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The Art of the Squeeze Page

Have you ever been browsing through a website and found yourself in front of an offer you just couldn’t refuse? More likely than not, the offer was presented to you in the form of a squeeze page. Though their name may sound funny to you, squeeze pages are a serious and extremely effective way to get visitors to take action on your website. That’s why they’re the topic of today’s post. A squeeze page is a specific type of landing page that focuses on getting the visitor to take action. Though they can be used to encourage purchases, squeeze pages are more often used to get visitors to submit their personal information, whether for the purposes of joining a mailing list or for lead generation. Now for the part you’re probably most curious about: the reason the page is called a squeeze page is because it’s meant to “squeeze” the customer into taking action. This happens partially by removing all distractions, and partially by providing the user with an incentive—everything on the squeeze page directs the visitor to the Submit button at the bottom of the page. One element that every squeeze page has is the offer, or value proposition—the thing the page offers to the visitor in exchange for his or her contact information. This offer can be for a one-time product (such as an e-book download), or it can be ongoing, such as the promise of quality content delivered to the visitor’s email inbox every week. Aside from having a compelling offer, there are things you can do to make a squeeze page more effective. Here are a few best practices to follow when creating your squeeze pages: Keep the page simple and focused on the single action you want the user to take Avoid linking out to other pages, which may distract the user from taking action Take advantage of color to draw the eye to the… […]

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Telling Stories for More Effective Presentations

We’ve all been there. You’re talking to someone, laying out all of the logical reasons why they should believe what you’re telling them, but the information just isn’t getting through. When you encounter this problem, it’s usually a sign that you’re being too logical and not connecting with your audience on the emotional or personal level. It may be time to tell a story. Stories are a great way to increase the effectiveness of any presentation. They’re perfect for: Openings, to get the audience in the mood to listen and interested in what you’re saying Closings, to sum up everything you’ve talked about and drive the point home Returning back to key concepts mid-presentation by tying things back into the story Why do stories work so well at keeping our attention? Well, storytelling is one of the oldest modes of communication. It worked just as well around a fire as it does at the latest IMAX Spielberg movie. At this point you may be thinking, “Ok, but how do I find a good story to use in my presentation?” The truth is, there’s no magic solution to finding a good story to use in your presentation. The best thing you can do is to have your subject matter prepared well ahead of time, perk up your ears, and wait for a good story to find you. As you wait, your unconscious brain will be working over the details of your presentation, and looking for parallels out in the real world. If you happen upon a story that resonates with you and relates to your subject matter, it’s best to write it down and work on getting the story exactly how you want it for your presentation. Don’t just retell the story randomly—the best stories have thought put into them. Think, “how can I tell this story with maximum effect, for the specific purpose of this presentation?” Stories come in many shapes… […]

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The Video Wars: Facebook Native Video Takes on Youtube

Even if you’re just a casual Facebook user, you’ve probably noticed that as of late your Facebook newsfeed has been featuring more videos that play automatically as you scroll through. In the coming months, you’ll likely see more and more of these as Facebook makes a big push to surpass Youtube as the favorite place to upload and share videos online. One impressive statistic to consider is that Facebook is now up to 4 billion video views per day, which is the same number of daily views Youtube had through 2012. It’s all a part of a new strategy on Facebook’s part to try to take away some of Youtube’s market share and draw in content creators and advertisers to its own platform rather than sending them over to Youtube anytime someone wants to watch a video. Facebook is already an extremely popular way to share videos—why not also host the videos and become an entire video ecosystem? Back in December of 2014, Facebook started to autoplay videos in newsfeeds as a way to catch the attention of users. Now, it has taken the next step. As of a few days ago, when you try to paste the link to a Youtube video into a post, Facebook displays a message that says: “Consider uploading your video directly to Facebook. People are more likely to view native videos, and you’ll be able to track your success in Page Insights.” This is a pretty bold move and it’s aimed directly at converting Youtube users. And Facebook’s video engagement statistics are nothing to sneeze at—for those brands that are already active on Facebook and have a loyal following, native Facebook video actually makes a lot of sense. Here are some of the basics you need to know about Facebook native video and how to use it: Facebook prioritizes native video in its newsfeeds, so including such a video will likely get you to the top of… […]

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The Importance of Consistency in Your Content Marketing Formula

What do professional athletes excel at? Consistency. Sure, professional athletes have great moments in which they transcend everything their sport stands for. But those moments, by definition, are few and far between. The rest of the time, professional athletes have another, even more important skill: to perform well, and do so consistently. In the same way, online marketers have to be able to create quality content consistently. In our experience at Little Jack Marketing, lack of consistency is by far the most prevalent issue we’ve seen among content creators who are unhappy with the results they’re getting. Most content creators tend to be experts in their field, and have something interesting to say. Their content could be helped by a few best practices—writing better titles, hooking the reader with a strong introductory paragraph, and following the post with better calls to action—but is generally in good shape. However, where most content creators falter is in delivering this quality content consistently. Online readers have an immense variety of options and can be fickle, so sticking to your content schedule and providing them with content they can look forward to on a reliable basis is one of the best strategies for growing your online follower base. To do so, create a publication schedule and stick to it. From our experience, the following formula works well (though the right formula for you will depend on the specifics of your industry): 1. Social media updates several times a week. Social media news feeds change rapidly, so it’s important to create fresh content on a frequent basis, which will give you a better chance of being noticed on these platforms. 2. A blog post once a week. One blog post a week is frequent enough to give readers something new to read (and something to look forward to), without taking up so much writing time that it would become a burden. Links to these blog… […]

