As a marketer, many of your campaigns may be built around one primary objective: getting people to fill out a form. Often, designing a compelling advertisement isn’t enough to encourage people into handing over their details. Many factors can deter someone from submitting a form, including the unwillingness to provide contact information.
Here are some content design strategies and tips that you can employ today to effectively nudge people toward conversion:
When driving people to a form, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to distract them with detours. Landing pages should be built as simple as possible. Here’s how:
1. Drive people to a landing page—not your website.
You want people to do one thing, and one thing only: fill out that form. You must drive them with a simple and engaging email to a landing page that is specifically built for your campaign. Sending someone to your website offers a plethora of distractions, including images and text that don’t apply to your campaign’s appeal, multiple links to other information, and in some cases, flashing beacons of light that are begging folks to take some other action. If you want people to drive directly to your destination, don’t drop them off in the middle of Las Vegas where sparkling lights from competing assets beg for their attention. Likewise, steer clear of cluttering your emails with the same distractions.
2. Remove ALL navigation from the landing page.
Don’t offer an exit ramp when you are trying to capture a person’s information on a form. Doing so can make your lead stray away from your primary call-to-action. Will they find their way back to your form? Maybe. Most of the time—no. At that point, you may have lost their impulse to decide. Instead, your landing page should be designed simply, and with only ONE action they can possibly take: fill out that form.
Emails, advertisements (online and offline), and social campaigns should have a similar look and feel. Using too many different images, layouts and copy between assets can create a disconnect for people, and can even make a person feel like the content is not reliable. Instead, try to use the following techniques in design:
All too often, I have seen emails and landing pages designed with too much text, and entirely too many images. Asking people to read an entire magazine before filling out your form will certainly contribute to losing their interest. Here are some tips on how to do more with less:
Create an impulse decision.
Don’t give up the farm!
Keep all the important stuff above the fold.
Use a short form.
In this exciting new digital age, social media has impacted customer behavior in a way that creates multiple challenges for marketers. Today’s savvy internet surfers are accustomed to getting all the information they need in a short social media status message or in a brief article online. We can learn from this behavior. These micro status messages entice people to follow links to landing pages. Your content marketing strategy should do the same.
Creating short, simple, and actionable marketing messages using the techniques I described here can have a positive impact on conversion rates. While this is not an exhaustive list of conversion strategies, these basics can significantly impact your results.
Do you have any conversion strategies that you use? Please share them here!
In this final post on transforming your optimization program from sideshow into part of the main event, I’ll discuss tips 4 and 5 shared by Debra Adams, my colleague in Adobe Digital Strategy consulting. (Read post 1 and post 2.) These tips address the timing of getting your seat at the decision making table, as well as tactics for keeping that hard-won seat.
Sometimes it’s difficult to know when you’ve succeeded in this transformation. Just as I first shared a true story that helped you determine if your program was a sideshow, I’ll describe what it looks like to when you have successfully achieved the transformation.
Tip 4: Get your seat at the table before big decisions are made.
When testing comes into the decision making process after the business units and leadership have already decided where they want to focus testing efforts, your sway over those decisions is severely limited. As an optimization lead, you and certain members of your team need a seat at the table as these discussions and decisions about what tests to run and priorities are being made—not after.
You need a forum in which to share and explain why certain tests aren’t useful, how certain success metrics don’t really indicate success, and what tests to run or metrics to use instead. You also need to be able to share the testing roadmap and strategy so that priorities can be discussed and set relative to the broader optimization program goals. Finally, you need a place and means to demonstrate the business value of using data, not marketer’s intuition, to determine and deliver the experience the customer wants.
Tip 5: Reinforce the value of your testing program.
Once you’ve earned your seat at the table, you’ll need to periodically remind the organization and its leadership why you’re there by sharing how your program contributes to business success. You’ll also need to share your test results with colleagues and senior management so that they see the value of and learn from individual tests.
You can do this in a number of ways:
Activities like these engage employees in testing and build up organizational knowledge of what works and what doesn’t on digital properties. It also helps the concept of optimization permeate the fabric of the company to create the attitude that “of course we optimize.”
Recognize when you’ve succeeded
You’ll know you’ve transformed your optimization program from a sideshow to part of the main event when your company believes this about testing:
Getting to the point where optimization is simply part of the company culture takes work and determination. It’s well worth the effort, though, when you repeatedly demonstrate how your testing prevents the business from implementing poor features and changes and helps them deliver the customer experiences that positively impact the business bottom line.
