes and several surprising twists and turns that will combine to affect how the industry moves forward as we enter Q4 and push forward to 2020.

Q3 saw numerous exciting shifts in new directions, and a few seemingly slight changes in course that are nonetheless poised to make big impacts in 2020.

We’re always working to bring you the most relevant B2B marketing news, including over 180 weekly industry news videos, hosted by Tiffani Allen, Joshua Nite and others here on our blog and on our TopRank Marketing YouTube channel.

Each quarter we reflect on what’s happened in digital marketing and look ahead with key trends. Let’s examine both the challenges and opportunities the quarter’s top B2B marketing news has brought our industry.

The Digital Marketing Sights and Sounds of Q3

When It Comes to Digital Marketing Spending …

Forecasts from the third quarter showed that global digital advertising spending is expected to continue to rise. In the U.S. alone digital ad spending grew to $28.4 billion for the first quarter of 2019, up 18 percent from the same quarter a year ago. (ClickZ)

IAB 2019 Ad Spend Chart Image

What Else?

    • Digital advertising spending was up nearly 20 percent in the second quarter of 2019, according to study data that also highlighted the comparatively greater number of small-to-medium size firms using digital versus traditional formats. (Broadcasting & Cable)
    • Digital advertising expenditures in the U.S. increased by 18 percent year-over-over from the first quarter of 2018, hitting $28.4 billion, with paid search comprising some 40%, according to IAB report data. (ClickZ)
    • By 2021 global digital advertising spending is predicted to increase by 47 percent from 2019, with ad expenditure growth up by 5.3 percent, according to Zenith. (MarketingProfs)
    • Amazon cut into Google’s advertising market share during the quarter, garnering ad revenue growth of 53 percent for sponsored brands and 102 percent for sponsored products, while Google spending growth slowed from the prior quarter. Microsoft’s Bing also saw desktop ad spending growth, its strongest since 2016. (MediaPost)
    • Revenues from advertising on social media and messaging platforms climbed 26.2 percent year-over-year during the first quarter of 2019, but at a slower rate than last year. (Mobile Marketing Magazine)
    • Forrester Research released a report looking at the strong growth of Amazon ads and how the company’s rise is affecting an array of rivals from Facebook to agencies and ad-tech firms. (Marketing Dive)
    • Mobile advertising within apps saw impressions increase by 26 percent in the second quarter of 2019 compared to last year, and in-app mobile video is increasingly driving ad spending. (MarTech Advisor)
    • 73 percent of B2B senior-level executives use more sources when researching and evaluating purchases than they did last year. (MarketingCharts)
    • By 2021 podcast advertising is expected to top $1 billion in annual revenue, IAB predicted. (The Verge)
    • Digital video advertising spending has seen continued growth according to IAB study data, with the average survey advertiser projected to spend $18 million in 2019, up from 2018’s $14.2 million. (Adweek)
    • 63% of B2B companies plan to moderately raise spending on Email marketing, with top goals being increased engagement, conversion, and lead generation, some of the trends of interest to digital marketers among forecast data released during Q3 by GetResponse and Ascend. (MediaPost)
    • Some 65 percent of marketers see high-quality data as the most important element for campaign success, while also estimating that roughly 21 percent of marketing spending goes towards poor quality data. (MediaPost)

Read more on this topic:

When It Comes to Search Marketing …

Q3 saw the release of data showing that for the first time most Google searches don’t yield subsequent clicks, with 50.33 percent ending on the search giant’s result page, and 45.25 percent of searches resulting in organic clicks and 4.42 percent in paid advertisement clicks. (SparkToro)

2019 September 20 MarketingCharts Chart

What Else?

  • Google gave content creators the ability to incorporate multiple thumbnail images from the same video, which will all appear in search results linked to various spots within a video, using custom markup code. (TechCrunch)
  • Audience targeting is the top search marketing technology affecting search engine marketing strategy. At 86 percent, audience targeting topped keywords, which came in at 83 percent, and re-marketing, which had 76 percent, Q3 survey data showed. (MarketingCharts)
  • Google has made new image tracking data derived from recent changes to Google Image Search available in its Search Console feature, including an array of swipe-to-visit image analytics and other mobile AMP-centric features of interest to marketers. (Search Engine Journal)
  • Jumping up a single position in Google search results can boost click-through-rates by over 30 percent, and online content containing questions within page titles saw 14.1 percent higher CTR rates — two insights from a Google search result analysis published during the quarter. (Backlinko)
  • Google rolled out playable podcast episodes that appear directly in search results, presenting both new visibility opportunities along with attribution and analytics challenges for marketers and brands. (Engadget)
  • Facebook began offering more advertisers options for inserting ads within search results on its platform, including new news feed campaign options for marketers. (Search Engine Journal)
  • A Q3 Marin Software survey showed that paid search accounts for 40 percent of digital ad spending, with paid social just under 20 percent. (ClickZ)
  • Digital marketers using Bing search advertisements got new insights from Microsoft Advertising, which added to the metrics data available including those relating to impressions and “prominence metrics.” (Search Engine Journal)

Read more on this topic:

When It Comes to Content Marketing

During the third quarter report data showed that B2B marketers see in-person events, Content Marketing, traditional e-mail, and paid social as the most effective B2B marketing channels. (MarketingCharts)

2019 August 16 Marketing Charts Chart

What Else?

