Digital Marketing News: The Perfect Sales Page, YouTube Changes & Instagram Polls

How to Write a Persuasive Sales Page (Even If You Hate Selling) [Infographic] Selling doesn’t have to be ‘sleazy’ — it can be helpful, timely and informative. This infographic shows exactly how to perfect your website’s sales page to be informative, helpful, and not at all creepy to your intended buyers. MarketingProfs YouTube Changes Rules Regarding Videos With External Links YouTube is restricting which accounts are able to add external links at the end of videos. The new requirements are that the user is a member of the YouTube Partner Program and your channel must have 10,000 total public views (or more). Search Engine Journal Instagram Adds Polls in Stories, New Creative Tools Instagram is adding a new way for users to conduct polls using a sticker option that allows users to ask a question within their Instagram Stories and see results from followers as they engage with the polls. Social Media Today Google releases a variety of Accelerated Mobile Pages Project (AMP) updates This week, Google announced several AMP technical updates. Updates include scrolling animations, responsive sidebar, native video analytics and support, improved client ID information and fluid-ad support for publishers. Search Engine Land YouTube Advertising: New Research and Insights for Marketers Considering advertising on YouTube but unsure of best practices and next steps? This roundup of news and insights from Social Media Examiner shows four key insights and takeaways to help you get started or optimize your current program. Social Media Examiner LinkedIn to launch Talent Insights, a new analytics tool, as it dives deeper into data TechCrunch reports: “LinkedIn Talent Insights, a self-service, big data analytics product that will let recruiters make deeper queries into statistics for hiring and employment, based on LinkedIn data. Talent Insights is being announced in a closed beta today at the company’s Talent Connect event, with a full launch in 2018.” TechCrunch Snapchat rolls out Sponsored 3D World Lenses, bringing its AR format to advertisers Snapchat has released its latest AR ad format. Now advertisers can create their own versions of Snapchat’s 3D World Lenses. This will allow users to augment videos shot with their device’s rear facing cameras with animated 3D objects. Marketing Land 80% of Instagram Users Voluntarily Connect With a Brand on the Platform According to Instagram’s COO, Marne Levine, 80% of users connect to a business voluntarily. She said: “Shrinking the distance between businesses and customers and bringing you closer to the things that matter to you is really something that we’re focused on.” AdWeek What were your top digital marketing news stories this week? We’ll be back next week with more news! Have something to share? Tweet to @toprank or @Tiffani_Allen, or shoot a message over to the newsroom.

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Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®

How to Use Facebook Video Ads to Move People Through Your Sales Funnel

Are you using video in your Facebook ad campaigns? Wondering how video can best move people through your sales funnel? In this article, you’ll learn how to move prospects through three stages of the decision-making process by serving the right video at the right time. Why Use Video Ads in a Sales Funnel? Before you […]

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– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

Alicianne Rand Shares 4 Tips for Driving Sales Through Content Marketing #CMWorld

What does it look like when content, influencers and social media come together to generate a metaphorical gold mine in terms of revenue and reach? To put it mildly, it’s drop dead gorgeous. At least that was the view from my seat at Content Marketing World as Estée Lauder’s Executive Director of Global Content Marketing Alicianne Rand shared the incredible success her organization has achieved through their integrated content marketing strategy So, what needs to happen to take your content marketing strategy from drab to fab? Here are four tips straight from Rand herself.

Tip #1 – Use data to drive your content marketing strategy

At Estée Lauder, Rand and team have built a framework to simplify how they look at data. Step 1: Track trends based on deep social listening, then look at how trends move from rising to evergreen and eventually declining patterns. Rand cited a trend called “popsicle lips” that first launched at fashion week by Mac. At first, folks were skeptical, but it was quickly picked up by industry insiders, and then popsicle lips became the No. 1 trend of the summer. “The trend started with a subculture that consumers may not have necessarily gravitated toward,” she said. “But then it moved into a creative expressions that consumers want to use and wear every day.” Step 2: Analyze content and brand performance, and then use these insights to quickly experiment. Rand said that her team constantly evaluates their performance against the competition. “We ask: how do we perform against the competition in terms of market share?” she explained. “Our ability to grow that share over time is what we’re really concerned about.” For Estée Lauder, that means mobilizing employees as influencers and trendsetters in the industry. “Think about how you can activate your employees to make things real,” she suggested. “And really test and learn to figure out what works best.” Step 3: Map everything against business goals. At the end of the day, you need to know what you want from your content in terms of KPIs to determine whether it was successful. Do you want to generate a certain amount of views and engagement? Or are you looking for leads or revenue? So, determine what that goal is and regularly check yourself against it to optimize, learn and repeat.

