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Facebook Influencer Marketing, Free Video Creation Tools & More: The Social Scoop 7/11/17

I’m sure you’ve heard by now… the epic ‘Jayden K. Smith’ hacker warning storming the world on Facebook Messenger is a total hoax. (It’s actually been doing the rounds since 2009, eeks!) I got a few of the messages myself the other day and promptly looked into the matter, then posted a PSA my personal profile… which got a ton of shares.

So, given video gets even more visibility on Facebook, I also made a quick video for my Page… and it has 24k views and well over 700 shares! Coolio.

(What’s interesting is, even as the articles and posts debunking the warning stormed the internet, it seemed the message continued to gain steam. I think every major and local media outlet has now posted about it. Phew. Wish we could’ve had an amazing, positive message go viral like that, eh? You know, like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, hehe!)

Messenger Ads Coming To All Advertisers Worldwide

Big news from Facebook today: After a promising test of Messenger inbox ads earlier this year—limited to just Australia and Thailand—Facebook is now ready to roll this feature out to ALL advertisers.

These new Messenger Ads are ads placed on the Home tab of your Messenger inbox on mobile. (Have you noticed all the sections in Messenger? e.g. Birthdays, Unseen, Active Now, etc. By breaking up our inbox into segments, plus adding more tabs at the top and bottom, Facebook is creating more user engagement + more potential ad space!)

Facebook states,

“This means businesses of every size get a new tool for creating meaningful connections with customers and prospects. More than 1.2 billion people use Messenger every month, which gives marketers an opportunity to expand the reach of their campaigns and drive more results.”

NOTE: Messenger ads use all the same targeting features already available to advertisers (demographics, interests, etc. + custom audiences). Facebook does not use your private messages for ad targeting. [Says Ted Helwick, a Facebook product manager who works on Messenger ads. Source: Recode article 7/11/17]

In addition to these new Messenger Ads placed on the Home tab of users’ Messenger mobile app, the following Messenger advertising solutions are also available from Facebook:

  1. CLICK TO MESSENGER ADS. Prospects tap/click the CTA button on your ad, that appears in mobile or desktop Facebook News Feed and/or the Instagram app, in order to send your Page a private message. (These Messenger conversations can then be with a bot and/or human in your business.)
  2. SPONSORED MESSAGES. Your business can send a private message from your Page to anyone who has previously messaged your Page; you’ll need to create a Custom Audience to do so. This Messenger ad solution is designed to re-engage people who have an existing conversation with your business.
  3. Creation of your own MESSENGER BOT on the Messenger Platform using Facebook’s tools or a third party company.

For more information about all of the above, see Facebook’s official announcement here:

What do you think? As an business person, will you take advantage of these new Messenger Ads? And, as a user, how do you feel about ads in your Messenger inbox? ?

Square Videos

By the way, you may notice I’m making almost all square video format for my Facebook video posts… this is because square format performs better than landscape. Check out Animoto or new Animatron Wave app for easily creating professional square videos for Facebook and Instagram!

(Ugh, I think the square Facebook video embeds are not displaying properly on my WP site… okay, must tweak a few settings!)

This Week’s Top 3 Articles

1. Everything You Need to Know about Facebook Influencer Marketing by ShaneBarker.com

Endorsements from influencers can be a very effective way to market your business. Recommendations by others are considered more trustworthy than advertising, and when those doing the recommending have tons of influence upon your target market, the reviews are considered even more valuable. (I rather love doing influencer marketing myself, and only ever evangelize products, tools and companies that align with my values fully!)

2. How to Create the Perfect Facebook Video with Free Online Tools via Locowise.com

The popularity of video on Facebook continues to increase like crazy, and reports show that video still has the best engagement. The best part is that anyone can create and edit their own videos without a Hollywood budget or crew. Hehee! Read this article to learn how to create videos and find out some of the fab free tools available. (One of my personal faves is included: Animoto, along with a whole bunch of other ones!)

