WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW:
This video illuminates the most common misunderstandings about developing a successful online marketing campaign. Take 2 and half minutes to watch it, then read about avoiding these traps in more detail.
You have invested so much effort and money into your product, your service and your business. But you have to depend on the quality of your marketing to communicate how special it is. Just like the challenges faced in perfecting your business, you face almost as many challenges getting your message in front of those that care the most and are willing to give you a little more time and attention.
This marketing blog and this website were created to help you meet these challenges with more ammunition. The better you're prepared to compete online, the better your chances of success. The video above should help you absorb some solutions to 3 of the top misconceptions about marketing online.
Here are some more marketing resources created to continue this process and help you understand even more about the digital marketing process:
KNOW WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW:
Know your skill set. Know what skill sets you do and do NOT possess. If you're comfortable with the understanding that you should be doing what you do best and you must team up with professionals that do what they do best, you will be able to configure a much more productive online marketing plan.
Strong advice: Do not try to change professional lanes and learn the highly evolved & sophisticated skill set of inbound marketing on your own. Your business will suffer because your attention has gone elsewhere and outside your expertise. Understanding strengths and weaknesses are the sign of a great leader. This means, keep doing what made your business strong but research and investigate a certified, experienced team to help you manage your online marketing objectives.
Here are some misconceptions and traps you will avoid by recognizing strengths and weaknesses:
It does not. As I mentioned above and as you will see in the video posted at the top of this blog post, the days of digital marketing DIY are over. There is just no reasonable way for you to learn everything that you need to understand in a reasonable period of time. And, do you really want to stop what you're doing to learn an entirely new business skill set? No you don't. It's much better and more productive to partner with a team that already understands how to bring in traffic, convert that traffic into prospects and allow you to convert those prospects into paying customers.
This myth is a difficult one to understand. The first thing to see is that there is no such thing as a website that has all content in the best position possible. What does that even mean to you, the search engine and the user experience?
When you think content development, it's best to think of "Fresh Content". Search engines, social media platforms and the end user wants to, expects to and demands to have access to fresh content. Otherwise your content becomes stale or dormant. I guarantee you that any competition doing better than you online understands this concept.
Too many websites rely on automation. Yes, there is a place for automation but like all other Internet marketing elements, automation must be used with care and a thoughtful strategy.
If not used with care, automation can be dangerous and received as spam. Search engines have the ability to see the same content being repeated over and over again.
We are always looking for ways to make success faster and easier but when it comes to online marketing, the pendulum has swung in an extreme direction. You must think in the opposite direction and understand that real work is required to compete online. There is no magic wand.
All inbound marketing work must be planned, developed with strategy and executed with thought and man power. These are the components that will make the biggest difference between success and... online darkness.
GETTING THE PROPER HELP:
The good news is that through the agency we have established here at Virtual Support Systems, you have access to the right degree of assistance. We are adept at listening and understanding your goals. We are also able to evaluate and understand your current condition. These two elements allow us to provide an appropriate proposal that addresses your specific needs. This is how you get possible solutions to your specific challenges in black and white with time to consider all details.
This is the best pathway to success and return on investment, especially in the ever growing world of marketing online.
If you would like to learn more and schedule a conversation about any of these components, just hit the button below and complete the online form that follows.
Thank you for reading this blog post, we appreciate your valuable time.
UNDERSTANDING HOW DIGITAL TRAFFIC RESEMBLES REAL TRAFFIC:
To watch a video that explains this relationship, just use the button below.
The tent poles of this video and the lesson of approaching your traffic sources are as follow:
Just like a major metropolitan area, a successful website requires multiple avenues or paths of entry and exit. As the website owner, you can determine, build and profit from how these traffic sources are configured and how diverse they are.
You Have 3 Choices:
In this example you would have a very limited number of entry ways and exits, like a small city has 1 or 2 traffic lights. This wouldn't be a very popular city would it? Not as much to do and if there actual is a selection of activities or attractions, it's difficult to find your way around.
