How to Get Amazing Testimonials from Your Clients and How to Use Them

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Are you one of those people who reads reviews? Do you spend a lot of time scouring over the good and bad comments of a product or service before you consider purchasing? Us too. In fact, most people do heavy research before they decide to buy a product, especially if it’s an important purchase. 

According to Nielsen research, “92% of people will trust a recommendation from a peer, and 70% of people will trust a recommendation from someone they don’t even know.” If you do your research before you purchase a product or service, chances are your potential customers are doing the same. That’s why customer testimonials are so important. Here are five strategies that produce amazing testimonials from clients and how you can best use them to promote your business.

How to gather testimonials:

1. Express Gratitude

Your customers want to feel that they are valued. Before you ask for anything, be sure to thank your client for shopping/working with you. Let them know how grateful you are to have their business. After all, your business would not exist without them. Expressing gratitude first lets your clients know that you aren’t just trying to get something from them. A simple “thank you” can go a long way.

2. Simply ask

Often the hardest part of gathering customer testimonials is the initial step of asking for them. It can feel icky to ask your client to say nice things about your service or brand; however, if your client enjoyed working with you, they’ll want to speak positively about the experience. They just may not know how. 

Gathering testimonials can be as simple as sending your clients a polite email asking how their service was or if they would recommend your product to their peers. Try asking your recurring customers or long-time clients for feedback first to get comfortable with the idea. You may be surprised at how simple it is and how many people are happy to vouch for your business.

3. Make it easy

Your clients are busy people. Leaving a review is the furthest thing from their minds; however, they may be more inclined to give feedback if it’s easy for them to do. Don’t just ask them for a testimonial. Prompt them with a few questions, like:

– “How was your experience working with us?”

– “Would you recommend us to a friend? If so, what would you say to him/her?”

– “Would you shop/work with us again? Why?”

These questions give direction to your client and can make the process less overwhelming. It shifts their focus from writing a review to explaining what their experience was like. Once you’ve asked them a few questions, tell them where to leave their review. Google and Facebook reviews are great places for clients to give feedback. Plus, leaving reviews on these platforms can increase your company’s SEO.

4. Time it right

Timing is important when it comes to getting feedback from your clients. Asking for a testimonial shortly after a project has been completed will ensure that your service is fresh on the customer's mind. You’re likely to get a more accurate and specific testimonial the sooner you ask for it. 

5. Offer incentives

Incentivizing is another great way to ensure that you receive incredible testimonials. By offering an upgrade on a service, a gift card or some company merchandise, you give your client a greater reason to say “yes” to writing a testimonial. When asking clients for feedback, you want to make sure it’s not a burden on them. Offering incentives makes writing testimonials worthwhile for the client.

How to maximize your testimonials:

Once you’ve gathered impressive client testimonials, it’s time to put them to use for your company. First and foremost, you should showcase them on your website. You can use them to build a case study for your brand or product. If you’ve gathered more than five, you can also create a testimonial page, so potential customers can see what others have to say about your business. 

Testimonials also provide fresh content for printed marketing materials such as brochures, rack cards or magazine advertisements. Highlighting customer feedback in some of your collateral can promote trust with your brand and encourage future customers to give you a chance. 

Another great way to utilize client testimonials is to integrate them into your company’s social media content. This can be done in several ways. You could create a short animated video of your client’s testimonial, or design a catchy graphic to post on your Instagram stories. You could also use testimonials as copy for a Facebook ad. There are infinite ways to share these stories on social media, so get creative and have fun with it!

Conclusion

Customer testimonials are important. Customers care about what other people have to say about your brand. Client feedback can positively shape your brand’s perception in the mind of a potential customer, which can lead to conversion. The hardest part of getting testimonials is asking for them. Luckily, you have a guide on how to get them and how to use them. Happy asking!

If you’re struggling to gather customer testimonials, Moore Media Group has you covered. We’ve made a testimonial guide including free email templates you can send to your clients, plus some quick "How To" guides for your clients so they know exactly how to leave a positive review for your business. Fill out the form below to download the guide!

4 Takeaways from my Internship

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Jacob Holden interned with Moore Media Group in the Spring of 2019. He wrote about his experience and what he gained from it.

The unpaid internship. Maybe you’re an adult who remembers your college years and the hours you gave to a company. Maybe you’re currently in college and are dreading the thought of spending your time, talent and effort with no pay.

Whichever category you fall under, and whichever emotions you hold, I hope my experience will leave you with some hope. I spent my final semester of college interning at Moore Media Group. During my time there I grew as a professional and learned valuable lessons I’d like to share with you. Here are four takeaways from my time as a Moore Media intern:

Experience

It’s what every employer is looking for. It’s the currency of the business world. The problem is, though, bosses want you to have a lot of it. That’s a challenge for someone in college. How am I supposed to have three plus years of experience in the field I just got my diploma in? Luckily for me, my major required an internship and I had no idea where I would go. I majored in Public Relations, but the only experience I had was isolated to the classroom. I needed a place to practice and beef up my resume if I ever wanted to have something to show. Enter Moore Media Group.

As an intern, I wrote press releases that were picked up by multiple news outlets and resulted in our clients being featured across the state. I worked on public relations campaigns that will actually be used by businesses in the Jackson area. In my classes at school, I worked on hypothetical situations, but the internship gave me the opportunity to be a part of something that would be implemented in the real world. I also got to use my passion for art. It was more than another project just for my enjoyment; the work I did is being used by businesses. Thanks to my internship, I have so much I can put in my professional portfolio. I had a total of three different portfolios this semester as an outgoing senior. Senior Portfolio, Internship Portfolio, and Graphic Design Portfolio. All three of these portfolios featured multiple, if not all, pieces I worked on during my time with Moore Media Group.

Don’t underestimate the power of experience. It's what everyone expects from an internship, but not everyone understands its value.

Confidence

It's the one thing I didn’t expect to get from my internship. There’s a lot of insecurity in college. You’re inexperienced but eager to please. Since I worked with Moore Media Group, though, I’m more aware of and confident in my capabilities. I now have letters of reference from Emily and Jesse. I worked extremely close with them, and they were able to see me in a professional environment and provide feedback. They know my work ethic and can speak directly to how I would function if someone were to hire me in the future. They work with a lot of clients, and I will now be able to utilize their connections as I move forward in my career.