Let the experience of others guide you
You don’t have to undergo this transformation alone—many others have gone through it and have advice and experience to share, like these two companies who shared their stories at Adobe Summit:
In addition, experienced consultants like Debra Adams have helped numerous companies build and transform optimization programs into an integral part of the company’s success. Consider learning how an Adobe Target consultant can combine his or her expertise with your industry knowledge to help your business build a powerful optimization program with Adobe Target.
The post 5 Tips to Transforming Optimization from Sideshow to Main Event (Part 3) appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.Read More
Adobe’s optimization consultants often sit side-by-side with their clients, either in-person or virtually, to discover what those clients are trying to accomplish. I love the chance to catch up with them because their finger is on the pulse of what our customers are trying to do and accomplish with Adobe Target. Recently, I sat down with Debra Adams, one of our seasoned Adobe Digital Strategy consultants. We discussed a key issue that optimization programs face—optimization is just a sideshow, at the whim of senior management demands and product owner requests.
From her years of experience running and consulting for optimization programs, Debra shared tips for five key actions optimization programs can take to transform from being just a sideshow into part of the main event:
1. Build the business case for testing
2. Overcome the data dilemma
3. Do valid testing
4. Get your seat at the table before big decisions are made
5. Reinforce the value of your testing program
These actions can help you get and keep a seat at the table where IT, the development team, creative, product owners, and executives determine and prioritize the features to develop, establish a development timeline, and allocate available resources.
But first, how can you tell if your optimization program is a sideshow? Read on for a true story that illustrates what it looks like:
Your optimization program is a sideshow if…
The optimization program manager at a large retail company was perplexed: senior leadership demanded that her team run more and more tests. Business unit owners insisted that her team run the tests they wanted, many of which she knew from experience would barely move the needle. Important tests she planned to run were knocked off the table with a simple, “We don’t have room in the schedule or design resources for that.”
She knew that the optimization program had incredible business potential, but she just wasn’t in a position to influence how the organization used it. She was just a marketing manager who had been told, “Get some testing done.”
If this all feels familiar, then your optimization program is a sideshow. The good news? It can be much more—start transforming it into part of the main event with this first tip.
Tip 1: Build the business case for testing
Your testing is up against features that product owners or executives strongly believe will bring ROI. Why should they put off implementing their money-making features just so you can run a test? You have to make a believable argument that your testing has the potential for big impact and ROI—you have to build a business case for testing in general, and for individual tests.
Build the testing business case with:
Build the business case for individual tests with:
Next up: Overcoming challenges to your business case
While making your business case, anticipate and prepare for a couple of challenges many optimization programs face—gaining stakeholder trust in your business case and test data, as well as the test design of your individual tests. In my next post, I’ll discuss tips 2 (Overcome the data dilemma) and 3 (Do valid testing) to suggest ways to overcome those challenges.
The post 5 Tips to Transform Optimization from a Sideshow to Main Event (Part 1) appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.Read More
Author: Omair Malik
Have you ever found yourself (and your team) wasting time, missing out on opportunities, or failing to meet your goals? It can be perplexing when you know that your strategy is airtight—what could be holding your back?
After analyzing all the clues like a detective in a riveting HBO finale, you may realize the culprit is lurking in your marketing technology stack! A bad technology choice can pose a variety of problems for you and your team—maybe it’s too slow, maybe it doesn’t scale, maybe it doesn’t sync effectively with your other technologies or maybe it’s just too clunky and difficult to use.
So, if it’s time for a change, how should you go about it? Some of my colleagues have written excellent guides on how to get started but I’d like to focus this post on the product demo, which is a critical part of any evaluation of technology.
During your evaluation, the product demo is your chance to understand how this new platform will change your life for the better. Rather than a generic recording, you get to speak to experts who’ll be able to answer your questions and paint a clear picture of how you can lead your team to success.
Based on my experience in talking hundreds of customers through this process, I’d like to explain how you can use 5 simple steps to make sure the sales demo you receive is a valuable exercise that will help you pick the best platform for your team.
You might be tempted to skip the discovery call altogether and insist on seeing the platform immediately. Maybe you find yourself annoyed with the barrage of questions you’re getting about your business and your evaluation when all you want to do is buy something immediately. After all, you already know what the problem is! You just need something to fix it.