3. How to Use Google’s Free Testing Tools to Improve Your Site by PamAnnMarketing.com

Are you using Google’s free website tools to test and improve your site? The information they provide can help you to see how successful your SEO efforts are, your site speed, industry ranking, and more—all of which affect where your website appears in search results. It’s important to know if and where you need improvement. It could impact your company’s bottom line!

That’s a wrap for this issue of The Social Scoop. I hope you have an amazing rest of your week and I look forward to connecting again very soon.

Heart Eyes Emoji Facebook Messenger

P.S. THANK YOU to everyone who already expressed interest in my upcoming Facebook Live Video Success Secrets + FAST (Facebook Ads Strategy Training) online program… we’re making progress behind the scenes and will be sending a proper update just as soon as possible. (More info here.)

The post Facebook Influencer Marketing, Free Video Creation Tools & More: The Social Scoop 7/11/17 appeared first on MariSmith.com.


Mari Smith – Social Media Marketing Success

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Build Better Contact Forms with These Guidelines

Look around the web, and you’ll see that web developers (and their clients) love contact forms. And for good reason: they collect important information about customers cheaply and effectively. But so many of these forms are clumsily designed or poorly implemented, cutting companies off from their customer. Avoid these problems and learn to build better user experiences by following these contact form guidelines.

Is a contact form the right tool for the job?

contact form guidelines vanilla form

When your only tool is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail. Don’t let this be you! Contact forms might be de rigueur, but that doesn’t mean they’re always the best tool for the job.

There’s no doubt that contact forms are a valuable tool for website owners and marketers. They collect crucial information that users often leave out of self-written contact emails, and can encourage users to reach out when they might otherwise have stayed silent. For certain types of uses, they’re absolutely essential. However, it’s not always the perfect tool for the job.

Let’s look at a situation where a contact form is expected by users and useful for the website. If you’re working on the customer support section of a large company’s website, a contact form is probably essential. Users need to be reminded to include important information, like their contact information, software version, account status and issue type. This makes sorting and assigning the huge volume of support requests easier for backend tech support software, freeing up your client from the drudgery of manually sorting material. Users provide the information required at first contact, so they get response faster, and everyone’s happy.

Marketers can also see a huge benefit from contact forms. If you’re trying to collect users emails in exchange for an infographic, ebook or free trial, contact forms are the perfect way to do that. You can dump the information right into your contact database and automatically add folks to your email lists.

But for small- and medium-sized service-based businesses, they might not be so great. If you’re a homeowner that needs plumbing services, there’s a chance that you need those services as close to “now” as is possible. If your bathroom is flooding right this second, you need to speak to someone immediately. In this case, you don’t want a contact form. Users have the perception that contact forms are slow and impersonal, and won’t solve their problem quickly.

Instead, you want a giant phone number plastered at the top of the web page. That doesn’t mean you can’t also have a contact for capture folks that don’t like using the phone, but it must not be the sole method of contact. No doubt, you will get spam as a result of this, but many filtering options exist to reduce that problem.

Contact form guidelines for building better forms

Icons made by Alfredo Hernandez from www.flaticon.com is licensed by CC 3.0 BY

If you do decide you definitely need a contact form, don’t screw it up! Use these contact form guidelines to make sure it’s up to snuff.

1. Design a clear user interface

Designing a functional and pleasing user interface is harder that it seems, so this tip can be challenging to implement. But by and large, you can follow some basic rules.

  • Make fields easy to read. Text should be the right weight and color to read against the background, even for users with slightly impaired vision. Align labels to the left and position them above the field they apply to, and make sure the text is large enough to read without trying.
  • Pre-fill forms carefully. If you’re using pre-filled form text as labels, make sure that it’s legible against the background of the text area, and that it contains accurate information. Also, don’t make it real text.
  • Implement accessibility options. Make sure all input boxes can be reached by keyboard navigation, and that your <label> elements are descriptive and accurate.
  • Keep it brief. Forms with fewer fields are easier for users to fill out, and they’re more likely to submit them. Don’t request information you don’t need (like full address) because it’s “standard.” And don’t ask for information you already have: in most cases, you can determine a user’s city and state from their postal code.
  • Animate sparingly. You can do a ton of crazy-cool stuff with jQuery and HTML5 animations, but keep it in check. Don’t drown the user in gimmicky animations or over-the-top invalid response cues.
  • Size form fields in relation to their expected input. Email fields need more space than a phone number, and a customer message need more room still.
  • Use the generic radio buttons and checkboxes provided by the browser. These are easy to understand and users are used to seeing them in all their states. Plus, they always work!
  • Make required fields obvious. Use a red asterisk to denote required fields, or actually write the word “required” next to their label.
  • Accept data in any format. If you ask for phone numbers, for example, accept them with or without dashes and parentheses. Don’t reformat the input live either. Having parentheses, dashes and slashes suddenly appear as you’re typing is confusing for users.

