Commentary

Five Ways The Ghostbusters Can Improve Your Online Marketing

"Ghostbusters” is one of my all-time favorite movies. It has everything:  ghosts, a giant marshmallow man and a song from Ray Parker Jr. that sounds suspiciously like a Huey Lewis song. The film was certainly ahead of its  time, but not just in terms of combining special effects and comedy.  If you look a little closer, you can see that Peter, Ray, Egon and Winston also gave examples on how to improve your online marketing performance. That’s pretty impressive, considering the movie came out in 1984!  Let’s take a look at the five ways the Ghostbusters can help improve your online marketing:

 1.        “When someone asks you if you’re a God, you say yes!”  --  Let users know the benefits of shopping with you!

There are billions of sites on the Internet. Why should a customer buy from  you? Don’t just expect them to because you have a website. You may not be a God like Gozer, but don’t let that stop you! Talk yourself up. This will increase the user’s  trust in your site, reduce his or her buying anxiety, and will ultimately result  in an increase in online sales.  Some examples of potential offers that will help entice a user to buy with you include:  

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-- Free shipping  

-- Reassurance that the online transaction will be secure, with a Verisign logo or other security logo  

-- Show your customer service ratings with the Better Business Bureau, Bizrate or trusted outside third-party company  

-- Show the logo of well-known clients. This can engender trust and  get a user thinking “Well, if that company does business with them, they must  be trustworthy.”  

-- Copy that lets them know you have a no-spam policy. 

2.    “Close, but definitely…WRONG.” – Don’t expect people to know what to do  on your site.

How many times have you been on a site and thought, “What the heck do I do  now?!” Don’t let that happen on your site. If it isn’t clear to  users how  to move forward on your site, they aren’t going to spend time figuring it  out – they’ll leave and you’ll lose the sale.  Make sure your call to action buttons such as “Add to Cart,” “Subscribe” or  “Buy Now” are visible and in a logical place in the user’s line of sight.  Don’t expect them to be mind readers!

 3.     “It just occurred to me that we really haven't had a successful test of this  equipment.” – Your users are not your QA team. 

When you are launching new pages or functionality, test them thoroughly on different browsers, operating systems and connection speeds. Be on the  lookout for broken images, misspellings, security errors, broken links and  other potential issues.  The moment a user finds one of these, you appear unprofessional and  untrustworthy. The result will be users abandoning your site and you losing  a sale. Oh, and when users encounter a site issue 99.9%, of the time they  don’t email your tech team about the issue either. So get it fixed before  launch!

 4.   “I think we better split up." “Good idea, we can do more damage that way.” –  Diversify the media mix that brings traffic to your site.

How are people getting to your site? By diversifying your paid and organic  traffic sources, you can avoid becoming too dependent on one source of  traffic. This dependence will expose your  company to unnecessary risk from price hikes, algorithm changes,  distribution issues, you name it.  Expand your efforts to get traffic from multiple search engines (paid and organic), blogs, social media and banner or email marketing. By diversifying  your media mix, you’ll have more options available that will help you meet  your goals.

 5. “Get her!”– Plan your year accordingly!

Build a yearlong plan to try new sources of traffic and new site designs  that won’t potentially interfere with the time(s) of year you generate the  most revenue. The last thing you want is to try a new site design and have it perform poorly during your company’s most important sales period.  Try using slower times of year to improve website load time, optimize  your landing pages, analyze your media campaigns to cut keywords or vendors  that aren’t performing, and launch test campaigns with new vendors. This will ensure the site and your campaigns are optimized to get the best performance  for the busiest part of the year.

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