Author: Allyson

Email Marketing – A Better Way

Email Marketing – A Better Way

Laptop open to email program full of unread emails

Love it or hate it – and most people do both – email is here to stay.

As much as it stresses people out, they still continue to check their inbox multiple times a day – as often as every six minutes for some.

It’s a fear of missing out …

But, most of the emails that land in your inbox aren’t worthy of your attention …

You’re not missing anything …

So if you use email to market to your list – you do have a list, right? – and you should be …

The last thing you want to do is contribute to the growing pile of crap that accumulates in people’s inboxes.

Make Your Emails Recognisable

People have signed up to your list, meaning they want to receive emails from your company.

So make your emails instantly recognisable with your brand name – not just the name of someone in your marketing department. It’s fine to add that human touch with someone’s name but be sure your recipients know who that someone is and where the email has come from, at a glance.

If I see an email from an unknown name in my inbox there’s a good chance I’ll delete it as spam.

In the quest to achieve Inbox Zero – an urban myth? – people don’t have time to check every email …

If it’s not instantly recognisable, it’s out.

Self-Contained Emails

Many emails now have everything contained in them, so you don’t have to click through to find out more.

Meaning click-through rates will no longer be a measure of a successful email campaign.

It also means your email needs to do double duty to persuade people to heed your CTA, since they’ll no longer need to click through to your website or landing page.

Interactive Emails

Again, a type of self-contained email where the reader can take an action – fill in a survey, take a poll – right there within the email, instead of clicking through to another site.

Get creative and delight your email recipients with discount coupons you have to ‘scratch’ to reveal, or live shopping carts within the email …

Even live scheduling on a calendar if you’re promoting an event …

 Embedded Video

Video marketing is huge, for good reason.

A video, embedded in your email, captures attention and makes your content more likely to be consumed and forwarded.

Even including the word, video, in your email subject line can increase open rates.

But consider carefully whether you want your video to autoplay – people prefer to have control over when they’ll press play …

As well as being really annoying, it can cause problems for those checking email on their phone in meetings and public places.

Embedded video can also solve the problem of people putting off clicking through to watch.

It’s already in front of them, and since it’s a short, engaging video – take note of that – they might as well watch it straight away.

The Element of Surprise

Once your customers start to realise that your emails are a little bit different – meaning interesting and worthy of their attention – you can add surprises …

People love surprises and yours will be the first email opened as soon as it lands in their inbox because they can’t wait to see what you’ve come up with this time.

Just remember, the people on your email list have given you permission to email them …

So surprise and delight them and make them happy to be on your list.

Email should never be boring, it’s too easy to unsubscribe.

 

Keep the Faith

 

 

The Future of Content Marketing – Love and Loyalty

The Future of Content Marketing – Love and Loyalty

A hand holding a tablet showing content marketing strategies

Content marketing continues to grow, and grow up.

Your customers don’t want to be searching for and comparing products between companies every time they need or want to buy something.

They want life to be easier. They’re busy people and the easier you make it for them, the more likely they’ll become loyal customers.

And that’s what they want too …

A company they can trust, follow and buy from with confidence, knowing they’ll always get the best product or service for them because you care about your customers, not your bottom line.

You can be that brand your customers love …

High Quality Content Will Always Rule

When someone arrives at your website, from anywhere, they’re there to find something. Information, a product, a service, and they want to find it fast. No one’s getting any younger …

If you have what they’re looking for let them know, quickly, before they move on.

This is where helpful and engaging content works best.

High quality content that informs and educates people without the hard sell.

If your product or service is what your visitor needs or wants it’ll sell itself – as long as your content conveys that in the right way.

Multi-Channel Experimentation

How you engage and market to your customers and potential customers depends on your target audience, but as a rule it’s best to try a variety of channels such as email, various website content, social media and even text messages.

Experiment with blog posts, video, podcasts etc. but use common sense. If you’re marketing to Baby Boomers you won’t get good results using Snapchat or Instagram …

Go where your tribe hangs out …

We Love Stories

Everyone loves a good story and you can make your brand interesting, and even endearing, by telling your stories in a way that makes people want to find out more.

And that means they’ll keep coming back – that’s the beginning of loyalty

Give your company a human face – preferably the same one/s every time so it’s instantly recognisable as your brand. Be funny, be quirky, be socially responsible, be what your brand stands for, but above all, be consistent.

