Tag Archives: website design

5 Key Benefits of Inbound Marketing

2 November 2016 smashdeck Leave a comment Healthcare, Inbound Marketing, Sales Growth

Have you ever wondered why some companies resist inbound marketing? Here are 3 possible reasons:

  1. They don’t really know what it is and are too embarrassed to admit it
  2. They want sales! And they don’t understand how content can generate actual revenue
  3. They don’t have the time or money to hire someone to oversee it in-house

Well, let me start by saying that inbound marketing is highly-strategic methodology designed to educate and nurture prospects through their sales journey. It’s not “in your face.” Instead, it’s about providing prospects with something of value without asking for anything in return. And who doesn’t like to get something for nothing?

I’ll give you an example of how it works: In our last blog, The Easiest Way to Get in Front of Hospital Buyers, we revealed that most hospital administrators conduct research online before EVER coming in contact with a sales person. That means that they’re not sitting around waiting for your phone call. In fact, they’re probably dodging your calls until they’ve done their research. The goal of inbound marketing is to provide that research so the buyer can find you on their own.

It’s about delivering the right information at the right time in the right place.

Still aren’t convinced? Then have a look at these 5 Key Benefits of Inbound Marketing:

Benefit 1 – Simplifies the Jobs of Sales AND Marketing

With inbound, your sales and marketing teams join forces to create powerful content for prospects. Sales people are the source for key insights into what the customers need and want at different stages of their buying journey. Armed with that information, marketing can create highly-targeted content that educates the buyer, answers their questions and solves their problems. Together, sales and marketing can utilize and distribute that information to drive leads, increase conversions and nurture existing customers.

Benefit 2 – Increases Visibility and Brand Awareness

The digital world has made it possible for even the smallest brands to gain worldwide recognition. By producing content that is aligned with the the buyer’s journey, your target audience will be able to find your information as they conduct their research. If you’re not out there, they won’t find you. It’s that simple. Oh, and bonus! If prospects like what you’ve written, they’ll share your content with their social networks – dramatically increasing your visibility and solidifying your reputation as a credible resource.

Benefit 3 – Educates Prospects in the Digital World They Live In

Prospects are doing their research online. The latest statistic by CEB says that most B2B buyers are 57%-70% through their buying research before first contacting the seller. With a bit of research and clearly defined buyer personas, you will understand WHERE those key prospects are searching for information, and you can position your information strategically for them to see.

[Tweet ““67% of the buyer’s journey is now done digitally.” @siriusdecisions“]

Benefit 4 – Increases Trust and Credibility

Many buyers have shunned outbound marketing. They don’t want their day to be interrupted by your call or email. They want to consume information at their own leisure. Always remember: inbound marketing is on the buyer’s terms. If you can swallow your pride, dial back your enthusiasm and target prospects in a less direct, yet more effective way (ie: Inbound), you’ll gain their trust and pop in their minds when they’re ready to make a purchase.

Benefit 5 – Generates Quality Traffic & Leads

Finally, the part you’ve been waiting for. How does inbound generate sales? Well, we’re not saying it generates sales. We’re saying it generates relationships that lead to sales. Content targeted at your key audience will drive quality traffic and leads to your website. The more frequently you produce content, the more often those prospects are likely to visit your site – and when they do, you’ll be ready for them with calls to actions, top-notch landing pages and content offers that will help them make their decision – thus, leading them down the path towards conversion.

Well, if that wasn’t a long-winded explanation of why you need an inbound marketing program in place, then I don’t know what is. But it’s important to understand that inbound marketing is one of the most effective strategies in today’s busy world.

 

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Why a Sitemap Should be the Foundation of Your Website

23 March 2015 smashdeck Leave a comment Websites

As a designer, I like to help companies begin with the right approach to building a website. Often a designer will create a wireframe or a mockup of a website to show to a client before they have even mapped out their concept or idea.  This is where a Sitemap comes in handy. A Sitemap for a website is an outline or flow chart of your website – which is where I recommend everyone start.

Clarify your sites purpose and goal

A website and a brand should serve one or multiple customer groups and should fill a need.  When I was first starting out, I would start a website first, maybe buy some business cards (yes, awful waste of money) and then work on branding and concept. What ended up happening was a collision of ideas and concepts, which was very confusing. I then started to develop a small narrow concept first and then build a sitemap to support this one narrow concept. Design and development always take a back seat, because with design you can get lost in minutia and with development, it’s an afterthought of the concept, not a forethought.

Set-up a conversion funnel

I assume sales are important. If you want a visitor to land on your website and buy a product, complete an interest form or submit a service request, a conversion funnel is key. Use a Sitemap aka flow chart to map out the ideal path you want a visitor to take. Land on the home page > go to a product page > add to cart > checkout. This will help tremendously when deciding what pages and content to place on primary and secondary navigations menus.

Get input and get everyone on the same page

I have yet to see a website or business concept built without user input. If it’s not from your customers or potential prospects, it’s going to be from co-workers, colleagues or co-founders. Whoever is project lead (yes there always is one) should keep the Sitemap in a central location or on a server where its easily accessible by all. A Sitemap just like a website is dynamic. As you make changes and additions its helpful for everyone to see what is happening so they can provide input in real-time.

To recap, a Sitemap will help to eliminate pages and content early on, to save time and money. Design will stem organically from how to organize your website, how to develop your idea. Get the nitty gritty of a Sitemap out of the way and then you are free to explore Design.

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3 Ways to Create A Dynamic Website for Marketing

23 March 2015 smashdeck Leave a comment Websites

There is so much effort that goes into a digital marketing campaign that when it comes time to ‘pull the trigger,’ if your website or landing page is not optimized, all of the effort could be wasted. This is why you need a website for marketing.

I have run paid advertising campaigns that cost anywhere from $2 a click to $15 a click.  PPC can be an effective marketing tool – but not in its own right. This is just the first step in directing customers to your website. If your landing page and website aren’t designed properly, you’re going to lose those hard-earned leads.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

1. Create a conversion funnel
A conversion funnel is just as the name implies: it’s the path a user takes to a “conversion” ie: a checkout, a completed inquiry form or a referral. Put yourself in the users’ virtual shoes and walk through the path you want him/her to take. If you want them to buy a product, start from the home page or on the landing page and continue (with clicks) to see what looks and seems logical. Sometimes an outside perspective is required. If you created the copy or design, you might not be objective when seeing through the eyes of the customer.

2. Use Landing Pages
Landing pages operate independently from a company’s website. They inadvertently drive traffic to your website and have an exit point that clicks through. The importance of landing pages is often understated. They are a channel for directing a customer down a strategic path and fulfilling a single goal. This keeps your customer from getting lost in the maze of your website and leaving out of frustration.

Landing pages can be created on a very low budget with software applications like Lander App orUnbounce and studies show they more than pay for themselves, increasing conversions up to 30%.

3. Anticipate traffic

Sometimes the expected outcome is overestimated but more often it’s underestimated. It’s best to prepare for the worst, which in our case would be an abundance of traffic (yes this sounds good, bad is actually bad if you’re not prepared for it). Say a company spends $300 to get 6000 unique visits to their site, each with the goal of buying a product. If your website’s not ready for this volume of traffic, you’ll create an incredible bad first impression and potentially lose scores of new customers.

No marketing campaign, website or landing page is perfect. The key is to learn from what you’ve done wrong, take the right steps in the future, and sit back and enjoy the new leads that come pouring in as a result of your efforts.

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