Category Archives: newspaper

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

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.

Promote Yourself Unashamedly

Social media is a great tool for promoting yourself and don’t feel ashamed to do it. If you’ve worked hard to achieve something or are really proud of an achievement why not tell everyone about it.
Does it make you look like a big head? Probably not-it will make you look like someone who enjoys what they do and if you are in business this cannot come across badly.
Think of people in business you admire-do they promote how much they love their work?
In my job last week I was really proud to see the publishing of a XXL Dylan Thomas Souvenir supplement inside our newspaper.
I really enjoy watching and listening to the plays and poems of Dylan Thomas so I asked our editor if we could get together to mark the centenary of his birth. A week later I was in discussions with a team of journalists to discuss content.
I proposed the XXL size and advertising content and what soon materialised was a plan of content encompassing an events programme, history and celebrity tributes. A few weeks down the line with the vision of a creative designer the Dylan Thomas supplement was sent to our printers. And that was that. I had to wait.
The day of publishing came and I literally couldn’t wait to get in to work to see it.
I was over the moon with the results and here it is:
dylan thomas

Was that the end of the journey?

Absolutely not.

The above picture was posted on Facebook and Twitter to let fans know it was free inside the paper that day.

My colleague in work took a photograph of three of us reading this huge supplement-that was shared.

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I talked about it a lot that day because I wanted others to enjoy it so I Tweeted and Posted on Facebook about it several times that day.

I shared a testimonial I received from a customer:

Can I, on behalf of the choir, thank the both of you for the work you put into producing the Centenary Special in general and the choir’s advert in particular. The end result (what the public see – not the work that goes into it) was great and I’m sure you’re all proud of the finished publication.

Again Congratulations, Thanks and Regards,

And one of my team members shared a great testimonial with me.

Success is energising.

The following day the supplement was posted on our website with a link to the real thing.

dtc

I was so excited by the different formats the supplement could take and the different ways that I could reach Dylan fans with the information.

I’m still excited about it now because it’s now the subject of my blog.

Yes I could come across to some as a bit of a fruitcake but I’m not afraid to share my passions and talk about them. I just think how lucky I am to have a job that manifest itself in to something I have loved so much.

My ultimate point I suppose is that displaying your pride, your achievements and your knowledge is definitely not a bad thing but it is something you can’t fake.

Your customers will respect you and come to know you as a master in your field.

Self promotion is essential and do you know what? It makes you feel good too.

I’d better log off before I start talking about Dylan Thomas again-there is such a thing as overkill.

Have a good week and thanks for reading.

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.

 

Businesses Don’t Care

If you keep seeing negative comments about your business then you need to do something about it.

People often vent because they think that businesses don’t care about their consumers or that you won’t respond to any concerns.

You need to change your attitude in to thinking ‘I’m glad I can see what people think of my business because then I can act on it’

You also need to share the good things people say about you to ensure that all of your customers and potential customers are reminded how good you are.

Don’t beat yourself up-no one can be great all the time. Feel brave enough to give yourself a pat on the back when you see something great about your business.

Here are some of my personal experiences for you to read and maybe get some ideas from:

  • (BAD) I rarely take the time to complain but felt the urge after opening a bag of crisps from Morrison’s Supermarket. The contents of the bag were wet which was strange. I Tweeted a photo of the crisps to Morrison’s with a 120 character complaint. Guess what? Within 5 minutes I had a reply. ‘Ewww’ it said ‘Message me your details and the bar code’-which I did. Within 7 days I received £3 worth of vouchers and a covering letter. The supermarket has risen so high in my estimations. (And this is a large business)
  • (GOOD) My newspaper produced a poster to back our local football team with a local business as a sponsor. The customer on Facebook shared a photograph of the poster he sponsored and publicised his backing for our campaign. His adverts looked amazing and really captured his brand, the poster would reach his target market as he is in the motoring trade and his praise for our product is such great feedback-comments like this you can’t buy so I re-shared his post for others to see. Lovely for me as I worked with the editor in providing a good platform for a local business on the poster, great for the member of my sales team who worked with the customer, great for the newspaper to hear positive feedback and finally a great opportunity for a local business to brand his business alongside a product linked with a Premier Football team. (Lots of greats I know)
  • (BAD) Although I’ve recently turned 40 I absolutely love being out dancing in to the early hours and am happiest when I’m in Revolution in Swansea. I love the music and if I’m out of a night you can guarantee once I get in to the venue I don’t come out for hours. I was really surprised when I added the bar to Facebook the next day to see really bad reviews on their page. And even more surprised to see not one of the negative reviews had any response. Why is that important? All I can see is one side of a story. If I didn’t know about the bar and had checked them out would I have gone in-no way! if your business has a Facebook page and you allow customers to review you please make sure you respond in a professional manner. It will speak volumes about your customer care

These experiences have given me food for thought.

Don’t believe me…?

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