You can tell your story in bite-sized episodes, in a range of different mediums; it’s up to you …

Get creative, but listen to what your loyal tribe wants …

And give it to them.

Especially Visual Stories

Video continues to dominate and most brands will benefit from some sort of video presence to engage people. But be respectful of people’s time …

No one has the time or the inclination to watch a half hour video that ends up being a long-winded sales pitch …

And, I’ve said it before, ditch the auto-play. Thankfully most videos now give the user control over when they want to watch.

It’s all about control, theirs, not yours!

Stop Trying to Sell

I know you’re in business to sell and make a profit, but …

Selling is no longer the focus or main goal of good content marketing. It’s your job to engage your customers and show them that your product or service is right for them.

They’ll make up their own minds.

And if you’ve built a loyal following by being honest, authentic and relevant to your tribe, then you’ve already done your selling …

Your content did it for you.

And that folks, is called Content Marketing …

 

Keep the Faith

Video Email Marketing – Because You Can!

Video Email Marketing – Because You Can!

A Mobile Phone Being Used to Make a Video

Still one of the best marketing strategies of all time, email marketing can give you a 3800% return on investment …

Seriously, that’s not a typo. That’s a return of $38 for every marketing dollar you spend.

That’s insanely lucrative …

And that’s a conservative figure.

But, Aren’t People Tired of Marketing Emails?

With all the spam and other garbage that lands in people’s inboxes, how do you get people to even open your emails, let alone read them, and heed your call-to-action?

Well, that’s where your email subject line does all the heavy lifting, but I have and I will talk more about that in other posts.

Let’s assume your emails are eagerly opened because of your captivating, just-can’t-resist subject lines …

How do you keep the reader’s attention?

As I said in my last post, it’s all about video now, so including video in your emails can increase conversions, and brand awareness …

As well as educate and enthral your readers, and increase shares on social media, and by forwarding the email to other people.

Yes, good videos can do all that …

But, notice I said ‘good’ …

Read my last post on creating engaging videos …

Video Can Do All This …

Besides lifting your ROI and click-through-rates – as if that isn’t enough – video email marketing can:

  • Make your messages stand out and be remembered longer
  • Give your company a human touch
  • Reduce ambiguity and make your message crystal clear – text can sometimes be misinterpreted
  • Have more of an emotional impact
  • Shorten the sales cycle by reducing buying decision time
  • Increase customer interaction by as much as 300%
  • Reach more people than just your subscriber list when the emails are shared and forwarded

Those are some pretty compelling reasons to add video to your email marketing campaigns, but how do you make them interesting and valuable to the viewer?

What Sort Of Videos Should You Make?

Well, here you can get as creative as you want but …

Depending on what product or service you’re selling, you could:

  • Demonstrate the benefits. Seeing it being used is more convincing than reading about it.
  • Take your viewers on a tour of your offices, your manufacturing plant, where you source your materials, your shipping department, anywhere that’s likely to be considered different and educational.
  • Introduce yourself, and your staff, so people know who they’re dealing with.
  • Showcase glowing testimonials from happy customers.
  • Answer some of the more frequently asked questions.
  • Address any doubts or barriers that may come up when people are deciding to purchase.
  • Deliver short training and how-to videos.
  • Interview a knowledgeable expert.
  • Announce something new and exciting.
  • Record happy holiday greetings from you and your staff.

As long as the videos are short and relevant there’s no end of fascinating things you can do to capture your reader’s attention.

Just Keep It Short, Simple And To The Point …

And, unless the product or service really calls for it, speak in a casual, conversational tone.

Use only one video per email. You don’t want to overwhelm your subscribers.

And be sure to track your results – your open rates, video views, and click-through-rates and conversion rates – so you can gauge what’s working and what’s not.

Should You Embed?

Should you embed the videos into your email, or ask the viewer to click on a link?

A few years ago most email software couldn’t play video within the email but we’ve come a long way, baby, so I say yes, embed it into your email, but don’t have it autoplay. Let the viewer click the play button when they’re ready …

And always include a text link for people who either don’t want to watch the video in their inbox, or don’t have the software to enable them to …

There Are No Barriers To Making Good Marketing Videos

Video is so cheap and easy to make now that there’s no excuse for boring marketing emails …

Just use your imagination and ask yourself what is it your subscribers want – then give it to them in a short but captivating video …

And don’t forget your call-to-action, you didn’t make those masterpieces for nothing.

