Category Archives: Uncategorized

Casual Corporate Headshot: How to Look More Approachable

Casual headshots are an informal way of introducing yourself within all of your marketing efforts. Casual headshots are more lifestyle oriented that your average corporate headshot and portray a much trendy, hipper, youthful vibe. This type of headshot provides a way to give a personal touch of your branding so that it better reflects the tone you want to set and your individual personality.

Headshots are part of our media driven business world and getting an excellent shot is as important as having the right experience and education. So try and shake things up and show that you are up to speed in this fast paced moving world, read these tips below that will give you just the right edge that clients are looking for. Continue reading

Get the Best Photos for Your Real Estate Website

real estateHiring a professional photographer versus shooting photos yourself. There are many things that real estate agents can agree upon, and one of these is that most people are finding their new homes via the Internet. It is absolutely essential for any real estate agent to advertise online if the agent wants to be successful.

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Once you have your website up and running, you need to provide as much information as you can to potential buyers. People are looking at homes and basing their opinions on the things that you write and the pictures they see. The pictures really do so much to make buyers want to see the property, so the best real estate agents hire professional photographers to take these pictures for the website and other forms of marketing. Continue reading

Why Mobile Websites Can Boost Your ROI

These days, it’s absolutely essential for local businesses to have a mobile website. Yet, understandably, business owners may wonder if the return on investment (ROI) is worth it and better, yet, will a mobile website help boost ROI. Not only is a mobile website important for the success of your business, but it can certainly boost your ROI:

  • Click to Call: Mobile websites provide a simple way for consumers to tap a button or screen and have their call connected to a business. The convenience alone has helped a multitude of companies gain new business.
  • Shopping at Any Time, Any Hour: One of the best benefits for consumers is that a mobile website allows them to shop any time, any place, and anywhere. With so many people on the go, this is important to feature to offer. Round-the-clock shopping of course, gives local businesses the opportunity to reach more potential customers.
  • Mobile websites can be developed to accommodate any type of device that has an Internet connection, from Blackberries, iPhones, Android-based smartphones, and more. Subsequently, this allows everyone the ability to access a mobile website that is user-friendly according to a device’s dimensions and capabilities.
  • Faster Loading Times: Mobile websites are designed to load much quicker than traditional websites on mobile devices. With faster load times, not only are people twice as likely to stay on a mobile website to seek information, but they are also like to become return users. Furthermore, optimized mobile websites increase the chances of customers referring others to your business.
  • Consumer Smartphone Habits: Smartphone usage is not a fad, and its use is expected to continue to grow. Within the next few years, seeking information online via mobile devices will eclipse online searches performed any other way.

More than half of all smartphone users have shopped online, found business information, located store addresses, and researched products via mobile websites. Many of these smartphone users have gone on to make purchases in-store after utilizing an enhanced mobile website. In addition, the average smartphone user spends at least one hour per day using their phone. A good majority of this time is spent visiting websites.

  • Location-targeted Mobile Promotions and Deals: Mobile websites can be customized in order to target consumers based upon location. Built-in GPS placed on mobile sites, the ability to connect while in-store, and location-based coupons are among a few ways to target local customers, which in turn can boost your ROI significantly.

Source: Experian: Americans Spend 58 Minutes a Day on Their Smartphones: http://www.experian.com/blogs/marketing-forward/2013/05/28/americans-spend-58-minutes-a-day-on-their-smartphones/?WT.srch=PR_EMS_smartphones_052813_press

 

Take Control of Your Brand’s Reputation

Most local business owners today know that their reputation is everything when it comes to building a brand and getting new and repeat customers. A bad reputation within your industry or within your community can have devastating effects on your business.

Bad reputations are traveling by more than just word of mouth in today’s market. The internet has become a popular resource for sharing information, and unfortunately for those with a poor reputation, it has become a tool to spread negative information about businesses as well.

Whether it’s bad reviews, poor ratings on listing websites, or negative press, there are a number of ways that the internet can be used to spread negativity about a company.

The good news is the internet is also a great place for companies to create a strong reputation and fight off any negativity surrounding their brands.

With the right online reputation management campaign, you can ensure that consumers will let their guards down when it comes to doing business with you. It is important that your company is portrayed in a positive light in the eyes of all of your existing and potential future customers. Otherwise, they will continue their search and choose one of your competitors instead.

