"Could you take a look at the wireframe and let me know if I need to adjust the leading and the kerning so there's enough white space? Thanks!"
... Come again?
Sometimes, designer-speak can seem like gibberish. But marketers work so closely with designers on things like website design, infographics, and other visual content, it's important that we speak and understand one another's language.
To help bridge the translation gap, the folks at Pagemodo sat down with professional graphic designers to come up with a list of the most important design terms marketers should know. Check out their list in the infographic below -- and if you have terms to add, let us know in the comments section.
The U.S. stock market has taken a deep breath and pulled its act together, at least for the moment
After a harrowing few days in which stocks rocketed down, then zoomed up, then hurtled down, then up, then down again, then up again ... well, Tuesday opened with a calm, positive vibe
The Dow Jones Industrial Average — a group of 30 iconic stocks, including Apple, that are supposed to represent the American economy — opened the day up nearly 320 points, or 2%. The S&P 500, which represents 500 major companies, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq also opened up around 2%
That strength is all a far cry from Monday, when the Dow opened at an alarming 1,015 points down and closed at its lowest point in 18 months Read more...More about Facebook, Netflix, Apple, Stocks, and Stock Market
While a strong social following on Facebook is already an immense advantage for nonprofits, those fans are about to become even more valuable. Thanks to the introduction of Facebook's "Donate Now" button, it's easier than ever for nonprofits to turn online engagement into meaningful monetary contributions.
About Facebook's "Donate Now" Button
The titan of social media has always been a logical choice for nonprofits, allowing them to connect with supporters in an environment that feels more personal than a website or print brochure does. Today, Facebook took that relationship to the next level, introduing a "Donate Now" call-to-action button option on both link ads and company Pages.
Regarding the update, they said, "Now it's easier than ever for nonprofits to connect with people who care about their causes and encourage them to contribute through the website of their choice.”
When a user clicks on the button, they see a prompt from Facebook disclaiming that the social site isn't affiliated with the company collecting donations. From there, the user will likely be routed to a brand's website to complete their transaction.
Nonprofits have two options for using the new CTA:
Company Page: The "Download Now" CTA works much like Facebook's other buttons (“Book Now,” “Shop Now” and “Contact Us”) in that it can be added to a brand's company page at any time, and with no cost. When included on a company's Page, the button appears alongside the "Like" button, on the bottom right corner of the cover photo.
Link Ads: To scale the visibility of the Donate Now CTA, companies can include the button in link ads, and then promote it as they would any other content.
Thinking about including a "Donate Now" button on your page or in your next ad campaign? Here are 3 things to consider.
3 Tips for Using Facebook's "Donate Now" Button
1) Point The Way
Just placing a button on your Facebook Page doesn't mean users will automatically start clicking on it. Encourage donations by referencing the "Donate Now" option in your regular posts, and consider creating new dedicated content that makes users aware of the button (and how their donations will be used).
Visual cues can be a big help as well. Consider swapping your cover photo to include new creative that direct the user to the button—arrows, text, or anything else you can dream up.
2) Run Highly Targeted Campaigns
Just as your wouldn't ask eveyrone who lands on your website to become a member of your nonprofit or donate to your cause, put your inbound marketing hat on and segment the audience you reach out to for donations.
Avoid wasting ad dollars by targeting your link ads to the users most-likely to donate to your cause. Interest targeting can be a great place to start, as well as behavior, demographics, job title, or connections (friends of people who like your Page already).
Need more inspiration? Look at your current database to identify the traits most similar amongst your most generous donors. Kick things up a notch by leveraging Website Custom Audiences to hone in on users that directly mirror exsisting donors in your system.
3) Keep Your Content Balanced
Just because asking for donations is easier than ever for companies on Facebook, it doesn't mean you can neglect the primary reason most users connect with you to begin with. Remember that content comes first, and that creating a personal connection with your fans will pave the road for longer, more valuable long-term relationships.
