Digital Sharecropping Risky Business?

Social media marketing is like sharecropping and the game of monopoly. You land on real estate you don't own and you have to pay rent.
Social Media Marketing reminds me of playing Monopoly™.

Familiar with the term Digital Sharecropping? It’s a phenomenon that most people don’t understand. An SEO guru colleague, Heather Lloyd-Martin shared a newsletter email regarding it and got me taking another look.

Digital sharecropping refers to social media channels and how people and businesses interact with them. The earliest concerns about it date back to 2006. 

The term derives from the sharecropping, (aka feudalism) that happened after the end of the US Civil War. People had no money so paid to use a landlord’s property with a share of their crops. They didn’t own the land or even the tools they used. 

In the game of Monopoly™, when you land on a property that is owned, you have to pay rent just like sharecroppers did.

It’s happening today—digitally. And it can be very risky for your business if you are dependent on it.

Social Media Digital Sharecropping

In the last few years, many businesses, especially B2C, have shifted their marketing to focus completely on social media. Some skip a website altogether, focusing instead on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Simple. Easy. Sweet.

What they don’t realize is they have no real control over what the social channel does. The channel owns the real estate. The channel is their landlord.

So they post lots to get more likes and more fans. They work hard to build a social empire of followers.

So what’s wrong with that?  It works great to stay in touch with friends. It’s been a way to stay connected during the pandemic.

However, did you know that once you post pictures the channel actually can now sell the images someplace else without your permission and without compensating you?  It’s in the fine print and it’s been this way for years.

Social was designed to be gathering spots, like the water cooler or watering hole. People visit, put up posts, and share for free. In exchange, the channel sells advertising to monetize users. It’s quite profitable, ask Mark Zuckerberg.   

However, what if you are a business owner? 

Matthew Inman, creator of Oatmeal comics got hit with the dark side of his social media empire. 

Inman’s had a website for years where he publishes Oatmeal comics. But to make it easy to stay connected with followers he shifted to build a huge following on Facebook and Instagram. People love his posts. 

According to a recent The Oatmeal Instagram post, Facebook has decided if Inman wants to reach more than a fraction of his followers, he needs to pay them $2000 PER POST. And this is content he’s putting up free for his nearly four million followers. 

In his Instagram post, he explained the situation and invited people to sign up for his newsletter where they can be guaranteed the full dose of his comic goodness.

He’s also started only sharing part of “something too big for Instagram”, or Facebook, and sending the reader to his website to see the rest.

He is moving away from being dependent on social media. Inman has learned the risks of being a digital sharecropper. Now his focus is real estate he owns and controls. His website and e-newsletter where there are no middlemen charging fees.

Why is digital sharecropping important to understand?

With social media, the rules change with little notice. 

Paid posts, or rebuilding a following on a new channel, are expensive.

Inman worked for years to build his following. Then the rules changed. Without paying huge fees, only a tiny portion of his followers would see his posts.

You don’t want your business to be in Inman’s situation.

How would it impact your marketing if you had to pay for every post you put on your business page?

For your business to succeed long term, you need a plan to take control of your social marketing. 

I’ve discovered the ways to fight back and I’ll share them with you. 

First…

Here’s something most people don’t think of…

Where will you be if a different new social channel becomes the big buzz?  Think it won’t happen?  Where’s MySpace? Friendster? Google+? MySpace still exists, but it’s pretty lonely there. It went out of favor.

And a recent Social America report shared that for Gen Z and millennials, Facebook has lost favor. Instead, they are using Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat. And this will change again, it’s inevitable. 

Every social empire you build is only temporary. So if you want to depend on social, get prepared for changes and having to rebuild.

3 ways to offset digital sharecropping

When I work with clients we use social media as part of the mix, but we focus on things they have 100% control over.  We focus on enhancing their website, connecting with emails and newsletters, and building a reputation for offering value.

Website

Your website is something you have complete control over.  Wherever you market, drive the traffic to your website. Make it the hub of your marketing efforts. 

Start a post on social and send them to the website to see the rest. Share a new product or service and direct them to your website to learn more. 

