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Well it’s that time of the week again! There’s some pretty intense movement in the online and marketing community and as usual, changes and additions in the social media world are abundant. 7 hours later, here’s 30 of the BEST bits for your reading pleasure!
First cab off the rank…
Mobile Marketing, Apps and Mobile Websites
1. Google has an insanely cool website that basically allows you to build your own research picture. This a fantastic resource to help you understand your local market in terms of the demographics of mobile users, what they use it for and more. You literally tick some buttons and it creates a pretty graph. Check it out and create your own report.
2. It’s not THAT hard to build a mobile website…especially if your site is built on WordPress. This is a list of mobile plugins you can get for a WordPress site, some of which will detect the device and display your website nicely for them. Did you know that only 7% of retailers have tablet friendly sites. So if you don’t have one yet, creating one can give you a competitive edge, not to mention, according to research, people who place orders or make purchases on tablets spend more in general!
3. So what ingredients do you need for a KILLER mobile app landing page? 1. Place your call to action – i.e. what you want to user to do – ABOVE THE FOLD (translation – above the part of the screen where a user would have to scroll down to see it), 2. Use a sexy design with minimal “stuff” and lots of images of the application in action on a device…better yet add a video! 3. Avoid any flash on the page (IOS devices visting the page won’t be able to see it remember?), 4. Show some social proof (Twitter testimonials are always great), 5. Add an app store badge, 5. Allow visitors to enter their mobile number and have the link ot the app immediately SMS’d to their mobile (get your developer to use www.twilio.com for the integration – cost is minimal)
4. If you’ve already busted out a cool $10-20k to get a shiny new app built, I hope you’re measuring its effectiveness AND using metrics to drive new improvements. Kiss metrics is a good option for this – for instance, if you’re a games company, how often are people using the up, how often are credits being topped up. You need to decide what the key metrics are to help you make decisions.
- Remember how last week I mentioned how you can get a swanky new Facebook plugin to get people to sign up to your email list using Mailchimp? (Here’s what ours looks like on our Facebook page) Well, normally you may here that on websites, its better to minimise the stuff for people to enter (just have an email address). But in an A/B split test, this company found a 20% INCREASE in sign ups when they showed extra information on the sign up for including being able to choose topics of preference. So what does this mean for you? If you haven’t already, make sure you’re segmenting your email lists by interest. E.g. if you’re a food company, diet type is a great way to segment (e.g. vegetarian, vegan, I eat everything, gluten intolerant…etc)
- Increase your email open rates with a personalised approach. No I don’t mean “Dear;”, here this means having the email come from a PERSON’S NAME vs a company, and have the email signed off by a human being. When this company tested out the approach in their latest event email, they got an increase (in comparison to their normal email) of close to 140% for both opens and clicks. Not too shabby right? So when you next send a company email out, think about making it personal.
1. It’s not for everyone, but if you know how to crowd labour manage it properly, it can be a real money and time saver. Ph and if you’re wondering what crowd labour is – it’s basically the practice of listing a small job on a job site and having people from around the world bid to complete the job virtually. My personal recommendation: use it for small, manageable tasks that can be done in concise steps. For instance, if you need someone to help you gather a list of the contact details of every school in the country. Here’s just a sample:
- elance.com or freelancer.com (outsource anything)
- kluster.com (outsourced focus groups)
- redesignme.com (platform to help corporates crwwd source ideas using market research)
Search Engine Optimisation
1. Heard of “rich snippets”? You definitely would have seen them. They’re the sexy bits that appear at the top of google search results with things like video or ratings or something a bit more than your average link to content. If you have a WordPress site, you don’t need developers to code video rich snippets for you. Get the Yoast plugin (I use Yoast on my site), and when you’re adding any new page or blog, there is a tab option to add a video to the meta data for your page.
