Online Marketing: 4 Keys to a Better LinkedIn Company Page

Online marketing tips for using LinkedIn to create an effective Company Page. From PMI, serving Reading, PA, Philadelphia, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Allentown, Bethlehem, York, Lebanon, Pennsylvania and beyond with services to develop your online marketing strategy.According to LinkedIn, more than 3 million companies have created Company Pages to connect with 225+ million professionals.  A Company Page helps LinkedIn members learn about your business, brand, products and services, and job opportunities.  Any LinkedIn member can follow a Company Page and research shows that 50% of LinkedIn members are more likely to purchase from companies when they engage with them on LinkedIn.  Plus, LinkedIn pages often perform well in company searches, thereby improving your search engine rankings, making your LinkedIn company page worthy of a role in your online marketing efforts.

See the SlideShare presentation below for some great LinkedIn company pages to inspire your efforts. You can click on the pages to see them live.

4 Ways to Optimize Your LinkedIn Company page

An effective Company Page doesn’t just happen – it takes strategy and time.  Here are 4 tips to maximize the effectiveness of your Company Page.

#1. Tell Your Audience What You Do Best and Give Them a Reason to Follow You

  • LinkedIn offers a “products and services page” – Use it!  Marketers who build up that page tend to attract twice as many company followers.
  • Include links to your white pages, case studies, videos, and how-to content.

#2. Do Your Homework – Take Advantage of Built-In Features

  • Edit your description so that it leads with powerful, keyword-rich sentences to make it more SEO-friendly.
  • Don’t forget your company contact information, descriptions of your offerings, and your areas of expertise.
  • Encourage your customers to write a recommendation for your product and/or service on your LinkedIn Company Page.

#3. Engage your audience

  • Encouraging a two-way conversation will help convert your audience into customers.
  • Post updates about your company – news, events, new employees and products, awards and honors, etc.
  • Keep your content short and start with the most important information first. This is how journalists write.
  • Include a picture, chart, or link whenever possible.
  • Ask questions to engage your audience.
  • Communicate with the voice and brand of your company.
  • The easiest way to turn off your followers is to give them the hard-sell.  This is a big no-no.  Instead, foster an informative dialogue regularly to keep your company at the top of prospects’ minds.
  • LinkedIn’s targeted updates allow you to tailor your message to your audience.
  • Encourage your audience to engage by liking, sharing and commenting on your posts.Engage your colleagues – Employees are 70% more likely to engage with your company updates.Use a multi-channel approach – Include a link to your LinkedIn Company Page everywhere, such as your email signature,   and include a follow button on your website.

#4. Analyze & Improve

The “page insights” and “analytics” on your Company Page are awesome tools that can help you focus and refine your LinkedIn strategy.

  • Page Insights show page views and unique visitors and page clicks over the last 7 days. It also displays charts showing data on page views by tab, Products and Services page clicks, and more.
  • Analytics: Use LinkedIn Analytics to leverage metrics and to reveal trends about your company page.
  • Monitor your Engagement %.  Noting which updates have higher engagement rates will help you understand what topics or types of posts engage your audience the most, allowing you to optimize future content.
  • Review your demographics. This tool provides a snapshot of your followers and allows you to tailor your content.
  • Know how you Compare. Knowing how your page compares with your competitors’ page can help refine your LinkedIn strategy.

If you want to keep your customers and prospects informed and keep your company name top of mind, an effective LinkedIn Company Page is a great tool.

Need help developing a better online strategy for your business? Contact PMI today to arrange a free initial consultation.

This post is based on an article by Jason Miller – 5 LinkedIn Company Page Tips to Enhance Your Marketing.

8 Online Marketing Tips for Stronger Calls to Action

In our last post we covered the types of calls to action (CTA’s) every website should have. In this post we’ll cover ways boost your online marketing results by making your CTA’s more effective and persuasive.

Online marketing tips to make your calls to action (CTA's) more effective. From PMI, offering online marketing services to Reading PA, Philadelphia, Allentown, Harrisburg, Lancaster, York, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and beyond.One of the best ways to move leads through the sales funnel (and eventually convert prospects into customers) is with a compelling call to action. As people browse your marketing material, they want to know what to do next. A strong call to action – a clear, simple, and compelling offer that persuades them to take the action you want – lets them know what to do.

