Marketing Measurement

Content Marketing for Manufacturers

Content Marketing for Manufacturers 900 600 WildFigAdmin

Sometimes manufacturers are reluctant to get into content marketing, thinking it’s more appropriate for “soft” products like food or services. Even manufacturers who buy in to the benefits of CM may fail to pursue it for a variety of reasons: budget, limited time, uncertainty about whether your efforts have an impact, or simply the ongoing struggle to create engaging content.

CM is actually very valuable across all industries and businesses. It may sound counter-intuitive, but a crucial way to distinguish yourself in the vast sea of content out there… is more (and better) content!

Benefits of Content Marketing
How can good CM help you? Lots of ways:

  • It’s cheaper than traditional / print marketing channels, offering a better ROI
  • It increases organic search traffic
  • It attracts high quality, qualified sales leads
  • It drives more conversions
  • It generates measurable, actionable data and valuable analytics
  • It distinguishes your company with consistent brand messaging
  • It boosts the power of your messages through tailored emails and calls-to-action

According to a 2018 study by the Content Marketing Institute, 86% of manufacturing marketers use CM. Of course, it’s one thing to use it–you want to actually benefit from it, and that’s where we’d like to help you in this article.

Quality Content is Crucial
CM relies on good, engaging content. It’s GOT to make readers react, and ideally, it should trigger an urge to share. If it’s not worth sharing, it’s probably not worth reading or remembering, so it’s better to have a trickle of high-quality content than a flood of content that isn’t relevant. Your credibility is on the line, so be critical and don’t waste your prospects’ time–you’ll turn them off.

You Don’t Need a Massive Budget
We won’t deny it: Producing good content requires time and money. You might hire a freelancer or a marketing firm, or you might tackle it in-house, but it will require some resources.

To minimize those resources, start small. First, be sure to leverage your existing content. Review your website, collateral materials, white papers, case studies and testimonials. These categories all contain content that can potentially be repurposed without a big investment. Pace yourself. You don’t need to post every day, you can stretch out your existing material by posting just once or twice a week when you’re getting started. Create a calendar and schedule out your CM, and utilize multiple channels. After you’ve posted a blog entry, you can share it on various social media channels in subsequent days or weeks.

Focus on creating useful, high-quality pieces that you can reuse after an interval, and expand on in the future. If it’s genuinely informative and well-written, it’s evergreen.

Simple Tricks for Creating Engaging Content
It’s common to face writers’ block, but use your imagination and mine your resources. Evaluate your existing testimonials, FAQs, and instructions. Find out what customers ask, say, or complain about, and respond.

Ask yourself “who are my prospects, what are my prospects interested in, what are their pain points?” You can share compelling related content, from other sources. It doesn’t have to be original, it just has to be useful and clearly attributed. Are your decision-making customers usually engineers? HR professionals? Chemists? Accountants? Share information that will help them, and they’ll remember you favorably.

Review existing content. Can you expand on anything or provide an update?

Evaluate what makes you different from your competition, and highlight it. Tell your origin story and the stories of your products, materials, employees, customers, community. Take readers behind the scenes.

Measuring Content Marketing Success
CM tends to generate so much data, you may be overwhelmed, so narrow down what you focus on as you measure success. Start by identifying your overarching goal. If you wish to build a robust social media audience, shares and likes measure your success. If your objective is qualified leads entering your funnel, measure clicks and conversions.

 

Would you like to know how effective your content marketing truly is? Then check out our complimentary Content Marketing Analysis Tool today!  marketinganalysis.wildfigmarketing.com/free

ABC’s (and the DEFG’s) of Email Marketing

ABC’s (and the DEFG’s) of Email Marketing 900 600 Kari Switala

In honor of back 2 school quickly approaching, I thought we’d go back 2 the basics and focus on the ABC’s (and the DEFG’s) of effective email marketing!

