5 Essential Ways Marketing Must Change to Support Inside Sales

After years of running and advising startups, I’ve found that many businesses struggle with friction between sales and marketing. Sales often complains that marketing is not generating quality leads. Marketing, on the other hand, criticizes sales for not properly following up with prospects.

In the few companies I was involved with where marketing and sales were aligned, the difference was palpable. These businesses had a clear go-to-market strategy that translated into well-defined priorities for every employee. They also had a much stronger company culture and terrific morale across the organization.

On paper, aligning sales and marketing shouldn’t be hard. Marketing, after all, has the same goal as sales (or, as Peter Drucker said, “the aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous”). In practice, however, finding a good fit between the two departments is one of the more difficult problems in business.

This problem is all the harder in the age of inside sales. With shorter sales cycles and lower price points, there is very little opportunity for sales and marketing to collaborate on specific deals. Throw in the typical strong personalities of sales and marketing leaders, and you have an interesting challenge.

Solving the sales-marketing alignment challenge is critical to your business success. For inside sales to work well with marketing, it is imperative that marketing adopt a few key changes to its principles and processes.

Here are 5 ways marketing must change in order to become effective in a high velocity inside sales go-to-market strategy:

1. Marketing Must Adopt Transparent Pricing

Selling software used to involve sitting across from a prospect, showing off a product demo, and then offering a custom quote based on the customer’s requirements and input from the sales manager.

This method does not work in the present-day context. Buyers today have access to much more information, and they complete nearly 60% of the sales cycle before even talking to a rep. They demand transparent pricing in order to purchase only the products that fit within their budgets and feature requirements.

Besides being more buyer-friendly, transparent pricing offers two tacit benefits to your sales team as well:

  • More qualified leads: Transparent pricing helps buyers qualify your solution for their budgets and reach out only if there is a fit. By pre-qualifying buyers this way, you can ensure that only higher quality leads get through to your inside sales team.
  • Lower friction, faster deals: At an average of 45 days, inside sales cycles are significantly shorter than field sales. To sustain shorter cycles, you want prospects to make purchase decisions quickly. Transparent pricing ensures that your sales team spends the least amount of time possible on pricing. They can focus on the more valuable task of sharing the benefits of your solution for a specific prospect’s needs.

Ideally, you want your pricing to be as easy to understand as possible. You can vary pricing by features or users, but make sure to optimize for, at most, two variables. More than that and you will confuse prospects and lengthen the sales cycle.

RingCentral is a great example of transparent pricing. It offers pricing based on number of users and edition (bundle) chosen. With just three different plans, prospects don’t have to struggle with choosing from endless plans and customization options. This removes friction from the sales cycle and helps RingCentral sell more.

pricing-page-6-6-15

Contrast this with their competitor ShoreTel. Although ShoreTel offers similar products, its pricing plans are confusing and non-transparent. Buyers who land on the ShoreTel website have no option but to contact a sales rep, even if the products are beyond their budget or requirements.

shoretel-pic

Key Takeaway

More options work well with enterprise sales where your goal is to maximize revenue per deal, but in a high velocity inside sales environment, limiting choice yields better results (600% better, according to one study). By directing marketing to adopt transparent pricing, you will ease the buyer’s decision-making process, thus aiding the inside sales team.

2. Marketing Must Have a Leads Quota

The performance of a sales team is a function of the total number of leads it receives each month. The higher this number, the more leads it can process, and the more it can sell.

This is true for every sales team, but is all the more pertinent for inside sales. The inside sales cycle is much shorter than field sales (around 45 days versus 6 to 9 months for field sales), and inside sales reps are not bound by physical limitations (such as taking meetings), which enables them to handle much higher lead volumes.

Thus, a high velocity inside sales team needs a constant influx of qualified leads delivered at a regular rhythm to be successful. This is the reason marketing must have a monthly leads quota. If marketing can’t send enough leads to sales even for a single month, it will be difficult for the inside sales team to meet its bookings number. This is bad for the bottom line and worse for sales-marketing alignment and morale.

Jason Lemkin of Saastr.com agrees, saying that just as a vice president of sales carries a sales quota, a “vice president of marketing needs a leads quota.”

For this idea to be successful, however, sales and marketing must work together to define what makes a qualified lead. In the past, it was common to use BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeframe) as qualifying criteria, though today more relaxed criteria is used. Once sales and marketing agree on a definition of a qualified lead, marketing can be held responsible for a monthly qualified leads quota.

Key Takeaway

Give your marketing team a leads quota with well-defined qualification metrics. This is necessary for the success of your inside sales team.

