Here’s 5 Smart Ways to Plan Your E-commerce Sales Promotion

Ready for your next sales promotion?

For some ecommerce teams, it’s a time-consuming task deciding which items to markdown and how to publicize a sales event. However, sales promotions play an integral role in attracting customers.

A survey found that up to 50% of consumers make a purchase only with a promotion. Shoppers desire a good deal before they invest in your products. Moreover, your business may want the additional revenue.

“Sales promotions can give you the edge you’re looking for when it comes to revenue. Successful companies know that sales promotions are among the most effective methods of increasing sales and building customer satisfaction,” writes Emily Weisberg, content marketing manager at ThriveHive.

Take a strategic approach when planning your sales promotions. Below are five smart ways to help your team.

1. Select Specific Incentives

Sales promotions take various shapes and forms. Cater your incentives to fit your consumers’ needs.

Start by using customer analytics. Historical purchasing habits can uncover what promotions performed well. Social media comments also provide first-hand details on whether customers possess interest.

Next, match your findings with a sales initiative. From mystery discounts to purchased-based donations to bundle sales, several options exist.

Monetate “found that 56% of businesses agree that flash-sale campaigns are better received than regular campaigns.” Limiting the timeframe creates urgency for the customer to act now.

12-hour-flash-sale-ad(Image Source)

Thinking about free offers? PaySimple’s Vice President of Knowledge Lisa Hephner explains the power of free incentives:

“Everyone loves free. Whether it’s free gifts, free refills, or free service segments, free sells. One of the most powerful free offers is free shipping for online orders, as evidenced by multiple studies where respondents highlight it as the most important factor in making a purchase decision.”

Figure out the best promotions for your customers. Review your data before moving forward.

2. Cross-Sell With a Purpose

Every sales promotion doesn’t need to involve discounting your signature product. Instead, it can focus on secondary items.

Cross-selling is another opportunity to provide value to your customers. Buyers love convenience, and they want to save time shopping at one place. And it eliminates the hassle of sifting through multiple ecommerce sites.

Align your promotions with products that complement one another. Give consumers the chance to buy everything they need from your store.

“Savvy marketers use this concept to increase sales by informing consumers how one product complements another. Cross selling can take several forms. Understanding your customers’ motivations helps you choose which approach to take,” says Sara Huter, a contributor at BusinessBee.

For example, if your company sells cell phones, your team can offer a promotion on the accessories, like bluetooth earbuds, phone cases, or charging cables.

buy-cow-buy-haystack(Image Source)

Research found that “cross-selling was shown to be much more effective when presented on the checkout pages versus the product pages.” So, add images of promotional products in the sidebar menu.

suggestive-selling-zappos

Here’s another example of cross-selling taking place immediately after a customer adds an item to their cart:

cross-selling-after-cart-add

Plus, cross-selling aids with bringing in more cash flow for your business. Amazon credits up to 35% of its revenue to cross-selling.

Think differently about ecommerce sales promotions. Don’t remove cross-selling from your list of possibilities.

3. Microtarget Your Customers

Micro-targeting isn’t a new technique to your team. Nevertheless, you may be failing to put it into practice.

Segmenting your audience lets your business offer the right promotions to the right individuals. Customization speaks directly to consumers-signaling that you know exactly what they need.

Melissa Jenkins of Mel Jens Designs believes “running a successful promotion is all about finding that delicate balance between audience segmentation, great timing and setting the perfect price or placing the perfect offer.”

Examine your data to segment properly. Try geographical locations, buying habits, income levels, or even past purchasing behavior.

Dealers United Auto Group created mock ads targeted for car shoppers within 25 miles of the dealership that possess an interest in pets. Specificity is vital for effective micro targeting.

dealers-auto-group-micro-targeting(Image Source)

A study reveals that 51% of marketers believe sharing data across their organizations is a major issue. Avoid data limitations that will hinder segmentation for your sales promotions.

Create an open dialogue across departments to gather all data about your customers. You’ll have more knowledge to build an accurate buyer persona.

Pinpoint who needs to know about your sales event. Micro-targeting is a benefit to your company.

4. Hype Up Engagement

Draw attention to your sales promotions with social media and email campaigns. This extra engagement will get people interested in your sales incentives.

Facebook users spend an average of 50 minutes a day on its multiple platforms. Work with your team to promote sales on your social pages. Or even enlist the help of industry influencers to spread the word.

User-generated content (UGC) is also another way to lure shoppers toward your brand. An actual consumer enjoying your products authenticates your value to hesitated buyers.

“User-generated photos are a great way to generate social proof. Prospective customers see that your products are regularly being purchased people just like them, and feel more comfortable doing something that others are doing,” says Dan Wang, a content specialist at Shopify.

Big box retailer Target retweeted a post from loyal shoppers who made a funny video in one of its stores. Encourage customers to submit UGC of them unboxing your products.

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Also, keep your email subscribers in the loop about promotions. Craft engaging emails that explain the benefits, provide social proof, and use a distinct call-to-action.

“When it comes to creating a high-converting marketing offer email, the final piece of the puzzle is using a prominent call to action button. This is important because buttons make it clear to the reader what the next step is and encourage them to click-through,” states Aaron Beashel, director of demand generation at Campaign Monitor.

Shout your sales promotions from the rooftop. Get shoppers excited to participate.

5. Move Toward Customer Loyalty

Returning customers spend on average 67% more than first-time customers. Consider promotions as a pathway to retaining customers.

Give your customers an opportunity to discover your brand’s values and culture. Sign up shoppers for your weekly newsletter, or enroll them in your rewards program.

Customer loyalty centers around building worthwhile relationships. However, buyers may only be interested in your promotions.

“The use of sales promotions can be positively utilized in order to encourage brand loyalty and brand switching by companies. However, academic research suggests that consumers can become loyal to sales promotions rather than a brand,” states Zhorna Ali, a sales and marketing assistant at M3.

To avoid consumers from brand switching, companies must thoroughly personalize their sales promotions strategy. Focus on specific product categories to remain competitive within the market.

Rather than giving sales incentives to everyone, Bare Escentuals limits its promotions to its loyal fans called Beauty Insiders. In the example below, customers received three free items with any order.

trio-makeup-ad(Image Source)

Create plans to engage customers beyond your sales promotions. Earn their loyalty.

Prep for Sales Promotions

Planning for your next sales event involves lots of time and decision-making. You want to boost your revenue and satisfy customers.

Choose buyer-specific incentives that will attract people. Cross-sell products that complement one another. And think beyond the promotion by focusing on customer loyalty initiatives.

Upgrade your sales promotion. Prepare for it today.

About the Author: Shayla Price lives at the intersection of digital marketing, technology and social responsibility. Connect with her on Twitter @shaylaprice.

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Here’s 5 Smart Ways to Plan Your E-commerce Sales Promotion

Lawn Service Company Palm Beach Co | 561-307-9411 | Jupiter Lawn Care West Palm Beach

Lawn Service Company Palm Beach Co | 561-307-9411 | Jupiter Lawn Care West Palm Beach

visit our website: http://Broedelllandscaping.com Call: 561-307-9411 Lawn Maintenance Jupiter – West Palm Beach – Boca Raton Florida

 

Broedell Landscape is a full service landscaping company located in Palm Beach County, Florida.

 

Palm Beach County’s Reliable Lawn Maintenance Company

 

If you have yard, you probably want it to look good. Regular lawn maintenance is not an easy task. Landscaping requires hard work in the Florida heat and has to be done consistently. The endless need to keep your grass healthy and maintained can be challenging for busy schedules, definitely for homeowners who have a family and work full time jobs. If your agenda is full or if you just don’t feel like mowing your yard every week in the West Palm Beach heat, you’re going to want lawn cutting services to help. Broedell Landscape is a residential and commercial grass cutting services in Palm Beach. We take pride in the care of your yard and ensure it always looks great so you don’t have to.

 

Why Choose Broedell Landscape?

 

We have serviced the Palm Beach County FL area for 15 years and we have completed hundreds of highly rated commercial landscaping credential and residential landscape services, producing satisfied customers with positive reviews from Jupiter, west palm beach FL, and Boca Raton FL who continue to choose us for their lawn care needs. We can execute any kind of lawn service you may need. Our team offers reliable, cost effective services. We understand everyone’s lawn is different, and we will adapt to execute your specific tree cutting requirements. No Project is too big or too small.

