Call To Actions Need To Result in Action

The call to action (CTA) is one of the hardest things to master when it comes to e-commerce. It’s relatively easy to design an attractive page, and you can write great content that gets people pumped. At the same time, it doesn’t matter how good everything else is if your CTA falls flat. If you are having a hard time getting people to buy your product, then use these tips for a better CTA.

call to actions

photo credit: hiddedevries via photopin cc


Make it Distinguishable

Your CTA needs to be distinguishable. Most websites are using CTA buttons so that users know exactly where to click to buy, sign up or do anything else that you need them to do. If you want people to perform an action, then make the CTA button easy to see.

For example, if you have a red website, then make the CTA button blue or yellow. It needs to contrast so that users know exactly what to click.

Use a Consistent Design

You also need to keep the design consistent throughout your website. If the CTA button looks different on each page, then users might get confused about what they need to click. Keeping the design consistent in terms of color and shape will improve the number of users that click the button. It will also keep users from getting confused.

Active Phrases

The CTA button needs to have an active phrase so that users know what to do. Many novice Webmasters write “Click Here,” but this can kill your click-through rate. You need to be more descriptive than this. It lets people know what to expect when they click the button, and an active phrase will persuade more people to buy from you.

For example, you can use “Download Now,” “Get Started,” “Sign Up Here” or “Show Me More.”

Multiple CTA Buttons

You might feel a little pushy if you put multiple CTA buttons on one page, but this can actually help you under certain conditions. If your Web page is long, then some users won’t want to scroll all the way down to find the CTA button. Some users want to buy now, but they don’t know how to go forward.

You should have at least one CTA button above the fold, and then another under a long page of text. This makes your CTA button more visible and accessible, and it should improve your click-through rate.

Use Every Page

Most users will skim through all of your pages before deciding to buy your product. The key to improving your sales online is to make the sales process easy for customers. If you add the CTA button to just one page, then some users may forget where it is. These users will just leave to find another seller.

Conclusion

Many website owners don’t know how to properly make and position their CTA, but you need to learn this quickly if you want to improve your conversion. Just use a good design that contrasts your website, make it easy to find and use active phrases. These few tips on a proper CTA should help you sell more products or services.

How do you use call to actions on your website? Please leave a comment below!

Good Social Media Is Like a Good Burger

When you’ve been involved in social media for a bit (either professionally, or just for fun), you’ll start to notice how much you can associate social media to other things in life. I always love to make social media analogies based on stuff I love. For those of you who know me really well, you know that I LOVE cooking. If I wasn’t in the marketing industry, I’d probably be in culinary school studying to become a chef. So what I often do is try to associate social media with food. Let’s see how good social media is like a good burger:

Social Media BurgerYour bun is your foundation! (Social Media Strategy)

If you don’t have a bun, you don’t have a burger. Period. The bun is what holds everything together. This is the same for your social media strategy. You need a sound social media strategy in order for you to be successful online. Why are you on social media? Is it to promote your small business? Is it to build a personal brand for job hunting? How do you know which social networks or tools to use?

Take away: Set yourself some goals in Social Media, then map out how you will achieve them. Write them down, so you remember what they are! Without a clear social media strategy or plan, how do you expect to get or measure results? You need to know what you want to do on social before you jump in.

Your meat is your content! (Content Strategy)

Once you’ve laid-out your foundation (Social Media Strategy; bun), you need to start thinking about content. Your meat is your content strategy.  A good burger usually has 80% meat, and 20% fat. Use the same principals for your content – 80% of your content should be from others, and 20% from your own. But make sure your content is relevant to your target audience.

Take away: Look at what your target audience likes, and create and find content related to their interests. Set up some RSS feeds from reputable websites and blogs on your Google Reader to make it easy to find content. Make sure you have a blog, and you update it regularly. Vary your content so your audience doesn’t get bored.

Don’t forget cheese, ketchup, and mustard! (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn)

Every basic burger comes with basic ingredients – cheese, ketchup, and mustard. You can relate this to the basic (or most popular) social platforms – Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. The reason why they’re so popular is that they are very simple to use. Chances are your target market is on at least two out of the three platforms, so you should probably be there too!

Take away: Start with the basic social networks – these are the ones that are the most adopted by users, and probably where your customer is spending the majority of their social media time.

Extra toppings are great too! (Non-traditional platforms and social media tools)

Let’s face it – who wants to stick with a plain ol’ burger when you can put lettuce and tomatoes on it too! Explore the different social media tools that are available for you (Hootsuite, Buffer, BundlePost, Tweriod, SocialBro, etc.). They’ll make your social media execution a lot easier. You can also explore other non-traditional social networks, like Pinterest, StumbleUpon, and MySpace (you might have a hidden target market there).

Take Away: Educate yourself about the different social media tools you can use, and try out some of them. It will make your work a lot easier! Also, don’t ignore the other social platforms if your target audience uses them (but only if your target audiences uses them)!

