You should already know that clarity trumps persuasion
for making sales. In fact, to borrow a metaphor from direct-response expert Dean Rieck, your copy should be like a shop window—completely invisible, affording a perfect view of the thing you’re selling.
But as with most important things in life, that’s easier said than done.
Fortunately—as with most things in life—much of the mystery can be removed by adopting a system that takes care of the basics. So let me introduce you to my Four Keys for writing clear, shiny copy that affords prospects the perfect view of whatever it is you’re selling.Key #1: Conversational style
I’m sure you’ve heard it said that people don’t buy from websites—they buy from people.
And I’m sure you’ve also heard that people seldom buy from people they don’t like and trust.
Which is why hyped highlighter copy doesn’t tend to work. There’s no real personal connection, because it doesn’t read like anything a person would say—certainly not a person you’d be inclined to like or trust.
The same goes for verbose, puffed-up “corporatese”. No one talks like that—and if they did we’d assume there was something ludicrously wrong with them.
The solution is to write like you would talk.
Simple, right? So simple you probably reckon there’s no need to read the rest of this section—but you’d be wrong.
Because actually, writing like you talk is hard
, and you’ll likely fail
at it to start with. That’s because you have to make a shift in your thinking before it will click for you.
You have to get out of “Writing Mode”The more self-conscious you are about communicating, the worse you tend to do it.
So you have to stop thinking about writing, and instead focus on just telling
. You have to stop thinking about how your sentences look, and instead focus on how they sound. You have to get out of the mindset that you are performing a task which is difficult, technical, complex, or in any way different
to the task you’d have if you simply sat down with your prospect and talked
to him about what it is you’d like him to buy.
This is actually surprisingly hard.
From a very young age, talking comes completely naturally to us. It’s so basic that even thinking about teaching it in school seems absurd. The only people who need lessons in talking are people with disabilities.
Yet from a very young age, writing is something we struggle with. We are conditioned to think of it as somethinghard
—something requiring strict rules
if we’re ever to achieve some rudimentary level of ability. Even though we’re taught to write all the way through school, most adults are incapable of competently stringing two words together on paper.
Well, let me tell you a little secret: You started out a great writer.
But as you went through school, and were conditioned to think of writing as writing
rather than as simply communicating, you got progressively more self-conscious about it—and progressively worse at it.
The best writers—at least in terms of sales copy—are the ones who are able to completely ignore everything they’ve been taught about writing, and instead get on with the job of just telling
How to write conversationallyDon’t write—tell. The best way to get started is not to write at all—but to speak.
Ideally, record yourself talking about your topic with a friend you know and trust. That way, you’ll avoid most of the self-consciousness that comes when you get out a voice recorder and try to record yourself talking to the air.
Then play back your recording and just listen to what you say. Take notes. How do your sentences sound? How often do you break
the rules of formal grammar? I bet it’s all the time. So forget formal grammar. How often do you say something that in retrospect sounds totally gitty? Pretty often too, probably. So figure out what you wish you’d said, and use that instead. Write like you talk, but with the benefit of lots of time to choose your words. It’ll be a lot easier to read—because people read with an internal monologue. When you write conversationally, they can hear your words flow.Key #2: Narrative Structure
The second key to clarity is to put your copy together in the way your prospect finds easiest
to process and understand.
Let me give you a clue. How do you teach kids complex ideas?
The answer, of course, is stories. Indeed, as soon as we can talk, we want to hear and tell stories. And that is simply because our brains are wired to process information most easily in narrative form. We’re very, very good at processing specific actions that involved concrete things in a timed sequence.
We’re really, really bad
at processing vague ideas, abstract concepts or relationships, and unordered sets of things.
We need stories to give things structure.
In fact, if you’ve studied any philosophy, you’ll know that it can be almost impossible to grasp some ideas without real-world examples of them. But as soon as we have such an example, we find it fairly easy to generalize it to other situations.Because we most easily process information in a narrative structure, it only makes sense use that structure in your sales copy.
