webinars

On Monday, Conversion Sciences launched a revamped website. As you will learn in our Lab Coat Lessons Webinar, a website redesign can be a very dangerous undertaking.

Sixty percent of our business comes through our website (the remainder being referrals). Any significant drop in traffic or conversion rate will hit our bottom line hard.

It’s still early for us, but we will share five client redesigns we’ve been involved with and why they were or were not successful. Watch the webinar replay.

Conversion-Scientist-Podcast-Logo-1400x1400


What Not to Do in a Website Redesign

There is a lot that can change in a redesign. The sentiment seems to be that, since everything is changing anyway, what can it hurt to add a few more modifications, updates and rewrites? It can hurt a lot, as it turns out.

A redesign is a collection of changes, all based on assumptions about what visitors want. Some of those assumptions will be right on. Some will be sadly misdirected. The more you add, the more likely you are to introduce some random poison pill feature into the mix.

Any website redesign is a mix of good and bad assumptions.

Any website redesign is a mix of good and bad assumptions.

With our redesign, we did the opposite. Our primary goal was to improve the search engine performance of our amazing content (like this). We were tempted to rewrite dated pages, redesign elements we’ve grown tired of and photoshop our pictures to make us look more fit.


21 Quick and Easy CRO Copywriting Hacks to Skyrocket Conversions

21 Quick and Easy CRO Copywriting Hacks

Keep these proven copywriting hacks in mind to make your copy convert.

  • 43 Pages with Examples
  • Assumptive Phrasing
  • "We" vs. "You"
  • Pattern Interrupts
  • The Power of Three
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We will do these things, but not until we’ve baselined the structural changes we launched on Monday.

The heartbreak comes when more of your changes decrease conversions than increase them.

Things can get ugly when more of your redesign ideas hurt than they help.

Things can get ugly when more of your redesign ideas hurt than they help.

If you didn’t roll out changes step-by-step, you just don’t know which changes hurt you and which helped.

An even more insidious result is when more of your changes increased performance. In this situation, the marketing department pats itself on the back and goes on about its business.

When the good decisions outweigh the bad, the bad decisions are hidden.

When the good decisions outweigh the bad, the bad decisions are hidden.

But how much better could business be if the bad decisions were tested away? Usually, much better. The positive decisions overshadow the mistakes that still linger on the site sucking the revenue out of the business.

JJ Abrams has shown that he can revitalize a beloved film franchise, turning it into a blockbuster. Isn’t this what you want for your website? Find out how he did it in our webinar, The JJ Abrams School of Website Redesign.

We’ll show you five different approaches to data-driven redesign. One should fit your situation.

Meanwhile, check out how to take the risk out of your website redesign. I’ll write more about what we’re learning from our redesign soon.

A website redesign is like a Hollywood movie reboot. It really is.

There have been two attempts to reboot the cultural phenomenon that is Star Wars. George Lucas gave us three prequels that, while generating some $2.5 billion in box office worldwide, were largely reviled for their lack of magic and stunted acting. Now JJ Abrams is rebooting with a sequel to the series called Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Redesigning your website should be seen as a reboot of your online properties as well. Watch The JJ Abrams School of Website Redesign, and learn how to avoid creating a Phantom Menace when the Force Awakens for your website.

This is not the first reboot that JJ Abrams has helmed as visionary and director. We’ve got his incredibly successful treatments of the Star Trek franchise to consider as well.

Don’t Just Blow Things Up

The problem we have with the popular Responsive Web Design strategies is that you must change everything in order to create a “mobile-friendly” website. Responsive designs are programmed to make decisions about page content when smaller screens are encountered.

Many of these decisions are wrong, and we’ll cover them in our webinar.

Your responsive design may be creating the equivalent of Jar-Jar Binks, a figure hated perhaps more than Darth Vader himself. In the webinar, we’ll show you how what happens when redesigns go bad.

Bring Back Beloved Characters

Your website redesign isn’t about changing things. It’s about building on what currently works, adding to the experience.

George Lucas managed to work merchandisable characters R2-D2 and C-3PO into the prequels, as well as beloved Obi-Wan Kenobi. But these characters didn’t create the esprit décor that the original ensemble did. In Star Trek, Abrams brought back young versions of the entire ensemble: Kirk, Bones, Scotty, and even two Spocks. Chekov, Sulu and Uhura were thrown in for good measure.

