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MLP004: Using LinkedIn the Right way – with Sarah Santacroce…

MLP004: Using LinkedIn the Right way – with Sarah Santacroce Source by WhoAreYouSocial Sponsor AdsLive PR Submitter – Gold Instant Access to our NEW web-based Press Release system that syndicates …

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Should You make $300,000 with E commerce or Affiliate Marketing Info Product 🔑🔑

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHOQ6mho2io&w=640&h=360]

How to Create Standout Content and Drive Traffic to Your Website

To no one’s surprise, Google still cites links from authority websites as one of the top three factors (the other two being content and RankBrain, Google’s AI program that processes search results) that influence your ranking. Attracting traffic to your website without providing interesting content is analogous to driving a car without fuel; it simply won’t work.

The task of creating content can be daunting, if not only for the mass of existing content online.

The internet has matured to a point where you can no longer get away with mimicking the plethora of 500-word, how-to articles or the endless top-three lists that flood the internet. No, your content needs a unique angle, and it should offer a fresh perspective.

In fact, Google’s algorithm rewards exceptional content with higher rankings, even if that content does not have many backlinks.

More often than not, the results that rank high, especially for competitive keywords, are ones that users found the most relevant and valuable as it relates to that particular search.

For instance, if you search for “how to improve your sleep” and a mattress company’s product page shows up, you will likely click out of it and look for a result that better suits what you were looking for.

Say you end up finding a sleep improvement guide a few results below the mattress page that contains a step-by-step process for improving sleep, and you spend 10 minutes reading it.

Over time, Google will account for the high bounce rate of the mattress page and the low bounce rate of the guide and rank the guide above the mattress page.

So where should you begin when creating content that will shine? To start, reverse engineer what your target audience deems as valuable content. Survey what already exists by performing Google searches for the keywords you want to target and evaluate the first-page results.

Take note of patterns, trends or common themes you observe and ask yourself what makes this piece of content better than other articles. Analyze every aspect of the top-ranking pieces, including formatting, visuals and video. Make sure you set your search to only show results from the past year to focus on recent content that will have more relevance.

In particular, pay close attention to content that has a lot of engagement, in the form of comments or social shares. You want to know what made that content attract lots of hype from the influencers in your industry.

One way to do this is to plug the top results into a content analysis tool like Buzzsumo. You can see the number of shares of each piece and, in addition, you now have a list of targets you can pitch your finished content to.

Here are four general tips you should follow to improve your content.

  1. Make it longer. At least 1,500 words is a good starting point, but 3,000-plus words is ideal. Content that is concise doesn’t retain users like long content, and, like I mentioned above, user engagement is vital for organic rankings. 

  2. Incorporate interesting data. If you have researched a particular area of your industry that has led to newfound insights, include key statistics or data points into your content. In fact, one strategy for creating robust content is to conduct a study for the sole purpose of using it in a future content piece.

  3. Format and structure properly. Use shorter paragraphs and sentences. Shorter sentences scored 58 percent higher in measured usability compared to web pages jammed with text made up of long sentences. Break up your sections using paragraphs, H1, H2 and H3 tags.

  4. Visualize. You can create an infographic, but chances are that a similar one already exists, so your infographic better offer something unique or noteworthy. Creating an interesting infographic requires a delicate balance of presenting the right amount of content while maintaining an aesthetic appeal and not overwhelming readers.

To stay ahead of the game, consider creating an interactive map. These have garnered a lot of attention lately, and websites love to link to them.

Finally, when creating your content, ask yourself if you would link to the content on your website. Your gut response to that question will guide you along the way.

You've Merged or Been Acquired? Congratulations! Now the Real Work Begins.

Mergers and acquisitions can certainly lead to a more profitable company, and while the process can be an exciting adventure, the transition period is challenging as it may generate uncertainty and questions among employees, customers and other stakeholders. How leaders handle changes during this period is important. In fact, according to findings by KPMG, 80 percent of mergers and acquisitions that fail do so as a result of improper change management.

I was an integral part of the acquisitions that brought Minnesota Thermal Science and Cool Logistics together as Pelican BioThermal and Peli BioThermal under the BioThermal division of Pelican Products, Inc. Through my experience, I learned that proper planning and execution is essential, and there are ways to encourage collaboration and draw from expertise in both companies during the transition period – regardless of who leads the merger or acquisition. Although both companies were acquired, we retained valuable talent, including some of the senior leadership that remains with the company today, and, ultimately, we’re growing the business. The success we experienced can be attributed to a solid plan and careful execution.

