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18 Above the Fold Content Examples to Inspire Your Own



18 Above the Fold Content Examples to Inspire Your Own

The human attention span is short. This means that your website’s content has to inspire, delight, and engage your target audience in mere seconds.

For this reason, you’re above the fold content should be enticing enough to hold a visitor’s attention and keep their interest.

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If your session time is low and your bounce rate is high, then your above-the-fold content may be to blame. Not to worry: We’ll go over everything you need to know about above-the-fold content, including best practices and examples that will inspire you.

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Your above-the-fold website content directly impacts your engagement metrics, because it can inspire users to explore the rest of the website and its offerings. If it’s not properly optimized, you’ll likely see a boost in bounce rate and a decrease in conversions.

A web page that is slow to load, congested with information, and hard to use will probably not draw the reader in the same way a page with the opposite design would. This can hurt your website’s lead generation potential.

Let’s say you’ve been losing traffic. It’s possible the content website visitors see when they first visit your page isn’t interesting enough to keep them there. Your page might be compelling by the time visitors start scrolling, but if the content isn’t dazzling and user-friendly right off the bat, visitors can easily click away.

This means that your content above the fold could probably be re-done to engage visitors. Keep in mind, content above the fold will display differently depending on the device — whether desktop or mobile.

If your website has compelling above-the-fold content, you‘ll likely see higher conversion rates and lower bounce rates. If you’re unsure, try to self-test by looking at your website from a new perspective — if you were a new viewer, would you stay on your site at first glance?

Let’s talk about some ways you can ensure your above-the-fold content engages web users.

Above the Fold Website Design Best Practices

When you design your webpage, keep these practices in mind. They’ll keep visitors’ attention and encourage them to explore the rest of your website.

1. Keep your design simple.

Above-the-fold content shouldn‘t be extremely busy — if it is, readers might not know where to look first and click away from the page. Alternatively, if they’re not able to find the answer to their challenge quickly, they’ll likely choose another website.

To keep your page looking professional, organized, and user-friendly, try adding one featured image or multimedia, such as a GIF or video, to the content above the fold. Then, add a short headline that introduces your webpage, and a sentence below it that describes your page in more detail.

2. Make the content engaging.

Simple web pages are one way to keep a user’s attention. But when they get there, take opportunities to delight them. For example, when you write your headlines and body text, they should echo your brand voice.

You don‘t have to make huge changes to delight the visitor. For example, if there’s a CTA button on your page, you could try “Ready to get started?” instead of “Learn more.”

If the featured photo on your webpage is static, see if you can deliver the same message with a GIF instead. Additionally, if all of your copy is one color, try adding one or two more — a good rule of thumb is to incorporate your brand colors for professionalism and consistency with the rest of your website.

3. Design your content for usability.

Above all else, your content should be easy to interact with. For instance, if you’re working on the above-the-fold content for a product page, make sure your above-the-fold content is functioning as it should.

Let‘s say your product page’s above-the-fold content is a video. Does it load correctly, include captions, and offer sound options?

Additionally, think about the experience of the user. If your above-the-fold content features a video that autoplays, will it interrupt the user’s interaction with the page? To combat this issue, make sure the video plays on silent and includes subtitles, if needed. Make sure to incorporate other web accessibility standards as well.

4. Solve challenges for the reader.

Your content above the fold should answer the challenge of the user. To illustrate, let’s say you work for an email marketing service provider, and a user searches “email marketing software” and lands on your homepage.

Your content, then, should include a few, if not all, of the keywords “automated email marketing software” in some form. For example, your headline could read “Email Automation for Marketers,” and expand on that in the supporting text.

Designing all these elements perfectly the first time is a challenge. Next, we’ll cover how A/B testing can help you get better engagement.

Testing Above the Fold Content

How do you know your page is a knockout? By testing multiple versions. A/B testing is an experiment that allows marketers to test different versions of campaigns, emails, CTAs, copy, web pages or other materials to gauge which performs best.

This process may sound daunting but it doesn’t have to be. Tools like HubSpot’s A/B Testing Kit come with everything you need to get started. To be sure your above the fold content is the best it can be, you’ll want to do a test comparing the new iteration of the page vs. the original version.

These tests can help you:

  • Identify visitor pain points and solve them
  • Identify any usability obstacles
  • Increase conversions
  • Reduce bounce rates

Once the results from testing are in, you’ll want to analyze the metrics and use them to inform any design changes. Now that you have a few guidelines to work with and tips for testing, it’s time to look at some above the fold examples that will inspire you.

Above the Fold Website Examples 

1. Wistia

above the fold content: Wistia

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Wistia lets its users create dynamic videos for marketing campaigns. The above-the-fold content introduces Wistia’s services using a mix of multimedia: GIFs, videos, and short copy, to show off the capabilities of the service.

