[By Jeff Androsko]
Say you're a consumer...
Oh wait... you are. So how do you make your purchases?
Chances are you use catalogues, take advantage of coupons, browse the internet and even do your buying online. The fact is... an ever-growing portion of consumers today do their research and purchasing on the internet.
According to TechCrunch.com, online spending in the fourth quarter of 2010 reached record levels (based on a comScore study).
(Graph Credit: TechCrunch.com)
So how do you get a piece of this pie? You convert your sales & business mindset to Inbound Marketing instead of conventional Outbound Marketing methods (conventional=ineffective).
Here's how it works:
(Click for an interactive model)
By simply thinking like a consumer, you are taking the first step towards understanding the Inbound Marketing concept. The reason for this switch is consumer behavior. People would rather click, text message, email and order online before speaking to a stranger who is speaking at them rather than trying to solve their problems and fulfill their needs.
- When's the last time you took a sales call from a telemarketer?
- When's the last time you talked with a salesperson who cold-called your company?
- How many SPAM emails do you read a day?
The hardest part about converting to Inbound Marketing is getting in the mind of your consumer to get a better grasp on their needs. Learn more about how converting to Inbound Marketing increased a company's web traffic by 259% and increased their sales by 429% in just four months!
Still have questions about converting your business? Contact us.
[By Tony Popowski]
In today’s digital age, your website is your most important sales and marketing tool. It’s the most powerful communication platform your company can use and it’s often a prospect’s first impression of your business. If your website isn’t consistently generating leads, orders and profit, chances are your website isn’t making the best impression on your audience. Many businesses are unhappy with the lack of profit their websites are making and realize it’s time for an update. Borrowing a checklist from the blog entry Marketing 101: Driving Sales with an Inbound Website, here are some ways to see if your website is an all-star virtual salesperson…or a complete dud:
|Can you make edits/updates without paying someone?
|Can you track who is enjoying and interacting with the content on your entire site?
|Are all your pages optimized to ensure you get found in searches before your competitors?
|Do you promote special offers, products and services on a consistent basis?
|Does your audience have a reason to click past your home page?
If you answered “no” to any of these questions, join the growing list of businesses that need an update. Unfortunately, when many companies go to redesign their website, they only focus on the graphics. While your website’s appearance is certainly important and represents your brand, don’t overlook the significance of your website’s content! Your website should provide your prospects with useful information such as solutions to problems, how to tips, white papers and case studies. Overall, it should serve as a resource center for your visitors. By providing the content that your audience needs, you establish your industry credibility. Then, when your prospects are ready to buy on their own time, they’ll come straight to you. Here are some points for consideration when analyzing your website:
• Sales Pitch Overload! - People don’t like to feel sold. If you just post your sales pitch on your website, people will leave right away. We can’t stress this enough – provide valuable content to your audience.
• What Do You Mean You Don’t Have A Blog!? - A blog is a fantastic opportunity to share your industry knowledge with interested prospects. In addition to branding yourself as an expert, you also get to show off a little bit of your personality.
• The Social Media Connection - Social Media is an important part of marketing. Help drive traffic to your social media sites by featuring them prominently on your website.
• Virtual Business Card Holder - Make it easy for people to request more details and leave their contact information. Include easy-to-fill-out forms on your website.
• Industry Keywords Are Key - Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an integral part of your website’s success! By using industry keywords throughout your website, you can get found by your leads in search engines.
Remember, when you decide that your website from 1996 needs an update, updating your content is a crucial step to your internet marketing success!
[By Jeff Androsko]
Listen... you shouldn't be afraid of choking when you blog (short for "web log" for all you noobs). It's supposed to be fun and contribute not only to your website's traffic, but your professional development as an expert in your field.
The best (and sometimes worst) part about blogging is that anyone can do it. But before you go posting videos of your cat playing a Casio, there are a few things you should know before blogging for your business...
- Write Like You Speak
The beauty part about a blog is that you don't have to be Hemingway or Vonnegut to write one. Even though it's for your business, you can be conversational about it. Just remember to proofread it when you're done... no exkyoose faur tipo's.
- Home Runs and Strike Outs
Look... everything you blog about doesn't need to be some brilliant Mark Twain insight. Pick topics that are common interests of both you and your prospective clients / readers. If you're unsure if what you're writing is business appropriate... ask a respected and knowledgeable co-worker to read it before you publish (preferably not Gertrude from Accounts Receivable who has the Hunky Firemen Calendar in her cubicle).
When you're writing about your topic, link certain keywords to related blogs, articles, videos and websites. For example, if I was writing a blog about "Singing Like A Rockstar"... I may send the word "Rockstar" to this link. It will give your readers some extra insight into what you're trying to convey.
- Turn Your Blog Into A Magnet
By commenting on other blogs, it can create what we call "inbound links". When you provide insightful feedback, it invites others to discover your content and company (think of it as Karma). So remember to give some love to your fellow bloggers (Speaking of which... oh look! You can comment on our blogs too!)... it could pay off in the end.
If you don't have a blog set up on your current website, that's fine. Either beg your boss to get set up with Grass Roots / HubSpot integration, or visit free blog hosting sites like Blogger and Wordpress; they're easy to use and can help develop your blogging skills. Happy blogging...
"Blogging in Plain English"
[By Tony Popowski]
Email marketing is an important part of any sales or marketing program. It’s a great way to connect with leads and customers and increase direct and repeat sales. Unfortunately, many companies fail to see results on their email marketing campaigns because they don’t use a strategic approach and end up harassing their customers via inbox.
Here are ten tips on how you can build a more successful email marketing plan:
1. Write Interesting Copy – Above all else, your email campaigns must have clear and effective copy. Don’t make the mistake of emailing your sales pitch. Instead, your copy should provide valuable content to your prospects and establish your credibility. Make sure that at the end of every email, you include a clear call to action.
2. Include Links – One of the main benefits of email marketing is the ability to drive traffic back to your website. In your email, include numerous opportunities for interested prospects and current costumers to visit pages on your website.
3. Design A Strong Template – The design of your email template needs to reflect your brand. Whether you’re the “cool, corky shop around the corner” or the “personification of corporate America”, make sure the layout of your template is a good representation of your company.
4. Craft An Interesting Subject Line – What’s the point of working hard to create a great email campaign if no one is going to read it? A captivating subject line will intrigue your email list to open up your email.
5. Send It At The Right Time – At 4:55PM on a Friday, no one is going to pay much attention to your email. Campaigns tend to get better responses on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays if you avoid the very beginning and end of the day.
6. Establish A Consistent Program – Sending emails out sporadically is ineffective and can even annoy your targets. Pick an email schedule, such as the second and fourth Wednesday every month, and stick with it.
7. Utilize Tracking Reports – Email marketing vendors typically offer “Tracking Reports” which show you the success of your email campaign. Use the Tracking Report to see who’s viewing your emails consistently and who’s unsubscribing from your mailing list. This will help you qualify your top leads.
8. Manage Your List – Many companies make the mistake of compiling their email list once and never updating it. If the Tracking Report indicates that an email address is incorrect, fix the mistake in your database. Additionally, make sure to consistently add in new addresses to the mix.
9. Support Your Other Marketing Methods – While important, email marketing is only one piece of the marketing puzzle. Ensure that that your email marketing messages are coherent with what you’re saying on your website, press releases and social media sites.
10. Measure The Results – In order to improve your program, it’s important to track your results. How many new leads did you get from your program? Did it drive more traffic to your website? How has your database changed over the course of the year? Keep detailed notes to help you plan for the future!
For more information, visit our Email Marketing Discover page and view our video!