Jodi Gersh on positioning your content to maximize your reach

Jodi Gersh, from Gannett and USA Today, at February's AZIMA event. Photo; Cody Landefeld

Jodi Gersh, director of social media and engagement for Gannett, spoke at AZIMA’s February event.

Take-aways from the night’s successful event included:

  • What emotions drive people to spread your posts
  • What types of information people share with their connections
  • How to position your content to maximize its reach on social networks
  • Real life case studies on successful social media campaigns
  • Competitive strategies for maximizing the effectiveness of your social media campaigns

And, people are more likely to share a memorable story than a list of facts and figures. Gersh said people share information that helps them look smart, funny or “in the know.”

Here is Jodi’s slide deck: Content for a Social Audience. Follow along and it will almost be like being there … except without all the great networking.

Lessons learned after 10 years on Facebook

As we celebrate Facebook’s 10th Anniversary this month, it may be hard for many of us to imagine a life without the colossal online world that we’ve all come to love and hate. To date myself, I remember a time when I didn’t know what everyone was doing… every second of the day, and I miss those days. At the same time, we’ve probably all learned some valuable lessons from engaging on Facebook. After 10 years of posting, sharing and liking, here’s what I’ve learned:

  1. It will never be a substitute – Never in the history of our society have we been so connected to one another. But, messaging/liking/sharing with your online friends is not the same as picking up the phone or speaking with someone in person.
    Mark Zuckerberg celebrates Facebook's 10th anniversary this year while the founder himself turns 30 in May.

    Mark Zuckerberg celebrates Facebook’s 10th anniversary this year while the founder himself turns 30 in May.

    From a business perspective, social media can be a great tool to engage with customers and incentivize them to purchase your products. However, humans craves personal communication that involves touching, feeling, seeing and hearing. Don’t let social media keep you from being a caring member of society. Pick up the phone, send a hand written note, or even better – invite someone to come and talk to you in person.

  2. It can be a time waster – We’ve all been there… you jump on your home page, check a few headlines and the next thing you know you’ve spent 30 minutes looking at your BFF’s pictures from Disney Land or reading a 2000 word blog post about why you need to buy the latest version of P90x. Just like Mark Zuckerberg and his team of digital nerds have planned, it sucks you in and keep you for far too long. If you must spend time on Facebook, set a timer to let you know when you need to stop and get back to the important things. Even better, download an application like Hootsuite that will allow you to make posts in advance without actually going to the Facebook website.
  3. It can toy with your emotions – So and so got a new job and you’ve been unemployed for months. Or your favorite actor just died and your social feeds are constantly being cluttered with RIP messages. No matter how mentally sound you are, seeing the constant ups and downs of all of your friends can wreck-havoc on your state of mind. Don’t be scared to take a break from time to time and remember that what you are doing is far more important than what everyone else is doing.
  4. It can be useful – For as much bad as Facebook brings, it probably brings an equal amount of good. Businesses and individuals now have a way to connect with friends, family and customers in a way that we never thought was possible. Non-profits now have a unique way to raise badly needed funds and the news media can give us second-by-second updates on stories, often resulting in a positive result.

Like it or not, Social Media is probably here to stay! Just keep in mind that it really is about how and why you use and that it’s never too late to step away from your computer and go outside to smell the roses!

2014 Super Bowl Ad Recap – The Good, The Bad and The Locals

As a marketer, I firmly believe that there are only a handful of companies that should make the investment to advertise during the big game. The ultimate goal of any advertising is to sell a product, but not every company succeeds. Here is my take on the companies that got it right and the brands that should have saved their pennies.

THE GOOD

  • Hats off to Radio Shack for reigniting the small ray of hope they had as a relevant business and poking fun at their stagnancy. The “80’s are calling” theme made me laugh, shake my head in agreement and maybe… just maybe… want to check out what their refreshed stores have to offer.
    Budweiser Puppy Love

    Budweiser’s “Puppy Love” Super Bowl spot was a social media favorite.

  • Axe Body Spray was provocative, memorable and gave viewers the warm fuzzy with their “Make Love, Not War” campaign. Originally created in affiliation with Peace One Day, a nonprofit organization dedicated to upholding an annual day of international cease-fire, it was a nice change of pace from the macho, sex-filled ads we normally see from them.
  • H&M had hearts fluttering all over the U.S. with their ad for David Beckham’s new underwear line. Needless to say, I’m still smiling after seeing his cute and half naked bum running across my T.V screen and my husband will be getting some new underwear… STAT!
  • As always, Budweiser had us shedding a tear with their “Puppy Love” spot. I’m not sure how many people will leap off their couches wanting to buy beer because of a cute puppy, but the ad got a ton a buzz before and during the game, which is every advertising exec’s dream.