Not only does that help me with future employers, but it helps me as an individual. Their ability to show me grace and patience – that’s the best kind of work environment. They would remind me what I was good at, and their compliments were often surprising. Being told I not only developed as a writer but was also pretty good at it helped. It’s made me enjoy writing and want to include it in a future career.

Growth

It was helpful to have a sense of responsibility. I had plenty of classes to keep me busy, but there was something about meeting deadlines and the assignments I had with Moore Media Group that felt more rewarding. When I turned something in at school, I may have received some feedback or gotten a letter grade. That’s fine in the classroom where everyone wants an A+, but that’s not what happens in the real world. At school, I was never told fully why what I did was good; I only know what grade I got.

At my internship, however, I received a lot of feedback from Jesse about the quality of the content I was producing. I would create social media messaging for clients each month. The first month I had to make a lot of edits to my writing. It was a bit embarrassing to have my work edited so thoroughly. There were times my words didn’t even make the final cut, and I had to learn to be okay with that. Our main goal was to help the client promote their business and connect with their audience. I learned to take constructive criticism and developed useful skills that I would have missed out on if she hadn’t pushed me to be better.

I became more efficient with my time, and that’s something I’ve always struggled with. I have no problem admitting I’m a procrastinator, but my future boss might take issue with it. There were early days where I didn’t schedule out my day well enough and had to pay for it with late nights creating content. I learned to separate school from work. All it took was learning how to balance and prioritize.

Direction

An internship helps you figure out your potential career field. It’s sometimes hard to fully know what a job will be like when you only have the classroom as an example. There were multiple times over my college career where I questioned my major. The thoughts of “Do I love this major?” and “I hate this class” flooded my mind. I entered Moore Media Group and worked in social media — an area of communications my school didn’t offer yet.

I focused on branding and social media usage, which is something I didn’t know if I was good at or know I liked. This helped me understand the missing piece to my communications education. I found it helpful and though I don’t think I’ll do it for a living, I have not only a ton of experience and feel incredibly well-rounded, but I have a better idea of where I want to put my energy vocationally.

If you would like information on interning with Moore Media Group, please click here to fill out our contact from.

Why Personal Growth Matters In The Workplace

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When Emily told me she was going to have a baby, I was ecstatic for her! I am an aunt to three beautiful little humans, and I have seen how they changed my siblings’ lives for the better. I couldn’t wait for Emily to experience that, too. But when she told me that she was going to be on maternity leave for a few weeks, a softball-sized lump formed in my throat. “I am not ready for this,” I thought. This being handling the day-to-day operations of Moore Media Group in Emily’s absence. Eight months ago, I had absolutely no confidence that I could take on this task.

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Now that I’m on the other side, I can see how much growth has come from this process. I realize now that being perfect isn’t important, but growing as a person and an employee is. Whether you’re new to the workforce and feel uncertain about the job you’re doing, or if you are a seasoned employee, director or manager, personal growth matters for everyone. Here are 4 reasons why:

1. Growth creates confidence.

Perhaps the best way to gain confidence in the workplace is to face your fears. Doing something that makes you uncomfortable will help you see you are capable of more than you thought. If you’re asked to do something out of your typical “job description,” you should jump at the opportunity, not shy away from it. Facing fears is the only way you will grow. Whether your boss asks you to run the next budget report meeting or manage a very important client account, embrace the opportunity for growth. At the end of it all, you’ll be proud of what you have accomplished.

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2. Growth embraces failure.

Failure in the workplace is not only inevitable, it’s also healthy. There isn’t a single successful person in this world who went their entire career without failing. In fact, many owe their success to their failures. J.K. Rowling was turned down by several publishers before she convinced someone to take a chance on a little series about a wizard named Harry. She even stuck her first rejection letter on her refrigerator for motivation. The now billionaire Rowling once said, “It is the ability to resist failure or use failure that often leads to greater success.”

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Failure and growth work together – failure is necessary for growth, and lasting growth can only come out of learning from mistakes. In terms of business, it’s important to let yourself and the people around you fail. Sometimes, that’s the best way to learn.

3. Growth drives motivation.

One huge benefit of personal development is the newfound motivation that comes along with it. Every season of growth is a chance to learn something new. When you’re learning, you are fully invested in what you’re doing. This leads to an increase in personal motivation.

For example, let’s say you’re interested in video animation. You enjoy practicing this new skill so much so that you find yourself looking up YouTube videos about how to create seamless animations on your own time. When you finally get the opportunity to use your new skill at your job, you’re determined to make the greatest animated intro in the history of the world.

That’s growth.

We all want motivated employees and co-workers, right? If the opportunity for growth is present, motivation and job fulfillment are sure to follow.

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4. Growth encourages success.

Personal growth is directly related to employee performance. That’s why investing in yourself and your employees is so important. We’ve already seen how personal development can create more confident, motivated employees. That security and focus produces better work performance, and better work performance leads to success both for yourself and for your company. Businesses who invest in their executives, managers and employees create a positive work culture centered around community. Industry giants like Amazon, Zappos and Apple are so successful because they understand the importance of personal growth for their employees, and their employees thank them by doing their job with excellence.

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Conclusion

Emily is transitioning back from maternity leave, but my season of growth is nowhere near being over. I’m still learning each and every day. Throughout this process I’ve come to understand how important it is to step outside my comfort zone. The more I better myself, the better I can serve the company and our clients.  Everyone wins.

Written by Moore Media Group’s Digital Media Manager, Jesse Dear.

5 Graphic Design Trends to Watch in 2019

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Milton Glaser once said, “There are three responses to a piece of design – yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for.”  

As marketers, we try to keep this quote in mind when creating ads and social media posts. Because so much of marketing is dependent on design, it’s important to stay ahead of graphic design trends. Today, we want to share the top 5 trends in graphic design that experts are predicting will play a dominant role this year.

Graphic design has changed quickly in contrast to last year. We saw a lot of flat and minimalist artwork in 2018, and some of those designs will continue through 2019. However, many large influencers are already taking a swing in a new direction. Flat is being replaced with depth through simple gradients, muted colors are giving way to bright and vivid pinks, and technology is opening doors to new opportunities in traditional graphic design.

