Category Archives: mobile

Your Online shop Front

If you have a business would you leave a broken window and tape it up with a bin bag?

Would you ignore a customer standing at your till?

Would you moan out loud?

Would you put no prices on your stock?

I can’t imagine any business owner answering yes to these questions but is the same of your online shop/ business?

Let’s ask the same questions again but with online in mind:

If you have a business would you leave a broken window and tape it up with a bin bag? Broken links on your website really irritate your customers. They stop you customers going where they want to go. When was het last time you checked the outgoing links on your website worked?

Would you ignore a customer standing at your till? Questions, complaints queries etc left on your website or social media should be answered within 48 hours if possible. Not replying is just like ignoring a customer in your shop. If other people see that you haven’t responded they will think you are not bothered about your customers.

Would you moan out loud? Statuses on your Facebook or Twitter will give your customers an impression of you as a person and you’ll be judged by it so try not to put up that you’re fed up of customers who are rude for example. Always give out a positive vibe.

Would you put no prices on your stock? You may think that by not putting prices on your stock that people will call you or visit you to find out. Wrong. They’ll go to a site where they can find prices and then price comparison on other websites. You won’t even be in the race.

You need to ensure all of your websites have consistent branding and message so people remember you.

Here’s a logo quiz for you just as a reminder of the power of brand recognition:

Famous Logo Quiz

Here are my tips for a tidy shop:

*check all links work
*Is website easy to navigate round?
*Are images clear and good quality?
*Can customers contact you easily?
*Is it easy to read?

Sounds easy but most people don’t check their own websites.

For a free analysis of your website just ask me.

Enjoy your week and thanks for reading.

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Are You For Real?

There’s only one thing you need to get right if you are promoting your business in any way on the internet.

Are you real?

It might sound silly but Google is looking for signs all the time that prove you are a real business worth promoting to their searchers.

Here is my top list of ways to prove your real:

1: A website that has been built and left the same day in day out will slowly go down the ranks. Google will stop looking at it because nothing new is going on it and this proves no real value to visitors.

2: Add a blog to your site to add fresh content on a regular basis and also prove you are the expert in your field. Writing a blog takes dedication and a little bit of time. It does get easier if you build it in to your routine.

3: Links to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are essential but just like your website they must be updated regularly with engaging content. Get involved in discussions, reply to reviews and build your audience.

4: Make sure the web pages on your website are labelled correctly. You would be surprised how many businesses miss out key information like location. Ensure photographs are labelled too. Often pictures are labelled photo a for example which Google will not find any value in. Label them as a description and location. Right click on information pages/ images and view source to see what the labels are.

5: Add testimonials. People trust what other people say so a make sure there are fresh reviews on your site.

6: Add your business to as many local directories as you can- paid for or free. Just make sure you monitor them and ensure all information is accurate.

7: Act real! Add photos to your social media or websites of your staff, of you, of your work. Add testimonials. Respond to reviews and complaints. Respond quickly. Respond professionally.

8: Regularly Google your business to make sure there are no skeletons from your closet lurking in the search engine.

Above all see the internet as an opportunity to brand and promote your business.

Be aware though- you’re customers will be more demanding and expect responses quickly.

Don’t disappoint.

If I can be of any help please let me know

Show Your Wares…

Think of your website like a shop and you’ll starting differently.

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Here are my top ten tips to help you:

  1. Make sure there is a Google map reference on your site plus information in your pages of the area you cover/deliver to
  2. Add buttons that encourage visitors to Like you on Facebook or Follow you on Twitter
  3. Give your site the personal touch with photographs of your staff, your showroom, your work and maybe even a photo of you. Label the photos with definitions Google will love and not photo one for example.
  4. Is there fresh content on your site that is changed on a daily, weekly, monthly basis? Google likes sites that have fresh content as it shows that you are a real business. If you stop updating your content Google will stop showing your site to people.
  5. Is there a chance to leave reviews?
  6. Can visitors navigate the site easily and get what they came for?
  7. Are your web pages labelled with phrases people search on i.e quality windows in Swansea? You’d be amazed how many pages are just called the company name.
  8. Regularly check your competitors website to make sure you are competing.
  9. Make sure all of the links on your website work. Google hates broken links
  10. To get an extra boost in the search engines get some good links by buying directories, adding your business to free directories and linking to your social media.

Just like a shop:

Have a professional and tidy shop front (website)

Choose good people to work in your shop (Social media profiles)

Price up your goods (Label your pages properly)

Network with other businesses (Get good links)

Update your stock so people keep coming back (Update your content)

 

Thinking about things a bit differently or thinking really things haven’t changed at all?

Don’t Take Everything At Numbers Value

I regularly hear that the answer to all sales problems is a website. Do you need to advertise? No-I have a website. Do you need more sales? Yes- but I have my Facebook site. Do people know about your business? Yes- I’m on Twitter.

