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How to Create a Homepage Customers Will Fall in Love With

As another Valentine’s Day passes, love is still lingering.

Think of your users in the same way you would your Valentine’s Day date. You want to impress them while keeping their interest long enough that they learn more about you.

To catch users’ attention, step up your game.

First impressions are key, and your homepage is generally the first thing people see. Your homepage can propel you toward a great date or leave you alone at the bar. Follow the tips below to create a homepage that will sweep visitors off their feet.

 

  1. Don’t overdo it

Keep your home page user-friendly. It can be tempting to want to impress your users with bright colors and poetic words, but users can become overwhelmed if too many graphics or text blocks crowd the space.

People like things that are clean and easy to read. Keep the text relevant and concise. The same goes with call-to-action buttons. Have no more than two, with simple, bold text such as, “Call Now.”

  1. Offer visitors something sweet

Who doesn’t love getting a heart-shaped box of chocolates on Valentine’s Day? The same thing applies to your users. People love gifts and always like getting a good deal.

Providing your customers with something unexpected will most likely convince them to buy something from your website. This enticing freebie might be a CTA button on the homepage or a pop-up screen that greets users.

  1. Take the words right out of their mouth

Users want to know what they’re getting without any gimmicks or sales talk. Most people visit your website to see what you offer and whether you meet the criteria for a second date.

One surefire way to make users’ lives easier (and your own) is to answer their questions before they even know what they are.

Questions might include:

What do you do?

How fast can you do it?

How much is it going to cost me?

What makes you better than everybody else?

Display the answers clearly and concisely on your home page to let your users know exactly what they’re getting.

  1. Let them know who you are

You don’t have to tell them all of your deepest, darkest secrets on the first date, but offer basic information. Lay out the things you do best and what you stand for as a company.

A simple way to tell users about yourself is with a tagline—a catchy phrase that clearly states what you do as a company, and how you do it.

Also, let them know your mission and what you stand for. That way, there are no issues or misunderstandings down the line. By telling users upfront about the kind of company yours is, you have a better chance of forming a meaningful, trustworthy relationship.

  1. Look your best

For a good first impression, dress for success. The look of your homepage says a lot about your company’s attention to detail, personality, and values. Key design aspects can have specific psychological effects on your users.

Certain fonts and colors evoke different emotions and feelings. For example, to create a sense of passion and urgency, use red. On the flip side, blue is more calming and reassuring. Maintain a consistent design throughout; sticking to a color scheme will focus the users’ attention.

Super Bowl Sunday Commercials: So much money, so little time

Every year, viewers eagerly await the hilarious and heart-warming commercials that are played during the Super Bowl. Advertisements have become essential to the Super Bowl culture, and T. V broadcasting supplies marketers with a golden opportunity to reach out to a massive audience… at a massive price. Companies spent approximately $5 million per 30-second advertisement at this year’s Super Bowl ($166,666 per second!). Despite the excitement and thrill of the Patriots astonishing comeback, many of us have forgotten about the 30-second snippets of commercials we saw throughout the Super Bowl.

Instead of spending $5 million on an advertisement that most people will see once and then forget about, why not spend $5 million on Public Relations for an entire year? Many companies don’t have the financial resources for this type of advertisement and the proactive aspect of Public Relations is more valuable than an advertisement. We offer three distinctions to keep in mind when investing money into advertisements or Public Relations:

 

  1. Invention vs Evidence

People are often skeptical about advertisements because of their fictitious branding schemes and self-promotion. Ads lose their credibility by creating a disguised scenario that entices people to buy their product, service, or brand. In PR, our catalyst is to persuade consumers based on factual evidence. While an advertisement will try and access a source of deception, the straightforwardness of PR allows the consumer to make decisions based on knowledge.

  1. Intention vs Reality

The most problematic portion of creating a commercial advertisement is whether or not the ad will be effective. In the case of the Super Bowl, most ads are expected to create a message that increases sales or recognition; however, there is no guarantee that the $5 million 30-second bit will improve anything. The benefit to investing your money in a Public Relations firm is we offer more than just a one-stop shop. No matter the product, service, or brand, the amount of coverage and information available to the public will far surpass a one-time investment.

  1. One vs Many

One of the most pertinent aspects of any marketing endeavor is its novelty. The informative society we live in today is a continuously transforming environment that operates at a fast pace; without constant improvements, many products, services, and brands lose their spotlight. Commercials are extremely expensive, and viewers may see one 30-second snippet of the same ad persuading them to buy that brand. PR is able to incorporate the language and the dedication to constantly modernizing the information so that the public has access to such products, services, and brands. By sharing information of a period of time, it allows the product, service, or brand to be relevant and competitive.