Invite visitors to subscribe to your newsletter. You can increase the number of signups by offering something useful or of value as a reward for subscribing. 

Send them emails with links to information or products on the website. 

Direct mail pieces have gained favor since there is a lot more in our inboxes than in our mailboxes. What you send is more apt to be seen. Use mail as another way to bring people to your website. Drive them to a special report, service, or offer.

Assure your website offers a positive experience and is easy to navigate. 

Contact information needs to be easy to find, preferably on every page so the visitor doesn’t have to hunt.  


People have become more skeptical. Use transparency to boost trust. Consider putting a contact number in a narrow banner at the very top of each page. It’s validation you are a sound trustworthy business. They may never call, but it makes you seem safer than a business without it.

Newsletters and emails

Using email to connect and share is one of the best investments in your marketing mix.  They come from you. 

Whether a short post or a newsletter, they can be informational, educational, and entertaining. They can also drive clients back to your website. Introduce an article or blog with a link to where the complete story resides on your website.  

Email communications are a great place to share more about your team, your brand story, and your products or services. Share your uniqueness, your visions, and your social conscience.

Emails are bond builders.  People love to be part of a group or a tribe.  Your emails and newsletter are exclusive for your subscribers—a place they can hear your news before the rest of the world does.

The right emails nurture new buyers. They help them have the best experience with their purchase as well as get to know you as a brand.

According to a recent study by SubjectLine.com, emails that promote a one-day offer get 21% higher opens than if you just announce a sale.  Words like “today only,” or “one day sale,” get attention and people don’t want to miss out. They create a sense of urgency and exclusivity.

Value reputation

Use content as a way to share and display valuable information you put out.  Content that’s fresh, relevant, useful, and focused on your target audience’s interests and concerns. 

Avoid any techniques or content that seems spammy or pushy/dodgy. 

Your value content is the reputation your business earns. Quality and value are the keys to attracting and keeping your ideal customers.

So where does that leave social?  Social channels are useful tools to support your website…the real estate you own. Use social as a part of your marketing mix. Mix is the keyword. You are using but not depending on channels that you have no real control over.


Judith Culp Pearson is a digital content marketer helping businesses gain and retain customers for a higher lifetime value. Result-oriented relationship building and empathy-based marketing. Reach her at judith@jculpcreativecopy.com.

Are Your Business Teams a Magic Power for Growth

Are You Trying to Do it All?

Consumer and business demand are fueling massive growth opportunities in 2021. Get these four business team components in place to maximize your 2021 business growth. It’s all about you and your teams.

When many businesses or marketers think of growth, they focus on new products or divisions. But for real change, you need to start deeper. You need to start with yourself and your business teams.

Consider this business team scenario.

Due to the pandemic, a colleague of mine faced business closure.  Kathy couldn’t meet or help her clients. She decided to go online with consulting and offer retail products.  

Kathy had a website, but it was a basic brochure about her services.  No online scheduling software. No shopping cart or credit card payment system. Oh, and no retail items to offer.

The idea was excellent but needed a lot of support.

The first thing she did was find some retail products that would be useful to her clients during the shutdown.  

Like many businesses, Kathy’s website was in a WordPress format. She’d need to either hire someone to add what was necessary for e-commerce or learn to do it herself.

Of course, she tried to do it herself to save money. After all, with the shutdown, she had more time than money.

Everything Kathy tried to add had its own learning curve. 

One piece of software didn’t want to communicate with another. I felt bad listening to her struggles. 

Finally, she reached out to her webmaster to assist her in sorting it out.  Then she found out he didn’t do e-commerce websites. His expertise was service-based businesses. 

Back to square one.  It took a couple of months for Kathy to get operational.

What went wrong?

As a business owner, marketer, and consultant, I’ve seen this happen many times. 

It’s like building a bridge without supports or a house without any foundation.  You need your business team infrastructure, the foundation first. 

Without it, the product, its delivery, and customer experience won’t be at the successful level.

It’s important to start with yourself.

