A couple of days ago, Hubspot published a blog posting called “5 Steps to Planning an Awesome Event with Inbound Marketing”. It’s generally a great piece, and as it says: “With the use of hashtags and the practice of live-tweeting, Twitter has become a great way for attendees to share knowledge and insight during events.”
Quite so. But the next thing they said got me thinking:
“These days, an event isn’t considered very successful unless people are talking it online while it’s taking place.” In fact, it’s no longer rude to use your cellphone during sessions (I assume as long as you’re tweeting or updating your status!)
Hmm – an event “isn’t very successful” unless folks are tweeting about it? Yet this morning, eMarketer reports that although 92% of Internet users in the US have heard of Twitter, only 13% of them have a Twitter account, and only 11% access their Twitter account at least once per month.
So what gives? Are all the people who attend conferences crammed into that 11% of users, so that lack of conference-related tweets implies an unsuccessful meeting? Seems unlikely to me. Or is it possible that the highly tech-savvy intersection of the meetings industry and the online marketing world are judging everything by their own very exacting standards? What do you think?
The guides are hour-long pre-recorded downloadable audio files (mp3 format), together with complete transcripts in Adobe Acrobat format. Suitable for both new and experienced webmasters, they will work on laptops, desktop computers, tablets, MP3 players and smart phones. Sample excerpts are available and special discount pricing is offered for purchasers of both products.
The audio guide “Leaky Boat Websites – and How to Prevent Them” will help you determine if your website is missing vital opportunities for generating revenue and sales leads. The audio guide “Web Connections that Win” helps you to evaluate if your website has emotional appeal, and if it reflects the “real world” conversations that you have with your customers. Both guides are available in my online store. I also offer an affiliate program for qualified participants.
I hope that these guides will help you – small business owners and entrepreneurs to look at their websites in a different way – and to make more money when you do!”
A recent eMarketer article reported that 90% of moms and 88% of millennials prefer businesses that participate in positive social and environmental activities.
Similar numbers said that these considerations influence which products and services they buy, and where they choose to shop.
At first glance you might say that “moms and millennials” are not your target market, especially if your focus is b2b. But don’t forget that these folks also have, or will have careers. They may not be wearing their “mom” hat when they’re looking at your b2b website, but that doesn’t mean that all their subconscious reactions go away.
I’ve been suggesting for a long time that a “Community Involvement” page in the “About Us” section of your website is a really great addition. If you invest time and resources in causes that are meaningful to your customers, if you support your chamber of commerce or take part in local charitable events, it’s well worth saying so.
And of course, you can make it fun – photos of your employees and friends taking part in events, maybe some video clips, all increase the emotional connections that your website and / or your Facebook page make with your visitors.
So unless you want your charitable contributions and participation to remain anonymous, tell the world what you’ve been doing. This may not directly get you the business, but it does have influence.
I’m finally on the road to recovery from my surgery and catching up on a lot of reading.
Econsultancy had an interesting blog post a couple of weeks ago about the levels of search engine optimization for SME (small and medium-sized business) websites in the UK. They found that 60% of SME marketers are not currently investing in SEO.
Among Econsultancy’s statistics on this:
- 20% of marketers know about SEO, but choose not to allocate any budget for it.
They also comment:
“These businesses should be looking to correct this as, implemented well, SEO has the potential to be a very important and cost-effective sales channel. Also, competitors that have invested time or money in SEO may be gaining an advantage.”
(Note: to keep my posting reasonably brief, I’m quoting a very small segment – for the full viewpoint, please read the complete article).
Strong words – but I’m wondering about the makeup of the businesses in the sample. The author seems to imply that all SME’s would benefit from better search engine placement. I’m not sure that’s true.
In my presentations to Vistage SME CEO groups within the US, I’ve met, for example:
- businesses who are so niched that they know all of their potential customers, and the market knows of them;
- businesses who do all or almost all of their work for government agencies, so marketing is a very different ballgame;
- businesses who don’t want to be found by the general public due to security concerns – either their work is classified, or their operations might invite protests or attacks (one of my recent groups included a company which provides animal testing for drug development).
In my experience, search engine traffic can also produce widely differing qualities of visitors, depending on the products or services being offered. I’ve never found it especially helpful for professional service firms (content marketing is much more powerful for folks selling expertise), but it’s great for selling yo-yo’s!
So if your business is one of those mentioned in the report, or if it would have been if you were UK-based, before you take this rebuke to heart, I’d revisit your marketing strategy, desired markets, and known business constraints. Perhaps you are one of the few for whom search engine optimization is justifiably not a priority.
I’ve been really bad about posting to this blog recently – and the only excuse I have is that I’ve been feeling pretty lousy. Tomorrow (July 13th) I am scheduled for major surgery which will hopefully resolve all my issues, and I’ll come bouncing back!