Your website is an ensemble cast of pages and experiences. Your landing pages need to prime buyers to get through the subscription process. Your category pages have to drive visits to product pages that entice visitors to add to cart.

Huge amounts of data is available very cheaply. Use it to know what to keep or suffer the consequences.

Don’t Create Any Jar-Jars

You don't want to create any Jar-Jar Binks features during your redesign.

You don’t want to create any Jar-Jar Binks features during your redesign.

I’m sure George Lucas was certain that the Jar-Jar Binks character introduced in the Phantom Menace would be a beloved, merchandisable character. He was wrong. Abrams introduced Keenser, a (thankfully) silent alien who was Scotty’s sidekick in the first Star Trek reboot. However, he didn’t rely on this character for comedic relief nearly as much as Lucas did with Jar-Jar.

The cost to create the all-CGI Jar-Jar was huge, and probably took resources that could have been used elsewhere in the movie.

Unless you’re testing your way into your redesign, you are going to create some Jar-Jars in your redesign. These are features that you believe in, but that are rejected by your visitors. Don’t over-invest in these new experiences without testing them first.

Have A Reason for Radical Changes

Every website has return visitors. Your website, no matter how ugly you believe it to be, has visitors who feel at home there, enjoying a comfortable familiarity. They’ve invested the time to understand your site, to make it theirs. When you change it, they’ll be pissed.

These visitors need some rationale for your removal of familiar features and the addition of new ones. Avoid the pro-innovation bias, which is a tendency to change things because they are cool. Your returning visitors won’t think they are cool.

Is this little header animation really necessary? It's a technical error waiting for the wrong browser.

Even simple parallax animations are dangerous. It’s a technical error waiting for the wrong browser.

Don’t let your design firm add any “alien” features to your site. For example, parallax design causes animates to occur as your visitors scroll through the site. It’s the web equivalent of Jar-Jar.

Parallax design elements are like the blinking text of 1990s era websites.

Parallax design elements are like the blinking text of 1990s era websites. Or the Jar-Jar Binks of the Web.

In the Webinar, we’ll show you how to find out what is and isn’t necessary in your particular redesign.

Add Segments

This ain't your father's Star Trek.

This ain’t your father’s Star Trek.

JJ Abrams brought whole new segments into the Star Trek and Star Wars franchises. For Star Trek, he cast young heartthrobs Zak Quinto, Chris Pine,  and Zoe Saldana in key roles. This brought a younger, hipper audience to the Star Trek universe. Star Wars: The Force Awakens features females in key hero and villain roles.

Your website redesign should be about two things:

1. Keeping your existing visitor segments happy.

2. Engaging new segments that need what you offer.

There is no such thing as an “average visitor” to your site. Design should specifically target key segments. These segments should not just be demographic as much as needs based. Segment by device type, by geography, by whether they are at work or play, or by the kinds of search terms they are using. Target segments at different stages of your funnel.

The death of a redesign is guaranteed if you design for the “average” visitor or design for yourself. See below.

Avoid Executive Influence

Don't let your execs usurp your redesign.

Don’t let your execs usurp your redesign.

After several significant successes, J.J. Abrams has considerable freedom to do what he wants. He ignored all of George Lucas’s ideas for the new Star Wars movie and took it in his own direction.

The executives that you report to will want to have a say in the redesign. Statements like, “I would never respond to that!” are poisonous to the process, unless you site is targeted at them.

Abrams didn’t get such freedom until he had a win under his belt. Your ace in the whole is research and data. If your redesign is questioned, you better have the studies, heatmaps, split test, and analytics you need to make your case.

If you don’t have this information, you’re not likely to have a success anyway. You may want your executives to attend our webinar.

Lens Flair Comes Last

Only after you’ve considered all of these key issues can you put your own unique stamp on the site design. Abrams has a thing for lens flair in his movies.

But none of this means anything unless you have beloved features in your new site, avoid adding Jar-Jar Binks experiences and address your visitors segment by segment.

Attend our free Webinar The JJ Abrams School of Website Redesign and make sure your next redesign isn’t a Star Wars prequel.

Talking about landing pages that convert is one of a Conversion Scientist’s favorite conversation topics. It’s even something that plays a huge part in their dating lives, and one of Conversion Scientist Brian Massey’s most popular presentations is still the Chemistry of the Landing Page (replay).

Your Conversion Rate Will Make or Break Your Campaigns

Conversion Sciences doesn’t just talk a big game when it comes to giving advice about landing pages: we have the data to back up what we’re saying. Having high-converting landing pages has made our webinar series Lab Coat Lessons a big success.