Below are my five tips for encouraging collaboration and growing your business during a merger or acquisition transition period.

Tip No. 1: Put a firm plan in place.

One of the biggest issues following a merger or acquisition is balancing integration activities with day-to-day business. For many who are accustomed to the day-to-day operations of a business, it’s tempting to immediately start making changes, however, it’s important to resist that urge, and to instead, have a firm plan in place.

Quickly following the merger or acquisition, hold an off-site meeting with both management teams. Set up project teams to map out specific plans and then vet those plans with the appropriate people. Make sure to look at every area of the business and agree on a plan that addresses the overall direction of the business.

Tip No. 2: Communicate the acquisition to employees.

Communication is key during the transition period following a merger or acquisition, especially communication with those who are part of the entity being acquired. Employees will likely feel anxious and uncertain about their path moving forward.

In the process of building a collaborative team, it’s important to reassure employees from the beginning. Explain why you’ve brought the companies together and why their company – and its employees – are important to the overall business. To ease the transition, we always prioritize having someone from senior management meet with all the employees of an acquired entity in a group session for questions and dialogue.  

If locations vary, it might also make sense to embed someone from your company’s HR team on-site. Having a local and constantly accessible HR staffer not only provides a resource for employees but also allows you to better understand and monitor concerns from employees that may arise following the announcement.

Outside of face-to-face interactions, consider putting together an FAQ document. Ours typically includes 20 or so questions and answers from leadership. We found it to be a successful way to further emphasize important information and keep the lines of communication open.    

Tip No. 3: Quickly align messaging for the sales team.

There is only one planning piece to be rushed after a merger or acquisition, and that’s the sales communication plan. With “entering new lines of business” cited as a leading reason for initiating acquisitions, according to data from KPMG, there are often lots of moving parts to consider. The sales team should not be delivering mixed messages, so be sure to involve all parties in the planning process and move quickly.

Often when bringing two companies together, leadership skips the sales plan or creates a half-measure solution by keeping sales teams divided and selling only products from one company or the other. They may provide general messaging about the company as a whole, but don’t fully align overall messaging. This is a missed opportunity to bring relevant solutions to existing sales prospects, with whom the sales team members have already cultivated relationships. Allowing both sales teams access to the full line of products can help to accelerate growth.

Tip No. 4: Talk to customers.

Don’t neglect the important stakeholders involved in your merger or acquisition – your customers. Not only is it important to reassure customers about the direction of the company, but these individuals are also a great asset to have when it comes to shaping that direction and may have constructive feedback on everything from product to customer experience.

For example, at one point, Pelican acquired a competitor with competing product lines. The first thought was to scrap the competing product line, but after talking with customers we did a 180-degree reversal. Based on customer feedback, we actually ended up growing the competing product line as an alternative, and it was very successful. Without talking to customers, we may have missed a revenue opportunity.

Tip No. 5: Prove that you’re better together.

Your choice to merge with or acquire another company likely wasn’t just a public relations push. Ultimately, these decisions should positively impact your business, which then will positively impact your customers. Look for opportunities to showcase how customers can benefit from the merger or acquisition.

After the acquisition of Cool Logistics, our European team at Peli BioThermal quickly launched new higher performance single-use products. Some of the technology already being used in our current product lines was applied to the recently acquired lines. This was a huge benefit to our customers and something our sales team could tout as a benefit of the two brands coming together.

The transition period of a merger or acquisition, no matter the company size, is tricky and can prove to be a challenging endeavor. I learned my approach through practice and am pleased to share my successful experience in the hopes others will find similar results. With a proper plan, teamwork and consistent execution, the combined entity will grow to be stronger than the separate organizations could have achieved on their own.

Basic Tech Skills Every Employee Should Know

Should You make $300,000 with E commerce or Affiliate Marketing Info Product 🔑🔑

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHOQ6mho2io&w=640&h=360]

How To Make Money Online Fast Way To Earn Money Online From Home 2017 & 2018

How To Make Money Online Proven Method – Fast Way To Earn Money Online From Home 2017 & 2018 START HERE: https://goo.gl/rg4EJX The best way to make money online fast …

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How I Recruited 19 People In 30 Days Into My Business 🔥

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3WbTKBOYto&w=640&h=360]

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Attract Top Talent with a Great Culture, Learn More in This Upcoming Twitter Chat


If you want the best small business team, you need to create a culture that’s going to attract top talent.

