Archive | May 2015

Don’t Think Big, when you need to Act Small

Kansas City Royals' Eric Hosmer (35) reaches second ahead of the throw to Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler (3) on a double in the third inning during Friday's baseball game on May 1, 2015 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.

We have all heard the old business saw: “Think Global, Act Local”, But how can we take this lesson into our own businesses? Simply studying the Big Guys, and taking their most successful ideas to help your business may not be right when trying to get further into your own, local, Prospect Communities.

Big business includes constant change and turnover. Fortune 500 clients that have outgrown their own Marketing Departments simply employ agencies to do it for them. However, they also change their agencies often, so everyone is in constant pitch mode, planning the next campaign and trying to sell it to the client. It has become normal, therefore for these pitches to excite at a ‘gut level’, and feature metrics that don’t have too much based in reality. These agencies, therefore, compete on the boldest, biggest ideas that move a brand or company in huge leaps – they have to be different so there is no time to be timid. These client companies trust that the agencies are looking after all of the metrics, and are doing it right, but most often the budget is taken up by large-scale items that overlook many details.

Who is to say, therefore, that these brands and their marketing agencies are doing it right? While we applaud social Marketing campaigns that receive incredible numbers of likes, shares, and Plus-One’s, who is to say they couldn’t have done more if they had done it right? Who says the major, one-off, Home Run is the only place to go? Last Year’s World Series has shown that a small ball, good fielding, single hit Kansas City Royals can be successful, too. Just be like them, and make sure that your fundamentals are correct. The big boy’s job is to ‘reach eyeballs’. Yours is to sell your business.

You can’t just create one sales pitch and marketing material created for one platform, throw it up on another one, and then be surprised that people don’t engage with your efforts. You have to take the time to understand each platform, what it is best used for, and take a long-term approach to developing a community. If you want to become influential on that platform, you need to act like the consumer. Of course, your content also has to be amazing. Effective social media marketing is about engaging your audience in compelling stories. Do it right, and continue doing it over a long period of time if your engagement numbers grow.

Your number one job is to tell a story. No matter who you are or what you do, your only job is to tell your story to the consumer wherever they are, and preferably at the moment when they are making decisions. Social media can help, especially if your SEO is done well. Social media is overtaking the search engines the same way TV overtook radio and the Internet overtook the newspaper. From now on, everything you do should have a social component. Of course, you can also look at those these broadcast channels, too.

There is only the 365-day marketing campaign, in which you produce content daily. Do not do something just because a large Big Box store does it, they are doing it for different reasons that may not be good for you. If you really want to start understanding your audience, you need to know what drives them and what their buying behaviors are.  A great storyteller thinks like, and is tuned in to, his audience. He knows when to slow down and when to speed up for the best effect. A story is at its best when it’s non-intrusive. On social media, the only story that can achieve business goals is one told with native content. If you want to talk to people when they consume entertainment, you need to be entertainment.  Content for the sake of content is pointless. Businesses are on social media because they want to be relevant and engaged, but if their content is banal and unimaginative, it only makes them look like amateurs.

So, you could learn what to do properly, by not doing what the big boys are doing!

How to make your website ‘Engage’ people

We hear it a lot: Why doesn’t my website do what I want. This usually means: ”Why don’t Prospects do what I want them to when they visit my site?” The answer could be buried in all kinds of small details that are stopping your prospects finding the interesting facts they are expecting to find. After all, many large Corporations have time to test their websites, and go through an ongoing diagnostic set of exercise that ‘tweak’ these tiny details. You probably don’t have the time or expense to do this, so here’s some basic ideas that will help you get your site up to the standard that these large Companies take for granted.

Create Great content with Google Trends.  If you could only use one SEO tool to develop an Internet marketing campaign, this product would be a serious contender. Google Trends is a search tool that allows you to search and connect your keywords and search terms through four basic parameters: Web search, Worldwide or Country specific, time (from the present to multiple year-range), and by category. You are immediately focussing attention through Google based on exactly what you are promoting on your site.

Upgrade your hosting, if required: Everyone hates slow upload time on a website – get yours to open as soon as possible, and you will ensure that more visitors find what they are looking for.

