A few weeks ago, I sat down with a gentleman who has been a buyer for a government agency for the past four years to discuss his experience when making online purchases on a variety of manufacturing websites. To respect his privacy, I can't disclose his real name, so let's just call him Joe.
Joe spends a good portion of his day buying parts on e-commerce websites. While he is not an expert in web design, he is however, an expert on visiting websites and having to work really hard to make a purchase. We wanted to know what attributes of a website make his life easier, and what makes him never want to come back. Here are the key takeaways from our conversation:
Spring is finally making its presence known in Connecticut and soon we will be dusting off the lawn mower and gardening gloves or calling up the lawn service company to schedule the first cut of the season. Now imagine this spring that you decide to ignore your lawn and weeds in the gardens. You would still be able to go about your day without any problems, but what impression do you think you would be giving to your neighbors or passersby that don't know you? Does someone still live there? Why don't they take pride in what they own? Now instead of it being your overgrown and unkempt lawn, what if it was your website that you were ignoring? What kind of an impression are you giving your visitors and potential customers if you've ignored your website for years?
Social media can be a great tool for building your business, but it is not foolproof. There are things you can do on social media, or fail to do, that can actually hurt your business.
When it comes to social media, LinkedIn is one of the best places for professionals to connect with their peers. It is also the perfect place for businesses to build more B2B leads, announce new products and services, and research potential customers before making contact. The key to any social media outlet is a polished profile, so here is what you need to know to build an effective LinkedIn company page.
My son, John, has had type 1 diabetes since 2011 (he was two years old when diagnosed), and with learning about the disease we've found that it is constantly unpredictable. There are multiple factors that can cause John to have a change in his blood glucose level and often they are not always the same. Changes often come without warning and because our son is so young, he doesn't often recognize when he is at a low or high BG. The unknown has been scary, but also frustrating because we as parents want to make sure we are keeping John as healthy as possible.
You may have noticed your website hasn't been updated for a while, and/or you can't recall the last time your nursing home's website generated a lead that converted into a new resident. For one reason or another, you have come to the realization that you must redesign your website in 2015. Before you start picking out colors, layout and photos, consider these five tips to create a sales generating machine:
Last month I was in Boston, MA for a girls weekend with my best friend who now lives in North Carolina. The only part of the trip we planned was our reservation on airbnb.com. We were set up in a great spot in Boston where we could walk to almost everything or jump on the T. It was perfect since we had no set plans, except to eat some yummy food and maybe have a drink or two. As two busy mamas, it was nice to not have a plan and just explore the city. We of course posted many of our photos on Instagram so our families could share in our fun.
Think about the way you make buying decisions, whether it's for a product or service. It is hard to separate your emotions when making the decision. Most buying decisions people make are based on emotions. The consumer may do some research, but often times the feelings behind the decision out weigh the facts. Now think about the emotions involved in deciding to send your parent or grandparent to a nursing home.
Last week, my husband Michael and I were speaking with Rick Roberge discussing how to expand our network. Rick said "drag them to you", by adding remarkable and relevant insight to the conversation which will encourage readers to want to learn more about you. Rick compared this approach to how I attracted Michael. I didn't yell from the other said of the room saying "Look at me!!" (very outbound), but instead I went with a more inbound approach - an innocent smile from across the room. Michael, of course, was immediately intrigued and after another glance or two, built up the courage to come and talk to me. My graceful approach worked and we've been together ever since!
Yup, it's about that time of year again! There is a briskness in the air and all of the stores around you have their Christmas decorations up and it's only the day before Halloween. As a consumer, this time of year is overwhelming for me. I'm always seeking the perfect gift for my family members and especially my kids. I would say 95% of my shopping is done online because of the convenience and the lower prices. BUT, the down fall is I'm not able to actually touch the product and feel 100% confident in my choice. So often, I have to take additional time reading through reviews and relying on strangers to tell me if it's a quality product. This is all well and good for some purchases, but there is still a lack of confidence in my purchase and the time it takes to gather information
A lot has changed in the world of marketing and you may have been noticing the term "Inbound" popping up everywhere. It's really becoming a movement to connect with people, with buyer's, through the use of transparency and personalization. As the buyer's process has changed, we too as marketers, sales people and business owners need to change. The days of always be closing aren't going to work anymore, it's time to always be helping the buyer because that is what will earn trust and prove valuable.
There has been this recurring problem or complaint that I hear about from other businesses and I'm blown away because it just doesn't make any sense to me. The common issue is that the salespeople and marketers do not work together towards a common goal. Not only do they not work together, they blame each other for not reaching their set goals. Sound familiar?