 

KEEP THE FAITH

Video Marketing – Get On Board Now

Video Marketing – Get On Board Now

Close up of a video recorder

Of all the online marketing channels available now, video has to be the easiest way to get people’s attention and pull them into your content.

It’s been said that if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a thousand pictures …

Online video marketing is everywhere, and it isn’t going away. Videos entertain, educate, and persuade, many of them do all three.

It’s so easy to click play, and watch a video. It’s instant gratification. People don’t want to just read and look at static images anymore, they want to experience your content …

So let them.

And now, with the ability to embed video into marketing emails, what’s not to love?

All marketing videos should tell the viewer what to do next. They are, essentially, video sales letters and, from the user’s point of view, it’s much easier to watch a five-minute video than it is to read a 15-page sales letter …

For the marketer, that means more of your message will be seen, and therefore higher conversion rates …

Around two and a half times more …

Can you say profitable?

Have a look at this updated infographic on hubspot.com for some eye-popping stats.

So, What Makes a Good Marketing Video?

Pretty much the same things that make any video good …

With video, the publisher has more control. The viewer can’t skip ahead to see the price, or anything else, and often can’t buy until the Order button appears on the page. The viewer consumes the content in the order it was intended to be seen …

So make the experience a pleasant one, because people can still click away if they’re frustrated or don’t feel in control.

And what makes a video hard to resist?

  • Story – with the usual elements of setup, conflict, and resolution.
  • Emotion – video is far superior to text, and even images, at conveying the right emotion.
  • Humour – but only if it’s appropriate to your brand and product. Some things just aren’t funny so keep it in good taste.
  • Lots of movement – change scenes, angles, close-ups, scenery and background activity often to keep it interesting.
  • Include faces – humans are hardwired to love seeing faces, they’re attention-grabbers.
  • Use good, sensible captions – some people prefer to leave the sound off, some have no choice.

The Initial Call-To-Action

Your first CTA is to get the viewer to watch the video …

Dump the generic Learn More, See More, or Click Here and instead use action verbs like Watch

And try to include as much information as you can in your CTA – without being wordy.

If it’s a short video, tell them. If it’s a free video, definitely tell them. And if you want them to watch it now, then tell them …

How about: Watch this short, free video now

The Video’s Call-to Action

Don’t go to the trouble of making a great video unless you also have a great CTA, and not something stuck onto the end as an afterthought …

Keep your goal clearly in mind when you make the video.

The entire video should be subtly moving the viewer along so they’ll naturally take the action you want them to take …

And when you’re ready to move the viewer on, make it easy for them. Leave them wanting to take the next step, and tell them exactly how to do it.

Other Things To Consider

Try to keep your videos to a reasonable length, but long enough to get your message across. Don’t waste people’s time …

For those viewers who do want to hear your video, make sure it’s worth listening to …

Use a good microphone, and record in a quiet place away from ambient noise.

If you use music, please choose it carefully. How many videos have you watched with loud, annoying and inappropriate music?

The right music can set the tone …

The wrong music will ruin your video and kill viewer response.

The same goes for colour …

Choose your colours and your backgrounds carefully …

You don’t want to be advertising summer fun with grey skies and rain on the horizon.

Video Versatility

As well as the more obvious appeal of videos, they’re also great for promoting your brand on social media – think how many videos are on Facebook – and most other online marketing channels.

You could use a video to market your video …

So get creative, because video just gave you a lot more ways to do that.

 

KEEP THE FAITH

 

 

Online Marketing Trends in 2018

Online Marketing Trends in 2018

Online Marketing

At the core of good content marketing is, of course, good content. There is no substitute for interesting, relevant, and authentic content.

But, at the beginning of every year it comes to light that certain content marketing trends have been a big hit in the last twelve months.

Customer-Driven …

Content marketing is no longer about driving sales, it’s all about providing a worthwhile experience for your audience.

In other words, it’s not about selling, it’s about helping.

It’s about how you make a difference for your customers …

Be respectful, engage with your audience, and join the conversation without shouting about your brand.

When people visit your website they want to find what they need quickly, and they want it to be easy to consume.

But not fluff pieces. There’s too much of that already.

