What makes people want to read your web content? Just remember the last time you read an interesting blog or article and you shared it on Facebook, or forwarded an email to a friend with a "you need to read this!!"
Most of the time, it will be for one of the following reasons:
Next time you need to write some web content, use the list above and decide which direction to go with. You can choose one or several. It could be a great story with an unexpected twist. It could be helpful & funny. You get the point, right?
Now, why should you do this, simply because:
Happy web content writing!
I know a lot of organizations & businesses that have a LinkedIn personal page or an organization/company page....but then what? What should we do now? How is this helping me, my organization, my business? The answer is simple: you need to participate, provide value and be active.
Did you know that many large organizations have staffing who sole job description is to manage their online social network? So here are 4 things you can do to take advantage of Linkedin without spending hours on end scanning pages:
Have fun and happy networking!
Do you know that you have less than 10 seconds to make a new web visitor stick around? So the question then becomes: "how to make them stay?". It's easy: make sure it's not dull & boring and covered with all kinds all marketing blah blah blah.
Your landing page should be informative in tone and targeted to your specific audience. Here are few things that we find missing in many sites that would make a huge difference in increasing the number of visitors that stick around longer, translating in more sales/registration/inquiries, etc
Got it? Now go optimize your website and measure the results.
In case you haven't heard, digital marketers are predicting that mobile searches will exceed desktop searches by 2014. In terms what that means for you is: "you better be ready!".
Look at the charts & stats below to get an idea of how it looks today. To get you started in the right direction, you should ask yourself the following:
A lot of people we talk to struggle with choosing the right color scheme for their website redesign. Sometime it's simply with the color on our logo and other times, it's more like it's been like this since Nixon was in power...
But, there is a science to what makes a good website design and the color chart below can help you select the right color for your company or organization. Pay attention to the international significance if you have an international reach.
1-Pick the main color for your company or organization
2- With a couple of colors in hand, we would recommend that you go to your local paint store and create a combination of 5 to 6 colors to create your color palette....et voila, you have an official color scheme for your website.
You can view more palette samples on the Branded Out Loud Pinterest page at http://pinterest.com/branded4good/great-website-color-schemes/
As hard as it is to believe, there are many associations and nonprofits that do not commit to the work needed for making their annual membership renewals a priority.
Many organizations simply send out a generic once-a-year renewal notice without any additional effort. This business-as-usual approach is a big mistake.
Member dependent groups are seeing an increasing number of individuals who are questioning the continuation of their memberships. And our current economic climate is another reason this is not a time for a passive approach to renewals.
You can improve improve your member retention if you use a structured focus that emphasizes personal contact.
Here are six tips that will increase the effectiveness of your renewal efforts.
At a recent event in Chicago, I explained to the audience that social media sharing should be a daily activity (not a weekly or monthly activity), several people came to me afterwards and asked me what should they be posting. I could tell that they were puzzled and rather concerned about what to share.
So here are ten quick ideas if your creative well is dry.
If you start your week looking at this list, you will be able to quickly come up with at least one share a day, maybe even two.
I just ran across an interesting post on The Agitator by Tom Belford on quitting social media. Tom cites Erik Sass’s 9 Reasons to Quit Social Media Now … a thoughtful take on why social media isn’t always a net positive. In closing, Tom calls for rebuttals, so here’s mine:
I absolutely appreciate the lead in to Tom’s post; at this point, social media is not a major medium for fundraising. If you look at response rates and dollars generated by social media, it’s only a drop in the bucket compared to email fundraising – which itself is only a fraction of the donations received via direct mail.
I would argue, however, that it misses the larger point of how social media is best used by nonprofits.
First and foremost, social sites like Facebook and Twitter are best used by most organizations as a branding and engagement tool. For most organizations, there is no quicker, cheaper way to communicate with donors than posting on your favorite social media site. This truth is only becoming more prevalent as the stereotypical donor group (read: older donors) move online.
Social media sites are also one of the best ways to motivate the elusive 40 and under donors. Dunham+Company’s recent study of online donations makes the point quite succinctly:
Social media motivating more donors under age 40
Social media shows no real improvement in motivating an online gift among donors 40 years old or older (10 percent in this survey versus 8 percent in 2010). However, social media giving continues to grow among donors under age 40, as a full 30 percent now say they have given online because of social media compared to 24 percent in 2010.
