Who do you think you are? And who does everyone else think you are?
In Robert W Chambers’ classic collection The King In Yellow, the Repairer of Reputations is a man whose skill lies in mending the public perception of people who have somehow transgressed the social order, with tragic consequences.
Sharing and communicating
In the modern world, reputation management is every bit as important as it was in Chambers’ story, it’s a far less arcane practice in real life, the consequences of neglecting can be severely damaging to a business. However, the benefits, when it is handled correctly, can deliver fantastic results. At its most basic level, online reputation management is a combination of sharing/communicating consistent messages whilst monitoring and responding to noise about your organisation.
A large business in the public eye, for example, may pay a press monitoring agency to sift through the day’s news and collate all references to that business, enabling them to see how they are perceived by the media and therefore also by the public.
A large restaurant chain with a reputation of being damaging to the environment can take steps to address this, perhaps by launching a new pledge or initiative to promote their environmental consideration and help combat their poor reputation.
A company looking to sell or float will work hard to promote and manage their reputation and the content produced by them/for them. Establishing an organisation as profitable, successful and interesting is key to driving a sale.
At a deeper level online reputation management concerns itself with the amount of attention a company receives from its target audience. All the popular search engines such as Google operate according to a complex set of algorithms which determine how high up in the search results any individual page or site will be, meaning reputation management depends on gaming the system to ensure that your company has high online visibility. In the early days of the internet, users would stuff their home pages with irrelevant references to popular TV shows or bands in order to attract more hits. Search engines got wise to this and realised it was making their platforms useless, so have been constantly developing and adapting algorithms to keep systems working properly, with more genuine content.
It is worth noting that online reputation management is not about cheating the system as such; it’s about understanding how the system works and turning it to one’s advantage.
Search engines can be one of the most powerful allies a business can have, and public perception is what will ultimately determine the uptake of your goods or services. So vague and intangible as it may seem, allowing a budget for reputation management will always be money well spent.
We help both high profile individuals and businesses with their online reputation. For more information please contact email@example.com
Marketing Support for organisations of all sizes.
We like to think we can help with most business objectives, just a few of the areas of marketing support we specialise in include the following:
Content marketing strategy
Small agency consultancy support
Market research – surveys, questionnaires, focus groups Subscriptions and distribution
Loyalty marketing/membership marketing
E-commerce setup and management
Readability/tone of voice
Contract Publishing – B2B and consumer
Print and publication management – full service offering (inserts, magazines, brochures, catalogues)
New business development/strategy
Commercial consultancy – advertising sales support/setup/management Subscriptions management
Distribution management/targeted placement
Search engine optimisation
Social media strategy
This list isn’t exhaustive but covers the type of work we do. For costs and more information on marketing support in-house or offsite please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call Steve on 07723 024865
“What is it you do, exactly?” Over the last week we’ve been asked this question a number of times so it is clearly necessary to write a post explaining. I think the smartest and most concise summary would be in ‘elevator pitch’ style. So here we go…
MAGNIFICENT STUFF is a marketing consultancy with a focus on customer retention, loyalty and acquisition.
In a nutshell, we help you acquire and keep customers. We cover all aspects of marketing from research and planning through to evaluation and strategy. Anything an in-house marketing team takes care of we can manage. Basically, we’re offering small businesses and enterprises a marketing department on a consultancy basis. We work with clients who want to grow their customer base, promote their product/service and drive sales. We are NOT social media strategists, nor web designers, design agency or advertising agency. We do help clients with their social media, websites and advertising and we also work collaboratively with these specialists if it is necessary to meet a client’s brief. Our experience lies in branded content, editorial and account/project management. We have worked with some of the Worlds biggest brands. To give you an idea of the scope of work we do,
- We are currently working on developing a publishing programme to generate sales in the South-west,
- Supporting a creative supplier to the arts industry with marketing expertise,
- Writing editorial style copy for a publication to promote a number of very different businesses,
- Managing the social media accounts of two sole traders,
- Writing/selling a sponsorship package for a large charity event.
So, in layman’s terms, we are developing the strategy and setup of a profitable magazine, working as marketing department and project management consultancy to an art installation supplier, writing specialised ad copy to generate revenue, running the social media marketing for clients and putting together a sponsorship package to sell. Hopefully this explains things a bit, but if you’re still unsure please fire any questions to email@example.com and we’d be delighted to help. If you’d like to tap into some of our skills then please don’t hesitate to contact us too. We start with a free, no obligation, meeting, where we’ll learn about your business and understand your needs to identify what (and if) we can help with.
Your Social Media audience won’t be fooled for long.
Being lured into following a brand to win a prize or enter a draw is fine but when users do a mass cull/sort out, or become irritated by the wrong message appearing in their feed, unless a brand has worked extremely hard to engage and have some relationship with that consumer that brand will be unliked/unfollowed quicker than you can say ‘tweet’. It’s imperative to think about and plan your social media content in order to build a positive relationship and good loyalty from your audience.
