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Five Tips To Make Your Website More Customer-Focused

Website Design & Development

The whole process of designing a site and plotting a marketing strategy to drive traffic to it can be difficult. The following are some tips on how to make visitors to your site feel as though they’ve come to the right place. 1. Know Your Customer In order to make web design effective, you need to know who you’re designing for and what they want to do on your website. It’s also important to understand a customer’s motivations for visiting your site in the first place. 2. Structure The structure of a site or the page layers and the simplicity with which a user can navigate through them – plays an important role in how user-friendly the site is. It’s important to know what customers expect. The simplest way of finding out how is simply to ask them. 3. Address Customers A simple way to make your site more customer-oriented is to phrase all of the content – from writing through to video, so that it  addresses the visitor directly, in the first person. Instead of writing about your business’s goals, products and achievements in the third person, phrase your content as though talking to a single friend, using personal pronouns like ‘you’ and ‘we’. This makes your message seem more personal, and readers will be more receptive to it therefore. 4. What Are The Benefits Rather than phrasing the content to talk about the specifications of a product or the quality of a service, use it to illustrate how it will benefit the customer. Don’t limit the beneficial detail to product landing pages. The customer needs to know how your business is likely to solve their problems as soon as they land on the homepage. Anything from the business’s name or slogan through to welcoming copy can be used to appeal to the their desires and expectations. 5. Don’t Brag Use a testimonials page to brag about you accomplishments rather than splashing your accomplishments over the entire website. Provided the positive comments are genuine and you can back their claims up by replicating the service they refer to, testimonials are a clever way to blow your own horn online. If you are seeking IT project management or similar marketing strategy, contact us for a FREE no obligation...

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First 100 Days Of A Start Up

Brand Identity

The first 100 days in the life of a start up business are the most critical days. Whether it’s dealing with the pressure of building on cash flow or expansion, what actually happens in these first 100 days can determine whether or not the business is successful down the track. Business Name and Trademark Before you settle on a business name, it’s wise to investigate whether the domain has been taken, and whether or not the trademark has been registered. While it’s not necessary to trademark a business name in order to conduct business, it can seriously inhibit growth if your company takes off down the track. Take some time to research NameChk.com, a service which lets owners gauge the availability of their business name across a multitude of social networks. Branding The key to a successful brand lies in having an accurate knowledge of the customer’s expectations. Understand who your customers are, know what the customer wants and expectations. The message portrayed across to the customer has to be simple, one sentence with one meaning. Accordingly, the messaging behind a brand should come before a logo, a colour scheme, or a website. It’s all about telling a story. Operation Every great business is built on the strength of an idea, but success always depends on how well realised that idea is in a practical context. Business owners often waste time trying to do too many unnecessary things in the early stages of a startup. Sales After drawing up a business plan, finding customers is the first thing any new business should do. The best place to start is in your own contacts. Contact every person you know in your network. Worry less about business cards and more about who your first clients are going to be. Online Marketing A database of email contacts is one of the most valuable resources for a business trying to market itself online, so it pays to start compiling one in the very earliest stages. Given that the key to success with social media comes largely from building momentum over time, it pays to get started on platforms like Twitter and Facebook early on so you already have an audience to address once the business finds its feet. For businesses planning to market themselves online, it’s also essential to draw up a list of keywords and phrases to form the basis of a search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy. Like social media, SEO is a process that you can’t reverse engineer, so the earlier you start, the better. Cash Flow Cash flow is more than just a profit and loss statement. It’s important to forecast for and factor future costs and profits into your everyday expenditure. The difficulty for business owners is that getting caught up in the day-to-day operation of the business can cause things like cash-flow forecasting to be sidelined in favour of things that directly affect sales. If you know you’re going to have a cash flow problem in February, and you know that now, you can start doing something about it. The key to creating a successful cash flow forecast is to be honest with yourself about how well the business is likely to perform, all things considered. If you are seeking IT project management or similar marketing strategy, contact us for a FREE no obligation...

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Five Tips To Make Your Business Work Online

Customer Experience

Whether you’re starting online or aiming to update your offline offering, it’s essential to carefully consider whether your business is suited to the internet. 1. Identification: Are Your Customers Online? If your  target customers are not online and not purchasing your products/services, then there is no need for your business to be online. However should your targeted audience be online, it’s essential to be sufficiently familiar with the shopping habits of your target demographic. You need to know how they know where to buy the products you sell, where they go to buy them, and what motivates them to choose their elected online store. 2. Online Demand It isn’t enough to know that your customers do buy things online, you need to extrapolate exactly why they might buy from that competitor instead of from you. Motives are most often driven by the appealing price or the simplicity of shopping online. 3. Distribution Your business’s prospects may be online-savvy and hungry to buy products from your new online store, but if you’re going to run into problems actually getting these products to them, then you should carefully assess whether an online store is a viable option for you. Often, online businesses attract customer bases well beyond their usual watershed. This means that by starting an online store, you might need to consider how to fill orders from other states, or even other countries. While the volume of unwanted leads can be offset in how you target consumers with online marketing campaigns, you still need to be prepared for the occasional errant international sale. 4. Marketing The simplest and most direct way of getting traffic straight away is to take Google’s Keyword Research tool and put it into practice with search engine marketing (SEM). SEM is the practice of paying for a linked text ad to appear alongside search engine results. Businesses bid to have their ads placed above or to the right of organic search listings. The highest bidder gets the most coveted listing, and then pays for each click that the ad attracts. Not only does this provide a very quick way of getting people to your site, it’s also a good first step in learning more about what your customers want and how they look for it in search. 5. Implementation Phase Choose a small selection of your most popular products that are best suited to the online audience and can be shipped all over the country. Offer these online and use search engine marketing to generate links to your site, take care to track the traffic using Google Analytics. You might be pleasantly surprised by the results. If you are seeking IT project management or similar marketing strategy, contact us for a FREE no obligation...