Use your page to showcase how donations are used, and feature stories about the lives that previous donations have changed. Giving is still a two-way street. You have to provide an emotion connection before you can expect your fans to provide their credit card info.
As with any campaign, it will be important to track who is clicking on their donation CTAs to measure what type of ROI is coming from their efforts, be they paid or organic. While no one platform can sustain a campaign alone, this update provides a new channel through which companies can drive incrimental donations from social—something I'm sure most nonprofits will really "Like."
This is our grim, grim future
Tech expert Jimmy Kimmel used an Oculus Rift to experiment with Facebook, seeing how virtual reality could one day affect social networks. The result? Hell
Facebook was created to avoid all these people IRL. Let's leave it that way.
Publishing is a traditional industry, and much of what happens on a day-to-day basis is grounded in routine. At the same time, the economics of the media landscape are changing. Price points on direct-sold ad revenues are declining, and costs per acquisition (CPAs) for new eyeballs are rising.
Change needs to happen, but it doesn’t need to happen overnight. Here are 6 tips to keep in mind when bringing change to your publishing organization.
Instead of launching new company-wide initiatives, start with small, focused experiments that can prove or disprove your idea. For instance, you could A/B test language around gated content, try different tactics to increase newsletter registrations, or create a series of videos that audiences can pay to access. You can also test offers from affiliate partners to see if you are able to build a scalable, predictable, and steady revenue stream.
Measure results of every campaign that you run, no matter how small. Some will be successful, others will take more work to optimize. You can take your most successful initiatives and blow them out into larger programs. When you’re running smaller campaigns you can easily identify and fix points of friction. You can also A/B test your messaging to optimize your advertiser’s value proposition to your readers.
Don’t get discouraged when you run into challenges. By keeping initiatives small and measuring results consistently, you can fix challenges early on and make your successes even more successful. Prioritize quality and perfect your funnel before turning on your ‘traffic acquisition’ firehose.
Consult With Your Advertisers
If you’re looking for monetization ideas, talk to your advertisers. Ask what marketing programs they’re finding successful outside of advertising. Look for partnership opportunities and products to create. This open dialogue will help your team explore new, untapped initiatives. Instead of strongarming advertisers into paying higher CPMs, develop ad products that provide more value. With this approach, your inventory will sell itself.
In the Lean Startup community, this process is known as ‘customer development.’ The idea is simple: interview your advertisers and your readers to learn more about their business goals. You can then use the results of this process to create more products and areas of monetization.
As a publisher, you’re in a unique position to see both sides of the digital media equation. You’re a connector. Research both sides of your market to ensure that needs are aligned, best positioned, and optimized. When everyone wins and speaks the same language, you’ll monetize.
Keep an Eye on Innovators
Not sure whether to implement a paywall or native ad program?
Do some research first. Take a look what others in the space are doing. Pay attention to the changes they’re making, pitches they’re delivering, value they’re providing, and advertisers that they’re supporting. Over time, you can invest these observations into your own strategy. Don’t make mistakes when you can learn from others who have been where you are now.
As our Digital Publishing Benchmarks Report points out, the media industry is changing quickly. For instance, 54.8% of the survey’s respondents expect new revenue sources like sponsored content and native ads to increase within the next six months. You can leverage early lessons learned (and feedback from audiences) for new ideas to test.
Hire From Outside of Media
Great monetization ideas come from all walks of business. That’s why digital media companies should hire marketers and revenue optimizers from diverse backgrounds. You may find new inspiration from e-commerce and B2B models that your team hadn’t yet considered.
At the end of the day, all companies aim to create a product that customers will love, and to a large extent, media companies are reaching audiences with similar passions and preferences.
Publishers need to think like marketers because advertisers are also marketers. When you hire teammates with marketing backgrounds, you’re investing in people who speak the same language of your advertisers. These individuals know what questions to ask and understand how your advertisers are measuring successes. Hire people who can fine-tune your value proposition and wow your advertisers with new ideas. In fact, hire people who have worked for companies like your advertisers’.
