Will More Tweet Space Equal More Value for Your Twitter Audience?

Last month, Twitter made big headlines after announcing it was in the midst of testing 280-character tweets as a way to give users more room to “express” themselves. The announcement came a little more than a year after Twitter stopped including links and photos in character counts.

“We want every person around the world to easily express themselves on Twitter, so we’re doing something new: we’re going to try out a longer limit, 280 characters, in languages impacted by cramming (which is all except Japanese, Chinese, and Korean),” the company said in a press release on its blog. “Although this is only available to a small group right now, we want to be transparent about why we are excited to try this.”

For marketers, many may feel like Christmas has come early. Let’s face it, writing a compelling and comprehensive tweet in just 140 characters is an art — an art that seems almost impossible to master. With double the amount of space, the pressure is off and marketers can unleash their full wordsmithing talent. Um, right?

Not so fast.

Twitter’s 140-character limit has been a defining platform characteristic since its inception — and something many users are extremely partial to.

“Twitter is about brevity. It’s what makes it such a great way to see what’s happening. Tweets get right to the point with the information or thoughts that matter. That is something we will never change,” Twitter said in its release. “We understand since many of you have been Tweeting for years, there may be an emotional attachment to 140 characters — we felt it, too.”

While Twitter is confident that giving users more real estate will make it easier and more fun to tweet, marketers should not look at it as an opportunity to rewrite their tweeting best practices. The real opportunity here is to discover whether or not you can use that extra space to deliver more value and resonance to your audience.

Twitter’s character limit change is an opportunity to learn if you can deliver more value. #marketing Click To Tweet

So, once “super-sized” tweets — as The Verge so eloquently called them — come to your account, don’t throw caution to the wind right away. Start with these actions:

#1 – Audit your existing Twitter initiatives.

Take a deep dive into your analytics dashboard to get a deeper understanding of how your audience is already engaging with your tweets and taking action on them.

Of course, the basic metrics are important because they can serve as your benchmarks. But also go beyond the metrics to start categorizing what content garners the most engagement so you can draw some more meaningful insights. For example, what topics seem to fire your audience up? How long are your most effective tweets? Are images or video a part of your most successful tweets? Which tweets featuring my website content got the most clicks? What really seems to be working? What’s clearly not working?

In addition, it’s worth taking a peek at your website analytics to understand how Twitter is impacting your business. Depending on what you uncover through the Twitter dashboard, you might be able to draw some more conclusions on what tweet content has value beyond awareness and engagement.

Before adding characters, audit your current Twitter efforts. #socialmediamarketing Click To Tweet

#2 – Craft and launch test tweets.

Use the information you uncovered during your audit to build out and launch a test campaign featuring longer tweets. Of course, build these tweets in accordance with what you know is working best with your audience, but also give yourself some space to experiment a bit. We’d suggest running the test for at least a month to get enough data to lead into the next action.

Test longer tweets before throwing out Twitter best practices. #socialmediamarketing Click To Tweet

#3 – Analyze results and tweak your test.

Now it’s time to dive back into your analytics to understand how your test tweets stack up to your legacy efforts. Did you see a measurable rise or decline in engagement? What kind of engagement did you receive (i.e. increase in average comments or decrease in average retweets)? Was there a certain type of content that really benefited from that extra character room?

After you test longer tweets, analyze your results & make tweaks. #socialmediamarketing Click To Tweet

The Bottom Line: Value Trumps Character Count

At the end of the day, character count simply doesn’t matter if what you’re sharing has no value or resonance with your audience. Since Twitter launched, the tight character count has been a creative restraint, challenging us all to say more with less. So, while you should certainly take advantage of the extra room when it makes sense, your primary objective should always be bringing insight and value to your audience. Because when they see the value you bring to the table, they’ll reward you for it.

Your primary objective should always be to bring value to your audience. @CaitlinMBurgess Click To Tweet

What do you think about Twitter’s decision to double its character limit? Tell us in the comments section below.

CBM101117

Here are the notes from the Chris Brogan Media broadcast for 10/11/17. (You can watch this on my Facebook account).

This live video was all shot using Ecamm Live (client), the best way to do Facebook Live for Mac.

Please note that all links may be affiliate links. If someone is a client, I’ll call that out specifically.

Stories Shared

Yesterday, Bitcoin ALMOST made it to a record high value. This says we might still get there.

Another cool use of blockchain technology? You can create your own loans for people without much of a third part between you.

But if you’re not ready to invest in cryptocurrency, this investment app by Stash has been a lot of fun.

Speaking of investing, you should see what Oracle’s planning in the world of blockchain support.

And as a small business owner, you might want to check out how the Internet of Things relates to your search value.

In Alexa news, the BBC is launching a new interactive show where you can choose your own adventure.

And if that’s not your bag, Google just bought a podcasting technology that helps delivery highly personalized short form audio content.

