A New Look for Duct Tape Marketing and . . .

new duct tape marketing design

Even a casual reader of this blog will notice that we’ve made a few changes around here.

Change in business is inevitable and a major overhaul of one of your primary business assets – such as a website and blog – is something that must be entered into strategically as much as aesthetically.

These days a site design can become obsolete in as little as 18 months.

It’s not just that design trends and fashions evolve, it’s that people start to expect your site to operate a certain way based on what they experience around the web.

If you’re site doesn’t scroll the way they are used to, has a linking structure that doesn’t make sense or is a mess when viewed on a mobile device or tablet you run the risk of losing the interest of folks you’ve worked hard to attract.

Here are the things we did that are behind our “why a new design.”

Community vs. lead capture

Perhaps the biggest change was to move away from the traditional lead capture practice of offering a single piece of content, such as an eBook in exchange for an email address.

Today we are asking people to join our content community. In return, they will gain access to our entire library of ebooks and premium content, such as webinar archives, as well as all future content.

My feeling is that is the way forward for content publishers like us and I believe creates a greater sense of long-term community rather than one-off trade of information.

I wrote about this idea in a bit more detail here – The rise of the content community

New URL structure

We finally moved a little closer to the modern blog structure with our URLs.

Today, many publishers have shifted the idea of a blog to true content management. The concept of a daily updated blog with dates attached has been supplanted by the practice of creating and publishing content around themes or categories without regard to date.

We didn’t go all the way with this as moving 4,000 blog posts created over the last 13 years was scary enough for me, but we moved towards this by taking all dates away from URLs and blog posts. (We had some nice help from Yoast and my host Synthesis on this.)

We will move a step closer in the future as we arrange evergreen content around core themes. I’ve written about this practice in depth here – How to create a total content system

Updated theme

We completely updated the WordPress theme on the site to incorporate more visual elements and simplified navigation structure.

Site Journey

We have several very distinct groups that look for information on Duct Tape Marketing and we wanted to make easier for these segments to find what they were looking for.

We cater to many business owners and marketers looking for tips, tricks and advice around building marketing systems and we also cater to marketing coaches, consultants and agency owners looking to grow their practices.

We put a path front and center on the home page that allows members of these groups to choose content that more closely meets what they are probably looking for without the need to search for it.

As with all projects of this nature, it’s still a work in progress but we welcome your thoughts and feedback!

Customer Journey Through The Tourney

Happy March, everyone! It is my favorite time of year. Spring weather is here, and March Madness is just around the corner.

While many of us are focusing on buzzer beaters and bracket busters, business owners should be focused on improving the way their businesses get their customers to Know, Like, Try, Buy, Repeat and Refer their product. We call this the customer journey, and we visualize it with a tool called the Marketing Hourglass.

But ignoring basketball this month is easier said than done, I thought I might visualize the customer journey a different way – through the lens of a college basketball fan.

First Four – Know

The First Four is the official kick-off to March Madness, and it begins the Wednesday before the first weekend of the main tournament. This may be the first time you have heard of any of these teams, let alone watch them play. This would mirror the first time a customer encounters your business.

While you watch these early games, be aware of all of the ways new customers may encounter your business for the first time, and imagine different ways to reach more people.

Second Round – Like

The next step is to get this customer to like your business. New fans of basketball teams begin to like the team if they know enough about them to correctly predict a second-round upset.

For your business, you must strive to give potential customers great first impressions. Think about all of those customer touch-points in the previous round. Are there ways to improve the experience to create better impressions?

Third Round – Trust

Getting your customers to trust you is an important step towards turning them into paying customers. The Cinderella team you have been following earns your trust by winning another game. Not only are you rooting for them, but you are starting to believe they have a chance to win it all.

Like the team working hard for an upset, show your customers you are working hard to earn their trust, and they’ll start to believe in your business.

Sweet 16 – Try

Say your favorite new team has made it past the first weekend of the tournament. Games are now stand-alone, so more people are watching and cheering for every team. This is the first time a new fan can truly feel like a fan, a part of this team’s community.

The same goes for your business. Give your customers an experience to try and show them the value of your product. If they like what they experience, they will take the plunge and buy your product.

Elite Eight – Buy

Now it comes time for your customer to buy your product. During the tournament, this may be the stage when a new fan buys a t-shirt or some other memorabilia from the now improbable Elite Eight run.

For businesses, some of you may think this is the ultimate goal. It isn’t. You want to now shift your focus to turning these customers into continuing business.

Final Four – Repeat

Not every team makes it to the Final Four, just like your customers don’t always become repeat customers. The thrill of your chosen team making the Final Four is your reward for your support so far. Win or lose, this is exciting enough you’ll likely want to experience it again in the future. Your business is no different. Reward your customers for their business with great customer service or continued support, and they’ll keep coming back.

National Championship – Refer

This is the biggest step a customer can take for your business. Customers that continually refer your business to their family and friends are the best for the long term viability of your company. For the basketball team, win or lose in the national championship game, you’ll be telling your friends you were there to see their run to the final, and they should be fans too.

Referrals are the culmination of all of the steps that came before, and it is the championship trophy you should be seeking for your business.

Alex-Boyer-Photo-150x150-e1420769709443Alex Boyer is a Community Manager and Content Ninja for Duct Tape Marketing. You can connect with him on Twitter @AlexBoyerKC

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