1. Pops of Color

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The world is getting a lot more colorful. Thanks to businesses like Apple and Spotify, we’re beginning to see an increase of vivid color palettes. Marketers are always looking for a way to stand out to potential customers, and pops of color are becoming a powerful marketing strategy. Vivid hues look incredible on HD screens and smartphones, which is where most customers are viewing content.

A vivid color includes lighter hues such as blues, pinks, yellows, and reds. Like most trends, they come from a place of rebellion. The past decade has seen a take over of minimalism, and many brands are rejecting the norm and taking bold steps towards a more colorful approach.  

2. Duotones and Gradients

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Duotones and gradients are certainly trends to watch in 2019. Duotones replace the whites and black of an image with two different colors. They can blend light and vivid colors with dark and moody ones to create an artistic design. Simply put, single color designs are no longer enough.

Minimalism also scared away gradients and embraced flat design, but more complex gradients have crept back onto the scene. These smooth color transitions are becoming increasingly popular, because they add a layer of depth that has been lost in the last decade. Plus, they look great on mobile devices. Big name brands such as Microsoft and Apple Music have embraced the design and found creative ways to make gradients more than just a background element.

3. Hand-Drawn

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No matter what design changes occur in graphic artwork, we believe hand sketched designs will always have their place. A sketched design is one that, although done digitally, has hand-drawn characteristics. The images above look almost as if they were done with a pen and pencil.

Sketched illustrations are no new thing, but what makes them so unique is that they make any visual or brand stand out amongst the others. Individuality could be the one thing that sets your brand apart from its strongest competition, so don’t be afraid to take risks. As more marketers hop on this trend, each illustration will become more dynamic than the next. So if you’re considering a hand drawn illustration for your brand’s logo or a company ad, remember this – the more complex and original the better.

4. Motion/Animated

Who says graphic design has to be still? Nobody. Which is why it's such a genius idea. Motion and animated graphics have become increasingly popular because this trend plays into the theme of innovation and thinking outside of the box. Movement adds an entirely new dimension to a logo or brand, and the subtle motion can add an interactive element. This interactive function has been popular lately with website design, but companies and brands are picking up on the trend. So if you’re creatively stuck, try moving!

5. Broken Layout

It seems that breaking trends is becoming a trend itself. The past few years have shown us a very blocky and fixed layout that works well with a minimalist design. Of course, 2019 is all about standing out, and a broken layout does just that. The move away from rigid composition embraces an open layout that could been seen as chaotic.

However, it is anything but that because it can loosely tie together a design without seeming too structured. What seems random is actually very thought out placement. It has a custom appeal that can make the viewer connect to the design much easier. The more a designer can peak the curiosity of their audience, the more the design will stand out.

Conclusion

The future is bright, and so are the graphics in 2019. There’s always pressure to be ahead of the curve when it comes to graphic design. No one wants to be outdated and left behind. The past few years we have seen a shift in graphics due to the influence of social media and smartphones. 2019 seems to be the apex of digital trends as futurism, bold fonts, bright colors and technology collide.

Moore Media Group can help you with your graphic design. We want to work with you and design a graphic that tells your story. No matter the trend, the design should always represent you and your business. Click here to connect with us.

5 Creative Resources We’re Loving Right Now

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February is the month of love, and speaking of love, we’d like to take this opportunity to share some marketing resources we’re loving right now. If you’re interested in learning more about marketing or if you just need a little inspiration, check out our 5 current favorite creative resources.

1. Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen by Donald Miller

Building a StoryBrand will forever change the way you look at communicating to your customers. In this brief 240 page book, author Donald Miller explains his philosophy for crafting a message that will get through to your audience. Because we live in a world where customers are constantly being bombarded with marketing noise, so much of our messaging falls on deaf ears. As Miller says, “In every line of copy we write, we’re either serving the customer’s story or descending into confusion; we’re either making music or making noise.”

To combat that noise, Miller lays out a framework of messaging, also known as the “StoryBrand BrandScript,” which repositions the customer as the hero of their story. “Here is nearly every story you see or hear in a nutshell,” says Miller. “A CHARACTER who wants something encounters a PROBLEM before they can get it. At the peak of their despair, a GUIDE steps into their lives, gives them a PLAN, and CALLS THEM TO ACTION. That action helps them avoid FAILURE and ends in a SUCCESS.”

Miller explains that our job as marketers is to be a guide to the customer, not the hero of the story. We won’t give all of the secrets away, but we highly encourage you to read this book. If you find yourself constantly crafting marketing copy, we promise that this will be a resource you will reference over and over again.

2. Online Marketing Made Easy with Amy Porterfield

We cannot get enough of Online Marketing Made Easy with Amy Porterfield. One of the many reasons we love this podcast is because Amy Porterfield is so relatable, down-to-earth and practical. After reaching a point of burnout in the corporate world, Porterfield realized her dream was to help others achieve their business goals. Now, she’s one of the top online marketing experts in the industry.

Online Marketing Made Easy answers almost every marketing question you could think of. From “How To Grow Your Email List” to “How to Get Users to Engage in Your Facebook Group,” this podcast covers it all. Several big names such as Seth Godin, Jon Acuff, Rachel Hollis and Jenna Kutcher (among others) have made appearances on Online Marketing Made Easy. We’re telling you; this podcast is the real deal.

3. How I Built This with Guy Raz from NPR

How I Built This with Guy Raz is number one on our list of podcasts to listen to when we’re seeking inspiration. This podcast is a collection of stories from the founders of the world’s top companies. Each episode grips the attention of its listeners as well-known entrepreneurs and idealists share all the triumphs and failures that got them to where they are today.

While this podcast doesn’t necessarily fall into the same category as Online Marketing Made Easy, it is a great podcast to listen to if you’re thinking of starting your own company but are unsure how to begin – or if you’ve hit a wall creatively and just need a little inspiration. How I Built This with Guy Raz is sure to give you that extra motivational boost you’re looking for.

4. Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done by Jon Acuff

If you find that your mountain of unfinished projects is towering over your stack of completed goals, then you should check out Jon Acuff’s book Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done. This guidebook defeats the notion of perfectionism in the workplace. “This is the first lie that perfectionism tells you about goals: Quit if it isn’t perfect,” says Acuff.