Keep your eye out for these shifting media experiences. Apple just inked a big deal with Spielberg to create new programming for the Apple TV platform.

My random plant-based story of the day is plant based sales tripled since 2016. This is more than a quick fad, at least so it appears.

In another effort to fend of “porch pirates,” Amazon is willing to deliver packages to your car’s trunk. This is one of SEVERAL methods they’re exploring for keeping your stuff safe.

I’m just helping you out with this one. If you don’t yet know what a “porg” is, this is a good start.

Hey, if this has been interesting, consider picking up my weekly newsletter. It’s all unique ideas by me about how to improve buyer interactions and grow your business. Give it a peek

What ELSE is News?

You want to get featured on the Chris Brogan Media show? Drop me an email: chris@chrisbrogan.com and let me know what’s news!

Please Get My Newsletter

My newsletter is the best work I do every week. You can get yours here.

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Making B2B Marketing Gold: A Look Back at MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum #MPB2B

Image via MarketingProfs

To open up the 2017 MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum, Chief Content Officer Ann Handley shared a challenge for attendees to keep top of mind while at the conference (in addition to tap dancing, but more about that later):

#1 – Find Your Squad

This has been a running theme for the B2B Marketing Forum for as long as I can remember. Because the conference is capped at around 1,000 attendees, you actually have the opportunity to run into some familiar faces during the conference.

Even if you traveled to the event with members of your own team, it’s important to make the effort to meet new people, “your people”. I’ve been lucky to meet some really amazing people at conferences and continue to be in contact with many of them to this day.

We were fortunate to have a team at MPB2B that included myself, Lee Odden, Alexis Hall and Dan Rasmussen. This is a theme that resonates very well with us as we are constantly looking to add new members to our squad at TopRank Marketing in the form of new team members, industry influencers and prospective clients.

#2 – Go Outside Your Comfort Zone

It doesn’t matter if you are an introvert or an extrovert, there will be situations that push you outside of your comfort zone. It could be walking up and starting a conversation with someone you’ve never met, interviewing one of your marketing heros, or for me, speaking on stage at my favorite conference to a room full of smart marketers.

Often, once you do make the effort to step outside of your comfort zone you quickly find that you’re actually having fun and wish you would have taken strides sooner.

These two challenges posed by Ann Handley led our team to push ourselves at this conference and align very well with some of our core values. Below is a recap of how we found our squad, went outside our comfort zones and learned as much as we could in an action packed three days.

Celebrating Squad & Comfort Zone Queen Ann Handley

If you’re like most marketers, Ann Handley’s squad is one that you want to be a part of. Ann is a genuinely kind, warm and incredibly smart individual that I feel lucky to know. But don’t take my word for it, see what some of today’s top B2B marketers had to say:

And if I thought that I stepped out of my comfort zone at MPB2B, it didn’t even come close to Ann taking the stage and tap dancing her little heart out in front of 1,000 marketers:

Spending Time with our Squad

Marketing events present a great opportunity to spend time with the marketers that you love and respect the most. We were fortunate that many of these people were at MPB2B last week.

The first night we were lucky enough to spend some time with our squad from LinkedIn Marketing Solutions (who also happen to be a TopRank Marketing client). This group of marketers are some of the most talented and driven people I know.

Thanks for the memories!

On night two, TopRank Marketing hosted a VIP event that included some of our amazing clients, friends and top influencers at the conference.

Thank you everyone for taking the time out of your slammed schedules to share some drinks, eats and conversation with our team!

Sharing Smarts with Fellow Marketers

Events present the opportunity to learn from some of the top marketing minds in the industry. And since we know not everyone was able to attend MPB2B, we set out to capture some of the top insights from the conference. Below is what we uncovered:

Why to ROI: Proving the Value of B2B Influencer Marketing

Even though B2B marketers have begun to explore influencer marketing further in recent years, they’re still struggling to prove the ROI of these efforts. In his session, TopRank Marketing’s Lee Odden shared 5 essential steps for driving ROI with B2B influencer marketing.

Look to your left and right. Those people are influential about something. @leeodden Click To Tweet

Everything You Need to Build a LinkedIn Marketing Tactical Plan

While the majority of marketers believe that LinkedIn is THE social media channel for business, many are struggling to implement a LinkedIn strategy that garners results. These takeaways from LinkedIn’s Alex Rynne and HubSpot’s Chris Wilson will help you get closer to success.

Don’t DO social campaigns, make every campaign social. @amrynnie Click To Tweet

If You Only Had $1k to Invest in Content Marketing, How Would You Spend it?

Limited budget, time and resources are a struggle that all content marketers face, no matter the size of their organization. In his presentation, GE Digital’s Chris Moody shared quick tips for advancing your content as well as a breakdown for how a limited budget of $1k could be spent for maximum impact.