My co-worker at New River Communications Christa Chappel just shared the perfect example of social media as a direct response channel:
…Florida Yorkie Rescue continues to engage and involve people (donors or prospects) on Facebook and the owner Kit has said that if it weren’t for her doing that on Facebook she wouldn’t raise as much money. She doesn’t have funds nor time probably to participate in direct mail or do a major fundraising event but she posts about a situation (dog needing surgery), the goal amount to solve the problem, and all of a sudden within 48-72 hours she hits her goal. I am a donor and have given to almost every one of her cases…
Bottom line, it’s a multi-, multi-, multi-channel world out there, and the prospect of quitting social media – even if we wanted to – isn’t really an option. The only question now is: what do we do with it? The answer isn’t the same for every nonprofit, but I believe nearly all can find ways to enrich their relationship with donors who use some form of social media – and isn’t that just about everyone these days?
Now, off to tweet this to the masses…
Guest Blog Post by:
New River Communications Account Supervisor
According to ClickZ, a whopping 97 percent of consumers check their email every day. If you’re emailing members or clients, and I hope you are, that’s the good news.
The bad news, also according to ClickZ, is:
Clearly, it’s not good practice to send people irrelevant email - or to send them too much.
But what does that mean exactly? David Daniels of the aptly named The Relevancy Group offers the following tips.
Website marketing is about getting people to your site, then convincing them to take action: buy, join, subscribe, read more, etc. I'm going to give you the secret to unlocking the potential in your website. Right now. Absolutely free.
The secret is words
Hmmm... not very exciting, is it? Perhaps you were expecting something flashier and unexpected... like special META tags or coding or a secret search engine ranking recipe. The truth is that many websites just need more descriptive copy.
All you need is words
OK, maybe that isn't all you need, but words are the most important aspect of your site. The professional that most people think they can do without - the copywriter - is the one who can have the biggest impact on the success of your site. No matter what your website looks like, plain and simple or a triumph of visual graphic art, if the words are right it will convert.
Search engine rankings & customer conversions
The words that are visible to people reading the page are the key element that search engine spiders use to determine what your page is about (the other key element is links). Once the engine knows what the page is about, it can show that page to people who are searching for the words found on that page. That sounds pretty simplistic, but it's amazing how many pages only contain a picture and a few words, or Flash animations, or other non-text items.
Sometimes the text on the page is really an image and not text at all, making the information virtually invisible to search engines. Some designers will tell you that putting the text from the image into the ALT attribute of the image will solve the problem, but ALT text is virtually ignored by the major search engines these days. It's too easy to put irrelevant information in an ALT attribute.
While the site owner often thinks the picture says it all and the web designer thinks it's cutting edge, the site visitor wants to know more. The web is a research tool as well as a marketing medium and when viewing a commercial site people want to know all the benefits, sizes, colours, and configurations.
Words Make All the Difference
A company rents cotton candy machines in Kalamazoo. Their Cotton Candy Machine page has a big picture of a Cotton Candy Machine with ‘Cotton Candy Machine - $45’ under it. Their page title says ‘Cotton Candy’. That's all. A searcher typing in ‘cotton candy machine rental Kalamazoo’ will never be able to find this page, because the search engine doesn't know what this page is about!
A potential customer who does find the page may look at it and think, "Hmmm... the other rental place has their machine for $40, I'll call them instead."
You need pictures and words in order to sell effectively. Let's take our cotton candy example and redo that page in order to get more search hits and more customers calling to book it:
You can also raise funds for your organization with our Cotton Candy Machine! Sell cotton candy at your next carnival, festival, or even gatherings such as school PTA meetings or church get togethers.
Why Rent a Cotton Candy Machine from Our Company?
Page footer on every page
A search engine will know that page is about cotton candy machine rental in Kalamazoo and your customers will know the benefits of renting from you. By taking the time to put all the information about a product or service and repeating the key terms where they make sense you can:
None of that requires a special copywriter, designer, or programmer. You can do it yourself!
Don't be tempted to sneak in extra words - hidden text is penalized these days and stuffing words in your image ALT attributes is a waste of time - most engines completely disregard it. And semi-visible or tiny text looks very unprofessional to your clients - it's just not needed. If you can't work it into the visible copy, you don't need it on the page.
Write a page title that reflects what the page is about, a good META description, keywords that appear on the page, then put all the information you have about the product or service on that page in visible text for your visitors to read. If your writing skills are lacking, hire a web copywriter, or even better a search engine optimisation copywriter. It may very well be the best investment in your web marketing strategy.