• Left Brains.

  • Right Brains.

  • Brand Soul.

Monthly Archives: December 2020


Messaging In The Year Ahead – Bring On The Empathy

Posted on December 30, 2020 by f5admin

2020, well, what hasn’t been said – a year we didn’t see coming, a year we can’t wait to put in the rearview mirror. Needless to say the pandemic will have a lasting impact on many aspects of our lives and in the year ahead, marketers will need to be especially conscious to approach their messaging with empathy.

That empathy begins with a keen understanding of their internal teams (where the brand first lives and breathes) and then of their consumers. People have experienced this past year differently and it is important to speak to them where they are, across every touchpoint. Rapidly evolving circumstances have required changes in how people live, and digital has become more prevalent as people shop online, spend more time at home and generally engage with more screens in order to remain socially distant. Because of this evolution, online touchpoints have become more critical. While the focus is likely more on your digital content, it is important to remember to maintain your brand messaging both online and offline.

There are many ways to listen to your consumer and respond with empathy. Depending on the type of business you have, when possible, pay close attention to the social channels of your audience to get a pulse on their frame of mind. Look at the language being used and general tone of the content. Then there is always research that can be purchased or done specifically for your use – this data can offer powerful insights in to how your consumer is feeling.

The key to all of this – really LISTEN, determine how your audience is feeling and then AUTHENTICALLY craft your message (or product offering) with empathy. An empathetic message helps your brand cut through the clutter; this is really true of brand messaging even in “normal” times. Talking to your consumer with an awareness of their situation and needs will ultimately foster brand loyalty.

Brand messaging has always been about story. And each of our stories, both our company's and our customer's, have changed dramatically in 2020. Be aware of the changes, listen and empathically respond.


Google Reviews: A Sneaky SEO & Conversion Gem

Posted on December 16, 2020 by Nicole


By Jim Ragosta, Digital Media Specialist

As consumers continue to shift to a more digital driven approach for their product and service needs, SEO continues to be more important than ever. SEO isn’t as easy as some think, it is in constant flux given Google’s random indexing, new algorithms, and competition against others who are also making optimizations. On the local level, there is one SEO method that seems effortless and can help your business stand out…Google Reviews.

Reviews are powerful and often influence consumer decision making. Brightlocal, an integrated SEO and local citation platform, found that 68% of Americans are more likely to use a business based on positive reviews and 86% of online buyers read reviews before making a purchase decision. That’s an impressive stat, and honestly very important. If you are a business and have a Google My Business profile, what are you doing to encourage your customers to review your product or services? So, how does a simple review influence SEO? Well, it’s quite simple.

When a person writes a review, they will most likely reference your business aspects. Example: Jim’s Auto & Detailing is a local auto repair and detailing business.

Nicole, a pleased customer, just had her oil changed, tires rotated, and a discounted car wash. Nicole takes to Google to write a review about her experience: “I showed up to my appointment on time and was in and out in 30 minutes. They changed my oil, rotated my tires, and I opted for a car wash that was discounted since they are $3 off on Monday’s. Would highly recommend!”

In this review, nowhere did Nicole mention the business name, but what she did mention are services the business provides and offers that are available. It so happens that on jimsautoanddetailing.com, the website mentions these services and offers, as well as the Google My Business profile. People are likely to search for “oil change services” or “I need a tire rotation,” as well as wanting to book an appointment rather than be a walk-up customer. If you notice, a web of information is being linked together by not just the business, but the consumer. This is what Google encourages and likes to see, as it starts to give priority of your business being highly relevant and consistent in matching consumer needs and intent. Incredible.

So, what are the ultimate benefits of receiving Google Reviews?

  • Increase in Local 3 Pack
  • Increase in local business authority
  • Improved credibility
  • Increase in sales
  • Improved business transparency

Wow, all of this just by someone leaving a Google Review? Yes. Pretty effortless, but there are some actions you’ll still need to take.

  • Respond to reviews, positive or negative
  • Keyword drop when responding to reviews
  • Encourage customers to write a review instead of relying on them to do so
  • Keep track of customer needs, wants, concerns, and praises for improved operations or recognition

It is worth a mention that in addition to Google Reviews, a business should also consider other review options sites like Yelp, Facebook, Trip Advisor, etc. that are applicable to your business’s consumer audience. By claiming/creating a profile on these other sites, you’re increasing your businesses web presence and again creating a web of links on the internet which should always find it’s way back to your main website. 

Reviews are critical to the long-term success of your business from a searchability and reputation standpoint. There is no question that consumer decision making is influenced by positive and negative reviews, and both are equally important to reflect your strengths and weaknesses, which ultimately will make your business more successful. Contact Force 5 and see how we can help develop a strategy to stay engaged with your customers and get them to write reviews. We look forward to hearing from you!