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CROworld 2016: Marketing is Suffering Content Overload

Conversion Rate Optimisation

On the second day of Conversion World another theme has emerged and that is there’s a lot of (bad) content out there!

The proliferation of content is making our jobs as marketers harder and spreading poor knowledge about conversion optimisation too. See what today’s speakers had to say about it:

How to get the ‘next best click’ by Bas van den Beld, @basvandenbeld

Content is King but the problem is, the King is greedy, says Bas.

Bas van den Beld

2 million blog posts are published every day on WordPress alone. More content is published on social platforms e.g. 6,000 tweets a second and 4.75 billion Facebook updates. The internet is growing rapidly with increasing apps that each compete to produce more content.

“Most content being produced is pure rubbish. We are polluting the internet with content.” – @basvandenbeld Click to tweet

We want to be visible but we’re making it more and more difficult for ourselves. Things have flipped around. The consumers of content are the rockstars and we, the marketers, are the fans trying to get attention.

Marketers are panicking and simply creating more content. In some cases marketers saturate a topic with 10+ articles in a day to increase visibility. Being different or whacky is an alternative way to grab attention but it’s still just churning out content.

”Content marketing is not just about creating content. It’s not about publishing everything that we know.” – @basvandenbeld Click to tweet

The solution is ‘The Next Best Click’ principle. It’s about anticipation – looking forward to understand what’s going to happen.

Tips on designing content for The Next Best Click

  • Understand your own goals i.e. the longterm goals of your business.
  • Get to know those that you are targeting.
    • Seekers
    • Influencers
    • Joiners
    • Buyers

    You can find info about these consumers of content through social media. Learn their tastes, learn what they’re struggling with. Quora is a good starting point for finding questions that you can answer with content.

  • Understand perspective. Just because you’re the expert doesn’t mean other people will like your advice. You must identify relevance.

It’s wrong to assume that someone is starting at zero. Everyone has preconceptions.

Account for different perspectives

Account for different perspectives

“The journey funnel is not a straight line, consumers are moving around in it” – @basvandenbeld Click to tweet

Content types

Most companies are creating a lot of product content and persuasive content. This is the wrong balance. These are the six types of content you can produce:

  • Shareable
  • Thought leadership
  • Educational (very little of)
  • Branding
  • Persuasive content
  • Product

Where is the content to win their trust? – you need this to push them toward the other content.

Educational and thought leadership pieces build trust. It also makes readers come back again. Rand Fishkin leads the way with educational and thought leadership content for marketers.

The balance should be less product/services content, the less the better. Concentrate most on the earliest stages of the funnel. You do need content that answers the questions of buyers, to have it available when they’re ready but it doesn’t need to be prominent to everybody. You can even withhold it until they ask for it.

How do you get there?

Plot your content on a graph of who you’re creating it for (which content consumer) and the best content to get The Next Best Click from each of them.

Build it up slowly, don’t race to get there.

The biggest barriers holding companies back from optimisation by Paul Rouke, @paulrouke

Rouke began by asking us to consider this statement, the most dangerous phrase in the language is “we’ve always done it this way”.

Paul Rouke

What’s the state of the industry? We need to examine what is holding companies back from growth.

Andre Morys said, “We (conversion optimisers) are the dirt under the fingernails of the digital industries.” He meant that true optimsiers are the disruptors and the ones questioning companies on why they do things as they do.

Paul proposes that, “We are the soap that is going to clean up the digital industry.”

Conversion optimisation has been around for a while (Elite Camp conf has been going for 7 years) so what’s the issue? People are jumping on the bandwagon.

“There’s a proliferation of bullshit content “ @PeepLaja via @paulrouke Click to tweet

There’s also two bad, overused acronyms, #CRO (conversion rate optimisation) and #MVT (multivariate testing) that are letting the industry down. Instead optimisers need to pioneer Continuous Business Growth (CBG).

Sanity metrics of CBG:

  • % of tests that deliver an uplift.
  • The average increase achieved by your tests.
  • % of tests that are conclusive.
  • % of tests that deliver learnings.

Paul’s research into the businesses shows that most money is being spent on tools and technology.

“Blind investment in feature rich tools represents one of the biggest wastes of marketing budget. Period.” – @paulrouke Click to tweet

Really there should be more investment in the people and methods that can get the most out of any tools that you use. Tackling a change to company culture is necessary too in order to see uptake of new strategies.

SaaS Conversion Optimization: Metrics, Process and Hacks by Stephen Pavlovich, @conversion_com

Stephen’s talk was aimed at not just Saas businesses but websites that require ongoing action from the user such as news publishing sites.

Stephen’s recommended strategy is similar to one Bas van den Beld expressed earlier, work out your goals first. After that you can find the KPIS that measure the goals, the data you need to look at, the insights you need to seek, the strategy to get there, the tests up need to run.

In a case study of a Saas client, GoToMeeting, Stephen revealed that their free trial offer had a poor rate of conversion to paying customers. What was occurring for GoToMeeting also occurs for many other Saas businesses.

“Free trials do not pay bills.” – Stephen Pavlovich of @conversion_com Click to tweet

A couple of solutions:

  • Don’t convert to trial before the customer is sold on the product.
  • Get more qualified leads by getting people to sign up with a corporate email address. They’ll be more likely to convert later on.
  • Encourage or incentivise trial users to use the product during trial aka become an active trial. They’re far less likely to convert if they signed up too easily and then were too busy to make use of the trial.

Trial users need to reach a point where they realise, “A-ha, that’s how I’m going to use the product.”

“The a-ha moment is the tipping point for retention.” – Stephen Pavlovich of @conversion_com Click to tweet

You need to look at churn before acquisition. If you don’t address churn it will rise in line with acquisition.

Duolingo have a great onboarding experience. There’s no sign up page or set up process, just pick a language and start using the app. As the user begins to go through the course they’re prompted to “Save their progress”. The idea is that the user has already had their a-ha moment. They’ll be very motivated to fill in the signup form to save their progress.

Deliver the A-ha moment as soon as possible – even before the user signs up, as Duolingo do.

Need to remember that you’re not selling a product, you’re selling the buyer with your product. You’re selling them their goal, which could be wide ranging among your customers.

“Use simple Q&A to sell to an audience segment and find out what’s important to them.” – Stephen Pavlovich of @conversion_com Click to tweet

Pricing a Saas product

Add an option that is too expensive to be desirable. It will increase the share of sales that go to your middle priced product, which used to be your most expensive one. For more info read The Psychology Of Prices. These are known as decoy price plans.

Thanks Stephen for an awesome presentation.

Stephen Pavlovich, CEO of Conversion[dot]com speaking at Conversion World 2016