This isn't much better than choice number 1. Yes, having a bigger site with more pages will ultimately be more beneficial for you but size alone does not equal success. I have seen websites with thousands of pages but so poorly organized that all of that hard work and the website content was not easily found and therefore represents a certain degree of wasted effort and budget.
The best website process has changed a great deal over the last 5 years. Do you remember the days when almost any representation online would help your overall marketing efforts? Not anymore. The competition for online real estate and gaining the attention of any target market are more challenging than ever before. This challenge will only become bigger over the next 5 years.
This means you need to create and consistently work on these primary components:
Think about it... isn't this how a large city would be developed? Notice numbers 5 and 6. When these 2 elements are accurate, (usually done by a certified digital marketing professional), you have the ability to confirm ROI. How important is that? If you can establish return on investment and measure this mark accurately, you can't loose. This is a big part of successful business online.
I have introduced a fairly simple concept. Think of your website, even more so, think if your digital marketing like you would that of a big city.
In a big city, the traffic sources are diverse and many. Your website and the traffic that will contribute to your success also need to be diverse and many.
Below is a simple table that compares the traffic of a big city to that of a successful digital marketing plan.
|Traffic Options In A City||Traffic Options Of A Website|
|Sea Port||Social Media Post|
|Bus Terminal||Email Marketing|
If your website is a big part of your business and contributes to your overall success, maybe it would be beneficial to speak with an expert.
Virtual Support Systems is a Certified Inbound Marketing Agency. We are certified by HubSpot in the expert use of their award winning digital marketing application. We are also Certified by UCLA in Digital Marketing & New Media.
We are in business to help you succeed. So, should you need to schedule a no cost conversation and have an opportunity to ask any and all questions you have... just hit the button below and you will go to our own contact page where you can reach out to us in any number of different ways. See how we do it? We make sure there are as many avenues as possible to find us and connect with us.
Topics: web traffic
A KEY TO WEBSITE SUCCESS:
Did you know that the more you establish the "authority" of your website, the more success you will have?
It's actually very simple. If you are able to be seen as the authority on any given subject, your target market and specified buyer personas will be much likely to turn to you for answers. Your target market is always in need of answers. Because of the perceived authority you are building, they will gravitate towards you for those answers.
The question then is how do you build and develop your authority? Take a few minutes to watch the video below and I'll bet that many answers will be provided.
Need some more inspiration? Check out some of these free eBooks:
CREATING YOUR AUTHORITY:
I promise, if you can absorb the basics that this animation provides and truly abide by the rules, you will see your data start moving in the right direction from all angles.
Here are the staples:
Truly building lasting authority is not very easy. It takes significant effort and resources. I always recommend partnering with a "certified" digital marketing firm. Let the experts help you so you can still focus on what you do best. The DIY days are over.
If I can help you in any way, please feel welcome to request a no cost 30 minute conversation so you can have all of your questions answered and know the best way to turn.
Just hit the button below to contact a certified inbound marketing professional.
SEO APPLIED PROPERLY:
One of the industries that Virtual Support Systems works with is various configurations of the ground transportation business. They are often know as:
If you are an owner, operator or manager in this very competitive business, the video presentation below will help you know much more about the SEO condition of your website efforts. There is a lot of detailed but easily understood information in this video. It was developed to help small business owners understand what their website should incorporate if it's to be considered "optimized".
It will help those ground transportation owner know if their SEO or search engine optimization provider has delivered what was promised.
Digital marketing is no longer an option and is no longer a DIY technology. Certainly if you want to compete with other limousine providers online.
Additional, here are some free eBooks you can review to learn even more detail related to SEO and digital marketing:
We hope this video helped you better understand the marketing condition of your own site and know what good SEO or search engine optimization looks like. Especially if you operate an airport transportation service.
OPTIONS & ALTERNATIVES:
Competing online and taking advantage of quality digital marketing is a challenge for many small businesses. Hopefully, after viewing the video above, you will be able to have a more informed conversation about search engine optimization and digital marketing in general.
If you would like to schedule a conversation with one of our certified inbound marketing professionals, you can contact us in a number of ways. Here is our digital marketing contact page to help..
