More than half of Twitter’s 317 million users have discovered a new business through the platform, and 94 percent of users plan to purchase a product or service from the brands they follow. There is a huge opportunity to connect with potential clients on Twitter — if you know how to engage your audience.
It’s not a far jump from “engaged Twitter follower” to “loyal client.” The real question is how to engage your followers in the first place. Though there are lots of opinions out there about how to make your tweets more engaging, it’s not as difficult as it seems, and it doesn’t need to be a huge undertaking. A few simple changes might be all you need to see an improvement.
If you’d like to see an increase in your engagement, here are five simple tips that will get you more followers, favorites and retweets.
We’ve all been in the situation when we’re tasked with creating a PowerPoint presentation and have been instructed to do it a certain way, or follow a certain template. Whether it’s to pitch a new client or present findings from market research, we tend to approach building a presentation a distinct way. But why? We might respond, “Because it’s best practice to do it that way” or “We’ve always done it that way; its best practice.”
LSSO presenter Adam Stock says forget best practice, especially when it comes to design. According to Stock and his presentation, web data has shown that many of the best practices taught – whether in school or in the workplace – are wrong, and the way we present information in business has evolved dramatically. In order to develop a persuasive presentation, the PowerPoint must tell your audience why they should care, why a topic is important or relevant, why they should be involved and what’s at stake – common sense, right? But so many presentations miss the mark.
When people think of presentations, TED Talks typically pop into mind. While engaging, TED Talks are not suitable for business presentations. Business presentations need to be able to weather challenging and often contradictory conditions, so…
To build a persuasive presentation, we have to understand brain processes. Working memory is the most important function, but very limited, and to optimize working memory, presentations need to include better graphic and instructional design. Working memory can process both words and pictures at the same time, and our visual learning system is 100 times more efficient than our hearing. Stock points out that we should use verbal and visual channels, including pictures with word-based explanations, and place labels as close as possible to the corresponding graphics.
Presentations should also follow these rules of thumb:
Data has shown that 30% of the time we’re not focused, so creating the most effective and visually stimulating presentation will help get your message across effectively and memorably.
At this year’s Legal Sales and Service Organization (LSSO) RainDance Conference, there was no shortage of memorable takeaways. Keynote speakers dove into diverse topics, from how to be distinctive in order to win business to how to master a PowerPoint presentation. Over two days, a common thread was woven throughout the presentations: “Common sense” is not always “common practice,” but it should be.
For legal marketers, business development is often a pain point, and strategies to win new business often become confusing and jumbled. As Rick Davis discussed in his presentation “Are We Distinctive? Creating Compelling Experiences to Win More Business,” a good question to ask ourselves is “Does our business development approach reflect the way we serve?” The answer more often than not is no. So, how do you showcase who you really are to make your business distinctive from all others?
Davis mentions several key factors that clients are looking for when it comes to decision-making and what firms need to know when pitching their work. Potential clients want to be “wowed,” to know you are ahead of the curve, and to know why they should choose you. If your firm doesn’t answer any of those questions, then it’s time to change the way you play the game. Here’s how:
Stay tuned for Part 2: Persuasive Business Presentations – Forget “Best Practices”
The cliché “You never get a second chance to make a first impression” couldn’t hold truer when it comes to your website. Your website is typically the first point of contact prospective clients have with your offerings, which is why it is critical to make a good impression.
Websites that are not user-friendly, are not optimized for mobile devices, are outdated, or that look cheap will certainly make a lasting impression – but not the one you want. So, what are the earmarks of a strong website? Below are some tips.
Here are some other indications that it might be time to update your website: there is poor conversion of visitors, the site runs slow, your brand or message has changed or evolved, or worst of all, you are embarrassed to have people visit it.
How Much to Spend on a Professional Services Website
If your site only needs content updating, then paying a professional for a quick fix is perfectly fine. But this should be limited to minor updates, such as revisions to content, updating new team members’ bios and minor changes. If you need big changes, trying to make them on the cheap is penny-wise and pound-foolish.
While you don’t want to break the bank, failing to invest in your site will almost certainly cost you more in the future. We’ve seen this happen far too often. In an effort to save money on the front end, too many businesses attempt to go with the aforementioned quick, Band-Aid fix. Time and again, businesses end up paying more on the back end to fix early mistakes than they would have paid to have it done professionally from the start.
