Eight Ingredients for Creating Landing Pages That Work

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If you’ve recently invested in an online marketing strategy, that includes some combination of affiliate marketing, Facebook advertising, PPC, social media, and SEO –  then you should be expecting an onslaught of traffic to your landing page, right? Wrong!That idea works great in theory. However, in reality a landing page needs to be handled with kid gloves. Here are eight essential principles for building a landing page, as a part of a broader web marketing strategy.


1. A concise and clear call to action (CTA)

6 ways to stimulate social media engagement for the real estate industry
1. A concise and clear call to action (CTA)

This is the end goal – the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Therefore it needs to work hard for you. It’s more than simply words, ‘Sign Up Now’, ‘Start a Free Trail’ or ‘Shop Now’.

There should be no distractions and extraneous data that obfuscates the main goal. The best landing pages are simple, and accentuate one goal, and one goal only.

Consider what should remain above the fold. This means the information that appears on the site before scrolling is required. This part of the web page should have everything in a nutshell.


2. An offer or promise

2. An offer or promise

Visitors to your landing page will be thinking, what’s in it for me? There’s no other way with web marketing. Also, that’s just the psychology of human beings. This is why it’s important to have an offer or discount in place, in exchange for getting what you want from website visitors and getting their personal information.

Effective landing pages, with incredibly high conversion rates, move the customer deep into the conversion funnel. These sites gather information from visitors, in exchange for an offer or discount. After a time, the visitors can unsubscribe without a fee. In every sense – this is a win-win.  You can foster a sense of urgency by making the trial offer for a limited time.


3. Keep it simple

This TED talk below is about the paradox of consumer choice. Research has shown than when consumers are given too many choices, they ultimately take longer to make decisions, and often are put off completely.  Therefore, the simpler you make your landing page, the more effective it will be.  Narrow down the focus, be brief and succinct, and reap the benefits.

The paradox of consumer choice

4. Give me one reason to stay here

5. A catchy and memorable headline

In the obscure and largely forgotten 90’s song by Tracey Chapman, he asks us to ”Give me one reason to stay here…you gotta make me change my mind”. This is precisely what we must provide visitors to a landing page. Think of benefits, features, and how the product or service fulfils a need or solves a problem for customers.


5. A catchy and memorable headline

Visitors to your landing page got there for a reason. It’s the job of the headline to get them to pull up a chair and stay there a while. It takes a fraction of a second to decide whether or not to stay on a landing page.  See this example from Treehouse

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6. An Intuitive Layout for Multiple Devices

Eight Ingredients for Creating Landing Pages That Sell!
Consider how the website user will navigate through your website – UX or user experience

Bear in mind that the landing page that’s visible on your mammoth HD monitor, will be different from what other visitors see on older or smaller devices. Therefore, keep this in mind with the design. Keep the vital messages in the centre top of the screen, such as the headline, logo and call to action.


7. Appropriate and engaging visuals

Sometimes visuals can work well to express an abstract emotion

Don’t fall for crappy gifs, stock photos or poor quality videos. Visuals can be powerful when used correctly and sparingly. Sometimes visuals can be used to express an abstract emotion or theme of a blog, but only in a way that will make this obvious to the reader. Also you should avoid including videos that start automatically when the user opens the landing page – This is a cardinal sin. It’s intrusive and annoying, and guarantees that people will exit the landing page as soon as possible.


8. Badges of social authority

8. Badges of social authority
8. Badges of social authority

Always include social media links. If you have been established a while, then it’s also a good idea to include links to press clippings, testimonials, and a portfolio of work. This establishes credibility, authority and verifies that your business is a respectable player.  Don’t overdo it with self-aggrandizement though. Instead aim for simplicity and plenty of white space, with links to more information, should the visitors want to dig further.


Is your content working hard and producing good enough results for your business? Find out with a free content audit!

Four ways to turn your social media and email marketing into a well-oiled machine

Four lessons in turning your social media and email marketing into a well-oiled machine

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Social media marketing and email marketing may seem a little redundant in the brave new world of AI and emerging technologies. However, they are still a powerful part of any marketing arsenal.  Think of social media and email marketing as the Neil and Tim Finn of the online marketing world. They just play really well together! 

Social media and email marketing are the Neil and Tim Finn of the online marketing world

Here are some key ways to seamlessly integrate your social media and email marketing efforts, then watch as new customers come within your reach.

