Saturday, November 10, 2018
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Friday, October 26, 2018
Companies routinely have Revenue Blind Spots that cost them 20-60% of their revenue. It is like revenue that disappears without you knowing it or seeing it. It is like heat escaping from a poorly insulated home or water leaking from an old bucket. Or like the daily death by a 1000 cuts (think Sears). There are really small ones like a paper cut and others that run much deeper.
Here is an example:
Jeffrey and I are wrapping up a new keynote/workshop for 2019 titled, Revenue Blind Spots: Increase Your Sales with the Persuasive Momentum Framework. We are looking for two associations to deliver this keynote at in 2019. If you know an association that would benefit from this message please connect us.
Smart leaders like you instinctively know they have a blind spot and the miracle of breakthrough is usually hiding in the center of it. Systems and processes that were once true and reliable no longer serve you.
Don’t feel bad. If there was any way you could see your blind spot they wouldn’t call it a blind spot.
Every company has blind spots. Blind spots are the disconnect between customers’ expectation and their actual experience. Are brains are designed to create these blind spots to handle all the information coming at us. In today’s world of increasing velocity of messaging and data we need solutions to recover these Revenue Blind Spots that cost companies between 20-60% of their revenue. Everyone knows what it feels like to make changes that make customers happier and increase sales. The challenge for companies is to pinpoint how to connect with customers. How to position their products and services in ways that sustain engagement.
Most companies don’t have an awareness problem. Their challenge is sales conversion. They attract potential customers, but fail to identify obstacles in the funnel. They also fail to motivate customers, in the proper context, to propel customers through the customer journey. This has only become more challenging as consumers and companies move between channels – offline to online and back. Customers expect seamless and consistent positioning, messaging and engagement. Companies struggle to provide this at any individual stage, much less through the entire lifecycle of a customer.
The Eisenbergs provide keynotes, workshops and consulting that help reveal the blind spots and how to fix them. The Persuasive Momentum Framework anticipates then provides solutions for those blind spots. The Framework provides action plans for products, positioning, sales copy, promotion, content, user interface, testing and measurement. Teams use these action plans, innovating customer experiences to increase sales. Frameworks are also easier to implement than finding superstar talent.
- Discover the single perspective that sales leaders share
- Explore the two dimensions you can use to improve sales
- Learn the three simple questions that speed the persuasive momentum of your entire sales system
- Align your teams for better execution around the four pillars of success
- Identify what your customers want so you can provide it
Monday, September 24, 2018
Blogging isn’t dead.
Blogging is still alive, and it can …
- Drive traffic to your website.
- Generate new leads.
- Establish your business as an authority.
But if you’re like many business owners or marketing leaders, your blog is probably lifeless. It no longer accomplishes the big goals I just mentioned. It’s just sitting there dormant on your website, haphazardly groaning for attention.
Before you give up hope or take your blog off life-support, there’s one tactic you should pursue to increase your blog traffic.
It’s a tactic that’s often overlooked and rarely discussed, and it could quickly and legitimately boost your blog traffic.
What is this magical tactic?
It’s republishing your old blog posts.
I know this doesn’t sound promising on the surface. But I’ve used this tactic on several different sites with similar positive results.
And this is the tactic I used to increase my blog traffic to one post month-over-month by 1,548%.
Let me show you:
This screenshot, which compares monthly traffic in March 2018 versus August 2018, shows the increase in monthly traffic before and after I made changes (no, this post did not receive a boost from social media or elsewhere in August).
This increase in blog traffic didn’t happen overnight.
After optimizing this post, it took a couple of months for it to begin ranking for a variety of keywords.
Here’s a bird’s-eye view of how this post started to increase in traffic after I implemented the changes:
This post was republished at the beginning of May, which led to the short spike that month. You can see a small dip in traffic in June, a slight increase in July, and a big leap in August as the post began to rank higher for additional keywords.
As you can see from this example, the traffic had previously plateaued and remained relatively the same month after month. After optimizing and republishing this postl, it went from receiving around 200 pageviews per month to nearly 3,300 pageviews per month!
Before you get too excited and start republishing everything on your site, I have some good news and bad news to share.
Here’s the good news:
Optimizing old posts on your site can increase your blog traffic.
But here’s the bad news:
This tactic doesn’t produce the same results for every post on your site.
Since I don’t want to end on a negative note, I’m going to walk you through the process I used to identify this post (and many others) to republish, and the steps I took to optimize it to increase its ranking and traffic.
Click here to read the entire post at Stillhouse Marketing.
The post 1,548% Increase in Blog Traffic: 1 Proven (Yet Overlooked) Tactic appeared first on Copybot.
