Monthly Archives: April 2013

Ugly Websites Get NO Love

webdesign

Websites come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, however even to this day we see the constant onslaught of poorly designed, optimized, and maintained websites. The issue that comes about with this is that sometimes underneath that horrible UI or design is some truly great insight to be had. They always tell you not to judge a book by its cover, but this is the digital age! books are e-books now and websites are easily built to be effective, the absence of an attractive website is an issue that has no valid excuse.

Looking at design first, a very attractive and non-overbearing design needs to be instated with a nice guide for everyone to visibly see. There needs to be a short, sweet and unique value proposition to captivate the audience and deter bouncing. Often times rotating banners below the page selector can be very effective, catering towards a wide range of consumers. Connectivity is also key! you need to have synergy across all internet marketing and social media so all extensions of the brand across the web need to be easily accesible.

Another key component is to have the website easy to convert users, whether it be sales, follows, or sign ups for newsletters it needs to be a easy process that will not put off potential leads. There are several tools out there that are so simple to use that not taking advantage of having a fully functional and optimized website can prove to be one of the most monumental mistakes a business can make, online or brick and mortar.

Finally a business really needs to assess their industry and if a app isn’t a viable or smart option, mobile optimization needs to be done! The rise of the mobile marketplace is something that we simply cannot dismiss and making a website that is scalable on mobile platforms as well as responsible and optimized can make not only conversions better, but it can have consumers more interested into exploring your site!

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Video Marketing – Building Relationships

youtube

Recently my class went over the power of video marketing and the various types and parameters that are considered the most effective. This gives me a chance to express my extreme support for video marketing, I feel that not only does my generation not have the attention span to fully become engaged with a company’s message or goals, but with the rise of social media we are greatly influenced by a brand’s ability to connect to us in a comfortable and straightforward manner.

By creating interesting and engaging videos, companies are able to focus on an aspect of marketing that some don’t value quite enough, building equity and relationships with consumers. Salesmen are often viewed as unsavory people to a lot, constantly being sold products can create distaste for a brand that is where video marketing can be beneficial. An example is the Ford Mustang, everyone knows what it is and what the purpose is, however by utilizing world class drift racing icon Vaughn Gittin Jr. they are able to make a fun to watch piece that in turn makes users more prone to invest more time and attention towards Mustang’s in the future.

There’s no sales pitch, no text and no words at all, just pure adrenaline and fun for anyone to enjoy, even MOPAR and Chevy drivers. Many brands bring out informational videos that increase consumer likeability as well as add to the goodwill of the brand.  Video marketing has untapped potential to gain followers, build long-term relationships with customers and that is much more important than a quick sale, with cars brand equity is extremely important as brand loyalty tends to be very high, this is a very high MAO purchase and beating the customer over the head with sales pitches is often ineffective.

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E-Mail Marketing – Quick + Effective

EMAILMARKETING

E-Mail marketing has to be one of the greatest tools in a businesses arsenal, its quick, its effective, and its cheap. The beauty of it all is that you are never preaching to the wrong choir, everyone has opted in and wants to get updates and newsletters from you. That is why the most difficult part is generating a robust email list through lead generation techniques. Once you gain the consumer’s interest you can shower them in a constant stream of content that will not only strengthen your brand, but bring sales and awareness up as well.

Generally there are 3 types/formats to follow:

1) Newsletters – Inform + educate

2) Promotions/Invitations/Surveys

3) Announcements

I find from personal experience at my work (e-commerce based) that the promotional e-mails are the most effective towards bringing about sales and referrals. A simple 10% while reminding consumers that a holiday is coming up, or that winter is coming and hoodies are half off tends to take a warm/cold lead and heat things up a bit. The trick with these is to follow a few best practices when creating the e-mail as the general public gets flooded with e-mails daily and tends to dismiss alot of information.

Starting with just the subject line, we want to captivate the audience to open the e-mail, but not sound crazy and come off as a spam message, keep exclamation marks and caps lock out of here! Give a call to action, but tie it in with a deadline to create a sense of urgency and you will hopefully create a quick sale at that moment. Following general web design principles and making the advertisement visually appealing and easy to navigate and utilize is key as well, you want users to be able to click, buy, and recieve as effortless as possible, because lengthy processes just cause abandoned carts.

In the end you want to tie it all up in a social media campaign as that reigns supreme these days, integration across all media and marketing channels can be a very good strategic move, and with e-mail marketing you are going into the digital arena and everyone loves a cohesive message and campaign these days.

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The Diverse Nature of Conversions

CONVERSIONS

The other night in my marketing class we went over the generation of leads and, the conversion process. We identified several different types of conversion and it made me wonder how businesses can utilize several different types of conversion goals simultaneously and reap rewards. Do many businesses simply go about simple conversion tactics that go in-line with their marketing and business strategy? Or do some tend to not leave their eggs all in one basket and diversify thus hedging the probability of a failure in captivating and acquiring leads.

We know that one conversion that is quite favorable is sales, but that is just the end game, so many other types of conversions lead to a much longer and much more profitable future for companies such as:

  • Likes
  • Follows
  • Shares
  • Newsletter/Email sign-ups
  • Comment/Interact

Likes, follows, and shares are all integral to social media and having an online presence, by doing this you strengthen the brand and in turn create interest, and will always be able to stay connected with your potential customers. Newsletters and e-mail sign-ups can be extremely valuable, instead of getting a conversion of a sale, you are maintaining a relationship with the consumer to not only give them relevant information, but inform them about sales, products and other things that will increase the CLTV (Customer Lifetime Value). Comments and interactions are great leads as well, they help you gauge the effectiveness of your program/campaign immediately and you aside from just getting criticized or praised, you can interact with consumers and in turn cater an experience that will further the engagement and in turn nurture your relationship. So while sales are king in the financial realm, I believe all other types of conversion are much more beneficial, we live in a digital age where connectivity is key.

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