The Business News Hour - The Friday Wrap

Every so often I comment about Insight on Business the News Hour in this blog. The thought IOB_RGBoccurred to us that you might be interested in some of the long-form business interviews we do. You may find valuable the information our guests share with our radio audience. 

For those of you who don't know, The Business News Hour is the only daily, hour-long business news broadcast in the Midwest. It is heard on AM-940, FM-104.5 and in HD at 103.3 HD2. Each day, Monday - Friday starting at 5:05PM, we cover the business news headlines of the Nation, Region and the Greater Des Moines Metro along with a Market Report and our business interviews.  To listen or download any of these, simply click on the play button or click on the IOB image of the Des Moines Skyline for our Podcast Page. 

Our conversation with the editor of the Des Moines Business Record, Chris Conetzkey, focuses on paying attention to trends, business R&D in an economic downturn, the back-story of the publication and the print industry.

While listeners enjoy promotions there is a back story to every one. Joining us in studio is Jeff Delvaux the General Manager of the Des Moines Radio Group and we talk about that and more...enjoy! 

Today we share the IOB Mic with the Dean of the Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa, Sarah Fisher Gardial. Sarah was in Des Moines to speak at a Hawkeye Lunch & Learn about women and business leadership.

How you say what you say matters. Wayne Bruns is one of the Tero Trainers and he's here to break that down for you and give you some solid tips on how to improve your speech.

On any given night there are roughly 300 people sleeping under bridges, in parks or in tents. This is the story of Joppa Outreach and what they believe is an answer to the issue if only the City of Des Moines will give them the green light. Meet Joe Stevens, Amy Hunold-Van Gundy and Kyle Horn in studio to offer up a solution and offer transition to families.

With us in studio is the AMA-Iowa Co-Vice President of Programing, Sarah Barthole.  We talk about what members can expect, what marketing trends are exciting, how email may still be an effective way to reach consumers and the upcoming monthly program.

Our Small Business Spotlight shines on Amber Robinson and Krave Gym of West Des Moines. She says that she started Krave so she could help develop a program that would attract individuals who really want to see results.

Last week we shared with you the difference between "Reach and Action". Today we offer up Five Tips for your Business Facebook Page that will drive activity and create action. Ready?

Thanks for coming by for a listen.  Now for our commercial:

Insight on Business the News Hour with Michael Libbie is a production of our advertising agency, Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications and is the only daily, hour-long business broadcast in the region. The News Hour is made possible through the sponsorship of: Merit Resources of Urbandale, Iowa Computer Repair of Windsor Heights, ReMax Real Estate Concepts of the Des Moines Metro, the Iowa Association of Business and IndustryDWebware of Urbandale, The Strudl Haus of Des Moines, Manpower of Central IowaTero International and the Kreamer Law Firm of West Des Moines. 


Reach vs. Action

Go ahead, check your Facebook Business Page, I can wait. Notice how many folks your most Reach Imagerecent post...REACHED?  So, what does that mean? Perhaps, not what you think. "Reach" simply means how many people saw your post. Saw it. Like in, "Oh, there it is." and nothing else. It does not measure how many people read the post. It does not measure how many people clicked on the post extension. It simple means how many people saw your post.

So, why bring this up?  We take the long-form business interviews that are done each day of our broadcast and post them on several social media channels. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and we always use a Bitly Link. Bitly shortens the URL of our broadcast interview and then keeps track on how many people click on the link to access the podcast. Here is a link to Bitly so you can use this technology. Bitly also lets you know where folks are coming from. A website? Twitter? Facebook? LinkedIn?

The number of Facebook "Reaches" is nowhere close to the number of folks who actually clicked on the link to listen. There may be 500 people whom we "reached" but only 50 of those folks actually took the time to click through to listen to the information from the interview.

I'm telling you all of this so that you can better understand that "Reach" does not equal "Action". Some people that I know get all excited because their post "Reached" 200 people and they often think that, somehow, means "Action". It does not...but there are ways to increase the "action" on your Facebook Page.  That story coming up.

And, you're welcome!

 

 


Creating a Call to Action

So, you've got a website (but is it responsive?) and you are selling a product or a service. So Action Button far, so good. But, here is the question we need to ask. "Do you have a CALL TO ACTION on your website?"

Look, just having an electronic brochure...which is what many websites really are...isn't enough to motivate the consumer. You've got a website for a reason. It's there to share information about your business, show off you ability to answer questions or provide a service. But (and you knew that was coming) if you fail to ask your visitors to actually DO something after they meet you then you are missing...doing business.