 

In just 12 months, a Public Relations firm can make profound and impactful improvements on the recognition, popularity, and stimulation of a product, service, or brand….

6 Super Bowl Inspired Quotes for Marketing Professionals

Even the best of the best need inspiration. Whether or not you like football, there is no denying the war-like tactics at play. The players push their bodies to incredible extremes, but all their blood, sweat and tears would be for naught if not for the head coach—the master strategist on the sidelines holding the playbook. A head coach can be a father figure, a boss, a commander and a friend. Above all else, a coach must be a leader.

Strategic thinking, problem-solving, and a can’t-quit attitude are common among many championship-winning coaches. That raises a question: What can some of pro football’s most respected coaches teach us about marketing?

Consider these words of wisdom from the gridiron, as well as how they apply to marketing:

 

  1. “Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” — Vince Lombardi, head coach, Green Bay Packers (1959-1967), Washington Redskins (1969).

Though it’s hard for perfectionists to swallow, every marketing effort could be improved. Always strive for perfection, yet accept that not everything in your campaign will go as planned. Instead of getting discouraged, use a steady stream of results and data to uncover ways to improve your efforts.

  1. “It’s not necessarily who has the most talent, but what team sticks together and executes their fundamentals the best.” — Tony Dungy, head coach, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1996-2001), Indianapolis Colts (2002-2008)

Although standout talent can be a significant asset, teamwork outperforms individual success nearly every time. Marketing and brand management are team sports. Social media interfaces with blogs, which interface with overall branding, which interfaces with your website. In an agency, our work is only as good as our willingness to collaborate toward the singular goal of our clients’ success.

  1. “If you want to win, do the ordinary things better than anyone else does them, day in and day out.” —Chuck Noll, head coach, Pittsburgh Steelers (1969-1991)

First, consistency is key. Keep up on both blog and social media schedules by posting regularly. Maintaining brand standards is fundamental to high-quality branding.

Beyond consistency, pay attention to details. From the spelling and grammar in an e-blast to tagging the correct Facebook page in a promotional post, taking the extra five minutes to double- and triple-check marketing work is smart and worthwhile.

  1. “Success demands singleness of purpose.” — Vince Lombardi, head coach, Green Bay Packers (1959-1967), Washington Redskins (1969)

Coach Allen and Coach Lombardi both point toward the same lesson here: keep your eye on the prize. Setting goals is vital to measuring success in marketing efforts. In marketing (and in life), if you don’t know where your end zone is, you risk wasting time and effort. Set specific goals for every marketing effort, and be sure to take steps in service of those objectives.

  1. “Stay focused. Your start does not determine how you’re going to finish.”— Herm Edwards, head coach, New York Jets (2001-2005), Kansas City Chiefs (2006-2008)

Learn from your mistakes. Don’t let your organization keep making the same mistakes such as allowing interns to have full control of social media or promoting content on the wrong platform for their audience.

When analyzing your marketing efforts, find solutions to the problem at hand, instead of “blaming someone else.” Examine your brand’s analytics platforms and come up with improvements based on hard data and a proven marketing strategy.

Change is Inevitable: An Era of Social Media and Tech Changes

Change is how we adapt, and it also enables us to learn and grow. PR professionals must be well-versed in change. PR, advertising, and marketing agencies have transformed over the last five to ten years. Here’s how agency pros have updated their roles to remain relevant in today’s increasingly digital world:

 

  1. Demonstrating Return on Investment (ROI)

PR agencies that are creating content are generally doing so without the need for large paid media budgets that guarantee what was created will be seen. Instead, we are using our expertise in earning media coverage to create stories that media outlets and their readers will want to publish and share. In some ways, this can harder. But the return on investment when you get it right is astronomical.

  1. Combining Traditional with Digital

When social media was on the rise, many brand managers used it in attempt to “stay with the times.” Today, they see the value with advertising, customer service, and engagement. Ad agencies are now creating sectors to close the gaps that some brands previously ignored (ie: digital teams, social media advertising, etc.).

Digital agencies have been successfully integrating traditional marketing initiatives. Involving public relations, digital marketing, search engine optimization and social media shares knowledge, findings, content, and creativity.