THE BAD

If you’re paying $4 million dollars for a 30 second TV spot, you better bring your “A” game! Unfortunately, several brands seemed to squander their investment.

  • Pizza Hut’s “Go for Greatness” campaign fell flat and struggled to stand out from the crowd despite their use of a baby waterskiing and a grandma jamming on the drums.
  • Ditto for the Chevy Silverado ad with a bull being carried to a harem of girl cows by his cowboy owner via a shiny new truck.
  • In the category of straight-up-weird, Audi took the cake with their “Doberhuahua campaign. It may have gotten my attention, but the scary looking hybrid dog that wreaks havoc on everyone it sees, had zero to do with selling a German car and freaked me out more than anything.

THE LOCALS

I hate to say it, but I was honestly unimpressed by both Phoenix-based companies that ran spots this year.

  •  Fulton Homes was lackluster, as best, with their 30 second spot spelling out the name of the company. Had I not been paying close attention, I probably would have missed it all together. The home builder missed the mark on resonating with their target market and did very little to build a buzz around the brand… before, during and after the game.
  •  Go Daddy broke from tradition with two different ad campaigns… neither of which was incredibly provocative or sexy. The body builder ad was a home run when it came to relevant messaging, tag line and branding. However, their ad with the woman quitting her job on live T.V. was pretty boring and lacked any staying power.
GoDaddy super bowl ad

Go Daddy broke with tradition with scant use of a scantily clad Danica Patrick.

Goward captivated the crowd with ‘Evolutionary Redesign’ tips

Chris Goward speaking at AZIMA's January event.

Chris Goward speaking at AZIMA’s January event.

By Susan Kern-Fleischer

More than 75 guests attended the Arizona Interactive Marketing Association (AZIMA) event, “Learn How to Execute a Conversion Optimization Strategy That Drives Dramatically More Profit,” on Jan. 16 at the Hilton Scottsdale Resort & Villas. Chris Goward, founder and president of Wider Funnel Marketing Optimization, gave us a sobering glimpse into the reality that when it comes to website design and functionality, “most best practices don’t work because they have not been tested.”

People are expecting more when they visit your website and it is becoming more difficult to convert visitors to customers. Goward said most companies, guided by their agencies, make the common mistake of doing a complete redesign of their websites, without ever testing individual components, such as headlines, images, column redesigns, messages about security and more. He cited Amazon as a successful example of ‘Evolutionary Redesign’ which he said is the better strategy. Amazon has had the same website since 1995, but because the ecommerce retailer tests every day, Goward said Amazon essentially redesigns its website on a daily basis.

Urgency fuels Chris Goward's LIFT model, aka Landing Page Influence Function for Tests

Urgency fuels Chris Goward’s LIFT model, aka Landing Page Influence Function for Tests

He encouraged the audience not to get caught up in the latest, hottest design elements, such as using rotating graphics on your home page, which he said fails miserably from a conversion perspective. “Every time we test it, it loses. The only thing it does is solve the problem for the art director,” he said.

Another surprising revelation: The McAfee security symbol decreases conversion rates when inserted near the call to action.

How you test is critical and Goward recommended setting goals to lift sales in what he calls the ‘Waterfall’ method, starting at the top with your business goals, moving down to your marketing goals and finishing with your conversion optimization goals.

Goward shared several examples of proven conversion frameworks and how to create powerful value proposition tests, emphasizing that “there are no losing tests, only inconclusive tests.”

He ended his presentation by offering AZIMA guests a 20-page white paper on the topic (email Goward at iwant@widerfunnel.com).

Join AZIMA on Thurs., Feb. 20 when Jodi Gersh of Gannett presents Content Programming For the Social Audience.

And, mark your calendar to attend our 2nd Annual TIM Awards from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thurs., March 20 at the Phoenix Art Museum. Named after Sir Timothy Berners-Lee, acknowledged father of the World Wide Web, the TIM Awards showcase Arizona talent and work in the interactive realm for calendar year 2013. AZIMA is accepting entries through Friday, Feb. 14. To learn more, visit www.azimaawards.com or www.joinazima.org.

Future of retail is not in reward programs

We Love Our Customers
In marketing we are consistently in pursuit of the one-to-one relationship we can have with a customer.

However operationally, every company’s customers are treated nearly the same way – even with the tiers of loyalty programs. Sure there are some extra perks here and there when you go from Silver to Gold status but they are the same for anyone at that level.

