With the huge data now available marketers are becoming number crunchers. But if you are looking to hire a CMO or Marketing Director for your startup I suggest you consider the following...
Marketing is the intertwined with the product...
Typically a CMO's top priority or initiative is "company re-branding". This has a high priority in today's marketing world. This means looking at the website, branding, colours, touchstone and more. I would also be looking at the target audience to see where they are and what they like, then I would design the offer, positioning and product around them.
I would suggest...
Marketing – It’s Not All About you!
...It’s also not all about driving lots of visitors to your website. It’s not even all about getting lots of leads. So what is it about?
I think that marketing is about identifying your target audience. Find out who your customers are, or if you don’t have any, who they are most likely to be. Identify what they like and how they go about making purchases like the one you want them to make with you..
How To get New Business Online - Website Marketing Basics
Everyone has a website these days: But how many of them really work and produce income and results?
It’s all too easy to have a website built and then expect to get new business. But there is so much competition out there how do you get your website seen? Then once people visit it how do you attract them s clients?
The website itself is just part of this puzzle. There are a few basic steps that lead to a new client:
1. People who are interested in what you offer visit your website (targeted traffic)
2. Your website is simple to use and navigate
3. You capture peoples information whilst they are at your website
4. You follow up with quality messages
5. You offer them great service and they spread the word
Website traffic is easy. I can get thousands of visitors to any website with ease. However getting targeted traffic is harder. It takes time and effort. And targeted traffic is the key to success.
A website is like a shop window. If you had a shop in your local high street for your business would it work? Chances are no. There may be thousands of people passing by but how many are interested in what you offer – at that time?
Your website needs to be visible to people at the exact moment when they are looking for an offer like yours. So if you sell holiday lodges in North Wales you need people to find you when they are looking for a holiday lodge in Wales.
This means you need to be on the front page of the search results when people put in the relevant terms. But not everyone can be on the front page – there are only 10 spots. Luckily there are other ways to get hot leads. These involve social media, PR, articles, blogs and other forms of inbound marketing.
You may have noticed, as many of our clients have, a fall off in the returns from print advertising. It’s been in decline for years. I remember when I could put an advert in the Mail on Sunday or the News of the World and the phone would ring all day and Monday. Happy days; but they are no more.
80% of people research purchases online before actually buying. So if you place an advert in the paper people may like the idea: They will visit your website or make an enquiry: But they will also research online your competition. So you need to have a strong presence and reputation online to still stand a chance at this new business. At the end of the day a combined approach is what is needed.
Once you get people to your website you need to capture their data. Simple data catchment forms can have a huge effect. Most people will only visit your website once. So while they are there get their email and name. Then you can send them emails and engage with them. In this way you build your reputation and give people reasons to make their purchase from you and not your competition.
Social media now offers your brand the chance to engage with prospects and customers. You can offer them great service and value. And in this way you will be the natural choice when it comes time for their next booking or purchase.
Constant Marketing Leads to Success
Marketing now must be a constant stream of actions and engagement. In this way your business will be the first choice when it comes time to book. Best of all social media allows your audience to recommend you to their network, thus your offer spreads organically. Personal recommendation is more powerful now than ever before. Reputation is key to this and businesses need to have a plan to manage this online.
CR4L charges on results: If we don’t get you new business you don’t pay. For a more information visit the CR4L website or call Alex for a chat.
How does your website perform?
· Is your website working properly?
· Do all the links work?
· How is it ranked?
· What can you do to make it better for no cost?
Find out all this and more with a free website evaluation from CR4L - just click the image
Make Sure Your Website Is Performing Properly
Its all to easy to "set it and forget it" when it comes to a company website. But there are many things that must be kept up to date. Here we offer the top 7 checks that you can do once or twice a year to make sure your website is up to date and performing well.
Broken links, out dated information and old images can ruin the impression of your website on visitors. Often we can be so busy with our business that we just leave our website alone. Now with the holiday season upon us and most website's traffic about to hit the max it is best to check everything is working properly.
