Marketing your business can be overwhelming. As SEO becomes increasingly complex and Social Media becomes increasingly time-consuming, nothing could be more important or effective than spending time mapping out your very own opt-in funnel.
Having a great opt-in funnel can help you easily and effectively build your email list. Email marketing is still the #1 most effective digital marketing method. It should be comforting to know that the easiest marketing activity – creating and sending email – is still the most effective!
Unlike most other marketing activities, building an opt-in funnel is actually a very simple and straightforward process. Together we’ll go through each step so that you can feel confident building your very own.
In the past to accomplish this you would need to
Hire a developer to create you a new landing page
Embed a form and wire it to a CRM
Create a thank you page on your website
Create an email make it automatically send when your form is submitted
Thankfully technology has advanced and now anyone can create an opt-in funnel with a few clicks.
To create your opt-in funnel you’ll need 3 items:
A landing page with a form for your traffic to submit to.
A thank you page to thank your new visitor for their interest.
An Automatic responder email to immediately verify validity and deliverability of the new email address.
1. Choose a great landing page
2. Attach a great thank you page.
3. Automatically send your email.
An Automatic responder email will immediately verify validity and deliverability of the new email address, this keeps your email list clean. Immediately contacting your new subscriber is the “how you doing?” to their “hello”. Keep the conversation flowing and your business in their mind.
After you’ve chosen your landing page, your thank you page and your email you’re ready to tie them all together.
That’s it! Now that you know how to create an opt in funnel, head over to buildmytribez.com and make you own. You can create a complete funnel following our easy step by step video tutorials. No credit card required. Click here to check it out.
There was a time when the fact that the Hershey’s Kisses logo had an actual ‘Kiss’ nestled between the ‘K’ and the ‘I’ was cause enough for great speculation. Subliminal influence was a topic of debate and there was a clear divide in the masses. Some believed that slipping in provocative images and connotations beneath the conscious radar resulted in a greater proclivity for certain products while others rubbished the suggestion.
Since then neuro-marketing emerged as a valid science, bolstered by the efforts of prestigious research teams, and marketing as a practice was changed forever.
What is Neuro-Marketing?
It sounds complicated and positively evil. But neuro-marketing is something quite logical and progressive. It simply stands for analyzing the decision making process in human beings and then using the findings to boost the effectiveness of promotional campaigns.
FMRI scans have shown conclusive evidence that different factors influence how and why we choose to espouse particular brands and purchase their products even at a higher price than those of competitors. And unfortunately, logic and rational thinking have little to do with it.
Human beings are visceral creatures and they react to how a particular stimulus makes them “feel.”
Remember the Frito Lays campaign where Chester Cheetah encouraged people to commit subversive “Random Acts of Cheetos” with the snack? Well, that seemingly childish decision was based on hard facts. Neuroimaging of Cheetos fanatics showed that the orange dust from the puffs that smeared their fingers and their clothes caused them to relive childhood memories where they were reprimanded for being messy and simultaneously gave them the satisfaction of knowing that there was no “authority figure” to comment on their clumsiness this time around. The 30-second spots reinforced this independent guilty pleasure capitalizing on an emotion that was already causing sales spikes.
And it won the 2009 Grand Ogilvy Award from the Advertising Research Foundation.
While it is not feasible or financially viable for every brand to bring in buyers and prospects for neuro imaging, there are a few ground rules of neuro-marketing that have been spotted as a common thread across multiple experiments. These triggers are known as “cognitive biases” and they pre-dispose us to acting in a certain way when exposed to certain stimuli.
The Biggest Tenet of Neuro-Marketing
Even if businesses disregard everything else neuro-marketing propounds, they need to keep one truth in mind: Emotions trump logic. Especially in today’s fast paced world of information overload.
Buyers and prospects struggle with similar problems of dwindling attention spans. There are too many demands being made on the mental resources of an individual and unable to cope with this onslaught, people delegate more and more decisions to the infinitely powerful subconscious (which, by the way, can process 40 million bits of information in a second compared to the 40 bits that the logical brain supports).
But here’s the catch: the subconscious is not persuaded by statistics or arguments. It has a knee-jerk reaction to inputs and responds strongly to emotions of all kinds. Persuasion marketer Bushra Azhar calls these emotions the “8 Persuasion Switches” and they include Prestige, Urgency, Curiosity, Believability and Relatability among others.
