Kickstart business website user skills

Rebecca is running two webinars with CCH Learning designed for Business to Business organisations who need to ramp up their website as a marketing tool.

  • Setting a Website Strategy for Marketing Success: Understand the functionality your website needs & how to avoid common mistakes

Tue 27 Feb 2:30 PM NZDT
Setting a Website Strategy for Marketing Success 2018

  • Get your Business Website Working for you: Learn how to “drive” a website to get enquiries and visitors.

Tuesday 20th March, 2:30 PM NZDT

Get Your Business Website Working for you 2018

The first webinar will help you gain a deep understanding of how to write a website strategy, what to improve on your current website and marketing communications, how to test your website is working well.

The second webinar  teaches you the tools you need to assess the effectiveness of your existing website, and helps you to draw up a list of actions to improve its alignment with your business website strategy.

 

How to stop visitors from ‘bouncing’ away from your website

Most cases, you’d want visitors to stay on your site. Hopefully, they’ll explore other pages and, ideally, fulfill your desired conversion – whether it’s signing up for a newsletter or buying a product online.

If a lot of your visitors are ‘bouncing’ away from your website without performing any desired actions, you know it’s time to do something to reduce that percentage.

But where do you start? By signing up for our upcoming seminar, of course!

Event information here

 

What you’ll learn

  • Why visitors are leaving your website without any interaction
  • The top three things you can do to encourage visitors to engage with your website content
  • What tools you can use to optimise your landing pages
  • How to boost conversions and generate more leads for your business

Join us via video if you can’t make it in person

This event is based in Ponsonby, Auckland, but if you can’t make it, simply sign up for a video ticket instead.

Simply click here to book a video ticket!

 

Event details:

Thursday 1st March, 2018

7:30am – 9am

Breakfast, tea and coffee is included!

 

Ponsonby Community Centre, Glue Pot Room

20 Ponsonby Terrace

Auckland

 

Free on-street parking is available!

Video producer needed for an event

We’re holding a breakfast seminar on the 1st March and need a video producer to help record our event.

This involves filming the 1.5 hour event and post-production editing to include the slides and audio. There’s no need for fancy graphics.

The event is maximum 30 guests and will have only one speaker. We have a microphone to record audio if needed.

Event details here.

 

Send your application to Tabhitha Tang by 21st February.

 

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Groups on LinkedIn

Become an expert in the eye of the client  

Getting recognition for your “expertise” in selling professional services is paramount if you’re to make good profits.  

The stages in the process include –

  1. Setting out your credentials
  2. Outbound publicity – demonstrate you know your ‘stuff’
  3. Getting to one on one conversations around the client’s desired future state
  4. Discussing your services, their needs and fees

I was working with a financial services client and recommended he use the Monte-Carlo method to establish the prospective client’s need for advice. (Go to the sub heading on Finance and Business).   I think it’s very suitable way to frame a discussion when talking about personal finances

Monte Carlo simulation is commonly used to evaluate the risk and uncertainty that would affect the outcome of different decision options.  

First be recognised as an expert

You can’t get these conversations going without first establishing yourself as an expert.  Nobody wants their finances managed by an amateur.  Nor their marketing services.  Just working for a big name firm is no guarantee of expertise – it’s a step in the right  direction.  

Groups on LinkedIn

Groups on LinkedIn

Getting in front of future clients is possible via step 1.  As you establish yourself as an expert you will get noticed (particularly if you use key words relevant to your expertise and audience.  Maintaining your position as an expert in the eyes of your audience can be continued through outbound articles and publicity.

These are best delivered using sites aligned to your industry niche and audience.  For my area there’s a great Reddit thread, a couple of Facebook Groups and a Linked In Group which is very active.  You need to find the ones suited to your needs.  Don’t forget to check out in-person events on places like Meetup.com too – not all communication has to be written!

Finding the right things to say in your publicity and how to start a conversation with your reader are the things you will need to practice.  Conversations in a public forum can lead, later, to a private discussion which is preliminary to taking on a new client.

 

Book a personalised coaching session with the Creative Agency Secrets team – pick the person who best suits your need.

