ALAMEDA — It was getting toward the end of a nearly hour-long interview session at the NFL owners meeting in Arizona when Raiders coach Jon Gruden covered all the bases.“It depends when you’re on the clock and you’re sitting there at No. 4 and someone offers you to move back to whenever, what are they giving you?,” Gruden said. “We’re wide open to moving up. We are wide open to moving back. We are wide open to just sitting there and taking a guy who falls to us.”And the winner is . . . …
This is a guest post written by Ross Kramer, co-founder and CEO of Lititz, PA-based email marketing firm, Listrak.After working in the industry for more than 15 years, you learn countless tips and tricks to boost customer engagement and company revenue. But there’s one key lesson that all inbound marketers need to learn – how to multiply their email list. I know what you’re thinking. Could we get any more low level? But successful email list development and strategy can make the difference between campaign successes or failures.Even seasoned email marketers who follow best practices for email list development, relevancy, and deliverability still lose about one-third of their subscribers annually due to bounces, unsubscribes, and spam complaints, according to the Email Experience Council. And the attrition rates are even higher for less vigilant marketers.Luckily, there are strategies proven to quickly acquire qualified subscribers and keep them longer. Among these include sweepstakes, contests, or other viral campaigns. But before you decide to run a sweepstakes strategy of your own, consider these 7 tips to make sure you know how to run a successful one that will help you grow your email list with qualified subscribers.1. Keep it SimpleWhile it might be tempting to create a contest that runs for several weeks, sweepstakes that are strategic, targeted, and time-sensitive give the appearance of exclusivity and prompt people to respond quickly. In order to maximize list development during a short time period, you must have a plan in place prior to launch that includes automated emails, banner ads, social and mobile announcements, etc.2. Make it PersonalA cash prize may entice more entrants to your sweepstakes, but by awarding your own merchandise instead, you will get a more qualified group that is clearly interested in your company’s brand and what it has to offer.3. Encourage Social SharingEmail and social media can really complement each other. Offer your members some incentive such as a second entry or a free gift if they invite friends and other connections in their social networks to participate. This tactic will greatly expand the reach of your campaign. However, be sure to maintain control of the contest. Provide a form to capture the additional email addresses and immediately send those subscribers a message with the details of the contest and an easy way to enter.4. Promote in the Right ChannelsWhile email is the most effective communication channel to promote the sweepstakes to your subscribers and members, it shouldn’t be your only channel. Announce your contest on your blog and in your social media and mobile networks, and include banner ads on your website and other relevant sites.5. Send Entry ConfirmationsOne of the most important steps in this whole process is sending email confirmations to all entrants. The last thing you want to do is add invalid email addresses to your list because the increase in bounces will negatively affect your deliverability. An automated confirmation email will safeguard your reputation and ensure that only legitimate email addresses are added to your list and only real people are entered into your sweepstakes. Also, if you’re worried about bots inundating your sweepstakes with junk email addresses, a simple CAPTCHA on the registration form will prevent that.6. Welcome Your New SubscribersSubscribers are most engaged within the first few weeks of opting in, so you should use this time to start building the relationship right away. An email welcome series designed to engage and interact with subscribers should be part of your usual email development process, but it is especially important when running a sweepstakes. A welcome email will help you weed out the entrants who were only interested in the contest since it gives uninterested subscribers an opportunity to opt-out and provides valuable open and click-through data so you can measure engagement. That way, you’ll be able to focus your attention on the subscribers who are most likely to purchase from you.7. Monitor New SubscribersWe’ve seen a well planned sweepstakes grow lists by 30% or more in a matter of days. That said, even if you follow best practices for attracting the appropriate entrants for your brand, you’ll still get a number of invalid email addresses and people who are only interested in the prize. In order to protect your reputation, closely monitor the results of your confirmation email and welcome series (not only open and click-through rates, but also bounces, complaints, and unsubscribes), and watch the inactivity levels for the new subscribers. If they don’t show interest in your messages, try a re-engagement campaign or remove them from your list.Have you found success through sweepstakes? How many qualified email addresses did you gain?Photo Credit: Ian Lamont Originally published Aug 25, 2011 3:02:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Email Lists and Segmentation Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Why is this effective?7-Eleven likes to engage its customer and give them a unique experience. This campaign accomplishes just that, getting their customers involved as well as providing another way for them to show off their political support. 7-Eleven also does a great job of taking an integrated, multi-channel marketing approach, leveraging online channels such as its website, Twitter, and Facebook to promote the campaign in addition to customers’ real-life, in-store experience.8) Heaven Hill DistilleriesTo capitalize on the election season at the start of the primaries in January, Heaven Hill Distilleries introduced two types of bourbons: Red State Bourbon and Blue State Bourbon. Along with launch of its left wing and right wing bourbons, the distillery also launched two separate Facebook pages in support of each position. And for every Facebook like they receive, Heaven Hill Distilleries is also donating $1 to the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Newsjacking Originally published Oct 16, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Wherever you turn, someone is talking about the upcoming presidential election. There are a ton of commercials on the air supporting the battle between the two main candidates, and every news outlet is reporting on the election — particularly the presidential debates (will you be tuning in tonight?). Furthermore, social media campaigns for both candidates are prevalent. So it only makes sense that other companies would take advantage of the country’s interest in the election by creating creative marketing campaigns to promote their own causes.We’ve talked before about the power of newsjacking as a great way to leverage the popularity of story/trend/meme to get some news coverage of your own. Breaking news is reported all of the time, but as a marketer, you have a unique opportunity to take advantage of these trending topics and create relevant campaigns that serve your own marketing agenda. So to give you some newsjacking inspiration, here are 8 companies who are using the popularity of the election season as an opportunity to capture the attention of the media and promote their own businesses.1) Pizza HutPizza Hut is certainly riding the political wave, running an election-themed marketing campaign called “The Pizza Party.” Pizza Hut is offering up a Big Dinner Box as its candidate, asking their customers to show support by signing up on their website.To add another element to the campaign, Pizza Hut is also offering unlimited pizza for a year or a $15,600 check to anyone who asks the presidential candidates if they prefer pepperoni or sausage during the next debate, which happens to be in town meeting-style format. While questions are screened ahead of time, there has been a history of participants asking other questions when prompted by other companies. Tune in tonight to see what happens!Why is this effective?By newsjacking the election, Pizza Hut has a great opportunity to market to families who might want to sit together and watch the debate on TV … maybe with a box of pizza. For parents who want to educate their children about the election, this campaign helps them do that in a fun (and yummy) way.2) JetBlueEvery election year you always hear Americans threatening to move to Canada or some other country if their preferred candidate isn’t elected. Well, JetBlue is