Category Archives: recession

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.

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.

 

Repetition Builds Reputation

“Repetition is the mother of all skill.”
~ Tony Robbins, author of Unlimited Power

repetition3

 

Have you ever found yourself singing an advertising jingle when you haven’t heard it that day?

Reptition can build a reputation so you need to make sure that the message you are repeating is the right one.

A few years ago customers were allowed to advertise just once in my classified section of the newspaper but I knew that the customers wouldn’t get a response so I changed the packages to make them cheaper per night but the smallest frequency package became six night in a row. It gives customers the chance of repeating their message and with the repettion comes the sales.

I saw the classified section grow in size and got testimonials from our clients to say how many jobs they were booking.

Years ago I was taught that series campaigns worked best for the clients as different people read the newspaper every day-it’s no different nnow with online advertising-show people an advertisement once and you’ll be forgotton about-show them several times and the message starts to sink in.

Types of Repetition

The idea behind repetition is that when the consumer goes to buy a particular product, the name of your brand is the first one that comes to mind. There are several different types of advertising repetition. One is simply to repeat the same advertisement, such as a television commercial, over and over. For example, the same commercial may be broadcast at each ad break of a show. Another way to use repetition is to place the product or brand in as many places as possible. For example, print ads in newspapers and magazines, television ads, radio ads and utilize product placement on television shows or in movies. Another type of repetition is to use ads that are produced with similar styles, but have a slightly different final product. For example, television ads that use the same actors, but in different scenarios.

Now that companies can utilize social media brand repetition is even easier because you can ‘talk’ to you customers on lots of different channels.

I’m going to use a really obvious example of Coca Cola- Holidays Are Coming. The message is rife through Facebook as people photograph the Coca Cola bus, it’s on television and across most advertising channels-not all paid for I might add. The slogan has almost become synonymous with the brand.

You don’t need to be a huge company to make this work for you-just create a slogan or a message and repeat it everywhere you advertise.

How do I create a slogan?-when you have the time watch this video-it’s 16 minutes long but instead of telling you what to do it shows you how others are doing it

Don’t rush in to your campaign-if done right the same slogan can last you for years-maybe pick one of these (Don’t pick them all-just pick one:

  • Repeat your company ethos
  • Repeat why you are different from everyone else
  • Repeat why you are the best
  • Repeat what is unique about you
  • Repeat what you are all about

Example:

Rons Second Hand Car Garage- Never giving you The Runaround

Monastry College- Bringing Life In To Learning

Johns MOT’s- Servicing The Community Since 1979

Have a good week-hope to see your business advertising soon

A Closed Shop Is A Shop That Will Close

Right now is your shop closed?
closing

By closed I mean are your doors are locked, the lights turned off and your business day is over?

Or is your shop always open?-even when your shop door is locked and the lights are out your Facebook page is still buzzing with interest, your Twitter account is getting messages, you are networking on Linked in and people are buying from your online e-commerce shop.

Are you the business owner who says there’s no point me having a social media site when all people do is put up photographs of what they’ve eaten for tea?

If you are the business that is closed then you need to know how much business you are potentially missing out on.

Most people are not browsing the internet for personal reasons in work (Although we’ve all seen the person who is in work and supposedly too busy to help when they have a shopping website open-come on we’ve all been there)

So when do we browse?

*Lunch break

*After work

*Break time

*Weekends

And ere are a few stats on what people do online during their own time:

  • 41% if people like or followed a brand on a social media website
  • 43% of people found, bought or used a voucher
  • 59% of people found things to do/places to visit locally
  • 76% of people accessed social website

And wait for it

92% of people shopped online!

Internet users are browsing, researching, shopping and BUYING which is why you cannot afford to have a closed business.

But I Don’t have the time?

Find the time or pay someone to set up your ‘shop’ for you.

Don’t think of social media or websites as luxuries-these are necessities of any business.

Think of them in the same way you think of your shop sign, your advert in the phone book, your shop window.

Think of social media as a wage you need to pay because if you do it right websites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can tell more people about your business and what you are doing than any employee ever could.

I’m getting excited now- I want to shout out loud for you to believe, believe in the power of social media, create an open all hours shop and more importantly be a success.

Ok so calming down a bit now I need to end this blog-I have online shopping to do and a of course I want to see what my friends had for tea

Have a good week

Information on internet user habits taken from the great infographic below:
What do you do online?
What do you do online? is an infographic that was produced by Qmee

Cross Dressing and Divorce?

You don’t always have to be in full on sales mode to make social media work for you.

On November 24th 2013 Noah’s Yard in Uplands, Swansea changed their sign (As they do on a frequent basis) to Paul…I’m Divorcing you!

paul

Not the nicest of things to write perhaps but what did it do for Noahs?