3 Ways to Sell More Products Through Your Website

Every business hoping to seriously compete in the modern world needs a website. For some businesses, the website is merely a hub, a way that customers can find out vital information and get in contact should they need to. For other businesses, their website is a vital component of the way that they operate. In many cases, their website is generating most or all of their revenue.

In order to effectively sell products through your website, you need to be able to do more than just generate traffic. You will need to also entice visitors to your online shop and then convince them to part with their money. Selling products effectively through your own website is also not a problem that can easily be solved by spending more money on marketing.

Instead, selling products on your website requires a more considered and multi-faceted approach. In this article, we look at some of the most effective techniques for boosting sales from your website.

Product Reviews

Whenever a potential customer sees a product for sale on a website, one of the first things they will look for is customer reviews. These will give them an indication of what other users and customers think of a product, and research suggests that reviews from other customers are often trusted more than reviews from specialist industry publications. In order to generate as many customer reviews as you can, you should make the process as simple and quick as possible. You should also offer customers an incentive for leaving a review, if you offer any kind of loyalty or rewards scheme, then consider offering some bonus points or discounts.

Streamline Your Website Layout

A well laid out and easy to use website will find it much easier to generate traffic and to convert those visitors into customers. If your website is difficult to navigate and sluggish to respond, then anyone who visits will soon become frustrated and leave again. Not every visitor to your website will have the same idea of what constitutes a streamlined website, so it is a good idea to allow users to customize the layout to some degree.

A good example of a customizable layout would be this page from Woodbury Outfitters which sells, among other things, browning hunting rifles. This page allows the user to arrange items as either a grid or a list; it also makes it easy to see the kind of rating they have been given from other customers.

Don’t Underestimate SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a crucial weapon for any modern website that wants to be noticed. Any fully rounded marketing strategy has to include some kind of SEO component. Put simply, it is a website’s SEO score that determines how prominently it is listed in results for relevant search terms.

A website is an excellent platform for selling your products, but to do so effectively isn’t as easy or straightforward as many people think. You need to consider exactly how you can make your website as simple and inviting as possible for customers to use. If you build your website carefully and pay attention to your user base, then you can quickly make a lot of money from your business website.

TopBuzz home

The hidden risks of TopBuzz

With many services out there for marketers, producing content and getting it to your audience has never been easier. However, not all services are trustworthy. We recently came to learn about TopBuzz, a platform that has divided opinions.

All started with an email…

A couple of weeks ago, we received an email out of the blue from TopBuzz, a content distribution platform, claiming to be ‘impressed’ by a video we did for a client. The email content was quite generic and seemed to be automated. TopBuzz said they were able to enlarge our video audience via their platform and we would be compensated for all the views we got.

A couple days ago, we received another email. This time, it was from a person claiming to be from this company, boasting about the number of active users and the number of views that all the videos get that are shared on their platform. She was very forward in her approach and encouraged us to become a ‘premium creator’.

TopBuzz email

Now, we did a little bit of research on these guys and it was scary to see what would have happened if we signed up with them.

TopBuzz key things we discovered:

  1. According to past users of the platform, the communication from TopBuzz is poor and scarce if you ever try and contact them. If you have a problem with something, TopBuzz are unlikely to help and at best, you might receive template emails that are likely to be irrelevant.
  2. This brings up the next problem. If you are unhappy with the platform…too bad. You can’t delete your account and your content will stay on TopBuzz’s platform forever.
  3. However, it gets worse! TopBuzz can use any videos uploaded to their platform in whatever way they want. Say you work hard and make a viral video. If that video is on their platform, they can publish it as their own and you would get no credit. Unfortunately, most users only realised that this was their fate only after signing the contract without reading the small print in their T&Cs.

We were never interested in using this platform in the first place as the video we created for our client was content produced for a niche segment, it was an hour long and was a face to face interview. Targeting a mass audience and making revenue off views was not on the agenda, therefore, using this platform would have been unnecessary.

If you are producing viral videos, pursuing avenues through social media seems to be a safer option. For example, with Facebook, there are various pages that are dedicated to redistributing content according to different tastes.

Nevertheless, it’s important to be aware of dodgy services like this so be sure to do your research before jumping in!

