Bring Your Brand to Life

Through the Power of Story

Category: SEO

Get Them to Contact You After the First Visit To Your Website

When prospects want to learn about you and your products, the first place they head to for more information is your website. You may have gorgeous graphics, catchy phrases and easy navigation – but that’s not going to convince them to stay, and contact you.

If you’re clever, you will anticipate your prospects’ need even before they open the browser. Follow the example of these four companies to be ready with the exact information they’re looking for.

Just open this webpage to Canon USA for a picture-perfect example. Instantly you’ll notice right smack in the middle of the page is a virtual slide show with entrancing headlines:

  • Counterfeit Accessories are more destructive than you think. “learn more…”
  • Cannon Education: In-depth tutorials, education and more… “learn more….”

If you’ve spent, or are considering spending, a significant amount of money and time on copy machines or photography, how could you resist learning more about these topics?

A quick visit to the web page of FedEx, (one of the Most Reputable Companies of 2013), instantly reveals timeliness – with its “Quick Access” login, FedEx reinforces its reputation and image as the one who keeps tabs on the pulse of its packages. – The customer says, “Yes – show me how much it will cost me to get my package there!”

When you open the Stanley Black and Decker homepage, you’ll see a live feed of news and broadcasts and several links to analysis and investor reports. Clearly, Stanley knows investors frequent their website, and Stanley is catering to these important visitors by making it easy for investors and reporters to find exactly what they need – fast. Notice, also, Stanley’s emphasis on safety — this reassures not only buyers, but investors as well.

Kellogg’s website draws readers in with links to nutrition, offers for a free book, and of course printable coupons.

Each website example I’ve listed here has clearly identified it’s prospects, and has provided an offer to give each visitor something valuable and unique. The key is to use your website to fill a need the prospect wants – as soon as your page is opened. The customer is actively engaged, willing to fill out any online-necessary online forms and quick to join any social media outlets the company offers.

If you’d like help in doing the same, contact us.

Use Your Blog To Be Your Customer’s Biggest Hero

Facts, specifications, dollars and black and white data each have their place in the sales cycle. Yet, buyers need an emotional connection to motivate them to buy. A story provides a powerful impact when building an emotional connection with your customers. The blog is the quickest, fastest medium to share your story.

Blogging shows your customers that you are accessible. That “contact me” button is an invitation to connect. More importantly, blogging is profitable. “Fifty six percent of businesses that blogged at least monthly acquired customers through their blogs. Blogging three times a week increased the percentage to 70 percent; daily blogging upped it to 78 percent,” according to a 2012 study from HubSpot.

Here’s how to use your blog to generate an emotional connection with your customers:

  • Choose topics that solve problems. You already know the key issues your customers face. Show your customers exactly how familiar you are with the challenges they face, with specific, personal stories that reveal your own insights and experiences.
  • Give your customers a happy ending – show them how your proficiency solved your customer’s problem. Use specific facts and measurements.
  • Let them know what’s coming. Position yourself as the industry expert you are by revealing what new issues and challenges they can expect to face, and how you are already poised and ready to take them there as painlessly as possible.

Each blog post you publish gives the reader a dynamic update on your business, your industry, and helps to sharpen your business focus. Your blog creates an instant searchable on-line keyword archive, easily accessible by your sales and marketing staff, to target a customer’s specific needs and close a sale. More importantly, Google indexes your blog posts, via key words, so that future Google searchers will find your page.
If the idea of coming up with a new story every day – or every week, seems daunting, simply contact us.

Ten Sources for Stories

If your online content is not updated consistently, your readers, and more importantly, the google search engines, will begin to loose interest. An outdated website, Facebook page or twitter profile can give prospective customers the idea that your company isn’t current either.

This might be true.

The very act of creating content helps you become a stronger company, by improves your customer service and keeps you current with changing market preferences. . The process of gathering content for your blog naturally connects you to your customers; your products; and helps you see if your product is evolving with your customers. hen you stay close to your customers to hear what they’re saying. 

