Why You Need a Website That Delights Your Audience

Why You Need a Website That Delights Your Audience

Without a doubt, your most powerful marketing tool, hands down, is your business website.

 

And, as you are probably well aware, some websites are designed better than others.

 

Have you ever visited a website and been disappointed? Or worse, tried to visit a website that failed to load within a few seconds?

 

Of course you have. We all have. And, more likely than not, you have probably moved on.

 

Their loss…or maybe it’s your loss.

 

The simple truth is that every business needs a website that wows its visitors.

 

In a nutshell, your business website can either:

  1. Help you stand out from your competitors or
  2. Drive people directly to your competitors.

 

These days, savvy business owners must consider the fact that their audience seeks more than just a place to go online to purchase products and/or services. Instead, they crave a unique and highly visual online experience that entices and delights them.

 

And this is where good website design comes in.

Here are 3 good reasons why you need a business website that “wows” your visitors

1. You only have one chance to make a first impression – so make it count!

Website visitors often decide whether they want to do business with you within a fraction of a second, based on how they perceive your site. They may not even be aware they are judging you.

 

In her article for Design Shack, Carrie Cousins says the following about the importance of visually pleasing website design schemes:

The visuals that will grab the most attention the quickest include a strong image or illustration, sharp contrast or something unusual on the screen, and a phrase or wording that is memorable.

 

The better “first impression” you give, the more likely your visitors are to stay and/or return to your website. Good website design definitely makes a difference when it comes to attracting and retaining potential clients.

2. Your business website is a direct reflection of YOU

Along with that all-important first impression a website gives to its visitors, your website design also gives them an idea (perceived or realistic) of how you conduct business. For example, shoddy web design may inadvertently give your visitors the impression that your products and/or services are also inferior or low quality.

 

On the other hand, a well-designed business website can go a long way towards building trust. And trust is a big factor in sales. An organized website with a strong visual component creates a sense of legitimacy for you and your business.

 

As I mentioned above, your business’ website is also your most powerful marketing tool. Consider a good design as yet another way you can successfully stand out from your competition.

3. Your website is an essential component of your business branding

As well as being a valuable marketing tool, your business website also serves to promote your brand. Brand exposure is valuable for all businesses, of course. However, it’s especially important for new business owners and/or startups that need to establish a positive reputation from the get-go.

What are my options for building the best business website?

Now that you understand why you need a well-designed business website, you are ready for the next step: building one.

 

You’re going to find that there are dozens of website builder platforms and sites currently available.

 

Perhaps you’re strapped for time, or design isn’t your strong suit? Many startups and new entrepreneurs find that it’s easier to hire someone else who has the time and the talent.

 

Unless you personally know or have received a trusted referral for a web designer, consider us to help you with all of your web design needs without breaking the bank.

 

On the other hand, if you are more of a “do-it-yourself” type, you’ll find many affordable options as well.

 

There are some do-it-yourself options for building websites are:

  1. Wix
  2. SquareSpace
  3. GoDaddy

 

Regardless of who designs your business website, these are some of the primary design aspects you should consider when designing your business website:

  • Logo and branding
  • Simple typography that is easy to read
  • Defined color palette
  • Easy user interface tools and elements that work in intuitive ways
  • Navigation that moves users through the site
  • Strong images that showcase your brand
  • Concise and targeted copy
  • Easy to understand calls-to-action
  • Your brand story told in a way that connects with users
  • Modern design techniques and interface

Source: Design Shack

 

Along with a strong design, websites today must be mobile-friendly, aka responsive. Google is now penalizing sites that are not mobile-friendly, which means if you are not and your competitor is, they will rank ahead of you. Site speed is important too. Please be sure to ask anyone working on your website about responsiveness and site speed – any designer worth their money will answer those with no issue.

 

Are you in the process of designing or redesigning your business website? Do you agree that a well-designed website is critical for successful online marketing? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please feel free to leave a comment below.

 

If you are looking to have a new website rebuilt or are just starting and need one, visit our website design page and contact us to get started!

9 Ideas You Haven't Thought of for Your 2018 Marketing Strategy

9 Ideas You Haven’t Thought of for Your 2018 Marketing Strategy

It’s a new year and by now you should have completed your 2018 marketing strategy. If you’re ducking down in your chair because you haven’t, it’s okay, it’s not too late. If you have, great!