Monday, September 3, 2018
There are times when little decisions lead to extraordinary results.
I’m not talking about the little decisions you need to make every day toward building a successful career, business, or fulfilled life. I’m talking about the times when you make a seemingly small decision for your business, and it ends up having tremendous results.
This is exactly what happened at Tithe.ly.
Like every business, we were exploring ideas to increase our leads and boost our conversion rate. During this same time, we were also identifying ways we could better serve our customers with timely support.
After spending a few months reviewing a variety of solutions, Frank Barry, Tithe.ly’s COO, decided to add live chat to our site. He knew by adding this service to our site and adapting our team to this new tactic would be helpful. But it’s safe to say that all of us were blown away by the results — especially regarding the increase in our conversion rate.
As it turns out, after adding live chat to our site and making a few internal changes, our conversion rate skyrocketed 155% month-over-month.
Take a moment to let that number sink in.
Before diving into the steps we took to increase our conversion rate with live chat, I’d like to start off by sharing more context about why we implemented this service in the first place.
The post How Tithe.ly’s Conversion Rate Skyrocketed 155% Month-Over-Month with Live Chat appeared first on Copybot.
Monday, August 6, 2018
Looking for ideas for your next blog post?
You should try writing a product comparison post.
It’s basically just an article where you compare two (or more) popular products against each other. And it works like a charm in virtually every field.
Are you a travel blogger?
You could compare hotel chains, airline credit cards, or pit Airbnb against VRBO.
You could compare blenders, weight loss programs, and recipe books.
Digital marketing blogger?
You could compare courses, website plugins, and SaaS tools.
As you can see, writing a product comparison post works in basically any niche.
And here are three reasons why I think you should give writing product comparison posts a try:
1. Product comparison posts are super helpful for readers
As bloggers, perhaps our biggest job is helping people save time by making the information they need more convenient.
In a crowded Internet, people have shared many ideas. But we can make readers’ lives better by presenting content in a convenient format.
Product comparison posts are a great example. By providing the information readers need all in one place, we can help them skip or reduce the tedious work of researching various solutions.
2. Product comparison posts are a great way to educate yourself
We all know using the best tools is essential. But finding the time to research different options is tough — and usually gets pushed to the back burner.
Writing a product comparison post allows you to kill two birds with one stone. You get a great blog post you can proudly share and a chance to become more knowledgeable about products that can help you and your readers.
3. Product comparison posts can make money
Many companies have affiliate programs bloggers can join that pay you for generating leads. If you write a definitive product comparison post about two relevant products and share it with your readers, you might convert a few people into paying customers — and earn a commission for yourself.
So, now that you’ve read about the benefits of these articles… want to give it a try?
Here’s how to write a definitive product comparison post
Follow these 4-steps to write a product comparison post that will convert massive amounts of leads:
Step 1: Pick two products or services your readers are interested in
Think through these questions to find the best products to compare:
- Think of a problem your readers might face, and two solutions they might consider.
- Think of a tool your readers might already use, and an alternative they might like to try.
- Think of a tool you currently use, and some alternatives you’d like to try.
Step 2: Pick some facts about the products to highlight
As the name implies, your goal in a product comparison post is to highlight differences. One of the biggest mistakes you can make with this type of article is writing general product reviews and never pointing out any key distinctions.
I’m not saying you have to pick a winner or make a one-size-fits-all recommendation. On the contrary, it’s usually a game of pros and cons.
For example, one product might have more features, while the other product is cheaper. Which is the better product for the reader? It depends on what they value more: Features or cost savings. Your job is merely to point out these differences.
Here are some areas you can highlight:
- Key features
- Regions where the product is available (when applicable)
- Reviews (if possible)
There will also be some topic-specific differences you’ll want to highlight.
For example, this review of Daily Harvest and Green Blender, two popular smoothie delivery services, points out the differences in the size of the smoothies; whether the recipes are organic, gluten-free, or vegan; and whether the ingredients are shipped fresh or frozen.
Step 3: Do your research
Now that you have a good idea of what areas you want to cover, you can go on a scavenger hunt to find the answers. Company websites are where you’ll probably want to start, but Google is a big help too — if you know the right tricks.
When you search a keyword followed by the name of the product’s website (“keyword” + “product’s website”), Google can often point you to the best pages for answers faster than you can find them by browsing.
A side-note about finding product reviews:
Reviews and ratings are an incredibly valuable data point to include in your product comparison posts because they quantify how satisfied customers tend to be with a product. However, finding scores to share can sometimes be difficult‚ especially if you don’t know where to look.
