All posts by Kay Svela

Kay is the VP Business Development at Cyberwalker Digital and author of three books: Read This Before You Kill Yourself, Super You, and Digital Marketing Secrets Revealed. She is based in Tampa, Florida. Email her at kay@cyberwalker.com

Be weird: The most effective attention-getting strategy

Here’s a quick question you may not have considered:

What does a raccoon riding alligator have to do with digital marketing ? (Scroll down below the picture to reveal the answer)

The most effective attention-getting strategy: Be weird

Absolutely nothing.

Except for the fact that it does make a great segue into our discussion on why “weird” is a good attention-grabbing strategy in digital marketing.

It got you to read this, didn’t?

If you want to get your people in your target market to actually stop what they are doing, and be so fascinated by what they see they can’t help but to click the link you just posted, you’ll want to try using strange, weird and wonderful headlines.

BUT – a word of caution:  Read this post before you use the weird strategy to learn how to do it effectively. There are some basic but crucial rules on its execution.

The most effective attention-getting strategy: Be weird

Why Weird Works:  

The weird attention-getting strategy works because it uses a human survival instinct we all have to spot things that are out of place. It is something we do because we:

a) Always want to ensure we are safe, and weird or unusual can mean danger…

b) We are curious beings by nature. Learning is how we evolve. It’s how we, as a species, get better.

If you think about it, that’s likely what had you click this article. 

Humans want to understand and solve things.  And, it’s easier to spot things that are out of place than things that are usual or to be expected.

This strategy is used be some of the top copywriters in theoprah world. Like the guys who work for the National Enquirer.  It is the No.5 most read publication in the world.

For those who aren’t familiar with the magazine, it’s got articles with the latest celebrity news. The stories are completely made up, but they often seem valid and real. Like this one about Oprah:

 

Just to be clear, I’m not going to show you how to make up stuff so you can fool people into reading your articles. Below you’ll learn how to use weird to get attention only, while remaining a credible resource with your integrity in tact.

Want more proof?

Cincrease web traffic by 10 timesWD recently used this tactic for a forklift dealership in California and increased web traffic on the day it was posted BY MORE THAN 10X.   How did we do that? On April Fools day CWD added this listing to the company web store for a hover lift truck. It was a fun joke that made warehouse manager smile and got them some major attention:hovertruck

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Rules when using the be weird attention-getting strategy:

1. Use weird in your hook or title, then follow up with facts and truths.  It’s important that any content your business shares publicly provides value. When you are constantly feeding your target market information and solutions they need, you become a credible resource that your people trust.

So, if you use the be weird strategy use it only to hook your reader. It’s best used in titles and email subject lines.

Once you get their attention your job is done.  Your strategy worked.  Then, you have to follow up with true facts and serious information to keep your credibility in tact.

You never want your customers to feel fooled or dumb. That breaks trust and can damage your brand.

Here are some examples of how to use “weird” to hook:

  • North American Nutritionist’s blog: “Why eating crickets is good for your health” – Article that explains how crickets are high in protein and are eaten in many countries around the world for good health.
  • Tampa news blog article: “This Christmas there’s snow in Florida”  – Article is about a popular new toy for kids – a mini snow cone machine – that’s selling out quickly in at local department stores for the Christmas season.
  • Health blog: “Why you should be happy if you’re bald” – Article reveals a research study that shows bald men live longer.

2. Tap into niche topics in your industry. Look at your industry and evaluate the topics that aren’t commonly discussed openly.  You want them to be common enough that people deal with them, yet things that no one else is solving.

Here are some examples:

  • Doctor’s blog:  “What your pooh says about your health”
  • Therapist’s blog: “Why less sex can be good for your marriage”
  • Online recipe:  “How to make low-fat zucchini fries that taste like french fries”

3. Use odd images.  Pictures that look out of place are good attention grabbers.

Jeff Johnson, an expert in lead generation suggests that people are drawn to images the suggest luxury or living a good life.

The experts at LeadPages.net have tested many landing page conversion rates using the same copy but changing out the pictures. They found that using a picture of an attractive woman smiling will increase your chances of conversion.  This is true for every industry and even if your landing page content is completely unrelated to women.

