Website Wall – I had an interesting conversation with a potential client recently. We were discussing his corporate website and how he hit a wall in terms of getting leads. He was well versed in SEO strategies, he had kept the website up to date and posted fresh content frequently on a Blog and he had dabbled in pay-per-click advertising. The interesting part of the conversation was when we started to discuss who his website user is. See, sometimes you can get so focused on getting your message out that you forget about who you are trying to communicate to.
The potentials’ industry is home health care so the person accessing the website for information would generally not be the person utilizing the actual services. I discussed how different generations utilize technology and access information differently. We talked about how Baby Boomers are far different from Millennials in how they search for content, what social media channels they use and how they use websites.
My advice was this – fix any issues that would limit the organic search optimization. Clean up the website and remove any errors in the code that would prevent your search engine listing from being recognized properly. Next, determine who the website user is and if needed modify the language and call to action on the website. Does the user prefer to read information on the website or speak to someone on the phone or via chat? Do they want to complete a contact form and provide their personal information? Do they want to read about the company or perhaps testimonials from other people that have utilized services?
Once the discovery is made and the proper steps have been taken to remedy any issues that’s when I suggested an exploration into lead generating channels such as pay-per-click advertising.
We could’ve dove right in and recommended an aggressive and costly plan to manage this potential clients’ online marketing efforts, but it wouldn’t have succeeded. Take a step back, review things from time to time. Make small adjustments in your efforts and in time you will see big results.
e-mail campaigns – It may seem like once you’ve gone through the process of preparing content and images, designing and sending your e-mail campaign that the work is done, but it’s only just begun. Moments after you hit send on your e-mail campaign data is starting to be collected and categorized.
For nearly 15 years Constant Contact has been our e-mail marketing partner primarily because of it’s ease of use and it’s awesome reporting system.
The overview report provides the data results in a one-sheet format. It displays the number of contacts you sent your campaign to, the open rate, bounce rate, SPAM notices and click though rates.
From the overview report you can click on the open rate and see specifically who opened the e-mail and the exact time that they opened the e-mail. Click on the bounces and view the contacts that bounced as well as the reason for the bounce. Click through rates will allow you to view the hyperlinks within your e-mail and the contacts that clicked on those links. All of this data is critical in keeping an up-to-date database of contacts.
I’ve spent the last few weeks thinking about what technology means to me. Is it to make my job easier? To get more done in the same period of time? Or do I just do it to feel like I’m connected to others?
I find myself using technology for number of different things – I communicate over email quite a bit, I research on my handheld and my desktop when I’m at work, I coordinate different people and events as well as publish what I do in my personal life and business ventures. Overall I think technology has a purpose and a place. With that said I feel it’s very important to put it down sometimes. To reconnect with the people around us, to build things out of the things in the real world, sculpture, painting or maybe even landscaping. The point is technology does have a place in our world and keeping the balance between the artificial world we’ve created for ourselves online and the real world we are living in and the people we interact with on a daily basis are just as important.
Overall I think we all have a lot to learn in managing our day-to-day lives with and without technology. We need to find ways to enhance what we do without becoming dependent on any one thing. Becoming technology neutral is something we should all strive to practice more. Find ways to utilize technology without being used by technology. As we go into the holiday season take time to handwrite a thank you to someone. Drop it in the mail or better yet create your own thank you card. Take the time to think about the message, find a picture that relays some kind of emotion connected with your message. Take it to a quick serve printer or big box store and then use that to once again connect with your friends, family and coworkers.
Our Family + Technology, We have an almost 10 year old and a 6 year old in our house. Our 4th grader is required to have an ipad for use at school and for homework. She likes to watch YouTube videos of people playing Mine craft and finding cute pics of baby bunnies on the Internet. Our 6 year old is in Kindergarten is obsessed with anything Lego. He loves making stop motion videos with his Lego mini figures and watching similar videos on YouTube. Right now Batman reigns supreme. My wife/partner and I both have laptop computers and iPhones that allow us to work on the go and keep in touch with out of town family. Social media allows us to keep up with High School and College friends’ comings and goings.
So, with all of that going on we used some common sense to keep our family safe online. Since our daughter is required to have an iPad for school the school provides an “Acceptable Use Policy” for each student and their parent to review and sign. It spells our things like students are not allowed to download or install material unless under supervision. Or, the student will not send any personal information (photos, addresses or phone numbers) to anyone else on the Internet. We’ve also had some conversations with her about appropriate material and what she should avoid online.
If you own one of the millions of smartphones in the US today you probably know that everything you do online is being tracked. When you visit a web site on your phone, open an app or simply travel with your phone in your pocket – you are creating data – but did you know that your GPS data is also being collected?
This microdata or better yet empirical data is extraordinarily valuable to an advertiser. Empirical data can be used to help understand the habits not only for the individual consumer but a group of consumers. This greatly increases the potential of an advertisement achieving its goal.
Target is a great example of retail brick and mortar business that is also reaching out digitally to its consumers. Target’s mobile app for smartphone Cartwheel allows consumers to choose or scan a product and save money based on your purchases. Cartwheel is unique as its focus is to get you to turn on the app while you are in the store and use it during your shopping. While utilizing this app data is being collected – your purchases, things you scan but don’t purchase – even the path you walk through the store.
Translation or Culturalization of my marketing creative? In today’s all digital world it is very easy to fall into the online software translation trap. Translation versus Culturalization of your marketing materials is of the utmost importance. It’s not just about using Google translate or relying on an online translator to relay your message. It still takes eyeballs experience and it is a deep understanding of the goal for the advertisement. Many cultures use words differently, In one culture a word could mean a straw in another market it could mean a sexual act. Understanding the nuances of language is not something easily translated into by piece of software.
Often translations miss the mark and say things that hurt, confuse or completely missed the point of the advertisement altogether. Understanding the language is just one component of culturalizing advertising or marketing campaign. Understanding the market demographic cultural backgrounds and religious references are a big part of understanding and targeting a consumer. That is the start of creating a well rounded multicultural marketing campaign not just for international markets but also for the US market.
Designed to reinforce technology – Are your Google Ad Words or Facebook advertising campaigns performing as well as you planned? If not, have you evaluated the creative (images/ad copy) you are using to drive the campaign? Often, businesses try to cram so much information into one small ad it creates a very confusing and hard to read ad that customers just ignore.
Here are some simple steps you can take, which will help you maximize your advertisements impact:
Step 1. MESSAGE: What is the one most important point you are you trying to make? Step 2. AUDIENCE: Who are you speaking to? Step 3. VEHICLE. Is your desired audience using the advertising platform you have chosen? Answering these simple questions may seen obvious, however more often than not, in the rush to meet ad deadlines, we sometimes miss the most essential point of advertising in the first place. Who we’re trying to advertise to and what are we trying to say. Remember the K.I.S.S. rule: “keep it simple silly.” Using pull quotes or a direct call to action statement along with an engaging image or graphic will always interrupt the reader and deliver your message more effectively.