Saturday, March 30, 2019

Weekend Favs March 30

Weekend Favs March 30 written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

My weekend blog post routine includes posting links to a handful of tools or great content I ran across during the week.

I don’t go into depth about the finds, but encourage you to check them out if they sound interesting. The photo in the post is a favorite for the week from an online source or one that I took out there on the road.

  • Square Invoices – Send invoices and estimates quickly through this app.
  • Outgrow Chatbots – Always be available for your customers online with a customized chatbot.
  • ManyPixels – Discover royalty-free illustrations for your design projects.

These are my weekend favs, I would love to hear about some of yours – Tweet me @ducttape

from Duct Tape Marketing

Friday, March 29, 2019

What counts as a video view? A refresher on how social platforms calculate video ad views

The major social networks don't agree on how to count video views; here's a rundown of the sometimes slippery metric. The post What counts as a video view? A refresher on how social platforms calculate video ad views appeared first on Marketing Land.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

from Marketing Land - Internet Marketing News, Strategies & Tips

Content development tips for Account Based Marketing

Build personas for each buyer tier and build content for them, but don't forget to personalize your website for target accounts. The post Content development tips for Account Based Marketing appeared first on Marketing Land.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

from Marketing Land - Internet Marketing News, Strategies & Tips

Digital Marketing News: LinkedIn’s Lookalike Launch, B2B’s Social Responsibility, & Twitter’s B2B Crackdown

The post Digital Marketing News: LinkedIn’s Lookalike Launch, B2B’s Social Responsibility, & Twitter’s B2B Crackdown appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

from Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Empathy and the Customer Experience

I delivered a talk about empathy at Oracle’s recent Modern Customer Experience (ModernCX) conference. In the talk I described how we in North America SaaS Customer Success are building out an enablement program for Customer Success Managers (CSM) that will be fueled by empathetic inputs. What are those, you might be asking? Good corporate education programs are the result of outcome-based design, of course, and if we are to properly design a program with the right outcomes in mind it needs to reflect the strategy and values of our company, and the abilities of its students (in our case, the CSMs). Also, the program needs to consider how it will eventually play out in front of customers (the ultimate beneficiaries of the program), even indirectly. In other words, the customer’s experience needs to be represented in those inputs. One of the end goals of the program is to help CSMs gain a deeper appreciation for the customer experience so they’ll be able to strengthen their customer engagements regardless of whether those engagements are digital or face to face. The curricula will go beyond product and domain training and more, even, than just teaching them all the mechanics they’ll need to know in order to effectively deliver the new Advanced Customer Success Service to customers. The program will attempt to ensure that the constant consideration of the customer experience becomes more than a buzz phrase and that its prominence and criticality is built into the core of the program.

CX Is Hard and So Is Exhibiting a Natural Inclination to be Empathetic

Here’s the thing about CX. If you don’t focus on it as being a corporate-wide strategy there will be a competitor who will and they’ll end up bleeding your customers away. We know this from research like this CEO Guide from McKinsey, which states that “…customer-experience leaders gain rapid insights to build customer loyalty, make employees happier, achieve revenue gains of 5 to 10 percent, and reduce costs by 15 to 25 percent within 2 or 3 years.” To complicate matters, optimal customer experiences cannot be described by a single definition. Just as there are a hundreds of millions of customer touchpoints happening constantly in business, similarly there are multivariate customer skill and solution adoption levels that need to be considered as well and that can significantly impact the ability for companies to deliver optimal experiences for customers. So, when I read research like this report from PWC which shows that 70% of customers value speed and convenience from companies while at the same time 74 to 82% say that human interaction matters, the word tension comes to my mind. Why tension? Because how can business leaders balance and deliver on both those critical fronts (speed and convenience AND human interaction) while also growing and economically scaling the business? Clearly, technology must play a critical enabling role?