Don’t be fooled in to thinking that there is a shortcut to getting sales for your business-in fact marketing your business is harder now than it ever was. Well when I say harder I really mean that there are so many marketing options available businesses can think they can substitute effort with numbers and the sales will pour in. Ummmm I didn’t see anyone wave a magic wand-did you?

Here are some typical marketing responses.

People hear from me from Facebook
TRUTH: You may have 633 likes but how many of those people engage with you? 2-3? If you aren’t engaging with people then they WILL NOT see your posts.if you opened a shop and 2-3 people came in to look would that be a good sales day?

I’ve got a website so I don’t need to advertise
TRUTH: Website traffic in some of the worlds largest organisations is declining. Why? Because of social media. Your customers don’t just sit on the internet and think ‘what website shall I look at today’. They go to websites because they’ve been sold the idea. They’ve seen an advert in paper, a Facebook advert, a bus drop poster, a TV ad etc. People do not search for things they don’t want. 90% of people research online before they buy. So do you really know how many people actually go to your website?

I’m number one on Google so I’m the best.
Being number one on Google is not the Holy Grail. Yes it’s good to be on page one but have you looked at your business online lately? Is your competition buying adverts from Google which puts them on top of your business? Are people being tempted away to another site with better reviews? The journey to page one of Google starts with the customer getting an idea that they need something. You’ve still got to work hard when the customer finds you online. What does your website say about your business? Look at it from a customers point of view.

I don’t need to have a social media presence.
‘You don’t have a choice whether or not to do social media. The choice is on how well you do it’
90% of people research online. If you are advertising and have no online presence you are donating your sales to a competitor. It’s as simple as that.

My next blog will be on the buying cycle so please come back and visit soon.

This blog is basic because you don’t need to be technical to be good at it.

Have a great week.

Ignorance Is No Defence

Ignorantia juris non excusat or ignorantia legis neminem excusat

ignorance

If you are in business and are preferring to remain ignorant about the effects the web has on every aspect of life then chances are you may not survive. Because ignorance is no defence.

I am an advertising manager of a newspaper and somehow I have now become a multi media manager within a newspaper. It happened fairly slowly but over the last two years the rate at which we continue towards an ever increasing digital future is alarming.

Like  a lot of people in business I thought internet propositions would disappear so I played the game and kept my focus on the printed newspaper then BAM! digital hit me again and this time I knew it was sink or swim.

It takes courage and strength to change the way you work-as a colleague of mine says it’s like trying to turn an oil tanker on a narrow road. So I recently made a conscious decision to surpass myself and become a more competent manager better suited to today’s world.

So as a multi media manager I decided to make the conscious decision to almost ignore printed advertising- after 12 years in the industry I almost know newspapers inside out. Instead I decided to become a digital advertising expert to work in tandem with my knowledge about print.

What did I do?

First of all I briefed my team on how we are going to attack our digital targets in the most productive way-by breaking down our targets in to small manageable chunks. If I told you that my target in April is to generate over one million impression sales for our website then you should be able to better appreciate my need for turning this oil tanker.

Then I gave each person a sliding scale of impressions and their cost-to avoid the endless tapping of calculator keys but also to make it easier to build in to campaigns and tailor to the needs of their business.

Thirdly I made sure that every single day every member of my team was given daily visit information from the previous day. I also did spot checks on how much of this information they were taking in. Was it much-no! Is there improvement-three days of me spot checking and my team are getting closer to the right figures.

After this I started working on the creativity of the sale and pitched a campaign bespoke to a business which would mean them targeting sports readers on our website. It was a success.

Finally-I’m not going to stand back and watch the web take away my business-I am learning, researching, calling people for advice, tying, testing and above all enjoying becoming someone who understands online advertising.

My point-yes it was longwinded- is that it is much easier to sit back and say ‘Well I don’t need to learn’ ‘I don’t use the internet’ or ‘I don’t need online advertising’ because the truth is-you do.

Don’t think of the internet as a new way of doing business-think of it as an essential way of doing business that can ensure your company becomes accessible to people at any time of the day-even when you may be sleeping.

A new challenge can often make you develop a new love for your products or services.

I’ve said it before but the changes in my industry have been so refreshing and now, although hard work, are such amazing learning curve.

So please learn because gnorance will be no defence when a competitor takes your business.

 

Be the King and make your move!

Has the internet changed the journey

people make when buying a car?

chess-game-wallpapers

Well it’s certainly added another researching tool in to the equation.

Auto shoppers now use on average 18.2 different sources of information-from TV, news articles, online, family etc. to finally form their decision

‘The zero moment of truth for automotive study’

Marketing and advertising for car dealerships has never been so important. It needs to target as many of those 18.2 sources as possible-now that’s no mean feat.

