NIKE: Greatness is not beyond your reach

I’m super impressed with Nike and their ability to reach pretty much everyone – out of all the brands out there, they get it. Watch this video and try to disagree with me.

They recently released this honest and brave statement and call to action under their #findyourgreatness campaign – It features a 12 year old Nathan from London OH. He’s overweight, but still getting after it and it’s down right moving and motivating.

And the thing that impresses me is how they’ve gone from serving a narrow athletic market to serving pretty much everyone: athletes, action sports, males, females, and even overweight 12 year olds.

Personally, I’d love to see Nike stick with Nathan and follow him in his journey to losing weight. Who knows, maybe they will.

———-

What do you think?

 

Want To Enhance Conversions? Here are 15 Ideas

You should constantly be trying to enhance your conversion rates. Why? Because conversions are the lifeblood of your organization – they are what make you $$$$$$.

I’m no professional by any means, but I did put together some ideas that I thought I would share with you this morning. Feel free to go and act on some of these things. Try them out, see what works for you and your company. The same things don’t always work for everyone company – it’s about trial and error.

Here are a few of those ideas:

  1. Eliminate clicks for the user. Make it simple for them to convert. Don’t ask too much information. Don’t make users click-through7 pages to get to your product or offering.
  2. Combine as many things as possible into one click user experiences.
  3. Try adding a video to your homepage that explains your product, value propositions, and who you are as a brand – be sure to give it some personality and realness.
  4. Make sure your homepage is intuitive and experiential. Don’t lose your customers at the first step.
  5. Make sure your language sounds like a human wrote it – not a robot. I hate when I see people writing like a robot.
  6. Study your traffic sources and look at behavioral trends. After this, use the results to for A/B test within your website.
  7. Don’t be a fool. Use social signup and make it seamless – it will be one of the best things you’ve ever done.
  8. Quality content over quantity of content. This isn’t 2001 where you were only looking for SEO results. Users are way smarter these days.
  9. The path to purchase should be easy.
  10. Try using live chat to engage with every customer at they navigate through your site.
  11. Test out the timing of users. When are they coming to your site? Where are they at that time? What are they thinking? What are they feeling? Ask questions from the user perspective and try to get into their head.
  12. Free shipping works every time.
  13. Put your search bar big and right out in the open on your homepage. Don’t make users go searching for it.
  14. Show the product on the homepage.
  15. What are the benefits for the customer – put these out there for the customer to see.

I hope these help. Again, the key is trial and error.

 

What we can all learn from Jenna Marbles

Jenna Marbles is the most subscribed chic on YouTube after just a couple of years. If you haven’t heard of her, go watch some of her videos. She is hilarious. Jenna has nearly 3 million people following her weekly videos and she’s built a pretty incredible brand from her bedroom.

Photo Courtesy of: akurepki2 on DeviantART

At first this sounds shocking. Then, you watch the interview and you realize why she’s so successful.

I think there are some great takeaways from this that we can all apply to our lives:

  • She say’s the shit other people think about, but their to afraid to say – they don’t want to be judged.
  • She’s as real, authentic, and transparent as it gets.
  • She doesn’t take herself to seriously.
  • She keeps things fun.
  • She makes people feel like they are a part of her journey.
  • She doesn’t care what people think about her
  • She doesn’t try to impress people
  • She makes people feel like it’s okay to be weird or awkward

———

What do you think about Jenna Marbles? Add your comments below.

 

Find and Connect with Influential Twitter Users in New Markets

You want to find and connect with influential twitter users in different markets or communities? Whether you are a startup or an established company, here are a few tips to get you started:

Photo Courtesy Of: Web Designer Depot

Use a tool called wefollow.com 

Wefollow.com searches twitter for specific tags, cities, etc and returns a list of users who are the most influential, and who have the most followers. It’s a great tool especially if you’re a company trying to enter new markets and you want to reach the key influencers.

Follow Their Blog

You can’t just spam people on twitter or they will pretty much tell you to F-off. You have to follow their blog, read their stuff, and do more than just expect that they are going to open up their network to you. Remember, it’s about building relationships…and it takes time.