Lesson 1. Email marketing Is not the daggy jumper you should throw away

Email marketing has somehow earned the reputation in online marketing circles as being akin to a  hand-knitted jumper with a dog motif.  But ask yourself, how many times have you checked email today or this week? According to email marketing research by UK based think tank Econsultancy, in 2017, 74% of client-side marketers rated email marketing as being either excellent or good for return on investment. 

Lesson 1. Email Marketing Is Not the Daggy Jumper You Should Throw Away
Lesson 1. Email Marketing Is Not the Daggy Jumper You Should Throw Away

That’s a pretty good reason to continue with email marketing. Although the landscape has shifted quickly in recent years, with AI and personalisation becoming the driving force behind email marketing campaigns.

Lesson 2: Create clickable content but not Click Bait

Lesson 2: Create clickable content but not Click Bait
Lesson 2: Create clickable content but not Click Bait

If you create a compelling and informative email newsletter, that tells people something that they didn’t already know – they may be compelled to share it. 

Always Connect

Any integrated social media and email marketing campaign should be united by genuine attempts at connecting with your audience. This doesn’t necessarily need to be a monetary incentive or discount offer. The invitation to connect could be far more personal and authentic than that. It could include:

Interesting, relevant content

Interesting and constantly refreshed content that is made to be compelling, informative and enjoyable to your audience and touches on what matters to them.

Training, support and the opportunity to build genuine connections

While monetary and discount rewards are relevant for generating quick sales. This doesn’t engender long-term customer loyalty. Instead, loyalty is built by having genuine and personalised conversations with your audience. This could be through offering support, training or knowledge-based rewards to your audience that build trust. Email and social media are perfect distribution channels for this.

Lesson 3: Optimise and test your email marketing

 Lesson 3: Optimise and test your email marketing
Lesson 3: Optimise and test your email marketing

Any primate with an opposable thumb can slap an opt-in button onto an email. However, a true email marketing artisan will test as well. It’s always a good idea to run some A/B testing on your eDM and your website for various opt-ins. Test various colour combinations and combinations of text and positioning on the page to find the most effective formula. Optimise and test your eDM itself to see what resonates best with your audience. Where it’s possible, you should personalise your email marketing through CRM personalisation tools (like those available in HubSpot and MailChimp).

Lesson 4: Offer loyalty incentives

 Lesson 4: Offer loyalty incentives
Lesson 4: Offer loyalty incentives

According to the Data and Marketing Association’s latest report, many brands are missing out on the benefits of customer loyalty initiatives. Only 49% of marketers in the survey said their company offered such a scheme.

Interestingly, it wasn’t only monetary incentives that interested the consumers in the study. Consumers also wanted rewards based on location, personalised emails, and game-like challenges.

Leverage these four lessons for integrating both social media and email marketing, and you will have mastered a valuable skill for cross-promoting your products or services. Good Luck!

Do you want to integrate your social media and email marketing into one well-oiled machine? Get in touch with me below.

Six ways to sweat your content marketing assets

Six ways to sweat your content marketing assets

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Evergreen content is the kind that is always useful to people in years to come.

How do you make sure that your investment in copy pays dividends in the coming years, without further time and money spent? The answer lays in how you approach the content and whether or not it’s flexible enough to do gymnastics for you. Ask yourself if your content assets are malleable, flexible and reusable? Here are some ways to construct your copy, so that it will outlive you like a Galapagos turtle.

1. Write Evergreen Pieces

 

Instead of writing news items that have short term value, write about topics that will always be in bloom, in vogue and relevant. That’s what I mean by evergreen. Try instructional and informative pieces as these rarely go out of style. Or try top ten or countdown articles that focus on brand-relevant topics that are close to your audience’s heart.

Doing so will mean more eyes on your content. It also means that the possibilities for republishing elsewhere multiply. Consider offering your content on an attribution licence for other parties to use and syndicate it, with a link back to your website as a requirement. These kinds of backlinks are excellent for SEO optimisation.

 

2. Mobilise Socially Savvy Employees

Yes everyone in the office probably is flat out busy with their own roles. However you can dangle that irresistible carrot in front of them of paid time on social media. You can give workmates the tools and training to generate content from existing material, and the ability to post this content themselves to their own followers and fans. This obviously would need to be monitored, supported and have a clear campaign goal in mind. This ensures that the tweeting and posting frenzy is staying on brand and on topic. When it’s possible, getting fellow team members to interact on social media can be really helpful in boosting social engagment.

