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Increase Conversions by Improving the Clarity of Your Value Proposition

jellyfish
Your Unique Value Proposition should be clear, like a jellyfish in calm tropical water. Image via Unsplash.

I’ve noticed a recent trend, where browser interaction influences search behaviour. It goes something like this:

  1. Person searches for “this is a search term”.
  2. SERPs appear.
  3. Person holds down the Ctrl/Command key and clicks every ad (and perhaps one or two organic results). This opens each page in a new browser tab.
  4. Person enters rapid-comparison shopping mode, quickly tabbing through the results, closing anything that doesn’t immediately look like a viable solution. The process often involves a quick analysis of the value prop (reading the headline and subhead, studying the hero shot, etc.).
  5. Tabs are closed in rapid succession with a few lucky souls surviving.

What I’m getting at is that, the whole “attention span of a goldfish” is not really the point anymore. It’s not about the length of our attention span, it’s about how our lack of attention is influencing how we interact with technology.

This is why clarity is the most important part of the conversion equation.

The Conversion-Centered Design principle of Clarity is all about how to make your value prop so clear that you are one of the tabs that remains open.

Conversion-Centered Design (CCD) is a framework for leveraging principles of persuasive design, copywriting, and psychology throughout the campaign process to nudge your visitors toward a conversion.

UVP vs. UCP

There’s an important distinction to draw when thinking about dedicated campaign-specific landing pages versus your website’s homepage. Your homepage’s primary job is to communicate your Unique Value Proposition (UVP), whereas your landing page’s job is to communicate the Unique Campaign Proposition (UCP — hat tip to Bryan Eisenberg for that term).
Your Unique Campaign Proposition is related just to the purpose or offer of your campaign, which might not be the same as the value proposition of your website/homepage. For instance, for a webinar, you want to talk about the topic and guest — not your product or service.
If you’re doing branded search PPC then the landing page may well have an identical UVP and UCP, but for other campaigns (like a sale, special offer, webinar invite, ebook download, new feature launch, etc.) the UCP is much more targeted on that specific goal.
Another important factor to consider is what I call information hierarchy.
Information Hierarchy
Information Hierarchy is concerned with the order with which the copy on your page is presented, both in literal terms (which comes first) and in terms of the visual dominance (what stands out most).
Consider the page below from an unnamed email marketing solution.
Notice how the prominent headline is super generic and doesn’t even reference email marketing? It isn’t until you read the subhead that you understand what the page (and the service) is really about:
headline
To drive this point home, I ran a five-second test on the headline/subhead at Usability Hub to see what happened when people answered the simple question: “What does the product do?”

We make it easy to grow your business
It’s Easier Than You Think to Create Professional Emails that Keep Your Customers Coming Back

Below is a word cloud  showing the responses — common words in the responses appear larger. So if you see a giant word that you don’t like such as “don’t know, no clue, no idea”, or something even more concerning, like “adult diapers” when you’re selling padded evening wear, you’ve likely got a problem.

word-cloud-1

The test resulted in a paltry 6% of respondents answering the question correctly.

6%!

A 6% conversion rate is probably amazing, but as the result of a five-second test it’s pathetic.

How would you feel if only 6% of your visitors could figure out what your business does? That would be like if you showed up to your own birthday party and only three out of the 50 people who showed up even knew who you were. You’d feel like a giant lame-o.

I’d seen this phenomena occur many times (where the subhead held all the clarity), and I hypothesized that a simple headline/subhead flip (below) would improve the Clarity.

It’s Easier Than You Think to Create Professional Emails that Keep Your Customers Coming Back
We make it easy to grow your business

The result?

word-cloud-2

With the subhead and headline reversed, 20% of respondents answered the question correctly — a dramatic increase.

Five-second tests are a great way to uncover Clarity problems, and if you have both a headline and subhead communicating your UCP, consider trying the headline flip for a followup test. (Note, the headline flip works just as well for your homepage, but in this instance I’m talking about landing pages).

Now, I’m not recommending you simply flip it and forget it. What you should do is think about your Information Hierarchy, and make sure you’re telling your story in the right order, and that your subhead is there to add Clarity, not be the sole holder of it.

Clear vs. clever

Another reason pages often lack Clarity is that marketers are often sucked into trying to be cute or clever in their communications. You can see from some recent changes in CISCO’s homepage headline below how distinct this difference can be when it comes to clearly communicating your UVP or UCP.

digital-means-dollars

The headline “Digital means dollars” could stand in for any online business. It doesn’t speak to benefits or describe what the services actually does. It’s trying to be cute and doesn’t add any Clarity.

it-is-fast

The new headline, “IT is fast again,” speaks a little more to what makes CISCO unique. It could stand to be more specific, but it at least explains a little to the benefits.

Similarly, in the next example, the old version (below) is trying to ride the “unicorn” buzzword wave, a vague word that adds zero actual value.

lp1

Conversely, the updated version (below) speaks directly to a startup company (the intended target market segment), with the subhead clarifying what there is on offer:

lp2

If you’re worried that you might be using wishy-washy, jargonistic terms on your pages, we’ve created a Chrome extension to help.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Download and install Unbounce’s Dejargonator Chrome Extension
  2. Run it on any landing page or website — offending phrases will be highlighted in red. (You can test it on this extra sleazy page here.)
  3. Hover over the red text and see what’s wrong:
dejargonator
  1. Finally, update your page to be:
    • Less sleazy and superlative-y
    • More specific (and thereby more persuasive)

Clear landing page copy, full hearts, can’t lose

Clarity is (clearly) incredibly important in creating effective landing pages, but it’s certainly not the only thing that matters.

