What makes someone the best? Well, being the best goes beyond just saying you are the best. Actions speak louder than words, and in this case it couldn’t be more true. The determination of “best” will come from customers and engaged users. And the concept of best has a quantifiable payoff: brand loyalty.
But before we get into earning the title of “best,” I want to tell you about an exciting change coming to Google Maps. At this point, it’s only available on Android; but I am sure this will be coming to iPhone and even desktop really soon. So what’s this new, cool feature?
The “Follow” Button Is Making Its Way Into Google Maps
A “follow” button. Yes, you read that right! Google just announced a few days ago that consumers can click “follow” on a business’ map listing and get notices such as events, offers, etc. Are you one of the few who are still searching for the value of Google Posts? This is it. Now you have it and you heard it right here first!
Start creating a Google Post publishing strategy and get going right away. Not next quarter or even next month. Next week! It’s easy and simple. Here’s a refresher that shares all about the Google Post feature if you need one.
Now, Back to Earning the “Best” Recognition
To earn the title of “best” from a consumer – and that brand loyalty at the same time – proclaiming you’re the best won’t cut it. You have to actually be the best. The perfect way to achieve this? It’s by offering the best tools, the best resources, and the best education for your clients.
Nobody likes a business that’s all-show-and-no-go. SmartBrief explored the concept of “brand humility” in this interesting article. According to the article’s author, Kevin Lund, “blatant product plugging doesn’t work like it used to.”
To get a fanbase, brand loyalty, and to travel the right path to be the best, businesses need to stop thinking they have all the answers the consumer is looking for, and start asking the right questions. It’s time to let go of the ego, give up their “id” – and work towards getting to know the audience vs. selling the business’ greatness. Again, humility is key.
Today, let’s explore four ways to grow a business with humility:
- Teach. Providing useful information to customers or potential clients is valuable and adds positive brand recognition for any business. Avoid including a sales pitch in every piece of content that’s put out. Not everything is about the product’s grandness (even if it is grand indeed!).
- Go for great stories. Educational articles about water damage restoration are sound, and will get visits to a business’ website, but nothing will steal a potential customer’s heart more than the right story. The business should take a realistic and approachable angle that results in a connection with the audience.
- Ask questions. There is no better feedback than that received from a business’ actual customers and clients. Do they like everything they see, or would they prefer a different experience? Their opinions matter more than we care to admit.
- Go through with changes. If a business asks clients for their input but then nothing changes, customers will likely lose trust. It’s extremely important that businesses implement the feedback received to the fullest extent possible.
Going through with changes is particularly important, as it goes to the heart of a customer’s trust in a business. People like to be heard. Customers who see their feedback implemented will feel valued by the brand that they care for. The positive sentiment that develops will result not only in continued brand loyalty, but also in trust.
Speaking of Trust…
Sounds like Yelp could benefit from reading our weekly newsletters. The review giant is once again enmeshed in a legal battle over negative reviews. Newsflash: reviews can make or break a business. 2 out of 3 customers say having positive reviews about a business or product is an important factor when making buying decisions.
Here we go: California attorney Dawn Hassell is suing Yelp over removing bad reviews of her professional services. The suit has already been through several rounds, and has now made its way to the Supreme Court.
This case could change the way we live our lives online. If Yelp is forced to remove negative reviews and posts, as Hassell intends, how would customers make accurate decisions on purchases of products or services? Such a decision could set us back years, and likely result in unsatisfied customers who’d no longer trust the review system – along with businesses they’re not familiar with!
Now more than ever, it’s essential that businesses work on building brand loyalty. If the reviews system goes down, word-of-mouth from pleased customers will be the only way of getting new business.
Meanwhile, Voice Search Keeps Growing
Since there’s no official ruling on Yelp’s legal battle yet, let’s talk about something that’s more important – and exciting – at this moment. You know I’m talking about voice search.
Voice search is definitely gaining more traction, even though privacy seems to be a big issue with consumers. At a recent event in New York, Microsoft’s Head of Evangelism for Search discussed how they’re not advertising in voice search yet because consumers don’t trust it.
Thankfully, we have technology giants Apple, Amazon, Google and Microsoft working hard to earn consumer trust. Voice search is so powerful and useful, especially on-the-go, that users’ brand loyalty to these giants will eventually turn into trust in voice search – as long as they can stay humble. Ads will become an industry standard soon after.
Something Else to Keep Us Busy
While privacy and trust issues with voice search are being resolved, hang on, because visual search is coming at us full speed. Visual search has been around for awhile. Amazon’s mobile app provides a visual search option, and they’ve recently partnered up with Snapchat to bring visual search to the social media platform.
On the business side, The Home Depot has been experimenting with visual search for a couple of years. Even though it hasn’t seen a significant increase in usage since it first launched, it is important that brands and businesses get ready to implement visual search. It’s a reality that is coming at us faster than most can imagine.
I can’t resist closing with this point: Once you build brand loyalty and trust with humility, reviews and everything else you do for the local business you represent, the more consumers will want to click “follow” on the business’ Google Maps listing.
We’re Here for You and We’re Prepared
At Advice Local, we are prepared for everything the industry throws at us. We have already been using Google Post for our clients and now our strategy will get amped up even more.
We are already submitting to voice search devices, and we will be ready for visual search when it finally makes its breakthrough. Schedule a demo today to see how we help our partners and businesses every day to better service their customers.