That’s no small feat. But it can be made easier with expertise from business culture experts. An upcoming Twitter chat can help you glean insights from some of those experts and others in the small business community.

The Twitter chat, Build Culture, Win Talent: Driving Small Business Success, is scheduled for November 29 at 3 p.m. ET. Experts will share tips and ask questions of participants to create an active conversation.

You can learn more about the chat in the Featured Events section. Then check out even more upcoming small business events in the list below.

To see a full list or to submit your own event, contest or award listing, visit the Small Business Events Calendar.



Featured Events, Contests and Awards

TWITTER CHAT: Build Culture, Win Talent: Driving Small Business Success#MetLifeSmallBiz Twitter Chat: Build Culture, Win Talent: Driving Small Business Success
November 29, 2017, Online, Twitter

MetLife will host a #MetLifeSmallBiz Twitter chat conversation among small business owners about how to build and maintain the kind of culture that attracts and keeps top talent. MetLife will be joined by Small Business experts Anita Campbell of Small Business Trends, Rieva Lesonsky of Small Biz Daily and a member of Susan Solovic’s team. These experts will share tips based on their personal experiences building winning business cultures, and expand upon small business insights from the latest Employee Benefit Trends Study and the MetLife & US Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index. Join us 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET on Twitter under the hashtag: #MetLifeSmallBiz


TNW New YorkTNW New York
December 12, 2017, New York, N.Y.

The fifth edition of TNW New York is designed for decision-makers looking to explore the digital technologies transforming the Tech, Communication and Media industries.
This year we’re keeping it cozy and curated by operating an invite-only policy. If you want to be one of a thousand industry leaders discovering, discussing and shaping what’s Now and Next in digital this December, then apply for your invitation now!


LEAP HR: Retail Conference, Nashville 2018LEAP HR: Retail Conference, Nashville 2018
February 27, 2018, Nashville, Tenn.

LEAP HR: Retail 2018 will once again dig deeper into the innovative people leaps helping digital-native and established retailers succeed in a rapidly transforming industry. With new speakers, fresh case studies, and a pre-conference ‘Boot Camp’ day dedicated to what the next-generation retail workforce really looks like, LEAP HR Retail 2018 remains the unique opportunity for senior people leaders in this industry to really challenge and get creative around how we do HR in retail.


More Events

More Contests

This weekly listing of small business events, contests and awards is provided as a community service by Small Business Trends and SmallBizTechnology.

Twitter image Via Shutterstock

This article, “Attract Top Talent with a Great Culture, Learn More in This Upcoming Twitter Chat” was first published on Small Business Trends

How To Make Money Online Fastest From Home 2017 – Ways To Make $17,000 In 2 Weeks

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The post How To Make Money Online Fastest From Home 2017 – Ways To Make $17,000 In 2 Weeks appeared first on Newline Marketing.

How I Recruited 19 People In 30 Days Into My Business 🔥

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3WbTKBOYto&w=640&h=360]

You've Merged or Been Acquired? Congratulations! Now the Real Work Begins.

Mergers and acquisitions can certainly lead to a more profitable company, and while the process can be an exciting adventure, the transition period is challenging as it may generate uncertainty and questions among employees, customers and other stakeholders. How leaders handle changes during this period is important. In fact, according to findings by KPMG, 80 percent of mergers and acquisitions that fail do so as a result of improper change management.

I was an integral part of the acquisitions that brought Minnesota Thermal Science and Cool Logistics together as Pelican BioThermal and Peli BioThermal under the BioThermal division of Pelican Products, Inc. Through my experience, I learned that proper planning and execution is essential, and there are ways to encourage collaboration and draw from expertise in both companies during the transition period – regardless of who leads the merger or acquisition. Although both companies were acquired, we retained valuable talent, including some of the senior leadership that remains with the company today, and, ultimately, we’re growing the business. The success we experienced can be attributed to a solid plan and careful execution.

Below are my five tips for encouraging collaboration and growing your business during a merger or acquisition transition period.

Tip No. 1: Put a firm plan in place.

One of the biggest issues following a merger or acquisition is balancing integration activities with day-to-day business. For many who are accustomed to the day-to-day operations of a business, it’s tempting to immediately start making changes, however, it’s important to resist that urge, and to instead, have a firm plan in place.

