Series Posts: Beyond

Copywriting Your Email Marketing Pop-ups

Copywriting Your Email Marketing Pop-ups

Beyond • June 25, 2015

Having sat with my developer a week ago, trying to drum up ideas for copywriting our email marketing pop-ups for my personal blog, I discovered one small crippling fact. Even though I’m a professional writer, email marketing and marketing manager, I was at a bit of a loss on how to best copy write our email subscription pop-up. And then I thought, if this is what I’m experiencing, then how many of you out there are facing the same problem? As a marketing manager, I know that email subscription pop-ups are a rare beast to write for, namely due to three reasons: You’re writing a very punctuated set of value-based copy that is purely conversion driven. You’re writing it like it’s a headline, but it’s not a headline. Copywriting your email marketing pop-up means you need to be able to pin down the number one call to action and reason for conversion in about 1 line. The other lines might be action oriented or identifying value, but verbiage encouraging others to join comes down to one line. Undoubtedly, this is hard. Very hard. It’s also a great exercise that helped me further developed laser like focus on why a website exists – and it’ll do the same for you. Yet, you’re probably not a professional writer and it might help you to see what other email marketing pop-up subscriptions look like. Some websites take an introductory approach since their content is so unique. Take this template for an example which offers a value sign-up options that offers a free webinar: New to (state your service industry)? Join our 30-minute webinar to learn how to (state service) on (state date and time) If you’re website is offering valuable information, you can also trigger an email-pop up that might be slightly unscrupulous to some, but it requests a sign up in order to continue browsing through the site. Of course, a user could just exit the opt-in button, but most won’t. That copy would read like this: Please Register or Sign-in to Continue. Enter your email address to gain unlimited access to our website. You’ll also receive other exclusive benefits by joining (state your name here) Enter your email address to create a FREE ACCOUNT Another option is to get straight to the value and offer a direct download via an email subscription pop-up. Rather than baiting users with a free download once they sign up and confirm their email (two steps to take for a future reward), you can offer an immediate down load (and immediate gratification). Here’s what that might look like: Download Your Free (Item) Resource: Get (state what it is they’re receiving in one brief line) Bullet point 1, identifying value received from free downloadable item Bullet point 2, also no more than 3-5 words Bullet point 3, no more than 3-5 words Where should we send your (item) [Create fields for name and email address] [include colored call-to-action button for “enter,” creatively labelled “download (item)”] Once you’ve mastered the copy for your email marketing pop-up, switch over the analytics to see which versions prove to be the most successful. You should have multiple versions of email pop ups throughout your site, timed with intelligence to capture the highest rate of subscribers.


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The Top 12 Tips To Master Your Video Marketing