Burgers go well with fries (Integrated Social Strategy)

What’s the perfect side for your burger? Fries! Remember, your social media efforts work very well with other parts of your business. Try to integrate your social media strategy with your customer service, marketing, HR, or PR.

Take away

Just remember this: Don’t put too many ingredients on your burger, or you won’t be able to chew it! A lot of people when they start in social media think that they need to be on every single social network. That’s not true! Stick to what works for you, or your company. If you’re not seeing results from a certain social network, don’t waste your time on it.

How else is social media related to a good burger? I’m looking forward to your associations between the two, so leave a comment below!

5 Priorities Every Social Media Program Should Have

I want to start this post with a little bit of clarity by defining the term “Priority”. Webster’s say’s it is something given or meriting attention before competing alternatives. One thing I have learned in life is that no matter what comes out of your mouth, your actions will always follow your true priorities. You can say this or that are a priority, but if your actions show something else, you have a problem.

social media prioritiesOne reason that many newcomers to social media marketing lack priorities is not because of laziness or lack of desire, it is simply lack of knowledge – the understanding of what tasks actually need to have priority in their day.

Often times businesses struggle with not only understanding all the in’s and out’s of social media marketing, but more importantly where they should prioritize their time and efforts. This often results in new social media marketers over pitching what they do, or worse, giving up and abandoning their social media efforts. Let’s avoid both by listing the top five priorities your social media marketing efforts should focus on each day.

These are in no particular order of importance, however all of them should be given priority and attention daily.

1) Value – Provide value to your target audience.

Your daily focus should be to deliver selfless value to your target market. How can your social media marketing provide value to your audience? Answer that question without regard to what you do, what you sell, or the industry you are in. Answer and execute that question correctly and you will see huge results!

2) Content – Have enough content and the RIGHT content.

Think of social media as a freeway. All of the cars on the freeway are content, posts and articles. You have to have enough content on the road everyday that is relevant, valuable and interesting to your target audience. You need to make sure that whenever one of your fans, friends or followers step up to the side of the freeway throughout the day, they see one of your cars go by.

3) Be Human – People build relationships with other People.

A big mistake a lot of new social media marketers make is trying to mimic the big brands. For the most part, big brands SUCK at social media. They do not do it right and for many, they don’t have to. They have spent billions on branding and marketing well ahead of the social media boom, therefore it is just another channel. Everyone else needs to do it right if they want results!

You have to humanize your social media accounts. Most people connect and build relationships with other people. Can you really have a relationship with a logo of a company you don’t even know? Of course not. Be human and approachable.

4) Respond/Engage - Social media marketing is social.

You must make it a priority to respond to mentions, shares and comments immediately. When someone shares a post or mentions you in social media, they are available and active at that moment. You need to respond quickly in order to foster a conversation that leads to relationship. Waiting for once a day or an hour later is just too late. They have moved on, logged out or even lost interest. If you aren’t utilizing mobile apps to ensure you can consistently do this, it is not a priority to you.

You also need to have a priority of commenting, sharing and mentioning your target audience frequently. Relationships are two ways. Seek opportunity to benefit your prospects by sharing their content, engaging them in conversation or simply commenting on something they post.

5) Community – Build one.

Your social media marketing must have a priority focused on building a loyal community. That community must be large enough to be effective. Find your target audience and follow/friend them. Build it and they will come does not work in social media.

As you can see, social media is highly involved. Understanding the priorities you need to have on a daily basis is the difference between being IN social media and having an effective social media marketing program for your business.

What is your biggest priority in social media? Please leave a comment below!
 

Marketing Humility: What is Needed, Not What YOU Want

Well, this is not the post I was planning on in my editorial calendar. And yes I like to have a thematic calendar of posts I am planning ahead of time. It can be very beneficial in strategically tying into other efforts to help make all marketing streams generate the most impact and the right outcome.

The post I had on my calendar was going to follow the theme of my initial Steamfeed post [Shaping Your Branded Sphere]. The second post was featuring information on branding the foundation to your marketing facets with a little caveat of homework, [Brand Strategy and Development: Yes You Have Homework!]. Did you do your homework by the way? ;-)

In any regards this post seems to be more in the forefront of what I am currently working with and felt it could be helpful to some of you in your own efforts in pulling together marketing strategies for your clients.

Now to suggest that marketing has any humility would most likely be inaccurate, but truthfully, when crafted correctly, the best strategy is laid down with complete humility.  The humility is selecting the best channels for your client that gets them the results they need to move forward. Let’s review humility for a moment so that we really have it well defined in our minds.