For many of us, we think completing a goal is a straight shot but that’s not the way Acuff sees it. “Accomplishing a goal is a lot less like taking a train across country and a lot more like driving a bumper car,” he explains. For the business owner, this book is especially relevant.

As marketers, creatives and entrepreneurs, we’ve convinced ourselves that any content, product or concept that we put out has to be perfect the moment it leaves our hands. However, this is exactly why so many of us are unable to complete our goals. Acuff reasons that embracing imperfection will help us to not only be starters, but more importantly, finishers.

5. The Hootsuite Blog

One practical resource that we turn to often is the Hootsuite blog. Hootsuite is a leading force in the social media management industry and its blog content is always current and helpful. Hootsuite’s blog posts offer marketers endless resources on all things social media. With new content daily, this blog is perfect to read to jumpstart your morning and provide you with fresh ideas. If you’re feeling stuck or wondering how to increase your social following, be sure to check it out.

Conclusion

The best thing about all of these resources is that they are for both the beginner and the seasoned expert. Wherever you fall in the lineup, this list can help you crush your goals and connect with your customers. These resources have helped our company in more ways than one, and we believe they can help you too.

If marketing isn’t your thing, that’s okay. Marketing is our thing. Moore Media Group would love to provide you with more resources that help your grow your company. Click here to connect with us.

How To Personalize Your Brand’s Content in 2019

2018 was undoubtedly the year of personalization in social media marketing, and rightfully so. Following the Facebook Congressional hearing and Twitter’s massive fake account purge, consumer trust in social media is at an all-time low. For companies to succeed in reaching their target audience on social media, they must rebuild their customer’s trust and personalization is the first step. Here are 4 ways to personalize your brand’s social media content in 2019.

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1. Interact on social media

Perhaps the easiest way to build trust with your audience on social media is to interact with them. Reply to and like their comments or answer their questions through messaging apps. There are plenty of simple ways to personally connect with your customers on your business’ platforms. If you’re not interacting with them, you’re losing an opportunity to build a meaningful relationship with a potential or current customer.

Customers turn to social media to connect with brands, and when they do they want to know they’re talking to a human. Personalize your messaging by addressing the individual. First names can go a long way. Don’t be afraid to put your personality into your messaging either. Business doesn’t have to always be serious. Let your customers see your fun side every now and then. Once your audience sees your company’s personality, they’re more likely to trust your brand.

2. Gather user-generated content

Since customers have lost confidence in social media, they don’t always want to hear from your company about why your product or service is so great. Instead they want to hear from actual customers that have done business with you. That’s where user-generated content comes in.

User-generated content or UGC refers to any content that relates to your brand that isn’t produced or published by your company. For example, a customer may post about your product on social media and tag your brand. You could share the post on your company’s social platforms to promote your product from a customer’s perspective. That way your audience isn’t hearing from your company; they’re communicating with people who have tried your product and had a positive experience.

3. Go live

One way to easily personalize your brand’s content is to incorporate Facebook Live into your social media strategy. Facebook Live is an excellent way for your audience to see you and feel that they are really connecting with your brand. Hosting a live Q&A session can be an excellent opportunity to answer questions from your current audience and engage with potential customers. Because live videos are usually low production and cost effective, any business can connect with their customers by going live. All you need is a little creativity and a steady hand.

4. Form a community around a hashtag

People on social media want to connect with your brand, yes, but also other users that engage with your brand. Creating a branded hashtag formed around a common interest not only increases engagement, but it creates community. Coca Cola’s #ShareACoke campaign is killing the branded hashtag game. The company launched this campaign in an effort to further personalize their brand. By printing individual's names on product labels and encouraging people to #ShareACoke with their friends and family, the corporation simultaneously personalized each product and created a community of Coke-lovers. Branded hashtags are less about promoting a product and more about aligning people around a common purpose.

Conclusion

With the rise in social media distrust, personalized branding isn’t going away anytime soon. Customers want to know that they can trust the brands they do business with. They want to feel like they’re dealing with real people, and it’s our job as marketers and business owners to break through the screen and connect with them. They say that “business isn’t personal,” but from what we can tell, it is now.

Personalizing your brand’s content can be a difficult task. If you struggle to find the balance between professionalism and personalization in your content strategy, Moore Media Group would love to help you create a plan for your business that builds trust while engaging potential and current customers. Click here to connect with us.

How to Crush Your Communication Goals in the New Year

2018 is swiftly drawing to a close, and for many businesses, this time is about reflection, evaluation and setting attainable goals for the new year. Maybe in 2019 you want your business to increase revenue, become more profitable or spend some time sprucing up your image. But what about your communications goals? What parameters have you set so that you can effectively convey your company’s overall message? In an industry where social interaction is constant and valuable, clear, creative communication has never been so important. This month, we’re outlining three ways you can connect with your audience and crush your communication goals in 2019.

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1. Create Cohesive Content

When it comes to promoting your business, delivering a consistent message is crucial to effectively communicate with your audience. Customers favor brand consistency because it’s easy to recognize. As a marketer, you want to make sure your message is the same across all platforms, including but not limited to your website, social media, printed material and videos. The more consistent your message is the easier it will be for potential customers to identify your brand.

Take Geico, for example. The auto-insurance giant has been communicating the same message to consumers for over 18 years. They want their customers to know that “15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance.” You probably can’t count how many times you’ve heard that slogan, but you can recite it. Throughout the years, Geico has done an excellent job of communicating their message in creative ways on multiple platforms while always keeping it consistent.

2. Research Social Trends

In order to keep a cohesive message, spend some time researching upcoming media trends for 2019. You want your message to remain consistent, but with advancements in technology, there are always new, creative ways to connect with your audience. How do you find where your audience is? Through identifying social trends and integrating those trends into your communications plan.

If you’ve never researched social trends before, now is the perfect time to start. Hootsuite just released their social media predictions for 2019. We won’t ruin it for you, but social stories, Facebook ads and messaging apps are hot topics for 2019. What does this research look like? Influencers and industry leaders are constantly putting out quality podcasts, webinars and articles to help you stay in the know. Because this is a medium that changes often, stay up to date with the latest social trends and find practical ways to implement them into your marketing strategy. You may be surprised at how much your audience engages with your brand when they see that you’re ahead of the game.

