Archive for June, 2013
You know way more about this than you think you do.
Here’s a question we hear a lot from clients: Does participating in Social guarantee I will have more business? That’s like asking: Will hiring a sales manager double my sales? In both cases, the answer is, it depends. If you hire the right sales manager who knows your industry, understands your customers, and is driven, there’s a good chance you can affect sales. You can say the same about Social.
Here’s why. Investments in Social, sales or any outbound marketing strategy aren’t a panacea in themselves. First ask yourself– no matter what
strategy I employ to affect business, do I have a Web site that allows me to reach out to a lot of potential targeted customers in creative ways with one common set of goals– to convince visitors I can help them, prove I am a credible business and provide visitors with an easy way to take action?
If the answer is no, then neither a Social or sales strategy is the right place to start. Not yet anyway. But that does pose a different dilemma. How do you get a Web site that meets all of those requirements and where do you start?
You already know a lot about the folks you want to do business with– trust in your experience.
1. ____ Begin by visualizing your Most Desired Customer– envision who they are and create a model of your best customer, the one that will become the central focus of your communication.
- __ Start with demographics.
- __ Think about their motivations and what creates the triggers to needing your product or service.
- __ Are they the final decision maker or do they task others to get information for them?
- __ What are their pain points?
- __ Do they need help now or in the future?
- __ Do they use mobile devices to find information online?
- __ Where are they looking for answers?
Your online presence doesn’t begin with you, it begins with those customers. First you must know who they are then you build everything, from your Web site to your Social or sales plan, to meet their needs.
2. ____ Next we must visually translate the model of your ideal customer to an effective Web layout. Learning basic Web Design Thinking that makes it easy for those customers to find the information they’re looking for [in the way they make decisions] and then visually directing them to take action, moves them along the decision making process. Whether through a prominently designed radio button that uses language to persuade someone to “Buy Now”, through a contact form that is easy to fill out or
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a simply stated call-to-action, “Let us Help - 555-555-5555″ at the top of every page, their experience should be like a beacon guiding them through the process of deciding you’re the solution they need. Achieving an aesthetically pleasing Web design layout shouldn’t focus on being “pretty” , or even
proclaiming your brand, as much as making it easy for someone to decide if they trust you, that you can help them and make it easy for them to take action when
3. ____ Once you have a picture of what your ideal customer needs and how to visually communicate to them, make it easy-and even pleasant-for visitors to consume information from your site. Familiarize yourself with Content Optimization so that you’re using messaging and phrases your customers do. Speak to them, addressing their needs at that time. Whether you’re a law firm, an apparel or healthcare company, your content should speak your customers’ language. This isn’t solely an SEO strategy. Optimizing content should have the intent of persuading folks to take that next step toward contacting you.
If you offer products or services locally and you have a physical address that you advertise, you are in luck. Becoming familiar with basic Local Optimization to make your business bubble to the top of Search engine results in local listings is a good thing. Your customers don’t have to sift through a lot of non-targeted Search results to find you.
4. ____ And finally, how do you know
what is and is not working on your Web site? It seems daunting and even boring to look at reports but learning and setting up basic Analytics Reporting is the information that will set you on the profitable track. Analytics will tell you what pages visitors land on and linger on. It will tell whether your customers use organic Search, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or some other channel to find your site. It will tell whether they spent time looking at your services
or shared content that you’ve posted because it’s useful, clever or interesting, or whether it fizzles.
In a nutshell-
Targeted, Convincing, Credible, Actionable,
Measurable– a Web site that meets all those requirements will help you begin to plan creative ways, like Social or outbound sales, to market your business to profitability.