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Five Tips To Revamp Your Website

Website Design & Development

 1.     Quick Turnaround Website designers can work with the current content and website structure to restyle what you already have. There is no need for the designers or developers to wait on you for website content or image, meaning you can have a fresh new website in only a fraction of the time. 2.     Custom Design and Layout Website designers can work with your existing website and source new images, revamp the existing layout, to create custom designed mock-ups that suits your company’s branding and personality. 3.     New Graphics Building new graphics into your website can add life back into your website. You can have a fresh new website without taking the focus away from running your business on a daily basis. 4.     Lower Costs A contemporary face-lift of you current website is often a better investment for your business. Re-designing your existing website could cost you less than a complete re-build. 5.     Increase Conversion Rate The initial upfront cost of refreshing your website is lower than a complete website re-build. Couple this with an increased conversion of website visitors to customers and tour new website will be making more money for your business. If you are seeking IT project management or similar marketing strategy, contact us for a FREE no obligation...

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How To Get More “Likes” on Facebook

Social Media

Many business owners feel that they need to be on Facebook. They then move quick to start a page with no strategy in mind. After a few weeks or months they then rule the whole exercise out as ineffectual when they fail to gather ‘likes’. There are many elements involved in gaining traction with potential customers and customers on Facebook. 1. Content and purpose Your Facebook page should be clearly defined. What is the purpose of opening the page? Sharing relevant, informative, useful information – links to videos, articles, blog posts etc. – is effectively what Facebook, and most social media, is all about. Content is central to driving likes and engagement, and therefore to getting new customers and keeping existing ones interested. The 80/20 rule shows that 80% of all content on your page should be targeted at the customer and their interests. This is what will convince them to click ‘like’ in the first place, and to stay a fan. The other 20% can safely be used for sales-focused updates about products and services. 2. Relevance and interest Keep the content non marketing oriented. Post content that is relevant to your customers interests. 3. Timeline Facebook changed the layout of individual user’s and business’ pages to display posts as branches on a timeline, with the most recent appearing at the top of the page.  This change allows businesses to pin their most relevant content to the top of the page. It also gives them the opportunity to create a narrative with the content posted – something small businesses, especially, should take advantage of. 4. Engagement Although the number of ‘likes’ on a page is important, it’s the engagement it drives that’s the true measure of its success. Facebook analytics service, Insights, reveals a metric called ‘People Talking About This’. This shows how many people are engaging with the content you post, and measures this by counting the times its been re-shared or acknowledged with a comment, direct mention, or ‘like’. Facebook treats these actions as if they were content being shared by that user, and displays the activity in that user’s timeline. Accordingly, the ‘talking about’ metric can be read as a measure of your business’ exposure on Facebook. 5. Incentives and competitions One of the simplest ways of attracting attention on Facebook is by way of competitions with material incentives. Why should your customers follow you if there isn’t anything in it for them. Customers want discounts, invitations to events, samples, and giveaways. 6. Facebook Ads Another straightforward method of building momentum is to use Facebook Ads. The ads work in a similar way to Google’s AdWords service; they’re priced on a pay-per-click basis that businesses bid for, and can be targeted according to Facebook users’ demographics. The more specific the demographic, the more targeted, and therefore expensive, the ad. 7. Broader social networking Keep your customers coming back to your Facebook page by placing a permanent Facebook link on the business website. Never pass up an opportunity to show potential customers who you are and what you do. If you are seeking IT project management or similar marketing strategy, contact us for a FREE no obligation...

