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Monday, December 12, 2011

Babies, Cats & Dogs...

Have you ever noticed how many businesses sell their products using cute pictures of babies, cats or dogs? While little scientific research has been done to determine exactly how and to what degree these images influence our purchasing behavior, these images do catch the attention of most viewers – a good thing when you have only seconds to grab the prospective buyer’s attention.

Some other ways to grab attention:
  • Whether you’re writing a book, article, e-mail or social media post, a catchy headline will encourage readers to stop and look at what you have written. Note that the headline must be related to what you have written; if it’s totally off-topic, the viewer may open the e-mail this time but may discount future e-mails from you or unsubscribe. 
  • Your business (or individual) personality should shine through whatever you do. 
  • Make your posts timely. Value is lost if the discussion becomes “so yesterday.” 
  • Keep your content brief. Everyone is busy and if your content is too long, it’s ignored. 
  • Use interesting photos. If you are posting on Facebook, don’t just post a single photo. Add at least three to an album and comment on the photos for more follower interest. 
  • Include statistics or numbers (“…90% of people surveyed say our hot sauce is the best they’ve ever had!”). 
  • Use humor, if it’s appropriate for your product or service. Don’t try this if your business provides funeral services! 
  •  Another option is video. Provide short, educational or informative pieces viewers will be likely to share with friends and associates. 
  • Use client testimonials. Real people talking about the benefits they received can be persuasive. 
  • Music can also catch attention. Match the music to your product or service. 
  •  Try something different. Have you ever looked up at the TV when the chatter stops to see a commercial with only moving pictures or text across the screen?
Finding new ways to catch the attention of prospects is an ongoing challenge and you may need to test various approaches to find out which is the most successful for your business. You’ll also want to monitor the results over time and adjust your approach as your audience changes or grows. Want to learn more? Send us an email at

Monday, December 5, 2011

Employee Information Exchange

Many businesses pay for their staff members to attend seminars and conferences with the understanding that they will learn professional skills they can apply on the job. What most businesses do not do is encourage those staff members to share what they have learned with their co-workers and others.

Websites, shared document portals, social media and other tools allow all of us to easily disseminate information. But many times conference attendees return to work only to be overwhelmed playing catch up. Why not permit that employee to take some time upon his or her return to publish some high level notes that others might find valuable and save them on a shared document portal? Or, better yet, arrange a “lunch and learn” style presentation for the conference-goer to share some of what they learned.

Do you have an internal method or knowledgebase for employees to share information? Or maybe you’ve got a closed employee-only Facebook group or a blog that requires a login? Encourage employees to share what they have learned here, as well. Set some overall structure (for example, all information must be dated and placed into high level categories or have post tags applied to make searching easy) and basic rules (i.e., the information must have value, not a forum for complaints, must be verified when appropriate, etc.). Over time as the information base builds, employees will become used to adding new information and searching the site for answers to their questions.
Even better news with this type of knowledge-sharing: those folks in your company who are responsible for creating content will have a great source of new ideas for their future web content, blog posts, social media updates and more! Encourage sharing…you’ll be glad you did.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

We Did It Together!

The second annual vitalink coats & blankets drive has officially wrapped up, and we're happy to say we collected more coats, blankets and financial donations than last year. The total number of cold weather items donated was 390 and we collected $725 in cash to benefit the Raleigh Rescue Mission. Way to go, team! Our partners were a big  part of the drive. A huge thank you to our 2011 partners:

We hope you all tune in next year for the 2012 vitalink coats & blankets drive. Have a warm and happy holiday!

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