Category Archives: Content Marketing

Why Generation Z Should Be Included in Your Content Strategy

generation-z-compressor.jpg

I’ll admit it: I’ve always been a bit befuddled by the letters assigned to generations. In fact, I remember the day that I lamentably found out that I wasn’t a member of Generation X. I had missed the mark by just a hair, and growing up in the 90s, learning that it wasn’t me who the Spice Girls were singing about in soda commercials was very sad news.

But now, pop musicians are singing to one of the newest populations, and as marketers, it’s time for us to turn our attention to it: Generation Z.

If you’re asking, “what is Generation Z?”, here are a few fun facts, courtesy of Adweek:

Generation Z is comprised of those born between about 1996 and 2010.
Members didn’t witness the dawn of the online era like Millennials did — they were born into it.
Half of them say they “can’t live without” YouTube.

But why should marketers pay attention to this particular generation? Well, like every other one before it, Generation Z is steadily gaining some degree of purchasing power, especially those who were born in 1999 or earlier. Many of them are about to start or graduate from college and enter a new phase of independence and decision-making. And who’s there to help guide those decisions? Brands, of course.

But what’s the best way to reach them? To find out, look no further — Adweek broke down the digital behavior of Generation Z into this helpful infographic, which we’ve shared below.

data-Generation-Now-20171.gif

free trial of hubspot's social media software

Digital Marketing News: Content Is Still King, Purchases from Email, B2B Tech Influencer Marketing

Here Are 7 Reasons Why Content is Still King in 2017 [Infographic]
The way content marketing draws attention and helps build genuine relationships with the audience is what sets it apart from other marketing tactics. Smart marketers are using content marketing to approach their target audience in a more subtle way to ensure the customer needs are met while building brand credibility and trust. (Social Media Today)

What Influences Consumers to Purchase From Marketing Emails?
A recent survey conducted of 1,004 consumers who have received marketing emails in the past year reports how the different generations are influenced in their purchase decisions. Consumers are most influenced to make purchases from marketing emails by sales/discounts and brand reputation. (MarketingProfs)

The Rise of Influencer Marketing in B2B Technology
B2B marketing has definitely shifted with new challenges when it comes to influencer marketing in enterprise technology. To better understand these shifts and get actionable solutions, 10 industry experts have weighed in about implementing and scaling influencer marketing. (Traackr) Click here for the Influence 2.0 study from today’s video!

See How You Stack Up With Inline Competitive Metrics
Six new metrics are available at the campaign, ad group and keyword levels in the main UI and Reports tab in Bing Ads. You can also access these reports via the Bing Ads API. Advertisers can now see how their campaigns, Ad groups and keywords stack up against the competition. (Bing Ads Blog)

Google to Stop Using Information in Gmail to Target Personalized Ads
Google announced that the enterprise version of Gmail and the consumer version will more closely align later this year. Both enterprise and consumer versions of Gmail will not be used to target personalized ads. The ads shown will be based on a user’s settings, including the option to disable personalized ads altogether. (Search Engine Journal)

New Ways to Protect Your Pinterest Account
Pinterest is rolling out a two-factor authentication to everyone in the next few weeks to add security by requiring a verification code every time you log in. You can receive the code via text message, or for added security, download Twilio’s Authy app. If the two-factor authentication is enabled, it works across your entire account on all devices. (Pinterest Blog)

Adobe Is Launching AI-Powered Voice Analytics
Adobe is adding voice analytics to the Adobe Analytics Cloud which will help people better understand how media is consumed via voice-enabled devices. You can track voice usage by intent and add specific parameters and a brand can measure top-of-funnel metrics, as well as trends and patterns at scale over time. (AdWeek)

Messenger Just Added More Fun to Your Video Chats
Facebook Messenger has added new features to video chats. You can now use animated reactions, filters, masks and effects. You can also take pictures of your one-on-one and group video chats and share them with your friends. (Facebook Newsroom)

What were your top digital marketing news stories this week?

We’ll be back next week with more top digital marketing news. For more news and expert insights, follow @toprank on Twitter!

The post Digital Marketing News: Content Is Still King, Purchases from Email, B2B Tech Influencer Marketing appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


11 Effective Ways to Use Social Media to Promote Your Content

Social Media Logos

You’ve spent hours researching, analyzing, and finally creating compelling content to help you reach your content marketing objectives. And like book authors, you need to spend as much, if not more time promoting your content as writing it. Where better to promote your content than where we spend more than 25 percent of our online time: social media. Eighty percent of marketers are already promoting their content in social media–but are they doing it effectively?

Audio BlogPost CTA

Before we get deep into social media tactics, ensure you’re planning out your content—and social media updates—on an editorial content calendar. This ensures every piece of content is properly promoted in an organized manner. Download this free editorial calendar template to start planning today.

Now it’s time to take your social media promotion to the next level.tweet-this

Here are 11 effective ways to promote your content using social media you probably aren’t doing enough of.

Embrace The Visual

 

shutterstock_184636283

We all know tweets with images get more engagement. We’ve known for a while that photos on Facebook get more engagement. Even images on LinkedIn get more engagement. Three of the “newest” social networks—Pinterest, Instagram, and Snapchat, are based entirely on images. So why aren’t you leveraging the visual when promoting your content? Don’t just create a branded “featured image” to share with your post. Create separate images for each of the main points in your content. Use these when you repeatedly post to social media (see below for more on this point). Check out my post on top social media for business quotes for an example that clearly illustrates how to leverage the visual.

Headlines Matter

You’re writing great content, but are you writing a title worthy of grabbing someone’s attention in social media? If not you either need to:

Create better titles that help your posts to be more promotable in social media or…
Create a new title specifically for sharing your content in social media.

Don’t just settle for one title. You should be posting your content multiple times. Create multiple titles, and perform A/B testing to see which headlines most effectively promote your content on which social networks. Use a tool like BuzzSumo to help you research effective titles for the same type of content per social network. (See Curata’s post about curated content for more tips about creating new titles.)

Customize For the Platform

When sharing content, utilize the customizable posting features on each social media platform. This includes the headline, image, and a description of the content you’re sharing. Every marketer and social media user is competing to catch the user’s eye. The more optimized your post is for a particular platform, the more effective your social media promotion will be.

For example, if you share a link to Facebook, you have the opportunity to create a post that truly stands out. All you need is an attention-grabbing headline, a clean, relevant image that piques interest (which might be different from the featured image), and a short, compelling description.

