Facebook Facelift

Social Media

If you have a Facebook account, chances are you are a fan of something or someone. But, if you’re hesitant to join in the social media hoopla (don’t worry, I was too) here’s how fanpages work. When you set up a Facebook account for a company, you actually create a fanpage, where Facebookers from all over the world can become a fan of your company and suggest their friends become fans also. Any status updates from your company show up in the newsfeed of all your fans. You can use this to make fans aware of specials, introduce new products or use special Facebook fan only discount codes!

Many national companies have utilized fanpages, such as Macy’s, McDonald’s and Coca-Cola. However, not everyone has an attractive fanpage. What makes these companies stand out from everyone else? These companies, and several others, have integrated a section, such as the company homepage, About Us or Contact Us pages right into Facebook. You can check ours out here!

Not only can you have your homepage be a part of your Facebook fan page, but you can also have all of your fans and fans-to-be default to particular Facebook tabs. For example, many fans-to-be are directed to the homepage or About Us tab in the fanpage, while actual fans are directed to the fan comments tab or a tab introducing new products or specials.

So, how is it done? Facebook uses a special language, FBML (FaceBook Mark-up Language) to code the insertion of your website page. There is a special application in Facebook (FBML app) that translates the code of your website into FBML so your content can be viewed in Facebook. You can search Facebook for the application and follow directions or, if you are anything like me and this stuff is just way beyond your realm of geekiness, call us at Cornerstone and one of our gurus would be happy to help get you set up with an appointment for your very own Facebook Facelift! (no surgery required!)

Is Your Company’s Reputation On Alert?

Our Blog

In today’s business world your company’s reputation is everything and being able to monitor what people are saying about it is paramount.  Now that 1.5 billion people have access to the Internet and the fact that every five seconds someone writes a comment about a product, what re they saying about your products?  If you are like me I’d sure like to know what they are saying about me and my company.  Well now you can.

You may not be aware of a free service that Google offers called Google Alerts.  This great little Google app can be used in dozens of ways in your business.  You can find people asking questions related to your products and services, be notified when new competitors hit the web, and probably the most important, when a customer is talking about you.  Using Google Alerts is one tool you should be using to alert you about your company’s reputation globally.

To setup a Google Alert account, go to www.google.com/alerts.  You’ll see a simple form where you can imput any term you want to be notified about and have it  sent to your email box every day with the results Google has found you are tracking.  In order to effectively track your reputation, you’re going to want to track the name of your company, your name, and the name of your products.

The real secret of using the Google Alerts is to use quotes.  If you don’t, you will find Google will provide you with alerts for any portion of the name you are tracking.   I set up “Cornerstone Media Group” in quotes so I only get the results for our company’s full name not for each individual word or combination there of that are unrelated.

The power of this application is that it alerts you to both the positive and the negative comments people are making and the sort of negative comments your competition may be saying about you as well.  It will also alert you to where the comment was made on the web.  Having this sort of information allows you to respond to any negative immediately.

The Po!nt: Remember what Newsweek magazine said recently, “You are only as good as Google says your are!” Keeping track of what the world is saying about you, your company and your products has just gotten easier.

As always we welcome your comments and thoughts.

How Your Business Can Survive the Recession

Our Blog

It’s a recession, folks. They have officially brought out the “R” word across all news media. Because they used the “R” word everybody’s first reaction seems to be to pull back. Time to give up. Acting just plain old scared. Are those days gone when a B2B team would take risks by pushing creative boundaries? Stuff they normally do day in and day out. It may be time to get practical. Here’s a list of some of the Practical Trends in B2B Marketing that we are seeing that present a wealth of creative opportunities for your team right now. Here are just a few of the time-tested ideas to help keep your B2B outreach vital and help your business survive the recession:

Get Their “Attention”: You need to get the customers attention by using the Internet to stay in touch with your customer base and some good ole word-of-mouth to break through the short attention barrier many people are having right now.

Test, Test and Test Everything: If you have a list of 1,000 names develop 3-4 campaigns of 25 each to test so you can find out which one has the highest conversion rate.  This is the best way to discover what works.  Don’t over test but at least test two campaigns to a small group in order to find the one that works best.

Create Great Landing Pages. In any email campaign sending traffic to a specific landing page “Sending traffic to a landing page related to your offer can [always]  will improve conversions and by following following landing page best practices can raise them another 40 points.

Help Buyers Research Early in the Process. Hesitant B2B buyers are researching every detail online before they will engage in the sales process with your company. If you will take the time to educate your potential customer you can establish your company as a trusted adviser that understands their problems.