Time – a Multi-Faceted Object

Customer experience as a top priority for companies is a refreshing development for those of us who were reared in a world in which choice was limited, change was slow, and recourse for poor service was usually an exercise of endless wandering along the branches of a telephone tree. As a customer myself, it’s nice to see product and service providers on their heels ferociously battling to ensure I’m satisfied. I welcome the vastly improved ability to get good service from a company without wasting too much of my time and usually arranging for it at a time that is convenient for me. It does boil down to time and time is the exact right word in this context of the customer experience and it’s a word that is more extensively expanded upon in this great piece that Oracle’s head of CX, Rob Tarkoff, EVP and GM, Oracle CX Cloud, wrote recently. Broadly speaking the cloud has helped to usher in a tremendous opportunity for both sides of the equation (vendor and customer) to transform customer experiences by creating the triggers that allow customers to take more control of their time and of their relationship with vendors.

Respecting Customer Time Sometimes Means Delivering Expertise Sooner Rather Than Later

Oracle’s new Advanced Customer Success Services is one of those triggers. By offering a deeper level of expertise that is grounded in knowledge about the customer’s business and its imperatives, it offers a real possibility for moving forward the vital corporate-wide strategy conversation I mentioned earlier. By respecting customers varied digital and business capability levels and offering a number of ways to begin on a journey to value, the service is designed to acknowledge that no customers are completely alike and that they should be given choices when they embark upon their road to value realization. But that respect has to come from somewhere and I believe that it must come from empathy for the customer’s experience.


See how a top-notch customer experience can make a different to your marketing campaign with “Streamlining the Customer Experience.”

View the blog





from Oracle Blogs | Oracle Marketing Cloud

Adobe unveils new, deeper partnerships with Microsoft, Drift, Roku, ServiceNow

Adobe announced plans for partnerships impacting its offerings for ABM, OTT and customer service at its annual Summit in Las Vegas. The post Adobe unveils new, deeper partnerships with Microsoft, Drift, Roku, ServiceNow appeared first on Marketing Land.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

from Marketing Land - Internet Marketing News, Strategies & Tips

Data Rules the World

It has become second nature. You probably don’t even realize that you’re doing it. However, you are always offering up some information about yourself in exchange for goods and services. Need a few examples?

  • Whenever you download a movie
  • Whenever you buy an ebook
  • Whenever you call for a driveshare service

You’ve already given away your contact information, but these services also have data on your location, preferences, interests, and more.

Lyft and Netflix and similar big-name businesses have not only become huge brands, but they are a part of our daily lives. No one thinks twice about the information they offer up in exchange for a ride, an evening’s entertainment, or a meal ordered in.

This is the new world that we live. It’s different than things were only a few years ago, and there’s no going back. Data now sits at the heart of everything. Every business is collecting it and using it to create marketing strategies and customer experiences designed to win over their customers and keep them coming back again and again.

How can you compete? How can you thrive?

First, you have to realize it’s not so much about brand building. You need to focus on generating revenue. This means you put out the best and most convenient services possible tailored to your audiences. Data helps you accomplish this. With it, you can create a connected, consistent, and comfortable experience for customers across all channels. They have expectations that you meet with your services and the rate at which you innovate and expand.

How do you make data work for you for you?

Well, you might have an awful amount of it, but data is useless is you can’t properly utilize it. You have to strive to connect and fit your data together so that you can take action with it. You can tie your marketing and sales strategies to what the numbers say and build a customer experience that reflects the vivid picture the metrics you have available has painted.

If you have too much data and don’t know how to use it and where it all connects together, you have what’s called a “data island.” You don’t want to end up trapped on one.

Therefore, you need actionable, real-time data and teams that can properly use it to your advantage. With it, you can generate new customer segments to target and possibly bring down your sales cycle. For instance, going from a four-week to a three-week cycle can save money, time, and have you responding quicker and more urgently to customer needs, which helps you stay on the ball.

You should have different specialized teams working in different areas, such as email, apps, the customer experience, sales, marketing, and more. However, your teams should not operate in silos. You should have access to the data and work together using it. Proper data sharing is the key to your teams coming together to craft a better experience that better excites and interests customers and allows them to grow comfortable in providing you more data and returning for more service again and again.

Learn how to put your customer data to good use with “Lead Scoring for Modern Marketers.”

