Category Archives: Content Marketing

How to Generate Sales by Triggering an Emotional Response from Your Customers

Emotions drive our lives.

Whether you recognize it or not, you feel a wide range of emotions on a daily basis. You might even be feeling some emotions right now as you’re reading this.

The word emotion is defined by an instinctive state of mind as a reflection of mood, circumstances, relationships, knowledge, or reasoning.

Sometimes emotions can cause erratic behavior, depending on the circumstances.

Other times, emotions can make people do great things. If someone is feeling inspired, they may create something that changes their life and the lives of people around them for the better.

As a marketer, you need to find ways to put yourself into the minds of the consumer.

You should be doing things like developing a customer persona to improve your conversion rates.

Once you can understand how people think, you can use that information to your advantage.

Marketers that know how to leverage the emotions of consumers will have greater success over extended periods of time.

In fact, 43% of emotional advertisements had positive effects on businesses for three or more years.

Ads that trigger above average emotions create a 23% increase in sales volume.

That’s right. If you can stimulate an emotional response from your customers with an advertisement, it will increase your sales volume today and potentially for years down the road.

But where do you start? Which emotions work best?

Depending on who you ask, humans have anywhere between 6, 27, or upward of 100 emotions.

Honestly, the number doesn’t really matter. As long as your strategies can trigger a response that impacts the way the consumer feels, you’re getting the job done.

I’ll show you some of the best ways to generate sales by guiding consumer emotions.

Build trust

Would you give money to someone who you don’t trust?

I doubt it.

So you can assume that consumers won’t give money to brands that appear to be untrustworthy. That’s why you need to take steps to build and establish trust with your customers.

Take a look at the most trustworthy advertising channels based on a recent survey of consumers.

As you can see, none of the top five responses are forms of digital content.

Online advertising just isn’t as trustworthy as the other types of advertising channels.

People have the perception that they’re going to get scammed online. They are afraid of getting their identities stolen or credit cards compromised.

However, if they know that they’re dealing with a trustworthy brand, they’ll feel much safer.

For example, would you hesitate to enter your personal information and credit card number to make a purchase from Apple? Probably not.

That’s because they’re a well-known, established, and credible brand.

But if you’re browsing online and get a popup advertisement from a company that you’ve never heard of, are going to buy something without asking any questions? I hope not.

If your business doesn’t have a reputation established yet, you need to take the right steps to add credibility to your website.

Showcase customer testimonials. Encourage your customers to review your products.

Display your contact information. Make it easy for people to reach you with any questions, comments, or concerns.

Secure the checkout process. Get rid of ads for other brands on your site. Promote your hassle-free return policy.

If you do things like that, people will trust your business. Once they trust you, they’ll be more willing to buy.

Create FOMO

Fear is a powerful emotion.

I’m not saying that you need to scare your customers, although that can be an effective strategy as well.

For example, let’s say your company sells home alarm systems. You could run a video ad showing the results of a robbery.

The camera can show a missing TV that was ripped off the wall, furniture displaced and flipped over, a broken window, bedroom drawers pulled out of the dresser. Maybe the ad even shows a child’s bedroom.

As a result of this type of ad, people without an alarm system might be afraid that this could happen to them. So they buy an alarm from your company.

However, this type of tactic isn’t reasonable for every business.

Let’s say you sell clothing. It wouldn’t make sense to run an ad about trying to scare people into buying a t-shirt.

So instead, you can create FOMO or the fear of missing out.

Here’s an example of how Expedia uses this strategy to sell hotel reservations through their platform.

They use this method all over this page.

For the first hotel, they have a message stating that four other people booked a room at this hotel in the past 48 hours.

Then there is a separate alert saying that the hotel is in high demand. There are only two rooms left at $135 per night.

As a result, the consumer will be afraid that if they don’t book the room now, the rate will go up, or the hotel will potentially sell out of rooms.

Expedia doesn’t stop there. When you click on a property to get more details, they continue applying the FOMO strategy.

So they’ve already told you that there are only two rooms left.

But now you find out that there are 14 other people viewing this property right now.

This makes the consumer think that they need to act even faster to secure the advertised rate.

You can apply this same tactic to your ecommerce website. Put up an alert that tells people there are a limited number of a certain product remaining.

I’m not advocating that you should lie to your customers, but realistically, nobody will know if you actually have plenty left in stock. So do what you want with that information.

Identify the desires of your customers

Desire can stimulate emotions as well.

Just like you and I, your customers have wants and needs. If you identify what they desire, you can use that to reach them through your marketing campaigns.

Let me show you what I mean.

Here’s an example of a simple advertisement from Calvin Klein.

What do men desire? Women.

Look, I get it. It’s 2018. I’m not here to get into a debate about sexual preferences or anything else like that.

I’m just trying to show you how Calvin Klein’s marketing team positioned this advertisement in a way to stimulate desire.

The ad implies that if you use this cologne, beautiful women without clothes will be attracted to you.

Obviously, that’s outrageous. But subconsciously, people will see this ad and get an emotional reaction from it.

Let me give you another example so you can look at this concept from a completely different perspective.

We’ll say that your company sells running shoes.

What do competitive runners desire? Winning.

So you can run an ad that shows someone winning a race while wearing your shoes.

Focus on what your customers want. Then tailor your marketing strategy accordingly around that idea to stimulate their desires.

Trigger envy

Envy and jealousy are not necessarily considered positive emotions.

However, as a marketer, you can still use these ideas to your advantage. I’m sure you’ve seen ads like this before.

There are commercials on TV all of the time about products like fertilizer that will help you grow a lawn that’s greener than your neighbor’s.

Those ads are trying to trigger the envious emotion that people feel. You walk by your neighbor’s house and see that their grass looks better than yours. Time to do something about it.

So when you see an ad like that, it speaks to you.

Here’s an example of this strategy used by Zeus Beard.

Zeus Beard sells a variety of beard grooming products and accessories.

This blog post explains how people can grow a beard that’s thicker and fuller than their friend’s beard.

So anyone who is envious of their friends or other bearded people will be inclined to read this content.

After that, they’ll be eager to buy products from this company.

It sounds silly, but it’s human nature to want to be better than people. Whether you want to admit it or not, I’m sure you’re envious sometimes too.

Don’t be ashamed. You’re not alone.

Fortunately, your customers get envious too. So trigger that emotion to get them to make a purchase from your brand.

Create content that’s creative and humorous

You need to run ads that will get the attention of your current and prospective customers.

So be creative and try to get some laughs out of people.

Here’s an example from the Old Spice Instagram page.

What exactly is happening in this picture?

It looks like this guy is skydiving with a lion on his back while putting mustard on corn dog that the lion is holding.

Is that going to make people buy deodorant? Not necessarily.

But it certainly grabs their attention. It may even make people laugh.

As a result, it will show them the human side of your brand, and even establish trust with them. This is something that we discussed earlier.

Laughter will improve the mood of the people viewing your ad.

If someone is happy, they’ll be more likely to buy whatever it is that you’re selling. So have some fun and get creative with your next marketing campaign.

Go for shock factor

Is a lion going skydiving shocking? Yes, but that’s not exactly what I’m talking about.

Shock your audience with reality.

Depending on your approach, this strategy can be used to stimulate fear, which we previously discussed.

One of the best ways to shock people is by showing them an alarming statistic to back up whatever you’re selling.

Here’s an example from the Action on Smoking and Health Organization.

This company is trying to get people to stop smoking.

So they ran this ad to inform people how tobacco products can cause diseases that lead to death. The idea here is that it’s more common than people think.

Someone may not realize the harm that they’re doing to their bodies by consuming certain products.

However, after seeing a shocking ad like this, they may reconsider their actions. As a result, they could reach out to the organization and seek whatever services they’re offering to help them quit a bad habit.

With that said, shock doesn’t always have to be associated with fear.

You can shock people with news that’s exciting and encouraging as well.

Inspire your customers

Sometimes you just need to give people a little bit of motivation to accomplish something.

By triggering emotions that inspire consumers, you can entice them to make a purchase.

Here’s a great example from the Nike website.

Just do it.

We all know this as the Nike slogan. But what does it really mean?

This powerful image on their website shows exactly what their slogan looks like in real life.

Football is a difficult sport for anyone to play. So for someone with only one good arm, it may seem like just a crazy dream.

Nike explains that it’s only a crazy dream until you do it, and they have proof to back it up.

Are they displaying this content to tell people across the globe that they can play football with one arm? No.

They’re doing this to inspire people.

No matter what you think is holding you back, you can accomplish it.

Do you think you’re too overweight to go to the gym? Are you too old to run a marathon?

Whatever it is that you need to overcome, a promotion like this can inspire you to accomplish your goals. Once people feel inspired, they’ll need to buy the right products to help them reach their potential.

