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Customer Engagement Highlights Reaching New Customers Strategy

Organizational growth strategies: Aligning purpose and practice

Organizational growth isn’t just about increasing revenue or market share. It’s about building a sustainable and purpose-driven organization. 

Sure, every company aspires to quickly grow and see revenue rise. However, understanding the “why” behind that growth is critical for attracting and retaining talent, authentically engaging customers, and achieving long-term success. Simply put, understanding your “why” and aligning your purpose with your operational practices can unlock true organizational growth.

Understanding the ‘why’ in business growth

Many companies define growth in terms of financial metrics. While these are important, focusing solely on profit and EBITA is like having a destination in mind without plotting a route to get there, which can leave business strategies directionless. A truly purpose-driven business clearly understands its “why”—its core reason for existence beyond making money. This purpose serves as a guiding star, rallying like-minded employees, inspiring customer loyalty, and fostering a genuine connection between your organization and the market you serve. When companies are guided by purpose, they’re more likely to find their way to financial success.

Consider Patagonia, a company renowned for its commitment to environmental sustainability. Their purpose isn’t just selling outdoor apparel but protecting the planet for future generations. This purpose informs everything they do, from product design to marketing campaigns, and has earned them a fiercely loyal customer base for good reason. Consumers get to feel as if they are playing a part in the health of our environment by purchasing Patagonia goods while having great gear to enjoy the great outdoors. This is a great example of how threading purpose all the way through an organization drives positive business outcomes.

The significance of authentic branding

Authentic branding is the outward expression of your company’s purpose. It’s about clearly communicating your values, mission, and the impact you strive to make. Customers today are savvy; they can sniff out inauthenticity a mile away. Remember when Kellogg’s CEO Gary Pilnick suggested on national television that American families consider “cereal for dinner” in response to rising food costs? Consumers certainly do, and an organized boycott is still underway.

When your branding authentically reflects your purpose, it fosters trust and creates a positive emotional connection with your audience. Here’s where crisp and consistent storytelling comes into your brand’s message and content strategy. Your company story should be woven into every facet of your marketing and sales efforts. This can include blog posts, social media content, website copy, and even customer case studies. By consistently telling your story, you reinforce your purpose and build brand loyalty.

Linking purpose with operational efficiency

Purpose is not just a feel-good slogan; it must be operationalized to fuel your company and ultimately growth. This means ensuring your business operations and processes are aligned with your purpose and your people are equipped to deliver on your promises, not just to customers but to one another. 

Here’s where data-driven accountability and data-centricity come into play. Leaders and decision-makers need access to the right metrics and data to assess operational efficiency. These metrics should measure progress toward company goals, client satisfaction, customer perception, retention, and growth. By holding leadership accountable for key performance indicators (KPIs) that connect to purpose-driven growth, you create a feedback loop that ensures alignment across all levels of the organization.

The critical role of sales and delivery synergy

Imagine a scenario where your sales team paints a rosy picture of your product or service to close a deal, but then the internal teams responsible for delivery lack the resources or capacity to fulfill those promises. This disconnect between sales and delivery creates a frustrating experience for customers and can damage your reputation (your brand). It’s important to remember that sales are just one step in the customer journey.

For true organizational growth, your sales and delivery need to be in lockstep. This requires clear communication between both teams, ensuring everyone understands the product or service capabilities and realistic timelines. Additionally, shared goals that prioritize customer satisfaction and advocacy are crucial. By aligning purpose with operational practices, you can foster strong collaboration between sales and delivery, ensuring a seamless and positive customer experience from initial contact to successful delivery.

When internal solutions fall short: Finding the right partner

Sometimes, organizations get stuck in their siloed workflows and struggle to create the internal alignment necessary for sustained growth. This is when partnering with a trusted external partner can be invaluable. Infusing fresh perspectives and outside expertise can help you refocus your strategies with your customer at the center and your purpose as the driver for greater resonance with your target audience and purpose-driven growth for your business.

