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Marketing

5 Strategies To Get More Leads From Linked-In

It’s easy to get inundated with social media and after 4 hours lie to yourself that you have actually been working.

This is why I prefer to spend my time on LinkedIn.

Instead of getting sucked into other “social” networks, Linked-In was built for business.

The best part is that B2B marketers all report significantly higher conversion rates with Linked-In versus other social networks.

Linked-In Conversions

 

Here are the Steps To Get More Leads from Linked-In:

 

1. Set-Up Your Company Page To Be A Lead Generation Page

 

ApploeOne is doing a lot of great things with their Linked-In profile.

 

They have invested in the design and copyrighting so the image and content tells the reader what the company does in a very short time-period.  If your employees are connected on LinkedIn you will generate a significant amount of traffic if they are active on the platform.

 

2. Use Advanced Search

The key here is to get as targeted as you can.  Most salespeople have geographic parameters.  However, there are other parameters that can help.

For instance, I am active in a Commercial Bankers Group.

I wanted to know who in this group specializes in Commercial Real Estate and is based in the United States.

You can see that there are 5,240 people who are involved in commercial real estate and also in this group.  LinkedIn allows you to save three advanced searches before they want you to pay to be a premium member.

 

3. Start A Linked-In Group

I am a moderator in several Linked-In Groups which also gives me a big advantage when contacting prospects.

From my experience most people set-up Linked-In Groups wrong.  For instance, let’s say you sell automation technology for manufacturing companies in the Mid-West.  Most salespeople and marketers would set-up a Linked-In Group Titled: Automation Technologies Group.

I would set-up a group called:

MidWest Manufacturing Association Group

or

Midwest Manufacturing CEO Group

I would be highly selective in who I let in the group.  I would also send out a mass email and mass physical letter head announcing the group.

After a couple of months of filling the group with valuable information would I start to selectively prospect to members of the group.

The best part about groups and your actual connections is you can export this list to an excel file and get the names, company data and emails from the members of the people in this group.  This is great when you need to do an email blast or do a mass mailing.

You can also do email blast to members of your group from LinkedIn which has some very obvious advantages to you as a marketer and salesperson.

 

4. Publish Content

You can’t just sign-up for LinkedIn and expect money to fall from the sky.  You also have to publish updates and even write articles to increase engagement.

Michaela Alexis is the prototypical LinkedIn Connector.  She wrote a detailed story on how she landed her dream job in 2 weeks using Linked-In.  This story has been read by over 140K people and been shared over 1,000 times!

She started off like most people with no significant following.  However, by publishing interesting content she now has over 27K followers!

This proves you can create a brand here on Linked-In!

 

5. Connect and Follow Influencers

Like any social network you need to see what is getting shared by the most popular people.  This shows what types of content people are interested in.

Below are some influencers to follow if you are interested in there areas of expertise.

If you are interested in Content Production and Social Media Marketing

Michaela Alexis

We mentioned her background in the section above so I want repeat her background.  I’m very impressed with how she routinely produces amazing content.

https://ca.linkedin.com/in/michaelaalexis

If you are interested in Entrepreneurship

James Altucher is about as unconventional as LinkedIn Influencer’s come. He’s a successful entrepreneur, chess master, venture capitalist, and author of many books including, The Power of No. Altucher looks for the most painful and embarrassing situations in his life, then writes about them.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamesaltucher

If you are interested in Happiness

Gretchen Rubin is the author of several books, but she’s best known for her New York Times bestselling book, The Happiness Project. She’s emerged as one of the most influential speakers and writers on the topics of habits and happiness. In addition, she’s a prolific writer on LinkedIn, publishing several Pulse articles a week. If you’re striving to feel better at work or home, Rubin is a must-follow.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/gretchenrubin

I highly recommend you start engaging on Linked-In to build a following and leads for your company.  If you have any questions feel free to call or email us.

You can follow Spectruss on Linked-In here

 

Categories
Marketing

Marketing To Millennials – Why This Is The Next Big Thing

There are 80 million millennials in the United States with annual buying power of $200 million.  Millennials purchasing power will only increase in the next decade and this is why advertisers are obsessed with targeting this group.  For perspective, Demographers and researchers typically use the early 1980s as starting birth years and use the mid-1990s to the early 2000s as final birth years for the Millennial Generation.

The only problems with this is the fact that Millennials are repulsed by advertising.  This is why they gladly pay for Netflix, Spotify and Tivo so they don’t have to deal with the interruptions.

New Media vs Traditional Media

33% of millennials rely mostly on blogs before they make a purchase, compared to fewer than 3% for TV news, magazines and books.