Google’s study which can be found above really delves deep in to the psyche of a car buyer. It might make you think your customer targeting is a little archaic but it’s really important to know these trends.

I have picked out some key facts from the report for you-things I think can provide enlightenment to local new and used car dealers:

  • Shoppers take several months to go from decision to action
  • Shoppers clearly identify in person experiences as the most influential-test driving, visiting the dealership etc.
  • The internet has added a new stage to the car buying process-pre-shopping
  • Top stimuluses’ for buying a car include TV advertising, magazine articles, newspaper articles, direct mail and advert in newspaper
  • Test drives were listed as the number one decision influencer
  • Second to a test drive looking at a car was a major influence
  • In newspapers people react most to price guides and special offers, financing options and style.
  • 59% of online car buyers were looking at style as a priority
  • People who buys cars more frequently use almost 4 more sources in their search than people who buy less cars

So what does this mean for car dealers?

I would suggest not putting your marketing budget in just one place-advertising to sell cars now means promoting via social media, online advertising, newspaper and magazine advertising, own website, search engine optimisation and branding.

I was going to say car buyers are much more savvy these days but I don’t think that’s actually true.

There are so many choices and so much information available it is possible to completely change a purchasers mind several times advertising/marketing needs to be consistent and the message needs to change to suit the medium. And the purchaser.

The average person test drives 2-3 cars.

Consumers love online video.

In the UK 23% of people experience “switchbacks” where they move backward into earlier stages of the journey.

It’s such an exciting market to be part of-a little bit like a game of chess.  If you think strategically then the other players piece of the market can be yours.

A sample a marketing campaign that encompasses some of the research data available might consist of:

Magazine article detailing a test drive of a new vehicle listing pro’s and con’s plus sleek images to target reader type.

Online advertising on an influential website to include a video of the latest car being test driven or link to national ad campaign video

Search engine optimisation to look at key search criteria (Linked with Google keyword tool)
Newspaper advertising to promote a good price, finance deal plus car profile

Social media to capture wants/ already has/ knows someone who has feedback

Blog to talk in a frank and honest way about cars in your showroom, adding in personal experience, likes, dislikes and knowledge.

This is a very broad basis for a campaign-what matters is that the reason and logic is behind each reason for advertising.

All you need to remember is

‘I WANT TO BE IN AS MANY OF THE 18.2 INFLUENCIAL SOURCES OF INFORMATION AS POSSIBLE TO BE IN WITHT HE BEST CHANCE OF GETTING PEOPLE IN TO MY SHOWROOM-ONCE THEY’RE IN I HAVE MY BEST CHANCE OF SELLING THEM A CAR’

Let me know if I can help you in any way

Digital Disruption In The Market Place

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I read today that digital offerings are disrupting all of the traditional ways we receive information-television, press, radio, film and magazines. It offers something new to people where that was a gap in the market-and slowly it will replace them.

It’s happened plenty of times before so don’t think this is something new:

THEN Camera film + camera = printed photographs.

NOW Instagram, Facebook, Smart Phones= Storage of photos online

Another example:

WAS Records, then tapes, then CD’s, then ipods

NOW Online music streaming.

Now I work for a newspaper so you must be thinking I’ll soon be out of work soon and the newspaper will close.

Well I can say with hand on my heart that I have never found my job as exciting as it is now. I don’t know what the future has in store for me but I do know that I’m not afraid to go with the changes.

I bring material home to read on digital advertising-I’m understanding how much investment there is in the UK economy on digital advertising and as a frequent internet user I am the future. You can’t pretend to embrace change-if you don’t believe in it I say don’t go along with it.

Take for example this about use of devices through the day:

In the morning mobile internet devices are heavily used as people log on during their commute to work- that’s me-I switch on in the car once I’ve parked in the morning! Tabletop PC’s and laptop useage is high during 9am to 6pm when people spend a lot of time in work-that’s me! And tablet use is highest in the evening when people are browsing the internet at home. That’s me!

So how could I not love digital advertising when I am a typical digital advertisers target?

As an events sales manager in work I recently thought I’d try setting up my events on Facebook. I wasn’t really expecting too much.

I cannot tell you how much it has transformed the way I work.

I now have my Facebook on all days in work as people contact me for information on the events all day. Every time an exhibitor comes on board I post their info on Facebook.

More importantly I am engaging with people more than I ever did before. And I hope I’m creating enthusiasm and brand awareness for my events and my company.

It sounds childish to say I’m excited but I genuinely am.

I’m not a sales manager any more-I’m a sales and relationships manager. I’m not just selling-I’m creating products/events and campaigns that provide solutions to businesses and around it I’m adding marketing information relevant to the events.

