Author Archives | Caitlynn Cush

What Can Marketers Take Away from the United Fiasco

It was all the buzz heard around the world: A 69-year old doctor that was literally dragged out of his seat on an overbooked United flight. And of course as is now the norm, passengers were quick to record the whole debacle on their cell phones, just like any good citizen reporter would do.

Within mere hours, United was slammed head first into a public relations nightmare. The images being shared around almost every social media outlet known to man, was only fuel for the negative backlash the company would endure.

This begs the question, what can you as a marketer learn from United’s crisis?  Especially if you are marketing your own products / services.

Forecast risk – think ahead of all the possible pit falls that you and your brand might need to overcome before they even happen.  I’m not suggesting a dooms day scenario, but it wouldn’t hurt to at least have a plan in place for such off the wall instances.

Designate a team or go-to person – This should be someone (or a team) that is an expert in communication.  Someone that is up for the task of being the face and voice of your brand should things go off kilter.

Train your team – Make sure everyone that has anything to do with your brand knows that even though customers might not always be right, that they should still be treated with the utmost respect.

Be prepared – Just like forecasting risk and making a plan, your brand should be prepared for the backlash from both the highs and lows.

 

Posted in Affiliate Marketing, CPA Marketing, Home Business, Social Media Marketing0 Comments

The Ultimate Digital Marketing Roadmap [Infographic]

You have an idea, a concept, maybe even a somewhat clear plan.

First step (well one of the first), mobile optimized website. Next – advertising, SEO, Social Media, and so on.

There is arguably so much to accomplish before you can flip that entrepreneur switch.  Wouldn’t it be nice if there was something like a checklist or even a map to help you navigate all the bits and pieces?

Lucky for you, TwoLegit has put together this handy dandy roadmap to your digital marketing success.

 

Posted in Affiliate Marketing, Blogging, ecommerce, Home Business, Media Buying, Mobile Marketing, Productivity, Search Engine Optimization-SEO, Social Media Marketing0 Comments

A Novice’s Path to Landing Page Optimization

I’m positive you have heard the following before, if not a gazillion times:

Optimize your landing pages.

Write killer headlines.

Test everything.

Even though these mantras have been shoved down every internet marketers throat from Florida to Tim-Buk-Too, I’d wager to say that the majority of those reading this very post haven’t a clue where to even begin with item one.

Chances are that is there an under-optimized page on your site, it’s your landing page.

Why is that?

The landing page is your first impression as well as the first opportunity to convert the coveted visitor into either a lead or customer.

Let’s face it, this isn’t the first article you or anyone else might have read on the art of Landing Page Optimization. In fact, when you query “Landing Page Optimization” in Google search you will be faced with over a million results. A million. I’d say that qualifies for an overload of information right at your fingertips.

This article is being crafted in a way that might help you to sort through all the B.S. and get right down to the nitty gritty of optimizing your landing page.

Start at the beginning

Why have a landing page? Good Great question.   

In marketing terms, a landing page is a distinct page on your website that’s built for one single conversion objective. A landing page should be designed, written and developed with one business goal in mind.

Therefore, a blog article or post is NOT a landing page. It is meant to be a standalone page with a single purpose.  This purpose might be to collect data from the visitor for the purpose of generating a lead, either for yourself or as an affiliate, direct sales or to build a relationship with the visitor.

Bits and Pieces

If  you look at a handful of landing pages side by side, you will probably be able to easily pick out the key elements that they each have in common with the other. These elements are critical to successful communication with the visitor.

Using KISSMetrics “Blueprint for a perfectly testable landing page,” as a starting off point for constructing your own highly optimized landing page.

 

In addition to the above mnemonic, your landing page should also include:

  • Killer headline –  Like the almost extinct newspaper, the goal of a headline is to get the visitor on to the next line, then the next, and so on. A great headline is like a fishing lure that is meant to grab the reader’s attention.  Using Upworthy.com as go-to source for learning the important task of crafting a killer headline.  In their slide deck The Sweet Science Of Virality, they stress the importance of the headline over and over. For each post, Upworthy crafts a minimum of 25 different headlines. They then pick two and run a simple A/B split test.
  • Hero Image – Primary image or creative. It should work hand in hand with the headline to grab the reader’s attention and reinforce your proposition.
  • Proof points – Benefits (copy) that reiterates the promise you are making with your headline.
  • CTA (Call To Action) – Depending on the type of landing page you are creating this will either be a form button, a simple download button, or both. All three should be clear and concise.

Extras (valuable items that aren’t necessarily mandatory for a healthy optimized landing page):

  • Social proof – Testimonials or other elements that validate your brand
  • Endorsements – Such as featured articles or prominent clients.

Nitty Gritty

You had to know there was more. With over a million results in search for this subject alone, there had to be more.

One of my good friends, who just happens to be a landing page expert, asked me to throw together a simple graphic for his Facebook page. The subject of said graphic: 10 Landing Page Commandments.  

 

He basically lined out a simple blueprint of sorts to get you to the head of the line when it comes to optimizing your landing pages.

