Friday, June 19, 2009

Continuum vs Breadth Offers

I've written quite a bit about how a one-size-fits-all offer simply will not prove effective in marketing to an extended decision chain. By that I mean a single offer (or if you prefer a 'Call-to-action') generally cannot speak to the pain points/interests of a C-level exec, VP, Dir, Manager and Analyst in total, as well as specific offers created for each target could (most especially as they progress thru the marketing funnel). I've run a number of tests that show conversions rise when offers are built that address specific target concerns or charters.

With that in mind, start your offer development strategy by considering not only who the target is and what's top of mind for them, but also where the target is in the marketing funnel.

There are circumstances when offers can be consolidated between more closely-related targets, say C-level and VP-level targets. These types of offers, called breadth offers, are broader in scope and are designed to speak to a wider swath of people in the decision chain (while being cost efficient to the overall program). These offers are usually top-of-funnel assets that speak to more general issues relating to business issues, problems, challenges and would be of interest to a cross-over collection of individuals in the decision chain. They're specific enough to create sufficient awareness to prompt the collection of profile information at the initial stages of when an organization is vetting and researching an idea or product.

However as each target's interests (and their responsibilities) become more specific as the entire decision chain progresses thru the funnel, continuum offers support a multi-touch, lead nurturing model by providing progressively detailed and highly targeted content needed to attract, satisfy and advance individual targets from touchpoint to touchpoint. Continuum offers provide coordinated incentives for deeper engagement and mutually satisfying funnel progress, ensuring that each interaction you have with these decsion makers meets their need to seek more relevant information relative to their own roles and responsibilties to the overall decision.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Quick Tips to Improve Your Site's Organic Search Rankings

Chatted with a couple companies recently who both were not taking full advantage of a few simple steps to drastically help improve their search rankings for their company website:
  • For your home page code, turn your attention from meta tags for keywords and concentrate more on what your title and meta tag description says. Remember that these days Google pays less and less attention to meta tag keywords due to the spamming and keyword stuffing companies have done to try to improve their search rankings.
  • Keywords found in the Meta TITLE Tag have highest ranking/indexing value with most search engines; they should contain the MOST important searchable keywords or #1 most common search phrase that people would use to find your type of solution (‘Find updated drivers’?) Use a 60 character limit as some search engines will only display a maximum of 60 characters of text for a TITLE in their search results
  • The META Description Tag should contain a brief description of what can be found on the current web page and be 150 characters or less in length (there's a 150 character limit b/c some search engines only list 150 in their result).
  • Remember to sync your meta tags to your page copy as best you can. Aim for 7-10% density in your site copy for best results
  • Use keyword, link and page graders from companies like HubSpot to see which words are ranking highest, then optimize your site accordingly

Monday, June 1, 2009

Turn-key Online Communities

I chatted last week with Dan Ziman, marketing director with Lithium Technologies. There are now a number of interesting companies like Lithium (Helpstream, Jive, Telligent among others) that offer various iterations of social network software that can build your online community very quickly and at a reasonable cost.

Lithium for instance offers (in a SAAS model) a number of integrated, social technology products including forums, blogs, chat rooms and idea exchanges that power online customer communities for both large and small businesses. In Lithium's words these products 'inspire customers to share knowledge, connect with each other, and connect with the enterprise, thus providing a unique method for companies to identify, engage, and understand customers. As a result, businesses measurably improve their marketing and sales, accelerate innovation, and increase customer satisfaction.'

Helpstream, Jive, Telligent and others provide their own types of collaboration software, community software, and social networking software solutions that allow companies to develop an almost instantaneous community presence and build from there. If you're seeking to build out your online community and wondering where to start, check out these vendors to see if perhaps that might be a viable way for you to get the ball rolling.