Drive Traffic With an EzineMonday, June 23rd, 2008
Small business owners often take on more work than they can handle. The little things always seem to take an hour or more and it’s too easy to get behind. The progression of the internet has provided more options to market a company with the use of audio, video, blogs, podcasts, newsletters, email, articles, etc. One person is incapable of performing all of these functions for his or her website . . . at least not without going crazy.
What is the best option for minimizing the amount of work one has to do without eliminating media that will benefit marketing for a company?
The answer: Hire a copywriter.
An excellent way to use a copywriter to a company’s benefit is to hire a professional to write blogs. Blogs are rising in popularity, and many companies are utilizing them to share new products, ideas, services, and offer an area for customers to comment. These comments allow potential customers to get an idea of what other consumers think of a product or service. Comment areas can also be used by potential clients to ask questions about a particular product or service and can serve as a guide for what the topic will be for the next blog.
Blogs are often times overlooked by a company because owners do not have the time to post three to four blogs a week. Avoid overlooking this important commodity by hiring a copywriter to write a blog. A copywriter will persuade your customers to be active with your company through their knowledge of the target market.
Blogs are conversational in nature and allow customers to feel a stronger personal connection with a company. Copywriters use creative ways of developing this connection and can express this through blog writing. Hire one now and get more time to do the other things you have been putting off.
Do you have questions about how a copywriter can help your business? Contact Michelle Salater Writing & Editorial to learn more.
The main goal of your company’s website is to initially attract the potential customer to the web copy. Web copy is placed on the homepage of your site, and from there a viewer must click on tabs in the tool bar to navigate to other areas of your site.
CAUTION: This is where many businesses lose their customers. Easy navigation is crucial. Eliminating any ambiguity about where to look for information within a site is important.
Easy navigation tips:
• Homepages are used as the link between all the tabs. It’s the place people will return to as the easy way to navigate to other tabs.
• Tabs need to guide visitors to information they are looking for quickly. Therefore, be specific and clear.
• Tool bar should be obvious at the top or left side of each homepage.
• Drop down menus from tabs are a great way to show viewers what information they will come across from clicking on that tab.
• Pictures can be used next to a word in the tab bar to better illustrate the information it will provide and to add visual aesthetics to your site.
• All parts of the site can be reached by using the links on the homepage.
Important tabs for navigational bars:
• About Us
• Contact Us
• About Our Products and Services
Being creative on a site can be beneficial for the customer because it adds more “zest” to your company, but when it comes to navigation tab titles, try to be as generic and clear as possible. Once the customer becomes confused about what your tabs provide, he or she will already be looking at a competitor’s site. This is easy to avoid, so don’t lose customers to something this simple.
Make it simple. Make it fast. Make it clear. Make it work.
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One of the greatest strengths a company can utilize in order to gain new customers and keep current ones is through strong company values and a clear credo. Websites are a great source for consumers to learn about your products and services. They are also an excellent way to convey what your business stands for.
Consumers want to know that your company is advertising truthfully and ethically. Many businesses use puffery and deception in their advertising, which leads customers to be dissatisfied and unwilling to make repeat purchases. If you clearly convey that you care about the consumer and establish personal values, potential customers will be more likely to buy again from you as well as refer other customers to your products or services.
Repeat customers benefit your business because they cost less to attract than new customers and they require less service, while buying more. As a small business owner, you must first gain the customer’s trust in your company—a tactic many businesses disregard or place at the bottom of their lists for attracting customers.
Things to emphasize in your credo:
*Empathy and compassion towards the consumer’s wants and needs
*Effort to keep costs low and establish practical prices
*Benefits your company wishes to gain from doing business with consumers
*Internal and external goals of your company
*Customer service satisfaction
*Care you provide for your employees both on a personal level and in the work environment
The important thing when creating a credo of values is to include information about your company—information that people would not know from just purchasing your product or service. Consumers like to be let in on internal business affairs, such as your ideas for new products, purchasing, merging, etc. The more you let your customers know about your company, the more they will feel a part of it and trust the goods and services you can provide for them.