Sources:

https://medium.com/@attibear/should-you-gin-up-for-topbuzz-ca19d5c1edac

https://digitalfox.media/tech-rhino/topbuzz-5-big-problems-service/

Use Content Marketing to Build Your Brand

 

Every business wants more customers, correct? However, not all businesses have the financial resources to pay for advertising or other costly marketing strategies to get people to their websites.

What are the options if you have budgetary constraints? You can use content creation and marketing to help build your business.

Develop and use a content brand strategy to help spread the word about your business offerings. Building brand awareness takes time, but it will play a critical role in your business success.

Sometimes, you can actually re-purpose content that has already produced results. Why not use the keywords and already proven successful content and focus your energies on promoting that content more aggressively?

Develop a Strategy

You have to develop a plan, follow it, and make modifications where necessary while you work. If you don’t know where you are going, you won’t get there.

Start with determining your “why”. Why are you creating content? Who are you trying to help and how can you help them better than others? Define your goals and make sure your content aligns with those goals.

Be Authentic

Trying to pretend you are someone you not usually doesn’t work out well. People are not stupid, they will eventually figure it out. It is important to develop trust with your readers and potential customers.

If you are not genuine and are being fake, you will lose business.

Build Your Reputation

Reputation is everything. Trust is built with those who have good reputations. Prove your value to potential customers by writing helpful, relevant, and authentic content.

Tell Your Story

People don’t like to be bombarded with sales advertisements or pushy sales content. It is a turn-off to most, so you will want to avoid being too promotional in your content marketing.

Instead, be sure your content is used as a means of communicating with your potential customers without selling.

Writing helpful and valuable content will help you build awareness of your brand by attracting and nurturing. You will be able to acquire new customers and retain current ones.

Your brand is actually your business story so make sure you tell it in interesting, relevant, unique, and useful ways. Share your expertise with your target market to position yourself as an industry expert.  

Know Your Target Market

If you don’t know who your target market is, how can you write content for them? Remember, you are not writing content for yourself, you are writing it to your potential customers.

You need to make sure your content is interesting, helpful, and relevant to those will are likely to make a purchase from your company. If you sell musical equipment, it would not be helpful to write a post about knitting. Stay on topic and be sure you are speaking to your desired audience.

Add Value

You want to differentiate yourself from your competition by providing value to your potential customers in creative ways. How about using humor to get your message across? It can be a solution to a problem or anything else that fits into your business model and provides help for your target.

Valuable, helpful, creative, and memorable content will increase the likelihood that people will make a purchase from your company.

Track Your Results

Keep track of your progress. See which content yields the best results, whether those results are views, shares, opt-ins, or sales.

If you don’t pay attention to what is working and what is not working, you will waste valuable time and not get the best results of your content marketing.

Promote Your Content

You can have the best content on the Internet but if no one sees it, what difference does it make? Social media is a powerful platform to share your content.

Use Twitter to share important tips. Post a summary of your post with a link to it on LinkedIn, Google+, and Facebook.

The more unique, interesting, valuable, and humorous posts are generally more popular on social media and are more likely to be shared.

There is nothing wrong with asking others to share your content. If you know influencers in your niche, having them share your content with their social media audience can exponentially increase your views.

The bottom line is you should pay attention to the quality of your content marketing to build your brand, connect with your customers, build trust, and eventually make more sales.

 

What to Expect from SEO in 2018?

The landscape for social media, the use of images and most of all search engine optimisation (SEO) is likely to continue changing and morphing as new developments occur in real-time. For businesses that need to understand what they should be focusing on with their online marketing efforts and to protect their digital assets in 2018, it’s worth looking at what’s working with SEO today and why it’s a good idea to still use it.

Below are our thoughts about the future of SEO and how things may change in 2018.

Prospecting in the Digital Age

Using SEO outreach to contact a collection of people who may be interested in a guest post or partnering up with a new venture is a strategy that’s been working for several years and continues to do well. Finding the correct email address for every contact on your list isn’t easy, so we’d suggest using a service like theemailfinder.co to make that part of it a bit simpler and less time-consuming.

With a more personalised contact, you’re likely to get a significantly higher response rate. Making contact first and building up an initial relationship on Facebook or on their website through blog commenting often gets you noticed.

