Three common sense marketing tips
Here are three quick ‘n’ dirty marketing tips to help you avoid common pitfalls.
The strapline is a much misunderstood marketing device. Many of them are rubbish. But crime fiction author Libby Hellmann has made a splendid job of it. Libby’s strapline is Compulsively Readable Thrillers. It’s great because on its own, her name doesn’t explain what she does.
Here are some simple rules about when and how to use straplines:
- If your business name already makes it clear what the business does, you don’t really need a strapline. Say your business is called ‘Ken’s Ice Creams’. It’s obvious you sell ice cream. You don’t need a strapline unless there’s a very good marketing reason for it.
- If your business name doesn’t say what you do, for example ‘Smiths’, you can add a strapline to explain its function to people. But don’t try to be too clever or mysterious. Obscure straplines miss the point. Be precise, concise and clear.
Have you misunderstood social media?
I came across an infographic about social media earlier today. It talked about how following ‘people in your industry’ was a good thing because it ‘helps attract people’s attention’.
Hm. Hang on a minute. You run a business. You sell stuff. Do you really want to engage with people in the same sector as you, effectively your competitors? If so, why?
I can see how hooking up with competing businesses in your space might be a good thing in the early days since it gives you access to competitors’ communities, some of whom might join you because you move in the circles they’re interested in. But it must be sensible to engage with a large number of potential customers, too.
It’s a nice ego-boost, being noticed by your industry compatriots and acknowledged as one of the gang. But wouldn’t it make also make sense to engage with people who are likely to buy your stuff as a priority over those who sell the same stuff as you?
It’s obviously going to be more of a challenge to strike the right kind of chord with prospects than it is with other people in your sector who already advocate what you do because they do the exact same thing. But engaging potential buyers is what Social Media Marketing is all about… or am I missing something? Leave a comment if so!
Doing something to your website? Check for advice first
It’s great being able to make changes to your own website. Most CMS let you do exactly that without having to pay a developer. But you need to take care, checking for expert advice before making a move. Here are some examples.
- You want to create a new web page for your site. Check Google’s 23 questions about web page best practice first, and follow their recommendations.
- You want to merge two websites or migrate your site somewhere else, for example to a new url – Google also provides excellent advice about how to carry out site merges and migrations without knackering your website’s search visibility status or otherwise ballsing things up.
- You think you need a proprietary content management system. Are you sure? There are plenty of excellent free CMSs available including WordPress, used by millions of businesses and individuals worldwide. There’s a huge community of WP developers constantly updating it and zillions of handy plugins. It’s automatically responsive, displaying your site properly on mobile devices without any faffing around. It’s mad not to take advantage, whereas paying someone to develop a platform from scratch is expensive, fraught with risk and unless you shell out cash on an ongoing basis for updates, you end up with something frighteningly inflexible.
- You think it’d be cool to create images for your shop including all your product information instead of writing separate descriptions. Whoops. The thing is, search engines can’t read images. Which means anyone using a text reader, say because they’re blind, can’t access the information… which puts you at risk of prosecution.
The moral of the story: When developing your own website, find advice about best practice first.