A call to action may include asking your readers to …

  • Sign up for a newsletter
  • Share the content on their social media channel
  • Download or read additional content
  • Enter a contest
  • Register for a conference
  • Make a purchase

Here are 8 ways to tweak your CTAs to significantly increase conversion rate: 

1.  Use actionable language

Keep it simple and concise, and use action verbs, such as discover, unearth, find, learn, and download.  Here’s an example: “Download E-book and Template Now.”

2. Align CTA copy with your landing page

Make sure the wording used in the CTA is the same as the wording used on the landing page you send them to.  If you ask someone to download a “crash course” on SEO, it may be confusing to call it an “ebook” on the landing page.

3. Include a clear value proposition

Let your readers know the benefit of clicking on your CTA.   Provide a brief description of what happens when they click on it; Will they save time?  Will they save money?  Will they become experts in SEO?

4. Play up the time-sensitivity

People are busy. One of the best ways to keep your reader focused on your CTA is to create a sense of urgency and encourage your readers to click on your CTA right now.  You can do that by using words like “now” or “today” on your CTA button.

5. Make sure they see it

To make sure that people don’t simply skim over your CTA, make it large, and make it pop off the page with contrasting design. Placing your CTA above the fold will usually result in more clicks. Placing it below the fold typically results in higher-quality leads (because they took the time to read past the fold and therefore tend to be more interested).  Wherever you place it, you want it to get noticed.

6. Make the button look clickable

Make it clear that it is a button that can be clicked on.  You can do this with shading, borders, or contouring to give it a 3-D look.

7. Add alt text

There are still many people who have problems displaying images in their browsers.  They may get an error, or maybe they purposely block images from appearing.  Including alt text in your CTA allows your reader to see it no matter what, and alt text can help boost your SEO.

8. Personalize CTAs for different segments of your audience

With the right software, you can tailor your CTA to only appear to a select group, so that visitors, leads, and customers each see something different.

Online marketing tips to make your calls to action (CTA's) more effective. From PMI, offering online marketing services to Reading PA, Philadelphia, Allentown, Harrisburg, Lancaster, York, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and beyond.Summing it Up

Although there is no magic formula for the perfect CTA, these tips should help.  You still need to continue tweaking copy, design, sizing, placement, etc. and testing what works best for you.  If you need help developing better calls to action for your marketing campaigns, please contact us.

This post is based on “The Complete Checklist for Creating Compelling Calls-to-Action” by Ginny Soskey.

5 Must-Have Calls to Action for your Online Marketing

A key goal of both traditional and online marketing has always been to elicit a response from your target audience. Whether you’re advertising in a newspaper, sending an email, or creating a website, your underlying goal is to get customers and prospective customers to take some kind of action.  It might be to create a call to purchase a product.  Or it may just be to encourage them to learn more about your product or service, how you can solve a problem for them, or why you’re the best person for the job.

This is Known as a “Call to Action” or CTA

Your Calls to Action (CTAs) should move your target audience through the marketing and sales funnelProperly designed CTAs within your website, social media assets, and your online ads should help move your audience through the marketing/sales funnel (see diagram) so that visitors become leads, leads become customers, and customers become promoters; therefore, you will often be seeking to elicit different responses from different people, based on where they are along the sales cycle.

Your CTAs Should Not be Generic

They need to be tailored to your different audience members.  Are you trying to make a first-time visitor aware of your product or service?  Are you trying to help prospects evaluate your product or service?  Are you trying to get prospects to make a purchase?  You could probably answer yes to all of these questions at one time or another as a (potential) customer progresses through the sales cycle.

When developing CTAs for your website, consider where each person along the sales cycle is likely to go within your website, decide what action you want them to take, and then create an eye-catching and persuasive CTA that is appropriate for them.

Here are 5 Types of CTAs Every Website Should Have

1.    Lead Generation – Here you’re trying to turn visitors into leads.  First, decide where most of your new visitors will go on your website – possibly your blog.  Then invite them to download a whitepaper or tip sheet, a how-to video or a webinar.

2.    Form Submission – Once someone visits your website, you don’t want to lose the chance to turn that visitor into a lead.  In order to do that, you need to collect information from them, and the best way to do that is to provide a marketing offer, such as an e-book, a webinar, a free trial, or a coupon, in exchange for their information.