Start with you. Start by evaluating where you are and where you want to be.  Are you equipped with both the business management and business specialty skillsets you need? 

Each type of business requires its own unique set of what I call technical skills. These are specific to your business model. 

But you also need business marketing and management skills for success. Without them, you’ll struggle. You won’t achieve the earnings or growth your business deserves. 

You need to set aside time to evaluate, plan and then implement.  Make appointments with yourself on your calendar. It’s the only way you can make sure it happens.

  • What areas need strengthening?
  • How effective is your marketing? 
  • Do you need to do market research to look at the next add-on you offer?
  • Are your outreaches to new and existing customers effective?
  • How long do you retain customers, and what is their Customer Lifetime Value, CLV? 
  • Are there specialty skills you want or are required to maintain?

Create a short and long-term plan balancing both types of skills. Getting these skills might include self-study, courses, conferences, or workshops either in person or online. 

Three business team support legs of infrastructure

I find these legs often get overlooked until something fails. They are all about your business teams. We get caught in reactive mode, and that never gets the ideal outcome. First, you need to think of your teams—who, what, and why.   

Then you need the other two legs to support your efforts and those of your team. Regardless of your business model, you still need them in place.

Your teams

You’ll probably need two teams.  You’re going to need your home support team to buy into you and your goals. Without this support, building a successful business is much more challenging.

Home team

If you’re the person in charge of everything at home, from cleaning to laundry to shopping and cooking…you need help. Or maybe you and your partner both have careers…you both need support.

Look for ways to get your home team to help out. Build this infrastructure for success, not burnout. Delegate and don’t micromanage. Focus on your big goals. Don’t dwell on tasks not done your way.

Thank them and reward them.  It might be designated family time or a date with your spouse. Often non-financial rewards have much higher relationship bonuses in the long term. Your kids and spouse might both build better life skills that will benefit their future selves.

Not everyone may have kids or family they can involve. Then it’s time to look at hired outside support. 

Business teams

In addition to your home team, you need a business team. Evaluate your strengths and what you can hand off so you can focus on those strengths. Delegating has a financial expense. 

But how much more could you generate if you didn’t have to handle that task?

The question becomes more of a no-brainer if you can hire someone better at the task than you are. Look for someone who can get it done better and more efficiently.

Employees or business team partners? 

Whether you hire employees on a full or part-time basis, they come with significant financial and time commitments. It’s not easy to find the right person with the right skills.

The other option is working with business partners.  

Business partners include accountants, lawyers, business consultants, marketers, and your web host. Independent contractors and freelancers also fall into this category. 

I always recommend contracting with your web host to keep your website up, backed up, and current. If you’re expanding, you will need web design, graphic work, and a copy/content writer to get your message clearly across to your target audience. 

The benefits of the outside team are significant. There is no overhead when they aren’t needed.  No payroll-related taxes. And they excel at the task. 

Find specialists that understand your business model.  For example, an accountant used to working with manufacturers may not understand a small business offering services. 

Find people who “get” your business. That is going to make the most successful relationship.

The last two legs are tied together. Hardware and software.

Hardware business team

These are the physical components you and your team will need to function. And the physical elements that make up your business. 

A brick-and-mortar business needs different things than e-commerce. Brick and mortar need everything from fixtures, displays, equipment, seating to payment processing—computers to routers to your telephone system.

E-commerce is dependent on computer systems, audio-visual, photography, web content, and responsive customer service. The fulfillment department functions are key to handle the delivery of sales to the customer.

There is nothing more frustrating for operations than a slow computer system, out of date, or needing maintenance. Consider contracting with a support business, something like Geek Squad, so you have help when you need them. I’ve found if you only use them once during the year, it offsets the annual fee.

Software team

Software is how you harness your electronic hardware to make it function for you.  

I remember when I wanted my home office to be the dominant place for my writing and consulting business. 

To accomplish that, I needed my business telephone to funnel to the home office without it ringing on my personal line. The cable company advised me I’d have to upgrade my account to a business account (regardless of the level of use). The price would jump from $60 to $180 per month plus any installation charges.

