There’s been a huge shift in the way businesses receive
feedback. In today’s fast-moving digital orbit, recommendations are dictated by
online reviews (think Yelp, Google My Business and Facebook).
For those willing to invest the effort, it’s clear that
paying attention—and responding when appropriate—to online reviews is a
powerful tool to boost credibility, authenticity and transparency.
Influencer marketing is a powerful tool for marketing and growing your business. If you aren’t already utilizing this method of marketing, you’re missing a big opportunity.
And, hopefully you don’t have the mindset that, “I’ve done great so far without it, why start now when it may just be a fad?” Influencer marketing is here to stay!
Influencer marketing has been here for centuries, but in other forms. Referrals and customer complaints are influencer marketing. The art of influence elicits changes in thinking or behavior.
An influencer is someone who has the power to change our perception and behavior.
Because social media is now mainstream, influencer marketing is everywhere. Customers don’t have to go looking for referrals. Referrals (and other influencing content) are everywhere.
So, what’s the best way to use influencer marketing to grow your business?
Here are several ways to increase influencer marketing within your business:
- Know the influencers and build relationships with them. Influencers include “influential” people within your community, such as prominent bloggers and local non-competing business people. The influencer’s audience should be the same audience you are trying to reach.
- Offer valuable information (contributed article, tips, etc.) to the influencers, asking them to consider sharing the content on their blogs or other social media. The key is to make it pertinent information for the influencer’s audience, and not “salesy” content.
- Ask your satisfied customers (who, by the way, are influencers) to review your business on Yelp, Google and Facebook. They love you, so be sure they share their love for you. The goal is for prospective customers to see these reviews when they are researching and making purchase decisions.
- Ask customers to “check-in” on Facebook when they visit your office. This is a great method for growing your business’s popularity on Facebook. Consider offering a small monthly prize ($25 gift card to local restaurant) via a random drawing from all people who’ve checked in over the past month.
- Engage with your clients via social media. This is a great method of personalizing your service and further integrating into your community. Be cautious of sharing, liking or commenting on any potentially objectionable content. Keep it clean!
One additional note: you should avoid paying influencers to market your product, as paid endorsements lose credibility with buyers.
Follow these tips and you’ll be practicing influencer marketing! It’s not rocket science. It just takes a conscious effort, a plan and a common-sense approach.]]>
While the millennial generation is now the largest homebuying cohort, they aren’t the only ones who Google everything. We all like to know as much as we can about who we’re doing business with, and we all tend to rely on the opinions of others (our friends, or even online reviews by strangers) to help us make the best decisions.
As a title agency owner, it’s important to put yourself into the shoes of a prospective customer so you can provide the information they are seeking when they perform a Google search – as well or better than your competitors.
For homebuyers and sellers, a real estate transaction is likely an uncommon experience and they may be feeling anxious about exchanging such large sums of money. If the customer is a lender, there are always concerns of tolerance violations. And if the customer is a Realtor, settlement delays or other customer service issues may be a top concern.
Online reviews are a window into your title business. Studies show consumers are more likely to contact a business if it has a 5-star rating, and improving your title agency’s star rating from 3 stars to 5 stars, for example, can yield as many as 25% more clicks to your business profile.
Your title agency’s online reputation may be the deciding factor between whether a prospective customer reaches out to your business or contacts the competitor down the street. In today’s world, managing your business’s online reputation is essential – here are four platforms that should top your priority list.
With more than 123 million reviews to date, Yelp is no longer just a place for reviews of the new sushi restaurant that opened down the street. Realtors discovered the benefits of having a Yelp presence years ago, and now other professionals involved in the real estate transaction are jumping aboard the Yelp bandwagon.
The search engine behemoth holds roughly 75% of the Internet search market, and it’s no coincidence that Google reviews are one of the first things to pop up when a prospective customer Googles your title agency. Google reviews appear not only in Web search, but also Maps search.
With nearly 2 billion users worldwide, Facebook is the largest social network on the planet. Users spend an average of 15 minutes on the site, which means you have ample opportunities to connect with your target audience in a forum where they interact almost daily once you’ve claimed your title business’s Facebook page.
Many title insurance businesses overlook Angie’s List, which means there’s less competition for visibility on the platform (for now). People who pay for an Angie’s List subscription are more likely to be in immediate need of the services. While the quantity of leads may be fewer, the quality is as good or better than other review sites.]]>
Title insurance isn’t exactly top of mind when consumers think of Yelp. While the review site has been a topic of discussion at many recent marketing workshops for title agents, including ALTA Bootcamp, many agents are still skeptical as to whether Yelp offers any benefit for their title insurance businesses.
But that skepticism could wane as title agents come to realize how many new leads they can gather by maintaining a healthy and active Yelp page: healthy as in a page that contains mostly 4- and 5-star reviews, and active meaning someone from your business engages with your customers by responding to feedback and messages.
Just how much business can a healthy and active Yelp page produce for one local title agent? At least one extra deal per month, or more. It may not sound like much, but those deals add up throughout the year, and the cost to acquire them is quite low. Having a Yelp business page doesn’t cost anything, and maintaining one takes minimal time and effort.
It’s increasingly common for consumers to research every aspect of their homebuying experience. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, through their Know Before You Owe program, has all but ensured the trend won’t be reversed in the title insurance business any time soon.
The millennial generation especially, who’s grown up with technology at their fingertips, tends to Google everything, and they know exactly who they want to do business with before they ever call or email. Your title agency needs to be on Yelp because your business needs to be where tomorrow’s customers go for information.
When a prospective customer Googles your title agency, you can bet your Yelp business listing will appear on the first page of search results. While a Yelp page is an excellent opportunity to market your company’s services by uploading photos, posting links and completing the company information section, a Yelp page that is ignored or unclaimed also says something to the would-be customer about your company.
The stronger your business’s Yelp page is, the more opportunities you will create for new business. Elevating your title agency’s star rating from 3 stars to 5 stars can yield as many as 25% more clicks to your page, while studies show consumers are also more likely to contact a business if it has a 5-star rating.
Many title agents are reluctant to participate on Yelp because they are afraid of negative reviews. But ignoring your business’s Yelp profile doesn’t mean the negative reviews will go away. They are still impacting your title agency’s online reputation and possibly steering prospective customers to a local competitor with better reviews.
Don’t fear negative reviews. By developing a strategy for acquiring Yelp reviews and targeting satisfied customers, you can mitigate the risk of a negative review torpedoing your star-rating.