The Top 12 Tips To Master Your Video Marketing

Beyond • June 24, 2015

At a time when just about every brand is engaged in a video marketing strategy, it is imperative for you to stand head and shoulders above the rest in order to get noticed by an increasingly video-barraged consumer base. Apply these top tips to your video marketing and earn the right to be called a Video Master Marketer! Adapt for mobiles – Not everyone watches your video on a 55 inch LED TV. You have to be sure that the video still transmits your message and has all branding elements completely visible on tablets as well as the smaller mobile phones. Call to action – What should you viewers do after watching the video? If they just leave, you end up with a lot of wasted potential. Inspire them to visit your site, come to your event, watch other videos or subscribe. Give them an easy way to do that. Generate a lot of content – Once you get people to come, give them a reason to come back again. Having a lot of subscribers doesn’t mean anything if you don’t use them. Entertain them with an ongoing regular posting schedule of new videos. A research shows that more successful brands have up to 50% more content than the less successful ones. Have value – Your goal is to create a commercial that doesn’t look like a commercial. The viewer comes to watch your video because he wants to, not because he’s forced to. Make sure he finds the time spent watching your video valuable. Post HD videos – Even though it takes more space and wastes more bandwidth, nobody wants looking at low quality footage. That is the main reason why you should record and upload all your videos in HD. Everyone can then reduce the quality through various display options available to them if needed. Interact – The journey isn’t over once you get a big number of views. Don’t leave questions unanswered and interact with your viewers. The comment section is an excellent place for this. Keywords – If your marketing campaign doesn’t have a keyword, think of one now. Use that keyword in order to pull in additional viewers. Place them in the title as well as the description. Optimize for search engines – Websites aren’t the only thing that require SEO. Your videos also need to appear high on search results in order for people to watch them. Use your keywords in the description, title and tags to help your prospective audience locate your videos. The top 25% global brands focus strongly on video SEO and apply a lot of tags. Use playlists – With playlists, you can easily make compilations of videos of your as well as partner companies. It offers people more stuff to watch and can keep them interested in their brand. You surely don’t want people to have watched everything you have to offer and sit there doing nothing. Create multiple videos – One video cannot cater to everyone. Some customers will be interested in getting the basic and most important information in a short span, while others would want to get informed about the details and wouldn’t mind spending some more time. Create multiple videos in order to satisfy everyone. Find aneditor –  The times of searching for a professional videographer are way behind us. Even smartphones are capable of recording a video in high definition now, and all you need is someone who has basic video shooting and editing skills. Additionally, you can buy a semi-professional DSLR camera such as the Canon SL1 that is available from some etailers for just under $500. Find the balance between long & short videos – If your audience is already familiar with your product and/or content, feel free to provide them with longer content. But make sure there is something interesting for them to keep on watching. People rarely watch videos for more than about three minutes unless it has something thoroughly intriguing going on.


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3 Steps to Reel Success

3 Steps to Reel Success

Beyond • June 24, 2015

We’re saturated in a culture that obsessively photographs the daily minutia of life and instantly publically shares it on social channels. As such, it’s become relatively easy for brands to quickly click, edit, and share snapshots of their day, their brand, and their products, and culture. Video sharing is another beast entirely. Unlike photography, you cannot simply create a video on the spot. Your video requires precision planning and a battle-like tactical approach. Anything short of calculated strategy will result in reel failure. On the other hand, reel success requires getting creative about content, understanding timing, and knowing how to market videos. Why Video Aside from video increasing conversion rates for online retail destinations and increasing brand authority, having a video also makes your site/web page 53% more likely to pop up on page 1 of a Google search result. Video also attracts two to three times as man monthly visitors, with a total of 157% increase in organic traffic through coveted search result findings granted to sites with video. Getting people to read traditional content is also a growing challenge, where even the most loyal well-read viewers are finding it difficult to carve free time to read content. Video solves that problem with an average of 88% spending more time on a site when there’s video. (Source: Mist Media and MarketingSherpa) According to Brainshark, video also equals higher viewer retention: the information retained in one minute of online video is equal to an estimated 1.8 million written words. Get Creative About Content Video content isn’t just about direct talk on your product or service. According to Hayzlett.com, in a post titled “Why Video Marketing is Key in 2014,” you can also: 1. Share big announcements with your customers through video. 2. Add customer reviews and testimonials via video to your website. 3. Use video to create content through webinars and video blogs, which are also easy to social share. 4. Use demos, training, interviews, and live event coverage as an opportunity to create more video content. If you’re really stuck on content, consider the type of content you already have in other forms, including text and images. For every piece of content, there’s no reason you can’t create a short video equivalent. For starters, you should have a video that introduces the brand, another that acts as a candid conversation, a third for visually sharing your product/service/or tips, and a fourth that answers a sort of Q and A. Timing is Everything According to Digital Sherpa, 45% Of Viewers Will Stop Watching A Video After 1 Minute & 60% By 2 Minutes. Video Brewery, on the other hand, says you have about 10 seconds to rope in your viewer – which according to my calculation, is about 3 seconds more than you have with an online text-heavy site. Keep in mind that desktop viewers tend to stay engaged longer than mobile users, but that most videos are accessed on mobile technology. Video Brewery reports that “iPhone users tend to watch for about 2.4 minutes. Android users give a video three minutes to engage them and Symbian users stick around for just over 4 minutes. iPad users have the longest attention spans of all, sticking with a web video for an average of 5 minutes.” Marketing and Analytics When considering marketing, most people forget about analytics. According to Video Brewery, “detailed video analytics will tell you who’s watching your video, how long they stay engaged and exactly where they click away. Armed with that information, you can sharpen your message and target it more precisely.” The last takeaway is to make sure to embed or link your video in your email marketing campaign. Email campaigns that included videos (particularly where the word “video” was also included in the subject line), saw a 96% click-through rate as opposed to traditional text campaigns.