28.62 percent conversion rate on our landing page for our CRO & SEM webinar

28.62% conversion rate on our landing page for our CRO & SEM webinar

42.41 percent rate on our landing page for our UX vs. CRO webinar

42.41% conversion rate on our landing page for our UX vs. CRO webinar

50.92 percent conversion rate on our landing page for our Mobile 2.0 webinar

50.92% conversion rate on our landing page for our Mobile 2.0 webinar

Just think of what would happen to your revenue if your landing pages had a 50% conversion rate.

Helping people build high converting landing pages just never stops being interesting, so next week, on Thursday, October 15th, Brian will be joining Avangate for a free webinar that will teach you how to do just that. watch the replay now, and you’ll learn:

  • Why landing pages are so powerful in online marketing.
  • Why you should build landing pages backwards.
  • The primary components that make landing pages work.
  • How to keep your landing pages from getting off track.

The Mobile Web is still in its infancy.  Today, alleged “mobile best-practices” are nothing more than successful desktop strategies scaled to a smaller screen.  But people behave differently on small-screen devices than they do when they are sitting at a computer.

Conversion Sciences has begun to see what Mobile Web 2.0 will look like. Having completed dozens of mobile design split tests, key trends have begun to show themselves. Much of what we have learned flies in the face of conventional beliefs.

This is why we test.

Some of our customers now have higher converting mobile sites than desktop sites.

Our approach to mobile design is controversial because, as scientists, we can’t just accept traditional wisdom at face value.  We need evidence.

Joel Harvey will be reveals the results of dozens of tests we’ve completed.  Insights are based on real tests. No gut instinct here.  Watch Mobile 2.0: Judgment Day to learn what he has discovered. He shares:

  • Can mobile websites can convert better than the desktop?
  • How to increase mobile conversion rates.
  • What is poison to your mobile conversion rate.
  • How iPhone and Android visitors act differently.

Watch the replay on demand in its glorious entirety.

Don’t ignore your mobile traffic. It can be a real revenue generator sooner than you think.

What are you doing today to ensure that your business brings in a continuous flow of qualified leads on a daily basis? Do you have a refined procedure, or are you throwing content out into the abyss of the interwebs with fingers crossed, hoping to score new leads and make some money?  If you can’t map out your strategy and don’t know where to fine tune the rough edges over time, chances are your business won’t be around for long. At Conversion Sciences, we take the time to build blue prints, formulate hypotheses, test strategies, and analyze data to keep our business and clients growing and moving forward.

Optimizing our content strategy, we’ve found takes an important attention to detail, consistency, and patience to bring in quality business. If you’re ready to accelerate and improve your lead generation strategy, you must first understand the path you took to close the deal with your first clients or buyers. Who was the person you engaged with? What was their job description and social interests, and why were they an ideal lead?

Knowing this can help you understand who your target audience is and how to reach them on social media. Does this lead attend a specific type of conference or event each year? Do they read a certain publication or regularly visit an industry website?

Once you have identified your target audience, you can begin implementing advanced techniques to grow your business. Here are ten ways to enhance your social media lead generation strategy.

Choosing the Right Social Media Platforms for Lead Generation

Don’t invest time and money into every social media platform until you know what will work for your business.

The key to social media is not just a presence, but how followers engage with your brand and if those followers turn into leads.

If you’ve already established a presence on all platforms, see how your traffic correlates with each social site via Google Analytics or a comprehensive social media sharing software like Oktopost that allows for conversion tracking. What sites are bringing you more traffic and leads?

Based on our conversion tracking efforts using Oktopost, we can track how many leads are generated in each social network. We consider leads to be anyone who joins our email list, downloads a report, joins our blog course, or fills out a contact form. Last month we created a campaign that offered a free report for the higher education marketplace. Our large Twitter audience brought in the most clicks and leads. However, our data tells us LinkedIn leads convert at a higher rate than Twitter leads. We’ve begun focusing more on LinkedIn as a result.

For a clearer perspective on how to choose the right social platforms for your business, we recommend reading these tips from Wishpond.

Educating Your Buyer: Reports and Whitepapers

By offering free white papers, reports and ebooks are a great way to make your prospects experts at buying your products. They are also a great way to create email lists to better segment your audience. Pragmatic Marketing says, “if you provide something of value to prospects, they will give you their respect, time, loyalty, and ultimately their business.” If only it were that easy.