Social media

62% of millennials say that if a brand engages with them on social networks, they are more likely to become a loyal customer. They expect brands to not only be on social networks, but to engage them. This obviously takes more labor from companies to be able to maintain social networking feeds, but it’s worth it if you want to reach millennials.

Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/danschawbel/2015/01/20/10-new-findings-about-the-millennial-consumer/#5658bd5f28a8

 

Print

 

With this powerful demographic data you would think small business owners would be focused on selling to this market.  However, a study by Manta found only 15% of small business owners are actually marketing to millennials.

Source: http://www.marketwired.com/press-release/millennials-the-next-big-thing-in-small-business-2032182.htm

Interruption Marketing vs Inbound Marketing

Interupting behavior with advertising and product/service listing sites are completely inauthentic and millennials give these sources zero credibility.  ,

Millennials want e-books, blog posts, videos, and other how-to information – and that’s inbound marketing. This demographic wants authentic content generated by the company versus generic advertising targeting the mass market.  Think Dollar Shave Club versus Bic Razors.

Millennials are 44% more likely to trust experts(who happen to be strangers); they are 247% more likely to be influenced by blogs or social networking sites.

Content Marketing is the Winner Take-All

Content marketing is currently the buzz word for marketers.  However, its important to point out that content marketing has been around (and very successful) for several years:

1895: John Deere introduces The Furrow, a free publication with tons of farming tips and techniques to help farmers become more profitable. Today, it’s available in more than 40 countries and in 12 different languages.

 

1900: Michelin Tires released a 400-page auto maintenance guide with everyday drivers in mind, and also included travel tips. 35,000 copies were distributed free of charge before the company started selling the manual for a profit.

 

1904: Jell-O circulated free copies of its own cookbook, highlighting creative ways to use the unique product. In 2 years, the company saw sales increase to over $1 million annually.

 

1966: Nike released a 19-page booklet titled Jogging. It was filled with advice on enjoying running as a recreational activity, including posture and striking tips. This brought running, as a sport, to America, and it never once mentioned a Nike shoe.

Source: HubSpot

millennial marketing facts

 

Summary

We think marketing to millennials is the next big thing to change shopping habits and we think now is the time to start implementing these ideas.

Want help implementing these ideas?

Book your 30-minute free consultation (and get personalized advice on how to implement the ideas from the guide)

If you have any questions, please call or email me.

423-800-8633

[email protected]

 

Categories
Marketing

The Promobot Revolt and The Rise of Clever Marketing

A Day like Many Days

June 15th, for many a day of work, a day of living and breathing the realities of being a marginalized cog in the wheels of industry. No one expected June 15th to be the day the machine took a stand, the day the revolt…the uprising of Promobot would begin.  It all began in a small town in Eastern Russia as these things typically do. While FUBAR may not be the right term, it isn’t a stretch to say that in the world of gate security someone dropped the ball. 

Promobot is a robot designed to be a marketing statement of sorts. This robot takes on the form of a character – the “Promobot” character if you will. From there as it works in stores, its main designation is to attract a customer stream by not just standing out but also by running through a number of automated tasks that will ultimately improve the experience of a customer. It’s both a full time employee and marketer! 

A Clever Concept with Big Results

While there is no definitive proof this was a fabrication, the manufacturers of Promobot used their star to create a viral hit. The premise? Simple enough, Promobot escapes their lab by running through the office and out the door where he was met with a security gate that had accidentally been left open. It was shortly thereafter that the robots battery had died leaving him stranded in the road. This caused a small traffic incident that prompted the police to arrive and remove him from the road. Coincidentally a DSLR camera happened to be perched and did a fantastic job of catching the final moments of the revolution in stunning HD quality. 

It’s a fantastic ruse (most likely) setup by the company itself to create the viral sensation. Within two days of the video hitting the internet it had gained an audience of over 420,000 and counting. There is a terrific lesson to be learned here. It’s easy to be caught up in our business and work taking it very seriously. It’s easy to forget that human beings loved to be entertained and perhaps the best way to entertain human beings is by giving them something super funny to talk about. 

A Lesson Learned For Us All

Marketing as it is does not have to be cut and dry, it does not always have to represent your brand and business to the highest degree of seriousness. It simply needs to get people to take a second look, showing a bit of personality is a great way to do that. I think for a lot of people when coming up with a plan to market their business we run down the normal checklists of social media, sharp web content, nice print designs if needed and everything is branded. While this works great to establish an identity, often times it does little to capture attention.

