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.

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.

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

 


8 Copywriting Tips for Web Design & Online Marketing Success

Copywriting tips for effective website design and content marketing. From PMI, serving Reading, PA, Philadelphia, Allentown, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Allentown, York, Pennsylvania and beyond.Writing persuasive copy for online viewing differs greatly from writing for magazine articles and for most other printed copy. Great web design and content marketing involves much more than creating attractive graphics. Your website copy is the key to attracting viewers, to engaging them, and to converting viewers into prospects and customers. Here are some tips for writing great online copy to satisfy all three goals.

Keep It Pithy

When writing website and other online content it’s extremely important to keep the information flowing quickly. Don’t terrorize your readers with long paragraphs and confusing text. Online viewers tend to be impatient because other options are just a quick Google search away. Therefore, find ways to communicate your message in as few words as possible.  Keep your paragraphs short and use subtitles generously in your copy to aid readers who want to skim your information before reading certain paragraphs more closely.

Copywriting to Sell

Write sales copy with a WIFM (what’s in it for me – the customer, that is) mentality. Decide how and why a customer may benefit from your product or service, and then work those reasons into your copy. Sure, there are times when being subtle is the right strategy, but often it is better to be quick and direct with your message, keeping in mind the impatience factor noted above. After quickly getting to the WIFM message, provide the details lower down in the copy or in a linked sub-page for those who want to learn more. That approach satisfies the need for speed whlie also providing helpful details that may be required to complete the sale or to encourage the viewer to take the next step.

Create a Clear Call to Action

Sample call to action for PMI's web design needs assessment for customers in Reading, PA and beyondAs a marketer I find it surprising that so many web pages lack a clear call to action. A call to action may be as simple as a text link that connects to an order form, or as elaborate as a detailed graphic (such as the one to the right) that links to a sub-page or infographic presenting your offer in greater detail.

Studies have shown that clearly stating the obvious is often the best approach when it comes to creating an effective call to action. For example, buttons and other clickable images frequently gain more clicks when accompanied by the words “click here” or by an arrow or image of a mouse pointer hovering over the button as if it were about to click the image. Remember, people are frequently in a hurry, so connect the dots for them.

Make it Easy to Find and Easy to Follow Through

Think about what you want your viewers to do, the benefits they will receive by doing it, and then make it incredibly easy for them to find your call to action, combining a clear message with attractive graphics. Where possible place your call to action “above the fold”, meaning on the upper portion of your web page where it can be seen without scrolling on a laptop device.

Match Your Message to Your Audience

How well do you know your target audience or your best type of customer? How well does your copywriting appeal to their emotions and needs? For example, if you sell beauty products or apparel, would customers want to use your products primarily to appear more youthful or to look more professional? Is your message and imagery in line with their needs and the benefits of your products?

A strong and well-placed testimonial can be used to add a persuasive boost to your copy. Demonstrate how the product or service has helped others, perhaps starting with an eye-catching opening statement in bold text, followed by a short paragraph and perhaps a link to additional testimonials.

Headlines and Bulleted Lists

Breaking up copy with bold headlines and subtitles as described above keeps things moving and helps keep the reader engagad. In a similar way, bulleted lists can be used to help readers quickly understand your key points.

Copywriting Checklist

In summary, here is a quick list of 8 things to keep in mind when writing your online copy:

  • Keep it pithy – connect the dots for the reader
  • Create clear calls to action
  • Place key calls to action above the fold
  • Write with a WIFM mindset
  • Use short paragraphs and frequent titles/subtitles
  • Use bulleted lists where applicable
  • Match your message to your audience
  • Use powerful testimonials

We’re Here for You

Please contact us if you need assistance in writing persuasive, search engine optimized copy for your website, online ads, or other marketing materials.

Content Marketing: 5 Ways to Write Posts People Want to Read

Boost your social media marketing strategy with effective content marketing. Learn to write posts people want to read. By PMI, serving Reading, PA, Berks County, Philadelphia, Allentown and beyond with content marketing and related online marketing services.When it comes to blogging as a form of content marketing, creating interesting content that your customers want to read can be a difficult task for a busy entrepreneur.

However, taking the time to create something new on a regular basis allows you to connect with your clients in a friendly, non-salesy way. Done well, it creates respect for your expertise, builds trust, and an appreciation for your helpful advice offered free of charge.

There are many ways to share great content with your audience without sacrificing potential business by “giving away the farm”. Here are 5 easy ways to get started:

  1. Create an Excerpt:

    Give your readers a closer look into your products or services and how they can benefit.  People love getting something of value for free, and great content doesn’t have to take long to develop if it’s something for which you have true expertise, or if you can condense a paid version of something into a free version.  For example, if you publish a virtual magazine, you can post a small pdf version of your magazine with a few sample articles.

  2. Repost and Summarize Recent News:

    Reposting and summarizing recent news (know as newsjacking) is a great way to ride the coattails of a news story and to attract traffic from search engines (SEO) in the process.  For best results, be quick to jump on a new story, and stay with important, highly publicized events and content related to your business. Then, add your personal insights or advice.  Look for opportunities to link your post to other areas of your website or blog, which will provide another SEO boost and give the reader an opportunity to delve deeper into your online content. The longer you can keep your readers (particularly first time readers) on your blog or website, the greater the chance that they will return in the future. 