Quickly following the merger or acquisition, hold an off-site meeting with both management teams. Set up project teams to map out specific plans and then vet those plans with the appropriate people. Make sure to look at every area of the business and agree on a plan that addresses the overall direction of the business.

Tip No. 2: Communicate the acquisition to employees.

Communication is key during the transition period following a merger or acquisition, especially communication with those who are part of the entity being acquired. Employees will likely feel anxious and uncertain about their path moving forward.

In the process of building a collaborative team, it’s important to reassure employees from the beginning. Explain why you’ve brought the companies together and why their company – and its employees – are important to the overall business. To ease the transition, we always prioritize having someone from senior management meet with all the employees of an acquired entity in a group session for questions and dialogue.  

If locations vary, it might also make sense to embed someone from your company’s HR team on-site. Having a local and constantly accessible HR staffer not only provides a resource for employees but also allows you to better understand and monitor concerns from employees that may arise following the announcement.

Outside of face-to-face interactions, consider putting together an FAQ document. Ours typically includes 20 or so questions and answers from leadership. We found it to be a successful way to further emphasize important information and keep the lines of communication open.    

Tip No. 3: Quickly align messaging for the sales team.

There is only one planning piece to be rushed after a merger or acquisition, and that’s the sales communication plan. With “entering new lines of business” cited as a leading reason for initiating acquisitions, according to data from KPMG, there are often lots of moving parts to consider. The sales team should not be delivering mixed messages, so be sure to involve all parties in the planning process and move quickly.

Often when bringing two companies together, leadership skips the sales plan or creates a half-measure solution by keeping sales teams divided and selling only products from one company or the other. They may provide general messaging about the company as a whole, but don’t fully align overall messaging. This is a missed opportunity to bring relevant solutions to existing sales prospects, with whom the sales team members have already cultivated relationships. Allowing both sales teams access to the full line of products can help to accelerate growth.

Tip No. 4: Talk to customers.

Don’t neglect the important stakeholders involved in your merger or acquisition – your customers. Not only is it important to reassure customers about the direction of the company, but these individuals are also a great asset to have when it comes to shaping that direction and may have constructive feedback on everything from product to customer experience.

For example, at one point, Pelican acquired a competitor with competing product lines. The first thought was to scrap the competing product line, but after talking with customers we did a 180-degree reversal. Based on customer feedback, we actually ended up growing the competing product line as an alternative, and it was very successful. Without talking to customers, we may have missed a revenue opportunity.

Tip No. 5: Prove that you’re better together.

Your choice to merge with or acquire another company likely wasn’t just a public relations push. Ultimately, these decisions should positively impact your business, which then will positively impact your customers. Look for opportunities to showcase how customers can benefit from the merger or acquisition.

After the acquisition of Cool Logistics, our European team at Peli BioThermal quickly launched new higher performance single-use products. Some of the technology already being used in our current product lines was applied to the recently acquired lines. This was a huge benefit to our customers and something our sales team could tout as a benefit of the two brands coming together.

The transition period of a merger or acquisition, no matter the company size, is tricky and can prove to be a challenging endeavor. I learned my approach through practice and am pleased to share my successful experience in the hopes others will find similar results. With a proper plan, teamwork and consistent execution, the combined entity will grow to be stronger than the separate organizations could have achieved on their own.

Time to Ditch Cash? Why Credit Card Only Might Make Sense

Most of your customers prefer paying by card, but does it make sense for your restaurant to accept card payments only? There are several advantages to moving your restaurant to a cashless system. It can save you time, increase your restaurant’s security and improve the accuracy of your accounting. Plus, according to the “2016 U.S. Consumer Payment Study,” conducted by payment processing giant TSYS, 40 percent of consumers prefer to pay using credit cards, and 35 percent prefer to use their debit cards, leaving only 11 percent who prefer to pay with cash.

However, you may see a higher percentage of your customers using cash: Per the same study, consumers value having a choice of payment options, and the method they use largely depends on the type of purchase they’re making. Restaurants, particularly coffee shops and fast food, receive more cash payments, as 28 to 33 percent of consumers prefer to use cash when they visit these establishments.

Visa has its eye on this segment of consumers. It’s encouraging small restaurant businesses to embrace card-only transactions by hosting a Cashless Challenge, with $10,000 prizes to be awarded to up to 50 small restaurant businesses that submit short videos describing how going cashless could help their businesses thrive (entries were due Oct. 31, 2017).