There is no excuse for us not to be data driven marketers. @cnmoody Click To Tweet

The Netflix Experience: Create Binge-Worthy B2B Content

One of the top objectives for many brands today is to find a way to get audiences to binge on their content. But, creating binge-worthy content takes effort. See Ardath Albee’s top tips for creating content sure to keep your audience coming back for more.

Change the way a buyer thinks about a problem & they’ll look to you for more. @ardath421 Click To Tweet

Learn How to Connect Actions to results Using Marketing Attribution

Marketing activities that aren’t tied to results make it difficult to prove value. BrightFunnel’s Dayna Rothman shows how marketers can turn the buyer journey into a science by properly leveraging data and analytics.

Always keep testing and optimizing! @dayroth Click To Tweet

In addition to his session covered above, Lee also participated in a panel about the convergence of ABM and Content Marketing. This panel provided great insights on how brands can reprogram organizational tactics to create a more focused, hyper-personalized approach to ABM.

On the final day of the conference, I took the stage for the first time at MPB2B to discuss scrappy B2B creativity hacks with my panelists Nick Westergaard and Andy Hunt. As this was the last session on the last day of the conference, we decided to make our session interactive and answer the audience’s most burning questions about B2B creativity.

Image via @michaelnob

Who are the 50 Top B2B Marketing Influencers From MPB2B?

B2B Marketing Influencers

As is tradition, TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden gathered the marketers speaking at the B2B Marketing Forum and ran them through Traackr to see which ones ranked highest related to B2B marketing. Want to see who made the cute? Read: 50 Top B2B Marketing Influencers 2017

Coming Soon: Marketing Expert Interview Series

While at the B2B Marketing Forum, Dan Rasmussen and I had the opportunity to interview seven leading marketing experts on everything from their journey into content marketing, to what they predict as the future for content marketers.

Subscribe to our blog today to get first-access to this exciting new interview series!

Thanks for an Action-Packed Event!

Thank you to Ann and the entire team at MarketingProfs for putting on a first-class event. We can’t wait to see what next year’s conference in San Francisco holds!

If you were lucky enough to attend this great event, what was your top takeaway?

Content Marketing Platform BuzzSumo Acquired by Brandwatch

Brandwatch acquires BuzzSumo

It’s no mystery that I’m a big fan of BuzzSumo. I’ve been a customer since they launched and have advocated for the platform in blog posts, interviews and marketing presentations all over the world – including keynoting at the BuzzSumo ContentSEO conference in New York.

I’ve also been a fan of Brandwatch after my pal Richard Bagnall introduced me to the CEO, Giles Palmer. I’ve had a chance to spend time with Giles as well as members of the Brandwatch team at their user conference and in the Brandwatch New York office.

Today those worlds come together as Brandwatch announces their acquisition of BuzzSumo.

Steve RaysonSteve Rayson from BuzzSumo gave me the heads up earlier today, “BuzzSumo will remain as a separate product but we will leverage Brandwatch’s expertise, data and resources to improve what we do. The team and I will be staying on. I just wanted to say thanks again for all your support over the years and I look forward to working with you in future as part of the Brandwatch team.”

Giles PalmerOf course I reached out to Giles as well to ask, “Why BuzzSumo” and how Steve was persuaded to finally sell? Giles shared, “Steve and I have gotten to know each other over the last few years. I think steve saw our culture was progressive and felt that we would not destroy what he and the team had built. For my part, they’re an extraordinary team and we can help them do even greater things. It feels right.”

I can tell you this partnership feels right too. BuzzSumo is an amazing platform with an impressive user experience and capabilities. Brandwatch is easily one of the most powerful social media listening and analytics platforms around. The combination of expertise is sure to be impressive and I’m very much looking forward to seeing how the two platforms make each other better. Content and Social Media make the digital marketing world go ’round.

Just in case you’re not aware, Brandwatch is an international, tier one social listening and analytics platform in use by major brands like our clients State Farm and 3M as well as Walmart and VICE.

And BuzzSumo is a “walk the talk” Swiss Army Knife of social media, influencer and content insights providing content analysis, social and influencer research. They also have the recently added Question Analyzer. Companies like BuzzFeed, TechTarget, and Rolling Stone as well as many, many agencies and in-house marketers use BuzzSumo on a daily basis, just like we do at TopRank Marketing.

Here are a few more details from the press release:

BuzzSumo will retain its branding as its team continues managing all day-to-day functions of the business. The tool’s highly successful trend identification and content discovery capabilities, along with an expansion of its content measurement offering will be enhanced with a hefty infusion of Brandwatch’s data and analytics expertise, and global business footprint.

The combination of two companies’ complementary technologies represents a formidable force in content marketing, one of the most rapidly growing marketing industries. According to Ryan Skinner, senior analyst at independent research firm Forrester Research, US companies alone spent upwards of $10 billion on content marketing in 2016*.