Food Delivery Guru has a great post comparing Blue Apron against Hello Fresh (two meal kit delivery services that send customers pre-portioned ingredients for cooking easy homemade meals.) Since retailers like Amazon don’t sell these meal delivery subscriptions, you might think there would be no way to show reviews. But Food Delivery Guru gets around that by featuring the companies’ Trustpilot scores.
Trustpilot is a website where customers can post reviews for products they’ve tried. There are many sites like it, and you can find these sites by Googling what you’re looking for—i.e., “Hello Fresh reviews”.
Look for a reputable site that has a considerable number of reviews for both of the services you’re comparing. For example, if one product has a terrible rating but only three reviews, it would probably be unfair to use those metrics as the basis for a comparison.
Step 4: Write the post
You can be creative in the outline you choose to use, but remember, your job is to make the information easy to find and understandable.
Here’s a basic outline I’ve found to be useful:
- Acknowledge the problem the reader is facing
- Mention the tools that could solve the problem
- Quickly explain how the post will help readers pick the best option for their unique situation
- Offer a side-by-side comparison chart for an easy overview
- Write a short review of product 1 highlighting unique features
- Summarize the pros of product 1 using bullet points
- Write a short review of product 2 highlighting unique features
- Summarize the pros of product 2 using bullet points
- End with a conclusion that suggests which product is better for specific groups of people based on their circumstances (e.g., “If you’re looking for the cheapest option…”)
Do I have to limit myself to only two products or companies?
Kindlepreneur has a great article that helps aspiring authors pick the best book writing software for their needs. Although the name doesn’t explicitly say it, this blog post is really just a definitive product comparison post. In the write-up, the authors actually compare five different tools you can use to write books.To keep the post from becoming overwhelming, the authors do a few things really well:
- They highlight mutually exclusive differentiators (like which book writing software works for which device), helping people quickly narrow down their options.
- They keep their overviews for each of the five products short.
- They use a lot of bullet points to communicate important facts with less text.
Over to you
Now you have some great reasons to consider giving a product comparison post a try, clear steps for how to write one, and several examples of great articles you can reverse engineer.
If you have any questions, be sure to post them in the comments!
The post 3 Reasons Why You Should Write Definitive Product Comparison Posts appeared first on Copybot.
Monday, July 30, 2018
Making mistakes isn’t fun.
They can cause setbacks, result in financial loss, or cause bad blood with your team. Thankfully, you can learn from your mistakes and the mistakes of others. Or, in this case, you can learn from my content marketing mistakes.
Over the past six years, I’ve had the opportunity to work for some fantastic companies and provide content marketing support for a variety of product launches, including:
- Serving as the senior content marketer for a fast-growing SaaS company
- Directing the content strategy for a popular faith-based organization (1.2 million pageviews per month)
- Launching dozens of book marketing campaigns, including several New York Times best-sellers
- Overseeing the content strategy for best-selling author Jeff Goins
- Providing content marketing support for national events, online courses, and albums
After reflecting on my experience, I wrote 6 Most Devastating Content Marketing Mistakes to help you avoid the big mistakes I made. This guide will help you steer clear of those mistakes and chart a course to help you maintain momentum.Don’t feel like you’re alone in your work.
You don’t have to figure everything out yourself.
Take a few moments to read this guide, digest the short lessons, and make sure you’re not wasting your time or money.
Thursday, July 26, 2018
The following is a conversation I had with Abby Wolfe from The Muse about my transition from working in a call center to serving as a content marketer.
“I always struggled tremendously with reading, grammar, and writing,” Wisnewski shares. “I just didn’t apply myself. I actually did so poorly in high school English that I had to take a remedial course when I started college.”
After graduating college, he spent a brief time training to sell insurance before deciding he wanted to be a pastor. He resigned from the insurance industry, relocated to take an unpaid internship with a church, and then he started grad school for religious studies.
It was during his masters program that he really developed a passion for writing. But even this didn’t make him consider a career in content. Instead, while still going to school part-time, he took a call center position for a communications company until something he was more interested in came along. He ended up being there for nearly three years. It was a tough time for him emotionally, as he was tired of spending time at a job he didn’t love. But with a wife and four kids at the time, he couldn’t leave—he had to help pay the bills.
In an effort to help, a friend told him about a job opening at a church that seemed right up Wisnewski’s alley. But when he looked at the job description, it didn’t really interest him.
“Another opening did catch my eye, though,” he shares, “A staff writing position. I realized this was exactly the type of work I wanted to do.” Going with his gut, he applied. And since he’d been writing on the side, he got the job.
Since then, Wisnewski has held a few different content jobs, such as marketing manager and account manager at a few different publishing companies. In early 2018, he launched his own content marketing agency, and, most recently, he landed his current gig at Tithe.ly, an online and mobile-giving company for churches and ministries.
