How To Create Content That Informs & Entertains Your Audience

It's a common question that people ask when they are thinking about developing a content marketing plan or entering into the world of running a blog. How do I create the right type of content and how do I make it as entertaining and informative as possible? The best way to think about what type of content you are going to create is to put yourself in your customers shoes. Developing content that really connects with your audience isn't easy. It will take trial and error before you find that so called "Sweet Spot". By becoming one of your customers from the outset you can potentially avoid redoing your content over and over again. So how do you become your customer and what's the purpose? The idea of putting yourself into your clients shoes is to get an understanding of why they are or could be a customer, what there problems or pain points are and how you can solve those problems better than your competitors.

Gather data and information

There are some simple ways you can start to understand your customers better so you can create content that connects with their problems and at the same time provides entertainment and engagement.

  1. Run a survey asking key questions about problems facing your customers and how they relate to your services. Incorporate this survey as a direct email to clients after they purchase a product or service.
  2. Talk to your existing customers - why have they stayed with you? What problems have you solved for them? What do you do better than your competitors?
  3. Email your customers your content and track what they open and engage with the most. This can help you identify content areas that are most relevant to your customer base

Where do you go from here?

The easiest way to start thinking about the type of content you are going to create is by understanding the services/products you provide and what your expert knowledge or point of difference is. How do you communicate that through your content? How do you develop content that is unique? As a business owner or manager you are in the best position to understand how you can communicate what you do in a unique way. How about an example:

Motorcycle Dealer

Let's say Jeff runs a successful motorcycle dealership. He has over 50 years experience in the motorcycle industry and specialises in selling a particular brand and knows everything there is to know about that particular brand. Instantly Jeff has a content path that he can take. Focusing on a specific niche is easier than going after broad topics that may not connect as well to your potential audience or not be as unique. Jeff can easily create the following content:

  • Detailed product reviews on his blog
  • Maintenance and support tips
  • Podcasts on newly released models and features
  • YouTube videos with road tests & other detailed information

This is a simple example of identifying a particular part of your business that you have passion or knowledge for and turning it into content that will educate and entertain an audience.

Channels & creating the right content

The first step is always creating a plan. Don't just launch into creating content as you will find that it may not resonate with your audience and you may find that the trial and error component of creating content that works takes longer. Do the right research, toss around ideas about what your niche or specialisation is and how you can communicate that in a unique way to your audience. Once you've done that you're halfway there to creating great content that will help your inbound marketing, SEO and lead generation.

The next step you need to focus on is finding the right channels to market and promote your content. A blog is great, however it isn't the only channel you can use and ultimately the type of content you create will dictate what channels you use. For example if you are creating product reviews or how to information you may find that YouTube is another great avenue to reach your audience.

Important to remember

There are some simple ways you can make things easier for yourself:

  • Put the same content on different channels, created differently - What this means is that each channel needs to have unique content on it, however you could use the same blog post to then create a spin-off YouTube video, podcast or webinar.
  • Always create calls to action with your content. If you create content and distribute it on someone else's platform (YouTube) always create a call to action to get people to subscribe on your website and use email marketing to send out alerts for your content. Always create a backup to reach people who are interested in your content
  • Have fun and create content that is a reflection of your personal style, brand and interests. Your content should be a representation of your business and it's unique style.

Why should you create content?

There are multiple reasons you should invest in a content plan and start using some resources to create content. They include:

  • It creates sticky clients. If you're a business that works off referrals or word of mouth, having your content in front of your audience all the time can generate social shares, referrals and opportunities you may not have had a chance to access otherwise
  • It's good for your search engine optimisation if you are trying to rank for longtail keywords and relevant searches related to your industry
  • You can generate sales, leads & more customers by creating content. Focus on educating & entertaining your audience, rather than selling to them what you do. The sales opportunities will come if you create the right type of content

Related Tags: Email Marketing Newcastle | SEO Services Newcastle


7 social media tools your business should be using

Social media is time consuming and it can sometimes be a little overwhelming too. The key to having a successful social media presence is to have a plan. This can be incorporated into your company’s marketing efforts, but however you choose to organise it, make sure you take the time to schedule posts and analyse the results afterwards.

To help you achieve these social media goals, we’ve compiled seven tools we recommend to help you get organised.

Hootsuite

One of the best ways to organise your social media strategy is to set aside an hour each day to work on social media. This will involve not simply analysing your previous posts’ success but also scheduling new content. Hootsuite is a brilliant tool to help you schedule this content. You can organise the time you’d like your posts to go live, so that you can ensure they are being posted at times when you’re sure the most people will see them.

Hootsuite also lets you go back and check your click-throughs and provides you with other analytical information. It’s a free tool, but you can pay for extra features.

Mention

Sometimes it can be a challenge to keep on top of where your brand is mentioned online, as media monitoring is time consuming and it’s easy to miss something. Mention tracks information about your business and lets you know when your company is mentioned on social media or within blog posts or on websites.