taking those threats to heart, promising to fly 1,006 voters out of the country if their desired candidate doesn’t win.Participants simply have to visit the JetBlue Election Protection website, select their favorite candidate, and choose which destination they’d like to be shipped off to if their candidate doesn’t win. After November 6, the winners will be chosen. Don’t worry — the destination choices are a little bit on the warmer side than, say, Canada (no offense, Canadians).Why is this effective?JetBlue’s brand is known for its fun and creative social media campaigns to make customers happy. So it’s no surprise that the airline jumped on a unique opportunity that would engage and excite customers. As the entire country is talking about the importance of voting, JetBlue is also sharing that message, but at the same time encouraging U.S. citizens to vote with them as well. 3) PBS (Featuring Big Bird!)We found this election newsjacking example so noteworthy that we devoted a full article to it on our blog. Here’s the gist: After Mitt Romney proclaimed that, as much as he loves Big Bird, he is going to cut funding to PBS if elected, PBS took the perfect opportunity to ride the social media wave that exploded after this announcement. People mostly tweeted their disappointment in Mitt Romney’s statement, which led PBS to purchase a Promoted Tweet on Twitter that was displayed when users searched for “Big Bird.” The advertised tweet led readers straight to the PBS website, that spoke about its value in an attempt to educate the audience about everything PBS does and stands for. Why is this effective?When it comes to newsjacking, timing is everything. Heaven Hill Distilleries launched this campaign as soon as the primaries started, which was a smart, strategic move on their part. This allowed the campaign to last throughout the entire election season up until November, and as a result it’s gained good traction: The Red State Bourbon Facebook Page currently has 1,157 Likes, and the Blue State Burbon Facebook Page has 540 Likes. It’s definitely proven to be a successful way to not only engage customers in-store, but to also engage them online.What other companies are newsjacking the election season for their own marketing benefit?Photo Credit: Walt Stoneburner Topics: Why is this effective?During the 2008 election, the Sarah Palin doll was successful in raising $19,000. The doll’s launch was not only a great way for voters to get excited about the upcoming election but also donate to a good cause that related to the election. After the success of the Sarah Palin doll, the marketers at Cabbage Patch were smart to create align their political dolls with the charity as well.7) 7-ElevenTo benefit from election season, 7-Eleven is hosting its own type of election called the 7-Election, through which customers choose coffee cups that are either blue for President Obama or red for Mitt Romney, with the votes tallied at the check-out counter. Every day, the results are calculated on the 7-Eleven website. Why is this effective?This opportunity may have fallen right into PBS’ lap, but the company had to act strategically and efficiently in order to newsjack Romney’s controversial announcement — and they did. PBS recognized that because the buzz was happening on Twitter, they should use that channel as the way to drive visitors back to their website. Considering the proper channels and immediately taking action while the story is fresh is vital for newsjacking success, and PBS executed on this brilliantly!4) Boston MarketTo capitalize on election season, Boston Market decided to launch “limited-time only” menu items alongside an election-themed campaign to promote them. The campaign, called the “Market Bowl Poll,” pits chicken (the left wing) against turkey (the right wing). As part of the campaign, Boston Market asks you to vote for the candidate you prefer, after which you’re rewarded with a coupon to redeem for money off the new dishes. Boston Market also created a video to go along with the campaign:Why is this effective?Restaurants introduce new dishes and menu items regularly. But what people will remember about Boston Market isn’t necessarily the fact that it introduced new menu fare, but rather that Boston Market participated in a popular event that its customers already care about. As a result, its promotional video has already accumulated over 25,000 views on YouTube. Boston Market is also finding other ways to leverage its campaign by engaging with Facebook fans and encouraging votes in the election in exchange for smaller prizes, including gift cards.5) FedEx FedEx took a very clever approach to newsjacking the election, using it as a great opportunity to promote the fact that all of your promotional materials can be printed using their services. And with all of the negative advertisements that get played during political races, FedEx decided to newsjack that negativity by asserting, “Competition may not always be professional, clean, or elegant, but at least your promotional materials can be.”Why is this effective?FedEx’s newsjack is funny and relatable whether you’re involved in election season promotion or not. While you may not need to print political marketing collateral yourself, people will always need to print something. So FedEx took a great opportunity to promote its products and services at a time when everyone is already thinking about the presidential race. And, of course, a little humor always goes a long way.6) Cabbage PatchThat’s right — even the toy industry is jumping aboard the election newsjacking bandwagon. Cabbage Patch has created dolls resembling Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Michelle Obama, Mitt Romney, and Paul Ryan. The dolls are scheduled to be auctioned off on eBay from October 30 through November 6, and the proceeds will go to Rock the Vote.
Several years ago (in internet years, anyway) it became clear to some marketers that one of the best ways to capture market share was through creating amazing content. Whether through blog posts, ebooks, social media, cartoons, videos, whatever — helpful, educational, and interesting content was the name of the marketing game.Today, I think it’s fair to say that not just some, but most marketers are on board with this whole “content-is-important-for-marketing” thing. Our 2012 State of Inbound Marketing Report, for example, showed that the average budget spent on company blogs and social media increased from 9% in 2009, to 21% in 2012. Furthermore, over 81% of marketers in the survey named their company blog as “useful” or better to their business. And LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter were considered “useful” or better by over 60%. Cool, so it seems like a good chunk of us are on board and rocking it with content. So …… What next? For a while now, the industry has been leading up to the next phase of marketing that is finally here in full swing — context marketing. Whether you know what that means or not (no worries, we’re about to tell you), I think you’ll find that it’s something you’ve either dabbled in, or wanted to dabble in, for some time. But now, there’s actually plenty of technology available to do more than just dabble in it! So this post is going to introduce you to the concept of context marketing, and show you just how powerful it can be if you incorporate it into your marketing strategy.What Is Context Marketing?Context marketing is using context in your marketing.:-)Okay, I’m being a little silly with that definition, but that is what it is. Actually, my favorite definition of context marketing is delivering the right content, to the right people, at the right time. Let me explain what I mean by context a little more, though.Context marketing is like a spelling bee …When you have context around something, you have a larger, more telling picture — you know, those little details that help lend more clarity to things that would otherwise be pretty general, unspecific, and, well, uninteresting. Let’s use a spelling bee as an analogy here. If a judge asks a kid to spell the word “pour,” he might want to ask a host of questions to get more context before answering. What’s the part of speech? What’s the definition? Can you use it in a sentence, please? Answers to those questions all provide context that helps paint a clearer picture of the word he’s trying to spell.And it’s important context, too! Why? Because the word “pour” is different than the word “pore” — or “poor.” Without getting more context around what the judge is asking, how could that kid possibly provide an accurate answer? Getting more context around that word would be pretty useful to helping our kid become a spelling bee champ! And the same goes for your marketing. Do you want to be a marketing champ like our spelling bee friend? Or a marketing chump who sends emails about