28th of July

How to Make Your Company’s Products Should Look More Expensive


When it comes to marketing, looks are everything. Whether you are selling candy bar or a smartphone, the looks of the product matters a lot. The iPhone didn’t become the most popular phone in the market by looking like a regular Nokia. Consumers will judge your products based on looks and not just price alone. It’s safe to say that people want to buy stuff that looks valuable, regardless of the price tag. So, even if you sell cheap products, make sure it looks more expensive that it actually is. This is particularly true for consumer electronics and household products. Here are several tips to improve product design to make them seem more valuable in a customer’s eyes:

Put Products in Nice Packages

Packaging is a very important aspect of selling a product. The packaging should be convenient to the consumer, and it should also highlight the best aspects of your product. Think the neat white boxes iPhones come in, or the unique bottle shape of Pepsi or Coca Cola drinks. Consumers associate these package shapes with the products naturally. Designing packages is an art form on its own. So, contract a packaging design agency to come up with a great idea for your product. If a product is nicely wrapped like a gift, consumers will instantly like it.

Use Colours

Don’t hesitate to use colours in your products or packaging. Colours are naturally appealing. Even a hint of colour here and there can make a product look ten times more expensive. Use colour wisely to attract consumers. The products should never look garish, but stylish and visually appealing.

Take Professional Grade Photographs

Most people shop online these days. So, the photographs of your product that are posted on e-stores play an important role in driving purchases. Hire a professional photographer to take industry-grade pictures of your products to post online. The photographs should make your products look sleek and professional looking, but without misleading the user. Do be careful not to make your products look too different, or you will end up with loads of band reviews online.

Include Cute Booklets with the Product if Possible

Some products require instruction manuals. Even if one is not needed, include a small booklet or a note with the product to show the customer that the company really cares. Also, the cheapest products don’t come with such compliments. Even if the customer only paid a pittance for the product, a booklet or a similar insertion can make the product seem more valuable.

Use Customer Feedback

Don’t forget to collect customer feedback on how the products look. Customers may refer to looks in their reviews. It’s also a good idea to conduct a survey to find out how looks affect customer buying decisions of your products.

The better a product looks, the more you might be able to charge for it as well. Use the above tips as guidelines to make your products looks like they are worth every penny. Quality matters too, of course, But good looks is an important aspect of making your products look more appealing to the target audience.

 

10th of July

Homepages vs Landing Pages: Where to Drive Paid Traffic for Higher Conversions


I’m going to give this to you straight. If you’re directing your hard-won PPC, Facebook, Twitter or banner ad traffic to your homepage…

There is a better way.

Conversion happens on landing pages.

And your homepage is not one of them.

Why?

Your homepage is a hub. It’s a jump off point to the rest of your site’s content. A landing page is a destination. It’s where you want visitors to end up.

Let me show you what this looks like.

Where to Go (and How You Get There)

Picture this:

You’ve decided to go on vacation. You call up your travel agent. You tell him you’re in the mood for tropical climates, white sand beaches, and public intoxication.

I know just the place, he says.

Your travel agent, who moonlights as an Uber driver, picks up you up and you’re away. Ready to soak up that mojito-laden air.

But, instead of taking you to a resort, he drops you off at the airport. He leaves you there — with no idea where you’re going or what to do next.

See where I’m going with this?

You are the prospect and your travel agent/Uber driver is your ad.

You had an idea of what you wanted and where you wanted to go. But instead of him taking you there — you’re left in a crowded terminal with only one question:

What now?

Sure, you may meander around for a bit. You might even stumble upon a flight to a coastal city.

But, odds are, you’ll find someone else who will actually send you somewhere. Someone who will set you on the path to a beautiful and exotic land—ing page.

It’s About Awareness, Intent, and Direction

Every visitor who clicks on an ad, comes to your site or buys from you, is in a certain stage of problem awareness.

