eMarketing: a Strategic ApproachPresentation Transcript
eMarketing:a strategic approach Rob Stokes
Something to think about
South Africa has more internet users than:
In the UK, the internet is now the biggest marketing channel in terms of spend
Zappos will sell more than $1 Billion worth of shoes online this year
Are we giving eMarketing the respect it deserves?
So what is a strategic approach?
Strategy is about the bigger picture: Goals, objectives and success criteria - what we need to achieve?
Ultimately strategy is about the decisive allocation of resources
Tactics are the actions we take to achieve the strategy
To be succesful, you can’t have the one without the other
“Without strategy, tactics are simply the noise before defeat” Sun Tzu
Understanding your customers and competitors is vital to not only guide your strategy, but also your relevant tactics
Once you’ve figured out your strategy
You need to establish which tactics are going to get you there
Here’s how they might all fit together…
But eMarketing is NOT just a list of tactics
It achieves its true potential when these tactics work together
The tactics need each other
They feed off each other
They are substantially less effective without each other
Let’s get back to basics…
It all starts with a website
A hub to drive traffic to
A medium through which you can communicate and build a relationship with your audience
But it can’t just be any old website
You MUST add value to your user’s experience. Before, during and after their visit
Websites are no longer just brochures
They should be built to attract, convert and retain customers
The average website has about 10 seconds to capture a user before they get bored
Is your website THAT good?
Our web development priorities
1. Usability and conversion oriented design
Understand the goals and priorities of your site and design for your users above all else
Make sure they can find what they want quickly and easily
Drive them towards YOUR desired goals
Allow the reader to get the gist of your message in a few seconds by merely scanning the page
Pyramid style writing
Break up text with bolding, bullets, highlighting, crossheads and contextual interlinking
Have consistent Calls to Action
Don’t make them think…
Tell people to take the exact actionyou want them to perform in order to get the best response
Keep navigation basic, consistent and standardised
Think about persuasive architecture: How is your page persuading them to convert?
Don’t distract users with Christmas trees
Using Personas for large sites
2. Search Engine Friendliness
Primary goal: Site must be fully indexable and optimised around a set of well researched key phrases
Blend 2 or 3 carefully chosen key phrases into a minimum of 250 words on each page
Also integrate keywords into your:
Internal and inbound links
Other SEO Considerations for your site
The age of the domain
Links to the domain
Key phrases in URLs
Add regular fresh content
Text navigation is better than images
Offer RSS feeds (AND RSS to email)
Be remarkable - make your site a resource!
3. Look and Feel
Very important, BUT the least important consideration in web development
That doesn’t mean ugly sites are OK
Sites must look professional and demonstrate your credibility...
If these two goals are met, the user will be satisfied.
Remember, they are looking to achieve a goal – not look at a piece of artwork.
A quick review of a few of your sites
5 7 6 9 SiteID should link to HOME Use of non-standard icon (sitemap), icons are not easy to see, congested area of page. Menu issues: “Contact Us” should be a menu item - users look for this clue. News scrolls fast; “IS News” should be linked. Home page 1 1 3 2 2 4 4 8
Opens in new window; consider tooltip It is not clear what these items are for. Include heading. Opens a mailto link; only clear on last iteration. Link to page on site first. Read more link opens new window (without navigation). There is no call to action on this page - what do you want users to do? Home page 1 3 2 5 4 7 6 9 8
It is not clear what these refer to - add relevant heading. Print and email functions are too far from the content to be useful. It is also not clear if this refers to the page you are on, or to the site as a whole. The email icon is also used top of page for contacting IS labs - confusing! Copyright 2007? Home page - bottom 1 2 3
Home page - Feng-gui 1 3 2 Feng-gui suggests that SiteID and Main navigation are ignored. Links which send users to new websites receive attention. Note that this is affected by the iteration of the animation. No Call To Action to grab attention
There is no change to the menu to indicate selection. Submenu is removed from navigation and content. Promotional header pushes content down the page. Content page 1 3 2
No indication of search term used. No heading to the page No ranking of search results. It is good practice to highlight the search term used in the results. Search results 2 1 3
Search results - no results No useful, friendly message or suggestion! Tell users what they should do next: try a different search term, navigate to products, or contact IS. 1
Contact Us 1 2 3 NB: should be a main menu navigation item! Link to open contact form is superfluous. There is no indication of required fields. Integrate with Google Maps - users have the option of directions. Map opens in new window
404 404 pages are an opportunity to inject some personality into your website, and to be really useful to a confused user. You’ve got some useful links in here, but it can be better presented.