If an advertisement can reach and touch any of these persuasion switches in a way that is direct and simple, yet powerful, then closing a deal or pushing the lead towards conversion becomes child’s play. This hypothesis has been extensively tested and confirmed by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising. In fact, emotional campaigns have an effectiveness quotient of 31% while logic centered promotions score a low 16%.
Shaky About Diving In? Give Personalization a Shot.
Some marketers might be in two minds about diving straight into neuro-marketing. If you’re in this category, a small taste of the benefits can come in the form of personalization. Personalization is the process of tailoring generic content so that it appeals to specific users or user groups and flips the relatability switch for greater interest and engagement.
It can be something as simple and effective as using triggered emails to offer a discount on items in an abandoned shopping cart or as complex as tailoring the whole homepage to visitors’ preferences according to their buyer personas. The former can be done using an email marketing platform like GetResponse that allows for behavior-based list segmentation and the setup of emails auto initiated for particular events/actions while the latter is the specialty of suites like Personyze, which offers customized search, product recommendations, layouts sorted and filtered in real-time, and other advanced options.
Some Obvious-But-Clever Neuro-Marketing Tricks
Both B2B and B2C marketers can see a potentially tremendous difference in their campaign results and content engagement if they can apply the following techniques smartly and ethically:
A picture speaks a thousand words; a video, a million. It’s no secret that the human brain processes visual content 60,000 times faster than dry text; if that content is primed to deliver a powerful subliminal message, then it’s a match made in heaven.
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s re-election campaign was a testament to this fact. It showed advertising visuals running backwards and drove home the futility of bringing in recalled governor Gray Davis who would simply regress California to more trying times. There were no numbers screaming the sincerity of Schwarzenegger’s efforts. Nor was there any mudslinging involved. The promotional team simply captured the worry in the hearts of Californians and gave it voice (and eyeballs).
We humans are hardwired to believe and set store by the first bit of information that we encounter. We take it as the foundation to base our future opinions on. This is why it is important to carefully “screen” the thoughts and beliefs that children (and shoppers) develop over their formative years because the inputs they assimilate contribute to their personality in a big way.
Marketers already leverage anchoring bias to price their products. Astute business owners always display their most expensive package first to condition prospects into believing that the other bundles are more affordable! Setting a reference point is essential, because it has the potential to positively affect what comes later by making it seem better, more lucrative, and more efficient than it actually is.
In the image above, the monthly option is actually not as cost effective as the yearly payment. But the 9.95 seems insignificant compared to the 95.50, which brings in a 20% saving, yet is disregarded by prospective clients.
Social Proof (with video)
Social proof is everywhere. It has the potential to "drive" the bandwagon effect.
But very few marketers manage to get it right. Social proof is not a Facebook Like button. Although Facebook is an integral part of our lives, it hasn’t yet grown a pull and familiarity that we subconsciously relate to.
The best kind of social proof is a video testimonial. Because humans are unerringly drawn to other human faces. As a matter of fact, WebDAM has found that video testimonials boost conversions by close to 86%. Statistics show that 4 to 7 video snippets can tip the emotions of a buyer strongly in favor of the featured product; their mere presence is a game changer.
Thus, it’s a no-brainer for businesses to ditch phony text testimonials and like-gathering for real video recommendations from actual customers – that’s what lends real credibility and trust.
Marketo does an amazing job of utilizing the bandwagon effect in the form of video proof. In fact, they mix this potent bias with influencer marketing to score a home run.
When an individual invests a large sum of money (or any personal resource like time or effort) somewhere, he or she often goes to great lengths to uphold the validity of the decision, even at the cost of losing better service or more affordable pricing from other providers.
In persuasion language, the “prestige” switch flipped by the acquisition of the costly product refuses to shut down. It is difficult to look beyond the glamor and the exclusivity of the item and consider practical pros and cons. Under such circumstances, if an iteration of that same product with purportedly better features hits the market, the evangelists are compelled to upgrade, even if their conscious mind is well aware of the limitations of doing so.