See our use of the weird image tactic here:

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How to design a lead capture form that converts

If people arrive at your website and you have no way to capture their information, you are doing your business a huge disservice. Site visitors are leads. They are interested in your products and/or services, which is what brought them to you in the first place.

So, take the opportunity that’s been handed to you. Capture their contact information by using a lead magnet and capture form.

What’s that? It’s a little bit of digital marketing lingo. Lets demystify it.

Have you ever been to a web site where they provide an enticing free offer (white paper, ebook, video, free course)  in return for your name and email address?

That’s a lead capture form loaded with a lead magnet.

The form is where you fill out the info and is connected to a mailing list registration process.

The lead magnet is the giveaway. This gets delivered to the person after they sign up.

Typically this marketing mechanism signs the visitor up for an email list. This gives you the opportunity to communicate with the visitor on an ongoing basis. You feed them with valuable information by email that they need or find interesting and develop a relationship with them. This trust gets built over time and you become an expert. When your message lands in their inbox they are motivated to open it and as you develop this process you can expose them to products and services that match their needs.

However this all starts with the lead capture form and lead magnet, like this one (click to see what happens):

Want more Free Digital Marketing

(and by the way, a “contact us” or “inquiry”  form is NOT enough. You need to provide site visitors with value. If you do that, your conversion rates will be much higher.)

How to design a capture form that converts

Our most effective lead capture strategy yet:

At Cyberwalker Digital, we track and evaluate how effective our strategies are for all our clients. We look at open rates for emails, at conversion rates for online forms,  at “likes” for Facebook posts and at clicked links for articles we send out.  You see, marketing these days is less of a guessing game then it used to be. Using digital tools we can track almost anything.

So, when we weren’t satisfied with the conversion rate on an initial capture strategy we had put in place for one of our clients, a major forklift dealer in California, we started to think outside the box. Here’s what we came up with:

We called it Warehouse Genius. It’s a capture box that allows warehouse professionals (their target demographic) to get immediate help for any of challenges they are dealing with.

How to design a lead capture form that converts

 

Why is it so effective?

  1. No one else in their industry provides 48-hour support for common warehouse challenges. So, it’s a valuable free service that attracts their target demographic. We also used search engine optimization tactics so the page can be easily found.
  2. Site visitors build a relationship of trust with the company. They are not getting sold to all the time. They can visit the site and the Warehouse Genius feature and use it as a helpful resource with no strings attached.
  3. The forklift dealer becomes recognized as the experts they are in their industry.
  4. When our clients receives a Warehouse Genius submission the information is highly valuable. It allows them to understand the common challenges that their target market is dealing with. They use this to generate articles on related topics.  And, from time to time the inquiries amount to future business (though, that’s not the only goal).

It was so effective, we thought we’d try it out to learn if it’s a valuable strategy for any industry.  So, here is our version:

If you have a question about marketing and/or digital marketing, click the button below and ask us using our Marketing Genius form.

It’s completely free. No strings attached.  We’ll share what we know and help you solve a potential challenge you could be struggling with:

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Increase site traffic with an online dictionary

CWD recently built an online dictionary for one of our clients, a well-known forklift dealer based in California. During the process, we discovered how highly effective this strategy is for driving new traffic to websites.

This tactic works especially well for industries that are highly specialized, such as: Healthcare providers, attorneys, real estate agents, tax attorneys and warehouse/logistics companies. They types of industries often have to educate their customers as to their products and services as part of the sales process.

Increase site traffic with an online dictionary

Increase site traffic with an online dictionary

Here’s why an online glossary of terms is so effective:
Building a dictionary of industry related terms allows companies to share their expertise and build credibility in their industry.  Most importantly, you can optimize each page of the dictionary for search engines to dramatically increase your site’s exposure.

Your site will climb the ranks of search engine listings for one word searches and for popular industry definitions. It’s common for other companies to link to a online dictionary to clarify terms on their own site (in-linking) . In-links help your site climb the search engine ranks. This will help you increase your chances of getting found by your target market.
How to build an online glossary:
If you want to build an online dictionary on your site it’s quite simple. It requires only three basic steps. Though, it will take a bit of time to put together.

