When it comes to website design and functionality, there are myriad options and levels of complexity to choose from. However, no matter how large or small your budget, here are the top five things you absolutely need to get right when you undertake a website redesign.
1. Engaging Home Page. If customers are not immediately intrigued by your home page, chances are they will immediately navigate away from your site without a second thought. Using color strategically, incorporating exciting photography and visible callouts and presenting a clear picture of what your company actually does are key elements of an engaging home page.
2. Clear Call to Action. What is the main goal of your website – to sell product, build a long-term prospect database, provide a clear picture of your brand, show customers which stores carry your product? Whatever the goal, your website should display prominent communication on every page that allows customers to accomplish that one goal.
3. Properly Packaged News Coverage/Media Information. First, this means providing media coverage (intended for review by consumers) and media resources/contacts (intended for use by media) in separate sections of your site. Consumers want to see what media say about your product; media want to know how they can reach your corporate experts (see our recent post on media rooms for details on creating one).
To ensure an attractive media coverage section, provide visual elements (mastheads, cover pages and media logos) so big hits are easy to recognize. Pair each visual with an excerpt from the news story and link the visual component to the full story (hosted online or in PDF format) that opens in a new navigation window.
4. Intuitive Navigation. If you have a clear call to action in place, this is simple. Visitors to your website should be able to accomplish key tasks within 1-2 clicks of anywhere on your site. While viewing the news coverage section, customers should see a clear link to buy your product or find a store that sells it. From the products page, customers should be able to easily locate customer service contact information, shipping and return policies. Think like a shopper when building your new site.
5. Collecting Customer Contact Information. Visitors to your website are already engaged and interested in learning more about your company, products or services. Make it easy for them to stay connected with a clearly visible email sign up forms, a link for creating an account, or links to social media pages (Facebook, Twitter and company blogs).
Need help developing your new website? Contact me at Kayleigh (at) sweeneypr (dot) com.
Consumer product companies are always trying to find the next big solution. Bissell seems to have succeeded with its new Stomp‘N Go stain lifting pads. Bissell claims its Stomp’N Go pads will permanently remove tough set-in stains and leave carpet smelling fresh.
What a great name for a product that allows you to tear open the package, place the wet pad on the carpet stain, stomp on it to release the solution and walk away. According to the website, Stomp’N Go will remove tough stains, including: blood, pet messes, mud, cola, coffee, wine and juice.
Bissell never communicates the pads will “eliminate odors”. Just that it will leave the carpet “smelling fresh”. However, this is definitely a product worth trying and perfect for the holiday season.
Want to try it for yourself? Visit http://www.bissell.com/trymefree/ for a $5.99 mail-in rebate.
Working in the consumer products industry nothing really surprises me. However, when I saw the product, “Bye Bye Monster”, I was completely baffled. Really… a product that gets kids to believe there are no more monsters under their bed?
Are your kids afraid of monsters? Do monsters keep them (and you) up at night? 73% of all children ages 4-12 struggle from some form of nighttime fear. Many of those children are convinced that a monster is in their room. ByeByeShop.com has the solution for kids afraid of monsters. Why let your kids spend one more night being afraid of monsters? Let us help you calm their fears and make those monsters disappear!
My first reaction was… is this real? And as parents are we feeding into our children’s fear and making them believe that a simple spray will solve all the world’s problems?
However, the more I thought about it the more I really liked this product. In fact, this is the type of product marketing professionals love to get their hands on. The product lends itself to creativity. And it’s pitching made easy… telling bloggers and media you have a solution for monsters under the bed will at least get your message heard.
After all, our parents lied to us about Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and thunderstorms. So certainly a little “Bye Bye Monster” couldn’t hurt our youth.
Seen any interesting, crazy or bizarre consumer products recently? Share you experience in the comments section.
If you conduct publicity and media relations, you probably have a decent media list, including editors for Good Housekeeping, Today Show producers and local and national industry beat reporters. But beyond the obvious must-haves for any CPG media database, expanding your list to reach untraditional contacts can have a major impact on your brand. This is of course if you pitch media contacts the right story, but that’s a different post all together.
Below are our top four secret tips for building a bigger, better media list to help secure more media coverage.
1. Find Freelancers. Freelance reporters often devote a major portion of their work to one particular industry category. As a result, they have developed strong relationships with particular magazines. It will take a bit of extra time up front, but devote the effort to build a targeted list of freelancers covering your industry and make sure they receive any relevant news and announcements from your company. Then, when they are assigned a story, they will know exactly where to turn for information.
2. Scour the web for syndicated writers/columnists. Again, a little bit of research can go a long way. Start by adding syndicated writers covering your industry beat through services like Scripps Howard and the Associated Press. Then, look for independent syndicated writers by reviewing sections in leading newspapers (i.e. check out the Home section to find a syndicated design writer). Finally, target relevant beat reporters at newspapers that are part of large publishing groups like McClatchy. If you place a story in one of the company’s papers, it can likely appear in sister publications.
Land one quality hit with a syndicated writer, and watch the coverage roll in from around the country.
3. Identify industry experts. Major national consumer media often rely on “industry experts” to acts as guests or interview subjects providing the latest tips and trends on a certain topic. Add these experts to your list and make sure your product is on their radar. If there is a natural correlation with future editorial interview opportunities, you may get a mention without ever having to speak to a producer or editor.
Additionally, well-known magazine editors often appear as lifestyle experts on non-competitive media outlets (i.e. TV talk shows). If you are targeting a certain show, make sure their editorial expert is on your list too.
4. Pinpoint production companies. This strategy works particularly well for consumer products, design and home improvement projects. Cable networks like Style, HGTV and DIY air shows produced by third-party production companies. If your product has a direct tie in to one of your favorite feature shows, track down a contact at the production company that produces the show. Call them directly and ask if they will consider products for placement on the show.