Testimonials and Your Business

Testimonials are the most important tool in your arsenal to market your business.

Testimonials add validity to your business – and to your products or services – by speaking to your audience in an unbiased, empathetic way. If you’ve never considered using them, it’s time to recognize their powerful potential.

Why Do Testimonials Work?

It’s unfortunate, but we live in an era of sophisticated scam artists. In the good old days, a professional website could convince clients that you were a legitimate business. Now, scammers go to great lengths to fool people.
Because of all the deception out there, customers are leery of taking your words at face value. They will research your business through your website, social channels, and word-of-mouth in an attempt to substantiate your claims. Testimonials help to shorten that examination period by serving as impartial referrals. Potential customers will read them and – if they’re good – feel as if your business is being recommended to them by a friend.

What Can Testimonials Do for Your Business?

Let’s say that you are in the market for a new vacuum cleaner, so you visit Amazon to see what they have. Do you read the reviews? There’s a good chance that you do – and they impact your buying decision.
Reviews and testimonials are similar creatures. Even though reviews may be more objective, testimonials can still give your audience honest feedback about your business.

Testimonials can:

  1. Make your business sound genuine. If a third party points out that you are who you say you are – and do what you claim you do – then it immediately makes your business seem more trustworthy.
  2. Inform potential customers of your expertise, skill, or quality. It’s hard to toot your own horn without sounding obnoxious or too salesy. If someone toots it for you, though, it sounds impressive.
  3. Serve as another way to engage your current loyal customers. Engagement is key to keeping customers around. If you ask for testimonials in a way that causes your customers to feel appreciated, they will feel like they are valued – and partners in your success.

What Do You Want in Your Testimonials?

The best testimonials share what your current customers think of your products or services in a way that:

  1. Details the advantages of using your product or service in an inspiring way
  2. Corroborates what you say your business does or can do
  3. Speaks to your audience in a relatable voice
  4. Positively compares you to competitors

How Do You Make Your Testimonials Work for You?

Once you’ve collected some testimonials, you need to come up with a strategy for using them. Testimonials are typically written, but videos are becoming increasingly popular and can be extremely influential if done well. Regardless of the format, you need to make them a significant part of your digital and physical presence.

Testimonials should go on:

  1. Your website – Whether they have their own full page or are on a sidebar on every page, make sure customers can see them wherever they look. Case studies are another great way to feature testimonials because they can go into detail about how your products or services helped a particular client.
  2. Social media – Facebook and LinkedIn are excellent spots for testimonials.
  3. Print materials – Even if you are planning to do a mailing of flyers or postcards, you should include a couple of testimonials on those pieces as well.
  4. Review sites – If your business is listed on a site like Angie’s List or Yelp, invite your customers to review you there, too.

Testimonials and Your Business

Make it a routine to request testimonials from your clients after they have received a product or service. You can do this by scheduling follow-up in a Customer Management System or simply making a note on your personal calendar. Remember never to alter or fabricate a testimonial. Potential clients will be able to smell a fake testimonial from a mile away.

If you need some assistance harnessing testimonials for your business, Conveyance is here to help. We’d love to incorporate a consistent testimonial strategy into your business and update your existing marketing materials. It’s time to let your customers be part of your sales team. Ask them for a testimonial today!

2017 Marketing Plan

“Success is where preparation and opportunity meet.” – Bobby Unser

As 2017 approaches, it’s time to review your marketing plan and look ahead at new strategies for the New Year. Marketing is more challenging today than ever; audiences are not only easily distracted, but they are unpredictable – with information, technology, and devices at their fingertips that impact their buying behaviors and decisions.
You cannot fly by the seat of your pants when it comes to marketing in this ever-changing, fast-paced world of digital media. Refreshing your marketing plan each year will ground you and give you the strategy and roadmap you’ll need to thrive in 2017.

Marketing Plan Must-Haves

Your marketing plan needs to do four crucial things:

  • Determine your position within the marketplace
    In order to properly align your branding efforts, it’s crucial to know how customers perceive your organization. Perception campaigns, surveys and focus groups are great ways to uncover this information.
  • Set measurable goals
    The best way to motivate your team is to set goals throughout the year that can be accomplished with some effort. You can figure out how to reach each goal by determining what needs to happen each week, month, and quarter for it to be realized.
  • Define why you are different than your competitors
    Do you have an elevator pitch? If you can’t differentiate your business from the competition, then how will your customers? You must be able to characterize why you stand out from other businesses.
  • Strategize how you will reach and communicate to your target audience
    We build avatars for each of our ideal client types and build marketing and customer care programs around attracting, converting and retaining them.