Keep your Internal Stakeholders Close
Change doesn’t happen in a silo. It requires cross-functional attention from marketing, editorial, engineering, analytics, and dev. Make sure that all of these teams are aligned around a common objective, so that everyone can problem-solve from their own perspectives.
You’ll also want to give your sales teams a leadership stake in your conversations. After all, these are the individuals who talk to and sell to advertisers every day. Ask your sales teams to guide your messaging and launch strategies. Have them weigh in with suggestions, before you launch anything.
Everyone should be running their own continuous, small-scale experiments to make advertising programs more efficient and to carve out new monetization opportunities. Teams should also report upon their learnings from their own unique perspectives. This information will help you tailor your messaging and launch strategies in subtle yet impactful ways.
Create an Inbound Strategy
Your best approach to monetization will come from your most valuable stakeholders of all: your readers, who are in control of the content they’re reading and advertising messages that they’re consuming. Talk to your website visitors (using forms on your site) to see what resources they’re seeking out. Develop products, marketing messages, and content strategies that meet these needs. It’s that straightforward.
This approach is simple. You’re creating value for your customers at all touch points in your organization. Rather than attracting eyeballs on a fleeting basis, you can build close relationships that keep your audiences coming back to your website. This approach to marketing will help you lower your CPAs and optimized earned media. It’s a win-win situation that boosts your bottom line.
The Bottom Line
Keep your stakeholders close. Keep your customers and advertisers even closer. In an industry that is undergoing such profound change, there is no other way to operate. We learn from each other, build upon each others’ experiments, and challenge each other to get better.
When it comes to being nimble and adaptable, media leaders need more than an open mind. We need processes to test opportunities without sabotaging what’s working. We need steady and incremental changes to the status quo. Start small, identify wins, and scale whatever is driving results.
Social logins give marketers the opportunity to increase conversion rates on their forms, on both landing pages and checkout pages, by decreasing the number of fields a consumer must fill out while still gathering valuable information. And social logins do more than just reduce friction on forms. They also reduce the need for comment verification, open the door for comments and reviews to appear in social feeds, and demonstrate social proof.
Globally, and across all industries, Facebook is by far the most popular social login option on both desktop and mobile. More interestingly, Facebook’s share of social logins declined from Q1 2015 to Q2 2015 on ecommerce sites. At the same time, Amazon and PayPal are increasing in popularity relative to Facebook, giving consumers the opportunity to log in and pay using the same identity.
Check out the infographic below from Gigya to dig deeper into the most popular social logins.
We’ve all been there -- stifling a laugh or trying not to look horrified when the CEO puts forth an opinion any modern marketer would find abominable. However, it isn’t necessarily the CEO’s fault. After all, many chief executives simply don’t come from a marketing background, and even if they do, their knowledge is unlikely to be current.
Just as a non-technical CEO might put forth ideas that just aren’t technically sound, a CEO without experience in the latest digital marketing techniques will often do the same. The difference, really, relates to the fact that most CEOs will defer to their technology leaders as technical experts. But with marketing, which has traditionally been viewed as a “softer” field requiring less technology knowledge, CEOs are more likely to push back when told that their idea actually isn’t, er, that great.
The fact is that marketing has evolved to become increasingly technical, whether your CEO knows it or not. Here are 10 suggestions CEOs commonly make that indicate that their views of marketing are stuck in the past.
1) “I want more press releases!”
It's not a good sign when the CEO clamors for more press releases, especially the dreaded “vanity release.” This kind of release usually makes some sort of self-serving, inward-looking “announcement,” often devoid of real facts that anyone external to the company would care about. Instead, they are full of hype, posturing, and meaningless adjectives (often superlatives) that are unverified by third parties.
