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Tuesday, 16 April 2013 06:16

Get Your Call-To-Actions Working

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For your business website to succeed in terms of online marketing you need to have the best call-to-actions possible—whether you’re selling digital products, or trying to generate sales leads or inquiries about your services. Get them wrong and you will have invested a lot of money on nothing; get them right and you’ll see your business grow.

Here are a number of strategies you need to employ to ensure the success of your call-to-actions:

WIIFM

Starting out, take a look at WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?)the key question your call-to-actions must convey to the visitor to your site. “Check this out” is doomed to failure, whereas “Get expert feedback and improve your results” makes it clear to the visitor that there genuinely is a benefit if you click through.

Know the Offer

It’s also imperative that you are fully aware of the kind of offer you are making. Is it an affiliate link, or are you inviting the visitor to contact you about a major service or product—something that they really can’t refuse? The clearer you are about the offer, the better chance you have of conveying it to your audience. Put simply, don’t just rush to market. Take time to clarify the value of the offer you are making through your call-to-action, to ensure you get a higher click-through rate.

Create Standout Graphics and Copy

Graphics and copy are essential to your call-to-action. Great copy explains the benefit of the offer, pushing those emotional triggers (mystery, power, etc.) that pique our interest. I love the way WebSynthesis hosting uses “Managed WordPress hosting with industry-topping performance and security” before adding the “Find out more.” The “industry-topping performance” is powerful copy, appealing to the business user who wants the very best.

Make Sure Your Call-Outs are Seen

Placement is, of course, vital. Don’t bury your call-outs under the fold. Make sure they stand out and grab the reader’s attention within seconds of landing on the site. Sidebars, typically the hunting ground of call-to-actions, are perhaps not as powerful as they once were. We are so used to seeing them littered with advertisements, so think creatively about what you can do to attract the interest of visitors to your site.

Remember to Do the Math

Finally, don’t forget to measure the performance of your call to actions. Putting the right metrics in place is an essential part of monitoring how call-to-actions on your site are performing. Without data, the changes you make will be pure guesswork. You need to understand what is working and what is not working in order to be able to tweak your site and measure for better conversions.

Source: Jontus Media. Written by Jon, Owner of Jontus Media, marketing consultant, lifelong Liverpool FC support and podcaster. 

Monday, 08 April 2013 07:01

It’s More Than Just a Logo!

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Social media is still a burgeoning movement for people and businesses alike. With the majority of the world using Facebook and Twitter, your presence must be known on both, be a reflection of your company and website, and avoid miscues which could determine the credibility of your business.

Let’s start with Facebook. The most common mistake for businesses on this social channel is how they talk to their readers and those who interact on the page. Incorrect tone could mean a lot of things ranging from posting little to no unique content; posts come across like broadcasts, or poor engagement. Because social media is about connecting people together, you don’t want your social media posts to sound like broadcasts or short marketing pitches. Bringing some personality and individuality to your page will keep your followers interested in what you have to say and will give them a chance to engage with you. 

In regards to engagement, it is important to know and use different kinds of posts throughout the week in order to keep your page from sounding like a monotone news network. Ask questions, have trivia, fill in the blanks, ask your audiences to write a caption for a photo, and above all, create posts with the intent of commenting and interacting. 

Now onto Twitter. Twitter is a fast-moving network where tweeting at least three times a day is the norm. When your business tweets (at least three times a day!), make sure to favorite or retweet those who retweet you or reply to one of your tweets. This will increase the interaction on your Twitter page and help you build your connections, which could potentially be customers. Put out messages you think people will want to share, post links and photos, but remember, you only have 140 characters.

When it comes to social media and giving it the chance to help our businesses, remember these key factors. Post content that people would enjoy reading, seeing, listening to because they will share your content if they like it, engage with your followers to keep them coming back and making them vocal advocates for your company, post eighty percent of the time and interact twenty percent, and above all, make sure to have each of your social channels look like your website. With consistent branding, your company will be easily recognized across multiple channels.

For more information on creating the best social media channels, check out Brian Matson’s supplier summit session: Social Media Marketing. 

