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5 Ways Content Underpins Outbrain’s Customer Retention Strategy

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Content marketing isn’t just for generating leads – it can also help you support and retain customers. Image source.

It takes more than coupon clippings and reward points to win over today’s consumers — they’re looking for value that goes beyond monetary incentive. Businesses that know how to engage their customers and provide unconditional value will be the ones that foster a long-term relationship with their community.

This makes the pairing of content marketing and customer retention a powerful match that can’t be ignored.

The growth team I lead at Outbrain, the world’s largest content discovery platform, provides a real-life case study for content and retention coming together to produce results.

I’d like to share five specific content-based customer retention tactics we’re employing to grow our customer base and revenue at Outbrain – tactics you can steal for your own customer retention strategy.

1. Get new customers trained up fast with educational emails

The sooner you educate customers about using your product, the faster they can derive value from you and become sticky.

According to a survey conducted by SaaS metrics company Preact, 23% of customers churn due to poor onboarding. Especially when you have a fairly complex service, frontloading the delivery of educational content and learning from how new signups interact with this content is critical.

We’ve certainly seen a direct correlation between reducing our churn and improving our onboarding process. To help our customers get acquainted with our platform and understand how our system works, we created a bootcamp training series.

As soon as a customer’s first campaign is launched, an automated email campaign (which we call our Brainiac Bootcamp) is triggered for them. It sends four daily emails that walk the customer through campaign optimization tips, our dashboard and other resources. Here’s a screenshot of the first of four emails:

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The first of four emails in our automated email training series.

When we first launched our Bootcamp series, we did a test and control experiment by sending 90% of first-time customers the email program and keeping a 10% control group. For customers who received the bootcamp emails, we saw a direct correlation between content and retention.

Pro tip: If you’re launching a new email campaign, exclude 10% of recipients as a control group so you can say with confidence that the customer’s actions were a result of the campaign, and they wouldn’t have taken the same actions even if they hadn’t received the emails.

We dug even deeper by being strategic about which features required more education than others.

For example, we knew from analyzing the overall behavior of our customers that the more headlines they are testing per individual piece of content, the better chance they have of receiving a higher click-through rate (CTR) when their content is recommended in our publisher network.

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This graph shows the drastic increase in CTR when a campaign has greater than 5, 10 and 15 headlines on rotation.

Knowing this, we made sure our bootcamp content helped customers understand the importance of testing more headlines. As a result, those customers received higher click-through rates – and stayed active 1.5x longer than people who did not receive the bootcamp emails.

Takeaway for your campaigns:

Make sure your onboarding process is laser-focused on educating users on the importance of certain product behaviors you know will result in their success.

Through testing, determine which features lead to a higher retention rate – and then be sure to frontload that education. If customers do well, they’re more likely to stick around longer. It’s mutually beneficial.

2. Use live webinars to step up customer training

Webinars are often discussed as an acquisition tactic, but they’re also a great way of engaging more personally with customers at scale. Nothing beats real face-time when explaining a complex product.

We run bi-monthly webinars conducted by our Account Strategists. The content has evolved over time, and it’s always driven by feedback from our customers, as well as questions fielded by our Customer Support team.

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A landing page for one of our bi-weekly live webinars.

We put a lot of time into adapting the content we present in these webinars, but also closely measure the webinars’ impact on our bottom line.

Our Business Intelligence team built a report to compare customers’ campaign performance a week before and a week after they attend the webinar. We also look at their metrics two weeks and a month later to see if they’re continuing to optimize their performance based on webinar learnings.

On average, we’ve seen a 50% increase in average spend and 38% increase in cost-per-click (CPC) as a result of these webinars.

You may be thinking that increase in spend and CPC does not necessarily equal success for our customers, who are optimizing for leads and pages per visit. But due to the competitive nature of our content marketplace, a campaign that starts with a higher CPC has a much better chance of receiving any traffic at all.

It’s another win-win scenario – if we can effectively explain this to customers on a webinar, they’re more likely to see results from their campaigns and they’re more likely to stick around.


Use webinars to demystify your product. If you help customers succeed, they’ll help you succeed too.
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3. Always be adding content to your help center

Not nearly enough content marketers are focused on making their help center and FAQs as useful as possible – but help centers should be a vital part of the customer journey.

At Outbrain, we’ve structured our Help Center to reflect our customers’ needs from the pre-signup stage to first-time campaign creation to more advanced optimizations and reporting.

Just like webinars and bootcamp emails, help centers should be works in progress that you’re constantly striving to improve. You can use a combination of sources to help determine what content needs to be developed, refined or updated. These could include:

  • New product developments that require more training and FAQs: Product releases are exciting, but the platform and its features are only as good as your ability to communicate them to your customers. It’s important to educate customers on how to get the most out of new features — create new training content and FAQs to guide them!
  • Commonly asked questions sent to your Customer Support team: If your customer support team notices a trend in a particular topic of enquiry, that’s great fodder for new Help Center content.
  • Google Analytics reports for the top Help Center search terms, search refinements made by customers and most commonly visited FAQs: For example, have a look at the chart below which shows our most commonly searched terms from 2014 and the percentage of search refinements users were making when trying to find relevant content.
    outbrain_help_center_graph

    Customers searching for FAQs on cancelling accounts or languages were having to further refine their terms to find the content they were after, whereas customers looking for FAQs on UTMs, mobile, tracking or adding content were finding what they needed right away.

    We used this report to create more relevant and obvious FAQs to address these trickier searches and saw an improvement in search refinements and a reduction in questions on these topics sent to Customer Support.

All of these measures help customers feel supported the entire way through their journey, and allow them to better understand your product and derive more value. And that keeps customers coming back for more.


Use your search box data to understand what content your customers want but can’t find.
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4. Communicate product improvements and new features with great content

Collaboration between content and product marketing is essential to bringing new features to customers in the most efficient way. The more educational content created around each release, the more customers will continue to engage with and provide feedback on the new feature.

For us, email and our blog are our two most effective channels for sharing product updates with our customers. Our email updates are designed to alert customers to the latest developments, and then we drive them to the blog to learn more.

When we created the ability for customers to upload content in bulk and test multiple headlines and images per URL, we sent out an email announcing the feature:

outbrain_product_email

The goal of adding this feature was to make it easier to add more headlines; a process that had been manual and very time consuming.

By tracking the feature as an event in Kissmetrics, we were able to see that the average number of headlines and images per content increased significantly after our blog post and email explaining the new feature.

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The peak in this Kissmetrics graph shows how usage increased after we informed our audience of the new feature.

The concept here is pretty straightforward: the more customers are aware of new tools and features, the more likely they are to use them.

5. Use lifecycle email marketing to segment customers

Email campaigns are still the bread and butter of many a retention marketer’s efforts. With today’s overloaded inbox, personalization of the content based on individual product usage data is now more important than ever.

This is where lifecycle email marketing comes in: reaching your customers at each stage of their journey with you and tailoring relevant content to their needs and experience at each stage.

For lifecycle email marketing to our customers, we use a customer retention automation platform called Optimove to measure the impact of every campaign on revenue and customer lifetime value across five major customer segments:

  • New customers
  • Non-spending customers
  • Engaged customers
  • Churned customers
  • Reactivated customers

Our seasonal performance email campaign is a great example of this. Historically, we’ve seen that the end of each quarter is a competitive time on the Outbrain network; more buyers and higher cost-per-click. It’s especially important to communicate that to customers so they understand how to optimize their campaigns accordingly.

When we ran an educational email campaign for our most active customer segment about the importance of adding more headlines to increase your click-through rate (CTR), we saw a 10% increase in the average number of headlines per content campaign among those who received the email – along with an increased CTR in the most active customer segment.

Put your content to work

If you plan to prioritize customer retention as a major driver of growth and revenue for your business, investing in content will be critical to your success.

Here’s a quick recap of the five ways content underpins our entire customer retention strategy:

  1. Get new customers trained up fast with educational emails
  2. Use live webinars to step up customer training
  3. Always be adding content to your help center based on customer feedback and user behavior
  4. Communicate product improvements and new features with great content
  5. Use lifecycle email marketing to segment customers

Over to you — how are you using content marketing to drive your customer retention strategy?

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5 Ways Content Underpins Outbrain’s Customer Retention Strategy

Oli Gardner Wants to Improve Your Campaign Landing Page. For Free.

Ever have a brilliant marketing campaign that just isn’t living up to expectations?

It’s easy to tell that something isn’t quite right — your poor conversion rate screams it loud and clear. But pinpointing the squeaky wheel is no simple feat.

Is your landing page the problem? Your emails? Ads? Remarketing? Do people just think you’re a jerk?

Quit wondering — we’re here to help with our latest web series: The Landing Page Sessions.

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Oli Gardner, our resident landing page expert, will focus on one page per episode and help show where you might be leaking conversions. He’ll even rebuild the page with his suggested changes, and show you how a few tweaks can make all the difference.

Sound like something that could be valuable to you?

Just send us your landing page along with the ads and emails that sent people there so that Oli can evaluate your page in the context of the larger marketing campaign. If your submission is chosen, Oli will dedicate an entire episode to reconstructing your campaign.

What’s the catch?

Yo, there is no catch. What are you waiting for?! Submit your landing page today.

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Oli Gardner Wants to Improve Your Campaign Landing Page. For Free.

4 Data-Driven Questions to Streamline Your Social Media Campaigns

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Do your homework before you run your social media marketing campaigns and you’ll save a lot of time and effort in the long run. Image source.

Social media is quickly becoming the most time-consuming marketing channel. All the posting, responding to comments, discovering new networks – it never ends.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could shave off some of those manual labor hours? The key to streamlining your social media marketing lies in your data and analytics – gaining insight into what works and then doing more of it.