Here’s why seeking external help can help bring purpose to your efforts:

  • Internal blind spots: Teams can be too close to the problem, losing perspective on the value your brand exists to create for your customers and missing potential solutions.
  • Leadership challenges: Leaders may lack the expertise or resources to implement necessary changes when purpose becomes disconnected from practice in their business operations and strategies.
  • Translation to execution: Even when the purpose is clear at the brand level, it’s not always easy to thread it through to execution at the hands of practitioners. From sales and marketing to product, IT, finance, operations, and every other business discipline, the subject matter experts across all these domains need to approach what they do from the context of why they do it, which stems from your purpose.

By partnering with an agency that aligns with your purpose, understands the digital landscape, and approaches marketing, product, and data strategies as tools to help you fulfill your brand’s purpose and create the kinds of experiences that your customers demand, you can overcome organizational inhibitors and achieve your growth goals.

At Tallwave, we’re passionate about helping businesses unlock their full growth potential by aligning purpose with practice. We believe that a well-defined purpose, operational efficiency, and authentic execution of the brand are the keys to sustainable growth in today’s competitive environment.

Ready to take your organization to the next level? Get in touch with us today to discuss how we can help you craft a purposeful and profitable growth strategy.

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News Reaching New Customers SEO

Reddit for SEO: Why user-generated content dominates search results

Is it just me, or DAE wonder why Reddit has become such a significant holder of SERP real estate? As a user and consumer, I’ve increasingly noticed that Reddit forums dominate the results I see for product and service-based queries, and as an ever-curious SEO and content strategist, I need to know why.

So, what’s happening here? Why has Reddit emerged as a force to be reckoned with in the SEO game? And what does this mean for us as marketers? Brace yourselves: we’re about to explore the complex and evolving world of Reddit and SEO, as well as the profound impact “the front page of the Internet” has on how users seek and interact with information.

ELI5: What even is Reddit?

Before we delve into the “why,” let’s quickly recap what Reddit is for those unfamiliar with this online behemoth.

Think of Reddit as a massive, decentralized forum where users create and share content on a wide range of topics. These communities, called subreddits, cover everything from news and technology to niche hobbies and local interests. Personally, I’ve used Reddit to discuss SEO news and trends with my professional cohorts, find volunteer opportunities in my community, and, most recently, connect with a fellow “elder emo” music fan to snag a ticket to a very much sold-out show for a “bucket list” band. Simply put, there’s something for everyone (YMMV on concert tickets).

Reddit’s diverse user base has more than 267.5 million weekly active users, solidifying its position online as a veritable melting pot of voices and perspectives. This rich and varied audience actively engages with all kinds of content, creating a dynamic platform where discussions and user-generated content (UGC) reign supreme.

Why is Reddit taking over search results?

Now, onto the juicy part: why is Reddit suddenly showing up everywhere in search results? Here are a few key factors contributing to its rise:

The power of user-generated content

In its relentless pursuit of providing the best user experience, Google’s algorithm increasingly values authentic, unbiased, and people-first content. Reddit thrives on UGC, offering a treasure trove of real-world opinions, experiences, and insights that traditional websites often lack. This authenticity resonates with search engines, making Reddit a valuable source of information.

Diversity and depth of content

Reddit covers a mind-boggling range of topics, with in-depth discussions and detailed information on virtually anything you can imagine. This depth allows Reddit to address long-tail keywords and niche queries with a level of specificity that traditional websites might struggle to match.

Community-driven authority

Reddit thrives on user engagement. Upvotes, downvotes, and discussions within subreddits organically signal the value and relevance of content. This community-driven authority system likely helps Google identify high-quality, trustworthy information.

The Reddit IPO effect

While maybe not a direct cause, Reddit’s recent IPO may have contributed to its increased visibility in search results. With heightened public interest and media attention, Google might be placing a greater emphasis on crawling and indexing Reddit content.