That was a definite no. So I researched and went with a VOIP service. 

VOIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol. For me, it was like cutting the cord with my cable provider. 

I eliminated the need for physical equipment beyond my computer and my existing cell phone.  I handle calls on my laptop or answer the distinctive ring on my cell phone.  The cost? About $30/month.  The convenience has been fantastic.

You’ll also need payment processing software, scheduling software, and some sort of client management system. Don’t forget accounting software and backup software, so you never lose your data. 

Online automatic backup means no worrying about lost data. A cloud-based accounting program means fewer or no trips to the accountant’s office as you can grant them access.

Then there are those great apps that facilitate marketing, research, and client connectivity—plus Zoom or other face-to-face ability. Some are browser extensions. Others connect one program, so it talks to another and reduces tasks.

Take your time and create a checklist of all the software puzzle pieces. Then make sure they are integrated and ready to work for you. Start with you, your goals, and your dream teams. Then add the hardware and software that help you succeed.


Judith Culp Pearson specializes in marketing and coaching businesses in the wellness sector. Through empathy engagement at every client touchpoint, she focuses on retaining existing clients and building new relationships for growth.  judith@jculpcreativecopy.com

How Empathy Builds Buyer Trust and Your Marketing Wins

Empathy engagement is key to relationship building. It’s the marketing path to creating long-term loyal fans and relationships.  

But you won’t find what you need in a ream of demographics. Numbers and statistics don’t tell you what their thinking, feeling, or how they are responding to you. 

Empathy engagement 

Before I moved into full-time copywriting marketing, I worked in the beauty industry. I helped thousands of women feel better, more confident, and happier because I solved problems for them. 

I offered cosmetic and medical skin pigmentation, tattooing. Women with missing brow hair or busy lives loved eyebrows and eyeliner—makeup that stayed put. 

However, the clients I engaged the deepest with were recovering from breast cancer.

I knew exactly how it felt to go through the trauma of diagnosis, surgery, chemotherapy, and reconstruction. I had been there myself. There is no going back; there is only moving forward.

They’d tell me their story. Each was unique. Then they often wanted to know mine. We engaged.

And then we started their journey to healing.  The addition of 3-D color to a bare mound profoundly impacts how you see yourself in the mirror. The result offered liberation from the physical and psychological angst they had gone through.

It is tough to truly understand what’s going on inside your client’s head if you haven’t “walked in their shoes.”

Empathy marketing will increase your success.

Physically having had your prospects’ problem is powerful. Fortunately, there are ways around it. And even in a group of people who share a common problem, they don’t react the same way.  

I had to learn to quickly spot how each client was coping and adapt my strategies to help them.  It’s the same with our marketing.  We have to take into account the different segments within our prospects. 

Messages have to shift based on where the prospect is in their journey.  You need to determine their level of awareness.

Those messages also have to be adapted based on their beliefs, biases, and personal experiences. But it all starts with research. 

I didn’t develop this, but I did learn from an expert. The absolute master of empathy marketing was Eugene Schwartz, and he shares his secrets in a book called “Breakthrough Advertising.” (It’s available through Titans Marketing, LLC.)

It’s not a quick read. The book is intense and requires rereading and study, but the secrets are there to unfold.

One secret—you can’t fake it.

There are many marketers who “think” they know the client and charge off to create their marketing. The resulting response and sales will be lower than if research were completed.

It’s like trying to put a puzzle together with some of the pieces missing. Your prospect sees the holes. 

Holes in your marketing puzzle weaken or break trust. And this loss of trust is apt to cause disengagement, loss of the sale, and loss of lifetime customer value.

Three steps to discover and employ empathy engagement

Research is where it starts. You have to dive into both your prospective buyer’s mind and into what you are offering—product or service. 

With completed research you have the tools to employ emotion, empathy, and your message.

Research your prospect 

All  human desires can be placed into one of three categories. They fall into better health, increased wealth, and relationships. But we can’t stop with this superficial analysis. 

What part of health do they want to improve? Why? What have they tried before? What were the results?  The list of whats, whys, and hows can be extensive. It’s easy to stop too soon.