2. Here’s a one liner to describe just how Google’s release of Panda and Penguin updates will change the way most businesses need to approach their search engine optimisation: “It’s now about relationship building, not link building”. Ok what does that blather mean? Just that instead of randomly swapping links to lift your rankings, you actually need to think about link building almost like a real world networking process…but done online instead. The end game may be to get a link (in the real world – swap referrals), but to do that…you actually need to chat, get to know each other, be mutually relevant to each others business…etc.
- Are you in marketing and looking for a new one? Then here’s some interesting stats for you: even for a chief marketing officer technical expertise (at 21% importance) is actually more important than experience at a marketing agency (13% importance). The top 5 skills are: customer insight, communications expertise, creativity, industry expertise and team building.
- Here’s something to think about when writing copy for your website. Short content is not always better. According to research, long copy is the better performer when there is a rational, analytical, need-oriented motivation. Think consumer insurance products or complex B2B products. So don’t let those pesky online marketers tell you otherwise – make them test before they remove things from your site willy-nilly!
- Here’s some stats based on the latest research from Shop.org to remember in the lead up to Christmas:
- 38% of shoppers plan to use online coupons (get amongst the coupons if you haven’t already …but be wary of heavy discounting which can damage your brand. Using a coupon to help customers bundle products will be much more beneficial)
- 1 in 5 holiday online sales will come from a mobile device
- 8/10 carts are abandoned during the holidays (i.e. don’t feel bad or freak out if abandonment goes up – BUT remember the tips from my email last week…there’s things you can do to bring that number down)
- Help your IT and hosting guys get the picture: A 1 second delay in page load time actually equates to a 7% loss in revenue
Content Marketing and Copywriting
- This nifty info graphic provides and overview of content marketing tactics (hint: content marketing is not just about text – it can be video, audio, imagery and so much more). Creating engaging content can take a bit more time, but the pay offs are great. Check it out here
- Numbers trump general stuff in call to actions. Period. Some examples:
-BEFORE: Simple fix for blown gasket heads. AFTER: Repairs blown gasket heads in 1 hour (58% conversion increase)
-BEFORE: Award winning business software. Fully integrated. Free trial. AFTER: #1 On-Demand. 6459+ Clients Award-Winning Solution. Free Trial (21% click increase, 272% conversion increase)
- Headlines are one of the most important parts of the content marketing puzzle. Focus on what the customer GETS, and then what they have to DO to get it. Make it as short as possible. E.g. “Get paid to take FREE surveys” won out over “Take Online Surveys From Home and Win Cash & Prizes”. (download the PDF transcription of the test)
Testing and Analytics
- Looking for a way to connect Google analytics to your CRM and give you personalised not aggregate data (translation: to tell you that Jane Doe visited your website, not a number)? Google’s own API’s only provide aggregate data, but here’s a way you can get around that issue.
- Do you have a site that has the word “Case Studies” or “Success Stories”. Well this company ran some tests and found that Case Studies works better in terms of driving clicks. So…time to change up the wording and see if page views increase.
- Have you noticed when looking at the search terms that bring people to your site in Google Analytics that “Not provided” seems to account for a growing number? Well unfortunately that trend is going to continue as Google now allows browsers to protect their search data. So how can you track the success of your search engine optimisation efforts moving forward? a) Use Google Webmaster tools, b) use proxies such as your google rank for a particular keyword…etc instead.
- So this question of “the value of a like”…it’s something that changes dependent on a whole heap of things including the number of likes on your Facebook page, engagement levels and more. The maths behind it looks like this:
(eeep – you’re a better woman than I am if you understand that one!) So, want to know what a value of a like is on your page? Try out this cute little “like value calculator“
- Questions work better than comments to help engage your audience on Facebook (they actually get fewer liks and shares, but MORE comments –>; which is good for pushing your content up in people’s news feeds). But my question is…WHICH type of questions (out of the who, what why, when, where category) work better? The answer is in: with analysis of the 10,000 most liked pages and 1.2 million post comments, it was found that questions starting with “Should”, “Would” and “Which” receive more comment action than “Who”, “When”, “What”, “Where”, “Why” and “How”. Interestingly these are are “hypothetical” and “choice” questions. e.g. “Should we wear this outfit to dinner tonight?”, “Would you wear this outfit to dinner tonight”, “Which of these outfits should we wear to dinner tonight?”. Try out these types of questions from now on and let me know whether it makes a difference on your page.