3. Marketing Must Run Campaigns That Are Flexible

Prior to inside sales, it was typical to have long lead-time marketing campaigns and not get the results of their effectiveness until months later. So, marketing heads would draw up year-long marketing plans in November, and then wait until March-April to see whether the initial campaigns worked (or not). You had little access to data, and whatever little data you did get often took months to roll in.

Compare this with marketing campaigns today, and you will see two significant changes:

  • Marketing campaigns generate more data: You can launch a brand new marketing campaign, buy some PPC traffic to test your messaging, and get tons of actionable data within hours. If the data passes your benchmarks, you can then go ahead and launch it at scale, passing the leads to your inside sales team.
  • Inside sales teams generate results faster: Once the leads start rolling in, a competent inside sales team can close them within days. Thanks to these shorter inside sales cycles, your marketing team can get constant feedback on the campaign’s effectiveness.

In this scenario, the only way to succeed is by running agile campaigns that can accommodate feedback from inside sales. Your inside sales reps should be in constant touch with marketing, telling them exactly what works and what doesn’t. Marketing, in turn, should use this data to optimize the campaigns constantly for best results.

Key Takeaway

Make sure your marketing campaigns are flexible and adapt as per feedback from inside sales. If something doesn’t work, marketing should move quickly to change course. If something does work, marketing should increase spending on it.

4. Marketing Must Be Involved in the Entire Sales Process

It is inevitable that your prospects will raise objections in the course of the sales process. How effectively your reps can answer these questions will be instrumental in determining your win rate.

Traditionally, the responsibility for addressing objections falls upon sales reps. In my experience, however, you see a lot more success by offloading this duty to marketing and involving marketing in the entire sales process. This will also save your sales reps’ time since a majority of reps spend up to 30 hours a month producing sales material.

As an example, in my last company, our customers in the healthcare industry would go through the entire buyer’s journey, but raise objections about HIPPA compliance (required by government regulation) before making a purchase decision. Of course, our reps would answer their queries, but it was usually haphazard and dependent on the individual rep.

To meet these challenges, I directed our marketing department to collaborate closely with inside sales and gather a list of common customer objections. Marketing then went to work creating detailed material for each query and distributing it across the team. Any time a rep encountered an objection, he or she could use this informational material to move customers further along the sales cycle.

Thus, whenever our healthcare customers raised objections, they received a detailed whitepaper on HIPPA compliance. Since this document was common throughout the sales team, we could also answer customer queries in a consistent manner.

The results were telling. Our win rates increased dramatically, and we quickly became the leading SaaS Contact Center Solution for the healthcare industry.

Key Takeaway

Marketing can no longer just hand over leads to sales. It has to be involved in the entire sales process, producing informational material and helping sales reps address prospects’ objections in order to nudge them down the sales process. A professionally produced marketing document will work much better than a quickly drafted email from a sales rep in answering prospects’ questions.

5-Essential-Ways-Marketing-Must-Change-To-Support-Inside-Sales

5. Marketing Compensation Must Be Linked to Sales Performance

We’ve already discussed how marketing has to carry a leads quota. In addition, for true sales-marketing alignment, marketing’s variable compensation should be based on the inside sales plan achievement.

There are two very good reasons for this:

  • Marketing gets compensated based on its role: Once marketing is involved in the entire sales process and carrying a leads quota, a part of its compensation should be linked to its role in the sales cycle.
  • Marketing works better with sales: Sales often feels that marketing gets compensated even when sales does all the heavy lifting (i.e., making the actual sale). By linking marketing compensation to sales achievement, you will ensure that marketing is more involved than ever in helping sales achieve its goal.

Key Takeaway

Once marketing is more involved in the sales process, part of its variable compensation should be linked to sales performance (around 25%). This can also help in better sales and marketing alignment.

Conclusion

Over the last decade, inside sales has been a transformative force in sales organizations, especially in B2B sales. It has changed not only the way we sell, but also the way we market our products. The inside sales go-to-market model is here to stay and is only gaining momentum.

For inside sales to be successful, it is imperative that marketing adopt a few fundamental changes. This includes bringing more transparency to pricing, linking marketing compensation to sales performance, and involving marketing in the entire sales process.

These changes may be hard, but they are critical for modern business. They will help you sell more, run better sales teams, and most importantly, create the all-important sales-marketing fit necessary for business success.

About the Author: Mansour Salame is the Founder and CEO of FrontSpin (an inside sales SaaS provider). He is a hi-tech entrepreneur with multiple successful exits. He enjoys building high performing teams and is passionate about inside sales.

5 Essential Ways Marketing Must Change to Support Inside Sales

4 Ways You’re Using UTM Tags Wrong

The only way for us marketers to run more successful campaigns is to track what works and what doesn’t. Without proper tracking in place, we’re basically driving with our hands over our eyes, hoping it’ll all work out.

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Yeah, not the brightest idea. Image source.