2. Use custom branding

Consumers are uniquely attuned to the impersonal and generic. They might not be able to say exactly why, but if your contact form looks the same as every other contact form in the world, they’ll feel it.

To avoid this, implement some custom styling. This can be super simple, like changing field colors, border-radius values and typefaces. You can also get more complicated, restyling the form with scratch with unique interaction methods and live feedback. Whatever you choose, make sure it matches the company’s branding.

3. Make sure it works every time

If the user provides valid input, your form should submit every single time, without exception. But some developers, seeking to sanitize input and save work on the backend, shoot themselves in the foot with complicated filters and schemes.

You obviously need to make sure users can’t execute arbitrary code on your site, but that doesn’t require insanely complicated regular expressions to validate emails. Keep any validation methods as basic as possible to avoid surprise problems.

4. Secure it against common attacks

Anything you build for a client should be secure, but contact forms are especially vulnerable. Users are submitting data directly to your servers, and without checks in place, malicious users can execute scripts against your website.

Be smart about limiting common attacks, and use simple methods that actually work. For example, use HTML entity encoding and escape user submitted data to render code non-functional. You can learn more about this by reading about cross site scripting attacks (XSS) and MySQL injection.

5. Include relevant custom fields

To make your contact form most useful for your client, you need to include relevant custom fields in addition to obvious fields like name and email address. To take the example above, a support form for a software company should have drop down menus that request operating system and software version number. You might also ask users to choose a category for their question, though users sometimes have a hard time selecting this accurately.

6. Don’t ask for unnecessary info

The shorter the form, the better. And the less invasive a form feels, the more likely users are to submit it. If you don’t need personal information, don’t ask for it.

It might even improve your conversion rates. Some surveys have found that users are less likely to fill out a form when a phone number field is present, and shorter forms have higher utilization rates. As a rule, if data isn’t critical to the form’s purpose, don’t ask for it.

7. Try out different button copy

The text on your button is valuable: it should say what the user wants to do. Sure, the user wants to submit the form, but “Submit!” is pretty generic. Try using a call-to-action in the button text itself. For example, if you’re requesting user information to download an ebook, try out a button that says “Click here to download your free ebook!” This can help your conversion rate and reminds the user what will happen when they submit the form.

8. Keep the input process simple and flexible

Users shouldn’t need to think too hard to fill out the form. If your contact form imposes a large cognitive load on users, they’ll likely just ignore it.

Date and time pickers are a great example of imposing a mental burden on users. It seems like every picker is different. Some allow you to type in dates and then apply the correct formatting; others permit you to type in dates, but don’t accept the input as valid. And still others make typing in the date box impossible. All share one universal trait: they’re annoying, and yet necessary. If you must use something like this, make it as flexible as possible.

The perfect date picker would allow the user to use whatever input paradigm they’re most comfortable with. If you type in a date, it should automatically apply the proper formatting to accept the date. If you pick a date from a drop down calendar, that calendar should be easy to navigate, without superfluous animations or slow things down. Of course, it won’t be possible to achieve perfection on every project. Do your best to meet the user where they are, rather than trying to force your input method on them.

9. Use clear confirmation dialogues and error messages

If a form submits correctly, make sure you tell users! And then navigate away from the contact form page. It’s extremely unlikely that a contact form will be filled in twice, and users expect to be navigated to another page when they’re done with the form. Leaving users at the form will make it hard to tell if they were successful or not.