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The #1 Growth Hack to Build Your Email Marketing Pop-Ups

The #1 Growth Hack to Build Your Email Marketing Pop-Ups

Beyond • June 24, 2015

Email marketing pop-ups are for emails what mobile design was for websites. In a nutshell, it’s optional but it’s also smart business that drives performance and engagement. We’ve all come across the pop up we receive when we visit a site, but unlike mobile for web, there’s more than just one way design your email subscription pop-ups. Before you start designing your email marketing pop-ups, remember that pop-ups have a purpose: they’re designed to help you capture as many email subscriptions as possible. Keeping this in mind will help you determine how to write and package your pop-up, along with where to place it to gather the most number of users. Yet, in addition to copy and packaging, the number one growth hack to build your email marketing pop up is to consider its timing. Think of your email marketing pop-up as a salesman. The first time you meet a salesman, you’re bound to have some kind of conversation with him in which he pitches his product. You might buy in or you might hold out. If you’re holding out, that salesman’s job is to initiate repeat opportunities for engagement and try to you go buy his product. However, it’s a subtle art and timing is everything in order to close the deal. In the same thread, your email marketing pop-up is the digital salesman for your email marketing. It’s the pop-ups job to reintroduce the product and the value at opportune times. It’s your job as a marketing manager to figure out when those times are. Of course, once is when someone visits the site. In fact, you may even want to wait 30 seconds or a couple of minutes into a user’s visit on a site before springing your pop-up. This way, there’s time for them to saturate in your content, and you’re being less intrusive by not springing the pop-up right as they enter in. There are other times that you can consider as well. You can segment the email marketing pop-up based on the page they’re at, and ask them to opt-in for emails just on that one topic – even offering discounts on all or select purchases. If you’re offering a digital product like a download, you can trigger a pop up right after someone has initiated the download. Of course, you should always suggest an email marketing pop-up as they try to leave the site. In addition to the multiple opportunities for engagement, try also changing up the design and copy of your pop-up language. If version one didn’t capture them at the door, then you need to face, verbiage and may even the tone of the email marketing pop-up through subsequent encounters. If you’re finding that most of those who sign up do so during one engagement opportunity, then you also know that that type of copy was the best version. Continue on to read “Copywriting Your Email Marketing Pop-ups.”


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Harnessing The Power Of YouTube

