(Past illustrations) Improving a disjointed company Internet presence

(This past illustration describes something that I performed in my career, either for a Bredemarket client, for an employer, or as a volunteer. The entity for which I performed the work, or proposed to perform the work, is not listed for confidentiality reasons.)

By Takeaway – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=33157634

PROBLEM

A single company offered multiple products in multiple markets. Each product had its own web page, and the company itself had a web page.

The company requested that I analyze the products and recommend any necessary revisions to the marketing of the products.

SOLUTION

I analyzed the products and divided them into two groups based upon customer characteristics.

For one group, I recommended that the products in the group be marketed at the company level, and provided specific recommendations regarding how the products in this group be marketed.

For the second group, I recommended that the products in this group continue to be marketed at the product level. Again, I provided specific marketing recommendations for the products in this group.

RESULTS

The company thanked me for my thorough analysis. Unfortunately, due to external events, the company was unable to act on my recommendations at the time that I provided them.

3 ways Bredemarket can help your business, the mid-October 2020 edition

There are a number of ways that writers can grab readers’ attention, and one of those is via the list post. They’ve been around for over a decade, and they’re still popular. Why? Because they grab the reader’s attention.

So I thought I’d use the list post format to talk about Bredemarket’s current focuses in contracts, as well as in pitches and proposals to potential clients. Perhaps your business can use one of these three services, or perhaps you can use two or three of them. (I just wrote a proposal this week that included all three of the services listed below, as well as some other things.)

In preparation for this post, I reviewed Ali Hale’s 2008 ProBlogger post “10 Steps to the Perfect List Post.” (You see what Hale did there.)

One: Have Bredemarket write your 400 to 600 word text

I’ve previously talked about why you may want to have someone else write your blog post, your Facebook post, your LinkedIn post, or any other short text. (Advance warning: this “list post” is going to have some little lists in it…)

Regardless of the reason, Bredemarket can assist you in creating that content that you need. Via a collaborative process, Bredemarket will work with your business to craft the text that you need, and provide you with the final text at the end of the contract. The entire process can be completed in 15 calendar days or less, often much less (one of my clients and I completed one blog post in less than 3 days). Bredemarket’s goal is not to get the job done quickly, but to get the job done correctly.

For more details on the process, see the Bredemarket 400 Short Writing Service.

Two: Have Bredemarket write your 2800 to 3200 word text

Longer text is used for deliverables such as white papers; longer thought pieces; detailed company, product or service descriptions; lengthy customer testimonials; or other items.

The reasons for having Bredemarket write your longer text are similar to the reasons for having Bredemarket write your shorter text, but the process is a little more detailed.

Because these deliverables are more complex, more work is needed at the beginning of the process, and more time is needed for the reviews. Therefore, the process for a longer text piece can take as long as 49 calendar days, although again it can often be completed much more quickly. Again, the goal is to deliver the correct text to the client.

For more details on the process, see the Bredemarket 2800 Medium Writing Service.

Three: Have Bredemarket examine your website and social media accounts

Perhaps you don’t need text for your website or social media accounts. Perhaps you need a checkup on these properties.

Ever since I started Bredemarket, I’ve been examining the web pages and social media accounts for a number of companies, including my own. And a number of times, I’ve run across some errors.

  • Perhaps the text on the site uses the wrong word to describe something.
  • Or perhaps a link doesn’t work.
  • Or perhaps one part of the site says one thing, while another part says a totally different thing.
  • Or perhaps the contents of the site are old. (A site that brags about Windows 7 compatibility, or a site with a 2019 copyright date, is not the site of a thought leader.)

Or perhaps the collection of sites doesn’t have any obvious errors, but exhibits missed opportunities. One company posted some excellent content on one of its social media channels, but failed to cross-post the content to its other social media channels, or to the website itself. Therefore, most potential customers were unaware of the great content from the company.

Bredemarket’s methodology for a website/social media checkup is simple, but thorough. The two major steps are

  • for Bredemarket and the client to agree on the scope of the checkup (for example, should the checkup include the personal LinkedIn page of the company CEO?), and then
  • for Bredemarket to examine six factors as part of the checkup.