pore cleansing strips or poor lost puppies instead of new water faucets that pour ionized water?Context Marketing Champ, or Chump?The marketing champs in every industry are the ones who are leveraging context about their audience, leads, and customers in their marketing. For example, a marketer using context would know more about a lead than whether she’s B2B or B2C, and her first name. They might also know what industry she works in, what kind of content she likes best, through what channel she prefers to consume content, whether she’s currently using another solution to meet her needs, and whether her company has budget at this time of year.As a marketer, if you were asked to “market” to someone, and all you were given was a first name and that she works for a B2B company, wouldn’t your first question be … what else do we know about her? Probably, if you want to do your job way better. That’s the idea behind context marketing: Using what you know about your contacts to provide supremely relevant, targeted, and personalized marketing.Why Is Context Marketing Important?Context marketing is important for many reasons, but here are the two that I think trump them all:When you have context around your relationship with a contact, you’re able to provide more personalized and relevant marketing content that’s targeted at their needs. Personalized and relevant marketing is the foundation for creating marketing people love! What’s more, personalized and relevant marketing is typically not the kind of marketing that annoys the living daylights out of people. Win-win!When you’re creating marketing that’s targeted at people’s point of need, it stands to reason that marketing will perform much better for you, because you aren’t delivering marketing content that’s misaligned with their interests or stage in the sales cycle. Think about it: If you know that our B2B lead from the previous section is getting new budget in January, she’s downloaded a couple buying guides in the past two weeks, she’s visited your product pages, and it’s December, you’re able to send her insanely targeted content that addresses her needs — like, say, an offer for a custom end of year demo of your product with a rep that specializes in the finance industry — content that she’s pretty likely to convert on.Why not use the context around your relationships with your contacts to create marketing that they 1) love, and 2) convert on?How Would One “Do” Context Marketing?Alright, these ideas all sound lovely, but how does this “context marketing” theory manifest itself? What would it look like for you, as a marketer? With the help of integrated marketing software, here are some examples of where you’d actually use the principle of “context” in your marketing.1) Dynamic Calls-to-ActionYou have a bunch of offers that you want to use to convert traffic into leads, leads into qualified leads, and qualified leads into customers. So it’d be kind of a bummer if you went to, say, a case study web page — typically an action performed when you’re further down the marketing funnel — and you saw a top-of-the-funnel CTA, like an educational tip sheet.However, not everyone who visits a case study page on your website is necessarily ready to talk to a salesperson. You don’t want to turn them away, either, by offering a CTA that’s too bottom-of-the-funnel. This could be perceived as a conversion nightmare, but with dynamic CTAs that adjust depending on who is visiting the page, you can actually surface a CTA that automatically aligns with the visitor’s stage in the sales cycle … or any other host of criteria you want to set! Think industry, business type, location, past activity/behaviors, that type of thing. Dynamic CTAs … pretty cool, eh?2) Dynamic Email Content and WorkflowsYour forms aren’t the only things that need to be smart as a whip. Your email database — especially if you want to maintain your space in people’s coveted inboxes — needs to be segmented into highly targeted lists. But you already knew that. Beyond killer segmentation, your email lists need to be smart enough to know when to pull in a contact, and certain information you have in your database about that contact, into your email marketing. Remember, a great context marketer delivers the right content, to the right person, at the right time. So to send emails that are contextually relevant, you need the power of workflows — the tool that will put the right person into the right list …… And the power of dynamic email content, which will make your email content personalized and relevant for each recipient!3) Smart FormsSo you want to be a context marketer. You want to be lovable. You want to see higher conversion rates. Let me introduce you to your new best friend … smart forms! They’re just what they sound like, forms for your landing pages that are wicked smart. So smart, in fact, that they know if someone has already filled out the form fields you’re asking for in the past. Because they know that, they don’t make your site visitors fill out the same form over and over again, and can help you glean more new information about your leads, instead of just more of the same stuff. We’ve started implementing this functionality ourselves, because we agreed that filling out the same form over and over again was a huge bummer! Smart Forms: Using context to be more lovable, improve conversion rates, and get you even more context about your visitors, leads, and customers!How are you leveraging context, not just content, in your marketing?Image credit: Thomas Hawk Originally published Dec 4, 2012 1:08:00 PM, updated August 27 2017 Topics: Marketing Strategy Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Topics: I have a friend who works at a very big national publication and is a genius at making lists for the web. Her lists go viral and generate millions (I mean literally millions) of pageviews. She sees this as a curse. Because she wants to be a “real” journalist, meaning: someone who writes articles. But she’s so good at lists that her editor keeps her doing those instead.I’ve told my friend that she has been blessed with a gift, that she should forget writing boring articles and instead launch her own site doing nothing but lists. (For an example see Listverse, which is amazing and — I warn you — addictive.) My friend won’t listen. She insists on seeing her lists as second-class citizens of the media world.She’s not alone. Among some old-school journalists there exists a kind of snobbery about articles written in list form. They’re derisively called “listicles” (list + article) and are considered kind of cheesy, the stuff of workout magazines and mindless websites like Buzzfeed.Thing is, people love Buzzfeed. And people love lists. Consequently, lists drive traffic, which is why website editors demand them, which is why you see so many of them on the internet. That’s why this article is created in the form of a list. If I wrote it as an article, nobody would read it. But if I make it a list, there’s a chance it will get shared and Liked and linked and tweeted.That’s also why this post is loaded up with photos — because somewhere deep down in the dark recesses of your reptile brain, there is some kind of prehistoric trigger that gives you a squirt of dopamine every time you scroll down and find another shiny object. It isn’t magic. It’s psychology. For various reasons lists are almost impossible to resist. We asked a few shrinks to explain. Here’s why:1) Because lists overcome chaos.“As human beings we come into a world that seems chaotic, and we have a desire to make sense of things. When we create lists we are creating order out of chaos, and the structure helps to alleviate our anxiety,” says Doug Foresta, a licensed clinical social worker and clinician at Change Happens in Chicopee, Mass. (Note: That is not a photo of Doug Foresta.)2) Because hey, that’s how God does it.As Foresta points out, Moses didn’t come down from the mountain and say, “Here are a few things to think about.” Nope. He came down with 10 Commandments. For what it’s worth, Buzzfeed took that same example and a bunch of others and made a listicle called, “18 Totally Convincing Pieces Of Evidence That Jews Invented The Listicle.” I know what you’re thinking: But what if God doesn’t exist? Look, friend. This is a marketing blog. Let’s not get all philosophical, okay? Someone could get hurt.3) Because lists save precious brainpower.“We are all moving fast in our hyper-stimulated environments. We want facts delivered rapidly with information packaged in tiny, quick bites. This requires little from us. It takes away our need to slow down and think critically or analytically about things,” says Marcy De Veaux, a depth psychologist and assistant professor at California State University, Northridge. 