Build anticipation

Anticipation can drive you crazy.

We’ve all been there. Waiting by the phone for a certain call. Sitting in front of the TV anticipating a new episode of your favorite show to start.

Waiting to hear back the results of a test.

Once anticipation gets built, you can get your customers to buy something.

Here’s an example from the Apple website.

Apple is notorious for their keynote events.

During these events, they announce the launch of new products and software. In the past, some of these announcements have been groundbreaking to the industry.

So by promoting the event with not much information besides the date, location, and time, it builds anticipation.

If they told people exactly what they were going to announce at the event, it would defeat the purpose.

This is a great example of how to build hype for a new product launch.

Once they announce the new products, they still aren’t available right away. However, Apple gives their customers the opportunity to pre-order items.

First, they build hype by promoting the event. Next, they continue to build anticipation by announcing a new product without launching it.

By the time the product hits the shelves, people are lined up around the corner ready to hand their money over.

Entice kindness

Despite what you might think, people are actually kind.

I know some of you who live in certain places may not agree with that, but just bear with me for a minute here.

If people believe in a certain cause or want to help other people, their kind nature will be brought out.

Take a look at how Box Lunch incorporates this strategy with their overall brand mission.

For everyone $10 spent, this company helps provides meals to people in need.

It’s a great pitch to consumers.

Buy from this brand, and you’ll help feed the hungry.

If your company supports charitable organizations, don’t be afraid to share that with your customers. Use that to help stimulate an emotional response.

This will help you generate more sales.

Promote joy and happiness

Lots of times people associate certain emotional responses with negative feelings.

Someone may do something stupid if they’re mad or angry. But on the flip side, people who are happy and joyful can have an emotional response as well.

Nobody who is in a bad mood buys coffee for a stranger.

But someone who is having a great day might pay it forward to the car behind them when they’re going through a restaurant drive-thru.

If someone is feeling down or depressed, they probably won’t be as open to spending money.

However, if you can find a way to bring joy to the lives of your customers, they’ll be more likely to buy what you’re selling.

Here’s an example from Tropicfeel.

This startup company sells sneakers for both men and women.

They posted this image on Instagram to show two people having a great time while wearing Tropicfeel sneakers.

Just look at their faces. As a consumer, you almost can’t help but smile while looking at how happy these people are.

Sure, they’re models working for this company.

But that doesn’t change the fact that this picture can make you happy.

This relates back to one of our previous talking points about identifying desires. People have the desire to be happy.

If you’re able to explain through your ads how your brand can make this possible, it will increase your chances of getting people to convert.

Conclusion

Certain actions and behaviors happen as the result of an emotional response.

Marketers need to recognize this concept, and learn how to leverage consumer emotions into sales.

Build trust with your customers. Identify their desires.

Stimulate fear, envy, shock, creativity, and humor.

Be inspiring. Build anticipation. Entice kindness. Find ways to make your customers feel joyful and happy.

If you can stimulate these emotions properly, consumers will respond by making purchases.

How is your company driving sales by leveraging the emotions of your customers?

How to Generate Sales by Triggering an Emotional Response from Your Customers

Emotions drive our lives.

Whether you recognize it or not, you feel a wide range of emotions on a daily basis. You might even be feeling some emotions right now as you’re reading this.

The word emotion is defined by an instinctive state of mind as a reflection of mood, circumstances, relationships, knowledge, or reasoning.

Sometimes emotions can cause erratic behavior, depending on the circumstances.

Other times, emotions can make people do great things. If someone is feeling inspired, they may create something that changes their life and the lives of people around them for the better.

As a marketer, you need to find ways to put yourself into the minds of the consumer.

You should be doing things like developing a customer persona to improve your conversion rates.

Once you can understand how people think, you can use that information to your advantage.

Marketers that know how to leverage the emotions of consumers will have greater success over extended periods of time.

In fact, 43% of emotional advertisements had positive effects on businesses for three or more years.

Ads that trigger above average emotions create a 23% increase in sales volume.

That’s right. If you can stimulate an emotional response from your customers with an advertisement, it will increase your sales volume today and potentially for years down the road.

But where do you start? Which emotions work best?

Depending on who you ask, humans have anywhere between 6, 27, or upward of 100 emotions.

Honestly, the number doesn’t really matter. As long as your strategies can trigger a response that impacts the way the consumer feels, you’re getting the job done.

I’ll show you some of the best ways to generate sales by guiding consumer emotions.

Build trust

Would you give money to someone who you don’t trust?

I doubt it.

So you can assume that consumers won’t give money to brands that appear to be untrustworthy. That’s why you need to take steps to build and establish trust with your customers.

Take a look at the most trustworthy advertising channels based on a recent survey of consumers.

As you can see, none of the top five responses are forms of digital content.

Online advertising just isn’t as trustworthy as the other types of advertising channels.

People have the perception that they’re going to get scammed online. They are afraid of getting their identities stolen or credit cards compromised.

However, if they know that they’re dealing with a trustworthy brand, they’ll feel much safer.

For example, would you hesitate to enter your personal information and credit card number to make a purchase from Apple? Probably not.

That’s because they’re a well-known, established, and credible brand.

But if you’re browsing online and get a popup advertisement from a company that you’ve never heard of, are going to buy something without asking any questions? I hope not.

If your business doesn’t have a reputation established yet, you need to take the right steps to add credibility to your website.

Showcase customer testimonials. Encourage your customers to review your products.

Display your contact information. Make it easy for people to reach you with any questions, comments, or concerns.

Secure the checkout process. Get rid of ads for other brands on your site. Promote your hassle-free return policy.

If you do things like that, people will trust your business. Once they trust you, they’ll be more willing to buy.

Create FOMO

Fear is a powerful emotion.

I’m not saying that you need to scare your customers, although that can be an effective strategy as well.

For example, let’s say your company sells home alarm systems. You could run a video ad showing the results of a robbery.

The camera can show a missing TV that was ripped off the wall, furniture displaced and flipped over, a broken window, bedroom drawers pulled out of the dresser. Maybe the ad even shows a child’s bedroom.

As a result of this type of ad, people without an alarm system might be afraid that this could happen to them. So they buy an alarm from your company.

However, this type of tactic isn’t reasonable for every business.

Let’s say you sell clothing. It wouldn’t make sense to run an ad about trying to scare people into buying a t-shirt.

So instead, you can create FOMO or the fear of missing out.

Here’s an example of how Expedia uses this strategy to sell hotel reservations through their platform.

They use this method all over this page.

For the first hotel, they have a message stating that four other people booked a room at this hotel in the past 48 hours.

Then there is a separate alert saying that the hotel is in high demand. There are only two rooms left at $135 per night.

As a result, the consumer will be afraid that if they don’t book the room now, the rate will go up, or the hotel will potentially sell out of rooms.

Expedia doesn’t stop there. When you click on a property to get more details, they continue applying the FOMO strategy.

So they’ve already told you that there are only two rooms left.

But now you find out that there are 14 other people viewing this property right now.

This makes the consumer think that they need to act even faster to secure the advertised rate.

You can apply this same tactic to your ecommerce website. Put up an alert that tells people there are a limited number of a certain product remaining.

I’m not advocating that you should lie to your customers, but realistically, nobody will know if you actually have plenty left in stock. So do what you want with that information.

Identify the desires of your customers

Desire can stimulate emotions as well.

Just like you and I, your customers have wants and needs. If you identify what they desire, you can use that to reach them through your marketing campaigns.

Let me show you what I mean.

Here’s an example of a simple advertisement from Calvin Klein.

What do men desire? Women.

Look, I get it. It’s 2018. I’m not here to get into a debate about sexual preferences or anything else like that.

I’m just trying to show you how Calvin Klein’s marketing team positioned this advertisement in a way to stimulate desire.

The ad implies that if you use this cologne, beautiful women without clothes will be attracted to you.

Obviously, that’s outrageous. But subconsciously, people will see this ad and get an emotional reaction from it.

Let me give you another example so you can look at this concept from a completely different perspective.

We’ll say that your company sells running shoes.

What do competitive runners desire? Winning.

So you can run an ad that shows someone winning a race while wearing your shoes.

Focus on what your customers want. Then tailor your marketing strategy accordingly around that idea to stimulate their desires.

Trigger envy

Envy and jealousy are not necessarily considered positive emotions.

However, as a marketer, you can still use these ideas to your advantage. I’m sure you’ve seen ads like this before.

There are commercials on TV all of the time about products like fertilizer that will help you grow a lawn that’s greener than your neighbor’s.

Those ads are trying to trigger the envious emotion that people feel. You walk by your neighbor’s house and see that their grass looks better than yours. Time to do something about it.

So when you see an ad like that, it speaks to you.