  • Audience: Know your audience and tailor your message to speak specifically to them!
  • Be Yourself: Incorporating your personality and a personalized message will help you build rapport and strengthen your relationships with your contacts.
  • Content: Provide interesting and relevant content that your IDEAL client wants and they will continue to open your emails, month after month.
  • Deliverability: Typically Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days of the week to send e-newsletters. However, it’s always a good idea to test different times and different days to see which one gets the best results. Marketing to CEO’s? Sundays between 3-7 PM tends to be the best time to send emails to CEO’s.
  • Evaluate: Don’t just send your emails and assume they are effective. Evaluate your open and click through rates to see who’s reading it and what they are clicking on!
  • Frequency: Determining your frequency is important. Typically sending one e-newsletter per month is an acceptable frequency for most businesses. However, you can also refer to your buying cycle. For example, if you own a restaurant you could easily send one email per week to your customers. Whereas, if you own a mortgage company, where the buying cycle is on average 7 years, one email per month or quarter would be more fitting.
  • Goal: Make sure that you’ve identified a goal or purpose for your email. Don’t just create and send a newsletter because it’s September and time for your next newsletter. Identify a goal for the newsletter and incorporate a call to action (to accomplish that goal) in your email.

Ever wonder what kind of grade your online marketing would receive? Well, now you can with our Content Marketing Analysis Tool. With this tool, a member of our team personally goes through your website, blog and newsletter content to find out if your online presence is attracting or repelling your IDEAL clients! Want to learn more? Click HERE!

Want to receive more great marketing tips and strategies? Join our community of business owners and marketers and sign up for our blog. You’ll receive great marketing and entrepreneur-driven content delivered right to your inbox! 

ROLLING IN THE LEADS…Getting them to see Your Campaign

ROLLING IN THE LEADS…Getting them to see Your Campaign 900 600 WildFigAdmin

You’ve built a lead magnet (or two or five or ten…). It’s a concise, useful, narrowly focused problem-solver for a segment of your target audience. Once they see your campaign, they’ll be utterly convinced that you’re an expert in your field, and you can begin to cultivate a relationship.

So… How to get them to see it?

Promoting your lead magnet or opt-in offer it is just as important as crafting it. Like any content, it’s not effective until someone sees it. Your goal is to increase its exposure in every way you can, and critically evaluate which methods are most effective.

As you start to promote your own lead magnet, take note as you navigate the digital and real worlds: you’ll see lead magnets promoted in myriad ways. Let these inspire you, use your imagination, and put your magnet out in the world for all to see and share.

Website Promotion

Your lead magnet(s) should be prominently featured on your website–but don’t overdo it. Make sure visitors encounter your offer, but don’t turn them off by flooding them with invitations. Check your analytics to find out where your traffic is highest, and choose a few of these options:

  • Home page
  • Main hero image
  • Sidebar
  • Footer
  • Index page
  • About page
  • Resources page
  • Bio page
  • The “thank you” page for one lead magnet can promote another one
  • Create display ads for key pages
  • When relevant, link blog content and other content to your offer
  • A popup which is triggered by an interval of time, scrolling, or exit intent
  • Use your lead magnet as inspiration for blog posts and other content

Social Promotion

  • Promote in social posts on all channels you frequent
  • Repeat often for Twitter (or preschedule tweets)
  • Repeat occasionally for LinkedIn and Facebook
  • Make a dedicated tab on your Facebook page
  • Link to your landing page instead of your home page in your social profiles
  • Offer it to members of your Facebook group
  • Highlight your offer with images
  • Remember to include a shortened link to your landing page
  • Have you included people or businesses in your piece? Be sure to tag them, use @ mentions, or alert them by email
  • Incorporate your lead magnet image and a linked call to action on your cover photos
  • Run paid ads on social media
  • Include it on your LinkedIn profile, media page, posts or portfolio

Verify that the groups in which you participate allow self-promotion. Key point here is: you already participate. You will get a much better reception if you’re part of the dialogue before jumping in with self promotion. Also verify the rules of the group, which may restrict promotions to certain threads on certain days. As always, don’t post it if it’s not relevant.