 

The Best Lawn Mowing credentials

 

There are a lot of companies that offer landscaping service in the Palm Beach area. You might have hired one in the past and not been happy with the results. We offer a total lawn cleaning that takes care of your front and backyard with the most affordable pricing. We will adapt to your needs and make sure to have your yard looking the way you want it to. Many of our packages automatically send our team to your home or business on the right schedule; there’s no need to remind us! Ask for a free quote. Hire us for garden services worth bragging about, you’ll want to give us your best verified reviews with five stars!

 

Certified Professional Lawn Cutting Pros

 

During the hot West Palm Beach summers, lawns can be cut on a weekly schedule. Every job will be inspected on location for loose debris before we bsing moving and we always make sure we don’t damage valuable sprinkler heads. No lawn care job is complete without blowing any green clippings from sidewalks and driveways back into the grassy areas. Any sidewalks, tree lines, fence lines, beach walls, ocean walls, and bordered sections not accessible to mowers will be trimmed every week giving your property a well maintained look.

 

Rain Days

 

If the weather conditions prevent us from performing lawn care services on the date, we will reschedule your lawn mowing service as soon as the weather is under control.

 

Broedell Landscape is the #1 option for you with free estimates, affordable prices along with quality work, on time, and on budget. Our Landscaping business has over 15 years of expertise in the tree care business and is fully insured and is known for first class staff and safe work ethics. As a business that has been serving the Palm Beaches for several years, our longevity is a testament to our commitment to quality craftsmanship, customer service, and low costs.

 

 

 

Other searches that helped you find this video:

 

3 key things to look for when selecting a landscaping and lawn maintenance company in Palm Beach County Florida

 

 

Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BroedellLandscapeinc

 

Say hello on Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/100632457960191528951

 

Subscribe to our youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmbVMHPTlEEkufpLo1eeQfg

 

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Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/broedelllawn

 

More information about Landscaping and Lawn Care Services visit: http://www.scotts.com/smg/gosite/Scotts-v2/MyLawn

 

Broedell Landscaping

 

Lawn Service Company Palm Beach Co | 561-307-9411 | Jupiter Lawn Care West Palm Beach

How to Find Which Areas of Your Site Need A/B Testing

If you’re an online marketer running the majority of your A/B tests on your homepage, you’re missing out on a big opportunity. Don’t get me wrong. Running tests on your homepage is fine, but there are other areas of your site that likely need some optimization. And, with Kissmetrics, you can find them and even track your tests. Read on to see how it’s done…

Using the Funnel Report to Identify Roadblocks

Every SaaS and ecommerce website has a set of steps that each visitor needs to go through before they purchase. Your typical SaaS funnel may look like this:

  • Visited site
  • Signed up for a trial
  • Activated/used product
  • Credit card billed

Visitors may browse around after visiting the site (e.g., viewing pricing page, features page, about page, etc.), but viewing those pages is not necessary in order to complete signup.

Ecommerce funnels are a little different and may look like this:

  • Visited site
  • Viewed product
  • Added product to cart
  • Purchased product

Once a marketer views their funnel, they’ll clearly see where visitors drop off.

Let’s use the Kissmetrics Funnel Report for an example ecommerce site to identify where people are dropping off.

may-kissmetrics-funnel-report-ecommerce-example

We see two major drop-offs here. Only 33% of visitors who viewed a product added a product to their cart. And, of those 25,000 people, only 13% purchased a product. We can test both of these areas, but today we’ll test some ways to increase that 13% conversion rate.

The 25,000 people who added a product to their cart have shown interest in the product, like the price, and have indicated a desire to purchase. Our next step is to dig a little deeper into the purchase process.

Zoom in with Micro Funnels

Getting from adding a product to cart to purchasing involves quite a few steps for many ecommerce companies. It has a few variables as well.

For some ecommerce companies, visitors have to register for an account before they can purchase. Others let visitors complete their purchase first.

Current customers have an easier time. For them, the entire process is only about two steps, from proceeding to checkout to purchasing.

In our example, of the 25,000 people who added a product to their cart, some are registered customers and some are unregistered visitors. We’ll zoom in and focus on the new visitor checkout funnel. This funnel looks at how our new, unregistered visitors move from Added Product to Cart to Purchased Product.

zoomed-in-funnel-ecommerce-kissmetrics-may

This micro funnel makes it clear that the culprit is converting visitors from the cart page (Added Product to Cart) to Registered. After visitors convert to Registered, about half of them move to Confirmation, and then most of those people purchase.

We’ll start with the area that needs our attention the most. Our goal is to move more people from the cart page to Registered. Before we begin testing some variation pages, we’ll need to gather feedback from people in this area of our site.

Gathering Feedback before Testing

We can jump to dozens of conclusions about why our new visitors don’t move to Registered. They may not be ready to buy, don’t want to register, don’t know shipping costs, don’t feel safe buying from us, are unaware of the return policy, have questions but no one is available to answer, etc.

Instead of guessing what they’re thinking, let’s ask them.

Qualaroo provides one of the best platforms for quickly and easily gathering user feedback. You’ve probably seen them around the web. They’re those small boxes that appear in the bottom right of a page. Here’s how ours will look:

qualaroo-question

We’ll target the people who have at least one product in their cart, and place it on every page. We’ll wait until we have about 700+ responses and see if we can find trends in the feedback.

Now, let’s fast forward and get our feedback. The majority of responses say they don’t know the shipping costs and don’t want to register for an account if shipping costs are unreasonable.

Once we have this feedback, we can create a variation cart page that includes a shipping calculator.

Tracking the A/B Test

We’ll design the new page and launch it in a tool like Optimizely. The great thing about Kissmetrics is that we don’t have to leave it to track our tests. With the A/B Test Report, we create our test in an A/B testing platform (like Optimizely) and track the results within the Report.

So we’ve launched our new test and it has been running for a few weeks. Let’s check the results in the A/B Test Report.

Here’s the setup for the A/B Test. We’re tracking people who convert to Purchased Product. This is the real strength of the A/B Test Report – it allows you to test any part of your funnel. You aren’t limited to testing to the next conversion step.

cart-page-ecommerce-ab-test-kissmetrics

We’ll click Run Report and see which page won.

winning-variation-ab-test-report-kissmetrics

The variant page is a winner the entire way. It clearly performs better at delivering purchases than the original page, which did not have a shipping calculator. And, since we were testing for Purchased Product, we can confidently move forward and push the variant page to 100% of visitors.

Use Kissmetrics’s Engage to Increase Conversions

Engage lets marketers display triggered popups, nudges, and lightboxes that boost conversions. From now until January 2016, you can test-drive Engage as part of your Kissmetrics plan.

In addition to running A/B tests on areas of your site where you lose customers, you can also display an engagement.

For example, let’s say you’re an ecommerce site running a flash sale. To increase awareness of your sale, you display a lightbox that appears on all, or selected, URLs on your site. When visitors click on the lightbox, you can send them to the landing page detailing that flash sale. So you can improve conversions and sales with this lightbox. There’s nothing additional to install, and no code or design resources are needed. It’s all done in Kissmetrics.

Increase Your Success by Improving the Most Underperforming Areas

Here’s a recap of the main points:

  • Too many A/B tests are run on homepages.
  • To increase conversions, it’s important to find which areas of your site are underperforming, and run tests there.
  • Use the Funnel Report to find which parts of your funnel are underperforming.
  • Create a test in your favorite tool and track the results in the Kissmetrics A/B Test Report.
  • Use Engage to create popups, nudges, and lightboxes to boost conversions.

Demo

Want to know more about the Funnel Report and the A/B Test Report? Just watch the short videos below, starting with the Funnel Report.

//fast.wistia.net/embed/iframe/apnuygikma?videoFoam=true

Test any part of your funnel with the A/B Test Report.

//fast.wistia.net/embed/iframe/1k4ptzuox4?videoFoam=true

Move visitors to actions with Engage:

 

 

Sign up for a free 14-day trial to get your hands on the Funnel, A/B Test Reports, Engage, and our other suite of reports.

Want to explore Kissmetrics a little more before signing up? No problem. We’ve set up a Demo site where you can poke around and see how Kissmetrics benefits both SaaS and ecommerce businesses. Better yet, request a personal demo to see how Kissmetrics can work for your business.