Here’s an example of this strategy used by Zeus Beard.

Zeus Beard sells a variety of beard grooming products and accessories.

This blog post explains how people can grow a beard that’s thicker and fuller than their friend’s beard.

So anyone who is envious of their friends or other bearded people will be inclined to read this content.

After that, they’ll be eager to buy products from this company.

It sounds silly, but it’s human nature to want to be better than people. Whether you want to admit it or not, I’m sure you’re envious sometimes too.

Don’t be ashamed. You’re not alone.

Fortunately, your customers get envious too. So trigger that emotion to get them to make a purchase from your brand.

Create content that’s creative and humorous

You need to run ads that will get the attention of your current and prospective customers.

So be creative and try to get some laughs out of people.

Here’s an example from the Old Spice Instagram page.

What exactly is happening in this picture?

It looks like this guy is skydiving with a lion on his back while putting mustard on corn dog that the lion is holding.

Is that going to make people buy deodorant? Not necessarily.

But it certainly grabs their attention. It may even make people laugh.

As a result, it will show them the human side of your brand, and even establish trust with them. This is something that we discussed earlier.

Laughter will improve the mood of the people viewing your ad.

If someone is happy, they’ll be more likely to buy whatever it is that you’re selling. So have some fun and get creative with your next marketing campaign.

Go for shock factor

Is a lion going skydiving shocking? Yes, but that’s not exactly what I’m talking about.

Shock your audience with reality.

Depending on your approach, this strategy can be used to stimulate fear, which we previously discussed.

One of the best ways to shock people is by showing them an alarming statistic to back up whatever you’re selling.

Here’s an example from the Action on Smoking and Health Organization.

This company is trying to get people to stop smoking.

So they ran this ad to inform people how tobacco products can cause diseases that lead to death. The idea here is that it’s more common than people think.

Someone may not realize the harm that they’re doing to their bodies by consuming certain products.

However, after seeing a shocking ad like this, they may reconsider their actions. As a result, they could reach out to the organization and seek whatever services they’re offering to help them quit a bad habit.

With that said, shock doesn’t always have to be associated with fear.

You can shock people with news that’s exciting and encouraging as well.

Inspire your customers

Sometimes you just need to give people a little bit of motivation to accomplish something.

By triggering emotions that inspire consumers, you can entice them to make a purchase.

Here’s a great example from the Nike website.

Just do it.

We all know this as the Nike slogan. But what does it really mean?

This powerful image on their website shows exactly what their slogan looks like in real life.

Football is a difficult sport for anyone to play. So for someone with only one good arm, it may seem like just a crazy dream.

Nike explains that it’s only a crazy dream until you do it, and they have proof to back it up.

Are they displaying this content to tell people across the globe that they can play football with one arm? No.

They’re doing this to inspire people.

No matter what you think is holding you back, you can accomplish it.

Do you think you’re too overweight to go to the gym? Are you too old to run a marathon?

Whatever it is that you need to overcome, a promotion like this can inspire you to accomplish your goals. Once people feel inspired, they’ll need to buy the right products to help them reach their potential.

Build anticipation

Anticipation can drive you crazy.

We’ve all been there. Waiting by the phone for a certain call. Sitting in front of the TV anticipating a new episode of your favorite show to start.

Waiting to hear back the results of a test.

Once anticipation gets built, you can get your customers to buy something.

Here’s an example from the Apple website.

Apple is notorious for their keynote events.

During these events, they announce the launch of new products and software. In the past, some of these announcements have been groundbreaking to the industry.

So by promoting the event with not much information besides the date, location, and time, it builds anticipation.

If they told people exactly what they were going to announce at the event, it would defeat the purpose.

This is a great example of how to build hype for a new product launch.

Once they announce the new products, they still aren’t available right away. However, Apple gives their customers the opportunity to pre-order items.

First, they build hype by promoting the event. Next, they continue to build anticipation by announcing a new product without launching it.

By the time the product hits the shelves, people are lined up around the corner ready to hand their money over.

Entice kindness

Despite what you might think, people are actually kind.

I know some of you who live in certain places may not agree with that, but just bear with me for a minute here.

If people believe in a certain cause or want to help other people, their kind nature will be brought out.

Take a look at how Box Lunch incorporates this strategy with their overall brand mission.

For everyone $10 spent, this company helps provides meals to people in need.

It’s a great pitch to consumers.

Buy from this brand, and you’ll help feed the hungry.

If your company supports charitable organizations, don’t be afraid to share that with your customers. Use that to help stimulate an emotional response.

This will help you generate more sales.

Promote joy and happiness

Lots of times people associate certain emotional responses with negative feelings.

Someone may do something stupid if they’re mad or angry. But on the flip side, people who are happy and joyful can have an emotional response as well.

Nobody who is in a bad mood buys coffee for a stranger.

But someone who is having a great day might pay it forward to the car behind them when they’re going through a restaurant drive-thru.

If someone is feeling down or depressed, they probably won’t be as open to spending money.

However, if you can find a way to bring joy to the lives of your customers, they’ll be more likely to buy what you’re selling.

Here’s an example from Tropicfeel.

This startup company sells sneakers for both men and women.

They posted this image on Instagram to show two people having a great time while wearing Tropicfeel sneakers.

Just look at their faces. As a consumer, you almost can’t help but smile while looking at how happy these people are.

Sure, they’re models working for this company.

But that doesn’t change the fact that this picture can make you happy.

This relates back to one of our previous talking points about identifying desires. People have the desire to be happy.

If you’re able to explain through your ads how your brand can make this possible, it will increase your chances of getting people to convert.

Conclusion

Certain actions and behaviors happen as the result of an emotional response.

Marketers need to recognize this concept, and learn how to leverage consumer emotions into sales.

Build trust with your customers. Identify their desires.

Stimulate fear, envy, shock, creativity, and humor.

Be inspiring. Build anticipation. Entice kindness. Find ways to make your customers feel joyful and happy.

If you can stimulate these emotions properly, consumers will respond by making purchases.

How is your company driving sales by leveraging the emotions of your customers?

How to Use A/B Testing to Experiment with These 13 Elements of Your Website

You’ve done a great job of finding new ways to drive more traffic to your website. But if that traffic isn’t translating into conversions, you’ve still got plenty of work to do.

I see this common misconception in my consulting work all the time.

Businesses spend much time and effort trying to improve their organic SEO while simultaneously running PPC campaigns to get more website visitors.

There’s nothing wrong with this strategy, but increasing site traffic isn’t the only metric that matters. You also need to focus on how visitors behave after landing on your pages.

Are they converting?

If not, that traffic isn’t translating to dollars. That’s why you need to learn how to use continuous A/B testing to increase conversions.

These experiments will help give you a better understanding of how to optimize certain design elements of your website. Subtle changes can make a major impact on getting your traffic to convert.

To those of you who have never run these tests before, I recommend reviewing my guide on everything you need to know before you start A/B testing.

However, if you already know how to run A/B tests but just don’t know what you should be testing, this list is perfect for you.

In reality, the number of things you could test on your website is seemingly endless.

That said, I narrowed down the top 13 elements you should start with. You can continue to tweak these and run several tests for each component on this list.

I’ll even give you some examples and real-life data to explain how other websites improved conversions by testing specific elements.

1. CTA size

As you read through this guide, you’ll notice that CTA buttons will appear several times in the discussion. This makes sense since it’s the most important feature in terms of driving conversions.

Start off with the size of your CTA button.

For the most part, this button needs to be big and bold. That way, it’s obvious and jumps off the screen. The last thing you want is for someone to be unable to find your CTA button.

How big should it be for optimal conversions? The only way to know is by experimenting with different sizes. Here’s an example to show you what I mean:

As you can see, these two CTA buttons are identical. They have the same font, color, and placement on the page.

The only difference is the size.

But bigger isn’t always better. In fact, after running this experiment, it was found that the larger CTA actually had 10% fewer conversions.

There could be a number of different reasons for this, but we don’t need to get into that right now. The important thing is that this would have never been discovered without running the A/B test.

Don’t assume that your giant CTA button is ideal for conversions. Test the size so you can be sure.

2. Headline wording

Your landing pages will have different headlines. These headlines will tell your visitors exactly what they’ll find on the page.

Depending on your goals, the wording can also prompt people to take a certain action.

Plus, you want your headlines to be SEO-friendly as well. Obviously, lots of thought should go into crafting these words.

That’s why you need to learn how to increase clicks by mastering your headlines.

To do this effectively, you’ll need to run A/B tests to find out which phrasing yields the highest conversion rates. Check out this example from the Movexa website:

At first glance, the two pages look the same.

The only difference between the control and variation is the headline. As you can see, the difference is minor. All they did was add one word.