No more me-too content. It’s ok to post less often, but post longer more in-depth and valuable content.

More is not better – never sacrifice quality for quantity. Take the time to create better content …

And to create better content, you need better writers …

Writers who know the latest marketing trends and take the time stay up to date with what’s new.

So What Should We Expect to See More of in 2018?

The three big marketing winners in 2017 were user experience content, video, and email.

Content marketing is an experience for your target audience. Make sure your site structure is easy to navigate, and try to anticipate what your reader needs. Where do you want them to go next?

Guide them, and make it easy and enjoyable.

Stop bombarding people with your brand, and make your content about them.

Remember, don’t try to sell them, try to help them. The law of reciprocity will ensure they buy from you when they know what they want.

Because you were there to help them, they’ll want to return the favour …

More Video …

Video is still hugely popular and it isn’t going away. Many brands are adding a YouTube channel or Facebook video to their sites.

Engaging videos can educate your audience so they can make a more informed decision.

Original content that doesn’t sell anything is the way to go. People don’t want to be sold. Create something just for your audience without trying to sell them anything.

People want to see the people they’re doing business with so get real, get vulnerable, and tell your story …

Email Marketing is Still Big …

I can’t foresee a time when it won’t be one of the most important marketing channels, and one of the most successful.

Personalised emails show your customers you understand their needs and wants, and with more advanced AI you should soon be able to collect the data you need to really get personal …

But for now it’s still nice to use a personalised greeting. I hate emails that address me as ‘hey’, especially from companies that know my name. That’s just lazy and arrogant …

Many emails have dumped the clickable link in favour of having the content right there in the email.

I know I’m more likely to consume the entire email if everything is already there for me. If I have to click on a link and go to a website then it becomes something I’ll get to later, or not at all.

Of course, you still need to have links to your website and other content but people will go there for more information once they’ve read your brilliant email.

One more reason to hire great writers …

Combine Video and Email For Powerful Marketing

And embedded videos can be engaging if used wisely.

Never use video if it’s not necessary. Only use in emails to convey something that wouldn’t work well with just images …

Most of us have seen those awful looped videos that play continuously while you’re trying to read. Don’t do it …

And never make your videos auto-play. There’s nothing more annoying than a video playing by itself. People can decide for themselves if they want to click play …

Don’t take that control away from your readers.

But Wait, There’s More …

If you see a company, perhaps one of your competitors, advertising often and in multiple channels — chances are it’s working for them. Study that company. Is there something they are doing that you can implement?

A good content strategist will already know all the new marketing techniques and can advise on what will work best for your brand and your audience to ensure your company isn’t left behind.

This post is only a quick overview of what’s currently working well in online marketing. Look out for more posts during the year as we see new marketing practices unfold …

 

KEEP THE FAITH

 

 

 

 

SEO – So Easily Obtained

SEO – So Easily Obtained

SEO - So Easily Obtained
SEO is much simpler now

Mention SEO and you’ll likely get one of three responses – confusion, fear, or indifference.

And some think SEO is no longer important, but you still need to use certain keywords in your content and social media to be found in searches.

Many people don’t want to touch SEO because the rules keep changing, and who has the time to keep up with all that?

But, really, Search Engine Optimisation is simple if you remember a few important points.

No More Keyword Stuffing

Gone are the bad old days of keyword stuffing, dirty tricks, and boring content that’s so obviously not written for people to read.

Google has made it all so easy now with its artificial intelligence, Rank Brain, which reads and evaluates your pages the same way people do – so just write for your target audience. I’ve been saying it all along …

Good content that resonates with your readers, answers their questions, and does what you intended it to do will always rank better.

That’s because your visitors stay on your site, click on your call-to-action, share your content on social media, or click to other pages within your site. All this tells Google that your website is good, and useful, and it will reward you by giving your ranking a boost.

But You Still Need Keywords

Of course, there are other things you can do, and I’ll go into more detail in future articles, but for now we’ll focus on easy things you can do to optimise your content, and therefore your website.

You need to start by finding the best keywords to use. Google’s keyword planner will give you some basic information and general trends, but if you’re serious about SEO you’ll need to use something that provides more data. Tools like semrush.com and wordtracker.com are good investments. There are a lot of different tools out there, you’ll need to shop around to find the right one for you.