But social media analytics can be a pain in the butt if you don’t know what you’re searching for. You’ve got to know which questions to ask, and how to find the right data from the right reports in a short amount of time.

In this post, I’m going to cover four questions that cut to the core of social media analytics. With each question, I’ll show you the exact data sources and reports needed to get in and out with insights for your marketing team.

You’ll find out how to answer the following questions:

  1. Which posts are driving the most value for my business?
  2. Where does my content perform best?
  3. When is the best time to post?
  4. Who else is sharing our content?
NOTE: Before you can use this guide, you need to ensure two things:

  1. You’re tracking Goals and conversions in your Google Analytics account. (Here’s how to set up Goals, and here’s how to set up tracking for conversions.)
  2. You’re tagging all outbound URLs with Google’s URL Builder. (Here’s how to tag URLs, if you didn’t already know.)

1. Which posts are most valuable to my business?

Which networks are most lucrative for your business? Which posts contribute to your bottom line?

To find out, you’ll want to look at total conversions (goal completions) by social network, and determine which social networks are contributing to conversions on your site or landing pages.

Report #1: Aggregate social conversions

Where it is in Google Analytics: Acquisition > Social > Conversions

What’s in it: A breakdown of each social network and associated number of conversions.

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The social network conversion report shows which network drove goal completions on your website.

What the report will tell you

  • This report is great for a quick analysis of which social networks are driving the most valuable actions on your website.
  • To get a bird’s-eye view of conversions over time, click through on the network to view a timeline of conversion by date.

Report #2: Campaign conversion report

Conversions by network is important, but we’d also like to get more details on which specific posts are driving conversions. For that, we need to look at “campaign” traffic, or URLs we specifically tagged.

Where it is in Google Analytics: Acquisition > Campaigns > All Campaigns

What’s in it: This report looks at links that were tagged individually with the URL builder parameters, along with a ton of associated engagement and conversion metrics.

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There’s a lot of information in this report. Orange box: Am I marketing to the same people over and over? Purple box: Do people stick around to read multiple articles? Red box: How long are people sticking around for? Green box: What percentage of visitors complete a goal on my site? (Click for larger image.)

What the report will tell you

  • Sessions: This metric tells you which posts are driving the most traffic.
  • % New Sessions: Return visits show whether people value your content enough to come back for more. If your percentage of return visits is high, you want to be sure that engagement metrics are as well (low bounce rate, high time on site).

    On a different note, a high percentage of return visits could be a sign that your distribution channel isn’t reaching new audiences. If your campaigns are delivering fewer new visits as time goes on, it’s time to find new places to push your content or grow your existing community.

  • Bounce Rate, Pages/Session: Use these metrics to determine the quality of the traffic driven to your site, but don’t get hung up on bounce rate! Traffic from social media is inherently disruptive – you’re pulling them away from a place where they enjoy spending time. It’s not uncommon for people to leave without looking at more pages.
  • Avg. Session Duration: Instead, look at bounce rate in conjunction with average session duration. As long as session duration is high, bounce rate is less relevant – it shows that your content was fully consumed but the visitor chose to return to the social network.
  • Goal conversions: Like with our first report, you can also see which posts drove goal completions on your website or landing pages.

2. Where does my content perform the best?

Certain blog posts will perform better on Facebook than on Twitter.

Similarly, different types of content (tactical blog posts, quizzes, infographics, giveaways) perform differently on different social networks. The following report will help you identify which type of posts (and which post formats) jibe well with users on a particular network.

Where it is in Google Analytics: Acquisition > Social > Landing Pages; Add Secondary Dimension “Social Network”

What’s in it: Entry pages and corresponding performance on social media.

social-network-secondary-dimension
Make sure to add “Secondary dimension: Social Network” to the Landing Page Report. It’ll help you connect specific pieces of content with performance on social networks.

What the report will tell you

Use this data to optimize content creation by network.

For example, my data tells me that video posts on Facebook drive a ton of traffic and long visits. On Quora, video posts don’t perform well, but links to long-form content do. This helps me understand which type of content to create and the most effective means of distributing it.

3. When is the best time to post?

Forget what you read online (well, except for this). Your audience is unique. We need to use your data to find optimal times to post content.

No matter which social media network you’re examining, don’t just look at clicks. Be sure to couple that information with data you dug up earlier, such as visits, time on site and conversions on your site or landing pages.

Report #1: Networks with built-in analytics

The following strategy can be applied to any network with built-in analytics. But as an example, let’s have a look at how to do this in Twitter, which has a killer analytics platform that tracks impressions and engagements from every tweet.

  1. From the home screen, click your profile image and select “Analytics.”
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  1. From the Analytics home screen, click “View all tweet activity.”
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  1. Look through your top and worst tweets.
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Screenshot from Twitter’s analytics platform (desktop view). You can view your top tweets and check a number of corresponding engagement metrics.
  1. Dig into your content by asking questions like:
  • What day did you post it?
  • What time did you post it?
  • What time is your audience most active (i.e. when did you get the most impressions)?
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Screenshot from one of my top tweets. Clicking through gives you detail into performance over a specific time period.

This data is not only crucial in finding the best time to post, but can help you answer other important questions:

  • What type of content gets the most engagement?
  • Do hashtags increase engagement?
  • Do images grab attention and drive engagement?

These questions will help you understand the best time and the type of content that performs the best.

Report #2: Networks without built-in analytics

For networks without built-in analytics, you need to get creative and find means of keeping your own data. As an example, let’s look into tracking behavior on Reddit, which is notoriously difficult to crack because it has no analytics to consult.

A huge key to Reddit traffic is posting to the right subreddit at the right time. When you click through to a subreddit, it tells you how many Redditors are currently online.

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For seven days, I checked my target subreddits and recorded how many people were online at three different times.

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I know, it’s a pain, but it helped me make smarter decisions about when to post. Before using this strategy my Reddit posts would only drive a few visits at a time.

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After deploying this method, I was able to time up my delivery to get maximum views on my content – that one post drove 1,691 visits.

4. Who else is sharing our content?

Your reach becomes exponential if people are motivated to read your articles then share them from their own social media accounts. Plus, keeping tabs on who is talking about your content allows you to jump in and engage with new potential customers.

Where to start?

Report #1: Tracking organic mentions and shares

Where it is in Google Analytics: Acquisition > Social > Data Hub Activity

What’s in it: The posts from social media users. This report only populates from Google’s partners (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest are not included).

data-hub-activity

What the report will tell you

This report gives you the opportunity to see who is sharing your content, allowing you to jump in on the conversation. I consult this report to quickly view comments or questions and respond with further insights.

Report #2: Tracking the performance of organic shares

If you’re doing a good job creating content, other people will drop links to your site.

Since you’re now tagging all your outbound links with UTM codes (you are, right?), the remaining social traffic will come from inbound links (i.e. people sharing your content).

Where it is in Google Analytics: Acquisition > All Traffic > Source/Medium; Under “Secondary Dimension” select “Landing Page”

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filter-by-network
Make sure to filter by network to hone in on specific data.

What’s in it: This report shows you the pages being shared on social network. Focus on untagged campaigns to determine organic shares

What the report will tell you

  • Find out how and where your content is being shared. Use this information to optimize content distribution across social networks by understanding which pieces of your content are being shared organically.
  • Discover the engagement metrics of organically shared content. Sometimes content you promote doesn’t perform well – this data can help you determine whether using influencers to promote your content is worth the cost.

So, when does the time saving part come in?

You’re probably rolling the heck outta your eyes right now, aren’t you?

I get it – this looks like a TON of work.

But think about the insights you’ll gain. You’ll learn:

  1. Which social networks drive traffic, conversions and goals for your business. More importantly, you’ll know the ones that don’t. You no longer have to waste time on them.
  2. What type of content (images, hashtags, infographics, videos, links, etc) performs the best. You can now optimize everything you post to drive more action.
  3. The optimal time to post your content. You no longer have to guess – just click a button and schedule it.

It’s cliché, but anything worth doing takes effort. However, it doesn’t have to take time. Leverage your data to drive insights and automate your social media marketing efforts.

View this article: 

4 Data-Driven Questions to Streamline Your Social Media Campaigns

How One Agency Created a Conversion-Centered Content Strategy Using Landing Pages

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Here’s how one agency took their client’s content strategy to new heights with a little help from lead gen landing pages. Image source.

How does a blog post ultimately translate into a new customer? That’s the question content marketers should be gut-checking themselves with every day, and that Effin Amazing was both uniquely qualified and an unlikely candidate to answer.

Effin Amazing is a boutique digital marketing agency based in Orlando, Florida. Co-founded by Dan McGaw, the former marketing head at KISSmetrics, they pride themselves on a “relentless focus on measurement, analytics and testing.”

On the surface, that data-driven approach doesn’t quite square with the notoriously soft science of content marketing. In fact, some might place analytics and content on opposite side of the marketing spectrum.

But as we’ve explored before, this is starting to change. And marketing agencies like Effin Amazing are leading the way.

Over the past few months, Effin Amazing planned and executed an ambitious content strategy for one of its clients aimed at filling their marketing funnel with qualified leads and nurturing those leads into customers. So far they have been able to:

  • Increase blog traffic by 35%
  • Convert that qualified traffic into leads using high-converting ebook landing pages
  • Develop an email automation flow to nurture those new leads into paying customers

I’m going to take you through this campaign step-by-step and, in the process, teach you how you can run one just like it.

The challenge

Flappy Bird ruined everything.

It wasn’t long ago that the Apple App Store (and eventually Google’s Android market, Google Play) was the wild west of the ecommerce world. Savvy developers could launch successful apps easily, without the need to get a pesky marketer involved. If you were an entrepreneur who lacked coding skills, you could hire one of these developers relatively cheaply and watch your app rise to the top of the charts.