If something is wrong with the user’s input, make sure you tell them what’s wrong and why. Just indicate a generic problem isn’t enough: highlight the field with problematic input, and explain exactly what the problem is and how to fix it. Just make sure you’re only validating when the user submits the form! It’s stupid to have a form pedantically correct you on how to type an email address when you haven’t even finished typing.

10. Make it mobile-friendly

Contact forms that look awesome on a desktop browser might not so hot on mobile. Make sure that your form is reflowing as necessary for mobile users, and text extensively Use an actual mobile device to test it, confirming that form fields are all easily tappable and the submit button is large enough to hit accurately.

And make sure you’re giving users the right keyboard! By specifying your input type, you can automatically trigger context-sensitive keyboards on iOS and Android. For example, if you use <input type="tel">, you’ll trigger a phone number keyboard that makes typing in numbers easier for users.

 

You might also like:

Near-Perfect Lead Generation Forms: 2 Prime Examples
8 Killer Ways to Design Higher Converting Web Forms
45 Notable Website Registration and Login Forms

The post Build Better Contact Forms with These Guidelines appeared first on SpyreStudios.


SpyreStudios

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Uber to suspend services in Macau due to regulatory hurdles


(Reuters) — Uber will suspend its services in Macau from July 22 as it has not been able to unlock the full benefits of ride sharing in the gambling hub, in another blow to the firm that is fighting legal scrutiny in many Asian markets.

This is the second time Uber has decided to pause its operations in Macau. The prior plan had been triggered by steep fines imposed on its drivers in the Chinese-ruled territory, but the company in September did a U-turn and decided to stay on citing support from residents.

“We are already exploring ways to serve the city again, and have had initial discussions with business partners, including transport operators and hotels,” Uber said on its website on Monday. A spokesman declined to elaborate beyond the statement or give numbers regarding Uber’s presence in Macau.

Macau is not a big market for the U.S. firm, but it adds to the list of countries where Uber’s ride-sharing service has run into regulatory problems, such as Korea and Japan. Its drivers continue to face a legal battle in Hong Kong.

In Taiwan, Uber made a comeback in April, after a two-month suspension, following talks with the authorities.

(Reporting By Sijia Jiang; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Himani Sarkar)

Social – VentureBeat

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Parents, social media isn’t turning your kids into robots


Most parents have concerns about their kid’s social media usage, but they shouldn’t worry about their brain cells frying. Under the hoodー kids are using social to better themselves. Kids are running their own profitable slime businesses on Instagram, honing their dancing skills on musical.ly, showcasing their artistic talents on YouTube, and so much more. Social media is this generation’s social currency Parents always complain about their kid’s way of socializing. When kids DM their friends, parents tell them to use the phone. When girls used the phone to talk their boyfriends for hours, parents moaned about the sentiment of a…

This story continues at The Next Web
Social Media – The Next Web

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WeWork launches joint venture with SoftBank to bring its shared work spaces to Japan


Heavily funded startup WeWork is launching a joint venture (JV) with telecom giant SoftBank that will open WeWork’s shared working spaces to the Japanese market.

The new JV, which will be known as “WeWork Japan,” will be 50 percent-owned by each company and will enable the New York-based tech firm to gain a solid foothold in a potentially sizeable and lucrative market.

Founded in 2010, WeWork offers shared working spaces in dozens of locations across the U.S. and globally, including in Europe, Latin America, and Asia. The company already has hubs in China, India, and South Korea, and with the backing of SoftBank — one of the world’s largest public companies — it will now set out to conquer Japan.

“At WeWork, we want to create a world where people work to make a life, not just a living,” explained WeWork cofounder and CEO Adam Neumann, in a press release. “When I met Masa (Masayoshi Son, chairman and CEO of SoftBank) and understood his vision for a technology-enabled future, a vision I share, I knew that together we would be able to make a big impact, grow our community and change how and where people work. Both WeWork and SoftBank have established reputations for connecting people and creating partnerships to facilitate innovation and inspire new ideas.”

The tie-up should perhaps come as little surprise, though. WeWork has raised north of $ 4 billion since its inception, with around $ 1 billion of that coming this year alone — and SoftBank represents roughly one-third of that investment.