  1. Keep it short, under 400 words or less (this doesn’t include your video script if using one)
  2. Videos should be right around 6 minutes or less – people are busy
  3. CTA should be above the “fold” – the portions of a webpage that are visible without further scrolling or clicking.
  4. Headlines aplenty.  Craft no less than 10 headlines and 3 sub-heads for each landing page.
  5. Copy should have 3-5 bullets outlining the positives of your brand.
  6. Set up affiliate commissions on all your rejects.
  7. Know your numbers – cost to acquire is something you should know at any moment’s notice.
  8. Ask the relevant questions to get you further down the line.
  9. Split test new approaches.
  10. Split test EVERYTHING.

Bottom line

There are certainly a lot of rules or tips out there for you to follow when creating a landing page, however if you follow the basics alone you will be well ahead of the game in the long run.

  • Hook of a Headline
  • Simple clear concise copy – keep it short
  • Hero image
  • Proof points to back up your claim
  • Clear CTA (above the “fold”)

How are you optimizing your landing pages? We would love to hear all about it in the comments below. Any pitfalls, hurdles or successes. 

 

Posted in Affiliate Marketing, Conversion Optimization1 Comment

Facebook Goes Head to Head With GoFundMe and Other Crowdfunding Sites

Facebook recently announced their newest addition to their already massive array of services already offered via their social media platform.  Anyone ages 18 or up will soon be able to create a “personal fundraiser” to help with significant life events, such as medical bills, tuition, weddings, etc.

The feature will roll out over the next few weeks to users in the US. Users will be able to set up a dedicated Facebook page with information about their fundraiser, where they can pick a donation goal and receive money via the site.

Sound familiar?

Probably because it is.  The feature is pretty much a clone copy of GoFundMe, which has become the go-to funding site for raising money for personal causes. Facebook’s twist on the carbon copy is that users will have their Facebook profiles attached, which will (in theory) let people know who they are donating to.

Source: Facebook

At first Facebook is only allowing fundraisers in six categories:

  1. Education expenses
  2. Medical bills
  3. Pets’ medical bills
  4. Crisis and disaster relief
  5. Personal emergencies
  6. Assistance for families following a death

There might be more categories added in the future, however for now they are limiting them to these six so that they can be reviewed and monitored via moderators.

Just like GoFundMe, the fundraiser’s creator doesn’t get to keep the entire haul that was raised.  They will lose 6.9 percent of the total, plus $0.30 per donation to “payment processing Fees, fundraiser vetting, and security and fraud protection.” GoFundMe takes 7.9 percent plus the $0.30 per donation in the US.

For existing nonprofit pages, Facebook is also adding donation buttons that go up alongside Facebook Live broadcasts — perfect for chipping in a little without interrupting your digital-era telethon or charity livestream.

 

Posted in Industry News, Social Media Marketing1 Comment

Growth Hack Your Content To a New Level

 

Growth Hacking is a not so new term that is being thrown around the marketing realm, specifically in conjunction with startups. Forget “pivoting” and “iterating.” This newish term is all about, you guessed it, growth and just how fast one can hack their way towards a huge dollar payout.

What does growth hacking mean though?

According to Wikipedia Growth Hacking is:

Growth hacking is a process of rapid experimentation across marketing channels and product development to identify the most effective, efficient ways to grow a business. Growth hacking refers to a set of both conventional and unconventional marketing experiments that lead to growth of a business.

Growth hackers are marketers, engineers and product managers that specifically focus on building and engaging the user base of a business.

Growth hackers often focus on low-cost alternatives to traditional marketing, e.g. using social media, viral marketing or targeted advertising instead of buying advertising through more traditional media such as radio, newspaper, and television.

In layman’s terms, growth hacking is exactly what it sounds like. It is a marketing strategy that focuses specifically on growth, whereas traditional marketing focuses on various forms of growth via attention grabbing and brand building. Growth hacking revolves solely around the numbers and growing your business towards a huge bottom line.

The term was coined by Sean Ellis, who said “a growth hacker is a person whose true north is growth.”  

Basically a growth hackers primary focus is to make their primary metrics go up and in a big way. What makes this type of growth different, (from it’s more corporate counterpart) is the scale in which it must occur. For a startup to be deemed successful it must grow from zero to millions (or more) of users / buyers in just a few years. 

One of the earliest examples of growth hacking can be seen all the way back in 1996. When Hotmail launched, they added a small sentence to every outgoing email with a link back to their homepage.

PS: I love you. Get your free email at Hotmail.

Hotmail.com circa 1998 – One of the first Growth Hack examples.

This came at a time when most people had just the one personal email that was connected to their internet provider and was only accessible from their home computer. Hotmail made it possible for anyone and everyone to gain access to a personal email that could be brought up in any web browser from any computer.  

The tagline rocketed their user database from next to nothing to an additional 3,000 users each day. Within six months they had their first million users. By the time they sold to Microsoft, just a year and a half after their initial launch, Hotmail had 12 million users.

How can growth hacking help your content marketing game?

Content marketing is all about using content that is relative to both your audience and your product to drive significant traffic that converts, brings sales, and strengthens your relationships with your customers.