With my events I am:

  • Encouraging likes for local businesses
  • Enabling businesses to network with each other
  • Reaching a new community of people to engage with
  • Providing a new method of getting in touch with me
  • Encouraging engagement with my brand
  • Creating a sense of expectation
  • Meeting new people and contacts

I’m just a beginner and don’t profess to be a social media expert but enjoyment comes first in anything.

Here are my events if you’d like to see how I’m getting on:

https://www.facebook.com/events/333304756808170/?notif_t=plan_user_joined

https://www.facebook.com/events/625080507559214/

https://www.facebook.com/events/541943052560755/

If you have any questions please get in touch

All the best

Dropping Balls

Are you finding it hard to market and advertise your business because you have so much to do and so little time?

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Over the years I have seen a lot of businesses go through challenging economic times for differing reasons and sadly cut backs are often made by reducing headcounts in marketing positions, admin positions and in advertising budgets.

With so many balls in the air you are bound to drop one.

I am yet to hear any business say in my 13 years experience that they have had an advertising budget increase!

So what happens?

  • Companies stop advertising themselves and become invisible to their customers which can result slowly in loss of business.
  • Employees have increased workloads covering admin duties leaving less time for strategic thinking/planning
  • Companies stop marketing themselves and lose their footing with their competitors

There are tools out there that can help you, however,  if you are finding it hard to juggle all these balls and run a business.

BUFFER

I’m really lucky to have a dedicated social media guru in my workplace who has helped me progress from a ‘tinkler’ on the internet to a blogger, Tweeter and social media competent. You just need to want to do it.

Buffer is a website that will schedule Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter posts to a time you choose depending on what audience you want to reach.

If you have no time in the day to use social media then don’t worry-spend a few minutes scheduling posts and they will be posted while you are working.

Buffer works best on Google Chrome because you can install an app that let’s you post directly from the web pages you are looking at.

Firstly join Buffer bufferapp.com

Link the accounts you want to post to

Share information now or buffer for later

You’ll look like you’re socially active all day-and you don’t even need to switch on your laptop.

TWERIOD

www.tweriod.com will show you what times your audience is most active. There will be a greater chance of your messages being seen if you schedule them on Buffer to the times Tweriod recommends.

ADVERTISING

(You knew I’d have to mention it)

I do really believe advertising is important to any business. Think of it as employing salespeople- an advert in a newspaper, on a website or a magazine can sell your products for you and broadcast your marketing message to hundreds if not thousands of people. Most companies will design the advertisement for you-kind ones will send it to you for you to include on your social media sites and like Buffer it will be working for you while you manage your business.

GET OUT FROM BEHIND YOUR DESK

The busier we get the more we can get caught up in admin. It’s a catch 22 situation-the more emails you send the more replies you get and before you know it all you’ve done is email. It doesn’t hurt every now and again to turn your emails off with an automatic reply saying all emails will be dealt with later. Or just ask people to ring if it’s urgent.  Lift your head up, get our of your chair and engage with your customers and employees.

Last week I went out on five appointments where I’m usually office based. It increased my enthusiasm for a job I already love-it reminded me why I enjoy it and gave me time away from the admin that can sometimes seem overwhelming. It’s important to help yourself climb out of what can sometimes seem like a quagmire of work and remember what’s important.

Keep those balls in the air and enjoy your week.

Please let me know if I can help you in any way

Who’d Have Thunk It?

work-hard

An advertiser called me today in a last ditched attempt to get his venue full for New Years Eve because he thought just by having a well known local band booked that people would come. I think he’d been watching Wayne’s World and truly believed if ‘You build it they will come’

When planning an event treat the event a bit like a shop-what are people going to buy in your shop? Booking a local band, cabaret artist, musician or celebrity etc. is the ‘product’ people will buy from you.

How will people buy from you? Think of how a shop advertises-they advertise in newspapers, on radio, they promote themselves with a sign outside the shop, promotes their wares on their website and via social media like Twitter and Facebook.

A busy shop doesn’t happen by accident and your event won’t be busy if you don’t ‘sell your wares to your public’

The customer who called me today hadn’t promoted the event on his own website-to the visitors which are his target audience. He hadn’t put it on Facebook either but would get his son to do it later.

Why wasn’t he fully booked by now he asked me.

RESEARCH!

It’s simple-people spend hours researching every aspect of their life-where are they going, what are they buying, who sells it etc.

If you’re not online you’ll start falling behind the competition.

You’ve got to start taking all this seriously if you want your business to survive in the future.

Learn how to market your business on Facebook- it’s a marketing tool and there is an art to it. Done badly and it can work against you. Learn how to use Twitter. Learn learn learn.

Someone said to me recently that they went on a short course to learn about social media and now update their pages while watching Eastenders. Don’t think of this as more work-think of it as networking.

If you need to advertise an event do it early and plan your campaign because you can’t expect a Wayne’s World moment to save the day.

The real motto is ‘Work hard and he bookings will come’