WeWork may not garner the same kinds of headlines as other well-financed startups, such as Uber, but with a reported $ 20 billion valuation, it is now among the top five most valuable startups in the world. And with SoftBank’s backing, it’s laying the foundations to infiltrate another major business economy. The first Japanese location will open in Tokyo in early 2018, and Chris Hill, who joined WeWork early on as chief operating officer (COO), will serve as CEO of WeWork Japan.

Social – VentureBeat

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A Webpage is a Conversation

The moment prospects decide to engage with your webpage, they begin to communicate with you — your webpage is a conversation. It is our job as marketers to get into the conversation and speak to those prospects the right way.

When designing a page, choose words and images wisely. The quality of the conversation your webpage fosters determines a prospect’s next steps. Are they confused, looking for clarity and meaning and not finding any on your landing page? These prospects are leaving your page in droves.

The only way to prevent this is to make sure the first few inches of your page clearly communicate your value proposition — the ultimate reason why prospects should stop and engage with you before any other company. This will prevent them from having to make meaning of the page themselves.

In this Quick Win Clinic, Flint McGlaughlin optimizes the Vestian homepage, which does many things right but, ultimately, fails to facilitate strong dialogue with customers due to its lack of a value proposition and confusing images.


MarketingExperiments

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437 Digital Marketers Went Head-to-Head with a Conversion-Predicting Machine — Who Reigns Supreme?

Being a digital marketer is an exciting gig. Ad platforms, best practices and tools change at warp speed, meaning you’re always learning and you’re never bored.

But it’s a tough gig, too. As competition stiffens and we spread our time and resources across more and more platforms, it’s harder to get our message seen, and we yearn for the results we once (perhaps) took for granted.

In 2004, the internet became the highest grossing channel in advertising expenditure, and it’s been on the rise ever since.

Image via Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends report.

That up-and-to-the-right blue line means that acquisition has become more competitive than ever.

Couple this with a rising average cost per click and cost per conversion, and you’ve got a hefty task at hand: Cut through the search noise, create a compelling digital experience and interpret and apply tens of thousands of data points all while coming in under budget.

Yikes!

It’s no wonder that marketers are looking at advances in automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence and asking, “What’s in it for me?” 

AI technology is already infiltrating all aspects of society, from the fleet of self-driving cars Google is testing, to the anti-snore wearable Sleep.ai you go to bed with to the Amazon Alexa smart speaker in your living room.

What these machines have in common is that they’re designed to make life better for humans so we can spend less time commuting, tossing and turning or shuffling through our record collections and more time on the things that matter.

And while some see the “rise of the machines” as a threat, Mitch Joel, President of global digital agency Mirum, sees it as an opportunity:

I see this and think, ‘Wow, this is going to be a very interesting and dynamic time for people who really want to build better relationships with customers.’

To fear or not to fear the machine, that is the question

Pop culture is rife with dystopian visions of a machine-dominated future. But we’re already seeing AI technology being used to complement human ingenuity and serve the greater good.

IBM Watson Health, for example, analyzes vast amounts of data (gathered via peer-reviewed research, doctors, family health history, even your FitBit) and leverages machine learning technology to recommend data-backed patient care plans.

From a marketing perspective, AI technology can be used to help marketers make better decisions about where to focus their efforts, and to create smarter tools that present prospects with the right offer, in the right place, at the right time. Or, as Mitch Joel put it, to “create marketing [using] assumptions and knowledge that I myself may not even be aware of as a customer.”

Mitch says marketing AI goes beyond presenting relevant offers based on past purchases, but rather presenting offers that prospects will definitely act on or — at the very least — that the technology will “leverage and [learn] from to make it better and better each time — that sort of iterative learning that makes it better with each experience.”

Carl Schmidt, Unbounce co-founder and CTO, keeps a close eye on the digital marketing landscape and how AI and machine learning can — and in some cases already is — helping the digital marketer.

Carl says AI is already being used “to automate ad purchasing, create ad copy, score leads, identify customers at risk, select ad creative, run tests and more.”