Focusing More on Visual Assets

Large blocks of unbroken text with few images, infographics, videos or slideshows fails to capture the reader’s attention. People using the web don’t so much read as they do scan down the page for interesting snippets to read. Because of this, many people don’t read whole articles, but select sections of interest and only consume those parts. By adding better-quality photographs – that are relevant to the topic – visitors stay engaged for longer.

Google also likes seeing rich media mixed in with textual content and tends to favour it in search results too. The likes of Instagram and Pinterest should have also made it clear by now that searchers have a voracious appetite for images because they’re instantly consumable.

Structured Content

Google likes to use structured content information to fill out their search engine results pages (SERPs). When using structured mark-up to clarify important aspects of a product, such as its customer rating, price and other useful information, the search engine can selectively use these in the search results when it determines that it adds value.

Companies have got nothing to lose by taking the time to add proper schematic mark-up to every page and post because they may get featured in a rich snippet or as part of a Knowledge Graph that Google uses to present information clearer.

Voice Searching

With smartphones now able to be always connected to the internet while on the go, consumers are using digital assistants to ask questions vocally. Whether it’s Google or Apple or Microsoft or another company receiving the query, millions of questions are being asked every day hoping for an intelligible answer to be received.

Companies would do well to consider the implication of this when structuring their content and titling their pages. For local searches, people are often appending “near me” to the end of searches to pull results for a location that’s based on their current GPS coordinates or their home base. Working these types of search terms into a Q&A page can capture these fast-moving souls who need answers quickly.

Loading Time Matters More Than It Used To

With faster internet access being more widely available, it may surprise you to learn that web page loading time matters more than ever. You can call it a knock-on effect that home users enjoy fast broadband and don’t suffer slow web sites gladly; they usually hit the back button within a couple of seconds if a page is stalling out. Many people don’t attempt to reload a page to get around a stuck web server process either; they just bail.

Google also uses loading time as factor in ranking a site, with especially slow-loading sites suffering a drop in their rankings if the problem isn’t fixed. Consider getting the web hosting upgraded to a virtual private server, cloud server or a dedicated server with a mid-tier host like Siteground or a top-tier host like WPEngine to resolve bottlenecks. Alternatively, if your budget doesn’t stretch that far, optimise the site to load faster even on slower hosting and connections.

Don’t Forget Mobile

For many sites, they find that up to 50 percent of their visitors use a mobile device like a tablet or a smartphone. The viewing and interactive experience varies tremendously depending on the device used. Certainly, sites must be responsive, which means they adjust the design based on the screen size of the device accessing their site. However, site designers must do more to make sites accessible to people using smaller screens.

One fundamental difference for sites is that the right-hand sidebar is often shoved down to the bottom of the page on smaller screen devices, making the page effectively a single-column one. Depending on how the website was originally designed, navigational elements, search boxes and other important features disappear for most mobile users who don’t scroll down far enough to spot them at the bottom of the page. For this reason, companies need to reconsider their original designs.

Google and Facebook with Mobile-optimisation Strategies

Both Google and Facebook are leading the way with initiatives that suggest how to create separate or adjusted websites that load up to 90 percent faster. Google’s AMP initiative is less than two years old but is continuing to gain steam; their own search results show far less on a smartphone than they do on a tablet or desktop.

It’s not possible to predict everything that will happen with SEO in 2018. The best we can do is carry over strategies that have been working in the closing months of 2017 and adapt quickly to changes as they happen. However, avoiding cutting-edge ideas that look or sound sketchy is a sensible policy because those kinds of ideas never stick and can result in a penalty action from Google. It’s always best to play it safe with your digital assets.

digital-marketing stylised icon

Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: What Makes Them So Different?

The modern marketing executive needs to consider a lot when creating the perfect marketing mix. One of the things to consider is whether to focus more energy on traditional or digital marketing. Some companies would benefit more from one type than they would from another. But, why are these two types of marketing considered separately? What’s the difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing, and how does it change your marketing mix?

Defining the Types of Marketing

In order to compare two different things, we need to understand what those things mean individually. Here are the definitions of digital and traditional marketing:

  • Digital

Digital marketing is any type of marketing using digital means. This is an ever-expanding category as technology grows and evolves. It includes channels like social media, websites, search engine marketing, online advertisement, and more.