Movexa increased sales by 89% after adding the word “supplement” to the headline on this landing page.

So don’t assume your headline is perfect until you test different variations. You may be surprised with the results.

3. Free shipping information

This one is more specific to ecommerce sites. But it’s an important feature that shouldn’t be overlooked.

First of all, you shouldn’t be charging your customers for shipping.

If this expense is coming out of your pocket, just include it in the base cost of each item as opposed to charging separately for it.

This added charge is the top reason for shopping cart abandonment.

But simply not charging for shipping isn’t enough. You need to display this information proudly on your website.

This way your customers won’t have to get to the checkout page to know that shipping is free.

But where do you tell them? That’s for you to find out through A/B testing.

Try different locations on the banner of your website. Maybe include it in the headline.

After you experiment with the placement, you can continue to run tests on the size, font, and color of this text as well. Try using all capital letters, or add an exclamation point to see if these variations change your results.

4. CTA phrasing

Let’s get back to discussing the CTA button.

Now that you know the optimal size of this button from a test I talked about earlier, you can start to experiment with the phrasing.

Obviously, the phrasing will depend on your goal. For example, a “buy now” CTA won’t make sense if you’re trying to get website visitors to subscribe to your email list.

Here’s an example from a landing page that targets visitors who need a loan:

The team tested “apply now” against “submit.” Everything else about the pages was exactly the same.

The hypothesis here was that the word “apply” implied that the visitor could be rejected from a loan, which would discourage them from converting.

On the flip side, the “submit” button makes it seem like anyone can be approved simply by filling out the form field above.

I highly recommend experimenting with CTA button phrasing on each landing page of your website. This button is too important for you to overlook.

5. Pricing display

Some websites don’t display their prices on their landing pages. Do you?

Depending on the type of business you have, your branding strategy, and the industry you’re in, you may not think this is necessary.

However, it’s possible that displaying your prices could help increase conversions. Check out this example below:

Adding the price to this landing page increased its conversions by 100%.

After adding the price, you can also run other tests to make sure it’s optimized on the page. Change the location, color, font, and size to ensure you’re getting the maximum number of conversions.

6. Promotional content

Promotional content on your landing pages gives your website visitors an incentive to buy whatever you’re selling.

In theory, these elements will drive conversions. But don’t make assumptions without testing them.

Look at the example from this case study on the SimCity website:

The original landing page had promotional information at the top of the screen, below the menu bar.

It’s simple. Pre-order the game, and you’ll get $20 off your next purchase.

An incentive like this must be good enough to get people to convert, right?

Not so fast. By eliminating this promotional content from the landing page, they saw a 43% increase in checkouts.

Websites with simple designs have higher conversion rates.

Adding too much promotional content to your pages can make it difficult for the visitor to focus on your CTA buttons. Removing unnecessary text can actually be beneficial.

I’m not saying you need to completely trash all of your promotional content. I’m just trying to show you that you have to run experiments to see if it’s worth including.

7. CTA placement

No, you’re still not done testing your CTA button.

Now that size and phrasing are taken care of, it’s time for you to find the best location on the page for this button. You’ll need to run lots of experiments with this.

Typically, your CTA should always be above the fold. Make sure it’s clearly visible at all times.

But test different locations on the page. Try the middle, left side, right side, or even slightly off-center to the right. Try every location.

Experiment with two CTA buttons. Keep running these tests until you find a winner.

8. Image subject

Your website shouldn’t always have a plain white background with no images. You need to use visual elements to improve your marketing strategy.

But don’t just pull a picture out of thin air and assume it will make your website better.

Use A/B tests to find out which images convert the best. Here’s an example of how Highrise experimented with images on its website:

Michael had nearly 5% more conversions than Jocelyn.

This may seem marginal, but depending on the amount of traffic to a website, it could be the difference in tens of thousands of dollars over the course of a year.

9. Navigation menu

How do website visitors find what they’re looking for on your pages?

Typically, navigation menus are the best way for them to jump from page to page. However, if these menus are too complex, it can hurt your conversions.

Remember, keeping things simple is always your best bet.

Take a look at what happened when Yuppiecheif removed the navigation menu from its homepage:

As a result of this design change, Yuppiechef was able to increase conversions by 100%.

If it worked for them, it could work for you as well.

Even if you don’t want to remove your menu completely, you can experiment with other elements of it. Change the color, size, placement.

Consider removing some of the options to keep people focused on converting.

10. Value proposition

Earlier we talked about the importance of free shipping.

But you can test other elements of your value proposition as well. Here’s a look some of the other key phrases that give consumers an incentive to shop online.

By highlighting these other benefits on your pages in the form of a value proposition, you’ll be able to drive more conversions.

Refer to my guide on how to create a highly effective value proposition if you want to learn more about this concept.

11. CTA color

As I said before, your CTA needs to stand out and be obvious in order for it to be effective.

That’s why the color of this button is so important.

Sure, you want the color scheme of your website to be visually appealing, but that doesn’t mean your CTA button should blend in with everything else.

A blue CTA button on a blue background will get lost in the shuffle. And a color like bright yellow will be difficult to read.

So what colors work the best? Run tests to find out.

Here’s an example testing green and red CTA buttons:

Usually, we associate green with go and red with stop. So you could assume that the green CTA button would outperform the red one.

But the results of this test were surprising, which is why we shouldn’t make assumptions.

The red CTA button got 21% more clicks than the green one.

12. Product page layout

On an ecommerce website, the design of your product pages will have a major impact on conversions.

Since these conversions will ultimately translate to dollars, you need to prioritize these A/B tests because a mistake here could be costing you money.

Here’s an example from Smartwool socks:

At first, they tried to highlight certain items on their product page.

But after transitioning to a uniform grid system with an A/B test, they saw a 17% increase in the average revenue per visitor.

Try this as well.

Experiment with the number of products you display on the screen at once.

If you have a grid, test rows of three compared to rows of five. Or maybe two columns instead of three columns.

Test the size of your product icons.

After running numerous tests, you’ll be comfortable knowing you have the optimal design for the most important pages on your website.

13. Length of form fields

Test the length of form fields on your landing pages.

For the most part, shorter form fields have higher conversion rates.

But as you can see from this graphic, that’s not the same across the board.

Right now, if you have six form fields and you can get that down to four, you could assume your conversions will increase based on this graph.

However, some of you may need to have longer form fields if you need to collect lots of information from your customers.

If you look at the data above, it implies that a form with 28 fields won’t perform as well as a form with 40 fields.

So there are certain instances when shorter isn’t always better. Run an A/B test on these forms until you get this figured out.

Conclusion

When it comes to the design elements of your website, you should never make assumptions.

Instead, create a hypothesis, and run A/B tests to test it.

As you can see from the list I’ve created, the CTA button has a huge impact on your conversions. But there are other elements that should be tested as well.

Don’t stop after one test.

You should always be taking steps to improve your design, drive conversions, and ultimately increase your profits.

What elements of your website are you trying to improve with A/B tests?

How to Increase Your Brand Exposure in 2018 with Public Relations

How are you managing the reputation of your company?

If you are struggling to find an answer to this question, you may need to re-evaluate your strategy moving forward.

There are certain aspects of your brand’s reputation you have control over, e.g., the way you distribute content through your marketing channels and use website elements to add credibility to your website.

But a news story or a review of your product on a third-party site can be out of your hands.

Your public relations strategy encompasses all these scenarios.

Public relations, or PR, can help expose your business to new audiences.

Simply put, public relations is how businesses communicate with people.

There’s a common misconception about PR. Many business owners I work with don’t have a PR strategy.

They believe it’s only for companies that made a mistake, needing to run PR campaigns to issue apologies or make their businesses look better in the public eye.

While that would fall under the public relations category, that’s not the only reason why you would implement a PR strategy.

Your PR efforts will manage how you spread information. It’s part of your overall branding strategy, except it focuses more on your reputation and communication as opposed to things like your company slogan and logo.

In a digital era, information gets spread faster than ever. That’s why every business needs to have a public relations strategy in 2018.

It doesn’t matter how new or old your business is. Even if you’re trying to create an effective marketing strategy for your startup company, it’s not complete without PR.

I’ll explain everything you need to know about the basic concepts of PR and how it can help your brand gain more exposure.

Differences between PR and marketing

For starters, it’s important for you to be able to separate your PR strategy from your marketing strategy.

Don’t get me wrong: public relations and marketing are very similar. However, there are differences in the goals of these two departments.

For example, some goals of your marketing campaigns would be to drive more traffic to your website, get new email subscribers, or drive sales.

While you ultimately want your PR strategy to result in revenue, the primary goal of these efforts will differ from that of your marketing strategy efforts.

There isn’t necessarily a measurable impact on sales from public relations. It’s more of a big-picture strategy.