Tomorrow (or in the near future rather) AI will empower marketers “to offer highly personalized marketing experiences,” says Carl. “Digital touch points (web, mobile, chat, automated voice) will understand the visitor’s context and preferences and construct messaging that is much more relevant; almost like a digital salesperson.”

Beyond that, Carl says AI could be leveraged to “deliver digital personas; online avatars that perfectly exhibit brand values and have a complete understanding of the brand’s products and services.”

Unbounce CTO Carl Schmidt talking about the future of AI and marketing at Unbounce’s Call to Action Conference.

Over the past 12 months, Carl and a team of data scientists and conversion optimization experts at Unbounce have been using machine learning to analyze hundreds of thousands of landing pages built in Unbounce.

The team believed they’d hit a significant milestone when they built a machine learning model that could predict whether landing page conversion rates are above or below industry averages with 80% accuracy.

But Carl and his team were eager to know how impressive that really was. Could human marketing experts do better?

Machine vs. Marketer: The challenge

Ever since chess champion Gary Kasparov’s stunning loss to IBM supercomputer Deep Blue more than 20 years ago, “man vs. machine” matchups have been used to gauge the advancement of AI technology.

In 2011, supercomputer Watson defeated Jeopardy! Champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter in an epic two-day match.

And just a few months ago Google’s AlphaGo defeated world champion Ke Jie in the ancient Chinese game Go. The game, which originated some 25 centuries ago, is known as one of the most challenging games ever created — one that you can spend your whole life mastering.

While we believe the future of marketing isn’t a question of “machines vs. marketers”, but, rather, machines helping marketers, let’s face it: everyone loves a good showdown.

A few weeks ago we welcomed 1200+ digital marketers to the fourth annual Call to Action Conference in Vancouver, Canada, just a couple blocks away from Unbounce headquarters.

As Carl said during his opening remarks, it was a perfect opportunity to test our AI technology against some of the savviest marketers in the world. But it also gave us the opportunity to “gauge customer reaction [and] educate and enlighten” (a.k.a. turn AI skeptics into believers).

“We’ve encountered folks who’ll tell us they’ll ‘never trust a machine,’” Carl says. “Or they ‘will always know better than a machine.’”

Marketers trying their hand at beating “The Machine”.

What they came up with was a mobile web challenge for attendees to test their conversion-predicting abilities against the machine they’ve been working on.

Here’s how it worked:

  • Using their phones, attendees were presented with one of 204 Unbounce-built landing pages.
  • Analyzing only the copy, the AI technology predicted whether the page had an above or below average conversion rate, as benchmarked against thousands of landing pages built in Unbounce.
  • Participants analyzed the pages at the same time and were asked to make their own predictions.

In total 427 digital marketers (including conference speakers and experts like Mari Smith, Joel Klettke and Talia Wolf) attempted to outsmart the machine.

But the human marketers were no match for “The Machine”. Like its predecessors (Deep Blue, Watson, AlphaGo) “The Machine” reigned supreme:

Not even the expert marketers were able to beat “The Machine”.

On paper, 2017 CTAConf speaker Joel Klettke is the perfect opponent. His expertise is conversion copywriting, and he promises his copy will “turn skeptics into advocates and prospects into paying customers” — a promise he’s delivered on for SaaS and B2B clients like HubSpot and WP Engine.

Because the algorithm only parses copy, you’d think these two would have a pretty fair fight, but no dice.

Joel, who got 57% correct, explains why he found the challenge so tricky:

The tough thing is knowing what to look for and getting past your own biases. Some niches, offers and designs just hit me as ‘yuck.’ Even as a copywriter, it takes some serious time to get into the shoes of the people you’re trying to write for; to understand what appeals to them or not.

Joel also mentioned that he didn’t know the machine only parsed copy until he was about 65% of the way through the challenge. Like many humans (and even those trained in copy) Joel found himself “swayed by design elements or polish that makes mediocre copy look better.” A machine, on the other hand, “isn’t fooled,” says, Joel, “but we try to analyze all elements to the detriment of reason.”

Kidding! Please don’t do this.