3.    “Read More” Button – Any time you have longer content – such as a blog post, customer case study page, or press newsroom – entice your audience with a “Click here to continue reading.”  In addition to allowing you to make the content easier to scan through, this method also provides a more accurate analysis of what your audience is interested in.

4.    Social Sharing – This is one of the simplest calls to action (“Like us on Facebook”, “Follow us on Twitter”, etc.).  It’s a low-commitment way for your audience to engage with your brand and allows them to share your business with their friends.  A good place for this type of CTA is on your blog posts and landing pages.

5.    Lead Nurturing – Sometimes people are interested in your product or service, but aren’t quite ready to commit.  They’re further along your sales cycle.  Here you want to entice them with some type of offer aligned very closely with your product or service, such as a product demo, a free trial, or a free quote. Also consider targeting them with a series of email messages appropriate to where they are in the sales funnel based on their response to an offer.

As your business grows and matures, your online marketing strategy and web marketing efforts will typically become more complex and require different types of CTA’s; however, when you’re first starting out, these 5 CTAs are a great place to start.

Help for Your CTAs

Looking to develop effective calls-to-action to support your online marketing efforts? Contact us today: 484-297-6395.

This post is based largely on an article by Ginny Soskey – The 8 Types of CTAs You Need to Have on Your Website.   

Easy Web Design Tips to Boost E-Commerce Sales

Online Shopping Rules!

E-commerce website design tips including the 3-second rule and others. We serve Philadelphia, PA, Reading, Berks County, Lancaster, Allentown, Harrisburg, York and surrounding areas with web design, development, and marketing services. Contact us for a free consultation.Everyone knows that more people are taking advantage of the convenience of online shopping.  In fact, a record 66 million people shopped online on Black Friday, 2013. Americans enjoy shopping in the comfort of their own homes, and they expect a pleasant experience on your website.  They want your website design to catch and hold their attention, to be easy to navigate, and to be organized in the way they expect. 

So how did your e-commerce site do this past holiday season? Was it a pleasant experience for your customers?  Did it help increase sales?  Or, did it frustrate your customers?

The 3-Second First Impression

Consumers evaluate your website in the first three to five seconds.  If it doesn’t appeal to them immediately, chances are they’ll move on and you’ll lose a sale. Here are some web design tips to ensure that your ecommerce website passes muster in that first three to five seconds and beyond.

Make sure your pages load quickly
If your site takes longer than 2 seconds to load the primary text and graphics, you’ve lost your customer.  Two seconds is a long time to watch a frozen page. Plus, website speed and page load times can impact your position in search engine result pages.

To ensure your pages load quickly, scale your images to size before uploading them (use file optimization software to reduce the “weight” of your images).  GIFs work best for images with just a few colors, such as logos.  JPEGs are best for images with lots of colors and details, such as photos.  PNG’s are best for high-quality transparent images.

Create an attractive design
Your website’s design is the first thing they’ll notice.  Make sure the images are high-quality, your site has a nice layout, and your text is concise and easy to read.  

State your unique value proposition in your headline
With only a few seconds to capture your customers’ attention, if your value proposition is buried, they’ll never see it.  Don’t make your headline something generic like “Welcome to our site.”  Instead, immediately tell them how they will benefit from your products and/or services.  Again, be concise – go for the quick connection.

Use relevant images
Your images should support your message and be unique to your site (like the one included in this post!), not generic or familiar-looking stock photos. Don’t confuse your customers with images that don’t match your message or the accompanying text.

Make it easy for your customers to get around your website
If your customers get lost in a maze of pages, they’ll quickly go somewhere else.  All navigation bars should be clearly labeled.  A top navigation bar can show general categories for your pages, while a side menu allows your customers to find specific products and/or services.

Focus on your customers
Use “you” and “your” instead of “we” and “us.”  Prove that you’re the expert in your product or service, but do it in a language that is easily understood.  

Make your landing pages match your ads
If you’re using banner ads or pay-per-click (PPC) ads, make sure that what your customer sees in your ad is consistent with what they see when they land on your site.  If they’re looking at a pair of boots in your ad, don’t take them to your “product categories” page; take them directly to the boots page.  