However, going into a demo without explaining your requirements means that you’ll either see every single product available or a generic overview, which will make it hard to connect the dots. This will translate to a longer evaluation and a harder time making the right choice.
If you take the time to explain your goals to the salesperson, they’ll be able to craft a custom demo that will answer your questions, address your pain points and give you clear differentiators for your eventual decision. Instead of thinking of your sales rep as pesky, consider them as a partner on your team who’ll help you make the right choice and get your team on the right track.
For the demo, think of your situation today. What parts of your process are frustrating? What parts are critically important? Use these activities to map out 3-5 “missions” that you want to see tested out during a demo. This could be as mundane as sending out an email to something more complex such as managing and reporting on all your webinar programs for the year.
Once you’ve got these, ask the sales people to demonstrate how their platform would handle these tasks and make sure that they spell out for each of them:
By doing this, you’re avoiding the dreaded PowerPoints or canned recordings that you could just as easily see in a Google search. Instead, you’ll have a customized demonstration where you can ask pointed questions. You’ll be able to walk away with a clear understanding of how each platform will make you and your team more successful after the evaluation.
A productive demonstration will be like a conversation. As the sale person to walk you through each “mission” you’ve crafted for them, offer critique and feedback on how you see yourself using the platform. If you’ve seen any competitors, ask them how they differentiate themselves. Find out how their customers in similar situations have used their platform. Finally, imagine yourself in the platform repeating their steps over the course of the year. An interface that may seem simple to use could quickly become limiting while an overly complex system could become difficult to use at scale. Make sure to voice any concerns you have and carefully consider their rebuttals.
Nobody likes surprises. If your bold new software implementation is going to cause ripples across the company, you’ll want to make sure you’re not stepping on anyone’s toes.
If your project involves changes to your database or your website, it’s a good idea to bring on a representative from IT to explain how your company’s infrastructure works. If you want to implement a new strategy to drive leads to your sales department, it doesn’t hurt to bring on a sales person to see how life will change for them after implementation.
This means they’ll be able to ask the right questions and will be prepared for the new direction you’ll be boldly steering the company in. The last thing you need during an evaluation is someone derailing you at the last minute.
As you sit through the demo, be sure to take some time afterward to discuss your impressions with colleagues. Try to recall the details of previous demos and compare what you saw. If anything concerns you, reach out to your sales person and see how they respond. It’s very likely that they do have that functionality but simply couldn’t show it because of time constraints. If it makes sense, be sure to schedule a follow-up demonstration to address any lingering questions.
I hope these steps are helpful for you in your next evaluation. If this turns out to be useful or if you have extra steps that you think are missing, please let me know in the comments below!
5 Insider Tips to Get a Demo That’s Actually Useful was posted at Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership. | http://blog.marketo.com
The post 5 Insider Tips to Get a Demo That’s Actually Useful appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.
Google is using today’s doodle to promote conservation efforts and support the World Wildlife Fund, The Ocean Agency, and The Jane Goodall Institute.
The post Earth Day Google doodle offers up conservation tips to help save the planet appeared first on Search Engine Land.
Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
In a world where 60 percent of adults interact with at least two screens per day (see image below), it’s essential that marketing campaigns target people rather than devices. But, whether you’ve decided to send anonymized customer IDs directly to the walled gardens of Facebook and Google, or you’ve hosted them securely within your own data-management platform (DMP), it’s challenging to do cross-device marketing right. What’s more, the cost of not solving this issue is huge.
Forrester estimates that America’s millennials will spend over $600 billion this year across an average of 5.5 connected devices per person. The recent eMarketer webinar, “Cross-Device Targeting — What to Watch for in 2017,” goes into detail regarding the trends and key challenges facing marketers who must deliver consistent, cross-device experiences.
The much-discussed solution to this cross-device challenge is to build or buy a device graph. A device graph is a set of ID mappings that are used to define groups of anonymous devices as being used by the same person based on commonalities among the signals collected from each device. These signals indicate levels of identity. The most accurate signal is from a log-in event (signing into a website or app, for instance); however, other signals (such as IP address or device meta-data) can also be used. When layered over an audience segment comprised of device IDs, these device graphs can be used to anonymously classify the common identity behind each device in the audience segment (typically, a person or household). This allows a marketer to deliver a consistent cross-device experience to the audience segment, tailored perfectly to the person (or people) using each device. That said, factors such as scale, accuracy, privacy, and control make it very difficult to find the perfect device graph to use and the best platform on which to use it.