Wistia‘s homepage feels casual, welcoming, and professional at the same time. The homepage video stops visitors in their tracks. They’ll likely spend more time watching the talk-show-inspired clip that explains Wistia‘s services. As a consumer, when I see real people on a webpage, it’s inviting and compels me to explore further. After the video, users will have an idea of the software’s offerings, straight from expert marketers.

2. Velocity Partners

above the fold website example: Velocity Partners

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Velocity Partners, a B2B marketing agency, doesn’t have a company overview video for their above-the-fold content. Instead, the homepage has a fascinating 3D animated video and a paragraph of content that explains why innovative marketers should leverage new content formats to tell more refreshing stories.

The phrase “Great marketing moves” describes what the business is all about, and is short, simple, and to the point, letting the summary do the heavy lifting when it comes to attracting visitors. Velocity Partners’ above-the-fold messaging sparks curiosity, and in turn, the incentive to keep scrolling.

It‘s important to note, however, that if you want to use above-the-fold content similar to Velocity Partners’, make sure the first few seconds of your collateral, as well as your copy, are the most engaging. If they aren’t, the visitor probably won’t feel inclined to stay on the site past reading the headline.

3. VeryGoodCopy

above the fold website example: Very Good Copy

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VeryGoodCopy is a creative agency that crafts articles, landing pages, web pages, and emails for brands. Above the fold, the website lets the copy describe what the company can provide for users.

The headline conveys the opportunity for marketers to learn how to persuade by leveraging ample white space and social proof. It also includes an enticing headline, a brief description of their content topics, and a vivid call-to-action. This simple and engaging above-the-fold design ensnares their visitors’ attention and convinces them to check out their micro-articles.

4. Shopify

above the fold content: Shopify

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Shopify’s above-the-fold content leverages images to invite the reader to explore. Shopify allows entrepreneurs to begin their own ecommerce business. The above-the-fold content uses images of products sold on Shopify to show how the software is used.

The homepage includes artistic images to make a lasting impression on the user. And, even though copy is sparse, the tagline is packed with purpose and compels visitors to click that green CTA to start a trial.

5. Ann Handley

above the fold examples: Ann Handley

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Ann Handley, a Wall Street Journal best-selling author and partner at MarketingProfs, uses the homepage on her website to impress users by highlighting her marketing prowess. Hyperlinking and linking are heroes here — linking to other pages on a website can earn more clicks on various pages on a site.

She also leverages white space, a welcoming picture of herself, a catchy tagline, compelling copy, and a vibrant call-to-action to persuade her visitors to consider working with her. From this homepage, the visitor knows what Handley looks like, what she has done, and how to contact her. As far as above-the-fold content goes, it’s a home run.

6. Mint

above the fold content: Mint

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Above-the-fold content can maximize on simplicity, like it does for Mint, a budget tracking and planning software. The simple, yet professional, homepage effectively conveys the company and how they can help customers.

Notice the copy in the headline — it emotionally connects to the reader in two sentences, opening the door for them to explore the app of a company that knows them.

Mint also has a video of their app in action to catch their website visitors’ attention. This helps the visitor visualize how the app will look if they decide to sign up.

7. InVision

above the fold content: InVision

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How do you show customer stories dynamically above the fold? Let‘s take a look at InVision’s sleek example.

InVision is a digital product design company that helps users easily build sleek impressive websites, so the design team at the company knew the homepage had to impress visitors. It does, auto playing a silent version of the company’s overview video, complete with testimonials from decision-makers at companies such as Uber and Twitter.

The copy that‘s layered above the video does a great job of concisely explaining what the company does for users, and the “Get Started Free” CTA even entices me, a marketer who isn’t looking to design a website, to learn more about the company’s offerings. It also doesn‘t hide the titles of those decision-makers from the video — “Dantley Davis, Netflix Design Director” is large enough that it can catch users’ eyes when they aren’t looking.

8. Animalz

above the fold content: Animalz

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Similar to VeryGoodCopy, Animalz is a content marketing agency whose website doesn’t bombard visitors with messaging about their services in the above-the-fold design. Instead, visitors are greeted with the headline, “The world’s best content marketing happens here,” which entices a marketer like me to read further.

The CTA copy is different from run-of-the-mill CTA buttons. “Let’s talk,” rather than, “Click here to learn more!”, implies that when visitors click on the CTA, they will be taken to a real person who can offer them more information about the service.

The website also leverages white space, and uses simple, hand-drawn images to entice the reader to scroll down. The purple squiggle runs down the webpage to introduce Animalz’s top customers, and leads to a form to get in touch with the company.