If you want the facts without the hassle then fill in the form below orhere to get a Free website evaluation from CR4L.
7 End of Year Checks For Your Website
Review Company Information
Do you have an “About Us” page or staff listing? Is it up-to-date with correct names, titles, and other contact information? What about your company history? Check references such as, “In our 10 year history” to see if it’s time to make a change.
Carefully review contact information. Are the phone and fax numbers, mailing and email addresses listed on your site all current? If you list firstname.lastname@example.org as the main contact address on your site, is it being routed to the correct person? If your shopping cart sends order information to email@example.com, is that going where it needs to go? Make sure your email routing reflects any organizational changes you’ve had.
Review and Test Forms & Automated Messages
Most websites include at least one contact form or landing page where site visitors are asked to provide basic information so that you can send them something or get back in touch with them. Contact forms need to be tested and reviewed regularly to make sure they work. Also make sure that they’re understandable and easy to use.
One test that’s smart at least once a year is to test the error messages that visitors to your website will get if they don’t complete the form correctly, or if there is a problem. So try to submit contact forms without the required information to make sure the resulting error message is clear and understandable.
If you send an automated confirmation message, in the form of a splash screen or email, when someone orders something or uses a contact form, make sure that the message still says what you want it to say. Check for spelling and grammar errors, content, and contact information, and that any sections of the automatic message that are supposed to be filled in from the customer’s contact form are correctly filled in.
You don’t have to be a lawyer to realize that when the year changes, so should your copyright notice. The correct form for a website is usually Copyright (first year content is posted)-(current year), so if your website was first published in 2001, the copyright notice should read Copyright 2001-2013 now.
Review Images and Video
Check any photographs, graphics, cartoons, and videos posted on your site to make sure that you have the legal right to use them. If you licensed photos from a stock photo agency or illustrator when your site was first developed, you may have purchased an unlimited license – or, more commonly, you may have purchased a license for a specific time period – often 1, 3, or 5 years. Most stock photo houses will contact you when your license is about to expire – but if your site was designed by a freelancer or third-party, it’s up to you to check your receipts and invoices to make sure that you continue to own the rights to the images on your site.
Also, some images may not be renewable. If you licensed a photograph that shows a recognizable person, then the individual(s) in the photo as well as the photographer have rights that must be considered, and the photographer or stock photo house may need to purchase additional rights from the talent before they can update your license. So an annual check is a good way to avoid a copyright infringement suit you can’t win.
Protect Your Domain
One of the most valuable assets your company has is its domain name. That is the URL or web address your customers use to find you online. At least once a year, make sure that your domain registrar and the web hosting company that is hosting your site has current contact information for you. If they don’t, you’ll miss renewal notices that could cost you your domain name.
When you verify that your domain registration is still valid, and that the registrar has current contact information, there are some other things to check, too. Most importantly, you want to check that the domain is registered to the business owner, not a developer, graphics designer, or marketing person who may have created the site for you.
Several contacts are listed with most domain registrations. The most common are:
Review Website Content and Links
Small business owners are often so busy growing the business that content for the website may be the last thing on their minds. But the end of the year is the perfect time to take a fresh look at how your website displays on mobile devices, whether the content is fresh and appealing, and whether the information is up to date. Compare your site to your competitor’s websites, and make sure that you give customers and prospective customers a reason to visit often.
One of the most important things to do is to test all of the links on your website – those that link to other pages on your website, and any that link to outside content. Broken links make your site look unprofessional, and customers will usually move on quickly if they find a site with broken links. You can check all of the outbound links on your site quickly and easily with The World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) online link checker. This is included witht he free report
Last, but not least, make sure that your website review includes the hidden sections of your web site, including your content management system (CMS). If you have any password-protected areas, do the passwords need to be changed? If there was any staff turnover during the year, this may be essential, but it’s a good idea even if there was no staff turnover.