Harnessing The Power Of YouTube

Beyond • June 23, 2015

Thanks to its enormous user base, YouTube has become one of the world’s most frequented website and the second largest search engine, only trailing behind Google. And with both being owned from the same company, the YouTube videos get even more exposure from Google’s search results, which provides the videos with even more exposure to searchers. These facts make YouTube one of the most attractive marketing choices available to any online marketer. 6 billion hours of video views per month More than one billion unique users visit YouTube each month and they watch 6 billion hours of videos monthly. The crowd comes from all over the world, with 80% of the traffic coming outside of the US. But even domestically, YouTube reaches more adults aged 18-34 than any cable network, according to Nielsen. This makes it very easy for a nicely done marketing message to go viral over the globe in almost no time. And it’s already being done. Some of the biggest brand average tens or hundreds of thousands subscribers and views going over 50 million. You have to fully engage your viewer in seconds Why videos though? There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words, so if you multiply that by the number of frames in your video, you get the idea of how much you can express through it. A good video builds your brand’s awareness and disseminates links, creates conversations, boosts your SEO and most importantly, it engages the viewer. This only happens with good videos though, which means that you have to fully engage your viewer in the first bare few seconds of the video or lose it. A successful YouTube video: Creates conversations Encourages sharing Engages the viewer Gains trust Provokes interest Videos are shared 30% more than other types of content Sharing makes your effort worth it even more. Since videos naturally increase engagement and interest, it only makes sense that they get shared more. Videos are shared at least 30% more than any other type of content across all social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Websites that include videos in the mix alongside images and plain text will create more inbound links. They also cause the visitor to stay on your website longer, extending the visit time by an average of nearly a full minute. Successful videos answer the viewer’s questions The key to crafting successful videos on YouTube is to ensure that the content is entertaining and educational at the same time, answering the questions that the user has and would search Google for otherwise. Videos should be targeted according to your marketing strategy, but incorporate both: Localization - This is very important for companies that want to increase their brand awareness and get loyalty from their viewers. Globalization - It should be available everywhere, regardless of location or device used. It is very important that the video is watchable on any mobile device. The keys to proper YouTube marketing When engaging the power of online marketing through YouTube, your strategies shouldn’t solely focus on the video. A strong title, description and tags optimized with your campaign’s keywords are what help a video go viral. You can then bring additional exposure to the video through your email lists, company network and social media accounts. If that doesn’t do the cut, then you can advertise on YouTube as well. Yet another advantage of YouTube as a marketing choice is all the statistics and data you get. Marketers can easily analyze how effective are their campaigns, tracking metrics like views, likes, dislikes, favorites and channel subscribes. Good YouTube marketing: Embeds the video across other places, including but not limited to blogs, social pages and websites. Places the video in newsletters, press releases and other marketing types. Links to the brand’s YouTube channel in other places like print or PR materials. Tags the videos in order to have them visible on YouTube searches as well as other search engines. Uses text for content, surrounding the video with your relevant keyword YouTube is a remarkably powerful online marketing medium which major brands have successfully implemented to boost their engagement. Has yours?


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Nick Uhas: Beginnings, Big Brother and Beyond

Nick Uhas: Beginnings, Big Brother and Beyond

Beyond • June 23, 2015

You ask Nick Uhas how he wound up on Big Brother and you first hear about how he started wrestling in Junior High, competitive roller blading and how he crashed a fraternity leadership summit in Mexico. Somehow, it turns into a story of following the path presented to you and gaining confidence in your strengths. This is without a doubt our longest episode to date, but also one of the best ones to listen to for anyone looking to take the leap and pursue your passions. Nick took his turn on Big Brother and turned that opportunity and experience into a career. He now hosts Brain Storm for the Weather Channel as well as his own web series, Nickipedia. This is a great episode for anyone that isn\'t sure what they want to do yet in life or for those hoping to make a change. Listen and enjoy!


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Reel Marketing II: Introduction & GoPro Giveaway

Reel Marketing II: Introduction & GoPro Giveaway

Beyond • June 23, 2015

Great content cannot be faked. Anyone who tells you otherwise is false. It’s also dynamic, engaging and has enough variety to keep things interesting. Blog post after blog post may get stale after a while. One way to spruce things up is with a multimedia approach. You should get real. Reel, actually. That’s right! Our video marketing series, “Reel Marketing” has returned for the sequel. We’ve invited a few more guest video bloggers and have a slew of posts to help you in your video making efforts. Channel your inner Spielberg and enjoy Reel Marketing II. There’s also a giveaway to go along with our series. You can start your own reel marketing on your brand new GoPro HERO3 White Edition video camera. Simply subscribe to our YouTube channel to be entered to win. Good luck!