One of the ways that marketers track the success of their campaigns is with UTM tags, which allow you to append a unique string to your URL so you can track the traffic that a particular source sends to your page.

They make your links look a little something like this:

Sounds pretty basic, right? Well it is, for the most part.

Except for when you’re using your UTM tags incorrectly or — even worse — not at all. When this happens, you can’t track traffic from each referral source and most importantly, you can’t keep tabs on what’s working and what’s not.

Which means you’re not likely to improve your campaigns and conversion rates.

But before we go into what not to do with your UTM codes, let’s start off with the basics of what you should be doing.

How to create a UTM tag

You can build UTM tags through Google’s free URL builder.

It’s a super simple form that’s easy to fill in once you’ve got a landing page URL and some basic information about your campaign.

create-a-utm-tag
 

All you need to do is:

  • Paste your campaign landing page URL under “Website URL.”
  • Choose a source. This is the referral origin, which is typically the site, platform or search engine people are coming from (for example: Google, Twitter, blog, etc).
  • Choose a medium. This is the generator of the traffic, such as a particular ad, image or piece of content (for example: cost-per-click, email, social, banner, etc).
  • Choose a name. This name is for your own internal tracking purposes and so each campaign has a unique identifier (for example: promo code, product launch, sale, etc).

“Campaign Term” and “Campaign Content” are optional fields which allow you to include additional information (read about how to use those here).

Once you plug in this information, Google will generate your UTM link and you can copy/paste it for use in your emails, blog posts, social and any other method of distribution you’re using to spread the word about your campaign.

UTM_example
An example UTM code which shows how Website URL, Campaign Source, Campaign Medium, and Campaign Name appear.

Alternatively, you can use this free UTM builder than can be installed directly in Chrome, which saves you at least one step when you’re building out UTM tags.

utm-builder-chrome-extension
 

Okay, now that you know what to do, let’s jump into what not to do – here are four common ways people fail at using UTM codes.

1. Not keeping tabs on the performance of each distribution channel

When you run a marketing campaign, you’re likely going to promote it through multiple channels: paid advertising, email, social media, your blog and whatever else you can dream up.

Let’s say you’re launching a new feature and you want to promote a landing page that flaunts it. You might want to send a blast out to your email list, social channels, and maybe even guest post on someone else’s blog to spread the word to a different audience.

If you neglect to append a unique UTM on the link you’re placing on each channel, then how will you know which channel is driving traffic to your post?

The answer is you won’t.

And you’ll likely miss out on some key insights down the road, such as which source of traffic and which campaign is sending the most qualified leads to your page.

For every channel, be sure that you’re keeping tabs on each referral source for every campaign. And use unique naming conventions so that you don’t get any wires crossed.

2. Neglecting to use link shorteners

Getting specific with the data you track is great, but there are things you have to watch out for. When you append a UTM tag to a URL, that URL becomes really long and bulky. Like this one, for example:

As you can imagine, this isn’t conducive to a good user experience. Your links can look a little unwieldy in campaign emails and on social media, and they can even come across as spammy – which is why you should always use link shorteners to clean up those ugly links.

Use services like bit.ly or Google URL shortener, or simply hide the ugly UTM code by linking to it from cleaner-looking anchor text.

3. Tracking clicks but not conversions

Assuming you have Google Analytics set up, you’ll be able to see the performance of your URLs with unique UTM tags by going to Campaigns > All Campaigns.

While tracking referral traffic from your UTM tags is incredibly helpful, you should go a step further and create Google Analytics goals so you can see which referral traffic converts the best as well.

If you’ve never set up a goal in Google Analytics, it’s a simple process:

  1. Sign in to your Google Analytics account.
  2. Select the “Admin” tab and navigate to the desired account, property and view.
  3. In the “View” column, click “Goals.”
  4. Click the red “+NEW GOAL” button.
new-goal-small
Click for larger image.
  1. Next, you’ll want to follow the instructions of the “Goal setup” wizard, depending on what kind of conversion you’re looking for. For example, if you were collecting leads on a lead gen page, you might set the goal as “Engagement” > “Sign up.”
goal-google-analytics-650
Click for larger image.

Setting up goals in GA allows you to look beyond which channel is driving the most traffic – and it gives you insight into which channel is actually converting best.

If it’s AdWords, then you know you can up your spend and focus on conversions to get the most lift. If it’s email, then you know to double-down on building your email list and focus more converting those subscribers.

4. Creating meaningless UTM campaign terms

When you’re building your UTM tag, it’s important to remember that you’re doing so because you want to be able to track each individual campaign and sources easily. So, if you name each campaign something weird, such as “f3356” you’re going to end up mixing campaigns up and wasting time decoding your campaign terms.