The cost of creating content is falling as the web gobbles it up. We use blog posts to test topics of interest to our audience. We will prepare a live presentation or webinar on hot topics. These presentations get cast into case studies, blog posts, reports and social media posts.

But writing a report simply isn’t enough. Targeting your whitepapers to the right audience is of utmost importance and can be done in several ways, including Facebook Ad remarketing, LinkedIn Groups, or Twitter hashtags and discussions.

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Why LinkedIn Groups Are Lead Hotbeds

A hotbed is defined as “a place or environment favoring rapid growth or spread”. In our recent research, we’ve discovered LinkedIn to be a valuable hotbed for B2B lead generation, particularly when it comes to engaging with LinkedIn Groups. In the past, most marketers or brands were taught to create a main page where all content would be shown to followers or ‘likes’. In recent years, we’ve seen a surge of engagement and activity in social groups with defined interests and demographics due to the change in algorithm from Facebook and LinkedIn updates.

Now LinkedIn Groups have been a hotbed for Conversion Sciences when it comes to generating new leads or subscribers. A few months ago, we launched our industry report for Higher Education Marketing and created a comprehensive campaign targeted to Higher Education professionals. By researching groups and engaging with members, we were able to build relationships and grow our lead pool in just a few months.

Screenshot 2015-06-16 20.10.07

By researching groups, and engaging with members, we were able to build relationships and grow our lead pool in just a few months.

At the end of the campaign, we generated a total of 24 leads in under a month; 80% of those leads were from Higher Education Facebook groups we engaged and shared content with. However, always remember that

one of the most important ways to gain new customers is to create an authentic relationship

. Groups are not for spamming or sharing irrelevant content.

How Ad Targeting and Retargeting Builds A Lead Magnetic Field

Did you know the Earth produces its own magnetic field which is important in navigation? It also shields the Earth’s atmosphere from solar winds that are capable of destroying humanity as we know it! When it comes to lead generation, you should think of your business as the Earth, Facebook Ads at the magnetic field, and your competition as the solar wind.

Facebook Ads will help discover and navigate your leads to your lead-generating content, and bring them back to “Earth,” aka your business. Let’s say you were a software company looking to draw attention to a new service targeted to apparel companies. You could create an ad directed toward people who like specific pages, job titles, and keywords, or install a Facebook retargeting pixel on your website. This will help a potential lead see your ad immediately over the duration of your campaign.

Take Google Fiber for example. I was recently referred to its site by a friend who mentioned it will soon be available in the Austin area. I snooped around the site but lost interest, since it isn’t making itself available in my part of town. In the days following my visit, this is what I saw in my Facebook News Feed.

I saw a retargeting ad about Google Fiber when I logged into Facebook

I saw a retargeting ad about Google Fiber when I logged into Facebook

Fancy schmancy. It’s a Retargeting Ad! The fun stuff happens when I click on the “Sign Up” button. I’m directed to a landing page to enter my address to see whether Google Fiber will be in my neighborhood. Total bummer though: it looks like they won’t be available for a little while, so I decided to sign up for their email list. Guess what? I’m a lead now.  Not exactly a bummer for Google Fiber. We recommend Facebook for Business for further insight on how to create the perfect campaign.

I'm now a lead because I've signed up for alerts

I’m now a lead because I’ve signed up for alerts

Mapping Out Your Traffic Using Hashtag Targeting

Hashtags are the perfect place to find new business. By doing a simple hashtag search, you can find various tweets and discussions that direct you to new leads. Think of them as the magnetic field lines that map out all directions of the magnetic force. Hashtags direct content to communities, who in return will engage (like, comment, and share content). Let’s go back to the Higher Education report data. On Twitter, we found several hashtags corresponding that to this topic including #higheredmktg #hemktg #highered. This puts us in direct contact with many professionals we engaged with through content marketing.

Take for example our hashtag streams we created on Oktopost when targeting our Higher Education Report to industry professionals. We’ve created a comprehensive directory of conversations aimed at this topic. In it, we were able to locate specific professionals we could engage with and place our brand in front of by participating in their discussions. Look at this! @markhoddell works for the University of Chester in the Marketing Department. Potential lead? We think so! If you’re not taking part in hashtag targeting, the time is now.

Screenshot 2015-06-16 20.32.32

Learn more on Hashtag.org.

