Internet marketing performance of Lichfield based businesses

Posted by Chris on January 31st, 2012

Lichfield in Staffordshire has a very Internet aware local government ( e.g. Lichfield District Council uses Twitter for Planning Applications ) and local business population. I thought it would be interesting to use HubSpot’s Marketing Grader software to grade the Internet Marketing Performance of a random selection of Lichfield based businesses.

I chose my random selection not so randomly, mainly from HubSpot’s Twitter Grader for Lichfield on the basis that if people were on Twitter then they were likely to be pretty Internet savvy and social media aware. Hence my selection was ( in order of best performing ) Lichfield Live  , Lichfield District Council , Executives on the Web ( our ” web ” company ) , InterVallum ( Paul Hooper-Keeley has the most Twitter followers in the area ) Hellmann ( Logistics ) and finally Framework Gallery ( who I spoke about in an earlier blog and who performed well in a local search on ” oil paintings “.

Stylised seahorse

http://www.staffordshirehoard.org.uk/staritems

 

I wanted to get a bit of a ” spread ” of results i.e. from high end results like Lichfield Live ( who you would sort of expect to have a comprehensive Internet presence ) , through Lichfield D.C. ( who probably have a team of website specialists and as mentioned before are very pro. social media and the Internet ) to Executives on the Web ( who again, as a web based business, you would expect to be pretty high ranking )  to Hellmann’s ( who arguably don’t need a particularly strong web presence ? ) to Framework Gallery who, as I say performed well in some earlier searches.

I don’t propose to go into any detail on each of the reports ( they are all listed below if you want to take a look at them ) but you probably need to understand that these grades are relative to thousands of other websites around the world i.e. 78/100 means that the Lichfield Live website in conjunction with it’s associated blog and social media memberships  has a better internet marketing performance than 78% of the web presences reviewed by HubSpot. That’s pretty good !!

 

Millefiori stud

You also need to understand that HubSpot takes a pretty ” salesy ” view of life. Terms like Top of the Funnel and Middle of the Funnel may not mean much to some business people but they will be familiar to most salespeople. HubSpot’s mantra is ” Get Found ( on the Internet ), Convert ( Visitors to leads ) and Analyse ( how you did it and how you could do it better ).

To achieve this HubSpot recommends the establishment of what I call an ” Internet Ecosystem ” i.e. a combination of a website, a blogsite and various social media memberships and other sites that essentially drive visitors back to your website. ”

 

Sword pyramid

Marketing Grader Reports

http://marketing.grader.com/site/lichfieldlive.co.uk  – 78/100

http://marketing.grader.com/site/www.lichfielddc.gov.uk - 68/100

http://marketing.grader.com/site/www.executivesontheweb.com - 60/100

http://marketing.grader.com/site/www.hellmann.net - 39/100

http://marketing.grader.com/site/www.intervallum.co.uk  – 31/100

http://marketing.grader.com/site/www.framework-gallery.co.uk - 12/100

 

Start up Start up Wahooly Starts tomorrow with Klout behind it

Posted by Chris on January 31st, 2012

Start up Wahooly starts tomorrow ( Tuesday 31st January ) having used Klout to select it’s members. I realise that this is is all about as clear as mud at the moment !

Let’s start with Klout which is a company ( one of a few that are doing this ) that essentially grades your Internet influence. Here is Klout about Klout:

http://klout.com/#/understand

” Klout was founded in 2008 to help you measure and leverage your influence. We believe influence is the ability to drive action. For example, Oprah’s opinion on literature has inspired millions to read titles from her book club. But you don’t have to be Oprah to have influence. You influence your friend when she listens to a song you recommend on Facebook. You influence your coworker when he checks out an article you posted on LinkedIn and shares it with someone else. Social actions like these are a reflection of influence. ”

Klout uses a ” secret algorithm ” to measure people and brand influence.

 

 

A few month’s ago this algorithm was ” modified ” and a lot of people’s ” Klout score ” changed ( many for the worse ) generating considerable reaction from Klout ” members “.

A lot of people say ” Who are Klout and what right do they have to rank my influence ? ” I have my own issues with Klout including the fact that they have a lot of technical bugs that impact people’s scores.