EVALUATING WEBSITE PERFORMANCE:
There should be no doubt how critical the online portion of any small business's marketing is in 2016.
This begs many questions starting with:
Without spending the time needed to answer this question or partner with a certified team that can do this for a business owner, it will be impossible to understand the regular adjustments needed for improved performance.
Below I have put together appropriate questions and certain realities that will help any small business owner develop the required analytics to keep their inbound marketing strategy improving and growing.
For More Detail & Study The Strategies Behind Many Successful Strategies, Check Out These Free Ebooks:
DATA & STATISTICS THAT MATTER:
Every business that operates online understands that their website and every web page acts as a window into their organization. It's a window for their customers, potential customers and any referrals. It is also a window into the credibility, mission and authority being established by that organization. We all know this from our own Internet surfing experience.
Elements that should be considered when creating a proper website analysis strategy:
Information is coming to us at an unprecedented speed. We see constant increases in the number of websites, blogs and the amount of Internet advertising. If that isn't enough, we also have to filter through tweets and posts from hundreds of different social media platforms not to mention hundreds of different directories, search engines and links that are so numerous, they can't be counted.
We also have to consider the growing challenge any website owner has of making it clearer as to what type of content is being presented. The audience needs to understand if they are looking at advertising, promotional or educational content.
This translates to less and less time to grab the attention of a target audience.
One of the most important goals any website owner can have is to establish authority in a specific field of expertise. Authority has a special meaning in the world of inbound marketing. This goal is like the holy grail of marketing and requires success in all of the supporting components like SEO, number of third party linking, reviews and comments. Think of any industry you are familiar with and you can probably think of 1 or 2 websites that you consider an authority. This is a result of a certain "chain reaction" that occurs as a result of good inbound marketing. When this goal is reached, it can be seen in the data when applying a complete analysis.
One of the best ways and fastest ways to reach this goal is by using only certified website designers and certified Internet marketing professionals.
I recommend you review the video & slide presentation a few times. This will allow you to absorb more of the fundamentals used in the accurate evaluation of a website. I also would like to take another opportunity to suggest you spend some time researching HubSpot and if you feel this is the appropriate inbound marketing application for your organization, come contact us. We hold 3 different HubSpot certifications and a certification from UCLA in Digital Marketing & New Media.
Feel welcome to visit and bookmark our home page: www.VirtualSupportSystems.com
Topics: Performance Evaluation
LIMOS, SEDANS & VANS, OH MY:
Maybe you know us and maybe you don't but we are a 16 year old inbound marketing firm that has a tight focus on limousine, sedan and shuttle services to the airport. In fact, we have been helping ground transportation companies build inbound marketing strategies before anyone was ever using the word "inbound".
In this blog post we will explain to the limousine service operator how they can better take advantage of today's Internet marketing climate by checking their primary marketing components. We will show you (limousine business) why it's more important than ever to have & develop a complete Internet marketing plan. We will also show you how to evaluate the current condition of your internet marketing plan. The evaluation process is extremely important because of the simple fact that it's impossible to develop a successful online marketing strategy until you can confidently determine what you have in place and how those components are performing for you. It would be like having a flat tire but replacing the wrong one. From a marketing stand point, there is no reason any more to be flying blind.
It seems that just about everything in life gets more complicated as time goes by and inbound marketing is no exception. Here are some free e-books that focus on a specific area of inbound marketing and may help you make some tweaks to your airport limousine marketing strategy:
CHECKING YOUR WEBSITE:
As I mentioned in the introduction, evaluating your website is very important because if you don't know what's broke, how will you know what to fix? How would you know what needs attention or where to start applying your efforts.
As we always do, we recommend you have a certified Internet marketing team or individual on board. As you will see in this post and probably others, there is no DIY marketing plans like were possible a bunch of years ago. Marketing online has become so complex with almost endless options and applications, this is no place to start learning how to do things yourself.
Besides, I know if you are running a limousine or airport shuttle service, there is no way you have extra time to learn a new skill set. Especially a skill set like this one. Partner with the right team so you are still free to do what you do best. Run your ground transportation business. Dispatching, scheduling, HR, maintenance, reservation management, safety... You do what you're good at and let a certified marketing team handle the marketing. This improves the efficiency of your entire operation.