Is anyone else reminded of Apple’s strategy and how well it fits this curve? As a marketer, you’d do well to embrace the pro-innovation bias, which Steve Jobs was probably afflicted by.
Over to You
Neuro-marketing will soon be ubiquitous as businesses realize there is a lot to gain by appealing to culturally and societally pre-programmed biases. Are you ready to ace your competition?
In 2014, YouTube reached more 18-34, and 18-49 year olds than any cable network
Time they spent on YouTube shot up 44% percent, with mobile viewing making up the largest source of growth
YouTube accounted for 51 percent of time spent watching premium digital video* in December 2014 across desktop streaming, smartphones, and tablets among key adult demographics, specifically adults 18-34 and 18-49.
Where does this leave us?
Live TV viewing in on a downward trend, streaming services are on an upward trend, and YouTube is the clear leader in digital video platforms. Researchers across the industry believe these trends will continue year over year in the near and distant future.
Time spent watching TV content is down overall. It is important to note however, that the popularity of this content is not in question, but where the eyeballs go, that’s what is changing. Moreover, viewing TV content on YouTube is increasing year over year, along with using YouTube to consume new content.
So, how can you capitalize on the YouTube train? Here are a few ideas.
Replace some TV ad spend with YouTube ad spend. This doesn’t mean spend more, just allocate differently. According to a study done by Google of 3,000 U.S. companies, they found that had companies taken this approach dual ad approach, they would have reached 42% more millennials alone.
Invest in YouTube ads. A recent Google study found that people were 23x more likely to visit or subscribe to a brand channel if they watched a YouTube ad. So, invest in a YouTube Ad, and create a valuable platform to increase brand awareness and potentially dedicated audience to market to.
A similar study showed that YouTube Ads increased the value of past content. When brands ran YouTube Ads, they saw views of their previous content increase up to 500%!
Do you Youtube? We’d love to know. Let us know how YouTube fits into your digital marketing strategy in the comments section below.
Assuming recent trends continue, by 2019 we should expect to see nearly 75% of digital ad spending spent on mobile. Why? While it’s more complex than just a few statistics, the following make a strong case. In 2015, marketers began to wise up to the fact that people are spending more time on mobile phones than on their laptops/desktops. So, they matched eyeballs for marketing dollars, and, they did this even though mobile conversions are still lower than other devices.
So - in essence, this is a cautionary tale.
Here are some statistics to demonstrate why you need to pay attention to this trend right now.
If you haven’t already, you need to start (read: continue - because at this rate of change, it will be hard to play catch up) optimizing your marketing plan for mobile.
In 2014, a report by KPCB showed that marketers were not spending ad dollars relative to the amount of time spent on mobile. In other words - mobile phones (tied for second place with the internet/desktop), were where people spent most of their screen time (mobile has since surpassed internet/desktop). And yet, advertisers were not spending money to market there.
It is important not to overlook this very important fact. That this surge of mobile activity could be largely in part due to the fact that 86% of time spent on mobile - is time spent in mobile apps.
Enter 2015 - looks like a very different story. According to a 2015 study by eMarketer, marketers got the hint. The percentage of digital mobile as spending skyrocketed to 49%, nearly mirroring people’s behaviors. The study also made some future projections - that by 2019 nearly 75% of ad budgets will be spent on mobile.
So - these marketers are running after the trend, reactively marketing and playing catch up with buyers behavioral changes. Still, I’d say they caught up pretty quickly.
So if everyone’s doing it, should you be?
Here is one big reason you don’t need to sound the alarm right away.
One, conversions rates on mobile devices are still relatively lower than on desktop and tablets. According to this 2014 Q4 report from monetate desktop, tablets, and Kindle Fire conversions outpace others at about 3% while smartphones and iphones converted at .8% and .85% respectively.
Here monetate updated this data showing conversion rates by platform further into the future, through Q3 2015. It looks like, while iPhone conversions are still converting a lower rates, conversion rates across desktop, tablets and iphones are coming closer and closer together.
(Interesting aside to note iphone conversions increasing at a much faster rate than other smartphones - something to keep in mind when digging deeper into your mobile plan)
So - what have we learned?
People are spending more and more time on mobile (duh!), marketers are catching up and spending money to get these people’s attention, but conversion rates on mobile still have a little catching up to do.