The goal of your PR efforts would be to improve the reputation of your business. You may already be doing this with things such as:

  • displaying customer testimonials
  • encouraging customers to review your products
  • leveraging social proof

However, these campaigns would be marketing-oriented.

To improve your reputation through PR, you’ll focus on things such as press releases and guest-speaking engagements at industry events. These are indirect strategies to promote your brand.

With a marketing campaign, you’d run a promotion on one of your distribution channels. Do you see the difference?

Ultimately, your PR efforts will still support sales.

People don’t always buy products. They buy brands.

That’s why PR is so important.

If a consumer buys your products as a result of one of your marketing campaigns, that person has already established a connection with your brand through your PR efforts.

Understand the different types of media

To keep things simple, public relations can be segmented into three main categories:

  • owned media
  • paid media
  • earned media

All three of these will help establish and build your brand reputation. This will help you get one step closer to achieving your goals.

I’ll go into greater detail about each one of these categories to give you a better understanding of how they work.

Owned media

Owned media is any piece of content your company has control over.

Although we are grouping owned media as a function of PR, it’s similar to your marketing strategy.

I’m referring to things such as your blog posts, social media content, and website copy.

For example, if you’re learning how to enhance your content by building infographics, this type of media is owned by you.

You control how it gets created. You control when and where it gets distributed.

Owned media will help improve your overall PR strategy. When someone hears about your brand from another source, you want to make sure the content you own is informative and drives them to convert.

Paid media

To improve the visibility of your marketing campaigns, you may consider using a paid media strategy.

Just as the name implies, this is when you pay someone to display your content.

Social media ads and PPC campaigns both fall into this category.

But for a PR strategy, you may want to consider using social influencers to increase your product credibility.

Influencer marketing has become increasingly popular in 2018.

Incorporating a paid media strategy will help expose your business to a more specific group of people who fit within your target market.

This is more effective than content that’s distributed to everyone and anyone who just happens to turn on a local news station.

Earned media

Earned media is out of your control, at least to some extent.

Your actions, behavior, and the quality of your products and services are all within your control. If you can get those things right, your earned media should be positive.

However, you don’t have control over what’s said about your brand with earned media.

That’s the biggest difference between paid media and earned media.

For example, let’s say your brand or one of your products is reviewed on a third-party website. That’s an example of earned media.

Customers saying positive things about you on social media is earned media as well.

But earned media can also be negative.

Let’s say you did something wrong. In this case, you probably won’t be bragging on your website about your mistakes. That’s not something you’d highlight in your owned media content.

But if a news channel picks up that story and writes an article about your company on its website, it could give people a negative perception of your business.

That said, there’s an old saying I’m sure you’ve heard before:

“There’s no such thing as bad publicity.”

I can’t say I agree with that statement 100%, but don’t let one mistake discourage you too much. Your other PR efforts can still improve your reputation and increase your brand exposure.

Inbound public relations

I’m sure you’re familiar with inbound marketing.

This helps you reach customers through campaigns related to SEO, branding, social media, and content marketing.

But what about inbound PR?

You may have heard of it although you may not be very familiar with it. The concept and application of this term are actually quite simple.

With inbound marketing, you’re targeting customers. That’s not always the case with inbound PR.

Inbound public relations focus on media outlets. Here’s a visual aid to explain the inbound PR methodology:

As you can see, strategies targeting consumers and media outlets involve many of the same marketing channels and types of content.

In the past, I’ve explained how to develop a customer persona that improves conversion rates. You can apply the same concepts to creating a media persona.

Now, you just need to tweak a few things based on whom you’re targeting.

For example, let’s say you’re a local business owner. To help give back to your community, you make a donation to sponsor an event at a nearby high school.

You’re doing this to be charitable, but you also want some recognition for your donation.

In addition to sharing this information on your website, you could make the announcement at an event where you know a local news station would be present.

This increases the chances of getting the story picked up, which will give you positive PR.

Instead of focusing on repeat customers, as you would with inbound marketing, you want to focus on repeat publishers. This makes things much easier for you.

These are the media outlets that will continue running positive stories about your business.

Measuring PR goals

As I said earlier, it’s tough to see the result of your PR efforts with metrics such as sales.

But you can still use attainable goals to see if your public relations campaigns are working.

One of the first things you should do is track your brand mentions.

A brand mention occurs whenever someone talks about your business. This is a form of earned media.

Just because someone mentions your company doesn’t mean they’ll provide a link to your site. You do want that if the mention is positive.

Consider using a tool such as Mention to help you keep track of your brand mentions.

In addition to helping you see what people are saying about your brand, products, or services, Mention can also connect you with potential influencers.

This tool is used by PR agencies, but it also has options for business owners. You can manage your PR efforts in-house instead of outsourcing them.

A mention of your brand may not be a good thing.

You need to take the time to review what people are saying. Sort out the positives, and use this to your advantage.

Reach out to certain websites talking about your brand to help you consistently build backlinks to your website.

With these backlinks, the earned media audience will be able to navigate directly to your site. The combination of more traffic and backlinks will improve your SEO ranking.

You also need to measure your website traffic.

Track new customers.

All these metrics will help you determine whether your PR strategy is working or whether you need to go back to the drawing board.

Responsibilities of a PR manager

Whether you’re looking to hire someone new or promote an employee from within, you need to know what a PR manager does on a daily basis.

For starters, a good public relations manager needs to have outstanding communication skills. That’s because they will be the voice and face of your company at times.

It’s common for the PR manager to be the one who speaks at events.

You should also find someone who has great writing skills. This person will write content, e.g., press releases of news related to your company.

It’s possible for you to use this person to write blog posts and other website content as well.

Find someone creative. And PR managers need to have strong research skills.

They’ll use tools, as I previously discussed, to find out what people are saying about your business. Then they’ll leverage that feedback to benefit your company.

The majority of businesses believe it’s hard to find new employees with the skills required to build and protect the reputation and credibility of their companies.

Even if your new hire has an MBA, it doesn’t necessarily qualify them to do the job of a PR manager.

We know 93% of business leaders say PR is just as important to their companies as every other type of communication method.

Whether you take on these responsibilities, hire someone, or delegate tasks to an employee, these are some of the things a PR manager would be responsible for:

  • write press releases
  • create fact sheets
  • send content to media outlets
  • provide media training to in-house staff
  • meet with external agencies or teams your company works with
  • analyze media content to leverage both owned and paid PR campaigns
  • attend industry events
  • represent the business at job fairs and trade shows

Make sure you find the right person to handle this job. Otherwise, your PR efforts won’t be effective.

Conclusion

Learning how to manage your public relations strategy properly can help improve your brand exposure.

While PR and marketing have many similarities, the two departments are not the same. It’s important for you to know the differences between these two strategies.

Understand how owned media, paid media, and earned media all have an impact on your brand reputation.

Use inbound PR tactics to target media outlets as opposed to consumers.

Track metrics that relate to your PR goals.

Part of having an effective public relations strategy means putting someone in charge of those efforts. You need to make sure that role is clearly defined in your company.

If your company is new to public relations, use this guide as a reference to help you build brand exposure.

How is your company leveraging owned media, paid media, and earned media to improve your PR strategy?

How B2B Audiences Engage with Business Content Online

As a B2B company, you need to learn how to properly market your brand to the right audience.

That’s because your target market doesn’t consume content the same way as the average consumer does. Following the habits and trends of a typical consumer won’t help you.

This is especially important for businesses operating as B2B as well as B2C companies. You need to be able to segment your content for each audience.

If your company is strictly a B2B operation, the content creation process should be even easier for you. You won’t have to worry about consumer content at all.

But regardless of your situation, to do this effectively, you need to understand how B2B audiences engage with content.

Then, you can adjust your B2B marketing strategy accordingly to reach these people.

The majority of B2B marketers believe that their content marketing strategy is still in the early stages.

Further, 91% of B2B companies use content marketing to promote their brands and reach their audiences.

But as you can see from the metrics above, the maturity levels of their marketing efforts are all over the board. Unless you’re in that top 9% who believe their strategies are sophisticated, it’s safe to say you could use some improvement.

That’s why I created this guide.

I’ll tell you exactly how B2B audiences engage with content. Then you can take this information to tailor your content strategy accordingly.

As a result, you’ll be able to generate more leads for your B2B company. Here’s what you need to know.

Focus on technology advancements

Your company needs to create business content that’s related to technology.

The best way to approach this is by discussing and showcasing new technological advancements your company has to offer.

Whether it’s new software, hardware, or other equipment, you’ll be able to offer exactly what your audience is looking for.

In fact, research shows that technology is the most popular business topic consumed by B2B audiences online.

This makes sense. Just think about it.

What is your B2B audience trying to accomplish?