Now, this does not mean you have to tell stories
. I highly recommend that you do
tell stories—case studies are an obvious and very powerful example of why. And most of the best, most successful sales letters have used stories to get their point across (the “two young men
” story for The Wall Street Journal, for example, or the chicken salad story
penned by Lillian Eichler). Stories bypass the ol’ frontal lobe and get the limbic system champing at the bit. And the limbic system is what gets us to buy things.
But that’s another article—or three. Here, I’m simply talking about using a narrative structure
for your copy. Like this: remember studying plots in school? Your 3-act, beginning-middle-end structure? A series of rising action leading to a climax? Well, here’s how that looks when applied to copy:How copy can be placed into a narrative structure (action peaks are suggestions, not hard rules)
The headline has to start the exposition strong, or the rest won’t get read.
has to bring an immediate peak of action to keep your prospect interested.
But don’t make the mistake of starting off so strong that there’s nowhere to go but down. You can’t sustain climax-level action for long—and you can’t keep getting more extreme indefinitely.To give a concrete example:
people often complain that the final raptors-versus-T-Rex scene in Jurassic Park
feels flat. And it does—because after the shocking T-Rex-eating-a-car scene, and the nerve-wracking raptors-in-the-kitchen scene, the final climax doesn’t add enough extra danger. Even if it did, we’re burned out on danger by the time it arrives.
In sales copy, “flat” means your prospect loses his sense of excitement. Keep him strung too high for too long and he’ll get burned out and lose interest. So start gentle and raise the action gradually. Screaming headlines and hyped ledes might pull people in, but they won’t keep them to the end.
To use a bike racing analogy, it’s better to enter the corner slow and come out fast, than to enter fast and not come out at all.
Key #3: Benefits, then features
Copy that seems clear as glass to you can be muddied in a very simple way for your prospect. Here’s what happens:
You write a conversational narrative that goes through all the benefits of your product. But you don’t give anyreasons
for these benefits.
Or you write a conversational narrative that goes through all the features of your product. But you don’t give anyreasons
for those features.
To you, with your knowledge of the product, the how
of the benefits or the why
of the features are entirely obvious. But to your prospect they are opaque. There’s a murkiness about your product that prevents him from buying.Here’s an example:
Imagine you’re talking about how your home study course will teach your prospect to hack his neighbor’s wireless network in 2 hours. For example!
The reason this is possible is that the course just teaches some simple principles for operating a bundled automated software utility. This does the actual grunt work of breaking into the network.
Simply talking about how your prospect will be wirelessly checking Facebook in 2 hours won’t give him the kind of clarity he needs. Even though he wants this benefit, and even though you may furnish plenty of proof—testimonials or case studies or whatever—it’s not clear how
Alternatively, just talking about the automated utility in detail, relating each feature back to a corresponding element of wireless network security, will show him that
hacking is possible—but it won’t help him understand how it is possible for him
, since he doesn’t understand it.
To achieve clarity, both
the benefit and the feature must be explained--and
then their relationship.
Talk about benefits firstIt’s easy to talk about features before drawing out the benefits. If you know your product better than your prospect, which you probably do, then that’s the natural order to take.
But your prospect is only interested in the features inasmuch as they create benefits for him. Which means you should talk about the benefits first, then clarify them with reference to features.
Obviously there are exceptions to this rule. A lot of technical B2B
prospects know exactly what features they’re looking for, and want to see them tabulated nicely. But that’s because they already know
the benefits. So you must know your prospect to know how much you need to explain for him.
When in doubt, here’s a simple rule: use bullets to describe both features and benefits succinctly. For example (benefits are in bold):
Key #4: Scannable Elements
- Peace of mind that your data won’t disappear if your connection drops, thanks to the persistent asynchronous database connection
- Better color reproduction for print work because of the advanced In-Plane Switching technology—the crystal molecules in the display move parallel to the panel plane instead of perpendicular, reducing the amount of light scattering in the matrix
- They’ll fight over it when you’re dead--with 4–5 oz Full Grain leather, tanned with high-grade oils and preservatives to keep it from being destroyed by dryness or moisture, and bound with polyester industrial thread, you can be sure your bag will outlive you
79% of people on the web don’t read--they scan
Which means that if your text doesn’t contain plenty of “hooks” for your prospect’s eye to grab onto, it’ll just slide right off the page.