Keep in mind they are people and unique, but it is possible to find common denominators.

You want to discover what they will tell you about their need. Then seek out the underlying what they won’t tell you. Go deeper to get to the emotional what they can’t tell you. Now you understand their core motivator—something they have so locked away in their brain it may be a secret even to them.

Next analyze your product or service.

You’ll also do an analysis of the features and benefits of what you are selling. The features describe the physical product. You’ll want to create a detailed list.

Then dive into the benefits. Benefits are how it helps the buyer. “What it does.” That’s what people buy. They want the results.

You’ll want to know the USP—what makes this a unique solution, why and how. You’ll need to know its competition and gather proof and credibility.  

What do your customers say about your product?  LIkes, dislikes, questions, suggestions are all valuable.

Empathy engagement employs emotion and feelings.

Now that you know both your prospect and your product, you can start matching. You build connections or bridges between their needs and your solution.

Match the prospect’s desires and the product benefits/performances.  Paint them pictures of how it’s going to make their life better. Whether in copy or content format, you help them discover why your product is the solution.

We all have the same emotions. Use words and images to make them smile, laugh, cry, feel joy or pain. Those emotions create experiences to inspire, connect and motivate them with our messages.

Look for ways to employ emotions and feelings to help them experience the benefits and results of the product. Through persuasive techniques, you move them along their journey until they have to buy. Then nurture and support them.


Ready to attract new buyers, increase lifetime buyer value, build sales, and more engagement? You need empathy-engaging content and copywriting. Let’s have a quick chat. You can message me: Judith@jculpcreativecopy.com.

Buyer Behavior has changed for 2021

Buyer behavior changed in 2020 and there is no going back.

Everyone had to do a lot of shifting in 2020, and it changed our buyer behavior. It altered our expectations and values. 

That means it’s time for businesses, and marketers need to accommodate the changes to stay competitive.

We’ve changed how we buy

Our world has shifted, and we’ve had to change with it.  Even now, countries are again in lockdown across the globe, and the virus with its variants rages. The cycle continues. 

The pandemic has made us value health and safety like never before.

In areas where the cases are dropping and vaccinations completed, people are ready to go back inside more businesses. But they want to do it safely. 

If they see a business slacking on their cleaning protocols or not protecting their staff, they are highly likely to go elsewhere next time. They’ll probably tell others to avoid the place too.  

We’re not going back into businesses physically just because we can.  We’ve missed interacting with products as well as people outside our household. 

However, our expectations have changed.  If we don’t have a positive customer experience, we won’t return.  

Our expectations for convenience have increased. Curbside pickup, delivery, and virtual shopping assistance. You can get online help via AI chat, or a live style expert, or virtually try on cosmetics. 

No more wasted time in a doctor’s office when a virtual visit will do. We’ll do it online, thank you very much.  

Forbes Study on Buyer Behavior

In December of 2020, Forbes surveyed 1000 consumers.  They asked questions to determine how things had changed and if they were positive or negative.  The study looked at both online and offline experiences.  In January, they published their findings.

Every business needs to accommodate and embrace what buyers want, need, and expect in 2021 to stay competitive.  A big part of this will be rebuilding brand loyalty.  

Something to keep in mind

While the statistical findings are intriguing, one jumped at me. Brand loyalty took a massive shot in the foot last year.  People might not have been able to order their favorite brands, so they substituted.  Supply chain shortages have compounded this problem.  

Even more important than looking at the trend statistics is implementing proactive techniques to be the solution your target audience wants.  

Three techniques to capitalize on 2021 buyer behavior

There are three things buyers are wanting. Provide all of them, and you’ll go a long way to building brand loyalty. The loyalty that keeps customers returning and staying with you during whatever the next crisis might be.

Three keys to getting them and keeping them are health and safety, positive experiences, and convenience.

Health and safety

If there is one thing we learned from the pandemic, it’s that we each have to watch out for our health.  As we go back inside stores, shoppers are observing and critiquing health and safety standards.