Written by: Chelsea Stoskopf Source: Brian V. Matson, strategist and client services manager for Think Social Media. Brian has previously worked for a DMO before his current job and is a lover of all things techie. He is also passionate about capturing authentic experiences via social channels.

Monday, 01 April 2013 10:02

The Power and Versatility of Online Content

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In this day and age, sharing information with millions of people is as easy as the click of your mouse. But not all information is good, or “share”-worthy. So, how will you guarantee your content is good enough to be “liked” and “shared?”

Content is King

True success in social media starts with content. And unless you have good, strong, authentic content, you’re wasting your time and won’t be able to get the traction that you really want or need. 

It all starts with the content you post on your website. When you’re coming up with content, keep in mind that you will be using it across different social channelsall of which need to continue the story you started on your website and direct traffic back to it. The goal is to use photos, tags, keywords, videos, and small blocks of text to get your messages out on the social channels, roll them into blog posts, and direct readers back to content on your Web page

Authenticity

In the travel industry, destinations are generally the same in what they offer: great attractions, theme parks, shows, nature, dining, and hotels. What makes your destination different? What makes it unique? This is the kind of content you need to research and produce, because that’s what will make people want to choose your destination over another. 

Marketing

Don’t sound like a marketing firm in your written content. Social media has become the norm for finding information on places, people, and things, and your readers don’t want to hear marketing jargon when it comes to finding out what your destination offers. Social media has become more personable (not less) in the sense that readers and followers want to know if the person on the other side of the screen really cares about them and what they want. Making your content sound less like a marketing pitch and more like a personable post will gain more readers who are more likely to “share” and “like” your content.

For more information about social media marketing, click here to purchase a 2012 Group Travel Supplier Summit download http://grouptravelsupplier.com/summit2012/107.

Written by: Chelsea Stoskopf Source: Brian V. Matson, strategist and client services manager for Think Social Media, previously worked for a DMO and is a lover of all things techie. He is also passionate about capturing authentic experiences via social channels.

Thursday, 21 March 2013 04:44

How to Find Sales and Marketing Alignment

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We’re all familiar with the divide between sales and marketing. The two teams should be working together, but often they feel like they’re on separate islands.

Here are some practical ways to help avoid, or solve, the problem, leading to a happy state of sales and marketing alignment:

Problem 1: The Lead Quality Problem

This one is marketers are all too familiar with—the dreaded “the leads suck!” situation. It manifests in several ways. Sales may have too few leads or too many. Marketing complains that sales isn’t following up quickly enough. Sales reps are struggling to make their quota, and thus relying less on marketing.

What You Could Do

One, invest in lead scoring and sales enablement tools. With lead scoring you could qualify leads as they move through your pipeline, prioritizing leads so sales are only working those that are ready to buy. You could also equip sales with tools that track leads’ recent online behavior—what topics, eBooks, and Web pages they’re exploring—and enable them to respond to opportunities on the fly.

Another step is to get buy-in from sales. Marketing needs to break down the walls, letting sales see their plans, how they will nurture leads and prep them for reps. This will probably require getting the head of marketing and sales together to talk it out.

Problem 2: Sales and Marketing Have Different Views of Universe

Like any family, there’s some level of dysfunction. For sales and marketing the dysfunction often comes down to having different views of what works, what doesn’t, and what the data means. Marketing and sales might be judging performance and strategy from different, opposing data sets. Either team may be relying on anecdotes rather than real data. And then there’s the old “who gets the credit?” wars dividing the teams.

What You Could Do

If this is your situation, the first thing you should do is come together and set common definitions for each buying stage. If you can’t agree on what stages make up your pipeline or what qualifies a lead to move through those stages, you’ll never agree on anything.

Throughout this process, sales and marketing should maintain a “bias towards action.” No sales cycle is perfect, just in a constant state of perfecting. You could argue the finer points all quarter long, but both sides should be committed to getting it done.

Finally, tear down the walls. Attend each other’s meetings, checking in regularly with each other. Take an “open book” approach to budgets. Bottom line: The more you communicate, the fewer surprises that lead to arguments there are.

Source: Jesse Noyes, It's All About Revenue Blog 

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