Just below, you will see 4 sections that cover the four primary areas of online marketing that need your attention. These are the components of Inbound marketing that represent a complete plan and strategy. Understand that we are keeping this as basic as possible and giving you a high level view of what a successful and well functioning airport transportation marketing system should look like.
Maybe you have some of these components in place already and that would be good. However, this perspective should give you a better understanding of the bigger picture and how some of the more important marketing components fit together. Once they are created and put in place, you will be free for development and competition. This is when you'll have the opportunity to focus on each to make each one perform better each month that goes by.
Before we get started lets be sure we are on the same page. We have to assume you do have a website in place and live. You will also want to think about the different applications you are using to accomplish your ultimate goals. For example, what CMS (content management system) are you using to manage your website? What analytics systems is in place so you can easily evaluate all of the marketing statistics you need to know about?
Okay, now lets look at the 4 primary marketing components every airport limousine, sedan service or airport shuttle service needs to recognize, manage and develop.
The 4 Primary Internet Marketing Components:
By now, most website owners have heard the term SEO. This acronym stands for Search Engine Optimization. This is the process used by marketers to be recognized by the major search engines like Google and Yahoo. It is also the process or page configuration needed to achieve advancement in your ranking for targeted keywords.
Since our topic is website performance evaluation, it's important to understand what SEO looks like in a successful website. As a limousine company owner, you need to know exactly what Google & Yahoo is look at on your own website. We are discussing performance so we need to understand where performance is seen by the all powerful Google algorhythms.
We want to teach you to look at the SEO on your website in 2 distinctive categories. The first is known as On-Page Optimization and the second is Off-Page Optimization. On-page Optimization refers to those elements of SEO that literally fall onto each web page. Elements like keyword placement. Remember that before you can have effective keyword placement, you need to complete a complete keyword analysis and strategy. This will simply tell you which keywords are important for your target markets and goals. Other elements of on-page optimization that need to be configured effectively and accurately include but are not limited to:
Off-Page Optimization includes SEO elements that are created and managed "Off" of your actual website. Items like directory listings, press releases, reviews and most important, inbound links. These are live links on other websites that point to your web page. There are a few different theories on developing an effective link strategy so be sure to take some time to research this subject.
Once all of your primary pages include all of the items above, it is safe to consider those pages optimized for the major search engines. Yes, like all other elements on a successful website, these can be developed and improved on a constant basis. However, it's important not to spend too much of your resources focused only on SEO. The next important element to be able to evaluate and develop is your blog strategy.
A blogging strategy along with a social media strategy are so important because these are literally the "living and breathing" pieces of your website marketing. Think about it like this. You main web pages are generally static and do not require frequent changes. Therefore, once you have your SEO applied, these pages pretty much remain the same. Yes, when you have updates in information like pricing or value added services, you will update the appropriate pages. Other than that, they sit quietly providing the specific information for which they were intended. Your about page or your contact page really doesn't require much attention once completed and optimized.
Maybe you have heard the cry "Content Is King"? This statement is fairly accurate. Search engines and other important marketing platforms want to see good, fresh content. Your blog is one way that you can give them what they want. Be sure you have a good blog strategy that is designed to help or educate others and you will out perform those sites that don't.
A good blog will post 2 to 3 new articles every week. Each blog post should be optimized in a similar way as described above in the SEO section. Blog posts can come in many shapes and sizes. You can use imagery and video and should be between 900 and 1500 words each. Each blog should have whats called a CTA or call to action. This is what is used to ask the reader to take the next step, whatever that is according to your strategy. Your analytics application will measure things like page views, converstions and links.
Social media, social media, social media... you can't escape it even when you try. It's all the rage, Everyone is doing it. So? What does that mean to you? Here is my take. If you own and operate an Airport Limousine Service, my guess is that at least personally, you are not a big fan of social media. Maybe you're like me and and wonder, what's the big deal here? Selfies? We were doing selfies before there was a digital camera. Why do I need to update all my friends and family what I had for breakfast this morning? I have so many more important things to do with my time.