There are no hard and fast rules for how much you need to pay for your website, but there are some general guidelines which can prove helpful when considering your budget. Developers may break their fees down in a myriad of ways depending upon factors such as setup fees, monthly maintenance/updates, number of pages, functionality, whether it’s a custom or template-based site, if Search Engine Optimization is included, and other considerations.
Finding the Right Developer
Don’t be afraid to ask for bids from multiple developers. A good rule of thumb is that if a price seems too good to be true (meaning it’s significantly lower than other bids), it probably is. It’s also highly advisable to ask for referrals to developers from colleagues, peers, or other professionals who have a site you like.
According to the National Law Review, people watch nearly 5 billion videos online every day. Videos are no longer optional—they’re an important part of any marketing strategy. However, it can be difficult to determine whether an investment in video is worth it, especially since it tends to be expensive. When done well, video can be an effective tool for converting leads. Done wrong, it’s a waste of money.
If you’re embarking on a video project and you’re not sure where to begin, start with these basic dos and don’ts to get the most value out of your investment:
Do keep it brief
Even though videos are wildly popular, people aren’t willing to watch them for more than a few minutes at most. Condense and simplify your message as much as possible. When you’re in the storyboarding process, keep in mind that there are a billion other things that your viewers can click on and it takes mere seconds to lose interest. It’s crucial that you get the most important point across almost immediately.
Don’t be a talking head
Videos can and should be engaging and dynamic. Don’t waste an opportunity by sitting behind a desk and talking at the camera. Think about how you can show your firm in a creative way, whether that’s through humor, interesting camera shots or an emotional connection. If you must talk to the camera, try standing up or walking around to create some action.
Don’t skip the fundamentals
No matter how well-thought-out your story is, if your video quality is low it will undermine your message. Good lighting and sound are key. If you’re making a video in house, you don’t have to spend a fortune on professional equipment, but you should do a test run to make sure that the lighting is good and the sound is clear. If you’re working with an agency, check their portfolio before you hire them and ask to see footage in the editing stage, before you’re surprised with a sub-par video.
Do keep it lighthearted
Video is a fun, creative medium, so tell a story to match. People hire people, not robots or slick salespeople, and younger generations especially are skeptical of any overt advertising. Formality does not come across well online, so ditch the self-promotion and allow your firm to show a bit of its fun side.
Do share videos with decision makers
According to Forbes, 65% of senior executives say that watching a video prompted them to visit a vendor website. Well-done videos can be very persuasive—in fact, many professionals say they prefer watching a video to reading. Get your video in front of the people who need to see it by any means necessary, whether that means boosting it on social media, adding a link to your email signature or bringing it on the road to conferences and speaking engagements.
Going before a judge for parole? Your chances of getting what you want will increase if the judge has a full stomach, according to a study done in Israel. No matter how much we’d like to think we make decisions based on critical, rational thinking, it’s often – more often than we’d like to think – based on our gator brain, the reactive, emotional aspect of our thinking which is a remnant of our reptilian heritage. How we can woo the gator (as in alligator) brain was the subject of Yale Professor Zoe Chance’s keynote at the recent LMA conference.
To capture this part of the mind, we need to focus on three things. First is ease: You have to make it easy for people to do business with you; make it easy for them to say “yes.” Think about how you can eliminate obstacles, and recognize that it’s not just about price. Amazon isn’t the cheapest around; it’s just the easiest around. And keep humor in mind, as humor is great way to get past resistance.
Attention is also important in terms of wooing the gator brain. No matter what we say about multitasking, the gator brain can really only focus on one thing at a time. How you capture attention at the moment of decision-making is critical. Consider the “when” – when is somebody going to be making a decision about using my service – and grab their attention at that time.
Implementation questions are also important and engender commitment. Zoe used the example of exercising and how implementation increased when people were asked questions, such as “When will you exercise?” “Where will you exercise?” and most importantly, “What will you do if you an encounter an obstacle to getting it done?”
Lastly, to get the emotional brain’s attention you need to foster trust. Not only do you need to build trust, you need to understand how not to lose it and how to fix it if you do. Study after study shows that clients and customers can become even more loyal after an “oopsie,” if you implement a strong save. In addition, an important question to ask is, “What would it take…What would it take for you to switch providers?” This empowers the prospect, which can shed a positive light on you and your service.