The goal is to convert "lookers" into customers and clients.  And that, my friend, is difficult to do with a passive web presence. 

How do you know if you've got a passive website? If you track your site using, say Google Analytics, and you've got a ton of visits but a bunch of bounces.  Or if you've got a super keen website and people are coming but then business is slack.  Bingo...passive website. 

It's pretty simple. 

So here are several tips that will allow you to take your passive site and make it interactive with your perspective customers/clients:

  • Call to Action Button - This is an easy fix. It can be "Ask your question." "Donate Here!", "Let's Talk", "Use the App" any number of things that you want the visitor to DO. Make sure that it can been seen and is large enough so folks don't skip it. 
  • Chat Button - You can offer a "live chat". OK, so you don't have the staff to do a real live chat but you can configure the "Let's Chat" button to generate an email that you can come back to that evening or later in the day and have that communication.
  • Help Button - Perhaps you are in a service sector that is specific to various consumer needs. Put up a call to action button that has a place where visitors can fill in a form and ask their question. You can have disclaimers that indicate the question does not, in any way, create a client relationship, but is an informational service. (Go on, click the "Act Now" button above.)
  • Call Us Now! - You can have a large call to action button that is directed to a dedicated voice mail number. Rather than the standard, "Your call is very important..." (Please, BTW do not employ that language because...most of the time you are lying.) use this language, "Thank you for calling. Please let us know how we might help. We promise to call you back and have the discussion!"  And, then....do it.

Simple fix items that will turn your passive website into a way you can generate business.

Go!

6a00d83452534069e201a3fd12f548970b-800wi


Use It or Lose It

Back in November the Greater Des Moines Partnership (whom I admire and am an active Look Local First 2015member) rolled out a marketing plan designed to remind holiday shoppers that buying local has an enormous impact on the local economy. Look Local First had all the stuff: Images, a website and even a hashtag #LookLocalFirst to be used to promote the program via social media.

The other day I did a Twitter Search for #LookLocalFirst just to see if anybody had been using the hashtag. You know, spreading the whole idea that "Shop Local" is good for the local economy.  Here is a screen shot of what I found.

Look Local First Twitter Mentions 21 DecLook, I get it.  People get busy, they forget and sometimes it's tough to market a movement...even if that movement helps serve the commercial interests of the area.  So, how about some social media tips for the use of a hashtag promotion?

  • Encouragement - If you've got a built in set of social media followers continue to encourage them to use the hashtag and make sure they understand the relationship they have to share the message;
  • Use It - In this case the last time I could see that the sponsoring organization used #LookLocalFirst was the end of November. A long range campaign needs engagement all the time;
  • Cross Promotion - Use other media to explain the message. A couple of short videos, done by (in this case) small business people gives a human reason to use the hashtag;
  • Key Players - Get some key players in your social media world to use the hashtag. People follow people;
  • Blog About It - One and done doesn't get it. Sure you can have a big rollout but if you move on too quickly it loses steam. Offer a few success stories;
  • Start Early - If it's a campaign meant to cover the fourth quarter or two months of the fourth quarter start the campaign awareness at least a month earlier.

Big companies and organizations often have way too much going on and tend to forget about the campaign they started. That helps nobody. Stay with it and your ROI will improve.

6a00d83452534069e201a3fd12f548970b-800wi

 

 


Let's Start A Media Company!

Thought I'd share something I head recently about advertising, marketing and the media. If Media Signyou've ever wondered if you could compete with "media giants" now is the time to act. And you have the power. Ready?

So you are in business and I come to you and say, "Hey, let's you and I start a media company!" No doubt you would wonder what I was drinking and might come back with, "A media company? Are you crazy?  That would cost a fortune!"

Maybe...and maybe not. If you've got seven minutes have a listen. I think you'll get it!

 

Thanks for reading and listening!

6a00d83452534069e201a3fd12f548970b-800wi


Social Media Marketing in Northern Iowa

I'm honored to have been asked to be part of this amazing group of  NIACC Oct 2015 Two Use
professional marketers who will do a full day event about Social Media Marketing for Business.  I'll post a link to the registration page toward the end of this post.

Here's the deal: As a business person you've been told "Social media is free and everybody should use it." That, my friends is a lie. Social Media Marketing is not free it takes time and talent. That being the case why not attend a session where some of the best professionals in marketing will share their tips, suggestions and demonstrate what works...and what needs work. Here's more:

 

If you are in business you want to add more to the bottom line...while engaging consumers with your story.  Spend some time with us on 24 October at NIACC during the Midwest Social Media Summit! Here is that registration link.

Seek...answers.

Thanks for reading, watching coming by!

