Last week I attended the WACVB Tech Summit in Sacramento. This has always proven to be a highly valuable conference and this year was no exception. Take a look at the program (linked above) to see what courses were available and you’ll see what I mean. Although the conference is specifically geared to marketing strategies for destination marketing organizations like the Calaveras Visitors Bureau, there were also some key takeaways that could work for individual businesses and I’m sharing them with you here.
- When deciding what should be on your home page, consider what are you known for. What unique product, service or experience can people have at your business that they cannot get anywhere else? Include large photos of what’s uniquely you on your home page slideshow or masthead. Use photos specific to your business… never generic. Try to capture something iconic about your business in your photos so they can be visually identified as being only from your business. Link those photos to useful pages that describe what the photo shows.
- If you have a newsletter sign-up link on your website, tell people what they will get when they sign up for your newsletter.
- Check for broken links on your website using Screamingfrog. It’s a free download for windows or mac. This software not only gives you information on where your broken links are, but also identifies which pages need meta data (page title, descriptions, headings etc.) which allow your page to be found in search engines.
- Don’t be afraid to include pricing on your website. If people cannot easily find what you charge, they don’t know if you’re within their budget, and you may lose their business. If it’s too cumbersome to add specific prices, at least include a price range.
- Break up multiple blocks of text on your website with photographs. Bullet dense information for easy readability.
- You’re the expert on your business. Create simple, compelling and valuable content to drive visitation to your website. Include keywords and meta data for each post so people can find it in the search engines. Repurpose snippets of any blogs or articles you create for Twitter or Facebook. If you’re sending an e-newsletter, link back to your blogs/articles – you don’t have to create fresh content for each social media platform.
- Find your business on Google Places and claim it! First, search for your business name on Google. If there is a Google business listing, it will show up in the right column. If no-one has yet claimed that business, there will be a link at the bottom that says: Are you the business owner? Click that link and complete your information. If no listing shows up in the right column when you search for your business, create a Google listing here: www.google.com/business.
- Create video content if you can, and upload it to your website and to your own Youtube channel.
- Put your email lists to work – if you’re creating ads or boosting posts on Facebook. First, export your email list as a .csv file. Next, go to ads manager on Facebook and click on the audiences button. Click on “Create Audience” and follow the directions to upload your data. Use your new audience to target your campaigns.
- Using your new audience click on the link to create a lookalike audience – and Facebook will create a whole new audience for you based on an analysis of an already created audience. This is potentially huge for great targeting and highly recommended.
- The Calaveras Visitors Bureau has liked all of our member’s pages, so we can see and share what you’re posting. Be sure to “like” other local businesses and the CVB Facebook page, so you can do the same.
- When others comment your posts, ALWAYS engage. Like or comment right back. It makes your fans feel good and encourages them to stay engaged.
This one came from Visit California, and I really like it because it’s fearless with just a small percentage of your marketing dollars. Your annual marketing budget should be divided into three categories:
- 60% for tried and true marketing / advertising – this would include any marketing with a proven ROI
- 30% for new and untested marketing avenues that look like good options
- 10% for a wild and crazy try at something completely innovative
- Make your newsletter engaging. You should have fun putting them together and be excited about the content. Use what’s been trending well on your Facebook page, Twitter feed or Pinterest page and weave that into your content.
- Keep it short and concise and be visual with content. Limit yourself to 3-5 items. Link back to your website if you have comprehensive information to share.
If any of these tips are confusing, or you’d like more detailed information, please call me at 209-736-0049 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to help.