Sometimes, I’ve found, that clients think they have nothing new under the sun to share. This, is where you’re wrong. The next time you get stuck, mine this list of ideas for sources of great stories to feed your online presence.

  1. Your customers. Ask them questions. What’s your biggest challenge? What’s your business goal for the year? What’s a strategy you’re using to grow your business… or if it’s a consumer — what’s a strategy you’re using to keep down costs? See how this can naturally make you a stand-out customer? This is a great way to incorporate video into your oline presence.
  2. Industry Thinkers. Find someone interesting, and Q&A them to point out new trends and insights. Don’t forget people in your own company. Showcase your company. This is also a great time to use video.
  3. Customer Service: This topic could spin itself into a periodic regular feature. “Questions from our customers.” What is the biggest reason customers contact you? There must be a trend, and you should know what it is, anyway. Is it being solved efficiently? If the customer has a blog, make sure you link to that too.
  4. Analyze Keyword Searches: This is an interesting way to find out who is reading your site, and why. Google analytics tracking software to show you the top search trends. While the words can tell you what problems  would-be customers are looking for, you can build content around those queries. Show the customer you’re here to solve their problems.
  5. What is the Social Media Saying? What are your customers, and prospective customers talking about? Luckily, you are spared from tedious, espensive surveys, because the information is already out there. Monitor social conversations via trending keyword topics on Twitter, on blogs (via google alerts.) (Learn how to listen to your customers, here.) If people are actively engaged in a dialogue about a topic related to your business, offer them the content they’re looking for. Offer an opposing view, or solve the problem.
  6. Research Your Competition. You can do this online with a tool like Google AdWords Keyword Tool, Google Predictive Search, or LinkedIn Answers.  Setting the parameters in the search string will help you see what people are searching for that relate to your product. If you’re selling shoestrings… how many people are searching for fluorescent shoestrings? How many are looking for fobs to add to their shoestrings? The answers you find can lead to a mountain of content material, that your customers will be interested in.
  7. What’s Going On In the Industry? This one demands timeliness. Give your opinion about today’s news within 24 hours of its release. You could be first. Make sure to link the original content (it’s online somewhere) increasing the chances that the follow-up story will link back to you.
  8. Passionate Tie-Ins. Readers love to read stories that parallel two non-related topics. What your hobby? Are you a skydiver? A golfer? Surely, you’ve had  moments of ephiphany when “the whole wold came together” while you were engrossed in your hobby — those moments when time stood still. What did you learn that you can share? How does it parallel what you’re trying to do for your customers?
  9. Get Behind the Scenes. Post photos that show an indsider’s view of your company. This is great if you have a manufacturing plant. Show the the raw products, a video of your product line from start to finish.
  10. Customer Photos: Encourage your customers to share photos of how they are using your product in their lives. Offer a give-away or contest, and ask them to write a story about how your product solved their problem.
  11. Event Reporter: Tradeshows, conferences and industry events are great sources for content. Share your impressions, session notes via real-time blogging and tweets. Follow-up the event with in-depth insights  on whom you met, what you learned, and what surprised you.
  12. How-To: From virtual, “How to Create an Online Webinar” to practical, “How to defrost the Drain Plug On Your Refrigerator.” Your product solves a problem. Show readers how it’s done. This is a great place to offer troube-shooting techniques, in an easy how-to format.
  13. Your Best Habits: What productivity secrets can you pass onto your readers? What online applications do you love? Have you figured out an ingenous way to use an application to solve an entirely different problem? Share it.
  14. Your Archives: Do you have a story that needs revsiting? Or updated?
  15. Guest Posts: Be creative, and find someone prominent — a blogger, a community leader, someone you geninuely admire.
  16. What are Your Competitors Posting? Surely, you are tracking them via Google Reader and Google Alerts. Is there anything they’ve left unsaid? Would you like to compliment them on something “well said,” or “well-done?”  Link to them, and let your readers know you’re a genuine human being.
  17. Virtual News Source: Designate a spot on your webpage that links to your must-read sources into a central location. You can use RSS feeds to showcase headlines, and excerpts from the stories your’re reading today. Don’t forget — sources that write about your passions can be listed here too.