All posts in Ecommerce

EU Cookie Law – what’s it all about?

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The EU Cookie Law has annoyed the hell out of me for the last year or so…it’s a ridiculous law…it turns me (and 1000s others) into a criminal overnight…..brought in by people who don’t understand the implications…..politicians getting involved where they don’t understand….YES this causes me to RANT.

This video should help normal people who don’t speak fluent geek to understand it. You can support the movement HERE.

I’m going to stop now.

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Online Video Marketing

motocross clutch lever

Online Video Marketing is one of the most powerful marketing tools in my box and works for both businesses online and off.

I recently recorded a series of 20 short instructional videos to promote a business of mine – Allmoto. These videos are helpful videos which teach customers how to do quick repairs to their motorcycle.

I’ve created these videos a number of times and I’m always amazed at the results they produce.

These are extremely cheap to create and they look professional. I hire the camera and lighting and use relatively affordable software to edit up the clips. Best of all they are hosted on YouTube (where there is already ton of potential viewers) and thats completely free!

But still, lots of people ask me – “WHY BOTHER?”

6 Reasons You Should Use Video In Your Website

1 – It makes your knowledge scaleable.

There are a few things which I know I am an expert in. Some (lucky:) people know this and look for my help from time to time and providing this by word of mouth is extremely limited.

What I mean by this is, many people ring my office as they know that the helpful information they need is contained in my head. As it happens I’m often away on other work and now my resource (the knowledge) is wasted. The customer is unsatisfied and may go elsewhere.

By creating the videos my staff can easily share the knowledge. The customer goes away happy. The business is still regarded as the niche expert. The customer is retained. It’s highly likely that this customer will need a sellable item from the knowledge they just watched.

2 – It gives you a reason to contact your customers.

Customers hate the hard sell, constantly calling them – buy, buy, buy. With these helpful videos we can now contact them through email, Facebook, Twitter and offer them a cool free resource – the videos.

The content also makes our websites very current as I tend to deliver videos like this over time. It gives people a good reason to connect (socially and email) and/or return to the site.

motocross clutch lever

3 – Build a community.

By creating the videos you have ‘bait’ to grow a community. It can be by RSS, email subscribers, Facebook fans or Twitter followers. You give viewers a reason to follow you.

4 – Become a niche expert.

The video series will further develop the fact that you are an expert in your field. It reinforces customer confidence in your speciality and makes it easier for them to trust you.

It doesn’t matter what the industry is, people like to deal with the experts. You could be the expert in cleaning carpet and people will prefer to buy carpet from you.

he marketing tips

5 – Appreciation.

Your customers will appreciate the work and refer your efforts onto their friends. Your customers will become your best sales person and will refer their friends onto you as they now respect that you’re the expert.

In another article I’ll look at how to make this sharing easy for them.

6 – Immortal Knowledge.

The tips you share is online forever (unless you remove it). This means these videos keep generating leads years after they were created. They are like a never ending sales rep that online users refer to each other.

If you need any help or advice on producing videos like these please feel free to contact me.

Derek.

Online Video Marketing Ireland

University Websites – How difficult can you make it?

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So what have I been up to lately? – University Websites

I’ve been reviewing some University websites recently and ‘LOL’ing at how difficult they are all making it to apply. Some of them even send you to a central application site to apply – where you can apply to their competitors while you’re there.

Imagine having a beautiful optimised webshop and then sending your customer to eBay to make their purchase after they had decided they liked your business.

I know the academics HATE to accept it but your students ARE your customers….. no ‘buts’, no ‘maybes’, they pay the bills – they are the customers.

University Websites

"what does this university expect me to do?"

Now imagine the effort a University goes to get an application: creating a great product (the course), creating a great website, dealing with the enquiries, inviting to the open days, dealing with the open days, getting the student so excited to start and then sending then HERE – rotflmao (yes, I quite possibly just created a new acronym:).

The reason I’ve been snooping around the Uni sites is that we’re (Campusit) about to launch a partnership based Postgraduate Application tool. Basically the Universities that join the partnership will get our knowledge, our tools, and our expertise in this area AND their potential students will be able to apply directly from the Universities website.

The reason that it’s a true partnership is that it’s built on a revenue share model. Therefor it’s in our interest to get the Unis more enquiries, manage them better, and convert them into more applicants.

It’s a bit like Google analytics crossed with an Amazon-esque order processing and a splash of CRM for Universities. The biggest difference in this offering is it comes with a partner (that would be us) to host, set it all up and maintain it. Oh and the best bit – we even collect their money and deliver them a huge revenue stream at the end of each month!

It’s called Interact and I’ll post more as soon as it’s ready. I’m mega excited.