Public companies often do press releases because the market expects them to, but small and medium-sized businesses should err on the side of limiting releases to things that are truly valuable and interesting, as part of a broader PR initiative. The vanity release serves no purpose whatsoever except to generate a Google Alert for a very small group of people who happen to have gone to the trouble to set up an alert for your company -- usually, the CEO and a few of your employees, investors, and competitors.
How can you show the CEO that most press releases, especially vanity releases, are not worth it?
At first, don’t fight the fight. If your CEO has unreasonably strong beliefs about the supposed power of press releases, go ahead and do a couple -- it will help you demonstrate exactly why they don’t work. Then, use these as examples to highlight their futility and show your CEO the negative ROI.
Overlay your website traffic data with the dates of your press releases to show that these releases rarely make a difference in the acquisition of new traffic. Then show that cascading “non-effect” carries through to your leads, qualified leads, opportunities, and new customers. Point out the cost of doing a release, including the number of hours involved from your team, and show how you would reallocate that budget toward efforts that are bound to be more effective at getting media coverage, such as creating an awesome piece of content.
2) “Our blog should talk more about how great we are.”
Oh, if we could turn back time to when SEO was less complicated. Companies could blog about themselves all day long, and that was sufficient to get them a little bit of traffic and rankings on keywords for which not much content existed anyway. But today, modern marketers know that if all you do is talk about your own company, you’ll repel people instead of attracting them.
Just like the guy at the cocktail party who only talks about himself and never asks you a single question, if your blog focuses on your company all the time and not on your customers’ needs, you’ll get the business equivalent of having the reputation of being “that guy” no one wants to stand next to. Hopefully your CEO will understand that comparison.
But if not, go ahead and indulge the CEO’s desire in the short term so you can prove another important point. You might dedicate a section or category of your blog to “Company News.” Or, perhaps you create a ratio of, say, only one company-focused post for every eight posts that you think people will actually want to read.
Then track your stats. How much traffic are those posts getting compared to ones that are helpful to customers? How many social shares are they getting? And what about the number of leads and customers they generate? Soon, you’ll have the data to help you make the case to the CEO that company-centered posts simply don’t perform well.
3) “Social media is a waste of time.”
Even though you know how important social media is (especially when it comes to influencing search traffic), most CEOs are skeptical. It often takes an SEO expert to clearly articulate the role of social “signals” that are used by search engines to determine how a given page should rank in results for specific keywords. Already, the content of this discussion is way too into the weeds for a typical CEO, and it begins to sound to them like non-scientific, speculative, marketing mumbo-jumbo.
Many marketers also get tripped up when they try to prove the ROI for social media by showing the percentage of traffic from social. For most companies, it’s the smallest segment of traffic, leading the CEO to say, “See? I told you it doesn’t matter.” And, making the brand awareness argument is even worse since it isn’t always easy to attribute, even when you carefully track impressions from social.
Unless you have very compelling ROI data for social media, I suggest that you appeal to your old-school, unconvinced CEO by simply pointing out that social media doesn’t take up a lot of time. Now, granted, we know that it can take up as much time as we allocate for it, but if your CEO is truly doesn’t get it, playing down the time commitment is probably your path to least resistance, so that you can remove a temporary roadblock and have one less battle to fight.
4) “What do you mean I can’t fight back on Twitter?”
If your CEO has a presence on social media, that’s generally a good thing if it leads to positive interactions and a greater understanding of what people in your industry are talking about. However, many CEOs are tempted to respond when they or their company are the subject of what they consider an “attack” by someone on social media. In the past, such a comment might have never even reached the CEO’s eyes -- it would have been relegated to someone who picks up the phone or receives incoming complaints via email (or in the days of yore, snail mail).
The increased transparency and access that your CEO has on social media is helpful in some ways, but if your chief executive has a flair for the negative, or worse yet, the combative, you may want to try a few things.