In addition to all of this get CR4L to do a performance and marketing website evaluation. Its FREE and can give you an insight to your website's performance and how to make some small but effective changes.
Just use the form below to get your FREE website evaluation
Read more athttp://www.cr4l.com/1/post/2013/11/7-end-of-year-website-checks-every-business-should-do.html
Get leads literally sent to your inbox every day of the week...
Have you tried blogging and article marketing but struggled to make it work?
One of the most difficult things is to find where to engage with potential purchasers. Where do you post the comments, articles and blogs? How do you stay relevant and up to the moment?
Well CR4L has developed a great way to make the process easier and get great results. At CR4L Results Marketing we are always looking for ways to get better results for our clients.
But we also realise that not everyone wants to pay someone to do the marketing for them. A lot of small businesses do self marketing. And inbound marketing is one of the best ways to market, and self market, because of the high return on investment.
But getting actual results eludes most self marketers So now we want to pass this excellent method of lead generation on to you; for free. And if you are not a self marketer but still want to get the full effect of the system, just ask CR4L to do it for you – we guaranteed results!
Summary of Report Content:
This, with a few refinements, is one of the most productive systems that we use at CR4L Results Marketing . It’s systems and techniques like these that enable us to get new leads for our clients every month. Best of all these systems mean that our fees stay low and we give our clients a fantastic return on their investment.
If you would like to have a constant stream of hot leads each and every month just visit the contact page and get in touch. CR4L offer a variety of marketing including inbound marketing systems like these that are guaranteed to work and get you a fantastic return on your investment.
Below is a visual representation* of how this entire system works (*see note below) ...
*Now I must confess that I have borrowed this particular system diagram... It actually comes from an amazing marketer called Frank Rumbauskas. Frank is a best-selling author and his subject is cold calling – or rather how to stop cold calling and start working smart. This system diagram is of the system that he sells. It follows the same steps as mine does but as you can imagine, having to pay for it, Frank goes in to a lot more detail.
The free version available here is simpler and lacks all the information that Frank no doubt has. So if you like what you have seen here and want more detailed instruction to make it work for your business just follow this link to buy Frank’s version: http://www.fasttrafficmachine.com/system.php
Outbound Marketing VS Inbound Marketing – Which is right for your business?
Are you exceeding your sales targets?
Or do you get to the end of the month and have to have a call blitz; 100 cold calls and no one wants to talk to you. There has to be a better way to get sales...
Most marketing up until the advent of the internet has been outbound or interruption marketing. This is everything from TV spots, newspaper adverts, cold calling, direct mail, and anything else that interrupts people with a message.
Now you can add to that list email marketing, banner adverts and pay per click (PPC) and similar online interruptions. Studies show that people viewing websites now automatically block out banner adverts. Anything that looks like an advert is less likely to be seen.
Most businesses still rely on outbound marketing but they are getting less and less return from it. Newspaper adverts no longer have the pull that they once did. There are more magazines than ever and it is becoming more difficult to reach your prospects.
So what so the answer?
In a recent article I suggest that all advertising should have a social media element to help engage with your audience. Now I suggest going one step further and having an inbound marketing campaign in operation at all times.
Inbound marketing includes SEO, content marketing, social media engagement, video, guerrilla tactics and more. Using a combination of tactics across several platforms is most effective. You can aim your inbound marketing accurately to where your target audience is.
The big advantage of inbound marketing is that you are not interrupting people with your message. Prospects come to you and come predisposed to purchase. Studies show that around 80% of people research a purchase before contacting a business. Inbound marketing puts your business at the top of the searches and in front of prospective purchasers.
Here are some interesting statistics about inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing tends to be less expensive and give a better return on investment. However it is no so immediate as outbound marketing. With outbound I can place an advert in a Sunday paper and have calls on the Monday. How many and how good the leads are is another matter.
Which is best for your business?