About the Author: Zach Bulygo (Twitter) is a Content Writer for Kissmetrics.

How to Find Which Areas of Your Site Need A/B Testing

You Cannes Do It! Award-Winning Ideas to Steal for Your Next Campaign

Cover-Cannes
The cool cats of Newcastle Brown Ale’s Cannes Lions-winning campaign.

Looking for creative marketing campaign ideas? What if I told you that there was a literal festival of creativity that celebrated the biggest and best marketing campaigns, and laid their secrets of success?

There is! It is, of course, the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. They recently announced the winners for 2015, and with the exception of a few breakout hits like the infamous ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, they are mostly huge in scope with a budget to match.

But you don’t need to lay down millions to run campaigns that are creative and effective.

Great ideas are great ideas, and you can make them work with any budget. So steal these lessons from the Cannes 2015 award winners, and make them a part of your next campaign.

Something for every screen

There used to be just two screens that you could expect to find your audience in front of: their television or their PC. The rise of laptops that could be used anywhere added a wrinkle to this framework, but the domination of mobile completely decimated it.

Because mobile devices can be used in so many places and situations it’s nearly impossible to guess a user’s context and mindset while using one.

The proliferation of mobile has been a sore spot for many traditional advertisers, who have failed to adapt to the new environment. Department store chain John Lewis, whose Christmas advertisements have become a major part of the holidays in the United Kingdom, deserves credit for evolving with the times.

John Lewis’ The Bear and the Hare campaign, launched in Christmas 2013, was ahead of its time even by 2015 standards — as one might hope with a total campaign budget of almost $11 million.

A video breaking down the details of the Bear and the Hare campaign.

The core of the Bear and the Hare campaign was a beautifully animated advertisement, unsurprisingly starring a bear and a hare. There was tie-in merchandise that completely sold out of stores.

One of the campaign’s most distinguishing traits is that it had something for every context — including every screen.

bear-and-the-hare
Image source: iMore

In addition to the advertisements on television (and, of course, YouTube), there were also tightly integrated social media campaigns, a single by Lily Allen, and a narrated ebook for tablets.

All of this ensured that John Lewis could keep fans engaged with its campaign no matter what type of device they were using.


Ensure your campaigns touch every context your audience could be in.

 

Click To Tweet

 


Give something for (almost) nothing

In a desperate bid to get their hashtags into our tweets, brands constantly ask customers to “share their story.” So clichéd is this call to action that a Tumblr exists solely to mock it.

But these stories are very rarely interesting, and aren’t your real concern; what you’re really after is the awareness generated by someone sharing your campaign with their social circle. So why not merely reward the act of sharing itself?

That’s what Lay’s did with their “Tweet to Eat” campaign, which involved them installing vending machine/video advertisement hybrids at various bus stops in the UK.

The video screens served as a window into a chamber in which British sportscaster Gary Lineker is trapped, alone with his copy of War and Peace, pleading for you to tweet so that he may bestow upon you a complimentary bag of chips.

tweet-to-eat
It’s just a little unsettling.

The participant gets to experience something novel and fun, gets a free bag of chips, and has an incentive to tell all her followers about the campaign. It’s a win for everyone.

This tactic doesn’t only apply to elaborate, physical experiences; you can leverage social sharing as a way to spread word about your gated content, while giving your audience a frictionless way of obtaining it. We’ve even done it on one of our own landing pages:

Tweet-to-Download

Presenting sharing as an option in alternative to something else is a win-win: you get the chance to reach someone who may have been unwilling to offer their email, and they tell their friends about your content, all while making a choice they feel good about.


Offering content in exchange for a tweet helps spread the word and build goodwill.

 

Click To Tweet

 


Mock the machine

In the internet age, with information flowing freely about all kinds of media, consumers have more awareness than ever about how advertising works and just how often they’re subjected to it. And they’re not super happy about it.

That’s why advertising that acknowledges its inherent inconvenience, or makes light of the advertising machine itself, has been winning the praise of shill-weary consumers.

Geico’s award-winning concept began with one universal truth: everyone hates pre-roll ads.

Even the most ardent marketers skip them, anxious to listen to the latest hot single, watch the news or have their endorphins set ablaze by the latest adorable animal.

So Geico crams the entire ad into those first five, infuriatingly unskippable seconds, and rubs it in your face: “You can’t skip this ad, because it’s already over.” But you know it cannot be so.

youtube-bar

You, humble dot with the red road in your rearview mirror, can see the expanse of grey highway ahead.

This accomplishes what most pre-roll ads could never hope to do: it convinces you to not skip the ad. And it rewards you for doing so, treating you to hilarious scenarios in which the ad’s characters freeze in place, while the world of the advertisement continues unabated around them.

A dog, unhindered by the social decorum of his masters, jumps onto the dining table and devours its bounty. A vacuum races away to an unknown frontier. And, uh, this:

By openly acknowledging the pain of pre-roll ads and delivering something that’s actually worth sticking around for, Geico is able to connect with an audience that would have otherwise rejected them without hesitation.

Mocking the world’s most reviled ad format is one thing, but what about taking on the biggest, most braggadocious advertising event of the year?

Heineken’s Newcastle Brown Ale — a brand whose prime demographic is probably really into the sportsball framed their If We Made It campaign around the absurdity of advertising during the Super Bowl.

Rather than run an ad during the big game, they designed a campaign around the ad they would have made, could they have afforded to. It was complete with summer blockbuster storyboards, scathing focus groups and Academy-award winning actress Anna Kendrick, pretending (or maybe not) to be livid over not appearing in an actual Super Bowl commercial.

They pulsed the snippets out through daily videos during the week leading up to the game, ensuring that the campaign had legs longer than its runtime.

The result is infinitely more memorable than yet another whiz-bang 30-second ad in a sea of whiz-bang 30 seconds ads.


Highlight the absurdity of advertising; there’s nothing your audience could empathize with more.

 

Click To Tweet

 


Master the art of interception

In addition to producing a genuinely funny campaign, Newcastle also managed to make themselves a part of the Super Bowl advertising conversation without actually having to run a Super Bowl ad.

But that’s not even the craziest story of Super Bowl advertising interception — Volvo managed to leverage their competitor’s advertisements as part of their own campaign.

Volvo wanted to get the word about their new XC60 model, but like Newcastle, couldn’t afford to run a Super Bowl ad of their own. But rather than creating a sprawling, hypothetical campaign, Volvo settled for something much simpler: a hashtag.

Volvo piggy-backed on their competitors’ Super Bowl ads with a simple proposition to the public: tweet #VolvoContest mentioning someone in your life who deserves the new Volvo, and they just might get it.

Except, you can only do it while a car commercial is airing during the big game. In Volvo’s own words, “When Lexus spent $4.5 million for this [Super Bowl ad], Twitter looked like this:”

volvo-twitter

The results spoke for themselves: up to 2,000 Tweets per minute, about Volvo, during other car companies’ ads. Awesome for Volvo and #volvocontest, which ended up trending nationally and globally during the #superbowl, and a big “ouch” for everyone else.

While Volvo took advantage of their competitors’ ad spots, it at least came up with its own hashtag. One of the more controversial methods of marketing interception is hashtag-jacking, which means co-opting an already-popular hashtag for your own use.

This is almost universally irritating and in poor taste, but there was at least one organization with a mission worthy of intercepting one of Instagram’s most popular hashtags, #nofilter, which is used when a photo has had no filter applied.

nofilter

This hashtag has been used on Instagram over 131 million times and Waves For Water — an organization whose mission is to get clean water to those in need — co-opted it for their NoFilter initiative.

Their campaign promises to implement one water filter in an area of need for every 1 million #nofilter uses on Instagram. Each filter is capable of producing 1 million gallons of clean water. 1 mention = 1 gallon.

Click here to view the embedded video.

For a cause this important, one is willing to overlook the modest crime of hashtag-jacking.


Draw attention to your campaign by making it a part of a much larger conversation. Tastefully.

 

Click To Tweet

 


“Context” is more important than “cost”

The shared thread between all of these campaigns?

It wasn’t just about great messaging or a killer value proposition. And despite the high production value of some of these campaigns, it wasn’t how about how much they spent, either. It was about finding novel ways to become a part of conversations and activities that their audiences were already engaged in, without seeming intrusive.