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And then came Flappy Bird. Image source.

Then, in 2014, an intoxicatingly simple game out of Vietnam, starring a small flapping yellow bird, became an overnight sensation, reportedly earning its developers $50k a day before they suddenly pulled it off the market. What followed was a deluge of copycat games with names like Flappy Plane, Flappy Bee and Splashy Fish.

These days the mobile app market is a far more crowded space, with more than 60 thousand new apps and 12 thousand new games published every month.

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Paulo de Santis, Co-Founder of Chupa Mobile

“Now you need to know how to distribute your app,” says Paulo de Santis, co-founder of Chupa Mobile, the leading mobile app templates marketplace (think Themeforest for mobile apps). “Launching an app isn’t enough to make money.

The Flappy Bird effect also meant that Chupa Mobile, which launched in 2011 as a marketplace for buying and selling source code, needed to distinguish itself from the shady copycats that Apple and Google had begun to crack down on. In addition to providing templates for developers to easily build mobile apps and games, they also matched up professional app designers and developers with entrepreneurs looking to break into the space.

“After Flappy Bird, everyone was talking about ‘cloning,’” explains Paolo. “We do not suggest to our customers to just pick up a template, make a few changes and republish as is. We’re trying to educate customers to use templates as a solid base to make something better.”

Educating the expanding market was crucial for Chupa, and this meant creating credible content that informed both potential developers and entrepreneurs on how to navigate this lucrative but increasingly competitive landscape.

That’s when Paolo got in touch with Dan McGaw, who he’d met years earlier and had recently left KISSmetrics to start Effin Amazing. Although Chupa is based in Italy, more than half of its customers are in the U.S., so hiring an American agency was key.

Effin Amazing’s mission would be to help Chupa refine their messaging and create a comprehensive content strategy aimed at generating new leads and eventually nurturing them into customers.

But first, they needed to figure out exactly who they were marketing to.

Educating the “appreneur”

Chupa has two core segments of customers. The first is mobile app developers, who they had been targeting from the beginning and were already flocking to their marketplace.

The second is what they called “appreneurs” – entrepreneurs and companies seeking an easy, affordable way to tap into the piping hot industry and rise above the noise. They realized they needed to start creating content catered to their needs.

daniel-sosa
Daniel Sosa, Director of Marketing at Effin Amazing

Under the guidance of the Effin Amazing team, led by Director of Marketing Daniel Sosa, Chupa rejigged their editorial calendar and began publishing blog posts with titles like “The 10 Craziest (But Real) Motivations to Launch an App,” “How to Build a Mobile App With No Programming Experience,” and “Android or iOs App: What to Build First?”

Daniel explains:

“The main strategies involve doing keyword and content research to build a very desirable content calendar. We only want to be pumping out content that is of very high demand. We quickly learned that anything involving lower the barriers to get started for “appreneurs” and anything for app monetization does extremely well.

Also ASO [app store optimization] is a hot topic. From there it was all about a defined distribution plan that is executed with each release – this involves structured social media along with channels such as Growth Hackers, Quora and many more.”

With their new blogging strategy, Daniel says they were able to grow Chupa’s blog traffic by 35% in less than two months. Which is amazing.

But you know what would be effin amazing? Finding a way to translate that qualified traffic into qualified leads…

The conversion carrot

Now that more “appreneurs” were reading the Chupa blog, the Effin Amazing team needed a conversion carrot – an incentive for them to fork over their emails so that they could be nurtured further down their marketing funnel.

The solution was to create an ebook about what the agency identified as one of the most popular topics for this segment, App Store Optimization (or ASO). Daniel worked with Chupa’s content strategist, Melissa Varela, to write the guide while Effin Amazing’s designer, Mark Bunker, whipped up a simple landing page for it using one of Unbounce’s lead gen landing page templates.

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They included a call to action leading to the landing page at the bottom of relevant blog posts and soon, the ebook was generating dozens of leads a day, with the landing page converting at 44% right off the bat.

a-s-o-lp

“It started converting at that level overnight,” says Mark, when asked what they did to optimize the page. “I took the template and did very little to be honest!”

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Melissa Varela, Content Strategist at Chupa

Bolstered by the success of that first guide, they decided to create a second one aimed at developers. But this time, Daniel and Mark set up an Unbounce account for Chupa so that content strategist Melissa could build the landing page herself. All it took was a two-minute screencast video to teach her to create the new page herself using the same template they’d used for the first guide.

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The Chupa landing page in the Unbounce app. Click for larger image.

“The key to happy customers is putting knowledge in their hands,” explains Daniel. “The more we can give clients the knowledge, the more successful they’re gonna be and the more successful we’re going to be.”

mark-bunker
Mark Bunker, Designer at Effin Amazing

Mark, who is an Effin Amazing co-founder as well as a designer, admits the agency could have continued building Chupa’s landing pages for them and bundling it into their fees, but says that wouldn’t be aligned with their mission to help their clients achieve long-term sustainable growth.

“I’m sure we can make a ton of money just building landing pages for clients and charging a lot,” says Mark. “But we don’t want to do it.”

From Chupa’s perspective, empowering Melissa to build landing pages for content marketing campaigns herself frees up Chupa’s own developers to focus on other projects, like developing mobile app templates for customers.

Before using Unbounce, Chupa would code their landing pages on WordPress, which often took a full week of work, according to Paolo.

“If you needed to make changes you’d have to interrupt the IT team, interrupting other milestones and causing delays,” Paulo says. “It could have saved me a lot of headache and time if we used it before.”

PRO TIP: With Unbounce’s new WordPress integration, you can publish a landing page built in Unbounce onto your existing WordPress domain with the click of a button. Find out more here.

Empowering their client to build landing pages on their own had another benefit for Daniel and the Effin Amazing team: It allowed them to move on to the next step in the campaign.

Have leads, will nurture

Okay, so let’s say I’m an eager “appreneur” who reads Chupa’s blog post, clicks through to the landing page and downloads the guide. Here’s what happens next:

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Click for larger image.

Once someone enters their email into the form on the landing page and downloads the guide, they’re placed on a list in MailChimp, which integrates with Unbounce. Over the course of the next few weeks they’re sent a drip campaign, which begins with an introduction to the Chupa platform and how it works and concludes with an inspiring customer “success story.”

At that point, leads are encouraged to register for a Chupa account, which is free. If they do, they’re onboarded through a more product-focused email flow to hopefully become a paying customer. If not, they’re placed on the blog RSS list, since they’ve demonstrated interested in Chupa content (and might still convert down the line).

This drip campaign was launched a couple weeks ago and so the data is still trickling in. So far, Daniel says they can attribute thousands of dollars in sales directly to the guides, in addition to the hundreds of leads they’ve generated – and continue to generate.

Conversion-centered content marketing

It’s easy to dismiss the value of a single blog post or a term as broad and ill-defined as “content strategy.” But as this story shows, every piece of that strategy – from a fun, brand awareness-building blog post, to an educational ebook, to the landing pages and marketing emails that do the content’s dirty work — plays a key role in the ultimate conversion.

By empowering their client with both the tactics and the tools to carry them out on their own, Effin Amazing created not just a successful campaign but a whole new marketing strategy that can transform their business. Indeed, 2.5% of apps published in the App Store already come from Chupa templates, according to Paulo, so the opportunity is enormous.

In the end, combining content creation with lead gen landing pages and email marketing automation allowed a growing agency to expand its service offering, while providing extra value to its client at no additional cost.

“You can feed a man a fish or teach him for a lifetime… whatever that expression is that I just totally butchered!” Mark says, laughing.

I know what he meant. And I’m pretty sure his well-fed client does too.

Visit site: 

How One Agency Created a Conversion-Centered Content Strategy Using Landing Pages

The Recordings, Slides and Notes from Call to Action Conference 2015

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Holy crap.

We just wrapped up this year’s Call to Action Conference and our heads are still reeling from all the actionable insights, testing ideas and networking/partying with some of the smartest conversion experts in the entire world.

We’re talking 400+ attendees, 22 speakers, 15 presentations, two live landing page teardowns and enough aha moments to explode your brain:

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Enough CRO and marketing goodness to make you wanna bust a move.

…And then there was the brewery tour, zip-lining, exciting announcements, boat parties, after parties and way too much swag:

Enough with the not-so-humble brag.

If you couldn’t make it (or if you did and you just want some mo’), we’ve got a bundle of resources for you: all the presentation recordings, slides and comprehensive notes taken by our very own team of writers:

There you have it. A boatload of marketing content from some of the industry’s brightest minds. In the format of your choice. All fo’ free. It’ll make you feel like you were right there with us.

Uh, just try and pace yourself, okay? Hope you can still get outside this weekend.

Good luck.

Link: 

The Recordings, Slides and Notes from Call to Action Conference 2015

What Happened When Buffer Stopped Publishing for 30 Days? [PODCAST]

buffer
30 days without any new posts? Egads!

Marketers are constantly wondering about the how often they should post to their blog. But when the content marketers at Buffer got tired of the same old “How often should we publish?” question, they decided to ask something much more controversial:

What would happen if we were to stop posting altogether?

That question lead to a somewhat nerve-wracking 30-day publishing experiment. In this episode of the Call to Action podcast, Buffer’s Content Crafter Kevan Lee gives us all the gory details.

You’ll learn:

  • Just how much traffic Buffer lost during the experiment.
  • The ways Buffer repurposed their blog content, and what brought them the biggest wins.
  • Some good one-liners to feed family and friends when they ask you what you actually do at work all day.

Listen to the podcast

Listen on iTunes.
Prefer Stitcher? We got your back.