These alerts are sent to you immediately, which makes Mention a better choice than its competitors such as Google Alerts, which often only lets you know about the mention of your company name 24 hours or so later.

Feedly

Feedly allows you to track what other people are doing on social media. Why does this matter? For two reasons – you can keep abreast of what your competition is doing and also share other noteworthy content with your followers.

Your social media shouldn’t be all about you. ‘Social’ media is exactly that – social. You should aim to share someone else’s content for every three pieces of news about your business.

One of the best ways to keep tabs on other people’s contents is to use Feedly. Why? Because if you have more than ten websites that you’re trying to track, it can get hectic after a while. Feedly is a feed reader than helps you monitor these websites, publishing them in a feed that’s easy to read and user-friendly.

Buffer and Edgar

Buffer helps you to organise and schedule your social media posts over a number of platforms at times of the day that are most effective for you.

Edgar is another scheduling tool but it will continue to recycle your social media updates, reposting them so that the content doesn’t get missed. This is important because many times – especially with Twitter – your followers have to be online at the right moment otherwise they will miss what you have to say.

Commun.it

Having a successful social media strategy is all about creating an online community around what you do. Commun.it helps you do this by managing your social media relationships with your connections. It’ll tell you who is retweeting, mentioning and favouriting your content to see which connections you have that are the most significant.

You can also use the social media tool to help you thank people for retweeting your content and interact with others who are living locally. There’s even an option to schedule your responses.

Commun.it will help you create a list of those businesses and people on Twitter that are mentioning your company too.

TweetReach

TweetReach can be used to tell you how far your tweets spread on Twitter. You can see how effective your tweets have been and who has clicked on them. It will help you analyse your social media campaigns and see how much of an impression your tweets have made.

AgoraPulse

After all these mentions about Twitter, you might be wondering what you should do to help analyse your other platforms, like Facebook. Well, AgoraPulse will help you manage your Facebook company page by analysing who is liking it.

It will rank your most engaging followers and give you recommendations on what you can do to improve your page. It’ll also allow you to customise quizzes and competitions to help you increase your number of likes. The statistics from your Facebook page are shown in real-time, which can be very helpful.

So there you have it – seven tools to help you become more proficient on social media. Do you have any to add?

Related Tags: Social Media Marketing Newcastle | Digital Marketing Newcastle


7 Ways To Get More Enquiries On Your Website

It's typically the first question people ask when they build a new website or undertake a marketing campaign. How do I get more enquiries from my website? Let's start by saying it's not the easiest task to generate the amount of enquiries you want to. We always start any campaign by asking a client what is a realistic number of leads you would like to generate from your website each month? I say realistic because of course we would all like to get hundreds of leads each month. Understanding how many leads you want as opposed to what is achievable is the first step in developing a campaign that can maximise your return on investment. You want to build a process that is sustainable in the long run & that will deliver bottom line profit for your business. So you know how many leads you want, which will then allow you to build a strategy that can potentially deliver a return on your investment. Now the only thing you need is to start generating leads. Here are 7 tips that you can implement to grow conversions on your website and generate more sales.

Focus on the design of your website + your content

It's obvious isn't it. Your entire strategy for acquiring customers or leads hinges on your website and it's ability to attract, retain and convert customers. The design of your website, it's structure and how the content is presented is hugely important to your ability to get people to take the next step, whether it be calling you, filling out a form or buying a product. If you have an old website then it's time for an update. If you have a fairly new website implement some tweaks based on some simple recommendations:

  • Make it easy for people to contact you. This means don't hide your phone number or email address. Keep it front and centre in the mind of your visitors. If people have to dig around on different pages of your website to find out how to contact you they will likely leave before they get to that point
  • Clear & deliberate calls to action. Every time someone visits your website you should be asking them to do something. This could be filling out a form on your website, subscribing to your newsletter, reviewing your latest blog post or buying your latest special offer. Funnel your customers to the important pages on your website.
  • Utilise landing pages. Do you have a high performing product or service that performs well in your physical location or on other channels outside your website? Create a dedicated landing page on your website for this specific product or service. Build this landing page with conversions in mind.
  • Excellent content. In general terms we are talking about the copy on your home page or on your about page. Don't slap something together that was written 5 years ago. We are in the information age so make your copy concise, relevant and easy to read for your visitors so they don't lose interest quickly. Some tweaks to your copy can make all the difference when someone is sitting on the fence deciding about your business
  • Optimise for all devices. You've probably heard it a thousand times by now. A website design that is mobile friendly will not only help with your rankings on mobile devices it will also annoy less of your visitors. You will rarely convert visitors on a mobile without a responsive website and due to rising trend of mobile usage you are ultimately missing out on potential customers.

Create killer content

Content is critically important to a range of different things including how your website ranks in search engines and how you attract and retain the right customers. Let's start off by understanding that there is content overload out there on the market. How do you cut through and use content as a genuine tool to increase enquiries? A content strategy that is developed and delivered right can create a massive benefit for your business in the long term. This content can be used to attract people who are searching for information related to your service. Through this helpful content you can then sell what you do.

