Posts tagged microsite
Mark McGuinness of Lateral Action guest posted a terrific blog at Copyblogger: Are You a Marketing Artist or Scientist? In it he describes two distinct tribes that most marketers fall into (1) the right-brain types that like to create and find inspiration in coffee shops journaling and brainstorming about their next blog, podcast, video or creation or (2) the left-brain types that are most on fire when they get to use gadgets to crunch numbers, run split tests or compare data sets.
McGuinness explains it matters not which camp you fall into. What matters is that both camps work closely together to achieve optimum marketing outcomes for your organization. While ethereal writers can create magnetic content in itself it isn’t marketing until the scientists optimize it to be found and shared on the web.
And while marketing scientists are terrific at setting up variable data projects,analysis models and optimizing content to be keyword and SEO rich and for capturing names and IP addresses via landing pages and micro sites, they aren’t good at creating copy or content that screams read me, share me, and use me to make your buying decision right now!
You Need Both Disciplines to Succeed
McGuinness goes on to say that while at one time you could succeed with just killer content or killer PPC, now you need a mixture of the art and science to succeed. Dave Reibstein, co-author of Marketing Metrics, agrees.
Read Reibstein’s full excerpt here about blending the art and science of marketing.
Allen Weiner of Gartner for Marketing Leaders shares three companies that he feels is blending the art and science of content marketing marvelously well. In his blog post, Understanding the Art and Science of Content Marketing, Weiner gives the thumbs up to Home Depot, Nike’s Better World micro-site and The Waffle Shop.
He says all three think like publishers in blending their content with proper workflow and outcomes. Home Depot succeeded by driving 29 million DIY-ers to a YouTube video on the forgotten art of whiskey barrel making. Many showed up in the store to buy materials and give it a go.
Nike’s Better World succeeded with its content by using HTML5 to present a scrolling storyboard explaining its company’s green initiatives and The Waffle Shop doubled connects with its customers through a live stream of customers sharing comments good or bad live at a Pittsburgh restaurant.
Is your marketing organization set up so the scientists can teach the artists and vice versus? Tell us in the comments section below.
When a Dallas-based advertising agency, VLG, needed to engage prospects, it opted to show off its interactive technology through a sitelet or mini-site. The sitelet used a mock company called Crescent Bluffs to demonstrate the amount of time VLG could engage the prospect in the demo.
I was engaged for 1 minute 41 seconds. I took VLG’s bait of virtually opening a hotel door to a room with a virtual key on the screen. I was then asked to meet them in the lobby and then in the restaurant to have a virtual lunch; and at the end of the lunch a virtual note appeared on the screen announcing how long our business courtship lasted. VLG then asked me on the screen if I would be interested in learning how to conduct my own sitelet campaign to create new business for my company.
VLG’s campaign, Accept the Invitation, began by mailing a hotel napkin and faux hotel key with a note that read, “Let’s Meet.” The note sent prospects to a mini or microsite for a faux hotel named Crescent Bluffs. You can walk through the prospect experience here.
Because of sitelet successes such as VLG’s, other agencies and companies are using sitelets to launch a product, provide support functions and for targeted advertising campaigns. By using a separate domain name, you can choose a unique descriptive URL that pertains specifically to the campaign.
Flash, online databases and advanced programming can be combined to create powerful customer support tools. It is possible to preload your existing offline data or structure an entirely new database.
Another key benefit of using a targeted sitelet approach is that you do not have to significantly modify your existing company website for a specific campaign. You will want to integrate links and content for maximum exposure, but this is significantly easier than modifying website navigation and page structure.
How can you use mini-sites to bring in business?
A gymnast who dismounts off the balance beam and sticks her landing—no bobbles, wobbles, or falls—usually earns a perfect score. In the world of marketing, the marketing officer who finishes his campaign effort with a well-constructed landing page that encourages customers to sign up and stick around, usually earns up to 40% more email captures than marketing officers who don’t point prospects to a landing page.
A landing page (also known as a squeeze page, jump page, PURL or a microsite) is relatively simple to build. Most companies should have at least one landing page for every product or service. A landing page should serve a purpose— to gain customer information so you can develop a relationship with him or her over time so they will trust you and buy your products. The cardinal rule is never send ad traffic to your home page where they might get lost and never return.
Building a landing page that gives the prospect clear value increases the likelihood of getting their contact information. But here’s the rub, you only get 56 seconds to persuade them to do this, according to data from Nielson. To optimize your chances of success, here’s a simple checklist to follow:
- Make sure the call to action is clear
- Make sure the headline is strong and matches your advertising promise
- Put the important content at the top, so there is no need to scroll
- Make sure your landing page loads easily and quickly so you don’t lose your prospects
- Don’t ask for too much information in your opt-in form (name and email are standard)
- Give clear details of what they’re getting, when they’re getting it, and what to expect next
- Include the copy, pictures, and when applicable, video, necessary to earn their trust
- Testimonials that reinforce the benefit to opting in work wonders
Building strong landing pages has enough curriculum online to be parlayed into a college degree. However, if you don’t have time to go back to night school, just watch The Art of Crafting Effective Landing Pages by Daniel Johnston.
In case you don’t have time to watch all of Dan Johnston’s presentation, let me point out the four worst things you can try to do with your landing pages.
1. Throw in the Kitchen Sink. Trying to cram as much as possible onto one page puts the burden on the respondent to sift through it. Stay focused on the one action you want them to take and why they should take it.
2. Rush to get their number. Landing pages that immediately ask a visitor to complete a form, fail. Build up to it, then ask for their email or number.
3. Optimize too much. Test which combination of headline, image, and offer button works best, but don’t waste a lot of time on minutia or microscopic tweaks.
4. Not honoring brand. Just because landing pages are quick and cheap to build doesn’t mean they should look cheap. Make sure the image your page presents is professional and matches your brand.
We hope this gives you plenty of ideas to run and execute in the New Year with your landing pages. Build many, attract many, measure always, and remember to stick your landing for the best direct marketing results.