Title Image

IDEA EXCHANGE

Join the Conversation

How To Create A Headline Nobody Will Read

Why are we still talking about writing killer headlines in today’s cluttered multi-channel communication climate?

 

Because breaking through the cluttered media landscape is crucial for your brand and your business. Whether we are talking about an email, text, Tweet, Pinterest posting, billboard, or pop up Facebook video, you have a few seconds to make your audience care enough to click to read more.

READ MORE

Customer Churn Is On The Rise. And It Costs You More Than You Know

According to research conducted by Bain & Company, “Increasing customer retention rates by a mere 5% could increase profits by 25% to 95%. That number seems high, but according to Bain research, the cost of acquiring a new customer can be significantly higher than working to retain a customer. Often, the study says, by as much as an eyebrow-raising 500%.

READ MORE

What Not To Do On Your Website

Welcome to your website. You’ve taken a look at it recently, right? Well, you should. You scrutinized it when you were first putting it together, hanging over every word, every photo, and agonizing over space and color options. But that was then. Maybe that was two or three years ago… and things have changed.

 

Two or three years is about it for a website look. They tend to look peaked and tired after that amount of time. So get in there, look around, and freshen that website up!

 

A good place to begin? Your landing page. It’s your introduction to visitors and potential customers. It’s the firm handshake that gives the first impression.

 

Here’s what you don’t want to do: hit them with too much information. Or intimidate them with a learning curve about your business. Or give them too many choices. Or use a lot of industry terms. Each of those things can be intimidating, or potentially turn a customer off, or confuse them, so they’ll end up doing nothing.

 

Nope. Your landing page is going to be fresh and welcoming with a general introduction, short and sweet, just enough to inform and tease your visitors. Save the drill down for specialized interior landing pages where visitors can learn more if they are interested.

 

As for the navigation, well, your mom should be able to easily scroll through it. How many drop-downs and sub-navigation buttons do you have? While you may think it is helpful for people to go directly to pages with deeper info, seeing all this at once can cause instant confusion. Or overload. Or create indecision. And that mean visitor shut-down.

 

If you are guilty of any of these sins, then by all means, fix them.

You aren’t doing a complete website revision. You are freshening your site up. Just top off the tank, reworking trouble spots.

 

Ask others to weigh in from inside your business and outside. Listen to what they say.

 

Now, let’s look at your photos

Please tell us you aren’t using shlock stock. You know, those cheesy stock photos that are filled with pensive people at their desks in casual attire, studying their laptops. Or high-fiving the team. Ugh. Stock photographs are easy to spot. Ditch them. They make you look ingenuous, uncreative, and the worst – like everybody else.

 

It’s easy enough to hire a photographer and take real photos. Of your people. Working in your actual headquarters. Real photos can even be taken by someone on staff that knows her way around photography. You don’t have to be a professional photographer to get website-quality photography. After all, there is always cropping.

 

Now — you look like who you are. And even if the pictures aren’t perfect, they will be genuine.

 

What’s your call to action? If it’s hackneyed, or cute, revise it.

 

Shorten up your contact page. People are a lot more hesitant to give out personal data now than they were even a few years ago. So only ask for what you really need, generally, name, company name, email and phone number. That’s really all you need and filling out lots of form spaces feels like work and takes up your visitors’ time. Show them that you value it.

 

Here is a good place to be generous. Provide a download of a whitepaper, or a sample of some kind. Everybody likes free.

 

Bottom line, if you suspect your website needs some work, it probably does. Especially if it’s been awhile since you updated it.

(P.S. We can help with that.)

What Is Seasonal Content And Why Is It So Important?

Adding seasonal content – coordinating your message to align it with holidays, vacations, changing seasons, social or political events, and current trends – is important for your business. It shows you to be reactive or in touch with what’s going on, especially since many industries rely on the changing seasons, changing weather, holidays and other variations throughout the year to sell their products and services.

 

This is also important because it connects your target audience and user base with the various needs they have throughout the year. It also can send valuable refresh signals to search engines across social media, indicating you’re adding new content to your site.

 

As marketers at FocalPoint, we value the creation of both evergreen and seasonal content to connect long term and in the here and now with your audience. Because no decision your customer makes is made in a vacuum. Customer needs are time and season-based, just as businesses experience time-sensitive variations based on time of year.

 

So how can you capitalize on this?

Ahh, that is the real question, isn’t it? To make seasonal content relevant, it’s got to go live and get indexed in search before the buying bell curve begins its uptick. And that search engine indexation of content can take time. If you fail to plan ahead, chances are good that the opportunity to generate interest has already passed. Your competitor already took the lead, gaining attention and authority of users as well as search engines.

 

Plan ahead. Give yourself adequate time to fully research and create a unique piece of content that will stand out from the rest. Thinking three to four months ahead on big seasonal initiatives will allow you the time to research your competition and think strategically about when to post. And what to post.

 

Research trends

Sometimes it can be great to buck trends. Other times, it’s a good idea to go with the (commerce) flow, plugging into established customer purchasing habits. Toward that end, Google AdWords is a useful tool. You can find search volume for keywords and segment data by month — and even location. Google Trends is also a helpful tool for planning around seasonal patterns and subject peaks.

 

With 2019 heading toward us like bullet train, it makes good business sense to brainstorm next year’s marketing cycles right now – with a nod to seasonal content. We can help.