  3. Repackage Out-of-date Content:

    Blog posts can last years but content can easily become outdated, especially technology and fashion-oriented content. If you’ve run out of new things to write about for your blog, try repackaging old content with a fresh new look, and update it with the latest information.  For example, if some of your customers are now using the new version of a technology or service you offer, create a new blog post about their experiences in converting or upgrading, such as the struggles they faced, and the benefits they received. Make it relevant and exciting so your readers will want to keep coming back for more. 

  4. Teach your Readers Something New:

    People, especially blog readers, love to learn new and useful information.  A great way to generate hits and keep the attention of your target market is to find something related to your line of work that you can teach your readers.  A plumber might write a blog about how to prevent kitchen sink blockages or a butcher might write about choosing the best cut of steak for a family cook out.  The possibilities are endless.  Be creative and remember, just because the answer is obvious to you, that doesn’t mean it’s obvious to your readers.  Remember, you’re the expert! 

  5. Answer Questions:

    If you have readers sending you questions regarding your business, your industry, best practices, or even general inquiries, you can quickly create original content addressing their questions on your blog. Include research and elaborate on points that may be unclear.  In the process you may learn about more about your own field of work and further increase your level of expertise.

Steady as You Go!

A steady stream of new and relevant content will encourage your blog readers to actively follow you. They’ll appreciate the fact that you are spending time to keep them informed, they’ll get to you know you better, and come to view you as an expert.

For best results, keep your posts flowing at a predictable pace, preferably weekly or even twice a week.  People like the fact that they can check back often and find something new.

If you’re interested in content marketing, but would like help developing a smart strategy, or if you need support in creating fresh contact, please contact us.

4 Easy Ways to Achieve Consistent Branding

4 Keys to effective branding and marketing for Reading PA, Philadelphia, Lancaster, Allentown, York, Harrisburg and beyond.Branding, or the art of achieving a positive and consistent brand image for your business, is more than just a nice idea.  In fact, branding is a key pillar of an effective marketing strategy, and applies as much to online and social media marketing as it does to traditional marketing and advertising such as print media, outdoor advertising, radio, and TV. It’s a pillar because great branding essentially multiplies your marketing and advertising efforts and dollars by providing a hook to make your message live on in the minds of your target audience.

Just getting your new business off the ground? Don’t be fooled into thinking that an integrated logo, business card and letterhead are sufficient to create a great brand image, even for a low-budget one-person operation.  There are many things to consider, all of which work together to reinforce your brand image and to remind potential customers of who you are and how you stand apart from the competition.

Here are four easy ways to achieve positive and consistent branding: 

#1. Use Taglines:  Make Them Short, Memorable, & Relevant

A good tagline is a memorable phrase or one-liner designed to remind customers of who you are, what you offer, and how you stand apart. Just as a picture can paint a thousand words, so a tagline can help customers recall your advertising campaigns, presentations, and value propositions in an instant.  Who can forget Nike’s “Just Do It”, Ford’s “Ford Tough”, or Wheaties’ “Breakfast of Champions”?  When you hear those lines you know immediately which company is represented, and experience an instant visualization of their products or logos. Strive to make your tagline short, memorable, and relevant to your core products, services, and mission.

#2. Create a Style Guide for Consistent Branding

Creating, a style guide is a fairly painless way to ensure that your basic branding efforts share a consistent look and feel. Your style guide, which should be created by a professional graphic designer, will define the colors, images and fonts to be used in your advertising materials and presentations, as well as logo placement, and details like the amount of white space to be included around your logo, as well as other guidelines. A thorough guide may even include examples of what is not acceptable in an effort to avoid common errors by your well-intended sales and marketing staff. Your guide is also valuable when outsourcing new advertising and promotional materials, and may help reduce the cost of such efforts while helping ensure consistent, high-quality branding.

Your style guide will make it easier for you to achieve visual consistency in anything and everything that represents your brand whether it’s a flyer or brochure, a blog or social media page, a TV commercial or PowerPoint presentation, a pen or mug, or virtually anything that can reflect or reinforce your brand image.

#3. Brand Your Social Media Experience

Branding includes creating a consistent visual experience wherever your brand is encountered, including on your social media networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and any others your business may use.  Some social media platforms provide less graphical design flexibility than others. Nevertheless, those encountering your brand via social media should experience a strong sense of familiarity and consistency across all social media touch points.

#4. Create and Use Branded Templates

Take the grunt work out of branding by providing your sales force and others with professionally created templates that adhere to the branding guidelines in your style guide.  Your graphic designer can create effective templates for letterheads, PowerPoint presentations, signature lines within email messages, sales receipts, customer quote forms, and virtually every type of printed or electronically transmitted customer-facing communication. Using templates will save time and money while consistently reinforcing your brand image.

In Summary

A great brand can multiply the results of your marketing efforts while building brand recognition and loyalty. The more you get a clear and compelling brand image in front of others, and the more consistently you present it across your marketing and advertising channels, the quicker people will recognize it and become more likely to choose your brand over others. There are many aspects to effective branding beyond those mentioned here, but by following these 4 principles you will be well on your way to a more effective branding strategy.

If you would like additional help in forming an effective branding and marketing strategy for your business, then please contact us.