Monthly Archives: June 2012
Yesterday, two of the world’s largest social networks, LinkedIn and Twitter, announced an end to their partnership that allowed users to sync updates from the two sites. According to Twitter, the site is increasingly focused on “proving the core Twitter consumption experience through a consistent set of products and tools.” This essentially means that LinkedIn doesn’t make the cut for that consistent set of tools, and LinkedIn users can no longer automatically sync their tweets to publish on LinkedIn.
How Does This Affect Your LinkedIn-Twitter Posting?
Even though all users do not set their Twitter updates to automatically appear on LinkedIn, many use the hashtags LinkedIn provides to post selected tweets. Previously, LinkedIn users could connect their Twitter account, and then select the option that reads, “Share only tweets that contain #in or #li in your status updates.” This way, Twitter users could carefully select which tweets they wanted published to their professional profile without ever having to go on LinkedIn itself. Users have now been ripped of that ability, and must go straight to LinkedIn to post an update.
After running a report for keyword use in HootSuite, we discovered that between January first of this year until now, hashtag #in has been tweeted 1,746,618 times while hashtag #li has been tweeted 192,873 times. While it’s plausible that the former hashtag has been used for other messages (such as “Got a new job! #in), the latter is LinkedIn specific. Regardless, hashtag #in on average is tweeted 9,650 times a day, while hashtag #li on average is tweeted 1,065 times a day. The following graph shows each hashtag’s use over time from January 1st 2012 to June 28, 2012.
Clearly, a large audience automatically updates LinkedIn through Twitter. These users will now be forced to post their LinkedIn updates seperately. Or, how LinkedIn positions it, “Simply compose your update, check the box with the Twitter icon, and click ‘Share.’ This will automatically push your update to both your LinkedIn connections and your Twitter followers just as you’ve been able to do previously.”
Basically, users can post from LinkedIn and have that message go out to its Twitter following, but not vice versa.
How Does This Change Your Marketing?
With the previous LinkedIn-Twitter partnernship, any post that was uploaded to LinkedIn (whether on your personal profile or company page) automatically hyperlinked Twitter handles and hashtags. When users clicked on that Twitter handle or hashtag in LinkedIn, they were automatically sent to that Twitter profile or Twitter search with tweets using that hashtag.
For example, in the LinkedIn post below to the HubSpot company page, users could previously be directed to HubSpot’s Twitter account, or see all the users tweeting with #HubSpot. When you click on these links now, Twitter does a search in “LinkedIn Updates.”
This takes away marketers’ ability to easily link their campaigns together. For example, when HubSpot hosts a webinar with a hashtag for questions, we update our LinkedIn company status with the hashtag so viewers can easily go from LinkedIn to the stream of tweets for the webinar.
Does this new breakup impact your social media strategy? How so?
Sick of hearing the same “the internet is changing marketing” speeches? Want hard data to reference so that you can properly forecast and adjust future marketing plans and budgets? Just want to sound smart in board meetings? Look no further; this post will show you some current data about the state of the internet marketing world that are both helpful, and frankly kind of shocking. Take a gander!
21 Internet Marketing Statistics That May Surprise You
1) The more posts per day, the less engagement — when a brand posts twice a day, those posts only receive 57% of the likes and 78% of the comments per post. (Source: Track Social) Be mindful of your publishing frequency on Facebook, and start testing with your own page to see what frequency is right for your community. Tweet This Stat!
2) The click-through rate on triggered messages is 119% higher than “Business as Usual” messages. (Source: Epsilon and DMA) Using personalized and timely lead nurturing with marketing automation is an important strategy for improving the overall performance of your email marketing and customer generation. Tweet This Stat!
3) On average, companies respond to only 30% of social media fans’ feedback. (Source: Factbrowser) Engagement is rare. Stand out from your competition by caring and engaging with your social media community. Tweet This Stat!
4) The average tablet user spends 13.9 hours per week with the device. (Source: OPA) The tablet is quickly becoming the new laptop. Survey your customers and leads to understand how they are using tablets, and let that data influence future marketing strategies targeted at tablet users. Tweet This Stat!
5) Text messaging users send or receive an average of 35 messages per day. (Source: Forrester Research) Peer-to-peer communication through text messaging has become of core part of society’s communication infrastructure. Is there is any possible communication that your customers and prospects would like to receive via text message? Tweet This Stat!
6) Email opens on smartphones and tablets have increased 80% over the last six months. (Source: Litmus) Mobile devices have become a major source of email usage. Make sure that your email marketing message displays properly on mobile devices to maximize the results of your sends. Tweet This Stat!
7) 27% of TV sets shipped worldwide in Q1 of 2012 had internet connectivity. (Source: Display Search) Internet connectivity is becoming standard for all devices. With the internet becoming a bigger part of the living room, plan for how this change might disrupt your current broadcast marketing tactics. Tweet This Stat!
By 2016, more than half of the dollars spent in US retail will be influenced by the web. (Source: Forrester Research) Commerce is shifting more and more online. Make sure that you have a method to easily sell your product or service online. Tweet This Stat!