9. Ahrefs

above the fold website example: Ahrefs

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Maybe you work for a company that wants a no-nonsense homepage that conveys the benefits of the product without congesting the page with an overload of information. If that description fits you, take a look at Ahref’s above-the-fold approach.

The headline describes what the service does: It helps users improve their SEO without necessarily being an SEO expert. The CTA seals the deal by communicating pricing information.

Satisfied customers are listed at the bottom, right before the fold, to give a rounded-out overview of how Ahrefs can be a benefit to successful companies. If you want your homepage to use more copy, rather than visuals, try presenting it in a simple way that doesn’t use more than 30 words, like Ahrefs did.

10. Twitch

above the fold design example

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After typing in into your browser, you’re immediately immersed into what the website offers: live streams for gamers. This is because as soon as your browser accesses the website, a featured live stream begins autoplaying.

While it can be a bit jarring to suddenly hear voices coming from your browser, Twitch‘s above-the-fold design doesn’t use any copy to describe their services. Instead, users can jump right in and demo the content themselves, browsing streams without having to make an account or read anything. They can keep scrolling to see popular streams, click one, and explore the site’s capabilities from there.

Because of how the site works altogether, this above-the-fold approach works. Twitch offers visitors to trial their services without doing any reading. Visual platforms similar to Twitch can benefit from this method, pulling in visual learners and non-visual learners alike.

11. Skillshare

above the fold content: Skillshare

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Skillshare uses video to explain the bulk of their services above the fold. Because the software offers online classes in a variety of subjects, the video displays an overview of what Skillshare can help you accomplish, learn, and feel.

The video highlights confident-looking adults diving into their passions, which is what Skillshare helps users with. The sign-up box inspires visitors to explore their creativity with the software — and get started for free.

12. Flock

above the fold content: flock

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The messaging app Flock doesn’t waste any time: It right away includes an email capture form above the fold. The key to including an email capture form is to design it so it doesn’t interrupt the experience of a first-time visitor to your website.

The supporting images illustrate how Flock works, and the CTA text displays a little personality (“Get Flocking”). Using a form to spice up your homepage can be simple and effective when you include a clickable button and an image to display an overview of your company to visitors.

13. King Arthur Flour

above the fold content example: King Arthur Flour

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The above-the-fold content of this Boston-based baking ingredient supplier, King Arthur Flour, is top notch. It gives visitors the choice to watch a video tutorial on how to make sourdough bread, right away inviting them to engage.

I could get a feel for the company‘s offerings: a Facebook Page (which houses the business’ baking show), recipes, a baking FAQ, products for purchase, and even a “Baker’s Hotline”, which works as a Contact Us page.

The slideshow features, equipped with a glossy photo and their own CTA, gave me a complete overview of everything the company can do for aspiring bakers. It goes outside of just the business’s products, and instead, offers helpful information for bakers in general, which is welcoming to someone who may be intimidated about bread baking.

14. Clarkisha Kent

above the fold design: Clarkisha Kent

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Are you a freelancer wondering how to make your above-the-fold content stand out among your competition? If so, when you design your homepage, make sure it accomplishes two things: displaying personality and offering easy navigation options.

This is because, while your work has to precede you, so does your personality, especially as a freelancer. If you’re a writer, like Clarkisha Kent, your copy has to sell it, like her website does.

The inclusion of a headshot and interesting headline quickly displays more of who Kent is as a writer, and the angle she is likely to take as a contributor to websites. Her navigation bar includes links to viral tweets she‘s made and clippings from other publications, so her homepage doesn’t have to.

Instead, her homepage serves as an introduction, which can precede her before the rest of her website. When users are drawn in by a minimalistic web page with cliffhanger text, they’re likely going to be interested in exploring the website to fill in that gap. For instance, when I read, “Chaos bringer,” I instantly wanted to know how, which prompted me to look at her past work.

15. Good Witch Kitchen

above the fold design: Good Witch Kitchen

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This is another example of how to convey the personality of your brand if you‘re a freelancer or small business owner. Good Witch Kitchen is the name of Kristen Ciccolini’s holistic nutrition business. The website’s above-the-fold content contains an introduction of who she is and why she does what she does.

Ciccolini’s logo and copy accurately provide a quick view of the services Good Witch Kitchen provides: A non-diet approach to nutrition management from an expert.

16. Aya Paper Co

above the fold design example: Aya Paper co

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This stationery brand makes good use of the area above the fold by including a slideshow that prompts visitors to shop for birthday cards, explore new products, and build a gift box for someone. This works exceedingly well because it gives users a chance to find what they need from the slideshow alone.

The website then includes a series of customer testimonials to sway visitors into becoming customers. From the above-the-fold content alone, you get a sense of the brand’s aesthetic, ethos, and commitment to environmental sustainability.