With this formula, you can entice readers to click on your content. In the same manner, appending your content with hashtags helps make it more discoverable for those social networks that support them. See this tweet by former Curata CMO Michael Gerard for an example of using hashtags and an image:

How to fight halitosis with event swag and tchotchkes http://t.co/9Z5uK8rahg #Halloween and event #Marketing pic.twitter.com/AxFPXLre6q

— Michael Gerard (@michaelgerard) October 31, 2014

Share at the Right Time

Though this tip may seem like common sense, many content marketers overlook this simple concept. For maximum engagement, the content you’re sharing needs to reach as many people as possible. So you have to go where the crowd is—and when they are online and active. Then you can compile a posting schedule to ensure you post during a certain time of day.

Keep in mind that different social media platforms may not have the same peak times. While there are many infographics telling you the best time to post in social media, some of it simply comes down to understanding how users engage on each social network, and experimenting. Some social media platforms have features designed to aid you in this process, such as Facebook Insights. In addition, third party tools such as FollowerWonk help estimate the best times for some platforms.

Don’t be Afraid to Post Multiple Times

Numerous data studies suggest you will be more effective by promoting the same content multiple times on social media. Use multiple images and multiple headlines for your content. This way you engage with your followers without them even knowing you’re reposting the same content. Social media users don’t see most of your posts on any given day anyway. So posting multiple times ensures your audience has a chance to see your content.

Ask Questions

ThinkingManWithQuestionMarks

Don’t just drop links. Drive social media users to communicate with you—and increase the chances they engage with your content—by asking for questions and feedback. Social media was made for people; not for businesses. So you should always be striving to create a human connection with social media users.

The beauty of social media marketing is that it can improve both your public relations and content marketing, simply by asking for a response. To generate feedback and promote engagement on social media, include a question with your content that compels readers to respond. Better yet, create questions for some of your headlines and test the waters. Questions are a great attention grabber, and help foster a community of connection that results in more effective social media promotion.

Share on the right platform

With so many social media sites constantly sprouting up and vying for attention, it can be hard to keep up. Just when we thought we knew everything with the emergence of Ello, now comes Tsu. Having accounts on various sites can be advantageous for fostering innovation and staying creative. But it can also be difficult to choose which platform to post your content to.

To reiterate, since different sites serve different purposes and audiences, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the major social media platforms your target audience uses. Avoid redundancy and simply “dumping” content across all channels. Concentrate on the platforms where you have the highest chance to engage with your audience. Use this list of content promotion tools to see which platform best fits your needs.

Once your social media promotion is successful on these platforms, use that information to start embarking on a new platform. Don’t forget to share your multimedia content to social networks like Slideshare, iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher and, of course, YouTube.

Pay to Play

shutterstock_188002838

Why pay for Likes or Follows when you can promote your content to a micro-targeted audience in social media? Paid Social is mainstream, meaning you can pay to promote your content into the news feeds of social media users, where you are guaranteed visibility from a relevant audience. If you haven’t done so already, try shifting your budget to experiment, whether on Twitter, Facebook, or another network.

Maximize Your Brand Advocates

Does your company have an employee advocacy program? Employees or partners are likely already sharing your content socially. Get more of them to do so more regularly to help promote your content. There are many tools that make it easy to manage and measure social media sharing by brand advocates. See the aforementioned list of content promotion tools for a full breakdown of different advocacy tools, such as GaggleAMP and SocialChorus.

Leverage Communities

An employee advocacy program is one way of leveraging communities. It allows you to utilize the strength in numbers approach to promote your content to more social media users. However, you first have to have a community in order to do so. There are already more than two million communities within LinkedIn alone. Not to mention additional communities in the form of Twitter chats, Google Plus communities, shared Pinterest boards, and even Facebook Groups.

Joining and becoming an engaging member of relevant communities allows you to promote your content to a very targeted audience of social media users. Such groups could be in the hundreds, thousands, or even more—the largest LinkedIn Group has more than one million members! (There’s even a community for content marketing and promotion: The Content Marketing Forum.)

Experiment With Content Creator Communities

shutterstock_127623848

I saved this for last because it is not everyone’s cup of tea, but there are a number of other communities such as Triberr, Social Buzz Club, and Viral Content Buzz. They exist outside of social media for the sole purpose of bringing together content creators and enhancing your social media promotion. If the content you discover on one of these sites is something you would considering curating, then this might be a good site to consider promoting your own content on.

What’s Next

When it comes to promoting content, social media is one of the most powerful tools available; however, most content marketers fail to truly maximize its potential. Utilize one or all of these 11 ways to promote your social media content, and you’ll generate significantly more traffic for your precious content.

Which of these 11 methods have worked for you? Any others that you would add to the list? Please chime in below in the comments!

For more information about promoting blog content, download Curata’s eBook, Business Blogging Secrets Revealed.

blogging survey

The post 11 Effective Ways to Use Social Media to Promote Your Content appeared first on Curata Blog.

How Content Can Succeed By Making Enemies – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by randfish

Getting readers on board with your ideas isn’t the only way to achieve content success. Sometimes, stirring up a little controversy and earning a few rivals can work incredibly well — but there’s certainly a right and a wrong way to do it. Rand details how to use the power of making enemies work to your advantage in today’s Whiteboard Friday.

How content can succeed by making enemies

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Today, we’re going to chat about something a little interesting — how content can succeed by making enemies. I know you’re thinking to yourself, “Wait a minute, I thought my job was to make friends with my content.” Yes, and one of the best ways to make close friends is to make enemies too.

So, in my opinion, I think that companies and businesses, programs, organizations of all kinds, efforts of all kinds tend to do really well when they get people on their side. So if I’m trying to create a movement or I’m trying to get people to believe in what I’m doing, I need to have positions, data, stories, and content that can bring people to my site. One of the best ways to do that is actually to think about it in opposition to something else, basically try and figure out how you can earn some enemies.

A few examples of content that makes enemies & allies

I’ll give you a few examples, because I think that will help add some context here. I did a little bit of research. My share data is from BuzzSumo, and my link data here is from Ahrefs. But for example, this piece called “There Are Now Twice as Many Solar Jobs as Coal Jobs in the US,” this is essentially just data-driven content, but it clearly makes friends and enemies. It makes enemies with sort of this classic, old-school Americana belief set around how important coal jobs are, and it creates, through the enemy that it builds around that, simply by sharing data, it also creates allies, people who are on the side of this story, who want to share it and amplify it and have it reach its potential and reach more people.