Derek.

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Presentation Tips for software and much more

Presentation Tips for sales, demos and much more

Over the last year or so I’ve been doing a lot of presentations and meeting new people. I’ve been making loads of mistakes but I’ve been enjoying myself. I love analysing why some interactions work and others flop, infact I enjoy the flops more!

On the recent trip I made to Aberdeen University I started to ask myself: why do some presentations go well and others not? Why am I CRAZY nervous for some and not others? One resounding answer pops up for both of these questions – how did I prepare?

This remind me a little of my first one ever!

Make no mistake, I’m not an expert on this subject. This is all new territory but I do know more than some, less than others.
The same preparation tips should hold strong wether it’s a presentation to a large group, a board meeting, a team check-in or even a face-to-face with one person. I also feel this same reminder list works for talks, demos, presentations and pitches.

I thought it would be useful to share the checklist that I use when things DO go to plan. It should also help mef to consciously remember everything in advance – again increasing confidence levels. Most of the tips in this are common sense, which we all know intuitively, and/or have learned in one form or another.

All the books on this subject repeat these messages but you need to read a hundred pages to get the message. Even if you’re aware of them all, it’s still a great checklist to use. Consider this the checklist for people who don’t want to read the long story!
So where to start? I break my prep down into a few sections: pre-prep. preparation, general tips….

Audience:

  • Who are the listeners/viewers?
  • Can I research [insert: stalk] them online, twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, have they a blog?
  • Clearly outline the message I want to tell them.
  • Do they understand my language ,lingo, acronyms? (BTW I HATE acronyms – don’t use them, not cool, even in the geeky industries!)
  • What have the audience been doing before/after your talk? eg eating, travelling, etc

Environment:

  • What is the room like (size, shape, seating, …)?
  • Is the temperature OK? If not, open a window.
  • Consciously decide where you will sit/stand. Don’t sit directly opposite as it’s confrontational.
  • If you have colleagues with you spread your seating throughout the table (assuming it’s a board room and not a lecture theatre).

Tools:

  • Do I have internet connection pre-arranged?
  • Do I have my backup dongle?
  • What computer am I using?
  • If you plan on giving them ANYTHING (paperwork, business cards, slides)do it after the talk otherwise it will distract from your delivery.
  • DON’T leave any icons on your desktop.
  • Have I the phone number of contact person who has organised the meeting?

Slides:

Some of the gang at CampusIT - make the slides interesting.

  • Does any slide have more than 5 words? If yes, find the delete key.
  • Do you have plenty of images? If no, start googling. In a recent presentation we used a group staff photo for the ‘About Us’ section. It engaged the audience excellently.
  • After you change a slide – PAUSE — let them absorb it or you will loose them.
  • Some might disagree but I HATE animated slides – don’t do it.
  • Keynotes are for your reminders. Be careful that you’re not ‘that guy’ who uses the slides for keynote purpose.

Body Language:

  • Empty everything from your pockets.
  • Take your hands out of your pockets…infact stitch the damn things up!
  • Show the audience your palms regularly, it’s a calming gesture – think of the soldiers surrendering.
  • If there is a pedestal, don’t hide behind it. Stand beside it.
  • Don’t stare at the laptop or projector screen. Give the audience your eyes – look them straight in the eyes but don’t stare. Give extra contact to those that appear distracted.
  • Roll your shoulders/back before and during to loosen up your body.
  • Smile:)
  • Before it all starts take a few really massive breaths, the extra oxygen has a chemically calming effect.

Preparation:

  • Say your presentation out load, beginning to end.
  • Close your eyes, imagine the room and the audience.
  • Roughly time your presentation.
  • Record yourself on the iPhone or something and listen to it. We all sound weird to ourselves…….or is it just me:)

Other tips:

  • Socialise before the talk, as people are coming to the room, joke around – SMILE:)
  • If you know something about them, tell them. They will be flattered: “hey I saw your blog on XXXXX”, “hey I came across your article online about whatever”.
  • For software, explain through speech what you plan to do, who’s eye’s you’re viewing the software through (eg customer, staff, etc) and AFTER this show them screens – this is the one biggest area I’ve failed on recently.
  • Turn up early as projectors, broadband, laptops and even door-locks never play fair!
  • Vocab keywords to use: “feel”, “imagine”, “notice how…”, “some say that they find….” – phrases like this help you connect with people with different internal representation systems, eg auditory, visual, kinesthetic
  • NEVER read anything from your slide, if nothing else, at least re-phrase it. Your audience are probably intelligent – they can read for themselves.
  • Realise that the nerves will add to the quality, our body needs them naturally – they are a good thing.
  • Never curse, it lowers your value – not good.
  • ….now I know there’s one more…ah yes – SMILE:)

 

Right, my flight has just landed back in Dublin so that’s all you’re getting. Hope you find it useful.
Derek Traynor.
Oh, as always, please feel free to comment below.

