3 Marketing Tips You Haven’t Read on Every Other Blog

January 31st, 2014 - Posted by
10 Comments

Whether you are the sole marketer at your company, a business owner learning marketing or part of a big corporate team, I think you will find this post educational.

We all will face similar challenges this year: need to improve conversion rates, need to optimize marketing speed, need to increase website traffic, need designers and developers to move faster so we can launch our campaigns now…

Am I hitting the nail on the head?

The three tips I’m sharing today in this post should help you move the needle in each of these areas. They are just a few things I’ve learned along the way that I hope will help  you too.

 

1. You Should Write 25 Headlines for Each Blog Post

Have you heard of the the fastest growing media company of all time, UpWorthy?

UpWorthy reaches more than 50 million unique visitors per month.

One of the key things you know about UpWorthy if you’ve ever been to the site is that all of its posts have sensational, dramatic and sometimes ridiculous headlines.

These headlines are how the site draws in the masses.

Here are a few of the headlines you can find on UpWorthy:

  • Here Are Just 3 of the Smaller Lies SeaWorld Makes Its Employees Tell Its Guests

  • This is One Time-Lapse Big Oil Doesn’t Want You To See

  • A Video I Loved Within 10 Seconds From a Random Dude Explaining the Magic of Birth Control

What do your current headlines read like?

  • Top 10 Tips to _____________.

  • Why You Should _________________.

  • How I Learned to _______________.

These aren’t bad headlines but could they be made better?  Probably.

The way UpWorthy comes up with its click-worthy headlines is by writing 25 headlines for each post. Seriously.

Adam Mordecai, UpWorthy’s Editor says the reason they always write 25 headlines for every post “is that it forces you to think waaaay outside the box when writing. You get desperate around headline 21, and do something so out of left field that it’s not the typical headline.”

As you’re writing a batch of 25 headlines for your next post, remember this: click-bait headlines will get you visitors, but they aren’t worth anything to you if they bounce away in under 30 seconds.

Writing the headline is truly only half the battle. You must also produce content that lives up to the headline in order to engage your readers.

That being said, without the headline you might not have many readers at all.

So basically, a great headline + high quality content = the winning blog formula.

2. You Should Track Data in Something Other Than Google Analytics

Like most marketers, I’m a big fan of Google Analytics. I like knowing which traffic sources and keywords drive visitors to my site … especially visitors that convert.

Google Analytics is great at giving me the big picture overview of how my site is performing, but it doesn’t allow me to learn anything about the individual visitors to my site.

That’s where more advanced analytical software like KISSmetrics comes in.

KISSmetrics lets me see what individual actions visitors are taking on my site along the conversion path. It also allows me to correctly attribute a referral source to a conversion.

For example, someone might originally visit your site after clicking on a Facebook ad, but then leave and not come back and make a purchase for days or weeks.

When they do come back they might type the URL of your site directly into their browser (or Google it). If you’re only using Google Analytics to track conversions, you would attribute the sale to a direct visit or Google, when in reality a Facebook ad was the original referral source.

Knowing the correct, original referral source is important for optimizing your marketing spend. If you thought your Facebook ads were not producing ROI you would stop running them… which in this scenario would be a bad decision.

Software like KISSmetrics not only allows you to attribute conversions to the correct referral source, but it also allows you to track a particular customer’s behavior through the sales/marketing lifecycle.

For example you can see how James spent his day in the graphic below:

 

Perhaps lots of other customers are also starting their day by browsing your site but aren’t making a purchase until nighttime.

How would knowing this affect the day-parting of your ads? Would it cause you to change the time and theme for your social media posts?

Hopefully the answer is yes (that means you’re optimizing your time and media spend correctly).

Google Analytics isn’t able to tell you information like this, which is why it’s great for big picture stuff but should always be used in tandem with other software.

 

3. You Don’t Have to Work with a Graphic Designer All the Time

Okay, this tip is kind of two-fold. When it comes to your key branding pieces like a magazine ad, your logo, tradeshow display. website design or anything along those lines – you should work with a professional designer.

However, when it comes to social media and even some of your emails, you really don’t need to have every graphic professionally created.

Being able to take the design process into your own hands in these instances can really speed up the idea-to-implementation process.

There are free or low cost tools available that will allow you to play around with the look and feel of a graphic all of your own.

I recommend Pixlrand PicMonkey as my tools of choice.

Pixlr is a lot like a light (free) version of Photoshop. You use layers to add all kinds of effects to your images.

To use Pixlr you probably need a basic understanding of photo-editing software like Photoshop to get the most out of it. Although you can use it for simple things like adding text and resizing an image too.

PicMonkey is a great tool for anyone who hasn’t used Photoshop before. It’s incredibly user friendly. It has a host of pre-made filters (sort of like Instagram) that you can apply to images.

 

Original image:

 

With an added filter:

There are a ton of filters you can choose from to make a picture look just right.

You can also quickly add text to your images — and the software comes pre-loaded with a lot of great fonts to choose from.

You can even quickly add pre-made objects to the image – like banners, stars, fireworks etc.

And then add text over those objects:

These two tools are great for every marketer to have in their toolbox to speed up the design process for campaigns.

I love working with a graphic designer on big projects, but being able to create quick and shareable graphics on my own is also really handy for day-to-day social media and email marketing.

Other Essentials

Today I’ve shared my top three tips for 2014. I really hope these tips help improve your conversion rates and day-to-day marketing activities.

What is one tip YOU have for fellow marketers that will help us rock our campaigns this year?

Leave a comment below and let’s help each other get better!

 

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    About the author

    Chris Kilbourn
    Chris Kilbourn
    Chris Kilbourn is the VP of Strategy at Fit Marketing. In past lives, he was a professional rockstar (seriously), and he built and scaled 3 successful companies from the ground up.

    » More blog posts by Chris Kilbourn

    • Jess

      Hey Chris. So when using PicMonkey, will there always be their logo in the corner of your image?

    • Yael Kochman

      Thanks Chris this is really helpful!

      • Chris Kilbourn

        You’re welcome, Yael!

    • http://fivemv.com/ Sanchit Khera

      Man, thanks for sharing this. This is quite awesome. You got any tools for creating gif-ographics?

      • Chris Kilbourn

        Hey Sanchit,

        Thanks! I would suggest: http://makeagif.com/
        It’s super easy to use.

    • http://halfabubbleout.com/ Raquel Royers

      Awesome post! I happened to stumble upon your blog today and I’m glad I did. Love your example from Upworthy. I think I’ll try out the 25 headline suggestion..I can see how that would help to generate more creative blog titles. Sometimes I get so focused on my keyword and it becomes difficult. I use Photoshop daily for social media posts for our clients but many people ask me good editing programs to use besides PS so I’ll forward on your suggestions. Thanks!

    • http://www.antavo.com/ Zsuzsa Szabo

      Hi Chris, next time I will write 25 headlines. Oh 25 is so many. What do you think, how can you decide about a headline that is good or not?

    • http://thedsmgroup.com/ Jason Diller

      Images no work?

      Seems like a great post.

    • Kim Welsh

      I used Picasa until Google got a hold of it. When I found PicMonkey, it was like Nirvana. Can’t recommend it highly enough.