Email Promotion

  • Mention the offer in your newsletters
  • Craft an email signature including a link to your latest or most popular lead magnet

Video Promotion

Craft a short video about your offer and post it to your YouTube channel. Include a link to your landing page in the description of your video or in the video itself.

Sharing Promotion

Encourage visitors to share your content on social channels by including share buttons on your landing pages and within your lead magnets.

Presentation Promotion

Offer it to the audience any time you present, whether live or in the context of a webinar or podcast.

Complementary Promotion

Build alliances with people in complementary niches. Invite them to offer your lead magnet, and consider offering theirs. For example, a marketer can build an alliances with a web designer, a writer, an SEO consultant, etc. Perhaps you can provide a guest post and include your link.

Livestreaming Promotion

Try the live features offered by Facebook Live, Instagram Live, Twitter/Periscope, YouTube Live, or Snapchat. Talk about your valuable content, show it if possible, and include a link.

At Wild Fig Marketing, we’re committed to helping businesses grow. If you want to walk away with a plan you can easily implement –  schedule a Marketing Strategy Session – a one on one session with one of our marketing experts where a targeted strategy is devised and you walk away with an easy-to-implement plan. Learn more or sign up here: http://bit.ly/2k4nKqq

You’ve Built a Lead Magnet . . . Now What?

You’ve Built a Lead Magnet . . . Now What? 900 500 WildFigAdmin

Recently, we shared how a lead magnet campaign can help you attract new clients and grow your business. Lead magnet giveaways lure prospects in and give them something of value in the hope that they’ll eventually become loyal customers. Maybe.

Net Fishing or Spearfishing?

Marketing agencies sometimes talk about casting a wide net with your marketing efforts. The net fishing concept certainly works for your big picture. But for the specific marketing campaigns you create, spear fishing is a more effective option. The key to success in lead magnet marketing is to be incredibly specific about the people you want to attract. If you cast too wide a net, you won’t lure many prospects.

Building a Buyer Persona
To help focus your lead magnet target market, it helps to build a buyer persona. We’ve talked about this a bit on our blog, too. Your business may target multiple buyer personas—first-time home buyers, move-up buyers, and downsizers, for a real estate example. But your lead magnet should only target one of those personas.

Here’s a quick list of the questions we ask our clients to help them build their buyer personas:

  • How old are your buyers?
  • Where do they live?
  • Are they just starting out, getting married, having kids, or retiring?
  • What do they do for work?
  • How long is their commute?
  • Do they have a high school diploma? College degree? PhD?
  • What other products and services do they buy?
  • How do they find out about you?
  • How does your competition market to your buyers?

These should be enough questions to get your wheels turning! Remember—specific is terrific. The more specific you can be in the details of your buyer persona, the more effective your lead magnet will be. You’ll know you’re offering your buyers something of value and high interest.

At Wild Fig Marketing, we’re committed to helping businesses grow. For the next few months we’ll be highlighting each step in the customer journey – attract, convert, deliver, nurture and refer.

This post is focused on the attraction stage and how you can attract more of the leads you’re looking for! Click below for recent articles on how you can attract quality leads without breaking the bank! Learn More >>

What Lead Magnet Should Your Business Use?

What Lead Magnet Should Your Business Use? 900 600 WildFigAdmin

Lead magnets are the free samples of the digital marketing world.

 

Just like the irresistible chunks of cheese at your upscale grocery, they give people a taste of what you have to offer, with no obligation to buy. But these digital samples aren’t quite free: prospects must provide an email address in exchange.

Lead magnets are popular because they work. We’ve all browsed an online catalog and encountered pop-ups offering a discount on our first order or free shipping–delivered by email. Whether it clinches the sale right then doesn’t matter, because not only have you shared your email address with the website, you’ve also established yourself as a qualified prospect.

