branding

It can often seem that conversion optimization conflicts with brand and image marketing. In some cases, this is true. A recent infographic from the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s Online Master in Business Administration program (NJIT) got us to thinking about the importance of branding to any conversion optimization effort.

How a Conversion Scientist Thinks of Brand-Building

For the purposes of conversion optimization, brand is critically important. If we’re talking about a landing page, a website, an email or an ad, brand can communicate some important information in the blink of an eye.
[pullquote]For us, brand is a container for trust, credibility and authority.[/pullquote] Brand marketers will tell you to put the company logo and tag line on every communication. A Conversion Scientist uses brand symbols primarily to communicate authority and credibility.
A brand symbol is a hook on which brand experiences are hung. Conversion Sciences has benefited from its brand symbol — the lab coat — and we work diligently to hang positive brand experiences on this symbol when we write, teach, and speak. We give lab coats to our clients so they can associate our business-changing results with this important brand symbol.
Companies who have invested in brand recognition over decades and have protected their brand symbols have a significant advantage over less-known brands. These brand symbols communicate a complex set of impressions quickly.
From a budgeting standpoint, building brand is very expensive. It requires paying for millions of impressions with little expectation of short-term increases of revenue. It also takes time.
We believe that conversion optimization is a brand-building activity. Conversion-based brand building works on the assumption that there is no better brand experience than finding what you are looking for. As you improve the conversion rate and revenue per visit of your website, you are, by definition, giving your visitors better experiences. These experiences are associated with your brand symbols and build brand quickly and powerfully.

Brand Building in Digital Environments

Because conversion optimization relies on data, and since digital environments are data-rich, these digital environments are ideal for conversion-based brand building. Your investment in optimizing online properties is an investment in brand.
The infographic acknowledges that there are three moments in the buying process when companies come into contact with new and existing clients.

There are potential touchpoints with new and existing clients before, during, and after a purchase.

There are potential touchpoints with new and existing clients before, during, and after a purchase.


Each of these can be optimized to increase conversions and sales.

        

  1. Before purchase, using proper navigation, search and “affordances” to guide the visitor to their desired outcome.
  2.     

  3. During purchase ensuring that completing the transaction is intuitive and surprise-free.
  4.     

  5. After purchase optimization influences up-sells, repeat purchases, and enables sharing.

Be Careful with Consistency

The infographic tells us that “Consumers Expect Consistency” across channels and devices. This is a lie.

90 percent of customers expect their experience with a brand to be the same across every marketing channel

90% of customers expect their experience with a brand to be the same across every marketing channel


Consumers expect consistent quality of experiences and consistent use of brand symbols. However, our testing shows that they want very different experiences when they are in different contexts. Desktop visitors want a more intense experience with more choice and deeper information. Smartphone visitors want immediate access to solutions.
Quality experiences across devices become a consistent builder of brand value.

Optimizing Touchpoints

There are different kinds of people coming to each of your touchpoints. They are often the same person coming in different modes.
Search Engine Watch tells us that certain types of searches are more common on Bing than on Google – finance and automotive for instance. You probably already know that mobile iOS users behave differently than Android ones, but have you made the connection about how their searches differ?
Ninety-seven percent of Millennials touch at least two devices every 24 hours, and many of them interact with even more devices.

Millenials are multi-device creatures.

Millenials are multi-device creatures.


That’s a lot of opportunity for touchpoints just from search.
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Social media platforms prime visitors in different ways meaning online experiences must be tailored to each. For example, Instagram is poised to be a better organic marketing option than Facebook for many companies.
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Customers expect to find you on all of the major social media platforms, but how much effort should you use in maintaining your presence? Our answer is to be only on those platforms for which you have the resources to optimize the experience. The default social experience may negatively impact your brand.
Each platform has a distinct purpose that should dictate how much time and money you must invest in it. Your most important task when you invest in new digital marketing is to go back to the original concept of branding, no matter how complicated contemporary marketing may seem. Your new and existing customers will know what to expect from you based on past experience, and today’s experience is tomorrow’s past experience.
Thanks to NJIT’s MBA program for sharing.
NJIT-MBA-Branding-Across-the-New-Digital-Environments-Infographic
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Feature image by Hanna_Elise via Compfight cc and adapted for this post.

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How To Conduct A Conversion Optimization Experiment | Relative Bearing

Here’s the first line from this very helpful little post:
“0 sales! What? But we got 517 unique visitors this week!”
Airing your mistakes is not seen as smart marketing in many circles, but this kind of thing really is helpful. Besides the important moral of this story, there’s another:
Failing the right way leads to success faster. Failing without knowing why invites unnecessary failure.
I predict good things for these folks.
To read the full article by Ethan Jones, visit Clearpath.