I’m very happy that my surgeon is Dr. Paul Indman, who I blogged about a few months ago (see “the Emotionally Connected Doctor’s Website”). Actually Dr. Indman turns out to be an accomplished blogger as well as a wonderful doctor, and he has a new addition to his Web presence at eFibroids.com
The good news is that my new video footage “Web Strategies That Win” is finally off the press. These are excerpts from a program that I presented recently for 600 small business owners. We’re hoping that more of this material will be available soon on YouTube and Vimeo.
You can also listen to recent interviews that I did about “Leaky Boat Websites” for “Business Expert Radio”, and for the Women’s Business Entrepreneurs’ site “CremeMagnolia” (look for the “Titan of Industry” section).
So with that, I’ll sign off until August (unless I’m feeling really spunky sooner!) Have a great summer, and keep your website leak-proof!
I’m taking a quick break from my usual posts to announce an exciting upcoming happening which I’m honoured to be a part of:
On June 28th, I’m teaching at an online event designed for small business owners, solo practitioners, entrepreneurs, and anyone interested in growing their business – the free Small Business Marketing Joysummit. I’ll be joining a really amazing group of 10 speakers who are experts on everything from SEO to web strategy, sales, business planning and competing without discounting.
The full lineup is:
- Mitch Axelrod – author of the New Game of Business
- Tim Berry – CEO of Palo Alto Software, Business Planning Expert
- Joyce Bone – Millionaire Mom
- Ann Michael Henry – Productivity Chef
- Kent Lewis – Founder and President of Anvil Media and Formic Media, SEO Expert
- Delia Passi – CEO of Medelia, Inc. and Founder of Women’s Certified, Selling to Women Expert
- Sarah Petty – Boutique marketing expert
- Melanie Benson Strick – CEO of Success Connections
- Crystal Williamson – Technology Coach and Guru
and me, of course! Each speaker has recorded an hour of solid content – mine was about “Leaky Boat Websites – and How to Prevent Them”.
You can register now, and gain online access to all 10 speaker recordings at no cost anytime on June 28th. Or (disclaimer – I do get a part of these proceeds, but a part also goes to Kiva which is a wonderful cause), you can buy the complete set of 10 for only $49 before June 27th.
Check it out!
My good friend Ed Primeau of Primeau Productions, Inc. is one of the top video production experts for speakers. He has recently been asked by the Napoleon Hill Foundation to digitally restore some films of Napoleon Hill presenting in the 1980′s. Ed describes the painstaking restoration process on his blog – it’s a fascinating read.
However, Ed doesn’t mention in his blog post that he also has a remastered 9 CD collection of Napoleon Hill’s entire “Think and Grow Rich” lecture available for purchase from his online store.
It’s funny – Ed has been designing and producing my videos since 1997, so you think he would have heard enough of me by now to know my mantra “Every page of your site should have a strategy”
In other words, it’s quite possible that folks reading about restoring Napoleon Hill videos might also be interested in restored audio materials from the master orator. So there should be a clickable link between the blog posting and the online store product description on Ed’s site to ensure that he makes the most of opportunities to leverage different aspects of his content.
We’re currently working on some new demo material that I just recorded, so Ed’s getting another daily dose of my key ideas. Meanwhile, I’ll keep encouraging him to apply for himself the messages that he’s so great at marketing for others!
I have to admit that I often rant about airline Websites, especially in my “Emotional Connections” program – in fact, the whole idea for my “How Does Your Website Make Me Feel?” schtick was sparked by a page on US Airways’ site back in 2001.
This morning hit a whole new low when I received an invitation to complete an online survey about the Mileage Plus program from United Airlines in conjunction with InsightExpress, LLC. Since it promised all of 250 miles if I complied, I decided to give it a go.
Why was I so irked? Let me count the ways:
- In order to access the survey, I needed to enter my Mileage Plus number. That’s OK, but the first question in the survey was: “What’s your Mileage Plus number?” Wait, didn’t I just tell you that?
- The survey seemed to run incredibly slowly – I frequently had to reload pages, and every time I had to re-enter my response. I don’t know if this was my connection, or if they underestimated traffic levels . . .
- There was only one question per page, and no indication of how many questions there would be in total, or how far along I was in the process. Every time the page hung, I thought about giving up, but continued in the hope that it would soon be over (and that I’d get my 250 miles).
- Every question required a checked radio button, or a rating on a scale of 1 to 5. There was no free input anywhere, and no place that asked why I responded the way I did. Which made me even more frustrated – don’t they want to know what about the program makes me “Strongly Dissatisfied”, and more so than last year? How can they fix anything if they don’t know what the problem is – or maybe they don’t really want to know what the problem is?
There’s an art to conducting online surveys, both in keeping people engaged and on track, and in designing the questions so that you get quantifiable and useful feedback. I’m sure there’s plenty that I don’t know about what United were trying to achieve here, but as a customer being asked about my satisfaction levels, it left me even more unhappy.
Oh well, hopefully I’ll enjoy spending the 250 miles!