My response from a personal perspective is... You're right and I completely agree with you. My response from a business perspective is... Social media is here, it's not going anywhere anytime soon and it's an effective resource for attracting and connecting like minded people who have an interest in what your business provides. This being the case, use it to your advantage.
Determine with your team, which social media platforms make the most sense for your operation. A great place to start for an airport service provider is the top 3 platforms. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Be sure you have accounts on all 3 and be sure that you spend the time required to fully complete your profile. Once you have accounts with complete profiles, your marketing team or the software you select will determine how you get into the game. Some general information:
Guidelines for all of these social platforms: Try to avoid the instincts to "advertise". Instead, try to be helpful and engaging. Contribute to ongoing conversations and try to show users that you know your industry. The ultimate goal here is to be considered an authority. You're in the travel game so create and post content that most people didn't know but find useful. You are also in the entertainment industry so that should open a world full of ideas.
After you're up and running, you will use your own analytics software to measure your results.
"If you can't measure it, you can't manage it". I don't know who first said this but it's very true. In today's technology climate, you have the ability to measure everything you need to determine how, when and why you are achieving ROI (return on investment). There is no need to guess how well your strategy is working. You should know from all the data that is generated every day by these inbound marketing activities.
Choosing your analytics software can be a challenge. Like much of the software in our lives there requires quite an investment in time before you know if it's the best fit for you. Spend some time researching and reading reviews. This will at least give you a running start on knowing the names, features and benefits of each. For example, we always recommend a company called HubSpot. We do this for many reasons but you or your trusted team need to be involved in this decision.
The best thing to do after looking at the condition of your website marketing and understanding your strengths and is to find an application that puts as much as possible under one roof. In other words, depending on what you already have in place, a solution to:
"If you can't measure it, you can't manage it". I said it earlier I know but it is the truth. I know airport limousine businesses so I know how important statistics are when managing your operation. Your Internet marketing is just as important as your operation and thanks to developing technology, you are able to manage almost every element of your marketing. You are or will be investing thousands of dollars into online marketing. Don't you want the ability to measure your ROI at every turn?
If you want to learn more about any of this, we are happy to provide you a no cost, 30 minute conversation with a HubSpot & UCLA Certified Inbound Marketing Professional. Just use the button below to complete a form so we can schedule a conversation that fits into your schedule.
Topics: Marketing For Limo Services
|How does an established mid-sized architecture, engineering or construction firm compete against the big boys, the low bids and emerging firms? The competition is fierce. How can your marketing arm bring in new business and keep the business you already have? These are questions that are on the forefront of everyone’s mind, whether it’s employee or senior management. As you know marketing isn’t what it used to be. Brochures, snail-mail marketing, tradeshows, ads in trade publications, lunch and learns, and still the most effective, tried and true method of networking all have their place.|
The chief method that new clients are going find you is the internet. Your marketing team ‘must’ be internet marketing savvy, if it isn’t, chances are high that you’ll be out gunned by the big boys or those that ‘are’ savvy. If your team is already savvy, or is becoming so, they know that internet marketing was once a game of keywords and SEOs to fool the search engines into natural rankings. With the ever changing, ultra sophisticated algorithms used by the major search engines the game has given way to science. To gain natural listings, harvest qualified leads that turn into business the new science of marketing is ‘inbound’. The discovery and implementation of strategies that have qualified potential clients reaching out to you!
A primary step towards getting a qualified lead that reaches out to you is differentiating your firm. An element to being different is touting your firm’s ability to design and/or construct sustainable, performance buildings. We have to acknowledge that there’s still a great deal of myth and greenwash out there. The first and foremost myth is the belief that green building costs more. This is simply not the case. In fact green, sustainable buildings can cost less. It’s now pretty much established that performance, sustainable, green buildings cost less to maintain and operate as well as have longer lifespans. I’m referring to initial costs. Yes, a green building can cost less if done correctly. To design and build correctly means only that you have to embrace three concepts.