Mentioned in the podcast

Read the transcript

In this episode: Dan Levy, Unbounce’s Content Strategist, interviews Kevan Lee, Buffer’s Content Crafter.

Stephanie Saretsky:Hey everyone, it’s Stephanie Saretsky here from Unbounce and you’re listening to Call to Action, the podcast about creating better marketing experiences. Last week, we talked to Ginny Soskey at Hubspot about their quality vs quantity experiment, which got us thinking… what other things are other marketers testing? Then, we came across a blog post that posed a question we didn’t think anyone would ever dare answer: what if a company decided to stop posting all together? Buffer decided that they were the company for the job, and embarked on a somewhat nerve-wracking 30-day blog publishing experiment. So naturally, we had to get the story out of them.

Unbounce’s Content Strategist Dan Levy spoke with Kevan Lee, Content Crafter at Buffer about how a conversation between Kevan and his fellow Content Crafter inspired this daring experiment, and how their findings have changed the way that Buffer views their older content. Plus, you’ll never believe how much traffic Buffer lost to their blog.

Dan Levy: So not publishing any new blog post for a month is a really scary-sounding experiment to anyone who runs a popular blog. But before we go into the details, can you tell us a little bit about the story behind it? Where did that idea come from and what were you hoping to get out of it?

Kevan Lee: Yeah, I think there’s kind of a funny story just in that… Courtney and I… Courtney is my co-crafter here at Buffer. We often just spew ideas. Sometimes the stuff may start out as a silly idea where we just kinda mention, “I wonder if we could not publish content for a while and be okay with it?” I think it maybe came from a place where we were excited to do lot of other projects and we wanted to kinda challenge the notion of our blog – is it something we need to constantly be doing or is it something that we can kinda think a little bit deeper on and be really mindful of our approach there?

And that makes it sound like a much more scientific process than it was. It was mostly just, “This could be cool to try…” and then we kinda reflected on it and let it simmer for a while and then the timing with the summer and our retreat was around the same time. The timing just seems like it fit really well to go for it, so we did.

Dan Levy: Yeah, and it almost sounds like something that gets brought up half-jokingly and then it’s like nah…

Kevan Lee: Exactly.

Dan Levy: But I really admire your bravery for feeling it, and for taking the chance.

Kevan Lee: Oh, thank you, yeah.

Dan Levy: And you reported that after the experiment you only saw a four percent dip in traffic. Was that surprising to you?

Kevan Lee: Yeah, that’s a great one. I think throughout the experiment I did not look at numbers at all. And the reason why I did that was because I felt that if I saw numbers, I would be motivated to toss the experiment out the window or just kinda give up on things, even though it was probably a very negative mindset for me to have been in. But I think it was just something where I wanted to be really disciplined about the experiment. So I didn’t look at any stats throughout and when it got to the end I was a bit relieved to see that it was a four percent drop.

And there’s probably some seasonality at play also, so it didn’t feel like a significant portion of traffic was really lost. I think in terms of the numbers that we get on the blog, four percent is still a decent chunk of people. So it didn’t feel great to lose any momentum from that side but the goal that we had set was a bigger number – around 10 percent maybe – as a sign that we were definitely not successful in the experiment. So four percent felt pretty good on my end.

Dan Levy: I think there’s actually something to that whole “set it and then don’t look at the numbers for a while” thing. We see that with A/B testing a lot – where if you’re watching the numbers too closely, then maybe you’re apt to call a test before it has actually reached any sort of validity.

Kevan Lee: It was all about trusting the process for us. I think I had some chats with Courtney throughout where I was like, “Oh, I’m just really tempted to write something!” or even write that I missed writing. Like I guess not writing for 30 days is a very foreign concept for me too. And so I was really grateful for her advice and encouragement throughout the process. And I think process is maybe the word that I kept coming back to throughout – just to trust the process that we had in place and to know that there is a purpose and a reason for the experiment and we’ll learn from that – which is success enough I think in the long run.

Dan Levy: And it’s not like you didn’t publish anything at all, right? You didn’t publish any brand new content, but you did breathe some new life into some older content?

Kevan Lee: I kinda cheated a little bit by putting some stuff in it that maybe was somewhat original but it was based off of past content that we had refreshed or we had livened up a little bit. So I think we did an article on Slideshares and it was a collection of some Slideshares that I had made during the month and then also just some other ones that had come to mind. So we did about three or four posts a week still. But none of it was brand new, original, big stuff we’ve done in the past. So it felt good to still publish but was still a bit interesting from the nature of the posts that we did publish.

Dan Levy: And I think that’s the sort of thing that I know over here as well – we’re always talking about how to breathe new life into older content and republish older content – but the new stuff often gets priority so it’s nice that you gave yourself the time to actually prioritize that stuff.

In your post you actually take us through a good amount of detail about all the different strategies that you tried. Can you maybe talk about a few of them? Like the ones that worked the best?

Kevan Lee: Definitely, yeah, I think email courses was one that was really great for us. Email courses are kinda like a drip campaign in a lot of ways. So we would take some existing content and turn it into a series of emails and then invite people to sign up and then send them an email a day. So in particular during our month, I created a 25-day email course about social media strategies. And that was based on maybe three or four old blog posts that talked about social media strategies.

So I was able to repurpose that content pretty easily in that way which felt really great. In the past we’ve also done courses based on particular blog posts. We had one that was quite successful about a social media marketing plan and that ended up working into a quick seven-day email course. So that was super fun to get to kinda experiment with that to see what we could do. A couple of others that come to mind are Slideshares, and that one was just mind blowing for me with how many views are achievable in Slideshare. I tend to forget about it as a source of traffic and engagement and it just seems like every time we post something there, it does a lot better than I thought it would. So spending the time purposely investing in creating more Sideshare content was a great reminder that there’s lots of value there. And once we kind of have a template set up for those Slideshares, it doesn’t take as much time as I think it will either. So it was a really good lesson for me and a great takeaway from the month that we can kinda work Slideshare into our weekly, daily content a bit more than we have already.

There’s good validation behind that and the other one is Medium. Medium worked out quite well also and our approach there was quite basic and something that I’d love to improve on moving forward. Medium makes it really easy to republish old content. They have a feature where you can just paste in an URL to a blog post and Medium will pull it all in and you’re kinda good to go from there. So it’s super, super easy and I’m very grateful that they made it so easy. And we did that with a few of our highly validated blog posts, the ones that had received lots of social shares and things.

And the couple of times that we did it – we didn’t do it too often – but a few times that we did it we would receive a lot of “recommends” and engagement within the post. It would climb into the most highly recommended post of the day, which is a good signal for us also. So yeah, I think maybe the email courses, the Slideshares and the Medium updates were probably our big winners in terms of strategies that we tried throughout the month.

Dan Levy: Yeah, you mentioned that even though your Slideshares and I think your Medium post got lots of fuse on those platforms, the referral traffic back to your blog was actually kind of minimal – and we have a similar experience over here, where it’s almost made the value of republishing content on those sort of sites hard to measure because of it. Do you think that referral traffic matters?

Kevan Lee: Yeah, that’s a good one. I think for us it doesn’t quite matter as much as maybe it could or should. I’m always curious to kinda learn more and to grow in that direction. I think a lot of the value that we take from those places is about sentiment and helpfulness and so we are really excited about the chance to offer content in unique ways that might speak to people who are more aligned with visual media in some ways. So we have a 3000-word blog post, but for some people that’s not the way they learn best.

So maybe they learn better in a really nicely formatted Medium article that is a bit shorter or maybe in a very visual type of Slideshare. And we have this idea of our North Star metrics, so to speak: be helping people, and the number of people we can help is our guiding principle. So if we have a Slideshare that gets 100,000 reviews and Medium post that gets 15,000 views and maybe none of those end up truly converting to Buffer users, or the measurement of conversion is a bit too difficult to really nail down – but I think we are okay with that.

As long as we feel like people are getting value out of it – and numbers like what we saw have us think that people were finding lots of use in those.

Dan Levy: Yeah. When it comes down to it, whether they’re engaging with your content on your own blog or on Medium it doesn’t really matter that much. In some ways I think that’s a vanity metric or we just have to be a little bit more open with how we measure things like views and sessions.

Kevan Lee: Yeah.

Dan Levy: Even if it happen on our platform or not.

Kevan Lee: Yeah, exactly. I think there’s that distinction where if it is on the blog, yeah, we can have some control over that page, and that experience. And on Medium or Slideshare we don’t quite have that control. So a lot of it is about, again, trusting the process — that being there is a good thing and helping people in that kind of way is a good thing — and I think a lot of time too it just expands the awareness of Buffer and awareness of our content. If we can help someone with something that we have written and that kind of their first interaction with us, that feels really great to me. And I think we have a great chance of finding more folks who are in that kind of bucket, so to speak, of not having much interaction with us before, especially in places where we haven’t spent much time, like Medium and Slideshare and the other places that we tried. So… yeah, overall the feeling that we got from it was really great even though maybe the specific conversions were a bit tough to nail down.

Dan Levy: I want to go back to the email stuff for a bit, if you don’t mind.

Kevan Lee: Sure.

Dan Levy: Because you rank that as the number one strategy that came out of the experiment. Can you tell me a little bit about those email drip campaigns? What was your goal with those? Was it a lead generation thing or was it really about engaging and nurturing the people who had already signed up for your list?

Kevan Lee: My main goal with it was we feel like we might be moving into a really neat space in terms of education and training, so to speak. And then offering resources to people to help them share to social media better. I believe the course sprung out of this desire to help and educate people. And to do it in a way that was very actionable. So what that means for us is that the course itself was a lot about offering lots of value to people in a way that we thought might be kind of cool for them.

