In the first free webinar in our #GR8 Relevant Marketing Webinars series, “Think Big! Big Picture Marketing,” the mRELEVANCE Managing Partners, Carol Morgan and Mitch Levinson, discussed the importance of big picture thinking and developing a successful corporate marketing strategy.
For those who attended our webinar and want the notes or for those who missed the webinar, here is what we discussed related to big picture marketing.
When remembering the big picture, always remember this graphic; it displays what we think of and use as our typical interactive marketing program. It centers on a client’s main message and assets – their website and blog. No matter what industry you are in, this is what marketing today looks like:
1. Be Responsive
Whether your visitor is a smart phone, tablet, laptop or desktop user, visitors should see the content in a user-friendly, readable format. We are looking at our screens in all different sizes, and we want to deliver our message effectively. From an SEO standpoint, make sure your website is responsive, while also appealing to attract and keep visitors on the site. Things to remember when creating a responsive design include prioritizing content, thinking touch screen, compressing images and monitoring results per device.
2. Easy Navigation
When focusing on site navigation, it is recommended to only include five to seven navigation options. This is for ease of access and to make your website appear clean and less chaotic. An important factor with navigation is to make sure that users can be easily led to the next step of his or her process. Whether on a smart phone or a desktop, this process needs to be easy and intuitive.
3. Enhanced Mapping
Engage buyers and web visitors and simplify the browsing experience by consolidating overlapping map icons when multiple communities or locations are displayed in one area. Also, be sure to integrate your website with Google Maps API. This enables visitors to see a clean and effective Google Map with a numbering scheme for overlapping communities and a color scheme for differing community types. Having advanced mapping capabilities makes things very easy, and people love easy and simple.
4. Social Integration: Sharing and Engagement
Make it easy to share content through social media platforms. Whether it is from the website, blog or another online asset, content should be easy to access and share. When users look at beautiful photos, is it easy for them to share, save or tweet on their own site? Making content shareable is crucial to expanding the number viewers and their engagement.
Videos and images are now more important than ever. Having virtual tours and plenty of pictures is what attracts users to websites and makes them even more interested in the community, product or service being sold. Finding a way to incorporate plenty of videos and pictures throughout the website makes people look deeper into the site, and they typically receive a higher rate of engagement and interaction on social media.
5. Options and Upgrades
One of the ways to enhance user experience is by offering tools and options, like the available upgrades they can add or an inside look at what it’s like to be in a design center. We recommend putting as many design options and upgrades into the site as possible, which helps to make browsing an enjoyable experience for users, as they look at and discover new products they never thought they needed before.
In terms of research and survey tools, people are now turning to surveys to determine what they need or what they should be doing. We recommend creating a VIP landing page to generate interest about a product or new community and begin by taking surveys about the product and getting recommendations. This allows the users voice to be heard and gives them a sense of importance by sharing their opinions.
6. Interactive Site Plan
Be the builder who stays ahead of the game and has an interactive site plan that updates automatically when a home is bought. This provides that “wow” factor when customers walk in to your sales center. Creating an interactive site plan, potential buyers can interact and learn about the community with or without the help of a sales agent. This is especially important in large communities or busy sales centers that are not always staffed to handle the amount of traffic they may receive.
7. Target Your Customers
When targeting customers, develop a three-step plan – define and create audience, put content first and develop a content strategy.
First, create an environment where people feel comfortable engaging with your brand online. The easiest people to engage are staff and team members. It is a great idea to have them interact with each other on all social media outlets. The second set of people to get to interact is influencers — vendors, trade people and other people that will benefit on both ends. Get them to feel comfortable promoting your company, and be sure to promote them too. Once staff and influencers are interacting, it is easier to get happy customers engage. Then, when the neutral customers begin interacting online, the happy customers jump in and answer their questions. The best part about having raving fans is that they help to create an environment and reputation on social media that can’t be hurt by the naysayers or that one bad review.
After creating an audience, put content first. Otherwise the audience won’t stick around for long. We suggest creating content that people want to engage with, so keep it fun and relevant. Content that is interactive and has a balance between movement and images is also good. However, one of the few things we do recommend avoiding is the use of sound throughout your website; this can be distracting. Overall, strive to create layers of appropriate media for people to interact with while being informed.
Create an effective strategy for developing content, as well as laying it out in a calendar format. There are nine recommended tips for having a successful content strategy:
- Give Content Priority
- Use What you Have
- Be Sticky
- Keep it Flowing
- Don’t be Boring
- Let Your Followers Feel Like Insiders
- Think Beyond the Written Word (It’s not just what you write, but the images as well.)
- Create a strategy document with production schedule, authors, deadlines, etc.
We recommend having different quarterly themes, and laying out the content and the themes helps develop successful interaction among users. Basic things to remember for having a great blog are: don’t just have a blog; use it, develop a strategy to keep content fresh, integrate your marketing program and host campaigns and contests.
8. Always Have a Call to Action
A social media call to action is an integral and often overlooked element of an effective social media strategy. Social media gets prospects, customers and the public primed to want to find out more about your offering and to engage further, but they must be led to the next step in the sales or other conversion process. Regardless of the platform, posts receive better success rates if they contain calls to action. Effective calls to action can result in completed lead generation forms, phone calls and email signups.
9. Be Engaging
Think beyond the written word when it comes to engaging users. Content assets also include images, videos, printed word and podcasts or audio. Communicating various concepts or ideas may lend itself better to one format than another. Pick the format that best serves your audience. Infographics are a great way to demonstrate complex concepts because they make them fun, easy to understand and visually appealing. Contests are also a great way to boost social media engagement. Share them everywhere and make them easy and fun to share.
10. SEO – Optimize
It’s all about traffic, but SEO is changing. You have probably heard of Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird and Pigeon. Pigeon is Google’s latest update, and it definitely impacts our industry for keywords related to ‘new homes,’ as Google is not showing any local results. Google is still working on which keywords should have local listings as part of search results and we are waiting to see how it all shakes out.
One of the main things necessary for SEO purposes is your NAP (name, address and phone number). This is crucial for the site and for any users who are trying to contact the businesses, and it should be identical everywhere it is displayed, from the website and social media sites to online listings and review sites.
Stay tuned for more FREE webinars from Marketing RELEVANCE. Don’t miss our next one, April 19 at 2 p.m. EST: Follow the Rules: Social Media Campaign. Searching for the right agency and experts to improve the marketing strategy for your company? Look no further, call mRELEVANCE today at 770-383-3360 or contact us.