online marketing

Landing Pages by Design

Lots of energy goes into designing a website home page, but not enough on landing page strategy and contents. If you use a click-to-read-more approach on your website home page, your landing pages take on even greater significance.

Landing pages are where viewers land when they click links on your home page. Viewers may go to a home page out of curiosity. They go to a landing page with the intent to find information of interest. You need to provide it, along with a call to action.

Too often landing pages are cast with the design format of the entire website. Continuity is a good thing when it comes to navigation, but it shouldn't be an overlord that tramples clarity for viewers. If home pages are intended to capture a viewer's attention, a landing page's job is to hold that attention. On CFM's website — we have landing pages devoted to each of our five business lines, They were designed with the client personas of each business line in mind.

Keeping someone interested is a function of relevant content, which is nicely displayed and in a hierarchy and language that makes sense to the viewer. Landing pages aren't playgrounds for creativity; they are the platforms that convey your key messages.

So You Want to Start a Blog

Many excellent communications campaigns use blogs as story-telling tools, but too many blogs are floating around the internet that haven’t been updated for months. You imagine the blog creators were full of excitement, set up a basic blog format using a site such as WordPress.com, Blogger or tumblr, published a first post and thought, Voila! Smooth sailing from here, right?

A blog only is as good as the strategy and plan guiding it. Before hitting publish, you need to be clear about what you want to accomplish with your blog. What will success look like?

Reasons for a blog may include establishing thought leadership in your industry category, self-publishing news, providing added-value service to clients, raising awareness about important issues or engaging new audiences. All the content you publish should support your goals. 

To measure success, we recommend evaluating multiple touch-points, such as reader comments, content spreading on social media, numbers of readers and blog traffic.

You also should plan content development. Look to your key messages and values to help you indentify the stories you should tell. If your staff members are the key to customer service, consider profiling them. If your brand is committed to supporting the community, write about your involvement. If you have a major event coming up, think how you can advance it through teaser posts.

Get a calendar and mark it with your content ideas, including time-sensitive promotions such as new products and services, special events or campaigns. This content calendar becomes your map, ensuring you are prepared to keep your blog updated.

Not Being a Yahoo Anymore

Even as financial vultures circle overhead, Yahoo is trying to capitalize on its dominant online position. Its strategy involves producing more original news and entertainment that give Yahoo a distinct voice, potentially opening new doors for marketers.

According to comScore calculations for August, Yahoo attracted 81.2 million unique visitors to its site featuring largely aggregated content from a mix of media sources. That was more than the 75.3 million who clicked on CNN, which most casual observers would declare as the online news leader.

That audience hasn't automatically translated into revenue, Yahoo officials concede. Their answer is to make Yahoo a more indispensable online hangout through original content.

The New York Times reported Yahoo has signed deals with Walt Disney to showcase articles and videos produced by ABC News and create a co-branded website for "Good Morning America." Yahoo also is hiring reporters and editors to break news online.

It is personalizing online content and adopting social media concepts, such as allowing users to share articles with friends, a la Twitter and Facebook. Yahoo also will create exclusive online events, such as a video stream of a charity concert featuring Lady Gaga, Usher and Bono.