There’s so much buzz around the world of virtual reality (VR), and industries such as hospitality, tourism, real estate, entertainment and sports are beginning to adopt this immersive video to grow their customer base and even recruit new talent. Major brands like IKEA, McDonald’s and Coca-Cola are already utilizing the medium, but it’s key to understand when the right time is for your brand to jump on the bandwagon.
The technology needed to create VR experiences – headsets and cameras to produce content – is evolving and becoming more accessible thanks to Google Cardboard and VR apps, but it’s still a long way from widespread adoption. The IKEAs and McDonalds of the world have the resources and user base to make their foray into VR a success, but for smaller companies VR at this stage might only provide the ‘cool’ factor.
As a marketer, you should harness the tools and technology that make the most sense for the industries you serve, and can provide the ROI you’re looking for, but do your homework before dropping some cash on the technology. Most marketers don’t need to worry about jumping on the bandwagon just yet since the technology can be expensive and the content is limited, creating two big hurdles that are a challenge to overcome.
The good news is that it’s still early in the game for VR, and it would behoove you and your brand to keep your finger on the pulse of the evolving VR landscape, technology and content, preparing you to move into VR seamlessly, and when the timing is right.
So, when do you know the timing is right?
Don’t utilize VR just because you can and everyone else is doing it; use VR for certain experiences that require consumers to connect with the brand and that evoke emotion. You’ll get the most bang for your buck.
Let’s face it: creating and maintaining an effective digital marketing strategy is hard. It’s mostly because the digital landscape is always changing. New trends, social media platforms and viral campaigns are popping up all the time, and it can be difficult to know where your business fits in, which trends to jump on and which ones to skip.
However, now that digital has secured a permanent place in every marketing plan, there are some common digital marketing concepts that have proven to be useful no matter what hashtag is trending. Here’s 10 of them courtesy of Convince & Convert:
According to the Public Relations Society of America, the official definition of public relations is, “a strategic communications process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics”. If that doesn’t mean much to you, you’re not alone. PR professionals often joke that we have no idea how to explain what we do to our friends and family.
PR is a vital but often misunderstood promotional tactic, which boils down to “persuading an audience”. If you’re considering hiring a PR firm but you’re not sure if it’s worth it, or if you already have a PR team but don’t know what they actually do all day, here are five basics to know.
If you’re looking for a magazine ad, a radio jingle or a TV commercial, at most PR firms you’d be out of luck. All of that falls under advertising. Instead, PR is centered around “earned media”; the process of developing an interesting story and convincing reporters to cover it without paying for the exposure. As consumers grow more skeptical of traditional advertising, earned media plays an important role in your marketing mix because it’s verified by the media and, therefore, more trusted by consumers. Plus, PR is typically much less expensive than paid advertising.
If we’re to believe movies and TV shows, PR professionals must spend their time schmoozing with celebrities and planning parties, right? While there are some PR pros who might spent some of their time doing those things, the vast majority of PR jobs are much broader (and much less glamourous). In a typical day, a PR pro might write a press release, conduct research, develop a blog post, reach out to reporters or create a social media strategy; ultimately with the goal of generating positive publicity for clients.
Earning media coverage is the cornerstone of PR. And according to public relations pro Robert Wynne, the only two ways to make it into the news are to create a story or follow a story. No matter how much you beg, plead or bargain with a reporter, in the end it’s up to them (and their editor) if they want to write about you. So when your PR team shoots down your story idea or says that making the cover of the New York Times is a little too lofty of a goal, it’s nothing personal. It’s actually a good thing; it means that your PR rep understands what kind of stories pique reporters’ interest and successfully make the news cycle.
While social media can play an important role in PR, it’s not going to replace traditional media anytime soon. Your PR team can help you develop a social media strategy and manage your online presence; however, it shouldn’t be their only focus. Instead, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram should be used to enhance other PR activities and expand the reach of media coverage.
Most CEOs don’t have the time to understand the nitty gritty of what their PR team does, and that’s O.K.; so long as the results are measurable and positive. While measuring the impact of PR can be tricky, it is possible. And it certainly doesn’t mean that businesses should skip PR in favor of marketing tactics that are easier to track. Measuring something intangible like positive sentiment will never translate into numbers easily. However, you can get a good idea through press clips, media impressions, surveys, website traffic and social media mentions.