Read the guide

from Oracle Blogs | Oracle Marketing Cloud

Google, Facebook ad gains continue to shrink what’s left for everyone else, says analyst firm

Still, the duopoly isn't immune to challenges from contenders like Amazon. The post Google, Facebook ad gains continue to shrink what’s left for everyone else, says analyst firm appeared first on Marketing Land.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

from Marketing Land - Internet Marketing News, Strategies & Tips

Early AMP for Email lessons: Apple Mail workaround; Approach it like an app

Doodle has been experimenting with AMP-enabled dynamic email for months. Here are 6 tips to getting it right. The post Early AMP for Email lessons: Apple Mail workaround; Approach it like an app appeared first on Marketing Land.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

from Marketing Land - Internet Marketing News, Strategies & Tips

Take your search marketing skills to the next level

For over a decade, veteran search marketers like you have come to SMX® Advanced for two days of fast-paced, no-holds-barred sessions and keynotes — and invaluable networking with seriously smart people. But for some, that just isn’t enough. That’s why we offer immersive pre-conference...

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

from Marketing Land - Internet Marketing News, Strategies & Tips

3 Content Creation Strategies That Will Help You Prosper

Did you know that 90% of the information your brain receives is visual? Or that blog posts with images tend to get 94% more views?

Using images isn’t the only strategy you can employ to get more traffic. Increasing your word count can help too. Blog posts that contain 3,000 to 10,000 words, on average, get 8,859 social shares.

To show you how you can gain more traffic through content creation, I’ve created an infographic that breaks down all the strategies you need to follow. From increasing readability to gaining more social shares, the steps in this infographic will help you increase your traffic.

Click on the image below to see a larger view:

3 Content Creation Strategies That Will Help You Prosper

Click here to view an enlarged version of this infographic.


If you don’t have the time to follow all the strategies in the infographic, at least try two main ones: list posts and infographic-related posts. These types of posts tend to get more social shares.

Embed This Image On Your Site (copy code below):

3 Content Creation Strategies That Will Help You Prosper
Courtesy of: Quick Sprout

from Quick Sprout

This is Your Brain on Visualization

How long do you think your attention span is? Maybe a minute or even two, right? Sadly, your attention span is 8 seconds. That’s one second shorter than that of a goldfish. So, when you show people paragraphs of text, don’t expect them to read it all.

But did you know visualizations such as infographics are thirty times more likely to be read than text? And if that’s not enough to convince you to start using visualizations within your marketing, maybe this infographic will change your mind:

Click on the image below to enlarge:

this is your brain on visualization

Click here to view an enlarged version of this infographic.


You should consider creating infographics because they drive 250% more traffic than ordinary blog posts do. If you don’t believe me, just look at Mashablethey get three times more tweets when a post includes an infographic than when it doesn’t. Plus, 65% of people are visual learners, which means showing data in a visual format will make it easier for your readers to learn.

Once you create an infographic, make sure you check out this post as it will teach you how to make it go viral.

Embed This Image On Your Site (copy code below):

This is Your Brain on Visualization
Courtesy of: Quick Sprout

from Quick Sprout

Suck Your Readers In: 4 Types of Openings for “Sticky” Content


The headline is the most important part of your content.

That’s a fact.

What’s the second most important part?

That would be your introduction.

Think of it this way: Your headline compels people to click on your post, but your intro draws them in to actually read the post.

And if you’re sick of not getting a high level of engagement on your posts, this is likely one of the main causes.

Here’s the simplest way to illustrate the effect of introductions on your content’s performance:

  • Bad headline – Low traffic
  • Good headline, bad intro – High traffic, high bounce rate, low time on page
  • Good headline, good intro – High traffic, low bounce rate, high time on page

Always aim for that third scenario.

The sad fact is that most bloggers put very little effort into their introductions. They either quickly say what they’re writing about, or they end up going on about things that don’t entice the reader to read on.

It doesn’t matter whether or not you fall into that category. What matters is that just about all bloggers could benefit from improving their introductions.

To help you do that, I’m going to show you 4 of the best types of openings that you can use in your content. You can always use at least one of these for any post you create. 