3. Syndicate Your Content

When your content is published in newspapers, magazines or other people’s websites, ask the editor or content manager about exclusivity and copyright. Are you able to reuse your content elsewhere? Doing so gives the content exposure to a much wider audience. Generally if you have given the article to a third party, they will be gracious enough to allow you to republish it wherever you want. However always ask beforehand to avoid any awkward misunderstanding. After all, it’s important to maintain these mutually beneficial relationships.

Six ways to sweat your content marketing assets

Your team can help to amplify your brand on social

4. Reuse and Recycle

All sizes and types of content can have another nine lives on different platforms.  You could:
• Use parts of published magazine articles as snippets on social media.
• Use customer reviews as a part of a case study or as a slide on your home page for maximum impact or in your annual report, sales catalogue or advertising.
• Use excerpts from blog posts in newsletters or within print news articles.

That’s really only the tip of the iceberg. Get creative with your repurposing of content and you may surprise and delight your team with innovative ideas.

5. Get Listy

Lists are like content catnip to online readers. They are scannable and irresistible, as they allow human minds to take in complicated, lengthy information in a much easier form. In terms of word recycling, lists are profoundly reusable. The bullet points of lists can be transformed into tweets, posts on Facebook and other little pocket rockets. Lists can be used alongside video or images, or (if they are written well enough) left to shine on their own. Of course, lists have gained a bad wrap in recent years, with a deluge of crappy listicle articles out there in the wild.  However, presenting useful, bite-sized information that is relevant to your audience will never go out of fashion. 

6. Ideation Nation

The final and most important step for sweating your content marketing assets is ideation. This is where a Brains Trust ( which is you, me and anybody else you think is pretty smart) get together for a massive latte and lemon tart session.

Sparks might fly, somebody may even bring out a unicorn helmet if the ideas are just too painfully beautiful to be real. The most important thing is that we take that next step though and ride the magic carpet of content marketing ideation together.

Six ways to sweat your content marketing assets

Six ways to sweat your content marketing assets

 

 

Six creative ways to get more customer testimonials

Six creative ways to get more customer testimonials

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The most effective way to grow your audience is through the power of testimonials. Testimonials are the old-fashioned way to build reputation and legitimacy for your brand. Sometimes the old-fashioned methods of marketing are the best ways!

Although without the right tools at your disposal, getting testimonials can be like pulling teeth. The most effective ways to get testimonials is to leverage the power of the internet.

​ 1. YouTube Unboxing Vlogs

Probably the most powerful customer review or testimonial at the moment is an unboxing video review on YouTube. This kind of review entails a vlogger literally receiving a package from a brand and then unboxing, assembling, using and assessing the product for the first time, while filming for YouTube.

This form of review is ideal for consumer tech, FMCG or retail brands. Building a vlogger outreach component into your marketing strategy will pay dividends, with increased sales. This is because having a prominent and popular vlogger endorse your products in the video is a bit like the holy grail for marketing right now.  It is possible to sponsor an unboxing segment on vlogs, but that makes it less genuine.

B2B brands can still get in on the action with vloggers and user-generated storytelling too, it just requires a little more creativity in the approach. 

You could ask permission from the Vlogger to use their vlogs on their own social channels and to quote the most praiseworthy parts as text-based testimonials on their website. This could lead to relationship-building with the prominent blogger, and them being aware of your brand. This is how genuine collaborations and vlog reviews happen. Become a fan of theirs first and share their content. Then, after a few months of doing this, you have some leverage to ask for a review.

Six creative ways to get more customer testimonials

​ 2. LinkedIn Recommendations

Linked In recommendations are great. However you can’t leave a recommendation for a company page, only for individual people. Nonetheless, this is a fantastic opportunity if you happen to be an owner/operator or sole trader.

For larger organisations, it’s still possible to leverage Linked In for company reviews. Encourage individual employees to ask for testimonials from clients regarding specific projects they worked on. Then obtain permission from these individuals to use these testimonials on the testimonials page of the organisation’s website. 

3. Facebook Reviews

If you have a Facebook page and you’re setup using the business template, then your page automatically comes with a tab for testimonials.

You can rearrange the order of these tabs and how they appear on your Facebook page by going to settings and then selecting templates and tabs. From there you can move around your tabs so that reviews/testimonials appear at the top. Then you can ask your followers to leave you a review. 

4. Incentivise customer reviews online and offline

When a customer purchases from you online or in-person, use that opportunity to encourage them to provide feedback. This could be printed on the back of a receipt. Or the prompt could be in the form of an automated email that triggers after a customer completes the website’s check-out or receives their goods in the post. Incentivise this process by offering the chance to win a prize.