300 people liked the post

38 people shared the post

37 people commented on it

It made front page news in the South Wales Evening Post both in print and online- four times with different updates!

And wait for it……. it also made The Sun newspaper too!

Wow!

So what’s my point?

My point is that hundreds of people engaged with Noah’s Yard and they weren’t trying to sell a thing.

  1. It brought their business to the attention of new customers
  2. It got people engaging with their Facebook page
  3. It got people talking about their business

How much would you pay to get coverage like this in the media?

I can tell you that if this was charged advertising space then the bill would be thousands!

As a newspaper we had a story which went viral meaning it was viewed all over the world-was it a sports story? Was it groundbreaking news? Was it a leak? No it was a video of a group of men dressed as women on a night out:

http://www.thisissouthwales.co.uk/Drag-queen-floors-thugs-Swansea-street-fight/story-12414029-detail/story.html#axzz2mKGExfP1

It’s not easy to get this exposure-some will happen by chance but you can be sucessful at being creative in the ways that you target your local audience.

It’s easy for me to tell you what not to do:

  1. Don’t always be in sell, sell, sell mode
  2. Engage with your audience and encourage participation
  3. Think of quirky things you can share about your business or business type.

I’ll add a great inforgraphic to my blog later for you to see a little more on how this works

 

Spread Your Net To Catch The Fish!

 fish

I’ve had some really good conversations with customers this week-I really enjoy being able to give advice on advertising and marketing-I’m not afraid to say when I feel that something won’t work. Money spent on advertising/ marketing that doesn’t work is not good business.

I’m not a fortune teller-I can’t promise 100% that a campaign will work-I can, however, guarantee how many people a campaign will reach, where those people live and what they read and where they read it.

I’ll give you a really good example- I spoke to a representitive from a large organisation who wanted to promote a scheme relevant to winter heating.

As a multi media organisation we can offer such a variety of ways to target local people that I can help any business ‘get seen’

After finding out what the company wanted to acheive I thought about the types of people that may need the service being offered. It turned out to be people of all ages and all walks of life- this may make it sound easy but in fact it’s much more difficult because for advertisnig to work you need to ‘reach out’ to people.

There are different ways you can reach out to people-it can be by way of:

  • A good headline
  • A specific offer
  • Marketing/advertising under specific headings so people seek to find
  • Marketing/advertising in a place where it will be seen by the right reader

For this specific campaign i decided the best route was to target by platform-so publicising the campaign in places I knew the right type of reader would see it.

 

Here is what I presented to the client and why-I thought this would be useful for you to see how to choose the right places for your business and why (I’ve left it generic because it can apply wherever you are):

  1. Classified section in the newspaper-people use classified on a seek to buy basis so it’s a great opportunity to attract the attention of readers who have money to spend plus they are in the buying frame of mind
  2. Television listing pages-think about where people are when they are reading the TV pages-warm and cosy in their homes-where better to be to make a decision about something home related? I also considered the age of a typical reader- it’s mainly the older generation that refer to in print TV guides as the younger ones tend to use on demand or info on their TV’s
  3. Run of paper-the main body of the paper is where people go to read the news-advertising has to be strong to draw people away from it-or newsworthy which is what this campaign is. I thought the message behind the campaign would be ideally suited alongside the news.
  4. Digital advertising- research has been carried out that people trust online adverts far more on a local news website than they do other sites. You can reach a whole new audience demographic and on our website a younger, more affluent reader-speaks itself.
  5. Reader offers-the company has some giveaways for our readers-an added extra to the campaign but great for the camapigns awareness and we don’t charge for this service
  6. Editorial- If a campaign is of huge interest to our readers we may support it with editorial coverage. In addition to the advertising campaign mentioned before this is the final cherry on the cake to make a campaign which:
  • Reaches a vast number of local people
  • Targets different ages/ reader types
  • Targets in print and online audience
  • Targets people across a span of a few weeks

I’m really lucky to be able to offer such a vast range of different media to local businesses. Unlike many others we can offer ways to market a business:

  • Online
  • In print
  • Sponsorship
  • Niche magazines
  • Events
  • Editorial

If you’d like me to help you or if you would like any advice please get in touch

Budget Cuts=Stop Advertising-right?

Wrong! If you become invisible to your customers then sooner or later you will go out of business. You need to be discovered in more places than ever-in print, online, in conversation and in the market place.

man

When you read this study I hope you feel the same way I did-light bulb moment. It’s such common sense-I so wished I’d read it sooner!
Is your business out there?
“The company courageous enough to stay in the fight when everybody is playing it safe can bring about dramatic change in market position”