1. Embrace the fear of failure

A great introduction needs to connect with the reader emotionally.

As any copywriter knows, emotions drive action. In this case, the action we want is for the reader to continue down the page.

Fear is one of the strongest motivating emotions, and people are willing to go to great lengths to prevent that fear from coming true.

Let’s look at a few examples, and then I’ll show you how to come up with your own.

Example #1 – Use a common fear: Here’s one of my own introductions:


The first 4 paragraphs focus on a common scenario: putting in a lot of work on a project (like a product or piece of content) and then finally releasing it.

If you’re an entrepreneur, you know how terrifying this can be. Entrepreneurs have sleepless nights worrying about failing.

What if they hear “crickets” when they release their project? What if no one cares?

Anyone in, or nearing, this sort of situation is going to read the rest of the introduction at the very least.

Quickly look at that final line in the screenshot: “there is a solution…”

You use fear to grab your readers’ attention, but then you need to transition that into a solution that they will achieve by taking action.

Example #2 – Does your reader feel like a failure? This one is going to sound kind of mean, but it’s effective.

If your reader already feels like a failure, all you need to do is describe their biggest problem, evoking their fear of failure.

Here’s an example from a Smart Blogger post:


Here, Carol Tice starts by calling out bloggers with low traffic and loyal subscribers.

If you’re a reader of that post in that situation, it hurts to read it.

You start thinking about your low number of readers and get a sinking feeling that you will never get many more.

But you feel that only until Tice offers a solution, which is the whole point of her post.

How to write your own fear-inspired introduction: This type of opening is not only effective but also fairly simple to write.

Create it in three steps:

  1. State the fear of failure (or cause of fear) – Do this in a straightforward manner. In my example, the fear was not knowing what would happen when a product was launched.
  2. Illustrate the fear – If you can describe the fear and make the reader picture it, do it. Sometimes it’s simple. The image of “crickets” is all I needed to do to make readers picture no customers, signups, or attention after the release of their product.
  3. Transition to a solution – The whole point of hooking in a reader with fear is to give them the incentive to read your content. Your content needs to offer a solution to their fear. Write about how your content will help them.

That’s all there is to it. You can start with a few notes for each part and then combine them together.

2. No one wants to be left behind

There are many ways to incorporate fear into your openings.

Fear of failure is a big one, but there’s another big fear you should be aware of: the fear of missing out.

It’s why many people buy lottery tickets, especially as a group. They don’t want to be the one who misses out if the group miraculously wins.

When it comes to most content, the fear of missing out can be applied in a few ways:

  • Fear of being left behind – In niches like SEO, if you don’t keep up with the latest information, you can become obsolete.
  • Fear of missing out on fun – No one wants to miss out on a fun event or product.
  • Fear of missing out on an opportunity – If something is only available or useful for a limited time (like content on certain topics), people will be more interested than they would be if it was always useful.

Here’s an example (note the two parts boxed in red):


Just like in type #1, we use a similar 3-step process.

The first step is prompting the fear, which the first box begins to do. It mentions that some types of content are better than others.

In this case, marketers don’t want to miss out on the best tactics because it means they won’t get great results.

In the following two paragraphs, I amplify that fear. I explain that the content that most marketers produce isn’t as great as they think it is and that they might be closer to an average marketer.

The second box alludes to the solution—certain types of content that are guaranteed to outperform what average marketers are making. I go on to expand on my solution before starting the post.

Again, it’s the same 3-step process:

  1. State the fear (or cause of fear)
  2. Illustrate the fear
  3. Transition to your solution

3. Use AIDA to captivate visitors

You may have heard of AIDA before.

It’s one of the most famous copywriting formulas there is because it just plain works. It’s incredibly versatile, and we can apply it to our openings as well.

First, what does AIDA stand for?

  • Attention
  • Interest
  • Desire
  • Action

Typically, you’ll address each point in that order.

To start off, you need to grab the attention of your readers. How do you do that? Typically with a bold or surprising claim.