Like I think content within your inbox from me with my name on it and then video content at that and well formatted at that is just a really powerful way of connecting with someone. And that was the feedback that we received from the course so far too – that it that very personal to a lot of people, which was not something that I meant to do or intended to do, but it is an amazing side effect. It felt like a certain type of product/market fit that is quite unique and highly validated from us.

So it’s been super exciting. I think my approach to it was more… I guess maybe even somewhat exploratory at the time, where it felt like the right thing to do and it felt like a good thing to try. So the way that we set it up was we invited people to just sign up ad hoc to it. So it’s not tied to any existing list of ours.

Dan Levy: It wasn’t like they were signing up for the blog and then they got this email drip campaign… they were signing up for the course itself?

Kevan Lee: It was just the course. Yeah and to be completely transparent and honest I don’t know how it might go from there. Like whether we will kinda loop them into the newsletter and our access list after that or if we’ll message every few times after. I think a lot of it was just about providing value, seeing if it was something people enjoyed and then kind of building from there. So maybe like a lean way of approaching it. I’m not sure, I think I probably could have thought it through a little bit more beforehand. But the nice thing is it’s a 25-day course. So I had a few days to kinda think about where to go next from here.

Dan Levy: Right. And you have validated something that people actually want in the process.

Kevan Lee: I think in terms of lead gen, I’m quite curious to learn more about what feels best for folks in email. In terms of getting you from a course, to signing up to Buffer, to further explain Buffer. And I don’t want it to feel like I have been gaming folks the whole time by saying yes, I signed up for this course, we are excited to share some stuff with you and then overtime it feels a lot like a pitch or a bait and switch. And I think I’m trying to be mindful of that.

So I could probably get lots of tips from you on maybe what the best approach there would be, but I think that’s something we’re still a bit still curious to find out. And it was not necessarily baked into the format from the beginning.

Dan Levy: And to be honest, I feel like… I don’t want to say the dirty secret… but it is a secret of marketers that sometimes we don’t do things that are completely strategic or tactical. We do things because they feel right and that we see that our audience is interested in it, and has a need for it. And then we figure out the strategy later. Like I think that is totally fine and legit and a good way of doing things as well.

Kevan Lee: Yeah, it doesn’t sound very marketer-y. I guess, but it’s a definitely been something that we do a lot.

Dan Levy: Isn’t the best marketing the least marketer-y – marketing?

Kevan Lee: I think so yes.

Dan Levy: And the marketing kinda happens along the way, I guess.

Kevan Lee: Yeah. When someone ask you what you do. What do you say?

Dan Levy: Oh, man, it depends who it is. Actually, much like you, I come from a background in journalism, so you know – I tell them that I’m an editor, I’m a writer, I create content for marketers that helps them do their jobs better. And usually they look at me with a blank stare, but…

Kevan Lee: I like the sound of that. That sounds pretty good. I like that. Can I borrow that if that’s okay?

Dan Levy: Yes, sure. What do you usually tell people?

Kevan Lee: Oh, man. It’s probably lots of different things. Sometimes I just say I do content and that’s kind of if I think people might know what means. I think sometimes I say I write stuff that helps people in the hopes that they will connect my helpful content to the service that we provide. And yes, sometimes I just mention I’m a writer and leave it at that, unless there are follow up questions. But sometimes there are, sometimes there aren’t.

Dan Levy: I think it helps a lot when your product is aligned with the content that you are producing. In our case, like I said, we are creating content resources for marketers to do their job better. That’s something that we feel our product does as well. And I suspect that you guys are in a similar situation when it comes to social media, right?

Kevan Lee: Yeah, exactly. And I think that dovetails nicely with the helpful educational content. It’s a social media course which makes a lot of sense given that we feel Buffer is helpful in terms of assisting folks with their social media. So yeah it all makes sense in the big picture.

Dan Levy: Ah, this is like content marketers’ therapy. This is like super helpful.

Kevan Lee: Yeah, tell me about it. Yeah it’s always great to chat with a fellow writer, and thank you for validating some of my thoughts and feelings.

Dan Levy: So now that you’re back to publishing original posts, how do you plan to work some of these strategies into your editorial calendar? Has the experiment made you approach your content strategy differently?

Kevan Lee: It has. I think we are really excited to do the things that we feel were validating during that month and what that looks like specifically is including a Slideshare in one of our four posts each week that we publish. It would be great to do all four. I think I personally failed on my account this last week to do any Slideshares – so it’s easier said than done, which I think is kinda how I fell out of the habit in the first place.

We’d love to do that. We’d love to double down on our Medium efforts. So we are doing a lot there currently in terms of republishing a couple times a week and exploring further ways to engage in terms of publications or collections. I forget exactly what it is being called now. Kind of groupings to a certain category or theme. And then also maybe some short-form content, which we don’t typically do on the blog but I think might be a good option for Medium.

And then the email courses are great and wonderful and like I mentioned, there is a 25-day course and when the 25 days are up, I’d love to have another one ready to go for folks who want to kinda keep learning with us. So I’m in the process of thinking about what that might be and then creating it super fast – and I’d kinda love to get on a pace where maybe we are doing a course a month and then eventually have enough to kinda roll it into more of a learning center type of hub where people can come and choose what they want to learn and keep going from there. So yeah, lots of exciting things to be trying out.

Dan Levy: You know, one thing I love about your post is that among the list of strategies you tried in this experiment and that worked out really well are a bunch that you didn’t end up trying or just didn’t work very well. I love that you shared some in the post. Can you maybe talk about one of those and what you learned from them?

Kevan Lee: Yeah, absolutely! It’s interesting being in the social media/content marketing space because I feel like I’ve learned a lot about best practices and things to try. And then I’m always eager to do them and figure them out and make them work. And I don’t know if maybe just this month there kind of – history has taught me that it’s not always the case that everything will work out the way that best practices go and that there are definitely individual recommendations that are quite specific to you and your audience and your industry and things.

So yeah, I was really excited to kind of put those to the test again and see which ones worked. Something that we have been thinking about a lot is infographics and how those might best fit with our content. I think that might have been kind of a medium performer for us during the month and my senses are that they are super powerful and can always be amazing sources of traffic and things.

And for whatever reason, it seems like maybe we’re losing a bit of momentum in terms of infographics and we have gone with a lot of different freelance folks and partners and collaborators with those in the past. And my hunch is maybe having a consistent theme or consistent style or consistent schedule of infographics could be a bit more helpful there. But it is one that we are focusing less on in the future, given the momentum of that compared to some of the other stuff that we tried.

I believe the Quora was one that I was quite excited to kind of experiment with, and my takeaway from Quora is that it’s an amazing place and such a cool network. And I love the ease and intuitiveness of using it. The results for us were not quite validated in the way that I might spend some more time on it in the near future. It’s very much a user-driven network where I will be posting things from me, myself – versus hosting it from Buffer.

Dan Levy: Right.

Kevan Lee: And I think we discovered the same with LinkedIn posts where it comes from an individual versus it coming from a company. And I haven’t quite figured out how to get that working yet. So that’s one that I plan to kinda keep learning on and thinking on, but not something we might focus on for the time being.

Dan Levy: I really liked the learning hub that you set up. I thought it was really cool how you set that up like a landing page. That definitely got my attention.

Kevan Lee: Awesome. That was a great one. I think that was a very lean one. Also, if I remember the story right, I was thinking this could be kind of a cool thing to do and I mocked something up really fast. We have some really cool tools internally here that we can do that with. And what I did it was by no means complete. But I think I forgot to leave it as a draft so it like went out live and then it got linked to from some other pages and I was oh, I guess I should finish that. And so I just quickly finished it up and that’s kind of another maybe little dirty secret of content marketing – sometimes we don’t always mean to have things out when they do.

Dan Levy: Sometimes we make mistakes and people don’t notice and it’s like all right, I guess we will just run with it.

Kevan Lee: Let’s go fix it, yeah. So I went and kinda tidied it up. Like long story short, that’s one that I probably didn’t give the effort or attention that I could have and I think that in itself was encouraging in that there was some positive response. I’m excited to see what the response might be if we put a little more energy and resources towards that. So yeah, it’s super fun when I think it’s come back to like, a blog where we want to make the blog easy for people to navigate and find the stuff they want to know about. And that’s kind of one possible route where we are thinking about it at this point.

Dan Levy: Well, this is the Call to Action podcast. So we like to ask our guest to leave us with a little bit of a CTA of sorts. What advice would you give to other content marketers or whatever you want to call us, who would like to shake up our content strategies but might be scared of sacrificing traffic in the process?

Kevan Lee: Is it cheating to choose two calls to action? I don’t know, that’s probably bad practice to have two.

Dan Levy: Not advised on a landing page but for a podcast I think we’ll let it slip.

Kevan Lee: Awesome – maybe like a high-level one and then a detailed one. So, like, from the high-level, I think what was really meaningful to us was this freedom and flexibility to have an experiment and to just go out and do it. So if there is something that you are thinking of and have been wanting to try – I know this might sound a bit cliché – but there’s no time like the present to try it and just to do it. And from my experience, I think even if you are not sure what kind of results you will see from it, the big result is that you will learn something and often times that is maybe the biggest result of all, like bigger than traffic and conversions and all the other stuff that you might measure. It’s just a chance to learn from doing that.

Dan Levy: We learn more from failed experiments often than we do from ones that succeed.

Kevan Lee: Exactly, yeah. Was it Michael Jordan said, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take?” Or something like that?

Dan Levy: Gretzky.

Kevan Lee: No that was Wayne Gretzky or something but.

Dan Levy: Yeah, was one of those guys.

Kevan Lee: One of those guys. Yeah, and we think about that a lot at Buffer in terms of just doing things.