9) In any given week, less than 0.5% of Facebook fans engage with the brand they are fans of. (Source: Marketing Science) Brands aren’t providing the right kind of content and experience to engage their fans. Ask your Facebook fans what type of content they want to see, and then give it to them! Tweet This Stat!
10) 45% of the world’s 2 billion internet users live in Asia. (Source: Ecommerce Europe) If you actively sell and market to Asian markets, the internet is a channel that can’t be ignored. Understand how internet usage and habits differ in Asia compared to the United States. Tweet This Stat!
11) 61% of emails received at professional email accounts are non-essential. (Source: Mimecast) Inboxes are overflowing with marketing email. Use personalization, proper timing, and offers valuable to the recipient to break through the clutter and be seen. Tweet This Stat!
12) 20% of Facebook users have purchased something because of ads or comments they saw there. (Source: Ipsos) People are influenced by, well, other people. Use paid and organic marketing on Facebook to influence the conversion actions that drive your business. Tweet This Stat!
13) 17% of the top 1000 search terms on Twitter “churn over” on an hourly basis. (Source: Twitter) Twitter is all about novelty and news. Publish more frequently and focus on timely content to appeal to Twitter’s hungry users. Tweet This Stat!
14) U.S. consumers send 2.304 trillion text messages per year, up from 2.052 trillion in 2010. (Source: CTIA) Wow! That is a ton of text messages. If you are marketing to heavy texting demographics, consider incorporating a text message opt-in as part of your campaign. Tweet This Stat!
15) 40% of the accounts and 8% of the messages on social media sites are spam. (Source: Businessweek) Email isn’t the online platform with a spam problem. Take the time to customize your social media account and content so you stand out from the spam bots. Tweet This Stat!
16) 88% of adults in the US have a cell phone, 57% have a laptop, 19% own an e-reader, and 19% have a tablet. (Source: Pew Internet) The cell phone is the dominant communication tool in the United States, but information consumption is fragmented. Optimize your digital marketing for all of the screens and devices used by your target audience. Tweet This Stat!
17) 64% of smartphone owners are use their mobile devices to shop online. (Source: eDigitalResearch) The smartphone is ripe with impulse shopping revenue. If you sell goods online, target specific campaigns to smartphone users. Tweet This Stat!
18) YouTube users watch more than 3B hours of video per month. (Source: YouTube) Video is a major part of the online experience, but it’s different from traditional broadcast productions. When integrating online video into your inbound marketing strategy be sure to consider not only production value, but length. Most successful online videos are less than two minutes long. Tweet This Stat!
19) About 1 in 3 bloggers are moms. (Source: Nielsen) When looking for blogging expertise, look no further than the mommy bloggers. Everyone has influence and expertise you can learn from and leverage. Tweet This Stat!
20) 73% of smartphone owners access social networks through apps at least once per day. (Source: Lightspeed Research) Social is mobile. Make sure that content you’re sharing on social networks — like your blog articles and landing pages — are optimized for mobile devices. Tweet This Stat!
21) 91% of online adults use social media regularly. (Source: Experian) Social media is fully integrated into communication culture. Make sure it is an integrated part of your marketing strategy, too. Tweet This Stat!
Which of these internet marketing statistics was the most surprising to you?
Photo Credit: stevendepolo
NBC News engineer Ramon Lupercio came to the U.S. in 1986 seeking a better education and a better life. At 16, his family sent him to live with an uncle, wanting more for their son. He had grown up watching American movies, believing America was the best country in the world. Ra … Continue reading
If you’re like most marketers who don’t work at gigantic global corporations, you look at big data like a glamorous garment in a store window: enviously.
You look at what Facebook, Amazon, Target and your credit card company do with your data — the personalized services, the product suggestions, the targeted marketing — and you wonder why you can’t do the same thing for your business. As a Columbia Business School report last spring showed, marketers believe in the value of big data, but aren’t confident in their ability to capture it.
That’s crazy! Marketers … get over your envy, get over your fear, and dive in to big data! Not everybody needs to hire the armies of Ph.D statisticians that companies like Target and Facebook employ, because marketing software has evolved to the point where you don’t need Ph.D statisticians to do optimized, personalized marketing at scale.
What’s the Big Deal With Big Data?
First, let’s clear up what exactly big data is for anyone not in the know. Big data simply refers to data sets that are so large and complex, they become unwieldy to work with using the tools most marketers have at their disposal. But if big data is so, well, big, what value is there in it for marketers?
Big data promises to make everybody — buyers and marketers — better off. It enables optimized and personalized marketing, which means marketing that’s more useful to buyers and more efficient for marketers.
And it’s increasingly clear that the promise will be fulfilled. You can see the improvements for buyers and marketers in the stories of the companies like Tufts Medicare Preferred and Thermo Fisher Scientific, where increased personalization and optimization of the marketing process led to significant lead growth.