What do I mean by hooks?
- Meaningful subheads which summarize major points or tease your prospect into the copy (like mini-headlines)
- Bullet lists which itemize important pieces of information such as features or benefits
- Boldface to highlight keywords, important benefits, etc
- Short paragraphs with only one idea each (otherwise a prospect scanning the first few words will miss the second idea)
- Images that convey value more forcibly than copy could, such as charts, graphs, or high-quality product photos
- Captions—these get read by 50% more prospects than body copy, and often have a nearly 100% recall rate
There should always be at least one scannable element visible on the page at any given time. Test this on the kind of screen and at the kind of resolution your prospect is likely to be using—not just your own.
Use scannable elements to sellYou have to make the bits that stand out, that catch the eye, count. If you don’t convey value with the scannable elements they aren’t going to achieve anything. So spend time distilling the most value into the least space for each of your hooks. It could very well be the difference between keeping your prospect on the page and having him slide off into the ether.
Four Keys for Clear CopyThese keys all take practice to master. But they are simple enough that you can get started today and see notable improvements immediately. Read your copy aloud—is it conversational, or stilted? Examine its structure—does it build up to the call to action, or is it haphazard? Test its benefits against its features—is their relationship clear? And stand back and squint—can you pick out the major items of interest when the body copy is blurry?
With these four simple techniques, you are guaranteed to produce copy far better than nearly anything you’ll find on the web.About the Author:
Bnonn is the author of a free video course on the secrets of creating websites that capture readers and turn them into customers
. Known in the boroughs as the Information Highwayman
, he helps small businesses sell more online by improving their marketing copy, design, and strategies. When he’s not knee-deep in the guts of someone’s homepage, he is teaching his kids about steampunk, Nathan Fillion, and how to grapple a zombie without getting bit. (Also you can follow him on Twitter
Responsive Web Design is a way of building a website that responds to the size of the browser. Rather than building a unique mobile version developers build a flexible design that changes dynamically to the actual width of the browser.
Here are five key elements to consider when creating a responsive web design.Element 1: Navigation
As shown in this example of foodsense.is
, the site navigation is laid out in different locations depending on the width of the browser. For mobile users the navigation is top and centered (for easy access) for other widths it is either top right corner or below the logo. Responsive design shouldn’t scale the navigation to huge proportions on a large screen device.
Element 2: Columns
One important point to understand is that responsive web design doesn’t just scale a site when it’s first served to a user, but also scales if someone makes their browser larger or smaller. A good example of this can be found on a recently celebrated responsive design – The Boston Globe
As a major newspaper, the Boston Globe made responsive architecture and design a part of their launch as a pay-wall based site. The site works and looks great regardless of the device you are viewing it from.
The Boston Globe responsive web design is a textbook example of a design that preserves its integrity regardless of the browser size.
The Boston Globe site can display one column of content or three, depending on the browser width.
A responsive website will scale headlines, images, text and ads in the right proportions while maintaining the integrity of the design, both when the website is first served, and when the browser is re-sized.Element 3: Calls to action
Good responsive design considers the critical calls to action that should be displayed prominently regardless of the screen or browser size.Mogo Tix
clearly displays the “Get Started For Free” call-to-action on their responsive design.Element 4: Branding
Simply scaling or moving elements around on a flexible grid, doesn’t address the issue of sites losing their unique branding when building a mobile version. Building a responsive design requires designing for three or four widths. A designer’s eye is important to make sure that the design reflects the brand at all sizes.
Notice how London & Partners
keeps many of the branding elements of the site visible no matter what the screen size.Element 5: Padding and White SpaceCognition
, Happy Cog’s Blog does a nice job of preserving padding and white space on various screen sizes. This ensures the items on the page have the appropriate information hierarchy. Nothing feels too crowded or misaligned.Responsive web design presents the information from the site in the best visual manner regardless of screen size. Unlike print design, web design has always been presented on canvases of varying sizes.Responsive Web Design is the latest & most flexible solution to design that addresses these differences.