 

The marketing world is ever-evolving. Ten years ago, social was not a major component of the marketing plan and Facebook ads were not even an option. As the world changes, so does how we reach our customers. We are more mobile, more wired, in the technology-sense. When was the last time you went 24 hours without your smartphone? I honestly cannot remember myself.

 

Last year, social advertising took over, as did video. This year, those two will continue to dominate, but there are other creative ways to reach your customers – and stay in touch in with them as well. I’ve read article after article about the predictions and trends for 2018 and guys, what it comes down to is that businesses are going to have to get more creative – and more out of the box – as our digital world evolves. Before you throw your papers in the air and scream “it’s too much!”, it’s not. It’s not that hard. Really. I’ve put together nine ideas you probably have not thought of to incorporate into your strategy this year.

 

Install a chatbot to help with your Facebook page.

Facebook Messenger Chatbots are relatively easy to program and can help you respond to your messages while you are away or helping a customer. Facebook reported late last year they now see 100,000 monthly active bots on Messenger! These can help provide instant connections with customers, solving problems and helping with orders. It also alleviates the problem of the customer having to wait for a response when most expect a response within an hour.

 

Give LinkedIn another chance.

This is one I saw everywhere. The networking platform has undergone many changes since being bought by Microsoft. Included is an updated newsfeed and user interface. There’s not a lot of competition on the platform right now, and a weak algorithm, so it’s a perfect storm of opportunity. Plus there is a mindset change across professionals. They are tired of the nonsense in their other social feeds, so many are going back to LinkedIn.

 

Personalize the experience.

Personalization is something you will not stop hearing about. From emails to VIP exclusives, give your customers and clients a unique experience when shopping or working with you. 56% would rather buy from someone that recognizes them by name, and 58% from someone who offers recommendations based on past purchases. In the retail world, this is the big push as a lot of brick-and-mortar business is being lost to online stores. However, if you do this, make sure your personalization is genuine. Read more on that here.

 

Tell your story.

Customers and clients come to you for a reason – it could be for your work, a price-point, or something they saw. Let them get to know you by telling your story through your branding and marketing strategies. It’s what makes up the core of who your business is. Use your story throughout your marketing – social posts, blog posts, ads.

 

Have a plan for dark social.

If you haven’t heard of dark social, here’s what you need to know – it’s the conversations happening in private (think Facebook Messenger, SnapChat, Instagram DMs, WhatsApp, etc.). There is another world out there that you can’t reach entirely. Facebook is slowly rolling out Messenger Ads which will help, but make sure you know how to be a part of those conversations. My friend and mentor Mark Schaefer touched on this in his digital trends for 2018 post. The graph below that he shared showed how more people are going ‘dark’ –

Go with the group – Facebook Groups.

I’m not going to sugar-coat it. Facebook organic reach is down and it’s not going to come back up. You are going to have to run ads. You are going to have to get creative. You do still need your page though! Fortunately, Facebook now allows you to create groups through your Page – and here is where the potential starts. You can create a group for insider perks or for just general discussion. The engagement in these are much higher – but they do require more moderation and attention so make sure you have someone reliable manning them!

 

facebook group marketing strategy

 

Use text messages in your marketing.

One of the key reasons why SMS (text) marketing is so popular is the fact it is such an accessible and widespread way of contacting people. 98% of text messages are read within two minutes and more than 1 in 10 text exchanges in the U.S. are with businesses. This is an avenue that not a lot of businesses are using – and something you may want to consider! Here are two examples from businesses that I receive texts from below:

 

text marketing strategy

 

Survey your customers.

Always check in with your customers to see if there are areas you can improve, enhance, or even add! Your customers will (hopefully) give you honest feedback. Entice them for this information with a reward for a higher chance of engagement. Just be careful of Facebook’s updated Engagement Rules if you use a post on Facebook to do this.

 

Go LIVE!

Take advantage of the growth of video and go LIVE! Host a Q&A, broadcast from events, give a sneak peek of an upcoming product, or just take people behind the scenes of the business. Businesses are jumping on this – and 2017 saw a huge growth in this area so there are a lot of ideas out there! This is something that can be done on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

 

 

See? Any of these nine can be done no matter your level of marketing expertise 😉

 

No matter what you decide to do this year, challenge yourself to be creative and go outside the box. Forget about the competition and just do you. Focus on your customers and provide the absolute best you can! And if you need help, we’re here anytime!