Essential for Generating Online Leads

If generating online leads is part of your business strategy, offering an e-newsletter or other subscriber updates isn’t enough: you need to experiment with lead magnets.

Trial and Error Pays Off

And we mean “experiment” literally. Every business should have multiple lead magnets–at least one for each customer avatar they’re trying to attract. While these avatars will have different needs and preferences, try building different types of lead magnets for different customers, and compare how successful they are to learn more about your clientele.

Gated Content Attracts Interest

Lead magnets are basically a variety of gated content. Content is still king, however tired the adage may seem, and driving sales with useful, shareable, high-quality content is still a key marketing strategy. The purpose of the gate is to extract email addresses from interested parties, and to do that, you have to promise AND deliver useful, actionable material.

What Does Your Customer Need?

Think about your customers’ pain points, and craft your content accordingly. Ask yourself:

  • Will my audience really care about this content?
  • What problem does this content solve?
  • Does this content have real value in day-to-day life?
  • Who are the decision-makers you need to engage?

First Step in Building a Relationship

Remember, your goal in sharing this initial content is not to make a sale. It’s to establish trust, start a dialogue, and start building a relationship. To do that, you’ve got to offer content with standalone value, not just a teaser leading to an up sell. Likewise, the goal is not simply building your list: it’s building your list and maintaining a connection with people on it by continuing to offer useful, relevant, free content.

Narrow Appeal Yields Highly Qualified Results

Also remember–the emphasis is on “qualified.” Your digital content has to appeal specifically to a narrow segment of your customers, and an even narrower segment of the population. There’s much more value in a small, segmented list of qualified potential customers than in a big list of folks attracted by the proverbial free lunch.

The variety of lead magnets out there can be overwhelming. How do you decide which one’s right for this customer, and right for you?

Lead Magnet Options

First, consider your options. The lead magnet comes in dozens of forms. A few of the most popular include:

  • Checklists
  • Whitepapers
  • Webinars
  • EBooks or guides
  • Webinars
  • Free trials
  • Discounts on first purchase
  • Video lessons
  • Guides
  • Reports
  • Cheat sheets

Focus on Problem Solving

Choose your target customer. What are their problems and pain points? Keep it simple: Your product must have narrow focus, be easy to consume, and deliver an actionable solution. If they don’t find it valuable, you’re wasting your time and theirs.

Ask yourself what format is best suited to resolve the problem? It may be as simple as a checklist or it might be optimized by audio or video elements. Shop around the web and note what’s being offered in your industry.

It Doesn’t Have to be Complicated

Also consider your resources. Offering a quality lead magnet is crucial, so it’s far better to provide a tight, focused, checklist PDF rather than a half-baked video. What do you have already that might be re-purposed? A popular blog post might simply be reformatted as a PDF, converted into a list, or recorded as an audio file. The PowerPoint accompanying a successful webinar could be converted into a PDF, or the transcript could be offered.

Lead Magnets Provide Customer Insight

Lead magnets are not only great tools to build your list, they’re powerful tools to understand your customers.

Lead magnets are not only great tools to build your list, they’re powerful tools to understand your customers. If your lead magnet isn’t doing what you’d hoped, you might not be connecting with your customers’ needs. Adjust your product and your promotion until it’s doing the job, and learn from the process.

At Wild Fig Marketing, we’re committed to helping businesses grow. For the next few months we’ll be highlighting each step in the customer journey – attract, convert, deliver, nurture and refer.

This post is focused on the attraction stage and how you can attract more of the leads you’re looking for! Click below for recent articles on how you can attract quality leads without breaking the bank! Learn More >>

Made in Minnesota – Becker Arena Products

Made in Minnesota – Becker Arena Products 900 600 Kari Switala

Welcome to our new blog suitably titled Made in Minnesota where we will explore different Minnesota-based businesses and learn some helpful tips along the way! The blog format will be a Q&A, conversational style that allows you as the listener to lean in and get to know some great Minnesota business owners on a personal level. You will hear stories of big dreams turned reality, obstacles encountered and how they were overcome, things business owners would love to go back in time and change and fun little tidbits you wouldn’t otherwise be privy to! Sound like fun? Pull up a chair and get ready to meet Jim!