More can be found about social media relationship building here
There are a few simple, yet smart ways you can
Use Facebook to Promote a Public Event
without posting the same irritating messages to the same circle of friends. These tips will not only create genuine interest and standout for your event but will also engage your audience.
- The first recommendation would be to always have a holding page for your event, so a website or similar that will host all of the relevant information about your event. You can encourage users to sign up by promising additional insight or a freebie on arrival.
- Social share buttons to your registration page on the event. Word of mouth marketing is the most effective marketing and if people see other people are linking, following and sharing your event, the more visitors will perceive your content as being popular and will also want to share.
TOP TIP: The best place to position your social share buttons is at the top right “above the fold” (visible without scrolling).
- Use your Facebook page wisely! Even the banner/image on your page is valuable to you. At 180px by 540px there is an opportunity to use all of that space to talk about what it is you’re promoting. As does the event icon itself. A call to action – Free drink on arrival or free olives or complimentary bread and oil – these are all more appealing than the repetitive wallpaper that is: BUY TICKETS.
- Give your readers/followers/friends/likers MORE than just constantly harassing for a sale. If you’re a restaurant or a pub offer a recipe? Post pictures of the mouth-watering food – Instagram is a great app to do this through. If you’re hosting a festival, audio clips of featured artists can be really popular, if it’s a charity event post some case study stories of the good work the charity does.
- If you supply decent content, you’ll engage your audience. They’ll feel loyal towards you. They will feel as though they’re getting something back from you and won’t doubt investing in your event. Now is a good time to try and start some dialogue with your audience, start with a question – something like “Have you got your ticket yet to our next event?” or “Hands up who’s attending this event?!” You could use both your sharing link and your webpage link/registration link
- Facebook events – the fundamentals…
- Facebook Events is one of the most misused features of the social network. There are 2 ways to create an event:
In a personal profile – here you have the ability to message all invitees directly into their inbox
Via a fan page – best to use for business related events. Any changes or amends will simply go out as an update rather than a message as it would on a personal event
Do note that users have 2 inboxes and so be mindful that some messages may disappear into their ‘other’ inbox.
TOP TIP: If you’d rather not receive Event invitations/emails from certain friends but you don’t want to unfriend him/her, help is at hand! There’s a little-known feature on Facebook that allows you to block Event invitations from specific friends. Just go to Account > Privacy > Block Lists > scroll to Block event invites and type in the friend’s name. Voila. Your friend will be none the wiser.
- Don’t be afraid to ask your attendees to share. Ask your engaged fans to please invite their friends or at least put the event on their profile giving you additional visibility.
- Be clear that there is a link that Facebook users need to click to register. Some people might think that by clicking the “I’m Attending” button they have signed up for your event. Write periodic updates and messages on the Event wall to encourage everyone to go get their ticket if they haven’t already.
- Finally, how about encouraging your audience to curate your next event. Ask them what food they love, which film they want to see or which band they like best. By having this additional involvement in the event they’ll feel more excited and part of the event itself, becoming evangelists for you!
I hope these few fundamental tips have helped. Facebook can be a really valuable asset in event planning, used poorly it can also be really irritating and off-putting to fans. There are loads of useful hints and tips all over the internet on the smart use of Facebook, its well worth having a trawl around to learn more.
Otherwise we can always help you plan your social media effectively – firstname.lastname@example.org
We all know that a well designed website can improve your company image and help to generate leads and sales. How well is your website designed though? Could yours be costing you money rather than making it?
Here are eight errors to look out for:-
1) Any music or other audio playing immediately or loading without the specific link being clicked or chosen. Guaranteed to annoy and irritate.
2) Any use of pop-up windows whatsoever. Particularly ones that fade into the background and hide behind the current browser.
3) Any ‘front-door’ page or intro that states ‘If you don’t reach website within 5 second click here’. Research shows that 25% of customers will be gone before the 5 seconds is up.
4) Badly designed from-end. Your home page should tell customers what you are about IMMEDIATELY.
5) Any type of of auto-play video, animation, scrolling, flashing text, marquee or other gimmicks. Unless you’re selling the gimmicks, of course.
6) Clashing colours, too many colours or a colour scheme not consistent with your company or brand. We have written a great article on the psychology of colour here.
7) Web pages too large for different browsers, or non-responsive sites. No-one wants to scroll horizontally. Not since 1998, and remember many of your audiences will be viewing your site from a mobile/tablet sized device
8) My pet hate. Navigation buttons which flash, drop excessive shadow, revolve, vibrate or do anything other than help the customer navigate.
Beware of anything on your site that smacks of style over effectiveness. Any navigation icon or element MUST have explicitly user-friendly text and function.
Research has shown that ALL of these design errors have a negative effect on loyalty and stickiness to your site. Why not check your website today?
Website design errors – with thanks to Red Website Design
Did you know that 99.8% of all banner ads on your website are ignored? 99.8%. That’s two clicks out of a thousand. To the customer used to navigating around numerous sites these ads become wallpaper – they’re simply not given the time of day. A recent survey showed that unto 50% of customers who DID click on the ads did so by mistake. I kid you not. Native ads, on the other hand, are looked at 52% more than regular display ads. Spending on native ads grew 39% in 2012 and 22% in 2013.