Looking toward the future there are many opportunities to recognize you as an individual both from the marketing side as wells an operational one. That’s when true personalization will be realized.

Read the full post on my Medium blog:  “There is something very big on the horizon and it will change the future of what it means to be brand loyal…. ”  Retail’s Future: iBeacon _ Rewards Programs + Klout technology = Individual Brand Pricing. 

Content Marketing: Predictions and popularity in 2014

"Content marketing" searches per month on Google climbed steeply in 2012 and just keep going.

“Content marketing” searches per month on Google climbed steeply in 2012 and just keep going.

Many predictions were made at the end of the year about content marketing in 2014.

Mashable predicts that this is the year when content marketing finally matures and brands, agencies and startups help it achieve real scale. 2014contentmarketing

According to the Content Marketing Institute, 93 percent of B2B brands and 90 percent of B2C brands are using content marketing to educate consumers about their brands.

Yet, despite the overwhelming interest in content marketing, 55 percent of B2B content marketers think their campaigns are ineffective.

Whether marketing folks have figure it out or not, a quick search of the blogs show that everyone’s talking about Content Marketing.  Here are a few blog posts that caught my eye recently:

 

 

 

Brand You starts with your day-to-day interactions

StickynoteIPromiseLooking at the landscape of Personal Branding Experts, I realized how most of them talk about the tactics of personal branding and not on the behaviors of it.

Building the Brand of You which I speak on often is about demonstrating the value of interactions with others and the decisions we make throughout the day.

On a larger scale that kind of personal brand building requires planning. And when they present themselves, analyzing those key opportunities so you can make the best choice possible.

Read my latest blog post –

Choose Wisely: Building the Brand of You has many options.   The many directions of the personal branding and how to choose the right one.

Let me know what you think and how you would have handled it differently if you have been given the assignment and a couple of hundred million dollars.

Chris Goward, expert in scientific website testing: Jan. 16 speaker

Chris Goward, WiderFunnel

Chris Goward, WiderFunnel

If AZIMA’s next monthly speaker has any one message for you, it is “You should test that.” And by “that” he means images, headlines, navigation, colors, buttons, and every other element on your website to determine whether it is turning visitors into customers.

Chris Goward, founder of WiderFunnel, is next up, on Thursday, Jan. 16, at the Hilton Scottsdale Resort & Villas. The author of a new book, Goward will share tips about conversion optimization, something he calls part science and part art.

“Conversion Optimization dramatically lifts sales for all types of companies,” Goward said. “But, studies show that those with the right strategy and structured process get twice as much benefit as others. That’s what I’ll share at AZIMA.”


More about Chris Goward’s
Jan. 16 presentation:
Learn How to Execute
a Conversion Optimization
Strategy that Drives
Dramatically More Profit

Goward points to 30 or so detailed case studies on WiderFunnel which will give you an idea of what conversion optimization strategies are and how they can help drives sales, increase subscribers, attract registrations. WiderFunnel’s early clients include Tourism British Columbia, SAP and Google.

A preview of key points from Chris Goward:

  • Leading websites like Amazon, ebay, Magento and BuildDirect.com use ongoing A/B testing to find out what sells the most
  • Conversion Optimization is ranked as the #1 priority for Digital Marketers (tied with Content Marketing)
  • Evidence Based Marketing has replaced Gut Feeling Marketing with fast-growth companies
  • By testing the right things, you never need to redesign your website again because it evolves with each test
  • Only 24{2bbd478b6aadf2a9bb5e10dcf35d17c0d0772390afbaf5ac8145fb1096668903} of marketers are extremely happy with their latest website redesign
  • Only 49{2bbd478b6aadf2a9bb5e10dcf35d17c0d0772390afbaf5ac8145fb1096668903} of website redesigns finish on time
    YouShouldTestThat
  • Companies with a structure approach to conversion optimization get 200{2bbd478b6aadf2a9bb5e10dcf35d17c0d0772390afbaf5ac8145fb1096668903} more chance of large sales increase
  • WiderFunnel’s average conversion rate lift is 23{2bbd478b6aadf2a9bb5e10dcf35d17c0d0772390afbaf5ac8145fb1096668903} for Ecommerce and 49{2bbd478b6aadf2a9bb5e10dcf35d17c0d0772390afbaf5ac8145fb1096668903} for lead generation websites

In Goward’s most recent blog post, he explains why conversion optimization has become the top priority for digital marketers, outpacing social media and content marketing:  14 Ways to Have Digital Marketing Success in 2014.

In 2013, Goward published “You Should Test That: Conversion Optimization for More Leads, Sales and Profit or The Art and Science of Optimized Marketing.”