Brandwatch adds BuzzSumo to its social intelligence offerings alongside Analytics, its core listening product, Vizia, its revolutionary data communication platform and Audiences, the company’s influencer and audience analysis tool. Audiences itself is powered by the data and influence technology integrated as a result of Brandwatch’s successful first acquisition, PeerIndex, in December 2014.

Congratulations to Steve and BuzzSumo team as well as Giles and the Brandwatch team!

And also, three cheers to marketers with beards!

Lee Odden and Giles PalmerLee Odden and Steve Rayson

Top image credit: Brandwatch

Learn How to Connect Actions to Results Using Marketing Attribution

We’ve all been there. The big marketing campaign you spent months on just ended, it was a smashing success! Champagne was popped, there were pats on the back all around, life was good. But when the dust finally settles, you’re left staring a mountain of data square in there eyes, wondering if the marketing attribution you set up tells the real story.

Fortunately for you, during this year’s MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum, Dayna Rothman of BrightFunnel broke down how you as a savvy marketer can orchestrate the buyer journey and turn it into a science by properly leveraging data and analytics.

The “Marketing Holy Grail” is to turn the buyer journey into a science by sending the right message, to the right person, at the right time.

Consider the Typical Buyer Journey

In any well-rounded buyer journey, Dayna explained, there are several marketing touch points that the buyer will likely come in contact with. However, in most cases we track the sale or lead back to just a single touch point, such as a click from an offer email. But this doesn’t generally tell the whole story of the typical buyer journey. In most buyer journeys there are several touch points that contributed to the sale or conversion. Because of this, it is crucial that you are tracking all touch points in the buyer journey and not just one element. Doing this will allow you to truly orchestrate the buyer journey.

 

Track Metrics that matter

So now that you know you need to be tracking all elements in the buyer journey, what should you focus on first? Dayna outlined five key metrics to keep your eye on:

  1. First touch attribution—what brings people into your funnel
  2. Last-touch attribution—what converts people to become customers
  3. Multi-touch attribution—what accelerates people through your funnel
  4. Velocity—how fast a piece of content, a channel, or a campaign moves people through your funnel
  5. Full account analysis—how everything adds up in order to determine the best path to sale

By accurately tracking the above elements, you will be armed with the data that will allow you to begin to orchestrate an optimized buyer journey. Look for trends in how fast campaigns move the buyer through the funnel, the order in which content is downloaded, which channels and campaigns are most effective in each level of the funnel and even how sales activity integrates into the overall buyer journey.  It is important to note here that although elements like first touch and last touch attribution can be relatively easy to identify in programs like Google Analytics and AdWords, professional marketing attribution software, if used properly will make full attribution tracking a much more manageable task.

Set Yourself Up for Success

Mapping the buyer journey and truly measuring attribution can be a time intensive effort. So to get the most out of this initiative, be sure to:

  • Benchmark your current program performance and buyer journey so that you can effectively measure success.
  • Set a series of goals that align to your business objectives.
  • Make sure that your technology stack can account for your attribution needs.
  • Ensure that your tools are syncing properly.
  • Become a change agent within your marketing team.

4 Key Marketing Attribution Takeaways

Dayna’s presentation did a really great job of showing the amazing level of detail and insight a fully attributed marketing program can give you. Although the above recap only scratched the surface on her valuable insights from the day, I will leave you with my four key takeaways:

  1. The holy grail of marketing is turning the buyer journey into a science
  2. Orchestrate your customer journey by leveraging data and analytics
  3. Look at single-touch and multi-touch attribution to know what to say to your customer and when to say it
  4. Constantly keep testing and optimizing for success!

Have you cracked the code on marketing attribution for your organization? If so, how did that change your approach?

Disclosure: BrightFunnel is a TopRank Marketing client.

Everything You Need to Build a LinkedIn Marketing Tactical Plan

Over the last five years, we’ve seen an evolution in the way B2B marketers are talking about and using social media. We’ve evolved from asking “Should we be doing it?” to “Is what we are doing worth it?” to now “How do I make this really effective channel even more effective?”.

According to a recent study from Oktopost, 79% of B2B marketers believe social media is an effective marketing channel (Oktopost). And for many B2B marketers, LinkedIn is THE social media channel. In fact 43% of marketers say they’ve sourced a customer from LinkedIn (Hubspot).

But could we be doing better? Can we use LinkedIn more effectively?

To help answer that question, Alex Rynne, Content Marketing Manager at LinkedIn Marketing Solutions and Chris Wilson, Inbound Consultant from Hubspot, provided B2B marketers with an actionable, detailed plan to drive bigger, better performance from LinkedIn tools at last week’s B2B Marketing Forum in Boston.