3. Revisit Your Brand’s Message

Because trends are always on the move, you should constantly be evaluating your company’s message. One way you can do this is to schedule quarterly check-ins to make sure all of your messaging in current, accurate and relevant. Set aside a time to run analytics and determine what works with your messaging and what needs to be improved.

Conclusion

Each new year beckons new ideas, new challenges and new opportunities. We believe that by implementing these three simple strategies into your communications plan, your brand will effectively reach your audience in 2019. Sometimes the most difficult part of a developing a compelling communications strategy is setting attainable goals. Moore Media Group would love to help you set practical communications objectives so you can reach your audience in new and creative ways in the coming year. Click here to connect with us.

5 Digital Media Tools We’re Thankful For

It’s the season of gratitude, so we thought it appropriate to give a special “Thank You” to all the digital media companies who make it easier for people like us and you to own and run small businesses. Here’s a list of some of Moore Media Group’s favorite digital media tools in 2018.

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1. Constant Contact

Constant Contact has been a reliable tool for Moore Media Group since the beginning. This email marketing subscription service makes it so easy to send out well-designed emails to your audience. Constant Contact allows business owners to compile their own contact lists, create customized campaigns and even track your campaign’s progress so you can see who’s received, opened and clicked on links in your email.

Constant Contact also makes it simple to get started. If you’re a “try-before-you-buy” consumer, Constant Contact offers a 60-day free trial and “cancel anytime” memberships, because who wants to be tied up in a year-long contract?  Our favorite thing about Constant Contact is that we can have different lists for each of our clients, which makes it easy to keep our email campaigns custom and organized.

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2. Dubsado

If you own a business, you need to be using Dubsado. Dubsado is customer relationship management software that allows your clients to sign contracts, pay invoices and fill out forms. Dubsado is great for business owners because it tracks company expenses, generates leads and sends automated responses to clients. Dubsado does everything that you don’t have time to do, so you can actually run your business.

We use Dubsado each month to send invoices, allow our clients to digitally sign contracts, and to track our expenses. We love having the ability to create custom forms, agreements and even client questionnaires. Because of the efficiency of this tool, we are able to spend less time focusing on the administrative side of running a business and more time doing what we love – helping our clients connect with their audiences in creative and professional ways.

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3. Canva

Here at Moore Media Group, we’re always looking to produce creative content to help our clients tell their stories. One way we do this is by creating graphics for their social media accounts and email campaigns. Canva is a graphic design tool that we use often to create quick, clean, professional graphics. If you’re intimidated by Adobe programs such as Photoshop or Illustrator, this is the tool for you.

Canva allows users to create completely customized posters, logos, blog headers, flyers, invitations, Twitter and Facebook headers, Instagram story covers and so much more. What’s really great about Canva is that you can make all of these beautiful designs on the go with Canva’s iPhone and Android apps, and you can do all this for free! But if you really want to up your game, Canva offers an “Images Pro Subscription,” which gives you unlimited access to thousands of photos, icons and images.

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4. Musicbed

Every Moore Media Group video is produced with professionally licensed music, and Musicbed makes it easy for us to legally purchase the rights to these songs. Music is easily one of the most important components of creating beautiful videos. That’s why Musicbed is the holy grail for filmmakers and videographers. Royalty-free music that actually sounds great is hard to come by these days. Thankfully, Musicbed offers a curated catalog with thousands of songs from talented composers, artists and bands, so finding the perfect song for your video is painless.

One of the best features about Musicbed is its user-friendly interface. If you know what sound you’re looking for, Musicbed allows users to filter through genres, moods, artists and even specific instruments. In the “advanced” settings, you’re also able to choose BPM, build and song length. You can either pay a monthly fee or purchase individual songs, depending on your company’s needs.

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5. Social Media Scheduling Tools

Since social media is a big part of what we do at Moore Media Group, we’re so thankful for social media scheduling tools. Since there are a plethora of great (and not so great) tools out there, we couldn’t just pick one. Here’s the rundown of some of the top-rated social media scheduling tools.

Hootsuite. Hootsuite is one of the most widely used social media scheduling tools. It allows users to manually schedule or auto-schedule posts for more than 35 social networks. With multiple streams and a customized dashboard, Hootsuite is ideal for social media marketers. For a monthly fee, users can create, schedule and track posts for all platforms.

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Sprout Social. Like Hootsuite, Sprout Social offers a customizable dashboard so that users can manage their social media all in one place. Sprout Social is one of the few social media scheduling services that offers customer relationship management. With Sprout Social, businesses are able to personally connect with their customers. Another praise-worthy feature of Sprout Social is its social analytics reports. Not only are these reports beautiful, they also certain to impress clients and managers.

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Buffer. Several of Buffer’s features overlap with Hootsuite and other scheduling services. Like Hootsuite, Buffer separates different social media platforms into streams so that users can create content for each platform. Buffer also keeps up with analytics for all social platforms. One thing that sets Buffer apart from the rest is its easy-to-use interface and incredible customer service.

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Conclusion

Running a small business can be difficult, but using the right tools makes it easier. Connecting with your audience doesn’t have to be a hassle; in fact, it shouldn’t be. There are so many tools that can help companies connect with their audiences in professional, authentic ways.

If you struggle to engage with your audience, Moore Media Group would love to help you find the right tools to help you make meaningful connections with your customers. Click here to talk with us and hear more about how we can help your business.

4 Easy Ways To Give Your Website A Refresher

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In this day and age, websites mean business. Ecommerce has grown substantially in the last five years. In fact, ecommerce represents almost 10 percent of all retail sales worldwide. It’s imperative to have a website that is easy to navigate and up-to-date if you plan to sell your products online. If you haven’t updated your website in the last six months to a year, it’s time to dust off those cobwebs and give your website some much needed TLC.

Here are four simple things you can do to rejuvenate your company’s website.

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1. Improve your visual appeal

If you’ve had a website for a while, you may remember it looking fine last time you checked. While that may be the case, it’s important to go back and review your site to make sure it’s current and relevant. When it comes to web design, visual appeal is just as important as functionality.