Why is this happening? A generation ago — when we had three tv stations, read one newspaper, and used a phone plugged into the wall — Tufts and Thermo Fisher would have bought access to a broad audience and broadcast a generic message. For companies, that was an expensive approach that didn’t produce good results. And for buyers, it was just annoying.
Today, not only do we have endless channels, apps, and websites, but they give companies and customers the opportunity to collect data about each other. Companies know their customers and prospects better, so instead of sending general messages that mean nothing to anyone, they can provide useful, targeted messages to smaller, more segmented groups of people — and they can optimize the whole process, too.
Five Ways to Take Advantage of Big Data
How can you start taking advantage of big data in your business? Turns out you don’t need to dive into a sprawling enterprise consulting project that will cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you’re using a marketing software tool like HubSpot, you can build an optimized, personalized marketing process on your own. Here are five specific steps you should begin with:
1) Make A/B Testing a Part of Your Weekly Routine – Everybody’s heard of A/B testing, and everybody knows it’s a good thing, but who does it on a regular basis? If you aren’t doing A/B testing, you aren’t optimizing your basic marketing processes like email marketing sends and calls-to-action. So how can you expect to do more sophisticated data gymnastics?
2) Personalize Your Emails - In this day and age there’s no excuse for avoiding personalization where it’s appropriate. Set up a form to collect data from your prospects, then use the data you’ve collected to populate the appropriate values in your emails. Even if it’s just the salutation, it changes the email from a blasted billboard to a personalized message. And if personalization is too much of struggle, you should look for different email marketing software. To get you started, we wrote a blog post that gives you tons of ideas for email personalization.
3) Get Sophisticated About Segmentation - If your marketing process involves sending email, it should involve list segmentation. Sending a single blast email to your whole list is like running an ad on the nightly news circa 1965. You reach a broad audience with a general message and marginal returns, and the message isn’t that useful to the recipients. Instead, improve your returns — aka your open and click-through rate — by customizing the message and the offer for specific groups.
4) Create Content Informed by Keyword Research - SEO is still a critical piece of a robust sales and marketing funnel. Don’t simply guess which keywords will be most effective and drive the most traffic. Instead, collect data and use it to optimize your content creation. Do you know which keywords drive the highest value traffic to your site? Do you know how you (and your competitors) rank for those keywords? If you want an optimized, personalized marketing process, you need to find out.
5) Optimize Your Funnel With Closed Loop Reporting – Many marketers pick their marketing mix (e.g., how much SEO versus how much social media) by pure intuition. Don’t do that. Set up a closed-loop marketing process, then use it to determine which channels are most productive for your business so you can optimize your marketing mix.
All these steps are fairly straight forward — but that’s exactly the point. You don’t need to get too fancy to begin seeing some serious of the benefits of big data. You just have to have the right process, and not be afraid to dive in!
Are you utilizing big data in your marketing?
All the world’s a stage.
Tell me about it. If only Willy Shakespeare (we’re on a nickname basis) could see us now. What was once private is now broadcast over Twitter. Indexed by Google. Tagged unbeknownst to you by a well-meaning friend on Facebook. Privacy-shmivacy.
Users are constantly chiming in — many with irate comments — about how the lack of privacy on the internet is going too far. Too much personal data is being collected, they’re going to stop using this platform or that search engine, and then recede into internet oblivion!
But does that ever actually happen? Or does “The Internet” just keep learning more and more about us, storing that data, and using it for good or evil (depending on where you fall on this debate)? Well, an interesting case study appeared this week that isn’t really “new” news, but it spotlights this debate really well. That case study is Orbitz’s behavioral targeting, and it could definitely rub some people the wrong way. Read on to find out what’s going on. As a marketer and a consumer, do you think it’s taking marketing in a creepy direction?
Orbitz’s Behavioral Targeting Tactics
The Wall Street Journal reported that, as a result of some customer research, Orbitz found out that Mac users tend to pay more for hotels purchased on their website than PC users. In fact, Mac users spend about 30% more and average $20-$30 more spend per night than PC users. They’re also 40% more likely to book a 5-star hotel. As a result, Orbitz started adjusting the search results it displayed for users based on whether they were a Mac or PC user. How did the search results change? Well, Orbitz started delivering more expensive results on page one for people on a Mac. Hey, they’re high rollers, them Mac users. Orbitz wanted to capitalize!
The WSJ tested this phenomenon themselves by looking for a 2-night hotel stay in Miami Beach on a Mac, and found that the results Orbitz delivered on page one did indeed end up being more expensive than the results delivered on a PC — 11% more expensive, in fact.
What Orbitz didn’t do, however, is show the same room at different prices. And Orbitz does let users sort by price, so Mac users could have switched to a view that sorted hotels from lowest price to highest price. But still, does this seem a little sneaky to anyone? Or is it just smart marketing? After all, Orbitz found that statistically, when Mac and PC users book at the same hotel, Mac users tend to book a more expensive room than PC users. Isn’t this just delivering the results that Mac users tend to want based on past buying behavior?