“When I saw this opportunity—the chance to pursue the type of work I love at a company whose mission aligns with my values—I knew it was a match made in heaven,” he shares.
To hear more about my journey into content marketing, click here to keep reading.
The post I Was Able to Combine My Passion for Religion and Content Into a Job I Love appeared first on Copybot.
Thursday, July 5, 2018
So I bummed this book from a neighbor. It’s a book on classic English rhetoric. Or verbal style.
She initially pulled it off her shelf to show me because of the name of the author: Ward Farnsworth.
Not an exact rendering of my last name (it’s Farnworth, no “s”). And that’s not pretentious posturing on my part — it has been that way for generations.
But it didn’t really matter who wrote the book. I fell in love with it on the spot.
Each chapter is devoted to a literary device like anaphora, chiasmus, and litotes That may sound like nonsense to you, but they’re just fancy words for rhetorical devices you’ll quickly recognize.
Furthermore, each device is broken down into subspecies, complete with examples from notable sources like Shakespeare, Churchill, Chesterton, and the Bible (and I threw in a few by Tupac Shukar, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and Bob Dylan).
What is a literary device?
Before diving into these uncommon literary devices, let’s take a quick detour.
Talking about literary devices, figures of speech and writing style can be intimidating for many.
After scouring the web and referring to a few additional books, I didn’t come across an agreed upon definition of literary devices. So here’s my take:
A literary device is a technique you can use to create a special effect on your writing.
Think about it this way.
When writing a story or making a point, you can just use the facts, which is totally fine for in some cases like journalism, or you can liven things up a bit with a literary device.
Here’s an example of a literary device to illustrate what I’m talking about:
- “The rain was heavy this afternoon as I walked to my car.”
- “The rain played tag with me as I ran to my car to get shelter.”
The first sentence is just a statement about the rain. It is what it is. It’s like a reporter sharing her observation about today’s weather, and it doesn’t lead the reader to think anything specific about the rain.
The second sentence basically says the same thing. To make the rain come alive (“The rain played tag”), I used a literary device known as personification to create an image in the mind of the reader. I mean, who hasn’t tried to run away from the rain?
Literary devices are tools writers can use that are similar to tactics producers can use in film, television, or theater. By adding makeup, using costumes, or utilizing computer graphics, producers can create special effects to convey a specific visual.
Here’s one example of before-and-after scenes using special effects:
Sure, the producer could have asked the actor to wear a costume or put on makeup. But you have to admit; the computer graphics really takes the look of this character to the next level.
This is really how literary devices work in their basic form. They can add special effects to your writing and transform the experience of your readers.
Why literary devices are essential to web writing
There’s a lot of good substance out there. Hardly any style, though. This isn’t an accident.
Most people who peddle content are tradespeople first, writers second. In other words, their authority rests in a discipline other than writing.
Sometimes their content feels as if it’s meant to feed a machine when the creator will tell you plainly that is not the case. They are writing for people, which is one key to writing a blog post people will actually read.
Fair enough. But technical writers also write for people.
A list of literary devices to add style to your content
I look at some pieces, though, and I think the designer probably got paid really good money. The writer, not so much.
This is not to say style should be a pretentious exercise in drawing attention to itself. It should not be a navel-gazing sentence by James Joyce or a long-winded, baroque one from Faulkner (whom I adore).
Great web writing demands the plainness of Hemingway and the clarity of Orwell and the playfulness of E. E. Cummings. And you can do it while honoring the simplicity of Strunk.
And mastering these 12 uncommon literary devices from Mr. Farnsworth’s book is a great place to start if you are a greenhorn … a great place to beef up your skill set if you are a veteran. Enjoy.
Epizeuxis is a simple repetition of words and phrases. This literary device is often used for emphasis, and oftentimes, there are no additional words in between. The quick repetition of words or phrases will arrest the attention of your readers.
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”
“Never give in — never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”
“But you never know now do you now do you now do you.”
David Foster Wallace, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men
Anaphora is repetition at the beginning of successive statements. In writing or speeches, you can use this literary device to create an artistic effect, or you can repeat one phrase to weave together several points together.
Mad world! Mad kings! Mad composition!
William Shakespeare, King John, II
But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor!
Epistrophe is similar to anaphora, but with a twist—this literary device uses repetition of words or phrases at the end.
When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child.
1 Corinthians 13:11 (King James Translation)
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny compared to what lies within us.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
“There is no Negro problem. There is no Southern problem. There is no Northern problem. There is only an American problem.”
Lyndon B. Johnson in “We Shall Overcome”
Abnadiplosis is the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning and end of a sentence. This literary device creates a sweet flow in certain forms of writing.
“Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
Yoda, Star Wars
“We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us.”
“The frog was a prince / The prince was a brick / The brick was an egg / The egg was a bird”
Genesis, “Supper’s Ready”
Polyptoton is unique in that it’s a repetition of the root word. For example, you can use similar words like “strength” and “strong” instead of just repeating the same word.
“It is the same with all the powerful of to-day; it is the same, for instance, with the high-placed and high-paid official. Not only is the judge not judicial, but the arbiter is not even arbitrary.”
— G.K. Chesterton, The Man on Top
“Judge not, that ye be not judged.”
“Not as a call to battle, though embattled we are.”
John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961
“Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
Isocolon is a literary device you can use to create parallel structures in your length and rhythm.
“Melts in your mouth, not in your hands.”
“With malice toward none, with charity toward all, with firmness in the right…”
Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address
“I’m a Pepper, he’s a Pepper, she’s a Pepper, we’re a Pepper — Wouldn’t you like to be a Pepper, too? Dr. Pepper!”
Dr. Pepper advertising jingle
“Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.”
Chiasmus is a reversal structure used for artistic effect. With this literary device, you basically criss-cross phrases to convey a similar—not identical—meaning.
“Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind.”
John F. Kennedy
“Woe unto that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”
“They say money don’t make the man but man, I’m makin’ money.”
Tupac Shakur, “Thug Passion”
Anastrope refers to an inversion of words, which will make perfect sense in a moment (assuming your a fan of Star Wars). You can use this literary device to emphasize a word or phrase.
” Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing.”
Edgar Allan Poe, “The Raven”
“Joined the Dark Side, Dooku has. Lies, deceit, creating mistrust are his ways now.”
“I sing of arms and the man, who first from the shores of Troy.”
Virgil, the first line of Aeneid
“Never have I found the limits of the photographic potential. Every horizon, upon being reached, reveals another beckoning in the distance”
“Her mother is the lady of the house, And a good lady, and wise and virtuous. I nursed her daughter that you talked withal. I tell you, he that can lay hold of her, Shall have the chinks.”
Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
Polysyndeto is a literary device where you use extra conjunctions (e.g., and, but)—frequently in quick succession—to create a stylistic effect.
“And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.”
“If there be cords, or knives, or poison, or fire, or suffocating streams, I’ll not endure it”
“And St. Attila raised his hand grenade up on high saying ‘O Lord bless this thy hand grenade that with it thou mayest blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy. ‘and the Lord did grin and people did feast upon the lambs and sloths and carp and anchovies and orangutans and breakfast cereals and fruit bats and …'”
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
“I said, ‘Who killed him?’ and he said ‘I don’t know who killed him, but he’s dead all right,’ and it was dark and there was water standing in the street and no lights or windows broke and boats all up in the town and trees blown down and everything all blown and I got a skiff and went out and found my boat where I had her inside Mango Key and she was right only she was full of water.”
Ernest Hemingway, “After the Storm.”
Asyndeton is a writing style where you leave out conjunctions to write direct statements for effect. If used correctly, this literary device can create a beautiful, memorable rhythm in your writing.
“We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender. . .”
Winston Churchill, “We Shall Fight on the Beaches”
“…and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.”
Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address
“That we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”
John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address
“And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour.”
Litotes is a figure of speech you can use to affirm something positive by making an understatement. After you take a gander at the examples below, you’ll see that this literary device is commonly used in everyday conversations and popular literature.
“Not bad” (to say something is good)
“He’s not as young as he used to be” (meaning “he’s old”)
“Keep an eye on your mother whom we both know doesn’t have both oars in the water.”
Jim Harrison, The Road Home
“I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will make them honored, and they shall not be small.”
“Are you also aware, Mrs. Bueller, that Ferris does not have what we consider to be an exemplary attendance record?”
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
In short, hypophora is when you ask a question and then answer the question you just asked. Unlike a rhetorical question, to use this literary device, you’ll need to answer the question you pose immediately.
“What made me take this trip to Africa? There is no quick explanation. Things got worse and worse and worse and pretty soon they were too complicated.”
Saul Bellow, Henderson the Rain King
Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I.
1 Corinthians 11:21-22
“Oh, what did you see, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, what did you see, my darling young one?
I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it
I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it,
I saw a black branch with blood that kept drippin’,
I saw a room full of men with their hammers a-bleedin’,
I saw a white ladder all covered with water,
I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken,
I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children,
Bob Dylan, “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall.”
Another warning literary devices and style
This could be an exercise in dilettantism. An argument for fashion over function. In the hard and fast competition found on a search results page, most people just want answers to their questions. They want substance over style. Function over fashion.