Tips for Executing a Great Plan

  • Determine what went well in 2016 – and what didn’t. Don’t repeat past mistakes.
  • Pay attention to metrics and your budget. Are your marketing dollars going towards attracting your pre-determined ideal customers?
  • Figure out how and where your customers buy. You need to make sure that you are meeting your audience on their terms.
    • How well do you know your audience? If you’ve never taken the time to create avatars of your customers, do it now.
  • Remember that content is king. You need to communicate with your audience in a voice and tone that they can relate to – and with quality information and offerings that they will appreciate.
  • Think about developing better relationships with your existing clients. The Lifetime Customer Value (LCV) is a number that predicts how much profit you will gain from a customer throughout their entire relationship with your company. Do you know your number? How can you make it better?
    • Remember: it’s less expensive from a monetary and time perspective to retain a customer than replace a customer.
  • Look into what groups influence your target audience. If you can tap into the right influencers, it will be easier to reach your audience.
  • Establish a calendar of upcoming events and milestones. What events require your action? What quarterly milestones can you track and celebrate?

By taking the time to evaluate 2016 and prepare for 2017, you’ll be setting yourself up for success in the New Year. A comprehensive marketing strategy and roadmap will lay out where you want to go, and how you’re going to get there.

If you want to kick-start your 2017, contact the experts at Conveyance today. We’d love to help you convey your message in the New Year.

The Importance of Brand Unity in Your Multichannel Marketing Plan

The image your brand broadcasts to the public must be consistent with your corporate goals, target demographic, and overall marketing strategy.

Believe it or not, brand unity is getting harder and harder to achieve. The days of employees working at one location, during the same hours, are far behind us. In today’s work environment, businesses strive to be flexible – allowing workers to telecommute and work odd hours. In larger corporations, employees in the same department could be spread throughout offices in different cities or countries.
If you don’t see your coworkers every day – or even see the building – living the corporate brand and promoting the same brand message and values becomes tough. That dilemma then bubbles over into your company’s brand unity as a whole, particularly the image that you present to your customers and the public.

Brands need harmony for two crucial reasons: professionalism and cohesion. If your company is perceived as unprofessional, no one will trust your products or services. If you aren’t putting out a cohesive message, then customers will get confused – and possibly angry – at your mixed signals. Being untrustworthy and perplexing are not good ways to earn business.

If you are struggling with brand unity in your own business, here are our suggestions to getting your marketing back into harmony.

Logos, Fonts, and Colors
No matter the size or your organization, create a Style Guide that defines your approved logo, logo usage, tagline, fonts, and color palettes. Designate a brand manager to guarantee that your brand remain steady across all marketing channels – verbal, visual and digital. Share your Style Guide internally as well as with your marketing agency, printer, and promotional product vendor.

Visual Style
Establish one visual style for your business and stick with it. If you keep a cohesive look and feel through every marketing channel, customers will be able to identify you easier. This includes graphics and images used throughout your website and marketing materials. We just visited Ford’s Fish Shack for lunch and their visual brand is spot on – from décor, to menu, to wait staff apparel, and call ahead cards – we knew where we were and who they were! (The food was great too!)

Voice and Tone
What voice speaks to your customers? Define your voice and then preserve it throughout every internal communication and external marketing piece. Live it. If you are casual and funny in one piece and then all business and serious in another, customers won’t understand who are you trying to reach. Setting a homogeneous tone and voice are key to any good marketing content.

Once you’ve found your voice, make sure you retain consistent messaging. Just like controlling your tone, you have to keep your message geared towards the same audience – and always with your mission and vision in mind.

Sweat the small stuff. Customers notice everything, especially in the days of social media. All employees should have the same business card, the same email footers, and the same dress requirements. When customers communicate or interact with different areas of your company, they need to feel like they are talking to the same company.

Brand unity is key to projecting a whole and undivided corporate vision to your customers. Find your voice, refine your message around your mission, and maintain the same visual style. The more you can establish a dependable brand experience, the more your customers will reward you.

Product Marketing: Creative Ways to Sell

Showing your audience why your product is better and how it fits into their lives takes a lot of skill.

Selling a product is challenging and presents unique hurdles. Consumers seek reviews and referrals, align themselves with certain brands, and are price-conscious. With all these things to consider, marketers are becoming increasingly innovative with their sales tactics.

There are four basic ways to get creative when it comes to selling your product:

  1. Show it in action.
  2. Present it in an original way.
  3. Be thought-provoking or inspirational.
  4. Use humor.

Show it in action.

With the onslaught of video everywhere on social media, sometimes all you need to do is actually show consumers how well your product works. It may seem simplistic, but some great action footage can enhance your brand and generate consumer interest.