It also appears that Orbitz may be using more sophisticated targeting than just “expensive = mac,” “cheap = PC.” Orbitz’s statisticians found that there were some types of hotels that were far more likely to be booked by Mac users than PC users. Almost half of the bookings for the Public Chicago, for example, come from Mac visitors — and it might have to do with features of the hotel, like the fact that it’s a high end hotel that offers “lobby socializing.” Hey, maybe high end hotels with social lobbies just strike a Mac user’s fancy, and Orbitz knows it. Thus, the targeting is based on price, as well as qualities of the hotels that align with characteristics Mac users tend to appreciate. The case for this more robust behavioral targeting (somehow, making it more robust than just price seems less sleazy, no?) has some support based on the fact that Orbitz admitted to considering other information like a user’s location, site history, and the hotel’s popularity when delivering search results.
Does Anyone Really Care?
Well, does anyone care? I don’t know; how would you feel knowing you were targeted this way? I have a feeling the results will run the gamut. But what this all comes down to is just really advanced behavioral targeting — something marketers do all the time. So who cares?
To answer that, I think we have to take off our marketer hat, and put on not just our consumer hat … but also our non-marketing savvy consumer hat. A little over two years ago, we published a post about Google Analytics releasing the ability for people to opt out of having their behaviors tracked. Many marketers who rely on Google Analytics were concerned about widespread adoption of this feature, making it difficult for them to do their jobs. The implications for site owners and marketers were dire, indeed. Anecdotally, however, it seems that most people don’t even realize the extent to which they’re being tracked — and the rollout of a feature like this strikes fear in the hearts of some, and goes unnoticed by almost everyone else who isn’t immersed in this internet marketing world of ours. Anecdotal case in point:
I was at an email marketing conference in New York City just a few months ago, and participating in a round table about behavioral targeting in email marketing. When we started talking about list segmentation based on past website behavior, one of the roundtable participants — a professional email marketer — looked at us jaw agape, eyes bulging out of her head. Upon hearing about site tracking and data storage capabilities many marketers have at their disposal, she took off her marketer hat and went into consumer mode … an unhappy consumer at that. She couldn’t believe such capabilities existed, and asked me if I felt my privacy was being invaded by having my online activities tracked so meticulously. My response? It’s not really a surprise to me, and presumably it helps me get more relevant content from marketers … but personally, I get why it would creep some people out.
And there are more widespread strides in the direction of, “Back off, Marketers!”, too. Just look at the EU privacy laws that prohibit the usage of tracking cookies without the explicit consent of browsers, and the demise of SOPA earlier this year. On the other end of the spectrum, however, is Google Now that combines your search history and information from your mobile device to deliver information to you; and the newly released Facebook Exchange, which lets you serve ads based on browsing activity in real time. So, what do you think …
… Is Marketing Getting Too Creepy?
For me (and probably some of my fellow marketers) the jury’s still out. As marketers, we’re used to this stuff, so our perspective could be a little warped. What do our customers expect? After all, these recommendations can be seen as really helpful — I know I love the targeted recommendations I get when I shop on Amazon.com, for instance.
But if I found out those recommendations were being shown not because I would like them more, but because Amazon could squeeze more money out of me, I might feel a little differently. Yes, ultimately, that’s what they’re there for … but presumably, this consumer exchange can be mutually beneficial: I voluntarily give you my money, because I want what you have, and you want my money. We both walk away happy.
So what do you think? Do most consumers know this is going on, or would most people be shocked and appalled at this level of segmentation and behavioral targeting? Is Orbitz walking a fine line, or is it no different than what most marketers do, anyway? In fact, would marketers be foolish not to use the data available to them to make better targeting decisions? Share how you feel — as a marketer, and as a consumer — in the comments!
Image credit: jeff_golden
It’s no news flash that inbound marketers have to produce a lot of content and offers. After all, without these valuable assets — and plenty of ‘em — inbound lead generation would be quite a challenge. And with every new offer, marketers must also spin out a new landing page to go with it.
But because landing page creation has become such a regular practice, and considering that many tools make it so quick and easy to create a new landing page in minutes, attention to landing page optimization can also easily fly out the window. So if you’ve been guilty of launching landing pages left and right all willy nilly, you may be overlooking some little details that can take the performance of your landing pages from good, to great. Got 15 extra minutes on your hands? Audit one of your landing pages, and see if you can make any of the following little tweaks that can make a BIG difference in your lead-gen results.
13 Little Tweaks That Can Make a BIG Difference in Landing Page Performance
1) Punch Up Your Headline
Every landing page should have an attention-grabbing headline that clearly indicates what the offer its featuring is about. If your landing page visitor read nothing else on the page but the headline, would she know exactly what she’d receive by completing and submitting the form? If it’s not clear, make it so.