Today’s featured Minnesota business owner is Jim Becker, owner of Becker Arena Products in Shakopee, Minnesota.

Good morning, Jim! Thanks for joining us today.

Thanks for having me!

Jim, can you tell us a little bit about how Becker Arena Products got started?
I started the company in December of 1988 after I found out the company I had been working for was closing their U.S. offices and I would no longer have a job. At the time I had been selling the Olympia Ice Resurfacer and was offered the dealership for the western U.S. I took the opportunity, but that alone was not going to be enough to sustain a business.

I started selling hockey dasher boards for a local dasher board manufacturer and then slowly started building a rink supply/catalog division. As business grew so did our staff, our customer base, and our opportunities.  In 1994, we decided to build our own hockey board systems and control our own destiny.  We then had the privilege of providing the dasher system for the Olympic men’s hockey venue in Nagano, Japan in 1998. (our claim to fame)

Q:  Were you destined to be in this business?
I think I was destined to be a business owner; I feel I have the entrepreneurial spirit and vision.  My passion is seeing new ideas come to life as well as building and designing.  I love the relationships – working with customers and vendors, and I also enjoy the sports industry culture.  My experience working at a local ice rink as an assistant rink manager and Zamboni driver sparked the love for the culture and business-side of this industry.  After 2-1/2 years at the ice rink I was recruited to go to work for an ice rink construction company where my passion and experience grew.  I did play hockey when I was young and have always loved the sport of hockey.

Q:  What do you find most challenging about the business you’re in?
Staying out of pricing wars with low-cost- providers can be challenging.  We focus on building our reputation as a quality and responsible company, we don’t want to be picked just because we were the lowest price, we have more to offer. When necessary, we work with our customers on value engineering ideas to provide the best products for their project and find ways to do everything within their budget.

Q. What is the biggest obstacle you’ve overcome in your business and what did you learn from it?
Ice Rink Construction is seasonal and planning for the busy season (July – November) can be challenging. Everyone wants to be skating at about the same time, so making sure that we can accommodate all customers is a challenge. In the construction business, projects do not always stay on schedule so juggling manufacturing and installation schedules at times becomes very difficult. Planning the proper inventory, the correct workforce and making sure we can make our promised delivery dates is always our #1 priority. Making sure that we communicate with all parties involved is essential.

Q:  If you could start over what would you do sooner ….
I would have adopted the EOS Operating system earlier instead of winging it for the first 20 years. The EOS focus is on Vison, People, Process, Data, Issues and Traction.  I would recommend it for any new or growing business.

Q:  Being an entrepreneur requires a lot of juggling… how do you stay focused or refocus when necessary?
Again, the EOS system has helped to keep the whole company focused including myself.  Having an “Integrator” has allowed me to focus on things like product R & D, strategy and technical support for sales, which I find rewarding.

Q:  What would you do with $500.00
I would invest in company brand-building and communicating to our customers what differentiates us from our competitors.

Q:  Technology, apps software
I am really interested in the 3-D printing technology.  I think I could use a 3-D printer to develop some new products I am working on.

Q:  If you could start any business today what business would you open?
It would be something that would get me outdoors more. I really enjoy being outside year around. (Or, something I could do part-time as I look forward to retirement someday)

Q:  Wrap up, what advice do you have for new business owners just starting out.
Do what you love and love what you do so it is fun…. and surround yourself with people smarter than you.

Thanks so much for spending some time with us this morning, Jim. It’s been fun to hear about how Becker Arena Products has grown through the years and all the wisdom you’ve gathered along the way. We wish you continued success in all your business endeavors!

If you‘d like to learn more about Becker Arena Products you can visit them online at: www.beckerarena.com

What Is a Lead Magnet and How Can a Lead Magnet Campaign Help Grow Your Business?