Do yourself a favor and only write short, descriptive campaign terms such as “04_15_newsletter” or “summer_15_promo.”

For example, take a look at this CTA from a Jackthreads’ email newsletter:

jackthreads-newsletter-utm
 

When you click-through on this image, this is the UTM:

https://www.jackthreads.com/?utm_source=members&utm_medium=email&utm_content=main_sale_img&utm_term

 

=sale&utm_campaign=JT_MainSale_05072015_Thursday%20Noon_%5BEngaged

 

%20B%5D&tmem=bpindulic%40gmail.com

They are very descriptive here. They cite the source (members – meaning their active members group), campaign term (sale – as in a promotional sale), the time and date the email went out, and even the email of the person who clicked through!

Each one of these assets can be found directly in the UTM link – and you can get the same level of detail out of each of your campaigns if you take the time to create detailed and data-rich UTM links.

Wrapping up

As data-driven marketers, we’re constantly looking for ways to improve our campaigns.

When you have the tools to track referrals, you get insight into which channels are bringing you the most traffic. Better yet, when you combine UTM links with Google Analytics goals, you can look deep down into your funnel and determine which sources are bringing you the most conversions.

It’s all pretty straightforward – as long as you’re doing it right.

4 Ways You’re Using UTM Tags Wrong

How Fiverr Conquered Conversion with 400 A/B Tests and Counting

Meet madmoo. She lives in the United Kingdom. She will find a unique way of visually presenting your copy, be it with coffee, rocks, blocks, magnets or even alphabet-shaped pasta.

madmoo
Just a few of the creative typography options offered by madmoo.

In a lesser world, finding someone to execute such a niche project could be a herculean task. Thankfully, we do not live in a lesser world. We live in a greater world, where you can hire madmoo — along with thousands of other freelancers specializing in any discipline you can imagine — for just $5.

It’s all thanks to Fiverr, a marketplace that connects freelancers with clients in an ingenious way.

And they’ve optimized their inbound marketing with the same kind of ingenuity: in less than a year, they’ve gone from 0 to over 400 A/B tests, and have some incredible results to show for it.

Read on to find out how one marketer was able to increase the conversion rate of Fiverr’s landing pages by 457% in just ten months.

Okay, but can you tell me more about Fiverr first?

Bootstrapped in 2009 by entrepreneurs Shai Wininger and Micha Kaufman, Fiverr was envisioned as a new way to approach buying and selling freelance work.

Anyone with a service to sell — referred to as “Gigs” in Fiverr parlance — can set up their own virtual storefront among thousands of other writers, graphic designers and decorative letter arrangers. Each gig starts at $5, but as sellers build their reputation, they’re permitted to add extras to their Gigs that can bring the total price closer to what you might expect of a typical freelancer.

FiverrInterface
Illustration is one of the hottest service categories on Fiverr.

But much like other hot technology services like Uber and Airbnb, the value in Fiverr is not the services being offered as much as it is the ease of procuring them. Fiverr lets you navigate contractors the way you would navigate birdhouses on Etsy, and ordering your gig takes just a few clicks.

Initially launched without any funding, Fiverr is now home to over 3 million Gigs and raised a Series C round that brought their total funding to $50 million.

While Fiverr was already growing at an incredible pace, there’s always room for improvement. And in 2014, Fiverr decided it was time to turn their attention to their underdeveloped A/B testing strategy.

Enter Yoav Aziz.

Yoav was hired in 2014 as a Growth Specialist and started off by working with Fiverr’s design team on small tests like altering the number of sample Gigs on shown on each landing page. But Yoav wanted to iterate more rapidly.

I started learning design and analytics so I could become a ‘one-stop-shop’ for landing page optimization. Analyzing my own data and designing my own pages has allowed me to perform a lot of tests in a very short time.

How many tests? In under a year, Yoav and Fiverr have run over 400 A/B tests, and the results speak for themselves: a 457% increase in landing page registrations in just ten months.

6 A/B tests conducted by Fiverr

Before showing off Yoav’s work, it’s necessary to mention just how seriously he takes his testing regimen. All of his tests have achieved a 99% confidence level, and with over 500,000 unique visitors across those 400 A/B tests, the results are pretty ironclad.

Fiverr uses their landing pages as a destination point for their Google and Facebook pay-per-click ads. They use the same basic template across all of their landing pages; however, they create and test each variant in Unbounce, and make small tweaks to each page on a per-campaign basis.

OldFiverrPage
Fiverr’s landing page design before Yoav arrived.