Since both growth hacking and content marketing both have the same end goal – growth – consider using a few of the the same growth hacking methods below to increase your content marketing initiatives.

# Let the data dictate your actions

If you are an avid follower of this blog, or any other digital marketing forum, you have probably had the three T’s pounded in your head more than once. Test, test, test!  You can’t improve what you don’t measure.

In order to hack your content to the next level, you want to use the data and analytics on every single test that you run to make a data-based decision.

Using such tools as:

  • Google Analytics
  • Facebook, Twitter and other Social Media platforms
  • Email statistics

It’s best to gather and use the numbers from every test performed to dictate your future steps towards growth. Let the data decide for you.

#2 Speak to the heart .. and gut of your audience

Appeal to your readers emotions.

Emotional engagement can make a huge difference in the overall success of your content marketing efforts. It’s simple really, by triggering an emotional connection or response in your audience, you can compel them to want to share your content.

According to Cox Blue:

Eliciting an emotional response is an essential element of all successful viral content marketing campaigns. It’s human nature that people want to share the experiences that stir their emotions by communicating them to others. When people develop strong, deep feelings like surprise, anger, fear, disgust, sadness and joy around an experience or message, social sharing becomes impulsive.”

Try these simple tools:

  • Visual content – both static and in motion.
  • Create a mixture of both words and images.
  • Use visual social media platforms to distribute your content – Pinterest & Instagram

#3 Write killer headlines

Yeah, I know this sounds like old news, but there is value in it. It’s crazy how much is riding on your headline, that’s it’s worth reiterating here.

If you screw up, and flub on that one bit of text, you might very well have lost your chance at ever achieving a real content hack.

Take Hotmail’s “PS: I love you,” footer for example, granted it wasn’t a headline but it had the same power as one.  With the addition of just six words at the bottom of every Hotmail email sent, the product itself became Hotmail’s promotion and distribution channel.  

Upworthy.com: The Sweet Science Of Virality

Upwothy.com is also a great go-to source for learning the important task of crafting a killer headline.  In their slide deck The Sweet Science Of Virality, they stress the importance of the headline over and over. For each post, Upworthy crafts a minimum of 25 different headlines. They then pick two and run a simple A/B split test.

The full Upworthy presentation is an excellent source of knowledge and worth the read.

 

Conclusion

Content marketing has changed and molded the way businesses today operate online. And while it’s possibilities can be somewhat amazing, it’s also not a cake walk.  It takes hard work, dedication, and an open-minded approach to earn results.

By using the best tools, ingredients, and effort, one can create a better path to successful content. The growth hacks above will ease your journey to that success, which means more subscribers, traffic and of course growth.

What are you doing to hack your content marketing growth? We would love to hear about it in the contents below. And of course don’t’ forget to share this article with all your fellow content marketing friends.

 

Posted in Affiliate Marketing, Blogging, Content Creation1 Comment

Twitter Suspended Over A Half Million Accounts

According to Reuters, Twitter Inc has suspended more than 636,000 accounts since 2015 in an effort to tackle “violent extremism” on it’s social media platform.

In the company’s latest report, it shows that a total of 376,890 accounts have been shut down just inside of the last six months of 2016.

Twitter has also stated that it had begun taking legal requests to remove posts by verified journalists and media outlets.

Is this censor or a positive action towards bullies and “fake news?”

One would also have to ask are these the actions of a sinking company? Wired, earlier this year, did a expose on if 2017 was the year that Twitter either died or thrived.  The company seems to be plagued with either bad luck or just plain old bad business decisions (the end of Vine).

Sure, it’s not easy to turn around a failing company.  But at some point, you have to ask: Are we going to make it?

TWTR – Twitter Stock as of March 21, 2017 – Source Google Finance

 

Twitter’s value, unlike other networks, lies in its power users, the ones use use it to give voice to both people and movements who otherwise might not have had a chance to be heard.

Take the 2016 elections for an example, or even how many use it to share their experiences surrounding a crises.

All in all, Twitter has the numbers and the tools to turn itself upright. The challenge is getting the company itself to be more decisive and to fix the items that according to many users are simply broken.

What are your thoughts? Is Twitter still a reliable source of marketing for your company / brand? We would love to hear from you in the comments below.

 

Posted in Industry News, Social Media Marketing0 Comments

Hottest Social Media Trends of 2017

It would be an understatement to say that social media platforms have had an impact on today’s digital marketing efforts. A huge understatement. In 2016, the social media craze has continued to rise with more than 2.3 billion active users and more of which 1.9 billion are mobile users.

The numbers simply don’t lie.  In fact, they tell a very clear story of why 83% of all marketers have begun to take advantage of social media marketing in order to increase their efforts in both presence and sales conversions.

As we dig deep into 2017, it’s time to ramp up your social media marketing efforts or risk being left behind in the pixel dust of Likes and Shares.

You are in luck though, CJG Digital has put together this handy guide of trends that all savvy digital marketers should be keeping a close eye on.

The Top 8 Hottest Social Media Marketing Trends in 2017 (Infographic) - An Infographic from CJG Digital Marketing

Embedded from CJG Digital Marketing

Posted in Social Media Marketing0 Comments

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