Conversion rates on tablets, desktop and mobile are trending to cross paths. Trends point to conversions on mobile behaving in the same way most mobile trends have gone … up.
Importantly - of all the time spent on mobile devices, most of this time is spent in mobile applications. So, if you’re poised to do just one thing this quarter (or year, if you’re a small business with limited budget) in regards to your mobile plans - focus on the app.
If you don’t have the in house resources, check out this post on the 16 best app tools to make your own app - without a bit of code!
Do you know? If you’re reading this, chances are you’re not sure. While the jury seems to still be out, here is the latest consensus.
Retargeting and remarketing focus on totally different prospects.
Remarketing focuses on people who are incredibly motivated. These people have either added something to their cart, or done something else to express clearly they are interested in buying your product. They’ve made it way down a buying funnel, and fell off somewhere near the end of the buying process. Remarketing efforts take the form of e-mails, and focus on finding out why the person fell off, what else the provider can do or what other information they can offer, to help nudge the individual in the direction of completing their purchase.
According to a survey done by AgilOne on, dedicated to finding out which kinds of marketing initiatives people appreciated most, e-mail came out on top. And, of the e-mail messages, the most well received were 1) an alert to when a product was on sale 2) VIP customer appreciation emails and 3) cart abandonment email reminders. So, if you are considering adding, or testing, to your email strategy, consider framing some new messages to align with one of the above three categories.
Retargeting (read: ad stalking) on the other hand focuses on people who are slightly or moderately interested. We call them slightly or moderately interested because they’ve visited your site, but have not taken any other actions to express their interest in actually purchasing anything. Retargeting efforts focus on keeping your brand top of mind, to help remind people that they visited your site, and that you’re still there. This happens, mainly, in the form of ads served to the visitor. The hope is that, once they’re ready to buy, you’ll be top of mind.
So - pro’s of retargeting? Since this is done via a third party like AdBrite, AdRoll and Google google display network, you can set it and forget it. You can reach people anywhere they happen to go on the world wide web. According to an InkSkin Media recent survey of 1600 adults, 53% find online ads useful. That number goes up to 60% when you look at a slightly younger population (ages 20-29) .
Cons? Data shows that consumers will get annoyed by you, especially if the ads are on a site completely unrelated to their search. Rule of thumb, after about the 3rd or 4th, you’ll have more people feeling annoyed, than helped, by your ad.
1) High Customer Expectations Will Just Keep Getting Higher
Personalization, targeting, retargeting and seamless e-commerce experiences will be exponentially more important in 2016. An average customer experience will no longer fly. The ‘new normal’ in customer experience will trend towards tailoring the experience to each person’s behaviors, interest, and on, and even off-line, activities. Companies must think about specific customer journeys, personalities and interests of their varied customers. They must seek out the appropriate tools to execute on those initiatives, and empower their employees to work together to bring the experience to life.
2) Powerful Tools (Read Data) For All:
Integrative software that felt out of reach for many small businesses will become more affordable. The market has become more saturated with copy cat, yet powerful, tools across numerous parts of any business making them more accessible.
3) Data, Data, and More Data
With powerful, data driven software accessible to more companies, marketers will begin to focus on the data. You'll see marketers leaning heavily on metrics to help inform strategies and priorities.
4) Be Prepared to Spend More
While online ads are still relatively cheap, the increase in competition in the digital world should increase the cost of advertising quite a bit. Small companies with already limited budgets may find themselves struggling to make any sum of money go the distance when it comes to paid advertising.
5) Work With Siri, Not Against Her
Search Engine Optimization is going to change dramatically. This is in part due to social media beginning to be indexed by Google (aka your social presence will affect search results). This is also in part thanks to our favorite mobile friend Siri and her counterparts. Siri, the google app, etc., are now woven into our technology of choice - our phone. Now that mobile browsing has surpassed desktop, and these technologies have become less clunky, people will begin trending their way to find what they need. To ensure you don’t get left out of the mix, make sure you’re serving these bots with the information to find you.