What Is a Lead Magnet and How Can a Lead Magnet Campaign Help Grow Your Business? 900 600 WildFigAdmin

Recently, I was out for my family’s monthly run to the local warehouse store to restock on the essentials (with two boys in the house, I’m always amazed that one trip a month is enough!). It was a weekend day, and at the end of every aisle was a lovely, older woman hawking the latest new cracker, juice, hot dog, or samosa. As I passed by, little paper cups of free samples were pressed into my palm.

The lovely ladies offering me samples weren’t pushy salespeople. They knew their products would speak for themselves; all they needed to do was get me to give their treats a try. And a few of the samples were pretty good! I tossed one or two boxes in my cart to bring home.

Waiting in line to check out, I realized that those samples are a lot like the lead magnet campaigns Wild Fig Marketing creates for our clients. Lead magnets are irresistible freebies you give away to prospective clients in return for their email addresses. Like delicious free samples, lead magnet giveaways lure prospects in and give them something of value in the hopes that they’ll eventually become loyal customers.

What Makes a Good Lead Magnet?
I wish Wild Fig Marketing had some delicious treat we could send prospects virtually over the web. But we’re in the marketing business, not the snack business. Our lead magnet is the first step in building a relationship with our clients. It must be easily accessible and usable, related to our services, and not cost a thing.

Fortunately, there’s a full menu of valuable content at our disposal for lead magnets. eBooks and guides, video tutorials, free trials and consultations, podcasts, and virtual classes or lessons are all valuable content.

How Do You Promote Your Lead Magnet?
It’s no coincidence that the free sample ladies show up on the busiest shopping days at my local warehouse store. And it’s no surprise that they seem to have an endless supply of samples—and boxes of their products for me to toss into my cart.

The key to promoting your lead magnet is a little planning. How are you going to spread the word about your lead magnet? How will prospects request it? How will you deliver it? How will you follow up with them?

We work with our clients to create a lead magnet campaign with one of our favorite tools, Ontraport. We lay out the entire roadmap of a lead’s experience, from the time they visit your website and see your lead magnet offer to signing up to receiving it via email. We even hammer out the follow-up emails you’ll send and create social media ad campaigns to drive traffic to your lead magnet.

How are you planning to add value and draw in new customers this year? Lead magnets can be an easy and profitable way to keep your lead pipeline full. Contact us to schedule your consultation today!

At Wild Fig Marketing, we’re committed to helping businesses grow. For the next few months we’ll be highlighting each step in the customer journey – attract, convert, deliver, nurture and refer.

This post is focused on the attraction stage and how you can attract more of the leads you’re looking for! Click below for recent articles on how you can attract quality leads without breaking the bank! Learn More >>

Choosing Your Lead Magnet Campaign Offer: Things to Consider

Choosing Your Lead Magnet Campaign Offer: Things to Consider 900 600 WildFigAdmin

A lead magnet campaign is a marketing approach that businesses use to attract new customers. This type of campaign extends an alluring free offer to prospective customers in a format such as an ebook, digital pamphlet, video, webinar or the like.

When choosing what to offer for your lead magnet campaign, it’s important to keep a few things in mind:

Provide value. Clearly communicate with your prospect the value your content provides. Acknowledge your prospect’s pain points and address how your free item provides a solution. Give a brief explanation of the item they are interested in opting in for and include several statements that support its value. Close with a quote or testimonial to drive the value home.

Keep it short. The goal of a lead magnet campaign is to attract qualifying leads and convert them into customers. Oracle Marketing Cloud reports that lead conversion stands in direct correlation to the number of form fields your prospective customer is required to fill in in order to receive their free product. Only requiring a first name, email address and the answer to one qualifying question will provide you with just enough information to properly segment your new lead and keep this lead engaged with your process.

Nurture your leads. Once you have basic contact information for your lead (and they have their free item!), nurture your lead over time with more free, valuable information. This regular communication will keep you top-of-mind while reinforcing their perception of your brand as an expert in the field. Then, when they’re ready to make a purchase they will seek out their ‘go-to’ in the industry – you!