Now more than ever, marketing isn’t just about how much you can spend to get the word out — it’s about whether the word you’re spreading is interesting to anyone but yourself.

You Cannes Do It! Award-Winning Ideas to Steal for Your Next Campaign

How Brands Can Drive Results with Promoted Pinterest Pins

Pinterest has quickly become an important channel for many businesses that share visually compelling branded stories with their highly engaged audiences.

Originally, Pinterest was considered a more niche social network, but it has grown to encompass a larger demographic totaling nearly 50 million users in the United States alone. While its audience is still considerably smaller than the social behemoths of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, what Pinterest lacks in size, it more than makes up for in quality user engagement.

Members of the Pinterest community actively seek and publish their purchasing intentions by publicly pinning their favorite products, brands, and how-to-guides. This is very powerful information in the hands of seasoned marketing professionals.

In late 2013, Pinterest began experimenting with paid advertising campaigns for brands interested in boosting specific pinned content to larger and more targeted audiences. Promoted Pins (or sponsored pins) are managed on a CPC or cost-per-click basis, and campaigns are set with daily budget limitations and managed over a set period of time. This model doesn’t necessarily break the mold of what many marketers are familiar with, but the tactics used to successfully drive results with Promoted Pins are certainly unique.

So, now, let’s go step by step over exactly how to get started promoting your content through Pinterest. We’ll also discuss actionable techniques to increase your chances for success.

Benefits of Promoted Pins and How to Get Started

Unlike many other advertising networks such as Facebook and Twitter where written copy is typically the focus, Pinterest is almost exclusively a visual platform, and visual content is king. According to Content Marketing Institute, 86% of B2B marketers are, or will be, focused on creating visually compelling content now or within the next 12 months.

In addition to taking advantage of Pinterest to publish visual content in a native environment, marketers today can expand their content’s reach with Promoted Pins. This offers a unique opportunity to increase brand awareness, generate highly targeted customer traffic, and stand out on a network that has not yet become saturated with advertisements.

However, the Pinterest advertising network is not open season for any marketer to utilize. Businesses must first apply for a business account and then wait to be approved by Pinterest. This selection process helps Pinterest maintain a high quality user experience by allowing only advertisers with strong brand integrity to market to its audience.

This may seem like a hassle, especially since it can take up to a month to have a business account approved, but this exclusivity actually encourages marketers to play by the rules and create high quality content that matches Pinterest users’ interests. This also means that the ads served on the Pinterest network tend to perform very well.

Before getting started, brands should read Pinterest’s advertising guidelines, rules, and campaign principles to have a stronger idea of the content they should be promoting on the network.

pinterest-ad-principles

STEP 1: Register a Pinterest Business Account and Connect Your Website

In order to have access to all the Pinterest features that can help your business drive results, such as Promoted Pins and in-depth analytics, you’ll first need to join Pinterest as a business or, alternatively, convert a personal account. You won’t have access to advertising functions without doing this.

pinterest-business-account

Next, you’ll need to confirm your company website and link it to your business Pinterest account by adding a snippet of code into the tag of your website’s index.html page.

pinterest-website-confirmation

After successfully implementing this code, each of your pins will include a call-to-action link back to your website. This helps you track the effectiveness of your Pinterest content through analytics and serves as another call-to-action directing your customers to your products.

pinterest-website-confirmed

STEP 2: Design Visually Appealing Content That Spurs Action

Brands that are interested in driving results through Promoted Pins should focus heavily on creating and testing the most visually appealing content for their customers, since Pinterest has successfully grown around a visual foundation.

As with other social networks, it’s best to design content around concepts, trends, and products that your target audience cares about most. It’s also worth noting that Pinterest is currently dominated by the female demographic: 42% of all women online have used the platform in some capacity, so, at the very least, you should be experimenting with how your content appeals to women.

Start by creating multiple boards that align well with your customers’ interests as they relate to the products you are promoting. This can help influence your future content creation and promotion efforts by providing a variety of avenues where you can analyze your customers’ preferences. Some boards are likely to outperform others, which can indicate areas where you should create and promote more content.

Creating a board is fairly straightforward, but you’ll want to pay special attention to call out your target audience’s interests in the name and description sections to create more visibility for your content. Additionally, you can invite board contributors to help you develop a larger following from groups such as social influencers in your industry or other marketers on your team.

pinterest-create-a-board

For an example of a company appropriately aligning their products to their audience interests in a visually compelling manner, take a look at the Nordstrom Rack Pinterest page.

pinterest-boards

Nordstrom Rack’s Pinterest boards focus around a mixture of their audience’s interests, such as music festivals, world travel, and shoe obsessions, among many others. Over time, these theme-specific boards will rise or fall in popularity, and this data can give Nordstrom Rack feedback on what content resonates best with their customers.

There are four primary concepts to consider when creating pins that drive results in your themed boards.

  • Be Helpful: The more helpful your information is to your audience, the more likely it will resonate with your audience, be shared throughout Pinterest with repins, and be followed back to your website. Use detailed descriptions for your pins with targeted keywords, overlay helpful text onto your images, and include a call-to-action in your description to influence clicks.
  • Use a Tall Aspect Ratio: Pinterest recommends a 1:3.5 ratio (i.e., 100px wide by 350px tall) because the platform is designed for vertical scrolling, and tall images are more likely to stand out among the other content. This is a very important consideration when trying to improve click-through rates on your Promoted Pins.
  • Use Multiple Product Shots: Showcase multiple products in your images to tell a stronger story of your brand and inform your audience there are a variety of options that could interest them back on your website, ecommerce store, or other landing pages. This technique is popular for online retailers such as Nike Women.
  • Keep Your Brand and Logos Tasteful: Remember when Pinterest asked you to link your website to your business account? Well, when you’ve done so, your logo and link back to your site will travel with your pins whenever your content gets repinned and shared. Additionally, you may consider tastefully incorporating your logo into your image to reinforce your brand; but remember, your content is designed for your audience, so don’t go over the top by being too promotional.

STEP 3: Use Promoted Pins to Increase Results

After you have created a few Pinterest boards and visual content that interests your target market, you can begin promoting your content through Promoted Pins. To have a better chance of finding success with your first campaigns, you should start sponsoring and experimenting with your highest performing pins.

If you are not sure what your best content has been, or if it has been a while since your highest performing pins, you can search for the highest number of impressions, repins, and clicks in your Pinterest Analytics dashboard. Once inside your dashboard, click impressions, clicks, repins, and likes to sort rank. For best results, you’ll need to have your business Pinterest account linked to your website and at least two weeks of data collected from consistently publishing Pinterest content.

pinterest-analytics-example

While you’re looking for a pin to promote, it’s important to note that your sponsored content must be from a pin that you already created and published to one of your boards. You cannot create a pin specifically for an advertisement that isn’t hosted within one of your boards. This restriction differs from Facebook, Twitter, and other social ad networks. Pinterest wants you to promote genuine content and not ad copy.

Basically, you’ll need to sponsor pins that are a part of your daily content. However, in some cases, not all of your existent pins will be eligible for promotion since they need to meet certain guidelines, including the following:

  • Pins cannot include pricing information, testimonials, or a call-to-action.
  • No nudity or sexual, shocking, disturbing, alcoholic, or profane content is allowed.
  • Only one hashtag can be used in the description of a Promoted Pin.

While some of these requirements may seem obvious, the single hashtag restriction is usually the biggest hindrance. Stick with one well researched and concise hashtag to attract the correct audience.

Once you’ve found a suitable pin to promote from the Pinterest Ads page, simply hover over it and select “promote.”

pinterest-promote-pin

Next, you’ll be directed to start selecting the targeting terms for your Promoted Pin. This is not a section where you should be guessing at what to input. Think about your target market: How old are they? Where do they live? Are they male or female? What language do they speak? Who is this pin most optimally designed to influence?

promoted-pinterest-steps

The more data you have about your customers, the more likely your advertisement is going to succeed. Do careful market research by referencing any previous, but relevant, shopper personas, customer behavioral data, and demographic information. Also, use anything you’ve learned through social listening techniques, customer feedback, surveys, or other audience engagement.

If you do not have data that can inform your advertising or you’re unsure how your Pinterest audience differs from your other social markets, you’ll need to start somewhere and experiment. Follow your intuition at first and a/b test a wide variety of content campaigns until you start finding trends that resonate best with your audience. This is especially important when advertising on a new ad network such as Pinterest.

