If you have ever been on a road trip, you know that it can be the best, and worst, time ever. It is kind of like being a marketer, isn’t it? I’ll refrain from using a “marketing is a journey, not a destination” analogy here but regardless of the cliché, it’s not so far from the truth.
Join us in the Conversion Road Trip with stops in New York, Toronto, Chicago, and Boston. But if you can’t make it, listen up! Five Conversion Road Tripper presenters – Angie Schottmuller, Kyle Rush, Larry Kim, Andy Crestodina, and Oli Gardner – shared lessons to lead you down the road of marketing mastery. Read on to learn how to speak to specific audience segments, outpace your PPC competition, create content hubs, and more:
Angie Schottmuller on “Speaking Her Customers’ Language”
When Angie Schottmuller was just out of high school she took a road trip from Wisconsin to South Carolina with some friends. They were in need of some cash so they asked residents for the location of an ATM machine – which at the time, was referred to in Wisconsin as a TYME Machine.
Now, imagine going to a place where people have no idea about TYME Machines and asking them for directions to one. Needless to say, they got quite a few odd looks from the locals before running into someone from Wisconsin who told them to ask for an ATM.
Fast forward a few years – Forbes named Angie one of the top marketers of 2015 – so she understands the value of learning about your customers base, and how engage and convert them.
Angie recommended starting the process of content creation by assessing the different needs within the segments of your customer base, and then writing copy that speaks to those groups.
Angie said: Establish a content baseline that appeals to the majority of your audience. Then brainstorm and investigate potential variants that correspond to different audiences (user location, Facebook interests, LinkedIn job title, etc.). Bucket meaningful opportunities, and then tweak, swap, or augment the copy/visuals for each segment.
Angie also encouraged marketers to not be afraid of speaking to regional audiences in their own “language”. Some people drink pop, others drink soda. Some say “you guys” others “y’all”. Some say “TYME Machine” and others ATM. You can target subtle dialect changes within ads or dynamically insert them based on a user’s location or IP address.
“To progressively improve your conversion rates, define a relevance roadmap that increasingly helps you learn and speak your customer’s language.”
These very small and simple changes can make all the difference in gaining the trust of your audience. It can also elevate engagement and drive conversions.
Kyle Rush on “Landing Page Change You can Believe In”
Kyle Rush is no stranger to the road… and neither is his dapper dog, Tito. Kyle is as vigilant about making sure his dog looks good as he is about making sure that his campaigns are optimized.
Kyle is perhaps best known for his involvement in the 2012 Obama campaign. As he said in a Growthhackers AMA earlier this year, his most successful test turned out to be a “false positive in disguise”.
There’s a psychological trick used with high-end restaurant menus. Dollar signs are removed from the prices, and as a result patrons spend more money. The idea is that the patrons focus on the food rather than prices. Inspired by this concept, Kyle removed dollar signs on the donation forms for the Obama fundraising campaign.
His first experiment showed an amazing 40% increase in revenue. But Kyle found out it was too good to be true.
“As elated as we were, that’s an extremely hard number to believe. So we tested it two more times and only one of the three tests was significant. Turns out the visitors we sampled in the first test were somehow heavily biased towards the variation.”
From there, Kyle and his team were a lot more careful about their sampling. This was an important lesson that helped them in the long run.
It’s easy to get carried away when seeing great results from a test. Any positive numbers, especially ones that are overwhelmingly positive, can be tempting for marketers to claim as fact. But it’s not until further testing is conducted against other sample groups that you find where the truth lies in any group of statistics.
Sampling requires an investment in time. Like any good road trip, testing is all about being in it for the long haul.
Larry Kim on “Getting There First”
If you have traveled out of town for a long weekend, you know it helps to get an early start. You don’t want to get stuck in traffic for hours and look like this “Walking Dead” poster.
In a conversation we had with Larry, he recommended using this “get going” strategy in the PPC game as well:
“My best advice for PPC advertisers today is to be a first mover. Spend time reading up on the new features and options in AdWords, new targeting features in Facebook Ads, etc. Do whatever it takes to learn about and try out those new technologies and tactics your competitors haven’t caught on to yet.”
Advancements in PPC come fast and furious. But, the only way to find the true success is to stay up to date and test new features.
Something as simple as adding new extensions to ads can help you stand out in search results, garner more clicks, raise Quality Score and, in turn, lower costs.
If you’re looking for a resource to help you stay on top of your PPC game, check out this exhaustive list of great PPC blogs.
You know what they say: The early bird gets the click.
Andy Crestodina on “Niche Destinations”
Andy Crestodina, co-founder and strategic director at Orbit Media Studios, wants you to create a niche destination for your traffic.
A niche destination for a road trip might be somewhere like Orlando, Fla., where you’ll find SeaWorld, Universal Studios, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom, and many more family-friendly attractions.
People travel to Orlando to experience a specific type of entertainment.
Andy explained that you can get more traffic by making it into a niche destination with something called a content hub.
Anyone can publish an endless stream of loosely-related posts. But the pro know that a great blog is built around a set of related topics.
Start by picking a topic that is relevant to your audience. Dig deep into the questions people have about the subject, as well as what your company does to solve them.
Then, make friends with influencers who are experts in that topic. Like Andy said:
“Follow them, share their content, comment and do anything else that slowly wins their attention in a positive way.”
Now you’re ready for your “central hub”. Your central hub is one piece of content that is the strongest and most useful. Next, publish “supporting content” in the form of webinars, blog posts, infographics, and anything you can use to support the original topic.
Once you have made relationships with influencers, ask them to share your content. See if you can get a guest post exchange with your new contacts.
You have now built a content hub that will give you an advantage in search rankings, social sharing, and lead generation. By dominating a specific topic, your traffic to your niche destination will increase, and your influence will rise right along with the search position.
Oli Gardner on “Focusing Attention on Landing Pages”
Unbounce co-founder Oli Gardner travels so much, we often wonder if he remembers where he lives. And, he never takes off without his trusty camera.
Oli is not only a landing page expert, but also a professional photographer who road trips solo into the desert to capture the perfect shot.
In Oli’s post, “Designing for Conversion — 8 Visual Design Techniques to Focus Attention on Your Landing Pages” he unveils visual techniques from the world of photography that can guide landing page visitors from your landing page to a conversion point.
Oli broke down the techniques in two categories:
- Suggestive directional cues: Abstract techniques that guide attention in a more subtle way.
- Explicit directional cues: The use of arrows and real-world indicators already familiar to us.
Of the eight total techniques broken down, one of the most fascinating is “The Suggestive Power of the Eye.” Imagine sitting in a restaurant across the table from someone. The other person is looking at you, and then suddenly turns their head and looks over your left shoulder.
Chances are you will pause and turn around to see what’s going on.
The same principle applies in photography, and, as it turns out, landing pages too.
Take this picture Oli took of a monkey. The monkey’s focus and tilted head force your eyes to the banana.
In the landing page example below, the woman’s gaze is on the headline, which prompts us to focus there as well.
Unfortunately, the headline does not tell us much, but at least they managed to get us to look there!
You can make use of this suggestive directional cue on your landing page to help draw your visitors’ gaze to a section of your page that requires special attention. It is especially useful as a directional cue to get visitors to look at that all-important call to action.
The Journey Begins
Because marketing is all about the journey, join us at one the Conversion Road Trip cities to view these wicked-smart optimization experts.
But, whether you make it or not, hopefully these tips point you in the direction of the marketer’s favorite destination: the conversion.
This post originally appeared on Unbounce, and is re-published with permission.
Featured Image: vh1.com