Tis’ the season for lists! Christmas lists, lengthy grocery lists for holiday gatherings, itineraries for holiday travel. If you’re a marketer, surely you’re poised for the onslaught of ‘2016 trends to watch,’ lists, popping up all over our favorite blogs, periodicals, and websites; Top digital marketing trends to watch in 2016, 5 Marketing tactics that will make or break your company in 2016, 7 Digital marketing tactics you need to master in 2016. So, to ease your burden, we’ve read most of them for you - and prepared a snap-shot of the most popular from the list of lists. Here are the Top 10 digital trends and tactics to plan for in 2016.
1) Social Media - From Ugly Duckling to Swan
With a number of alliances between Google and big social media players (read: Facebook and Twitter) it’s no wonder marketers are starting to head the social call. The product of these marriages will increase the importance of a company's social media presence. Bloomberg was quoted saying, “[tweets] will start to be visible in Google’s search results as soon as they are posted.” It doesn’t seem likely that Google will slow down forging more partnerships with leading social platforms. The result? Allowing social results to influence search engine results!
Next, if you haven’t experienced the upgraded targeting ad features on Facebook, take the time to get acquainted now. The retargeting and integrations within Facebook Ad’s manager are powerful data driven features that have marketers excited. Serve ads based on retargeting, custom lists, actions, behaviors, page visits ... the list goes on.
Lastly, social media has become one of the number one place customers go to thank (or complain). The highly transparent and public nature of social media makes users feel like they’ve ‘cut to the front of the line’. If you’re not hearing their complaints (or accolades) and acting accordingly, you can be certain other people are.
So what should you do? Tweet. Be active, transparent, human and timely across social channels. Allow people to know what you’re up to - build brand trust and intrigue. Invest in your Facebook content and strategies, and get social listening tools so your customer service team can be a part of (and control of) the ‘social goings on’ of your company.
2) Now You See It, Now You Don’t - The Rise of Ephemeral Marketing
Sometimes termed ‘temporary social media’ - Snapchat is leading the way in ephemeral marketing. Snapchat is useful for generating excitement around a new product or feature, or driving specific marketing actions, such as promos or discounts. Many companies (Food Network, Vice, BuzzFeed, Mashable, Cosmo, ESPN, to name a few) are capitalizing on the younger generation, aka millennials, who flock to Snapchat where they can consume content that feels ‘straight to the point’ and, where they can access ‘limited access content’, that is content with an expiration date - read as: exclusive.
Think content is only used to strengthen SERs? While that is absolutely one of the key reasons you should be creating regular, original, relevant, brand enhancing and engaging quality content, check out these statistics that tell a compelling story about the other important roles content plays.
90% of customers find custom content useful while 78% believe that companies with custom content are interested in building positive relationships
Content marketing costs less than traditional marketing, 62% less per lead, to be exact
Content builds brand trust and loyalty, and helps define you as an expert in your field. If you don’t yet have brand advocates upping your credibility, you’ll have to be the one to do that - and one of the best ways you can accomplish this is with content. In 2016, if you don’t have the budget or resources to create a robust brand advocacy strategy, think about getting influencers on board to help tell your story. It comes down to this, if you’re not doing it, your competitors are, and as content and consumption becomes a larger part of the buyer's journey, if you’re not making noise with your content, you’re getting drowned out by the noise of others.
Location based marketing is particularly important if your company regularly hosts events. Through the use of fancy tech (Radio Frequency Identification - RFID) marketers can utilize wearables, applications, or even cards with a unique RFID identifier, to amplify social sharing by creating a seamless and integrated consumption and sharing experience.
Although a lot of the freshest and coolest location based marketing is geared towards events, location based marketing isn’t just for event marketers. Other location based services and technologies have been created to locate nearby devices that can detect prospects at the time of engagement with a particular product or retail establishment.
Minority Report? Anyone?
5) Relationship Marketing
This boils down to creating loyalists (brand advocates) instead of focusing on quick, short-term sales and aquisition. The focus is on long lasting customer relationships. Those companies that do this well are the envy of many, having created an ecosystem where customers are creating brand awareness that feels organic, authentic and credible.
Coca-Cola kills it when it comes to relationship marketing. This is one of my favorites (of hundreds) of relationship campaigns they’ve run all over the world.
Coca-Cola caps as currency - genius. Not to mention, this one’s a real tear jerker.