While plastic dividers felt a bit awkward in the beginning, they are now the norm.  A business working without them would make most people uncomfortable—the same for staff not wearing masks.

Consumers want to see you are looking out for both them—and the employees that are taking care of them.  

People expect sanitation stations. Disinfecting counter services or any areas where the customer might touch between customers is crucial.

Buyers want positive experiences

From the moment they enter a business or visit an online store, they are subliminally noting the experience. They pay attention to the ambiance, friendliness, efficiency, and a way to get questions answered.

We’ve become a lot less patient with poor service however it manifests.

We’re also more socially conscious, and we want to see your staff well taken care of too.  

Online buyers have the same standards, and there is a lot of room for improvement. Evaluate everything from virtual aids to help buyers make a selection to improved customer service response. 

Key to online success will be fresh, relevant quality content. Everything: blog posts, articles, emails, social posts. The big boys like Pepsi and American Express and Apple are making massive investments in new content. Even Facebook is getting into content with the ability to post newsletters.

Both strictly e-commerce and brick and mortar capitalizing via the increase in online purchasing need to ramp up their content.

Solicit feedback from buyers. Implement short, easy-to-do “how did we do” surveys. 

A positive experience is without friction. Sometimes friction can be hard to see from the inside. Let your buyers help you smooth them out. 

Brick and mortar businesses need to move to touchless checkout. That could be self-checkout or contact-free payment processing.    

Shoppers notice things like clean pens, a sanitized payment device, and the check-out area wiped down between customers. 

Convenience is the new normal.

We’ve become accustomed to more customer service in the form of curbside pickup and virtual doctor appointments. These are things that probably should have been offered long ago. 

Those with physical challenges and or who don’t drive wish they had been.  

Inclusivity is now having things convenient for all.   

If convenience factors were a temporary add-on, look for ways to embrace them and improve them, so they become permanent. 

Look for new ways to enhance convenience, so you stand out from the competition. Buyers will reward you for it where it counts…in your cash register.


The leap has happened. Online purchasing has already blasted past 2021 forecasts. Your quality online content is critical to stay competitive. Ready to attract new buyers, increase lifetime buyer value, build sales, and more engagement? You need quality content. Let’s have a quick chat. You can message me: Judith@jculpcreativecopy.com.

Revenge Spending

In 2021 consumers are ready to take revenge on the pandemic and spend pent up savings.

Vaccines and stimulus checks have people thinking of moving toward what we used to think of as normal. Vaccinated seniors are setting the trend to get even with the pandemic by spending money and getting out. They call it revenge spending.

Attending events, going shopping, and travel are rising to the top of consciousness.  People want liberation. 

Revenge spending will typify 2021

Last week an article came across my desk about “revenge shopping” as a rebound from the pandemic. At first, I laughed, then realized I had participated.

It turns out that in China, one of the first places to reopen their malls, sales spiked through the roof. Not only were they buying basics, but they also went for luxury items like Louis Vuitton bags.

After the January stimulus checks started going out, department store sales increased 21% in the US. 

Tired of wearing sweatpants, chasing kids, and working from home, women want to go out. They want to dress up and wear something new.  Even the trip into a store is starting to sound exciting.  

Depending on location, online shopping is still the norm. I ordered something last week and actually went into the store to pick the item up and try it on.  It was just the sales staff and me, which felt a little odd. Changing room signs proclaimed: Freshly Sanitized. It felt so decadent and liberating even with social distancing and wearing masks.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Bloomberg reports that during 2020 many people saved money. No trips, events, or outings. Lots less discretionary purchases. They estimate there is $1.7 trillion waiting to be spent.  

It’s time for businesses to get on board in the right ways for the coming surge.

Consumers are ready for revenge.

I dove through every report I could find on this topic, and there are many reports and articles out there.  It won’t happen all at once, and the timing will be different based on location. But based on conversations with clients, colleagues, and friends, people are ready for change. 

Businesses in the hardest-hit sectors, like restaurants, hospitality, and apparel, are ready too. It was a very long, tough 2020.  