Anyway – let’s get on to Wahooly. Wahooly is a start-up that aims to help start-ups by recruiting ” influential ” people to promote start-ups that they wish to support. In return the influencers get equity ( shares ) in the start-up. So, this is like hiring an Internet Marketing Expert ( Social Media Marketer ) and PR person and paying them in equity rather than hard cash.

Will it work ?? We shall see.

To be a member of Wahooly you needed to have a Klout score of 45 or above ( mine was at the time of selection but has fallen slightly since. I have been as high as 67 in the past ).

More on Wahooly’s use of Klout here:

http://www.launch.is/blog/wahooly-uses-klout-to-add-400-influencers-daily-who-earn-equ.html

I am therefore a founder member of Wahooly and a Wahooligan ( as they call it ).

 

Given that it has been very hard to raise start-up capital in the last few years there have been many new initiatives to help start-ups get going. Equity for influence is just the latest of them. There have, for example , been a whole host of crowd financing ( investing small amounts of money for small amounts of equity ) initiatives.

Obviously Wahooly has a presence on the main social media platforms:

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/wahooly?ref=ts&sk=wall

https://www.facebook.com/groups/Wahooligans/

Twitter

https://twitter.com/#!/TeamWahooly

Google +

https://plus.google.com/u/0/105465481469156419624/posts

Linkedin

etc

It is going to be an interesting experiment !!

 

 

 

 

 

Social Media in Lichfield Staffordshire U.K.

Posted by Chris on January 30th, 2012

If you are interested in Social Media and live in Lichfield, Home of the Cathedral the Saxon Hoard  the intersection of Watling Street and Icknield Street and all sorts of other interesting things then this post may be of interest to you.

In an ideal world it is going to sit near the top of a Google search on this topic and make a point ……..

If you want to be found for the products and services that you offer then you had better understand that Social Media alone will not achieve your objective. It does not matter whether you live in Lichfield, Staffs or anywhere else.

 

Pectoral cross

Largely speaking social media networks are closed communities ( they might be huge closed communities !! ) in relation to Google and other searches  and they are subject to their own particular connectivity quirks. Stuff you post on e.g. Facebook stays ( largely) on Facebook.

That is you will NOT create effective networks ( effective being ones that enable you to sell more of your products and services ) on Social Media networks alone – no matter how large your social media networks  are.

Examine your own behavior when it comes to searching for information, products and services. I will bet money that you still rely considerably on word of mouth ( WoM )  recommendations and then use search engines like Google. You might, having shifted communications with your friends from mobile/text to e.g. Twitter or Facebook, ask them what they think about something via Twitter or Facebook but you are still looking for what is essentially a WoM recommendation – just at light speed.

In reality we are, whether we like it or not, a generation of Googlers. If you want information on something; want to find something or want to buy something you Google it. You rarely used any of the advanced search options ( Those are for people in the know ). If you are like my 20 something children then you Google the exact question e.g. ” How do you fit a rear quarter light to a Peugeot ?? ” ( Try it !! ) and back comes the answer ( s ) – typically in the case of car repairs etc from forums of various kinds.

You want to “ buy an oil painting in Lichfield ” ?? Google it and you will find

http://www.framework-gallery.co.uk/ a couple of results down.

Do a Facebook search ?? ( Bing gives you Framework Gallery aswell ). Try Twitter, YouTube ?? Nothing much.

( Well done Framework Gallery by the way ! )

Being found ( via search engines ) is the key. Social Media does have a role in this. How do you get found ??

Well first, critically but not necessarily obviously you have to work out what you want to be found for ???

In Search Engine Optimisation ( S.E.O. ) speak this means what are the key words ( keywords ) and phrases that you want to be found for ?

Unsurprisingly if you want to be found for ” Social Media in Lichfield Staffordshire ” then those words and phrases need to be appearing in your website and ” content ” –  basically in everything you post online.

There are basically 3 important things in a website being found:

1. That the pages reflect the things that you want to be found for.

2. That you keep posting new, fresh relevant content ( e.g. using a blog like this one ).

3. That by doing so people will create links to your website and blogsite.  ( You become an authority in this area ).

Once the website has been found then it needs to convert ” interest ” to ” action ” e.g. sign up for a free trial offer; join a mailing list; ring a number etc ( In the trade this is known as a Call to Action ).