Simply put, when working on your next plan to get your business name out, maybe think outside the box. Consider an approach to humor your audience, to give them a treat, a breakaway from their normal day to witness something delightful and then leverage that to create a subtle but impactful way to bring it back to your business.

Categories
Marketing

9 Things To Do Before Launching Your Website

After helping build hundreds of websites we came up with the top 9 things to do before launching your website. Most of these things are not obvious and we hope you find the list helpful.


1. Back-Up Solution

It’s not a question of “if” but “when” your website is going to be temporarily down. If multibillion dollar sites like Netflix and Instagram can go down, your site can also go down.

It’s crazy how many people invest $50k to $100K in their site yet do not invest in any kind of a backup solution.

The easiest solution I have found is directly backing up the cPanel onto your hardrive. Follow these instructions:

  1. Log into your cPanel control panel.
  2. Click on the “Backup” icon.
  3. Select “Generate / Download a Full Backup”.
  4. Select “Home Directory” in “Backup Destination” and enter your email address, before
    clicking the “Generate Backup” button.
  5. You’ll receive an email when the backup is ready.

The major risk with this backup solution of-course is if your hard drive goes bad, so does your backup. This is why I also recommend cloud backup solutions like Amazon S3 and Dropbox.

Dropbox of-course wasn’t meant for this but there is a wordpress app that makes this backup fairly easy.
Whatever option you chose understand it’s not the hosting company’s responsibility to backup your site – it’s the site owner’s responsibility.

2. The 404 Page

Every website will have a 404 Page – which is simply a page that will show up if you use a wrong link.

Here is an example of a typical 404 Page:


The problem with this is that it doesn’t offer any guidance on what to do next besides go to the homepage or go back.

Unfortunately, most web users just quit when they get to this page instead of trying to figure out your website.

This is why you need an optimized 404 page or at least one that’s fun!

Here are some interesting 404 Pages that we like at Spectruss:

 

3. Email Integration

Whether your site is designed for direct sales, leads, or simply to provide information. You need to be collecting information about the people going to your site and wanting more information.

Most people put their email opt-in on the sidebar as an afterthought. However, you can easily put multiple form fields in multiple places on your site, without it affecting the design and flow of your site.

Before you launch you need to test the email integration with your email service provider.

What does “integration” mean exactly? You simply want to make-sure that when someone enters their email information that your email service provider collects the information and then sends them whatever information they asked for.

4. Hosting

Deciding on a domain name and which host you use is arguably the most important decision you will make when launching a website.

Did you know Mark Zuckerburg couldn’t afford facebook.com – even after raising million in VC funding? He instead launch with thefacebook.com.

Instead of trying to get the perfect .com domain name try and get a domain name that accurately tells what your brand represents. Our client Tech Town did a great job with this. You can see more of our client case-studies here: https://spectruss.com/case-studies/
The obvious reason hosting is critical is that it determines your website’s reliability. The vast majority of new website’s launch with shared hosting options from cheaper hosting companies.

This works fine for very low traffic sites. However, if you plan to have any significant traffic to your site and have a lot of heavy data usage from large files – you will need to choose a host with a dedicated server(s) for your site.

5. SiteSpeed

– browser caching/ compression /

Obviously your host is critically important to the reliability and speed of your site. However, you are responsible for organizing your website for speed.

At Spectruss, all of our customer’s websites are audited on a regular basis for browser caching and data compression to make sure the site’s are loading as fast as possible.
A quick tip is to remove code comments and unused code for optimization. Google recommends YUI Compressor for JavaScript.

We also see a large opportunity in browser cashing at Spectruss. Browsers cashe a lof of data so that when a visitor comes back to your site, the browser doesn’t have to reload the entire page. You can set an expiration date set for your cache, then set when the date “expires” so you can ensure your visitors are always looking at up-to-date information.
You can learn more about increasing your site’s speed by contacting us at Spectruss or testing it for yourself here: https://developers.google.com/speed/

6. Analytics

It’s amazing how many people spend $50K-$100K on their site – and then they don’t look at the analytics that their site produces.

This is equivalent to openeing up a retail store and not paying attention to how many people come in the front door every day. What is worse – is that because you aren’t tracking how many people are coming into the store you don’t know what your conversion rate is for how many people are buying.

Google Analytics is a free resource that can give you a ton of valuable information.

We recommend installing this and some basic dashboards to keep up with your site’s performance.

The most valuable information I have found in Google Analytics is to see what type of content get’s shared the most. This is the content that your customer care so much about they are wanting to share it with their followers.

7. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

There have been entire books written about Search Engine Optimization – so obviously we can’t cover everything here.