4) Because lists create a sense of mastery.A list “organizes thoughts and offers an overall feeling of understanding and solidity regarding one complex topic,” says Jaroslava Toutonghi, a psychologist in Prague who also has an MBA. “If you just list one thing, it’s never as convincing as listing the 10 best, the 10 strongest, the 10 most successful. All of the 10 options will share one common theme, and that common theme will be interpreted as a direction, a thing to follow.” You may not be able to snatch the pebble from a blind man’s hand, but when it comes to skimming listicles about cute kittehs or ways to get better abs, you’re a fourth-degree black belt!5) Because we are afraid of death.Wait, what? Well, that’s what Umberto Eco told Der Spiegel, and he’s a famous author (The Name of the Rose, Foucault’s Pendulum) and big-shot intellectual who once curated an exhibition at the Louvre — about lists. “How, as a human being, does one face infinity? How does one attempt to grasp the incomprehensible? Through lists, through catalogs, through collections in museums and through encyclopedias and dictionaries. … It’s a way of escaping thoughts about death. We like lists because we don’t want to die,” Eco says. Each individual list may end, but there’s no end to the number of lists we can write.6) Because lists help us remember.It’s why you make a list when you go to the grocery store. Knowing how many can help you remember the actual items. Like this woman, who knows she has three kids, but can’t remember what the little one was called, or where she left him.7) Because let’s be honest — nobody reads anything anymore.As Farhad Manjoo pointed out in Slate recently, nearly 40% of readers bounce out of an article before they even read the first sentence. Most never get past the halfway mark. People don’t read — they scan. Hey, chances are you’re not even reading this; you just glanced at the boldfaced part and jumped to the next item.8) Because PowerPoint has turned us all into mindless corporate zombies.This is my own personal theory, and I’m no expert, but I think it holds water. We see so many PowerPoint presentations, in every context, that our brains (or what’s left of them) have been trained to consume information in bullet points. Why fight it? Give the zombies what they want.9) Because readers know a list has an end.A regular article is like a baseball game — in theory, it could go on forever. (And sometimes it does, if the article is in The New Yorker.) With a list, on the other hand, you know before you start how long the journey is going to be. And you know when you’re getting close to the end. Everybody loves that feeling of getting closer to a destination — the end of a long car trip, the end of a book.Oh, and look — now you’re nearly at the end of this article. Does your brain hurt from all that non-thinking? No, of course it doesn’t! Because it was a list!The Bottom LineIf you’re an inbound marketer and you’re trying to create content that draws customers toward your brand, think about putting things in list form whenever possible. Pro Tip #1: McKinsey & Co. and other consulting firms believe that you’re better off using an odd number of items rather than an even number, according to author Duff McDonald, whose history of McKinsey, The Firm, will be published by Simon & Schuster in September.Pro Tip #2: Check out this article from the HubSpot blog for tips on how to make a really compelling listicle. Why do you find lists so compelling?Image credit: dierk schaefer Productivity Originally published Jun 12, 2013 9:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Originally published Nov 11, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Buyer’s Journey Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Just because we’re marketing things doesn’t mean we really know the science behind what makes people buy. But marketing without that information is like walking outside with a blindfold on — it’s going to be very hard to end up at your destination without a scratch. To catch up on the latest and greatest research about online buyer behavior, keep on reading. Below, we’ll cover eight data sets on buyer behavior, their key findings, and the lessons you should take away from each piece of research. Take the ones that apply most to your business and then use them make smarter marketer decisions, like building or tweaking data-driven buyer personas, designing a new experiment for your website, or maybe even making the case to your boss to hire someone new. So let’s dive right in.1) “The New Normal of Consumer Behavior and How to Respond”This study, carried out by Quirk’s Marketing Research Media, interviewed nearly 2,000 U.S. buyers in 2014 in an attempt to understand how consumer attitudes and behaviors have changed after the Great Recession.Key FindingsConsumer debt is at its lowest point since 2006, indicating that buyers are prioritizing thoughtful purchases over conspicuous consumption.79% of survey respondents report at least sometimes checking reviews before making an online purchase.Consumer rank “a person like yourself” as a highly credible source of information, indicating a shift of trust towards individuals and away from institutions.TakeawayEncouraging satisfied customers continues to be an important priority for businesses, but this data reveals more than that — sellers should look for other opportunities to empower their buyers. Allowing buyers to control the number of options available for consideration, provide feedback during all stages of the buying process, and see how other customers have used your product can all help mitigate their distrust of larger institutions.2) “It’s All About the Images”MDG Advertising developed this compelling infographic, which drew data from the National Retail Federation, BrightLocal, PR Newswire, Skyword, Web Liquid, Alexa, and The New York Times, in order to highlight how important images can be in the buying process.Key Findings67% of consumers say that the quality of a product image is “very important” in selecting and purchasing a product (compared to 54% who feel the same way about long product descriptions and 53% who give ratings and reviews the same credence).Content featuring compelling images averages 94% more total views than content without images.TakeawayThis one’s pretty straightforward. If you don’t have good images on your website and product pages, add them now. And if you have images on your site, but they aren’t high quality, upgrade them now to appeal to today’s internet buyers.3) “Why Customers Shop Online”In this study, Shopper Approved set out to understand why consumers purchase online, rather than through brick and mortar stores. Their survey included 25,660 individuals who were asked “What key factor influenced you to buy online instead of locally?” immediately after they purchased from 207 online retailers in a variety of industries. Key FindingsThe following factors came out tops in terms of encouraging online purchases:25.4% said larger selection25% said better pricing24.7% said more convenient 7.2% said time savings 3.6% said easy to compare 3.3% said no sales taxTakeawayIf you’re an online business, you have an advantage over traditional retailers in that you aren’t limited to the amount of shelf space available when considering which items to stock. Adding selection, therefore, may help you appeal to online buyers, as can keeping your prices below traditional competitors and streamlining your purchase process to create a convenient experience for shoppers.4) “The Psychology of Stuff and Things”“Fanboys” — those who will purchase any product offered by the companies they follow — are an interesting phenomenon that most businesses should strive to understand, given their implications for brand awareness and future sales. A 2010 study by Kyungmi Kim and Marcia Johnson shows that the strong associations underpinning this “cult-like’ following form at a neural level. Key FindingsBy scanning participants’ brains as they viewed boxes full of items labeled “mine” compared with containers labeled with others’ names, Kim and Johnson were able to identify extra activity in the media prefrontal cortex — the area associated with the way we think about ourselves — when the owned items were viewed.TakeawayMany consumers subconsciously view the brands they associate with as being signals of their membership in certain groups (see fanatical Apple buyers and the video game console wars as evidence of how owned items can be used to convey certain personality traits). If you want your customers to identify as strongly with your products as they do with these notable brands, look for ways to encourage buyers to claim ownership of their purchases.5) “Take Advantage of Positive Email Attitudes”Interesting research by Forrester Research demonstrates that consumer attitudes towards email marketing are becoming less negative — good news for marketers that rely on this