That, however, is only true in a market that is not saturated. If you hobnob in an industry drowning in competitors, on the other hand, then substance alone is not enough. You need style — among other things — to stand out.
So, bookmark this post, then carve out some time to study these devices.
Question: How many of these devices did I use in this article?
The post 12 Uncommon Literary Devices to Give Your Writing Irresistible Style appeared first on Copybot.
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Using video is a great way to engage your customers and prospects—but how do you channel engagement into action? Interactive CTAs (calls-to-action) or ‘events’ are one great way to drive specific, desired outcomes from your viewers and encourage them to step further down the funnel.
What are interactive events and why should I care?
“In a nutshell, interactive events are areas of the player that have been created specifically to actively engage your viewers,” says Stephanie Yi, Solutions Consultant at Vidyard. “They are meant to drive a specific desired action from the viewer while they are watching your videos.”
Instead of passively consuming your video content, interactive events allow you to point your viewers to a specific action you’d like them to take. This action could be filling out a form, visiting a specific webpage, watching another video, or even requesting a demo. This video provides a brief overview of what interactive events are and how they work in the Vidyard platform.
Certain kinds of events work best with certain types of content—let’s have a look at how you can determine what kind of interactive event is right for your video.
How to leverage interactivity in your video marketing strategy
There are three main pieces you have to consider when creating an interactive video strategy:
- The nature of your content
- Your viewer’s ideal next step
- The kinds of interactive events that are going to drive the best-desired outcomes
We’ll tackle each of these questions in turn. Let’s dive in.
What is the nature of your content?
Think about your video content. What audience is it meant to reach? What role does it play in your funnel?
Here’s a quick primer on how different kinds of videos might fit into your buyer’s journey:
1. Awareness Stage (Top of Funnel) Videos
Videos in the awareness stage are designed to generate just that—awareness. Think of things like company overview videos, thought leadership content, or any kind of short “info bite”-style videos.
2. Consideration Stage (Middle of Funnel) Videos
Videos in the consideration stage can be a little more in-depth. Here’s where product overview videos can come into play, as well as how-to videos and solution-based webinars.
3. Decision Stage (Bottom of Funnel) Videos
Videos in the decision stage help your buyer take the final leap and make a purchase. These can include things like customer testimonial videos, along with in-depth product demos.
Once you’ve determined the nature of your content, you can start thinking about the kind of action you want to use it to drive. And that takes us to our next question:
What are your viewers’ ideal next steps?
Do you want to encourage them to consume more content? Identify themselves to you through a form? Initiate an opportunity? Consider the stage of your videos and how you can nudge your viewers closer to the next stage—or closer to a purchasing decision. Which leads us to our final consideration:
Which interactive events are going to drive the best outcomes?
1. Awareness Stage
In this awareness stage, you want to focus on softer CTAs that will encourage your viewer to explore more of your content and product offerings. Some examples might be links to other pieces of content, newsletter subscription forms, or links to learn more about your products.
2. Consideration Stage
In the consideration stage, you can start using more in-depth lead capture forms to profile your buyer. Here you can also use multiple links on a “choose-your-own-adventure” event to allow buyers to identify their intention or persona.
3. Decision Stage
The decision stage is the point at which you want to encourage your viewer to initiate an opportunity—so make it easy for them! Here’s where you can use forms that allow them to reach out to you. Think demo requests, links to pricing information, or CTAs that allow them to book a meeting with an expert on your team.
We hope this post has been helpful and has inspired you to delve into your own interactive events strategy! If you’re ready to start setting up your own interactive events, check out our guide to events in our knowledge center that will help you get started. You can also check out our handy SlideShare presentation for additional information:
Are you already using interactive CTAs? Excited to get started? Let us know in the comments below!
Friday, May 18, 2018
Demand creation budgets shrank in 2017, but SiriusDecisions made an interesting discovery: The highest performers beat the competition by spending that limited budget very differently. While average performers bought ads, high-performers leveraged white papers, trade shows, and interactive assets in new and interesting ways. Based on the findings of this report we have some EMEA Marketing Recommendations to help you continue to spend your limited budgets wisely while still beating the competition.
EMEA Marketing Recommendations
#1 – MAP’s
Many EMEA marketers are planning to integrate with a MAP (Marketing Automation Platform) in the next 24 months. MAPs are quickly becoming the cornerstone of the modern B2B marketing technology stack because they are more efficient, more powerful, and more cost-effective than using a diverse set of point tools.
Used well, marketing automation can tell the story of how your customers interact with your brand, your content, and the people in your company, throughout the entire customer journey.
Why add marketing automation to your stack?