After determining your targeting parameters, you’ll be prompted to identify the appropriate cost-per-click bid for your Promoted Pin. Pinterest requires a minimum bid of 5¢ per click, but the ideal range to generate results quickly is between the $1 and $2 range.

pinterest-cpc-campaign

If your ads are targeting a particularly crowded market, you may need to experiment with higher CPC bids. The cost-per-click advertising method is created around a competitive bidding formula where ads are delivered more frequently when the payout is better for the ad network. Thus, the higher your bid, the more your advertisement will be served to your target market.

While it would be ideal to blast your Promoted Pins with a massive budget, very few brands are going to have that luxury. To find out what works best with your audience, start slowly. Experiment with different bidding strategies that align with your marketing budget and test different targeting parameters until you start identifying the trends that work specifically for your goals.

The absolute key to generating results with Promoted Pins, and building upon those results, is to make it a habit to conduct comprehensive a/b testing. Use a mixture of visual design strategies, hashtags, targeted audiences, pin descriptions, overlay text, and any other relevant factors that influence your customers to take action.

After your pins have been approved and launched by Pinterest, keep a close eye on your Pinterest Analytics over the following days and weeks. This data can indicate where you should be making changes in your Pinterest advertising strategy and which elements of your content can play the biggest factor in influencing your customers’ behavior.

For more powerful tips and best practices on how to maximize Pinterest for your business, you should bookmark and subscribe to the Pinterest for Business YouTube channel. Their informative videos offer step-by-step walkthroughs. And judging by the low number of views this content has, it is an underutilized resource by too many marketers.

pinterest-business-youtube

As a final thought, here is a quick prediction: Promoted Pins are about to get a whole lot better. In a recent announcement, Pinterest unveiled their latest project – the ability for customers to purchase products from inside Pinterest.

pinterest-buyable-pins

While little information is currently available on Buyable Pins, this is unlike any other advertising opportunity available through social media. Many marketers would kill to have this functionality within Facebook or Instagram. One thing is more certain, Buyable Pins are likely to have a tremendous impact on the effectiveness and impact of Promoted Pins over the course of the next few years.

About the Author: Jacob Warwick is Content Manager at Honigman Media, a consultancy offering content marketing strategy and content creation services. Follow him on Twitter @JacobWarwick.

How Brands Can Drive Results with Promoted Pinterest Pins

5 Subtle Yet Super Powerful Copywriting Tips

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Copywriting is a bit like martial arts; you don’t need to take aggressive action to see results. Image source.

Marketing can be like martial arts.

In a fight, you can floor your opponent with brute force.

You can throw a burst of punches and strikes, or grapple until you’re blue in the face. Or you can calmly step back, target one of your opponent’s pressure points, and quickly end the fight with one swift strike.

Marketing your business is the same.

You can grow by taking aggressive action. You can crank out more content, or pay for ads and leads to increase traffic. Or… simply step back and target the “pressure points” in your marketing by finding small tweaks that create big wins.

One of the best ways to get big wins from small tweaks is to focus on converting more prospects into customers by strengthening your copy.

But not all copywriting tweaks are created equal.

You can spend hours tweaking the wrong things and get weak results, so here are five simple but effective ways to ramp up your conversions by cranking up the power of your copy… Mr. Miyagi style.

1. Use open loops to seduce your prospect

Ever had an awesome TV show that you couldn’t stop watching? A series of books that you couldn’t put down?

You have? Congratulations, you’ve experienced the power of open loops (also called the Zeigarnik effect).

Open loops prey on our brain’s natural desire for completion.

You see, the brain enters a state of confusion or tension when it views something as incomplete. The cause could be a story, a question, even a household chore that you forgot to complete — and the only way to overcome that confusion and tension is for your brain to close the open loop.

When it comes to writing copy, an open loop is a part of your sales message that doesn’t tie up immediately.

You can apply open loops to any copy and instantly make it more magnetic.

Here’s an open loop example from the CopyHour landing page.

copywriting-copyhour-landing-page
 

The writer starts the sales letter with talk of a mysterious little secret that top copywriters used to sharpen their chops, and as a result make bucket loads of cash – instantly making you wonder what this secret is.

But it doesn’t stop there. The sales page goes on to constantly dangle this secret right in front of your face. This strengthens your curiosity and makes you more invested in finding out what the mysterious secret is – increasing the chance of a conversion.

Open loops aren’t hard to implement.

The easiest way to get started is to ask more questions in your copy and vaguely expand on the question, just like the example above. This lack of completion makes your reader feel curious and more invested in your copy.

2. Make your first sentence hypnotic

Your first sentence has to open with a bang.

It has to immediately snag your audience’s attention and drag them into your copy. If your readers don’t make it past the first few sentences, they sure as hell ain’t making it to your call to action.

Shortening your sentences (and your first sentence in particular) is an excellent way to make your copy a little bit more engaging.

The trick is to make sentences so short and easy to read that they instantly suck your reader into your copy. In his book Advertising Secrets Of The Written Word, legendary copywriter Joseph Sugarman even said:

My first sentences are so short, they almost aren’t sentences.

Take for example the opening sentence on Chartbeat’s landing page for their study on audience development.

copywriting-chartbeat-audience-development
 

Have a look at how short and simple the opening is:

It’s not enough to just count clicks and page views anymore.

When someone begins by reading that, they’re naturally inclined to wonder, “What is enough then? What’s wrong with counting clicks and page views? What should I measure?” 

These questions then fuel the reader with enough coals of curiosity to make him want to read on.

Also, shorter sentences look like a piece of cake to read, which increases the chances of someone actually getting through your copy. This is a huge benefit because it’s harder to stop reading copy once you’re already interested and curious.

3. Deploy power verbs for maximum impact

Good copy paints pleasing pictures in the minds of your prospects. It dives into their brains and engages their senses and emotions.

This is where most writers make a fatal mistake. They rely on adjectives and limp words to add flavor to their copy, but as killer copywriter John Carlton said in his book Kick Ass Copywriting Secrets:

Good copy goes light on adjectives. And heavy on action verbs.

The right action verbs give your copy a muscular, grab-you-by-the-throat effect that keeps your reader glued to the screen.

The example below shows the difference between fluffy adjectives and power verbs in creating vivid mental images:

The stomach-turning news was extremely shocking. All of a sudden, he didn’t feel very good. He quickly sat down on the large black sofa and passed out.

After powering up with verbs:

The news hit him like a sharp hook to the stomach. He felt his heart rip, and an ocean of darkness washed through him as he collapsed into the sofa.

Big difference, right?

When it comes to descriptive power and sharp imagery, the second paragraph leaves the first, adjective-infested one coughing in the dust.

Here are some examples of powerfully “verbed-up” sentences from Jon Morrow’s Serious Bloggers Only landing page:

copywriting-jon-morrow-serious-bloggers
 

Pay attention to some of the verbs he uses:

  • Because they stumbled into popularity
  • They are desperate to seize the opportunity before it slips away from them.
  • If you’re a serious blogger, you’re tired of wading through thousands of articles, reading contradictory advice, and trying to figure out how to piece it all together.

See how alive and vivid the writing becomes with just a few well-placed sharp, powerful verbs?

Keep a thesaurus handy at all times, and be sure to have a swipe file on standby. This will help you inject strong verbs and words into your copy without ripping your hair out in frustration.

4. Adhere to the AIDA formula

When writing copy, it’s easy to find yourself staring at a blank page wondering, “What’s next?”

That’s where the AIDA formula (by copywriter Gary Halbert) comes in handy.

It’s a formula that allows you to consistently create a smooth, strong sales message that latches onto your reader’s attention and keeps them interested.

So what does AIDA stand for?

  • Attention. This is where you snag your prospect’s attention with a benefit-driven headline and introduction to make him want to read on.
  • Interest. This is where you’ll pique the interest of your prospects and nudge them deeper into your copy by describing how your pain solving product/service benefits their lives.
  • Desire. After arousing your prospects interest, here’s where you pump up his desire for what you’re selling. Usually with a bullet point list that describes all the juicy benefits of your product/service.
  • Action. After your reader is blown away with the amazing benefits your product, you then invite him/her to take action. Usually to make an order or fill in a form.

Here’s an example of the AIDA formula in action from the webprofits.com landing page.