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Integrate Google Docs Into Your Business & Benchmark Account

Integrate Google Docs Into Your Business & Benchmark Account

Beyond • June 22, 2015

Google Docs can’t save your life … but it can sure save your business! Not only is it a handy tool for work, school, and personal work, but it is the perfect tool to use in this era where everything moves lightening fast. Several businesses have greatly improved thanks to Google Docs. As digital media is now the number one source to receive the latest breaking news, this spelled trouble for traditional print newspapers and magazines. That’s why several publications had to make the move from paper to web in order to survive in the industry, but it was a lot more difficult that it sounded. Journalists who were used to their own method of reporting and writing had to completely revamp the system to keep with the time-sensitive and fast-paced nature of digital media. Bangor Daily News, a Maine-based news site, had to quickly incorporate a new tool in the workplace that allows reporters and writers to work with ease. Online editor, William Davis, shared: “We picked Google Docs purely for its ease of use and its collaboration tools. We wanted a place where reporters could work on their articles easily from wherever they are — we have quite a few bureaus, and our reporters often file from events. The collaboration tools are terrific and have really proved useful, for example, when we’re editing articles on tight deadlines or when reporters are working on stories together. On Election Day we had three reporters at different campaign headquarters all working in one doc, and it went very smoothly.” As for the process going from story idea to web article, reporters begin their stories into Google docs and then drop them into the appropriate folder according to its category. Then the editors would read it and then move it to a copy-editing queue. Then finally, a digital desk editor reviews it before sending it off to Wordpress. With this system, Google Docs work as an assembly line factory, where all team members of different positions can come to work, find what they need, and pass along when finish. Not only is this more time-efficient, but also much tidier and less chance of losing documents. Just one of the many examples of how Google docs is a basic necessity to run your company. Equally important is how you can take advantage of Google docs to increase your brand awareness and strengthen relationships with your audience. With the Benchmark Email Google Docs Integration, you can transfer all information (spreadsheets, documents, data) collected from Google surveys, straight into your email list! The speediness of Google docs and marketing power of email…what is better than that?


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The Top 7 Tips For A Flawless Online Event

The Top 7 Tips For A Flawless Online Event

Beyond • June 20, 2015

Your online event should adhere to the same standards as network news broadcasts. Every aspect of the image and audio is carefully manipulated to ensure that the viewer receives an optimal and consistent experience right through the entire broadcast. Similarly, your online event should aspire to the same levels of excellence as your attendees will judge you in an effectively identical manner. You want to ensure that your audience is focused on the event presenters and the content being displayed. Some of the primary ways to ensure that you are successful in this task include: Set up a stationary background – Nothing is more distracting than placing your presenters with busy goings on in the background, or in front of a window where passersby can distract your attendees. You’re going to be far better off crafting your entire event in front of an interesting but static background to keep your audience’s attention focused on the delivery of the content, not the activities behind which are irrelevant to the event. Use headset mikes – True, many people wearing headsets look a bit goofy in online events, but it is a small price to pay for the considerably heightened audio quality you’re going to receive. If you are absolutely dead set against placing your mikes half an inch from the speakers’ lips, then invest in renting or buying a state of the art cardioid microphone which will help minimize the distracting background noise. Review all visible clothing – The patterns and accessories in the clothing that is worn by the presenters and is visible to the online audience can severely affect the success of your entire event. Tight patterns can create extremely distracting swirling moire effects, and sparkly jewelry can catch the light and make your entire online event look like you’re emulating the annoying constant lens flares in the recent Star Trek movies. Stick to solids in darker, neutral colors with a minimum of bling and your audience will thank you. Rehearse the technology – How many online events have been marred by the presenter not knowing where to click on their laptop to provide the next slide, how to plug in their microphone, or even which way the camera is facing? Take a page from the Broadway theatrical playbook and make sure that you have a full dress rehearsal run through to make sure that technical ignorance is not going to dynamite your online event. Obtain professional lighting help – Lighting a scene properly is both an art and a science which is not easy to master and your online event has an inherent indisputable obligation to correctly light its presenters or the entire event will suffer. Ensure that your lighting does not create any unusual contrasts such as dark shadows under the eyes, nose, and chin, or washouts where lighting sources such as windows overpower the controlled lighting and make one side of the presenter’s face look like half of a vanilla ice cream cone. Back off from the camera – Far too many online events are conducted by presenters who believe that unless the camera lens is more than three inches from their nose then they are too far away. This excessive proximity provides a comical fish eye lens effect and exaggerates your visual expressions. This is all fine and good if you’re doing a comedy routine, but extremely counterproductive if you’re trying to portray authoritative and sober knowledge and information… however, the most important and critical factor is… Look at the camera naturally – It seems the majority of online event presenters have a deeply-rooted psychological problem which prevents them from making eye contact with the camera. When a presenter avoids eye contact it makes them look shifty and insincere and therefore immediately loses the opportunities to build trust with the viewer. Staring like a hypnotizing Svengali into the lens is just as off-putting, so your presenters should be comfortable engaging the camera with the same level of eye contact as they would at a business lunch. If you apply all these top techniques your online event will be a boon, not a bust!


