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Marketing is Not About Making Claims; it’s About Fostering Conclusions

Imagine for a moment you are in the 10-items-or-less line at the grocery store. There is a man in front of you getting rung up. He’s wearing sunglasses and a suit. You note amusingly to yourself that he must be especially sensitive to fluorescent light. He’s talking loudly on the phone while the clerk patiently scans his only items: 11 huge containers of protein.

“I’m a closer Frank — it’s what I do,” he gabs into his late-model iPhone Plus. “I’m the best in this city. Believe me. You’ve never seen a closer as good as me, Frank. Frank? You there Frank? Yeah, did you hear what I said Frank? I’m a closer!”

Once the clerk is done ringing him up, he pays, mouths “thank you” and plops a glossy, white business card on the counter. Looking from the clerk to you he points to the card, shoots both of you a thumbs up, gathers his protein into his cart, and walks out the door continuing his deafening conversation with Frank.

His card features a typical real estate logo and a glamor shot of his bust without sunglasses. Though, you do make another half-amusing note-to-self that he is wearing the same tie.

Why Marketers are Just Like Frank’s Photophobic Associate

I took a while painting that picture for you because — every day — marketers do the same thing as Frank’s photophobic associate. We make wild claims about ourselves and expect people to be impressed. When, really, all we’re doing is helping them conclude that we’re not the kind of company they would want to do business with.

The worst part is that a business usually exists in the marketplace because they DO have real value to offer customers. But most of us don’t know how to communicate that to our customers effectively.

When we can get it right, however, and rather than make claims, foster conclusions in the mind of the customer, the results can be powerful.

Take this MECLABS certified experiment recently run with a single-product nutrition company.

Experiment: Background

Test Protocol: TP1798

Experiment ID: Protected

Location: MECLABS Research Library

Background: A single-product company that sells high-quality, all-natural powdered health drinks

Goal:  To increase order conversion

Primary Research Question: Which of the following pages will produce the highest conversion rate?

Approach: A/B multi-factorial split test

Experiment: Control

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, take a moment to look at the Control in this test. Before you read any further, it might help you understand what I’m talking about better if you try to identify any photophobic-guy-like claims in the page copy.

Now, they aren’t as dramatic as our opening character, but they are there.

  • Boost Your Energy and Metabolism
  • Improve Digestion and Gastrointestinal Function
  • Detoxify and Alkalize Your Body at a Cellular Level
  • Save Time and Money
  • Limited Offer! Act Now!

There’s more, but let’s just focus on these for a second. It seems at face value to be good copywriting. The words are well-chosen, interesting, and they have a kind of energy to them. But at their heart, they are just bragging.

As a result, the conclusions in the mind of the customer who might be reading this page must be couched in a kind of suspension of disbelief if they are to continue. Maybe the people who buy already know the company is trustworthy so they go on to fill out the form and purchase.

But what about the people unfamiliar with the company? To them, this is just another fad super-food that claims it’s the best. There’s no evidence, no logical argument, no facts to back up what they are saying.

But now, consider the Treatment in this experiment as a contrast.

Experiment: Treatment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the Treatment, we change a little bit of the copy, but we achieve an entirely different result in the mind of the customer. The copy has changed to focus not on claims, but rather facts, which, in turn, foster the overall conclusion that this is an excellent product and worth paying for.

  • Made from 75 whole food sourced ingredients in their natural form
  • Contains probiotics and enzymes for optimal nutrient absorption and digestion
  • Carefully formulated by doctors and nutritionists to deliver essential nutrients
  • 10+ years of research to develop an easy to mix powder with naturally sweet taste

What’s the result?

Experiment: Results

The result is a 34% increase in conversion. And for an ecommerce product like this one, that translates to pure revenue.

Foster Conclusions, Don’t Make Claims, Make More Money

In the end, people are still people. We are mostly reasonable. We hear arguments and we can change our minds. But when we hear someone making braggadocios claims, rather than trying to rationally win us over, we are naturally repulsed. Your customers are the same way. And when we foster the right conclusions in their mind about us using facts, data, and tangible evidence, we will inevitably feel better about our marketing, and make more money in the process.

You Might Also Like:

The Prospect’s Reality Gap

The Web as a Living Laboratory

Brand: The aggregate experience of the value proposition

The Boston Globe: Discovering and optimizing a value proposition for content

The post Marketing is Not About Making Claims; it’s About Fostering Conclusions appeared first on MarketingExperiments.

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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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10 Crucial Steps for Launching Your B2B Podcast Into the Wild

Hey, friend, have you heard the good news about podcasts? 

Given the most recent stats, it’s highly likely you have. Over half of all Americans over 12 years of age have listened to at least one. Podcasts have well and truly hit the mainstream. In other words, the gold rush is on for brands looking to connect with a highly-engaged, long-attention-span audience.

However, getting a podcast up and running isn’t as simple as publishing a blog. We recently published an entire B2B podcasting webinar to walk you through the entire process, from conception to publication. This post will zero in on the choices you need to make and the steps you need to take to release your podcast into the wild.

B2B Podcasting Launch Checklist: 10 Steps

Sure, you could just upload your audio to your web server, add an RSS feed, and call it good. But if you want people to actually find and listen to your podcast, there are a few extra steps you should take. This checklist will help your podcast find an audience and start building a subscriber base.

via GIPHY

#1: Choose Your Hosting Platform

A podcast syndication platform makes it easy to publish your podcast and get listed in directories. Think of it like WordPress is for your blog — it hosts the files, makes them look pretty, and makes it so people can find them.