Inbound marketing takes time to build and the effect comes after several months of effort. So a combination approach, especially in the early months, is always recommended. However many businesses have already found inbound to be more effective and have now dropped outbound completely.
Some businesses are more suitable to inbound and others must retain at least an element of outbound. Striking the correct balance will come over time. I suggest starting a program of inbound marketing to see what returns you get over 12 to 18 months.
Once you can clearly see that this will work for your business you can commit more fully to it. The future for most businesses will involve increasing amounts of inbound marketing and for a large number of companies this will become the model for future marketing.
Interruption marketing is harder to make work. It is far better to be a business people are talking about and engaging with regularly. In this way when a purchase is to be made your company is the first choice. This takes time and concerted effort, but I believe it is worth it and will give you a sustainable marketing model that gives a great ROI for the future.
For more information on how Inbound Marketing can work for your business get in touch with Alex and the CR4L team.Contact Us or use the form below...
Word of Mouth Marketing – demonstrably effective
There is a growing amount of data that indicates why word-of-mouth marketing is so appealing.
US trade body Womma (Word of Mouth Marketing Association) has conducted research showing that 72 per cent of consumer credit reviews from family or friends have either a great deal or a ‘fair amount’ of influence when deciding whether to use a product or service, while 81 per cent of consumers are influenced by their friends’ social media posts.
According to Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising and Brand Messages report, published in September 2013, ‘recommendations from people I know’ are the most trusted form of brand advertising, with a score of 84 per cent.
And as digital communications have penetrated our world, this figure has grown, having been just 78 per cent in 2007.
It is also far more popular than the alternatives. The same report scores branded websites at 69 per cent, TV adverts at 62 per cent and emails – even those that consumers have consented to receive – at 56 per cent.
How Can Your Business Use This To It’s Advantage?
Word of mouth advertising has been around for a long time. We all love to be recommended to companies and products. When we are, as we have seen above, it makes a big difference to our purchases.
But how can we use this in our businesses to full effect? Personally I think that social media has given every business, no matter how big or small, a great opportunity to engage with their customers and prospects. Now we can use positive feedback and reviews as well as other social evidence to full effect online.
Not only that but as we have seen with the example of Plusnet we can use incentives to get our existing customers to bring in their friends. And customers that are recommended by a friend to Plusnet have a 50% lower churn rate.
Is It Time You Leveraged This Powerful Technique?
At CR4L Results Marketing we are implementing schemes like the Plusnet one for our clients. The numbers speak for themselves and we suggest you try a similar plan; especially if you sell to the public.
For more information see http://www.cr4l.com
I just had to share this article on social media marketing. It covers the basics and tells you about each social media platform.
If you if you want details on how to market on Facebook click here to see a recent article - alternatively click this link to see how to use LinkedIn to sell your product or services.
I love LinkedIn and wrote an article on how to best use it to get hot leads for your business (see the article here). Now it’s the turn of Facebook...
Facebook is a strange beast, and I mean beast:
But speaking from experience advertising on Facebook does not increase the bottom line. It’s cheap and gets traffic but actually getting sales from Facebook adverts has been hard. Until I stopped paying...
Now I don’t pay for adverts on Facebook but I am starting to get traction. Here is my latest figures:
Does that mean sales? No. But keep reading to find out to get more likes, more readers, more exposure and, yes, more sales...
Facebook lets you engage with your target audience. It also lets you capture their details and that is the key to success. Once you have their details you can engage with them and they will buy from you.
The step are simple enough:
1. Build a business page (not a personal page)
2. Add great content
3. Get likes – build your audience
4. Convert likes to contacts with data catchment
5. People will buy from you
Some businesses set up a profile for their business as if it were a person. It’s not effective so don’t waste your time. Be professional from day 1.
As with all successful strategies online content is king. Add great content to your Facebook page. Take it from your website and blog posts. If your company has brochures add them too and offer them as downloads.
Every time I post on my blog it automatically posts to my business Facebook page. It has a back link to the blog so drives traffic there. This has the dual effect of adding great content and getting people to my website.