Native advertising is the integration of marketing content into an article without distracting interest from the rest of the material presented there. It aims to blend in seamlessly with the written content and, to all intents and purposes is part of the article itself.
The classic example is a Purina campaign:- (With thanks to www.memeburn.com).
Purina sponsored an article on Mashable titled “5 Heartwarming Stories That Prove Dog Is Man’s Best Friend”. Mashable is best known for its tech news and its “X number of (insert practically anything here)” articles. And Purina nails the latter. The piece shares stories and videos of the sweetest pups — one who saved its owners life, one who mourned the death of its Navy SEAL owner, and three others. By the end of the article, you’re in tears and more in love with your own dog. This article received more than 20 000 shares — meaning that Purina generated many impressions, without even mentioning dog food.
You too can achieve this by making your article similar to but not directly selling your product. In Purina’s emotional, tear-jerking article dog-lovers are filled with warm, fuzzy feelings. Imagine if the article was about dog food — who’d want to share that with friends?
This is the first in a series of posts regarding creating a more worthwhile and profitable website for your company.
What is your website for:
There are two main types of business websites. The first is a flat brochure style website, showcasing the best your organisation has to offer, it can include some testimonials and will have clear calls to action. The other is a site that engages visitors and generates leads. It attracts interest and offers solutions and advice to visitors initiating a relationship.
Your website is the hub of business communication and the home of all of your valuable content. It’s critical that the look, feel and tone of voice are reflective of all that your organisation stands for and the products/services you offer. The traffic driven to your site will have been directed from all areas so it is important to make sure your website has a strong and clear identity.
Although your website is about you and your business it needs to be written and designed from the customer’s point of view, so instead of writing about ‘what we do’ focus on ‘ here’s how we can help you’.
The content on your website, as well as that posted in social media or shared on others blogs is all integral to your brand. It is there fundamentally to engage and inspire. To endorse your expertise in a sector, to help build trust and to get customers inspired and enthused about you. Smart and cleverly produced content will encourage customers to talk about you and will ensure that you are front of mind when they are ready to make a purchasing decision.
A good website with well constructed editorial will pull in leads and convert them to sales.
The 3 main objectives of a content focused business website?
1. To attract potential customers and retain existing ones
2. To navigate them to the most relevant areas of the site, and
3. To engage prospects and start to build a relationship with them.
In the next post we will look at the key elements that make a smarter business website.
Emarketing isn’t the only form of branded content out there. There is this popular misconception when you hear buzz phrase ‘content marketing’ blogging, email newsletters and web content instantly springs to mind. We mustn’t forget that long before digital there was print.
Content marketing has always been around, perhaps in different guises though. The advertorials, the newsletters, the members magazines and the infomercials, all forms of content marketing.
By using expert sector journalists to write features old membership publications evolved into an industry worth £4billion. Marketeers recognised the power of content to build on relationships with customers and in turn the benefit to CRM.
It’s all very well having an excellent engaging and informative newsletter, email or ad but there must be a clear and definitive sign off for the piece. The piece should almost whet the readers appetite, leave them wanting more, the ‘more’ should be the call to action (CTA) device, and should lead the reader onto doing something as a result of reading or engaging.
There are some straightforward rules for CTA’s:
1. K.I.S.S. – keep it simple stupid
Make the CTA simple, focus on one or at the most two main actions – don’t confuse or clutter the sign off.
It’s important to make the CTA standout by using contrasting colours and a smart holding device/box or button.
Wherever possible make the call to action relevant it should follow on seamlessly from the feature in terms of context. If it’s possible you try to personalise it through segmentation.
It’s important to use activating phrases and words to encourage readers to react. Using action words, for example, “click here” or “go online to find out more” or “turn to page 7 to see more” or “call to register”. Through testing it’s possible to identify which CTA’s work most efficiently for your audience base.
5. Don’t be afraid
To have more than one CTA to a page or section. It makes perfect sense to always have the URL or social media link as page furniture but you can have others to such as read more or try this. The CTA doesn’t have to focus on the end point or sale, it can be something that aids loyalty, retention or acquisition.
7. TEST TEST TEST
The importance of trial and measurement in all marketing cannot be underestimated. In the case of CTA’s it’s key to try different words, timings, devices, placements etc.
It’s important to always have a call-to-action with every piece of marketing produced. This helps deliver and quantify Return On Investment but also drives loyalty, and acquisition.
Adapted from Original text: http://www.bluegrassdigital.com/blog/2012/november/28/7-tips-for-great-email-marketing-calls-to-action/#ixzz30jTB2rdP Under Creative Commons License: Attribution
Although getting colour right is important, it’s key that the content is engaging, informative and encourages a reader to do something as a result of reading. A positive action can be anything from recommending a friend, clicking on a link to read more but, ultimately engaging with the product or service to purchase point.