Most platforms will also give you embed codes for embedding episodes in blog posts or on a landing page. You’ll also get stats on how many people are downloading episodes, and on what program they’re listening.

We prefer Libsyn as our hosting platform. Podbean, buzzsprout, and Blubrry are also solid options. They all have a free tier of hosting, but you’ll want to pay a few bucks a month for bandwidth and analytics.

#2: Upload Your First Three Episodes

Podcasting is all about establishing a regular cadence (more on that later). But for launch, you’ll want to have at least three episodes ready to go. There are a few reasons for publishing multiple episodes for your debut:

  1. One episode may not be enough to convince people to subscribe. 
  2. Multiple episodes show you’re committed to keeping the content coming.
  3. Most importantly, Apple podcasts requires at least three episodes to qualify for their “New and Noteworthy” section. 

So before you publish, have at least three episodes completed, and be ready to follow up with more at your promised publishing cadence.

#3:  Register with Podcast Directories

Podcasts are peculiar in terms of content delivery. Your hosting platform makes the files available, but most people will listen to your podcast on their chosen podcast app. Each app maintains its own directory — think of it as a search engine for podcasts. 

Your podcast needs to be listed in their directory, or people won’t be able to find you. I recommend registering with at least these six:

  1. Apple Podcasts
  2. Google Podcasts
  3. Stitcher
  4. Podbean
  5. Spotify
  6. TuneIn

Each of these sites will ask for the RSS feed of your podcast, which your hosting platform will generate for you.

I created a podcast tracker to keep track of all these directories — sign up for the webinar and you can download it for free.

B2B Podcast Tracker

#4: Promote Internally

Gaining visibility on a podcast directory is tricky business. Apple and Google are where the majority of your listeners will be, and each employs an algorithm to promote podcasts in search results and feature pages.

How do you get an algorithm’s attention? Engagement! Start by promoting your podcast to all of your employees. Encourage them to subscribe on Apple or Google, give a rating, and write a brief (and honest) review. What’s more, draft some social messages and encourage everyone to promote the podcast to their networks, too.

That base level of initial engagement will help your podcast start finding its audience.

#5: Activate Your Influencers

Most podcasts are Q&A-style interviews with influential guests. If your podcast includes influencers in your industry, make sure they know as soon as their episode goes live. Give them the tools to promote the podcast easily:

  • Sample social messages
  • Social media images in the correct sizes
  • Embed codes

If your podcast doesn’t feature influencers, it’s worth re-evaluating your strategy for your next season. Influencer content not only is more valuable to your audience, it’s an indispensable channel for promotion.

#6: Publish Blog Posts

The one downside of audio content: It’s not super crawlable for SEO purposes. Granted, Google has started to auto-transcribe episodes and add them to search results, but the technology is still in the early stages.

To truly get some SEO juice from your podcast, we recommend embedding each podcast in a blog post. This example from the Tech Unknown Podcast by SAP* shows how simple it can be. All you need is an introduction, a few pull quotes, some key takeaways, and a transcript.

#7: Add Paid Promotion

As with any content, you want to use every tactic available to make sure it gets seen by your target audience. That’s especially true with podcasts, since podcast search engines are incredibly competitive.

Targeted, paid social promotion can help establish your subscriber base and get your new podcast some much-needed visibility.

It’s also worth considering cross-promotion on other podcasts. Consider both paid advertising and trading guest spots with a podcast that shares your target audience. 

#8: Solicit Listener Feedback

Ratings and reviews are essential to your podcast’s success. They’ll help provide social proof for new listeners and boost your search visibility in podcast directories. 

The best way to get ratings and reviews? Ask for them. Make it part of each episode’s sign-off. You can even encourage thoughtful reviews by reading the best ones on future episodes. You will engage your listeners and solicit more reviews at the same time.

#9: Keep Up Your Cadence

As with blog content, there’s no single “right” frequency to publish a podcast. Some of my favorite podcasts publish weekly, biweekly, or even monthly. The best cadence for your podcast is “However frequently you can reliably, regularly publish quality content.”

Choose your cadence with an eye to long-term sustainability, and tell your listeners explicitly how frequently you’ll publish. Whether it’s “See you next week,” or “PodcastTitle is a monthly podcast that…” listeners will find it easier to make your podcast a habit if you stick to a schedule.

#10: Repurpose, Repurpose, Repurpose

In my last post on the content marketing benefits of B2B podcasting, I mentioned that podcasts are a content machine, and I’ll say it again. It’s easy to finish an episode, publish it, then forget it and move on to the next thing. But don’t do that! 

Pull snippets of audio content for social media. Turn them into short videos, too: Add a still image or a simple looping GIF for visual interest.

Use your transcriptions as fodder for future blog posts, quotes for influencer marketing, or even a stand-alone asset. 

Any way you can reuse that content can help bring more listeners to your podcast. What’s more, putting the content in a different medium can reach an audience who might not be into podcasts (yet). 

Check, Check, One Two

Launching a podcast is a little trickier than launching a new blog, especially if you’re new to the format. But if you follow this checklist, you can make sure your podcast is available on all the right channels and is ready to start attracting an audience.

Need more podcasting help? Check out our B2B Podcasting Webinar. In addition to learning the Four P’s of podcasting success, you’ll see me make this face:

B2B Podcasting Face

*Disclosure: SAP is a TopRank Marketing client.

The post 10 Crucial Steps for Launching Your B2B Podcast Into the Wild appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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