Go ahead, read his book to prepare for Jan. 16.  Or just come along and pick his brain in person. EVENT REGISTRATION.

 

Be an AZIMA speaker: Share your expertise in 2014

Interested in sharing your interactive marketing expertise with hundreds of your marketing peers, or recounting a particularly successful campaign?  Or know someone who’d be a good speaker?

AZIMA is looking for speakers, home grown folks here in AZ or otherwise, to take the stage at our monthly social events. And I’m sure you’re looking for a New Year’s Resolution.  Share your expertise in 2014!

You don’t need to rush into it.  We’ve got a few speakers lined up already, but spots in 2014 will go quickly.  So, if you are interested, give us a shout. We ask you to fill out this short form to let us know what you are thinking about presenting: PROVIDE DETAILS ABOUT YOUR PROPOSED PRESENTATION.

Chris Goward

Chris Goward

Events are held at the Scottsdale Hilton and attendees will enjoy a light dinner menu while they have the opportunity to learn from the best in the business. During those monthly events, as usual, we’ll be featuring a mix of research, hands-on training, panel discussions, case studies and how-to presentations that will help eager marketers optimize their online activities by gaining insight into multiple related disciplines.

Jodi Gersh

Jodi Gersh

We’re looking for presentations that provide practical, actionable advice for interactive marketers based on measurable results and real-world experiences. Think about your own success stories in areas such as email marketing, content marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimization, mobile marketing, user experience and design, email marketing, paid search advertising, metrics and analytics.

 

Here’s the early lineup for 2014:  

Jan. 16 – Chris Goward, Founder & CEO of WiderFunnel. He’ll speak on “How to Create and Execute a Winning Conversion Optimization Strategy.”

 

Feb. 20 – Jodi Gersh, Director/Social Media & Engagement at Gannett. She’ll explore “Content Programming for the Social Audience.” 

 

Sheridan

Marcus Sheridan

March 20 – Marcus Sheridan, The Sales Lion, will be the MC for the evening at the  2nd Annual AZIMA TIM Awards. | Still time to enter any of our 12 categories.  Deadline: January 24, 2014.

 

April 17 – Paige Dell’Armi, Social Media Super Geek. She’ll share “Get the Perks: An Insider Look at Starbucks’ Social Media.”

Paige Dell'Armi

Paige Dell’Armi

Yes, that may be a tough act to follow, but we know you’ve got it.

 

Again, here’s the form to fill out to tell us what you’d like to share: PROVIDE DETAILS ABOUT YOUR PROPOSED PRESENTATION.

 

 

AND STAY TUNED FOR MORE.  

Bookmark this blog, JoinAZIMA.org, and follow along on Twitter: @JoinAZIMA and Facebook.  And if you have news to share or a job to fill, join the other 1,000+ members of AZIMA’s LinkedIn group.

 

UPDATE: New date for Mingle Bells, Thursday, Dec. 12

ChristmasBallsAd2logo

Ad 2 Phoenix and Phoenix Ad Club are determined to make this year’s Mingle Bells a fantastic event. Since so many of you have fun work parties to attend on Friday night (Dec. 13), it’s time to switch it up a bit.

Here’s the new plan: Mingle Bells 2013.  New night. And it’s FREE!

 

WHEN:
6 to 9 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 12
The Western, Old Town Scottsdale
6830 E 5th Ave‎.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

HOSTED BY: Ad 2 Phoenix and Phoenix Ad Club
COMMUNITY PARTNERS: Arizona Interactive Marketing Association (AZIMA) and AIGA Arizona
OFFICIAL DESIGN SPONSOR: Off Madison Ave.

The night will include:

  • Live music from country singer  Cody Johnson

  • Chance to win one of the amazing raffle and hashtag prizes we’ll be giving away.

  • Complimentary appetizers

  • Drink specials from 6 to 7 p.m.

    • $3 wells, $4 drafts, $2 PBR drafts, $2.50 domestic bottles and $5 house wines

  • Photo step and repeat

  • Mingling with our Community PartnersAZIMA and AIGA Arizona

TICKETS:   No tickets.  Just come on by.  

Toy donations will be collected upon entrance for the annual toy drive run by Positive Network Alliance, Inc, a Valley nonprofit serving Arizona’s children since 1987. To make sure you can REALLY have a good time, Ad 2 has a special discount code from official Transportation Partner Uber to get you home safely after all that liquid holiday therapy.

This may be a new date and location, but don’t worry – it will still involve plenty of eating, drinking, dancing, and networking. You can find more details about the changes on Mingle Bells’ Facebook event page.
PLEASE MINGLE RESPONSIBLY!