It helps to use your keywords not just in the content itself, but in the headline, tagline, and subheads.

The headline – or title – of your content is also the clickable link that’ll be seen in the search engine results. Make sure it’s interesting or intriguing enough that people will click on it.

The content your visitors can read is called on-page SEO, but there are some tweaks you can make behind the scenes that only search engines can read.

What Else Can You Do?

Writing a good meta description for your content, with relevant keywords is just as important if you want to rank well.

Your site’s Domain Authority is another major factor in effective SEO. Good links, backlinks, and how long your site has been around will all make an impact.

Quality backlinks – links from other sites to your content – from sites with good domain authority tells Google you’re a trusted and respected site. When your backlinks come from trusted sources your site gains some of that trust too. A bit like having good testimonials from respected professionals in your field.

Just Deliver The Goods

No one really knows what Google’s algorithm is but if your website content is written for real people, is engaging and solves their problems, that’s all you really need.

The best thing you can do is check where your site is ranking, tweak your SEO, and study the sites that rank higher than you to see what they’re doing differently.

It all comes down to finding your target audience, being authentic, and delivering the goods.

I may have mentioned that before …

 

KEEP THE FAITH

 

Passion or Purpose? Why Not Both?

Passion or Purpose? Why Not Both?

Passion Pitbull

There’s a lot of advice around about following your passion if you want to be happy and successful.

Most of us have heard: Follow your passion and success/money will follow.

But if you Google ‘follow your passion’ the first page is full of advice about NOT following your passion.

So what’s going on here?

Doing something you’re passionate about is never bad advice, and quite often is where you’ll find success/money.

And happiness …

Passion = Happiness

I think following your passion, or your bliss, or your dreams, is too open to interpretation …

And far too vague …

It’s more about doing what you know …

There are some things you know more about and have more experience with than 90% of the population.

Passion doesn’t always enter into it, but often does.

And if it’s something you enjoy, then you’ll be good at it …

Because you enjoy it.

And presumably you indulge regularly.

Passion = Interest

There’s a good chance others are also interested in it …

And that’s where mining your experience and knowledge can really pay off for you.

When you do what you know, there’s no steep learning curve.

Of course, it’s unlikely you know everything about it, so you’ll want to learn more …

But you already ‘get it’ …

So there’s a good chance reading and learning more will be fun and interesting. And something you’d do in your spare time anyway …

My Passion …

When I first started writing web copy I would write for anyone who needed my services. On any subject, even some I knew nothing about.

The research I had to do to be able to write about new topics was taking up most of my days – I’m nothing if not thorough.

Then, I’d write my piece, and get paid. And I’d know a lot more about that industry than I did before I took the job …

But then I’d move onto another client and another subject, and it would start all over again.

My general knowledge was a mile wide, but only an inch deep …

And I was working long hours for little reward – I don’t really need an in-depth education on verandas and pergolas, or big screen TVs.

They are fine subjects, but they’re not for me. I’m not passionate about them, and it showed in my writing.

Now I write about things I care deeply about: natural health, personal development, and animals …

And I really walk my talk …

I love writing about them, I have plenty to say, and my excitement for them bursts out of my writing, and inspires others.

And best of all, because these topics are a part of my life, and have been for many years, I don’t need to spend so much time on research.

I can mine my many years of experience …

And I can be authentic and passionate in my service to others.

Passion = Authenticity

There are plenty of companies out there peddling services and promising the world …

They sound good at first …

But there’s no enthusiasm or excitement so they consistently under-deliver lacklustre services, and their customers are left disappointed and unhappy.

When you’re fired up and driven, you’re also genuine and authentic.

People are drawn to authenticity. They themselves feel more authentic when they see it in others …

When you do what you know consistently, you become an industry expert …

And your dedication to that industry shines through in the work you do.

Passion = Purpose

Think of it more as purpose. Your purpose in life …

But there should be passion in your purpose …

I think the original advice is still good, but it’s been misinterpreted …

Perhaps it should be ‘follow your purpose’ –  your mission in life.

And to find that, well, you’ll need to feel the passion.

I’m all for passion, in everything you do. The world needs passionate people – there’s too much apathy and indifference …

If you can swing it so your passion is your job, then use your job as a vehicle to fulfil your purpose …

What’s not to love about that?

 

KEEP THE FAITH

.