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Why Good Brands Care About the Story Arc

What do Star Wars, Kung Fu Panda, and Jesus have in common? No, we’re not about to tell you a bad joke. This relates to marketing, we swear. The answer is: all three follow the classic archetype of The Hero’s Journey, coined by mythologist Joseph Campbell in 1949. The concept is pretty basic—since the dawn of time, people have told a very specific kind of story, that of the hero who comes from humble beginnings only to eventually triumph over adversity and realize his true destiny. This classic story arc pops up constantly (it’s the plot of every action/adventure movie, for one) because it resonates deeply with our human psyche. People love stories that inspire them to be better. When we hear a story framed in this way, our ears naturally perk up. Brands that resonate well with their customers use this same principle—they follow a story arc. A successful brand isn’t just an “image” standing still in time: it’s a story with a beginning, middle, and end. For example, chances are you know the story of how Tom’s Shoes came about. Or, how Richard Branson’s Virgin empire came to be. These companies’ story arcs are their single most important marketing tools. Their stories resonate with people, who can’t help but retell them and spread their popularity even further. To create a story arc for your company, you need vision. You need to know not only where your company has been, but also where it’s going. To help you get started on building the story arc of your brand, try to think about your brand’s story in these five stages: Describe Your Beginnings How did your company come about? Do you have an interesting origin story? Now that you have the benefit of retrospect, was there anything that made you or your company uniquely positioned for success? Introduce the Challenge What was the main thing working against your chances of succeeding?… […]

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Is Your Website Ready for Mobilegeddon?

Are you ready for “Mobilegeddon”? No, it doesn’t have anything to do with Bruce Willis blowing things up in space, though it could technically blow your website’s search rankings into smithereens by next month. In case you haven’t heard about it yet, Google announced on their blog that their newest algorithm will place a large amount of emphasis on mobile-optimization. The algorithm will start its rollout on April 21st, giving you very little time to prepare. Why is Google implementing this update? 60% of Google searches happen on mobile now, so it’s no surprise that Google would want to improve the experience of their users by giving priority to sites that are mobile-friendly. Google controls 68% US search traffic, which means that panic ensues anytime they announces a change to the search algorithm that might affect the rankings of millions of websites. We’ve been talking about mobile optimization since 2012, and if you’ve been too busy to put our advice into practice, now is most definitely the time to take action. Here are 5 facts you need to know about the rollout: Google has confirmed that your site’s mobile optimization will affect search rankings, even when the search is being done of a desktop computer. It has also been confirmed that this new mobile-friendly algorithm change will have more of an impact on search rankings than Google’s two previous major algorithms, Panda and Penguin. There are no “degrees” of mobile-friendliness. To Google, your website is either mobile-friendly or it isn’t. Exactly how Google will measure mobile-friendliness is not known, so the best thing you can do is developing a robust mobile site instead of trying to somehow “trick” Google. Google offers a tool called “The Mobile Friendly Test” that allows you to test just how mobile-friendly the search engine considers your website. To help you get your site in shape before the new algorithm arrives, Google has also identified the top mobile-optimization problems websites… […]

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2015: The Year of Digital Media and Your Company Story

Every January, we at Little Jack Marketing let you know what major marketing issue we’ll be tackling in the upcoming year. You might remember that 2013 was The Year of Productivity, and 2014 was The Year to Put Value Back in Your Marketing. Without further ado, we’d like to welcome 2015 as The Year of Digital Media and Storytelling. All year long, we’ll be exploring how you and your company can successfully tell your story in the online environment in order to capture the hearts and minds of your audience and increase profits along the way. Why did we choose that theme? A few reasons, actually: Again and again, we see the importance of story in companies’ bottom lines. What kind of a difference does a story make? You might remember that the late 90’s saw a multitude of MP3 players hit the markets without a clear market share winner. MP3 players were also somewhat of a niche product for the technologically savvy, and used the traditional computer megabyte standard when referring to the capacity of these devices. Apple came up with a similar product, the iPod, but told a different story. By using the tagline “10,000 songs, in your pocket” Apple was able to not only better enunciate the versatility of the new generation of music players, but to also expand the market tenfold by appealing to music lovers everywhere. Aside from some basic design improvements, Apple’s product wasn’t that different from the others. The iPod wasn’t revolutionary. The story Apple told, however, was. Too many companies fail to make full use of digital media to tell their story online. Most large companies have by now come to realize the importance of telling their stories online. Most small and mid-sized businesses, on the other hand, fall short when it comes time to tell a captivating story to their online audience. Whether these missed opportunities come from a lack of… […]