Linkedin Company & Showcase Pages

LinkedIn Company and Showcase pages are great opportunities to establish and build your company’s identity. It’s a completely free tool that allows your brand to connect professionals with your employees and your brand to share knowledge with your community.

LinkedIn Showcase pages allow you to create dedicated pages for individual brands and are another opportunity to build individual brand identity.

Objectives:

  • Brand awareness
  • Lead generation
  • Thought leader
  • Event Registrations

KPIs:

  • Page followers
  • Post clicks
  • Engagement
  • Comments
  • Inquiries
  • Event Registrations

What to Share:

  • Showcase your expertise with large assets like webinars and eBooks.
  • Engage with short digestible stats and quotes.
  • Illustrate industry savvy with 3rd party content. Alex shares that no one wants to talk to the person at the party that only talks about themselves. 3rd party content shows you’re on top of trends within the industry, creates opportunities for engagement with your audience and helps build influencer relationships.

LinkedIn Company and Showcase Page Action Items:

  • Post 3-4xs per day.
  • Engage with and respond to followers comments:  Don’t ignore your followers. If they take the time to engage with you, show them your appreciation and build strong engagement by responding.
  • Change your header image every 6 months: Chris compares the header image to the front door of your LinkedIn page. Make it attractive and people will want to come in.  Take advantage of the header real estate and switch it up periodically to promote to campaigns or messaging.

Publishing on LinkedIn

According to Alex, over 1 million  unique  publishers  publish  more than 130,000 posts a week on LinkedIn and 45% of LinkedIn readers are in the upper ranks of their industries (i.e. managers, VPs, CEOs, etc.). So publishing content is a great way to connect with key people in your industry and further establish your professional identity.

Objective:

  • Thought Leadership

Key Metrics:

  • Post reviews & Profile views
  • Demographics of your readers
  • Likes, comments and shares

What to Share:

Although there is no silver bullet for exactly what and how often you should publish. Alex and Chris shares examples of what tends to work best.

  1. Publish when you feel passionate. If you post when you are creatively inspired, about something you care about, this is when your work will be most likely to resonate with your audience and inspire engagement. Content about lessons learned and your professional expertise will be most relevant to your audience.  
  2. Crowdsource content. Look at the questions your audience is asking and identify their pain points. This content will undoubtedly resonate.
  3. Share relevant, timely content about events or industry news. Tap into the conversations that are already happening by posting an opinion or tips related to something current in the news.

Action Items:

  • Publish when you feel passionate (this is listed twice because it is that important).
  • Recommended bi-weekly or once a month.

LinkedIn Sponsored Content

LinkedIn Sponsored content allow you to reach a target audience of people who are not already following you.

Objectives:

  • Brand awareness
  • Lead Generation
  • Thought Leadership

Key Metrics:

  • Engagement Rate
  • Inquires
  • Impressions

Best practices:

  1. Visual is the new headline. There is so much content in the feed, make sure your content is really eye catching. If you can, move beyond stock photos and do your own photoshoot.
  2. Keep it short & sweet. Be mindful of your mobile users and make content easy to consumer.
  3. Snackable stats work wonders. Provide your audience with 3rd party validation to backup your message.
  4. Variety is the spice of life. Variety allows you to avoid creative fatigue but also see what resonates the best with your audience.

What to Share:

  • Webinars
  • Content that asks readers to participate i.e. survey, nominations
  • Statistics
  • Repurposed, straightforward content

Always be Testing:

With the amount of content clutter, testing is a great way to find out what is most likely to work with your audience and make the most out of what you are publishing. Alex and Chris recommend testing anything from word choice (i.e. eBook versus guide), content (inclusion of a stat or benefit), and images (photo or graphic).

Action Items:

  • Select a compelling visual.
  • Run 2-4 posts per week.
  • Run the test for 3 weeks, to ensure you have an actionable result.
  • Add URL tracking codes to measure post click actions (site visits and conversions)
  • Setup campaigns by audience and make sure you tailor the content to the audience (i.e. managers versus c-suite).
  • Shift budget to the audience with the highest engagement rate. Spend your money where you are going to get the most impact.

LinkedIn Sponsored InMail

LinkedIn InMail allows you to send personalized messages to the people who matter most to your business. InMail can work even better than email at reaching certain audiences.

Objectives:

  • Brand awareness
  • Lead Generation
  • Program Certification
  • Enrollment

Key Metrics

  • Open rate
  • Inquiries and leads
  • Event registration
  • Program application and brochure downloads

What to Share:

  • Webinar an industry event invitations
  • eBook launches
  • Product one sheets
  • Program demos
  • Infographics
  • Blog subscription campaigns

Action Items

  • Keep copy under 1000 characters (but AB test).
  • Use a clear CTA in the top right banner.
  • Choose a sender that is credible to your audience. If audiences have never heard of your brand before, your open rates will be lower, than if it’s from a person they know.
  • Leverage personalization. InMail allows you to add the recipient’s name or other customized information.
  • Have a hyperlink early in the body of the message.
  • Select a concise subject link.
  • Set up A/B test to learn what resonates.