6a00d83452534069e201a3fd12f548970b-800wi

 


Networking Groups - So You Are Hoping For....

Over the years I've been asked to become a member of several networking Networking Groupgroups and I've also had the pleasure of speaking at some.  I've declined the invitation to join because, frankly, I've wondered how effective they might be. 

Consider that the hope of a networking group is designed to do business with somebody else in that group. But, if what you are selling is valuable, responsive, established and on target...why would you join?

Last week my friend Jim Connolly posted his thoughts on Networking Groups and I pass it on to you for your consideration.

So are we right or are we all wet?  Maybe a little...damp?  

Go! 

6a00d83452534069e201a3fd12f548970b-800wi


"I Made a Mistake."

I was sitting with a client last week talking with him about his marketing Man Choicesplan, his website, social media and traditional media. About fifteen minutes into the conversation, after I suggested he contact his web developer to make sure his contact information was correct, he looked at me and said, "You do it. I know my business but I don't know marketing.  I made a mistake in my former business by not hiring professionals to help me with what I don't do well. That's not happening this time."

That admission is unique. I've been doing this work for a very long time and the biggest hurdle for many small business owners is the belief they can do...everything.  The business person who knows his or her craft and has that for a primary focus while leaving "the other stuff" to those of us who are attorneys, accountants or advertising professionals wins.

It's what we do.  It's our craft and our business. It's like we wrote some weeks ago, "You do what you do and let us do that Voodoo."

Thanks for reading!

6a00d83452534069e201a3fd12f548970b-800wi

 


No, Don't Ignore It!

I was having a conversation with a business friend of mine who was railing Man Noiseagainst "these social media sites" that share customer input on their experience.  That would include Yelp, TripAdvisor and yes Facebook and Twitter among others.  He said, "I don't know why they complain on social media how come they don't say something when they are in the store so we can fix it there?"

He has a point but, welcome to the digital age where anything and everything goes.

I asked him what he does when he gets a social media complaint and he said, "I ignore it.  It's just stupid and it will go away."

But, it won't.  There is a way to deal with social media complaints that, as you do it, actually boosts your brand.  Here are some tips:

  • Acknowledge to Goof - If something happened that ticked off a customer don't hide from it.  Use it as a way to show your ability to listen to the customer;
  • Offer to Make It Right - True, some folks just want to play mean but if the complaint is real find a way to fix it and say so. And, don't be afraid to do it publicly;
  • Be Nice - Look, we get it...nothing feels better than to fire off a Tweet or a Facebook Post so you can "get back".  That is until somebody out there copies the post, circulates it and then who looks bad?  Resist the impulse;
  • Use the Moment - While it's true that in the digital age anybody can complain about anything and often stay anonymous.  No matter if it's a "troll" or for real.  Use the moment to help consumers better understand who and what you are really like.

I really liked this piece from Hootsuite and how they used negative comments to re-build:  

 

6a00d83452534069e20120a53db1ed970b-800wi


Who OWNS Your Website?

Our firm has been working to help a non-profit re-claim their website. Huh? Own It Words Yep. We've now run into this a couple of times and it's something you should know.

You may "think" you own your existing website but, not so fast! Sometimes the web-developer continues to hold the magic keys and when there are "issues" that can't be resolved they "own" it and can take it down.

Because your website is, most always, the first point of contact with consumers you need to make sure you hold the keys.  Here are some quick tips:

  • Ask the Question - When you're in development make sure you ask, "When we're done with this project do we have control over the site from updates to hosting?"  And, get the answer in writing;
  • Non-Profit Boards - I've been on hundreds and because they are made up of volunteers who have "real lives" often the record keeping is pretty bad. Make sure the "contract" or "agreement" is on-file and everybody has a copy;
  • Cheap is Not Always Good - Non-profits (and many small businesses) don't have a pile of cash to invest into their website. However, cheap is still cheap and not always the best of solutions. Get some professional help. Your job is to run the non-profit mission or business not become a marketing professional;
  • Document Unresolved Issues - If you already have a website and you've been experiencing slow updates, a developer who is always busy and doesn't have time to help make sure you document the interaction between your board and the developer.  It keeps everybody in the loop and, if legal issues follow, you've got a record;
  • Stay Professional - It can be frustrating to work with unresponsive firms but stuff gets "passed around" try, hard, to stay professional in your email conversations.

Each non-profit board member has a "friend in the business" and the member really wants to help.  That's great but when it comes to business (and make no mistake your non-profit is a business) don't short-cut the decisions.  It could all come back to bite you.

6a00d83452534069e201a3fd12f548970b-800wi