powerful channel. This trend comes from a survey of 33,546 U.S. online adults and is based on the following data points.Key Findings42% of U.S. online adults delete most email advertising without reading it, down from 44% in 2012 and 59% in 2010.3 in 10 respondents agree that they often wonder how the companies sending them messages got their contact information.The percentage of respondents agreeing that most email ads don’t offer anything of interest fell from 41% in 2012 to 38% in 2014.TakeawayConsumers seem to be feeling better about email promotions, but there are still some weak spots. As a result, it is important for marketers to balance promotions with other more engaging messages.6) “How Consumers Form Their Impressions of Companies”A recent study by Vanessa DiMauro and Don Bulmer in conjunction with The Society For New Communications Research indicates that the quality of a company’s products is the most important factor contributing to consumers’ perception of the company. To reach this conclusion, DiMauro and Bulmer presented survey participants with a list of several different factors and asked them to rate their importance in forming their impression of a company.Key FindingsThe following percentages represent the number of participants giving “very important” responses to the prompt above:Product quality – 80%Cost of products and services – 55%Company’s customer care program – 37%What trusted contacts say about the company – 34%Customer reviews – 30%Ratings on social media sites – 30%What the media says about the company – 13%What the company says in ads – 10%The company’s social media presence – 7%TakeawayProduct quality is king when it comes to boosting perceptions of your company — and fortunately, that’s one of the few factors in the list above that’s completely under your control. If you’re not sure how to improve your product, the easiest way to start is to ask your customers. Check your reviews for suggested improvements or use social media and other consumer-focused web tools to ask prospective customers directly what changes they’d like to see.7) “What Influences an Online Purchase Decision”Looking at research to determine what causes consumers to buy gives internet retailers the insight needed to improve their offerings and boost sales. Using a collection of studies, online store provider Bigcommerce identified the ten primary factors listed below that contribute to purchase decisions.Key FindingsProduct quality – 56%Free shipping – 49%Easy returns – 35%Customer reviews – 33%Visual search – 30%Great navigation – 26%Checkout ease – 24%Multiple options – 24%Special size – 12%New product – 10%TakeawayAs in the DiMauro and Bulmer study referenced above, product quality comes out on top in Bigcommerce’s infographic. They begin to differ after that, with free shipping and easy returns take an expected second and third (the success of Amazon Prime and Zappos highlight how important these factors are). If you aren’t already offering free shipping, see if a small price increase might cover the cost without affecting sales too significantly. And if there are any resistance points that complicate your returns process, minimize them as much as possible.8) “Consumer Psychology & The Ecommerce Checkout”Online savings code hub vouchercloud compiled the results of a number of studies to create its “Consumer Psychology & The E-Commerce Checkout” infographic. While the entire thing is worth a look, the key findings below should give you a starting point for making meaningful changes to your checkout or conversion process.Key Findings57% of online consumers will abandon a website if they experience more than three seconds of load time. 80% of these could-be customers will never return.Products are assessed and initial purchase judgments are made within 90 seconds.41% of shopping cart abandonments occur because consumers encounter hidden charges at checkout.53% of consumers say that low-cost shipping is a sufficient reason to change online retailers.Takeaway LessonsThe statistics showcased in vouchercloud’s infographic make one thing clear: Anything that adds resistance to your checkout process reduces your sales. When it comes to boosting online sales, consumers look for streamlined experiences that give them the best possible deals with the smallest amount of hassle. To see how your checkout process stacks up, go through each of your competitors’ shopping carts and try to make a purchase. Anything that makes your own system more complicated than theirs should be revised.Were you surprised by any of these findings? If so, share your reactions — as well as how you plan to apply these lessons to your business — in the comments below.
Advertising Examples It seems like everyone is trying to be funny in their marketing these days, but why? Well, it works. Humor is a way to sell your brand without outwardly selling something, and consumers certainly don’t want to feel like you’re taking money right out of their pockets. By appealing to a consumer’s emotions you’re able to engage them and make them remember you.You do have to be careful when using humor though; I don’t think we want to revisit the DiGiorno scandal around the #WhyIStayed campaign. It’s important to make sure that you understand your audience and how they are likely to respond so that nothing is taken offensively.Download Now: Free Ad Campaign Planning KitThis doesn’t mean that we should kill a campaign just because it’s edgy or potentially controversial. You probably remember the “I Shipped My Pants” TV ad by Kmart last year. The goal of the ad was to bring people to Kmart’s website to take advantage of free shipping, but it did get some heat. With the pronunciation of “shipped” sounding awfully similar to a certain expletive, the ad was received with mixed feelings. Some people thought it was hilarious and a great way to make Kmart a little edgier and modern, while others thought it was offensive that they were alluding to vulgarity. Ultimately, this campaign was very successful for the struggling retailer and improved its website traffic.So does humor work best for a specific type of company or can anyone do it? If done appropriately, I think most companies can take part. Businesses with highly-specialized or expensive products can take advantage by appealing to all audiences. Someone who interacts with your marketing may not be your target customer, but they could very well share your information with someone who is. It’s all about brand awareness.Humor can also lend itself to companies in highly-competitive or saturated industries. What better way to stand out from those that sell a product or service of similar quality and price than by letting your company’s personality shine?I think the most remarkable thing about using humor in marketing is how companies with seemingly ordinary products can make you feel like theirs is the most exciting one out there. Oftentimes it’s a product we all need, one that really isn’t much different from brand-to-brand, and one that doesn’t have much price variation. Yet, we are fascinated by its commercials and social media presence.When it comes to humor, it’s all about authenticity. The brands that make humor work are authentic; they know their persona and they run with it. The companies below sell arguably “boring” products, but using humor in their marketing has transformed the way consumers perceive them.1) Dollar Shave ClubIf there is a company out there that embodies the effectiveness of using humor in marketing, it’s Dollar Shave Club. This is a company that a few years ago consisted of about 10 employees, just trying to find a way to compete in an industry filled with iconic, long-time brands. How did they expect to be able to compete with such big names as Gillette and Bic? The only way they knew how, by taking to social media to share their story.You could probably call it the “ad seen around the world,” with over 17.5 million views on YouTube. If you haven’t seen it, you need to. Trust me.Being a small company, they couldn’t afford a production crew, ad space on TV, or anything glamorous right off the bat. So they took to good-old YouTube with their CEO as the main character to talk about why their blades are “f***ing great.” In an interview with the New York Times, CEO Michael Dubin expressed his firm belief in using video to tell stories and that the concept of using humor to promote a “smart business” led to the video going viral.The ad is unconventional, outrageous, and blunt, but this is why people love Dollar Shave Club.They aren’t conservative, they don’t “fit the mold,” and they’re perfectly okay with that. What they do is create a memorable experience for viewers while making them realize why they should give their service a try.2) CharminVoted the “sassiest” brand on Twitter, Charmin has found a way to stand out in a highly-saturated