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Resistance To Video Conferencing Can Affect Your Online Event

Resistance To Video Conferencing Can Affect Your Online Event

Beyond • June 19, 2015

Way back before internet video conferencing I engaged a colleague in Europe to get involved in a joint project. All of the details were meticulously discussed for months over email and in countless long distance telephone calls. When every imaginable trans-Atlantic duck was in a perfectly straight row, I emailed him the contract which reflected the agreement and he replied that he will be happy to sign it… in person. So could I just jump on a plane for a mere 25 hours each way (including layover) and fly a 12,200 mile round-trip, just so we could shake hands and sign? Although videoconferencing is much more integrated into today’s business world and can help allay these “impersonal” fears, many individuals still don’t consider the 2D version of a meeting to be real enough, and this factor can seriously affect your online event! Considerable challenges faced by online event producers A white paper prepared for server, application, and desktop virtualization corporation Citrix entitled Boost Your Image: Master The Three Stages of Video Conferencing Success included significant findings in the field of people-based challenges faced by proponents of online events. The top two statements by a wide margin which were used to resist engaging in a video conferencing event were “inability or unwillingness to use new technology” and “entrenchment of the current way to do things.” This resistance is especially worrisome when viewed in conjunction with the statistic that online event marketers and producers expect to grow their own video conferencing frequency to 6.3 times per month, an increase of 211% from just a couple of years ago. So it seems that the more event producers want to set up video conferences, the stronger the objections from the entrenched detractors. Europeans are more accepting of video conferencing than North Americans Geography plays a major role in the adoption of video conferencing as a valid online event medium. While only 15% of all Europeans and North Americans have never used video conferencing, that percentage increases by 50% in the Asia Pacific region. There are many other variances based on continental preferences in dealing with video conferencing events and it seems that Europeans are considerably more accepting of video conferencing based online events than their North American counterparts: Europeans are 35% more likely than North Americans to state that video conferencing helps them communicate more frequently. Europeans also are 24% more likely to conclude that video conferencing can save time than North Americans. Saving the inconvenience of travel is claimed by 19% more Europeans than their counterparts on the other side of the Pond. Europeans’ greater acceptance of video conferencing events is counterintuitive If by now you have concluded that you might want to shift your focus on marketing your next online video conferencing based event to the other side of the Atlantic, you might find that you’re going to be welcomed a bit more than in North America. It seems almost counterintuitive. Europe has a much greater population than North America, and the distances between major centers are far shorter. On a continent where travel is much more convenient you might think that video conferencing events would be shunned more than in the North American “thousands of miles between primary cities” geographical situation, but that would not be the correct conclusion. The leader’s behavior is the primary factor in video conferencing event acceptance Some of the factors claimed by video conferencing event attendees regardless of geographical location to make them less likely to be involved in ongoing online events since they have rated these aspects “distracting or annoying” focus on the leader of the event. The primary complaint is when the video conference leader has distracting mannerisms or gestures, followed by being in front of a distracting or cluttered background, does not make eye contact with the camera, is poorly lit, and acts as if they are unaware of the other attendees. It goes without saying that video conferencing events have been proven to be effective means of communication among far flung participants, but the wise online event marketer should be aware that not all potential attendees are equally enthusiastic.


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