Recently, while I was at the INBOUND 2014 conference, I was speaking with two other inbound marketing strategists about this recurring problem in their own companies. And during this conversation, I had an epiphany, these two groups are on the same team.
Last week, I was at my son's endocrinologist appointment (my little man was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 2 years old) and the doctor and I were discussing different tweaks we needed to make to his insulin regimen. We sat there discussing the different contributing factors to what may be causing my son to be having more high blood sugar readings at night. As I often tell people who are not familiar with Type 1 Diabetes, managing T1D is more of an art than a science. There is not a set calculation based on his age and weight that will give us exact amount of insulin he should have per carb or a set basal rate. We are constantly making adjustments and will continue to do so throughout his life.
When planning an inbound marketing campaign, you first define your buyer persona(s). Based on these defined characteristics and your marketing/sales goals, you plan a killer campaign that will attract new qualified leads. But, what about marketing to attract new employees?
Recently, our customer, New England Geriatrics, a leader in geriatric mental health who hires clinicians, expressed a need to increase their number of qualified applicants. At that time, their digital marketing to find new applicants only consisted of using a job posting service. I've witnessed first hand the compassionate and dedicated team at New England Geriatrics, but no where online could a new applicant see what I was seeing. It was important to portray this work enviornment and add a human element to their digital presence. We needed to show applicants why they would want to work at New England Geriatrics. We sat down with New England Geriatrics, defined the persona of their applicants, set monthly goals, and created a custom inbound marketing plan for success.
As I peruse the internet and I come across a website with a blog (insert fist pump), I quickly click on the blog with excitement that often quickly turns to disappointment. Instead of coming to a refreshing source of information I'm brought to a blog that consists of maybe two posts with the last being posted in 2011. Boo. No bueno. Questions start running through my mind, "What happened to this company?", "Are they still in business?". Having a blog has so many benefits. I would never normally discourage anyone to remove their blog, but if you aren't ready to stick to a blogging schedule and it's been two years since your last post, I would hide that blog link until you are ready to fully commit to blogging.
In previous posts, I've described the importance of having a blog and have touched on a few points andstatistics. With my own business, I see the benefits I receive when I'm posting consistently and the immediate drop my entire website suffers when I blog less than once a week. Somedays I wish I could use Professor Dumbledore's wand and magically have my blog posts appear. I've tried it doesn't work.
Does your website have a plan for it's visitors? Back in the day when I was simply designing websites, my main focus was to create a site that was attractive to the eye and easy to navigate. Sounds pretty, but what happens when these visitors come to your website? Attracting visitors is just the first part of creating a successful website, the next phase is to create a conversion path for those visitors into leads. There are five key parts each successful conversion path must contain.
From making an end table made of old pallets to becoming a professional baby photographer, there are do-it-yourself instructions for almost everything, just search Pinterest. We live in a different world these days, where people want to use locked up creativity, learn something new, feel a sense of accomplishment or simply save money. A lot of times we truly NAIL IT, and it's exhilarating to look back at the final product with great pride. Then there are the fails, where the end result resembles something a two year old did in art class. It's ok though, we aren't all meant to be the next Martha Stewart or professional photographer. That being said, we need to be able to be honest with ourselves and know when a particular project or task is out of our reach. It's not being said we couldn't do it, but it may take us a lot of attempts and time to even get it close to correct.
"We need to start using social media NOW!", have you or someone in your company said this recently? It's been a very urgent request lately at 710 Studios. And well, I agree. If your company is not using social media marketing yet, umm, I ask very politely "what are you waiting for?". BUT, and that's a big "but", before you start are you prepared? The act of being social is to communicate with others, so what is it that you have to share. And is it worthy of being retweeted or shared by others? Here are three key elements you should prepare before you jump into social media marketing for your company:
Where do you think most people go first when they feel a new ailment coming on? The web of course and the most common site is webmd.com. Wouldn't you rather be the ones educating your own patients? With a blogyou can provide education to your patients and if they are hearing it from their own doctor instead of what feels like a robot at webmd.com you will make a great impact on your patients experience with your facility.
If you've avoided social media up until now, I'm not sorry to tell you it's time you give in and start reaping the benefits. Let's think of how difficult it was in the past for a consumer to find out more about a product or service. They could only go to a search engine like Google or yahoo and dig through numerous pages of search results. It was a tedious process and depending on what you were searching for you often came up very underwhelmed with outdated and stagnant content.