Love Me, Love My Brand – Building Trust

Love Me, Love My Brand – Building Trust

Building Trust

Following on from last month’s post about branding I’m going to talk about why people prefer to do business with those they know, like, and trust.

Of course they do …

It makes sense if you think about it …

No one wants to do business with someone who seems shifty and unpleasant.

In fact, that’s a lesson on how not to do business.

But even being pleasant and agreeable won’t cut it if people think you don’t know what you’re doing …

That just makes you a lovable idiot …

And that’s not what you want.

So, you and your brand need to have all three qualities:

  • You need to be likeable. Someone who cares, about their business, and their customers. Someone who is just like their target market.
  • You need to be memorable. Your business has to stand out from the crowd, for all the right reasons.
  • You need to prove to potential customers that you know what you’re doing. That you know what people want, and you’re the expert they need.

In short, you must position yourself as a trusted, caring professional. A bit like your favourite doctor or dentist …

How you do that depends on your audience …

Let’s Start With The Likeability Factor …

Humour is always good, as long as it’s appropriate and you know your readers will ‘get it’. It’s hard to dislike someone who’s made you laugh …

Understanding your market, and knowing their likes, dislikes, and problems will garner trust and congeniality, especially if you’ve experienced the same things as your reader.

Your website copy has to connect with your reader on a deeper level than just stating the problem and the solution.

Feel their pain, their joy, their frustration, their anger …

Get personal …

Tell people why you do what you do. Tell stories about your triumphs and failures. Show people you’re just like them …

Inspire people. Motivate them. Make them feel good about themselves, and about your company.

Speak the same way your customers speak, if you’re just like them it should come naturally.

Give value, even in your free content. Go over and above what they expect …

Be honest and open, and authentic.

What’s not to love about that?

Building Trust …

Is easy if you’ve been in business for a while, and you’ve delivered on your promises.

Your customers will verify your integrity and reliability in the form of testimonials, customer reviews, and case studies.

For new businesses you’ll just have to build that trust slowly …

And you customers may have to take a leap of faith.

But there are ways to build trust and ease their minds.

Having a professional and easy to navigate website is a good start …

Of course your product or service will have some sort of guarantee and easy returns process, so new customers are satisfied they’re not taking any risks by trusting you.

It also helps to anticipate any questions your readers might have and putting them, along with your answers, on a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.

And make it super easy for people to contact you – preferably a live chat, or fast email reply, or even a phone number. Remember those?

Just be accessible …

So How Do You Prove You Know What You’re Talking About?

It comes back to that professional-looking website …

Make sure all your content is knowledgeable, and worth reading.

Know what your audience has to come to find out …

Research them so they can research you.

It helps if you have other ways to prove your competence and experience – books, podcasts, speaking gigs, guest posts on respected websites, courses. It all adds to your credibilty …

A few minutes on your website should prove to people that you know your stuff, and they’re in the right place.

People visit your website to find what they need, usually solutions to their problems …

If you can provide all that, and make them feel safe, comfortable and confident doing business with you …

Then what’s not to know, like, and trust?

It becomes just another facet of your remarkable brand.

Too easy …

 

Keep The Faith

 

Branding: How To Rise Above The Crowd

Branding: How To Rise Above The Crowd

Branding: Stand out from the crowd.

Branding. It’s not just something farmers do to their livestock.

And it’s no longer just your company name on your product or service.

It’s about telling your story and why you’re different to the competition, and, most important of all, why you’re the better choice.

It’s about being recognised, talked about, and trusted to deliver quality and service in a way that makes your customers feel good about doing business with you.

In other words, people choose your brand because they know and like you, and trust you’ll  do the right thing by them.

Find Your Tribe …

You can’t be all things to all people so the first thing you need to do is define your target market, and then be the best at giving them what they want and need.

Research what they want and need, don’t guess at it

These are your customers, they should be your main focus, and you should know all about them.

Don’t worry about anyone who isn’t in your tribe. They won’t like you or your products or services.

That’s fine. There’s another company out there who will resonate with them. They’re not your concern.

What’s Your USP? …

Your website copy and other marketing messages should emphasise what your company does, and how it helps your customers – your unique value proposition (USP).

All of your content should consistently incorporate your USP.

Consistency is key here. Consistency in your message, and quality and value.