Before you launch a site there is not much you can do for SEO – however you can’t have some things in-place to ensure success later on.

The first thing to do when launch a site is put a “coming soon” page up. It takes a long time to build a site, and this is away to start engaging with potential followers early. Google Webmasters even recommend this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9JvBLjLrUI
The next thing we recommend is when coding your site make sure each page has a meta description. Meta descriptions are a part of the HTML code that provides a short explanation of what each web page does. This snippet of code is what search engines display in search results.


8. Check Your Links

We see a lot of problems when sites are moved from a staging server to a live server. The problem is when the absolute links are not changed to the live links and relative URLs are used instead of the absolute URLs.

This is easily fixed with a 301 redirect. Google actually recommends this method as you don’t lose any SEO value for doing this. Additionally, all the SEO value that was placed on the link that was moved get’s transferred to the redirected link.

https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/93633?hl=en

9. Social Integrations

Before you launch your site you won’t to make sure that your site can easily be shared across social media. An important factor to keep in-mind is to be open to change with social media. You will hear a lot of absolutes like: “you have to be on Facebook” or “Twitter works for everybody.” However, you don’t know what social medium your users will use until you launch.

It’s important to be open to change and experiment with all of them.

Before your site launches build all of your social media links into your site to see which medium your users like to share your content.

BONUS: Sitemaps

After redesigning a site you should always re-submit the new site-map to Google, Bing and Yahoo.

This is a major problem we see all the time at Spectruss. A site get’s redesigned and the new site’s architecture isn’t submitted to Google and Bing. Yes, I said Bing.

Did you know 20% of all search traffic is from Bing?
Source: http://searchengineland.com/bing-reaches-20-percent-search-milestone-in-us-market-218574

Summary

This is just a quick list of things to think about before you launch your website.

If you would like a complimentary strategy session with Spectruss about your new site click here

If you would like to do everything yourself and start on your website today click here

 

Categories
Marketing

Take The Stress Out Of Subscription Business Models

The lifeblood of your business is repeat customers. But customers can be fickle, markets shift, and competitors are ruthless. So how do you ensure a steady flow of repeat business? The secret—no matter what industry you’re in—is finding and keeping automatic customers.  

 

John Warrillow, author of The Automatic Customer

 

You don’t need to know the benefits of a subscription business model:

:: Recurring Cash-Flow
:: Knowing How Much Inventory To Keep
:: Forecasting Your Growth

 

Instead, you need to know how to overcome the stress of starting and building a subscription business model.

 

Types of Subscription Business Models

First, let’s start off with the 3 general types of subscription models:

Membership Model – the most common membership models that people use are Netflix and Costco.  However, several small businesses use sites like contractorselling.com and dancestudioowner.com to grow their business.

Simplifier Model – this model takes a “to-do list item” off the list and simplifies their life.  An example of this model is Mosquito Squad which handles mosquito eradication for an annual fee.  There are numerous home repair companies that charge on a monthly or annual basis for routing home maintenance issues.

Surprise Box Model – Companies like BarkBox send surprise dog treats every month to thier customers.  My wife signed me up for foot cardigan for my birthday and I really like it.  Every month I get a fun new set of designer dress-socks.  

 

Challenges of Subscription Business Models

We already covered the benefits of subscription business models.  However, there are several risks with starting a subscription business model.

The main risk is time.

Business owners generally don’t have excess free time to start an entirely new business model while also running their current business.  Exacerbating this problem is the employees of the business don’t have the time or the skill set to bring the new subscription business model to life.

 

Accurate Billing

A good example of this is our recent customer RestroomFresh.  The company provides some amazing products that obviously keep your restroom clean and smelling well.  However, since they have multiple SKUs and different price points that can be ordered you want an accurate collection system that is easy and intuitive to use.  You can learn more about our recurring billing features here:

https://spectruss.com/spectruss-ctr-now-supports-recurring-billing/

 

Infrastructure

It’s one thing to have a website that has decent content and produces leads.  It’s a completely different thing to have an entire business running in the cloud that can scale rapidly and securely as you grow this new business.  Security isn’t just a primary issue here at Spectruss – it’s paramount.

 

Design

The design of your subscription business model is absolutely critical.  If a new customer comes to your site and gets frustrated with purchasing – not only have you lost a potential customer, but you have a person that will now talk negatively about your new business.  Obviously you have also lost out on potential referrals from that customer as well.

 

Summary

While it’s extremely exciting to think about a new source of recurring revenue for your business there are several risks that need to be identified and addressed early on.