You also need to able to analyse what’s working – so you need the capability to do so. ( Some ” analytics ” software ).

Social Media enables you to create contacts and awareness of what you do. It is VERY time consuming but it will help to encourage visitors to your website and begin the process of them becoming customers. In some cases this can happen very quickly, in others it can take some time.

For more on this subject search on ” Marketing Newsletters ” on this blogsite.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using Hubspot Marketing Grader in the U.K.

Posted by Chris on January 29th, 2012

I have recently been using Hubspot’s Marketing Grader to assess how well some of my clients Internet Marketing efforts are working. It is a fantastic tool and looks at not only a company’s website effectiveness but also the supporting Internet ecosystem.

A tool like HubSpot Marketing Grader is vital when trying to work out how easily a person or companies website is being found on the major search engines for relevant search terms and also how well visitors to that website are being converted into prospects and customers.

 

HubSpot has always looked at Internet Marketing in simple terms: How well are you found ? How effectively do you convert ? What are the statistics that support that process and how can they be improved ?

What I find so often is that people don’t understand what a website is there for. It is there as part of your overall marketing efforts to create leads and convert them to orders.

As a salesperson I completely identify with this view of the world and I say to people ” Treat your website like another salesperson or sales team ” and look at it’s effectiveness in the same way that you would look at the effectiveness of your sales team.

If, as I have done, you were running a salesforce ( in a fairly advanced way ) you would measure things like Activity, Skill and Knowledge and collect information like “How many prospects they have ? ”  ”How many proposals they have written ? ” and other data that would give you some indication of the effectiveness of your investment into a salesperson or salesforce.

It is somewhat interesting that HubSpot eschews some of the “old ways ” of prospecting and selling ( broadly lumped into Push Selling or Marketing or Outbound Selling/Marketing e.g. telemarketing, mailshotting etc etc ) whilst utilising many of the same methods of analysing the effectiveness of the ” Pull ” or ” Inbound Marketing ” approach.

Internet Marketing is not just about an effective website it is also about traffic being driven to that website from blogsites and social media and about the effectiveness of e.g. your Facebook campaigns and presence in their own right.

HubSpot’s Marketing Grader gives you a comprehensive checklist to work through but you do have to understand the overall strategy.

Get your Internet Marketing Grade here:

http://marketing.grader.com/

 

 

If you need help understanding what to do please contact me.

Here are a couple of links to videos about Marketing Grader

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rj80vTmJp4Q

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlAA18xjKE0

 

Internet Monetisation hierarchy, email and platforms

Posted by Chris on January 27th, 2012

I recently watched the Twylah video referred to in Jim Connolly’s Marketing Blog here:

http://jimsmarketingblog.com/2011/05/30/get-everybody-talking-about-you-with-this-1-simple-idea/

( See also the video at the end of this blog for more about Twylah )

and aside from what Jim had said and the fact that I agreed with him that Twylah had a great story there were a couple of things that resonated with me:

Internet Monetisation

 

 

 

I noted that Eric Kim, the co-founder of Twylah had been involved in Internet Monetisation ( that’s like ” Show me the money ” in amongst all this Internet stuff ! ) for around 11 years and that he had founded Twylah because there was no obvious monetisation strategy emerging for Twitter. I also noted that he carried around in his head an ” Internet Monetisation Hierarchy ” ( I was going to call it a Pyramid but Pyramids have such bad press in recent years ! ) which went something like – an email address has the highest monetary value ( he actually put a value on a 1000 email addresses being emailed as ranging between $5 and $100 ) and then said that email has a higher value than e.g. a Facebook ” like ” which in turn has a higher value than a Twitter ” follow “.

He said that ” email is STILL the number one mechanism for communicating. People check their email first ( typically ) before checking social media “. A point which I will come back to.

I am sure that Eric has a whole load more ” valuations ” in his head and they range from the obvious like ” the number of visitors to your website ”  and ” the number of transactions through your website and the value of those transactions ” to the less obvious like ” the number of favourites and retweets  on Twitter “.  Everything has a ( micro ? ) value.