1. Don’t put your credo in a place that is difficult to find on your site. Place it under the category “About Us” or “About Our Company.”
2. Brochures, email marketing, and press releases are other excellent ways to express your values and are not to be overlooked.
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Ghostwriting is extremely beneficial for any business. Ghostwriters will take your idea about a book, article, or blog and write a clean and thorough form of this idea on paper.
If you’re a small business owner and don’t have great writing talent or the time, a ghostwriter will credit you with his/her talent. Usually ghostwriters will record interviews with their clients and edit the material.
Ghostwriting can be beneficial for marketing your services or product if you know what you want to say but don’t know how to say it. Writer’s block happens on a daily basis and it consumes a lot of time. Ghostwriters will cut that time down, saving you the agony of thinking of a creative and thorough way to get your idea across.
Why hire a ghostwriter?
Ghostwriters are plentiful these days and easy to find. Save yourself the time and distress. Hire a ghostwriter to write letters, articles, material for your website, books, autobiographies, virtually anything.
Do you have questions about how a ghostwriter can help your business? Contact Michelle Salater Writing & Editorial to learn more.
According to a May 2008 eMarketer report, social networking and email spending is expected to increase in the next three years. The survey, conducted by Eloqua, reports that:
Online marketing / advertising is growing. Are you ready to take your marketing digital?
Want more marketing tips? Sign up for Your Business Marketing Solution, a free bimonthly ezine. Sign up today and recieve my free report, 5 Secrets for Creating Web Copy That Will Increase Your Sales and Double Your Profits.
Message from Michelle
Welcome to the June issue of Your Business Marketing Solution. This issue will not be full of useful marketing strategies and tips. In fact, I’m going to ask you not to market.
After months of working round the clock and meeting deadline after deadline, I decided to take a week’s vacation to Mexico. On May 10, I boarded a plane without my computer, cell phone, or briefcase for a week of rest and relaxation. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Well, it was. But it took a lot of effort for me to get up the nerve to leave my company. I knew I was reaching burnout status and needed a vacation, but the thought of leaving my growing business kept me awake at night. Since my return, I’ve been thinking a lot about why it’s so easy for me to work day and night to nurture and grow my business, and yet, so hard to nurture and take care of me.
This issue is dedicated to you, the small business owner. You’ve poured your heart and soul into the success of your company. And you want to see it succeed. But what happens when you wear thin, grow weary, and lose that passion you once had? The answer is simple. You need a break. You need a vacation.
Questions, comments, concerns? If there’s something you’d like to see covered in Your Business Marketing Solution, please email us at .
Avoiding Burnout Is Key to a Successful Business
When’s the last time you took a vacation sans cell phone, email, and paperwork? Spent time with friends and family—really spent time with them, being present in the now—without worrying about work, deadlines, or your to-do list? Whether it’s been four years or five months, do yourself and your business a favor and take a relaxing vacation.
Everyone needs time for himself / herself. Business owners included. Stepping away from daily operations often allows a fresh perspective on your business. There’s nothing like a vacation to bring back the creative juices that once flowed—before the stress and agony reached its peak.
But it isn’t always as easy as picking a date and booking a flight. How many of you, when contemplating taking time off, have these thoughts swimming through your mind: “If I leave, I’ll get behind in work,” or “What if something goes wrong?” or “I don’t have the time or the resources to go.”
How easy it is to forget it’s only a week. Not a lifetime.
As I mentioned in the introduction, the week before I left for Mexico, I hit panic mode and had doubts about my decision. It didn’t help when I came across an article in my local paper’s business section. The reporter suggested small business owners might think twice about taking a family vacation this summer, citing the poor economic climate as the reason to stick around the office. The article went on to paint a picture of gloom and doom, warning owners if they leave town, they may lose out on new business. Or worse, lose customers.
