Engagement Posts

Secondary calls to action can boost your website’s capture efficiency

We’ve posted guidelines for landing-page design before, and one of those is to make your call to action inescapable and avoid confusing your prospect with other options. But what about the other pages on your website?  Although they’re not landing pages, many of the “meat-&-potatoes” pages on your site – those that describe your products or services in particular – have at least some chance of inducing a visitor to want to take some next step with your company.  Clearly, you’ll do better to anticipate this and provide for it than to leave your visitor to puzzle over what might… [more]

The long and short of website copy

You may need to be of a certain age to relate well to the debate over long vs. short website copy.  In particular, as Sonia Simone reminds us in a post on Copyblogger, it helps if you can recall those halcyon days when direct mail (along with print/TV advertising, of course) was a company’s chief means of reaching prospects. “Decades ago”, Sonia says, “successful direct mail copywriters like Gary Bencivenga and Gene Schwartz noticed that ‘the more you told, the more you sold.’  In other words, the more relevant, compelling information they could cram into a piece of physical mail,… [more]

Does your website inspire trust in your B2B …or send buyers away?

Ever notice how, when visiting a company’s website for the first time, you tend to make snap judgments about the company’s overall quality …and, by implication, about the likely quality of its products or services? Well, you’re not alone;  we all do.  Which means, by extension, that your prospects are doing the same thing when they visit your site.  Over at Savvy B2B Marketing, Michele Linn has been doing a lot of website visits for clients recently, and has done a thoughtful post based on her analysis of the factors about a website that induce such visitor reactions.  Here are… [more]

Done right, your B2B website offers can drive high response rates

What makes a compelling offer?  The best answer to that emerges from testing, of course.  But B2Bs typically are dealing with relatively low traffic volumes, so testing can take what feels like forever while your business stays in the doldrums.  So some practical shortcuts to get you in the zone are in order. Here are our top two, and they’re pretty straight-up… Don’t use your offer to try to sell anything. Do use it to educate your prospect. Bear in mind that most prospects who hit your site are typically…

Video: the best B2B marketing tool you’re probably not using

Video is, quite simply, “the fastest-growing media platform in history,” according to a new report from social media research consultancy Trendstream and research firm Lightspeed.  Yet many – perhaps most – B2Bs are content to sit back and watch their B2C marketing brethren have this medium all to themselves. We’ll leave aside the no doubt deep-rooted, quasi-Freudian reasons for why this might be, in favor of pointing you to a nifty post by Kate Brodock on B2B Voices, who reasons: “It can be easy to implement, it’s visual – which is one of the most appealing forms of content –… [more]

How to keep your website’s content fresh

We hear this plaintive wail from clients all the time:  “With everything else going on, how can we ever keep posting fresh content to our website?” Well, here’s a bit of tough love on this:  keeping your website in tip-top shape is your job …not an interruption of it.  If it’s hard for you to find time to generate fresh, relevant content for your site, then I’d respectfully suggest that your priorities are out of line with the fact that today’s website is central to every B2B’s marketing strategy, not some hobby off to the side like it may have… [more]

Writing for the Web – a refresher course

Though a bit of a dust-off from the files, Anne Stuart’s piece for Inc. on this evergreen subject has some timeless advice, well worth another read.  Starting with the well-worn research that Web “readers” actually scan in a headlong rush, looking for specific items of interest, Anne encapsulates her recommended approach in “the three S’s”: Make it scannable.  Place the most important information at the top of each document.  Precede longer documents with brief executive summaries.  Make liberal use of headlines, subheads, bullet points, “Q&A” format, bolding and color for emphasis.  But avoid mixing too many fonts, or using underlining… [more]

Does Your Newsroom Really “Meet the Press” …and their Needs?

If your website is like that of most B2Bs, your “News” or “Press” section is somewhat of an afterthought. It’s like, “OK, finally we got all the important (product/service) content done; now what can we throw in under ‘News’ so we can get this puppy launched?” Too often, that ends up being simply an archive of moldy press releases and clippings. But in his excellent RainToday article, David Meerman Scott argues that your “News” area can – and should – be so much more. As for the “should”… marketers need only remind themselves that journalists are a relatively trusted voice… [more]

Does Your Company Stand Still? Neither Should Your Website.

Like every organism in nature, your company is constantly evolving: developing new products or services, addressing new markets, changing its image to the world (aka branding). That means that your website – as the company’s “front door” these days – absolutely must evolve to keep pace. Few things are more off-putting to prospects than learning that they just spent a lot of time researching an older version of your product: “Oh no, the latest doc on that is this pdf that we put together awhile back… I’ll email it to you, OK?” You can certainly forgive the prospect for thinking,… [more]

Practical Online Marketing Tips From MarketingSherpa’s Research

In his posting “What Works in B2B Technology Marketing”, Tom Pick over at WebMarketCentral had provided a nice summary of Marketing Sherpa’s free whitepaper, Business Technology Marketing Benchmark Guide 2007-08: Practical Data for B2B Software, Hardware & Services Marketers. (The whitepaper itself distills the complete Benchmark Guide, which is available for a fee at the SherpaStore.) As Tom says, truly experienced B2B IT marketers won’t find any shocking revelations here; but there are a few surprises, and the confirmatory data also make it well worth the read. We honed in on just three of Tom’s major takeaways…