What are other elements that should be considered in your responsive design?About the Author: Brian Schwartz is a Partner / Interactive Director at Spoke Marketing, a full service marketing agency in St. Louis, Missouri. Brian is a web designer and developer with over 11 years of experience working with clients large and small. You can follow him on twitter@creativereason.
Image courtesy of practicalowl
Great SEO content is great content. Period. And what goes into great content? Relevant, readable text and useful images, graphs, or videos that catch and keep interest. But you can
tip the SEO scales in your favor and still engage readers.
Here are 5 secrets of great SEO content writing
- Create content that is readable and relevant.
2. Use long tail keywords.
3. Use keywords in H1 tags, image alt tags, and other HTML tagging and semantic code.
4. Keep up with search engine algorithm changes.
5. Build authoritative and relevant inbound links using rich anchor text.Readability and Relevancy
The foremost thing to remember for SEO content writing is that ultimately a human will read it. Using a keyword over and over ad nauseum
does not great content make. Humans do not want to read the same word over and over, they want to read content that solves their problems and answers their questions. SEO is only part of the equation; you want people to stick around awhile so they can find out the other great things about your content.Long Tail Keywords
Trying to rank for single keywords, or “head terms,” can be incredibly difficult and does not target your audience very well unless your head term is labyrinthectomy. Head terms are often highly sought-after, extremely competitive keywords that can cost more in time and money than they are worth.
Long tail keywords, on the other hand, can help you accurately target your precise audience. These are keywords related to your content that are not used as heavily and are therefore not as competitive (meaning easier for you to rank for them). They are also generally more specific to your audience and by using several long tail keywords and phrases you can actually get more action and lower bounce rates than with a highly competitive head term.Use Keywords in Your HTML Code
Placing keywords in your content a certain percentage of the time (say, once or twice every couple of paragraphs) as well as in your title is a good place to start. But there are more places that are not read by humans but appeal very nicely to search engines. The HTML code within the webpage is a great place for keywords:
- H1 tags
- Alt tags
- Internal links
- Meta description tags (to a lesser extent)
One meta tag you can ignore in SEO content writing, oddly enough, is thekeyword
meta tag. Due to frequent overstuffing and irrelevancy, search engine algorithms now completely ignore this tag.Keeping Current in SEO
In keeping with the previous statement about keyword meta tags, it behooves us all to pay attention to the changes that occur periodically in search engine algorithms and behaviors. According to Search Engine Watch Top 10 SEO Myths Dispelled
, Google can and does change its search algorithm several times a year, usually to thwart indiscriminate use of various SEO practices (see again: keyword tag). Search Engine Watch
and SEOmoz’s blog
are a couple of excellent resources to help you keep up with changes.Link Building
Inarguably the most important part of getting search engines to put your content at the top of the list is through authoritative and relevant links from other sites to your content. Inbound links made of rich anchor text (the clickable text in the link) with your chosen keywords from a site considered authoritative and relevant by other users has the greatest impact on where your content will rank.
Rich anchor text in SEO content writing means using a more specific phrase than Harry the Handyman. Rich anchor text that will draw more relevant clicks has more precision in its wording. See Harry the Handyman for Erasing Bathroom Grout will have a higher click rate for the key phrase “bathroom grout” and bring in very relevant and sales-ready customers.
There are more than 5 secrets for great SEO content writing, but these are the most important. For more information look into the sites below.SEO Tools and ResourcesGoogle AnalyticsSEO Copywriting Tips from CopybloggerHubSpot Inbound Internet Marketing BlogOpen Site Explorer
Hamilton Chan is CEO and founder of Paperlinks, which provides the leading QR code infrastructure for businesses. Codes generated through Paperlinks app can be scanned by the free Paperlinks iPhone app or by any QR code reader on any smartphone platform.
While the debate rages on whether QR codes
are a passing fad or a marketing phenomenon, those little suckers continue to pop up all over the place. From product packaging to retail signs and even to food
, almost any surface in the universe seems fair game for a QR code.