Study your Bounce Rate: Which pages just aren’t of interest to anyone? Use Analytics to discover your quietest pages, and change them.

Mould your headlines: What are your top five visited pages? Change their headlines and keywords to focus in on exactly what you want people to do. Concentrate on Benefits, not details.

Correctly place our Call To Action: Use SERP snippets and e-mail forms to entice people to see their interest almost immediately, and contact you about it as soon as they can.

Make sure your contact form is Mobile-Friendly. Everyone is on their mobile devices, and are more accustomed every day to get the information they want. Make sure they can contact you from their devices.

Get a 3rd Party checking tool. Don’t trust people with a vested interest in seeing your site do well to do your analytics (Especially you!), get someone that will give you cold, hard facts.

Images work: Ensure that your images entice visitors by being all about your Goods or Services, and make sure they are linked to information that visitors want. Upgrade those photographs and graphics to ensure they stand out, and are inviting.

It’s worth paying the money now, so that you don’t launch a ‘dud’ site that no-one likes. By following these steps, you will ensure that your site does what it is being built to do, to engage people in an entertaining way that results in business for you. The extra outlay will soon be recouped, and you will be ahead of your competition.

Don’t dump the MMB – that’s the Mobile Marketing Budget

qr code, flashcode, smartphone

While small businesses have to be budget conscious, and always ready to work on the infamous, shoe-string, your overall Marketing plan shouldn’t be part of your fat trimming. You need as many avenues as possible open to your customers and prospects, no matter where you are. Even if you can no longer afford tea bags for the 3.00 pm Friday brainstorming meeting, you really should still be ‘out in the world’ somehow, making sure that as many people see you. After all, they don’t know what size of concern you are – unless you are using small as a selling point.

You can always cut back your avenue expenditure, but where to start? Taking a little bite of each marketplace may be the way to go, but don’t be tempted to entirely dump, or shelve plans for, an entire avenue. Let’s look at Mobile marketing. It is tempting to ask: “Do we need this at all?” Well, if you are a business with an open door, yes you do. Prospects are walking past your open door, and they have they’re mobile devices standing ready, if not actually working. These Mobile prospects also love sharing their opinions on various businesses that they visit. Why would you run the risk of having a positive response available for the world to see, to be added to another site, like Yelp?

Get ready for the future – soon it will be 2015, and mobile isn’t just here to stay, it’s going to expand into areas that we have no idea of, yet. Why wouldn’t you take advantage of this? Here are four reasons why Mobile Marketing works.

Your Business is Online or Software-Oriented

You are going to need to have your mobile strategy ready before you open your doors. Hundreds of Thousands of businesses in these fields don’t – make sure you steal a march on your competition in as many areas as possible. Go mobile, and show off what you can do to savvy buyers right now.

User Interaction IS Your Customer’s Experience

You have the opportunity to show prospects EXACTLY what you have in the same arena that they access their social, gaming, and favourite applications. You can ensure that your Interaction is every bit as clear, simple, and effective as all of these. The User experience is paramount on Mobile devices, so get your interaction into the same field as the big boys, and get those visitors through your door.

Your Business can become a Data Hub

Every business that is looking to spread their marketing will look at Mobile. You will be in the position to offer businesses just like yours results of the Data that your API has collected. You will suddenly become an expert in your field to other start ups, and other companies within your area of excellence. That’s Power!

You can raise funds for your favorite mission online

As more and more people move away from desktop computers and lap-tops for their major daily online time , and no matter what your business is, you can expect people to get ready to give money based on emotional impulses through their mobile devices to missions that match yours. If you are supporting a major, suddenly fashionable, cause – remember the Ice Bucket challenge – people can access it through your working site, while they are ‘on the go’. This will give them an incredibly positive view of your business, and a reason to come back and visit you for a sale.

Mobile is only the tip of the iceberg. If wearable technology sounds like Science Fiction, and more and more apps.  are being loaded into automobiles, while these cars drive themselves, the entire world is ‘going mobile’ Whatever you learn about this kind of promotions now will get you ready for the next step, as well as pay dividends in the short term.