TIL why Reddit matters for marketers and SEOs

So, what does this Reddit SEO phenomenon mean for us as marketers and SEO professionals? A lot. In fact, you might think of Reddit’s rise in SEO and SERP positioning as both an opportunity and a challenge:

  • Opportunity: Reddit offers a powerful platform to connect with real users, gather valuable insights, and build brand awareness. Engaging with relevant subreddits allows you to participate in organic conversations, address customer concerns, and establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
  • Challenge: Reddit is a community-driven platform with strict guidelines and Reddiquette, not a marketing playground. Spammy tactics or self-promotion will be met with swift backlash. Building trust and providing genuine value are required for a visibility victory on Reddit.

Case in point: How brands are rocking Reddit

Is your brand up for the challenge? You’ll find success stories from brands like Nordstrom, Toyota, and Xbox One that have implemented effective Reddit engagement strategies.

Spotify was a pioneer on the platform. In 2014, the music streaming service created a branded account and sparked a virtual thread asking users to share the most emotionally impactful songs in their lives, and ended up with more than 10,000 responses. Leveraging this user-generated content, Spotify made a unique playlist, demonstrating their understanding of their audience and building trust within the Reddit community. 

Other examples of brands taking on the Reddit challenge:

  • Toyota: They’ve tapped into Reddit communities like r/forumla1, r/cars, and r/trucks, providing helpful content and insights from their engineers, fostering trust and brand loyalty among car enthusiasts.
  • Xbox One: By actively participating in gaming subreddits, hosting AMA (ask me anything) sessions with game developers, and addressing user concerns directly, Xbox One has built a strong community around its brand.

But wait, there’s more. Reddit’s presence at CES 2024 walked marketers through how their platform is an essential touchpoint on the customer journey with an activation called “Key to Context.” The hands-on walk-through experience showed how instrumental the platform was in a car-buying experience and unlocked opportunities for brands to engage with consumers through UGC and strategically promoted posts.

Who owns brand Reddit strategy? It’s a team effort

While Reddit engagement might fall outside typical job descriptions, brands can create a “Reddit village” for success. This village includes passionate brand advocates (including employees, partners, and even consumers), community managers who curate content, and SEO/content teams who translate Reddit insights into broader strategies.

LPT: 5 ways to use Reddit for SEO and online visibility

Now, the million-dollar question: how can we leverage Reddit’s SEO potential within the spirit of the platform’s core values? I’ve got a few pro tips and ideas from my experience and research, as well as those collected from the SEO hivemind.

  1. Find your niche: Identify relevant subreddits where your target audience actively engages. Research their interests, common discussions, the language they are using (linguistic profiling), and the overall tone of the community.
  2. Become a valuable contributor: Don’t just drop in and promote your brand. Actively participate in discussions, share your expertise, and answer user questions genuinely. Provide insightful comments and contribute valuable content that benefits the community.
  3. Focus on long-tail keywords: Reddit excels at long-tail queries due to its in-depth discussions. Optimize your content for these specific keywords to increase your chances of appearing in relevant search results.
  4. Embrace UGC: Encourage users to share their experiences with your products or services within relevant subreddits. This organic UGC can be incredibly powerful for building trust and brand sentiment.
  5. Track and analyze: Monitor your Reddit activity and track the impact on your SEO metrics. Use tools like Semrush and Google Analytics 4 to measure organic traffic and identify which subreddits and posts drive the most engagement.

TL;DR: Reddit and SEO success requires a long-term, user-centric approach

Reddit’s growing prominence in search results is a testament to the power of user-generated content and authentic online communities. As marketers and SEOs, we must adapt our strategies to embrace this shift. Success on Reddit comes from building genuine relationships, providing value, and becoming a trusted member of the community.

Leveraging Reddit in your online footprint is a long-term integrated digital marketing game, not a quick SEO win. But by approaching Reddit with a user-centric mindset and focusing on providing value, you can tap into its immense potential and elevate your brand to new heights.

Ready to talk about Reddit and SEO? We are. Let’s connect.

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CRO Customer Engagement Reaching New Customers Strategy

Measuring customer perspective: The key to great CX

Understanding and responding to your customers’ perspectives has become more vital than ever. Without understanding your customers’ points of view, making informed business decisions turns into a guessing game. And in today’s dynamic landscape, customer preferences can shift swiftly. When coupled with an increasingly volatile and competitive operating environment, gaining insight into their viewpoints isn’t just advantageous—it’s essential to unlocking growth and staying ahead of the curve. 