- Choosing a social network needs to be based on where your customers or potential customers hang out…not what everyone else is doing. For instance, does the product or service you sell appeal to women between the ages of 24 and 35 and has a really visual element (e.g. fashion, photography, food…etc)? Then you need to be on Pinterest? Why? Well apart from the stats I shared last week on the % of people who buy products after seeing them there, the majority are women, in fact on Pinterests Facebook page – 97% of them are women and a quarter of that base is 24-35! On the other hand, two thirds of Google+ users are male!! Go figure.
- Don’t feel bad if your Klout score doesn’t shift above the 50′s…the only person with a perfect 100 score is Justin Beiber…so basically you’d need to be a multi national pop star worth 100 million dollars to hit top score. Don’t waste time trying
- Wondering how to get more people to share your Pinterest content? Here’s the rules of the game: 1. use relevant labels for the image you share, 2. write a text message on top of your image or add a company logo, 3. ASK for retweets (yep seems simple but asking for a retweet with the words “Please Retweet” can your content retweeted by up to 51% – vs 12% if you don’t!), and 4. keep descriptions between 200-300 characters, they tend to be the most shareable.
- Really interesting tip on how to TRIPLE your YouTube views by automatically attaching your videos to the updates that appear on Facebook after someone likes content on your website. If you have a YouTube account with product or service videos, this tip is for you! And here’s how to make it happen.
- Instagram launches badges so you can now promote your instagram profile on the web. Go here to get yours!
Lead Generation and Staying Front Of Mind
- It’s hard to get mindshare right? And anything you do in the business branding department often costs a bit of moolah. A great little way to keep your company front and centre is to build a little chrome app that is basically a bookmark to your website or application. And here is, step by step, how to do it (or get your developer to do it!!
- In my blog last week it was Quora, this week it’s Linkedin Groups helping you engage and even drive a bit of business. Firstly, remember that Linkedin groups aren’t for everyone. The article doesn’t say this but before making the decision to dive in, check if enough of your audience is on Linkedin to drive conversation and interaction. Top tips to running a great Linkedin group: a) Focus on creating a winning group name, b) create a strict group policy – you don’t want members just using it to self-promote – it will immediately ruin the value of the group, screen new members and member posts, use (but don’t ABUSE) the group announcements feature, lead your group with interesting topics of conversation and questions every week.
- Have you thought about using an iPad as a Kiosk for your customers? There are so many free apps you can use directly from your retail store. All you need is a place to pop it near the counter or shelves depending on what you want to use it for. If you’re a supermarket: share recipes and get customers signing up to your email list, if you sell mobile phones or technology products: help customers see live reviews of products in store and even access online support from within the store if staff are busy.
- If you didn’t know this already, these are some web design babies you need to throw out along with the bath water: a) Flash animations, load filters and splash pages – they serious mess with your strike rate and bounce rates b) Skeuomorphism (I have NEVER heard of this word until readin the blog and to be honest, on don’t entirely agree that it should be avoided. There are lots of places that do it well. If you also have no idea what it is. See here), c) Lack of contrast, d) Fonts like Comic Sans
- So what’s going to be “in” in 2013? Adding a “personal touch” and a bit of authenticity – use a font that looks like freehand draw to highlight key points or to use as a font type for a testimonial on your site. Or, use free hand sketches instead of cold icons to display the features of your product, show people your human side – that means sharing the faces and a bit about the people in your business team. So…now’s the time to befriend some extra talented artists verses graphic designers.
As always, comment, ask questions, even disagree with something! Until next time…