Many people on twitter are also bloggers. Follow their blog, comment, and interact with them. It’s also good to retweet their posts – the ones you think add value to your following and be sure to include their twitter handle in the tweet so they see you’re interested in their content.

Connect With Them On Other Networks

Not only are these users on twitter, but they’re also on networks like Linkedin, twitter, Facebook and others. Don’t think that these users just sit around tweeting all day, they are typically successful entrepreneurs, executives, or leaders in their field. Don’t be too aggressive, but nicely reach out and see if you can’t help one another out.

Answer Their Questions

Twitter and social media are about engagement. People are there to engage, start conversations and build relationships. Take some time to monitor the influential users you are targeting and see what they have to say. Try to jump in and see if you can’t make some conversation. And, be real. If you’re fake, people will call you out.

Show Appreciation

Thank people for the work that they do. Appreciate them. You would be surprised at how hard some of these people work to build and sustain their networks. If you want to connect with them, I would first research the user and learn their story: see where they came from, what they working on today, and what they’re goals and passions are. The time you take to do this will show.

———-

What are your thoughts on Finding Influential Twitter users? 

What other tips would you suggest?

 

20 User Experience Questions for you and your team

This week while working on a website project it was decided that we take a step back and consider the user experience. We needed to ask ourselves some tough questions. With this, I organized some interviews and insights to make sure that what we thought aligned with our customers think.

Photo Courtesy of: Pocopina

Understanding each project is unique and different, here are 20 questions you and your team should take into consideration when designing a UX project.

  1. What is the purpose of the site? Sales? Marketing? E-commerce?
  2. Who will use the site? What are the customer segments? What is their behavior?
  3. What action would you like the people coming to your site to take?
  4. For each action, what do they think? How?
  5. What sites do your audience currently frequent?
  6. What is your customer(s) online behavior?
  7. Where are the people physically at when taking these actions? (home, work, on a bus or at a cafe) and what will they likely have access to (computer, laptop, mobile etc)
  8. Are you the only company offering these products or services? If not, how will you set yourself apart?
  9. What three things can you do really well that others will have trouble duplicating?
  10. What are the things operationally that need to happen in order for the site to do what it needs to do?
  11. For each of those things, is the company setup and prepared to execute?
  12. When these people use your site, what perception/tone/voice do you want them to leave with?
  13. In considering the above question, how will you design the visual elements, the content strategy, the interaction, social, the customer service, the functionality, and performance to make that perception a reality?
  14. What information architecture will best support the actions your visitors need to take? And how will they flow from one action to another?
  15. How will you channel the users through your site?
  16. What navigation structure best fits your audience?
  17. How will people find your site? Organic search, Adwords, social media, other?
  18. How will people engage with your site?
  19. What search functionality will you provide to help people find things on your site?
  20. What you don’t track you can’t measure? What key things will you track to determine your success?

——–

Anything you would add?

 

Instagram Printing Device

If you’re anything like me ( Lets not forget Facebook of course too) and you love Instagram then you’re going to be pumped about this one. The people over at Breakfast – a physical-digital interactive agency (As they refer to themselves) are working on a new Instagram printing device that they hope to bring to market by late summer. It looks pretty rad!

What is the device? It is a small box that they call Instaprint that prints out Instagram photos at events while they are posted. It has embedded technology that can find photos using the event’s hashtag, includes likes and comments when it prints, and uploads the collection to a website for browsing later.

I am sure it’s in the works, but it would be cool if the website allowed you search for photos of you, purchase, and have them sent to you in the mail – everyone loves physical photos of themselves.

Is this something you would like to have at your next event? I do. Then lets help them out. Breakfast is raising funds and gauging interest — on Kickstarter. They hope that, with everyone’s help they can get the price down to $399 – something that more people could afford.

If the funding goes through and they start shipping late summer, each device will be powered by a mini Linux computer, easy to set up through wireless internet and be inkless – the ink comes from the actual paper.

———-

What do you think of this new printer? Do you want one?