Recently I have been using HubSpot’s ( Internet ) Marketing Grader to see how well some companies Internet Marketing ” System ” is working. Since HubSpot is basically trying to see how easily you get found on the Internet, how well you convert visitors into ” leads ” ( which might mean getting their email address and permission to email ) and how well the being found and converting process works it is broadly speaking helping to measure the ” value ” of your Internet Marketing system.

 

It looks at your website, your blogs and your social networks and how one element provides support to the other elements.

Included within the HubSpot Marketing Grade is your Klout Score  ( arguably, a valuation of your Internet presence ) and offers you incentives based on your Klout score e.g. a £50 credit to AirBnB .

Twylah is another piece of the Internet Marketing ecosystem jigsaw – automatically converting your Tweets to what looks something like a blog page ( Mine is here ) and also analysing the effectiveness of your Tweets in achieving micro-value via follows, favourites, retweets etc etc.

2 of HubSpot’s favourite elements are ( or can be )  included within a Twylah page – an email sign up and/or another ” Call to Action ” ( e.g. Click here and buy and download  Lady GaGa’s latest single ).

The Importance of email

As Eric says ( and many people agree with him ) email is still very important.

This blog

Email Marketing is down but not out !

is spot-on. There are challenges with email marketing but it is probably the highest value item that you can attain and therefore it is your OBJECTIVE to get it !!

 

 

Platforms

I am constantly reminded of the value of ” platform websites ” . This blog is on WordPress which is becoming hugely powerful. ( It has an Alexa ranking of 18th in the world ).  N.B. HubSpot’s Alexa ranking is 691 and Twylah’s 14,504.

Ecademy.com ( Alexa 9,377 ) was one of the first sites where I noticed the effect of ” Platform Power ” some 10 years ago.

Content posted on these websites becomes very visible to search engines like Google and ranks highly. ( I highly recommend WordPress and HubSpot based websites !! ) Over time Twylah will also become very powerful ( it’s Alexa ranking grew 35% over the last 3 months ).

 

So, in summary keep in mind platforms and the Monetisation Hierarchy and keep trying to get those email addresses and use them !!

 

Another great video about Twylah  below

http://foundville.com/2012/01/09/twylah-interview/

Internet Marketing Strategy Lichfield

Posted by Chris on January 27th, 2012

If you live in the Lichfield, Staffordshire area and are interested in learning more about Internet Marketing Strategy and Strategies then please feel free to contact me via this website or one of the Social Networks listed below. ( You can Google me for more ).

One of the objectives of Internet Marketing is to be found for relevant e.g. Google searches like ” Internet Marketing Strategy ” . If you are reading this then you found it during some search or other for something like the phrase I have mentioned. I did not pay to be listed in a Directory or to have an advert on Google ( Top results or right hand side results ). I simply wrote about this subject.

I have been an Information Technology professional since leaving the Navy in the 80′s and have experience of sales, marketing and business strategy.

Terry Herbert with some of the Saxon Hoard.

Internet Marketing has been a passion of mine for the last 10 years or so since I realised just how many people were using search engines like Google to find information, products and services.

I came to the conclusion many years ago that we tend to lag 6-12 months behind what the U.S. is doing ( although not everything is invented in the U.S.  !! ) and so I have deliberately made and developed contacts in the U.S. so that I could keep up to date with the real cutting edge of Internet Marketing. So, for example I was a beta member of Google + which grew out of the West coast of the U.S. This means that I feel connected to Silicon Valley even though I have not lived there ( I have visited on a couple of occasions ). I guess I am missing out on some of the Silicon Valley action but I love Lichfield and Staffordshire.

Other companies which typify what I regard as the leading edge in global Internet Marketing include Boston based  HubSpot and more recently San Francisco based Twylah.

There are a number of Marketing and Internet Marketing posts on this blogsite that might help you ( Try searching for Marketing Newsletters as a start ) and I am very happy to discuss specific thoughts, issues and challenges directly.