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Surviving Negative Reviews

If you’re doing business in the 21st century, sooner or later you’ll receive negative feedback online – it’s par for the course. No matter how superlative your customer service, every business slips up occasionally. And because of the 24/7/365 sounding board that is the Internet, chances are, you’ll hear about it online. So you did an online search and found a negative review for your company. How do you proceed? Keep It Positive This should go without saying, and we’d let it, if we hadn’t witnessed time and time again businesses getting defensive and hostile when responding to negative reviews. The single most important thing you can do when handling negative reviews is to remain polite, upbeat, and understanding. It’s crucial for keeping up your brand image and maintaining a sense of professionalism in front of all those other online review readers. Engage The Concern Sure, maybe your business was having a really rough time that particular day because of unforeseen circumstances. Or maybe the customer misunderstood the product/service. Whatever the nature of the negative feedback, you should acknowledge it as valid. Customers have no idea what happens behind the scenes of a business, and they usually don’t consider that they may be among hundreds of other customers. Their negative feedback might be relevant or it might be completely preposterous, but as the customer’s point-of-view, it matters. Offer To Help Whatever the customer was unsatisfied with, offer to fix it (within reason). Doing so will show other customers that you care about your reputation and stand behind your product/service. Usually, you’ll want to give the customer some way to contact you in order to resolve the issue. Play To Your Strengths One of the best ways to handle negative feedback is to turn it around and highlight a positive feature of your business in your response. We’re not talking about making excuses. But if the customer experienced a service problem… […]

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On the Bandwagon: When to Utilize Memes for Advertising, and When Not To

Watching a successful meme make its way through the Internet proves that once out of their owner’s hands, memes indeed have lives of their own. Memes are by definition viral (read: they grow exponentially), which makes them the ideal vehicle for advertising. But when should you use a meme, and when should you refrain? Usually, a meme begins with an image that someone finds funny, but that is ambiguous enough to work in a large variety of contexts. Let’s take Success Kid for example – a beach photo of a toddler turned into one of the most memorable memes of all time. Soon, Virgin Mobile did this: The meme worked well in this case, because of the universal nature of the photo: those that didn’t get it still thought the photo was funny, and those that did got a kick out of the fact that a major company was essentially making an inside joke. Another successful use of a meme was the Keyboard Cat for Pistachios commercial. Keyboard Cat had been making its way around the Internet for many years before Pistachios decided to use it. Notice that again, the ad is hilarious even if you don’t know about the meme. Who doesn’t love musically-inclined cats?! But sometimes, the use of memes for advertising purposes doesn’t quite work. One example we didn’t particularly care for was Chuck Norris’s spot for World of Warcraft. By the time this ad came out in 2011, the Chuck Norris meme had been done to death, so the ad appeared stale and as a case of trying too hard to be cool. (Unearthing a less referenced 80’s action hero worked extremely well for Volvo though.) With all this in mind, here are four general rules to consider before you attempt to hijack a meme for advertising purposes: Understand the Meme You might have noticed we linked all the above memes to the website, which is basically a giant meme… […]

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Viral Marketing: The Success of the Ice Bucket Challenge

If you haven’t heard of the Ice Bucket Challenge by now, it’s surprising you can read this blog from that rock you’ve been hiding under. The worldwide phenomenon doesn’t show signs of abating, with a reported 1 billion collective Ice Bucket Challenge video views on Youtube as of this week. As the story goes, the Ice Bucket Challenge was created by Pete Frates, a former college baseball player suffering from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis who on July 31st challenged some of his friends, including football quarterbacks Tom Brady and Matt Ryan, to dump buckets of ice water on their heads to show support for fighting the disease. The challenge spread through the northeast and Matt Lauer did it on The Today Show a few weeks later, giving the phenomenon unprecedented exposure. Since then, the Ice Bucket Challenge has been gaining momentum at an insane pace, giving more attention to ALS that the disease has ever had previously. From there, everyone and their uncle did the challenge. Only President Obama managed to resist, though he did opt to donate to ALS instead. The best part is, every participant’s video is a unique take on the challenge. Here are some of our favorite ones: Benedict Cumberbatch: Chris Pratt: Charlie Sheen: Paul Bissonnette: Bill Gates: Conan O’Brian: And finally, a smooth, random guy: Some brands have actually jumped on board and gotten their mascots to participate. The Old Spice man did a particularly good job: Why has the ice bucket challenge been so successful, and what can be learned from it about the nature of viral marketing? Here’s our take on what the IBC got right: 1. It aligns itself with a worthy cause. No marketing campaign selling a mere product could have been this successful (1 billion views in 3 months!), but a campaign centered around an issue people feel strongly about resonated strongly enough to capture the public’s imagination. 2. It leverages influencers. It’s… […]

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