Try to show that you’re different, and better, than your competition. Show that you have something others don’t have– or perhaps you don’t have and they do, if it’s undesirable.

Don’t go for ‘the same but better’, find what’s different about your company.

Only by being different and better can you stand out from the crowd.

Your differences are what will make people choose you over your competitors.

Show Them Your Personality …

One of the best ways to be different is to have personality. What sort of people are in your target market? What sort of personality are they likely to have?

Your company’s personality needs to be similar so they can relate to you.

And your website content has to convey that personality – consistently.

If it’s appropriate, give them some emotion …

Suprise your readers with something unexpected …

And always include stories and anecdotes to provide authenticity.

Be real, be human, even if it makes you feel vulnerable.

Your readers want to feel like they’re reading something from someone just like them …

Someone who understands …

And knows them.

Someone they like, and could be friends with …

This Is Your Authentic Brand …

All this combined becomes your brand. A brand your customers like and trust …

THE brand they turn to first whenever they need your products or services.

So, to make your brand rise above the crowd, you need to:

  • Find your tribe of people. The ones you went into business to help, the ones who will keep you in business.
  • Find out what they need and want. Research them, and their biggest problems. Don’t guess, really dig deep to understand them.
  • Highlight your company’s USP and why you’re different and better, not the same and better.
  • Consistently integrate your message throughout all your copy, content and core marketing materials.
  • Add some personality – make sure it aligns with the personality of your target market so they like and trust you.

Once you have all that, you can start to include the rest of your branding pieces – logos, taglines, design templates, colour schemes, images …

And always be true to your brand – deliver on your promises, or better yet, over deliver.

Your customers will love you, you’ll always be top of mind, and your tribe will continue to grow.

 

Keep The Faith

 

 

 

Lead Generation – It’s Not Just Emails

Lead Generation – It’s Not Just Emails

Lead Generation Components

Previously I’ve talked about building your email list as one of the most effective ways to add value to your clients and prospective clients, and to generate leads.

But sending compelling emails isn’t the only way to do it …

What about direct mail campaigns, social media, landing pages, banner ads, and LinkedIn?

And the content on your website – blog posts, videos, product descriptions, white papers, case studies, sales pages, infographics, and webinars?

They’re all designed to persuade people to say yes to your offer.

So which ones are the most effective?

And do you have to use them all?

I guess that depends on how good your lead generation is now.

Every business will already be using some of the above – if not all (for the energetic and enthusiastic marketers among us).

If your sales are down and you need more sales leads it can only help to devise a marketing campaign using channels you haven’t previously tried.

So which ones are best?

We’ll start with how you’re driving traffic to your site …

The best content in the world is worthless if no one sees it.

Direct mail campaigns coupled with banner ads and landing pages are sure ways to drive traffic, and organic search is second only to email for bringing eyeballs to your content – as long as your website is optimised for search.

Social media can’t be ignored anymore – it isn’t going away

Promote your captivating content on Twitter and LinkedIn, they’re the biggies in B2B, but B2C marketers will benefit from using them too.

Then there’s Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and all of those others, with new ones popping up almost daily. All valuable depending on the type of business you run.

Try and stick with just two or three relevant social media channels. You don’t want to spread yourself too thin. You’ll look needy and desperate if you try to have a presence on every channel. And hire a social media expert to do it for you. No one has the time and skill to run all their marketing campaigns effectively.

As I said in my last post, hire a professional to do the things you can’t do yourself, for whatever reason.

Right, so now you’ve piqued the people’s interest, and they’re eagerly flocking to your site.

You’d better have the goods to back up the claims in your advertising.

When it comes to website content more is better

And all different types …

People have their own favourite type of media, that they relate to best, so have blog posts, white papers (for B2B), case studies, sales pages and exciting sensory product descriptions for those who like to read.

For your more visual visitors give them videos, webinars and attractive infographics.

You can turn some of your text-based content like case studies and sales pages into videos …

And product descriptions translate particularly well to video. It’s so much easier to persuade people if they can see the product being used – think TV infomercials.

So there you have it …

Email is still number one, but there are lots of other ways to get attention, show you have the solution to people’s problems, and keep them interested until they’re convinced.

Just remember, the longer you can keep them on your site, the more chance you’ll have to turn them into customers …

But you’ve got to get them there first …

Keep testing, and use what works for you.

Keep The Faith