[Humility (adjectival formhumble) is the quality of being modest and respectful. Humility, in various interpretations, is widely seen as a virtue in many religious and philosophical traditions, being connected with notions of egolessness.*]

When a client asks us to create a creative strategy for their product or service how do we start to formulate this plan?  Do we pick our old standbys, our tried and true methods we have used countless times because we know how they operate, function and their predicted outcome?  Or do we decide on the buzz-worthy, trendy new channels to grab that ‘wow’ factor and be able to include that into our repertoire for our other clients?  Here are three steps to keep your marketing strategy humble:

3 Steps [down] to Keep Your Strategy Humble:

  1. The best choice is the one that works – Where is your audience most likely to gain visibility or traction from the positioning of your messaging? How is the message delivered in that environment and directing that audience to what they need or want? Don’t go for the ‘big bang’ theory just because the entire entourage is on that path. Make it make sense and IT will!
  2. Bigger is not Better – So you have a new pony and it is doing some tricks! Those tricks are not necessarily giving your client what they need …. Sales!  More income and larger reach. Your client may just need a great ‘cardboard box’ … give it to them!
  3. It was never about YOU – Think and rethink what kind of strategic program you have put together for your client. Their customers’ needs and dynamic have to be considered here too.  It was never about how you felt or your grandiose scheme of being a big cheese on the block. Cut back that ego and see where you can perform better for your client in a much less pricey vehicle. Go for the low hanging fruit first!

So in general sometimes the strategy you think you are going to deliver is not actually the strategy that is needed. Clean off the fluff and trendy flashy methods that get a lot of hoo-ha-ha but hardly any real results (revenue).  In the end it is the trail of dollars that your clients find drifting into their bank accounts that puts the smile on their faces and not how razzle-dazzle YOU can be!

[Oh, so what was my original post? Web Presence and Visibility - Duende, check back here the beginning of November for that post and as always I appreciate you!]

*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humility

 

Shaping Your Branded Sphere

5 Facets in Your Marketing

We all see in our own lives a sphere of influence that we have in our small interpersonal relationships. Is this not the case for our brands within our marketplace sphere? The connection between different channels of communication, visual data/input and tone/messaging creates a unique shape of who we are. This differentiated shape becomes that understandable piece to those around us. Who, what and how we are. If you look at science and mathematics you will see that shapes, whether tangible or intangible, scatter that landscape. They depict outcomes, journeys and predictions. Looking at a branded company as a similar entity we can see that there are parallel patterns. The shapes have facets that require each plane to support its adjacent plane in order to exist in the space cohesively, balanced and effective. What are these facets?

Branded Sphere

Photo: Engage

5 Facets of Your Company Brand:

                        1. Branding
                        2. Web Presence
                        3. Engagement
                        4. Search
                        5. Online Marketing

Each one of these facets must be developed with equal focus and consideration within the marketplace sphere in order to maintain an order and balance. One outstepping the other will cause the outcome to falter, creating imbalance and expended energy putting out fires along that path. We don’t always see this as we start to execute within a specific media. We become stuck sometimes within one arena we are more comfortable in or would prefer to spend our time in and perhaps disregard the other facets as less important or procrastinate in attending to them. In this circumstance the shape of your marketing objective becomes off balance and off the mark. The marketing sphere (your audience) will still digest the message and the content but the result will be less than effective with marginal results.

How can we keep the shape of our marketing efforts balanced?

  1. Start with a strong brand foundation – Align your Messaging with your audience’s needs and expectations. The visuals providing that emotional connection that delivers a clear message and the cultural or lifestyle perception of the brand to be consistent with what the audience believes the product/service will offer.
  2.  Build it into your web presence – Your brand now has a voice and can tell a more detailed story of what the customer/client is going to receive with as much valuable content that is necessary without (and this is important) overwhelming them.
  3.  Engagement needs to be a two way street – Dialogue needs to happen and don’t expect to blurt your material all over your customer/client. Allow them to be first engaged in the subject (paint them ‘their’ picture) and be able to add in their own content where admissible while keeping from adding any of YOUR ‘seagulls’ into their picture. Giving your audience some say in your brand within guided parameters gives them power (and you growth)!
  4. Search and be found – If your customer/client is looking for ‘stoves’ please don’t try to sell them ‘range tops’. Not everyone understands your underground jargon or will adopt it so please be thoughtful to your audience in providing the right search criteria that suits them rather than your internal ‘tech’ department manuscript.
  5. Online never stops – So you have each facet working, now keep the plates spinning. It might be a push on your brand plate or a tap on your engagement but each facet has to maintain in continuous motion and harmony. Take that step back to review each one in unison in its entire form. The branded shape needs to allow for ongoing input to keep it fresh and have a measurement for it. Guessing is just that … guessing.

So how is your shape faring? Is your polygon (polyhedron) wobbling at the moment? Check and see which facet you are not attending to or perhaps lacking completely. Then make adjustments to keep the shape of the company brand expanding and sustainable. The best part of evaluating your brand is that you can always re-hone your branded presence to get the perfect balance for success!