Measure Your Relationship Depth. Be sure and track the number and quality of marketing interactions with each prospect company, so you know the next best marketing steps to take.

Manage Leads: Marketers who excel at managing leads (i.e. acquiring, scoring, nurturing, and routing leads) can more than double the number of marketing leads that turn into a sale.

Lead Nurturing: It’s hard to believe but 95% of the prospects on your site are not ready to speak with sales. Leads that are nurtured before going to sales buy more, require less discounting, and have shorter sales cycles.

Measure relationship depth: Take the time to rack the number and quality of marketing interactions with each prospect, so you know the next best marketing actions to take in future campaigns.

Investment vs. Cost: Help your CEO and CFO think of marketing as asset that drives revenue, not as a liability that needs to be reduce.  Take a moment in framing the issue of marketing spending in terms of revenue and growth instead of a cost.  Especially during what management may term a “R”.

Invest in Marketing Automation: As marketing operations are become increasingly complex, marketers will need to find ways to automate key processes through technology.

The Bra!nstorm: Don’t stifle yourself in today’s “R” economy. By adhering to today’s tested B2B best practices , your creative outreach efforts can shine while staying on message, on task and under budget.

We welcome your comments and ideas of any of the trends you are observing or that we may of missed.

Great Landing Page Design: Part 1


Wikipedia defines a landing page as a lead capture page that appears when a potential customer clicks
on an advertisement or a search-engine result link. The page will usually display content that is a logical extension of the advertisement or link, which is optimized to feature specific keywords or phrases for indexing by search.

In Business to Business (B2B) contacts, landing pages are often the first interaction a company has with a sales lead. As a result, companies are placing greater importance on deploying a great landing page design to improve their conversion rates.

While landing pages are used both in both Business to Consumer (B2C) and B2B interactions, there are significant differences in their application.

In B2C, the page is designed to identify the lead and make the sale in that one, transactional visit. One person is generally the decision maker, and the product is typically a consumer product, such as a brokerage account. The goal is to identify the lead, convert them, and make the sale all on that one page.

In B2B, the sale is more consultative, with a team of people likely being the decision maker. In B2B, the original contact may not even be part of the team, but simply an information gatherer. The decision to buy is more critical, for example it could be about a system to run the financials of a brokerage company.

Why are landing pages important?
The question is sometimes asked: Why create a landing page? Why not just send potential customers to the
homepage? Most marketers will say that a landing page is for testing and optimization of design and content.  Customers will be coming in through different avenues, so why not refine the message and the offer based on where the ad was placed? By contrast, sending a customer to a homepage is like sending them on a whole new level of search. In a way, sending them to the homepage is a waste of click dollars.

Specifically, a landing page allows for greater testing, enabling you to:
• Refine message and offer based on where the ad is being placed.
• Understand what works and what doesn’t work
• Maximize conversion rates

Testing in turn creates greater opportunity to optimize the page, which will again maximize conversion rates and decrease marketing spend.

And Because Google Said So
Google has recently introduced a new web crawler, AdBot-Google, which checks to see if your keywords and
landing pages are relevant to each other. That information is used to determine your ad quality score. Ads with a high quality score can rank higher, even if the ad buyer is paying less than others for the ad. Google has also indicated that refusal to allow AdBot scanning could result in lower scores.

Beyond Google’s ranking system, there are other metrics that show the advantages of directing prospects to
optimized landing pages as opposed to the home page.
• Average conversion rates for lead generation for the home page from search engine marketing or pay-perclick fall between 5 percent to 6 percent.
• Landing pages that match the theme of the keyword search have an average conversion closer to 10
• Landing pages that match the keyword exactly have a conversion rate closer to 12 percent.

What’s OUT:
• Boring Whitepapers
• Flash jump/intro pages
• Individual landing pages
• Boring “thank you” pages
• Web only campaigns

What’s IN:
• Video, Top 10 lists
• Simple fast-loading HTML
• Company landing pages
• Recommendation engines
• Multi-channel touch points (direct mail, banner, text message, pay-per-click)

The Bra!nStorm:  With any marketing campaign that includes the Internet make sure that you take the time to develop a great landing page for you website visitor.  In Part II we will go into more of details in design a great landing page that produces results.  As always we welcome your thoughts and comments.

What Are Your Expectations of Web Designers?

Design Our Blog

I was at a networking function for the International Business Academy, LLC recently and part of our speaker’s table top exercise was to go around the table and each person ask this question, “What expectations do you have of a ____________  that you would  do business with?’.  As we went around the table it was very revealing to me as to what the business community thought of each others industries.  When it was my turn I asked the question, Continue reading