Archive for August, 2012
Originally published in Spectrum Dialogue, Vol. 11, No. 6 – June 2012
Written By Bill Neal, CDT, CEO of AMG Creative
Just as dental technology has experienced a tremendous evolution in the past five years, the internet, and specifically websites, has morphed into becoming an invaluable partner in growing your business. In the past, many dental laboratories started their websites to stand out from their competition and offer something unique. Today however, many of those same laboratories may be carrying a huge liability when it comes to their website.
The internet evolution has transformed what was once just another tool into one of the most important aspects of how companies can grow their brand and business. Many companies started their websites years ago and may have neglected to change with the times.
Websites first entered the dental laboratory industry in the early 90’s and unfortunately they were looked upon as being an online image brochure. Much of the information was fixed or static, rarely updated and full of too much information. Landing pages were not in use, e-blasts had not developed and Social Media had not even been invented. The first websites that were developed used old standards by today’s technology and most had to be custom built. Then website developers got the idea that they could reach more potential customers by offering site development based on templates and obviously the prices came down.
This evolution was great in that it brought more potential customers to the internet, but unfortunately as techniques and design capabilities evolved many companies failed to improve their site. This contributed to the feeling that websites didn’t do much for their business.
Over the past few years the fact that a company has a web presence doesn’t necessarily mean that they are successful at using it to grow their business. Websites should create leads for your sales people and they should provide your clients with pertinent information vital to their doing business with you. You should be able to track usage, see promising results and hear positive comments from visitors and clients. Most of all it should be a way to find out more about your company in an easy, presentable way-if none of these things are happening then you have a problem.
Hence the question: Asset or Liability? So, where does your website stand? Let’s start by asking yourself some questions about your website.
• Site not search engine optimized (SEO)?
• Does your site reflect your brand or image?
• Do site pages load slowly?
• Is navigation cumbersome (hard to access entire site)?
• Are news pages current and updated?
• Does the site list seminars from last year?
• Does contact info list employees no longer there?
• Does your site offer a “search” option?
• Site will not work with some web browsers?
• Will your site view on mobile devices?
• Do all links work perfectly?
• Do all PDF downloads work properly?
• Does your site link to Social Media such as Facebook?
• Does your site contain white papers, prep guides and
other useful technical information?
• Does your site have a proper contact form?
• Can you obtain customer email addresses in your
• Site ranking is high
• Use of Google ads in conjunction with site
• Links are current and relevant to technology utilized
• Social Media links
• Current and relevant data in news section
• Technical guides and prep information for doctors
• Scheduling capability
• Seminar registration and credit card payment capable
• Use of before and after patient photos
• Good FAQ section
• Site has been updated in last two years
• Pleasing color palette & eye-catching graphics
• Simple ways to engage with company (links to a getting started page from all
• Options for STL file submission
Obviously there are many more liabilities and/or assets that could be mentioned. The idea is to get a handle on what you should do to make sure you are using one of your most important branding assets to its full potential.
Positive Website Strategies
• Continually optimize your website
• Provide current and relevant information and news/technical white papers often
• Case studies
• Consider a Blog
• Link to your company Facebook page
• Utilize e-blast campaigns with landing pages to your website
• Optimize for mobile web browsing
• Consider providing coupon or technical article downloads with a direct mail
• Include your URL on every piece of printed material
• Send out e-newsletters with “Read More” link to website
• Embedded video usage
This list is not complete but you get the idea. Your website can be your best marketing partner but only if you look at every aspect of how it fits into your marketing strategy. So, if your website fits in the liability category, change what you
are doing and make it an asset that works for you, not against you!
Show season will soon be upon us. Are you ready? There are several important steps you need to take before setting up your booth in order to have a great impact at every show. Impress new and current clients with your preparedness by going through our Trade Show Checklist.
Prepare for your trade show ahead of time.
Before the Show
- Send out eblasts to tell attendees your booth number and to make individual appointments/meetings with contacts.
- Announce that you’ll be attending the show on your social media accounts and website.
- Give visitors an incentive to come to your booth. This could be a prize or contest of some kind or special show discounts. This is also a great way to collect contact information from show attendees to use for post-show follow-ups.
- Compose your elevator pitch (short sales spiel). A clear, concise message is key to reaching prospective customers.
During the Show
- Bring business cards.
- Post pictures and status updates about the show on your social media pages and website.
- Make sure to have marketing materials that support your overall branding. These need to be professionally created with clean, eye-catching graphics. This could include tradeshow booth panels, table drapes, retractable banners or tabletop signs.
- You can continue this branding with schwag (free little handouts such as pens, mints, etc). These should also have your branding/logo to help show attendees remember your company. Try to make sure these are placed further in your booth to discourage “grazers” (these are folks that only interested in getting free stuff). You only want to give these out to folks you truly want to do business with.
- You need to make sure that once visitors come into your booth you give them a reason to want to stay so make sure to be extremely friendly, outgoing and engaging.
After the Show
- Make sure to promptly follow-up with any and all leads.
- Follow through with all planned and promised discounts and special offers.
- Summarize what happened at the show through your social media pages and website.
If you would like information about tradeshow signage or other marketing materials, please contact us at (970) 221-5756 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“How do I make my website show up first?”
This has been the eternal question for anyone who has tried to get their site noticed on the vast aisles of the internet, or in other words: be the proverbial “cool kid” on the web.
Traditionally, your website would become a sort of keyword calzone, stuffed to the brim with any word a potential client might search for. This is true no longer. Search engines have picked up on the sometimes misleading tactics of websites, and have developed advanced methods of determinging if a site is “quality” or not. How do you make sure your site ranks high on search results?
The most pressing solution is one that is becoming ever more powerful: SOCIAL. Social media shares are intensely important in this day and age, and they’re influence is not going to go away anytime soon. Think about it, when you’re talking to a person face-to-face, what do you do when they recommend a restaurant or product? You’re more likely to try something that your friend likes, then a random stranger, and this concept of information sharing carries through to social media networks.
So…get a blog! Get a Facebook page! Get a Twitter! Much like the rest of the net before it, you are going to have to take on these social media strategies at some point, and now is better than later.
For more information about improving your SEO and social media influence, please contact us at (970) 221-5756 or send an email to email@example.com.
Internet, you can breathe.
AMG Creative has chosen a new Account Executive. The process was arduous; involving a 14 mile obstacle course, a chili cook-off, a dance-off, and an intense round of Capture the Copywriter, but in the end, only one could be declared victor.
Although she was born in Alaska, our account executive swears she has never owned a pet polar bear. When she’s not helping our clients build powerful brands, Jenna can be found hiking and strategizing for the next fantasy football season.
Welcome aboard the Creative Express!
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