A MAP can help you organize and manage those complex and time-consuming tasks that need to be coordinated with each other, including:
- Social media marketing and other early-funnel tactics to attract leads
- Content marketing that helps leads progress along the funnel and convert to sales
- Email campaigns to generate engagement, nurture prospects, and onboard new customers
- Asset creation, such as email and landing page templates
- Forms and landing pages to capture lead data
- Automated lead management, including qualification and hand-off to sales
- List and data management, including segmentation for target marketing
- Website analytics that reveals what people are interested in, and how they engage with your site
- Campaign analytics that shows which campaigns really work and which channels deliver
- Coordination with sales, including sharing customer relationship management (CRM) data in marketing campaigns
Efficient alignment of your inbound and outbound marketing strategies, multiple platforms and channels, and programs and processes, is a monumental, manual, tedious, nearly impossible job without using a MAP.
Implementing marketing automation can effectively bridge the gap between the various technologies, and empower marketing and sales to work closely together.
#2 – Lead Scoring
Many EMEA marketers are passing leads over to sales as soon as they get, vs implementing lead scoring but they are not alone.
If you don’t know where to start with lead scoring, you’re not alone. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn: companies that excel at lead nurturing have 9% more sales reps making quotas.
Lead scoring is a method for identifying sales-ready leads by assigning values (points) based on predetermined criteria, e.g., industry and job title, website visits, video views, webinar attendance, and form completions. The sum of the points is the lead’s score.
Lead scoring offers a lot of value to your business, including:
- Efficiency: Decrease the volume of sales-ready leads, so you aren’t focusing on the wrong leads
- Marketing measurement: Assess campaign effectiveness, and potential worth of opportunities
- Operational excellence: Align organizational resources for more efficient conversion
Here’s an example of what lead scores could look like for some individuals based on their behavior and engagement with common marketing and sales activities:
|Behavior||Visitor 1||Visitor 2|
|Visited Landing Page (+3 Points)||3||3|
|Watched Explainer Video (+8 Points)||8|
|Viewed Case Studies (+5 Points Each)||10||20|
|Viewed Pricing Page (+5 Points)||5||5|
|Opened Drip Email (+3 Points Each)||3||6|
|Attended Webinar (+10 Points)||10||10|
In this example, Visitor 1 would fall under the interested category and would be funneled into a nurturing campaign of drip emails and marketing outreach, while Visitor 2 is qualified as a lead, and would be moved over to the sales team.
Dive deeper into how top European demand creators are spending their shrinking budgets with the SiriusDecisions Report on European Demand Creation Budgets and Tactics. In the report you’ll learn things like:
- Which assets high-performers spent more on
- Which delivery mechanisms worked best for high-performers
- Why interactive content (like video!) was 2017’s big winner
The post Why Top EMEA Marketers Are Ready To Adopt Marketing Automation appeared first on Vidyard.
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
You don’t shop the way you did five years ago—so why are you still selling that way? Today’s B2B buyers are more empowered than ever before. They do their own research. They read reviews. They price compare online. In comparison, we know from the B2C world, 90% of the buying decision is made before a potential customer even walks into a storefront.
Which means we need to be fluid. What worked 24 or even 12 months ago is now outdated. It simply won’t work anymore. Consumers don’t want to deal with some pushy, charismatic wheeler and dealer. They want the best solution.
But don’t start contemplating your next big career move or planning an early retirement party just yet—buyers still need salespeople, just not in the ways that might immediately come to mind. Buying behavior has changed, with consumers showing much more hunger for information than for amazing deals.
So how can salespeople adapt to B2B buyers’ changing needs?
I want to share what’s been working for me and my team over the last little while in the hopes that it will help you be more effective in your role and add more value to your buyers.
Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned:
1. Take on the role of an educator
Consumers are curious. They want to know more about your product so they can make the best possible decision for their business. And lucky for them, you’re the expert!
Rather than selling, seek to inspire. Show your B2B buyers what their business could look like if they decided to implement your solution. Provide resources and make yourself available for their questions, but don’t push it. By positioning yourself as a resource, you can educate your prospect on the value of your product without coming off as overbearing—and chances are, your customers will trust you more for it.
2. Show value and inspire
Your success doesn’t happen during the sales call. It happens afterward when your prospect is lying awake at night, thinking about the potential gain of implementing your solution or potential loss of not. It’s your job to inspire that kind of reaction by helping them imagine a future using your product—and by showing your prospect what they’d be missing out on by passing up this opportunity for their business.
I recently listened in on a successful cold call between our sales dev rep, Chris Wu, and one of the biggest global financial service firms. Looking to book a meeting, Chris cut to the chase saying, “if you spend the time researching this, one of two things will happen. One, you will be confident continuing on this year with XYZ Competitor, or two, it will become clear that you need to change and change quickly.”
