By: Clinton Larson & Paige Adams
Eide Bailly had a blast at last week’s FargoConnect social media conference (and not just because of the free drink tickets. More on that later).
There were a ton of great speakers and breakout sessions on this ever-evolving topic, and the organizers definitely topped last year’s great event.
Now that we’ve had a chance to let the ideas percolate, here are a few of our key takeaways.
Consumers Are Empowered Researchers
The keynote address from Marcus Sheridan, president of The Sales Lion, was a great way to start the day, and he kicked the conference off with this incredible statistic: When it comes to the buying process, 70% of a consumer’s buying decision is made before they contact your business.
The Internet has given consumers the power to research your business, product or service like a librarian on a quad-shot Americano. People want answers, and they want them now, so it’s in your best interest to create useful, informative and transparent online content that addresses your customers’ fears, giving buyers the answers they seek – and that includes price. Otherwise, they’ll go looking for information – and ultimately buy – somewhere else.
It’s All About Your Customers
Brittany Hanson and Mary Schieve of Flint Group gave an engaging presentation on what your content should look like in the Digital Age, and it all boils down to your audience. Reaffirming Marcus Sheridan’s point, people want easy access to useful content today. With all of the messaging on the Internet today, people don’t have time to hear your carefully crafted pitch. Rather, they’re looking for information that makes their lives easier, better and happier, and it’s your business’ job to deliver that content. No matter how great your content is, if it can’t pass the “so what?” test when it comes to your audience, it’s not going to engage them.
Reviews Really Do Matter
Daniel Lemin from Convince and Convert confirmed things we’ve suspected: online reviews from sites like Yelp really do matter, and yes, a bunch of them are fake – like 25%. Since we can’t do much about the latter, let’s focus on the bigger picture – 92% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses, and 87% of those people won’t consider a business with low ratings, so ignoring bad reviews is not a viable business option. You need to be proactive and engaged to keep your reviews fresh and positive. Address the bad reviews and thank people for the good ones, showcasing the really great reviews. Engage with your customers and they will see your business for what it truly is.
Of course, there was lots more, including a social hour that we sponsored, keeping the conversation and camaraderie going after the event thanks to the free drink tickets our awesome staff handed out. Follow the story by searching #FargoConnect on Twitter and Instagram.
Hope to see you there next year!