Compare that mentality with the Work to Live website. According to Joe Robinson, creator of Work to Live, the three results of burnout are “mind-body shutdown-emotional exhaustion, physical fatigue, and cognitive weariness.” It doesn’t take long before you become cynical from all the stress buildup, and that affects work as well as your personal life.
One simple way to avoid reaching the burnout stage is to get out of town. Take a vacation, whether it is for three days to a cabin in the mountains or two weeks in the Baja. Leaving work behind will relax your body and mind. It will allow you to experience the joys of life and incorporate your experiences into your company. Even better, it will help you bring your personal life back to equilibrium.
So, instead of asking, “What’s the worst that can happen if I go?” ask yourself, “What’s the worst that can happen if I don’t go?”
If you are reading this and still not convinced, if you can’t help thinking, “I just can’t leave my company for a week,” here are a few tips to make your time away less stressful on you, your staff, and your customers:
Tip of the Month
According to Vault, a career information website . . .
Tips to keep in mind when creating a frequency-marketing program:
All businesses love to see previous customers return to purchase their products or services again and again. Repeat customers are beneficial to the success of your company because they . . .
*Cost less to attract than new consumers
*Are easier to attract than new consumers
*Will recommend your company to others
*Require less service
An excellent way to keep previous customers repeat customers is through a frequency-marketing program. Frequency marketing is any form of marketing that rewards customers for their purchases and encourages them to return. Frequent flyer miles illustrate this concept in the clearest of terms. Many airline companies offer frequent flyer miles, which motivate the consumer to continue flying with that airline in order to obtain cheaper services.
Any company can utilize frequency marketing for its customers. Some magazines or newspapers offer deals for resubscribing to their publication in order to keep the consumer a frequent buyer and reader. The make up store Sephora has Beauty Insider Rewards, which also benefit returning customers. The program keeps track of purchases, and at the $100 spending mark, the customer receives a free gift. The rewards restart after the $100 mark, and the free gifts keep coming whenever that mark is reached.
Creating a solid relationship with customers is very important and should be done at the earliest stage possible during sales. Customer maintenance insures their happiness and repetitive sales.
A recent study conducted by Forrester Research Inc. estimates a 17% increase in 2008 for online sales, equaling about $204 billion. According to this same study, the three categories that are sought out most by online shoppers are apparels ($26.6 billion), computers ($23.9 billion), and autos ($19.3 billion).
As the online market continues to increase, many companies are looking to establish a web presence or expand their current web presence to stay competitive. A website is a powerful sales tool, yet establishing a strong online presence is a challenge to some businesses that are unfamiliar with how to compete and stand out among the millions of websites.
According to the study, apparel is the largest category sought out by online consumers with $26.6 billion predicted in sales. For apparel companies looking to establish an online presence, this can be even more difficult as many of them, especially the small to midsized businesses, have little or no experience selling products and promoting their businesses online.
As more shoppers turn to the web for purchasing apparel, companies are realizing that there is a definite need to make the change. Many don’t know where to begin the processes to effectively sell and market online, or how to find the balance for reaching out to current retail shoppers while appealing to an online or virtual audience. Their entire marketing plan requires tweaking in order to participate online. However, more often than not, they need the right professional help to market themselves both effectively and efficiently.
With a declining economy, shoppers are looking for the cheapest and easiest way to buy products online, which may account for the 17% estimated increase. The increase in gas prices may also be affecting online sales because shoppers are less likely to drive longer distances to purchase the clothes they want.
As competition for the online market is increasing, companies need to find ways to efficiently market themselves. Hiring a professional copywriter, one who understands how to write web copy, is strongly encouraged, especially for the small or midsized business competing against corporate entities. These smaller companies are not only competing with local retailers in a geographical area but are also competing on a global scale.
A strong online presence not only allows companies to expand their markets beyond local consumers, but it also allows those in the geographical area to locate them easier. Having a store locator and special coupons to print and bring in benefit the consumers who are doing their research before heading out to stores. Consumers are also looking at what products are available to try on in the stores so that they don’t waste time and gas driving around town to different stores.