When Yoav first arrived at Fiverr, he had a laundry list of problems with their existing landing pages:

  • The background was dark and too busy
  • The call to action was beneath the fold — not necessarily bad, but not ideal for such a short page
  • The links to subcategories damaged the page’s attention ratio (the ratio of interactive elements vs. the number of campaign goals on the page, which is ideally 1) and served solely as a distraction from converting
  • The logo, which linked to to Fiverr’s homepage, was too prominent

Logo design is one of the hottest types of Gigs on Fiverr; Yoav decided to take advantage of the massive traffic to the logo design landing page by testing his ideas there first, and then moving on to test the changes on other pages.

Below are just a few of the A/B tests that Yoav ran on the logo design page using Unbounce, that ultimately contributed to Fiverr’s 457% increase in landing page registrations.

1. The Page Layout Test

FiverrTest1
Click image to enlarge.

The changes made in this test were so subtle, you might not notice them. But the winning variation resulted in a 23.5% lift in registrations, all from giving the primary content of the page a little more space to breathe. But why?

It’s impossible to know precisely, but the obvious impact of adding whitespace around the header, subhead, form, and call to action is that the example Gigs — which were previously the focal point of the page — are pushed down, leaving the reader’s eye to land instead on the unique value proposition: a vintage logo from a professional designer, starting at $5.

2. The CTA Position Test

FiverrTest2

Prominent CTAs are another basic recipe in the optimization cookbook, but it’s hard to argue with results: just by moving the button to its own line, centering it, and widening it, Fiverr increased registrations by 27.3%.


Fiverr saw a 27% leap in conversions by giving their CTA space to breathe.

 

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3. The Actionable Copy Test

FiverrTest3

While the value of whitespace can be a bit nebulous, no one can argue against the strength of great copy. Design can set the mood, instill trust, and guide a user along the path to conversion — but the weight of making a clear and compelling offer rests on a page’s copy.

The original headline and subhead were limp, and didn’t speak to the user’s needs. What if this user doesn’t need a “vintage” logo design?

The new one is almost like a conversation with the reader.

“Need a new logo?”

“Hell yeah!”

“Get it now on Fiverr.”

“Cool! But—”

“On time, under budget, easy!”

“Awesome! (Although “easy” is a bit vague, don’t you think?)”

The new copy lead to a 29.81% increase in registrations.


Write your copy with the cadence of conversation, and eliminate doubts as they arise.

 

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4. The Ultra-Specific Copy Test

FiverrTest4

When a test produces a positive result, it can be tempting to pat yourself on the back and move on to the next challenge.

Yoav must have thought the word “easy” was a bit vague, too; “your custom designed logo is just 3 clicks away” is a much more enticing and specific value proposition, and adheres to copywriting pro Marc Aarons’ 4U formula: it’s useful, urgent, unique, and ultra-specific.

The increase in specificity and urgency lead to a 15.41% increase in registrations.


Make your copy useful, urgent, unique and ultra-specific. Otherwise, why should anyone read it?

 

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5. The Ultimate Validation Test

FiverrTest5

With all of the knowledge gleaned from previous tests, Yoav and co. opted to just rip the whole thing out and make some big changes. Notably, they added an entire content block explaining how Fiverr works, and freshened up the page with a new, brighter look and more dominating human imagery.

Making such sweeping changes to a variant in an A/B test is something that’s typically ill-advised. A good test begins with a good test hypothesis: “By changing ____ into ____, I can get more prospects to ____ and thus increase ____.”

ab-testing-hypothesis-template

That positive result usually means an increase in your conversion rate, but you can aim to impact any metric that would result in a win for your business.

When you make multiple changes at a time, you are also testing multiple hypotheses at once and it can be difficult to find out which of your hypotheses turned out to be correct.

But the goal of this test was to validate the results of three individual, smaller tests that had already been run:

  • Yoav was hoping to decrease the bounce rate on the page, and hypothesized that giving the user more information in the form of a “How it Works” section would keep them on the page
  • He was less concerned with them reaching the “end of the funnel” — booking a gig — than he was with getting them signed up in the first place, so he pushed the Gigs further down the page
  • His tests and research showed this photo of a woman, with calming background colors and a gaze fixed directly on CTA, would produce a lift on conversions

Yoav collected the results of these smaller tests into a single page, and it was a big change that paid off: the new design resulted in a 57.74% increase in registrations, and serves as the foundation for Fiverr’s landing page designs to this day.

6. The “Learn More” Test

learn-more

None of Fiverr’s landing pages have seemed to prioritize attention ratio, the number of interactive elements versus the number of campaign goals on the page (which should always be 1).

The goal of making the call to action the sole interactive element on a page, and thereby eliminating any other links, is to increase the likelihood of that user converting. A landing page is ideally focused on that single goal, which is what makes them a better option than simply dumping traffic on your landing page.

But Fiverr’s landing pages have never had a 1:1 attention ratio, and this A/B test threw in yet another “distracting” element: a “learn more” button. The last thing you want someone to do is leave the page by clicking on a link, right?