Step 1: Compile a list of industry relevant terms.  This is most effective for specialized industries. This is why, it works well in materials handling. Other businesses, like healthcare industries, law firms, real estate agents.

Step 2:  Post terms in alphabetical order. You want to include a brief description of the term explained as simply as possible. This helps if you have a good copywriter that works with you.  You can also add links to videos and images to help explain the term.

Step 3: SEO each term.  Search engines, like Google, algorithms are based on keywords, so a dictionary is perfect for optimizing to appear in search when a traffic enters a specific phrase.

Once your dictionary is operational keep track of the terms that are getting the most traffic. These are likely the most challenging concepts to understand or the most popular terms in the industry. You can write and post articles related to the terms so you can continue to attract more of your target demographic.

To see an example of an online dictionary, visit the one we put together for RaymondHandling.com.

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SEO in-linking 101

In-linking is one of the most important and most overlooked techniques (by newcomers to SEO) in search engine optimization. Understanding how it works and how to do it will help you grow your site traffic quicker than any other SEO tactic.

SEO in-linking 101:

SEO In-linking 101

What is in-linking?

It’s the process of getting other websites to link to your website. And it’s very important because search engines like Google and Bing use these links to decide how valuable your website is.  Each third-party site that links to one of your web page is a vote of confidence.

High number of credible third party links = site popularity = top search engine ranking on Google and Bing

An easy way to think of in-linking is to call it a referral. Think of it like this:  Would you be more likely to go to the theatre to see a movie that you a) saw a preview for on TV, or b) that three of your best friends recommended?  Probably the latter of the two scenarios would more likely influence your choice to go see the movie.

So, when another company puts a link to your site on their site it sends a message to search engines that your site has content that’s good enough to share.  That makes it valuable.  And as a result, your site moves up the search engine ranks.

5 easy ways to in-link:

1. Ask for a link. Search for similar sites that match the keywords you’d like to be ranked for. Email them and ask them to link to your site in exchange for providing free content to them. Or guest post on their site and in exchange, offer them to guest post for you.

2. Pay for a link. Find sites that get a lot of traffic from individuals in your target market. Pay them to link to your site. Or, provide them with an ad that links to your site. Text links in the body of an article are always preferred however and are assigned a higher value to search engines. CAUTION HERE: Some ads are coded so that they are not used by search engines as a referral link. Their web site uses no-follow tags to tell a search engine to disregard them. These have zero value for SEO purposes.

3. List in free listing resources. List your site in free business directories.

4. Make yourself available to the media.  Provide your expertise to online media outlets – get interviewed. Ask that the writer link their article or show notes (in the case of broadcast) to your web site.  This will help you gain major clout with search engines because media websites tend to be highly ranked.

5. Share content on social media. Share your content on social media. People who find it valuable will share it and it will get linked in blogs.

Important information about in-linking:

Be judicious about guest posting.  A few years back there was a high number of SEO gurus that caught on to guest posting. Naturally, they used it to their advantage.  They would provide the same article to large quantities of web sites.

Google caught on and adjusted their algorithm. They clamped down on the entire process.  So now, if they decide that you are mass sharing the same article just to get links, your site will be penalized. You will actually fall down the search engine ranks.

Google counts links and actually looks at the content of the site that is linking to your site.  For example, if your website is about horses and it is linked to by a site about knitting it won’t be as high a vote of confidence as another website about horses.

Google considers the position of the link. If you a third party site puts a link to your site in an article of a popular web post versus the bottom of a page that gets less attention. Google sees this as more valuable.

Create content that is good link-bait.  The best links are the ones that happen naturally and organically so create content that is the best on the web.  People will naturally share it especially if it’s a bit unusual and rare.

Anchor text in the link is important.   If a site links to your site about dog food and presents the link as it’s url it won’t be as influential as a statement, such as linking the keywords words: “Check out this site about dog food reviews“. In this example the linked keywords tell Google what the linked site is about.

Cross-link all your web properties. Wherever you can link to your site from web sites you own.

Link inside your web site. Cross-link pages on your website. If you write a post and mention a keyword from a post you wrote on another topic, link to the post. This will also keep site visitors on your site and engaged with your brand. And it helps Google understand your content better based on the words you crosslink.