17. BREAD Beauty Supply

Above the fold design example: bread

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For those who’d like to keep their brand imagery strong above the fold, BREAD Beauty Supply’s example will be sure to offer some inspiration. The brand includes a video of customers showing off their curly hair — which is what their products are used for — with a large version of its logo placed over the video.

The brand then seals the deal by including a “Shop All” button at the bottom. You can still make a “splash” with your above-the-fold website content; you’ll only need to include a CTA.

18. Ceremonia

above the fold site design: ceremonia

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Ceremonia is another haircare brand that, like BREAD Beauty Supply, uses a video to catch visitors’ attention. It also includes a CTA button at the bottom that invites visitors to “Shop All.”

This above-the-fold website example is effective because it conveys the brand’s mission and aesthetic while still fully using the available real estate. The video inspires one to take care of one’s hair using the products. It shows people being carefree and enjoying the environment. The brand’s products are made from naturally derived ingredients, and the video hints at that without using text.

In the same way, you can hint at your products’ background using strong imagery in a video.

The Benefits of Above the Fold Optimization

Above-the-fold optimization is critical to ensure your website visitors don’t bounce off the page. That way, you can increase the chances of visitors becoming customers. By optimizing the content above the fold, you can:

  • Increase user engagement by right away inviting users to shop or reach out to you.
  • Greet users with on-brand messaging.
  • Establish the value of using your product or service.
  • Show the results your website visitors can see if they choose to purchase from you.

Now that you have some inspiration about how to keep your customers engaged on your landing pages, which strategy are you going to use for yours? I can’t wait to see what you come up with.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in March 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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The marketing lifecycle: An overview



The marketing lifecycle: An overview

Remember when digital marketing was simple? Create content, throw it over the wall, hope for the best.

Note that we said “simple,” not effective.

To be effective is more complicated, and this keeps accelerating. There are so many options, so many channels, and so many audiences, that effective digital marketing requires a term to which people often react strongly—


Very few people inherently like the idea of “process.” It brings forth visions of rigidity and inertia.

But there simply has to be a framework in which to produce and publish effective marketing assets. Without this, you have nothing but chaos from which productive work gets done accidentally, at best.

How did it get this way for the enterprise? How did things become so interconnected?

  • Marketing isn’t a point in time, it’s an activity stream. It’s a line of dominoes you need to knock over, roughly in order. Lots of organizations do well at some, but fail on others, and thus break the chain of what could be an effective process.
  • Marketing activities overlap. It’d be great if we could do one thing at a time, but the marketing pipeline is never empty. Campaigns target different audiences at the same time, and new campaigns are being prepared as existing campaigns are closing.
  • Marketing involves a lot of actors at vastly different levels. There’s your content team, of course, reviewers, external agencies and contractors, designers, developers, and—of course—stakeholders and executives. Each group has different needs for collaboration, input, and reporting.

Some of the best business advice boils down to this: “Always understand the big picture.” You might be asked to do one specific thing in a process, but make sure you understand the context of that specific thing—where does it fit in the larger framework? Where does it get input from? How are its outputs used?

In this article, we’re going to zoom out for an overhead view of how Optimizely One helps you juggle the complete marketing lifecycle, from start to finish, without letting anything drop.

1. Intake 

Ideas are born everywhere—maybe with you, maybe with your staff, maybe with someone who has no connection with marketing at all, and maybe from an external source, like an ad agency or PR firm. Leading organizations have found a way to widen the top end of their pipeline—the start of their content marketing funnel—and take in more ideas from more sources.

Good ideas combine. Someone has one half of an idea, and someone else has the other half. The goal of effective collaboration is to get those two pieces together. One plus one can sometimes equal three, and more ideas mean better ideas overall. Creativity is about getting more puzzle pieces on the table so you can figure out which ones fit your strategy.

How do you manage the flow of ideas? How do you make sure good ideas don’t get dropped, but rather become great content? The only way to publish great content is to get ideas into the top end of the pipe. 


Optimizely One can streamline and accelerate your content intake using templated intake forms mapped to intelligent routing rules and shared queues. Everyone in your organization can know where content is developed and how to contribute to ideas, content, and campaigns currently in-process. Your content team can easily manage and collaborate on requests, meaning content development can become focused, rather than spread out across the organization. 

2. Plan

Campaigns don’t exist in a vacuum. They share the stage with other campaigns—both in terms of audience attention and employee workload. Leading organizations ensure that their campaigns are coordinated, for maximum audience effect and efficiency of workload.

Pick a time scale and plan it from overhead. What campaigns will you execute during this period? In what order? How do they overlap? Then, break each campaign down—what tasks are required to complete and launch? Who owns them? In what stage of completion are they in? What resources are required to complete them? 