Same is true here. So this is a story called “Yoga Is a Good Alternative to Physical Therapy.” Clearly, it did extremely well, tens of thousands of shares and thousands of links, lots of ranking keywords for it. But it creates some enemies. Physical therapists are not going to be thrilled that this is the case. Despite the research behind it, this is frustrating for many of those folks. So you’ve created friends, allies, people who are yoga practitioners and yoga instructors. You’ve also created enemies, potentially those folks who don’t believe that this might be the case despite what the research might show.

Third one, “The 50 Most Powerful Public Relations Firms in America,” I think this was actually from The Observer. So they’re writing in the UK, but they managed to rank for lots and lots of keywords around “best PR firms” and all those sorts of things. They have thousands of shares, thousands of links. I mean 11,000 links, that’s darn impressive for a story of this nature. And they’ve created enemies. They’ve created enemies of all the people who are not in the 50 most powerful, who feel that they should be, and they’ve created allies of the people who are in there. They’ve also created some allies and enemies deeper inside the story, which you can check out.

“Replace Your Lawn with These Superior Alternatives,” well, guess what? You have now created some enemies in the lawn care world and in the lawn supply world and in the passionate communities, very passionate communities, especially here in the United States, around people who sort of believe that homes should have lawns and nothing else, grass lawns in this case. This piece didn’t do that well in terms of shares, but did phenomenally well in terms of links. This was on Lifehacker, and it ranks for all sorts of things, 11,000+ links.

Before you create, ask yourself: Who will help amplify this, and why?

So you can see that these might not be things that you naturally think of as earning enemies. But when you’re creating content, if you can go through this exercise, I have this rule, that I’ve talked about many times over the years, for content success, especially content amplification success. That is before you ever create something, before you brainstorm the idea, come up with the title, come up with the content, before you do that, ask yourself: Who will help amplify this and why? Why will they help?

One of the great things about framing things in terms of who are my allies, the people on my side, and who are the enemies I’m going to create is that the “who” becomes much more clear. The people who support your ideas, your ethics, or your position, your logic, your data and want to help amplify that, those are people who are potential amplifiers. The people, the detractors, the enemies that you’re going to build help you often to identify that group.

The “why” becomes much more clear too. The existence of that common enemy, the chance to show that you have support and beliefs in people, that’s a powerful catalyst for that amplification, for the behavior you’re attempting to drive in your community and your content consumers. I’ve found that thinking about it this way often gets content creators and SEOs in the right frame of mind to build stuff that can do really well.

Some dos and don’tsDo… backup content with data

A few dos and don’ts if you’re pursuing this path of content generation and ideation. Do back up as much as you can with facts and data, not just opinion. That should be relatively obvious, but it can be dangerous in this kind of world, as you go down this path, to not do that.

Do… convey a world view

I do suggest that you try and convey a world view, not necessarily if you’re thinking on the political spectrum of like from all the way left to all the way right or those kinds of things. I think it’s okay to convey a world view around it, but I would urge you to provide multiple angles of appeal.

So if you’re saying, “Hey, you should replace your lawn with these superior alternatives,” don’t make it purely that it’s about conservation and ecological health. You can also make it about financial responsibility. You can also make it about the ease with which you can care for these lawns versus other ones. So now it becomes something that appeals across a broader range of the spectrum.

Same thing with something like solar jobs versus coal jobs. If you can get it to be economically focused and you can give it a capitalist bent, you can potentially appeal to multiple ends of the ideological spectrum with that world view.

Do… collect input from notable parties

Third, I would urge you to get inputs from notable folks before you create and publish this content, especially if the issue that you’re talking about is going to be culturally or socially or politically charged. Some of these fit into that. Yoga probably not so much, but potentially the solar jobs/coal jobs one, that might be something to run the actual content that you’ve created by some folks who are in the energy space so that they can help you along those lines, potentially the energy and the political space if you can.

Don’t… be provocative just to be provocative

Some don’ts. I do not urge you and I’m not suggesting that you should create provocative content purely to be provocative. Instead, I’m urging you to think about the content that you create and how you angle it using this framing of mind rather than saying, “Okay, what could we say that would really piss people off?” That’s not what I’m urging you to do. I’m urging you to say, “How can we take things that we already have, beliefs and positions, data, stories, whatever content and how do we angle them in such a way that we think about who are the enemies, who are the allies, how do we get that buy-in, how do we get that amplification?”

Don’t… choose indefensible positions

Second, I would not choose enemies or positions that you can’t defend against. So, for example, if you were considering a path that you think might get you into a world of litigious danger, you should probably stay away from that. Likewise, if your positions are relatively indefensible and you’ve talked to some folks in the field and done the dues and they’re like, “I don’t know about that,” you might not want to pursue it.

Don’t… give up on the first try

Third, do not give up if your first attempts in this sort of framing don’t work. You should expect that you will have to, just like any other form of content, practice, iterate, and do this multiple times before you have success.

Don’t… be unprofessional

Don’t be unprofessional when you do this type of content. It can be a little bit tempting when you’re framing things in terms of, “How do I make enemies out of this?” to get on the attack. That is not necessary. I think that actually content that builds enemies does so even better when it does it from a non-attack vector mode.

Don’t… sweat the Haterade

Don’t forget that if you’re getting some Haterade for the content you create, a lot of people when they start drinking the Haterade online, they run. They think, “Okay, we’ve done something wrong.” That’s actually not the case. In my experience, that means you’re doing something right. You’re building something special. People don’t tend to fight against and argue against ideas and people and organizations for no reason. They do so because they’re a threat.

If you’ve created a threat to your enemies, you have also generally created something special for your allies and the people on your side. That means you’re doing something right. In Moz’s early days, I can tell you, back when we were called SEOmoz, for years and years and years we got all sorts of hate, and it was actually a pretty good sign that we were doing something right, that we were building something special.

So I look forward to your comments. I’d love to see any examples of stuff that you have as well, and we’ll see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

20 of the Worst Typos, Grammatical Errors Spelling Mistakes We’ve Ever Seen

worst-typos.jpeg

“How long did you take to revise this?” “A couple of sec, I mean minutes … ”

“Did you use any editing tools?” “Yes … the red and green squiggly lines in Word.”

“Please tell me spell check is somehow broken. ” “ … I haven’t used that since 2008 … ”

Whenever the internet devours brands for making typos more cringeworthy than my parents’ joint Facebook account, I picture these conversations ensuing between writers and supervisors.

Because even though they have access to a stockpile of grammar and spelling tools, they still let typos or poor grammar creep into their copy.

Download our free writing style guide here to eliminate typos and grammatical errors from your own writing.