In-linking takes time but the end results is more site visitors, which could lead to more sales.  It’s the third step in the process of basic search engine optimization strategy. To be most effective, you’ll also want to check out the articles on keyword research and on-page optimization.

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Most common content marketing mistakes

If you’re using a content marketing strategy to grow your business and you’re frustrated that you are not landing more sales, read this article.  You’ll discover the most common content marketing mistakes made by business owners. Find out what they are and learn how to avoid them below.

Frequent content marketing errors

Most popular content marketing mistakes

The entire content marketing process can be synthesized into three basic steps:

Step 1 – Create content that you believe your target market will find valuable enough to use and share.

Step 2 – Promote the content.  Post it on your website, on social media platforms, and use search engine optimization tactics to make sure your content gets picked up by search engines.

Step 3 – Out of the web traffic that experiences your content a percentage will sign up for your product or service (when called to action).

The focus is to share your expertise often. This will naturally attract your target demographic.

But, there’s a common misconception that many business owners have. They think that if they do Steps 1 and 2, then Step 3 will happen immediately. It’s not that simple.

Here’s what you need to do: Repeat Steps 1 and 2 many times for Step 3 to happen. Often you have to expose your brand many times in many different ways  (we call those “touch points” in marketing) before you actually land a customer.

That being said, it’s not unheard of to convert customers upon initial contact with your brand.  Customers will buy immediately when they encounter your brand at the same time they have a need for what you offer. You all need to make sure you’re not making any of these common errors:

  1. Not tracking your conversion rates and stats  If you don’t look at your site analytics you won’t know which articles are getting the most visitors.  When you have this information you can gain an understanding of what’s a popular topic. If you keep writing articles that fall under that category, it’s likely you’ll be speaking to what your target market needs more of.  If you do email marketing you’ll also want to track you conversion rates by reviewing number or emails opened and links clicked.
  2. Not growing your social media following If you aren’t actively following new contacts on Twitter, engaging with people on LinkedIn, and joining new groups, when you post your content you’ll be getting limited exposure.  The same people will see your stuff.  And those people may or may not be good candidates to buy from you.  Do your research and connect with people you want to do business with and also other vendors in your industry.
  3. Doing no search engine optimization (or doing it incorrectly, thinking you’re doing it right)  If you’re doing work to write one to five new posts a week for your site, you are wasting your time if you are not doing any SEO work. It is crucial for positioning your brand so the right people find you. Learn how to do it yourself. Or, hire a reputable company to do it for you.
  4. Selling too soon  If you are trying to sell a $99 program to people you’ve sent only two emails to, you’ll need to do more work to convert them.  Individuals need to see your brand many times before they purchase from you.  This requires time. You have to build a relationship of trust and affinity. So, you want to warm people up.  Give things away for free often. Sell them on smaller priced items first. And diversify your products and service packages so you can understand what price points sell best.  

Remember, building your list of contacts and then taking them from someone who knows about you to buyer is not a quick process. It’s like a romantic relationship. It takes time and effort to build trust and love.

But, if you consistently post great content and do it strategically, you’ll be able to double, triple or quadruple your business in less than one year.

Like this post?  Get more free digital marketing expertise sent to your inbox each week by joining our Ultimate Digital Marketers groups. It’s hassle-free. We’ll never sell you on anything if you’re a member. You’ll only receive expert tips like this one. CLICK THIS BUTTON:

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How to be seen as an expert in your industry

The fastest way to grow your business is to become an industry expert. This means, you want to shift your focus from landing more sales to sharing your expertise with the demographic your targeting.

When you provide value by way of knowledge and/or freebies (especially if you have a product you can sample) it gives you immediate credibility as a topic expert. This is as true as it is for authors and coaches as it is for major brands.

How to be seen as an expert in your industry:  6  Quick tips

How to be seen as an expert in your industry

1) Make your website an industry resource versus simply being online business listing: 

It’s important that your target market can find you online but don’t limit your business to having a site that only looks good and has your basic business information. Think about making your site a resource.

Dedicate a section of your website to content that provides value. You can even call it a library.  Post videos, written articles, and answer the most frequently asked questions in your industry.  Take on the job of solving the challenges of your target market.

When your site is a resource, visitors come back often. They learn to build a relationship of credibility and reliability with your brand.

