Indianapolis Web Content Management

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Blogging for Comments

Posted 4:41 PM by

Today I came across a blog and wanted to leave a comment for the author. I scrolled to the bottom and it contained a link that said "You must be a registered user to leave comments." So, naturally, I abandoned the site. Too much work.

If you want to allow comments on your blog make it very easy to do so. Don't require visitors to become a registered user or you will have many people like me quickly leave.

Blogs are casual devices for communication. Requiring users to register in order to leave feedback is like saying, "Yeah, I'd love to have a conversation with you but first fill out this paperwork, submit it to my secretary and they will get back to you with further instructions on how we can converse."

Yeah, right. Adios.

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Cloud Marketing

Posted 2:50 PM by

What tools do you use to improve website visibility, engage visitors, and increase conversions? I break successful websites into those three areas of importance: visibility, engagement, and conversion.

Let's say you do some email marketing, have a corporate blog, use search ads, and build up your backlinks in order to increase visibility (see my post about website chauffeurs).

Once visitors arrive, you use a web content management system to keep your site updated with engaging and relevant content.

Then, when converting visitors into leads (or paying customers) you might post a form that gets stored in your CRM database, added to your email marketing database, and then you might send both yourself and the lead an email response.

I calll this cloud marketing. Just like cloud computing, cloud marketing utilizes the power of disparate applications and tools connected on the Internet. This is the "all of us is more powerful than just one of us" mentality.

Cloud marketing is expensive because it still requires developers to programmatically connect all the tools so they talk nicely to each other. Over time, though, more and more tools will be connected easily because of standards. Just like RSS, I envision a day when we can point one application to another and they will auto-discover eachother's features and be able to talk without the need of a contracted programmer. This will not only lower the cost, but also give smaller businesses a better ability to compete with the big guys. Here's one Indianapolis firm that's already doing it - 5Buckets.

NOTE: Here's proof of how fast the Internet moves. I started this article in November and didn't finish it for a variety of reasons. At that time, there wasn't much on cloud marketing and there definitely wasn't a Wikipedia entry. Now, however, there is. Started on December 1st - here it is: cloud marketing.

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Engage Website Visitors - Tell a Story

Posted 5:17 PM by

Engage website visitors by telling a storyHere is something to think about when trying to write more engaging webiste copy - tell a story.

It's really that simple. Why does your website have to be a stuffy replication of your brochure? It doesn't! Tell a story and you will not only draw the attention of your new visitors, you may also better engage existing customers who are looking for a new way to use your product or service.

Stories, especially those that touch the heart or tickle the funny bone, will draw attention because people naturally enjoy stories.

That reminds me, this one time... at band camp....

Just kidding, I've never been to band camp but I have been to computer camp. I think it was 1985 and computers only did one thing well back then - Oregon Trail.

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Churches Benefit with a Web Content Management System

Posted 7:16 PM by

We have several churches as customers. They all have one thing in common: tons of information to communicate to their congregations. Relying on a member of the church to make these changes leads to bottlenecks, delays, and headaches. Relying on a paid website developer leads to wasted cash and creates a disincentive for making much needed updates.

This is where a web content management system for churches can make a big difference. First of all, you don't have to be a website developer to use the system. Many of our church users are non-technical and not terribly computer saavy. This is not a knock against them, they just aren't as comfortable with computers as some of our other users. With Marketpath CMS they don't have to be. The beautiful thing about our web content management system is that it is extremely easy to use.

Don't let that fool you into thinking that it is basic, though. Marketpath CMS is far from basic. It is a very powerful on-demand platform that allows an incredible level of interaction, not just for church users but also for other website developers who want to make it do more.

Dont' let your church fall into the bottleneck trap of using outside developers who charge an hour for every change regardless of size. And if one of your members currently makes changes for you, put in a web content management system and let them save a great deal of time as well as enabling other members of your staff to make changes too!

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Website Chauffeurs

Posted 1:26 PM by

Both online and offline marketing (such as email, blogging, direct mail, ads, etc) should all contain some sort of action item. In most cases, the action item will direct people to a website or landing page where they can learn more about a particular product, service, or promotion. This is very common practice and many of those channels can be utilized affordably. But this is where marketers often fail (or get hosed for that matter).

Take a short time to look at the diagram below. Each spoke represents some sort of marketing channel, or in my terms, a Website Chauffeur. These mechanisms capture the attention of their viewers and then chauffeur them to the website where the next step in the selling process begins.

Matt Zentz - Marketpath Website Chauffeur Model

Online chauffeurs are shown in blue and offline chauffeurs are shown in orange.

Website Chauffeurs are great at capturing attention and bringing individuals to the next step at the center of the spokes - the website (or the hub). But the problem is Website Chauffeurs don't convert visitors into customers. That is the job of your website. Wherever visitors land within your website your message should build value before attempting to make a sale.

This is why it is so important to have a simple and powerful Web content management system to help you adjust your message. Chances are you will not get that message quite right the first time, or the second time, or the third, fourth, fifth, or sixth time. Hopefully, you get the point. Having a tool that doesn't punish you for making changes is a necessity, unless you like to send cash to a developer at $100 per hour. A Web content management system gives you the capability to adjust the message yourself and save enormous amounts of time and money.

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