One of the most important factors of online reputation management is using reviews to your advantage. For many businesses, even a single bad review has done some serious damage to their ability to bring in more sales.

If you currently have one or more negative reviews, make it a top priority to encourage your happy customers to write positive reviews; this can soften the blow and outweigh the negative ones.

Also, if you have bad reviews, make sure you write a public response. Apologize, be kind and courteous, explain the situation without sounding like you are making excuses, and provide the upset customer with a solution if there is one.

If you have been dealing with negative press about your local company, try to start a positive PR campaign. Write and distribute press releases about newsworthy endeavors that your company is participating in. You can also get mentions in local media outlets by participating in area community events, fundraisers or outings.

This can get your name in the local online news outlets and start building positive mentions of your company. This means when people search for your company in the future, the first thing they see won’t be negative press or a negative review. Instead, they will be directed to articles or information about you that is positive. The internet can be a powerful tool for you to create a positive reputation; all you need to do is start a campaign that will help spread this positivity around the web.

Stop Blocking Mobile Users with a Mobile Website

dreamstime_xs_12479054There are many who claim the future of marketing lies in the internet. However, the future of the internet is mobile, which is why all local businesses need to have a mobile website.

Smartphones are quickly becoming the most popular way to use the internet. This is why savvy local business owners not only need to have an online presence, but a mobile online presence.

Recent statistics have shown that more than half of mobile phone users in the United States are using their smartphone’s internet. Not only that, but most of these individuals are actually researching potential purchase opportunities while on their phone’s web browser. This means well over 120 million people in the United States are using their smart phones as a way to access the internet to research potential purchases.

The primary goal of any mobile website should be to keep your company name in the minds of existing customers, while making your small business more visible to those who aren’t already familiar with your services. Approximately 95% of people who own smartphones look for local information on their devices.

More than half of these people will then contact a company after they have searched for information. If potential customers are not able to find your company’s information on their mobile devices; you may be losing potential business.

When it comes to making sure your mobile website truly captures the attention of new and existing customers, there are a few things you will want to keep in mind.

First, make sure that you have created a website that has been specifically designed for use on mobile devices. An exact copy of an existing desktop website will not always transfer to mobile devices.

Next, make sure you are consistently updating your site. Much of the success behind smart phones comes with users’ desire to access new information on the go. If you are keeping your website fresh and relevant, you can provide the valuable information that most smart phone users look for.

Just as you can use different strategies to advertise a traditional website, there are a few strategies you can utilize to specifically advertise your mobile site as well.

QR code advertising is one way to make sure the word about your mobile website is getting out to the public. QR codes are small square barcodes that can be printed on everything from signs and pamphlets to t-shirts and bumper stickers. Smart phone users can scan these codes directly with their devices and it will take them to your company’s mobile website, special discounts, coupons, or just about any other digital destination you want.

Finally, if you are looking to stay in contact with “the Mobile World” it is important that content is easy to read and is smartphone-friendly. Content on mobile sites needs to be even more succinct than on regular websites as it can difficult to read lengthy information while on the go.

Key Features of a Mobile Website

Mobile Internet is one of the fastest-growing platforms ever. As a result, a multitude of business mobile websites are springing up as savvy business owners start to realize where most of their target audience is spending their time.

From product information to searching for a local plumber, people are using their phones more often than ever.

However, in order to have an effective mobile website, there are several key features that should be implemented that will help ensure that consumers are more likely to become paying customers:

Simplicity:

  • Trimmed down mobile website layouts allow the loading process to go much faster. Since cellphones are slower than laptops and desktop computers, this is imperative.
  • Mobile websites make it simple for consumers to call and/or email your business with a simple tap on a touchscreen or cellphone button.
  • Mobile websites can also be integrated into mobile maps, making it easier for people to locate your business.
  • SMS and text messages can be integrated with your mobile website, making it easier for you to build a list of targeted leads and customers.

Social Media:

  • Social Media is one of the top-ranked activities for mobile users. Mobile and social media go hand-in-hand.
  • A mobile website can be easily integrated with your own social media business accounts to help you more actively engage with your mobile customers.
  • Mobile users will have a way to share your mobile website with the masses via the major social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

Action-Based:

  • While on the go, mobile consumers are usually looking for specific information about a business. The beauty in this is that half of them are likely to take some type of action as far as contacting or visiting the business within 24hrs.
  • Mobile websites are created in a way to help move this conversion process along as quickly as possible; such as making your contact details as prominent as possible and including a strong call to action.