While business decision makers clearly desire critical insights into customer experience, it’s also becoming increasingly challenging. With growing concerns about privacy, the rise in importance (and difficulty) of capturing first-party data, and shorter customer attention spans, businesses face the task of navigating these complexities to comprehend their customers better. 

The good news is that there are best practices for measuring customer perspective that nearly every company can implement. Let’s dive in.

Building a customer-centric measurement approach: 3 core principles

Before we jump into the nitty gritty of measurement tactics, we have to align on three core principles that top-performing firms adopt into their operating philosophies and approaches to their customers’ journeys:

1. Embrace a diverse range of tactics. It’s not enough to rely on a single method; instead, a combination of approaches is essential to gain a comprehensive understanding of your customers’ experiences.

2. Automation and data are your friends. Many companies manually deploy an annual customer survey as their key measure of CX performance. While useful, this snapshot in time is far from ideal in terms of creating regular, rich insights that are actionable. Automating surveys allows for real-time data collection and the ability to capture the current voice of the customer.

3. Align data to your customer segments or personas. Every business knows its customers are far from homogeneous. The best companies ensure the data they’re collecting is appended to existing data they have on their customers (CRM data, for example) so that they can slice and dice as necessary.

How to measure customer perspectives: proven tactics

With those core principles in mind, below are some key tactics that can help you keep a pulse on your customers’ perspectives. While certainly not an exhaustive list of the metrics and data points businesses should be tracking, these tactics are particularly powerful when it comes to rallying teams around customer perspectives, solving issues, and making big strides in business performance.

Transactional Customer Satisfaction (TSAT or T-CSAT)

A riff on the age-old classic of overall CSAT, transactional CSAT is measured and triggered by specific interactions that represent only a portion of the customer’s experience with your brand. The power of this tactic lies in its fixed parameters. Unlike overall CSAT, which asks customers to think broadly, often leading to muted or generalized feedback, transactional CSAT captures customer perspectives in relation to a very recent, specific experience. The result produces two fantastic benefits:

1. Feedback is more visceral and clearly tied to a specific experience. It’s easier to find patterns related to a specific conversation, interaction, or even UX affordance, and you can directly measure or correlate changes made in these areas to future measurements.

2. Transactional CSAT feedback can be collected across the entire customer journey, giving you multiple points of feedback on specific interactions or experiences with a brand. This enables companies to build a complete, measurable picture of a customer’s experience across their journey, further boosting abilities to test, learn, and improve.

Leveraging these patterns, they implemented UX improvements across their digital properties, boosting the blended average of TCSAT scores by 23% in less than six months. 

A national insurance provider we worked with implemented Transactional CSAT at critical steps like their customer quote, customer bind, first billing, and even specific interactions within their service portal. It enabled them to pinpoint patterns of customer feedback both within the “steps” in the journey and across it. Leveraging these patterns, they were able to implement UX improvements across their digital properties, boosting the blended average of TCSAT scores by 23% in less than six months. 

Implemented using a mix of the standard Likert scale (scaled rating system) and 1-2 open response questions, Transactional CSAT provides the perfect blend of measurable quantitative and qualitative data to make decisions. And it’s all the more powerful if you can tie it back to some source of protected first-party data.

Quantitative data

Every company wants to be “data-driven,” but few truly are. By the same token, too many companies view quantitative data sources as the only empirical way to make decisions. At Tallwave, we view quantitative data as a key driver of decision-making, and we seek to complement it with qualitative data as well.

In a previous article, we outlined nine key metrics that every business should measure, but here are the top three that we recommend every company that has a tech- or digitally-oriented customer experience focus in on:

1. Metrics at the microconversion level: It’s particularly important that your team understands customer reactions along the path to conversion. While these micro-actions might seem like “obvious” metrics, we find that companies rarely track them on a granular enough level and, as a result, ignore minor changes that could have a major impact.