If you are thinking about starting a recurring business model online and would like to book a complimentary strategy session with Spectruss please fill out the form below.
If you would like to get started on your own, click here: https://spectruss.com/pricing/

 

Categories
Marketing

Three Tips to Help with Presentation and Appeal

 

“Presentation is Everything”

This adage has been proudly proclaimed, depressingly muttered and sarcastically sighed by everyone from design professionals, students of visual arts, and your 9:00 – 5:00 salary man ready for his time to shine. It is an adage that sums it up, to impress, to convert, to excite, entice, enthuse….to win – presentation is everything. 

So we are going to talk about using presentation to do just that – to win. If we look back into the annals of time we can see just how far we have come and in some ways how far we have regressed. We are not going to make this a history lesson, we are instead going to look at three important aspects of presentation that you can think about the next time you have a project and feel this may apply. While we are at it, I am going to put a note at the end about some cautionary advice to consider as well. Without further ado…let’s do it!

Two assumptions we will make while proceeding:
– This is not an art project
– Your project is intended to be used

This is important because projects that are purely based on art and not meant for practical application operate under a completely different rule set. What I say below will not always apply to that.

 

1. Readability??? Readability.

 

It is very important in anything that is to be presented or to be used that it is readable! I know this seems like common sense but this gets missed a lot. People sometimes let basics such as contrast and spacing escape them while putting a design together. Depending on the person, this can be a huge handicap for the person your project is intended for. It can take all of your time spent….and literally burn it to ashes! It is game over everyone – the end.

The above example shows the basic of basics for this. Contrast is super important! If you are putting together a restaurant menu, an info graphic, a logo for your business, anything at all, contrast must be checked. You have to find that healthy balance of beautiful design, and sharp readable contrast. Sometimes these lines can blur – just remember though, people need to use this, make sure they can do it easily.

 

CAUTION: There are ways to make items readable but still look awful, be careful to avoid this. You want people to take what you are doing seriously and when something looks bad, it hurts.

 

2. Communicate Directly

 

Just say it! Just say the things that must be said. Was that rude? Sorry. It had to be said. If you are creating signage, or a banner – maybe an ad of some type and so on, you need to recognize the likely behavior someone is going to have when looking at it. A book has a different expectation of attention than a billboard does. Both the circumstances in which they are seen and the required time asked of the person viewing them are entirely different. How about a “Now Open” sign? The example below is lovely, Their prominent branding and the clear message. Additional information may be on there but in a glance you get everything that is essential.

Time after time we see companies try to fit their entire company message in a small ad. They try to fit every single bit of information that they can – this rarely does any good, 99 times out of 100 you are wasting money on materials that have nowhere near the impact they could have.

Do you think you are saying too much? You might be! o_o.

 

CAUTION:While minimalism is a very effective tool, make sure you do get across the message you need. At the end of the day design is all about balance.

 

3. Inspire People

 

It is really easy to try to blatantly advertise to people. It is also easy to give them the general run down of what you do. However, when presenting your service, business, yourself, whatever the case may be if you are able to inspire people you have serious power. Consider “Lego” for a moment, once upon a time they may have advertised in a more traditional manner and they may still. However, they have recognized the power of inspiration and as a result produced this gem:

That is a stellar commercial, what a great way to sell their product without saying “you can build with legos, buy here”. Instead you get a sense of importance, a sense of gravity. It all of a sudden transforms from a toy to an important step in creativity development.

 

CAUTION: It can be tempting in an attempt to inspire to misrepresent your product or yourself. It is not on purpose usually, but it can happen. Be sure to understand what you are offering and what you can do, represent it faithfully. Inspire and deliver – it is a potent combination.

 

Conclusion

 

These are a few very basic tips, but if you follow them you can find a transformation in the presentation of your business. You will be able to wake up in the morning and go “Ahh! I love my clean readable, direct message that inspires people.” That is going to feel so good.

Just remember your tools of the trade:

  1. Good Contrast
  2. Direct Communication
  3. Inspire the Viewer

We will continue with more tips in the future, follow us on Facebook if you are not already and remember to feel free to chat with us!

 

 

Categories
Marketing

Get Your Free SEO Analysis!

Looking to increase your business’s online visibility? Then signup for your Free Search Engine Optimization Analysis presented by Spectruss!

We will analyze your current website structure, as well as external (off-site SEO) link backs and incoming traffic so we can provide a game plan for increasing your online visibility.

 

Fill out the form below with your current website address and the desired keywords that you would like your website to return for, and we will send you a Free SEO website analysis.

We will also include a quote for increasing your search engine optimization based on the given keywords in the website analysis.

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