Six Strategies For Getting People to Read Your (Whole) Blog Post

Six Strategies For Getting People to Read Your (Whole) Blog Post

Content Writing

In the age of instant information, most readers don’t typically finish a whole blog post. They scan it for information that’s relevant to them and move on. This is true for casual site visitors and loyal readers alike. And, unfortunately, it’s true whether the information in the blog is mediocre or remarkable.

So how can you get readers to slow down long enough to read the information you’re sharing? Is your tone boring people? Are your posts informative? Let’s assume you’ve got engaging and useful information (you’ve already made sure of that, right?). You’re still likely to lose readers unless you stick to the following blog writing tips for presenting your information.

1) Use Headlines With a Clear Value

Catchy Headline

The headline should be accurate and provide a quick and understandable answer to the question

Headlines are your tool for grabbing attention. But in order to keep the reader interested, you also need to be clear about what your article offers. The headline should be accurate and provide a quick and understandable answer to the question, “what’s in it for me?” Titles with “How to…” or “Top 10…” are popular because they get straight to the point.

2) Make Your Introduction Relevant and Engaging

Once readers continue past the headline, they’ll look to the introduction to be sure that the post fulfills the promise made in the headline. This is your chance to assure them that the article is tightly focused and to pique their curiosity with interesting questions on the topic. Keep it brief and always reiterate the value of the information you’re offering.

3) Numbered Headlines Work Better

Numbered HeadlinesHeadlines with numbered lists perform better. This may be because, in scanning the headline, the reader wants to get a sense not only of the content but of how many ideas will be offered (and how long it will take to read the piece). For example, while the headline, “How to Promote Your Brand on Social Media” tells the reader what information to expect, “Five Ways to Promote Your Brand on Social Media” additionally gives a clear picture of how many concepts to expect.

4) Leverage the Power of Subheadings

In a world where people scan before they read, subheads carry the eye through the piece quickly and break up long blocks of text. You can be a little more playful with subheadings, but they should still have a clear relationship to the text that follows.

5) Get to The Point

Long chunks of text put readers off. The best writers aim for brevity and clarity. A good rule of thumb is to keep most paragraphs to two or three sentences, with a maximum of five. Watch for wordy sentence construction and unnecessary words. They’ll only weigh down your text.

6) A Picture is Worth…

Visual elements help carry the reader through the text and offer a quicker way to understand your ideas. Include photos, charts or infographics to enhance the text. Videos are also a good way to draw readers in and keep them engaged longer.

10 Quick Steps to Increase Conversions on Your Product Pages

10 Quick Steps to Increase Conversions on Your Product Pages

Ecommerce

10 Pro Tips for Product Page Optimization

In the e-commerce world, search engine optimization drives traffic to your site. The next logical step is product page optimization, the crucial process that drives sales. Follow these pro tips to improve your e-commerce content for better conversion rates.

1) Show All the Info Buyers Need

This includes the key features of the product, shipping costs and timelines, stock availability, warranty protection and any other important information. You’re trying to influence a buying decision, so help your reader by displaying as much pertinent information as possible.

2) Think About Your Pricing Display

Pricing DisplayMake sure the price is prominently displayed. If your pricing is lower than your competitors’, consider displaying both prices while the comparison is in your favor. When offering a discount or other promotion, be sure to include the original price and the deadline for the offer as an incentive to act quickly.

3) Create an FAQ Section

This section informs and educates the reader to make a better purchasing decision. When all their questions are answered, buyers feel more confident and know what to expect from their transactions.

4) Use High-Quality Product Photos

High-quality product photos help the viewer understand the product and visualize owning it. Be sure to include different angles and, if applicable, colors or styles. A zoom feature is helpful to allow the viewer to focus on whichever portion of the product is of most interest.

5) Use Trust Badges and SSL Certificates

Sharing credit card information over the internet can feel risky. Displaying security precautions and trust badges helps encourage confidence in your buyers, who are then more likely to buy with confidence.

Customer Reviews

Reviews have a powerful influence on our buying decisions

6) Post Customer Reviews

Humans are social creatures and reviews have a powerful influence on our buying decisions. When a buyer sees that many others have had a positive experience with your company, he is more likely to trust you.

7) Post Compelling Product Descriptions

The trick here is to focus less on the features of a product and more on its benefits. When a customer can picture herself enjoying the benefits of your product, she’s more likely to purchase it than if she’s simply given a bland list of features. Look at your product pages from the point of view of the customer, with a view to understanding how she will benefit from the product.

8) Use Product Videos

A well shot video gives an excellent preview of the look and feel of a product and its use. Make sure your videos look professional and give a clear message about the benefits and uses of the product.

9) Get Social

Along with reviews, social media profiles boost your credibility with would-be buyers. Use social media sites as an opportunity to share reviews from happy customers and promote upcoming deals.

10) Get Busy

Or, at least, look busy. Listing out-of-stock items, limited quantities and sold-out items gives the impression of brisk business with a lot of traffic and turnover. This encourages buyers to act quickly when they see something they like.

6 Reasons Why Ecommerce Brands Should Also Go Direct Selling To Customers

6 Reasons Why Ecommerce Brands Should Also Go Direct Selling To Customers

Business & Entrepreneurship

Six Direct Sales Advantages for E-Commerce Brands

Traditionally, brand manufacturers use distributors, big retailers and e-commerce marketplaces to sell their goods. In order to have a more direct relationship with consumers, brands previously needed to open bricks and mortar locations, with their associated overhead. The internet has leveled the playing field in this sense, offering direct-to-consumer (DTC) channels to companies of any size.