Looking for another resource? Hotjar has a great article on how to think about microconversions and how to start measuring them.

2. User paths/customer flow: This goes beyond the customer funnel and into actual user behavior. We track this data because it tells us where users think they should be looking for information or things they think will help them accomplish their goals. This, in turn, tells us where to focus to improve their journeys. The important key here is that we’re looking for where the volume of your user behavior is going. For example, if a customer abandons their cart, what percent go back to the previous page or edit cart vs. fully close out of the page? Where do they go next?

A couple of key questions your team should be asking themselves here:

  • How often do customers actually follow the “happy path” that I have designed for them?
  • When they deviate from that path, where do they go?

3. KPIs: This is an obvious one, but it has to be on the list. If your company does not have an existing dashboard that clearly tells a story around your top KPIs, we have a couple of useful articles on data quality management and the power of data storytelling that will help guide your journey.

User recordings

Simply put, there is no better way to visualize how your customers are experiencing your brand or product than watching them navigate the pages of your website or interact in your app. Better yet, there is no better way to illustrate the pain they feel when they run into a roadblock or can’t find what they’re looking for.

We strongly suggest implementing one of any number of UX recording tools to catalog, tag, and view user sessions. Even watching just 10-20 recordings per week could unlock major advances in understanding how to deliver on user expectations. While it’s not the only source of data you should rely upon, we’ve often found there is nothing better to bring a story to life than this.

How to make the most of your data to understand customer perspectives

We’ve covered a lot of ground here, yet there’s still so much more to unlocking the power of insight into customer perspectives. If we can leave you with just one thought, it is this…

Understanding customer perspectives is all about understanding their customer journeys. Each of the tactics we’ve covered here is oriented toward illuminating those journeys, either by collecting direct feedback on a string of snapshots in time, or by actually tracking the step-by-step progress of customers (microconversions) on the way to a conversion. 

And once you have collected the data, the next step is to leverage the data to understand how to remove friction, eliminate confusion, and simplify the process of customers getting to their ultimate end goals. See how we helped an e-commerce company double its revenue in just three  months by doing just that. Interested in learning more about how we can help your business measure and activate on your customers’ perspectives? Drop us a line…

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News Reaching New Customers SEO Strategy

Let’s talk about voice search optimization

Picture this voice search scenario: you’re elbow-deep in flour and cocoa powder, trying to satisfy a late-night chocolate craving by testing out a new recipe for killer brownies. However, as you’re about to mix up the wet ingredients, you realize there’s only one egg left in the carton when the recipe calls for two. If you’re like me and many others, your next move is to call out and ask a smart speaker for help. 

And depending on your intent and your preferred device, your pleas might sound like any of the following:

  • “Hey Siri, what’s a good substitute for eggs in a brownie recipe?”
  • “Alexa, can I order some eggs online for same-day delivery?”
  • “Hey Google, how do I get to the nearest bakery with brownies?”
  • “Hey Bixby, what are the top-rated brownie places closest to me?”
  • “Cortana, are any grocery stores near me open right now?”

In this moment of utter desperation, you’ve just proven the value of voice search optimization for queries with all kinds of search intents: informational, transactional, navigational, commercial, and even local. Data from Juniper Research suggests that consumers will interact with voice search on more than 8.4 billion devices by the end of 2024, doubled from just 4.2 billion devices in 2020. 

With so many devices in use and consumers seeking answers, voice search optimization is an increasingly important consideration in a robust digital marketing strategy.

Why should voice search optimization be part of your digital strategy?

It’s a scary truth: ignoring voice search will leave a giant chunk of potential customers on the table. Here are a few of the reasons why you should jump on the voice search optimization bandwagon.

Voice search is everywhere

More than a quarter of all searches in the Google App are conducted by voice. This presents a massive opportunity to reach new audiences who are actively seeking information and making purchases through voice commands on their smartphones and mobile devices.

Voice searches are high-intent and convert

Voice search queries tend to be more specific and have higher conversion rates compared to traditional text searches. It’s estimated that voice search generated over $40 billion in 2023, and that number is still on the rise in 2024. People using voice search are often closer to making a purchase decision, making it an important part of the sales funnel.