Juicing Your Lead Generation With Content Marketing and Blogging

Building reports or whitepapers, and launching them with comprehensive organic and paid Facebook Ad strategies, is just the tip of the iceberg in online lead generation. But, how can you continue to engage your community and build your customer base without reloading them with offers or retargeting ads?

By implementing an enriched content strategy in your marketing funnel, you will intrigue and entertain your audience, as well as leave a footprint online that will increase your organic SEO and reach. Infographics, videos, images, and podcasting are just a few content ideas that drive traffic. Think of your entire content marketing strategy as the great magnetic force that pulls in new leads. The strength of that force determines on the strength and creativity of your content.

Screenshot 2015-06-21 17.29.42

According to a recent study by the Content Marketing Institute, only 48% of businesses have a documented Content Strategy.

A recent study from the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs states that over 80% of B2B respondents use Content Marketing in their business practices, yet only 38% of these businesses say their strategies are effective. However, the study also indicates that 48% of these businesses were not documenting their strategies effectively. In the end, there’s no way of telling what practices are showing results, or hurting business. Here are a few creative examples on how we incorporate content marketing elements in our online lead generation strategy to ensure maximum results.

Webinars

Webinars offer exclusive information and help grow your email list and lead base. LinkedIn groups are the perfect foundation for generating new leads through webinar promotion. You can target groups based on your field of expertise, or type of audiences you aim to reach. This avoids spammy sales letters and overbearing ads. WebinarNL says, “webinars generate a lower cost per lead and high level of engagement with prospective clients.” They also detail several benefits to hosting webinars including:

  • Direct contact with your target group
  • Reaching your target group both live and afterwards
  • Interaction with your target group
  • How webinars save time and money

So, we decided to put this statistic to the test and hosted our very first webinar “UX vs. CRO: The Digital Fight of the Century” As a special incentive for attendees, we had them ask several questions on UX or CRO. The people with the most creative questions won a free website evaluation from Brian Massey himself.

After an extensive social media promotion, we were surprised to find 212 conversions in just 20 days of implementing our content strategy.  That’s more leads in a short period of time than any other strategy we’ve executed. So ask yourself, “What benefits do webinars offer your business?” To see how our first webinar panned out, watch the webinar replay.

Screenshot 2015-06-21 17.52.40

Data from our most recent webinar “UX vs. CRO”

Screenshot 2015-06-21 17.52.31

Conversion Data from our most recent webinar “UX vs. CRO.”

Podcasting

Perhaps the most underrated form of generating new business leads comes from podcasting. It’s free and accessible, and makes radio quality audio shows available for download through an RSS feed to a computer, MP3 player or mobile phone. Listeners only have to subscribe to a podcast once.

First, you’ll need to conduct a keyword search that will get your content noticed in the podcast world. Then, be sure to create short blogs of no more than a few sentences to capture the reader, launch your podcast, and have them listen.

Interviewing an industry expert or hosting a panel debate can help maximize reach and listeners. Be sure to keep discussions focused on topics you can actively talk about with your leads. This is the perfect way to begin establishing yourself as an industry thought leader.

“The goal of the business podcast is to create a conversational thread that you can pick up with your lead on the next call,” says Benchmark. Think of this as a first experience with future customers. You are building trust and proving them with valid information to nurture a business relationship. Again, podcasts are easy to market via LinkedIn groups, hashtag targeting, and Facebook Ads. Also, fan page Apps like 22Social help incorporate podcasts into your Facebook page so followers can listen in.

Guest Blogging

What does your business specialize in? Moving, fitness, prepping, or social media marketing? By writing as a guest blogger, not only will you be showing off your knowledge, but it adds credibility to your business and brand, while introducing your chops to an entirely new audience. This also gives you the opportunity to grow your social media following by adding social follow-back buttons or a Twitter handle to your posts.

Begin by creating a list of publications in your niche market that offer guest blogging and dive into what kind of content they are pitching.

KissMetrics layouts three important goals for Guest Bloggers:

  1. Positioning yourself as an authority and well-known name in the industry.
  2. Getting exposure (traffic) back to your website.
  3. Building backlinks to your website.

Again, you want your potential customers to know that you are an expert in your field, and in the process you’ll be increasing traffic back to your site. We recommend reading KissMetric’s Ultimate Guide To Guest Blogging for more insight.