 

Dollar Shave Club: Viral Video Done Right

I say we give the Dollar Shave Club promo video a huge round of applause. This is brilliant in my mind. Great work guys! Super funny. If you haven’t watched this yet, you need too.

Dollar Shave Club is a startup company that provides monthly delivery service for razors that has raised a good amount of VC money because of this video. I don’t know the exact numbers. Anyways, they got the attention of large VC’s like Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Forerunner Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz – all great companies to have behind your startup.

We’ve all seen startup videos, right? But, not ones like this. If you want to seriously see cleverness at it’s best, then take a look at this video.

——–

What about you? 

What are your thoughts on the video?

 

Writing is hard business

He dropped out of college. He was a cook, salesman, diplomatist and a farmer. The guy knew absolutely nothing about marketing, and not a lick of copy writing experience. He was unemployed at 38 when he tried to get an adverting agency to hire him.

Image Credit: Ogilvy on Advertising

No American agency would hire this guy, and then, a London agency picked him up and gave him a chance. Three years later, he became the most famous copywriter in the world, and in due course built the tenth biggest agency in the world.

Who am I talking about? One of the most respected and sought after wizards in the advertising industry, british-born David Ogilvy. In 1948 he started what would eventually be Ogilvy & Mather, a Manhattan-based advertising agency that has since been responsible for some of the worlds most recognized ad campaigns.

So, what makes a guy like this put out some of the best work in the world? It’s not what you would think. Read the letter below written by Ogilvy in 1955 to a Mr. Ray Calt to find out.

April 19, 1955

Dear Mr. Calt:

On March 22nd you wrote to me asking for some notes on my work habits as a copywriter. They are appalling, as you are about to see:

1. I have never written an advertisement in the office. Too many interruptions. I do all my writing at home.

2. I spend a long time studying the precedents. I look at every advertisement which has appeared for competing products during the past 20 years.

3. I am helpless without research material—and the more “motivational” the better.

4. I write out a definition of the problem and a statement of the purpose which I wish the campaign to achieve. Then I go no further until the statement and its principles have been accepted by the client.

5. Before actually writing the copy, I write down every concievable fact and selling idea. Then I get them organized and relate them to research and the copy platform.

6. Then I write the headline. As a matter of fact I try to write 20 alternative headlines for every advertisement. And I never select the final headline without asking the opinion of other people in the agency. In some cases I seek the help of the research department and get them to do a split-run on a battery of headlines.

7. At this point I can no longer postpone the actual copy. So I go home and sit down at my desk. I find myself entirely without ideas. I get bad-tempered. If my wife comes into the room I growl at her. (This has gotten worse since I gave up smoking.)

8. I am terrified of producing a lousy advertisement. This causes me to throw away the first 20 attempts.

9. If all else fails, I drink half a bottle of rum and play a Handel oratorio on the gramophone. This generally produces an uncontrollable gush of copy.

10. The next morning I get up early and edit the gush.

11. Then I take the train to New York and my secretary types a draft. (I cannot type, which is very inconvenient.)

12. I am a lousy copywriter, but I am a good editor. So I go to work editing my own draft. After four or five editings, it looks good enough to show to the client. If the client changes the copy, I get angry—because I took a lot of trouble writing it, and what I wrote I wrote on purpose.

Altogether it is a slow and laborious business. I understand that some copywriters have much greater facility.

Yours sincerely,

D.O.

(Source: The Unpublished David Ogilvy: A Selection of His Writings from the Files of His Partners

Building landing pages that get the official seal of awesomeness

You might have heard, but people are out there looking for your company. That’s great news, right? And, the new stat is some 90% of people are using search when starting the buying process. This means that you need to be there when they come a looking for you.

Try this. Put together some sweet landing pages that allow you to reach more prospects,  attain more customers, and get the official seal of awesomeness…who doesn’t want that!

Here are 10 things you can do to get your seal!

1. Take the time to build simple (not complicated) templates that focus on a single call to action. This can be download, call, or check out the demo. The more information and bells and whistles you put on the page, the less likely you are to get a new customer. Simple.