If you would like help building your own lead magnet campaign and need some help or strategies on how to do so, contact the experts at Wild Fig Marketing to schedule your free 15 minute consultation. We’d love to discuss how we can help your business attract more quality leads in less time!

Want to walk away with a plan you can easily implement? Then schedule a Marketing Strategy Session – a one on one session with one of our marketing experts where a strategy is devised and you walk away with an easy-to-implement plan. Learn more or sign up here: http://bit.ly/2k4nKqq

Made in Minnesota – Laser 1 Technologies

Made in Minnesota – Laser 1 Technologies 900 600 WildFigAdmin

Welcome to our new blog suitably titled Made in Minnesota where we will explore different Minnesota-based businesses and learn some helpful tips along the way! The blog format will be a Q&A, conversational style that allows you as the listener to lean in and get to know some great Minnesota business owners on a personal level. You will hear stories of big dreams turned reality, obstacles encountered and how they were overcome, things business owners would love to go back in time and change and fun little tidbits you wouldn’t otherwise be privy to! Sound like fun? Pull up a chair and get ready to meet Don!

Don Walsh, Laser 1 Technology Headshot

Today’s featured Minnesota business owner is Don Walsh, owner of Laser 1 Technologies in West St. Paul, Minnesota.

Good morning, Don! We’re happy to have you here today.

It’s great to be here!

Don, can you take some time to tell us a little bit about how Laser 1 began?

Sure! I’ve always wanted to own my own business. Every place I worked I would make note of how processes and systems could operate more effectively. Previous to starting Laser 1 I was working with another company for 10 years. I worked my way up within the organization and reached the top of the ladder as the second-in-command. Then I realized that if I’m going to have all the responsibility anyways I would prefer to own my own company. I resigned, took some money I had saved up, bought basic equipment and started my business the next week. I was the most excited and terrified I had ever been with my wife and three kids at home depending on me. Today, Laser 1 Technologies is a successful manufacturing company that specializes in high-quality laser cutting and sheet metal fabrication.

Q. As you look back do you think you were destined to be in this business?
A. Probably. My father was a farmer so I learned the value of hard work and dedication early on.

Q. What do you find most challenging about the business you’re in?
A. Finding the right people who share our vision and values has always been the biggest challenge. Relationships are the most important element in business. Also, keeping up with technology is a big challenge. It’s ever-changing and it’s incredibly expensive to keep up with the latest and greatest. You have to be really smart about when and how you choose to advance your business technology.

Q. What is the biggest obstacle you’ve overcome in your business and what did you learn from it?
A. My drive and ambition to always do better is both my biggest obstacle and my biggest advantage. I’m always looking to do and accomplish more and sometimes I have to remember to stop and celebrate where we’re at today.

Q. If you could start your business all over again what is the number one thing you would do differently?
A. I would go big faster! I think perception is reality and in this industry if you are perceived as large you tend to get more business from large companies. I think a lot of businesses could benefit from this approach. It’s the difference between having a corporate mentality vs. a garage/shop mentality.

Q. What is your primary focus these days?
A. I’m fortunate to be in a position today where I get to focus more on the big picture. I’m constantly looking for ways to be more innovative and find stellar people who not only believe in our mission but also want to play an active role in helping us live it out.

Q. If you only had $500 to spend on your growing business where would you spend your money and why?
A. I would split up the money amongst all of our employees. I believe that investing in your people is one of the smartest decisions a business owner can make. If you invest in and support them they will do the same for you.

Q. What are three words you would use to describe your organization?
A. Passionate. Precise. Organized.

Q. If you could start any business today what would you open?
A. This might sound cliché but I would do this all over again. I would create my own manufacturing business.

Q. To wrap up, what is the best advice you would give a business owner who is just starting out?
A. Make sure your business can stand alone without you!