I empathize with these unlucky writers, though. Typos are inevitable. Sometimes, they tiptoe into my blog posts, and there’s nothing I can do about the embarrassment except lock myself in the nap room and wail into a pillow.

But the 20 pen slips below were so hilarious and shocking that my laughter pierced through all my colleagues’ noise-canceling headphones. I couldn’t stop chuckling at these editing blunders.

So, although our hearts sting for these writers, we decided to share their hysterical typos and grammatical errors. Hopefully, they’ll forget the pain and laugh with us too.

20 Funny Typos, Grammatical Errors & Spelling Mistakes
1) We’re having a little trouble imagining this.

imagine.jpg

Image Credit: 11 Points

2) Just found out The Purge actually happened.

hunters.png

Image credit: ViralNova

3) “When I grow up, I want to be a technincian!”

cincinnati_state

Image Credit: WCPO

4) If you think about it, it is original.

Orignal.jpg

Image Credit: Slice

5) Best headline since “Headless Body in Topless Bar”.

asdf.jpg

Image credit: The Guardian

6) Ironic Twitter shaming: a dish best served cold.

Fox announcer: “He was covered pretty good.” Boo. #DeathOfGrammer #LoweringTheBar

— Rob Lowe (@RobLowe)
December 10, 2012

7) The few and the proud.

daysinn.png

Image credit: ViralNova

8) The one-two typo punch …

First, the poster:

lbj_poster

Image credit: JimRomensko.com

Then, the apology tweet:

lbj_tweet

Image credit: The Chronicle of Higher Education

9) We wouldn’t take one.

ded.jpeg

Image credit: Cheezburger

10) Did someone actually name their kid Sport?

Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 4.14.04 PM.png

Image credit: Flickr

11) Well, at least they admit to their mistakes.

SpelMistk14

Image credit: Jazarah!

12) Did they edit this ad in a New York minute?
reebok_typo

Image credit: Engrish and Funny Typos

13) The ultimate silver lining.

find.png

Image credit: ViralNova

14) Apparently, floor cloth won him seven Tour de Frances.

Rugs.jpg

Image Credit: Slice

15) Is it proper grammar?

stella-artois-typo.jpg

Image Credit: The Huffington Post

16) We’d buy it.

brid.jpg

Image Credit: Pleated Jeans

17) What would happen if you pressed no?

Exist.jpg

Image Credit: Pleated Jeans

18) She doesn’t know it yet, but she’s talking about herself.

their.png

Image Credit: ViralNova

19) We hear he’s a little dramatic under water.

scubadiva.jpg

Image Credit: Pleated Jeans

20) Throwback to Googing things.

Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 4.11.37 PM.png

Image Credit: Flickr

What’s the worst typo or grammatical error you’ve ever seen? Share your stories in the comments below!

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in June 2013 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

download the free written style guide

 

free writing style guide

The Complete Guide to Using Stock Photos in Your Marketing

When you hear the term ‘stock photo’, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

My hunch is it’s probably a photo of a group of friends awkwardly laughing, business people staring at charts on a wall, or something along those lines.

Probably not the best connotations, right?

Used correctly, though, free stock photos can really bring your ads, blog posts, and content to life.

And at Buffer, we use stock photos daily.

Here’s why:

Stock photos are cost effective (mostly free ?)
If you know where to look, you can find some incredibly high-quality images
We’ve found that stock photography can outperform custom designed images in terms of reach and engagement

In this post, we’ve teamed up with Unsplash to bring you the complete guide to stock photography and answer the ever-illusive question: should you be using stock photos for your marketing?

The power of images

We’ve known for a while now that images can work wonders when it comes to grabbing attention and boosting engagement:

Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than tweets without images
Facebook posts with images see 2.3X more engagement than those without images

But, not only can images boost the performance of our content, they can also influence purchasing decisions:

“Visual platforms such as YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram are highly influential in shopping,” Nikki Karai Renaud, CMO at Zazzle explained in eMarketer’s US Millennial Shoppers 2017 report. “For millennials, we found that the visual piece – honing our photography and creative assets – helped attract and convert [this generation].”

In other words – not only are people posting and sharing more images online, but these images can also be a major influence in their decision to purchase a product.

Nowadays, images aren’t a distraction from the message – the pictures themselves are the message.

How people react to stock images

When it comes to finding the right images to use in our marketing efforts it goes far beyond simply finding an image that simply “looks nice.”

Stock photos, when used correctly, can elicit emotions in your audience (both positive and negative).

For example, have you seen an image like the one below before?

Typical stock photo

We’ve become so accustomed to seeing this style of image that it can often be hard to differentiate between where we saw it and the brands that used it.

We are incredible at remembering pictures. Hear a piece of information, and three days later you’ll remember 10 percent of it. Add a picture and you’ll remember 65 percent. Think back to the last ad you saw on Facebook or the last billboard you walked past in the street, I bet there’s more chance you’ll recall the visual, rather than the copy.

This happens due to the Picture Superiority Effect, which essentially means that images are more likely to be remembered than words. In the brain itself, there are hundreds of millions of neurons devoted to visual processing, nearly 30 percent of the entire cortex, as compared with 8 percent for touch and just 3 percent for hearing.

If the stock photo you’re using is at all similar to the image on another website that created a negative experience for the visitor, subconsciously, they’re projecting their previous experience onto your stock photograph, reducing trust and bringing up negative connotations.

A study has also shown that 63 percent of consumers say that repeated, generic messages from brands are irritating to them.

So instead of enhancing your content, you could actually be harming your chances of success if you’re choosing the wrong kind of image.

The importance of authenticity

In the social media world, authenticity is key. We often turn to social media to see an authentic look into the lives of our friends, our acquaintances, and our favorite brands.

The content shared to these platforms is meant to give us a glimpse into the world of the people and brands closest to us. And often, the most authentic and genuine content is the most interesting. This is evidenced by the surge in popularity that stories have seen since the format was debuted by Snapchat. Stories enable us to see raw, often unedited content and give an authentic glimpse into other’s lives.

The problem with most stock photos is that they’re not authentic. For example, when it comes to business-related photos, there’s no shortage of clichés. A photo of a business person in a crisp suit or a smiling group of twenty-somethings might help fill a void, but often, these images will fail to connect with your audience as they’re simply not relatable or authentic.

Let’s say you’re looking for a stock photo showing someone working, the below image could fit the bill:

Typical stock photo

 

On the other hand, something like this image from Andrew Neel may be better suited:

Essentially these two images show similar scenes, but the first one feels a little more staged and inauthentic. Whereas the second option feels a little more relatable.

