Online Media Room Best Practices
Online Media Rooms are an important part of any organization’s Web site and a critical aspect of an effective media relations strategy. Done well, a good Online Media Room will turn journalists who are just browsing into interested writers who highlight your organization positively in stories. However, the vast majority of Web sites and most Online Media Rooms fail to deliver compelling content. Sure they may look pretty, but often the design and graphics are in the forefront, not the content that journalists require.
Don’t Trust an Advertising Agency to Build Your Web Site
Sure, the subject of this essay, “Don’t trust an advertising agency to build your Web site,” is a sweeping generalization. While some advertising agencies may build great sites, the majority fail big time and their clients suffer as a result. Why? Ad agencies focus on aesthetics over information and Ad agencies focus on the wrong part of the sales cycle.
10 Web Landing Page Tips to Drive Action
I love marketing with Web landing pages. It’s one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to get a message read by a target market and a terrific tool to move prospects through the sales cycle.
Best Practices to Demonstrate a Unique Web Personality
As visitors interact with the content on your site, they should develop a clear picture of the organization behind the site. Is it young and playful or solid and conservative?
Show, Don’t Tell: 4 easy ideas to drive visitors to action
A particularly valuable way to create content for your Web site is by addressing your customer’s problems. And the most authentic way to do this is by applying the “show, don’t tell” rule.
Best Practices for Using Online Images to Turn Browsers into Buyers
Effective content is not limited to words. Innovative marketers make use of non-text content, such as cartoons, charts, graphs, audio feeds and video clips, to inform and entertain site visitors.
6 Tips to Integrate Sales, Marketing, and Communications
I’ve noticed that many B2B companies as well as consumer and non-profit organizations don’t do a particularly good job of integrating their various communications programs and aligning them with the sales process. Sadly, the failure to integrate sales, marketing and communications, both online and offline will always result in lost opportunities.
Bloggers Take Note: The Web Is a City
The influence of business blogs has become a terrific way for organizations and individuals to tell their stories to a skeptical marketplace. Blogging provides experts and wannabes with an easy way to make their voices heard in the Web-based marketplace of ideas. Winning Organizations think of the Web as a huge city teaming with individuals and blogs as the sounds of independent voices just like the street corner soapbox preacher or that friend of yours who always recommends the best books.
The Power of Blogging for Business
Blogs also allow marketers to take content in different directions that will appeal to specific target demographics without negatively impacting the strategy and content of your primary Web site. As a way to experiment, to test new ideas, or to reach narrow niche markets, smart marketers use highly focused blogs. If your experiment fails, you can simply shut down the blob with little or no negative effect on your main site.
Breaking Out from the Commodity Product Trap
In an increasingly competitive marketplace, all businesspeople are searching for the elusive key to success. The search is particularly intense when the product or service is considered a commodity. Well, look no further for the key: Web content will unlock success in almost any product category—even in a highly competitive industry where you are beset by larger, better-funded competitors. You just need the guts to provide valuable content for your customers to make your products winners in the marketplace.
It’s Not About You, It’s About Your Customer
Marketers can learn a lot by emulating the publishing industry, which knows that their business is all about getting the readers’ attention. Like a publisher, work first to understand the audience and then use that insight to decide how to satisfy your prospects’ informational needs through effective marketing programs. Your online and offline marketing content is meant to drive action, which requires a focus on describing answers to your customer’s most urgent problems.
To Cash in with Content, Optimize for Browsing, Not Just Search
It seems to me there are exactly two ways to use and deploy content on Web sites. As marketers, I think we’ve focused too much effort on one way: answer my question, while not spending enough energy on the other: tell me something. Too often we’re building sites that solve only half of visitors needs. At our own peril, we’re not listening to the people who use the sites we build and deploy. And we lose out on the full value of cashing in.
9 Tips to Effectively Pitch Trade Publications
As many marketers know, having your company, product or executive appear in an appropriate trade publication is great marketing. Not only do you reach the publication’s audience directly, you can also point your prospects to the piece or make use of reprints or Web links. Media coverage means legitimacy. The sad news is the vast majority of people don’t play the game correctly. I cringe when I think back to some of my own wicked blunders. The good news is I’ll tell you a few tips so you can be more successful.
End the Press Release Gobbledygook
I receive several dozen press releases in an average week from companies that want me to write about them in a magazine article, an upcoming book, or my blog. I’m interested in what companies are up to, but I’m just too busy to decipher press release gobbledygook. I normally give a press release ten seconds to catch my attention, but the surest way to get me to delete a release in frustration is to write in a way that I just can’t understand.
6 Tips for Optimizing Your Next Speaking Opportunity
Hitting the speaking circuit is one of the best ways to build awareness and generate buzz about you and your organization. Speaking opportunities are everywhere: at tradeshows, conferences and the monthly meeting of the local chapter of an industry or professional organization. Speaking can range from a solo one-hour keynote at a big event to being one of a panel of six experts on a detailed topic. But no matter how big or how small the speech, some simple rules apply.
Please Do Not Read This
There is strong evidence that “negative” Web headlines and links often generate lots more clicks than “positive: ones. Words like “Worst”, “Not”, “Don’t”, and “Only” are interesting and people want to know what’s there.
See the Content for the Trees
The consolidation of vast amounts of data and information into simple visual representations is one of the best ways to cash in with content. Smart marketers who use visualization tools have the potential to alter the way we navigate information—and the way we purchase. Taking the words and numbers of content and turning them into pictures, these new offerings make grasping content relationships much easier.
Forget the Brand, Focus on the Customer
The Brand.” Ugh. Just hearing the term makes me want to puke. “Branding” was the most over-hyped concept forced on econtent companies by the media and VCs in the dot-com era. And that’s saying a lot because almost everything in the online world was over-hyped a few years ago. The result was countless econtent executives who got their knickers in a twist about the outward manifestation of their brand including logos, image ads, and even tchotchkes.