I got one or two good ideas recently from a writeup of a presentation by design expert Oli Gardner on creating landing pages which work. Don’t forget, for many of us, what works for a landing page should give us clues about what might work for any product page.
Nice ideas include asking yourself if the subheading is actually better than the title: so often we write ‘clever’ headlines, then use a subheading to actually explain the benefits. Maybe we should have got straight to the point? Making use of captions is another opportunity we often neglect. Everyone reads picture captions, so use them for a quick sales pitch. And use ‘action language’: words such as ‘click’ tell your audience what you’d like them to do, and words such as ‘now’ encourage immediate action.
To read the full list, see 13 Considerations for Creating Successful Landing Pages on the TopRank Online Marketing Blog.
Branding is important, whatever size company you are, but with the huge swing to online marketing over the past few years, many B2B companies have struggled with the implications for the branding side of their promotional activities. For many, the easy answer has been to use email and the web for response marketing, and traditional media for the branding side of things. But it’s not really a satisfactory approach, because the reasons which have made magazines, exhibitions and direct mail less effective for response do rather apply to branding too. If that colour page in a magazine is going to establish your company as a major player in the minds of your prospects, it requires your prospects to be reading the magazine. Maybe they do. But I humbly submit, m’lud, that if they were, you’d still get great response from your product advertising.
I think what’s really happened is that marketing managers have said: “We can measure response advertising, and it appears that online advertising gets more cost-effective results, so we’ll move our response advertising there. But we can’t really measure branding campaigns, so, er, let’s put them where response can’t be measured.”
Is there any alternative? Can you run an effective branding operation online? 5 Tips for Better B2B Branding on the Online Marketing Blog doesn’t seem to have any doubts. It suggests that nowadays, B2B branding is about thought leadership, or positioning your company as the one which really understands its business. And this can be done online better than anywhere, because demonstrating thought leadership needs great content, and online, you’re not restricted in how much you can publish.
Is your business on Twitter? I know quite a few which are, including companies as diverse as igus, Adept Scientific and Axis-Shield. Although I was initially doubtful about the effectiveness of Twitter for business (I’ve always been a huge fan of using it socially), I’m now convinced it’s a great idea. The fact is, some of your customers use it and will follow you, and it’s so cheap and easy to do that it makes no sense not to take advantage of that. In addition, it’s quite clear that you’ll find new customers this way, as more and more people use Twitter as a real-time search engine.
If that’s not enough, last night it was announced that Twitter content is going to be included in Google results – and the implications of that are enormous. I doubt many experts have really been able to think through what that all means yet.
If you like the idea of Twitter for your business but really don’t think you’ve got the time, I’d actually like to experiment with running some Twitter streams on behalf of one or two companies. Let’s have a chat; I’m sure we could do something worthwhile for the price of a small ad somewhere each month. In the meantime, read 5 Twitter Tips for Staying Authentic and Transparent on the Online Marketing Blog.