I also researched how our buying patterns have changed and what we expect from businesses moving forward.  There are some shifts that effective marketers are already implementing, and it can help your business too. 

One thing to keep in mind

Consumers are tired of the sea of useless information. Regardless of where your content is, it must have value if you want to keep their attention.  Value equals helpful information.  

I replied to an email a company sent me complimenting them on its content.  It provided useful information on an alternative way to deal with seasonal allergies. Something they don’t even sell!   Unheard of— but very refreshing.

Today’s buyer is looking for authenticity and value.  We also are craving connection. For most of us, it’s been too long since we’ve visited with family and friends.  Without social media and virtual visiting, the year would have been much worse.  

Ramp up sales with these three techniques

To maximize sales, we need to engage and connect with customers where they are looking for information. That means now, and we need to make sure and have the right presence the right way on social media.  

We need to have conversations with prospects. We need to respect what they are looking for, including the increased focus on social consciousness.

Social media

Dependence on social media grew in 2020, and we started using it in new ways. Pre-pandemic social focused on status updates—things like sharing selfies, where we’d been, and what we’d done. 

Today that’s shifted to social being a key place to find solutions. Have a question? Someone has an answer, just post it. Need a solution? Social is where we go.

We want those solutions to reflect our increased need and desire for value and wellbeing. Users need simple ways to cope and manage stress, working from home, parenting issues, or managing a flex work schedule.  They want to know how to take a vacation in the COVID environment.

If you or your product is a solution, you need to be on social media and help them find you. That means more than having a Facebook business page with periodic product posts. It means having conversations.  It even has a new title…

Conversational Commerce

When we were forced to shift to online buying, we lost something. We lost connection with people, and we lost the ability to ask questions or get advice.  When you go into a store, there is usually someone you can ask.  Online? Not so much. 

Conversation Commerce, also called C-Commerce, (CC), is working to fill that need.  It’s considered any way you connect with your buyers using conversation.  

Your CC could be an AI-driven chatbot, a person you can chat with online or via phone, or another messaging program like WhatsApp. Even Alexa is included because of the way you use words to tell her what to do.

The process puts the customer in control. They reach out and initiate the conversation. They hope you will guide them to the right purchase. If no one is there or doesn’t respond promptly to messages, they’ll look elsewhere.

As the quality of these interfaces increase, the process will become even more valuable.  If you’re stuck with a poor-quality chatbot, replace it or go back to a person.  

IT Cosmetics uses live chat. Their phone lines and chat lines are open 9-5 Eastern, six days a week.  If you’re on the opposite side of the country, it’s not a perfect answer, but it’s better than a chatbot that has limited capabilities. 

If your chatbot can only respond to specifically limited choices, the shopper is left stuck and frustrated. It feels like going into a department store with no salespeople. If you can’t get the help you need, you leave with a negative feeling.

Globally, 84% of people surveyed said customer support is equally essential to what is sold. That makes it critical to get conversations going and help your shoppers.  

Revenge shopping will embrace social consciousness

2020 brought lots of changes, including the trend for social consciousness. From mental health to equality, social justice, caring for the planet, and inclusivity, it’s all part of the package. Awareness is accelerating even more in 2021.

Social consciousness isn’t something a business can afford to ignore. It’s not going to go away, and it’s part of the new normal. Hiding your values isn’t a path to success.

Sharing your position is also a way to connect more emotionally with buyers. When you develop and share a mission-driven campaign to help people or the planet, you build connections. They become your avid fan because your message resonates with them.   

Getting prepared with social media, enhancing conversational commerce, and embracing social consciousness will position you to tap into the coming spend.


Looking to increase lifetime buyer value, build sales, and more engagement? Let’s have a quick chat. You can message me: Judith@jculpcreativecopy.com

Quality Content Grows Sales 300% Faster

Quality content drives sales when it extends across all your marketing.

The quickest way to increase sales is to focus on quality content. It’s a technique marketers know but many businesses don’t quite get right.  

People visit your website looking for something. They come in during different stages of their buying journey.   They may be trying to see if there is a solution for a problem they have.  For those in the second stage, they are trying to decide which solution is best. When they move to the third stage – they are making the decision to buy.