First, make sure the CEO knows that your team will be happy to craft helpful responses or to review them prior to publishing. Obviously, you want the posts to be genuine, but everyone can use a second pair of eyes.
Second, show the CEO some other profiles of executives on social media, showcasing those who are good about ignoring haters and interacting with fans.
Third, encourage the company to use any negative comments to highlight areas that actually may be important for the business to pay attention to.
5) “That piece of content will never lead to a sale.”
If your CEO makes a comment like this, it highlights a narrow and short-sighted view that does not take into account the longer-range perspective that marketers must take in order to generate the necessary volume of leads that sales relies on. Many CEOs are very focused on the bottom of the funnel, especially when their businesses are struggling and they are missing their financial targets.
What they often don’t understand is that the content you create today generates long-term traffic that, at the right volumes and as part of a bigger content strategy, will result in sales in the future. It takes time to build up such a program, generally more time than non-marketing-savvy chief executives are willing to wait. It also requires looking further up to the top of the funnel than many CEOs are willing to look.
If you’re just ramping up your content creation, try educating your CEO one step at a time. One thing you can do is selectively share a “prequel” behind a new customer win from time to time, highlighting the pages, videos, and other content on your website that helped lead to a sale. Once you’ve issued a good and impressive selection of these “prequels” to the sale, start identifying clear trends -- for example, “34% of the new customers we closed last quarter clicked on our best practices guide,” or “81% of new customers visited our blog at some point during the sales process.”
Bottom line: Your CEO needs you to connect the dots between content and customers before they can see the light.
6) “Let’s get demand gen up by attending more trade shows.”
All together now: “Demand generation is not the primary goal of trade shows.”
Every modern marketer knows this, but your CEO might not understand that the likelihood of you meeting a new prospect and closing them at a trade show or within a short time period afterward is lower than perhaps ever in history. And yes, while you’re sure to pick up some new leads at a third-party event (so long as you choose them wisely), you have to do them at massive scale and expense to really make any impact on your sales pipeline.
Why do trade shows matter less for demand gen nowadays? Today, the majority of buyers do their research online, not at trade shows. Trade shows can be helpful at the very top of the funnel, to generate brand awareness (albeit very expensively compared to more cost-effective, inbound methods). Depending on the industry you’re in, and especially for ones where buying decisions don’t require multiple stakeholders, trade shows can also be helpful at the bottom of the funnel, so that salespeople can meet with prospects they’ve already been in touch with to close deals in person. But they’re not good for generating new demand.
If your CEO has this common misconception about trade shows, pull the data. Show the true, net cost of attending trade shows -- not just the actual costs for exhibiting, collateral, and travel costs. Also show all of the hours involved in organizing such a presence, including the opportunity cost. If salespeople spend three days talking to cold prospects at a trade show, how much more valuable would it be for them to spend that time focused on warmer leads instead? Likewise, how much time will your marketing team devote to this instead of activities with greater ROI? If your CEO insists on trade shows, agree to allocate your team’s time in accordance with your brand awareness goals, or in line with the percentage of revenue obtained from past shows.
7) “Listening to market feedback is a waste of time.”
This is one of the worst mistakes that far too many companies make -- not listening to the market and more importantly, to their customers. If your CEO won’t let you survey your customers or do any market research, it’s a sign of a lack of understanding that today, the customer is in control of your brand more than ever -- not vice versa. Some CEOs, especially those who consider themselves visionaries, believe that they can tell the customer how to think and what type of product or service will make their lives better. While there is some truth to this, it’s also important to balance innovation with customer needs.
What can you do? Play the Steve Jobs card. I’ve rarely met a CEO who doesn’t want to be the next Steve (or Stephanie) Jobs, often citing his oft-misunderstood quote, “People don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” If your CEO is a Steve Jobs wannabe, point out that Steve Jobs actually cared a lot about the views of customers, and that Apple is actually an avid user of NPS surveys.
8) “We should rebrand to better communicate our value.”