Bonus Opportunity: Linkedin Conversion Tracking:

Obviously, tracking is so critical to reporting the results of your campaigns, but also to optimize and iterate for the go forward.

Chris outlines the steps for setting up LinkedIn conversion tracking:

  1. Use a Google Analytics tracking code for easy set up.
  2. Assign a Conversion value: If you don’t know this, create an estimate based on product value and close rate .
  3. Tie it all together: This way you can show clear value, nice argument for executives that you need more value.

Don’t do Social Campaigns, Make Every Campaign Social

Using a tactical plan like the one Alex and Chris shared will allow you to really harness the power of LinkedIn. Once this happen, you can truly integrate social into all of your campaigns in order to engagement with your audience and accelerate the impact of your content.

Interested in other LinkedIn related tactics? Find out everything you need to know about LinkedIn’s new native video feature.

Disclosure: LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing client.

CBM101017

Here are the notes from the Chris Brogan Media broadcast for 10/10/17. (You can watch this on my Facebook account).

This live video was all shot using Ecamm Live (client), the best way to do Facebook Live for Mac.

Please note that all links may be affiliate links. If someone is a client, I’ll call that out specifically.

Stories Shared

Did you know that the cartoon Rick and Morty is the #1 cartoon with Millenials?

They’re so big they convinced McDonalds to bring back Szechuan sauce last seen around the time of the movie Mulan, based on an episode of the cartoon.

But um, that went poorly. McD’s didn’t anticipate the fandom. So now they’re going to bring it back again this winter so more people can have some.

They could’ve asked a bot for an answer. Evidently that’s a thing now.

Especially if you like the NBA. Now you can ask Alexa all those basketball stats questions.

In other sports news, there’s now a big issue where NFL owners and leadership are asking their team members not to protest the National Anthem.

Let’s talk about the future. Puerto Rico’s future. Here’s a beautiful ‘reimagining’ opportunity that bears thinking about.

Speaking of the future, there will be one fewer mobile OS in it. Windows Phone is no longer.

But in other signs of things to come, Hulu just ordered up 4 new esports shows.

In plant-based news, ever want to get some healthy smoothies mailed to you? You can!

Lastly, some cosplay. You know I love it. This is the Justice League at NYCC. Cool, right?

Hey, if this has been interesting, consider picking up my weekly newsletter. It’s all unique ideas by me about how to improve buyer interactions and grow your business. Give it a peek

What ELSE is News?

You want to get featured on the Chris Brogan Media show? Drop me an email: chris@chrisbrogan.com and let me know what’s news!

Please Get My Newsletter

My newsletter is the best work I do every week. You can get yours here.

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Real Estate Landing Pages (Our Customer Favorites + Why We Think They’re Great)

Whether you’re an independent realtor or work at a real estate agency, you can gain a competitive advantage if you have owned digital properties to drive your paid and social traffic to.

Owned properties — like landing pages — provide you more control in real estate versus relying on popular listing sites where the journey isn’t always clear, you can’t customize your call to action or match your branding.

In short, real estate marketing can really benefit from lead capture landing pages because they allow you to:

  • Establish and grow your mailing list, ensuring you can follow up with and remarket to interested prospects later.
  • Showcase properties especially well, creating urgency and delivering especially compelling offers (like granting early access to listings, for example).
  • Track social and paid campaigns better. With a listing site you don’t have access to metrics and can’t determine ROI as quickly as you can with a landing page.

Ultimately, you can use landing pages to understand exactly who is interested in a property, entice prospects to book appointments (or other offers) and wow new clients with on-brand design.

In this post I’ll break down some of the best ways to start using real estate landing pages with a few examples from Unbounce customers.

1. Showcase your listings (and grow your mailing list)

At minimum, every real estate broker needs a place to share listings online. But ideally, you’ll want to own the experience.

RE/MAX agents Matthew Davidson and Kimbe MacMaster know this first-hand.

These independent agents use Unbounce landing pages to showcase an overview of a property: quick stats, a photo gallery, a video and details on the community. And while a property is available, prospects can book a showing as the call to action:

Featuring trendy parallax scroll, this page converts at 0.38%. Click to view full-length landing page.

Once the listing is sold (nice work Matthew and Kimbe!), the CTA changes to allow interested parties to sign up for early notice for similar listings in the future:

This post-sale CTA swap is a terrific way to build your email list for advertising similar properties in the future.

Having used the Unbounce Loft template, Matthew and Kimbe can simply duplicate this page each time they need a dedicated place to feature a listing. This allows the duo to be listing-specific when they link from a Facebook or search ad, ensuring a seamless ad-to-landing-page experience for potential buyers.