Good marketing campaigns aren’t run in isolation. They’re a closely aligned part of an evolving body of work, carefully planned and executed.


Optimizely One provides comprehensive editorial calendaring and scheduling. Every marketing activity can have an easily accessible strategic brief and dedicated workspaces in which to collaborate. Your content team and your stakeholders can know, at a glance, what marketing activities are in-process, when they’re scheduled to launch, who is assigned to what, and what’s remaining on the calendar.  

3. Create 

Good content takes fingers on keyboards, but that’s not all. 

Content creators need frameworks in which to generate effective content. They need the tools to share, collaborate, structure, stage, and approve their work. Good content comes in part from tooling designed to empower content creators. 

Your content team needs a home base—the digital equivalent of an artist’s studio. They need a platform which is authoritative for all their marketing assets; a place that everyone on the team knows is going to have the latest schedules, the latest drafts, the official assets, and every task on the road to publication. 

Content creation isn’t magic—it doesn’t just appear out of the ether. It comes from intentional teams working in structured frameworks. 


Optimizely One gives your editors the tools they need for the content creation process, AI-enabled editing environments for fingers-on-keyboards, all the way through intelligent workflows for collaboration and approvals. Authors can write, designers can upload and organize, project managers can combine and coordinate, stakeholders can review, and external teams can collaborate. All within a framework centered around moving your campaigns forward. 

4. Store 

Leading organizations look at content beyond its immediate utility. Everything your content teams do becomes an incremental part of an evolving body of work. Content doesn’t appear and disappear; rather, it continually enlarges and refines a body of work that represents your organization over time. 

Good creative teams remix and transform old ideas into new ones. They can locate content assets quickly and easily to evolve them into new campaigns quickly. They don’t reinvent the wheel every time, because they lean on a deep reservoir of prior art and existing creative components. 

Digital asset and content management should store content in a structured, atomic format, allowing your organization to store, retrieve, organize, and re-use marketing assets quickly and easily. 


Optimizely One gives your content team a place to store their content assets, from text and rich media. Content can be archived and organized, either manually, or by using AI to automatically extract tags. Content can be stored as pure data, free from presentation, which makes it easy to re-use. Your content team will always know where to find work in progress, media to support emerging campaigns, or assets from past campaigns. Brand portals make it easy to share assets with external organizations.

5. Globalize 

Business happens all over the world in every language. To effectively compete around the world, your content needs to be globalized. 

Globalization of content is a holistic practice that affects every part of the content lifecycle. Words need to be translated, of course, but you also need to consider cultural globalization—images and symbols that might change—as well as globalization for numbers, currency, and time zones. Going even deeper, you might have to make design changes to accommodate things like differing word lengths and the flow of text. 

Beyond simply changing content, your work process is affected. When does translation happen? Who is authorized to order it? Who can perform it? How do you bring external translation companies into your internal processes, and how does this affect the flow of content through your organization?  


Optimizely One helps you manage the entire globalization process, whether it’s done in-house or automatically via one of our translation partners. Your customers can be served content in their language and culture, and you can carefully control the alternate, “fallback” experience for languages not yet available, or when you’re not translating all of your content.  

6. Layout 

Some experiences need to be visually composed from a palette of content and design components. Designers and marketers want to see exactly what their content looks like before they publish. 

In some cases, this is easy—everyone should be able to see what a web page looks like before it goes live. But what about your mobile app? What about display advertising? A social media update? 

And what happens when you’re modifying content based on behavior and demographics? If you want to see how your web page will look for someone from California who has visited your site before and already downloaded your whitepaper on their iPhone…can you? 

Content no longer leaves your organization on a single channel. Composition and preview is always contextual—there is no single, default experience. Leading organizations want full control over their visual presentation and they know that they need to see their content through the eyes of their customers.  


Optimizely One provides the tools to visually compose experiences across multiple channels and can preview that experience when viewed through the personalization lens of whatever demographic and behavioral data you can dream up. And this works regardless of channel: web, email, display advertising—everything can be previewed in real-time. 

7. Deliver 

Content can’t do any good unless it can reach your customers. You need to publish your content to them, wherever they are, which means having the flexibility to push content into multiple channels, in multiple formats. 

A consumable piece of media is an “artifact.” Your content is the idea and message that make up that artifact. Leading organizations develop their content separate from any concept of an artifact, then transform it into different formats to fit the channel that will spread their message most effectively. 

Sure, make a web page—but also push that content to your mobile app, and into your social networks. Broadcast a text message, and an email. While you’re at it, push the information into the display panel in the elevators. Let’s be bold and broadcast it on the TV screens that play while your customers fill up with gas. 