Brands with DTC channels take advantage of online stores to expand their reach. Direct sales tips abound for businesses of any size. Here’s why you should consider expanding your reach into DTC channels, as well as your traditional marketplaces.

1) Reap the Rewards

You put a lot of effort into promoting your brand and products. While large-scale e-commerce marketplaces offer lots of traffic, their audience comes at a cost. Opening an online DTC store removes the middleman, and all associated commissions and fees. You can continue to leverage a third-party marketplace’s audience by providing links to your site, where more product and brand information is available. The higher your search rankings on the internet, the more it makes sense to open a DTC channel on your site. At the same time, your direct sales will boost your site’s search ranking.

2) Keep the Focus Where You Want It

sOne of the harsh realities of large e-commerce marketplaces is that your product is one of many. As such, your product is unlikely to get any special attention. Typically, third-party retailers will only promote the products that are selling well, as these are the products that matter most to them. This makes it more difficult to break through in a huge e-commerce marketplace. One of direct sales’ advantages is the ability to highlight your products in a way that makes sense for your business.

3) Enhance the Shopping Experience

Direct selling provides the business opportunity to craft your brand message carefully and enhance customer experience. Large third-party sellers are focused on bulk sales and profits, not on your relationship with your customer. Creating DTC channels give you back that control which can only strengthen your reputation.

Revenue Stream4) Minimize Your Dependance on a Single Revenue Stream

The old adage about having all your eggs in one basket applies here. No matter how successful any revenue stream has been for you up until now, unforeseen events can change your revenue suddenly and drastically. The best way to hedge against profit loss is to create multiple revenue streams, and DTC channels are inexpensive to set up.

 

5) Make Your Store a Viable Option

DTC channels will reach new customers and will keep them from eyeing competitors’ products as they might otherwise do in a large marketplace. One of the most valuable direct sales tips is to do your research and provide competitive pricing and shipping rates in your own store.

6) Communicate with Customers More Effectively

Direct communication with your customers allows you to educate and inform them about your products in a more in-depth manner. Third-party retailers are less interested in this aspect of your business. They also have less at stake when it comes to the customer service associated with your brand. DTC channels allow you to control the customer experience.

DTC channels provide an excellent complement to listings in third-party marketplaces. They diversify your revenue streams and give you the opportunity to control your brand messaging and customer relationships.

Making a Case for that ‘Dream Marketing Budget’ and Winning it

Making a Case for that ‘Dream Marketing Budget’ and Winning it

Business & Entrepreneurship

Establish Goals Firmly Goals are important. But establishing unified goals is more important. Unified goals tie in other parts of the organization to work in alignment with Marketing. Everything starts and ends with increased sales or conversions. So a good sales pipeline driven by marketing could be the first and foremost goal. Second could be customer retention or growth. A lot of this activity would be driven by the the account/project management function or delivery organization in case of services. So tying in with their KPIs and what they consider as success would be critical.

Case in Point: Evaluate the most critical need of the organization. Most times it is building the sales pipeline, other times it could be related to restoring the brand, and a few other times it could be focused on growing the existing strategic customer base. As someone leading the marketing pack, you really need to analyze that and establish strong KPIs around them and propose a plan to achieve them.

Think Beyond Marketing

SEOs-and-CROs-working-together

This means that don’t just think about convincing your CMO, but also your CTO and CIO, Sales and Product guys. A lot of these decisions are intertwined and not made in a silo anymore. Marketing budget spend has implications on several groups within the organization especially when it is a start up.

Case in point: you want to make an investment to revamp your web presence on a CMS and give your brand a facelift. A cost-benefit analysis of current vs. ideal state to show it to your CTO would be a good starting point. Identify the key measurable KPIs like development and testing of different builds and templates with an internal development crew vs. running this through a centralized content management system by your marketing team. Establish a concrete ROI either in terms of larger conversions or increased traffic resulting in a possibility of a larger pipeline to impact the topline.

Make Realistic Assumptions to Manage Expectations

Picture3

We usually get into this ‘transforming the marketing organization’ syndrome. You cannot build this structure in a day. So be conservative but realistic to define what the KPIs should be. Consider all possible failover and contingency scenarios. Establish a fail early, learn fast model with a small budget to prove success before going all in with a marketing strategy. Evaluate your business not in a silo but against and in the face of the different supply and demand, substitutes and complementary forces to assess success and make the bets accordingly.

Case in Point: There might be a chance that you might have a few key marketing resources drop out mid stream, so plan for plan B. Your business could be disrupted by another competitor who builds core strengths really fast to scale.  There might a chance that other departments are unable to scale the way you want them to to support your growth trajectory. All of these scenarios need to be built in into your plan.

The Ultimate Trump Card

Believe in the Product – Believe that what you are building is powerful and is going to make a dent in either a big or a small way. That will keep you going even if the above don’t align, and sometimes they don’t. The firm conviction that you are going to make it happen is quite infectious and rubs across other folks within the organization very soon. And that’s when great things happen, including magical approvals to budgets.

Good Luck and Have a Busy 2016!

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