Defining authenticity

It’s hard to tell exactly what makes an image authentic, but it seems to be incredibly important as people are instinctively drawn to brands that are considered more authentic than their competitors.

Authenticity means that the things we say and the things we do are the things we really believe, not just something we say to help sell our products/services.

The reason being authentic matters so much is deeply seeded in our instinct to survive as Simon Sinek explains:

Instinctively we’re constantly evaluating the words and actions of others. We’re assessing if they can be trusted. To that end, the more we sense that our values and beliefs align with the values and beliefs of others, the more apt we are to trust them. This is the reason we are drawn to people who are “like us.” The trust we feel and the relationships we form with another person or with a brand are exactly the same.

So when we’re looking at images, we’re making split seconds decisions based on their authenticity. If the image feels fake, or in any way inauthentic, we might lose trust in the brand instantly.

On the other hand, an authentic image can provide feelings of safety, trust, and comfort.

You might think an image of a group of people working is just an image. But if it doesn’t feel authentic, it’s likely doing more harm than good.

2 quick tips on identifying authentic images
1. Look for real people

It can look obvious if the people in your stock photos are models. When looking for a stock photo, keep an eye on the people in the photos:

Do they look like they’re genuine or are they clearly models?
Are their hair, teeth, and clothes perfect?

These are often tell-tales of stock photos. When choosing an image, look for real-world setups and subjects that a little reveal character.

Here’s a great example from Priscilla Du Preez, where the subjects look like they’re actually having a great time:

2. Identify natural poses

Most of us don’t sit fully upright or smile 24/7. But it’s very common to see stock images with generic traits like these. Try to identify images where the subjects look natural and not posed.

Check out the below photo by Jacob Ufkes and notice how natural the subjects look:

How to find the perfect stock image

Most stock images were taken to fit with a wide range of topics and concepts, which can sometimes be both a blessing and a curse. The images can be used for a bunch of different occasions, but can also look rather generic.

As a marketer, the images you choose for your campaigns or to company content can help you to stand out from the noise. But it takes careful consideration and planning to do successfully pick the right images.

Here are 4 tips to help you find the right one:

1. Use images that compliment your content

Images shouldn’t feel like they’ve been randomly dropped into a piece of content. Where possible, try to ensure that the images you choose compliment your content in some way.

For example, in a recent Buffer Open blog post about using playlists to help boost productivity, we chose a feature image showing music being played on a mobile phone:

By choosing this image, people can see right away that the post is about music without having to glance at the headline. Check out how it looks when shared to Facebook, too:

By using an image related to the content of the post, we can give the reader a glimpse into the content before they check out the title or description. The music playing on the phone, coupled with the coffee, makes me think about music and productivity (as many people rely on their morning coffee to kick start the day).

2. Think about your audience

You know your audience better than anyone and when it comes to finding the perfect image, you should always put your audience first.

You want them to make a strong visual connection to your brand and using images that relate to the message you’re aiming to communicate. Choose photos to reinforce your branding. Make sure that the images are not an afterthought and simply used as a way to fill a gap. Use images that include subtle meaning and offer ways to connect with your audience.

For example, if you’re trying to connect with millennials who are likely to value the freedom to work from home and travel, the below stock photo from Rob Bye could help to reinforce that message:

3. Check Unsplash

Unsplash features over 200,000 free (do whatever you want) high-resolution photos brought to you by the world’s most generous community of photographers.

It’s our go-to place for stock photos here at Buffer, too.

4. Use fresh images

We’ve all seen the generic stock photos a million times. But even some of the most unique and beautiful stock images crop up all over the web from time-to-time.

Using the most popular images isn’t always the best tactic. Try to find the freshest, latest, and lesser-used photos for your content.

For example, instead of just heading to the Unsplash homepage and picking one of the popular images, try a few keyword searches or check out a few collections to uncover some awesome images.

My best advice is to find 4-5 options rather than settling for the first suitable image you find.

Pro tip: There’s a really neat tool called TinEye that helps you to find out how many times an image has been used before and where.

TinEye enables you to search an image and discover where and how it’s been used on other websites. By checking images before you use them you can try to paint a picture of any pre-conceived thoughts people may have from seeing that image elsewhere online.

How to remix stock photos and make them your own

Even once you’ve found the perfect image, it might not be a perfect fit for your content right away.

Luckily, it’s super simple to edit stock photos and there are even some free tools to help you do it.

In this section will share some quick tips on remixing and editing photos and our favorite tools to help you do so.

5 ways you can ‘un-stock’ your stock photos
1. Add text

Often, images are used for a very specific purpose.

For example, we regularly use stock images as the feature images on our blog posts or to create neat sharer images for when someone posts our content to Facebook or Twitter.

Here’s an example below:

To customize this image, we’ve simply added some text to provide context into the post it links to. This helps the viewer to connect the dots between the image and the post it links to.

2. Use a color overlay

90% of snap judgments made about products are based on color alone.

Color is one of the most important and complex aspects of any social media design. It helps to set the mood, create an atmosphere, convey emotions, and even evoke strong individual experiences from someone’s past.

Try to use colors familiar to your brand to make a stock photo feel cloesly aligned with your business.

3. Crop the image

If you want to hone in on a specific part of a stock photo you can crop it to discard the unnecessary portions of the image. Cropping allows you to change the emphasis or direction of an image.

4. Add contrast 

Contrast occurs when two elements on a page are different. For example, it could be different colors between the text and the background color or dark vs. light colors.

contrast

One of the main reasons to use contrast in your designs is to grab attention. For example, the infamous iPod silhouette adverts were so memorable because there is a huge contrast between the white iPod and earphones and the bright background and silhouette.

ipod2

5. Try Blurring the background

Using a blur can be a great way to make text or branding stand out when overlaid onto an image.

When you put text over an image, the two elements can form a somewhat competitive relationship (example on the left below), a little blur can make the text stand out more and appear much more readable (on the right below).

text-blur

Further reading

For more design tips, check out these posts:

How to Create Engaging Images for Social Media: A Simple Guide For Non-Designers
11 Simple Design Tips to Enhance Your Social Media Images
53 Design Terms and Tips to Level-Up Your Skills

4 tools to help you edit stock photos
1. Canva

Canva is a free graphic design tool. It has an easy to use drag-and-drop interface and provides access to over a million photographs, graphics, and fonts. It is used by non-designers as well as professionals.

2. GIMP

GIMP is a free and open-source graphics editor used for image retouching and editing, free-form drawing, and converting between different image formats.

