Trade shows can be a great investment for your business if you’re looking to gain a large number of leads in a short amount of time. However, due to the large volume of traffic at most shows and the limited time prospects have to actually spend at your booth, it can be very difficult to manage your trade show leads. There are a plethora of costly resources out there to help you, but the most effective of all is to create an action plan to reach and manage your leads before, during and after the show.
As your company grows, the lines between traditional marketing, online marketing, sales and product marketing will naturally begin to blur. Fighting any crossover or rejecting natural coexistence will have a negative effect on future marketing efforts and revenue. Assuming you have exhausted all other revenue channels for finding new “huge wins,” growth will have to come from improving current channels. While there may be some big improvements, most revenue increases will come from many smaller ones. Don’t be discouraged, small improvements can add up to huge revenue gains.
As changes occur, making sure your teams work together is of utmost importance. Disagreements aside, as long as everyone focuses on the same end goal—making a great product, giving customers a great user experience and increasing conversions—you will succeed.
Last week, the Internet Summit conference in Raleigh, NC brought over 2000 people together to learn about the newest developments in Internet technologies. The ShareFile marketing team was lucky enough to attend and bring back many new ideas and insights. Here are a few highlights from our time at Internet Summit 2012:
Did you know that the average recipient spends only 8 seconds looking over each e-mail in their inbox? We heard an eye-opening presentation on how to make e-mail messages resonate instantly with readers from Emma’s Chris Korbey. Chris explained how visual storytelling engages an audience in seconds.
Justin Ware has been a key part of the ShareFile design team since he joined the company only 6 months ago. With previous experience in branding and print design, Justin has been able to bring a holistic, consistent approach to ShareFile materials for marketing, development and sales. In the one question, mini-interview below, Justin shares his ultimate advice for new designers.
Sarah: What advice would you give a small business looking to take their web design to the next level?
Justin: Strategy and planning are essential to successful design. Keep this idea in mind, and you can set clear, achievable goals for a design project and take some of the subjectivity out of the process. If you can, sit down with everyone involved with a project to discuss the objectives before getting started. This makes it much easier to talk about your decisions later in the process.
Remember that design is about more than just making an attractive deliverable; the design needs to communicate an idea to the end viewer. Well-designed collateral should be informative and should leave you with a positive feeling about a company’s product or services.
Does your law firm struggle to keep up with current innovative trends in the industry? Do you want to educate your employees on new legal practices in a fast-paced environment? Would you value the opportunity to network with peers across the country? If so, attending trade shows can be a worthy investment to both your firm and your employees’ growth.
One of the first benefits of attending trade shows is the ability to visit and speak with vendors in person. Having face to face time with exhibitors can be much more efficient than doing business over the phone or through e-mail, because vendors are readily available to discuss your needs and provide on-site demos of their products. Many trade shows focus specifically on one area your firm needs more knowledge on, such as technology or media. For example, the ABA TECHSHOW includes exhibitors offering the latest and greatest in legal technology products.
Firms of all sizes use email marketing to promote their brands. Email is an easy and cost-effective way to communicate with a large number of contacts. However, starting an effective email marketing campaign can seem daunting, especially for small to medium-sized firms that do not have in-house marketing and design professionals. Here are three tips that can help firms create meaningful messages that clients will read and appreciate.
Write an email that your client will want to read.
Email sent to your clients should contain something of value to them, providing incentive to open messages from your office in the future. This could include interesting information related to your practice area or stories that show your team’s community involvement. If you do choose to write about law, make sure that your writing is clear, and do not assume any specific knowledge on the part of the reader. Demonstrating your expertise in the field can impress your readers, but they will appreciate your ability to clearly explain any stories and examples even more.
Define your goals. What is your purpose in joining social networks? A few of the common social media goals of business are to increase brand awareness, to provide customer support, to educate your audience, to increase sales or to protect your reputation. Decide what works for you. Clearly define your business’ goals before joining multiple networks.
Find your customers. Once you have your goals established it’s easy to just jump on the bandwagon with many social networks. But first, determine where your customers and prospects are. Which social networks are they participating in? Twitter allows you to use hashtags and keywords to help locate your prospects through its Advanced Search tool.
Start slow. If you haven’t established your business’ presence within social media, it may be a good idea to start with the platform that you (or whoever will be managing your efforts) are most comfortable with. If you are most comfortable with Facebook (and maybe not so certain about Twitter or Google+ at the time), start your business profile on Facebook. Once you are able to grow your fan base and develop a plan, then expand to other social networks as you see fit.