Marketing automation has become increasingly necessary as more and more companies are understanding the importance of content and leveraging content as a leading tactic for led gen. Automation tools make it easier to manage everything from blogging to the customer/prospect lifecycle. Curious about what tools are out there? Check out this list of The Top 50 Marketing Automation Tools and Apps.
Recommended Class: Marketing Automation Best Practices for Success by Carlos Hidalgo
7) Virtual Reality
Virtual reality will emerge, and has the potential to change the way we tell stories. Obviously we expect 3D to take off first in the game industry, however, the benefits this tech add to the customer journey are intriguing. Imagine taking your next car out for a test drive or taking a tour of a potential vacation home, without leaving the comfort of your own living room? As personalization continues to be top priority, savvy marketers will find ways to bring their products and stories to life. Whether this will be a massive game changer remains to be seen, but with billions of dollars of funding around, it surely will be entertaining to watch it all unfold.
8) Wearables and the Internet of Things
What has felt like a slow and steady burn for wearable tech popularity in 2015, will likely continue into 2016. What this means for marketers is even more opportunity for targeted marketing, data and behavior driven marketing. It also means you may be making marketing choices based on the day-to-day behaviors of your potential consumers. Wearables will also change the way people share content, so the whole social landscape will shift accordingly, plus more wearable tech means less dependence on RFID’s or ibeacons for geo-location marketing efforts.
9) Video or Bust
Did you know that YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google? The number of searches on YouTube tops Bing, Y!, Ask.com, and AOL combined. YouTube also boasts an audience reach of more US adults ages 18-34 than any other cable network. Makes you squirm a little thinking about all the search you’re missing out on - doesn’t it? Live streaming takes video to a new level entirely. With ephemeral marketing gaining popularity, anyone with a smartphone can capture ‘exclusive’ content. In 2016 make sure you’re exploring snapchat, periscope, and Facebook and seeing where you can incorporate live streaming into your marketing strategies as well as planning for a YouTube presence if you don’t already have one. Check out this article for examples of these 8 brands live stream video for innovative marketing.
10) Optimized for Mobile
At this point, mobile and responsive websites should be a no brainer. For the past few years, we’ve been sprinting towards mobile dominating desktop, and we’ve passed it. Mobile has officially passed desktop browsing. What does this mean for you? In 2016, a mobile-optimized site will be an acceptable placeholder for an app, but not for long. An app can (read: should) do everything your website can do, just in a more accessible, intuitive and convenient way. Not to mention, an app is both touch screen (read: less barriers to clicks) and is a advertisement/reminder of your product that goes with your user everywhere they go. Talk about location based marketing 😉 2016 is the year to create a plan and market strategy for your app, get familiar with the latest app indexing best practices, and get an app to market, that for all intents and purposes, could replace your website.
Which trends and strategies do you think will dominate 2016? We’d love to hear from you. Don’t forget to share!
You don’t want to be caught with your data exposed.
If your organization is still struggling with data management, you are at risk of drowning in it and missing out on critical customer insights. The goal this year for digital marketers should be to make all of that “big data” compact, through an increased investment in analytics.
Why? A new year brings new opportunities for digital marketers of all levels to expand their marketing strategies. But to truly be successful in 2015, brands have to adopt a data-driven philosophy, specifically to understand their customers. Forrester Research doesn’t lie, and "The Age of The Customer" is real.
Prioritizing your analytics means prioritizing your customer and that should be the #1 focus for businesses, regardless of size, scale, or scope/maturity.
The year 2014 was plagued with the term “big data.”
The truth is, it doesn’t matter how you label it--big, small or in between. No matter the size, the ability to put it into action is what will differentiate successful brands. Gartner, a leading information technology research company, found that this year alone, “big data demand” will reach 4.4 million jobs globally, but only one-third of those jobs will be filled. These numbers are a reflection of companies recognizing the need for these skills in their organizations to collect and interpret the rich amount of data available, but there is not enough supply in the market to keep pace. Make it a top priority and beat your competitor to the punch.
While it may sound scary, the steps to improving and building your analytics practice can be broken down into two simple categories: infrastructure and insights.
Infrastructure is pretty self explanatory, you’ve got to invest in the people, process, and technology. Does your organization have a commitment to understanding its customers better?