  • Facebook began testing the elimination of “like” counts in news-feed posts, a move echoing a similar shift from tests conducted with its Instagram property — aimed at placing greater focus on content and less on like counts. (TechCrunch)
  • Among senior B2B marketers, a sizable 82 percent viewed content as important for achieving marketing goals, however only 48 percent believed their content was only somewhat effective — or even ineffective. (ClickZ)
  • 80 percent of B2B buyers expect a B2C-like experience, while 47 percent read between three and five pieces of content before initiating sales contact communication. (Webbiquity)
  • YouTube video content was the subject of a Q3 Pew Research study that examined popular channels with 250K or more subscribers. Among them, just 10 percent produced 70 percent of the content, the research showed. (Social Media Today)
  • Facebook announced new features aimed at helping creators monetize content, including several new placement choices for video advertisements, brand collaboration enhancements, and Creator Studio additions. (Marketing Land)
  • B2B marketers see their websites as an effective method for building awareness, however the sites often fail to offer compelling content and directly answer top questions, according to Q3 research from Forrester. The best sites engage using interactive visuals, useful tools, and experiences that demonstrate a keen audience understanding, the study revealed. (MediaPost)

Read more on this topic:

When It Comes to Social Media …

Q3 saw a number of reports detailing the health of social media and how marketers, brands, and consumers use various platforms, and the technology as a whole.

Liking posts topped a Q3 list of how people interact with brands on social media platforms, at 51 percent, followed by 31 percent who leave reviews, while millennials are more likely to purchase due to social ads. (Social Media Today)

2019 August 9 Marketing Charts Chart

What Else?

  • Twitter is foremost a “look at this” social media destination, YouTube is primarily a learning target, while Instagram and Facebook fall into the “look at me” category. (Adweek)
  • Consumer conversations about brands share very little crossover from social media listening and offline discussion, according to study data released during the quarter that looks at real-world and social media interaction differences and similarities. (Marketing Land)
  • 60 percent of regular emoji users like brands using emojis that match their own personality, and 51 percent are more likely to comment on social media posts from brands that use emojis. (MarketingCharts)
  • 56 percent of Gen X consumers find too much advertising on social platforms, and 42 percent don’t like brand social interaction. (eMarketer)

Read more on this topic:

When It Comes to Influencer Marketing …

Implementation of B2B influencer marketing continued its growth during Q3. Influencer advertisements were also seen to have generated 277 percent more emotional intensity and 87 percent more memory encoding than traditional television ads, according to Q3 survey data that also examined the varying effectiveness of macro, micro, and celebrity influencers. (eMarketer)

2019 July 12 SmallBizGenius Chart

What Else?

  • Global spending for influencer marketing will top $5 billion and could reach as high as $10 billion over the next two years, during which time 57 percent of marketers expect to add the practice to their marketing activities. (Social Media Today)
  • Influencer marketing spending in the U.S. and Canada has seen 83 percent year-over-year growth, accompanied by second-quarter spending of $442 million. (The Drum)
  • 70 percent of U.S. consumers who use social media platforms and follow at least one influencer say they trust the opinions of influencers at least as much as those of their own friends, with 78 percent trusting influencer opinions over those presented in traditional digital ads. (MediaPost)
  • Pinterest and LinkedIn (client) are increasingly seeing social influencers utilizing the platforms, and finding new audiences and success with online video. (CNN)
  • Micro and niche-influencers are forging stronger target audience connections and boosting long-term loyalty, while the use of traditional paid influencers among marketers has seen rising associated costs. (eMarketer)

Read more on this topic:

When It Comes to The TopRank Marketing Team …

The team at TopRank Marketing has had a busy, exciting, and productive Q3, and here are just a few of some of the team’s highlights in the press during the past quarter:

Goodbye, Q3. Hello and Welcome, Q4.

B2B marketers, we hope that your Q4 is filled with plenty of success and innovation, and hope that you’ll join us each week and keep up with the latest industry news, trends, and opportunities in our Digital Marketing News Roundup, with highlights and video commentary from Tiffani Allen and Joshua Nite.