Here’s a brief a rundown on the five stages:

  1. Unaware – The first stage The prospect doesn’t know they have a problem. Enter Dwight. The marketer who works his nine to five, five days a week without issue or complaint.
  2. Problem-Aware – This stage comes after something triggers a feeling of discontent. A disconnect between desire and reality. It’s Dwight at his desk at 9:37am, realizing he feels burnt-out. He doesn’t know what he needs. He only knows he has a problem.
  3. Solution Aware – Vacation. He needs a vacation. The solution stage is when a prospect identifies a way to solve their problem. But, still unaware of the options. He doesn’t know where he can go to get the relaxation he needs.
  4. Product-Aware – Iceland? Sydney? Hawaii? The next stage is awareness of the available options. It’s a prospect knowing your solution exists and what it can do.
  5. Most-Aware – Dwight likes Hawaii. The final stage is when the prospect is not only aware of your solution but when it’s also the top contender.

What does this have to do with paid traffic?

Two things.

First, the awareness stage dictates what they’re looking for, why they’re looking for it and how they got there.

In a word: Intent.

Second, knowing which stage a prospect is in allows you to write targeted ad copy. It’s the copywriting adage of joining the conversation that’s already going on in their head — in action.

And it’s not only your ads. Every page on your website addresses concerns at different levels of product awareness. The goal of paid ad campaigns is to prime for conversion by moving them through these stages.

So, which would better fulfil this goal? A homepage or a landing page?

If you answered homepage. Read on.

If you answered landing page. Nice. Read on.

Why Copywriters Hate Writing Homepages

I know what some of you are thinking:

Our homepage has the product on it. By sending traffic there, we’re making visitors product-aware. Plus, it’s littered with information about our value proposition. And THAT will move them into the most-aware stage. It’s the ultimate landing page. Bazinga.

Fair point. But, remember the ultimate goal is conversion. Convincing Dwight that Hawaii is the best place to be, doesn’t mean he’s booked the ticket. Getting to the final stage of awareness is still only awareness — not action.

And although visitors are “landing” on it, I’ll say this again:

A homepage is not a landing page.

Homepages are the gateway to the rest of your site. They are for visitors at every stage of awareness. This makes writing homepage copy a bit of a doozy.

But, landing pages are purpose-built conversion-machines. They follow an optimized set of design principles. Squeezing out every sign-up, opt-in and sale possible. They do this by adhering to a staple of conversion copywriting:

The Rule of One.

The Rule of One is to design each page with one reader and one big idea in mind. For example, Spotify’s landing page for a product-aware prospect (one-reader) with a free trial offer (one big idea):

spotify premium

No more, no less.
The purpose of the Rule of One is to convert. It gives a single visitor a single path.

This is why homepages are troublesome for copywriters. A homepage is for everybody, and so, it converts nobody. Sure, you may have a CTA above the fold, smack-dab in the center. But, how many conversions do you get compared to a purpose-built landing page?

A lot less, I’d assume.

Focus Trumps Clutter

The real problem with sending visitors to your homepage is onus of responsibility. You make them responsible for navigating through your site. You make themresponsible for finding your landing pages.

You make them responsible for your conversion rate.

Let’s go back to Dwight. He knows he has a problem. He needs a solution — so he Googles:

feel less stressed work google query

Dwight’s problem aware search query
And this ad comes up. What do you think he’d prefer to see when he clicks on it? A solution to his workplace woes? Or a page cluttered with links and information that may or may not be relevant?

Directing paid traffic to conversion relies on visitor expectation — join the conversation that’s already going on in their head.

If they’re in the problem stage, they’re expecting a solution. If they’re in the solution stage, they’re expecting a product.

Give it to them.

The first page they see plays a pivotal role in convincing them your offer is worth their time and attention — make it count.

There is already plenty of content out there on designing landing pages. So we won’t get into that here. But, there is one aspect of landing page design that makes it a conversion beast:

Variation.

As in, multiple, targeted and focused designs. Here’s an example: Instapage — a landing page building platform.

If anyone knows how to design landing pages, it should be them, right?

Now, here’s where you come in. You have a problem. You need landing pages. And you need them now.

You go on the Google machine and search for “how to build landing pages”. You scroll down and click a link to Instapage’s homepage:

instapage guarantee

Not a landing page.
Immediately you see menu items, a CTA button, and a video play button. There’s also “3 Brand New Design Features” to check out. You don’t even know the old features yet.

You’re at the airport.

Why are you here? Where do you go? What’s the next step?