3. Photoshop 

Photoshop is Adobe’s photo editing, image creation, and graphic design software. With Photoshop you can create stunning photos and illustrations, designs for web and print, 3D imagery, video, and more.

4. Sketch

Sketch is an amazing design tool and mainly used by professionals to create and design graphics and interfaces from scratch. It can also be used to edit and embellish photos.

Over to you

Stock photos, if used correctly, can be incredibly useful for marketers. I hope you found this guide helpful and would love to know your thoughts on stock images:

Do you use stock images in your marketing content?
Where do you source your stock images from?
Any tips on editing stock photos?

Feel free to share in the comments below. I’m excited to join the conversation ?

Feature image by Rawpixel. 

The Best New Type of Content to Support a Product Launch: A HubSpot Experiment

ads-calculator-experiment-compressor.jpg

Here at HubSpot, we obsess over our product — how it’s built, where it’s headed, and how we talk about it. Every update, from minor feature tweaks to major product launches, are pored over by a team. Developers and product managers handle the creation and vision of individual products. Product marketers own the story of the product, with the goal of creating the narrative that defines the product.

That story should explain why the product is important, who it was made for, how it can be used, and the value it adds. It’s these stories that bring to life campaigns across marketing and sales, and help us grow. Download our free planner to learn how to step up your SEO traffic in just 30  days.

To execute that well, we’ve had to build a well-established promotion playbook — a guide that outlines what to do, and when, for each type of launch. But a playbook alone doesn’t tell a compelling story: one that not only explains what the product is, but also contains valuable information that can help marketers in the long-term. That content is evergreen, and we thought, “Hey, maybe we should focus on that when we launch something new.”

One of those launches was for our Ads add-on. This is the story of that product — and how we shifted our content strategy playbook for it.

A Test of Evergreen Product Marketing Content and Organic Traffic
The Hypothesis

Content with an evergreen appeal will have more impact on a product launch than our standard, short-term traffic launch posts — even if the evergreen posts take more time and energy to create.”

A piece of content that stays relevant over time is more likely to perform better in organic search and continue to support a product launch for months without decay. In our previous experiments, for example, we’ve found that 92% of our monthly blog leads — not to mention, 76% of monthly blog views — came from posts of this nature.

old posts leads traffic

That contrasts with our typical product launch playbook, which generally includes a few short-term promotional blog posts and other content, the relevance of which has a briefer shelf life, and tends to receive the highest amount of traffic from email subscribers. For example, when we launched new Sales products at INBOUND 2016, we supported the announcement with this blog post, which receives 59% of its traffic from email — versus only 9.9% from organic searches. This month it’s received a grand total of seven views.

Screen Shot 2017-06-26 at 12.01.51 PM.png

It was the prospect of longer-term impact — which is often accompanied by a high organic search volume — that informed our objective: to build an amazing piece of evergreen content around a product launch that would continue to be useful to marketers (our target audience) for years, while also conveying the key messages of the product’s story. It would not only introduce readers to the value of the new tools, but might also engage our core audience by providing longer-term actionable insights and takeaways.

What We Did
Key Methods

First, we looked at what some of our favorite content creators were producing. One thing that particularly stood out to us was The New York Times’ “Rent or Buy” calculator: a half-content, half-web-app property that allowed readers to manipulate different quantitative properties on a sliding scale — like home prices or length of stay — but also contained accompanying copy to add context to the resulting calculations.

We needed something like that: a piece of written content that also served as a free tool, and could help people obtain the data they needed before getting the most out of our product. In this case, that product was our Ads add-on.

We knew from conversations with customers that marketers often longed for a seamless way to figure out how much to spend on ads before actually using a product that would measure and display the ROI of that spend. Sure, a free online ad spend calculator wasn’t exactly a new idea, but we wanted to build something different: a piece of content with sliders that allowed marketers to manipulate different inputs.

The Framework

This wasn’t going to be easy. It would require development work, prototyping, and content composition. It would be a considerable investment of time and effort — we estimated about 5X that of typical launch content. If it worked, the experiment would be valuable. But if it didn’t, there was the possibility that, considering the aforementioned resources, it might be a long time before we had the opportunity to test something like this again. It was a big bet — but it was one we were willing to place.

Ultimately, our plan was to launch a central site page that the ads calculator “lived” on, with other supporting initiatives around it. This included:

A small email campaign
Social media promotion
A blog campaign

Success — or the lack thereof — would be measured by the amount of traffic to the central ads calculator page. It launched in July 2016.

Ad Spend Calculator
The Results

Initially, we saw a big spike in the post’s overall page impressions, as well as requests for product demos that were driven by a call to action (CTA) placed at the bottom of the page: 

Ad Spend Calculator

But, there was a catch: It appeared that this spike was largely driven only by the supporting pieces — the email, social media, and accompanying blog promotions.

In the month following the launch, when those pieces were no longer timely, only 673 people visited the page, which was far below our projections and a number that could have been easily achieved from a “normal” blog post. Plus, only 200 of those views came from organic searches, which were generating less traffic than social referrals and direct visits. To say the least, it wasn’t exactly what we were hoping for.

But here’s the thing about evergreen content, and the organic search traffic that you hope will come with it: It’s called long-term traffic for a reason.

For that reason, we didn’t draw any conclusions after the post-launch month, and instead, continued to observe its organic traffic performance month over month. We had faith that our experiment would work, and with the tool working as it should, just left it alone. And sure enough — month over month — organic traffic began to grow.

ads calculator organic traffic.png

Each month, the tool continues to see more traffic. Organic search is now our second-highest source of visits, comprising about half of our best-performing month’s traffic — which was May 2017, close to a year after the launch. As of writing this post, we’ve seen 19,851 total views, over 30% of which are driven from organic searches. What’s more, the end-of-page CTA has generated close to 300 requests for demos of the Ads add-on.

In other words, people are finding the tool useful, coming back, and spending a significant amount of time with it. Each month, organic and referral traffic is growing, signaling that the tool — and the overarching content that accompanies it — can continue to serve a purpose to marketers in the long-term.

What We Learned

This approach to content can absolutely be followed. It is worth mentioning that we have access to front-end developers who were able to build this free tool — if you have those kinds of resources, we encourage you to consider which similar tools you can build that are relevant to your products and services.

But if you’re short on that kind of staffing, we also encourage you to take inventory of your current content, blog posts included, and determine if any of them can be repurposed to serve these same long-term goals. It’s an important question to ask as you create new content, as well as, “Will this still be relevant in a year?”