 

Which of these nine are you going to try?

The Problem with Oversharing on Social Media

The Problem with Oversharing on Social Media

We all know ‘those’ people. They may be in our family. They may be in our circle of friends. They may even be some of your employees.

 

I’m talking about the ones who overshare on social media. You know, give you the minute-by-minute detail of their lives and those who post endless selfies.

 

Social media is a place to engage with each other and have fun – share memories, share good times and bad, share experiences. NOT share everything short of when you use the restroom.

 

Oversharing on social media has become a problem. People are using platforms as their online diaries, broadcasting their personal grievances and details of their children’s lives for the entire world to see. I am going to drop some truth on you right now. The world does not care what your Elf on the Shelf did every night. The world does not care what your kids got for Christmas or their birthday (aside from maybe your family). The world honestly does not care about every detail of your life. Harsh? Yes, but those most vested in your life and that do care will do so offline.

 

What happened to personal space and privacy?

 

Psychology Today addressed six reasons people overshare on social media a few years ago, however the reasons still remain the same today –

  • Anonymity – Some people can hide behind usernames and not use their real names.
  • Invisibility – “It can be easier to say things from behind a keyboard when the other person (or people) aren’t looking at the poster.”
  • Delayed Communication – You don’t have to deal with comments and messages immediately.
  • Filling in the other person – There’s no body language to read.
  • It’s not real – Much like the first two, people drop their inhibitions and become someone else.
  • Lack of authority – People may disassociate someone’s offline identity with their online identity, causing them to blurt out something they would never in real life, say, in front of an authority figure.

 

In another article, the Huffington Post looked at three other reasons people overshare, and these seem to be more in-line with what we actually see –

  • Boredom – People are bored so they feel the need to post to fill up their time.
  • Egocentricity – People think they are the center of the universe and the universe cares about what they are doing.
  • Low Self-Esteem – People are seeking attention and validation.

 

Facebook has provided a solution to those of us who are tired of these types of posts taking up space in our newsfeed. You can now snooze people for 30 days or unfollow them – all while keeping the Facebook friendship in place. The offending party will have no idea you are no longer seeing their posts.

 

People unfollow businesses for posting too much, so what happens if the oversharer is a business owner? This is where the territory gets tricky.

 

I have often written on this blog about you being an extension of your brand/company, no matter if you are the owner or an employee, and everything you do online reflects back on that brand/company. If you are oversharing every sordid detail of your life, and you own a business, how do you think that may affect your business?

 

Very rarely does oversharing positively affect your business. More often than not, it will harm it.

 

So there has to be a balance, right? It’s called common sense.

 

You cannot be too careful in this day and age, especially when it comes to children. Being married to a prosecuting attorney I could write an entire post on why you should not post about your children online (and yes, he does get mad when I post anything that just might give details away about our daughters).  

 

Post personal highlights, not the details.

 

It’s okay if you do not post every day. People are not going to forget about you.

 

If you have something sensitive going on in your family, don’t post about it. Not everyone in your family wants it out there online – trust me on this one.

 

If you are only posting for attention and validation – DO NOT POST IT. This is the root of the majority of social media posts – people wanting attention and people seeking validation because they are missing something in their lives. What’s missing? I can’t say – only they know.

 

We all know oversharers – you may even be one and not know it (most do not realize it). Everyone needs to think before they post, whether they post once a month or once a day.

 

What advice would you give to someone who is constantly oversharing?

The ME Marketing Content You Loved in 2017

It’s that time of year again – time to look back at the content published on this site that you kept coming back to!

 

I personally appreciate everyone who takes time to read the content we publish and share it across social media. We are here to help you, the business owner, and make your marketing a bit easier.

That being said, let’s take a look at the 10 top posts published in 2017…

 

#10 – Using Your Millennial Target Audience as the Face for Your Company

Using Your Millennial Target Audience as the Face for Your Company

In this post by one of our former interns Drennen Saunders, she shares with us some tips when using millennials as the face of your company or brand.

 

Read it here: https://memarketingservices.com/millennial-target-audience/

 

#9: Facebook Marketing 101: Where Do You Begin?

Facebook Marketing 101- Where do you Begin

Facebook Marketing can be daunting regardless if you are a pro at it or if you’ve never done it before. In this quick and easier primer, we will get your strategy off on the right path.