Blendtec has been producing a show called “Will It Blend?” since 2006. It appears on YouTube and shows short episodes of Tom Dickson, the Blendtec founder, crushing some unusual things in a blender. An iPhone, super glue, and scrapbooking supplies (complete with scissors) are just a few recent things that Dickson has blended. When an iPhone is reduced to a piece of metal and black dust, it’s pretty impressive.

Another product that excels at showing itself in action is Flex Seal. During this Flex Seal Liquid commercial, the announcer shows a boat made of screens that he covers with Flex Seal and then pilots through an alligator-infested swamp.

Present it in an original way.

A little creative product placement can go a long way. Sometimes, you just need to remind customers that your product exists… and why they need it.

This Folgers campaign features manhole covers that have been transformed into steaming hot cups of Folgers coffee. Nothing makes you want some hot coffee more than seeing huge steaming cups of it on your way to work on a cold morning.

Click Here to see the Folgers ad.

In this IKEA commercial, a kitchen is cooked up in a skillet. IKEA is reminding us that its kitchens can be customized to meet our needs and wants – but they are doing it in a way that really makes consumers feel like they understand cooking.

Be thought-provoking or inspirational.

If you can make your audience stop and think, then you are one step closer to them remembering your name and then choosing your product off of the store shelf.
Take a look at how Beldent, a chewing gum in Argentina, convincingly makes you feel like chewing gum will make you more likeable.

This Nike campaign simply inspires people to keep moving.

Click here to see the Nike ad.

Use humor.

Humor is always a great attention-getter. The new Hyundai Genesis commercial with Kevin Hart proves this, as they promote their Car Finder feature.


Take a look at this Dirt Devil commercial. It starts off like the scene of a horror movie, but switches gears right when you’re about to hide your eyes.

Click here to see the Dirt Devil ad.

Showing your audience why your product is better and how it fits into their lives takes a lot of skill. A little imagination can go a long way, though. Some creative action, thought, inspiration, and laughter will drive sales.

Conveyance Marketing Group is a marketing and web development company with a passion for delivering strategic, sustainable and affordable marketing and web solutions to start-ups and small businesses. Our service offerings include video, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), inbound marketing, graphic design, logo design, advertising and web design. Our creativity is limitless, let us help accelerate the growth of your company! Contact us today for more information on how we can help you.

Convey It – Prepping for the Holidays

The Holiday Season is Upon Us …

We know… it feels like we are being a little premature.  But the truth is the Holiday season is upon us and as a business owner, or Social Media strategist it’s time to start formulating your marketing and social media plan of attack. If you’re not already on top of your Holiday Social Media Campaign, here are some of our favorite articles both new & old, to help you succeed in being merry & bright and in getting your business noticed this holiday season.

This weeks Top Five …

Resources for building a social media campaign this holiday season
Do you have Social Media plans this Holiday Season? Are you looking for ideas to improve your social media marketing over the holiday season? Whether you sell a product or service, social media can help you engage with holiday shoppers and generate more sales. Click here for some holiday campaign ideas.

7 Tips for your Holiday Marketing
Christmas is coming, and New Year’s Eve is almost here. December gives you great opportunities to drive sales and engage with your customers. According to a recent study almost half of the shoppers answered that social media affects their holiday shopping process. Very good news for you! Read on for some tips and strategies.

4 Festive Tips for Holiday Marketing
The month between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve is the biggest opportunity brands and retailers have each year, but it’s also incredibly competitive, so it’s crucial to reach and communicate with your customer audience in the correct way.  Click here for four simple holiday marketing tips.

8 Stellar Social Media Ideas for the Holidays
Before the Internet business celebrated the holidays by decorating their stores and playing festive holiday music, sending clients and service-based organizations greeting cards, and giving gifts to key clients. But with so many people getting information from social media, it’s important to find way to make the most of the season!  Click here for some tips on how to stand out in the holiday crowd.

2015 Social Media Tips to Prep for the Holiday Shopping Season
It’s never too early to build your strategy and start planning for the increased interest, activity, and sales online. As most people prepare for relaxing beach vacations and sunny park picnics, e-commerce brands spend summertime preparing for the online holiday shopping season that occurs in November and December. This article will help you leveraging social media channels leading up to and during the holidays; to help you boost awareness, drive traffic, and increase sales. Click here for eight great tips for preparing your site and social media networks.

I know, we promise FIVE but here is a bonus read, too good to pass up …

Think Outside the Gift Box: 6 Fun Offbeat Holiday’s to Celebrate on Social Media
Holiday campaigns are a great opportunity to connect with your customers, think outside the box, and use a more casual tone in your messaging while still remaining on-brand. Here’s the catch: during most major holidays, such as Christmas or Halloween, your brand’s campaign will be competing against hundreds of others, possibly with bigger teams and budgets at their disposal. And while this doesn’t mean that you should give up all attempts to connect with your audience on these occasions, it’s a good reason to consider ways you can personalize your holiday campaigns to your industry and followers. For more information and clever ideas read on. 

