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As we delve into the new year, it’s important to pay attention to what is going on around us. While sticking to tradition is always a great way to build trustworthiness with your consumer base, we need to be sure to keep our eyes and ears peeled for new and innovative ways to market our trusted products and services.

We can’t see into the future, but we can come up with forward-thinking ways to utilize technology’s ongoing advancements to our advantage.

Social Proof

A whopping 97% of people say that customer reviews factor into their buying decision. More importantly, 92% of consumers hesitate before making a purchase if there aren’t any customer reviews. Social reviews, namely the leading platforms of Google and Facebook, are living proof of your reputation.

Some businesses are skeptical about reviews, thinking one or two poor opinions could tank their company. Having reviews is crucial to a business, and creating and maintaining positive social proof is a large factor of that online presence, but transparency is also key. Responding to these reviews, whether it be the owner, manager, or social media representative, will allow this transparency to overcome any negative reviews or feedback. Flooding your platforms with positive reviews is always the best way to bury the negative ones--Encourage your customers to provide feedback on their visit and satisfaction with your service/products! 

Top-notch customer service, being attentive, and incentivizing your happy customers to write reviews will all continue to play a huge role for brands throughout 2019.

Chatbots

The typical 9 to 5, two-business-day response has gone out the window. People now expect 24 hour, 7 days a week, round-the-clock service online. Of course, it’s nearly impossible for most businesses to be on-call to their clients or customers at any time of the day. Chatbots, however, have made this ound-the-clock service feasible. 

With minimal human intervention, chatbots are able to respond to customers based on pre-programmed scripts, answering questions and being responsive at all hours of the night. Investing in a chatbot for your company’s website is highly recommended! It doesn’t have to be extremely high-end, as long as it is there as a device to try and dissect your customers’ needs until you have human employees available to help.

Video

This probably seems redundant, but it’s necessary to mention. As we begin 2019, make sure your social feeds are flowing with video and moving content. Experts have predicted that by 2020, 82% of web consumer content will be video-based. Don’t get left behind.. Post those memes or go live for a few moments on Facebook to engage your customers! Simple, but proven success.

Voice Search

A survey by Bright Local found that a surprising 58% of consumers have used voice search to find local services and businesses in the last year.

The expansion and uprise of voice search means a lot for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and online advertising. It’s a good idea to be one step ahead and optimize your brand for voice searches, making sure your campaigns will work within the “world iof voice search.” The way these searches are being used continues to grow and change, so it’s important to be prepared for whatever this new year may bring.
 

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