While we definitely do not (I repeat DO NOT) recommend firing your marketing department and hiring robots, the results provide us with a glimpse into the future of digital marketing, and how AI-powered conversion tools and insights will amplify our marketing efforts to build truly outstanding marketing experiences and better conversion growth.

Despite losing to “The Machine,” Joel seemed genuinely excited about what the challenge might indicate for the future of marketing and AI:

I think it tells me there’s room for some AI help out there. It’s not a wholesale replacement for research, critical thinking, empathy… but it’s a good barometer for how well you’ve put those elements together, at least from an algorithmic standpoint.

I’m excited to see what will happen when the machine gets better at accounting for context, like niches or types of offers. Many of the times that I beat the machine, it was because I understood how heavy a commitment the page was asking for and knew it’d drive conversions way down.

But, ultimately it opened my eyes a bit to how AI is going to gun for all of our jobs. Until then, we stand to gain a lot by playing nice with it.

Looking ahead to AI-powered conversion optimization

Yosem Sweet is Unbounce’s Director of Business Optimization. He’s been working closely with Unbounce’s data scientists to develop applications of AI to conversion rate optimization.

I asked Yosem to explain how this was possible:

AI-powered conversion optimization leverages a computer’s capability to process large amounts of data to find patterns. These patterns are then used to help the conversion optimization process by: reducing the time needed to generate winning hypotheses, reducing the effort needed to make better pages and (hopefully) finding unexpected solutions to conversion problems.

It’s interesting, no doubt, but how it might look is the cool part.

Yosem says there are a lot of different forms AI-powered conversion optimization will take, “everything from copy suggestions and auto-layout of content to strategic recommendations on driving specific traffic sources for a campaign.”

“The sky’s the limit,” says Yosem, “but before we get to the utopian future, we’d like to start by using AI to help marketers understand where they should focus their optimization efforts. Traffic? Copy? Design? Offer? And which pages have a lot of opportunity for improvement?”

Ultimately Yosem wants to “free marketers up to focus on the creative and strategic aspects of their job.”

Again, giving marketers back precious time is the key here — augmenting their toolkit to help them provide over-the-top amazing marketing experiences and, ideally, giving them superpowers.

And if you too think that, as Joel puts it, AI will be gunning for our jobs, Facebook marketing expert, author and CTAConf speaker Mari Smith begs to differ. She insists that there will always be a place for real-life marketers:

Us humans can sometimes be unpredictable and will always crave real, human-to-human connecting. Businesses that go the extra mile, that provide extraordinary customer service and excellent post-sales follow-up and that surprise and delight their best customers…these are the businesses that will stand out and thrive in the long run.

(Cue collective sigh of relief.)

What this means for digital marketers

Here’s the thing: Most marketers either don’t know what a good conversion rate is or can’t tell if a particular page can achieve its target conversion rate. This data just hasn’t been available, so even the most seasoned marketers rely on anecdotal evidence and gut instinct to determine these benchmarks.

AI technology can help bridge this gap.

I asked a handful of marketers what this type of technology might mean for them, and no matter how tiny (or robust) there team was, the reaction was the same: AI-powered conversion optimization would amplify their results and multiply their time.

Johnathan Dane is founder and CEO of Klientboost, a fast-paced PPC agency based in Irvine, California.

When he’s not speaking at CTAConf (he’s done so the last two years) he works with his clients to get them the best results for their PPC spend.

For Johnathan et al, AI-powered conversion automation would mean zooming out from the nitty gritty details and spending more time doing the things he loves.

We’d be able to strengthen our retention rate even more than it is now (one of our core focuses behind the curtains).

It would allow us to shift our resources towards other things that help grow our business, like using time to build partnerships, launch new marketing campaigns, create more of the content that has gotten us known on other platforms.

CTAConf attendee and marketing specialist Kelsey McFarlane of Orchestra Software shared a similar sentiment. The company she works for builds business software for craft brewers and distilleries.

Competition in her industry is minimal, since many of their competitors are not currently using digital marketing. But her team is small, so anything to amplify their efforts is huge.