Well, maybe not. After all, there’s more to optimization than just getting more raw conversions. There’s also optimizing for the most valuable conversions. In this case, having more information available resulted in higher-quality leads, contributing to a 22% increase in orders.

The icing on the cake was that this new variation also resulted in a 17% decrease in the page’s bounce rate, which increased their Quality Score and consequently lowered their cost-per-click in their PPC campaigns. Hard to argue with making more money for less money.

Best practices are a framework designed for reproducible, somewhat-predictable outcomes. But every rule has its exceptions, and those exceptions could be very lucrative — so make sure you test all of your ideas, even if they seem counter-intuitive.


Best practices are best guesses. Test your counter-intuitive ideas — they might lead to big wins.

 

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A philosophy for relentless iteration

What Yoav has accomplished at Fiverr is remarkable. It’s also remarkably achievable for pretty much anyone. A year ago, Yoav knew less about conversion optimization than you do right now.

But he absorbed as much knowledge as he could, and developed a philosophy for running successful tests that produce real results:

  1. Run as many tests as you can, and never put up a page without testing it. It’s a waste of traffic.
  2. Test everything. If someone requests that a change that you’re unsure of, don’t say no; test it and show the data.
  3. Only tests with 99.9% statistical significance are valid. Review each test two weeks after it is implemented to see if the variant is actually moving the needle.
  4. You need to perform separate tests across different acquisition channels, because users within each behave differently.

Your philosophy doesn’t have to be the same as Yoav’s, and his success in testing is certainly enabled by the huge amount of traffic that Fiverr receives.

But there’s no reason why you can’t apply the spirit of rapidly iterating and testing new ideas — even ones that run counter to “best practices” — to your work.

How Fiverr Conquered Conversion with 400 A/B Tests and Counting

5 Articles That Will Turn You Into a Data-Driven Social Media Marketer

Laughing_Data
You mean to tell me you’re not using data to direct your social media efforts?

Social media marketing is often used to pull in new followers at the top of the funnel. People cast a wide net but in many cases, completely miss the mark when it comes to tracking their efforts.

They neglect to set concrete, measurable goals – in other words, they neglect to run structured social media campaigns.

Why should you be running social media campaigns? They are the rudder that steers the boat in a particular direction, charting the course for your activities. And setting finite start and end dates allows you to track your progress so you can iterate and get even better results.

If you’re not using data to direct your social media campaigns, then you’re missing out on massive opportunities. The opportunity to get to know your audience better, the opportunity to reach a larger audience, and the opportunity to fully understand the results of your efforts… so you can optimize them accordingly.

So how do you get the most out of social media with data?

If you want to become a more data-driven social media marketer, you’ve got to learn from others who are already doing it well – and the web is overflowing with articles that can help on that front.

We’ve rounded up five articles that break down how you can use data to get the most out of your social media campaigns.

Ready to reap the benefits? Read on.

1. How to create buyer personas with social media data by Pierre Borodin for Hootsuite

On landing pages and on social media alike, you need to know your customers’ needs before you attempt to speak to them. For that reason, buyer personas are a part of the foundation of any successful social media marketing campaign.

As this article from Hootsuite by Pierre Borodin outlines, buyer personas are representations of the people who are buying, or might buy, your product. With buyer personas, you ‘re able to understand your customers better.

By more fully understanding your customer through buyer personas, you are taking the first step toward creating campaigns that really speak to their needs.

buyer_personas_with_social_media_data

In order to get the best information to create buyer personas, you need data. And guess what?

You can collect that data through your different social media channels.

Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics, LinkedIn Groups and other tools contain the information you need to learn about your customers in and out.


Crafting buyer personas? Glean insights about your customers through social media analytics.

 

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This article explains that by listening to your customers through these channels, you’ll build models that clearly outline who your customers are, which will ultimately allow you to create the right messaging for that audience.

2. Why we stopped focusing on direct social media ROI: a new way of measuring conversions by Kevan Lee for Buffer

With the rise of several tools that allow marketers  to calculate social media ROI, many articles are pushing the importance of tracking the impact of your  social media campaigns on your bottom line.

But all too often, these articles focus  on “clicks” or “conversions” – failing to account for the fact that everyone makes their journey to conversion a little bit differently.

In this Buffer blog article , Kevan Lee explains how Buffer has started to look at social media ROI a bit differently – by tracking deep down the funnel.

To illustrate this concept, Kevan explains how he started using Buffer (a social media scheduling tool) months before he started working there. He breaks down the story of his journey toward conversion, and how that journey included a lot more touch points than just social media:

social-media-data-journey
Kevan discovered Buffer on Facebook, read the blog, and then continued to return to the site through various means and social media channels before finally converting.