market. Bathroom humor is a topic that is often perceived as being overdone, but when you see one of Charmin’s ads or interact with them on social media, you don’t feel that way.On Twitter, they have launched their own hashtag campaign called #tweetfromtheseat. Hashtags are a great way to build brand recognition, track interactions, and create buzz about your company. They also interact with their followers and other big-name brands on social media by mentioning them in tweets.When the Charmin social media team was asked how they have achieved marketing success, they said, “At the end of the day, it boils down to authenticity. Define what your brand stands for and your voice. Don’t try to be something you’re not. It may be humor and entertainment, or it could be informative or educational. Understand the nuances of the different platforms and your community and how your brand is represented in each.”And that’s exactly what they’ve done. Charmin has found its place in marketing by serving as comic relief for a potentially awkward or boring topic. You can’t help but think of their advertising when you see their product on store shelves and immediately create a positive association. They’re able to entertain and show why their product is superior to their competitors, it’s no wonder they’ve made such a name for themselves.3) State FarmWhen you think about it, there are probably few industries more difficult to market than insurance; it’s not particularly exciting and it can be expensive. Maybe that’s why every major insurance company is jumping on the humor train in an attempt to breathe life into this essential, but pretty uninteresting industry. State Farm is leading the pack with a practically seamless transition from campaign to campaign.They didn’t get here overnight, that’s for sure. A few years ago you really weren’t seeing much of State Farm on TV and certainly not on social media. They went through a re-brand to target younger consumers, who make up their largest customer segment. As part of this transition, they changed their motto from “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there” to “Get to a better State.”State Farm has successfully appealed to younger generations through a well-known spokesperson like Aaron Rodgers and sponsoring events like ESPN’s College Game Day. The “Discount Double-Check” concept seems to be what put State Farm on the market as a major player in the industry. Their ability to attract a younger audience through this strategy, who in turn provide more long-term potential as customers, has allowed the company to be among the top insurance providers.In addition to a celebrity spokesperson, State Farm introduced us to the “everyday” character of Jake. We can probably all recite in our sleep the TV ad featuring a customer calling “Jake from State Farm” at three in the morning as his wife comes downstairs to see him on the phone, refusing to believe he’s actually talking to an insurance agent. I’ve seen the commercial probably a thousand times and yet I still smile as she picks up the phone and asks Jake what he’s wearing.Their ability to take an everyday person and make him iconic has helped State Farm triumph in a very competitive marketplace. They also haven’t gotten stuck in a rut with their advertising; they effectively use two different story lines at the same time so their audience is continuously engaged.4) Old SpiceHave you ever not laughed watching an Old Spice ad or interacting with them on social media? It seems like they can do no wrong when it comes to their marketing.Check out their Twitter page if you haven’t before. The persona they embody in their hilariously creative commercials perfectly translates to their social media presence. You can’t help but forget that they’re selling men’s soap!Their TV and print advertising focus on a seemingly “perfect” man that every man wants to be and every woman wants to have by her side. He’s attractive, physically fit, and talks about how you could be just like him if you use Old Spice. Their marketing works because even though their products are for men, women are entertained and drawn in as well.Originally, Old Spice targeted women thinking that they would be the ones doing the shopping or encouraging their significant other to use the products. They realized that they needed to target men as well since they are the ones who actually use Old Spice, and have effectively revamped their marketing to appeal to everyone.An indication of Old Spice’s success is how they’ve been able to make their marketing go viral. This is no easy task, especially when there is pressure on marketing departments to generate revenue. But we can see that Old Spice’s decision to not be so focused on a hard sell is paying off. When you interact with their marketing you might think that their tactics are outlandish and have nothing to do with what they’re trying to sell, but you remember their brand the next time you’re out shopping. And that’s exactly what they’re trying to do: generate positive emotions and make people remember them.5) AllstateAnother insurance company? I know; I could probably list several others, but Allstate has made one of the most significant and effective transitions in marketing strategies the industry has seen.A few years ago, Allstate snatched up Dennis Haysbert as their official spokesperson and it seemed like a match made in heaven. His role as President Palmer on the iconic show 24 had just come to an end, so what better person to make the face of your brand than a well-respected actor coming off such an authoritative role?Using authority in marketing allows a company to demonstrate their expertise, and in this case Haysbert personified the idea that Allstate could protect you from anything.Fast forward to today, where Allstate is taking a completely different approach to marketing by using a “character” named Mayhem. Mayhem represents all of the freak accidents or situations that you could never envision actually happening, but with the reassurance that even under these circumstances Allstate has you covered.The marketers at Allstate have come up with the wildest situations in their advertising, that it’s always humorous and fresh in the consumer’s mind. Take this “tailgate gone wrong” ad:Allstate is another great example of a brand that hasn’t been afraid to switch things up. Like State Farm, they have been able to transition seamlessly from one concept to another, which is a truly invaluable skill in marketing.6) CloroxClorox is a classic American brand, one that has been trusted for decades to clean homes around the world. They realized they couldn’t just ride on the coattails of this “classic” persona forever, and have taken a more modern approach recently. Their motto today is “For life’s bleachable moments,” which gets you thinking a bit. What are some situations at home that are “bleachable moments,” circumstances where I need the best cleaning product out there to get the job done?There have been a series of TV commercials produced over the past few months that provide outrageous, yet completely relatable situations where having that bottle of Clorox comes in handy. You’ve probably seen the ad where a child is being potty-trained and he is running around the house with his training toilet to proudly show his mom what he has done. In the process, he spills the contents all over the floor. When he gets to his mom she sees an empty toilet and realizes what has happened. The ad immediately cuts to a picture of Clorox and a mop along with their tagline.The reason I think this approach to advertising has worked so well is that these things actually happen in life. We laugh at their marketing because we can either think of a time that something like this has happened or we can imagine it happening someday. And in this type of situation, it definitely doesn’t hurt to have a bottle of Clorox around.Clorox has also taken this tagline to its website, where it has a dedicated page for consumers to share their “bleachable moments.” This is a great way to interact with their customers while also getting free publicity. People go to the website to share times that they were happy to have Clorox in the house, so they’re essentially creating an opportunity for people to say how great their product is (known as crowdsourcing). Genius!7) Wonderful PistachiosAs society becomes more health-conscious, companies are finding ways to entertain consumers in their marketing while promoting a healthy lifestyle. Wonderful Pistachios is a brand that has paved the way by using humor to encourage healthy snacking. Most recently, comedian Stephen Colbert has served as the official spokesperson in the “Get Crackin’” campaign’s fifth year.Stephen Colbert is not only one of the most popular comedians today, he was also a very timely choice as his show “The Colbert Report” came to an