Engineering and architectural firms can improve their return on investment (ROI) on marketing by highlighting why thier approaches to design that don't follow the status quo. One such approach is designing vent-less or Non-vented attic spaces.
Non-vented attic space design is far superior to traditional vented attic design. The costs for non-vented design is only slightly higher and achieve rapid return on investment in new construction and renovation scenarios. Not to confuse anyone, I'm drawing the line between offering clients superlative design, setting yourself apart and effective marketing, inbound or otherwise.
How do you as an architectural, engineering, or construction firm effectively harness the power of inbound marketing and get your message (and unique skill set) in front of a qualified audience, that will seek out your services? As an experienced & certified inbound marketing firm, we suggest that one of many roads that help propel your inbound marketing strategy is to differentiate your firm by drawing attention to proven design strategies that foster performance green building and sustainability. Properly designed attic spaces are just one of many designs that reduce energy consumption while improving a building's durability and indoor air quality.
Need some guidance? Download and read these free "how to" guides that will let you put more power behind your online marketing efforts:
Non-vented, efficient attic system design has a proven rapid return on investment with the energy alone. Ensure you write blogs and content explaining how and why your firm's attic space design is so much better and why designing vented attic design is so antiquated.
The key to creating an efficient attic system is to include as part of the weather-proofed, conditioned spaces of the building. When consulting with building science professional you'll quickly discover why vented attic spaces is simply incorrect for mechanically conditioned buildings. Vented attics are a practice that is out of date by around 70 years. For what ever reason, when buildings began incorporating conditioning systems designers seem to have forgotten the reason why attic systems were vented in the first place. They were vented to promote natural ventilation. With air conditioning equipment natural ventilation has essentially gone by the way-side. (Which is also not a good thing. Hybrid systems are optimal, incorporating passive and mechanical design.) When it comes to attic spaces, we’ve been left with is insulation on the top of a ceiling with outside air filling the space, which is by no means airtight.
Try our "ROI Calculator" to help you determine traffic & lead goals that must be reached.
Through roof and soffit vents comes of course temperature but that’s just ‘one’ of many elements you allow into your home or building. Because of this poor antiquated design practice, you’re forced to be energy ‘inefficient’. In essence a vented attic has you paying twice as much for energy. (Depending stories of the building.) As I said, temperature is only one of the bad things about a vented attic. Humidity, or lack there-of is something you want to control. In humid regions that’s where air conditioning expends most of its energy.
Why in the world do you want to allow hot humid air into your home or business? By designing a ‘correct’ efficient attic system for a new building or renovating an existing attic you will see a dramatic reduction in your energy consumption instantly and the easily realized rapid return on investment. However, you must consider that your return on investment is not measured solely in dollars. Your return on investment comes in the form of:
I’ve written about benefits of efficient attic system design as a way to differentiate your firm and add traction to inbound marketing. Here’s the fundamental and simple elements to efficient, performance, sustainable attic system design.
The key is ‘spray foam insulation’. The typical type of spray foam used in attic spaces is ‘open cell’ because it’s less expensive and generally there’s space for it, but it always depends on the specific project. Closed cell may be appropriate for some projects, such as those where the attic space will be utilized for storage or occupancy.
Ensure there are no vents included in design of roof or soffit. If renovating an attic space ensure vents are removed and/or entry holes are covered securely. Spray Foam Insulation must be applied to the underside of the roof deck and its associated surfaces such as soffit and perimeter sheathings and claddings. One of the biggest advantages of spray foam is that it seals all surfaces and joints to dramatically reduce infiltration. To ensure that there is air exchange in this now tightly sealed, well-insulated space, include return and supply ducting directly from an air handler. Consult with your mechanical engineer for proper sizing. So, there you have it.
Write about how your firm has chosen to design attic spaces that are far more efficient and how your firm is different because of design such as this. Write about the rapid return on investment that these attics deliver. This is one of many things you and your marketing team can do to propel inbound marketing campaigns, to increase traffic to your site and most importantly qualified leads to grow business.