Aside from Visa’s contest, now is a good time to evaluate whether the cashless movement makes sense for your restaurant. Consider the following points.

  • It can save you time. A cashless system allows you to eliminate cash management tasks from your daily to-do list. For example, you wouldn’t have to count the cash in the till at the beginning and end of each shift. When accepting payments, you wouldn’t have to count the cash you receive and the change you give back, as all you’d require is a receipt signature. You also wouldn’t have to regularly visit the bank to order small denominations.

  • It reduces theft and increases security. If you don’t keep cash on hand at your restaurant, you don’t have to worry about securing cash drawers and a safe. It discourages employees from skimming off the cash register and criminals from robbing your restaurant because there’s no money to steal, which can be a significant benefit if your restaurant is located in a high-crime area or keeps late hours. It also eliminates the need to go to the bank after hours to make deposits.

  • It improves accounting accuracy. When you only accept card payments, you don’t have to deal with cash shortages. All tips are recorded, so you don’t have to worry about unreported tips and potential audits come tax time.

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Although the advantages to a cashless system are attractive, you want to carefully consider the other side of the argument before deciding that card-only payment is right for your restaurant.

  • Why risk turning away customers who prefer cash? Consumers are accustomed to being choosy with which payment method they use, and many prefer to use cash for smaller purchases such as food. Before refusing to accept cash payments, you want to carefully think about your customer base and determine whether it’s a move that will work for them. Will your cash customers be willing to pay with a card, or will they take their business elsewhere? Analyze your books and develop a good understanding of what percentage of your clientele you risk losing if you move to cashless payments only.

  • Rejecting cash payments may be illegal in some states. In Massachusetts, it’s illegal to require your customers to purchase on credit. Before moving to a cashless system, you’ll want to check your state laws to ensure it’s legal.

  • Card payments are more expensive to accept than cash. When your margins are tight and your average sales tickets are small, you may prefer it when your customers pay cash, because you get to keep the 2 to 4 percent of each sale that you would otherwise pay the credit card processing company.

Even though more customers choose credit and debit cards as their preferred payment method, whether moving your restaurant to a cashless system is a good idea or not depends largely on the preferences of you and your customers. While some restaurant owners may enjoy the convenience of a cashless system, others may decide that catering to their customers’ preference to use cash outweighs the cashless benefits. Some restaurant owners may even choose to pursue a cash-only business model. For many restaurants and their customers, it’s still too early to declare cash obsolete.

How Voice Apps will Change E-Commerce Forever

Marketers say that in order to anticipate what the customer wants, you have to know what they’re thinking. With voice apps becoming more and more commonplace — now the customer can actually tell you.

Perhaps the biggest evidence that shows a marked shift in how customers search is found within the biggest movers and shakers in both e-commerce and search — Amazon and Google.

Google search voice queries show explosive growth of voice search queries (Image Source)

Within 2016 alone, voice-based search went from zero to 10% of all search volume. Today, 20% of all searches have voice-based intent, and by 2020, ComScore estimates that half of all searches will be done by voice. But there are a few notable stumbling blocks.

The Issue with Accuracy

Back in 2013, Google’s spoken word accuracy was below 80%. A few years later, it has improved to above 90%. Chinese search engine Baidu’s voice recognition accuracy rate is above 95%. This sounds great on paper, but 99% accuracy is what everyone is striving for. The difference can be profound — as in the old joke of Jeff Bezos asking the Echo to buy olives at Whole Foods when instead, it understood that he wanted it to buy “all of Whole Foods”.

We’re not there yet, but we will be soon — and when that happens, you can expect voice-enabled search adoption to explode.

Skewing the Playing Field

Beyond the accuracy of the spoken word, however, there are also significant differences in how we speak to search versus how we type. While you may search for “pizza places near (your city)”, you’re much more likely to be conversational with a voice-enabled device. Amazon Echo understands that you want a “pepperoni pizza with extra cheese” from Dominos, and can have it delivered to your door. No typing necessary.

You can see how this would blow right by competing ads — both paid and organic — and instead skew the playing field in favor of those companies that want to invest a sizeable amount in being the preferred provider for that product or service. Service providers like Uber, Kayak and Dominos have already made huge gains in setting themselves up for such a voice-based brand domination windfall.