Once you have something worth seeing you can start attracting visitors. Remember that your page must offer great value to the reader. They must want to go there and return. The truth is that after liking a page most people will not go back to it. However they will receive your posts directly on their news feed.
But be warned: if they do not engage with your content by commenting, liking or sharing it Facebook will notice. After a while Facebook will stop sending your content to their newsfeed. So keep your content informative, of value and engaging. Be fun and quirky too and you can even be controversial so that people comment more.
So how do you get likes?
1. Invite your personal friends
2. Invite your email contacts
3. Invite your business database
Join relevant groups on Facebook. Post on their timeline and attract people to your page. People on Facebook like to stay on Facebook. Make it easy for them. At the same time you can enhance results with offers of benefits if they like your page. This could be anything you can give away for free and preferably via email; like and eBook. To help with this kind of giveaway you can use a service like Rafflecopter. They have a free version which will suffice as the premium is a bit expensive.
Groups are key. Just as on LinkedIn you need to find and engage with groups relevant to your business. Then you post your articles and blog posts with these groups too. I post all my blog posts on my blog, Facebook page and in all my LinkedIn and Facebook groups. Maximum coverage and impact.
Your goals are to increase engagement, build authority and trust. Comments from customers are great here so ask some happy customers to posts some good feedback on your page for you. Once your page gets bigger you can even segment it and have sub groups. You may have a testing group for new offers or ideas; another of existing clients and another for people interested in one area you deal in.
Next put links to your page on your website and blog. Add like buttons everywhere you can and use the send buttons too so that people can share your posts with their friends. This is where valuable information is key to success. Your articles must be worthy of sharing.
This article is a prime example. I know of one marketer who charged $40 for an information product which said pretty much all that I am. However he left out one vital point about data catchment. You see its all very well having a great Facebook page and lots of likes. But as I have already said people on Facebook like to stay on Facebook.
So now you have to entice them off and into your data catchment. But let’s not leave just yet. You can use events to get leads and you can use the Raffelcopter system I mentioned earlier. They are both hosted on your Facebook page so that is a big plus.
Of course all of your blog posts and articles will entice people away to your website where I am sure you have great data catchment (if not call me!). But one thing that is overlooked by almost all Facebook business pages is that you can use the "about" section at the top left of your Facebook page. This little box is edited in the admin and called “short description”. Use it as an advert and put your website link in it (use the full http:// version).
Entice people away for a great offer or free product. This section stays on top of the page ALL the time. People will see it and if it’s a good offer they will click the link. Have a look at mine on the Results Marketing System page on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/resultsmarketingsystem?ref=hl)
So in a nutshell.:
1. Great content
2. Attract relevant visitors
3. Give value and engage
4. Capture data
Happy Days! More sales :)
Alternatively: if you don’t have the time to do all of this for your business but would like the results, you can get CR4L to do it for you. We have a package that is guaranteed to work – or you don’t pay!
This is another offer from Results Marketing. See more at http://cr4l.com
You will have seen how LinkedIn has become an important tool in business marketing. There are millions of business people using it every day. There are thousands of companies, with a plethora of employees all interconnected.
You can advertise on LinkedIn and I have tried this for certain offers. But unless you have a big budget I suggest the free tactics that I have given here; I know that they work. So how do you get your offer to the people that matter and the people you want to sell to? I'll tell you in a moment but first...
...Before I answer that question I think it best to mention that when you are looking to engage with others you must consider how they will view you. So before you set out looking for clients and contacts on LinkedIn make sure your profile is up to date and full.
Top 6 LinkedIn Profile Tips:
1. A professional photo
2. Be individual and distinct – stand out
3. Don’t be all things to everyone – use your mission statement to filter out people as much as attract new prospects
4. KISS – keep it simple and to the point – don’t ramble on
5. Show clear and measured achievements – “increased sales by 220% in 2013”
6. Get referrals – not just people endorsing you but real detailed referrals from clients and colleagues
Once you have a great profile you can start some marketing….
