visual marketing

bang head hereI believe so strongly in the power of targeted, focused landing pages, that I’m going to prepare you for the inevitable battles that will ensue. It is inevitable that forces of darkness will swoop down on you as you prepare a page designed for high conversion rates.
They are not cunning enemies, and this is why they are dangerous. You must get good at playing their game.
Here are some tactics for beating gatekeepers at their own game.

1. Data is only useful to confuse and disorient

You must come to terms with the fact that data will not sway your enemies. It can be used as a weapon.
I recommend printing out random graphs and hanging them around your office. Anyone who comes in to say that the company logo on the page is too small will be instantly dazzled.
When your enemy is trying to get you to add the corporate site navigation bar to your landing page, you can point to one of the graphs at random and simply shake your head.

2. Bureaucracy is Your Friend

Take a lesson from your IT department when it is suggested that the page needs some stock photography on it. Say, “That is a great idea. We’ll add that to the testing schedule right away!”
If they go over your head, you should invoke the “No changes without a test plan!” rule even if such a rule is not written anywhere.
I know it is despicable to use a valuable tool like testing as a delaying tactic. It is actually supposed to do the opposite. But, this is war.

3. Use the Competition to Counter Old Habits

If you’re competition is enlightened, they may be implementing things like landing pages and doing it well.
Not likely. However, you should do some searches for the keywords that are important to your business and see if you can find a competitor doing things right.
Then, when IT delivers a form with the standard “Submit” button, you can point to your competition and say, “They’re going to take our prospects if we don’t do it my way!”

4. Invent Your Own Budget

When you encounter pushback to creating unique landing pages for each channel and ad, invoke an imaginary budget. “We’re taking the extra cost from the Incremental Revenue Budget,” or “We’ll cover it with the Conversion Premium Budget.”
While these budgets don’t actually exist, we all know that higher conversion rates should result in more leads, more sales and more revenue. We’re just borrowing from the increased future value of our conversion genius.

5. Resist the Dark Side

It is important that you not become your enemy. There are “lies, damn lies and then there are analytics,” to paraphrase Mark Twain.
We know we can draw just about any conclusion we want from analytics to support any position we want, but we can’t do bad science.
For example, if our manager was adding corporate-speak to our crafted persuasive copy, it would be ingenuous to point out the bounce rates for the pages she’d edited in the past. It may not be her copy that did the damage.
Instead, invoke the “Great copy. We’ll add that to the test schedule right away!”
Fight hard, my friends, but don’t compromise the science.

We are well into the digital publishing world. I am fortunate to have my work appear several times a month in a variety of places.
Yet, I still love to see my mug in print, I don’t know why.
So, my digital friend, I thought I would share my mention from Chief Content Officer Magazine (free subscription) and fill in a few more details on the method to my headshot madness.

The Conversion Scientist’s Social Media Avatar Tips

1. Include something unusual in the image, something representative of your personal brand.

I wear the lab coat in every shot, even if it isn’t showing much. The human mind remembers such things.

2. Control the viewer’s eyes with your eyes.

Eye-tracking studies have shown that our gaze is drawn to faces that are looking at us. In fact, we may stare at a pretty girl long enough to forget why we came to your page in the first place. Have several versions of your headshot and aim your eyes at things you want people to see: calls to action, content, headlines, etc.

3. Be unexpected.

[{ loading … }]
One of the things we want to do is engage the mind of the viewer. Things that will light up someone’s brain activity are the unexpected, off-center and the need to “fill in” an image.

4. Consider integrating action.

You can tell a story with a one-frame headshot. So, tell it. What am I doing in this shot?
I’m talking to an audience. I must be a presenter. Why, yes, I am! But, what am I holding (unexpected)?
I’m going in for the hug! That means I’m a connector, right??
Other avatar actions: Being passionate, banging a table, thinking deeply, contributing at a homeless shelter.
Our avatars don’t have to be boring, and in fact they can be quite instrumental in engaging with visitors to our Web site, Facebook profile, Twitter stream and more.
Hand-drawn avatar courtesy Kathleen McElwaine.
Headshot logo by David Holston.
Headshots by Korey Howell Photography.
Image with mic courtesy Eugene Hsu.
Contact Brian Massey