The key is delivery flexibility. The world of content delivery has changed remarkably in just the last few years. It will no-doubt change more in the future. No platform can anticipate what’s coming, so you just need the flexibility to be ready to adapt to what happens. 


Optimizely One provides complete delivery flexibility. Our systems store your content separate from presentation, and allow multiple ways to access it, from traditional websites to headless APIs to connect your content to mobile apps or other decoupled experiences. Your content can be combined with internally-stored content or third-party content to provide a seamless “content reservoir” to draw on from all of your channels. 

8. Personalize 

Throughout this lifecycle, we’ve moved from content, to artifacts, and now on to “experiences.” 

One person consuming an artifact—reading a web page, listening to a podcast, watching a video—is an experience. Just like one piece of content can generate more than one artifact, one artifact should enable thousands of experiences. 

Technology has advanced to the point where all of those experiences can be managed. Instead of every customer getting the same experience, it can be personalized to that specific customer in that specific moment. 

You can do this using simple demographic or technographic data—perhaps you cut down the information and make your content more task-oriented when you detect someone is on a mobile device. However, the real power comes when you begin tracking behavior, consolidating information about your customers, and giving them specific content based on what you’ve observed. 

Leading organizations have a single location to track customer behavior and data. For every experience, they know exactly what this customer has done, how they’ve interacted with the organization, and they can predict what they’ll do next. Content and artifacts will morph themselves to fit each individual experience. 


Optimizely One connects both customer behavior and demographics along with the tools to activate that data to affect your customers’ experiences. Our platform allows you to track customer behavior and match that with customer demographics—this includes behavior tracking for customers you can’t even identify yet. Based on that behavior and stored data, editors can modify experiences in real-time, changing content and design to match to what each individual customer is most likely to respond. Or let the machine do the work, with personalized content and product recommendations. 

9. Experiment 

No matter how much you know, customers will always surprise you. The right answer to persuading your customer to take an action might be something you’re not even thinking of. Or, you might have an idea, but you’re not confident enough to bank on it. And let’s face it—sometimes, you just love two different ideas. 

Wouldn’t it be great if you could publish more than one thing? 

You absolutely can. And you absolutely should.

Leading organizations let go of the idea that an experience is bound to one version of an artifact. Don’t just write one title for that blog post—write three. Publish them all and show them randomly. Let your customers tell you—by their next action—which one was the right one to use. 

Experimentation allows you to try new things without the inertia of re-considering and re-drafting all your content. Ideas can go from your mind to pixels on the screen quickly and easily, and you can see what works and what doesn’t. Try a new title, or next text on a button. Does it give you better results? If so, great, keep it. If not, throw it away and try something else.

Refine, refine, refine. The idea that you publish content in one form and just hope it’s the right one is a set of handcuffs that can be tough to shake. But the results can be impressive.


Optimizely One allows you to quickly create and publish multiple variations of content and content elements to any channel. You can separate your content into elements and try different combinations to see which one drives your customers to move forward in their journey, then automatically route more traffic through winning combinations. You can manage feature rollouts and soft-launches, enabling specific functionality for specific audiences in any channel. 

10. Analyze 

The key to a learning and evolving content team is a transparent and unflinching look into what happens to your content after it’s published.

Analytics need to be considered in the context of the entire content domain. What content performs well but has low traffic? What content is consumed often but never moves customers down their buying journey? Customer behavior needs to be tracked carefully, then used to segment customers into audiences, based on both your content team’s observations and insights provided by AI. 


Optimizely One offers complete behavior tracking and content analysis, showing you what content works, what content doesn’t, and what your customers are doing during every step of their relationship with your entire digital estate. 

Juggle the entire lifecycle 

“Publishing myopia” prevents most organizations from truly benefiting from the power of their content and marketing technology. Too many ideas are undercut by an obsession with the publish button. We rush content out the door and just throw it over the wall and hope it lands. 

Within that mode of thinking, great ideas get trapped under the surface. Great content is delivered to only one channel in one language. Great experiences never see the light of day because content exists in only one form. And every customer sees the same thing, no matter how their own experience might benefit from something else. 

Remember: the marketing lifecycle is a series of stages

Each stage builds on the last and allows content to grow from a random idea your team takes in from the field and turns it into a spectacular multi-channel experience which rearranges and modifies itself to fit each customer. 

Juggling all of the steps in the marketing lifecycle can be done, but it’s easy to lose the forest for the trees and get too myopic about individual steps in this process. Leading organizations step back, consider the entire cycle from start to finish, and make sure their ideas, their products, and their messages are enhanced and strengthened in every step. 