Here are 2 main strategies that I recommend:
1. The Mass Approach
2. The Select Approach
1. The Mass Approach is a great way to create interest in your offer and bring people to your website. The basics are simple and can be laid out in simple steps:
a. Join groups in your niche or market.
b. Post useful information on their forum and take part in the discussions that are there. Be sure to lead people to your website to find out more valuable information.
c. Post teaser articles leading to your blog posts and thus to your website
As with most strategies that involve social media, you need to give value first. Give as much helpful information as you can. Lead people to your website to find out more. Get them to join your newsletter to get even greater value.
If you maintain a presence in the key groups you will be seen as a person (or business) that gives value. In this way you are also in the forefront of people’s minds; you are visible. So when people have a need they will come to you as first choice.
I regularly post articles in the groups I am a member of. I try and give helpful information and in doing so I build my brand and stature in that community. Then my prospects will look to me for more advice and services when the need arises.
2. The Select Approach is a little more involved and more subtle.
First you need to identify 10 companies (or people) that you want to sell to. Follow them and see who they are connected to and what groups they are in. Join groups that you think fit your business.
Next you need to look for people who have recently departed the company; recent ex-employees. Search the company and then look for people that have worked there in the past. You can do this on the searches if you do a detailed search. Then connect with them…
[…At this point I should say that I only have a standard LinkedIn account, not premium (paid) account. You can get more features, approach people directly and see more information with a premium account but I tried it and am happy enough not paying now.
So how to connect with someone you don’t know? Well you can join a group that they are in or look to connect with a middle man. I wanted to connect with a CEO one time and I found that his PA was my second connection. So I connected with her and then I was second connection to half the company.
If you give value and are respected, people will want to connect with you. Connections on LinkedIn work like network marketing. If I know 100 people and they all know 100 people then I have a loose connection with 10,000 people, level 2. Personally I have around 600 connections and on average they have 100 connections each so I have direct access to 60,000 people on LinkedIn.
You can see that by knowing more people I am connected to 100 times that number. If I then add in the Level 3, which I can get to, even without premium membership, via my level 2 connections, I am connected to 6,000,000 people.
So one of them probably works at the company I am targeting, or used to; and if not someone will be connected enough for me to find a connection. the other great way to connect is through gropus. Some comapnies make it easy and have groups of their own. A lot of the employees ill be members. So you can join the group and get connected in that way. ]
So now you have access to ex-employees of a company its time to use that. Write to them and say that you are researching the company that they used to work at. Ask them some questions relevant to your offer. In my case I would look for someone who worked in the marketing department. I would ask them what challenges they faced and how they dealt with them. I would also ask what challenges the company was working on for the future.
Gather as much information as you can. The reason for talking to ex-employees is that they will be more willing to engage with you about a company they used to work at. They are also more likely to be frank and tell you about real problems faced by that company.
Now you know what problems the company faces make sure you place prominently on your profile examples of how you have solved these problems in the past for clients. Give exact examples with measured results for the best effect. Make sure these appear on your website too.
Then when you go to the next stage and engage with people who currently work at the company they will see that you can help. Engage these people in conversation and find out if they are still dealing with the same issues. If so let them know how you or your product or company can help.
In this way you are tailoring your offer to meet the exact needs of a business before you initially engage with them. Once you do engage with them your offer will speak right to their needs. You will be half way to the sale already.
This is a very powerful tactic and you can use it on 1 or 10 companies at a time. More would dilute your efforts so I suggest starting with a maximum of 10.
LinkedIn is a great way to engage with people, speak directly to their needs and show how you can be of service. Remember to give value first in all social media activities (if not everything you do!).
For more information on social media and to get free downloads about marketing see http://www.cr4l.com/self-marketing-download.html
How to Shoot Great Looking Video Clips for Nothing
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