Video Marketing

Did you know 80% of internet users recall watching a video, and 46% of those viewers actually take action after watching the ad? Now, YouTube is making it an even more refined tool through annotations. By implementing annotations in your videos, you can direct viewers to a landing page on your website where they can sign up for your services, download a free report, etc. YouTube Ads also amp up this strategy, especially since they easily incorporate with your Adwords strategy.

Let’s take this Heineken YouTube Ad for example. Apparently, the internet knows that people like me – people who are my age, have my interests, and share my browsing and search history, for instance – love beer. Again, this is the whole idea of remarketing.

As I’m watching this ad, what do I see in the corner of the video? It’s an annotation that says “Visit Advertiser’s Site”. Since I’m curious, I click on the link and low and behold, I’m on their site and enter for a chance to win in their sweepstakes.

Screenshot 2015-06-09 19.22.19

The sad thing is, the campaign was over before I landed on the page, and Heineken missed its chance to get me on its list. Will I see a remarketing ad in the future? Possibly!

Screenshot 2015-06-09 19.29.57

Are You Ready To Map Out and Fine Tune Your Lead Strategy?

So what will you do today to insure that your business brings in a continuous flow of qualified leads on a daily basis? Can you begin to map out a refined procedure? Remember, don’t just throw content out into the world and expect a beanstalk to grow in your backyard overnight. The business world is not a fairytale.

If you incorporate just a few of these social media strategies into your overall lead generation plan, not only will you be able to grow your business, but you will start a snowball effect that brings in new prospects for the long term. Now put your thinking caps on and start outlining your strategy, or if you’re looking to generate more B2B leads watch our latest webinar.

An article in the Gardian says, “Brands need to think like publishers to build effective content marketing work flows and outcomes including applying the science of accepted newsroom practices.” For an overworked, understaffed marketing department, this is a daunting thought.
This audio program will show you how to turn up the frequency and quality of your content output, with a minimum of time and resources. In this presentation, we’ll introduce you to the content cascade.
The Conversion Scientist Podcast


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How often are people publishing content?

Almost 70% of 100 online marketers surveyed are releasing content at least weekly. Blogs are important, too. Almost 56% are updating their blogs at least weekly.
There’s only one reliable indicator across industries for increasing the traffic to your site and that is the frequency of your blog posts. The more frequently you publish, the more your traffic will grow and the faster it will grow.

What is a content cascade?

A webinar represents a point in time in which a subject matter expert has organized a topic relevant to your business. The main points, graphs, and data have been assembled and organized. This is the hard work of content marketing.
The content cascade uses inexpensive and free tools to turn the graphics and the audio into sharable content of different types. The subject matter expert has done all the work. They’ve prepared the material, you now can create eBooks,  infographs, white papers, blog posts, and reports.
That is what we call the content cascade. Listen to my webinar in its entirety to find out how you can turn those webinars sitting in your resource tabs collecting dust, into kick-ass content that converts.

Links to Resources Mentioned

Hublished for Webinar Management
Camtasia Studio for recording audio and slides
Transcribe Me and SpeechPad for transcriptions
PowerPoint for graphic design
BoxShot and BoxShot3D for Product images
Infogr.am for Infographics
Audacity for editing audio
BluBrry Podcast Hosting
Hootsuite Pro social media
Twitterfeed social feed
ClicktoTweet social sharing
Slideshare for presentations
Embed Code Generator for WordPress
Unbounce, Lander and LeadPages for landing pages.
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My presentation “The Chemistry of the Landing Page” has been seen by thousands of (lucky?) marketers and business people. I think it’s one of my best.
The reason I think it is so popular is that it’s different every time. Each time I do it, I critique a different bunch of actual landing pages.
I start off by boiling the process of building a landing page into five components. Then I show you what makes people leave. Attendees usually start kicking themselves when at this point in the presentation.
But the fun starts when we start applying this to real landing pages. Things always get interesting.
imageWould you like to have your landing page reviewed by me? I promise that I’m gentle.
But even if you end up feeling a little embarrassed about your page – and everyone does – wouldn’t more sales, leads and subscribers make it worth the discomfort?
I recommend you submit your page for my April 10 presentation right now.
http://conversci.com/LandingPageWebinar
We start at 2:00 pm EDT on Thursday, April 10. The Webinar will be recorded.
PEOPLE LOVE THE LIVE PAGE CRITIQUES. So will you. You’ll never look at another landing page the same way.
Here’s a little sample of the questions I’m going to tackle.