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Comparing Credibility of Custom Chatbots & Live Chat



Building Customer Trust: Comparing Credibility of Custom Chatbots & Live Chat

Addressing customer issues quickly is not merely a strategy to distinguish your brand; it’s an imperative for survival in today’s fiercely competitive marketplace.

Customer frustration can lead to customer churn. That’s precisely why organizations employ various support methods to ensure clients receive timely and adequate assistance whenever they require it.

Nevertheless, selecting the most suitable support channel isn’t always straightforward. Support teams often grapple with the choice between live chat and chatbots.

The automation landscape has transformed how businesses engage with customers, elevating chatbots as a widely embraced support solution. As more companies embrace technology to enhance their customer service, the debate over the credibility of chatbots versus live chat support has gained prominence.

However, customizable chatbot continue to offer a broader scope for personalization and creating their own chatbots.

In this article, we will delve into the world of customer support, exploring the advantages and disadvantages of both chatbots and live chat and how they can influence customer trust. By the end, you’ll have a comprehensive understanding of which option may be the best fit for your business.

The Rise of Chatbots

Chatbots have become increasingly prevalent in customer support due to their ability to provide instant responses and cost-effective solutions. These automated systems use artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) to engage with customers in real-time, making them a valuable resource for businesses looking to streamline their customer service operations.

Advantages of Chatbots

24/7 Availability

One of the most significant advantages of custom chatbots is their round-the-clock availability. They can respond to customer inquiries at any time, ensuring that customers receive support even outside regular business hours.


Custom Chatbots provide consistent responses to frequently asked questions, eliminating the risk of human error or inconsistency in service quality.


Implementing chatbots can reduce operational costs by automating routine inquiries and allowing human agents to focus on more complex issues.


Chatbots can handle multiple customer interactions simultaneously, making them highly scalable as your business grows.

Disadvantages of Chatbots

Limited Understanding

Chatbots may struggle to understand complex or nuanced inquiries, leading to frustration for customers seeking detailed information or support.

Lack of Empathy

Chatbots lack the emotional intelligence and empathy that human agents can provide, making them less suitable for handling sensitive or emotionally charged issues.

Initial Setup Costs

Developing and implementing chatbot technology can be costly, especially for small businesses.

The Role of Live Chat Support

Live chat support, on the other hand, involves real human agents who engage with customers in real-time through text-based conversations. While it may not offer the same level of automation as custom chatbots, live chat support excels in areas where human interaction and empathy are crucial.

Advantages of Live Chat

Human Touch

Live chat support provides a personal touch that chatbots cannot replicate. Human agents can empathize with customers, building a stronger emotional connection.

Complex Issues

For inquiries that require a nuanced understanding or involve complex problem-solving, human agents are better equipped to provide in-depth assistance.

Trust Building

Customers often trust human agents more readily, especially when dealing with sensitive matters or making important decisions.


Human agents can adapt to various customer personalities and communication styles, ensuring a positive experience for diverse customers.

Disadvantages of Live Chat

Limited Availability

Live chat support operates within specified business hours, which may not align with all customer needs, potentially leading to frustration.

Response Time

The speed of response in live chat support can vary depending on agent availability and workload, leading to potential delays in customer assistance.


Maintaining a live chat support team with trained agents can be expensive, especially for smaller businesses strategically.

Building Customer Trust: The Credibility Factor

When it comes to building customer trust, credibility is paramount. Customers want to feel that they are dealing with a reliable and knowledgeable source. Both customziable chatbots and live chat support can contribute to credibility, but their effectiveness varies in different contexts.

Building Trust with Chatbots

Chatbots can build trust in various ways:


Chatbots provide consistent responses, ensuring that customers receive accurate information every time they interact with them.

Quick Responses

Chatbots offer instant responses, which can convey a sense of efficiency and attentiveness.

Data Security

Chatbots can assure customers of their data security through automated privacy policies and compliance statements.

However, custom chatbots may face credibility challenges when dealing with complex issues or highly emotional situations. In such cases, the lack of human empathy and understanding can hinder trust-building efforts.

Building Trust with Live Chat Support

Live chat support, with its human touch, excels at building trust in several ways:


Human agents can show empathy by actively listening to customers’ concerns and providing emotional support.

Tailored Solutions

Live chat agents can tailor solutions to individual customer needs, demonstrating a commitment to solving their problems.


Human agents can adapt to changing customer requirements, ensuring a personalized and satisfying experience.

However, live chat support’s limitations, such as availability and potential response times, can sometimes hinder trust-building efforts, especially when customers require immediate assistance.

Finding the Right Balance

The choice between custom chatbots and live chat support is not always binary. Many businesses find success by integrating both options strategically:

Initial Interaction

Use chatbots for initial inquiries, providing quick responses, and gathering essential information. This frees up human agents to handle more complex cases.