Think more about your audience & what kind of problems or questions they would be asking in your industry. Can you solve these problems with your specialised information? How can you differentiate your content from your competitors and deliver a value add to your audience. The goal with your content is to create an audience and drive them to a call to action whether that be signing up for a newsletter or downloading something off your website. It's at this point you can begin distributing them more relevant content and working on driving them to make an enquiry or purchase a product.

E-books & webinars (be careful)

There are thousands of e-books and webinars out in the market from people trying to generate leads & enquiries for their business for further re-marketing. They are great tools to use to acquire and convert customers by providing useful information, however to really stand out from the crowd you need to deliver a unique value proposition to your readers or viewers. What I mean by this is that it's just no good to do a standard e-book and link it to an opt-in on your website. Think about your e-books like you think about the content on your website. Put yourself in your customers shoes and think about how you can solve their problems. How can you differentiate your information from your competitors by using your knowledge about your industry or niche you operate in.

How about an example:

Let's say you run a hardware business. All your competitors focus on providing information about the different types of products and their uses. Your business leans heavily towards do it yourself buyers rather than professionals. There is an avenue to create downloadable or informative content to your customers and potential customers by focusing your content on do it yourself information. Think about what someone buying a particular product would want to use it for and what are their potential pain points. How can you deliver this in a formatted way which will allow you to acquire someone's information. Every download or registration for a webinar should require someone to provide you with their details. You can then provide further information, content & detailed marketing to convert that customer into a regular buyer. Try to think outside the box when it comes to generating leads through these methods and differentiate yourself from the competitors.

Get your visitors to opt-in

What is one of the best ways to convert a customer into a sale? Give them something for free. Think about how your business can provide something of value to a visitor. It may be a free download or a special offer. Drive visitors to opt-in by obtaining their email in exchange for something their interested in. In sales terms this is effectively a warm lead. If someone gives you their email address they are likely interested in what you offer and potentially your products or services. This is where email marketing, automated responders and content will help you turn a subscriber into a customer. Don't think about every enquiry as a sale. Give your customers a value add & build your relationship with them through your email marketing with a simple opt-in on your website. A non intrusive pop up or something similar is the perfect tool.

Instigate chats with your visitors

Now not everyone loves this method as some people can get annoyed when they are just browsing a website for information and someone rudely interrupts them with a request to chat. You have to be in the right industry and your live chat has to add value to a potential visitor. It can also be a way to differentiate what you do from a competitor. You can easily monitor what your visitors are doing, what page they are on and where they have landed there from. Take the time to create pages where you want to instigate chats. Don't just wait for a customer to hit the home page. Specify rules about what pages you want them on and then subtly introduce yourself. Sometimes you will be successful and other times you won't, however it is another way that a potential customer can talk to a person behind the business.

Pay to play

Ultimately it's hard to get customers without traffic to your website so you need to be investing in growing your business through organic and paid channels in search, social media & content. Every business is different and every strategy to acquire traffic should be optimised for your circumstances. Not every business is going to need SEO or social media or Adwords. The first step is understanding what channels you're likely to acquire customers from and how can you leverage marketing to give your business the best opportunity to send these customers to your sales pitch (your website). If you don't invest time or money you likely won't get far on any channel online. The number one thing you should be investing time in is content. If you run a successful business it's likely because your good at what you do and you're knowledgeable about what you do. The key is translating that knowledge into your content to educate and inform a potential audience. The first place people are going to be searching for this information is online. Not just Google but social media as well. The goal is to create content that outperforms your competitors by leveraging what makes your business unique and special. Even with great content you need to advertise it, whether it be a paid promotion through social media or spending time on outreach. It's important and you should be investing now if you haven't already.

Put yourself in your customers shoes

To many times we see a website that was designed that looks great but isn't converting visitors. The customer has invested time & money into SEO, Adwords or social media with little to no result. There can be multiple reasons why and one of the biggest ones is that they didn't think like a customer when they looked at their website. Most people think like the business owner and what they want to see. The ultimate goal should be delivering something that is not only easy for customers to use but that also converts. Questions you could ask include:

  • What conversion am I after - form, phone call, sale, click through to somewhere else?
  • What information is most important to a customer?
  • How would this information be presented best?
  • What tools will be most useful for a visitor?
  • Can they contact me easily?
  • Do they understand what I do without scrolling down the page?

These are just some simple questions you can ask yourself during your website build. Focus on delivering something your customer wants, not just what you want to see.

Most importantly when trying to get more enquiries on your website make sure you're tracking conversion goals in Analytics. Identify where your customers are coming from, how long they are spending on your website and importantly what an enquiry means in terms of a dollar value to your business. This is where a lifetime value of a customer calculation comes in handy to really assess what you spend vs your return. This can help you identify areas where you should invest more money. We hope these tips can help you acquire more customers on your website. Feel free to share any tips that have worked for you.