Be useful: search and navigation options
Other Considerations Meta description and keywords are only used on homepage. Page titles are not sufficiently descriptive. The site has canonicalisation issues: http://is.co.za gives an error page, while http://www.is.co.za gives the website (Lame Ass Syndrome). Favicon is not used consistently. Limited colour palette means the site is not exciting - there is no “speaking with light” with this site.
SiteID should link to HOME - not the blog Menu item is IDEAS, but you are on homepage. On first glance it looks like IDEAS is a different section or site (the reason for the nav change is not clear). Call to Action is not very strong, visually or copy. In general, there is no consistent communication of links. Home page 2 1 3 4 4
Home page - right hand side, scroll down Who are these people? Friends I should invite? People who are signed up? Include a header, as you have done with other items in the right hand side. 1
Home page - Feng-gui 3 1 2 4 Feng-gui demonstrates that the “ideas” menu change can distract attention. Layout does draw eye to key areas - this is good. But, login is ignored - how important is this? Info graphic is ignored - how important is this?
Layout is not consistent with “recent ideas” (the home page is part of the ideas section). No menu change to indicate where you are in the site - again inconsistent with the home page. There is no link to “home” (there is no “home”!). Content - Popular ideas 2 1
Search term is indicateddd. Search term is highlighted. Consider ranking or filtering results - you already have the data (idea, blog post, date, author, etc). Search results 1 2 3
Search results - no results Useful alternatives for users. 1
What is “Home” doing here? There is no home, and this is not consistent to all content pages (e.g. ideas). Include benefit statement with signup form. Remove other calls to action - the user has already selected to join or submit an idea, don’t distract him now. Sign up page (submit idea) 1 2 3
Sign up - step 2 So, what should a user do now? Include instructions. Many users might expect to be signed in already, albeit temporarily. Remember what the user’s original purpose was - submit an idea - indicate when he can do that. 1
Logged in - first time What is “block” - be careful of using internal terms which are unclear to users 1
404 The page is styled, but there is no useful message. We’re big fans of the friendly 404 - you should give it a go!
Other Considerations It is not clear on landing page what this site is about. What campaigns send traffic here? Perhaps include recent comments as a side bar item indicating site activity. Again, while this project is inspiring, the project’s online hub is not. Consider how a broader colour palette could bring more life to this initiative.
Monitoring your website’s performance
Top stats to keep an eye on
Above all else, conversion rates!
Unique users (not HITS)
Traffic Sources (and their conversion rates)
Pages per user
Time spent on site
OK, now we have a site that looks good and hopefully converts its visitors, but how do we get these visitors?
There are many options, but the most important is…
1 Billion searches each day
Lots of volume, but why is this important?
Searchers are looking for what you are offering
They WANT to find you!
And if they don’t find you, they will find your competitor. Fact.
Some data insights around your current search phrases…
So how do we make sure we are found?
Search Engine Marketing
SEM = SEO + PPC Organic and Paid Search
You don’t need to be a guru to get the basics
Firstly make sure you select the right keywords
Select keywords based on the following:
Search Volume Trends
Propensity to convert
Potential value per conversion
Then decide where you want to be…
Search Engine Optimisation
Make sure your site is optimised around your keywords
Then build plenty of high quality, keyword rich links
And this isn’t easy
The best sites inevitably win
So grow links organically
Build a website that offers so much value that people talk about it and link to it naturally
Pay Per Click
But first: why you can’t ignore SEO:
You choose how much you want to pay per click
And how much you want to spend per day
If you manage your campaign properly, you can’t lose money!