 

Read it here: https://memarketingservices.com/facebook-marketing-101/

 

#8: THIS is the Facebook Content Your Fans Want You to Post

THIS is the Facebook Content Your Fans Want You to Post

In this post we shared research from Facebook and Sprout Social that showed what types of Facebook content fans want businesses to post. And you need to be ready to engage.

 

Read it here: https://memarketingservices.com/facebook-content-fans-want/

 

#7: Bringing Creatives Together with Influencer Marketing

Bringing Creatives Together with Influencer Marketing

This post gives 15 items to consider when either participating in or managing an influencer marketing campaign. A recap of James Ford’s talk from the Southern C Summit.

 

Read it here: https://memarketingservices.com/bringing-creatives-together-influencer-marketing/

 

#6: If Work/Life Balance is a Myth, How Do We Manage?

work life balance

This one took LinkedIn by storm! Work/Life Balance is a myth. Not everyone can balance it all to perfection, so how do we manage? Here are tips to manage your professional & personal lives.

 

Read it here: https://memarketingservices.com/worklife-balance-myth-manage/

 

#5: Making Facebook Advertising Work for Your Business

Making Facebook Advertising Work for Your Business

Last year, I was honored to lead a Facebook Advertising Workshop at The Southern C Summit (this year myself and Louise Pritchard of Pritchard Volk Consulting are leading a joint branding and social media strategy one!). This is the summary primer of that session.

 

Read it here: https://memarketingservices.com/making-facebook-advertising-work/

 

#4: Your Business Needs a Social Media Marketing Strategy Right Now

What to Expect When Using Social Media to Market Your Business

Your business needs a social media marketing strategy before you start actively using social media for you business. Here’s why – & the data to back it up.

 

Read it here: https://memarketingservices.com/social-media-marketing-strategy-now/

 

#3: 26 Social Media Statistics to Back Up Your Strategy

26 Social Media Statistics to Back Up Your Strategy

This was originally a guest post for My Social Game Plan that I was able to post on my site as well. Given are 26 social media statistics to help support any aspect of your social media marketing strategy.

 

Read it here: https://memarketingservices.com/26-social-media-statistics/

 

#2: 8 Common Social Media Marketing Mistakes & What to Do About Them

8 Common Social Media Marketing Mistakes & What to Do About Them

In this post we take a look at eight common social media marketing mistakes businesses make and our suggestions about what to do to help overcome them to get your business on track.

 

Read it here: https://memarketingservices.com/8-common-social-media-marketing-mistakes/

 

#1: 20 Facebook Statistics for 2017

20 Facebook Statistics for 2017

Go figure a post about Facebook would be #1! When Facebook hit 2 billion monthly users in the summer of 2017, we took a look at 20 Facebook statistics that shape the world’s largest social media platform, connecting the world and businesses.

 

Read it here: https://memarketingservices.com/20-facebook-statistics/

 

In 2018, we hope to bring you more content related to your marketing and social media strategies. Some may be long, some may be short, but our goal is to help YOU.

 

What was your favorite post on the ME Marketing blog this year? Share with us below! We’d love to know!

 

5 Ingredients For a Successful Holiday Social Advertising Campaign

5 Ingredients For A Successful Holiday Social Advertising Campaign

Whether or not we want to believe it, the holiday season is upon us. We see turkeys and pumpkin pie everywhere we go. The pre-Black Friday sales are going on. Christmas music is starting to filter through our radio stations.

Is your business ready?

The holiday season is one time of year that it seems advertising dollars are unlimited based on the traditional ads we see. Social advertising, however, has been slow to warm up to those levels. I believe that social advertising is more effective in reaching your audience – and this is coming from a former print advertising sales girl.

If you are using social advertising this holiday season, you want to make sure you are getting your biggest bang for your buck. In this article, I am going to share with you 5 tips for a successful holiday social advertising campaign.

You’ll find out –

  • Why having a budget is important.
  • Why you need to get creative.
  • Why you need to know your audience.
  • How targeting works for you.
  • Why tracking is a requirement.

Know your advertising budget.

In a perfect world, businesses would have advertising budgets as big as Santa Claus’ toy bag. With an unlimited amount of money to spend, just imagine what businesses could do. Unfortunately, that is not the case in our world. Company budgets are run tight, often cutting sales and marketing first. When you advertise online and do not set specific start and end dates, it’s very easy to run up a high advertising bill. That’s the last thing  company needs in the 4th quarter.