Related Tags: Web Developer Newcastle | Digital Marketing Newcastle


15 Tips For Reaching More Customers Through Social Media

Are you reaching all the customers you could be? Through social media we can tap a whole new audience base that we may have never had a chance to interact with otherwise. Connecting through social media is a friendly way to invite customers to your business – if done right.

But how do you find these customers in the first place? We’ve come up with 15 tips to help you reach new clientele through social media.

Tip one: Use the social media platform that’s right for your customers.

If you were to hand out flyers, would you select a specific location you know your customers frequent? Yes, you probably would, as this would be a clever marketing strategy. Social media targeting is the same. Figure out what social media platform your customers would use. Do you think they are more prevalent on Facebook or Twitter? Google+ or Instagram? Once you know where your customers will be, you’ll have a much better chance at being able to contact them.

Tip two: Publish content that connects with your customers

Don’t post on social media willy-nilly. Know your audience and curate content to suit their needs. Are they inspired by beautiful photographs? Do they need tips and advice with their business? Are they interested in how to guides? To start, test a few different content ideas with your social media audience. Once you find something that your customers love, keep going at it and you’ll soon be attracting new customers.

Tip three: Create a social media strategy

Just like when you create a regular marketing campaign, compile a social media strategy with goals and objectives so that you can effectively target new customers.

Tip four: Don’t forget the details

On all the profiles of your chosen social media platforms, make sure you include information about your business and link it back to your website so that customers can contact you directly with any queries.

Tip five: Incorporate your branding

Make sure your branding is present in both your social media strategy and in your about us sections of your social media sites so that you maintain a consistent identity. For example, use the same profile imaging.

Tip six: Consider your tone

When targeting your customers, make sure your company’s voice is consistent and suited to the social media platform. LinkedIn is more formal than Twitter, for example. Tailor your voice to suit.

Tip seven: Monitor movements

Make sure you track what is happening within your social media community. If a potential customer mentions your business or product, make sure you follow up with them to see if you can offer help or advice. By being quick to reply, you might just win yourself a new customer.

Tip eight: Make sure you listen

This tip ties in heavily with tip seven. You want to make sure you take on board all feedback so your business can improve and to ensure you are getting your messages across.

Tip nine: Don’t forget to share

Customers love getting knowledge and advice that is helpful to them, so don't be afraid to impart your knowledge over social media. Try not to keep your company’s success stories a secret. By sharing what you did to achieve something, others can learn from you and will be grateful for your advice. This will help to establish you as an authority figure, winning you new business.

Tip ten: Keyword optimisation is key

By using keywords that are relevant to your business, you will be able to reach customers who are looking at services and products like yours. Research both keywords and hashtags and use them to attract more clientele.

Tip eleven: Give something away for free

By hosting competitions and offering something wonderful to give away for free, your fans and followers on social media will thank you. This can help you to easily attract a larger following and help you to get the word out there about your business.

Tip twelve: Don’t sit idle

Once you’ve created your social media platforms, make sure you are active on them. You don’t want potential clients to think your business has died. If you don’t have time to manage the social media accounts yourself, find someone to do it for you.

Tip thirteen: Use emotion

Treat your audience like the human beings they are by tapping in to their emotions. Cut the formal speak and talk to them in a conversational tone on social media.

Tip fourteen: Be inspirational

Inspire your social media followers to act on your posts. Inspire them to act immediately. If you stay at the forefront of your customers' minds they will be more likely to buy from you. Give away an e-book or report to encourage them to sign up to your newsletter so you can stay in touch.

Tip fifteen: Measure your success

It’s great to go back and check your progress to make sure you are making the right steps to grow your social media following. You can do this through Google Analytics to analyse the traffic coming from your social media channels to your website. Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook also have their own analytics which are easy to use and informative. If something is not working, change what you’re doing.

And there you have it – 15 tips to help you to attract more customers through social media. Good luck!

Related Tags: Social Media Marketing Newcastle | Web Developer Newcastle


How To Get More Likes On Facebook

Getting more likes on your business’s Facebook page is a key metric for the success of your strategy on social media. More likes means increased engagement, helping to build wider brand awareness and strengthening the relationship you have with your audience or customers.

But it’s common for the numbers to plateau, and it can be frustrating when you have a great product or service that’s not getting as many thumbs up as it should.

So to help you jump this hurdle and get more Facebook likes, we’ve put together some quick tips on how you can tweak your page to bring more clicks.

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How to Get More Likes on Facebook Infographic
Source: How to Get More Likes on Facebook – Infographic

Change your attitude

The most important thing to realise with Facebook likes is that they are an indication of popularity, not confirmation of a sale or support. You can have 10,000 Facebook likes and still see no real bump in your sales or online engagement metrics.

If you’re frustrated by the lack of likes, remember that it’s about quality, not quantity.

Each of your Facebook likes should be an engaged customer or audience member that supports what you do and tells others about it. One of this kind of Facebook likes is better than a hundred others who clicked because they like your logo!

Getting more Facebook likes of the right kind should be your priority. You need to build an audience that supports your business goals and is engaged with its direction and vision, and from here on in, our focus will be on tactics and methods to bring these likes to your page.