I hope the detailed information above illustrates our experience working with engineering firms, architectural firms and construction businesses. We can help you improve your marketing ROI by effectively developing an inbound marketing strategy that reflects your unique business and highlighting what differentiates you from your competition. If you would like to schedule a no cost consultation, just use the button below that will take you to our contact information.
Architect Firms & Inbound Marketing:
If you’re part of an architectural or engineering firm and want to differentiate yourself when it comes to energy efficient attic systems or understanding performance green building and sustainability the key method to getting the word out and attracting new clients can be summed up in two words, inbound marketing.With expertise in both inbound marketing and performance green building I encourage you to spend time here and elsewhere to understand the basics of inbound marketing and how your architectual firm can benefit.
The article below shares some sustainability and architectural ideas related to attic space. The purpose of this article is to share some of our experience in sustainable design and show you how these ideas can be used on your behalf to bring in an interested audience and more qualified & targeted prospects.
Need some more inbound marketing strategies for your architectual firm's online performance? Check out these "How-To" examples from our web pages that offers some great blueprints to improving your visibility online:
How does one design the best possible energy efficient attic system? First you have to take a quick look at human behavior. What? What does the design of efficient attic systems have to with behavior? It seems that an innate basic human behavior is the ‘fear of being wrong’. Another innate behavior is ‘fear of change’. Human sometimes would rather continue to make the same mistakes over and over rather than admit being wrong and/or be willing to change.
Allow me to use ‘Indians’ of the Americas as a quintessential example of how human beings feel about being wrong and about change. When Columbus set sail from Spain on his first voyage in 1492 he was searching for a direct water route to Asia. Columbus could never admit that he had reached a continent previously unknown to Europeans, rather than the East Indies he had set out for, Columbus called the inhabitants of the lands he visited indios (Spanish for "Indians"). For the past 523 years we still erroneously refer to Native American peoples as Indians, because we, the most part, are still fearful of being wrong and making a change.
The same can be said for how we design attic spaces. Prior to mass production of central air conditioning the best way to assist in cooling buildings was venting attic spaces. Vented attics were part of a passive ventilation process to create a flow of cooler air.
Enter central ‘split-system’ air conditioning (and room) for the masses, roughly the early 1950’s. Building designers elected to place main duct systems in the attic space, put insulation (much later) on top of the ceiling, the compressing unit outside and air handler inside. (Generally) They elected to continue venting attics with the thought it would keep attic spaces cooler, which was true, if you consider 120-160 °F cooler. They simply were and still are fearful of change and now nearly 70 years later are fearful of being wrong. If you live or work in a building that is anything but a passively ventilated, the building’s attic spaces design is very wrong on 4 levels, not just the most egregious one of being grossly energy inefficient. A vented attic space is:
1. Energy inefficient
2. Open to humidity, wind driven rain that allows for mold growth.
3. Open to flying insects, namely termites.
4. Susceptible to windstorm damage through uplift
How do we create a new or existing efficient attic system? Firstly, big surprise, do not vent the attic. Secondly, insulate the attic on the underside of the roof deck, not on top of the ceiling. Thirdly, with recommendation from a mechanical engineer, bring conditioned air into the space with a supply and return duct. Not to cool the spaces, but simply to move the air through it.
There are many architects and engineers who understand these design parameters. Maybe you’re one of them?
If you’re part of an architectural or engineering firm and want to differentiate yourself when it comes to energy efficient attic systems or understanding performance green building and sustainability the key method to getting the word out and attracting new clients can be summed up in two words, inbound marketing.
With expertise in both inbound marketing and performance green building I encourage you to spend time here and elsewhere to understand the basics of inbound marketing.
Think about the fear of change in the context of the digital age. If you’re still thinking about keywords and search engine optimization as the way to get noticed organically by the major search engines, you’re about 70 digital years behind. Inbound marketing is a complex set of interwoven strategies you might be able to understand in principle, but when it comes to enacting a ‘truly’ effective inbound marketing campaign, talk to us.
Note: Architects and other contributors to a more sustainable society need to share their expertise and services online. Why is this so important? Look at the numbers by downloading real time inbound marketing statistics and really see the difference a complete Internet marketing strategy can make.
Topics: Marketing For Architects