*Disclosure: LinkedIn and Adobe are TopRank Marketing clients.

The post Q3 Wrap-Up: What’s Changed For B2B marketers & What’s Ahead in 2020? appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

What Is The Secret To Creating Your Best Art and Work?

What Is The Secret To Creating Your Best Art and Work?

Do you have a “sacred place” that is just yours?

That allows you to have the space and freedom to work on what is important.

Some of us work in “hot desk” environments. But these seem to be designed more to save money for the industrial corporation complex than for the creative human.

As humans and as creators we need that “special place” where we can bring forth our best work. It is where we can find our “flow”. And not allow the rest of the world to interrupt or distract.

Some of us do our best work in a noisy cafe. We need to be surrounded by humanity and the buzz of conversation. J. K Rowling wrote “Harry Potter” from the corner of a noisy cafe.

Others need silence. A shut door. A cave. Soft light.

Some are inspired by a view of a world from a distance. To watch humanity go past.

As unique humans we need to find our own creative space that works for us.

The importance of a sacred place

In the 1980’s before the advent of the Web, social media and smart phones, Joseph Campbell (the author of “The Hero’s Journey”) shared how he started each day.

This was his way to inspiration and the special place for the creation and unfolding and manifestation of his art. To write his books that changed the world.

“A sacred place. 

You must have a room…a certain time of day.

You don’t know what took place in the newspapers that morning. Who your friends are. 

You don’t know what you owe to anybody. Or what anybody owes to you. 

Have a sacred place, use it and take advantage of it. 

For creation.

A place where you can experience and bring forth what you are. 

And what you might be. 

A place of creative incubation. 

First nothing may happen.

But if you use and take advantage of it then something will happen”.

35 years later the truth of his insight is even more relevant than it was then.

There is more distraction than ever before.

We all have different visions of that that looks and feels like. But the settling in and the setting down into your zone is just the start.

Then comes the resistance we feel when it comes to revealing our truth to the world.

It is combat.

And as Steven Pressfield outlined in his book the “War of Art”. It is a fight to the death.

Many never start and leave their truth buried. Never to be seen.

Many of us never create or reveal our art.

The struggle and daily combat

In a noisy world we are at the mercy of many distractions. But there are some things that we need to pause and set aside.

And there are many.

  • Mobile alerts.
  • Checking social media.
  • Other people asking questions. Interrupting.
  • Opening up your emails.
  • Finding out the latest news.
  • Television
  • Netflix

The platforms and apps are designed to distract. They hire neuroscientists to build in attention addiction.

The artists fears

As we start on the trek of creating, many of us are fearful of getting it wrong.  The biggest enemy of creation is succumbing to not starting. We feel dread and despair.

It is simply “fear”.

The fear of being wrong.

The fear of being imperfect.

The fear of being judged.

We often procrastinate from fear and we never start.

At the heart of this resistance is the battle to take the first step.

Writing the first word. The first sentence. The first paragraph.

That mental chatter is just one obstacle. And there are other monsters at the gate.

The rough draft

As the rough draft unfolds we start to see what we are bringing forth.

It is ugly.

It’s it doesn’t flow.

It doesn’t make sense.

You need to push on. There is no other way.

We start with a rough draft and then it is the process of distilling complexity and noise into clarity. It needs to be wrestled and wrangled into shape.

Polish the imperfection.

It is armed combat with resistance at every turn.

What is my sacred “place”?

The world of business is evolving. We can work from anywhere.

This is transforming how we live and work. This has only just started as we find our way in a world of startups, freelancers and digital entrepreneurs.

Working out of a home office has its own challenges. We need a home that surrounds us. Secure.

Home that has chaos will not serve you. It needs to feel safe.

And sometimes we don’t understand the true meaning of “home” until it is lost.

But it needs to be a place that invites you to be free. To risk adventures. While feeling safe to create.

Provide the base to strike out on adventures and risk. It needs to be a safe place to return from the battles of life. 

Home sits at the core of our being. 

But you don’t know it. Can’t feel it. The meaning of “home” 

Until it is challenged and threatened by dragons that are beyond your control and are uninvited

So….

What is my sacred place?

It looks out on the world. It has two screens. One for research, the other for writing.

A coffee at hand. A desk lamp. No clutter. Both beside me or around me.

A marinating mug of Lemon and Ginger tea.

Silence.

A certain time of day.

And the battle starts anew every day.

“First nothing may happen. But if you use and take advantage of it then something will happen”.

This a happiness ritual that will surprise you if you show up every day. Sit down and strap yourself in and do the work.

What is your sacred place for creating and revealing your art and truth to the world?

The post What Is The Secret To Creating Your Best Art and Work? appeared first on Jeffbullas's Blog.