Our Biggest Problem is Brand Awareness

@sethgodin says “awareness isn’t a scalable problem to solve.” As website optimizers, we couldn’t agree more.
He continues, “The solution lies in re-organizing your systems, in re-creating your product or service so that it becomes worth talking about.”…or in making your website so intuitive that it isn’t worth complaining about.
Seth sums is up better than we could have ourselves, “When you produce something remarkable, more use leads to more conversation which leads to more use.”
To read the full article by Seth Godin, visit Seth’s blog.
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This is a guest post by Simon Campbell
Social media sites can be used in a wide variety of ways in many different industries. Though for most businesses, a site like Facebook is typically used to promote products and services rather than to sell them. With a few key tweaks, however, you can change that and actually use the social networking giant as a direct sales page for your products.
You can sell directly on Facebook? Yes! Some market analysts even think that Facebook will eventually spawn a whole new category of online e-commerce, called F-commerce.
Melding your social media advertising with your selling and creating one centralized hub might just be a great way for your small business to cut costs and increase productivity. Follow these five simple Facebook marketing steps to help you sell products.

Selling Products with Your Facebook Page

1: Building a Store Page
Creating a Facebook page (rather than a simple profile) is the first step in this process. Take advantage of the customizable tabs and other options on Facebook to fill in your company information, your mission statement, and other essential info about your business.
Use the cover photo of your page to present your brand’s logo and to create a clean, professional-looking environment that seeks to use Facebook for business and not for  personal interactions.
2: Constructing a Landing Page
You  need to create a separate landing page, where you will set up a store experience. Chose a platform that allows you to create custom pages, different categories, an SSL certificate, a responsive, adjustable format, and more. Just search around through different apps and platforms, read real user reviews, and find a store platform/app that’s affordable, feature-rich, and one that can be used to tie your store in with Facebook seamlessly.
3: Finalizing the Store
Once you have a landing page/store created and your Facebook page finalized, you have to bring the two together to create a seamless store experience on Facebook. To do this efficiently, you should use one of the e-commerce widgets on the market today.
Ecwid is a one widget to try out. It’s affordable, provides around 30 separate payment options, and you can sell shipped products, downloadable products, and more. It’s also a responsive widget, meaning that mobile users will go to the same fully functioning store that desktop users go to.
This isn’t your only option, though. Other widgets, including StoreYa, are available and allow you to create multiple product categories, list dozens of products, choose from a variety of templates, and ultimately integrate your store with your Facebook page to create a seamless e-store experience. Your Facebook fans will be able to purchase your products without ever leaving your Facebook page.
4: Marketing Your Products
Now that your store is created and running on your Facebook page, it’s time to implement some Facebook marketing to help you sell your products. Your first step  should be to check out some of the literature available on Facebook marketing tips and tricks. Look into third-party ad-management apps, various ad types, different organic methods, and other marketing staples.
To start out with a bang, however, you may want to try running a promotion right out of the gate. Spread the word around through targeted advertisements that you’re offering a free product or a hefty discount for people who like or purchase through your Facebook page.  You can use a wide range of apps to create games and other promotions, hold photo or slogan contests, and a slew of other promotions that will draw people in.
5: Performing Brand Upkeep
It’s up to you to stay entertaining and engaging as a marketer on Facebook. Make sure you post on a regular schedule, provide interesting material that your audience wants to see, solve problems for your niche, always add incentives, and give people material that they would want to share with their friends.
Paid advertising in the form of Sponsored Stories and Promoted Posts are great, but don’t forget basic methods like video reviews of your products, real user feedback, infographics explaining things, and other social-friendly and trending methods that will help keep your brand in a good light.
From creating your Facebook page and store page to promoting your products and working to engage with existing fans while attracting new ones, you have to play to the social context of the network. It’s hard not to come across strictly as an advertiser, so don’t try to be something you’re not. Promote yourself as a business – just make sure to include a personal side that likes to engage with people on Facebook, that cares for and appreciates fans and customers, and that always offer quality products and quality customer service.
Simon Campbell, author
 
 
About the author: Simon Campbell, a writer from a Facebook ad campaign tool – Qwaya. He loves to write different topics about social media and participates in some communities and forums. If you have more social media marketing questions, feel free to ask Simon on Twitter.