Having a budget is important because:

  1. It controls cost. You can keep track of where the money is being spent accurately.
  2. It’s easier to calculate ROI when it’s over. When you track the response of your ad against how much you spent, it’s easier to figure out that elusive number as compared to traditional print or broadcast ads.
  3. It shows you just how much you can accomplish with social advertising when putting it up to a traditional form of advertising.

Think outside the box.

Since so many companies are vying for your customers’ dollars, the gloves really come off where creativity is concerned. This is a time of year when you need to start thinking outside the box and leave your comfort zone. You need to be seen and heard among the Targets, Macy’s and Wal-Marts of the world. This is where creativity comes in. Think of the successful holiday advertising campaigns you’ve seen. The ones that come to mind to me are:

  1. Coca-Cola. The Polar Bears are so endearing that it makes an emotional connection with the audience.
  2. Hershey’s Kisses. The Kisses as bells playing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” is my favorite holiday TV commercial. They have aired the same commercial every year for as long as I can remember. Continuity definitely says something.
  3. Elf Yourself from Office Max. 9 years later, people are still getting elfed each year.

Now take a look at what made these successful – it wasn’t your normal run-of-the-mill advertising – they set out to really connect with people. Whether it was from an animated character, musical chocolates or making an elf in your image – they all started as something outside the box.

Know who your audience actually is.

Ask any business who their audience is and you’ll see a lot of similarities – people who like to spend money and have money are just two. Knowing who your audience is and being able to relate to them is key. You’ll know exactly what to say – and how to say it. The way you’d phrase an ad you want moms to see would be much different from ads geared towards teens.

For example, you are a clothing store targeting teenage girls. For an ad targeting their moms, you would say something like “We help 14 year olds look like 14 year olds.” (Disclaimer: I’m a mom of a tween – trust me, clothes these days do anything but make them look their age – moms are looking for ones that do) For the tweens, it would be, “Look totes adorbs & wow your friends.” Just knowing how tween girls talk helps you relate to them and get in front of them easier.

Knowing your audience is much different than just knowing the demographic stats. Know what they like, how they talk, who they interact with. That will help you put together a more successful campaign.

Targeting is your friend.

Once you really know who your audience is, you know who and how to target them. Facebook and Twitter have hands-down, the best targeting options out there in the realm of social advertising. With these two platforms, you can get in front of your competitor’s followers (Twitter), target people based on their net worth (Facebook), get in front of people talking about or watching certain TV shows (Twitter) or target trendy moms specifically (Facebook), just to name a few.

Targeting will help you:

  1. Use your advertising budget more effectively.
  2. Get you in front the exact person you want to reach.
  3. Stay within the goals of your campaign. Your ad won’t be the needle in the haystack.
  4. Separate yourself from your competitor.

Track your ad’s performance again and again and… again.

Any social advertising platform includes analytics on how your ad is performing. Knowing what these metrics mean and how they are performing will determine the success of your campaign.

Tracking can show you:

  1. What wording and/or graphics work best. Use A/B testing to see what resonates with your audience the most.
  2. Your ROI. With social advertising analytics, you can see the number of impressions for your ad, the clicks and if you have a conversion tracking pixel installed on your website, the number of conversions. Take your number and compare it with what you spend and bada-bing – you have your ROI. Ask a print or broadcast ad rep if they can get that specific.
  3. How wise you are using your advertising dollars. This does relate some to ROI, but you can watch your ad and add or subtract money from your budget at any time. Is your ad off the charts? Add some more money to it! Is it totally bombing out? Then lower it.

Not only can these 5 tips be applied to your holiday social advertising campaign, but also to your everyday ads you run online.

Social advertising is going to become the dominant form of advertising. Just watch over the next 5 years or so. With people using their mobile devices more for internet searches and social networking or just doing pretty much everything online, it’s just a matter of time before we see more social ads than we do on TV or radio. Fortunately, social advertising is affordable for every business from your mom and pop store on the corner to the behemoths like Wal-Mart or Target.

Question is – how are you going to make it work for you? I hope these 5 tips help you out this holiday season. Have a tip you want to share? Comment below and let me know!

photo credit: roitberg via photopin cc

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