Think of your website as a house. If it’s cluttered and messy, no one will want to stay long. However if you keep a tidy, clean, well-organized home, guests will feel welcomed and are more likely to stay a while. The same is true with your website. If your site is littered with lengthy text, outdated photos or poorly-designed graphics, visitors may be inclined to leave and never return.

Creating an environment where customers want to stay is easier than you may think. If your site has a harsh color scheme, consider toning it down to something softer. Instead of cramming your homepage full of text explaining your products, try uploading a video introducing your company. Think of practical ways that would make your site a place that offers visitors relevant information in a visually appealing manner.

2. Sort through outdated information

One of the easiest ways to update your website is simply to replace old information with new information. This can be time consuming depending on how much information is on your company’s website. Sorting through outdated information may sound like a pain, but it is important to give your customers the most accurate, up-to-date information. If your website has old, inaccurate information, you lose credibility with your audience. Customers want to know that they can trust your business, and providing the most current, correct information is the first step to gaining their trust.

3. Go mobile

If you don’t get anything else from this blog post, please hear this. Your website needs to be mobile-friendly. And here’s why:

In February 2017, 49.7 percent of web page views were from mobile devices.

Did you catch that? Almost half of the people that visit your website, view it from their phones. And if most of your traffic is coming from social media, that number will likely be higher. That’s a significant amount of viewers. That means that if your site isn’t formatted for mobile devices, you could be missing out on half of your audience or more. Now that’s a scary thought.

The first step to creating a mobile friendly website is to run a test to see where you are. You can search “mobile friendly website” on Google and a free test will pop up. Simply type in your company’s URL and that’s it! You’ll be taken to a website that shows your results and offers suggestions on how to make your website more mobile friendly.

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4. Implement a call to action

Making your website visually appealing and mobile friendly are great ways to keep customers on your website for a long time, but at the end of the day it all comes down to conversion. Did you make the sale? Did a customer book your service? If not, it may be because you don’t have a clear call to action on your website. It’s important to make it as easy as possible for people to buy your product or purchase your service.

One simple way to do this is to have an action button on your homepage. To illustrate, let’s use Moore Media Group’s home page.

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From this page, it’s clear to see that you have two actions. You can “learn more” or you can “connect with us.” It’s really as simple as that. If you’re not getting conversions from your website, it may not be because customers don’t like your product or service. Rather, the reason may be that customers don’t know how to purchase. Including a call to action button on your company’s home page in addition to multiple other places on the site is a must.

Conclusion

Your company’s website is important. It’s a direct reflection of your business, so making sure that it’s up to date is crucial. Updating your website isn’t just about making your website “look pretty.” It’s about creating a positive experience for visitors. If viewers have a positive experience on your site, they’re likely to return and maybe even purchase from you. You don’t have to be a master web developer to update your website. There are simple steps you can take to make visiting your website a pleasant experience for all.

If the thought of updating your website overwhelms you, Moore Media Group is here to help. We’d love to help you create a website that invites your audience in and urges them to stay a while. Click here to connect with us.

3 Ways to Improve Your Company’s SEO

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Picture this: It’s 1967 and you’ve just moved into a new apartment. You’re wanting to put some very tasteful wallpaper in your living room. You’ve bought the paste. You’ve got the paper. But you’re unsure of how to best go about transferring the paper to the walls. What do you do?  Ask your neighbor? Buy a book about wallpaper decor? Phone your local librarian? (Yes, this was actually a thing. Look it up.)

In all seriousness, what did we do before Google? People use it so much that the search engine itself is now a verb. Don’t know how many ounces are in a pound? Google it. Want to know the best place to get a haircut? Google it. When does the football game come on? Google it. Thanks to the search engine giant, we now have the world at our fingertips.

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Google has single-handedly revolutionized the way we obtain information. It’s changed how businesses operate by categorizing and cataloging topics that are most relevant to the user. This process of organization is known as search engine optimization or “SEO”.

When a customer realizes they have a problem or a need that a product or service can satisfy, they turn to Google first. The goal of SEO is for your business to be number one on the search engine results page. When potential customers type keywords or phrases relevant to your business, you want them to easily access your website or Facebook page. Having great SEO is extremely important for companies that want to succeed. That’s why we’ve outlined 3 simple ways to improve your company’s SEO.

1. Content is King

When it comes to SEO, having quality, detailed content on your business’ website is paramount. In the past, Google’s aim was to provide users with the most relevant content related to their search. Now, Google is focused on presenting the most comprehensive content relative to a user’s search. Essentially, Google tries to find a website that has all the answers to any user’s questions. That’s why long-form content has become so popular. Some great examples include FAQ pages, in-depth how-to guides, or lengthy blogs or news articles.

This may sound contradictory, since many people believe that short content performs better. And while we’re all about being concise and to the point in your marketing materials, studies show that on websites, longer content gets more social shares than shorter content. In fact, one statistic showed that longer posts received 68.1% more engagement than shorter content. Search engines aim to find the most engaging and comprehensive content on the Internet, so it’s important to have various types of content on your website that provide value to your audience.

2. Keywords are your friend

Google’s tried and true search engine strategy is the use of keywords. Keywords are the pathway that leads potential customers from the search engine bar to your website. Now, you may look at your company’s website and see photos, videos, and graphics, but all a search engine recognizes is text. You want to make sure the copy on your website is full of keywords that are relevant, specific and targeted toward your audience. After all, these are the tools that customers will use to find your business online.

Once you’ve found the keywords that work for your business, you want to make sure to use those keywords several times throughout your website. Take the social media page from Moore Media Group’s website, for example:

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In this photo, you can see that Moore Media has used the keyword phrase “social media” in several places on this page. Once in the heading, once in the column to the left and several times with the the body of the text. We even used keywords that partnered with “social media” like “planning” and “management.” It’s important to use the same keywords frequently throughout the content on your website. However, to improve your business’ SEO it’s best if these keywords are used in a way that flows naturally to the reader.