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Finding An Angel Investor

Product Exposure

Many startups never get off the ground for lack of funds. One potential solution is to seek out an angel investor: an individual or business that that can provide startup capital in exchange for shares in the company. Key factors to consider in finding an angle investor: 1. Do I Need An Angel Investor? Angel investment isn’t appropriate for every startup. Determine whether you need external funding, because sometimes you may be able to get by with other sources, or your own internal sources of funding. 2. Understand The Drawbacks Once a business has established and requires equity investment, it’s important to be aware of what it might mean for the future of the operation. Angel investment can often mean a slight loss of control over the direction of the business to the new shareholders. 3. Know Where To Look There are a number of equity investment networks in Australia open to pitches from entrepreneurs – but rather that it’s hard for investors to find the right company to back. 4. Define The Value Proposition Once aware of the benefits and risks, business owners need to begin work on how they’ll present the business concept to prospective investors. The most important factor here is to make it absolutely clear how the idea will be valuable as a business. 5. Groundwork It’s not simply enough to wander into an investment meeting with an idea scrawled on a napkin. Investors will want to see that work has been put into the concept already. They need to have something tangible about the product that they’re developing. They don’t need the perfect product; part of getting capital might be that they need it to develop the product properly. They need to substantiate why the business or the idea that they’ve got is worth investing in.” 6. Establish Risk Part of this substantiation is to show that you’ve got a clearly defined conception of the risk involved. As a person who’s seeking investment, you need to demonstrate to the investor that you have addressed all of their key risks and opportunities associated with your venture, and that you’ve really got a clear plan for what you’re going to do. 7. Plan How To Spend Investment The proposition will have to detail how you plan to spend the investment, as well as demonstrating how the business will generate its own revenue. 8. Don’t Make Bold Claims Do not to oversell the idea, as experienced investors will likely see through any embellishment. Instead, you need to be realistic and objective, while still playing up the value in your business. If you are seeking IT project management or similar marketing strategy, contact us for a FREE no obligation...

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Trusted Sources In Marketing

Customer Experience

The Nielsen Global Survey conducted between August 31 and September 16 2011 polled more than 28,000 online consumers in 56 countries found the vast majority of people (92%) trust word of mouth recommendations from friends and family above mainstream advertising. Other forms of media, with figures representing the proportion of respondents, who find the source credible: Owned media, such as company websites: 58% Emails (that they consented to receive): 50% Product placement in TV shows: 40% Radio advertisements: 42% Cinema advertising: 41% Online video ads: 36% Online banner ads: 33% (up from 26% in 2007) Paid search results: 40% (up from 34% in 2007) Sponsored ads on social networking sites: 36% Video or banner ads on smartphones and tablets: 33% Mobile phone text ads: 29% (an increase of 61% since 2007) This highlights the opportunities and challenges brands face, especially retailers and consumer goods brands, and the reason review marketing strategies. If you are seeking IT project management or similar marketing strategy, contact us for a FREE no obligation...

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Knowing What Is Effective Content

Content Marketing

We have identified 5 elements in effective content. Usefulness. Your readers probably aren’t reading just for the fun of it, they are reading it to learn and gain further information. Informative content leads to an authoritative voice, an expert, or at the very least someone who has been-there-done-that and can steer them in the right direction. Personality. Be yourself and present your unique voice. By sharing who you are, what you believe, and how you feel, your readers will appreciate that you aren’t just another blogger or marketer. Style. You want your site to stand out from the crowd. Don’t be afraid to use multimedia to grab and keep their attention. Keep your content original and unique. Try to avoid jargon, buzzwords and catch-phrases. Scannability. Very few people read every word on every web page. Killer content bears its teeth with subheadings, bullets, bold and/or italic type and other means for readers to find the info they need on the page. Good use of keywords. We’ve all read the article that was so full of keywords that it made little sense. Or the one that used such weird keywords and phrases that it was difficult to read. Try to optimise in a natural, easily to read way, that your audience understands your content. Let us know your tips for effective content. If you are seeking IT project management or similar marketing strategy, contact us for a FREE no obligation...

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How Do I Grow My Business?

Customer Experience

We predict that this will be the year for small businesses to recognize the behavior of consumers. Advertising is no longer enough without understanding the “why” behind the purchase.  How do we do that? We take the time to listen to them and to identify their needs We then present our products or services in a way that genuinely fulfils their needs. Cut out the hype and sell what works and you’ll never have to hunt down new customers again Stand behind your products and services, have trust and faith in your products and services Say what you mean and deliver Create that emotional connection with your customers, the kind that creates customer loyalty, and not just repeat-buying. By following these five key ideas, I guarantee you that your business will grow. If you choose to ignore them you may very well be out of business come next year. If you are seeking IT project management or similar marketing strategy, contact us for a FREE no obligation...

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Connect With Clients Using IM Chat For Your Smartphone

Mobile Marketing

Services like Nimbuzz, Fring and eBuddy allow you to integrate all your social networks into one common platform. So you’re always online and always accessible to your clients no matter which social network they’re on. You can consolidate your accounts on social media like Facebook, Twitter, Google Talk, Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger, AIM, Skype, ICQ, Gadu-Gadu and Hyves onto a single platform and see which of your clients are online through the indicator against their screen names. Also, you know which network they’re on by the logo of the social page that’s displayed alongside their name. Most IM clients for your phone allow you to not only carry on text chats in real time but also provide voice calls over VoIP as well. However, this works only if both parties have the same VoIP platform. Besides this, you can send pictures and other files as well to all your contacts while you’re on the go. Most IM chat clients for your phone are free, and unless you sign up for services that enable you to call telephone numbers, you pay only for your GPRS data plan from your mobile service provider (with WiFi, you eliminate even this cost). A great way to stay in touch, wouldn’t you agree? If you are seeking IT project management or similar marketing strategy, contact us for a FREE no obligation...

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