In addition to a clear message, you need to align every element on your page with your singular campaign goal in order to win those conversions.

This is where the fourth CCD principle of Congruence comes in. Read on to learn more about Congruence or download a PDF of the entire CCD framework to read at your leisure.

Want better conversion rates?

Download the Conversion-Centered Design framework and become an expert at building delightful, high-converting marketing campaigns.
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About Daniel Rodgers

A lot of news that you will not see in the paper. A lot of technology that is coming out that will not see in the paper.

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5 Key Traits of the Best B2B Influencers

Traits B2B Influencers

Traits B2B Influencers

Marketers are still asking, what is B2B influencer marketing? Here’s a definition I’ve been using over the past 5 years or so:

B2B influencer marketing is activating internal and external subject matter experts with engaged networks to advocate and co-create content of mutual value that drives measurable business goals.

As the groundswell around influencer marketing rises and becomes a normal part of the B2B marketing mix, the volume of information and misinformation on the topic also increases.

One of the most popular questions people also ask about B2B influencer marketing focuses on what makes a good business influencer? By now we all know that popularity alone does not make someone influential. It’s certainly important, it's just not the only thing.

As B2B marketers mature in their understanding of the role influence plays and how the dynamic of brand content co-created with industry experts plays out with customers, they begin to realize that other factors matter. Topical relevance matters of course as well as resonance of the topic amongst an influencer’s community.

B2B Marketing Influencers

The intersection of individual expertise, how well that expertise resonates with followers and the size of network creates a baseline of characteristics when evaluating whether a certain influencer might be a match.

But there’s more than that. Understanding what makes a great influencer is both art and science, soft and hard skills. The success of identifying, qualifying and engaging influencers is also directly tied to how they will be engaged and to what end.

Some people reading this might think that influencer marketing isn’t the magic pill some are playing it up to be. There’s a reason for that, because it’s not magic. It’s more like alchemy.

The reality is, there’s no one formula for the perfect B2B influencer, but there are some common characteristics that B2B brands should look for in varying proportions according to what’s important to a program or activation. I call those characteristics:

The 5 Ps of B2B Influence

Proficiency - In B2B marketing, the vast majority of those considered influential possess deep expertise in the field they work in. This is a significant difference from many B2C influencers who are often self proclaimed as influential with clever media creation skills.

As B2C influencer content and engagement tactics evolve, some are crossing over into B2B with a trickle of opportunists successfully creating influence amongst B2B audiences not solely for their expertise, but for a combination of adept social media content creation skills and some expertise. B2B marketers who do their due diligence will be able to filter accordingly.

Popularity - While network size is not the only thing, nor is it the most important thing, it is definitely a metric to consider. Some marketers swing in the direction of ignoring audience size altogether because of lower engagement rates with popular influencers. This is simply foolish. All things being the same, I’ll take 2% engagement of an influencer with a million followers over 2% from someone that has 1,000 followers.

What matters is how network size factors in with the type of influencer you need. For example, popular influencers aka “brandividuals” are often best for top of funnel content. Niche domain expert influencers are better for middle and end of funnel content. Engaging a brandividual and expecting conversions is just naive.

Personality - If you’ve worked in B2C influencer marketing and been exposed to all the characters there, B2B is going to seem a bit dry. Now there are some colorful characters in the B2B influencer community, no doubt. But personality is often a trait that needs to be uncovered when you’re working with some types of business influencers.

The good news is that savvy influencer marketing practitioners know how to plant the seeds that can grow and blossom within an otherwise introverted influencer. You don’t need them to be a colorful character, ripe with personality per se, but you do want them to connect with the passion they have with their craft and how their expertise can help others be successful.

Publishing - Content is the media that conveys the ideas of influence and while B2B influencers are not expected to produce the same types and quantity of content as in B2C, it is ideal when there’s a platform where the influencer publishes. At a minimum, that would be social networks but to be a B2B influencer, it’s most likely that also includes articles contributed to publications if not research, books and presentations.

Promotion - The value a B2B influencer brings beyond adding expertise and credibility to brand content is the ability to share what they helped create with their network. Trust of brand content is at a low, especially with advertising. Customers yearn for authentic content and the right kind of influencer collaboration can give them that, delivered via the influencer’s own distribution channels. That means social networks for course but also potentially blogs, email newsletters, podcast, LinkedIn Live, contributed articles or columns in industry publications.

I know some people reading this are thinking there could be even more P’s like being Prolific, Persuasive or Passion. Yes, there could be so many more but we have to draw the line somewhere! It's important to be able to manage the data and insights necessary to factor these characteristics into selection, qualification and engagement.

Some of these traits will not fully reveal themselves until you work with an influencer on a few content activations. Others will fluctuate over time and that is normal. It's important to understand that influence is a temporal thing. It is not fixed or permanent. It’s important marketers realize that before they disengage an influencer in the short term due to lower performance. The same goes for high expectations after great performance.

Organic influencer engagement is a little dynamic and what you don’t spend on paid influencers like an ad buy you will (in part) need to invest in relationship management, education and even tips that will help the influencers be more effective.

B2B brands with high influencer churn or low performance often apply “ad buy” perspectives to a what is actually a relationship driven effort. Mismatched expectations are not helpful for anyone, so think about the 5Ps as you evaluate and nurture your influencer community. Consider where of each your ideal influencers need to score on the 5 Ps in order to be a good match for the kind of activation you have in mind.

When there’s 5P alignment, there's happiness: for customers, influencers and your B2B brand.

The post 5 Key Traits of the Best B2B Influencers appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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