Pivot: You-Based Business; Using Twitter in Your Job Search; Facebook Marketplace Ads Getting a Makeover

Conveying this week’s most interesting marketing tactics, trends and techniques … our top three picks: How to Develop a You-Based Business; How to Use Twitter when Searching for a New Job; What’s New about Facebook Marketplace Ads?

Creating a You-Based Business

Have you ever wanted to go into business for yourself? This article by Steve Woodruff, the world’s only Clarity Therapist, presents a model of self evaluation … a backward, inward, and forward look at your strengths to determine what it is you really want to do and are great at doing. Small business owners and entrepreneurs, please don’t pass this article by. Read More

How to Effectively Use Twitter as a Job Search Resource

In the age of social media, we have countless outlets for job searching. Platforms such as LinkedIn are the first to come to mind, but can candidates use Twitter to find jobs as well? Mashable summarized the first live #NPRTwitterChat between the HR teams at Twitter and NPR. Their collaboration was aimed at helping job seekers use social media as a job search tool. Great insight is being shared in this article! Read More

Facebook Is Testing a New Format for Marketplace Ads

Facebook Marketplace ads, which appear along the right-hand column of Facebook’s homepage, are getting a makeover. Will this new design improve the performance of Marketplace ads which currently have lower click-through rates than News Feed ads? You’ll have to read what Sprout Social social media pro, Jennifer Beese has to say about it. Read More

Five Ways to Use Facebook Timeline for Business

>The Social Media Examiner has distilled five ways businesses have hit the ground running on Facebook Timeline.
You can use these examples to help make your Facebook Timeline richer for storytelling and more actionable for sales.
Here are five tips based on the success stories of these heavy-hitters and Timeline movers-and-shakers:

Note your interesting milestones. Does your brand have a history? Coca-Cola, founded in 1886, uses Timeline to highlight how it has evolved. The New York Times, founded in 1851, lets users revel in history with its milestone posts. But our favorite example is Spotify, which shares disruptions in the history of music, all the way back to the year 1000!

Incorporate the profile picture into your cover photo. Most brands use profile photos for company logos. Since it overlaps the cover photo (that wide photo in the header), why not get creative and blend both images? See the Examiner article mentioned above for great examples, then read Tim Ware’s article that provides a Photoshop template for blending profile and cover photos in a fun way.

Tell a story in photos. Since photos in Timeline are larger, use the Highlight feature to showcase an album. Kia Soul’s concept car album includes plenty of great concept photography.

Brand with apps. Apps are more visible on the new Timeline. The Facebook Photos app is always in the first position in the first row, showing the most recent photo, so fill the next slots with your top three apps. That just might inspire people to click to see the other apps you have, too! SoLatina’s apps section is a great brand-builder.

Use the About section for a CTA. You can’t put a call to action (“Like this” or “Buy now!”) or website address in your cover photo, but you can put one in About, the text that appears under your profile photo and to the left of your apps. Again, SoLatina is a great example of how you can pull this off.

Few people seem to use this feature, perhaps because they just don’t know how. Click on “About,” then mouse over the upper-right corner near your About section until you see the Edit button with the pencil. Click Edit to fill in your About section.

Source: MarketingProfs

Get “On-Board” … Pinterest is the #3 Social Media Site

I have been using “Pinterest” since I was 13 years old … inside the door of my middle school locker. I had photos of my BFFs (though that acronym was not yet invented), the gang of Breakfast Club, a John Havlicek trading card (now you know how old I am), a Rolling Stones ad, and mirror, “pinned up” in my locker.

Now you get the concept, right? It’s basically a “cloud” bulletin board where you can display and share your favorite things. But because the space is not limited to the inside of your locker or the bulletin board hanging over your desk, the possibilities are endless.

Here’s why should you get on-board?

According to Shareaholic, Pinterest “drives more referral traffic than Google Plus, LinkedIn, and YouTube combined.”

It’s not just a showcase for crafts and recipes. Businesses are using it to generate leads and e-commerce sales. The primary users of Pinterest

are educated women between the ages of 25-44 – more than 83 percent according to Pinterest. Plus, women are responsible for more than 65 percent of all online purchasing.

Speak the language of your target customer. If you sell products or services with visual appeal – such as clothing, jewelry, beautiful landscapes, furniture, trips, theme parks, cars, artwork, etc. – just post great photos, encourage pinning, and watch it take off.

A word of caution

But, don’t jump in if you can’t invest the time in managing it. Using Pinterest poorly can be more damaging to your brand image than not using it at all.