The second one would be – and I feel like it is a practical one – if you can find a piece of content that is really popular on your site and being highly validated data in terms of social shares or traffic, go ahead and spend 15 minutes and turn it into a Slideshare. And share it on Slideshare and stick it to the top of the post and just kinda see what happens. So that might be a quick win if anyone is curious in trying that out.

Dan Levy: Awesome, that’s such great advice and there’s so many other super smart tactics embedded in that post. So I encourage people to check it out. But I thank you so much Kevan for taking the time to chat today. I really appreciate it.

Kevan Lee: Yeah this has been so great, thanks for the invitation and the chance to share from our side.

Stephanie Saretsky: That was Kevan Lee, Content Crafter at Buffer. To read more details about Buffer’s publishing experiment, visit the show notes at unbounce.com/podcast. Have you tried any wild experiments recently that you think we should know about? If so, email us at podcast@unbounce.com, we’d love to hear about what you’re testing.

That’s your Call to Action, thanks for listening!

Transcript by GMR Transcription.


Original article:  

What Happened When Buffer Stopped Publishing for 30 Days? [PODCAST]

We Hate Autoplay Too: 3 Experts on Landing Page Video Best Practices

Autoplay video seems to be growing in popularity, despite unanimously being seen as a real pain in the butt. We’ve all scrambled red-faced for the mute button at one time or another, and we know first-hand that it flat out annoying – and even embarrassing.

autoplay-landing-page-video-650
This guy’s not a fan of your autoplay videos. Image source.

But does that embarrassment translate to a dip in conversions on your landing page?

We asked three landing page video experts this question, along with other questions to help you make the most of your investment in a landing page video. Here’s the advice they shared.

Spoiler: the first five seconds of your video are more important than you may think.

What can video do that text can’t?

Let’s start at the beginning: why video?

We all know that many landing page visitors are skimmers, glancing over text and images to get a quick sense of your unique value proposition. Why would we ask our users to spend an additional minute or two watching a video?

Videos are the most powerful means of communication.

That’s from Maneesh Garg, Digital Marketing Manager at video production company Broadcast2World.

As he explained, when your users watch a video, they get so much more information than they would by simply reading text. They get:

  • A visual understanding of your product.
  • An emotional connection to your company through video components like color and music.
  • The opportunity to learn aurally—according to the University of Alabama at Birmingham, 30 percent of the population understands and retains information better by listening than by reading.

There’s one more big benefit of using video on your landing page, and we’ll let Sarah Nochimowski, Marketing Manager at ecommerce video platform Treepodia, explain it:

Video acts as a stand-in for a real salesperson, filling the void created in the online world by disconnecting from a physical store. This results in sales conversion increases.

In other words:


Adding a video to your landing page is like adding a salesperson.
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Take a look at this explainer video from Tapinfluence. It has a friendly, personable salesperson acting as your guide, along with a walkthrough that’ll give you a visual understanding of the product:

That’s what a landing page video can do that text can’t. Are you ready to learn more?

What is the ideal video length?

“We recommend 30-second videos,” Nochimowski told me.

She cited a statistic from The New York Times/Visible Measures that indicated 80 percent of users stop watching video after the first 10 seconds, and 44 percent stop watching after 60 seconds.

This basically means that it’s crucial to pack the first few seconds of the video with your critical messaging.

“The first five seconds are crucial enough for people to decide if they want to proceed further or not,” Garg went on to explain. “If you make the first five seconds of your video interesting, it’s very likely that most people will watch your video all the way to the end and take further action, which you want them to do through your call to action.”

Here’s an example of a landing page video that Broadcast2Video created for LockerGenie. Pay close attention to the first five seconds:

Not only do they hook you by describing a relatable pain point in great detail, but the five-second mark ends right as the cartoon man is running across the screen with an armful of laundry.

You want to know what’s going to happen to him, right? That’s audience investment — you’re curious about what’s going to happen next, and you are putting emotional stakes into this cartoon man’s journey.

Broadcast2Video and LockerGenie used the first five seconds of this video to relate to prospects and then build investment in the story to keep ‘em watching.

Should landing page videos autoplay?

Who among us hasn’t lunged for our headphone jack or mute button after opening a page that contains an unexpected autoplay video? Well, it turns out that neither of our experts recommend autoplay video as a way to drive conversion. Nochimowski explained:

This can be perceived as aggressive to the user.

Garg added, “I believe that anything which is pushed on users irritates them and make them suspicious about your product or service.”

What’s the best solution? Nochimowski suggests that “the best is to have a prominent play button displayed on the landing pages (above the fold, for example).”

Garg agrees, with a caveat:

Ultimately, the only way to decide if your video should play automatically is to A/B test two versions of your video landing page; one with an auto-play video and another that gives users control over landing page elements like video.

Conversion optimization blog ConversionXL suggests that Facebook and Twitter’s recent adoption of autoplay video might prime your users to be more accepting of autoplay.

Video production company Basetwo Media reminds us that Facebook and Twitter often use silent autoplay video (that is, the user sees the video play automatically but has to manually activate the sound), which is one more option for you to consider — and test!

Here’s one more video data point for you: Treepodia’s research states that adding a play icon to your video boosts video views by up to 100 percent. So if you decide against autoplay, make sure your prospects know they’re supposed to press play.

Is it better to use animation or live action?

In our experience, when used on landing pages, animated videos convert significantly higher than live-action videos,” Garg told me. “Animation is simply more conducive to helping your target audience understand your brand, product, or idea, which is why explainer videos are so successful.”

What can animation do that live action can’t? Garg explained that animation helps you communicate ideas with “simplicity and the right emotions.” He also notes that animation is often best for introducing users to a new, abstract topic.

Check out how user analytics company CrazyEgg uses simple animations and lighthearted emotional pull to explain how heatmaps work:

Does animation always outperform live-action?

As with autoplay video, you’ll never know until you test it.

As Nochimowski puts it:

We create animated videos but we also give our clients the option to upload full-production videos and let them be A/B tested one against the other. Results vary; sometimes the smallest detail can make the difference.

Don’t forget the hero shot

“When buying products, users want information about the product and how to use it. I believe it needs to be the most practical and useful as possible,” Nochimowski stated.

Unbounce’s Oli Gardner calls this the hero shot:

A visual representation of your offer that demonstrates how your product or service actually works so your prospects can picture themselves using it.

Here’s a video from Screenr that shows the hero shot in action:

After watching that video, you can picture yourself using Screenr, right? You can picture exactly how using it will help solve your screencasting woes. That’s why the hero shot works.

As Unbounce’s Oli Gardner put it:


Your hero shot should sell the hell out of your product. Make it clear & dominant.
Click To Tweet


Add video, increase conversion

If you aren’t yet sold on the idea of adding landing page video to your website, here’s one more fact for you, from Treepodia: according to an Adobe Digital Report, 61 percent of businesses indicate online video as their top sales converter.

So now you know why landing page video works and you have tips to help you craft an effective landing page video of your own.

Are you ready to start thinking about adding video to your landing pages? If not, it’s time to read this article again — or maybe we should have made it into a 30-second video!

Originally from:  

We Hate Autoplay Too: 3 Experts on Landing Page Video Best Practices

An Ex-Google Employee on How to Get the Most from Your AdWords Account Manager

If you’re marketing your business with Google AdWords, chances are good that you receive 100 calls a week from people telling you how they can transform your business by managing your AdWords account.

You’ve probably received so many of these calls that you’ve thought about smashing your phone into a million pieces, flying to Tahiti and forgetting this whole advertising thing ever happened.

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I’m going to let you in on a little secret. While the majority of these calls are not worth your time, you’re most likely screening one or two that will actually help you truly transform your business. The best part? These calls will cost you nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

This may be a good time to let you know that I was once the person responsible for making these crazy phone calls. As an Account Manager on the AdWords team at Google, I helped thousands of businesses better understand their digital advertising (for free). This post will highlight what to expect after getting in touch with your Google AdWords Account Manager, and the tips and tricks you can use to make the best use of your time with them.

Let’s dive in.

Is this really Google?

Hands down, the most common question I would get from advertisers was, “Is this really Google?” To be honest, it’s really the best first question you can ask. You wouldn’t randomly expose sensitive bank account information to a stranger on the phone, and you should be equally as careful with your AdWords account data

There are two really good ways for your Account Manager to prove they are who they say they are. The first way is to ask them to confirm your unique Customer ID (CID) number. You can find this number on the top right hand side of your AdWords dashboard.

CIDScreenShot

The second way to confirm that your Account Manager actually works at Google is to have them send you an email from their corporate email account. All emails from Google employees will come from a “xyz123@google.com” email address.

Okay Google, how can you help me?

Now that you know the person you’re talking to actually works for Google, we can dig into the meat and potatoes of the phone call. A typical call with an Account Manager will last for a strict hour, no more and no less, and will cover three specific sections: review, build and optimize. Let’s dig a little deeper into these.

1. Review

Expect to spend the first 30 minutes of your call chatting about your business, your goals for AdWords and reviewing the existing data in your account.

The advertisers that get the most value out of these conversations all take a similar approach to this section of the call. Here are some things they all have in common:

  • They take notes: Make sure you take notes throughout the call. This will help you review the results from the changes you made during your next meeting.
  • They ask questions: Dig into why some campaigns are performing well and others are performing terribly. This will help spark ideas for the optimization section of the call.
  • They follow up later: Be sure to get your Manager’s contact information within the first five minutes of your conversation. Most people don’t take advantage of a follow-up call, but it is the best way to see the results from your optimization efforts.

It’s important to note that Google Account Managers work with advertisers at varying skill levels. This means they will try to get a feel for your savviness within the first few minutes of the call. The best way to avoid this little dance is to simply explain the improvements to your account you’re trying to achieve during the conversation.