#8ways To Sell More Internationally

So, what is it? Another great day organised by the Irish Internet Association, this one was the the Radisson Blu, Golden Lane (great venue). For anyone who’s not been to or heard of one these ‘8ways’ gigs are generally for online retailers to share ideas, listen to case studies, receive industry expert opinions and have a few (free!) beers afterwards. They price is great value at €99 IMO.

If you’re involved in online retail, or ever plan to be, get yourself to these events.

That'd be Alan from OnlineAdvertising.ie

 

Obviously all the speakers had loads to say but the points that connected with me are what you’ll find below. I never end up reading long conference reviews so I’ll make this one as painless as possible – bullet – point – style.

 

Maeve Kneafsey

  • Amarach.com is a great resource for international market research
  • There are 10 million of ze Germans on Stayfriends
  • Research the market before entering, as many nationalities have completely different expectations and online purchasing habits.

 

John Coburn – SEO for International

  • Google does make assumptions based on our outbound links…it gets a sense of who we hang with.
  • Topology?? Note to self: must get a dictionary app
  • a 30% difference in content on duplicated sites will count as different sites in the eyes of the big G…..hmmmmm
  • Google sees Ireland-England as diffreent as Spain-Africa – Seems crazy but true! This also causes me a pain in the neck.

One thing that I should have asked John is, can a competitor damage your geo-relevance by getting spam-houses in China or India to build inbound links to your site from a weird country? IE if you were ahead of a competitor for a keyword keyphrase could they employ someone to have loads of Indian sites linking inward towards you therefore diluting your relevance in a certain region, eg the UK?

 

 

Mark Rogers – Customer Engagement in Multiple Languages

This guy had the best opening statement of all the presenters, setting me in a scene; tired, starving hungry, exhausted, in a foreign country….eventually finding a restaurant, crashing down onto the chair and being presented with a menu that’s NOT IN ENGLISH…but then turning the page and being able to read everything – imagine the relief, the satisfaction – it was a great opener.

On another totally irrelevant note Mark knows the power of the ‘pause’….how many talkers are unable to shut up and let the audience digest what you just said? Anyway, back to business:

  • Google Translate was once called Google Guess – imaging ‘guessing’ what you want to tell your customer.
  • 11 languages reaches 85% of all online users
  • displaying content in the native language of a user triples conversion rates

 

L-R Mark Rogers, John Coburn, Maeve Kneafsey

Paul Foley – the legal eagle on trading internationally

Ok, I understand this is a tricky topic to make interesting but this was like a lesson on how to do presentation/powerpoint badly. Paul, if your reading this, please take it as constructive criticism but slides with more than 3 words are not cool.

However, he did touch on something that really interests me – the ‘Cookie Monster’. Basically, somebody somewhere has decided that marketers use of cookies is an invasion of privacy and they plan on changing this. What makes me curious is, has anyone sat these people down and showed how cookies are what makes the web relevant? They are what makes it all work. Without them we go back to flicking channel with the remote control – 1990 style. This is sure to be a hot topic in the coming years.

 

John Heenan – Distribution Solutions

  • the south of Ireland is a net exporter, therefor importing goods is relatively cheaper, it’s the opposite up north.
  • he made an interesting point about an old customer of his whom sold gifts and gave buyers the option for unbranded packaging so not to spoil a present. I might add this option to my checkout for people buying gifts – good tip.

 

Alan Coleman – OnlineAdvertising.ie

  • can’t do graphic design….or could do for Hyperbole
  • good tool tip – Google Global Market Finder – Try it now here.
  • “recession is on offline phenomenon”
  • he showed us how to hack the Facebook advertisers interface for good market research
  • good tool tip – Consumer Commerce Barometer

 

 

Other things worth noting about the day:

  • We went for a few pints after the day, great group of people.
  • For anyone who’s familiar with the IIA, Roseanne (the one with the bright lips and ever changing hair:) is leaving to join the recruitment industry.
  • Joan Mulvihill (IIA CEO) is a great storyteller – ask her to tell you about her lucky hotel (completely clean story incase you were presuming the worst:)
  • Link building seemed to be the most important message of the day…something I’m always a bit lazy on so if you enjoyed this read please, do me a favour, and link to my shop – Allmoto. And, if you want to do one better, use the anchor text ‘ motorcycle parts ‘.

 

If you’re in involved in online BtoC and don’t attend these events, give yourself a sharp slap – I’ll see you at the next one.