end and he will be taking over the “Late Show” in the spring. The buzz around the new era that is about to begin at the “Late Show” carries over to Wonderful Pistachios’ branding by their association with Colbert.They launched his campaign during the 2014 Super Bowl through a two-part ad. The first 15 seconds of the ad aired, followed by another brand’s 30 second spot, and then the rest of the ad was shown. In the second half, Colbert jokes about how he was told that there wasn’t enough branding the first time around, so the second ad was necessary. This was an excellent strategy to make sure they didn’t get lost in the sea of other promotions.Previous spokespeople for Wonderful Pistachios have included Gangnam Style’s PSY, Jersey Shore’s Snooki, and YouTube sensation Keyboard Cat. Their ability to attract media icons to work with their brand has allowed Wonderful Pistachios’ brand recognition to skyrocket in recent years.For the most part, these “boring” brands are pretty different from one another, which goes to show that you don’t have to be in a particular business to use humor in your marketing. These companies occupy different industries, sell at various price points, and they all take a slightly different approach to how they use humor.There are some common themes here, though. Some of these brands have been around for ages, like Clorox. After some time, there’s a need to reinvent your brand to stay fresh in people’s minds, especially with how many options we have in the marketplace today.Others like Dollar Shave Club are relatively new, so they are setting a precedent for how they are perceived. It’s difficult to start a company these days, especially when there are so many long-time brands still in existence. That’s why we see companies using provocative and outrageous marketing to stand out, and I think we can agree a lot of them have done that quite well.Most importantly, these brands sell dull products. Who likes shopping for insurance or toilet paper? That’s why the use of humor is all the more valuable. It’s easy to take an exciting or entertaining product, like a car or clothing line, and make the marketing enjoyable. But the real gift is with those who can take something that people don’t typically enjoy shopping for and make it an experience they will actually look forward to.If there’s one thing for sure, it’s that people love to laugh. We could all afford to smile and laugh a little more in our lives, and if you’re a brand that can make us do that, we’re going to appreciate it. So keep the laughs coming!Want to learn how you can get a headstart at improving your branding in 2015? Dowlonad our buyer persona worksheet and start developing the right types fo content for your target audience! Originally published Dec 30, 2014 11:00:00 AM, updated October 29 2019 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Website Design Examples Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Mar 4, 2016 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: They say the best things often come in small packages. Think about it: jewelry, Snapchats, books, the keys to a brand new car … all of these things support this notion. And with our attention spans shrinking below that of a goldfish, it should come as no surprise that we’re beginning to crave more focused content at a smaller scale, too. Enter the rise of microsites. Unlike regular websites, microsites tend to be rather simplistic and easier to navigate. This isn’t to say they won’t make you want to poke around for a while, though. In fact, the really great ones do just that.Click here to download our curated collection of interactive content examples. Ready to see a few use cases? Check out the list below for some great examples of microsites in action. Note: There is profanity in example seven, so scroll on by if that’s not your cup of tea.What Is a Microsite?A microsite is an individual web page or small cluster of web pages that act as a separate entity for a brand. A microsite typically lives on its own domain, but some exist as a subdomain. Microsites can be used to help brands achieve a number of things. For example, some companies have used them to highlight a specific campaign or target specific buyer personas. Others have used them to tell a short story, or to inspire a specific call-to-action.11 Examples of Ingenious Microsites1) YearInMusic.Spotify.com | SpotifyAside from serving as a painful reminder of how many Justin Bieber song I listened to on repeat last year, Spotify’s Year in Music has proven to be one of the most well executed microsites we’ve ever seen.Commonly referred to a “celebration” of the music that carried us through the year prior, Spotify’s interactive site is personalized especially for you, based on your listening habits. What exactly does that mean? Well, the tool makes it easy for you to create a personalized recap that incorporates details such as your first played song, top artists by season, and how much time you spent listening. The experience is unique to the user, making it fun for them to share and compare their synopsis with their friends. And when it comes to sharing, the microsite makes it really easy. Every stat that the site pulls for you can be shared on social media thanks to a handy button at the bottom right of the screen.2) DangersOfFracking.com | Linda DongIn an effort to gain support for the FRAC Act (Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act), Interaction and Industrial Designer Linda Dong designed a beautiful microsite that uses parallax design to tell the story about the dangers of hydraulic fracturing.The story starts with a water droplet falling from a cloud, and as you scroll down through the site, you follow the water droplet as it’s taken from truck to fracturing site, turned into tracking fluid, and sent down a gas well into the ground. Along the way, you encounter floating facts and statistics about the dangers of fracking until you encounter two simple calls-to-action at the very end: “Contact your local officials” and “Join or support your local organization.”Microsites like this one are heavily focused on using directional cues (in this case, the parallax movement) to drive users to complete a certain call-to-action — so any other distraction or navigation bar is removed entirely. If your microsite focuses on one or two calls-to-action, make sure they are concise and actionable like this one is, and that you set them apart visually from the rest of the site by making the font color pop or putting the copy in a button.3) UrWhatUPost.com | Bolthouse Farms”Why should junk food get all the glory?”You’re asked this question when you first arrive to BoltHouse Farms’ microsite, UrWhatUPost.com. BoltHouse Farms created the site to show people how many social media conversations were happening about healthy foods versus unhealthy foods. To do this, they collected #UrWhatUPost hashtags and tracked the kinds of foods we share on social media, then pit the healthy stuff, like #grapes, against the unhealthy stuff, like #icecream. The goal of the website is aligned with their overall company mission: To change the way people think (and post) about healthy food.Bolthouse Farms proves microsites don’t have to be minimalist. The pages on the site are colorful and animated, with words and moving numbers turning into dangling carrots and swinging pomegranates. Click on a food item and magic happens — every food item is different. Click on a pomegranate and you can “hit” it with your clicker like a piñata. Click on a melon and you’re taken to a “melon meditation” page, kind of akin to the iTunes Visualizer. 4) Dominosdxp.com | Domino’s PizzaLast year, Domino’s announced their new Chevy Spark pizza delivery cars, known as DXPs. The cars were purposefully re-engineered for pizza delivery, and as a result, they boast a ton of awesome features — like an oven where the left door should be, space for up to 80 pizzas, custom storage for sauces and drinks.To show off this awesomeness, they recently launched a dedicated microsite detailing all things DXP.The site is heavily interactive website enables visitors to zoom in each of the features to gain a better understanding of the purpose and level of thought that went into each addition. The entire site is also skillfully animated, making it really interesting to learn about each feature.If nothing else, this is a great example of how to take a fairly complex product or idea and promote and explain it in a way that’s both fun and easily digestible. But don’t just take our word for it … visit the website to explore for yourself. 