Just like you, they want to improve their businesses. They’ll be researching the latest and greatest technology.

Even if your company hasn’t released new technology, you can still create content on the subject. Discuss industry updates and other advancements you’re anticipating.

Maybe you are developing something. You don’t need to wait until it’s released to share that information.

Learn how to build hype for a new product launch before the release.

Blog content

You know you need to create content focusing on new technology. But how do you distribute it?

You need to put lots of effort into your blogging strategy.

We know that 76% of B2B marketers publish blog posts. And 73% publish case studies.

You should do the same or risk falling behind your competitors. B2B marketing is a competitive field. Once a client builds a relationship with another company, it could be difficult for you to get their business.

But running a credible, informative, and resourceful blog will give you an edge.

That’s because 96% of B2B buyers say they want to consume content from industry leaders.

You can become that industry leader. Just make sure you publish content frequently to establish credibility. This will make it easier for you to get your target audience to engage with your content.

Plus, blogging is one of the best types of content that gets your audience into the conversion funnel.

If they’re reading your blog, it means they are on your website.

And that means they are more likely to convert, especially if you offer them actionable content.

After all, you’ve become an industry leader. The people reading your blog will be more inclined to use your products and services.

Furthermore, the publishing frequency of blog posts has a direct impact on website traffic.

This statement holds true for both B2B and B2C companies.

Simply put, the more blog posts you publish, the more inbound leads you’ll get.

Blogging will help improve your SEO strategy, which will result in expanding your reach through organic traffic.

Infographics

Right now, your content might be good. But who wants to be good? That just isn’t enough.

You need to find ways to make your content great. Figure out how to stand out and speak to your B2B audience in ways they understand.

Learn how to enhance your content by building infographics.

Your brain processes images 60,000 times faster than words alone. Plus, 90% of information transmitted to your brain is visual. And 65% of people are visual learners.

That’s why infographics are so powerful, especially for B2B audiences.

As you can see from this data, 76% of B2B buyers said that infographics were a valuable part of the buying process.

This ranked higher than any other type of content from each buying stage.

As a B2B marketer, you need to create infographics to cater to your audience’s needs.

This can work in conjunction with your blogging strategy, discussed previously.

To make your posts more appealing, add custom infographics to them. As you can see from reading my content, I use images, graphs, and infographics in my blog posts all the time.

I believe in this strategy, and you should as well if you want to reach your B2B target market effectively.

Make it easy to find solutions

Your B2B company needs to offer solutions to your target audience.

For example, let’s say you manufacture goods. Once an order is placed, you promise to ship within three business days.

That could be the differentiating factor giving you a competitive edge over companies that may not ship for two weeks.

If a prospective B2B client is searching for a manufacturer that can deliver goods faster than their current supplier, your company would be a viable option.

However, you won’t be able to acquire these customers if it’s too difficult for them to find solutions on your website.

Keep these questions in mind when you’re designing your site:

Prospective clients need to find solutions to their problems. If you can create content that shows your qualifications, they’ll be more likely to use your services.

In addition to displaying information properly on your website, you need to take this strategy to the next level.

Share content on social media, which I’ll discuss in greater detail shortly.

You also need to offer excellent customer service. Make it easy for people to contact you online, over the phone, through email, or potentially in person.

Consider implementing live chat to provide better customer service as well.

This will make it much easier for your audience to find solutions when they’re consuming your content.

Social media

As I just said, you need to market your company through distribution channels outside of your website. Social media is a must.

Your B2B audience is active on social media.

Just like you, they probably have profiles on these platforms to promote their own businesses as well.

But they don’t consume content the same way as B2C consumers do. You can’t expect them to scroll mindlessly through Instagram to engage with business-related content.

Instead, B2B marketers have greater success on other platforms.

LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube are the three most popular platforms for consuming B2B content online.

Your company needs to have an active presence on all three of these if you want to be successful.

Am I saying you don’t need Facebook? Absolutely not.

You should definitely have a Facebook page for your B2B company. It just shouldn’t take priority over your LinkedIn strategy.

Don’t waste your marketing dollars on Facebook ads that won’t get seen by your audience.

Know your audience’s business hours

If you’re going to use social media to attract B2B audiences, which you should, you need to understand when these people are active.

Post content during the hours when they’re online. This is different from targeting a B2C audience.

As a business owner, your company is on your mind 24/7. But that’s not always the case with your B2B audiences.

Your audience may not necessarily be other business owners. The people who have the buying power for other businesses could be managers or employees who get paid hourly or receive a salary.

When they go home after work, they aren’t thinking about their jobs.

Don’t share content on a Saturday afternoon when these people are not at work. They don’t consume business-related content when they’re not on the clock.

Email communication

Email marketing is another effective way to reach your B2B target market.

In one day, the average office worker receives 121 emails. Your content needs to be impressive to stand out from the other hundred messages in their inbox.

Otherwise, your message could go straight to the trash folder.

Although office workers get many emails, 77% of B2B consumers still say they prefer to have business communication through email.

That’s why B2B marketers name email as the most effective tactic for generating new leads.

Since you know this is how your audience is engaging with content, and it’s how they want to consume it, you need to focus on building quality email lists.

This will be different from a B2C email list building strategy.

When targeting consumers directly, you’ll have much larger email lists. Yes, obviously it’s better if those email addresses are qualified, but you won’t be as picky.

But with B2B email lists, qualified leads are an absolute necessity.

In addition to sending out newsletters and content, your B2B email strategy might require a bit more work.

You may want to consider sending individual messages to your current and prospective clients as opposed to using email software for mass distribution.

Depending on the size of your company, this won’t be unreasonable. Some of you may have only a dozen clients or so.

This strategy is unrealistic for B2C brands with thousands of subscribers on their email lists.

Prioritize organic search

I briefly mentioned SEO when I discussed your blogging strategy. But it’s worth talking about in greater detail.

If you want to successfully reach your B2B audience, your SEO strategy needs to be a priority.

Think about the way you personally consume content.

You are not only a B2B marketer but also a B2B consumer. Your habits should be similar to the habits of your target audience.

When you’re looking for information online, I bet you start with a Google search.

In fact, 81% of B2B purchases start with search.

As you can see, B2B audiences want to get to know companies from articles instead of paid ads. That’s why your blogging strategy is so important.

Not only will it help you with SEO, but it will also give your audience content they want to consume.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t pay for ads or run PPC campaigns. You can still generate leads from those.

But as you can see from those numbers above, organic traffic is more important.

Optimize content for mobile devices

One area where B2B audiences and B2C audiences have similarities is with the devices they use.

The days of business content being consumed only on desktop computers in the office are over.

Smartphones and tablets have penetrated the workplace.

Companies are getting more relaxed. They are not forcing their employees to sit in a cubicle for 40 hours a week.

With mobile devices, people can be productive on the go. They can work from homes, coffee shops, or even public transit.

People will work anywhere where they can be productive. If they finish their work for the day, they’ll be able to go home.

That’s probably why we’re seeing such a major growth in smartphone usage throughout the B2B buying process.

At the very least, your website needs to be optimized for mobile devices.

But you can take that strategy one step further. Your email content should be mobile-friendly as well.

Depending on the size of your company, you may even want to consider building a mobile app to reach your B2B target audience.

Industry trends

B2B audiences need to stay up to date with the latest industry news and trends.

In fact, 45% of B2B audiences read business content online to stay informed about industry trends.

You can become a resource for that information. Consider using this topic to your advantage with your blogging and email strategies.

Publish blog posts about what to expect in your industry.

Send out email newsletters with breaking news stories.

If you can master this strategy, you can become the primary resource of industry information for your target audience.

Conclusion

B2B audiences don’t consume content online the same way as B2C consumers do.

You need to recognize this and adjust your content strategy accordingly.

Publish content about technological advancements. Keep your audience informed on industry news and trends.

Establish yourself as a credible resource through your blogging strategy.

Enhance your content with infographics.

Build a quality email list. Personalize your messages.

Stay active on social media. Just make sure you’re prioritizing the right distribution channels.

Know the days and times when your B2B audience is consuming content.

Recognize the devices people are using to engage with content. Make sure your website is optimized for mobile searches.

Once you understand how your target audience consumes business content online, you’ll be able to improve your overall B2B marketing strategy.

What type of online content is your company producing to reach prospective B2B clients?

Use These 10 Tools to Enhance Your Instagram Post Conversions

Your business needs to have an active presence on Instagram.

With more than 1 billion active monthly users, Instagram is officially the fastest growing social media network.

According to Sprout Social, 71% of businesses in the United States are using Instagram for marketing. By now, I hope you have your profile set up and are taking steps to get more followers.

Once you’ve done that, you can convert your social media followers into customers.

You need to prioritize conversions.