Mobile Coupons and Deals

  • Mobile coupons and deals are more easily controlled via a mobile website through redemption tracking.
  • Users can have the option to have a coupon or special emailed, shared via social networks, or saved to their cellphone.
  • There are several tools available to help mobile sites schedule coupon start dates, expiration dates, and new promotions.

Steps on How to Put Action on Your Copy

call-nowYour brochures and catalogs are great. Your site is superbly designed and constructed; the content is simple and enticing. You just wait for your visitors to flood in but after long waiting hours, no one is still registering. You may now be asking yourself: “Why aren’t there any sales?” Think again! You maybe missing an important an important area which is: THE CALL TO ACTION.

A call to action is a web copy which instructs a reader on what you wanted him to do. This call to action can be in the form of a declarative, imperative and a command statement or just mere suggestions. With any marketing materials, it’s important to get your prospective clients to act… NOW! Here are several steps to follow to make a call to action that will definitely have your phones ringing and your sales increasing.

The first step is to do your research on the terms to be used for your call to action. The term must be associated with what your content is advertising. Chances are, the terms you maybe thinking had already been used by other copywriters and you should pay attention to this.

The second step is to write your content to lead to a straight call to action. Write the call to action clearly so that your visitors will know precisely what to do and how. Use phrases like “Register Now” or Click here” at an exact location where there is a button or a click through. Tell readers to call a toll number that is correct and still available.

Third step is to try to put your call to action on several locations on the web site, especially if there’s a lot of copy on your page. You can put the call to action after an introductory paragraph, the top of the page, and other parts of the site.

The fourth step is to make your site as direct as possible. Your visitors will want to know what they’re getting from your page as soon as they land on it. Get straight to the point immediately without having making your copy awkward.

The call to action may include a registration blank which ask for information such as the email address. The fifth step is to link these details to a shopping cart or an autoresponder to create your mailing list. Once you add a centered call to action to your copy, your efforts will make your web visitors to take your call to action.

As a word of advice, there are certain tips that you can apply. One is to start your call to action with a verb. To achieve clarity, keep the subject and verb close together; for example: “Ask your sales representative for details”. You must keep your call to action on your screen the entire time. If this would not be possible, you must let it pop several times so that irregular viewers may have a chance to see it. Lastly, inform yourself more about contextual relevance, serial position effect and chunking and coding.

Creating a simple, smooth and effective call to action is still an art. A straightforward and strong call to action can really bring a difference to your copy content and can convert it. The message on your call to action is really vital to the performance of your website. As an end note, always remember that a good copywriting will always include a call to action.

Promote Your Biz with a 6-Second Looping Video

dreamstime_xl_25195965Promote Your Biz with a 6-Second Looping Video

If you’ve seen any videos from the new Twitter platform, Vine, you’ve probably been quite intrigued by them, but perhaps also confused as to just how to make use of this new platform. What it takes, is a clear idea of your idea! You’ve a mere six seconds to present your message, so time is an issue!

How businesses are using Vine

Vine has seen businesses make some very innovative and striking videos since they’ve launched. Inspite of the time limitations, some businesses have embraced the platform and are making Vines that are getting significant notice and views. The real key to winning with Vine would be to emphasize the quirky, fun and new aspects of the products or messages you want to feature. No one expects an epic film, but on the other hand, they do expect to be entertained! Some ways businesses are using Vine videos include videos about new products or people, customer service messages, and human-interest pieces. Businesses of every size are discovering cool ways to employ Vine videos.

Here are some examples:

General Electric is using Vine to develop innovative ways to share science in cool ways.

The Gap is using Vine as an online video catalog.

Bacardi is using these short snippets to give away drink recipes featuring their favorite rum!

Not to be outdone, Malibu Rum has created a thirst-quenching Vine of their own!

As part of the launch for their Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos, Taco Bell produced a yummy Vine to whet their customer’s appetites!

Lowes home improvement stores has innovated by making a series of #lowesfixinsix

Let your imagination run wild!

Vine videos can be quite a novel way to introduce new staff, new products, new directions and more. It’s really only limited to your imagination. Obviously, time isn’t a factor! Take a few moments and browse through some Vine videos, and discover if this isn’t a platform that your company or small business can utilize!