Kevan goes on to explain why Buffer is measuring email signups as their number one social media campaign goal, with conversions from their blog as the number one metric.

The point is to create a base of engaged customers who, while they may take their time to convert — and may not do so directly from a social media click — have all the resources they need to make an informed decision.

3. How does social media affect SEO? by Andy Crestodina for Orbit Media

If you’ve ever wondered whether social media affects SEO, this is the article for you. As web strategist and co-founder of Orbit Media, Andy Crestodina, points out:

The answer: Yes. But not how you think.

As Andy explains in this article, social media doesn’t affect SEO because of the social links themselves, but because people are spreading the word about your content.

If the content is noteworthy, if it provides value to readers, they will link to it (like I’m doing here). Those incoming links help to build authority for that page, which helps search engine ranking.

search-factors

In the end, the point is to have content that people want to share, and that those who read it will want to talk about.

4. Hashtags aren’t gimmicks by Jordie Black for KISSmetrics

KISSmetrics has data that shows how hashtags can help businesses share more effectively. A hashtag does not have to go viral every single time — hashtags can be used for increased audience interaction through Twitter chats, as Jordie Black points out.

Buffer uses the hashtag #bufferchat every Wednesday. From the article:

Twitter chats are a perfect way to show your audience you are listening. It’s a way to understand your audience and find out what it is they want to know. It’s a way for your audience to ask you questions and get answers.

When this article was published, Buffer had achieved the following with #bufferchat:

  • 113,658 Tweets
  • 8,170 Contributors
  • Total Reach: 49,993,695

Buffer has reached almost 50,000,000 people on Twitter with #bufferchat

 

Click To Tweet

 


Buffer manages to reach a wider audience through the people they are connected with on Twitter, as we see below.

social-media-influencers

Through these followers and the interactions through the hashtag, they’re able to reach a much wider audience.

Because these followers also have a large number of followers, those who are following them get to see the interaction, and are made aware of the hashtag and, subsequently, they become familiar with Buffer.

In a nutshell, this article explains that by using hashtags as both a connection and a listening tool, you can get a lot more out of social media than you would by just waiting for people to find you.

5. How many Facebook fans visit your website or convert? by Jon Loomer for JonLoomer.com

What is the value of a Facebook fan? Jon Loomer, a Facebook marketing consultant, wanted to find out, and he shared his findings in this post.

To get to the true value of a fan, you’re going to have to go past your Facebook Insights and Google Analytics.

facebook-fans-website-visitors-180-days
A look at the process of building targeted audiences for Facebook ads. Image source.

Jon outlines the process of setting up custom audiences in Facebook, which can then be used to learn the true number of visitors your website receives by segment. From there, you can drill down to the number of fans who converted. Jon says:

We often hear about uncertainties regarding the quality of fans. Well, I know that 31% of my fans have visited my website during the past 180 days. Considering my page has been around for more than 3 1/2 years now, I consider that to be quite good.

What he’s found out is that he has managed to build a quality audience. By following Jon’s method, you’ll be able to find out for yourself the real value of your Facebook fans with real data – and ultimately assess the ROI of your efforts on social media.

The proof is in the putting (it on social media)

Using data to direct your social media campaigns allows you to make more educated decisions about your campaigns. You’ll find out how well they’re doing, and you can use the information to create more successful, results-driven campaigns in the future.

Have you read an article that has helped you social media marketing? Tell us about it in the comments below!

5 Articles That Will Turn You Into a Data-Driven Social Media Marketer

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

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

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

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

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

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

[theme music]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dan: Video marketing, eh?

Jennifer: Oh, yeah.

Dan: What’s the deal with video marketing?

Jennifer: It’s hot, Dan, it’s hot.

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

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

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

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

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

Jennifer: Sure.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jennifer: Yes, absolutely.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jennifer: “You done? Good.”

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

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

Dan: Even if it’s terrible.

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

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

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

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

Dan: Oh, no.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dan: How do you know I like monkey sweaters?

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

Dan: Oh man, marketing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jennifer: Yup.

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

Jennifer: Excellent.

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

Jennifer: Thank you.

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

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

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

Transcript by GMR Transcription


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

Using the “So What?” Test to Transform Your Copy

Take a look at various products and services around the web, and you’ll find one common theme.

They all talk about themselves and what their product does. Few of them talk about what they can do for you. This is a devastating mistake that marketers and copywriters make.

To write effectively, you can apply a simple test to all your copy.

The “So What?” Test

You want customers, right?

Then start telling them what your product does for them!

Stop simply reciting what your product does. For every line of copy you write, ask yourself “So what? What does this do for them?” Let’s use Dropbox as an example:

Dropbox stores your files in the cloud.

So what?