Top-Three Tips for Using Device Graphs to Deliver Optimal Cross-Device Experiences
Following are my top-three tips for delivering successful cross-device experiences with device graphs:
1. Be Flexible.
Every device graph has its own unique advantages, so put your business in the position to leverage all of them. If you build your own device graph based on signals collected from your own websites and apps, you’ll ensure maximum control over how the graph is built and used; but, inevitably, it will be limited by scale. On the other hand, if you decide to use a device graph from within a publisher’s walled garden (think Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc.), you’ll increase your scale but be limited to using the graph with audiences defined by each of these publishers for use only on the inventory they sell. In other words, your device graph won’t exist outside of that publisher’s ecosystem.
The solution here is to build your audience segments in a platform-agnostic environment that offers the ability to construct your own device graph, opt-in to a shared device graph, or to lease a third-party device graph. The obvious choice for such an environment is the data-management platform (DMP). The DMP should offer integrations with all major targeting platforms, publishers, and data providers to ensure optimum scale, accuracy, and consistency of the audiences it defines. Adobe’s DMP, Adobe Audience Manager, enables marketers and publishers to create their own device graphs from their first-party data as part of its built-in Identity Management capabilities. In addition, Audience Manager has integrations with multiple device-graph vendors, including Adobe’s own Device Co-op as well as the LiveRamp and Tapad device graphs.
2. Understand the Importance of Scale.
Targeting and retargeting your existing customers using your own device graph built from anonymized first-party data is a common example of people-based marketing. The challenge is, by definition, this device graph can only include the devices you’ve not only seen, but also been able to connect to known customers based on their actions across your digital properties. If you want to extend your reach to also target your customers (and even your prospects) across the devices they own that you’ve never seen, you’ll need a bigger graph.
This is where the Adobe Device Co-op can help. The Device Co-op is a device graph comprised of data collected from multiple businesses that have joined forces to contribute to and benefit from a shared device graph. Importantly, the graph extends far beyond the devices any one business has seen on its owned digital properties, allowing it to increase the reach of its campaigns and target users across all their devices — even if they’ve only been identified on one device. The Adobe Device Co-op is currently the largest device graph of its kind in North America and is being used to help marketers both activate and measure the performance of people-based audience segments without having to sacrifice scale.
3. Be in Control.
Customers have come to expect the experience they have on one connected device to continue when they access a second or third device. By following the three principles outlined above — be flexible; understand the importance of scale; and be in control — marketers can take the necessary steps to meet these expectations by delivering consistent user experiences and enabling new cross-device marketing tactics that will, ultimately, improve their ROIs.
Author: Mike Madden
I’ll admit it. Email marketing is scary. You pour your heart and soul into an email–crafting creative copy, compelling imagery, and the perfect subject line just to hit send and get judged by thousands of subscribers (or at least it feels that way sometimes).
Unfortunately, the reality is that not every email you send will be a winner. Luckily, with sound testing methodology and an exhaustive list of A/B testing ideas, you can learn how to better engage subscribers and send your email performance through the roof!
Looking at which email elements to test can be a bit daunting. After all, there are plenty of ways to slice the pie (as a pie aficionado, I would know).
Here are 25 elements you can consider testing in your emails:
Alright, so maybe this list is a little overwhelming, but at least it’s exhaustive!
Since one of the most common email marketing tests is subject line testing, let’s take a moment to talk about what makes for a good subject line:
Take these subject line writing tips out for a spin in your next email test! Remember that first impressions matter. The subject line is like a handshake hello. If you get it right, your subscribers will love you from the start.
Done right, A/B testing increases engagement, enhances campaign effectiveness, and informs marketers about audience preferences. For good measure, let’s go over testing best practices.
Here are five pro tips for email testing:
As the saying goes, you can’t manage what you can’t measure. No email test is complete without the right metrics to measure them.
Let’s cover some important email marketing metrics:
I hope this blog has helped give you some testing ideas as well as a foundation for how to test. Do you have a favorite test that I didn’t mention here? Share it below!
Tips & Tricks for Optimizing Your Emails was posted at Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership. | http://blog.marketo.com
The post Tips & Tricks for Optimizing Your Emails appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.
Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.
The post SearchCap: CRO tips, local search proximity & paid search analytics appeared first on Search Engine Land.
Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
Author: Nate Dame
Videos are becoming increasingly important for B2B marketing. Companies with dedicated video marketing strategies generate more leads, earn more revenue, and enjoy better brand awareness than those engaging in all other forms of marketing.
Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are great places to get eyes on your video content, but prospects aren’t necessarily in work- or buy-mode as they scroll through these platforms.
We do know, however, that 90% of B2B decision-makers use search to research business decisions. To reap the benefits of video marketing, your videos must be optimized for search. By following a few best practices for video SEO, you’ll enjoy more visible video search results and drive more organic traffic—and qualified leads—to your video content.
In its general search and video search functions, Google ranks videos using the same ranking factors as written content—content quality, number of backlinks, and RankBrain are the most important signals. When hosting videos on your site, the tasks for optimizing video content are similar to those for written content and images.
Similar, but not identical. Here are five steps you should take to improve your search rankings so your videos stand out in search results:
Providing both a video and transcription on a single page offers dual benefits: it caters to different reader preferences, and it makes video content more likely to appear in general Google searches.
Video transcriptions can be optimized for search in the same way as any other text-based site content. While this may seem to break duplicate content rules, transcriptions actually provide a good user experience by catering to different learning styles. While some visitors may prefer videos, others may prefer reading. In fact, 85% of business executives prefer reading over watching videos when making business decisions.
When transcribing video content, there are two approaches you can take:
Full transcripts provide more engagement SEO opportunities, while highlights are good for long videos and can encourage more views by teasing readers with compelling content that’s discussed in more detail in the video. Ultimately, use the approach your audience prefers: you can poll them to find out, or do some A/B testing to see which approach drives the kind of engagement you’re looking for.
Just like general search results, titles and descriptions display in video searches. While Google will find something to display if this data isn’t provided, you’ll drive more views and rank higher in results if this metadata is optimized.
Video titles and descriptions should:
Additionally, Google displays a thumbnail for video results. Thumbnails are to videos as images are to blog posts—choosing the right thumbnail is crucial. While most video processing programs will select a thumbnail using a single screen from the video, you should create a custom thumbnail that illustrates video content, attracts attention, and inspires interest.
While some users conduct searches using Google’s video search function, many just use the general search tool. To help videos stand out in general search results, use schema markup (semantic vocabulary) to provide the information search engines need. With schema markup, general search results will appear in the same way as video search results, providing a video thumbnail and length.
At a minimum, you’ll need to add schema markup for the title, description, thumbnail, and either embed- or content-URL for each video. You may also want to include video length, upload date, and height and width dimensions. Google has a page describing exactly what it expects from schema markup for videos and allows you to validate schema markup with the Rich Snippet Testing Tool.
While Google’s crawlers will discover videos on your site, you can enhance discovery of site-hosted videos by creating a video sitemap and submitting it to Google Search Console. Create a separate video sitemap, or add video entries to an existing sitemap.
Entries in a video sitemap must include video title, description, play page URL, thumbnail, and raw video file URL, and must match the information included on your site. There are a number of optional pieces of data that can be included as well—video duration, rating, view count, category, and live status. While the optional fields do not need to be included in a video sitemap, they provide additional data Google can use to properly index video files.
The best way to know if users prefer video content for certain queries is to conduct searches for targeted keywords. If video results appear on the first page of results, it signifies that users are typically satisfied with video content for that query. For example, conducting a Google search for the query “Twitter tutorial” results in a YouTube video in position two, just below the official Twitter support page.
Prioritize video creation for keywords that populate video results in general search and create videos that are higher quality or more comprehensive than those that are already ranking for relevant keywords.
Video content is held to the same standards as text content in search results—it must be high quality. Optimizing fluff videos isn’t a valuable use of your time because—like general content—engagement factors are important. If people are watching only a few seconds of your video and then leaving, your engagement scores will fall, and Google may determine that your video is either irrelevant to the query or low-quality.
Video content should cater to user intent, provide value to viewers, and have a high production value. That doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune hiring actors or designing animations that make Pixar jealous, but it does mean that videos should be in focus, audio should be clear, and unnecessary pieces should be edited out.
Once you’ve created high-quality, engaging videos, upload them to your site, add transcripts, and optimize display in results with metadata, schema markup, and sitemaps. Completing these tasks will enable more visible—and higher ranking—search results for video marketing content.
What other tips and tricks do you have for optimizing video search rankings? Share them in the comments below.
5 SEO Tips for Videos: How Google Ranks Them & How to Optimize was posted at Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership. | http://blog.marketo.com