UPDATE: I am now a Digital Marketing Mentor with the Six Figure Mentors if you would like to find out how to get visitors, traffic, leads, orders and cash from your website please click >>>>>>>> HERE <<<<<<<<<

 

 

Social Network Links

https://plus.google.com/100770362378770488768/posts

https://www.facebook.com/chris.windley

https://twitter.com/#!/cwindley

http://www.twylah.com/cwindley

http://www.linkedin.com/in/chriswindley

Who has the most twitter followers in lichfield ?

Posted by Chris on January 26th, 2012

Well I do – but then again I don’t – according to the applications that tell you who has the most Twitter followers in e.g. Lichfield or Birmingham or London or the World  -  like Twitter Elite

http://tweet.grader.com/location/?Location=lichfield%2Cstaffs%2CUK

and Twitaholic

http://twitaholic.com/top100/followers/bylocation/Lichfield,+Staffordshire,+West/

I do, in that if you look here

http://tweet.grader.com/@cwindley

I have a Tweet Grade of 97.4 and ( currently ) 2,278 followers but I don’t appear on the list ( at the time of writing ) produced by Tweet Grader in the first link that I detailed above.  Philip John has that honour currently. (  philipjohn )

Out of interest the person who has the most followers in Birmingham

http://tweet.grader.com/location/?Location=birmingham%2CUK

is an 18 year old Economics student called Aluna Sagita Gutawa with over 1.1 Million followers !!!! ( How ?? Why ?? )

Philip and I have never met ( to my knowledge ) but he and I do have a common interest in WordPress blogs it seems. ( Where I am writing this ).

Does it matter ????

Well actually the number of followers ( like e.g. the number of Facebook likes or the number of email addresses ) does actually have a monetary value, small though it may be. ( For example I recently heard the co-founder of U.S. based start-up Twylah talk about a dollar value for the number of email addresses something was emailed to ).

What does matter is visibility on the Internet and being found on the Internet via search engines like Google.

Tweets are also being turned into website pages that can attract ” traffic ” ( visitors and users ) and rank on Google. Here is my Twylah page for example:

http://www.twylah.com/cwindley

( Twylah is in beta at the moment so you have to request a Twylah page )

If you don’t think being a Tweep is very interesting then you might find being a ” Twyp ” of more value ;-)

You might not think very much of Lady GaGa either but she is a ” Twyp ”

http://www.twylah.com/ladygaga

along with a whole host of other celebrities

http://www.twylah.com/featured.

GaGa’s ephemeral Tweets have been turned into a much longer lasting web page ( with the invitation to download her music ).

Translated into something that might interest the average Lichfieldian ?? well it’s another way of getting ( global ) visibility for your Lichfield based business.

Connecting with and communicating with people is important and so is being found.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Internet Marketing Strategy in Birmingham

Posted by Chris on January 26th, 2012

When I researched what advice and guidance was being offered in Birmingham in respect of Internet Marketing Strategy I realised that it was sadly lacking in all respects. It was massively outdated when compared with the views of the worlds leading Internet Marketers who I spoke to on a regular basis. My experience in the high technology world over the last 20 odd years has taught me that to be up to date you HAVE to be aware of what is going on in the U.S. ( Note that most of the major influencers in the Internet and High Technology world – Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, eBay etc etc – have come from the U.S. ).

However not only was it outdated but it was over complicated ( probably because those people who were talking about Internet Marketing Strategies did not actually understand what was going on ) and not put in terms that could easily be understood by the senior management of Birmingham based business’s.

How difficult can it be to understand that building a website that cannot be found on the Internet ( for the things that you want it to be found for ) is a total waste of time and money ??

Is it really that hard to come to the conclusion that you need to understand what is happening to your existing website ( how often it is found; what people do when they find it etc etc ) so that you can judge whether the time, effort and money spent on Internet Marketing is actually producing a return ??

 

 

Whilst there are a lot of technical elements involved you don’t want to talk ” technically ” as a senior manager of a Birmingham based business you want to talk in simple, strategic terms about how you can drive the business forward.