Prove you are protecting their information
Identity theft, computer viruses, and credit card fraud is a concern for many people.  You need to demonstrate that you are keeping their information safe by providing security certificate seals, customer reviews and testimonials, and a detailed privacy policy.  

Place your most important information “above the fold”
This is an old journalist’s trick that places the most important stories at the top of the page, above where the newspaper is folded.  The fold for your site is the point where your customer needs to scroll to see more.  The Nielsen Norman group reports that web users spend 80% of their time above the fold.

Provide effective calls-to-action (CTA’s)
It’s best not to overwhelm or annoy your customer with too many buttons, forms and other CTAs.  Limit it to the most relevant CTAs that will take them to the most important next step. Make sure it’s clear where that click will take them and keep the CTA above the fold.  If you have too many CTAs that interrupt their experience, they’ll quickly abandon your website.

Make your website design mobile friendly
According to the Pew Research Center, 45% of American adults use smartphones and 25% use tablets (and those figures are rapidly growing), so if you don’t want to lose those customers make sure your site is optimized for mobile devices. Keep text concise, use a single column, and make sure your forms are simple.

These ecommerce web design tips will help make your customers’ experience on your site more pleasant, which will keep them there longer, and help increase your sales. If you need help in developing an ecommerce website that meets all of the above guidelines, please contact us at 484-297-6395.

This post is summarized from an article by Greg Wise – “12 Tips to Ensure Your Ecommerce Site Passes the Blink Test.”   http://blog.hubspot.com/ecommerce/does-your-ecommerce-site-pass-the-blink-test


3 Video Marketing Measurements to Sharpen Your Strategy

3 video marketing measurements to boost your social media marketing strategy. From PMI, serving Reading PA, Philadelphia, Lancaster, York, Harrisburg, Allentown and beyond with marketing services to grow your business.Video marketing is becoming a key component of a smart social media marketing strategy – with good reason.  Between 2011 and 2012 video consumption increased by 38% – wow!  Forrester Research determined that the chance of getting a page one listing on Google increases 53 times with a video. That fact alone should inspire any online marketer make video marketing a real priority.

As with any type of marketing, it’s important to measure your results so as to get the most out of your campaign and to discover what works best. Typical measurements for a video campaign include the number of views, the number of thumbs up (or thumbs down) a video gets, and how many times a video is shared.  But are these the most useful metrics?

If you’re really interested in using video marketing to grow your business, there are three additional metrics to monitor: re-watches, engagement rate, and play rate.

Re-watches: The number of times a person re-watches part or all of your video

You can use this information to find your “hottest” leads.  This information can help you nurture leads with more highly targeted email lists and help you determine which potential customers a salesperson should call on first.

The number of video re-watches also provides valuable information about a customer that can be leveraged prior to a sales call.  By measuring which section(s) of the video a potential customer re-watched the most, you can determine what they found most interesting or relevant, and then adjust your sales presentation to address the specific pain points, features, or objections likely to be most important to that customer.

Engagement Rate – The percentage of the video watched.

This tells you how interested someone is in your company or message and how compelling your video is. Again, you can use this information to determine which leads are most interested and therefore most likely to buy, allowing you to focus on warmer leads.  An average video engagement rate can determine whether a particular video is holding the viewer’s attention or not, thereby allowing you to create more engaging and profitable videos in the future.

Play Rate – the percentage of people who play your video vs. land on your video link page

This measurement helps you determine if your title, thumbnail image, and description are enticing enough to get people to actually hit play.  The play rate can also help you determine which topics are most appealing to your audience.

Do You Have the Tools Needed to Properly Monitor Your Video Metrics?

Watching the right metrics from your video marketing campaign is the best way to keep your customers engaged, your marketing and sales teams successful, and your company growing. HubSpot’s online marketing technology provides an excellent system for monitoring and analyzing all your online metrics.

3 video marketing measurements to boost your social media marketing strategy. From PMI, serving Reading PA, Philadelphia, Lancaster, York, Harrisburg, Allentown and beyond with marketing services to grow your business.If you’d like help in developing a smart online or social media strategy complete with robust tracking and monitoring, then please contact us.

This post is based on an article by Kristen Craft – Get Beyond Views: 3 Metrics That’ll Help You Prove Video ROI. http://blog.hubspot.com/video-marketing-metrics-wistia-integration-hspr