Tip #2: Create products with content in mind

Rand said: “In the early stages of research and development, we’re already thinking about how this product will perform on social.” This is a key element for their brand’s content because so much of the industry is socially driven. Think about it in terms of Kylie Jenner’s lipstick promotion generating billions of dollars from Snapchat. However, this doesn’t mean that the brand owns all of the social around their product. In fact, Rand recommends the following formula for working with social influencers: Ownership + Authenticity + 360 Engagement = Sales “Ownership and authenticity are key to performance,” Rand said. “Give your influencers ownership over that product or that creative and you will see results.”

Tip #3: Know that creativity can come from anywhere and anyone.

In Rand’s words, “Everyone is a content creator. The trick is where you’re leveraging these influencers and what KPIs you have against each. There needs to be different strategies for different content creators.” The key is synchronization, she said. There needs to be a strategic framework in place for success. Rand tasked the audience with four key elements to think about:

  1. What is your overarching theme? What does your brand stand for?
  2. What are your trying to promote? (i.e. What is your particular campaign?)
  3. What are your chapters? This refers to evergreen content that the Estée Lauder team likes to call micro-narratives.
  4. What are your moments? This is your always-on content, where you can do A/B testing and try out new trends you’re experimenting with.

Tip #4: Create new paths to discovery and conversion.

How can your content create new paths to conversion? What isn’t being done that can make an impact? To illustrate this point, Rand cited the example of Smashbox thinking about retail as content. Every single store they have has a photo studio inside. They invite influencers to come in, do photo shoots using their products, and then give the photos to them for use on Instagram or other social profiles. In return, the influencers always tag Smashbox, giving their audience an opportunity to check the products out for themselves.

The Main Takeaway?

For content to drive sales and conversions, it needs to come from a place of deep understanding of your customers, the marketplace and your brand. Don’t start with what you want to get out of your content and work backward. A truly beautiful content strategy starts with why — not what. Stay tuned for more #CMWorld coverage and insights on the TopRank Marketing Blog. In addition, follow myself and the rest of our on-the-ground team members on Twitter at: @Tiffani_Allen, @leeodden, @knutesands, @NiteWrites, @azeckman, @amywhiggins and @CaitlinMBurgess.

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Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®

Does Snark = Sales? What Consumers REALLY Want from Brands on Social Media

Social media marketers, do you feel a brief pang of envy when a brand gets sassy on Twitter or Facebook? Do you wish you had the brand identity and/or corporate backing to smack down a troll, a la Wendy’s?

Me too. It’s only natural. Even in a profession as inherently creative as marketing, some of us can fly our freak flags higher than others. If you’re working in financial services, or healthcare, or any number of staid verticals, odds are you have to keep your sarcasm in check.

We may never get the sweet satisfaction of seeing a tweet full of biting wit go viral. But we have to keep perspective. Are we here to get featured on Buzzfeed, or to generate revenue? Does the snark really translate to sales?

The good folks at Sprout Social just released their Q2 2017 Sprout Social Index, and they’re taking aim at precisely that question. People like brands with “personality,” sure. But what do consumers really want from brands on social media? And how should those preferences inform your social media marketing strategy? Let’s run the numbers.

#1: Funny Is Good, But It Isn’t Everything  

Infusing a little humor into a brand is a good way to express personality. It lets people know that there are actual human beings behind the brand, seeking to entertain just as much as they inform.

As a once and future comedy writer, I’m an advocate for humor in marketing. But we should make sure the humor is not all that we’re bringing to the table.