Now for comparison, here is the landing page after clicking on the PPC ad for the same search query:

instapage landing page

Two roads did not diverge in a yellow wood.
See the difference?

The landing page has a clear path for the visitor to “GET STARTED NOW”. Clicking either button takes you to a page with a simple signup form — and nothing else. Below the fold, you see the features most pertinent to your search query: how to build landing pages.

instapage below the fold landing page

Should you get started or get started?
What’s more, every single clickable element leads to the same sign-up page as the first CTA button. Like Spotify’s landing page, it gives a single visitor a single path to conversion.

instapage customers tweet

Yes, even these testimonials at the bottom of the page are clickable.
The focus is on the visitor’s intent — anticipating their needs. And by presenting the right information, they meet their expectations.

Now, let’s see the search query: “high converting landing pages”. This is the PPC ad’s landing page:

instapage advertising landing page

Not only is the headline more ROI focused, but the hero image is also analytics-themed.
Again, above the fold there is a central focus — get started now. Below the fold are features relevant to the visitor’s intent and expectations. In comparison, the homepage now looks cluttered and directionless.

Targeted, focused, and relevant landing pages are the key to high conversions.

One company found their ad-specific landing pages outperformed their generic pages by 115%. And companies have seen a 55% increase in leads when increasing their number of landing pages from 10 to 15.

This is the beauty of directing paid traffic to landing pages. You can create them based on exactly what the visitor needs to see at their stage of awareness.

Homepages are static — There can be only one.

The Bottom Line

If you’re directing paid traffic to your homepage — you’re wasting your marketing budget.

Your homepage was never meant to be more than a central hub. A starting point. Whereas landing pages have every single element designed, tested and optimized for conversion.

You are paying money for this traffic.

If you currently have ads directed to your homepage, direct them to a relevant landing page. Go, now.

If you already direct them to a landing page, ask yourself:

  • Is this the most optimized landing page for the intended reader’s stage of awareness?
  • Does the landing page present information that they’d expect to see?
  • If it doesn’t, can I build another landing page that would be better suited?

Remember, Dwight needs the vacation. Don’t leave him wandering through the airport.

If you show him the boarding gate — he’ll get on the plane.

5th of July

How to Use Facebook as Your PR Engine


A PR agency’s job is to get your story in front of the press and potential customers.

It might set you back $5,000 per month.

But what if you could get the same—if not better—results yourself, by using Facebook ads?

Facebook ads are one of your biggest business opportunities. The targeting capabilities, the tracking functionality and the low cost of getting started means they beat any other form of advertising hands down. If you’re not using Facebook ads as part of your overall marketing strategy, you’re missing a trick.

Facebook has a neat little feature called workplace targeting that many people don’t even know about—and from a PR perspective, it could save you thousands of dollars every month.

Let’s see how.

How to Target the Media on Facebook

When you think about Facebook targeting, you might think it’s all about location, age and interest-based targeting. But when you dive into the demographical data we can use to target people, it goes much deeper than that.

Let’s take a second to think about the data Facebook has. There are 1.94 billion active monthly users on Facebook, and over 1 billion people use the platform every single day.

That’s a lot of data. I’ve personally been on Facebook for over 10 years. During the course of those 10 years, Facebook will have amassed a huge amount of data about me: the pages I’ve liked, posts I’ve reacted to, photos I’ve uploaded, places I’ve checked in, links I’ve clicked on and sites I’ve visited, to name a few. They’ll understand how my behavior has changed over time. When we combine that with the data they have about my Instagram and Whatsapp usage (not to mention data from third-party partners), we’re starting to talk real big data.

As they say, if you don’t pay for a product, you are the product. This might sound slightly daunting to a user, but as a marketer, it’s a huge opportunity—an opportunity you need to be taking advantage of.

When we use workplace targeting to target people based on where they work, we’re simply using the data Facebook gathers when you create your profile.

It’s a targeting feature that many people don’t know about, but it’s one that can be super powerful. Here’s how to do it:

Using Facebook Workplace Targeting

Presuming you already have an advertising account, when you’re in the ads manager, click on create advert.

You’ll be taken here, where you need to choose your campaign objective. You can target the media through any objective, so what you choose here will be entirely dependent upon your goals.