Uh-oh. If your CEO thinks that merely rebranding will solve the problem of clearly communicating who you are and what problems you solve for your customer, I’m sorry to say they are behind the times. In modern marketing, rebranding carries even more risk than it did in the past, back when the world was less interconnected and companies had greater control over their brand and how it was perceived.
How is your brand built? In today’s world, it’s built one interaction, one message at a time. If your CEO feels that the value proposition isn’t clear, coming up with a new logo and a new tagline isn’t going to help. However, rebranding is a tempting “solution,” because it supposedly offers a quick and easy fix. Just pay an agency, and they’ll develop a completely new image and a set of messages for you to run with. Right?
So, so wrong. If people don’t understand the value of what you offer, an updated positioning strategy is likely what you need, not a rebrand. If your logo is outdated or sends the wrong message (which you should actually validate with market feedback, not just gut assumptions), likewise -- you can evolve the brand without incurring the wasteful costs of a total rebrand.
Last, and perhaps most importantly, many branding agencies are novices in SEO, and thus, won’t be looking out for you in that regard. If you make major changes to your messaging, you risk un-doing any SEO work that you’ve embarked upon so far. While you probably understand this if you’re a modern marketer, your CEO likely will not. You’ll need to clearly articulate the importance of this unless you want to put your lead flow from organic search at significant risk.
9) “We need a new homepage.”
While it’s true that your homepage is still the front door of your website, it’s no longer the single most important page for most companies. In the past, homepages of websites were more like billboards containing clever slogans. Today, your homepage serves more as a signpost with arrows pointing visitors in the various directions they may want to go.
Each page you create on your website with new content is a “side door,” and nowadays, the hundreds of side doors you have created in the form of blog posts, sub-pages, and so on likely account for more of the initial visits to your website.
To get your CEO to see your home page as something other than an online billboard, make sure that your design strategy is clearly outlined and that you’re following best practices for homepage design. Also, make it clear what pathways you’re offering to homepage visitors, and how often you’re swapping out promotional content to drive visitors to take certain actions. If your CEO has an appetite for it, you might even discuss the importance of SEO and your site architecture.
10) “Friction between Sales and Marketing is normal.”
Well, your CEO is right about this. Friction between Sales and Marketing is, in fact, the norm -- but it shouldn't be.
And that's where your CEO needs to step in. He or she must ensure that Marketing and Sales are aligned and working toward the same goals.
Unfortunately for marketers, many CEOs are more inclined to align with Sales than with marketing because up until recently, marketing was viewed more as art than science. Without clear, easy-to-understand closed-loop reporting, marketers were often easy to scapegoat when things went wrong on the Sales side. Sadly, even nowadays when marketers have more tools and data at their disposal to prove that “things are working,” CEOs often don’t have the patience to learn how to interpret the data.
If your CEO isn’t going to help you much with alignment, you’ll have to build a strong ally in Sales. Meet with your Sales counterpart frequently and walk through the funnel metrics together. Look at recent successes that you can co-present to your CEO to highlight which areas are working, allowing equal time for the marketing side of the equation. Then, jointly show your CEO the number of visitors hitting your website, the number of leads, opportunities, and deals. If your CEO has the patience for it, show the conversion rates between each stage of the funnel as well as your overall lead-to-customer conversion rate.
Be the change you wish to see.
These 10 examples are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to CEOs not understanding the intricacies of the marketing that drives growth for their companies. It’s a painful reality for many marketers that prevents many businesses from moving forward and realizing their full potential.
However, don’t forget to put yourself in their shoes.
CEOs can’t be experts in every single department, and marketing has become exponentially more complex in a very short time. As a marketing leader, take your share of responsibility for bridging the gap between outdated notions and modern mindsets.
And, don’t underestimate the power of building allies in other departments. The more you can shed light on modern marketing techniques by raising awareness in other areas of the company, the more likely your CEO will be to support you when the time comes to embrace a change for the better.