5) EmojiTracker.com | Matthew RothenbergThere is no “point” to emojitracker.com — it was created by Matthew Rothenberg, former Head of Product at Flickr and Bitly, as an experiment in real-time tracking of all emojis used on Twitter.The only calls-to-action on the site are the tweet and follow buttons at the very bottom. Otherwise, it’s just for pure interest. With no navigation bar or way to get to another site, it might actually be confusing to some people.Technically, it breaks the rules of good user interface design, but it goes to show that microsites don’t need to have complicated designs. Keep it simple to keep people on the page without taking up too much of their time.6) Fu2016.com | House of CardsStep aside, Donald Trump. There’s a new presidential candidate taking the internet by storm with this impressive, interactive microsite. If you’re not familiar with the Netflix series “House of Cards,” the program follows a man named Francis Underwood, a ruthless politician with a hidden agenda. As the series enters season four, they’re promoted the premiere with a clever microsite that pokes fun at politics. Talk about perfect timing, amirite?The microsite invites visitors to join Underwood’s movement and rally support for “important” issues such as inequality, dishonesty, and entitlement. But jokes aside, what we love most about this microsite is the design. In fact, you could easily argue that the site functions better than those of actual presidential candidates. From Underwoods attention-grabbing, shifty eyes (visit the website to see for yourself) to the high-quality videos, the microsite draws you in and provides good reasons for you to stick around and engage with the content.7) WhatTheF*ckShouldIMakeForDinner.com | Zach GoldenDon’t have a big budget? Take a hint from Zach Golden, author of What The F*ck Should I Make For Dinner?, who created a microsite to promote the book. Earmuffs, kids.The site has a very simple layout: A rotating “purpose of the recipe” line, a rotating recipe from the book, and three links that let you kind of “choose your own journey.” It has a black-and-white, minimalist theme; uses all caps; and places a small call-to-action in the corner that promotes his book. That’s it. Media company Digiday took a cue from Golden and used his microsite template to conduct an experiment of their own. They created the microsite WhatTheF*ckIsMyTwitterBio.com — with zero media budget — to see if the content would go viral and help build their brand.”Thanks to the open-source WTFEngine by Justin Windle, some cheap Web hosting and a $12 domain registration, WhatTheF*ckIsMyTwitterBio.com was up and running in under two hours,” reads Digiday’s press release. “Step two was populating the site with content, which took [two hours].”Their biggest takeaway? That good copy works. “We didn’t spend a dime promoting the site, and it reached nearly 100,000 unique users ‘organically.'”8) ElfYourself.com | OfficeMaxYou didn’t think I could write a blog post about microsites and not include ElfYourself, did you? Of course not. The screenshot below shows what the website looks like right now, but come the holiday season, expect your inbox to be rife with ElfYourself animations again this year because ElfYourself isn’t going away.What made the site so popular? Other than being hilarious, it’s also easily shareable, has a single call-to-action, and makes the users the stars. “It brought the brand to life for consumers,” wrote Kenneth Hein in Forbes, “and for the business-to-business crowd it provided a human face for the big box retailer.”In other words, Office Max used the microsite to be creative and let their freak flag fly, and it worked like a charm. They focused the campaign on the consumers, not the brand — but the sales tie-in came at the end of the ElfYourself videos in the form of coupons and promos. 9) TasteTheFeeling.Coca-Cola.com | Coca-ColaLet’s face it: We all love GIFs. And the folks at Coca-Cola have tapped into this inevitable admiration by creating a immersive online experience in the shape of the “Taste the Feeling” microsite. Here’s how it works: When users land on the page, they’re met with a two-minute music video set to the sounds of a custom campaign anthem from Avicii and Conrad Sewell. The video is made up of looping, three-second GIFs that depict the many emotions felt by Coca-Cola drinkers. As you watch, you can select an emotion by clicking on one of the 32 emotion-based icons, or enter your own emotion to pull up a corresponding GIF. All of the GIFs are easily sharable on social media, which serves as a great way to draw people back to the site to engage with the content. This microsite also serves as a great example for those interested in globalizing their campaign assets, as it’s available in more than 20 different languages. 10) Inside.Chanel.com | ChanelInside Chanel is a microsite that “works to inform consumers about the house’s history and heritage through video and multimedia content,” according to Luxury Daily. The site houses a ton of short, social videos that chronicle the people, places, things, and events that have contributed to continued success of this iconic fashion brand.The purpose? “The strategy behind this microsite is to create some accessibility of Chanel’s history, but more importantly, their success throughout the years,” explains Dalia Strum, president of Dalia Inc.We love their video-centric approach to visual storytelling. Each of the videos aims to pull back the curtain and give visitors an exclusive look at behind the scenes photos and stories, as they pertain to different aspects of the brand — color, couture, and so on.It’s important to note that this site isn’t Chanel’s first stab at microsite creation. In fact, the brand has experimented with multiple microsite formats, including the editorial-style site Chanel News:11) BurgerBff.com | Mellow MushroomThis microsite from the folks at Mellow Mushroom — a pizzeria franchise established in Atlanta, Georgia — was created to support their recent “Burger BFF” campaign. The campaign was launched to create buzz for their new menu items: Herb (a vegetarian burger) and Carnie (a beef burger). The menu items have been adapted into cartoon BFFs for the sake of the campaign … and the result is pretty lovable.Mellow Mushroom uses the microsite as a way to promote a contest for a chance to win a round trip to Denver or Seattle with their bestie. And it does so in a number of really fun and interesting ways. For example, one section of the site invites visitors to use the hashtag #BurgerBFF to enter the contest and show off their best burger shots on Instagram:But that’s not all: The site also offers visitors several other engaging, interactive ways to enter the contest, including quizzes and a Mad Libs-style storytelling generator. Here are 11 pricing page examples you’ll want to check out.
While no two organizations are created equal, the motivations behind joining one often are. By understanding what draws new members in—and just as important—what keeps them there, nonprofits can better understand where to allocate their marketing time and resources. Take a look at this infographic from abila’s Member Engagement Study, to see what universal truths members share across organizations. To dig down deeper on these stats, try running a survey with your current members to see how their responses net out against the averages below. Supplement this data by creating ideal member personas (free template here), and then match your content to meet the needs of this ideal audience. And just like that, you have the bones of a content strategy for member acquisition, engagement, and retention. Want some more in-depth information on membership marketing? Take a look at our Guide, Growing and Engaging Your Member Base. 17SaveWe’ve got more nonprofit resources where this came from. Take a look at our latest ebook, A Crash Course on Inbound Marketing for Nonprofits >> Originally published Aug 11, 2016 7:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Nonprofit Marketing
Arsenal boss Emery: Martinelli’s long-term position?by Paul Vegas22 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveGabriel Martinelli is set for more action with Arsenal tonight.Martinelli finds himself in line to feature for Arsenal tonight, when they host Standard Liege in the Europa League.Gunners head coach Unai Emery said: “He is with us because he deserves to be with us. Pre-season was his chance to show and to work with us and we are very, very happy with him. He is a very fast player and that is a quality that is very important. “He gives us good pressing without the ball, good pace in the final third, chances to score and he’s getting better. He is young but if his performances are getting better every day, it is good for him to carry on being with us.”On Martinelli’s long-term position, he added: “We used him in training and against Nottingham Forest as a striker.“It is not the best position for him but he played well and he played there sometimes in Brazil but he can play right or left.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say