Put your best foot forward

Many businesses have a Facebook profile page that is uninspiring; with basic information, a few pictures here and there, they're essentially classified adverts on Facebook.

Your Facebook page should be as detailed and engaging as your regular website. A high quality profile and cover picture, snappy copy for the description and some sharp photos will set your page up to attract the right audience’s likes.

And don’t stop there. Add as much information to the page as you can – website URL, street address, phone number, and hours of operation. This information is great for the Google search mill and will make it much more prominent online.

Need some inspiration? Here are some of the best Facebook pages around. Take what you can from them to mould your Facebook profile

Have something interesting to say

Facebook is a social network that encourages people to share and discover things from their lives. It’s vital that your business presents itself within this frame, providing entertaining and interesting content that informs people.

Videos, articles, blogs, pictures, tasteful jokes: the list of stuff you can put on your company’s Facebook page is as large as your imagination.

Also, it pays to post content that’s not always directly related to your company. If all you put up are adverts and articles directly linked to your brand, your audience will get bored. But if you provide a variety of content, they will be engaged, and more receptive to the marketing messages you seed carefully.

For example, an auto mechanic could post ten articles about new cars, tyre reviews and motorsport news, with a few pieces of advertising content here and there. This mix shows that the auto mechanic is engaged with their field of expertise, giving its marketing messages more authority.

The bottom line is that Facebook uses algorithms to track user engagement, rewarding content that’s popular. The more interesting things you put up, the more exposure you’ll get, and the higher the chance of attracting more likes becomes.

Always post and always promote

A Facebook page should be active – use it or lose it. If you want your audience to be engaged, then it’s vital to engage with them regularly. Facebook’s algorithms reward pages that post new content, so make sure yours is always fresh.

There’s no firm rule on how often you should post, but most advice settles on posting at least three times a week. If your page is active, you will be more likely to attract new likes and retain the existing thumbs ups that you’ve earned.

A great way to enhance your regular posting is by using Facebook’s Page Insights service to analyse when your audience is online, and tailor your marketing strategy to post new content at peak times.

In addition to having an active Facebook page, it’s vital that you promote it at every opportunity. Make sure that it’s referred to on your company stationery such as your email signature, marketing materials, business cards - anything and everything that is client facing.

The more you promote, the more chances you’ll have to win more Facebook likes.

Pay to play

Finally, you can pay to bring in more Facebook likes. Now, this isn’t about buying fake likes. It’s about using Facebook's advertising and promotional products to maximise your exposure to audiences and target specific messages.

By putting better content online more regularly, researching your audience and promoting your page at every opportunity, you can place yourself in a position where paid Facebook advertising will bring good results.

Facebook allows you to target specific audiences with advertising that always includes the option to like your page. You can pay to boost the prominence of the posts you add to your page, or simply promote the page itself. Through paid advertising, you can cut through quickly and establish a great return on investment.

We hope these quick tips on getting more Facebook likes will put you on the path to creating an engaged online community. Remember, it’s about quality, not quantity – and if you get the content right, the numbers could rise higher than you’d ever expected.

Related Tags: Social Media Marketing Newcastle | Digital Marketing Newcastle


Is Your Website or Social Media Presence a Reflection of What You Want?

Have you ever visited someone in their home and almost felt unable to move in case you accidentally disturbed something? Have you ever walked into a store and found that it seemed almost impossible to find a sensible path to the specific items you wanted to look at?

Both of the above can be the result of ‘inside-out creation’. This is where the end result has been designed for the approval of the person creating it, rather than those visiting or wishing to use the facility. This can often happen when a site is being designed to maximise web content, or social media marketing opportunities are being exploited.

Taking off your shoes

The above comes from an old quotation: ‘To walk in someone else’s shoes, first take off your own’. So many people don’t – they, metaphorically at least, simply place them over the ones they are already wearing. The result is that their primary focus is 'inside out'. Yet, to achieve conversion optimisation throughout a range of web or social media activities, the focus can only be on the searcher or visitor. This is why artists, when painting, often step back from the canvas to actually see the work as the audience eventually will.

Four ways that inside-out focus can damage performance

1. Focusing on the wrong areas

An example of this might be the launch of a new product or service. Those producing it are proud of all it can achieve and therefore want to convey this message to the world. However, outside of their bubble, those people undertaking web searches, or visiting social media are much more interested in what exactly it can do for them. The danger is that all the content has to say gains no more than a ‘so what’ reaction from the very people it should be exciting and enthusing.

2. Using inappropriate language

This isn’t referring to rudeness, or a lack of manners, but simply to the fact that every business has its own private language. This jargon is clearly understood by all insiders, who then use it on a regular basis, like a type of shorthand. It’s far too easy to forget that many of the potential customers any company wishes to talk to simply don’t have the same level of expertise. Much as you might hope they would make the effort to find out more, in reality they are much more likely to simply search elsewhere for an easier to understand solution.