Attention

copywriting-webprofits
 

The headline is curious and grabs the reader’s attention by suggesting that the SEO game has changed.

Interest

Once the page catches the reader’s attention, it cultivates interest with paragraphs which explain how SEO has changed (next to the laptop).

Desire

After that, it arouses the prospect’s desire by describing the benefits of the product.

copywriting-webprofits-benefits
 

Action

It finally closes with the “Get Free Analysis Now” call to action.

copywriting-webprofits-free-analysis
 

Following the AIDA formula inserts a smooth compelling flow into your copy and keeps readers glued to your sales message.

5. Harness the power of reframing to shoot up perceived value

A 1999 study by psychologists Davis and Knowles showed the shocking persuasive power of a technique called reframing. In the study, they went door to door and sold note cards for charity.

  • In the first pitch, they said that it was $3 for 8 cards. They made sales at 40% of households.
  • In their second pitch, they told people that it was 300 pennies for 8 cards, which was followed up by, “which is a bargain,” resulting in 80% of the households buying cards.

This tiny change in the pitch had a huge effect on results, but how and why was it so influential?

Here’s what happens:

When people are told the cost of the cards is 300 pennies instead of 3 dollars, their routine thought process is disrupted. Now, while they’re distracted trying to process the odd sounding “300 pennies” and why anyone would use pennies instead of dollars…

They’re immediately told that it’s a “bargain.” And because pennies sound so easy to spend in comparison to hard-earned dollars, they are more likely to accept the suggestion that the cards are a bargain.

This is known as reframing.

Reframing is a wickedly effective technique. It allows you to manipulate the perceived value of a product by making comparisons and shifting the focus of your reader.

Here’s an example of what reframing looks like:

copywriting-reframing-example
 

You wouldn’t rush to buy something that’s $500 a year right? I mean for most people, it’s a decent amount of change.

How about for $42 a month?

Or $8 (the price two lattes) a day?

Sounds much more appealing doesn’t it?

This landing page reframes the price of a brand new car in terms of two lattes per day ($8), which serves to soften the blow of the price and make the offer more appealing.

Here’s another example from the CopyHour landing page:

copywriting-copyhour-reframing
 

The landing page reframes the price by comparing the total price of the course to how much it costs per day, instantly reducing the weight of the price in the prospect’s mind.

Crafting seductive landing page copy doesn’t have to be painful

Powerful landing page copy doesn’t have to be painful to create. Pick a couple of strong techniques and tips, focus on the needs of your prospects, and you’ll be fine.

Now it’s your turn. How do you go about cranking up your copy power to increase conversions? What’s the weirdest conversion boost/decline you’ve had with regards to copywriting? I’d love to know!


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5 Subtle Yet Super Powerful Copywriting Tips

Video Marketing Without a Goal is Just Moving Pictures [PODCAST]

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Don’t just point and shoot: are your video campaigns backed up by data? Image by J. Sawkins via Flickr.

How can you make your marketing videos delightful while still reaching your business goals?

In this episode of the Call to Action podcast, Unbounce’s Dan Levy talks to Jennifer Pepper (Unbounce’s Customer Success Content Strategist) about this tricky task. They dive deep into the importance of a data-driven approach to video marketing campaigns, and share some tried-and-true storytelling methods that’ll give your videos that extra kick.

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Read the transcript

In this episode: Stephanie Saretsky chats with Felix Cha, Unbounce’s Videographer. Then, Dan Levy, Unbounce’s Content Strategist, interviews Jennifer Pepper, Unbounce’s Customer Success Content Strategist.

Stephanie: Hey podcast listeners, just a heads up we will be taking a break from the podcast next Wednesday, July 1st, due to holidays in the US and Canada. You can expect another episode to be posted on Wednesday, July 8th. Now, onto the show!

[theme music]

Stephanie: Every video campaign needs to start with a goal. An engaging concept just isn’t enough. For example, when Felix first started at Unbounce on the Customer Success team, one of his first tasks was to make a marketing explainer video for our website. It was a fun video that showcased our office, our awesome customer success team, and Unbounce’s great features. But it never saw the light of day. Here’s why.

Felix: The interesting thing was that it tried to target not just our current customers but also target the new customers, new prospects, as well as actually showcase how friendly we are and how good of a customer support team we have. And because that video had way too many messages, it was trying to say three different things. At the same time, it didn’t take into account who we were trying to target, and then also it didn’t take into account our positioning statement.

It didn’t even get published. So that was a big learning experience because I had spent about two or three months making this video, and it was pretty much done. And it is still sitting there ready to be rolled out. I should have thought of what this video should have been in the first place and then how the messaging should have been crafted instead of kind of going in like, “Oh, I think we need a video on our website and this should be the messaging and we will target these audiences and they’ll love it.”

Stephanie: Because Felix was looking at his video through a Customer Success lens – you know, make everything as delightful as possible – he got a bit carried away with the different messaging and lost sight of the marketing goal. So Felix took this lesson to heart and his next videos for product feature launches had more refined messages and a larger impact.

Felix is now on our creative team so we’re super excited to be able to work with him on more marketing features. But with a new department comes new responsibilities.

Felix: I kind of realized okay, I really gotta start making use of data. As creative people, we kind of tend to not think of data as much; we just think about how it’s gonna look, how is it gonna feel, how is it gonna affect our audience. But I am trying to learn how Unbounce’s marketing actually works and how it’s been doing and where we are going to actually better understand okay, how can videos or anything I make contribute to the campaigns. So that’s like the new challenge. Because I don’t have a marketing background; I’ve been just making videos on my own a lot of the time. And to actually try to learn what marketing is and how we can take data and lessons from those campaigns and bring it back into the creative part of it is – it’s a new challenge but it’s really exciting.

Stephanie: I’m Stephanie Saretsky and this is Call to Action, Unbounce’s podcast about doing marketing better. In this episode, we’re tackling a conundrum that it seems a lot of marketers are facing: getting started on producing cool and delightful video marketing that also achieves tangible business goals. Luckily, we knew just who to talk to.

Jennifer: I’m Jennifer Pepper and I’m the Content Production Manager for the Customer Education team.

Stephanie: Unbounce’s Content Strategist, Dan Levy, spoke with Jen about the importance of data driven video marketing and the different methods of video storytelling that she wrote about in a post for the Unbounce blog: “Don’t Bother Using Video on Your Landing Pages Unless You’re Doing These 5 Things.

Dan: Video marketing, eh?

Jennifer: Oh, yeah.

Dan: What’s the deal with video marketing?

Jennifer: It’s hot, Dan, it’s hot.

Dan: I’ll rephrase that for you. Video is, I feel like, one of these things that we all have the sense we should be using more in our marketing because we know the stats about engagement and that YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google. But it’s also kind of expensive and a bit complicated and time consuming. So how do marketers know whether it’s worth investing in video?

Jennifer: Well, it’s definitely a different medium to get right for most brands but experimenting with your audience and your content is the key to getting started. So a lot of people think they want to get in on the video game, but it’s only really worth investing in once you’ve figured out the plan for content creation – so what you’ll create and for who – and have an understanding of how you want your videos to contribute to guiding people along the marketing funnel.

So ideally, you can start with creating one to two to three videos at the top of your funnel. And then after you’ve distributed those videos strategically the best you can, you follow up by reviewing the engagement data for this first set. So you don’t want to create a ton of video series of 18 videos only to find out that they’re not really resonating. So you’ve got to start small but you also have to have the tools in place to start measuring engagement, which, for marketers, that’s gonna be a video marketing platform.

But after a while of creating videos, you kind of want to calculate the overall ROI on the content. And to do this, you’re going to look at whether you’re making more money back than you’re spending on producing the assets in the first place. So take the amount of sales attributed back to video conversions and divide it by the amount of money spent to create the video.

Dan: That’s a really good answer. But let’s take a step back maybe, for a moment.

Jennifer: Sure.

Dan: One of the things that you say in the post is that it’s crucial to define what your goal is before even starting the concept for the video. You actually wrote about a video marketing campaign by the company Vidyard that converted at 33 percent. So could yo tell us about that campaign and how they approached it from the ground up?

Jennifer: Sure. So at Vidyard we were writing articles all the time to get our message out there, like many startups. But when you write about the same story all the time, you start to wonder: okay, how can I scale this message more effectively and is there a content asset that I can make as sales enablement so that we can use this message all the time on a bigger scale?