Most Managers have good lie detectors, so don’t ask for advanced tools and beta access if you don’t know how to enable Sitelinks or adjust your mobile bids.

2. Optimize

Once your Manager has a good understanding of your business and what you’re trying to accomplish with AdWords, you can begin to work together to optimize your campaigns. This is the most valuable time you will spend with your Manager — I would highly recommend spending at least 20 minutes optimizing.

Your Manager will have some suggestions on what needs to be tweaked, so don’t freak out if you come to the conversation with little direction. If you want a little more control over the call, below is a cheat sheet of things you should have them walk you through. These areas, when optimized, will help you save money and see a better ROI over time.

  • Search Terms Report
  • Auction Insights Report
  • Bid Adjustment via Device
  • Bid Adjustment via Location
  • Bid Adjustment via Day of the Week
  • Keywords Page / Bid Optimization
  • Conversion Tracking
SearchTermsScreenShot
The location of the Search Terms and Auction Insights report.

Listen to the optimization suggestions your Manager gives you, but don’t take their word as gospel. Not all Managers are created equal, even at Google. I highly suggest asking as many questions as you can before making any change in your account.

Understand why they are making the suggestion and have them sell you on why it’s the best fit for your business.

3. Build

The dirty little secret most Managers won’t tell you upfront is that they can rebuild any of your campaigns from the ground up to help increase performance. For free. Take advantage of this! It’s a good use of the last five minutes of your call, and is basically risk-free if you follow the instructions below:

  • Select the worst-performing campaign in your account
  • Tell your Manager that you want them to re-build that campaign for you
  • Discuss potential new strategies with your Manager
  • Take notes to outline the proposed changes
  • Tell the Manager you do not want the campaign to go live without your approval

It will take a couple of days for your Manager to build your new campaign from scratch, so it’s important to schedule a time to follow up. Make sure you have them walk you through the changes made. If everything looks good, pause the original campaign and enable the new campaign.

DisplayScreenShot

Run the new campaign for a four week test or until you achieve statistical significance. Once the test is over, compare your baseline metrics with your old campaign and continue using the campaign with the best performance.

What about those betas?

The coolest perk to take advantage of during your conversation with your Account Manager is gaining access to AdWords beta testing programs before everyone else.

Betas are new AdWords features that are not available to the public and are tested with a very small number of advertisers.

Various ad extensions, Gmail ads, and others have gone through some version of the beta program.

There are a few boxes you need to check off to gain access to new betas:

  • Make sure you stay in contact with your Account Manager
  • Tell them you are interested in experimenting with new betas
  • Give them a reason why your business is a good fit for the specific beta you’re interested in exploring
  • Have a “healthy” test budget to spend on the beta

While there is no hard number that indicates a “healthy” test budget, $500-$1000 in spend per day should get you through the threshold. Also note that some betas have firm restrictions that you must meet to gain access, such as vertical limitations or a minimum spend required. Work with your Account Manager to ensure a mutually beneficial fit.

What if I don’t get a call from a Manager?

Although working with a dedicated Account Manager is beneficial for all the reasons mentioned above, you shouldn’t freak out if you don’t get a call from Google. At the end of the day, there aren’t enough Account Managers to cover the entire playing field of AdWords advertisers.

Good news is, you’re not totally out of luck. Google has a team of Managers that are responsible for handling inbound account inquiries, optimization requests and all of the other things mentioned in this post. You can contact them at 1-866-2Google, but be warned, wait times can creep into the 15-20 minute range during busy times of the day.

Let’s do this

Now that you have a clearer understanding of your relationship between your business, your ads and your Google support team, it’s time to get on the phone and start getting some of those burning questions answered. Remember, as your campaigns grow over time, you want to exhaust Google’s resources to optimize your ad dollars.

If you have stories to share about your AdWords Manager or have questions about advertising with Adwords, feel free to tee me up in the comments below!


More:

An Ex-Google Employee on How to Get the Most from Your AdWords Account Manager

Clicks Are People: 3 Tactics For Creating More Human-Centered Marketing

Every marketer has goals, whether for their latest campaign or for the quarter.

“Get me 30x the clicks/impressions/conversions!” is a phrase I’m betting a lot of you have heard from a dictator director of some kind, and the struggle is real when you want to deliver.

But when you’re heads down trying to score more clicks or conversions, it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture:

That a real person is behind every click, sign up, social share and conversion.

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Behind every click and every conversion, there’s a living, breathing stock image model. Image source.

We often forget about the people that are interacting with our pages, our products, our brand. If you’re feeling any frustration at all with the numbers you’re seeing in your analytics, it could be because you’re focusing too much on the medium (sign-ups on your landing page form) rather than the people actually filling out that form.

When I attended MozCon several weeks ago, this theme kept cropping up in the presentations: we have to go back to basics a bit to create better marketing experiences for the consumer, because that’s what affects our bottom line.

The more you get to know your audience and create content targeted specifically at them, the more you’ll see your metrics rise as a result.

As speaker Wil Reynolds put it:

Clicks are people.

To help us re-imagine our relationship with our users and create better marketing experiences for them, three tactics from the MozCon presentations stood out for me: developing a solid brand strategy, optimizing for search and personalization.

What do each of those entail? Let’s dig in.

1. Develop a brand strategy to guide your campaigns

CEO of Digital Marketing Agency Kick Point Dana DiTomaso said it best:

Good marketing just feels right.

In other words, good marketing is cohesive, relatable and prompts people to make decisions without having to think too hard about it.

But how can marketers weave this sort of effortlessness into each and every marketing campaign they run? According to Dana, a solid brand strategy goes a long way.

As she explained, a brand strategy is the culmination of a brand’s core values, art direction and customer personas outlined in one central document — a document that acts as a company’s moral compass.

This strategy should guide and affect all efforts of the business and, in particular, a brand’s marketing efforts.

Dana explained that you have to go beyond logos, brand colors and email headers. You have to think of your brand as a person, and have conversations with everyone in your organization (not just the marketers) about what kind of characteristics this person has.

The three key ingredients of a brand marketing strategy

There are three things Dana emphasized when building this kind of brand strategy for your business:

  1. Keep it as simple as possible
  2. Keep it consistent across all channels (online and offline)
  3. Make it a living, breathing document that is a true expression of your company (and reflects your company’s core values)

With your new brand strategy to guide you, you’re sure to create more cohesive, enchanting marketing for your prospects – the people behind every click.

2. Optimize for search engines and people

In his presentation, Wil Reynolds pointed out that focusing on the overarching experience you provide to your prospects has has an added bonus: when you’re concerned with people, their decision making processes and what makes them tick, you’re mastering a skill set that can’t be disrupted.

New Google algorithms are constantly being released, and people are always dreaming up new methods for acquiring traffic — these things can and will change constantly. What won’t change is the fact that people are behind every click that contributes to your company’s bottom line.

As Wil explained, when you understand who your audience is, what they want — and most importantly — why they convert, you have an un-disruptively valuable skill.

And no Google algorithm update can change that.

As the Wizard of Moz himself Rand Fishkin explained, at the end of the day it’s all about balance. Whether we’re creating content, web pages or running a marketing campaign, we need to optimize for search engines and people.

He explained this in terms of the “two algorithm world:”

  1. Algorithm 1: Google’s input
  2. Algorithm 2: Subset of humanity that interacts with your content

Focus on the algorithm input too closely, and you’re creating bad marketing experiences for people. Focus too closely on the experience you’re providing people, and they won’t be able to find you in Google to begin with.

Finding the balance between algorithm input and human input is no easy feat, but if you can find that sweet spot, you’ll be flying high.

3. Segment and personalize your content

Every piece of content you put online needs to be directed at someone. I’m talking someone specific. So specific that you should be able to picture that person’s face.

Many of the MozCon presentations placed huge emphasis on creating relevant, timely, personalized content. Content Strategist Kristina Halvorson had one of the best quotes on this topic when she said:

If your content is for everybody, then it really is for nobody.

Deep, huh? But she’s totally right.

Content for the sake of content just piles up and eventually dies on the vine. Kristina (and many others) called for a well-rounded content strategy that takes into account both the company’s goals and those of the audience — or a multitude of audiences.

Cara Harshman, Content Marketing Manager at Optimizely, agreed with Kristina’s point:

one-size-web
Image via Cara Harshman’s MozCon presentation.

She proposed a three-tiered framework for personalizing content, to help you guide your efforts and make sure that you’re delivering engaging content to real individuals who actually exist:

Cara’s framework for personalization involved three things:

  1. Who to target: Slice your audience into unique segments. We have so much data that we can pinpoint the even the most particular of people. Look at contextual (where are they coming from?), demographic (things you innately know to be true about your audience) and behavioral (interactions those people have had with your product/site) data to pick out a well-rounded segment of people to talk to.
  2. What to show them: What are you showing the unique person that you’re targeting? Will they find it relevant to their interests? Are you sure? Put extra effort into researching exactly who your segment of people are and provide a delightful marketing experience for them.
  3. How to prioritize: How do you decide where to start? It comes down to three major things: potential business impact, technical effort to execute and the requirements needed to sustain it. Remember not to slice your audience too thin or else personalizing for lots of really small audiences will take way more effort than it’s worth.

To circle back for a second, the best way to be personal (without being creepy) is to stay true to your company’s brand strategy and core values. If your marketing stays true to what you stand for, your marketing will feel good — and this creates marketing experiences customers can get behind.

You can dive deeper into Cara’s presentation (and that of others) by checking out the comprehensive notes that Unbounce took at MozCon.

Now go forth and spread good marketing

There are people behind every single marketing action you take. You are not affecting the numbers, you’re affecting users who are interacting with your product and your brand. What do you want them to know? What makes them tick? What do they need from you in order to take action?