Voice search optimization improves brand awareness

Optimizing for voice search can help your brand appear in those coveted “featured snippets” displayed at the top of search results. This increases brand visibility and establishes you as a trusted source of information.

Voice search is rapidly becoming the preferred method of search, especially for mobile users. By optimizing now, you’ll be ahead of the curve and ready to capitalize on this growing trend.

What factors impact voice search rankings?

Remember our late-night brownie crisis? Imagine how many other people ask similar questions with their voice assistants every day. Optimizing your website for voice search boils down to understanding how people speak, not just how they type.

Here’s some of the secret sauce behind how voice search optimization works:

Keywords vs. natural language

Forget stuffing your website with generic keywords. Voice search users ask questions in a natural, conversational way. Think “How do I…?” or “What are the best…?” Optimizing for long-tail keywords and natural language phrases is key.

Local optimization

“Hey Siri, find a bakery near me” are powerful words for local businesses, especially those who cater to consumers on the go. Voice search in cars is rapidly replacing the center touch screen in our cars, with Volkswagen even integrating ChatGPT into its vehicles for the 2024 model year.

Mobile-first indexing

Because most voice searches happen on mobile devices, prioritizing a mobile-friendly website is crucial. Fast loading times, a user-friendly interface, and clear click-to-call buttons are all essential elements.

Structured data markup

Think of this as labeling your website’s content for search engines. Structured data and schema markup help search engines understand what your website is about and can improve your chances of appearing in rich voice search results. For example, a recipe website could use structured data to highlight ingredients, cooking times, and nutritional information.

How is voice search optimization different from traditional SEO?

We all know that SEO is here to stay. It remains the foundation of a strong online presence, ensuring your website is crawlable, indexable, and relevant for search terms. However, voice search optimization takes SEO a step further and into the future. 

Here’s a tasty analogy: traditional SEO is like your brownie base. You focus on high-quality ingredients (relevant keywords), precise measurements (on-page optimization), and a solid baking technique (website structure). This ensures a delicious foundation for your brownies. Voice search optimization is like adding the finishing touches to your brownies. You sprinkle on user intent with long-tail keywords and natural language phrases. You might then add a layer of conversational content, ensuring it’s clear and answers user questions directly. Finally, you can even consider adding some “voice search sprinkles” like schema markup for extra flavor and improved search ranking.

How to optimize a website for voice search

Are you ready to start a conversation with your customers and stand out in voice search results? 

Here are some actionable tips to get you started with voice search optimization, building on the strong foundation of your existing SEO strategy:

  • Focus on conversational AI: As voice search technology continues to evolve, consider how conversational AI can enhance your website’s user experience and inform voice search responses.
  • Conduct keyword research with a twist: Look at all kinds of keywords in your research but focus on long-tail and natural language phrases people might use in questions.
  • Consider content a conversation: Think of your website content as a conversation with a real person. Use natural language, answer questions directly, and address user intent.
  • Embrace long-form content: In-depth content that provides comprehensive answers to user queries is valuable for voice search.
  • Optimize for featured snippets: Aim to get your website featured in the coveted answer box at the top of search results. Focus on concise answers to frequently asked questions.
  • Prioritize local SEO: Since many voice searches have local intent (“find a restaurant near me”), optimizing your local SEO strategy is crucial. Ensure a consistent brand voice and accurate information across local listings like Google Business Profile, Yelp, and Apple Maps.
  • Implement schema markup: Structured data markup helps search engines understand your content and can improve your chances of appearing in rich voice search results.

By implementing these tactics and building on your ongoing SEO strategy, you can optimize your website for voice search and capture conversational users with a variety of search intents at varying positions in the conversion funnel.

Remember, the goal is to be there when those late-night brownie cravings (or any other search queries) strike, providing users with the information and resources they need through the power of their voice.

Is voice search optimization on the tip of your tongue? We’ve got ideas to keep the conversation rolling. See how Tallwave can support your digital endeavors with integrated marketing services and more. Let’s chat.

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