However, if brands deploy QR codes merely to claim they are using the latest social media marketing tool, then QR codes are doomed to fall in the “fad” bin, never to realize their full potential. The task for marketers is to use this interactive tool to deliver useful and meaningful experiences to their users.SEE ALSO: Why QR Codes Are Here to Stay
So, how can you assess whether you are using QR codes to their full potential? Although very few QR marketing statistics exist, here are a few tips for businesses looking to deliver a meaningful QR code experience.
1. Define Your Purpose The first thing to realize is that QR codes can be as much about utility as they are about marketing. The more your QR code enhances or streamlines the lives of customers, the more engagement you can expect. As such, the most important step in making your QR campaign a success is to think clearly about the purpose of your code.
Is the purpose to provide an instructional video, a photo catalog of products, contact information or product suggestions?
- Or are you looking to incentivize mobile purchasing behavior through coupons and loyalty rewards?
- What is the advertiser hoping to garner – an email address, social media engagement, a phone call?
- Are you seeking to provide information about a single product or about the entire brand line?
The clearer you are about the purpose of your campaign, the easier it will be to discern whether your goals have been achieved.
2. Call On Your Customers Now that you have defined your purpose, craft a customer call to action. Think of your QR code as a doorway, only you need to explain what’s hidden behind the door. The brief text sitting next to your code should be the world’s shortest elevator pitch.
For instance, you’ll see high scan rates if your code says, “Scan this code for an exclusive gift” or “Scan this code for our lowest price.” Be sure to explain any incentive associated with the code truthfully — it will increase trust, consumer interaction and the overall return on your campaign.
3. Design and Usability Is Key
Understand that looks matter. Ideally, opt for a designer code
rather than a black-and-white checker box. Designer codes earn higher scan-through rates, look better on your materials, and even provide an element of security to assure users that this is indeed the brand’s QR code (and hasn’t been somehow covered over).SEE ALSO: 5 Big Mistakes To Avoid in Your QR Code Marketing Campaign
In addition, the design of the mobile landing page is critical. The cardinal sin in QR code campaigns is directing users to your desktop website. Not only does a desktop site provide little added value over what a user could have obtained without the code, but the site usually looks and functions terribly on a mobile phone. If you do not have a mobile-friendly version of your website, consider using one of the many available tools to create one
. Using one of these platforms makes it easier to update content in real time and track campaign analytics.
4. Measuring Scans The most important metric of a QR campaign should not be the number of daily scans. Rather, the length of engagement time that your code is generating should be a marketer’s primary indicator of campaign success.
If people are spending two to three (or more) minutes on a link, the campaign is a success. The power of a QR code is to transform the user experience from a “quick glance” to a “deep dive.” When users spend a lot of time on your QR site, it shows that you have developed something captivating — a brand worth the interaction.
On the flip side, having a low number of scans should not discourage the advertiser, although generating zero scans is a definite red flag. If no one is scanning the code, it’s likely that something is wrong its scanability, or that its placement is not conducive to scanning (think high-up ads on the subway).
Another thing to keep an eye on is the number of scans over time. If your QR code has been constant displayed (e.g., in your retail window or on your cashier counter), you should see a long tail of interactivity as people continue to engage with your code. Achieve this by providing fresh content and incentives. Unlike other marketing vehicles (TV commercials and newspaper ads) that typically only generate one big spike in impressions, QR codes allow businesses a consistent promotional tier. If the number of scans drops to zero after the first week, this is a sign that there wasn’t enough allure to the experience.
5. Social Metrics Finally, businesses should look at the points of interaction beyond the QR code experience to judge the success of a campaign. Did a business receive more hits to its website, more followers on Twitter
, more fans on Facebook
? While trying out the latest high-tech marketing tools is fun, we must ultimately be driven by results.
The QR code experience is limited only by your imagination. The more creatively you can provide a meaningful customer experience, the more interaction your QR code campaign will enjoy.