2) Answer questions:

One of the easiest ways to become an expert is to answer common questions in your industry.  You can do this on your own site by providing an opportunity for site visitors to ask questions on a contact form.  With the inquiries you received you can build an FAQ page.

You can also use services such as Quora. It is a site that connects people who have questions with those with answers. There are thousands of questions that get posted daily. You can browse questions by topic and respond to ones that fit your area of expertise.

There are media outlets that use Quora to find topic experts for articles. It can also be a great platform to network with other professionals.

3) Get active on social media: 

Make sure your company is on the following social media platforms:

  1. Facebook
  2. Twitter
  3. Google +
  4. LinkedIn

Post informative content that addresses the challenges of your target market. You’ll want to post up to 3 times a week, though you can post as frequently as once a day.

Join communities on LinkedIn and Facebook.  Answer questions in those forums. You can also follow Twitter hashtags for topics you’re an expert in, and participate in conversations.  Theses days even journalists use hashtags to find experts.

4) Join HARO:

There is an incredible website called HelpAReporter.com.  Popular media outlets use it to post queries for topic experts. You can join and respond to the ones that apply to your business. It’s a great way to get exposure.

5) Publish a book:

Prove your expertise by writing and self-publishing a book.  It’s direct evidence that you are knowledgable about the topic you’ve written about.

At CWD, we have a book called Digital Marketing Secrets Revealed, where we give away all our secrets.  The book helps us share who we are with our customers easily. It establishes immediate credibility and it is proof that we know we know about digital marketing.

6) Give out freebies: 

Share your knowledge for free on a regular basis, everywhere. If you have a product that speaks for itself when people use it, then give out samples.  People who encounter your brand will want to engage with you often. You’ll be able to build a relationship and of trust and brand affinity overtime.

Speaking of free stuff, if you want more free digital marketing secrets click here to order your free ebook:

Free Digital Marketing Secrets Revealed eBook

 

 

 

How to build a website strategically

Read the 9 web site strategies below, that if followed, will put you significantly ahead of your competition.

How to build a website strategically

1. 50% of people who buy online through ecommerce-enabled web sites make a purchase using a mobile device. Ensure your website is mobile compliant, which means it looks good on any device. You may hear people use the term “responsive” around this idea.

2. Switch to a Content Management System such as WordPress, Joomla or Drupal. It will reduce the cost to operate your website and allow you to easily add new features and content without the need for a technical webmaster.

How to build a website strategically3. Make sure your web site is fast. This helps keep people engaged and it impacts you search engine rankings too.

Test it with: http://tools.pingdom.com/fpt/. Make sure your webmaster updates your content management system and plug-ins to protect against having the website being hacked and knocked down.

4. Smaller images load faster. Be sure to size your graphics so that they don’t take the end user’s web browser a long time to load. This is important for mobile too.

5. Test your web site on multiple browsers. The industry norm is to engineer for the top current browsers minus one version. That includes: Chrome, Internet Explorer and Firefox. Also audit mobile browsers and screen sizes.

6. Track your traffic by installing Google Analytics (it’s free) and look at the visitors, sessions (visits), and page views every week. (We look at it daily.) Use this to evaluate what content is valuable to your visitors and produce more of it.

7. HTML is the language that the web is written in. Get to know it, because it will come in handy when you are tweaking articles and positioning images. It’s not hard, and you don’t have to become a code guru. Understanding a little HTML will give you a lot of street cred with your technical staff or contractors as well.

8. Advertise on your own web site. Some people put ads on their content-based web sites to generate income. Instead, develop your own internal ads and promote products and services, and even web site features on your own site.

9. Add share buttons to your web site content. This way, it can easily be shared by site visitor on social media, which will drive more traffic to you. Buttons like the ones below!

Success with email marketing: 10 Tips

Ding-dong the old school email marketing techniques are dead. Why? Because we didn’t account for the fact we were selling to smart humans. But content is king and when you pair it with a killer email funnel that follows basic human pssuccess with email marketingychology you will come out ahead.

Read these key techniques, take them to heart, and we guarantee you will win hearts and minds.

 

Success with email marketing: 10 Tips

1. The email “blast” is dead. Using this technique to push content out about your brand is a sure fire way to have people view your email list as spammy and get off it fast.

