Building An Effective Landing Page

Landing pages are extremely important to your online advertising strategy. At least they should be.

If your ads are driving traffic to your home page, or an inventory, or even a product page, you’re missing the boat. A well-constructed landing page encourages people who are earlier int their buyer’s journey to give you their contact information. Not ready to buy yet? Here’s some additional information on you can download for just the cost of your name, phone number, and email.

Understanding your buyer and their journey to the final buying decision is an undeniably important element in constructing your landing pages. You have to look at getting what I call, the incremental yes. No, I’m not ready to buy. Yes, I am willing to give you my contact information in exchange for something of value to me at this stage of my decision-making process.

Here’s a little infographic that lays out some of the elements of a great landing page. Originally produced by Bowlerhat.

landing page layout

Five Habits of Toxic Bosses

Toxic bosses are the ones that limit your ability to properly do your job, then blame you for failing to meet their unrealistic standards.cartoon

If you have been in the workforce for any length of time, you’ve probably encountered a toxic boss. I’ve had my fair share. Oh, I don’t mean demanding. I don’t mind a demanding boss, it keeps me on my toes and I like the recognition I get from a job well done under challenging circumstances. I’m not looking for a participation trophy, I want real recognition for real achievements.

Here are some of the traits I’ve found to be common in toxic bosses.

  1. They are bullies. Sometimes this can manifest itself forcefully, as in screaming obscenities at people for relatively minor mistakes. Other times it’s more passive-aggressive. Bullies are weak people who can only feel important when they make others seem less so.
  2. They undervalue your contributions. Again, I’m not looking for the participation trophy, but when I do good work for someone I expect it to be acknowledged. This can be a deliberate attempt to ensure you don’t ask for more money, or a better office, or a company car — whatever it is they don’t want you to think you deserve.
  3. They deliberately misinterpret your words or actions. Somewhere the unwritten policy is to shoot the messenger, because they think it’s easier than actually fixing the problems. So no matter what you say, it’ll be twisted to fit their narrative. Usually to your detriment.
  4. The try to undermine your credibility. Things like taking shots at you during a meeting in front of your co-workers or talking behind your back. Because they need to bring you down in the eyes of your peers or other bosses.
  5. They are unrealistic in their expectations. “A 20% increase in sales year over year, why wasn’t it 30?” This is how toxic bosses react to positive news. Nothing is ever quite good enough, no matter how high you achieve. There’s a difference between setting lofty goals and in belittling exceptional achievements when they are made.

So, what do you do about it? Quickly and quietly move toward the exit. Do not pass go, but do collect your last paycheck. You can’t fix a toxic boss or the culture that let’s them flourish. Frankly, it isn’t your job to do so. Get out. Don’t look back.

Facebook Advertising vs. Google Advertising

Facebook-AdvertisingThe key to understanding the difference between Facebook Advertising and Google’s ad platform, is understanding what each platform delivers. Think of it like this — If I have a company that sells high-end bicycles am I in competition with the used car lot down the street? After all, we both sell transportation and given that my potential audience has limited resources, every dollar they spend there is one dollar less that they have to spend on my product.

Looking at it more closely, however, you’d quickly realize that my bicycles simply aren’t in competition with that car lot. We server two different audiences and two entirely different purposes.

The same is true for Google and Facebook. Google is about demand fulfillment.  People search, then they buy. Facebook is about demand discovery. While that has a longer path to purchase and generally speaking a lower conversion rate, it offers a bigger opportunity especially for the inbound marketer.

Let’s say I’m a company that manufacturers clothes dryers; Cliff’s Clothes Dryers. Dryer is an established search term. People looking to buy a washer or a dryer will search for my product by name and if I have an established reputation as a manufacturer they might even search by company name. If, on the other hand, I’ve invented a new Microwave Dryer that uses 50% less energy and dries your clothes in 1/3 the time, I begin my marketing campaign with zero demand. How man searches do you think there are for microwave clothes dryer? How can there be demand for a product no one knows about?

This is where Facebook comes in, because with Facebook’s audience targeting I can push my ads to a very specific demographic, such as female home owners ages 25-45 everywhere in the US. I can even target homes of a certain value or early technology adopters, those  most likely willing to try a new clothes drying technology.

Demand generation vs. demand fulfillment. You see?

Another way I can use the power of demand generation with location-based targeting. If you have a brick and mortar location versus an online store, you can use Facebook as a tool to educate potential customers to your real-world presence.

 

So you see, it’s not about one being inherently better in all cases than the other. It’s about using the right tool for the job. You could certainly build a house with nothing buy packing crates, a hammer and a saw. Why would you? Combining the right tool for your intent and for your customer profile will make building you business as easy as using power tools makes building that house.

Best Times For Posting On Social Media

Achieving Peak Posting

Here’s an infographic showing how to optimize your posting plan by time of day, as well as the daily dead zones where engagement goes to die. As you can see below, there are clear differences between the platforms. Much of this is dictated by the demographic of the audience. For example, Tumblr tends to have a much younger base of users, so it’s no surprise that the best tie to post is 7-10PM. Pinterest, mostly moms, also peaks later, after supper and after the kids are in bed. It’s mom’s quiet time.

This goes right back to understanding who your audience is. Once you understand you own demographics, you’ll be able to target by platform, geography and demographics to achieve peak effectiveness.

posting times

What this doesn’t cover is how day of the week can effect posts as well and depending on whether your looking for views or engagement how that is affected. For example, weekends generate a lot of views, but very little engagement on Facebook and LinkedIn. Just a little hint here, engagement should always be the primary goal of a post. Comments, Likes and Shares increase your reach without throwing additional dollars in the mix.

So we start to see a spike on Mondays coming off the weekend, Tuesday is better, with Wednesday and Thursday peaking. Friday starts to drop off, then back to the weekend doldrums.

So an optimum posting plan for Facebook would be to post once on Monday and Friday. Twice on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. All between the hours of 1PM and 4PM. Then not at all on weekends.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Why only twice during those peak days? Well studies show that brands that post more than twice a day actually loose engagement. That’s right, posting too often is as bad as not posting enough.