        

  • What is the one thing a landing page must get right?
  •     

  • How do you “show the product” when you offer a service or content for download?
  •     

  • What is “Abandon” and how do you get rid of it?
  •     

  • How do you “borrow trust” for your landing page?
  •     

  • What constitutes “proof?”

Won’t you join us? Even if you can’t attend live, register to see the replay, which will be recorded.
http://conversci.com/LandingPageWebinar
Let’s have some fun and make more sales.
Best regards,
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Brian Massey, the Conversion Scientist

Champagne Fountain Your presentation will set off a cascade of content.

It was a few paragraphs from my book in a Chapter entitled “How Content Fuels Conversion.”
It started off pretty well, but it ended in a lie.
Amid my discussions of video and images; of draftsmen and imagemakers and storytellers appeared a few lines. They’re there on page 92.

Digital content has legs. One item of content can be cascaded into a variety of channels like a fountain of champagne glasses at a wedding.
For example, how many opportunities do your employees get to present at conferences, training sessions, seminars, and webinars? Film them and record good quality audio. This bubbly content fills the top glass of your cascade.
Have someone edit the video into a series of shorter videos, ripe for YouTube and other video services. You’ve just filled the next layer of glasses.
Share the slides used on slide-sharing services such as Slideshare and Scribd. Voila—another, wider layer glasses fills  with sparkling champagne.
For just a few dollars, the video can be transcribed. Lay this out as a report or white paper and distribute it for lead generation. Another layer of glasses fills.

I go on to describe how this transcription turns into blog posts, social media posts and more. I then go on to tell the lie.

The transformations discussed in this example are often not time-intensive.

The truth is, that they are not as time-intensive as creating the content from scratch. But these transformations do take time.

My idea has been stolen

Since the publication of the book, I’ve tried to get someone to steal my idea so that I would have a resource to turn to. I’ve had conversations with a number of agencies and freelancers about why content is like champagne. Businesses are creating the champagne every day. They just need glasses, stacked just so to turn it their content into an online party.

Dust off one of your presentations

How many people saw that webinar you recorded last quarter? Most webinars draw less than 100 viewers. There are a lot more people out there who won’t watch a webinar, but who are qualified prospects. I invite you to dust off your webinar or presentation and turn it into a Slideshare presentation, blog posts, a report, an eBook – you choose the package.
Most importantly, create the content landing pages and social media posts that generate sales and leads. After all, this content is only valuable if it grows your business.
Every so often, your CEO is asked to speak about some aspect of the market. Every now and then, your tech guru is asked to talk about how brilliant your technology is. And how many times is your sales team pitching to audiences about your fantastic offering? Each of these moments is an opportunity for a cascade of content for your marketing efforts.

Is your presentation cascadeable?

Here’s how you can tell if your content is a good match for the cascade:

  • Do you have recorded audio or video of the presentation? Slides are rarely enough to convey the understanding needed for someone to do a good job creating content. The quality of your audio need only only be good enough to generate a transcript.
  • Do you have presentation slides? Video and recorded webinars don’t provide the resolution needed for visuals.
  • Is your presentation just slides full of bullets? These kinds of presentations don’t typically make for good visual content such as infographs, eBooks and reports.

Other than that, there’s no risk in uploading your presentation for us to look at. We don’t ask for a credit card.

The Audience is Bigger Than The Room

The audience that initially heard the presentation is tiny compared to the audience for the cascade of content it will generate.

  • Cascade content is shared with a larger audience via email and social networks.
  • Cascade content increases frequency with multiple slices from the same presentation.
  • Cascade content engages more of the audience through text, audio and images.

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Photo courtesy paulodonnel on Flickr under the creative commons.

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On-screen Markup can increase engagement and keep viewers around longer.

My online landing page webinars are quite different from most you’ve seen. Why is that?

Because I do live on-screen critiques of the landing pages. You can see me in action on August 21 during my webinar The Chemistry of the B2B Landing Page with Live Critiques.

Why not mark them up ahead of time and just present my findings? Here’s why:

1. It’s boooring. I mean webinars can be pretty uneventful, unless you’ve got a really talented presenter. This adds some pizzazz to the presentation.

2. It’s more fun for me to do. I like to do interactive events like this.

3. If I didn’t, then the critiques wouldn’t really be “live”.

4. It keeps your audience engaged longer, and we have some data to support that.

Why Online Markup is an Awesome Webinar Tool

You should consider online markup if you really want to deliver a captivating presentation that keeps the audience engaged for your entire message.