Six creative ways to get more customer testimonials

5. ​ Scrape the internet for reviews

Lots of reviews and feedback will remain hidden from your business without digging on the internet to find them. These reviews could be on message boards such as Reddit, industry forums, blog posts, comments under news articles or in social media.

The best way of getting to these reviews and testimonials is by using Google Alerts and Social Mention. You can set up email notifications for specific keywords related to your organisation, such as product or service names, the names of senior leaders in the organisation or any other term you like. 

6. ​ Online directory websites

Common search directories such as Yahoo LocalYelp and Google My Business allow customers to easily provide feedback and testimonials. In the case of Google, the more reviews people give your business, the more your organic search ranking is boosted. So this is one reason to encourage Google reviews.

It is possible to triage and respond to negative feedback or reviews from this platform and get notifications when a new review comes in.  It’s always a good idea to have an updated listing on these websites, as it’s just another way for the customer to reach you online.  In your print and email marketing you can guide customers to leave a review on Google to gain more reviews over time.  

Six creative ways to get more customer testimonials

A word of warning about negative online reviews

Despite all of the praise-worthy and heartening feedback left by clients, opening up multiple platforms for online reviews comes with its own risks. You can mitigate against these risks by subscribing to email notifications from these platforms. This will inform you when a new review comes through. When a negative review comes in, ensure that you provide prompt, helpful and positive response to the individual.

Instead of avoiding the issue, address it honestly and humbly and always turn the negative feedback into a positive for the business. The only way that a brand can succeed is by understanding when a part of the process, product or service is broken and then taking the necessary steps to fix this internally. View it as a positive if it ultimately makes your organisation better.

So are online reviews and testimonials worth the effort? Absolutely! Not only are they great for building brand reputation, negative reviews can be used as a powerful learning curve for the business, with the potential for positive outcomes.


Do you want help to find customer feedback and use it to the fullest in your business? I offer a free content audit, which can show you how you can leverage all of your existing content. What’s great and what should be improved. 

Register now for a free content audit…

Four important ways to build trust and rapport in remote teams

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Nowadays, teams are stretched all over the globe and this is only set to continue. Anyone who works remotely can tell you, it’s challenging to manage a decentralised and dispersed team. In terms of team building, there’s one core element that’s the glue between dispersed team members – trust! Here are five core ways to build trust.

Where possible, meet in person

Although in some cases this isn’t possible, meeting with your co-workers at least once builds a high degree of personal trust, teamwork and shared purpose. This occurs far more rapidly than remote working with no interaction. The physical meeting of minds is a self-sustaining way of maintaining rapport over long distances. Have lunch, a few drinks and get to know each other’s personalities and communication styles. This will prove to be invaluable later on for the project, especially when you face and overcome challenges together.

Sometimes meeting in person simply isn’t possible. You may be separated by large bodies of water or tracts of land. In this case have weekly chats on the phone or Skype and build rapport that way.

Share the same strategy, goals and expectations

Make sure that you’re all striving for the same end goal. This means that you’re all on the same page for implementing the team strategy and individual input. Avoid all possibilities of confusion about goals and expectations early on in your relationship. Make sure that individual roles and deliverables are absolutely clear. This transparency in turn promotes trust.

As a manager, you can keep the project on track, with regular email and telephone conversations. Obviously, it’s even better to have face-to-face meetings where practicable. Track the project against performance metrics.

Foster honesty and transparency

Another important way to build trust as a part of team, is by having clear and transparent processes and ways of working together. Use collaborative software like Slack or Basecamp. This easily promotes collaboration and shows progress of projects. Showing everybody how they are tracking is one easy way to boost productivity.

People thrive on keeping up with the other members of the team. This transparency and accountability fosters productivity and trust. When the project is visible in this way, any obstacles or issues along with way can be resolved in a collective manner.

Showcase everyone’s diverse capabilities

Make sure that in addition to the team members understanding their individual roles, they also have enough support to diversify their capabilities, and learn as they go. This will benefit them as individuals, and the team as a whole. Rarely do people understand everything about a task all at once. So it’s important to nurture knowledge and support professional growth.

References

“Trust Makes the Team Go ‘Round”; Harvard Management Update; Judith A. Ross, February 27th, 2008. 

By following these key steps, you can build a cohesive, strong and formidable team with a high level of trust and camaraderie between individuals. If you would like some advice about content marketing then claim your free content audit and race ahead of the competition!


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