While you’re waiting for me to write my list post about six critical items in a website/social media checkup, you can cheat and read the list yourself in my description of the Bredemarket 404 Web/Social Media Checkup.

Incidentally, I can’t quote the length of this service, because the length depends upon the number of pages to check, the percentage of those pages that require a more detailed (rather than cursory) check, and whether there are PDFs or other documents on those pages that also require examination.

Can your business use any of these services?

Now Bredemarket provides other services (you can say that I have a whole…um, list of them), but right now (mid-October) these three services seem to be the most popular. Like I said, I recently proposed all three of them to a single client.

If you could use one of these three services, you can fill out the “Request Information” form at the bottom of each service description (Bredemarket 400, Bredemarket 2800, or Bredemarket 404), or you can contact me in one of the following ways:

My plans for NASCAR sponsorship, with a comment about websites

Could Bredemarket (eventually) become an auto racing sponsor?

In case it’s not obvious, I’ve had a lot of fun coming up with the names for the various Bredemarket services that I offer, While Bredemarket 404 is my obvious favorite name (I’ll explain why later), I found myself thinking about Bredemarket 400 this afternoon. (That’s my Short Writing Service, if you need text for a blog post or something similar.) And the thought struck me:

“Bredemarket 400” sounds like an auto race.

Now auto racing is not confined to the Southeastern United States and various European locations. In fact, there’s a speedway not too far from Bredemarket, in Fontana, California.

View of Auto Club Speedway from center of the grandstand. By Lvi56 – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11463414

This particular speedway already has a sponsor, and I don’t think that Bredemarket can outbid the Auto Club to secure that sponsorship.

At least not today.

But if Bredemarket grows enough, and I decide to become a big name in the auto racing industry, I’d better start doing my research.

Bredemarket research into the auto racing industry, by looking at one website

So I decided to check the website of one of the big names in the auto racing industry. I won’t name the company whose website I checked, but I will mention in passing that I grew up in the Washington, DC area, and am a lifelong fan of the Washington Re- … I mean the Washington Football Team.

So I got to “website X,” and the first thing that I noticed on the website was…the logo of a corporate sponsor for website X. Not surprising, if you know anything about auto racing.

The next item was a special announcement that tours of the company’s facility were suspended due to COVID-19, and that requests for autographs from the owner of the company had also been suspended.

Now that the preliminaries were out of the way, I figured I’d get to the introductory text for website X—the text that explained what the company was about, and who this guy was whose name was prominently featured in the company name. Why would anyone want to get autographs from a company CEO? I, of course, knew WHY this person was so famous, but there are probably a number of racing fans who have never heard of the company owner. Obviously the website should explain this, right?

Um, no. The website X home page had a bunch of stuff, but nothing that explained what the company was.

So I checked the menu, figuring that there would be an “About” section, presumably as the first menu item.

“About” was the last menu item. I would have put it first, but at least it was there.

So I went to the “About” page, figuring that I would finally see the story of the company and of its famous owner.

The first thing on the “About” page was a button. If you clicked the button, you would find out the name of the owner of the company and a list of its championship years.

Thanks.

I scrolled down the “About” page, and the next thing that I saw was the address of the facility and the hours during which it could be visited.

Wait a minute, I thought to myself. The home page said that the facility could NOT be visited, and now this page is saying to go ahead and come on down?

The rest of the “About” page wasn’t much better. The Frequently Asked Questions are apparently infrequently updated, since they reference (again) the times that the facility is open, an announcement of an event that occurred a week ago, the ability to get autographs from the company owner at one of his personal appearances, and other outdated information.

How can a website be improved?

Some of you already know where this post is headed. For those who don’t, ask yourself the following question:

Isn’t there a way for a company to check its web site and its other social media outlets to make sure that everything is correct, up to date, and synchronized?

I’m glad you asked that question, because one of the services that Bredemarket provides is the aforementioned Bredemarket 404 Web/Social Media Checkup. The number 404, of course, comes from the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) code “404 Not Found,” although the Bredemarket service looks at much more than missing web pages.