3. Ignoring the obvious

If you've ever tried to find a new location by following road signs, you’ll often end up realising that they were erected by people who already knew where they were going! A sign at one turn-off might then be missing at the next, simply because the path to take is so well-known, indeed blatantly obvious, at least to the individual placing those signs. So, if road signs should be erected by strangers, the same can apply to online content. It is so easy to miss out key pieces of information, simply because the person writing that content has known about it for so long.

4. Creating a tortuous or incomplete journey

Like the first three points above, errors here are usually due to what might be called ‘sins of omission’. There is no deliberate attempt to confuse or conceal, simply a lack of taking that ‘artist’s step back’ to cast an outsider’s eye at the work. Therefore, for example, a visitor with no knowledge of the company might find the website difficult to navigate – and then give up on the attempt. A search for a specific item might only take the arriving visitor to a generic homepage – rather than a specifically-designed landing page. Again, asking them to make a ‘discovery’ effort might simply lead to their looking elsewhere.

Gaining that 'outside-in' insight

Asking an outside company to work on your website, search engine or social media marketing, brings that fresh insight of the outsider, married to rich experience in creating optimal content.

However, it is a two-way street. Any company undertaking such tasks needs to burrow inside the skin of your business and find out what really makes it tick. Once this has been achieved, you have the best chance to achieve a great win-win situation – professionally crafted content, created by an outsider, yet enhanced by using the expertise of those within that business.

Giving your website and social media an outside touch will enable you to create an experience for visitors that will drive them to take actions.

Related Tags: Social Media Marketing Newcastle | Web Developer Newcastle


9 Tips For Conversion Rate Optimisation

In the world of websites, there are a few things that people get nervous about. One of those is conversion optimisation. Websites are always changing and evolving, and when it's time to upgrade the site for your business, you might worry that you'll hire a developer to make the modifications, spend the money, and then see it ultimately hurt your business because your conversion rate goes down. They key to success is knowing how to approach the conversion optimisation process properly and make it work for you. Today, we'll give you a few tips to help you do just that.

1. Remove unnecessary form fields

Yes, adding additional form fields might allow you to gather more information more easily, but customers don't really enjoy filling up that many blanks. It's not worth sacrificing conversion rate just to make the work easier on your end. Some companies have seen as much as 160% conversion rate by decreasing form fields from 11 down to 4. Make it easier on your customers, and they're more likely to stick around.

2. Choose a unique call-to-action colour

One of the most important parts of any business website is the call-to-action button. Every click of it means a visitor becomes a customer. You want to choose a colour for the button that will make it stand out. It's all about making the button pop against your website's background colour. You may have heard that red is a great colour for improving conversion, and that's true. However, it's not the colour itself that makes the difference. It's the contrast between the button and the background that matters, so red won't benefit everybody. Be sure you check and verify which colour will work best for your website.

3. Drop the stock photos and image sliders

Photos can make or break a website. It's a fact. However, it's not just the photos you choose. It's also how you use them. Image sliders are used quite often these days, but they don't yield the best conversion rates. Customers tend to enjoy exploring a site for themselves, and image sliders make it more difficult for them to do that. Try a static image or advertisement instead. Also, stay away from stale stock photos. It's far better to have original photos that flow well with your website and it's message.

4. Make good use of videos

Yes, videos are valuable. If your website offers advice or instruction about any topic, providing videos is an excellent way to improve conversion rates. Customer tend to enjoy watching a how-to video more than reading a long article, especially for things that might be a bit harder to learn. Just be sure you keep them short, about 2 to 3 minutes in length, so that your customers won't get burned out watching a long, boring video presentation. Make great use of videos, and your conversion is sure to improve.

5. Keep your headlines clear and phone numbers visible

You want to be sure your viewers have a clear picture of what you're offering or what your business does. Having a clear and visible headline is a must. By making sure your headline is easily seen and, most importantly, easily understood, you can boost your conversion rates by a good bit. Another thing to focus on is your company's phone number. Make sure it appears in the header of your homepage. This lends weight to your credibility, and it also make you feel more approachable to your customers.

6. Stay true with your testimonials

When visitors are trying to determine if your website is worthy of their business, they look at many things including testimonials from your previous customers. Some websites come up with fabricated testimonials in an effort to boost the credibility of their business. They don't say anything untrue, but still it's not a real customer's opinion. This isn't a good idea. The best way to boost your credibility and your conversion rate is by including real testimonials from real customers. They may not always be as perfect as you'd like, but being real makes all the difference. Remember, the truth is what earns trust.

7. Wear your badges with pride

Trust badges are an excellent conversion rate booster. Trust Pilot is a great site that offers badges for businesses with a history of good reviews. If you have that, be sure to show it on your website. You can also show off other badges you may have earned from sites such as Yelp or Glassdoor. Having these on your website is tantamount to word-of-mouth advertising and can make a big difference in customer conversion.

8. Stay current with your security

A big issue with websites these days, especially online stores, is security. Customers want to be sure that their credit card information will be safe before using any online store, and the best way to give them peace of mind is to show off any security seals your site has earned. One case study showed that websites with a Norton security seal had 11% more sales than those without one. If you have seals, show them.