3. Update your website

When was the last time your website was updated? If you can’t remember, it’s probably time to take a look at it. Google wants to offer its users the most current, up-to-date information. If the content on your website a few years old, chances are your company’s SEO is struggling. Here are some practical things you can do to refresh your website:

- Add header tags

- Remove outdated links

- Fix broken links

- Improve page load speed

- Upload current pictures, videos, presentations or articles


Updating your website may sound like a pain, but it’s a necessary part of improving your website’s visibility. After all, if users can’t find your company’s website, you’re missing out on customer conversions.

Conclusion

Google is the most popular search engine in the world, so having a high ranking on its results pages is going to be tough but not impossible. There are simple, practical improvements that you can make to boost your website’s ranking. Sure, some tasks may feel tedious and time consuming, but becoming a top-ranking company on a search engine results page isn’t something that happens overnight. It’s all about the long game. At the end of the day, all Google wants is websites that have well-researched, thoughtful, engaging content, and all of us are capable of creating that.

Improving your website’s search engine optimization can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Moore Media Group would love to help you create a clean and simple website that your ideal customers see. Click here to connect with us and discuss how we can improve your website’s visibility.

Social Media Followers: Quality vs. Quantity

One of the most common requests we hear from clients is “I want more followers on social media.” While we certainly work with them to accomplish this goal, we always sit down and explain to them that more followers does not equal more business.

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If you use social media to promote your business, chances are you’ve felt the pressure to grow your follower base. You may see other companies thriving on social media with tens of thousands of followers and wish your brand could do the same. While gaining new followers isn’t a bad thing, there’s a deceiving misconception in the social universe that says: in order to be successful, your brand must have a large following. In reality, that isn’t the case.

When it comes to social media followers, quality trumps quantity. Ask yourself these questions: “Would I rather have an enormous follower base for the sake of a number? Or would I rather have followers that are actively engaging with my content because they are genuinely interested in my product or company?”

Growing your audience is so much more than a numbers game. It’s about creating a relationship with the people on the other side of the screen. Below, we’ve listed three healthy ways to use social media to grow your business.

1. LET YOUR CURRENT FOLLOWERS KNOW THEY ARE VALUED

Your followers are real people. Real people who want to know that you actually care about them. They want to know how your company can help them before, during and even after they’ve purchased your product or service. This can be as simple as giving your customers free advice on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook or offering helpful downloads on your website. You could post a video demonstrating one of your products or create a coupon code exclusively for your online audience as a way of saying “thanks!” There are tons of fun and creative ways to serve your audience. Instead of spending all of your time trying to get more followers, invest some of it in nurturing the relationships you already have.

And remember, it’s not just you shouting at your audience with a megaphone. One of social media’s most positive attributes is that it opens the door for conversation between you and your customers or clients. If a customer comments on your post or sends you a direct message, be quick to engage with them. Like their comments on your posts or respond to their messages with a personalized answer. Use your social platform the way it was intended to be used and engage with your audience. By communicating with your current followers and not just constantly seeking out new ones, you are letting them know you are thankful for their interest in your company and you value their presence on your page.. This leads to a happy and healthy customer/company relationship, which will leave the customer more likely to think of you the next time they are ready to do business.

2. SEEK OUT NEW FOLLOWERS WHO WILL ENJOY YOUR CONTENT

We get it. You still want more followers, and that’s ok. But let’s talk about what type of followers you want. There are influencers out there who will tell you to follow random people or comment on their posts just to get them to follow you back. Some may even encourage you to go and buy your followers (yeah, that’s a thing). But we don’t like that. It’s fake and the exact opposite of a genuine relationship. Your followers are meant to be your audience. They are your team rooting you on and supporting your business. But if you seek out phony followers who don’t connect with your brand, chances are it won’t lead to any growth in your business.

Think of it this way: would you rather have 50,000 Instagram followers who don’t actually care about your business or 2,000 who are interested and regularly engaging? Find new followers who will stick by searching hashtags that are relevant to your industry and by seeking out people who will benefit from your posts. When you boost posts or buy advertisements, target people who you think would genuinely be interested in what you’re saying on your page. You’re more likely to see a connection between your social following and your sales when your followers are people who actually intend to do business with you.

3. DON'T FIND YOUR VALUE IN NUMBERS

It’s natural to think that the number of followers on your page is important. To some extent, it is. But numbers aren’t everything. Numbers can’t measure the passion you have for your business. Numbers can’t measure the feeling you get when you sign a new client. Numbers can’t measure the relational value of your business. All they are is numbers.

So whether it's followers, likes, comments, etc., stop basing your company's value on a number. You started this company (or work for this company) because you believe it's valuable. Don't let random people on social media make you feel like it's not. At the end of the day, social media is a tool to connect. Nothing more.

CONCLUSION

Connecting with your customers through social media is a great way to promote your business. But social media is not the main thing – it’s simply a means of communicating with your audience. Followers are great, but having followers that are apathetic about your company is not. Don’t buy into the lie that you have to hustle and do what you think everyone else is doing to get a ton of followers who don’t care about your content. If you’re running a business, the goal is to get followers who can turn into customers or clients. Your company is valuable, so make sure you have an audience who believes that.

If you feel overwhelmed by the pressure to grow your followers, you’re not alone. Moore Media Group would love to empower you to promote your business by creating social media content that engages your current followers and seeks out new ones that can potentially turn into customers. Click here to discuss how we can help you grow an audience that sees the value in your company.

4 Reasons You Should Use Video To Promote Your Business

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Think back on your day. Could you tell me any details about the digital advertisements you saw since you woke up this morning? Where did you see them? Were they on a website? On Facebook? Instagram? How did they make you feel? Do you remember what brands they represented?

My guess is probably not. Our world is cluttered with ads. Marketers, researchers and influencers are all fighting for the same thing: your attention. And the best way they’ve found to cut through the clutter and turn your focus toward what they’re offering is, you guessed it– video.

A 2018 study found that 87% of marketers are using online videos, making it one of the most common avenues for advertising. Not only is it one of the most prevalent, it’s also one of the most effective ways to digitally promote your business, considering that 85% of U.S. internet users watch videos online. The good news is, video is more affordable and accessible for companies to use than ever before. Check out our list of 4 reasons why your business should consider investing in video marketing.

1. Ease of Consumption

Have you ever gotten stuck inside a “YouTube hole?” This occurs when the video, you originally came to watch on YouTube ends, and another video autoplays with a similar topic. Fast forward two hours later, and you’re watching videos of cats getting themselves stuck in small objects and asking yourself how you got here.