As part of the Bredemarket 404 service, I agree with the client on the web pages, social media accounts, and (optionally) downloadable documents that Bredemarket will examine. The examination itself includes the following:

  • Broken links
  • Outdated information
  • Other text and image errors
  • Synchronization between the web page and the social media accounts
  • Content synchronization between the web page and the social media accounts
  • Hidden web pages that still exist
  • Other items desired by the client

It’s a useful checkup to see where your website and social media accounts stand, allowing your company to take action, fix problems, and improve your marketing outreach. If your company doesn’t have the time to perform the checkup yourself, let Bredemarket do it.

Contact Bredemarket and we can discuss next steps.

If your marketing channels lack content, your potential customers may not know that you exist

[Update, January 27, 2021: a July 2020 study from Demand Gen Report explains WHY up-to-date content is important. I addressed that study in this post.]

One of Bredemarket’s most popular services is the Short Writing Service. It can help small (or large) businesses solve the content problem.

You know what the content problem is. Your business has established one or more marketing channels: a website, blog, email list, Google My Business site, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Tumblr, Twitter…or many others.

But the marketing channels are useless IF THEY HAVE NO CONTENT.

Or old content.

Or poorly-written content.

Maybe the information on the marketing channel is six months old, or a year old, or nine years old. (Trust me, this happens.) Or maybe there’s content on one marketing channel, but it’s never cross-posted to the other marketing channels for your business.

What are the ramifications of this? If your channels lack content, your potential customers may forget about you. And that’s NOT good for business.

I’ll use myself as a BAD example. In addition to my business blogs at Bredemarket (https://bredemarket.com/blog/) and JEBredCal (https://jebredcal.wordpress.com/blog/), I maintain several personal blogs. One of those personal blogs is Empoprise-NTN (https://empoprise-ntn.blogspot.com/), and that blog is obviously the ugly stepchild of the bunch. Between 2016 and 2019 I authored exactly ZERO posts on that blog. So if someone is looking for authoritative commentary on NTN Buzztime games, they’re obviously NOT going to look to me.

The obvious solution to the content problem is to CREATE CONTENT. Some people have no problem creating content, but others may need some help. They may not have the time (https://bredemarket.com/2020/09/25/when-you-dont-have-the-time-to-craft-your-own-text/), or they may need some help in selecting the right words to say.

Bredemarket can help you solve the content problem, one post at a time. The Bredemarket 400 Short Writing Service (https://bredemarket.com/bredemarket-400-short-writing-service/) uses a collaborative process, in which you and Bredemarket agree on a topic, Bredemarket provides a draft of the text, and the text goes through two review cycles. At the end of the process, you have the text, you own the text (this is a “work for hire”), and you can post the text on your blog or Facebook or wherever you please. Your content problem is solved! And if the post includes a call for action, your potential customers can ACT, potentially providing you with new business.

Speaking of a call for action…

If you would like to talk to Bredemarket about ways to solve your business’ content problem, contact me!

Bredemarket 400 Short Writing Service

(new text of approximately 400 to 600 words)

But I need to be practical

On Tuesday evening, I was playing around on my smartphone when I ran across a QR code generator. I had performed a teeny bit of research into QR codes when I worked at MorphoTrak, so I had an idea of what QR codes could do (and what they couldn’t do). Choosing to pursue the former, I created a QR code for the home page of the Bredemarket.com website.

Excitedly, I posted this QR code to a few places, including the Bredemarket pages on Facebook and LinkedIn…

…until I began thinking about the impracticality of what I was doing.

When somebody is reading online content, they are usually…online. QR codes are best used on printed material. So, for example, if you see a wanted poster of me in a post office, and a QR code is printed on that poster, you can point your smartphone at that QR code on the printed sheet and your smartphone will take you to the appropriate website. DISPLAYING a QR code on a smartphone isn’t all that useful.

So what’s the point of placing the QR code in this post, which you are presumably reading online?

Well, I’d like you to do a favor for me. Print this post on your printer and stick it on your bulletin board or your coffee table. Then, when you have a sudden need to come directly to a marketing and writing services website, simply point your smartphone’s camera at the printed sheet and go to the link.

Maybe I should start putting up signs.