Thanks for joining us today, Don! We appreciate the behind-the-scenes peek into the history and company culture at Laser 1 Technologies. We wish you the best as you continue to move forward!

If you’d like to learn more about Laser 1 Technologies you can visit them online at: www.laser1tech.com

8 Simple Tips to Creating Content That Teaches Instead of Sells

8 Simple Tips to Creating Content That Teaches Instead of Sells 900 600 WildFigAdmin

As a business owner you are the expert when it comes to your product or service. You also know better than anyone how what your business has to offer can improve the lives of each of your customers. As opposed to boring your customers with generic advertisements and off-point information, effective content marketing that educates your customers provides immense value. Josh Ritchie, CEO and co-founder of Column Five, clarifies that this education must “deliver useful information in the right context at the right time” to maximize its impact.

Let’s take a look at some easy ways to do this!

1. Empathize
This involves getting to know your current and potential customers on a personal level. It’s easy in this technology age to maintain distant and impersonal business relationships. Instead, see your customers in their humanity and make that personal connection. Go the extra step and shoot off that personal email, give them a call or take them out to lunch. Ask them about challenges they’re coming up against, what they need help navigating and offer a genuine dose of empathy. You will begin to see common pain points that you can then address in your content marketing efforts.

2. Be transparent
It’s ok for your customers to hear about the mistakes you’ve made and the obstacles you’ve overcome. Sharing your story in a transparent manner allows your customers to more-readily identify with you and lends you their listening ear. Then, with an engaged audience at your fingertips, you are able to share how your business can help them overcome similar obstacles.

3. Embrace your unique perspective
There are likely many competitors in your field. However, you are wired uniquely and possess your own combination of life experiences and perspectives. This is both your greatest gift and your greatest offering. Quit comparing yourself to the competition. Instead, educate your customers and allow your brand to flourish from your distinctive place.

4. Create bite-sized content
Your customers have a problem and your brand has the perfect solution. The temptation can be to come in like a flood, inundating your customers with all the content your business has to offer – the equivalent of a torrential downpour! Your customers don’t have the ability to absorb and apply everything all at once and will be overwhelmed if they try. Instead, break it down. Consider providing bite-sized, easily-applicable information that can help your customers navigate their problems a little bit at a time. This may look like singular-topic blog posts, short video snippets on individual products or services you offer, insightful tweets or the like.

5. Go where your customers go
Where are your current or potential customers gathering their information? Providing valuable content across these channels or touch points keeps your business top-of-mind, highlights your expertise and encourages them to dig into more of what you have to offer.

6. Capitalize on seasonal happenings
The yearly calendar provides a plethora of opportunities for your business to intersect your current or potential customer’s journey with valuable information. What might this look like? If your business is a landscaping company in the northern part of the country you are aware that by late winter people are dreaming about spring blooms and lazy summer days relaxing and entertaining outdoors. With this in mind, you can provide both valuable and timely content for your customers. You can create a video snippet with tips for planting a beautiful garden or – because spring rain is coming – create a blog post about the importance of implementing proper drainage around the foundation of your home and ‘plant the seed’ for future business.

7. Provide hands-on education
Is your business launching a new product or service? Consider creating a live demo, offering samples of your product or step-by-step pop-ups on your website that help customers navigate new features. The more value you provide in an easy-to-access fashion the easier it is to develop a loyal customer base and generate referral business.

8. Dialogue
Instead of talking to your customers find ways to have dialogue with your customers. In addition to carving out time to make personal contact though face-to-face interaction, implement ways for your customers to engage with your brand via social media forums, a Q & A section on your website or a blog post comment section. This dialogue communicates to your customers that their opinions matter and you are listening. It also communicates that, in addition to being an expert in your field, you are a perpetual student – striving to continually grow, learn and improve.

Are you ready to learn more about the how’s and why’s of educating your potential and existing customers? Wild Fig Marketing is here to help! Schedule a free consultation call here to get started on your path to educating your existing and potential customers!