Showing value in sales is nothing new. However, finding new ways to inspire and create opportunities to share value is something we can always work on. Even if you’re working the biggest, most traditional prospects, there’s still a need to innovate. Maybe even more of a need.
3. A sales call by any other name…
…is dishonest and unhelpful to your prospects. If it’s a sales call, say it’s a sales call.
By being straightforward, you build trust with your prospect. More than that, you’ll find that people are more willing to agree to talk to you when they know what they’re getting into.
Do away with any vagueness. If you only need three minutes of their time, say it. Set a timer and hold yourself to those three minutes. Give them the opportunity to arrange a follow-up or keep chatting if they’re still interested, but make them aware of when the three minutes has elapsed.
By showing that you’re respectful of their time, you demonstrate that you’re trustworthy and dependable.
4. Be human
There is one part of the salesperson of yesteryear that isn’t obsolete: the human connection. It sounds cheesy, but the truth is, we all have a little Cosmo Kramer in us.
Buyers want an expert in their corner, someone to say: When you go down there talk to my guy Bob Sacamano. Mention my name & he’ll take 30% off. We like to be recognized and feel special. It’s just human nature.
I hope these lessons have been helpful and inspired you to think about your sales role in a new light. What are you doing to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of sales? Let me know in the comments below!
The post Stop Selling, Start Educating: How to Reach Today’s B2B Buyers appeared first on Vidyard.
Thursday, May 10, 2018
The sales tech landscape is overwhelming. With more than 700 sales tech vendors and countless tools, it’s enough to make any sales leader’s head spin. How do you decide which tools are worth your while and which ones are just bright shiny objects that will distract—or worse, detract—from your selling goals?
Never fear, intrepid leaders! Jill Rowley, CMO at Marketo, has the inside scoop on how to get the best value out of your sales technology. As an expert on marketing automation and a self-described “salesperson trapped in a marketer’s body” (she spent a decade building the marketing automation space as a sales leader at Eloqua) she’s uniquely qualified to comment on how to make the best use of the seemingly boundless sales tools at your disposal. Here’s her advice:
You need a sales tech strategy
As a team—and ideally, as an organization—you need to have a unified tech strategy. This means understanding your individual business needs: the goals you have and the kinds of tools you need to achieve them. Jill recommends thinking about “the pains and the challenges that our organizations are having that can be solved, in part, by leveraging technology.”
Additionally, she warns that what works great for a small business might be disastrous for an enterprise company, and vice versa. Even if something is a great piece of tech, if it’s not aligned with your business goals it’s going to be ineffective and costly.
Less is more
Think about it: for every new piece of tech you add, that’s another tool that salespeople have to get trained on, remember their login for, and remember to check. It’s better to have a few, carefully curated tools that work well together than all the latest shiny toys and a sales team that isn’t able to leverage all of them effectively. Save your tech investments for tools that are aligned with your specific business goals and that work well with your existing technology.
Sales tech evaluation checklist
So what should you look for in new technology to avoid the pitfalls of bright shiny object syndrome?
1. What is the problem or pain point that this technology will solve?
As Cogsworth says in my favorite punny Beauty and the Beast one-liner, “if it’s not baroque, don’t fix it!” You should have a well-defined purpose for each piece of tech before deciding to add it to your stack. Does it solve a particular pain point? Allow your salespeople to reach goals you haven’t yet been able to achieve? Think about how it will help serve your team and how it will, in turn, help them serve the customer.
And it if doesn’t fit into your strategy? Save your budget for something else.
2. Does it integrate with your existing systems?
Next, consider your existing sales tech stack. How will this new piece of technology integrate with your existing systems? You want to make it as easy as possible for your salespeople to use so they’ll be happy to adopt it. That also means thinking about their existing processes and workflows—how will this fit in? Will it make their lives easier or add additional complications?
3. How will we implement it?
Finally, think about training and enablement. Who in your organization might be best suited to help you launch this new tool? Contemplating how to get the tool up and running before you even make your purchase decision will not only make your team’s adoption much smoother if you decide to buy the tool, it will also help you decide whether the investment of time and training is worth it.
I hope this article has been helpful and inspired you to think critically about your next tech evaluation. Want to find out how we evaluate sales tech at Vidyard? Check out Business Development Director Dan Wardle’s post Evaluating Sales Technology: An Insider’s Look.
What criteria do you use to evaluate new sales tech? Sound off in the comments below!
The post Before You Add Another Piece of Sales Tech to Your Stack—Read This appeared first on Vidyard.