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Why is it so easy to get caught up in videos? Studies show video demands less effort for the brain to comprehend, because it acts more like a conversation than written words do, requiring us to do less mental processing. In fact, 80% of people say that they can vividly recall a video ad they’ve seen in the last month. Videos are memorable, and they leave impressions.

This is not to say that written forms of marketing don’t have a place in promoting your business. Online advertisements and product blogs are great ways to build your company’s engagement, but using video is the easiest, and arguably the most productive way to garner attention in this ad-polluted world.

2. Emotional Connection

As humans, we all have emotions. Some good, some bad. Some we wear on our sleeves, and some we keep tucked away deep inside. Regardless, we all have them, and they make it easier for us to connect with each other. To relate and understand. Using video in your marketing strategy is the strongest way to connect with your audience on a compelling, emotional level.

Video makes it possible to connect with people in ways that graphics and text can’t. Body language, facial expressions, tone of voice and hand gestures are all components of videos that viewers can perceive that might not be understood in other forms of advertising. Your viewers will feel like they’re getting to know the people, places and products featured on the screen, leading them to want to spend more time investing in the relationship. Video allows you to tell a story – to make your viewers laugh or tug at their heartstrings. This leads to a more meaningful connection with your audience, higher engagement on your content and an overall deeper customer/company relationship.

3. Better Engagement

We’ve established that the human brain loves video. The combination of moving images and sound makes it easy for viewers to pay attention. But the goal is not just to capture your audience’s attention; it’s to encourage them to engage with your brand – another task where video is proven to succeed. Check out these statistics:

While they may require a bit more effort on the front end, the numbers show over and over again that investing your time and energy is worth it if you want to truly connect with your audience.

4. More Customer Conversions

Using social video doesn’t only increase engagement, but it actually creates more customer conversions. Customers want to know your story, so posting a video on your website about your business could improve your conversion rates. Research shows that visitors spend twice the amount of time on websites with video than those without it. The more time that a visitor spends on your website, the more likely it is that they’ll choose to move forward with your product or service.

Customers also love to see, feel or experience a product before they agree to buy it, especially with big purchases. However if a product or service is not readily available to a consumer, many will opt to watch a video about the product. YouTube and Vimeo are overflowing with product reviews because customers have and will always want to know about a product before they purchase it. Posting a video explaining your product will help you gain trust with your audience and likely increase your sales.

Conclusion

Videos are the most effective way to share your story and your product with the world. Over any other form of content, videos perform better. They connect more deeply, and they sell your product. If a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine how many words a video is worth.

If you’re looking to incorporate video into your social and digital strategy but have questions, Moore Media Group is here to help. We would love to give you the tools you need to connect with your audience, improve your social engagement and increase your customer conversion rates. Click below to connect with us to talk about how video can help you change your business.

3 Ways to Present Your Brand's Story

If you’ve ever taken a literature class, you can likely recall some of the stories you read even years later. If you’re an avid reader, you might even be able to remember several characters’ names or even descriptions from your favorite books. If you’re more of a movie fan, chances are you can replay details from a film in your mind that you saw six months ago. Why is this?

It’s because humans relate to stories. Storytelling is how we communicate with one another. It’s how we’ve always communicated. So it’s no wonder you can recall all those details from stories you’ve seen or heard. People remember stories. Above all the noise being shouted at us throughout our daily lives, stories make us stop, listen and remember what we’ve just heard.

Your marketing should do the same. But how? How do you get people to buy into your company’s purpose? How do you make a lasting impact on your audience? We've broken it down into three easy practices for you to keep in mind.

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1. Keep it simple

Telling your brand’s story is important, but doing it in a way that people can easily understand is critical. The human brain is attracted to clarity, not clutter. Stories help us make sense of the information that we’re taking in, but it’s important for our messages to stay simple.

Simple messages are successful because they don’t make the audience work hard to understand them. Businesses who use fancy, technical terminology and jargon to explain their brands are going to lose their audience’s attention because people don’t communicate that way. When telling your brand’s story, it’s important to clearly communicate your message, because in the end, customers will buy the product they understand the most clearly.

2. Reposition your brand

Your brand’s story will always be yours to tell; however, if you want customers to engage with your message, your business cannot be the hero of the story. In Donald Miller’s Building A Story Brand, Miller explains that the customer has to be the main character, while your brand is simply a supporting role. He explains that great movies follow a specific formula.

The main character or the hero wants something.

There is an obstacle or problem the the hero has to overcome in order to get what he/she wants.

There is a plan or call to action that the hero must follow in order to succeed.

Another important component of every great story is the hero’s guide. Miller points out that this guide usually gives the hero some information to help him/her get whatever it is that they want. And that’s where your brand comes in.

Your brand should show the customer that what you have to offer helps him/her get what they want. Your customer is the hero, and it’s your brand’s job to be their guide. Repositioning your brand from hero to helper may seem daunting, but making your customer the focus of your story really isn’t as complicated as it sounds. It can be as simple as changing the way you present your message. Instead of using pronouns like “we,” “us” and “our,” customer-centric brands use words like “you,” “your” and “yours.” By centering your message around the customer, you give them a chance to be the hero, while you help them save the day.

3. Make it Personal

Every company has a story. It’s what makes you unique from every other business out there offering the same services. Your customers want to know what you can offer them, to make them successful in a way no one else can. How are you unique? What specific needs are you meeting for your customers? This is the information you need to focus on, and this is the information you need to make easily accessible on your website, social media and promotional material.

More than any of this, customers want to know how you fit into their story. They want to know how you can make their life better. If you clearly communicate to your customers how you can uniquely help them succeed, they’re much more likely to trust your company and want to work with you.

Conclusion

Your story is not about you. It’s about the customer, what they need, and how your business can help them thrive. Keep it simple, and tell your customer how you can make them the hero.

Moore Media Group would love to help you clarify your company’s message and tell your brand’s story in a way that customers can understand. If you need help cleaning up (or setting up) your website, creating fresh, clear content for social media, or telling your story through video, click here to contact us today to talk about how we can help you better serve your customers.