2. The “newsletter” is not only dead, it paints your brand as out of touch. Send personalized tips and tricks and content from a real person and develop a relationship with your audience. Not a weekly “bulletin”.

3. Segment your email list. Send your best stuff to a “premium” list. Put people who engage with your email content or buy from you on that list. Make sure they know they are special and have been promoted.

4. Don’t sell to your list. Send high value content and assets to your list so people develop the habit of opening your emails. Industry average open rates are 7% to 10% so if you can get 20% to 30% open rates you have content in your emails that people want. Work towards that. Some of the top sellers in the industry give away massively valuable materials and develop amazing loyalty from their subscribers.

5. Qualify everyone joining your email list. Test them to see if they engage with your content. Upsell the engagers and fish the non-engagers ‘til they do.

6. Use a smart CRM and marketing automation system such as Infusionsoft.com so that you can track behavior of people on your email list.

7. Be sure to observe anti-spam legislation in your country. Get to know CAN-SPAM in the U.S. and CASL in Canada. Ignore these at your peril. You could find yourself facing a big fine for a misstep.

8. Use scarcity. People love a deal and hate to miss one. If you offer something of massive value, even if it is for free, ask for action and use a tight deadline. The threat of loss or missing out will drive people to act fast if they think they will miss out. Not everyone will, but more people will act than if you don’t squeeze them on time.

9.  Be personable. Don’t sign your emails “Best, The XYZ Company Team”, sign it from you or a personality in your company. Develop a voice. Connect on a human level and appeal to emotions and needs through human to human connections. Tell them stories they can relate to and ask them to act because you care about them.

10. ULTIMATE TIP: Give away your best stuff. People will be blown away by what they get from you and will assume your expertise is much deeper than what they got for free. Plus, some people are lazy. They want something done for them even if you tell them how, but they will appreciate being given insider information, even if they don’t use it. This will qualify you as someone to buy from. Trust is the magic that must be present before someone buys. Earn it. This works for any industry.

If you got value from this article pass it on. Share it with your colleagues and friends by using one of the share buttons below.

Social media success: 5 quick tips

Want to use social media to grow your business and generate more sales leads? Read these 5 quick tips.  Number #5 is probably the most overlooked and most important.

Social media success: 5 quick tips

1) Be sure to post a profile and appropriate brand images or supporting brand images on your social media accounts. Users should have the same brand experience as if they visited your website or came to your company premises. Use the page background, banner image, and feature image options to your brand advantage.

Social media success: 5 quick tips

2) Do not hard sell on social media. Create opportunities for engagement with intriguing offers.  Provide more free valuable expert content than salesy content.

3) Share great content links on social media. It’s a good way to drive people to your web property. Make sure when they land on the content there is a clear way to reach you using a call to action.

4) Be sure to use Pinterest. It is image-centric and is a good way to share links. Product marketers that sell to women do very well on Pinterest.

5) Share content from other web sites. It sets you up as an expert, who understand the industry they are in. Sticking to your own content makes you look self-serving and limits your appeal to people seeking expertise. Share. Share. Share. You look generous. And smart.

 

Social media etiquette: 3 quick tips

Understanding how to use social media to grow your business isn’t as difficult it seems. It’s actually quite straight forward. Step 1 is to setup an account on the following platforms: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google. Step 2, post informative content often (at least 3 times per week). And Step 3 is to learn a few basic rules regarding social media etiquette.  To help you with that, here are 3 quick tips.

 

Social media etiquette: 3 quick tips

social media etiquette: 3 quick tips

  1. Don’t follow back everyone who follows you on Twitter. Choose the people who provide value to you and monitor their tweets for content you care about. When you follow someone back it sends the message that you’re interested.  So, when you do follow up back make sure you share their content and engage them. It will help you build a relationship. The goal for you is to develop a social media community of contacts you care about
  2. Do respond to everyone who reaches out to your brand through social media. They are interested in you, so, engage them. Be helpful or add value to them in your response.
  3. For people who are malicious and negative on social media either ignore them, or if they have a complaint against your brand, address it but take it out of social media as fast as possible. Don’t turn it into an online battle.