Help them find the information they need—easily

Since we’re all spending a lot more time at home, one of the most popular past-times has become home improvement projects.  

I was recently looking for landscaping plants to fill in some major changes we’d made.  I had a list of criteria. Easy to grow, tolerant of my sun exposure, and color.  I knew the size specifications and style theme I was looking for—an English garden type of feel.

Oregon can be a bit grey during the winter.  So I needed year-round color with different plant varieties. 

Once I narrowed my list down, I started looking to see who carried them. 

That step proved to be a bigger challenge than I expected.  All the locals seem to carry a narrow selection of the same popular varieties.  They carried current bloomers, but not what I’d need to complete the goal.

I finally found a website that shipped plants. I could tell by the home page tabs they carried a wide selection. The problem was you couldn’t search by a specific plant or plant type. There wasn’t a search engine, only dropdowns with general categories. 

“Shrubs” was as close as I could get to heather. I had to search through dozens of pages.  If my middle name wasn’t “Persistent”, I’d have just closed the tab. It certainly wasn’t user-friendly. I thought of calling them, but there was no one available. 

A huge complicated website, no search tools, limited customer support. Lots of content, but the quality suffered.

What marketing strategists know

As the one in my family who does most of the shopping, content really matters to me.  The websites that get me back, (unless I have no alternative,) make the experience easy.  

In my copywriter marketer work for clients, I keep that shopper’s desire in the back of my mind.

The information and content need to be useful and user-friendly.  

Here’s a secret about “content”

The word content has two meanings.  We think of content as the article or blog. But the other meaning is an emotion—happiness or satisfaction.

Ideally, the article will give the reader both. It will provide quality useful information and happiness with what you shared and how you presented it.

You’ll lose sales if they can’t find necessary information – they won’t be content. If they can’t easily access the information they want…they won’t like you and if they don’t like you – forget the purchase.

3 tips for value content

To maximize your marketing investment, you need quality useful content that focuses on your customer’s needs.  You need the right content in the places they will find it. And you need to make sure it’s not undermining you.

Focus on your customer

All sales go back to the customer.  Everything you put on your website, every message you put out there should focus on your ideal customer—the person who wants and needs your product.

Start with questions they might have. Answer them with the right content.  Think about what they need to know, what validation they need, and how it’s going to benefit them. 

People need to see benefits first to trigger the thought to buy. Then they subliminally need that thought validated with support information.  

What content do you need?

Content is made up of various parts. Keep in mind you’re trying to give them more than a product—you’re trying to trigger happiness and satisfaction.  

That means they want information about your business. In a recent survey, the number one thing consumers said they want is your contact information! A whopping 62% put it at the top of their list.

The second most important item was the “About You” page.  Rounding out the top three were social media icons so they could check out what others were saying about you.  They are looking for transparency and why you should be their choice.

You can’t neglect product information, educational articles, and success stories. All are important to help them along the buyers’ path.  

A blog is one of your best avenues to share high-quality information that’s tied to the products or services you offer. The blog can help you expand your audience, increase conversions and enhance brand awareness.

Consumers are becoming leery of promises that sound too good.  If you sell them hype, you’ll only get a one-time sale.

Where does content need to be?

You need content beyond your website to build the know, like, and trust factors that trigger sales.  You need to put it in places your ideal customers hang out. That goes back to really knowing your customer.  

Depending on their demographics it might be Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.  If you’re making use of video content, you’ll include a YouTube channel. You can also offer shopping right on your Facebook and Instagram pages.  

Share posts with graphics and snippets of a blog or article located on your website. Include a link to drive traffic so they can read the full article.

Get rid of placeholder words

If you’ve run out of time and your website still has WordPress filler words like Lorem ipsum, it’s time to get help. Many people don’t realize these placeholders in Latin are visible to the public. They destroy your credibility.

If you don’t have the time or the skills, you need a good copywriter who can share messages to increase your sales and make your readers “content.” Need to improve your ROI with quality content? https://www.jculpcreativecopy.com/