Sprout Social found that while 3 in 4 consumers appreciate humor from brands, being funny was 4th on the list of what consumers really want from brands on social media:

Social Media Marketing Consumer Preferences

The far-and-away winners are honest, friendly, and helpful. If you have these three covered, then you can add in the humor. On the other hand, if you’re not honest, friendly, or helpful, no level of funniness will make up for the lack.

It’s also worth noting how far down the list “trendy” and “snarky” are. There’s no shortage of brands trying to be edgy and au courant. But it looks like less than half of consumers want their brand to be the quip-slinging cool kid from a 90’s sitcom.

The bottom line: Humor is a welcome trait for a brand, but mean-spirited or edgy humor is likely to turn customers off (even if it lands you an AdWeek shoutout). And if you’re not being honest and helping people, no amount of humor can save you.

#2: Consider the Platform

Just as your brand has its own identity, every social network has a unique identity. Facebook is a casual place to post cute pictures and start political arguments. Twitter is an even more casual place to start extremely character-limited political arguments. LinkedIn is more buttoned-down and professional, with only occasional political arguments.

Your audience on each platform has a unique set of expectations, based not just on your brand, but on the platform itself.

How Platform Changes Social Media Marketing Preferences

People like personality on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, but not so much on LinkedIn. So it’s important to adjust your messaging for each.

Most of us are scheduling social media messages with a tool like Hootsuite or Buffer, and it’s easy to blast a single message across platforms. But don’t do that. Take a few minutes to craft unique messages for each channel, keeping audience expectation in mind. That bit of extra effort will help make your posts more engaging, and keep your most dedicated audience from seeing the same message multiple times.

#3: Know Your Audience

Social media is not a homogenous audience that’s the same for every brand. It’s a platform for connecting with your particular most-valued consumers. How your brand approaches social media, then, should be a byproduct of how your audience wants to interact with your brand. These preferences can vary widely across demographics.

For example, 74% of Gen X and Baby Boomers said they found it annoying when a brand uses slang. But only 59% of Millennials shared that sentiment. Millennials are also far more tolerant of brands making fun of competing brands:

What Consumers Find Annoying on Social Media

How your brand should express personality on social media is dependent on your target audience. If your demographic still uses words like “hip” and “groovy,” it’s probably not hip or groovy for your brand to use them. However, if your target audience thinks things are “totes adorbs” and “can’t even,” you stand a better chance of connecting with slang.

It’s vital to find the intersection of your brand personality with your audience preferences, and let that drive how you present the brand on social.

#4: Bring Value to Drive Sales

To quote my personal hero, Captain Obvious, “the purpose of social media marketing is ultimately to drive sales.” If going viral with a funny tweet contributes to the bottom line, that’s a tactic worth pursuing. The research shows, though, that most people aren’t following brands just for laughs:

Brand Actions that Prompt Social Media Sales

When it comes to driving sales, humor is 5th on the list. Being responsive, offering promotions, and providing educational content are all more likely to inspire a purchase decision.

What do people really want from brands on social? The same thing they want from brands everywhere else. First, people want to be heard, to engage in a productive dialog. Second, they want to be offered something of value, whether it’s a deal on your solution or simply valuable information. When people are looking for help, you have to bring more than jokes to the table.

Check out the full Q2 2017 Sprout Social Index for more insights.

Helping People Is the Top Priority

Giving your brand a winning personality is great. It makes creating and consuming your content more fun. But personality should be the seasoning for your social media marketing, not the main course. Start with being helpful, being honest, and providing something of value in exchange for your audience’s time. Then add a little sprinkle of personality on top, like so:

See? You can be helpful and funny at the same time.

Need help maintaining your social media presence? Let us handle your social media marketing.


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2017. | Does Snark = Sales? What Consumers REALLY Want from Brands on Social Media | http://www.toprankblog.com

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Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®

How to Optimize Your Facebook Page for Product Sales

Do you want to sell on Facebook? Wondering how to increase product sales without investing in Facebook ads? In this article, you’ll discover how to organically optimize your Facebook page for more sales. #1: Choose the Right Facebook Page Type and Category Every business is different, and how you optimize your Facebook page for sales […]

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– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle