Tuesday 2/3 — Landing Pages

OK, so we’ve covered some pretty good ways to attract customers to your website through various means of inbound marketing, search engine optimization and building a strong presence on social media. Let’s say all of your time and hard work has paid off and you are now getting a considerable amount of traffic to your website, but how do you turn that traffic into revenue?

The first step in converting your website patrons from viewers to purchasers is to have an attractive landing page, one that will grab their attention and garner more interest in your business, product or cause. Your landing page is the first thing that customers will see, so you want it to make a good impression.

Here are some tips and practices that any good business should incorporate into their landing page:

  • Keep it Simple: Your landing page should be very straight forward, and reflect the overall theme or image that your brand is trying to accomplish. Too much clutter can distract customers and drive away potential sales.
  • Catch their eye: The design of your landing page should be attractive and garner interest from the customer wherever they look. Using animations to demonstrate your product or open up to more information can help the customer learn more about you or your product without leaving the page.
  • Call to Action: Have an obvious next step on your landing page, whether it be purchasing or learning more about your brand. There should be a clearly defined option, begging for that next click.
  • Product Demo: Having a video on your landing page to demonstrate your product or inform about your company is a surefire way to increase conversions. It offers the page viewer a chance to learn more about your product without any additional clicks.
  • Targeted Ads: In order to get past the usual “banner blindness” of the everyday online consumer, use targeted advertisements that will make the customer feel like they were designed specifically for them. Using geo-specific ads to present promotions to the customer can help drive sales.

These are just a few of the various tactics to employ on your landing page to help drive sales. A properly optimized landing page will do most of the sales work for you, allowing customers to develop interest in the product at their own pace


Tuesday 1/27

Getting the word out about your blog, website or another area of your social media presence can make all the difference in the world to a struggling company, but with so many areas of input battling for internet user’s attention, it can be hard to draw in the customers you seek. I have selected a few courses from Hootsuite University’s upper level classes that should help streamline your content creation and strengthen your online community.

SCMD 161: Generating and Sharing Content Effectively

The effective use of content creation and also curation can help you engage with your audience while at the same time let your audience feel engaged with your brand as they soak up the information you provide them with.

Created content is exactly how it sounds, content that is original work of your business that is then posted across your social media pages. It is important that your content is interesting, engaging and educational to your audience but creating content like this can be taxing on your resources. It is important that you strike a balance between content quality and quantity. Too much low-quality content will lower the image of your brand with your audience while less, but higher quality content might not be frequent or captivating enough to drive interest from audience.

Curated content is content relevant to your business that is sourced from other media outlets, that is then reviewed by your team to ensure it properly educates and informs the audience your business is directed at. Curation allows your business to save valuable time while also still putting out great quality content that engages and educates your audience. The types of curated content your company publishes should include articles, infographics, photos and relevant blog posts from around your industry. Aggregation can help to gather high quality content from experts in the field, but you should be careful not to include anything from your direct competitors.

SCMD 162: Growing Your Online Community

An online community is a group of people rallying around a shared, common interest. It is important for businesses to recognize their community, and engage with them so that they foster a strong presence within that community. Individuals within a community include followers, customers, influencers and competing businesses.

Listening to your community can provide insight on to how your company is viewed, and to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your products. Communities can also help you when working on a new product as you can poll or directly ask members questions about the features they would like to see implemented by your company. This helps the community to feel like they contributed to the overall product design. A strong community will also help to save you time and effort by the presence of informed customers or community members, who can answer a question or concern for you, reducing the amount of resources spent on the community. Although it is still crucial to monitor and listen to your community.

Tuesday 1/20

According to Scribe, in their ebook (more like a big pamphlet on why you should be using their software): The Business Case for Agile Content Marketing, “the job of any smart marketer is to enter a conversation that’s already taking place, and channel existing desire for solutions and benefits onto a specific solution.” I actually like this metaphor as it accurately describes the role of a content marketer.

In this case, the conversation is the want or need that a potential customer has. This conversation is “already taking place” because at this point the customer has expressed their want with an Internet search. The role of the content marketer then is to optimize their content in a way that not only reaches their customers and fulfills that need, but also does so in the most efficient way possible. This is done by creating content that speaks the same language as your audience while also resulting in a strong ranking among search engine results.

However, strong search engine results are not enough to succeed in today’s online business environment, the content of your website and how you handle it play an equal, if not larger role in getting customers to your desired resolution. Content marketers who do no pick up on current or upcoming trends will fail to strive. Content Harmony listed several trends to take advantage of in the upcoming year, and compared them to the old trends that drive away customers.

The first is to have a mixed content strategy, with plenty of info, visuals and graphics to present more visually appealing content to your audience. The second trend is to choose your battles on the social media front, instead of having an all-you-can-eat, use every social-site strategy. Another trend is to have structured microdata on only the metrics that are important to your business and not marking up everything on your site as it can lead to wasted time and resources.

One trend that I found interesting was the use of print content marketing. I previously thought that this form of marketing would be dying out but Content Harmony makes a strong case for using printed marketing. Handing out a magazine at a tradeshow might seem to old school for today’s marketing climate but if that magazine is well organized and grabs the audience’s attention, it can give your potential customers something that is physical and lasts, and helps your business in segments it might be struggling in.