In addition to clarity, punch up the prominence and language of the headline. Does it stand out? Make it bold, and use a header tag. Is it compelling? Use strong verbs, adjectives, and keywords (for SEO!) like you would in a blog post title. Your headline is probably the first thing your visitors’ eyes will gravitate toward when they reach your page, so you need to make it count. For example, just take a look at HubSpot’s landing page for one of our ebooks, pictured below. The headline is bold, it clearly states what the visitor will receive (“Free Guide”), and it uses compelling language (“Mastering”).
2) Shorten Your Copy
If your landing page looks more like a blog post than, well, a landing page, it’s probably a good indication that you need to shorten your copy. A landing page with lots and lots of explanatory text is not only initially daunting to the reader, but it also buries the value of your offer. Shoot for around 100 words of copy or fewer in your landing page description so your visitors can quickly read and understand what your offer is about — and be enticed to convert.
3) Make the Value Clearer
Speaking of value, does your landing page make it totally obvious what your prospects will get out of redeeming your offer? It’s not just enough to tell them that they’ll receive, say, an ebook on creating calls-to-action; you need to emphasize the value in it. Remember, you’re trying to convince your landing page visitors that filling out a form and providing their personal information is worth what they’ll get in return.
In our landing page example above, for example, the copy on our page clearly indicates that our CTA ebook will teach you how to “improve your calls-to-action and optimize them for maximum conversions.” In other words, as a potential ebook downloader, you ‘get’ that after you’ve read our ebook, you’ll know how to get more conversions out of your CTAs. When visitors clearly understand the value of downloading the ebook, and they’re more inclined to fill out the form to obtain that valuable information.
4) Break Up Text
A final point about landing page copy to piggyback off the last two. You may only have 80 words of copy on your page, and it may clearly emphasize the value of your offer, but if it’s all in one big chunk of unformatted text, it might also be all for naught.
Separate your landing page text into bite-size chunks that are easily scannable. As I said earlier, your landing page visitors don’t want to waste their precious time trying to understand why they should redeem your offer. And if at any point, they feel like it’s not worth determining, they’ll leave — offerless. Consider using bullet points to help describe your offer and highlight the value it provides, as we’ve done in our previous landing page example above.
5) Move That Form Up ‘Above the Fold’
Do your visitors have to scroll down on the page or search high and low to find where or how they can redeem your offer? No bueno. If your form is below the fold (in other words, your visitors have to scroll down on the page in order to find it), move it up so it’s more prominently visible. Worse — if they don’t understand that they need to fill out the form to redeem the offer in the first place, make it clear. There should be no guesswork involved in offer redemption from your prospects’ perspective.
6) Shorten (or Lengthen) Your Form
“(Or Lengthen)”? Stay with us folks. First of all, understand that the more form fields you have, the less likely it is people will want to fill them out. Therefore, the length of your form needs to align with your lead generation goals.
So if your sales team has too many leads on their hands and they don’t have the time to qualify them all, you might want to make your forms longer so they gather more information about your leads, enabling your sales team to better qualify them up front. If you’re not generating enough leads, on the other hand, it might make sense to shorten your forms. The fewer fields you require, the less friction you’ll create, and the more people will be willing to complete the form. Get it? Got it? Good.
7) Improve Your Form’s Submit Button Text
What does the text on your landing page’s submit button read? It it reads, “Submit,” you might want to make a little tweak. According to research conducted for the Science of Lead Generation, landing pages with submit buttons actually labeled “Submit” tended to have lower conversion rates than those that used other wording. Why? We think it’s because of the level of commitment the word “submit” implies, compared to other words like “Click Here” or “Go.”
Use this data as a starting off point, and test different button text to see what works with your pages and your audience.
Add a link to your landing page — preferably right on the form itself — that directs form-wary visitors to a page that outlines your privacy. This will help quell any fears they might have about how you plan to use their information, and make them more likely to complete the form. It will also make you seem transparent, trustworthy, and credible (because you are!).
9) Add Social Sharing Buttons
Want to easily extend the reach of your offers? Put your visitors to work! Your landing page visitors have their own networks of contacts, and many of them are likely not in yours, so if they share your landing page in social media, you’ll be expanding your reach beyond your direct network.
But really, you don’t want to actually make it work for them to share your offers with their networks, so how about you just make it as easy as possible for them to do so? Add social media and email sharing buttons to your landing page and its thank-you page! Just be sure that the URL you include in these pre-populated updates links to your offers’ landing page, not the thank-you page where leads can access the offer (remember, you want to capture that conversion first!). If you’re not sure how to create these handy little buttons, check out our guide to creating social media sharing links and buttons here.
10) Add a Visual (or a More Compelling One)
We humans are visual creatures, so it’s no wonder we’ve seen an increasing emphasis on visuals in marketing lately. (Think about all those infographics, memes, and the rise in visual-centric social networks like Pinterest.) Hey, they don’t say “a picture is worth a thousand words” for nothing. So if your landing page doesn’t include some kind of visual — or a compelling one, for that matter — adding one is an easy upgrade. Even though you’ve explained what the offer is and the value they’ll get from it through your copy, it can still seem like a mystery to your visitors. Thus, we recommend including a visual that more tangibly shows the visitor what they’re actually going to get.