  • Traditional

Traditional marketing makes use of non-digital channels to reach customers. It usually includes all forms of tangible and physical marketing (business cards, posters, billboards, etc.), word of mouth, radio commercials, and more. Television ads are generally considered part of traditional marketing, even though they do make use of a digital channel in today’s world.

How to Compare Digital and Traditional Marketing

You can’t directly compare one to the other and say that either digital or traditional marketing is better. Instead, you have to look at so

traditional-marketing-vs-digital

Traditional-marketing-vs-Digital

me of the individual aspects of each and how it would benefit or hinder your business. We’re going to look at some of the strengths and weaknesses of each type of marketing in relation to a few key areas:

  1. Metrics

Every type of marketing needs to produce measurable results. While both types of marketing do ultimately provide data and measurable metrics, digital marketing can provide those metrics in real time. This means you won’t have to wait for a whole month to find out a new ad isn’t working well, and you can make more instantaneous changes.

On the other hand, some companies don’t properly define their goals with digital marketing campaigns, leading to vague, qualitative results rather than quantifiable data. It is generally easier to find qualitative data from traditional marketing even without much experience.

  1. Effectiveness

No type of marketing is more effective than the other 100% of the time. But, you need to choose the right type of marketing for your demographics, business type, industry, etc. For example, businesses whose main customer base is aged above 30 years should probably not focus on social media marketing on platforms like Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat. These channels would not be ideal for reaching their target audience, so they just wouldn’t be as effective as traditional marketing.

All marketing mixes should be determined by specific details about your business. You should never assume one type of marketing will work for every business. There are some marketing elements that are useful for most businesses, such as useful websites, but they can’t be universally proclaimed as the best way to do marketing! To be effective, a marketing mix must target a specific business audience.

  1. ROI

In general, digital marketing campaigns are less costly than traditional marketing. This doesn’t necessarily yield a higher ROI, though the low cost is usually attractive to businesses. Just like anything else, digital marketing must be done right in order to give a high ROI. In most cases, a solid digital marketing campaign can actually give better results dollar for dollar.

digital-vs-traditional

digital-vs-traditional

  1. Customer Reach

In terms of who your marketing efforts can reach, digital marketing has a clear advantage. Not only can you reach a wide range of people, but you can also choose to reach out to a very narrow group of carefully selected people. In today’s only advertising market, you can put your ads only in front of select groups of people with specific browsing or purchasing habits. This gives you the choice to be hyper-selective and can produce a much better ROI.

Traditional marketing still holds a slight advantage when it comes to local marketing. It is simpler to get the word out about your business locally using some fairly inexpensive forms of traditional marketing. Digital marketing can be targeted to a local area, but it must be done precisely to be effective, whereas traditional marketing can easily be locally focused and may be more difficult to use for a wider reach.  In addition, the rise of marketing automation and buyer’s journey allows you to grow your reach for new potential customers.

  1. Longevity

Traditional marketing campaigns that use tangible materials have the distinct advantage of longevity over digital marketing campaigns. People will sometimes hold onto business cards, flyers, and other physical items for days, months, or even years. It is difficult for people to keep hold of any digital marketing products, even though things like emails can be saved indefinitely in an online inbox.

Hard copies can be particularly effective at keeping a business in the view of the customer, which has some psychological benefits for the company itself. It can also lead to greater brand recall benefits long after the campaign is over. Digital marketing ends the moment the campaign is over, and it is immensely difficult to keep in the view of the customer afterward.

digital-marketing

digital-marketing

  1. Customer Interaction

Traditional marketing struggles to create engagement and interaction with customers. It is generally a way to broadcast information, but it often fails to bring in new information about your customers. This is a strength of digital marketing, as it’s much easier to create a direct interaction with people at any time.

A good example is social media, which can be used to directly communicate with any number of customers instantly and for free. By responding to comments, answering questions, and otherwise communicating you can address customer service issues directly, create greater confidence in your brand, and inspire customers to make purchases they may have been questioning before.

Both digital and traditional marketing have their strengths, but elements of both should be considered for the strongest marketing mix. You shouldn’t simply ignore one altogether and embrace the other, as this may not lead to the best marketing strategy for your business. Focus on what will work best for your business specifically without trying too hard to be everything to everyone.