For example, in a post on Backlinko, Brian Dean said that he analyzed over 1 million search results. That’s a lot and pretty intriguing to most SEOs reading the post.


If you can use numbers—great, but they’re not required. The only goal here is to catch the attention of your reader. It may be a sentence or two that seem unrelated at first to your topic.

Check out this intro from one of Jon Morrow’s best posts:


The post is about being a better blogger, but you wouldn’t know it from that opening.

However, he grabs your attention by doing something out of the ordinary: telling you (in great detail) that he’s going to tell you something you’re not going to like.

Even though I know what’s coming (since I’ve read it before), I still have that feeling of needing to know what comes next.

Then, we move on to interest.

Interest is similar to attention, and you certainly need to maintain attention, but this is where you tie your attention-grabbing introduction to the subject of the post.

In Brian’s article about SEO ranking factors, he included two parts to accomplish this:

Which factors correlate with first page search engine rankings?


With the help of Eric Van Buskirk and our data partners, we uncovered some interesting findings.

Brian knows that his readers want to know which ranking factors are most important. However, he doesn’t give away all the answers quite yet, saying instead they uncovered some “interesting findings.”

Next, it’s time to move on to desire.

This is where you make it really clear why your reader should care about your content, if they didn’t already know that.

Here’s an example from one of my posts:


Here, I make it clear that if a reader follows my advice in the post, they could double their writing speed.

Remember that your reader is already interested at this point. To induce desire, all you need to do is make the benefits of your content clear.

Now, what about actionthe last part of the formula?

You can interpret and use it in two ways.

First, you could get a reader to take an action right at the end of your introduction. Maybe you want them to get a pen and paper or open a spreadsheet. Or maybe you want them to answer a question and come back to it at the end.

If this applies, go for it.

The action in this formula typically refers to the end of the content, though. So, in your conclusion, you should make it clear how a reader is supposed to apply what you just taught them.

4. Show me the money (benefit first)

Some readers just absolutely hate stories of any kind.

They want you to get to the point and do it fast.

If your audience has a lot of readers like that, consider starting off with the benefit of your content. But not just any benefit—the biggest one.

This is how you will attract attention, and if the benefit you promise is big enough, they will invest their time to read through your content.

For example, you could start an article about SEO basics by saying:

If you learn the basics of SEO, you could be making $3,000+ per month within 6 months.

Assuming you’ve got your audience right, they’ll be glad to dig a bit deeper to find out if your claim is true.

After that opening claim, you then want to expand on and back up your claim. To continue the example:

I know this because I’ve taught multiple students to do so. I myself am an SEO who makes over $XXX,000 per month.

Now you have some credibility behind your solution.

Finally, you should close off your introduction by explaining how the reader will get to the solution.

In this case, something like this would work:

I’m going to show you the X SEO basics you need to know and then a step-by-step process to follow to start generating revenue.

At that point, most readers will be hooked.

To recap, the 3-step process for this type of opening is:

  1. Start with your strongest benefit.
  2. Show why your claim is credible (since the claim needs to be impressive/slightly unbelievable).
  3. Explain how you’ll help the reader achieve the benefit.

Keep in mind that it doesn’t necessarily have to look exactly like that as long as all the elements are covered.

Here’s an example of this type of opening from one of my posts:


The sentence in the first box only implies the benefit (ranking as well as Quick Sprout). I’m counting on the reader to be familiar with my site.

Shortly after, I say that I’ll show the reader what they need to do if they want to rank like Quick Sprout. This is actually the 2nd and 3rd step all in one.

The claim is credible because I state that I’ll personally show them the solution. Of course, I’m credible in this situation since I’m the one who built the site up.

At the same time, I’ve explained that I’m going to show them what they need to do. I explain a bit more right after that part.

Don’t get hung up having a clear distinction between all parts of the opening—just make sure they are all covered in the right order.


Don’t put tons of hours into writing an amazing post and then just slap on a weak introduction.

If you do that, too many of your readers will never make it down to the content that has the value.

Use these 4 types of openings to craft introductions that basically force readers to give your content a chance.

From there, I hope your content delivers.

from Quick Sprout