QR codes provide metrics by tying real-world marketing (outdoor signs, magazine ads, etc.) to the mobile web
. By being imaginative, purposeful and experimental with campaigns, advertisers and consumers alike can reap rich QR rewards.Image courtesy of iStockphoto, youngvet
All inbound marketers will agree: more 'Likes' for your Facebook business page
are quite nice. But when has 'nice' ever been enough? In and of itself, Likes are ultimately useless unless you're successfully converting them into leads for your business. At the end of the day, the effectiveness of your marketing team is likely evaluated by metrics like traffic and leads. If your Facebook page has 500 fans but is generating no traffic or leads for your website, you really don't have much to brag about. And if all that "engagement" you're creating on your page isn't contributing to your team's goals, it's essentially worthless.
The good news is, Facebook fans offer a great opportunity for lead generation if you know how to leverage them. As they say, it's not size that matters -- it's how you use it. To get you well on your way to use Facebook effectively for lead generation
, here are 6 guaranteed tactics for turning likes into leads.6 Great Ways to Turn Likes Into Leads 1. Implement a Like Gate: Like gates are popping up all over Facebook
these days, and it's not difficult to understand why. They're a great way to convert new likes into leads right off the bat. Use your like gate to initially turn new page visitors into fans. Once they like you, present them with a valuable content offer that they can obtain directly from a form on your page. (Top for HubSpot Customers: The HubSpot Welcome App makes doing this extremely easy.)2. Share Links to Landing Pages on Your Wall:
Amongst the updates and content you share with your fans on your wall, be sure to include a hearty mix of landing page links for lead generating, premium content like ebooks
, webinars, and other educational downloads. In addition, make sure any blog posts you share include CTAs within the post.3. Offer Exclusive Content to Facebook Fans:
According to research from ExactTarget
, 58% of Facebook users expect exclusive content from business pages. Take advantage of this insight by offering downloadable content that is exclusive only to your Facebook fans. Set up a targeted landing page for this content, and share the link exclusively on your Facebook page. Require that page visitors must like you in order to view your offer to make it even more exclusive. You'll be generating leads and leveraging the power of exclusivity all at the same time. How's that for killing two birds with one stone?4. Use Overlooked Page Real Estate to Promote Offers:
There are quite a few places on your Facebook page you're likely overlooking to promote your offers. What about highlighting your latest offer in your page's profile picture? Have you added links to offers in your page's 'Info' section? Don't miss out on these juicy pieces of low-hanging lead gen fruit!5. Create Custom Page Tabs to Promote Offers: Customization of Facebook pages
is tough...but not impossible. Creating custom page tabs
are a great way to expand the possibilities of your Facebook page. Consider creating a tab just to highlight your offers. You can use it one to aggregate some of your best-performing offers, or maybe just promote your newest offer or promotion on a rotating basis. 6. Create Product/Service Awareness:
While it's always a bad idea to be overly self-promotional in your social media efforts, you also want to make sure that your fans are aware of your products/services. Sure, they might keep coming back to you again and again because you offer engaging conversation and valuable content, but if they don't even know what you sell, you're not doing your job. Make sure your page clearly communicates what your business sells, and use your lead gen offers to support that with content that aligns with your product/service offerings. This will help spark a connection between your content and your product.
Read more: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/28657/6-Guaranteed-Tactics-to-Turn-Facebook-Likes-Into-Leads.aspx#ixzz1dcnPE1MX
Whether large or small, a successful marketing campaign follows the same path. Don’t always think of a campaign as something huge and daunting; a group of emails that you send out to your contact list over a month should also be considered a campaign.
The biggest difference in the size of the campaign will be the resources expended—time and/or money—on each step. The lifecycle of a marketing campaign follows 6 basic steps.
Determine your buyer persona/campaign target and outline the desired outcome.
Likely, you will already have a good understanding of your buyer persona profile; this step in the cycle will identify which of those personas you are trying to reach. For example, your buyer personas may be both mothers of elementary schoolers and elementary school teachers, but in this particular campaign you’ve decided to target the mothers.
Most importantly, start with the end in mind.