But to do this, you need to find the best ways to improve your engagement rates on your Instagram posts.

You have to understand how users consume content on this platform. They’re scrolling through their news feeds.

Each day, 95 million pictures and videos are shared on Instagram.

If your posts aren’t jumping out at your followers, they will scroll right past them. You won’t be able to get conversions this way.

It’s tough to stand out from the crowd when everyone using the platform has the same features available at their fingertips. Here’s what I mean.

If you are using only the filters and effects offered directly on Instagram, your content will look strikingly similar to that of the other billion users on the platform.

After all, the number of these editing options and types of posts is limited.

However, if you want to gain a competitive edge and really make your content stand out, you need to take advantage of other tools. By enhancing your posts, you’ll be able to increase your conversions.

Here are the top 10 tools I recommend for improving the quality of your Instagram posts.

1. GIPHY Cam

With the growing popularity of GIFs, GIPHY Cam is a top option for you to consider.

This app is available for both iOS and Android devices. Your entire social media marketing team can take advantage of this tool, regardless of the platform they’re using.

The concept of this app is very simple.

The software allows you to create your own GIFs by recording content directly through the app.

Once your GIF is recorded, you can add effects and other elements to enhance the posts. This is a great way to make your content stand out from the typical pictures and videos uploaded to Instagram.

Since GIF creation isn’t a feature offered on Instagram, these posts will give you a competitive advantage over content from other profiles.

GIPHY has other apps to help you with your GIF needs:

  • GIPHY
  • GIPHY Capture
  • GIPHY Sticker Embed
  • GIPHY World

In addition to GIPHY Cam, you can check these out to help you use visual elements to improve your marketing strategy.

2. Perfect Video

If you are not tech-savvy, Perfect Video is extremely user-friendly.

It’s great for anyone who doesn’t have a background in video editing and is intimidated by fancy or expensive software.

None of that is necessary when it comes to uploading videos to Instagram if you use this app.

Yes, Instagram has editing tools built directly into its platform, but those features limit your ability to make your content great.

With Perfect Video, you can trim clips and merge multiple videos into one file.

Add subtitles to your videos to appeal to people consuming content without their volume on. You can even add watermarks to your videos as a branding strategy, in case someone wants to repurpose your content.

The software also has tons of transitions to choose from when you cut from clip to clip.

Take advantage of the ability to add music to your videos as well. It’s really easy to export your videos directly to Instagram.

Perfect Video is great for creating slideshows too.

This app is free to download. However, there are some in-app purchases for some features.

3. All Hashtag

Your Instagram posts don’t live and die by the visual content alone. You need to learn how to write Instagram captions that drive engagement.

Hashtags are part of these captions.

That’s why you need to take advantage of tools such as All Hashtag.

This resource will help you generate hashtags to complete your posts. Just type in words related to your brand, products, and campaigns.

All Hashtag will take care of the rest.

In addition to generating hashtags for your posts, you’ll also be able to discover the top hashtags being used right now.

The app displays the top trending hashtags for each day, week, month, and all time.

Analyze hashtags through this tool. Learn the probability of ranking and getting hits with the hashtags you’re planning to use.

It will save you time and money. While we’re on the subject, you can also review my favorite time-saving social media marketing tools.

4. Quik

Quik is another app available on both iOS and Android devices.

What makes this tool unique is that it was developed by GoPro.

If you’re using a GoPro to film content for your Instagram page, this is the perfect tool for you. The app makes it really easy to import videos.

You can do this from your phone gallery, Dropbox, or Google Photos. Quik also lets you import content from GoPro Plus and GoPro Quik Key.

One of the top features of Quik is the ability to analyze your video clips to make smart cuts automatically.

Further, this tool can detect faces. All images, clips, and videos will get framed perfectly. If you don’t want to take advantage of that feature, you can crop your content manually.

Quik comes with more than 100 free songs to add to your videos. If those songs aren’t what you’re looking for, you can import your own music.

This tool makes it easy for you to sync video transitions based on the beat of the music playing.

5. AutoHash

Can’t think of a hashtag? No problem.

AutoHash has a unique way of helping you generate hashtags specifically for each photo you’re planning to share on Instagram.

This tool scans the image and then, as the name implies, automatically generates a hashtag.

If you upload a picture of a dog, you’ll get hashtags related to dogs.

In addition to coming up with relevant hashtags, the app will sorted them by popularity in different niche categories. This will make sure that your post gets the widest possible exposure.

You can save your favorite hashtags to use them again in future posts.

Post your content directly on Instagram from the AutoHash platform, without wasting your time copying and pasting.

AutoHash has a feature for location-based hashtags as well. Simply enable your GPS location settings, and the software will produce hashtags relevant to your location.

6. Rookie Cam

Rookie Cam offers a more advanced version of the camera already built into your smartphone. But it’s just as easy to use.

This app also has more filters than the options available on Instagram, including a live filter function.

You can view filters and other effects in real time while you’re taking a picture or video.

This will give you a better understanding of what the image will look like for the final product.

Rookie Cam allows you to create collages. You won’t need to download another app for that specific feature alone.

These collages can have up to nine images in one frame. Select different image sizes, and create different filters and edits for each photo within the collage.

Rookie Cam has awesome design editing elements as well.

You can add text to images with tons of different fonts. Add badges, stickers, and unique frames to your content.

7. Ask Lisa

With Instagram, we all know the image that ultimately gets posted is one of potentially dozens of options.

If you can’t decide what photos are worth sharing, Ask Lisa can help you make an informed decision.

The Ask Lisa tool uses AI photo recognition software. Technology like this is one of the top ways machine learning is reshaping marketing.

You can compare between two and five photos on this platform.

In addition to helping you determine which photo will perform the best, Ask Lisa will also help you generate hashtags based on the images.

8. Hashtagify

Like some of the other tools on this list, Hashtagify helps you find the best hashtags for your posts.

But Hashtagify has some features that make this platform unique. You can explore hashtags related to current trends and specific categories.

This tool also helps you with analytics components.

Monitor how well your current hashtags are performing. Determine the best time to post, and analyze your marketing strategy based on this research and information.

Hashtagify helps you discover influencers using similar hashtags.

You can reach out to them to help you expand your reach and get more visibility. Then use the top platforms for effectively managing social influencers to your advantage as well.

Export PDF reports and download CSV files. These reports make it easy for you to share information with your entire marketing team.

9. MIKU

When it comes to editing your Instagram photos, some of you may be overwhelmed with all the options.

Some of the tools on our list give you even more filters and editing choices to choose from. But which ones are the best?

It’s hard to say for certain unless you experiment with them.

When you’re running a business, you may not have time to do this yourself. Wouldn’t it be great if someone else could do it for you?

Instead of assigning these tasks to a social media manager, try using MIKU.

All you have to do is upload your photo to the platform with a brief explanation of what you want to be edited, and a professional will take care of everything else for you.

The average response time is 30 minutes, but you’ll get your photo back within two hours.

Pricing for this service is based on volume. You can pay per photo or pay a set rate based on a monthly allowance.

For example, you can subscribe for $19.99 per month, which gives you a chance to get 20 pictures edited during that time frame. This ends up being $1 per photo instead of the standard rate of $3.99 per photo. It’s a good deal if you use this tool frequently.

10. Storeo

Storeo is a tool that helps you enhance the content of your Instagram story.

How many of you have encountered this scenario before?

You were recording something to post on your story directly from the Instagram platform, and then the time ran out. As a result, you missed what you were trying to record.

This ultimately hurts the overall quality of your video.

Even if you record content from your phone before you upload to your story, Instagram doesn’t allow you to upload story clips longer than 15 seconds. You have to manually cut longer videos and add each one individually to your story.

This is a pain and leaves much room for error.

Storeo eliminates this problem.

This tool allows you to record a long video without having to hold down the record button either. Then, it automatically exports the video to your Instagram story in 15-second intervals.

When users watch your story, it plays as one long video.

Conclusion

If you want to boost engagement on your Instagram posts and ultimately get more conversions, you need to enhance your content.

Sometimes, the editing options offered directly from the Instagram platform aren’t enough to make your post stand out.

Take advantage of the tools I’ve covered on this list. There are plenty of options for everyone, based on your needs.

Some of these tools are made for enhancing images, videos, and GIFs. While others are designed for hashtags, captions, or your Instagram story.

Use whichever ones will help you improve your Instagram marketing strategy the most.

What tools is your company using to improve conversions on your Instagram posts?

The Top 13 Tools to Use for A/B Testing

To have a successful website, you need to find ways to maximize your conversions.

Right now, you might think the layout of your site has an optimal design, but how can you know for sure?

The only way to figure this out is to test it. This isn’t something you just do once and forget about it.