At HubSpot, for example, you’ll notice that the majority of our ebook landing pages feature an image of the ebook’s cover page. This gives potential downloaders a very tangible idea of what they’re going to receive when they fill out the form. Remember: Surprises are fun when it’s your birthday, not when you’re providing a random company with your personal deets.
11) Remove Distractions
Think of your landing page visitors like kids in a candy store. If you put a lot of bells, whistles, and different choices in front of them, you’ll never be able to corral them. That’s why it’s critical to limit as many potential distractions as possible on your landing pages. You want your visitors to focus on one thing and one thing only — completing the form to redeem the offer. So don’t include anything on your page that might prevent them from doing just that.
Remove any website navigation so visitors aren’t tempted to visit another part of your website, and get rid of any other calls-to-action for other offers you might have on the page.
12) Conduct an A/B Test
A/B tests are great for tweaking and optimizing your landing pages, especially because sometimes even the simplest A/B test can yield really powerful results. Another great thing about A/B tests is, there are so many possible variables you can test — and you don’t even have to limit these tests to your landing pages.
But since landing pages are the topic at hand today, let’s focus there. Some simple landing page variables you can try A/B testing include page layout, design, copy, images, and number of form fields. Be sure to pay close attention to your analytics so you know how your A/B test performed. To learn more about how to conduct A/B tests the right way, you can download our complete guide here.
13) Promote It!
While promoting your landing pages may not exactly be a “tweak,” it’s important not to overlook. After all, if you don’t promote your landing pages, all of the above tweaks won’t really make much of a difference! Be sure that along with every offer’s landing page, you create CTA buttons that you can use in blog posts (just check the bottom of this blog post for an example) and on other website pages. Furthermore, promote links to your landing pages in your website’s resource center, social media updates, email marketing sends, and lead nurturing campaigns. You put all that work into creating the offer and optimizing the landing page, so make sure you squeeze the most ROI out of it as possible!
Speaking of ROI, let your landing page analytics be your guide as you make tweaks and optimize your landing pages. If you notice a tweak has actually hurt, not helped your page, you’ll be able to track that, and switch it back!
What other little landing page tweaks have you noticed made a BIG difference in the performance of your landing pages?
Have you ever wanted to be the “voice” of your brand? Well here’s your chance! Facebook has unveiled a new feature called ‘Voice’ that allows page administrators to engage on their page as themselves. You know, your real name. So as an administrator for the HubSpot Facebook Page, I now have the option to like, comment, or post on our page as “Anum” instead of as “HubSpot.”
In the past, Facebook has given page admins two options: either use Facebook as yourself, or as your brand. Regardless of which option you were on, an admin wasn’t allowed to share what they had to say on the brand page through their personal profile. The new Voice feature allows admins to toggle between using your brand page as your brand page, or as your personal Facebook profile.
Why This is Important for Marketers
Often, your Facebook Page admins include people from your company who aren’t in charge of actually “managing” the page, but have a reason to be an admin (they need to update a certain tab, post a certain offer daily, need to access Insights, etc.). These people aren’t necessarily the “experts” when it comes to Facebook marketing, and are unaware of the smaller intricacies of the page — such as the fact that every time they like or comment on your page, they’re speaking as your brand and not themselves. There’s been times at HubSpot, for example, where admins have seen something from HubSpot in their newsfeed and liked it, not realizing they liked the post as HubSpot. While this is by no means detrimental, little things like this can make it a little scary to give people at your company administrative rights. But now, you can tell those admins to ensure they select their personal profile as their “voice” once they become an admin.
Why Marketers Also Need to Be Extremely Careful
While it’s beneficial to speak to your audience as yourself, you need to be sure you’re very aware of what voice you’re set on when engaging with your audience. This new update has the potential for the classic Twitter mistake where someone sends a personal tweet through the company handle. For example, you could accidentally get defensive about a certain comment a user left, not realizing until later that you said it as your company, not you. Talk about some embarrassing marketing mistakes.
While this also offers the benefit of being able to respond to a user’s comment as (hopefully) a fan of the brand you work for, you simply need to make sure you’re aware of who you are speaking as. Although no matter who you’re speaking as, you should always be polite, kind, and respectful. At the end of the day, you still represent your brand!
But seriously guys, be careful. I already accidentally posted to HubSpot as “me” instead of as HubSpot in the midst of toggling back and forth to write this post!
Do you manage a Facebook business page? Will you be taking advantage of this new Voice feature?
Image credit: yugenro
Jerry Fielder and Beth Ann Levendoski breathed separate sighs of relief Thursday — one in Texas, the other in California — on the news that the U.S. Supreme Court had largely upheld President Obama’s signature health care law, preserving the guarantees that the seriously ill w … Continue reading
Do you develop solutions to optimize businesses’ presence for demand generation success through all their marketing channels? Do you do something that sounds equally as unsexy and immediately sends your friends into a slumber at cocktail parties?