It means you can use Dropbox and retrieve your files from any device. The files don’t have to be stored on the device.

Now put that in a short sentence.

Dropbox keeps your files safe, synced, and easy to share.

Okay, great. Now I understand what it does for me.

What Does Your Product Do for People?

Customers don’t care about your product itself or how hard you work on it. They care about what it does for them.

So what does your product do for customers? What are the benefits, and how do those benefits solve problems?

Let’s take a look at a couple of products.

Salesforce

Check out this copy for Salesforce:

salesforce-copy

It’s a simple, benefits-focused opening sentence. They don’t write about the product. They write about what it does for people: it helps them sell smarter and faster with the biggest CRM in the world.

They could write this:

Salesforce puts all your leads and sales into one database.

So what?

What does that do for me? I can just use a spreadsheet for that.

Let’s move further on down the page, and you’ll see that it’s all about the prospective customer and what Sales Cloud can do for them:

salesforce-copy-page

Sales Cloud handles a lot, so you can take on even more.

The [what the product does], so you can [how this helps you] is a good template for copy. Explain what your product does, and then explain how it helps the customer.

As you can see above, throughout the rest of the page, all the copy is benefits-driven. Even the video isn’t about the product. It supports the top line copy (sell smarter and faster) with a testimonial from a customer.

Let’s take a look at another product, this one in the B2C space.

Sonicare Toothbrush

Toothbrushes are a big market. The majority of people on Earth need one, and they will need to keep repurchasing them until they die. There are a lot of toothbrushes out there from many different companies.

So if you’re responsible for marketing a toothbrush, how do you make yours stand out? Philips Sonicare has done a good job of this. Let’s examine the copy:

sonicare-toothbrush-copy

People don’t care about a toothbrush. They care about what it can do for them, the effect it can have on not just their teeth, but their overall health and appearance.

In the above three sections of copy, we get concrete numbers on why the Sonicare toothbrush is better than the traditional manual toothbrush. It removes 7x more plaque, improves gum health in 2 weeks, and whitens teeth 2x better than a manual. This is what people care about – healthy, shining teeth. They don’t care about how many bristles are in each brush or how the toothbrush works. They care about what it can do for them.

The remainder of the page discusses some extra features of the toothbrush:

sonicare-copy-part-2

Do you think Philips hired a copywriter to write this? Probably not. There are no clever headlines or fancy writing here. It was likely written by someone on the product marketing team. Does it matter? No.

You don’t need to hire a copywriter in order to put together an effective landing page. Just speak directly and tell the reader what your product can do for them. You’ll be putting yourself in a good position to boost conversions and bring high quality leads to your sales team.

Hat tip to James Currier for providing us with the “So What?” framework.

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

Using the “So What?” Test to Transform Your Copy

Most Efficient Solar Panels

 

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In trying to create the most efficient solar panels, pay special attention to the portion of the backsheet of the panels.

A backsheet layer is the solar panel which solar cells are arranged. The other side of this backsheet, more precisely in the upper middle area is the junction box. A backsheet are often made of vinyl fluoride or PVF which is similar to PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, the material used in pipes and water pipes. P.V.F. It is commonly used in aircraft interiors and vehicles.

DuPont, the US chemical company founded in 1802, created in the 1940s, polyvinyl fluoride polymer (PVF). After about 10 years, they have begun to develop products according to the invented material. 20 years after the invention, the trade name Tedlar was finally registered by DuPont in the United States. Finally, Tedlar has become the first choice of material for the back sheets of solar panels and is also recognized as the standard in other industries it serves.

Polyvinyl fluoride (PVF) has excellent release properties so it is easy to clean. It is also weatherproof and can prevent water from entering the solar cell. It also does a good job keeping the steam penetrate. Another important feature of the FSP is their low thermal resistance, which is essential in the operation of solar cells. Low heat resistance means that the material is capable of supporting the solar cell heat transfer that can affect layers that compose it. This is also why some solar panels do not work as expected when the temperature exceeds 25 degrees C (77 degrees F). All solar panels on its data sheet have a term called “temperature coefficient Pmax” and this determines the percentage of yield reduction for each additional degree above 25 degrees Celsius. If the “temperature coefficient Pmax” is -0.47%, the maximum power from your solar panel is reduced by 0.47% for each degree increase in temperature (Celsius). Conversely, when the temperature is less than or equal to 25 degrees Celsius, the most efficient solar cells and may increase above its nominal power.

Making the most efficient solar panels requires high quality materials such as Tedlar, but if you make one on your own, an alternative would be just a plain plywood. This painting plated against, with a protective coating such as acrylic latex paint to do the job in UV resistant and prevent water ingress. Plywood is also nonconductive, but may not have low thermal resistance that has PVF.

Most Efficient Solar Panels