2. Create beautiful graphics and don’t let your 5th grader make them. You should include your logo – obviously – and a hero image that is clickable. People will always click on the large hero image.

3. Content is king so don’t clog it up. Get straight to the point. And, give your potential new customer a reason to give you their information. Maybe they get a chance to be entered into something…blah, blah, blah. You get it.

4. Lists are easy to read and people really do appreciate them – I do. The people that visit your landing page are going to do a few things: look at the logo, read the call to action, read your bullet points, and maybe your about or bio. Beyond that, it’s too much.

5. Integrate a form and don’t ask for too much information. You’re not the fricken government. Name, email, description, and maybe a phone number are just fine.

6. Email something back to the potential customer. Maybe a white paper, registration, etc. You want to make sure that you’re not getting a fake email address.

7. Confirmation or thank you pages are nice and they give you one last chance to sell them something. If you don’t try, someone else will.

8. Pretty URLs baby. People and search engines care about your URL. If it’s ugly, no one really cares. If it’s pretty, everyone cares and they’re looking. You should use dashes between words, not underscores.

9. Oh the Meta Data! Even though everything is moving to social search, the search engines still care about the meta. When it comes to the results lists, meta matters.

10. AB Test. Put up a couple of different pages and test them. What works best, A or B? You will then find out what works and what doesn’t work.

 

SOCIAL TRENDS FOR 2012

Every year, people predict trends in social media for the upcoming year. Some people are dead on while others…let’s just say they don’t have a clue – not that I do either, really!

This year, I decided that I would take a stab at it and throw in my two cents – this is after spending about 2 hours a day for the last couple of years reading about social media.

So what do I got for you? Here are my top 7:

Collective Intelligence. Watch as more and more people realize that they are not near as smart as a large group of people on social media and they can be leveraged to solve business problems, think up innovation, and get more done…faster.

Crowdfunding. With entrepreneurship on the rise and more and more people trying to start companies and innovate, they need access to capital. You have already seen what Kickstarter‘s been able to do to fund cool projects and initiatives. Also, maybe you’ve seen the crowdsourcing platform called Quirky that lets the best product ideas rise to the top and then helps them get produced and sold while the “inventor” takes a cut. This will not stop here, brilliant people are already working on new ways to leverage the crowd and gain funding for great projects.

Social will further integrate with real world experiences. Think of Coca cola and what they did in 2010. They created an amusement park where participants could swipe their RFID wristbands at Kiosks, which then posted to their Facebook account – it said what they were doing and where. This will continue to grow with companies building fully integrated online and offline experiences that will continue to define social.

Social Influence is on the rise. Companies will continue to build reward systems for those who produce quality content and have the greatest social influence. One of the companies playing in this space is Klout and now a new company called Wahooly who allows you to invest in startup companies based around your influence. It will be cool to see all the creative ways people start to be rewarded for their social influence. For 2012, the influence will become less and less about consumer plays like Klout and more about the tools and techniques used to score digital influence and actually harness, scale and measure the results of it.

Game on baby. I’m not talking about video games, rather game-like qualities within a number of social apps that reside either in your browser or mobile device. You will see levels, leaderboards, badges (Ford is already jumping into this arena), points, rewards, and everything in between that are tied to participation and competition.

Social Media Sharing. People will continue to share everything and as people become more and more comfortable sharing, you will see them sharing everything; Ideas, opinions, media, status updates, etc. Companies and brands will further integrate sharing buttons in and around their content and the love will spread. Also, watch as social sharing is more closely aligned with e-commerce or web transactions.

TV Gets more and more social. TV is about to become more and more social in which every show will be tied to social media interaction. Watch as people will be able to tweet in, ask questions, vote, etc, making the overall TV watching experience much more engaged. Parts of this have already been integrated on a few shows like the X Factor and the Charlie Sheen Roast. Something else that is cool is a network called Get Glue. Get Glue allows people to check-in to their favorite shows, collect stickers, and tell the world what programs they care about.

This is what I have for you this morning. I’m sure there are more emerging trends that we will see – social media seems to change by the second.

——-

What social trends do you see for 2012? Go.