According to the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report, 41.6% of marketers in real estate have at least one page that converts under 1.3%, so Matthew and Kimbe’s conversion rate above is in line with what we see for many real estate marketers.

See how your conversion rates stack up in real estate (and nine other popular industries)

Download the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report to see how your landing page performance compares to your competitors.
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2. Entice buyers with exclusive pre-sale info, floor plans, price lists and more

Booking viewings of individual properties is great, but what if the real estate you’re selling is still in development?

Working with large and small-scale real estate developers, Rennie helps their developer clients plan and execute all aspects of their marketing and sales strategy, including online advertising. As part of their online strategy, they create project-specific landing pages and direct all paid traffic to those pages to gather leads.

Here’s an example created for The Pacific by Grosvenor:

This real estate landing page currently converts at 7.92%. Click to view full-length page.

Jennie Sebastian, Rennie’s Digital Marketing & CRM Manager, shared that the marketing team typically has a kick-off meeting five to six weeks before a campaign. Once they determine targeting and put together a media schedule, creative — including development of the landing page — can begin.

The campaigns typically employ search ads, display, Facebook, Instagram and WeChat, but the team is always looking for new ways to reach their target audiences.

As many real estate marketers can likely empathize with, Jennie shared:

One of the biggest challenges in online marketing is coming up with a strong call to action that entices users to provide us with their personal information.

Depending on the phase of the project and assets available, CTAs range from, “Sign up now for early access” and “Download all floorplans now,” to “Book a private appointment now.”

Through numerous A/B tests the Rennie team has found that more specific CTAs convert significantly better than more generic ones, as they clearly articulate to a prospect what they are receiving in exchange for their information.

Which brings us to landing page idea number three…

3. Get prospects to picture themselves in their dream home with a virtual tour

Just as Jennie from Rennie told us above, compelling CTAs are very important in real estate marketing, and offering a virtual tour has proven to be very effective for their team:

We recently offered a virtual tour using special 360 degree photography for one of our projects in Calgary. After updating the CTA to “Take a virtual tour now,” we saw a significant increase in the conversion rate.

Here’s an example page of theirs, which converts at 4.15%:

Click to view the full-length landing page.

Clicking the CTA button triggers a form gating the tour:

Even if you can’t wrangle 360 photography, you can still get prospects to picture themselves in their dream home.

Simple videos, photo galleries, or even the hero image on your landing page can do the trick. But be sure to test.

Example test of hero image variants

Here’s an example from Coronation Properties via digital agency Rocket. They test variations of their pages with different key elements of a property featured in the hero image.

Here’s a variant wherein the bedroom is the hero shot:

And another where the kitchen takes the spotlight:

The takeaway here?

Get creative with videos, 360 tours, or even experimenting with your hero shot, to give clients a glimpse into the property that’s right for them.

4. Offer up relevant listings to abandoning visitors

While landing pages clearly offer a competitive advantage in real estate, you also want to ensure you’ve optimized your website for conversions.

As our customers at Brixio know, you can try out an Unbounce overlay to ensure you’re not missing out on conversion opportunities. Overlays allow you to show relevant offers to specific users at the perfect time, making them less likely to leave your website without converting.

Unbounce Convertables

We love their idea for an overlay triggered to appear on exit to those leaving a website, tempting potential real estate buyers with off-market or exclusive listings.

Here’s a preview of what they had in mind:

5. Test a simple value prop to prompt more commitment-heavy offers

For marketers in the business of custom real estate, your offer of a tailor-made home is much more commitment-heavy than simply moving into an existing place.

This poses an interesting challenge: interested prospects likely have many questions, may be exploring many options and need a reason to trust you immediately.

Here’s agency Rocket’s solution: an on-brand, clear landing page (where prospects can “enquire today”):

This page converts at 1.84%. Click to view full-length landing page.

This small offer accompanied by all the fine details serves as a type of micro conversion, ensuring Manor Homes’ prospects have the chance to reach out and get the conversation started about a custom home.

Get creative with your own micro conversion incentives! For example, you may want to consider inviting prospects to download a collection of your custom homes to preview at their leisure.

6. Offer up relevant content marketing (so you can nurture leads later)

Plenty of businesses use content marketing to reach their target audience, and as Edina Realty knows, this applies to the real estate industry too.

As a subsidiary of Home Services of America, Edina Realty’s licensed pros guide customers through home buying and selling. To provide the most value to their clients, they deliver unique and useful content via custom landing pages.

Check out this Unbounce landing page they created to distribute their Ultimate Guide to Selling Your Home – it converts at a whopping 18%:

Click to view full-length landing page.

By combining content strategy with retargeting, Edina Realty is able to reach prospective leads throughout the funnel and deliver quality leads to their agents.