9. Don't be afraid to say "free"

It's true that nothing much in this world is free, but in most cases your call-to-action will be. Usually it involves simply registering for the website which doesn't cost anything. Don't be afraid to tell your customers that by including the phrase "it's free" along with your call-to-action. Some sites have seen as much as 28% conversion improvement by using this tactic. If you're not already using this handy phrase, give it a try and see how much it helps your site.

There is far more to conversion optimisation that just the tips we've discussed here, but using these handy techniques will get you pointed in the right direction and well on your way to improving your conversion rates and with them your customer base as well. Give our tips a try and see the results for yourself!

Related Tags: Social Media Marketing Newcastle | Web Developer Newcastle


Five Reasons Why You Should Choose Digital Over Traditional Marketing

The dynamics of business and marketing have shifted quite dramatically over the last 10 to 15 years. The way we interact, consume and do business has changed. This change has created & been created by many new ventures that have disrupted the old & traditional ways things have been done. Can't think of any? Here are just a few to get you thinking:

Google

Google has changed the way we find information. Rather than looking through books or consulting with someone who is an expert in their field we can type anything into a computer and find the answer to pretty much anything.

Uber

The way we move around has changed & shifted. The traditional methods of catching a bus, taxi or train has shifted to more personalised and on-demand transport.

E-Bay

With the introduction of E-bay so came with it the rise of online shopping and the buy and sell online marketplace. No longer do you need to have a garage sale or visit the local market. Just put your product up and start selling.

What This Means For Your Business

There are many more companies that have shifted the landscape of business and how your potential customers and actual customers consume information, services & products. What does this all mean to you? If you're a business that has been operating for longer than 10 years or a new business to the market the impact of how people interact on a daily basis is going to have the same effect. The potential impact it can have may be greater if you're a long standing business stuck in traditional ways of doing things. Flexibility & the ability to be dynamic as a business has become increasingly important as things now change so rapidly. So that's where we get to the argument of where you should invest your marketing dollars. Let's be clear from the start and identify that every single business is different and no one strategy is going to suit every business. What is important to see is that digital marketing has benefits that traditional marketing potentially can't compete with.

Why Choose Digital Over Traditional?

It's a question we get asked multiple times a week. Why should I do this when I've always done it like this? Why should I be doing digital marketing? What's the benefit for my business? Our website isn't that important to our business, so why would we do it?

We believe that every business should be doing some form of digital marketing whether it being optimising their website for conversions & implementing an inbound marketing strategy, working on an SEO campaign for keywords that are relevant to their business or running a paid Google advertising campaign. The opportunities are endless and the potential return for the business is vast due to the sheer number of consumers that are looking for them every day through digital channels even if they don't think that it's important. Some simple research into things people are searching for that are relevant to your business can be an eye opener.

Why Should I Do It Though?

Ultimately for every business it comes down to justifying the cost vs return when any type of marketing campaign is implemented. How many people can I get to see what I do and how many of those can I convert into real paying customers? The problem with many traditional marketing activities (not all of them) is the inability for you as the business owner to understand your real return on investment, how effective your marketing activity is and what results it can deliver for your business. With digital marketing whether it be SEO, Social Media, Content or Adwords you have the ability to measure, review and improve. It's not just a nice to have, it's a must have. To better understand how you can acquire more customers you need to know how much it costs you to get one, what you're willing to spend to acquire a customer and how you can continually improve your return on investment. Digital marketing gives you that opportunity and it is something you should take advantage of. Always take the time to thoroughly assess traditional vs digital channels and make sure you talk to a digital marketing agency that understands the importance of conversion tracking, reporting and return on investment monitoring.

Related Tags: Social Media Marketing Newcastle | Digital Marketing Newcastle


5 Tips On Improving Your Website

If you have a business usually a website is a critical component as it becomes the online face of your business and gives customers the opportunity to get a first impression of what you do and how you do it. Unfortunately many businesses don't take the time to consistently review their website and make necessary changes to improve how customers perceive them when visiting their website but also how they can turn visitors into actual customers buying their products and using their services. Here are some simple tips that can help improve your website design, compliment your digital marketing campaign, boost your search engine optimisation and take advantage of your search engine marketing traffic. Ultimately it comes down to how you present your business in the form of your website, what functionality you require and how you can use your website as a tool to increase conversions & sales.

Always Think Mobile First

I'm sure you've heard this a million times by now about how you need to be mobile friendly and you need to ensure your website stacks up when viewed across multiple devices. It isn't just a nice thing to have anymore. It is a must have for a few reasons:

1) Statistics now show that internet usage on mobiles is growing every year with bigger screens and more opportunities to access products, services and businesses online from your pocket.

2) Google now takes into account how mobile friendly your website is when ranking sites on mobile devices. If you aren't mobile friendly your rankings will now suffer

3) It should always come back to keeping your customers happy. Accessibility and useability will dictate whether they want to use your service or product. If you don't make it easy for a customer or potential customer they will simply go to one of your competitors.