You need to learn how to use continuous A/B testing to increase your conversions.

These tests are a great opportunity for you to make design choices that ultimately result in revenue.

Subtle changes, e.g., moving your CTA button or changing the color scheme on your site, can make a huge difference.

In the past, I’ve explained everything you need to know before you start A/B testing.

But now I want to take that concept one step further. I’ll show you the best tools for you to use for A/B testing.

That’s because these tests are not created equally. Depending on the size of your business, marketing goals, and technical experience, some tools will be more beneficial for you compared to others.

Regardless of your situation, I suggest you review my list of the top 13 tools for A/B testing. I’m confident you’ll find a solution in this guide that will benefit your business.

1. Google Optimize

It’s tough to put out a list of software solutions like this without starting with Google. All of its tools are great for business owners who manage websites on their own.

Google Optimize is no different.

This tool should be a top choice for you to consider because it has native integration functionality with your Google Analytics profile.

This gives you an edge because you already have information on record about how visitors behave on your website. Using this data will make it easier for you to prioritize what needs to be tested first.

Another benefit of Google Optimize is it’s free.

The visual editor is simple for anyone to figure out, regardless of their technical experience.

In addition to Google Analytics, this tool can also be integrated with Google AdWords and Firebase.

You can test mobile features and optimize your mobile website for Google searches.

2. Optimizely

Optimizely is one of the most popular options. They are definitely a market leader when it comes to A/B testing software.

The tools on this platform let you run lots of different experiments on your website.

These experiments allow you to focus on A/B testing and personalization.

One of the highlights that makes Optimizely stand out in the crowd is its ability to run A/B tests on multiple pages and platforms simultaneously.

For example, you can run tests on your homepage and contact page while also testing the shopping cart on your mobile site on Android and iOS devices.

Unlike other tools, Optimizely generates results that are easy to read and comprehend so you can make decisions based on the outcome.

With Optimizely, you can run A/B tests on a number of factors outside of obvious components, like a CTA button. You can run tests on:

  • cookies
  • geography
  • ads
  • audience segments

All of this information will give you a competitive advantage and maximize your conversion rates.

3. Apptimize

Just as the name suggests, Apptimize is made for running A/B tests on mobile apps.

This is the ultimate tool if you want to improve the profitability of your small business mobile app.

All too often I see businesses ignoring mobile users. You were one of the smart ones that catered to their needs and developed a mobile app.

But the development process isn’t over when your app launches. It’s imperative that you always strive to make improvements on your platform.

Mobile app conversions are just as important as those from your desktop and mobile sites. With Apptimize, you can run tests on all three of these.

The software also supports different code blocks:

  • Objective-C
  • Java
  • React Native
  • Swift
  • Xamarin

You can run tests on your app regardless of the code used for development.

4. AB Tasty

AB Tasty is a great option for businesses just starting to run A/B tests and focusing on conversion rate optimization (CRO).

Since it’s designed for beginners, the pricing options are really affordable.

AB Tasty offers different options for testing. You can test two or more variations of a single element on your site, such as CTA placement, images, or colors.

You can also do split testing.

This feature lets you build two separate landing pages to see which one converts more.

Its multivariate option allows users to run combinations of tests simultaneously.

You can also take advantage of the funnel testing feature. This lets you test changes of the user experience as visitors navigate through each step of the conversion funnel on your site.

5. Convert

If you have a small or medium sized business, Convert has great A/B testing solutions for you.

It’s meant for people focusing on optimizing their websites in-house.

It’s ideal for these types of business owners because it’s easy to use. Part of what makes the navigation so simple is the drag and drop features.

You can use Convert’s software for A/B tests, multivariate tests, and split tests as well.

They make it easy for you to integrate and onboard your content management system and Google analytics data.

This allows you to focus on personalization. You can build customer profiles by using this software.

Another reason why Convert is so popular is because it has an outstanding customer support team to help you answer any questions if you’re having trouble with the software. It’s easy to reach a representative through the platform’s live chat option.

6. Adobe Target

Another one of my favorite options is Adobe Target.

When you use this platform, you’ll go through a workflow process that has three steps.

First, you’ll determine the variation you want to test.

Next, you’ll decide how you’re going to segment that variation with your visitors.

The final step is to customize all your settings and set a goal for the experiment.

Automated personalization is one of the top features available on Adobe Target.

This tool has an algorithm that automatically makes changes based on visitor behavior to optimize your results. It will help you increase sales by personalizing the customer experience.

You can run tests based on how different visitors experience your site.

7. Kameleoon

Kameleoon uses artificial intelligence to power its personalization tools.

The AI makes it an advanced platform. I wouldn’t recommend it if you are just starting A/B testing on your website.

It’s better for those looking to test deeper elements of their sites.

The reports generate user insights with the navigation analysis tool.

Kameleoon lets you test multiple user segments with more than 40 different benchmarks for targeting, such as:

  • lead management
  • engagement with visitors
  • conversions
  • social proof
  • customer loyalty
  • reactivating old customers

These are all examples of experiments you can run with Kameleoon’s advanced software.

All of the data is updated in real time. There’s no need for you to wait for a report to get generated to see your results.

8. Conductrics

Conductrics is another great tool designed for business owners who want to focus on their mobile sites.

In addition to your mobile site, you can also test features on your mobile app.

Conductrics lets you focus on things, such as:

  • widgets
  • navigation
  • upgrades
  • discounts

You can use this platform in different ways. It offers Conductrics Express, designed for the everyday user, without a technology background.

No coding is required to use Conductrics Express. You can change elements of your site with a visual tool directly on your pages.

But it also offers a more advanced option made for developers. This makes it easy for developers to integrate tests with apps, websites, and processes.

The developer option uses AI machine learning to set parameters and conduct an in-depth analysis.

9. SiteSpect

SiteSpect is another tool designed for people who are more technologically advanced. If you’re a beginner, I wouldn’t start with this software.

This platform gives you the option to edit the HTML before it departs from the server.

The ability to do this makes SiteSpect a popular choice for brands that self-host their websites. It’s also great for businesses that prioritize security.

SiteSpect has a visual editing tool. This is a common option for A/B testing as you’ve seen so far.

However, the biggest difference between this tool and others is the ability for you to access your website from both the client and server sides, which ultimately gives you a better understanding of the user experience.

10. Oracle Maxymiser

Oracle Maxymiser has a visual editor—similarly to other options I’ve talked about.

Use this software to set up variations and run basic tests.

In addition to the simple functions of this software, it also has coding features for more advanced testing.

These functions are ideal for targeting and personalization tests. You can target your most profitable customer segments, and the Oracle Maxymiser tool will automatically build a customer profile.

The profiles are based on data and behavior from each unique visitor who navigates to your website.

11. SiteGainer

In addition to standard A/B testing, SiteGainer gives you other options to help you with conversion rate optimization.

Some of its other tools include:

  • personalization features
  • surveys
  • popup windows
  • heat maps

These can help you improve your website, especially when you use A/B tests to maximize its efficiency.

It’s easy for anyone to use SiteGainer, regardless of their experience level.

Another benefit of this software is that it offers a free trial, so you can try it before committing.

Instead of flat rates, it offers prices based on things such as your monthly traffic and how often you want to pay, so you’ll have options for your budget. Basically, you only pay for what you use.

12. Sentient Ascend

If you’re looking for something different, consider Sentient Ascend.

It’s different because it uses conversion optimization paired with algorithms for machine learning.

I know this sounds a bit complex, but let me explain how it works.

Basically, these algorithms are written to find the most optimal combination of design elements on your website. The tool allows you to test multiple variants at the same time to see which performs the best.

As a result, you’ll learn the best way to design your pages for conversions.

13. Monetate

Last, but certainly not least, is Monetate.

In addition to A/B testing, Monetate offers multivariate tests, segmenting tools, and personalization tools.

The software adjusts how your site traffic is allocated to maximize the return on your investment.

One of my favorite features of this tool is that it helps you determine what needs to be tested on your website based on your goals. The results help limit false positives so you can know for sure the reasoning for your changes was accurate.

Conclusion

A/B testing is a great way to maximize conversions on your website. I highly recommend every website to take advantage of this strategy.

That said, you need to make sure you find a tool that’s best for your business and your individual circumstances.

Are you looking only to run A/B tests? There are certain platforms for you.

If features like split tests, multivariate tests, funnel tests, and simultaneous testing are important to you, you must find software that has these options.

If you want to test your mobile site and mobile app as well, look for those specific tools I highlighted above.

Certain tools are for beginners, while others are designed for developers and users with a technical background and coding experience.

No matter what your circumstances are, if you use this guide as a reference, I’m sure you’ll be able to find a tool for A/B testing that works for you.

What types of A/B tests are you running on your website to increase conversions?