B2B is sooo boring. Too boring for Facebook, right?
Pshh, no way! B2B marketers have just as many opportunities on Facebook as their B2C brethren, and if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know we’re dead set on proving it — we’ve actually written a post that outlines exactly how B2B marketers can succeed on all the big social networks. All of ‘em.
So whether you’re looking to get started on Facebook, convince your boss Facebook isn’t reserved for B2C companies, or just give your presence there a little extra love, take a look at these Facebook page cover photos from other B2B marketers. It should get your creative juices flowing, and let you see the different ways B2B marketers can approach that giant chunk of visual real estate at the top of the new Facebook business pages.
Welcome to Boss country, indeed. This manufacturer of snow removal equipment (and HubSpot customer!) has a cover photo that will jump out of the computer and bulldoze you if you don’t like their page. I particularly love the way “The Boss” is outlined in the bottom left photo that really hammers home their epic point … that these guys are BOSS! (Nineties slang, anyone?)
Intel’s cover photo is … well, it’s pretty weird. It’s kind of hard not to let a giggle slip out when looking at that little yellow guy. Or girl? Either way, this is about the last thing anyone would expect to see when stumbling upon Intel’s Facebook page. But it actually does make sense — it’s part of their SciArt Series, which is a collection of art celebrating scientific breakthroughs at Intel’s International Science and Engineering Fair. And since new art is added pretty frequently, we’re excited to see what else graces the cover of their Facebook page in the future!
Dropbox leverages one of my favorite tactics for engendering love in the hearts of your audience … being adorable. First of all, this looks like the happiest place on earth. Maybe colored pencil just has that effect on me. Second of all, what’s cuter than that little smiling stick figure guy flying the red plane? Do you see him? Fly safe, little guy! Plus, Dropbox carries over this design to their Twitter account and website for a consistent brand experience.
Forrester Research is an independent research company that prides itself on its objectivity and pragmatism, which is why this cover photo is so appropriate! Instead of using a photograph of their researchers, they’ve echoed the objectivity of their research through the use of silhouettes to represent their researchers. Now those are some faces I can trust.
5) PR 20/20
But that doesn’t mean you can’t show your employees’ smiling faces! HubSpot agency partner PR 20/20 shows off their team in their cover photo, providing a more personal experience for clients that visit their Facebook page. It doesn’t hurt that they’re all wearing nice shades of blue that echo their company logo … and that they’re a pretty handsome bunch, to boot! Oh, PR 20/20, you heartbreakers!
You can also showcase your employees in a new light — one outside of the office — like Deloitte has done in their Facebook cover photo. They’ve selected the Deloitte China dragon boat team in action as their cover photo, and I gotta say it humanizes the brand a bit. It’s nice to see an organization many might consider “stuffy” doing something pretty darn cool outside of their office’s four walls.
7) W.B. Mason
W.B. Mason’s cover photo has that antique look that embodies the W.B. Mason mascot (can you call him a mascot?). Makes sense, since they’ve been going strong since 1898 — probably because they’re adopting inbound marketing methods like using Facebook
Salesforce is focused on promoting the social enterprise — the company description on their Facebook page is, “Born Cloud. Reborn Social.” So it only makes sense that they use their Facebook cover photo to promote not only their own investment in the social enterprise, but also their investment in one of their customers, too. Caesar’s Palace is actually a customer success story for Salesforce, and they’re doing what all B2B organizations should be doing in this cover photo — giving some serious customer love … with a touch of whimsy, of course!
Of course, you could always just fall back on creating something beautiful. This cover photo from one of our awesome partners is bright and eye-catching, but still showcases simple and clean design. Take those white icons in the upper-left corner, for example — they give indications of what Weidert Group might do, but it doesn’t give away the farm. Like any great cover photo, this one grabs your attention so you’re compelled to learn more about the company.
10) General Electric
General Electric is a common visitor on our social media rockstar lists, because they inspire you to think outside the box when you’re working in a traditionally dull industry. If you haven’t already, I recommend you take a look at the cool things they’re doing on Pinterest for more inspiration. But this cover photo positions them as a classic icon — a beacon of light! — for the energy world. There’s nothing wrong with a little simple elegance now and again.
Yoh is a HubSpot customer that provides HR outsourcing solutions. Their cover photo is excellent because it promotes something everyone can support — National Military Appreciation Month — and it also relates back to their business in some way. Yoh can help their clients hire military veterans, a cause everyone can get behind and is happy to see promoted on social media by a company who can actually help the cause.
Finally, a shameless plug for our own Facebook cover photo … but we actually think it’s pretty cool. Why? Because this new photo (we used to have an orange-ified Boston skyline) helps us promote one of our events. You might remember that the new Facebook page Timeline design restricted your ability to make your photo a call-to-action — but when you click on this photo, the description includes a link that leads to the landing page on which you can register for The Science of Inbound Marketing, what we hope will set the new record for the world’s largest webinar!