What are you trying to accomplish? This may sound basic but, spoken from experience, it can prove to be more difficult than you think. Determine what, EXACTLY, you want this campaign to accomplish and how you will know if you’ve gotten there. If your campaign is designed to generate more leads
from elementary school moms, then you would say—“the goal of this campaign is to increase the number of elementary school moms that become leads on our site by 40%. We will know that they are moms and not teachers or other visitors because we will design the conversion form
so that they indicate this.”
Campaign design—graphic, creative, and copy.
This is where you can get creative. Start your brainstorm with the sky as the limit; don’t get caught up in your resource limitations during your brainstorm because it will inhibit ideation. After brainstorming, you have to come back down to earth and figure out what your resources will allow. If you have no budget, you probably can’t hire M.C. Hammer (I heard he was busy with a new project too). Not every campaign has to be earth-shattering. Once you’ve developed the campaign outline, proceed to creating graphics and copy.Determine tools for a successful outcome.
Go back to what you want to accomplish (step 1), your buyer (step 1), and your campaign (step 2). Often, steps 2 and 3 may be run concurrently.
When determining the tools to use, consider your target audience’s sophistication (especially digitally), your resources, and a quick to market approach. It’s better to use Facebook and your company blog if you already have both of those tools in place. Don’t build a brand new website until you gain traction on some smaller similar campaigns.
After you’ve determined the tools to use, set your metrics. These will be ways that you can tell early and easily if the campaign is going in the right direction. This is not the end, but it is your campaign flight dashboard. While ultimately the number of new Facebook likes are not what you’re looking for, that may be a good metric to figure if you’re on the right track toward your destination.Schedule campaign implementation and benchmarks.
Create your campaign calendar. If it’s a longer campaign (more than 4 weeks), set sprint benchmarks along the way. This will keep your team energized and moving. If the benchmarks are not met, it will also let you know if you’re on the wrong track. Put all dates and to-dos in your project management software (we use Basecamp
) and include various members of your team.Implement the campaign.
Surprisingly, this will be the easiest of the 6 steps. If you’ve planned appropriately, you know your target audience, and you know what to measure, step 5 will be a walk in the park. Most important in step 5 is to pair it with step 6 and to begin measuring and analyzing your campaign immediately
. Especially if you’re running a digital marketing campaign, you will get an early read on the success and will know whether any tweaks need to be made.Measure, analyze, and learn for next time.
Again, step 6 should walk hand-in-hand with step 5 as measurement along the way is imperative. Just because you’re heading for a mountain that you didn’t expect doesn’t mean that you should crash, burn, and start the next campaign. Make adjustments. At the end of the campaign, be sure to note everything that you learned and measure your final success against your original campaign goal.
If you are traveling into uncharted territory—whether it be with different tools, a different audience, or a higher campaign spend than normal—we recommend starting with a mini-campaign to gauge interest and to better predict outcomes and successes. Don’t spend a bundle on premier videos until you’ve seen through a smaller campaign that your customer really digs the videos.Which part of the marketing campaign lifecycle do you think is most crucial?Alexandra Gibson is the Managing Director for OttoPilot Media, an inbound marketing firm based in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the SVP for Aspen Associates, an FF&E procurement company in the hospitality industry. She wrote her first business plan at age 11…she’s been entrepreneurially intolerable since then. Be sure to follow her on Twitter- @gibsondm.
means creating and freely sharing informative content as a means of converting prospects into customers and customers into repeat buyers. The primary goal is to obtain opt-in permission to deliver content via email or other medium over time. Repeated and regular exposure builds a relevant relationship that provides multiple opportunities for conversion, rather than a “one-shot” all-or-nothing sales approach.
techniques are often applied to content created for marketing purposes, we’re not talking about advertising in the traditional sense. In contrast to “interruption” marketing such as television commercials or direct mail, content marketing involves delivering requested information with independent value that creates trust, credibility, and authority for the business that provides that value.
There are many ways to profit with content: blogging, video tutorials, email newsletters, white papers, free reports . . . and yet many people are confused about the entire concept. So Copyblogger Senior Editor Sonia Simone put together this quick 5-part tutorial that lays out the basics in plain language.
