Good Web Design Enhances Credibility

Posted on October 18, 2013 in Web Design by cmblogger


According to a recent report from Stanford University’s Persuasive Technology Lab, 46.1% of people say that a website’s design is the “number one criterion for discerning the credibility of the company.” The silver lining to this rather serious news? Great web design doesn’t have to be fancy-or expensive.

Its central goal should be to convey your company’s most important qualities, those that separate you from all other competitors and define you as a trustworthy brand that consumers can’t afford to be without. Retain current website traffic and attract new site visitors with easy, intuitive navigation, well organized content, and a consistent, concise message throughout that focuses on the unique benefits provided by your products and services. And the rest? Ensure your site loads quickly, remains compatible with a variety of browsers and has a hosting service that’s entirely reliable-and you’ll be good to go.

Need more statistics to convince you? According to KissMetrics Research, 40% of consumers will simply walk away from a website that requires more than 3 seconds to load properly, and at least 50% of potential sales disappear when a customer can’t figure out how to navigate pages effectively. In contrast, 60% of consumers report feeling positive about a website when they read any custom content found on a website. Quality visuals, appealing colors and well considered layouts also encourage your visitors to stay longer and browse.

With Internet users growing increasingly sophisticated and familiar with the very best cyber design the marketplace has to offer, the takeaway is…you can’t afford not to have a great website as we go into 2014.


Building a Brand with Consistent Messaging: Do Try This At Home

Posted on July 19, 2013 in Uncategorized by cmblogger

It used to be that building a brand required a serious financial outlay for television, print and radio ads. The world has changed-and today, you can build a brand with a viral campaign for relatively little.

With the popularity of social media, the power of Google organic search and the steady influx of new, inexpensive channels by which to communicate your message to consumers, good branding is not only possible for small business, but imperative as a way to stand apart from your competitors. The key? Consistency.

Once you’ve defined who you are and what what you look like, keep that brand design and messaging the same across multiple channels for maximum impact. Think about high fashion: there’s a reason you don’t see Ralph Lauren selling cooking utensils. There is, however, a reason for him to sell high end dishware and tablecloths. Gracious entertaining is part of the Ralph Lauren brand. Quick meals on the fly for cheap, not so much.

You may sell plumbing equipment rather than designer dresses, but nevertheless, the rules still apply. Keep everyone in your sales funnel connected with one customer experience, one set of ideas, one kind of commentary, and one design scheme.

Good branding is about a strong identity that your customers can recognize a mile away or from the other side of the Internet as yours alone. While Facebook may afford you the chance to post a cat video once in awhile for the amusement of your customers, everything you post should fit overall with your basic values as a company. It’s okay to be silly in the right context-but always be your brand.


Stay On Top of New Social Media Developments

Posted on May 13, 2013 in SEM, SMO by cmblogger

The Internet is constantly changing, and without an agile online marketing strategy, your business will get left behind.

Take Pinterest, for example. Recent studies have demonstrated that consumer participation is at all time high on the world’s third most popular social network. In fact, “pinning” in some brand categories is led by consumers themselves, rather than companies within that area.

This is a golden opportunity for businesses to engage with these consumers, showing off  products, services, and a point of view that connect with a huge audience of potential customers.

Captain Marketing can help you choose not only the best times to post (schedules that are quantifiable for many industries) but also to select the right images that will proliferate across the web.

Pinterest is clearly here to stay. Take advantage of this popular platform and stay ahead of your competitors. Savvy online marketing is the key to your success in 2013.

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Brands, Blogging and World Politics, or All in a Day’s Latte

Posted on November 13, 2012 in Captain Marketing, Social Media by cmblogger

  What’s the goal of your company’s blog? For many business owners, the answer is somewhat fuzzy. “Get customers” or “sell more stuff” might be the reply. But as with any other endeavor, only by having a clear goal can you track the success of your efforts. Looking at the very popular blogs of several multinational corporations, you can see them used in different ways, with varying results. For example, let’s examine the blog on the Starbucks website. Like their coffees, their blogs are a blend of macro and micro elements, all of which work together to promote customer engagement and brand/product development. The site even goes as far as to offer a Starbucks product idea page, where consumers can provide their suggestions for what new foods and drinks should be sold. Your ideas, when you submit them, are not only shared with the company, but posted for other consumers to discuss and vote on as well. This is the epitome of a blog that engages potential customers. And yet, the Starbucks also has occasional posts that promote various products as well, from their blueberry muffins to artisanal sandwiches. Finally, the blog features editorials that summarize the company’s mission and larger values. While this may seem risky for a company that just sells coffee and pastries, it is also an example of extremely effective branding. After all, who among us would rather buy just a cup of joe, when we could buy a more expensive cup of coffee that is nevertheless associated with ending global poverty,cleaning up the environment, or “putting America back to work?” Such is the effectiveness of their branding..and their blog.


Branding and Best Buy: the Continuing Saga, Part 2

Posted on October 26, 2012 in Blogging, SEM, SEO, SMO by cmblogger

  We talked last week about Best Buy and the criticism they faced over recent changes to their marketing strategies, including a new slogan, “Making Technology Work For You.” Coupled with news of recent layoffs, poor sales numbers and store closings, their assurances are not yet convincing. However, the controversy surrounding their branding message is helpful for the small to midsize business in coming up with your own effective slogan or catchphrase.

Frank Goedertier, professor of Brand Management and Marketing at a prestigious Belgian university and a visiting scholar at Kellogg School of Management, summed up the basic parts  of a successful marketing slogan as falling into several important categories. While we explored the first two of these areas last week, let’s look at additional considerations you should keep in mind, according to Mr. Goedertier,  when creating the short phrase that pitches your unique selling proposition to the public.

Authenticity is extremely important for your slogan to sound real.

  *Does your slogan have a likeability quotient? Many small to midsize businesses will use a wordy or clunky phrase as their tagline, with mixed to decidedly negative results. Telling people “We have a wide variety of gaskets with multiple fittings that can be attached easily” may be a feature of your product, but it doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. Find a quick, easy way to exactly describe what you do-it will not only educate your customers quickly when they visit your site, but convey the text equivalent of a friendly smile.

*Authenticity: it may seem obvious, but it is extremely important for your slogan to sound real. Canned marketspeak plays out even more poorly in onsite content than it does in real life. Use language that describes clearly what you provide. Technical terms risk not only boring the reader, but alienating them, particularly if an office manager or someone else unfamiliar with the technical side of your products is doing the ordering.

The message is clear. You don’t have to have warehouse sized stores to need a significant tagline. With a great slogan, your customers can not only connect emotionally with your brand, but  remember you in the marketplace as the provider they want for the future.

Tag Archives: branding