We’re a really small marketing team — there are only three of us. So for us to gather the data to create the landing pages and then distribute [resources] to do A/B testing — we would be able to cut down on how much time is spent doing something that computers can already do for us. So it could streamline our team and make them pay attention to the more important aspects of what’s going on.

Joel on the other hand says he would spend more time not doing work.

A part of me wants to say I’d put that time into building out my other business ventures, trying to future-proof myself and make sure I’m constantly offering services that are relevant and robots can’t steal. But, honestly? I’d probably just get my projects done earlier, and then try to get outside. Life’s short, money is fleeting, and fresh air is important.

Start integrating AI insights into your marketing today

No matter how smart, no matter how scrappy your team is, if you don’t start leveraging the power of AI in your marketing efforts, you will be at a competitive disadvantage.

In the near future, AI will amplify your marketing efforts and multiply your conversions, but more importantly, it will free up your time to focus on the most creative and impactful parts of your job. .

Johnathan explains it best: “Too many people think that they need more money to grow their business (which is easy), carving time is the hard part, and that’s what AI would help us with.”

As Unbounce’s AI gets smarter and we learn more about the variables (copy, images, form fields, traffic sources, etc.) that influence conversion, we will be sharing our learnings and insights with our customers and readers.

We recently released the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report — an analysis of 74,551,421 visitors to 64,284 lead generation landing pages created in the Unbounce platform this year.

The Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report is filled with industry-specific data, graphs and actionable takeaways.

The report provides marketers across 10 popular industries — including real estate, higher education, legal and more — with data-backed recommendations around copy length, emotion and reading ease. More importantly, it answers the previously unanswerable question, “What is a good conversion rate for my industry?”

Start working AI technology and insights into your landing page optimization process today — download the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report and find out what’s a good conversion rate for your industry.

Start implementing AI insights into your landing pages today

Get the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report and learn what copy converts for your industry
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Restaurant brings in Instagram kits so you can nail your #foodporn shots

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Making your avocado toast pop on Instagram requires a unique formula that isn’t always possible to achieve. But, one London restaurant is offering “foodie Instagram packs” so diners can up their #foodporn game. 

The free kits contain a portable LED camera light, a multi-device charger, a clip-on wide angle camera lens and a tripod selfie stick for overhead table shots. The kits have been designed to provide Instagrammers with everything they need to capture the perfect Instagram shot. 

Dirty Bones has launched the kits at its newly opened location in Soho, London, which has been designed with the “Instagram universe” in mind.  Read more…

More about Uk, Instagram, Social Media, Restaurant, and Food And Drink


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Ignite the Fan Experience

As a fan of the Golden State Warriors, I’m still gushing over their 2017 NBA Championship win.  Congratulations Dubs!  We’re so proud.

Being in the Bay Area, we are very lucky to have talented sports teams including basketball, baseball, football and hockey.  Having been to every stadium/arena, the fan experiences are quite different!

At home, we’re spoiled by the HD surround sound, consistent internet connectivity and multiple screens so we won’t miss any moments.

As stated in “Should the Chief Marketing Officer Oversee The Whole Customer Experience?” report, the consumerization of IT has created often unfulfilled customer experiences. 

At stadiums for example, there are:

Lines: they were everywhere from parking lot, front entrance, concession vendors, bathrooms, leaving the game, you name it.

Limited connectivity: it’s very slow.  So slow to load it’s hard to watch replays or look up real-time stats.

Disengaged experiences: once I step away, I missed plays. 

Arch rival: gotta love them.  That’s why it’s a game!

Supportive fans: those are the best and there are tons of them!

At live events, there’s no frustration among fans waiting in long lines.  We’re patient, interactive and social, at least before the game.  Social networks and consumerization of IT have created the expectation with apps, online and mobile experiences that’s easy to use and fun keeping us engaged. 

With all the digital disruption in every industry from retail to manufacturing to banking, this is the perfect place to use technology and data to enhance the customer experience with the Oracle Simphony Cloud

At live events, spending less time in lines should be an easy fix!  The action is what fans like me are most passionate about and it would be the next best thing to be able to enjoy a more interactive, modern experience like this:

 

 


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