- What’s the Difference Between Content Marketing and Copywriting?
- The Three Essentials of Breakthrough Content Marketing
- 49 Creative Ways You Can Profit From Content Marketing
- How to Use Content to Find Customers
- Why Content and Social Media are a Powerful Match
Remember, content drives the Internet, and consumers are looking for information that solves a problem, not immediate sales pitches. The trust, credibility, and authority that content marketing creates knocks down sales resistance, all while providing a baseline introduction to the benefits of a particular product or service.
The individuals and businesses that are having the most success online tend to take an approach that involves a high ratio of valuable content that seems to no sales agenda, mixed with periodic promotional messages.
Creating stellar content for your marketing is great. But great content doesn’t (quite) distribute itself. It needs vehicles for people to pass it along, discuss its merits, argue over its controversies, blog it, mash it, tweet it and even scrape it. Which is, of course, where social media comes in.Social media
didn’t create content marketing, but it’s an unsurpassed tool for getting it distributed. On the flip side, great content gives social media life, by giving people something more interesting to talk about than what they’re ordering right now at Starbucks.
Social media is the third tribe’s sacred hearthThe third tribe
—the new breed of smart, savvy online entrepreneurs—are creatures of the social web. Gathering points like forums, Twitter and Facebook are the campfires that pull the tribe together. Some of us have been convening around digital campfires for a long time. (I found my first in 1989, before the invention of the World Wide Web.)
Social media has grown so explosively because connection is probably the deepest drive we have. The campfire gives us a place to share information about the day’s hunt, a forum to air out the tribe’s differences, even a place for us to consider new and better ways to build campfires.
No, it’s not a utopian picture. Our campfires are places for bickering and malice as much as for inspiration and community. But without a connecting place, without a central spot to bring us together for conversation, there is
Our gathering places are never perfect. They’re human. Which is what makes them so extraordinary.
Great content is the third tribe’s saga and storyIt doesn’t matter if you’re talking about the Yanomamo in the Amazon rainforest or friends at a barbecue in Teaneck, New Jersey. Anywhere people gather around fires, they’re going to tell stories.
It’s in the nature of the human animal to play with language, to create fables and songs and nonsense to entertain ourselves with. And it’s in our nature to make beautiful objects and embellish anything that will stand still long enough.
These instincts are alive today in great writing and imagery being shared all over the Web. The impulses that make us reweet a blog post or a fantastic Flickr image are the same ones that bring a superb Navajo weaver renown across four states.
Wonderful words and beautiful images capture our attention, no matter who we are or what technology we might have at our disposal. Our impulse to create, and our desire to remark on skillful creations, haven’t changed much since we started walking upright.
The third tribe is on the moveIn addition to our passion for connection, the other remarkable human trait is adaptability.
No other animal can adapt to as many different ecosystems and environments as we can. We’ve built dwellings in Antarctica and in space. We’ve survived the Ice Age and world wars, tsunamis and earthquakes, and even Joan Rivers winning Celebrity Apprentice.
When the environment is stable, we get complacent. We settle into calm, self-satisfied habits for thousands of years at a time.
But when the earth starts to shake, we wake up again: the same smart, watchful, inventive and dangerous monkey we’ve always been at heart.
I’ve heard the current economic meltdown described as “economic climate change,” which I like a lot. We don’t know where it’s going to get unbearably hot and where the temperature will plunge to permafrost. The system is too complex to predict, except we know it’s going to change and it’s likely to change fast.
But some things won’t change. If we can sing a remarkable song
, others will gather to hear it. And now, digital campfires connect us from Kuala Lumpur to Iceland to Dallas.
If I create content that’s worthy of attention, the world will show up and talk about it. I don’t know how
they’ll show up in 5 years (or 5 months), but I know they will.
My job is to make something amazing, then use the global network of digital campfires intelligently to find the people who will love and appreciate it.
How about you? What songs and legends are you bringing to your
campfire?About the Author: Sonia Simone is Senior Editor of Copyblogger and the founder of Remarkable Communication.