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As we enter 2021, it’s clear that the face of content marketing is shifting more rapidly than ever. Lockdowns are drastically altering consumer habits all over the globe, and businesses of all sizes are being forced to adapt.
The digital space is now a tightly contested marketing hotspot. Therefore, it’s absolutely crucial to understand current industry trends and to be able to identify the areas where you can potentially capitalize and improve.
To equip you with the most recent data, Semrush surveyed over 1,500 marketers from different countries and analyzed over 17,000 content marketing positions on the largest active job posting sites.
They also compared the report’s findings against the 2019 edition of the survey, in order to try and highlight longer-term trends and insights – with some interesting results.
As an entrepreneur, you have
countless relationships you need to manage on a daily basis. There are
your employees. There are the vendors who provide needed support services to
help you run your business. And of course, there are also your
Maintaining quality relationships
with each of these groups will prove vital for your lasting success. And
perhaps the best way to ensure that you enjoy strong relationships is to make
ure that you always follow the law of reciprocity.
As sales training authority Brian Tracy wrote in a blog post, the law of reciprocity is “considered by many to be the most powerful law of human nature. Basically, it states that, ‘If you do something nice for me I’ll do something nice for you. I feel obligated to reciprocate.’”
So, how exactly do you put the law of reciprocity into real-life practice?
by building trust.
Building trust with consumers,
particularly those who have never interacted with your brand before, is
key By giving something of value away for free — as the law of
reciprocity details — you establish your industry authority and
demonstrate that you have your customers’ best interests at heart.
This is why you see so many
startups, (particularly SaaS companies), offer free trials that allow users to
try those companies’ services before buying. It’s why many industry authorities
post a wealth of blog posts sharing actionable information, or share free
ebooks with their users.
As Impact BND’s Ramona Sukhraj highlighted in an
article, “GoToWebinar reportedly sees around 40 percent of its free trial-users
convert into paid plans, while the best-in-class softwares see more than 60
As Sukhraj continued, a free trial
for SaaS prospects lets them “see behind the curtain.” It lets them
experience what your product looks like, how it functions and how they
personally will interact with it.
This builds trust in potential
customers because they know exactly what to expect from your products or
services. With other business relationships, a similar strategy of offering
advice or assistance free of charge will go a long way in building a positive
foundation for your relationship.
Building trust at the beginning of a
customer relationship is vital. But to continue to enjoy that strong
relationship for many years, you must periodically show your appreciation.
As Satwick Saxena of EvaBot, noted, “According to data
from the U.S. Small Business Administration, 68 percent of customers end a
business relationship because they don’t feel appreciated or cared about.
That’s a lot more than the 14 percent who ditch a business because they don’t
like the product.”
Added Saxena, “When you show
appreciation to your customers, it humanizes you. It makes them realize that
you know them and they matter.” And that humanizing builds loyalty, which
may give you a life-long customer, Saxena said, as well as bring you a referral
Loyal customers often appreciate
special offers or discounts — especially when these offers are personalized
based on previous purchases. This can greatly increase the likelihood of these
customers making additional purchases.
A CMSWire case study is relevant here. It
revealed that “in a recent 12-month period, businesses with a 40 percent
level of repeat customers generated 47 percent more revenue than similar
businesses with only a 10 percent level of repeat customers.”
The same principles are vital for retaining
your most valued employees. While positive affirmations and words of thanks can
help employees feel appreciated, tangible items like a promotion, raise or
bonus can foster greater loyalty among your top performers.
Sometimes, you can be up-front with
how you use the law of reciprocity and still go a long way toward strengthening
your brand. Your current customers are often willing to do something that helps
that brand when they know they will receive something of value in return.
Few examples of this principle are
better than that Dropbox. As a case study reported on by Overthink Group
revealed, Dropbox used its referral program to grow from 100,000 to 4 million
users in a 15-month period. The key to this success?
“Referring your friends and family
to DropBox makes your account more valuable,” the case study reported.
“Free users automatically get 2 gigabytes of cloud storage, and every
referral earns you an additional 500 megabytes … the referral program is framed
as a benefit to the user.”
Highlighting the free storage space
users would get for each referrals created a highly engaged audience willing to
invite others to join Dropbox. Today, Dropbox has over 500 million users — not
a bad result for a company that gives away some free storage.
before you receive.
At the end of the day, the most
important element of the law of reciprocity is that you be willing to give away
something of value without expecting something in return.
Whether you choose to use words of
affirmation with a top employee, offer meaningful gifts to a loyal client or
demonstrate added trust with a business partner, you will strengthen the
relationships that matter most for your business’s growth and build a positive
You won’t always get something tangible in return. But by increasing customer loyalty, employee productivity and more, your company will get the growth it needs to succeed.
Often when we show our appreciation for others, we think of it as something we are doing for them. And, to an extent, that is true. We want them to feel valued and recognized; we want them to know that they are appreciated.
But showing appreciation for others can also have amazing benefits for you, too. Let’s take a look at some of the ways showing appreciation for others can be good for you.
There is a sea of evidence proving that employees who feel appreciated are much more productive
than those who don’t. While this certainly isn’t the main reason to
show appreciation for your employees (like, for example, that they
deserve it and it makes them feel good), it is a tangible business
benefit to doing the right thing. Showing your employees how much you
appreciate them is one of the easiest win-win situations in the book.
know when they aren’t being appreciated. In fact, according to data
from the U.S. Small Business Administration, 68% of customers end a
business relationship because they don’t feel appreciated or cared about.
That’s a lot more than the 14% who ditch a business because they don’t
like the product. When you show appreciation to your customers, it
humanizes you. It makes them realize that you know them and they matter.
Showing appreciation for your customers builds loyalty, which not only
leads to that single life-long customer, but makes them more likely to
make a referral or recommendation.
all of the benefits of showing appreciation are specific to business,
either. When you acknowledge someone’s value, you forge a connection
with that person, regardless of their role in your life. This isn’t
measured in dollars and cents, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable.
Showing appreciation is a way of acknowledging a person’s value, which
is something the entire world could do with more of.
When you show appreciation or gratitude for someone, they feel happier. But so do you! In one study,
people who wrote in gratitude journals reported higher levels of
happiness, and even some health improvements compared with a control
How to Show Appreciation
We covered some tips on how to better show appreciation in our last post. But here are some specific things you can do to show someone they are valued:
Say Thank You
obvious, right? But sometimes we still forget how important these two
simple words really are. We might think it’s obvious that we appreciate
someone’s help or support. But sometimes we forget the part about
actually saying (or writing) thank you.
Show Additional Trust
can come in a personal or professional context, and can be incredibly
meaningful. If someone has proven themselves to be a trustworthy and
supportive person in your life, consider entrusting them with additional
responsibilities. In a business context, this might come in the form of
a promotion. In personal relationships, it might be simply sharing your
Give a Thoughtful Gift
are a time-honored way to show your appreciation, in both business and
personal relationships. A gift shows that you are thinking about them,
and that you want to go above and beyond a simple thank you. One tip,
though, make sure to include a note as well (bonus points if it’s
handwritten) expressing your specific appreciation. It makes the gift
that much more impactful if the person knows what they are being
acknowledged for. Sending gifts can be time-consuming, especially if you
have trouble choosing the perfect gift. EvaBot can help you out there, complete with the handwritten note.
Showing appreciation benefits everyone. When you show gratitude and appreciation, it makes you happier and healthier. So, give yourself the gift of happiness and send someone a thoughtful gift today!