Have you invested in building your analytics practice?
Is it informing your marketing decisions and creating better experiences for customers?
These skills are not typically native to marketing and there is a big shift taking place from the "Mad Men" of old to the "Math Men" of new. You want to make sure you have “data masters” that are comfortable living and breathing in information, the process to activate against it, and the technology to do it at scale.
Now that you have the plumbing in place, you need to be able to take action. Things like testing and conversion rate optimization, cross-functional intelligence, and attribution are all done on the insights side.
This allows you to constantly focus on using the data to guide your marketing investments and continuously optimizing to maximize the impact. With appropriate investments in both areas, digital marketers will be well on their way to a successful, data-driven 2015.
Here are the Top 3 Macro Trends that are creating incredible opportunities for digital coaches around the world. Following that are my 4 proven tactics that top experts are using to accelerate their personal brands and launch powerful businesses.
Trend 1: Business Economics Work aka Proliferation of the Collaborative Economy
Giving consumers direct access to products and expertise is where it’s at. By skipping the big corporations and going right to the person selling the service or product is the way of the future. From eBay to Kickstarter, PopExpert to Craigslist, this is evident. The emergence of great Business-to-Business-to-Consumer platforms like Uber, Kickstarter, and even Amazon further sets the tone for this paradigm shift.
These are all lining the path to giving an outlet for those with great products/services to reach the masses. And this will only accelerate in 2015.
It’s clear. Video is where most everyone spends their time. 70% of online time is spent viewing video. Not even Facebook can match that. Consumers are ready, willing, and able (to pay) to engage with either live video or on-demand in a massively adopted way.
Trend 3: The Mass Movement of Entrepreneurial Empowerment
The need to run your own business, control your own destiny and just have the gumption to do it is here .. and in a big way. So with so many offering their knowledge as service on it’s own, the market has just gotten a lot bigger and critical mass of options for consumers is now in place.
The question then becomes… How do I take advantage of these macro trends and grow my business?
As an expert in any discipline, from Digital Marketing to Mindful-Life Coach, Yoga Instructor, and Nutritionist, it’s simply the cost of doing business to have a good plan to capture and ride this big wave of change.
The formula is simple:
1.) Have a powerful digital presence that creates opportunities to discover and engage with new clients.
2.) Create a strong reputation for yourself and back that up with credibility online.
3.) Provide compelling ways to engage with your knowledge.
Here are the top 4 tactics that successful digital coaches are using to drive more customer acquisition in 2015.
1. Capture Google - Blog
Creating high quality, meaningful blog content is the most important component to being great. It's a simple, easy, and highly achievable tactic. Having the discipline to write every week and build a great series of posts that demonstrates your knowledge and thought leadership will go miles for building your online reputation.
The key is doing research to the topical pain points you want to help people with, and then build a content publishing calendar for yourself that you stick to.
2. Capture Apple - Podcast
An incredible amount of traffic comes through iTunes. If you can create a good podcast series that aligns with your blog calendar, you will build a set of subscribers and followers that engage with multiple content mediums from within your arsenal. Good audio equipment is a must.
3. Online Video
This is the secret sauce. Once you have great written content, video is the next logical step, and it gives you an opportunity to connect with your audience on a much deeper level. Your personality, your passion, your energy. Only video captures that completely.
Creating a series of high quality videos (consider renting a nice camera or partner with someone willing to co-create quality video that has a crew) goes much further to demonstrate your knowledge. You can utilize the existing presentations you already give at conferences or clients, and turn it into a video series that someone can actually purchase. This will show that you can provide a high amount of value for your clients.
There are 4 general types of video formats to consider:
Studio Quality Video Teasers
Good Ole Webinar (screen share video)
Live Video Coaching
Be careful to not to get lulled into thinking Google Hangouts or Skype is the answer to doing live video coaching well. It's now scalable and isn't very professional. Scheduling, payment systems, and a great user interface (my favorite example is PopExpert’s video coaching platform), will make you stand out from all that say “let’s just get on Skype” chatter and will save you an awkward ask for their credit card information.
Getting customers and other reputable experts to talk about you and share their great experiences with the world is the final leg in the stool. You need to get people to rate, review, and write about you & your work. Not just on Facebook and Twitter but across all web domains.