Dan: Right. Sorry, we should just clarify that you were at Vidyard before Unbounce.

Jennifer: Yeah. So we made a strategic video campaign about the two types of people we were always writing about and for. So the video is about what happens to a marketer who posts videos blindly and hopes that they do well versus a marketer who is super smart about where she distributes her video and is just more strategic.

So we wrote this “once upon a time” type story about Post-and-Pray Pete and Strategic Sue that would speak directly to our audience of B2B marketers who weren’t really sure what to do with their videos. And even though videos don’t always have a strategic purpose these days, we’re a startup and we needed the content we created to help us with lead generation month over month. So we decided the video had to have a bigger purpose for lead viewers to complete more of a meaningful action so that they had to enter our funnel somehow.

So at the end of the video, the narrator tells you that the main character in the story is a real marketer, not just a cartoon, and this call to action prompts the download of a case study about this exact marketer – one of our customers. In other words, the video leads viewers to reach the end of the content to engage with even more content that speaks to the middle of the funnel. Does that make sense?

Dan: Yes. So in this case, the campaign itself was instructional in the sense of distinguishing between the type of marketer who starts the video campaign with a strategy in place versus the one who just sort of thinks if we build it, they will come. But it was also itself a campaign that had a “lead you in” component to it.

Jennifer: Absolutely. So we ended up finding that those who converted were pretty high quality because the video served as a way to qualify their interest. So if we get you to watch a two-minute video and then you download a case study, you’ve gone through two actions and it’s likely that you’re more interested or you’re worth a call or you’re trying to figure out what our business actually does, you know?

Dan: So the goal of the campaign was what, to generate a certain amount of leads or to get people to watch a certain amount of the video?

Jennifer: So basically it was a lead gen campaign so we were trying to get more people in the top of the funnel. So the content is very high touch, I guess. It’s not – you can be almost anybody and get something out of the video but it was targeted toward a B2B marketer; somebody with marketing automation in place and a marketing stack that was pretty sophisticated. So we cast a wide net but then it gets I guess more narrow as you go through the video. And then you realize okay, this is a marketer; you’re either interested or you’re not interested in how she was doing all these great things with video, and then you’re going to download the asset to find out what that person in real life actually did.

Dan: Very cool. So it cast a wide net in terms of the education and awareness part but there was still like a very strict focus on generating qualified leads through the campaign as well.

Jennifer: Yes, absolutely.

Dan: Cool. So like any other part of a marketing campaign, even an email or blog post or a landing page, what sets apart a marketing video from a home movie or something is that it needs to contain some sort of call to action. Do you have any tips on crafting a successful video call to action, or CTA?

Jennifer: Yeah. So you’re gonna want to keep your CTA aligned with the viewer stage in your funnel. So if it’s a top of funnel video, maybe have the CTA lead to a next step in the discovery phase as a prospect. If it’s a mid-funnel video, consider if it’s persuasive enough to prompt a more meaningful action like a trial or a demo at this point. So back to our campaign, it was very top of funnel but then it led to – so it was very discovery phase but then it led to a case study. So you can really gauge that the leads that you take in from that campaign are more qualified because they’re interested in a case study. So you can sort of set up your next step in the funnel. Does that make sense?

Dan: Yeah. No, totally. So maybe can you paint a bit more of a picture of what the CTA was, like what the button said, for example?

Jennifer: Sure. Actually, I’m really embarrassed because on the landing page it said “submit,” which we never say to do. It’s a terrible thing to do.

Dan: In your defense, you weren’t at Unbounce yet so you didn’t know better.

Jennifer: No. Actually, a good example for B2B brands that want an effective CTA, you can look at what Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s content does with their videos. So they’ll create stuff to prompt you on to the next piece of content. So say if they’ve done an ebook, for example. They make a mini video trailer about the content of the ebook to prompt you then to go download it. So the end of the video on YouTube contains an annotated download button, which leads to the ebook landing page where you can get the report. And this is super clever because the ebook’s launch date comes and goes but a video trailer keeps the evergreen content useful to a brand because you can release it over and over and over again on your social channels. But it can live on YouTube because it’s pointing people back to your website.

Dan: Right, and the CTA doesn’t necessarily have to be at the end of the video, right? It could be anywhere depending, I guess, on the tool that you’re using for video?

Jennifer: Absolutely. So some video marketing platforms have a feature built in where you can have a pop-out CTA, for example. So you don’t always have to think end-of-video CTA because there’s no guarantee that someone’s gonna even get to the end. But you can use something like a pop-out CTA so if you’re going to mention a product, maybe it’s a product demo but they’ve seen half the video and maybe they’re convinced. You can have some slide-out on the side that says, “Hey, like already sold? Check out the demo,” or I don’t know, something but they can click and go explore.

Dan: I love the honesty of “Already sold.” It’s like, “Already sold; want to stop watching this video? Just click. Just click already.”

Jennifer: “You done? Good.”

Dan: I want to talk a little bit about storytelling. And I know storytelling has become another one of those buzzwords that’s buzzing around marketing circles over the last few years. But when it comes to video, story really is crucial. How can you use story to drive people toward that call to action?

Jennifer: Yeah. Everyone talks about video stories but the strength of a story is whether it can evoke any emotion. So I’ve found it kind of surprising that it doesn’t even really matter which emotion you pick because they all kind of work. So you can make people feel delighted or you can leave them feeling anxious, but you just want them to feel something as a result of watching your content because this helps prompt the all-important next action.

Dan: Even if it’s terrible.

Jennifer: Oh, yeah. I have an example of that for later, I guess. But you just want them feeling something at the end. Because the classic brand generic video leaves people feeling like, “Okay, I’m done with this.” And then they drop off. But if you’ve done a video right, it should have people thinking, “Okay, what else can I watch from these guys?” Like they seem to know what’s up or they really resonate with your message. But it’s good to be aware of what you want your audience to do. So if you want people to like your brand, you might want them laughing, like with a comedic story angle. But if you want them to resonate with your brand, you might want to evoke feelings of empathy and be really, really transparent and honest.

If you want them to take action, fear or even a light anxiety can be a good motivator. So again, not those positive emotions but you can make them feel kind of like they’re missing out on something. So whether it’s like a new service or a trend, something of value like people hate missing out. So you could also make them feel silly on account of current mistakes. So it doesn’t always have to be a positive emotion. But as long as they’re feeling something in their gut, it’s good.

Dan: Right. So before you set out on that campaign, you’re thinking about what the goal is, but also how do you want this piece to make people feel, which is a really interesting secondary questions, I guess. One of the emotional triggers that you mention on your posts is anxiety, which is I guess one of the – you know – maybe more negative ones. Can you explain how Adobe stirred up anxiety in a video of theirs called “Click, Baby Click”?

Jennifer: So this is a video Adobe did a while ago and it featured the CEO of an encyclopedia company who happens to get data back about a marketing campaign that seems to suggest that people are buying tons and tons of encyclopedias. So you see him stir the plant into heavy production of more of the books and there are massive shipping containers sent out, and it’s pretty epic. But the end of the video shows a baby with an iPad who’s just mindlessly clicking the brand’s ad over and over again like in a banner ad.

Dan: Oh, no.

Jennifer: So the ad ends with a voiceover that asks, “Do you know what your marketing is doing?” And it’s great because the majority of the target audience of marketers has to wonder, well, do I know? Like how do I know? So it’s a terrific campaign and there’s more of that set of ads that they did that are just so good because they just stir up a sort of anxiety. And when they leave you with that, you’re sort of prompted to take an action. You’re prompted to go see a trial of the software – of their analytics software. So I think it’s really smart.

Dan: Yeah, in this case the solution is to put them out of their misery, right? Cool. Let’s talk about metrics for a second. What are some of the ways to measure whether a video marketing campaign is successful? I’m guessing it goes beyond views on YouTube.

Jennifer: For sure. So you can post videos to YouTube but I always say that they have to point back to your site where you have a video marketing platform in place tracking visitors’ engagement on your site where it matters. But you want to look for a video marketing platform that allows you to integrate with marketing automation, in most cases, because this is how you can leverage the data to its fullest.