How I Improved The Memorability Of My Brand With This Simple Change

How I Improved The Memorability Of My Brand With This Simple Change

Brand…

What does this word mean to you?

A brand is recognizable. Memorable. Trustworthy.

Brand’s penetrate society at every level. They create trends. Influence lifestyle. Determine spending patterns.

As much as we convince ourselves we are in control. That we rationally determine our journey in life, the things we do, and the products we buy.

It’s the brands that truly have control.

So, how do you build a brand that penetrates society’s skeptical guard of trust? (Or lack thereof)

The truth of the matter is, powerful brands are complex. They are not just a name, a product or a slogan. A brand is all of these things and more.

Brands are multi-layered with much of their meaning lying below the surface. We see the tip of the iceberg, while the mechanics of the brand are hidden from the naked eye.

But the tip of that iceberg is important. This is the part that people see, feel, and remember. The tip is what the average onlooker could describe when asked about your brand. It’s your name, domain name, logo, and slogan.

Look for your .ONLINE domain name now at www.get.online and use the coupon code JEFF to get 90% off on 1st-year domains!

How do you make the tip of your brand iceberg memorable?

The visible component of your brand forms your business identity – what makes you memorable or easily forgotten.

It doesn’t matter how extraordinary the work is you are doing under the surface, without a visible identity for your brand, the work is wasted. No one will dig deep enough to discover any of it.

For most of you reading this article, your brand name, logo, and slogan are probably all nicely packaged up and ready to change the world. But what about your domain name?

We too often think of a domain name as an afterthought. Something that is a technicality in the whirlwind of setting up a website. It’s a necessity, but not perceived as brand critical.

This assumption is killing the memorability of brands all over the world.

It’s time we started thinking differently about domain names. Instead of a formality, make them a critical part of your brand identity. In a business world powered by technology, domain names may be the single biggest contributor to your brand.

A short, unique, and memorable domain name adds value to your work and amplifies your influence.

Why I changed my domain name (and you should too)

In case you missed it, I recently made the switch from jeffbullas.com to Jeff.ONLINE for all of the short links I share on social media.

Before the switch, all the content URLs I shared on social media would shorten to a generic Bit.ly URL:

Domain name extension example 1

I was missing a HUGE branding opportunity.

Now? All of my content links are personalized using the unique domain Jeff.ONLINE:

Domain name extension example 2

As you can see, this change in domain name is immediately more memorable for anyone that sees it. Every impression I receive on social media contributes to the recognition and strength of my brand.

Beyond the impact this change has had on brand recognition and retention, it also adds meaning to my content. The .ONLINE domain extension aligns with the direction and vision of my brand. Plus, it enables me to create simple URL additions that communicate far more information than an automatically generated computer short link:

Domain name extension example 3

This simple change has considerably improved link clicks due to the familiarity of the URLs with my audience – it builds immediate trust. In fact, an increase in link trust from unique domain name extensions has proven to increase link clicks by up to 39%!

Was it worth the move to .ONLINE?

The beauty of my shift from .COM to .ONLINE was how simple it was. I could maintain the .COM domain and utilize .ONLINE as a branding initiative for social media and promotional links.

At the end of the day, the internet is crowded. Even for someone like me who has been in the game for over 10 years, your brand can disappear into darkness in a heartbeat if you take your eye off the ball and ignore new trends.

Unique domain name extensions are the next big trend in digital branding and if you don’t jump on board soon, your brand will be seen as outdated, unprofessional, and easily forgotten.

For me, I chose Jeff.ONLINE for a number of reasons:

  • It enhances my global appeal because the word ‘online’ is understood everywhere.
  • It adds meaning and relevance to my domain name and the links I share on social media.
  • It’s short and memorable.
  • It improves the effectiveness of my promotional campaigns because the branded links increase trust, click-throughs, and conversions on the back-end.

What could this small (but powerful) change do for your brand?

Wrapping up

By embracing new trends, you communicate that you’re a future-focused business which is in sync with what’s happening around the world.

Unique domain extensions are one example of applying this theory to your branding.

Without a branded domain name, you’re leaving an enormous amount of opportunity on the table.

I chose .ONLINE for my brand, are you ready to make the switch too? You won’t regret it.

Look for your .ONLINE domain name now at www.get.online and use the coupon code JEFF to get 90% off on 1st-year domains!

The post How I Improved The Memorability Of My Brand With This Simple Change appeared first on Jeffbullas's Blog.

Getting started with a terminal emulator for SEO programming

The terminal is important because it provides

access to command line utilities
the ability to perform SEO hacking on remote machines by opening shells in the cloud, and
the ability to write or utilize programs that automate work tasks and power websites.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.