Often, taking this approach to what you create can extend its shelf life. Can your blog post about a current trend, for example, be broadened or repurposed to cover a larger, more macro trend that will maintain relevance beyond the immediate timeframe?

And while we don’t take this approach for all content, after the success of the Ads Calculator, we do actively seek more opportunities to build something evergreen. We feel strongly that our hypothesis was proven true: that sometimes, producing less, higher-impact, evergreen content works better than one-off posts. We also believe that could indicate a larger trend around different types of media consolidating, like embedded audio within blog posts, or more posts that combine applications with written copy. It’s interactive — and, it provides engaging value for the reader.

Have you used evergreen content in a similar way? Let us know about your best experiments in the comments –and hey, we might even feature it on our blog.

Increase SEO Traffic

How To Connect With Millennials Using Content Marketing

How To Connect With Millennials Using Content Marketing

Millennials are a major market segment for brands around the world. With more than $600 billion in buying power in the United States alone, individuals born between 1982 and 2004 have become major players in the global economy.

As a marketer, it can be challenging to reach millennials. They watch less traditional TV than the previous generation, and avoid advertisements like the plague.

So if you can’t pay to put your brand in front of them, how can you tap into their buying potential?

Well, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re aware of how quickly content marketing has become a dominant force in brand engagement. It’s interesting that this form of reaching and engaging audiences has exploded just as the Millennial Generation began maturing, a correlation that I’d argue is no coincidence.

In fact, it’s my belief that the rise of content marketing has been directly influenced by the impact that Millennials have had on the world we live in.

Content marketing discards the old-school approach to marketing, which favored constant brand bombardment and cheap psychological trickery to influence people’s purchasing behavior. Millennials have a nose for that sort of marketing – 99% of them state that traditional ads don’t influence their purchasing behavior!

Image Source: The McCarthy Group

Millennials don’t, as a general rule, see advertising as trustworthy. Content marketing is therefore an effective way for brands to overcome the stigma of advertising through providing useful, actionable information that guides Millennials towards a purchase.

To reach Millennials with your brand messages, content must be a focal point of your marketing strategy. However, you’ll find that reaching such a sizeable audience with content is not as simple as posting daily blog posts.

In my work with brands around the world, I’ve found that there are four key pillars to engaging with Millennials through content marketing.

1. Have a specific audience in mind

Millennials interact online more than any generation before them. They’re comfortable with their digital identities and value communication over exposure. This means that they’re a deeply personal demographic that expects brands to connect with them on a more granular level than ‘consumer’.

Therefore you’ve got to focus your audience targeting more than ever if you hope to move the needle with Millennials. You need to aggressively segment your audiences far beyond the year in which they were born.

At Risr Marketing, we create multiple personas when we’re targeting millennials based on their online activity, education, hobbies and socio-economic background. This allows us to craft content that feels personal to everyone we’re pursuing.

As a general rule of thumb, the specificity of your targeting should be limited only by your budget and time. The more you focus on specific identifiable traits, the more success you’ll find with Millennials.

The image above was used in an ad for a dental workshop in Australia. Note that the copy targets a profession, a geographic location, and a proficiency level (‘No Orthodontic Experience Necessary’). This type of targeting will make your content more effective than if the ad above were simply targeted at all dentists.

2. Offer transparency and value

I’ve already mentioned how wary Millennials are of traditional advertising. When we asked Millennials to describe advertising in a single word, they overwhelmingly answered ‘fake’.

Millennials prioritize authenticity and transparency, and expect every interaction with a brand to deliver value to them in some form. When you craft your Millennial-focused content marketing strategy, understand that ‘being real’ isn’t just a goal, it’s a requirement.

To achieve this, you need to transform your brand into one that feels authentic and human. Your content should center on that identity, and always focus on delivering value to your audience in one of two ways:

Entertainment
Information

Note that neither of these forms of value have much to do with money. That’s because Millennials are far less budget-focused than older generations, and are more willing to swear loyalty to or aversion for brands based on how they perceive them.

If you want Millennials to latch onto your brand, ‘be real’ with them and offer them a brand that they can identify with.

3. Understand the ‘WIIFM’ attitude

Millennials are often called the ‘distracted’ or ‘short attention span’ generation. There’s more content out there than anyone can reasonably be expected to wade through, so it’s not really surprising that it’s hard to keep the attention of digital ‘natives’.

Many brands find it hard to stand out. The vastness of the entertainment and information available online today means that Millennials have a very strong What’s In It For Me (WIFFM) mindset that you’ll need to address when crafting your content.

When you create content for Millennials, always start by identifying the value your content delivers. Then make certain that what you’re offering is something that a Millennial audience will desire.

Once you’ve identified the value you’re delivering, focus on crafting your content in a manner which surfaces or transfers that value as quickly as possible. Blog posts over a thousand words long are great for SEO, but an infographic accompanied by a bulleted list of key points is far more likely to be well-received by Millennials with their short attention spans.

4. Take advantage of social amplification

Millennials are more social than any generation ever before them. They have a strong desire to be informed, and to be the first to share new information.

As a marketer, you should always be aware of how the right content can drive exposure in the hands of a Millennial audience – an audience that is more than twice as likely to share branded content than any other demographic if they feel it’s clever and unique.

When creating content for Millennials, consider how they’ll feel about being associated with it. Will it make them feel influential? Will it entertain their friends? Is it ‘original’ or ‘quirky’ enough to warrant sharing? Checking these boxes off will help you tap into an audience that, via sharing, can vastly amplify your brand’s reach.

Image Source: Media Insight Project

Understanding how social sharing affects your content’s reach and trustworthiness is key to reaching a Millennial audience. Content marketing is an entirely different ball game to traditional advertising. For the demographic that now makes up a majority of the United States’ workforce, authentic content is far more important than a snazzy logo or a discount.

Summary

When you consider how your brand can leverage content marketing to engage a Millennial audience, keep the points in this post in mind. Doing so will help you reach and engage an audience whose spending power will only grow as we move into the future.

Millennials are an extraordinary marketing target, a new breed of consumers who have – in my opinion – changed the way we consume information, products and services. By using content marketing to get them in your corner, you will rapidly increase your business profits.

How do you target Millennials with your content marketing? Let me know in the comments.

Guest Author: Rob Boston is the Founder and President of Risr Marketing, a full-service digital marketing agency. Rob’s passion for brand marketing and engagement is surpassed only by his love of board games.

The post How To Connect With Millennials Using Content Marketing appeared first on Jeffbullas's Blog.