In the meantime, there’s a rush from both Amazon and Google to dominate the automated home assistant market. With the release of the Amazon Echo and Google Home, there’s a definite face-off between the leader in e-commerce and the leader in search. What remains to be seen, however, is just how much of a role these apps actually play in promoting a purchase.

Got Skills?

With the Amazon Echo, voice-based commands are denoted into specific categories called “skills”. Although Amazon won’t reveal how many categories there are or how many of their voice-based skills are branded, some estimates believe the number currently hovers around 25,000.

Using skills, you can, for example, have Tide help you get stains out, or question Nestle for a good dinner recipe. Patron launched it’s voice skill last July as part of a larger marketing campaign known as the Cocktail Lab. With the Cocktail Lab, fifty different bartenders from around the world shared their tequila-infused drink recipes. Over 350,000 users tried the Cocktail Lab, and 10% of those users came from using the Alexa (Echo)-based skill.

Traffic to the company’s website was up over 4% as well, and the research revealed that Echo users spent more time on site browsing and saving recipes as well. Worth the investment? Only time will tell.

Revealing Customer Intent

Not surprisingly, much of what can be done with voice-based search is centered around analytics. GoodNes, the Nestle app that uses Amazon Echo skills, lets you search recipes, see (or tell) what ingredients are needed, email you the recipe or show you nutritional information, among other things.

Determining how the user searches and what they search for using voice could very well shed light on potential new products or combinations. It’s the kind of one-on-one insight that traditional focus groups simply can’t compare to.

Change is Happening…Slowly

Much like how the early versions of web pages were simple brochures, the beginnings of voice apps are more gimmicky than practical. In addition to its selection of branded skills, Amazon also carries apps that start a “psychopath test” or “open a box of cats” (the app will meow or make an animal sound).

However, as these devices continue to gain more traction in voice accuracy and more proliferation in homes, you’ll start to see a marked trend toward asking them to help with nearly anything. Much in the same way that today’s websites go well beyond their brochure-based forebears, to be accessed and interacted with from smartphones and other devices, so too will voice-based search make it easier to quickly browse and order the products and services you use most.

Should Business Owners Be Concerned?

Although it seems like only big brands will be able to take advantage of the shift in voice-based searches and purchases, we’re only truly scratching the surface of the full potential of these types of apps. Both Amazon and Google know that it’s not in their best interest to simply become a herd pen for branded apps — and that relevancy is the name of the game.

For business owners, the push is on to keep doing what we’re doing — cultivating customer engagement, open discussion, problem-solving and an overall helpful experience. No matter what the underlying technology driving a customer’s inquiry, excelling at these skills will set you far ahead of your competition.

Even though we’re in the infancy of voice-driven e-commerce now, the breakneck pace with which new devices are made, coupled with the increase in voice-based accuracy, are going to create more and more opportunities for apps to transform the e-commerce marketplace.

In a year or two, it’s possible we’ll look at text-based search the way we look at our old MySpace page — with a twinge of nostalgia and an overwhelming sense of relief over how much better, faster and more intuitive things are today.

About Kissmetrics

Kissmetrics combines behavioral analytics with email automation. Our software tracks actions of your users across multiple devices allowing you to analyze, segment and engage your customers with automatic, behavior-based emails in one place. We call it Customer Engagement Automation. Get, keep and grow more customers with Kissmetrics.

https://fast.wistia.com/embed/medias/z139em2tk0.jsonphttps://fast.wistia.com/assets/external/E-v1.js

 

 

About the Authors: Sherice Jacob helps business owners improve website design and increase conversion rates through compelling copywriting, user-friendly design and smart analytics analysis. Learn more at iElectrify.com and download your free web copy tune-up and conversion checklist today!

How Shark Tank Is Revolutionizing Business School

Swimming with the sharks makes perfect sense in our evolving corporate world.

How to Create a Highly Effective Value Proposition

I see people make this mistake all the time.

They come up with a slogan and assume it’s an effective value proposition.

Yes, slogans are a great way to build your personal brand.

It’s a great way to help consumers remember who you are.

But slogans are not value propositions.

What’s a value proposition?

It’s a unique message to the consumer that conveys the main reason why they should buy from your brand.

Your value needs to be relevant to the customer. Explain why your brand, product, or service can offer a solution to a problem.

Be specific when you’re talking about these benefits.

Differentiate yourself from the field.

Why should your target customers buy from you instead of your competitors?

Overall, this message needs to attract customers by creating value.

image1 11

Keep these five types of value in mind while you’re coming up with a unique proposition:

  • Functionality – Focus on convenience. What problems are you solving? Why is your company better than the competition?
  • Emotions – Put emphasis on the most attractive part of the product or service. How can you get customers emotionally attached to your brand?
  • Economics – Mention any financial advantages. Is your product less expensive than alternatives? Will it save your customer time or money in the long-term?
  • Symbolism – Figure out what your company represents. Will your customer feel environmentally responsible after shopping? Or will your product elevate their social status?
  • End value – Stress the importance of customer satisfaction. Be clear and concise. What are you guaranteeing?

If you’re looking to improve your current value proposition or build one from scratch, I can help.

I’ll tell you everything you need to know about creating a highly effective value proposition.

Focus on your target market

Your value proposition should not appeal to everyone and anyone.

Define your target audience.

You won’t be able to please everyone, so don’t try to.

Trying to reach a wider audience with your value proposition could potentially backfire.

It could end up turning people away.

Here’s an example from Dollar Shave Club:

image7 11

Look at the wording and terminology they are using in this value proposition.

I pointed out a couple of key points.

It’s clear they are trying to appeal to a younger audience.

Older generations may not understand the “level 9 yogi” analogy of their flexible cancellation plan.

The same people may not respond well to something as informal and direct as “C’mon. Do it.”

But Dollar Shave Club clearly defined their target market.

Changing their value proposition to something more basic could turn off their existing customer base.

Why?

People could see a generic pitch as boring or not as cool.

This company handles their value proposition really well in terms of focusing on a specific audience.

The small things make a big difference

What added value can you provide?

It may sound like something small, but it could make or break the customer’s decision to buy something from you or a competitor.

If you offer added value, show it off.

Here are some examples:

  • Free installation
  • Free shipping
  • Next day delivery
  • Cancel subscription at any time
  • Money back guarantee
  • Fully customizable

Don’t wait until the checkout page to tell customers about these benefits.

If you don’t put it on your homepage, they may never even get to your conversion page.

Look at how Bed Bath & Beyond accomplishes this on their website:

image9 11

The website visitors instantly see two pieces of added value:

  1. free shipping
  2. free truck delivery

Now they know they can get their order shipped free even if they are buying furniture.

It can entice them to add something big, like a couch or a table, to their shopping carts.

According to Marketing Land, free shipping is the top incentive for consumers who shop online.

image3 11

This is an essential piece of information to anyone in the ecommerce industry.

Why?

Because it’s something that adds value to the customer.

How to present your value proposition

There’s no perfect way to display your proposition.

It’s not like there’s a blueprint that has specific requirements.

With that said, there are certain components you should consider when coming up with this display on your website.

Start with a headline.

Keep it short, and try to grab the customer’s attention.

Next, create a subheader.

It will be slightly longer than your headline, adding a little bit more information.

The subheader should be specific.

You’ll also want to come up with a few sentences that describe your brand, product, or services in greater detail.

It’s always helpful to include some bullet points that outline some of your top benefits or key features.

Images work well too.

Visuals help make the customer understand exactly what you’re offering or how the product works.

Let’s take a look at the value proposition from Square:

image10 11

I love this homepage because it encompasses everything we just discussed.

The header instantly grabs the attention of prospective customers.

What exactly does the company do?

The sub header explains that you can “accept credit cards anywhere,” and the brief description goes into greater detail about how it works.

Square also included bullet points with their top features:

  • free magstripe reader
  • take chip cards
  • countertop POS system

What does the product look like?

The image shows exactly what they’re offering.

Showing scale implies more added value as well. It’s so small that it can fit into your pocket.

If you’re struggling to come up with a layout for your company’s value proposition on a website, you can treat Square’s site as a template.

Just swap out their benefits and description for your own.

But what if you don’t know your top benefits?

If that’s the case, it sounds like you have a marketing problem or a possible issue with your company’s identification.

It’s fixable if you’re willing to put in some research.

Think back to what we outlined earlier.

Start with your target audience.

Conduct a study.

Here’s an example of some critical consumer research in the IT industry in relation to the value proposition.

image6 11

If you’re in the IT field, you should focus your proposition on:

  • ecommerce
  • landing design
  • online experiences
  • analytics
  • innovation
  • digital transformation

That’s just one example.

It’s up to you to conduct research based on your company and industry.

