Over the last decade consulting hundreds of businesses and communications professionals on digital and social media communications – “What are hashtags and how should I use them?” have been two of the most common questions people ask. It has also become clear that many businesses that think they understand hashtags are actually not using them to their full potential. For that reason I put together a short and sweet summary to help you understand hashtags and how to use them to get more customers while engaging your current audience.Read More
I wrote this article when I was working at Destination Think! consulting dozens of tourism businesses across North America on how to improve their products (services) and promotions for “connected customers”. I have decided to republish it here for 2020 as it seems more relevant than ever. I hope you enjoy it and please contact me with any questions or for a personal ideation conversation.
My marketing and branding company COFFEE was excited to get the nod to create the logo for Ucluelet Brewing Co. – BC’s newest craft brewery (slated to open early 2020).Read More
Logging in to check some GoDaddy domains this morning I was surprised to see serifs where once there was none. While the usually login screen which has featured a smiling GoDaddy call-center rep for several years was also gone, (perhaps they realized people buy the hole not the drill, or that positioning themselves on service was not exactly putting their best foot forward) the simple change to the font let me know something big was afoot. GoDaddy has been Wix-Space-ified.Read More
Creating communications content requires a significant investment of your time and effort. It is unwise to neglect the techniques available to you to maximize your audience and the potential impact of your message.
While researching and reflecting for ways a client could improve their open, engagement, and share rates for internal and stakeholder email communications I aggregated my suggestions with those of other experts on the topic.
Here is short list of tips to have your intranet and newsletters audiences read more, read more often, and share what they have read with their peers and professional network.
- Welcome Readers Right of the Bat. Then Refine Your Audience.
Given that a publisher subscriber relationship is just that, a relationship, it always surprises me that many publishers don’t send a welcome email. When someone subscribes they have clearly expressed interest and consented to hear from you. Now the ball is in your court. How can you make me feel welcome (or at minimum acknowledged) while you have my attention? You only have one chance to make a first impression. Why not deliver your best archived content first? Rather than whatever correspondence is next in the cue?
Give them control then give them what they want. If your email software (CMS) lets you sort your subscribers into lists (likely with MailChimp, Convert Kit and the like), perhaps the welcome email is a chance for the subscriber to specify what they are and are not interested in. Then when it comes to publishing you are in a position to send them only the content they have opted in for and use subject lines that are most likely to be relevant for them. Don’t make them sort through your shotgun blast of info if they don’t have to.
- Readers are hardwired for the human element
Regardless of your business, people are it the core. Customers. Suppliers. Employees. The human animal cannot help but be more invested and interested in stories that feature folks like them. A recent survey of staff and stake holders by a major financial institution identified that stories about people or at least those told with a human element where most interesting to readers.
Recent surveys from a major multi-national concluded that their internal and external audiences were both most interested in stories with a human element.
Augment news, facts and policy with storytelling that focuses on who has been effected or how they will benefit.
- “Audience Source ” content to get people interested and invested
In a large group many people are looking for ways to stand out, and others are interested to know the opinions of others. If you can turn your audience into co-creators they will have a vested interest in promoting the larger publication and others will be more invested in reading the content than it is constantly you talking about you.
Benefit from the hive-mind and consider a “More the Merrier” contributor model. Create an opportunity to participate that makes it easy for others to deliver, and easy for you to manage.
Engineer for Apathy. Think small. Getting folks to contribute a long-form blog article out of the goodness of their heart is hard. How can you involve them in a way that is both valuable but simple? Perhaps asking for submissions of their favorite business podcast or book will get them invested a low risk manner.
*Bonus tip to improve your internal email open rates: turn all these reader submitted recommendations into a well organized list that can be mentioned in the subject line. Lists suggest information density and low cognitive strain so are a great way to deliver information.
- Follow-up without people getting fed-up
While the information in internal and stakeholder emails is undoubtedly important, it may not be mission critical. Folks may be full-out doing their job function and not have time to read your communication the first time.
Explore if your email software let’s you resend the same message to only those who haven’t open the first time (again likely). This way you give yourself a chance at another 5-10% opening the communication without annoying the folks you have already reached.
Creating content is costly, give yourself a second chance to get it to the right people.
- Whats In It For Me? (WIIFM) include jobs and training opportunities
One of the most relevant pieces of news for your staff is what opportunities exist to move up or find a new challenge. Perhaps a job posting can be an opportunity to explain why a certain role is important to department and why that department is important to the organization.
Does this post get your gears turning? Thinking how you could make your internal and external email and intranet communications more relevant?
I am always happy to do a quick call or online chat to help business communicators succeed. I have worked with blue chip communicators including Boeing and Standard Chartered.
Hit me up for a free chat about your communications challenges! or connect with me on LinkedIn.
This year I am doubling down on the power of experiences and communications that are shareable by design in my own businesses and the attention grabbing solutions we build for our clients at COFFEE Business Stimulus. Watch this space (or better yet subscribe) to see a collection of our and other’s outputs that capitalize on the Socialgenic ethos (stimulating peer to peer sharing by design).
Unique Business Card Design – Now With Gluten!
For the first post of the year I am happy to share this unique business card design from Pasta Boy Peter, a friend and fellow entrepreneur. While the per unit price may be high, the likelihood that the concept/image will reach far further than the business owner ever could to “press the flesh” is inarguable. When I saw these cards I knew I had to immediately post it here and to get it onto Reddit to do its thing. Nice work by https://www.pastaboypeter.com/ check him out! I know first hand is a great educator and entertainer.
As a marketer in the age of programmatic hyper targeted campaigns I am going out of my way to share the efforts that break the mold and bring exponential returns to the creators that are brave enough to try something new.
Innovative campaigns, they aren’t just for award shows any more! The world is your stage, give people something to shout about! Contact me if you want the recipe for creative ideas that break through. Twitter: @trevorJurgens
As I work with my clients UclueletBrewing.ca, CameronOceanAdventures.com and TheTantalusGroup.com I have identified some great tools and simple SEO tips that I am happy to share. Please hit me back with your top simple SEO tips in the comments so we can learn together and build a resource.
Simple SEO Tips: The Hoth
If you are looking to understand what keywords are driving your traffic, see where you rank in Google for specific keywords and easily identify what keywords merit your attention based on the related search volume and the likelihood you can hit the first page, I highly recommend this free Google Ranking Tool from TheHoth.com.
I used it to determine that this page on SaSS Sales Training at TheTantalusGroup.com was among those with the most potential to hit the first page.
Because we ranked 9th for that keyword with good potential to hit the second or even the first page regularity I had clear direction that I could invest some time to get additional third party links to this page particularity through guest blogging or peer-to-peer promotion.
I will keep you posted to see what effect getting two or three additional links ideally from pages with high domain authority.
Thanks for reading and please share your own simple SEO tips in the comment section!