The interactivity helps people stay tuned into your presentation. There is something about drawings that just captivates the viewer and keeps their attention. We found this to be true in video.

Not only did the “whiteboard-style” video keep the eye on the video, it provided a higher conversion rate on a landing page than two other kinds of business video.

The on-screen drawing gives you a unique angle in a sea of “me too” webinars. Drop-off rates in my previous webinars have been significantly lower than in webinars I’ve done without the critiques. People hang around longer.

Less “multi-thrashing” by the audience. The myth of multi-tasking is alive and well in the webinar world. You may call this multi-bashing, but at any time, most of your viewers are checking email and social media while listening to your presentation.

As a webinar attendee, you can probably remember a time when you wished you could rewind a webinar. The presenter finally said something that caught your attention as you typed out an email reply, but you had no idea of what he said before that.

Since we don’t have Webinar DVRs yet, you want to minimize multi-trashing of your message. On-screen markup works.

Implementing Online Markup in Your Webinars

Most webinar software such as GotoWebinar and WebEx give you tools to markup your screens. However, I find the mouse to be an insufficient tool for writing and drawing. It takes too much concentration.

However, if it’s all you’ve got, you should use it.

My “rig” is a bit more sophisticated. That’s OK because I like toys.

Presentation setup
This is my presentation setup. Click to enlarge.

This setup provides the following:

  1. A video headshot for live keynotes and other presentations that require a connection with the audience. Many live meeting services allow a picture-in-picture window for the presenter’s face.
  2. Presentation monitor for static presentation slides via VGA output on laptop and multi-screen drivers.
  3. Tablet screen and stylus for drawing markup.
  4. Hidden microphone. Since I’m on camera, I don’t wear a headset.
  5. Audio feedback is provided by simple ear buds.
  6. Ability to type via a bluetooth keyboard. Since my laptop is converted to a tablet, its keyboard is hidden.
  7. Ability to mouse around. Good for switching screens, driving polls and more.

My webinar setup

 

Lenovo ThinkPad X220 (429637U) 12.5″ LED Tablet PC – Core i7 i7-2620M 2.7GThe x230 is now available.

Blue Yeti Multi-Pattern USB Microphone
or
Audio-Technica ATR-3350 Lavalier Omnidirectional Condenser Microphone
Logitech HD720 Autofocus Webcam
(Amazon.com)
Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 6000 (Amazon.com)
300 ml of coffee 200x200 Starbucks Dark Sumatra “Earthly & Herbal” Ground Coffee (drip brewed)
BAM-hands-Wide-150x150 “Manhattan Project” Lab Coat woven from 1200 thread-count Engagium anti-spam nanofibers. Available at Buyschtuff.
image VGA Plug-n-Play Monitor and multi-screen display drivers.

The downside of Live Markup

There are some things you need to be aware of if you choose to do one of these.

It requires switching screens from your presentation monitor, where static slides are shown to the tablet screen where you can do the markup. Most webinar services handle this pretty well, but it is another point of failure.

It requires some coordination. If you can’t talk and draw at the same time, you may find your train of thought leaving the tracks.

All of this tech means more points of failure. You have to work hard to have alternative solutions should any of these technologies fail.

See It in Action

Reachforce has asked me to put my rig in action again and you can see the results.

Join me for The Chemistry of the B2B Landing Page, Volume 2 — with Live Critiques from The Conversion Scientist on August 21, 2103 at 1:00pm central time.

I’ll be doing a brief training on how to create effective landing pages backwards and then doing some B2B critiques.

Your page can be one that I critique. You can submit the URL when you register.

I hope to see you there.
Brian Massey

Someone once said, “The definition of insanity is to pet a dog that is on fire.”

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Someone else once said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

“Every click is a promise you must keep.”

On September 28, I’m going to keep you from doing the things that don’t work over and over.
Join me and Lander, the landing page service, for my presentation of “The Unexpected Formulas that Make Websites Win.”

Why your Web Developer and Designer are giving you bad advice.

Insanity is often a by-product of safety. “If everyone is doing it, it must work,” is the mantra of this kind of crazy. This is the place from which designers and developers work.

“Every audience is different”

It’s time to find out for yourself what your audience wants and what makes your visitors turn in to prospects and customers on the Web.

“Never pet a burning dog.”

Get a free copy of Your Customer Creation Equation if you are the first to cite the TV personality who used this quote. Get a signed copy if you can link to a video clip.
Register for the Webinar and be ready for the unexpected.
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