  1. The Future Direction for Brand Management

In the early 2000s, brand managers weren’t able to engage with their audiences as easily as they can today. Now, the interaction is immediate through real-time channels. This, however, can become difficult when responses are sometimes limited to 140 characters or less. It’s also important to not dilute the voice and messaging of your brand. All communication and content creation should align with the long-term vision of the brand.

Prior to social media, journalists would have to call in updates so they could inform the public. Today, response times and updates are expected at an immediate rate. In contrast, activists, stakeholders, and support groups can take down a brand in minutes.

Daily/national publications and TV news channels aren’t the only ones of importance about today’s society. Any reporter or influential social media can Tweet about a crisis and inform people or even spread rumors.

  1. How PR Pros Can Adapt to the Social Media Change

Adapting to these changes for our clients is still a process of continuation. Many agencies and their employees are erasing the fine line between traditional and digital and moving towards becoming creative professionals. In order to respect the audience, client, and fan expectations, here are a few things that can be done:

  1. PR Professionals must have clear and correct information if and when a crisis arises.
  2. Get approval and publish statements on social media rather than traditional press releases.
  3. Make user expertise a priority.

Facebook Targeting in 7 Simple Steps

Facebook is a prominent resource in advertising your business, with a variety of ways you can target potential customers. Whether it be swapping out images or altering the tone, small changes can have the largest impact on your advertisement.

The development of your target audience will determine the overall effectiveness of the advertisement. Although targeting a certain age group or location may seem like it’s restricting potential clients from seeing your ad, Facebook offers a variety of ways to enhance and personalize the message. Let’s check out 7 approaches to make a lucrative and profitable ad.

 

  1. Financial Capital

Now Facebook has an option to target your audience based on their financial resources. Under the Demographic setting, people can be concentrated based on their overall income or net worth. Age, occupation, number of children, and property information factor in to determine the level of financial capital.

  1. Age and Gender

If you are creating an advertisement to market to only local customers, it is possible to designate an age and gender limitation on your audience. In the U.S you can limit your market by zip code as well. For example, your business is in Scottsdale, Arizona and wants to narrow the market to males between the ages of 20 and 30 who live in Downtown and Old Town Scottsdale.

  1. Business Field

People can be targeted based on the field they work in or occupation type. In this category, there is an option to market towards the type of office (home office, small office, small business).

  1. On the Hunt

Under the Behavior section on ad settings, you can adjust your advertisement to target those in search of your product. For example, if you sell music equipment, you can specify your market to those within the music industry looking for materials.

  1. Parents and Kids

Facebook has gone as far to differentiate between parenting lifestyles. Whether they are Moms of High School Kids, Corporate Moms or Moms of Toddlers, this section can target parents by the age of their children to determine the marketing strategies of each complex family type.

  1. Culture Gap

Most Millennials aren’t interested in the same businesses as Baby Boomers. Generation gaps can be individually targeted to craft a market for each group.

  1. Ethnic Affiliation

This targeting technique is only available in the U.S. Businesses are able to characterize their market to a variety of ethnic communities.

Facebook presents an excellent resource to filter your target audience for the desired needs of the customer. Relationship status, political views, employment and online shopping frequency are all potential setting adjustments used to target your audience. Search through the settings to find what option best suits your style of business advertising.

Five Reasons You’re Not Getting Press Coverage

Press coverage is important to all businesses/companies; both large and small. Trying to get coverage, however, can be a challenge in itself. Being aware of what succeeds and what fails can help tremendously. Here is a list of what NOT to do and an explanation of what to instead.

 

  1. You’re not answering a reporter’s question

It’s important to remember that new people are entering your market niche every day. That being said, do not expect reporters or your target market to know everything about your company. Only answer questions that you are certain about. If you do not have an answer, find it and get back to the reporter or editor.

  1. You’re not replying to editorial requests

It’s common courtesy to thank the reporter for thinking about your company. Even if the request is not necessarily up your alley at this time. Be sure to use this opportunity to consider a better fit for commentary in the future.

  1. You’re not listening to your Public Relations adviser

With experience comes knowledge. That being said, it is important to listen to your PR consultant when it comes to dealing with reporters and editors. Your consultant will most likely know what they want and know how to meet their needs.

  1. You’re responding before considering content

Today’s digital world makes content extremely important. With content being the top priority, taking advantage of it before your competition is key.

  1. You’re distributing a boring press announcement

Sometimes it is best to excite your audience rather than educating them right from the start. When introducing the topic of discussion, let your receivers know what the benefits are, how this new device/service is going to help them, etc.