Keep Your Branding Consistent

The biggest thing we see when people create a website is that they don't keep their branding consistent especially as their business changes and evolves over time. Your brand is the key to the identity of your business and it's important to keep that fresh and consistent online. This means that your website should be aligned with your social profiles and if you update your physical branding make sure you do the same online. Colours, typography and the images you use should be thought out and aligned with your businesses brand and style.

Know Your Stuff? Share It Through Content

You may be a leader in your industry and you may also have some untapped knowledge that differentiates you from your competitors. What's one of the best ways to get customers? Use that knowledge and information and create useful, interesting and informative content that people will be searching and looking for. People constantly type questions into Google as they are looking for answers and solutions to their problems. Not only can you build authority for your website, you can also become a knowledge leader in your industry and it's a perfect way to engage and acquire new customers. Running a simple blog and keeping it updated regularly will not only keep your website fresh it will also help with your search engine optimisation and give you a variety of sources to share on social media.

Focus On Conversions

The best way to improve your website is to focus on opportunities to increase conversions. There are some simple things you can do that can potentially improve your conversions:

1) Create a call to action on every page - you want people to do something when they visit every page on your website whether this be directing them to your contact page or signing up for your newsletter for further marketing opportunities.

2) Ever thought about a live chat? Are you running a marketing campaign where you will have consistent traffic? Implement a live chat so you can try and engage these visitors. It may give you an advantage over your competitors if you can reach these customers early and try and solve their problem or answer their question

3) Give your visitors something, whether it be a free book download or a special discount or offer. It is an easy way to entice a potential customer to engage with your business.

Conversions are the key to the success of your website and make sure you implement conversion tracking so you can monitor and analyse the results of implementing any conversion improvements.

Get a Professional to Redesign Your Website

There are loads of do it yourself website builders out there, however most of the time these create more problems than the money you save. If you are really looking for a website that can deliver results for your business and create a good first time impression use a professional who understand your industry and what will potentially deliver results, more customers & increased sales.

We hope these 5 tips will help you improve your website and assist in creating a seamless experience for your customers online. Got any other tips? Comment below.

Related Tags: Social Media Marketing NewcastleWebsite Design Newcastle


How To Be Smart With Your Digital Marketing Spend

Running a business isn't easy and many of the decisions you make come down to how much you can afford to spend or what kind of risk you can afford to take for a calculated return. If you are thinking about marketing online, whether it be through search, social media or content there are some ways you can be smart with your spend & actions to make sure you aren't wasting money or dedicating resources to areas that aren't delivering a return for your business.

Do Your Research When Choosing A Digital Marketing Agency

Just like any decision you make when spending money especially when investing into growing your business make sure you do adequate research on the company you want to partner with. More than anything this relationship should be a partnership where the agency has a vested interest in delivering tangible results for your business & helping you grow. Here are some simple questions you can ask and make sure you compare the answers from a couple of agencies both locally and outside your area:

1) Tell me about your experience?
2) What makes your agency different?
3) Can I see some examples of results with other clients?
4) What are your biggest strengths?
5) Can I see some samples of your reports and what kind of information I will expect to receive?

Cost is always a factor that should come into play, however make sure you get an understanding of the business, how they track results and how they can deliver value to your business. Making the right decision from the outset can save you money, time and can start growing your digital strategy from day one.

Put Some Time & Effort Into Your Tracking & Reporting

Like anything you get out what you put in. With digital strategy everything should be able to be measured and tracked. This will enable you to find areas where your performing well and others where you aren't. If the company you've engaged isn't giving you information around what your results mean for your business & the dollar return you should expect to receive you should be asking for it.

You should also being putting time into understanding Google Analytics, so as a business you can track and measure traffic & conversions.

Investment vs Return

You should be investing time into understanding & analysing your investment v return. Before you start investing in your digital marketing plan put some effort into understanding your customers, the dollar value an individual customer acquisition returns to your business and the number of referrals they provide you. This will help you assess your cost to acquire customers and the return that your marketing efforts will deliver to your business.

Pick Your Channels

Ultimately you know your business and you understand what your customers want and the type of customers you are trying to target. If you're a business to business client in an obscure industry social media may not make sense when choosing where to invest your money & resources. Take time to understand the different channels you can market to and how they suit your business. If you've engaged an agency get them to detail why they suggest a certain channel to market your business and how it fits with your overall marketing strategy.

It's a Long Term Investment

If you're thinking about marketing online and you only want to dip your toes in the water you should probably think about spending money elsewhere. You need to be committed to developing a long term strategy as you will only start to see results and a return on investment when the cumulative effect of your marketing efforts start to come to fruition. This is especially important when undertaking search engine optimisation which is always a long term investment for your business. Talk to your agency partner about the long term goals & plans for your digital marketing plan and remember to measure and track everything against your goals so you can continually refine & improve.

Related Tags: Web Developer Newcastle | Digital Marketing Newcastle