So in terms of engagement stats, YouTube alone isn’t really enough for marketers at this time because it can only tell you how many people are watching; not who’s watching, where they’re located, and what other videos they’re browsing through on your site. For this info, marketers kind of have to look at video marketing platforms and how video marketing integrates with other key tools that they have in place. But after releasing your first few videos, you’re gonna look at things like how many people are watching total, the percentage of people who click through to watch a video, what percentage of a video do they watch before they drop off, what other videos they’re watching on your properties.

So did one video lead them to another or even to download a resource from you? What was their next step and the amount of content people consumed total on your site? So which video led to another one, and so on and so forth. And you can also A/B test your landing pages to see whether videos are actually helping to persuade more people to convert.

Dan: Right. I keep talking about YouTube because that’s often what comes to mind when you hear online video. But like you said, you really want to host your videos on that dedicated landing page. Beyond A/B testing, what are some reasons for doing that, or is A/B testing the answer and I gave it away?

Jennifer: You’re definitely going to want to test out whether videos help your landing pages because the entire purpose of the landing page is to persuade, and videos happen to be the best way, I think, to convince someone of anything. So they’re inherently persuasive because they usually contain people and faces and we all really like consuming information in that palatable way. Unruly found that enjoyment of a video asset increases purchase intent by 97 percent and brand association by 139 percent. So that’s huge. And Unbounce found with previous research that it can impact conversion by up to 80 percent just having that video on your landing page. But it all depends on whether that asset is actually good.

But one of the best examples of video on a landing page I’ve seen recently is the example on Unbounce’s site: Paper Anniversary by Anna V. It’s so good. There’s this lady, Anna V., who sells paper anniversary jewelry. So she makes jewelry for people’s first wedding anniversaries out of paper. But she has a video at the top of her click-through page so the landing page leads to where you can go see the actual jewelry pieces. But the top of the page contains this video featuring the owner of the company talking about how the first anniversary is so important and why men should consider buying a paper gift, a traditional paper gift – meaning her jewelry – to make it special. But it’s just such a persuasive video and it’s got high production quality, which you don’t always have to have, but that one definitely contributes to a better experience. And yeah, you should check it out; it’s really good.

Dan: I will do that. So it’s interesting. I guess videos help reinforce a landing page in terms of engagement, in terms of making the sale, I guess, and persuading them to click the CTA. While on the other hand, the fact that it’s on a landing page helps the video actually convert, right? Because ideally if it’s a properly designed landing page, especially with when they have only that one thing to do, which is click the CTA either in the video or on the page itself, which hopefully I guess are lined up, right? You don’t want two conflicting CTAs between the page and the video?

Jennifer: Oh, yeah. The video should definitely – if you’re going to include one, it can’t be the video brand generic thing that has nothing to do with the offer on the page. You really, really want the two of them to be highly aligned. So don’t just put your startups explainer video on the landing page; it’s got to be something like – if you’re offering a trial, it’s got to be a video explaining why or who maybe would want a trial. So explain the specific audience for who you’re after and that way it gives viewers a chance to self-qualify.

Dan: So what happens after viewers have clicked that CTA on your video or on the page itself? What’s the next step?

Jennifer: So once people exchange their contact info on a landing page, it’s your job to send them to a confirmation or a thank you page. You can send them a follow up email allowing them to opt into your brand communications, or you could follow up with a call. So something along the lines of, “Hey, I noticed you downloaded our e-book on monkey sweaters. Do you like monkey sweaters? Oh, yeah? What kinds are the best?”

Dan: How do you know I like monkey sweaters?

Jennifer: Exactly. I saw that you watched a video because I was monitoring on my marketing automation system.

Dan: Oh man, marketing.

Jennifer: Crazy, right? But this follow up is based on a resource that they took interest in, and it can really help you determine someone’s needs and how you can help them. So it just helps extend the conversation past after they have followed through with your CTA. But it can be an email, too.

Dan: Yeah, even suggest setting up triggers to send emails like once visitors have watched a certain percentage of a video. So does that include folks who didn’t actually click your CTA?

Jennifer: Yeah, so your best bet is to reach out to folks who have watched at least 50 percent or more of a video is what I lean toward. So you can set up those kinds of triggers in your marketing automation software but you don’t have to wait for those who only click the CTA, basically. So imagine the impact of watching a video on a brand site and then even after you’ve dropped off, you get an email in your inbox seconds later about a particular product you were viewing. That’s exactly what the future of marketing is all about; the right message at the right time and the right context. I think it can be pretty impressive for brands to follow up that way.

Dan: Yeah, and that’s another example of how the video and the landing page reinforce each other because on a page, people click the CTA when they’re ready to click. But here you’re saying video is a way to engage people who might not be ready to click the CTA or might not have gotten there but have shown a certain amount of intent so you could continue to market them maybe in a little bit of a softer way.

Jennifer: Absolutely. That’s where the lead nurturing comes in. Yeah, you can do a great job of that based on the context of what they watched. So if your offer is very specific, you can sort of get an idea for what exactly that customer is interested in.

Dan: Very cool. All right, so what’s the easiest way for marketers to get started with video without investing a huge amount of time and money right off the bat?

Jennifer: Well, to get started, think about the questions that your brand is in the best place to answer. So think about which topics you’re an industry leader in and how you could do how-to video series or even interview questions about this particular topic. So these kinds of how-to videos help your search rankings for the particular query phrases that you answer. And when people turn to YouTube or Google with questions like “What is cloud software?” your cloud software company can show up as the answer that has the video next to it, which is inherently more interesting to click on as a search result.

But you can start with three videos and go from there. So work on getting the distribution just right because that’ll have a huge, huge impact on whether you’re getting the traffic that is actually valuable to you. Work on syndicating the content in articles that you shop out to various sources on the web to get the right traffic going to those videos is a good idea. So if you are talking about – you’re talking to B2B marketers, let’s say, about something very business-specific, you might want to write for Inc.com. Ask the editors, “I want to include this video. Can I embed it with my embed code?” So then your video marketing platform on your site can be tracking the results of who’s watching that somewhere else so you can get an idea of where the traffic is coming from and who that is and stuff like that. But most outlets will let you do that.

Dan: Right, and probably they’ll be more willing to let you do that than to embed like a really obvious product-related CTA right in the article.

Jennifer: Definitely, definitely. It’s definitely got to be something that their audience is interested in. So if you make, say, a video infographic – so say you have a static infographic. Maybe you want to make that into more of an interactive of one through video. And then a lot of companies will want to capitalize on the research that you did so you can syndicate it with their audience. But work on capturing the right audience and the right channels and getting that engagement metric higher and higher. So try and cap off the drop off. You don’t want people dropping off ten seconds into your videos because then they probably weren’t that good to begin with.

So you can adjust and refine based on the metrics that you look at. So if people are dropping off after ten seconds, there’s either something not right about where you put the video and the audience that comes with that spot, or there’s something wrong with your video. So you can rework the content with edits. So you could take out content that your audience is constantly skipping over, for example, and then see how the recut does.

Dan: I like that. These metrics basically force you to – they keep you honest. They force you to make sure that the video is actually good, not just “good enough.”

Jennifer: You can definitely keep iterating and making sure that you’re catering to your audience with video, which I don’t think a lot of people do. They think, “Okay, I made one, it’s not that great, that’s it.” But there’s also nothing wrong about using your webcam or your iPhone to film, either. You just need to consider your audience’s time and you have to get the edit right. So I find like some people think they need a talking head for 30 seconds, you know? But even that, you’ve got to break up with B roll and keep it interesting. You just want to make sure that your content delivers the most value possible.

Dan: I think that’s what it’s all about, right? Delivering as much value possible.

Jennifer: Yup.

Dan: Yup. All right, well, I’m gonna go get myself a monkey sweater so I’ll let you go.

Jennifer: Excellent.

Dan: Thanks so much for taking the time to chat, Jen.

Jennifer: Thank you.

Stephanie: That was Jennifer Pepper. Her title has changed since the time of recording, and she is now Unbounce’s Customer Success Content Strategist. You can find her blog post and this episode’s show notes at Unbounce.com/podcast.

So we’re six months into the production of Call to Action and we’d really love to hear what you think. Do you like the format? What do you think about our guests? And what do you want to hear more of? So if you have a sec, please drop us an email at podcast@unbounce.com.

That’s your call to action. Thanks for listening!

Transcript by GMR Transcription


Video Marketing Without a Goal is Just Moving Pictures [PODCAST]