Third party credit building sites that drive good ratings and reviews are imperative. LinkedIn for the B2B side is critical. Yelps style platforms like the aforementioned PopExpert, will get you listed and allow you to host some good client ratings and testimonial style reviews.
Socially Shareable content is a must. The social proof of people sharing your content, retweeting it, and doing it all on your own profile, blog, or website is key. When folks see a blog post and notice that 100 other people have already tweeted it and 30 more shared it on facebook, your reputation will instantly jump. More importantly, Google SERPs love social validation, and this will push you up dramatically in the rankings.
In summary, get on the front end and top of these macro-societal trends. Build a great online presence with the Content Marketing tactics above, and you'll be on the fast track to growing your digital coaching business.
What do NASCAR drivers, Little League ball players, and smart watch owners all have in common? They wear advertisements.
Maybe not in quite the same way – but as smart watches start to become popular, ads for smart watches will also start to become commonplace. Wearable ads may not just be targeted at the wearer, and that is something wearable owners will have in common with NASCAR.
Google Glass doesn’t have a display that others can easily read, so any ads that appear on it will likely have to be for the user, but watches are another story. It is pretty common for me to have someone comment on my Omega Ladymatic (I don’t pick the names), and if you assume that a lot of people look, but don’t comment, you can guess that display ads could be a juicy market for watch faces. With multiple companies entering the smart watch market, the way ads are purchased will change, for sure – and while display ads will be one of those changes, there will be also be several others.
1. Contextual Advertising
First, ads are going to be far more contextual. All of that data that we collect from phones is interesting, but a phone has more privacy restrictions than a watch will. This is because people expect more privacy from a phone. You lock your phone, you don’t keep the screen on for everyone to see at all times, and you have things stored on your phone that you think of as private.
Watches have always been reasonably communal in the information you share from them. “Do you have the time?” is something you can ask of a random stranger who is clearly wearing a watch. “Can you take a picture of me for Instagram?” or “Can I call my mom?” is something you would not likely ask a random stranger holding a phone. As a result the ads are going to be creepier in how they follow your location and interests, and likely will not always be on a device.
Monetizing apps is much more likely to be about agreeing to be advertised to off-device, using data from the device. Think of it like a rewards card: you swipe your card at the grocery store, and then you get ads related to your purchases. The same will be true of data from your wearable. Get an app in exchange for letting Starbucks get access to your geo data, or get free iTunes credits when you opt to allow Bank Of America to know your pulse rate when you are making payments at stores. We are going to trade our info for better targeting, and this will bring changes to the way big companies do their marketing.
2. Multi-Screened Ads
Second, ads are going to be dual screened. Your wearable sharing your data to the cloud on a regular basis will create a way for ads on screens near you to change what they advertise, or how they advertise it. Think about how you might receive an ad when you are stressed compared to when you are relaxed. Or what you would buy when you’re hungry vs. when you are not. As we start wearing things to share our heartbeat and blood sugar levels, it’s not far-fetched to expect ads on your desktop, or even your Hulu, that reflect your current bio-state.
3. Wearable Ad Feedback
Lastly, ads are going to be more emotive. Currently, most ads are relatively bland. This is because advertisers know that you can do as much harm with an ad as good, since it’s far too easy to advertise in a way that rubs a user the wrong way. Wearables are basically electronic mood rings, so for the first time, advertisers will have real time feedback loops about how a user reacted to an ad.
When you run an ad that is supposed to make people laugh, the sensors will confirm if you got the desired reaction. If your ad is intended to make users mad, like a political ad that criticizes a candidate for saying something offensive, the wearable can confirm that reaction as well. For example, if a company ran an ad featuring a gay family in a home with conservative values, the feedback would likely tell that company to consider a more mainstream ad. Running the same ad in the home of a progressive “modern family” would bring the company feedback showing how the ad resonates positively, and the company would then know that those types of ads will work in that household in the future.
Wearables will soon be a lot like NASCAR drivers in their advertising ways. And in another sense, NASCAR is all about data. The drivers log their own data, track all sorts of sensors, and wear indicators that follow the pulse of the car and the driver. That data is then used to achieve a successful outcome. In that way, wearables have even more parallels to NASCAR than you might think.