None of those questions can be answered without a little hard work and risk taking, but it’s all in the name of creating better marketing experiences.

So disrupt your current workflow and start the conversation about what you stand for and who you’re producing content for.

Your marketing will thank you.

PSST. If you want to take the first step towards disrupting your marketing for the better, join us for the Call to Action Conference in September, right here in beautiful Vancouver. I’d love talk shop with y’all!


This article is from: 

Clicks Are People: 3 Tactics For Creating More Human-Centered Marketing

Here’s the Marketing Strategy Brief Unbounce Uses for Every Campaign

unbounce-campaign-strategy-650

When you have a small team, running marketing campaigns is relatively smooth. The right hand always knows what the left hand is doing, communication comes easily and bottlenecks are few and far between.

But as marketing teams grow, things can get rough (to say the least).

As Director of Campaign Strategy at Unbounce, I’ve experienced this first-hand. The company has grown five times over since I started, and now, it’s not uncommon to have up to 20 people contributing to a single campaign.

And while this significantly increases the potential of any campaign, it makes strong communication and process so much more important. With so many people involved, it’s dangerously easy to waste people’s time and create mediocre work that lacks a single vision.

Below, I’m dissecting the process I use to create a campaign with a large team of people: the tools and processes that are critical for making sure everyone’s on the same page and has the information they need to make smart decisions.

These are the elements that will help you run smooth and efficient marketing campaigns that bring the sort of results that will make your boss proud (or your client happy).

Start by defining roles

Before anything else, it’s important to identify people’s roles in a campaign.

Campaign ideas can come from anywhere. In my experience, the person who has the idea (we call them the Champion) should be involved in the whole process, though they’re not necessarily doing much work.

If you’re the Champion and you’re not involved throughout, it’s like you had a baby, cared for it for a year, planned their life out in your mind, then put it up for adoption. It’s rare that the baby’s life will turn out just how you imagined. If you had just hired a nanny instead, you could explain the general idea, trust the nanny to make good decisions and watch your baby grow up and become the ESports celebrity you always dreamed of while you sit back drinking piña coladas and reaping the rewards of internet fame.

…Anyway, along with the Champion, we’ve identified five main roles that exist in almost all of our campaigns:

Role Definition
Champion Responsible for the success of the campaign, including the brief (objective, audience, value prop) and the strategy that comes from the brief (usually, with help from the Architect).
Artist Responsible for the quality of the thing being marketed (ebook, partnership, webinar).
Architect Responsible for consulting on strategy, then squeezing all the marketing opportunity out of the campaign through the tactics chosen.
Expert(s) Responsible for the excellence of each individual tactic and contributing to the strategy if the Architect needs their help.
Stakeholder(s) Responsible for ensuring the piece the Artist created is in line with the overall marketing strategy.

At the end of a campaign, the Champion should be able to make the decision of whether to:

  • Stop doing all the tactics
  • Optimize: cut or change some activities and turn the campaign into an ongoing activity
  • Double down: optimize and invest even more resources

Without pre-defined roles, it’s unclear who is responsible for the success of the project. People tend to feel less accountable, and making a call about the success of the campaign becomes much more complicated when it’s muddled with all other types of efficiency problems.

Determine the targets and messaging

For every campaign, there’s usually “a thing” to be marketed. A new feature, an ebook, a partnership, whatever. When thinking about that thing, there are a few very important questions you’ll want to ask.

These questions will help you begin to draft messaging for your landing pages, social and email marketing, but they’ll also help you create laser-focused campaigns targeted at real people with real problems that need solving:

  1. Who does this solve a problem for? Alternatively, who does this present an opportunity for?
  2. Who are the types of people (buyer personas) the thing you’re marketing solves a problem for/presents a significant opportunity for?
  3. What is the specific problem you’re solving or opportunity you’re opening up for that person?
  4. What will that person’s life look like after they use your thing? (This will be your value proposition.)
  5. Which pains that you’re easing are the most painful? Which opportunities are the most significant?

Each one of the pains/opportunities you pick out for #5 represents its own campaign.

If you have a ton of resources and the thing you’re marketing is monumental, you may choose to do many campaigns. If not, you may choose only the best one.

You’ll need a campaign brief to communicate the goal, strategy and messaging of the campaign internally to the people you need help from (whether it’s stakeholders, specialists like your PPC or email person, or the creative department).

If you’re all on a journey together, the brief’s the map.

PSST. We’re giving away the campaign brief template that Unbounce uses. Scroll to the end of this post to get it.

Determine the objective

For each campaign you run, you should have an objective that every piece of that campaign is working toward.

In other words, what happens when someone clicks the button on your campaign landing page? Often, depending on the type of campaign, there will just be one or two objectives that are a better fit. Some typical examples:

  • Social contest, event sponsorship – Branding
  • Ebook, ecourse, whitepaper, blog contest, comarketing with a partner – New leads
  • New feature launch, seasonal promotion – New customers

At Unbounce, almost all of our campaigns fall into one of those three metrics.

Selecting a single objective is extremely important, because so many decisions will be based on trade-offs.

For example, if you’re planning to write a specific content piece and your goal is branding, you’ll likely want write it as a series of blog articles and leverage SEO as much as possible. But if it’s a lead gen play, you may decide to format it in a PDF and collect email addresses before people can download the PDF.

Determine the strategy

The word “strategy” has become a catch-all for a lot of things. Nobody seems to know exactly what it means anymore.

I think of strategy as “the general idea of how you’re going to communicate the message to the target, then get them to carry out the objective.” It should be able to be summed up in a few sentences at most.

For example, a bunch of strategies for a feature launch targeting account strategists at marketing agencies might be:

  • Get to account strategists by targeting the companies they’re working for. Encourage the clients to tell their account strategists to tell their clients they need our newest feature.
  • Ask our customers to reach out to all the account strategists they know and convince them to try our newest feature.
  • Target account strategists broadly and get them to sign up for a free plan, where we’ll educate them until they upgrade.
  • Target the most valuable account strategists in a very focused way that invites them to a one-on-one demo of the product and our new feature. Shower them with gifts so they love us.

There’s no need to mention the specific way you’ll accomplish any of these things. It’s meant to be a general approach that you and your team can keep in mind while you’re deciding on the tactics you’ll employ and how to execute those tactics.

If one person thinks we’re getting to account strategists through their clients and another thinks we’re just speaking to them directly, you’ve got a disaster on your hands.

Determine the tactics

If your landing page is the hub of your campaign (and it should be), your tactics are your spokes. They’re how you’ll get the target of your campaign (the tire?) to complete the objective (the chain that attaches to the hub?) …I don’t know, this metaphor’s falling apart fast.

Put simply, the tactics are simply a description of the ways you’ll use (or omit) the channels at your disposal to execute the strategy.

Only when you’ve put in the mental effort to decide on your objective and your plan of attack (strategy) should you lock in your tactics. If either the objective or the strategy were to change, all your tactics should reflect that change.

I take four steps to finalize the tactics:

  1. Run through all the channels I think should be used and if I have an opinion on how they should be used, I write it down. We’ve made a list of all the channels at our disposal and how they can be used. If you don’t have one, I highly recommend making one.
  2. I then email the specialists for each channel, give them the objective, messaging and strategy for the campaign and ask them something along the lines of “I’d like to use your channel in this campaign. I thought the best way to drive people to our landing page would be to ______, but if you have a better idea, I’d love to hear your recommendation.”
  3. When I get all those recommendations back, I challenge the person a little to make sure they’ve really thought it through, then when we’re both confident that their recommendation is the best way to drive people to our landing page, I add it to the brief.
  4. I then map out the entire plan on a whiteboard, identify all the points where a conversion will take place and consider ways that we could execute the tactics (or include additional tactics) in a delightful way that would catch the target off-guard and make them more likely to convert. This might happen solo, in collaboration with the experts or in a brainstorm.

Congratulations, you’ve now figured out exactly how you’ll use everyone in your team to work toward a common goal. But wait… there’s more.

Estimate results and effort

Only when you’ve determined your tactics do you understand the scope of your project and the potential results.

We estimate scope using a points system. Depending on the complexity of a campaign, we rate it 1, 2, 3, 5 or 8. We use the Fibonacci sequence because a campaign that’s HUGE in scope (8) would be much more work than a big campaign (5), not just 25% bigger.

To estimate the results of a campaign, we plug all our tactics into a spreadsheet, identify all the points of conversion for each tactic on the way to the objective and estimate those conversion rates.

campaign-estimate-spreadsheet
A sneak preview of the campaign estimate spreadsheet that Unbounce uses. Grab it here.

The result should be the number of [the metric tied to your objective]’s you think you’ll get. Plug your final estimate into the “target” section of the brief.

That estimate will come in handy at the end of the campaign when you need to decide whether to cut, optimize or double-down in the future. If you blow away your estimated results, double-down.

Then pitch it… and get to work

An often-overlooked part of the process is pitching the idea back to those you need help from.

By inviting everyone you need in the project into a single meeting and pitching the campaign like a business pitch (“there’s X opportunity and I have a plan to capture it”), you have the ability to excite your team and get them on board. Run them through the brief starting from a zoomed out view to explain how everyone fits into the plan:

Messaging -> Objective -> Target -> Strategy -> Tactics

If everyone leaves the meeting enthusiastic and invested in the journey they’re all embarking on, they’ll do better work.

Pro tip: Present the plan to your stakeholders (who are usually your bosses) before this big meeting. If you come into the pitch with your head honchos backing you, you further reduce the chance of the meeting going sideways.

Then all you have to do is execute the damn thing!

To help you get there, we’re sharing the campaign brief template that Unbounce uses. Enter your email below and it’s yours to steal. :)

See the original post: 

Here’s the Marketing Strategy Brief Unbounce Uses for Every Campaign