I produced a series of  ” Letters from Marketing ” for some of the senior management of the companies that I was helping

http://mandarainmaker.co.uk/wordpress/2011/06/22/letter-from-marketing-no-1/

but have become convinced that Birmingham based businesses need more, up to date information and guidance on this topic of Internet Marketing Strategy and so I will be looking at additional ways of getting the message across in the near future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contract and Civil Litigation Experts in Birmingham top Google search

Posted by Chris on January 20th, 2012

Contract and Civil Litigation Experts, Pegasus Legal LDP, are topping the Google search rankings for Consumer Law Expert searches aided by Birmingham news collection service My Birmingham News

http://www.mybirminghamnews.co.uk/tag/midlands/

A blog posted here

http://mandarainmaker.co.uk/wordpress/2012/01/17/consumer-law-experts-in-birmingham-midlands/

was picked up by My Birmingham News within hours of it being posted and both the M & A Rainmaker and My Birmingham News posts were ranking high in Google searches within 24 Hours.

Both posts demonstrate the power of WordPress based websites in achieving high rankings for users.

Pegasus LDP is a young and innovative legal organisation which complements high technology methods of marketing.

Building on the foundation of the WordPress post higher rankings were achieved by utilising social networks like Linkedin, Google +, Facebook, Twitter and digg to feed into and support the WordPress posts.

This advanced marketing technique utilises the 3 main drivers of high ranking websites

- On page SEO

- Relevant Content creation

- Links

added together with perceptive keyword selection in order to get the attention of relevant searchers.

For further information on Pegasus LDP go here:

Contact Ms O’Connor and Pegasus LDP here

http://www.pegasusllp.co.uk/contact-us.php

Pegasus Legal (LDP) 

Tel: 0121 455 8347

Fax: 0121-455 6546 DX: 715586 Edgbaston

Somerville House 16 Harborne Road Edgbaston Birmingham B15 3AA

 

 

 

 

 

Mattioli Woods Pension Consultancy and Wealth Management Services

Posted by Chris on January 19th, 2012

Mattioli Woods

Are one of the UK’s leading providers of pension consultancy and wealth management services, advising over 4,000 clients throughout the UK and with funds under trusteeship in excess of £2.8 billion. By building long-term client relationships, thier aim is to provide trusted advice, high service standards and personalised delivery.

They provide integrated services for individuals, embracing pension consultancy, with a strong specialism in self-invested personal pension schemes and small self-administered pension schemes; personal investment and estate planning. For corporate clients, they provide a comprehensive range of employee benefits services. Principle services include:

In the last 20 years, they have grown dynamically year-on-year and became a public company following a listing on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange in November 2005. Founded on a strong culture of client care,  core services are targeted towards controlling directors, professional persons, owner-managed businesses and small to medium-sized PLCs.

The key difference between Mattioli Woods and many of our larger competitors is our hands-on, tailored approach. There is a genuine focus on providing the highest level of personal advice and maintaining close relationships with all clients, which has led to high levels of satisfaction, retention and referrals.

 

About

Introducing Mattioli Woods

Mattioli Woods is one of the UK’s leading providers of pension consultancy and wealth management services. They employ over 250 staff through Leicester, London, Aberdeen and Glasgow offices, administer over 2,900 SIPP schemes and 1,400 SSAS schemes and hold over £2.8 billion of assets under advice and administration.

By building long term client relationships, the aim is to provide trusted advice, high service standards and personalised delivery. They provide integrated wealth management services, incorporating pension consultancy with a strong focus on self-investment and employee benefits. Our wealth management services embrace pensions and personal investment, coupled with estate planning.

Principal functions, include:

They provide  clients with an all-embracing and holistic approach designed to develop a clear strategy for clients’ financial plans, supported by sound investment and taxation initiatives. Clients want to be confident in the advice  given and for strategies to be administered quickly and efficiently, regular updates and review meetings are central to our communication process, to give reassurance.

Pension planning and clients’ wider wealth management issues cannot be developed effectively in isolation, particularly when there are so many competing demands on our clients’ income. They proudly claim to be a leader in the field of self-invested personal pensions and small self-administered schemes, and such arrangements are often central to  clients’ pension strategy. They take full account of the wider opportunities, including ISAs and other forms of personal investment; taxation and trust planning; and work with  clients to develop a balanced financial plan.


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