What other B2B organizations have excellent Facebook page cover photos? Share them in the comments!
Image credit: FailedImitator
Has the Google news been bombarding your RSS feeds today like it has mine? Feeling a bit overwhelmed? To be honest, I had to take a deep breath myself. Talk about announcement overload! Today was the Google I/O conference, so it’s no wonder that we have some new developments to sort through.
But we’re inbound marketers, so we have to stay on top of these things. And luckily, you have us here to tell you what you need to know as marketers! So let’s review the top 3 announcements made at the Google I/O conference today that we should be aware of as awesome inbound marketers.
1) Google+ for Tablets
You probably heard the rumors even before the news broke, but today Google officially announced its new tablet (Nexus 7), which is similar in price to the Kindle Fire, costing $199. Google also launched another Nexus-branded product called Nexus Q, a spherical social-streaming media device that can be hooked up to speakers or TVs, through which anyone can stream music or video powered by Android and Google Play.
Along with these new devices, Google also announced a Google+ app specifically engineered for tablet devices. According to Google, the app design features a “stream that styles content based on popularity, type, and orientation; a ‘lean back’ Hangouts experience that’s great for the couch or common room; and crisper text, fuller photos, and easily-tappable actions like +1 and comment.” Below is a screenshot taken from Google’s slideshow showing the new tablet application:
The Android version of the tablet app will roll out to phones today, and Google says the iPad version is coming soon. As for the new Nexus devices, they’re available for preorder today and will ship mid-July in the U.S.
Tablet adoption is only increasing, and with new tablet devices popping up all the time, it only makes it more important for marketers to be optimizing their websites, emails, and other content for tablet devices. Announcements like this one should serve as a wake-up call for marketers who continue to put mobile optimization on the back burner. You should also consider whether Google+ should be a bigger part of your social media marketing strategy with the release of the Google+ app. If much of your audience uses a tablet, you might start seeing larger Google+ adoption among them, too. Marketers, it might be time to start experimenting with some new content on Google+ — maybe something visual to take advantage of that nice, crisp resolution!
2) Google+ Events
Before (Features That Enable You to Set Up Your Invitation):
- Choose from beautiful-looking themes.
- Attach a personalized YouTube video greeting.
- Include creative animations.
- Automatically sync with Google Calendar.
During (Features That Enable Attendees to Share Photos):
- By enabling “Party Mode” on their mobile device, any photo an attendee takes on their device will automatically get added to the event in real time.
- When other attendees turn on “Party Mode,” more photos will appear to other attendees.
- Event hosts can also project a “live slideshow” of the photos added during the event.
After (Everyone’s Pictures in One Place):
- See everyone’s pictures in one place on the event page after it’s over.
- Read everyone’s comments on the page, documented in chronological order.
- Browse by popularity, photographer, or photo tag.
Google+ Events seems to offer a much richer experience than other social networks’ events features, Facebook in particular. If you’re hosting a marketing event and your audience uses Google+, Google+ Events might be a fun feature to try out. And with events season in full swing, now might be the best time to use this feature to drive more ticket sales, too. Just think about it — with the integration of Google+ into search results, your use of Google+ Events could be the extra push you need to see a growth in ticket sales from your organic and social channels. And if you’re trying to increase your Google+ following, the fantastic new features Google+ Events offers during the event is just the push you need to drive attendees to use Google+ to share their experience at your event.
3) Google Now
Built in as a new feature of Jelly Bean (Google’s newest Android 4.1 update, also rolling out in mid-July), Google Now combines what your mobile device already knows about your activity and everything you’ve previously wanted to know through your search history on the device to deliver you the right information at just the right time.
By monitoring things like your usual route to work, how long it takes to arrive there, your favorite sports teams, your calendar, travel plans, and favorite local eateries, Google Now can tells you things like the day’s weather forecast at the start of your day, suggest alternative routes to work when traffic is bad, and notify you of you favorite team’s score when they’re playing a game.
Check out Google’s video below for a better understanding of what Google Now does:
Google Now sounds a little bit like behavior-based marketing … for search, right? Only time will tell how this search trend evolves and how marketers should adapt, but as with any new trend, it’s important to be aware. And since Google is getting better at delivering content to its users, it’s critical your business increase the chances that your content is delivered.
That means the importance of consistently pumping out content has never been greater. But not just any content, mind you — the content needs to be relevant to your audience. Do you know what your audience needs? Have you defined marketing personas around which you can create content? Are you continually trying to create content that answers their questions? If so, it’s much more likely Google Now will be able to return results for your content one of these day. This will be particularly important for local, brick-and-mortar shops that need to appear at the top of search results for mobile queries.
What do you think of the Google I/O announcements from today? What other marketing implications do you see?
By Marcus HarunNBC News
Between noon and 2 p.m. Americans nationwide have their midday meal: lunch. But years ago it used to be a much bigger meal called dinner.
New York City changed that.
In the 1900s, New York was industrializing very quickly and the work culture was changing … Continue reading