Don’t burn your budget early on: Test!
Look for long tail key phrases
Geotarget your adverts
Have a solid call to action in each advert
Don’t send your traffic to your home page, use highly targeted landing pages
Test, test and test these landing pages
The process of making your website and eMarketing activities as efficient and effective as possible resulting in a direct increase to your ROI
Test individual pages and paths
Things to test:
Calls to action
Copy style and tone
Search marketing will bring a lot of traffic to your site, but you can’t stop there…
You should be looking to build communities around your business
Social Media can play a big part in this
But what is Social Media?
Let’s look at a few specific examples…
Online Video: YouTube Second largest search engine! 60% market share 100+ million viewers a night ‘The overnight success’ thing
How about a video tour of your data center?
350+ Million active users
2.5 million of which are South African
And many ways to communicate with them:
Groups and Pages
Above all when it comes to any social network
If your customers are there, you must engage
A few tips…
Be strategy lead. The medium is not the message
How will social media deliver on your business goals?
What is going to keep users interested and engaging in the long run?
What are you going to do with those engaged users?
Push for critical mass quickly
Discover and target influential individuals and communities
Identify and fill content holes – don’t echo
Consider the impact of social media on your other eMarketing tactics
Write with your keyword strategy at your side
Create a social media culture internally, it will reflect externally
People are blogging about you…
People are blogging about you…
People are Twittering about you
Are you making the most of the opportunitiesand minimising therisks?
12 million people search for “Ryan Air”
A Ryanair employee comments on a blog…
Followed by the official response
Then the online community got hold of it
Then the newspapers got hold of it
These powerful sites often linked to this site…
And we know how important good links are…
“ It takes 20 years to build a reputation, and 5 minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you will do things differently. ” Warren Buffet
How is online reputation different?
It spreads faster...
… and the evidence lasts longer
Why is this important?
Because peers are the most trusted source of recommendation Edelman Trust Barometer 2008
People are talking, are you listening?
What to track?
Names of specials/packages
Track outgoing communications (PR) by monitoring unique text
Use the data you gather to build profiles of influencer’s who you can target for future campaigns
Monitoring your online reputation helps you… … avoid a reputation crisis by informing you quickly … discover quick and effective new marketing opportunities … improve customer service through engagement … understand your customers’ needs and wants better … identify powerful influencers to target with WOM campaigns
OK so you’ve got a good site with lots of traffic and a thriving online community. What’s the most effective way to build long term relationships with these people?
Use it to build relationships
Not to acquire them
Successful long term customer relationships are built on mutual trust and respect
Do your email newsletters foster relationships?
Or do they treat customers like marketing targets?
Firstly, get personal!
But go beyond the name
An email newsletter should be a totally customised experience
Allow users to manage their information and subscription preferences
…and then personalise accordingly
Rather send less often with more relevant content – people will be more likely to listen
Nurture your in-house list
But make it easy to unsubscribe
Optimise your subscription touch points
2 stage process
Don’t gather too much info
Confirmation pages and emails
The biggest challenge: Deliverability
Bottom line: Ask yourself what YOU would want from the newsletter as a reader
Does it speak to you?
Or does it speak AT you?
In conclusion: eMarketing fundamentals
Get your website right, make it remarkable!
Drive qualified traffic to it.
Optimise the conversion of that traffic.
Build a relationship with your audience.
Test, test, test.
Thank You www.quirk.biz/IS
Putting this into practice
IS: who are your 5 target personas?
Top 3 characteristics of their personality
Social Media: Where are they and what do they want?
How is giving this to them going to achieve your business goals?
Email Marketing: What is going to make them read your newsletter?
How is giving this to them going to achieve your business goals?