For example, if you’re trying to get people to take a specific action, such as download an eBook, you’ll want to choose the conversions objective. If your goal is to drive traffic to a blog post, you might want to use the traffic objective.

The objective you choose will alter how Facebook optimizes your ads (if you choose conversions, Facebook will show your ad to the people it thinks are most likely to convert. If you choose traffic, Facebook will show your ad to the people it thinks are most likely to click through). Again, Facebook has data on what action you’re most likely to take, based on your user behavior.

Facebook auction advertising options

Name your campaign and click continue.

You’ll then be taken to the ad set level where you get to choose your targeting options. Your ad set is basically a place where you tell Facebook how you want your advertisement to run. Your options here include:

  • Targeting
  • Placement
  • Budget
  • Bidding
  • Scheduling

Targeting is what we’re interested in here. Find the detailed targeting box, then hit browse > demographics > work > employers.

Here, you can enter the names of the companies you want to target. This will target the employees of the companies you choose. If we’re looking to get some PR, we want to choose media companies as the employers.

targeting bbc facebook

You can go ahead and fill that detailed targeting box with as many companies as you’d like to target.

facebook targeting

I’d recommend creating a list of all the media companies you think might be interested in what you do and any stories you produce. You can then save that audience and come back to it whenever you want to target the media again. I’ll often target the media companies even when I don’t have anything to pitch them—just to keep myself top of their minds.

save audience Facebook ad manager

You’ll then have an audience you can target whenever you have something you feel is media-worthy! Here’s an audience I created of people who work for media companies:

employer targeting media Facebook advertising audience

As a marketer, getting into the media and onto podcasts, writing guest blog postsand connecting with influencers are all great ways to reach and provide value to new audiences. But the people with the power to get you onto these mediums (the owners, journalists, hosts etc.) are inundated every day by people requesting to be on their show or to write a guest post for them. Do you think they want to receive any more requests than they already do?

Definitely not.

Why not do something to stand out from the crowd? Jump on to Facebook, find the person who owns the podcast/blog you want to appear on, see what they’ve put as their company name and then create an ad targeting employees of that company.

In your ad copy, you can specify that you love their podcast/blog and would like to appear on it. What’s gonna stand out more—a boring email pitch or a creative ad?

The ad will win all day long—it’s fun, it’s different and it’s relevant.

Alternative benefits

Workplace targeting doesn’t just offer media/PR benefits. It can literally be used for anything, whether that’s lead generation, getting meetings with specific people or using it to get your next job.

I’ve used this tactic to get meetings with people many times. For example, I wanted to meet the team at Social Chain. After emailing a few times to no avail, I decided to run an ad targeting employees of Social Chain.

man targeting media through Facebook advertising

After only $.39 spend, I had a message from the CEO inviting me down to the office the next week. Crazy, right? Every marketer has a list of companies they want to meet/work with. Rather than sending them cold emails, why not create Facebook ads targeting the employees or CEO of that company?

Relevancy

Relevancy is the key to why this works so well. If you pinpoint an ad to someone and call them out based on how you targeted them—for example, by targeting people that work for ‘x’ company and using copy such as ‘work for ‘x’?’—of course they’re going to click on that ad! Why wouldn’t they when it’s so relevant to them?

But at the same time, just because you’ve used their workplace or job title as the identifier, it doesn’t mean the ad or message you’re trying to get across is interesting to them. There are more than 5 million advertisers on Facebook, of which a small percentage will be targeting you, trying to get their message in your feed. Some of them may have identified you by your job title, while others may have identified you by your interests.

This is where having great ad creative is important. The targeting functionality allows us to get our message in front of the right people with ease. But that doesn’t mean they’re automatically going to be interested in what we have to say. Great targeting can’t fix poor messaging. Understand the mindset of Facebook users and serve them an ad that is truly valuable and relevant to them.

Final Thoughts

How can a PR agency compete with results like this—instant results for a tiny spend? Now, the point of this article isn’t to suggest that PR agencies are dead. They still have a place, but if you’re looking to get into the media or to target specific companies, Facebook ads might be your best bet.

The great thing is, you don’t need huge budgets to get results. You can get started from as little as $1 a day. Once you’ve tested and played around with this method, you can scale your budget to as high as you like.