Hannah Kaeter, Digital Marketing Manager at Edina Realty, told us about the importance of educating leads:

One of the key challenges in our market is a low inventory of homes for sale at lower price points. With this challenge comes an opportunity to educate potential sellers — many of them first-time sellers — about the process so they can evaluate and make informed decisions about their own property and situation.

Ready to build your digital property?

Overall, the above examples illustrate the importance of having a dedicated place to send your paid and social traffic, which can make all the difference in whether you can track the ROI of your real estate marketing. This beats relying on common listing sites — especially in the case of condo developments or offers that require sophisticated branding or high commitment, like custom homes.

Replicate the success of these realtors with Unbounce’s real estate templates, and be sure to download our Conversion Benchmark Report for a breakdown of where you stand in this industry.

If You Only Had $1k to Invest in Content Marketing, How Would You Spend it?

Budget is always top of mind for content marketers, but especially this time of year. In order to get even close to the budget that you want or need, you have to justify the spend.

Unfortunately, we’ve been ineffective at content for a while. But the question is, can we change the narrative?

In his presentation last week at the MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum, GE Digital’s Chris Moody gave the audience insights into why we’re ineffective, and what we can do to improve, without having to spend a significant amount of money.

Where Are We Failing?

While approach and hurdles will vary from brand to brand, there are three key reasons that content marketing isn’t working today. Below are three stats that paint a very clear picture of where we’re going wrong:

  • Only 37% of marketers have a documented content strategy. (Content Marketing Institute & MarketingProfs)
  • Unfortunately, 82% of enterprise marketers have no centralized view of the customer. (Forrester)
  • 65% of CMO’s can’t measure ROI for digital marketing. (Forrester)

Why Are We Failing?

The problem with many content marketing teams today is that they are not obsessed with business performance. We’re focusing on KPIs instead of outcomes and often have a hard time tracking and mapping content success.

5 Quick Tips for Advancing Your Content Marketing

Change can be tricky and it’s important to make small incremental changes that set your team up to be successful. Below are a few quick tips that Chris offered in session. Instead of feeling like you need to make all of these changes right away, pick a couple and get started.

#1 – Define your mission. Your mission should be a guiding force for your approach to content and all other facets of your marketing strategy.

#2 – Institute the one word challenge. When you think of companies like Apple and Volvo, you immediately know what they stand for in one single word. Challenge your team to attempt the same with your brand.

#3 – Stop chasing the next big thing. One of marketer’s biggest challenges today is the fact that we are constantly distracted. Instead of focusing on content quantity, direct your attention to content impact.

#4 – Determine your top goal. While there may be a plethora of business objectives you’re trying to achieve through marketing, pick one goal and divert your attention to helping your team achieve whatever that is.

#5 – Use insights to drive approach. Too often, content teams put a significant amount of effort into planning for, creating and launching their content. Then it’s never touched again. Immediately after launching your content, begin monitoring the performance and start talking about what worked, what didn’t and what you’ll change going forward.

How Does GE’s Chris Moody Think You Should Spend Your $1,000?

Finally, for the moment you’ve all been waiting for; how should you spend your $1,000 budget?

While there are literally a thousand ways you could spend your budget, Chris recommended the following:

$300 on Video

It’s no surprise that video content is in high-demand from customers. However, venturing into a new medium can sometimes seem like a very overwhelming undertaking.

While you can invest a lot in equipment, there are some great low-cost options today (including your smartphone). A good place to start is by spending your budget on editing video. You’d be amazed at what some good editing can do to turn a basic video into a masterpiece.

$100 Each on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter

You’ll never know what works until you test it. By investing a small amount in social advertising and boosting posts on top social networks, you’ll be able to identify what does (and does not) resonate with your audience on each platform. When setting up your social advertising, be sure to:

  • Start measuring traffic
  • Narrow your target audience to under 10k (small as possible)
  • Copy your customers
  • Target news feeds
  • Set a low daily budget
  • Use a call to action and social proof
  • Measure and gather insights

$400 Repeating What Works

After you initial investment of $600, you should have a rough idea of what tactics are working. Based on that data, invest your remaining budget into the tactics that performed best.

View Your Constraints as Opportunities

There will always be brands with larger budgets and more resources. Instead of lamenting about what you don’t have, focus on what you do. A great idea doesn’t cost a dime and there is no replacement for testing. If you’re ready to call in the experts, see if our content marketing services might be a fit for your brand.

What do you see as your biggest opportunity for getting more from your content marketing budget?

CBM100817

Here are the notes from the Chris Brogan Media broadcast for 10/08/17. (You can watch this on my Facebook account).

This live video was all shot using Ecamm Live (client), the best way to do Facebook Live for Mac.

Please note that all links may be affiliate links. If someone is a client, I’ll call that out specifically.

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