Reach out to your customers directly and ask what they’re looking for.

Create online surveys. Conduct customer interviews.

This will help you accomplish a couple of things at the same time:

  1. build a better relationship with your existing customers;
  2. use the information to create a value proposition that attracts new customers.

Essentially, you’re killing two birds with one stone.

Test your value proposition

Now that you’ve developed a value proposition, it’s time to make sure you have it optimized to maximize conversions.

A/B testing is one of the best ways to do this.

Make sure you test only one thing at a time.

If you change too much, you won’t know which aspect of the test increased or decreased conversions.

Here’s an example from California Closets:

image5 11

At first glance, these website versions appear identical.

The only thing changed was the heading.

Split-testing your website to find out which part of the value proposition is more effective will increase your conversion rates.

After you test the header, test something else.

In the example above, they could test the background image next.

They could also add more bullet points or put the bullets on another part of the screen.

The options are endless.

Another way to test your value proposition is through pay per click (PPC) advertising campaigns.

For the most part, we’ve been discussing your value proposition in relation to your website.

But that’s not the only place where you’re trying to acquire customers and get conversions.

It makes sense to have an effective value proposition on other platforms as well.

Consider using Facebook’s PPC services.

It just depends on how much you’re willing to spend.

The placement of your advertisement will impact the price.

image4 11

Back in 2012, Facebook acquired Instagram for $1 billion dollars.

If you want to run a PPC campaign on Instagram, you have to go through Facebook.

This will be one of the most expensive ways to test your value proposition through PPC advertising.

However, if you have the funds, you could get the most accurate results with this method.

But don’t feel obligated to use Instagram.

Facebook offers other, more affordable, placement options.

If you’d like to avoid Facebook and social platforms altogether, you’ve got other options.

Consider running your PPC testing through Google AdWords.

You can test your value proposition at a local level or internationally.

Google lets you set this up by:

  • cities
  • regions
  • countries

Less than half of small businesses are currently investing in PPC advertising.

image2 11

Even if your business is small, you can still take advantage of this strategy.

It will give you an edge over your competitors.

Focus on customer emotion

The emotional value was something we briefly discussed earlier.

I want to elaborate on this because I think it’s important.

Triggering an emotion in your value proposition can elicit a certain response from your customers.

In your case, obviously, you want this response to be a sale or conversion.

Take a look at how different industries are rated based on emotional responses:

image8 11

How can you elicit certain feelings from your customers?

Think about the goals and mission of your company.

Your value proposition should portray what your business represents.

Here’s an example from Mercedes-Benz:

image12 9

Look at the phrases they are using in the top left corner:

  • benchmark of luxury
  • peak of intelligence
  • eloquent expression
  • leading edge luxury

It’s clear what kind of emotions they are trying to elicit.

They used the word luxury twice, so they’re targeting people who want to have a very specific experience.

Symbolism.

This car portrays a certain level of social status.

That’s how they have effectively branded their company.

Let’s take a look at another example that’s on the opposite end of this spectrum.

We’ll discuss a company involved with charitable organizations.

Have you heard of Project 7?

image11 11

They sell gum and mints.

A portion of their sales goes to nonprofit businesses, suppliers, and distributors who help people in need.

The money goes to 7 different missions:

  1. Save the earth
  2. House the homeless
  3. Feed the hungry
  4. Quench the thirsty
  5. Heal the sick
  6. Teach them well
  7. Hope for peace

Businesses that give back to the community both locally and internationally should be proud of what they’re accomplishing.

Share that information with your customers in your value proposition.

It can trigger an emotional response leading to a sale.

Conclusion

If your company has a catchy slogan, that’s great.

But your slogan is not the same thing as a value proposition.

Your value proposition should talk about the functionality of your brand, products, or services.

What differentiates your company from the competition?

Your value proposition won’t appeal to everyone.

Don’t worry—it doesn’t have to.

Focus on your target market.

Mention any added value as well.

Even if it’s something small like free shipping, free installation, or a money back guarantee, it could be the deciding factor that drives a sale.

Learn how to present your value proposition:

  • header
  • subheader
  • description
  • bullet points
  • images

After you build an initial value proposition, test it.

I recommend using A/B testing and PPC advertising to find the best option for your layout.

What does your company stand for? Use this to generate an emotional response from your customers.

If you follow these tips, you can create a highly effective value proposition.

What added value does your business offer to differentiate itself from the competition?

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