Escalation to Live Chat

Implement a seamless escalation process from custom chatbots to live chat support when customer inquiries require a higher level of expertise or personal interaction.

Continuous Improvement

Regularly analyze customer interactions and feedback to refine your custom chatbot’s responses and improve the overall support experience.


In the quest to build customer trust, both chatbots and live chat support have their roles to play. Customizable Chatbots offer efficiency, consistency, and round-the-clock availability, while live chat support provides the human touch, empathy, and adaptability. The key is to strike the right balance, leveraging the strengths of each to create a credible and trustworthy customer support experience. By understanding the unique advantages and disadvantages of both options, businesses can make informed decisions to enhance customer trust and satisfaction in the digital era.

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The Rise in Retail Media Networks



A shopping cart holding the Amazon logo to represent the rise in retail media network advertising.

As LL Cool J might say, “Don’t call it a comeback. It’s been here for years.”

Paid advertising is alive and growing faster in different forms than any other marketing method.

Magna, a media research firm, and GroupM, a media agency, wrapped the year with their ad industry predictions – expect big growth for digital advertising in 2024, especially with the pending US presidential political season.

But the bigger, more unexpected news comes from the rise in retail media networks – a relative newcomer in the industry.

Watch CMI’s chief strategy advisor Robert Rose explain how these trends could affect marketers or keep reading for his thoughts:

GroupM expects digital advertising revenue in 2023 to conclude with a 5.8% or $889 billion increase – excluding political advertising. Magna believes ad revenue will tick up 5.5% this year and jump 7.2% in 2024. GroupM and Zenith say 2024 will see a more modest 4.8% growth.

Robert says that the feeling of an ad slump and other predictions of advertising’s demise in the modern economy don’t seem to be coming to pass, as paid advertising not only survived 2023 but will thrive in 2024.

What’s a retail media network?

On to the bigger news – the rise of retail media networks. Retail media networks, the smallest segment in these agencies’ and research firms’ evaluation, will be one of the fastest-growing and truly important digital advertising formats in 2024.

GroupM suggests the $119 billion expected to be spent in the networks this year and should grow by a whopping 8.3% in the coming year.  Magna estimates $124 billion in ad revenue from retail media networks this year.

“Think about this for a moment. Retail media is now almost a quarter of the total spent on search advertising outside of China,” Robert points out.

You’re not alone if you aren’t familiar with retail media networks. A familiar vernacular in the B2C world, especially the consumer-packaged goods industry, retail media networks are an advertising segment you should now pay attention to.

Retail media networks are advertising platforms within the retailer’s network. It’s search advertising on retailers’ online stores. So, for example, if you spend money to advertise against product keywords on Amazon, Walmart, or Instacart, you use a retail media network.

But these ad-buying networks also exist on other digital media properties, from mini-sites to videos to content marketing hubs. They also exist on location through interactive kiosks and in-store screens. New formats are rising every day.

Retail media networks make sense. Retailers take advantage of their knowledge of customers, where and why they shop, and present offers and content relevant to their interests. The retailer uses their content as a media company would, knowing their customers trust them to provide valuable information.

Think about these 2 things in 2024

That brings Robert to two things he wants you to consider for 2024 and beyond. The first is a question: Why should you consider retail media networks for your products or services?   

Advertising works because it connects to the idea of a brand. Retail media networks work deep into the buyer’s journey. They use the consumer’s presence in a store (online or brick-and-mortar) to cross-sell merchandise or become the chosen provider.

For example, Robert might advertise his Content Marketing Strategy book on Amazon’s retail network because he knows his customers seek business books. When they search for “content marketing,” his book would appear first.

However, retail media networks also work well because they create a brand halo effect. Robert might buy an ad for his book in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal because he knows their readers view those media outlets as reputable sources of information. He gains some trust by connecting his book to their media properties.

Smart marketing teams will recognize the power of the halo effect and create brand-level experiences on retail media networks. They will do so not because they seek an immediate customer but because they can connect their brand content experience to a trusted media network like Amazon, Nordstrom, eBay, etc.

The second thing Robert wants you to think about relates to the B2B opportunity. More retail media network opportunities for B2B brands are coming.

You can already buy into content syndication networks such as Netline, Business2Community, and others. But given the astronomical growth, for example, of Amazon’s B2B marketplace ($35 billion in 2023), Robert expects a similar trend of retail media networks to emerge on these types of platforms.   

“If I were Adobe, Microsoft, Salesforce, HubSpot, or any brand with big content platforms, I’d look to monetize them by selling paid sponsorship of content (as advertising or sponsored content) on them,” Robert says.

As you think about creative ways to use your paid advertising spend, consider the retail media networks in 2024.

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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