9 Tricks for Automating Your Content Marketing

Marketing automation has driven content to new and exciting places but is your content game as strong as it could be? These nine automation tricks and tips can nudge you that little bit closer to content perfection… take them, implement them, and pass them on.   1. Keep it dynamic Fields such as content marketing […]

The post 9 Tricks for Automating Your Content Marketing appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

The post 9 Tricks for Automating Your Content Marketing appeared first on Marketing Insider Group.

Copywriting for Conversions: 9 Ways Emotion and Word Count Affect Your Landing Pages [New Data]

unbounce-words.png

We all know that words matter — in life, but also in marketing.

When it comes to landing page copy, many a debate have begun over which words to choose, the context in which they’re used, the order they’re presented in and the amount you use to convey a message.

“Shorter is always better — no one has the attention span to read hundreds of words!”

“Longform pages get better results!”

“Use fear to persuade readers to act!

“Forget fear, pull at their heartstrings!”

The truth is, these quote-unquote best practices are the result of gut instinct and a ton of trial and error. And what works for one industry might not work for the next. So even if so-and-so does figure out the key to high-converting real estate landing pages, that same key might not unlock the full potential of your legal landing page.

I get it, you need more granular, data-backed insights to help inform your marketing copy. Hell, we need data-backed insights.

So we did a thing.

With the help of Machine Learning model and an Emotion Lexicon, Unbounce data scientists analyzed the behavior of 74,551,421 visitors to 64,284 lead generation landing pages to reveal what kind of emotional language is effective across 10 popular industries.

They looked at eight basic emotions (anger, anticipation, disgust, fear, joy, sadness, surprise and trust) and analyzed how copy associated with these emotions affected user behavior. Specifically, they looked at how language associated with these emotions correlated with the number of users who converted on a page. Not only that, they looked at how word count affected conversions — helpful for marketers and copywriters alike.

Download the full report here, or check out some of the juicy insights below.

9 Industry-Specific Takeaways About How Emotion and Word Count Affect Conversions
1) In the Travel Industry, Keep Language Positive

Our findings showed that if even 1% of page copy evoked feelings of anger or fear, conversion rates could be up to 25% lower.

anger-image-updated.pngData from The Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report

Some of the keywords that evoke fear or anger include: “limited,” “money,” “hot,” “desert,” “endless,” “challenge,” “treat,” “fee,” “rail,” “bear,” “buffet,” “bang,” “cash” and “despair.”

(I don’t know about you, but limited money, hot deserts, and endless fees sure sound terrible to me.)

On the opposite side of the spectrum, words that established trust include: “enjoy,” “secret,” “top,” “guide,” “save,” “personal,” “spa,” “policy,” “provide,” “star,” “award,” “friendly” and “recommend.”

Keep in mind, though, this data was generated by an algorithm, so if you’re using it as a jumping off point for optimization, use your best judgement.

2) Don’t Disgust in Business Consulting

Business consultants get a bad rap. Television shows like House of Lies paint an image of the cutthroat consultant out to make a buck.

Whether or not this has any impact on conversion rates, we’ll never know for sure. What we do know, however, is that you should probably avoid words associated with disgust.

disgust-new.pngData from The Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report

The study found that words like “blame,” “cheat,” “collapse,” “disaster” and “offend” tend to negatively affect conversions.

Which, when you look at them together like that, is not all that surprising.

3) Fear mongering doesn’t lead to more conversions (most of the time)

Words associated with fear often had a negative impact on conversions, particularly in Health, Legal and Travel.

Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 2.25.07 PM.pngData from The Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report

In Business Consulting, however, we found that filling between 1% to 2% of your copy with words that create a deep-seated sense of fear and unease can actually help conversion rates.

So, certainly don’t be liberal with the scary words, but you might see improvement with a little peppering here and there.

4) Shoot for Short and Sweet Business Services Pages

When it comes to Business Services, treat your landing page like an elevator pitch and keep the copy tight and concise.

word-count.pngData from The Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report

Data showed that overall, pages with fewer than 100 words convert 50% better than those with more than 500 words.

And when you’re considering words to cut or keep, keep in mind that words that evoke trust may have a positive effect on your conversion rates. The caveat? You have to be extremely trustworthy, meaning more than 8% of your language needs to imply trust — words like “leading,” “compliance,” “account,” “powerful” and “maintenance.”

5) Spread the Joy of Higher Education

Advancing one’s education is a beautiful thing, so it’s no surprise that words associated with joy correlated with higher conversion rates on average in the Higher Education industry.

joy-chart.pngData from The Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report

Words associated with joy commonly found on Higher Education pages include “scholarship,” “graduation,” “share,” “succeed,” “success” and “excellence.”

6) Trust Words Work in Some Industries … But Not Others

Using words that subconsciously evoke feelings of trust can lead to higher conversion rates in the Travel and Business Services industries.

In Credit & Lending, however, trust words can hurt conversions:

trust-chart.pngData from The Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report

The study showed that words which reinforce a sense of trust should be used strategically and sparingly — for up to 3% of your copy. Anything beyond that resulted in up to 10% lower conversion rates.

Among the common words associated with trust in Credit & Lending were “advice,” “pay,” “cash,” “lender,” “law,” “fixed” and “council.”

7) Keep Copy Concise in Credit & Lending

Analysis of thousands of lead generation landing pages in Credit & Lending revealed that less copy is often correlated with more conversions.

In fact, the study found that while keeping to under 400 words is good, pages below 100 words have nearly double the conversion rate.

word-count-2.pngData from The Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report

8) Avoid buzzwords in Business Consulting

If you work in the Business Consulting industry, you may think that words like “predict,” “attainable,” “achievement,” “exceed” and “excel” help hype your offering, but your audience may perceive these as empty buzzwords.

The report showed that pages with more than 1.5% of copy building a sense of anticipation around the offer were correlated with pages with up to 25% lower conversion rates.

anticipation-chart.pngData from The Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report

9) Joy Isn’t Always a Conversion Booster

Although joy had a positive impact on conversion rates for the Higher Education industry, having too many words associated with joy is correlated with fewer conversions in the Legal and Home Improvement industries.

joy-chart-2.pngData from The Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report

In Home Improvement in particular, the best converting pages tend to have less than 1% of their copy communicating joyful concepts. Words associated with joy for Home Improvement included sun, perfect, satisfied, money, pay, special, safe, happy and more.

Choose Your Words Wisely

When it comes to writing marketing copy that converts, no word should be selected without a purpose in mind. As you build your landing pages, make sure you’re giving extra consideration to how each and every word will affect your target audience and influence conversions. 

Did any of the data surprise you? Let us know in the comments!

future-of-marketing