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The Optimizely Podcast – episode 27: Turn your website into a conversion machine

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The Optimizely Podcast - episode 27: Turn your website into a conversion machine



Transcript:  

Laura Dolan:

Welcome listeners to the Optimizely podcast. I am Laura Dolan, your host, and today we are joined by Stephanie Nivinskus. She is the CEO of SizzleForce Marketing. Welcome, Stephanie. Thank you so much for coming on the podcast.

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Stephanie Nivinskus:

Aw, thank you. I am delighted to be here.

Laura Dolan:

I just want to mention really quick, I see you live in San Diego, which is where I grew up. Is that where you grew up as well?

Stephanie Nivinskus:

Actually, I grew up in the Bay Area, but like most people that live in Northern California, we all migrate south, so.

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Laura Dolan:

That’s awesome. Well, cool. Glad to talk to a fellow San Diegan. It’s been years since I’ve lived there, but it is just nice to talk to a little piece of home, so that’s really cool. I’ve been really excited to talk to you for a while now, because I know what we’re going to discuss today is really invaluable for marketers, and that is essentially how to improve and increase your website conversions. But first I just wanted you to tell us a little bit about your background and your history with SizzleForce. How long has the company been around and how did you get it started?

Stephanie Nivinskus:

Yeah, SizzleForce started in 2009, and I have been in marketing since 1995.

Laura Dolan:

Wow.

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Stephanie Nivinskus:

So I started the company really because I saw a hole in the marketplace where there were a lot of companies out there that were spending massive amounts of money and doing all kinds of great stuff. And then there were a lot of small businesses that wanted to do great stuff, but didn’t know how to do so with the staffing and budget that they had available. And so I just, I’ve always had a heart kind of, if you want to say, for the underdog, and wanting to bring the big powerful things that I know can work and make them work for the smaller business owners.

Laura Dolan:

Awesome. And how big is your company now?

Stephanie Nivinskus:

So now we have seven people on staff, and we are working with lots and lots of clients. It’s growing.

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Laura Dolan:

That’s awesome. I was also reading through your website ahead of our conversation today, and I noticed you used the term fractional CMO in a few places. And I would just like to know what is a fractional CMO?

Stephanie Nivinskus:

Yeah. It is a term that has become more trendy lately, even though it’s not a new position. It actually is an executive level marketing expert who works with companies on a part-time basis, and usually the responsibilities of a fractional CMO are fourfold. The first thing is we’re responsible for creating the overall marketing strategy. We’re also responsible for identifying the tactics that need to be implemented to bring the strategy to life, and then optimizing performance of the tactics along the way, as well as coordinating and overseeing the day-to-day activities of the implementation team.

Laura Dolan:

Nice. So it’s basically being a one-person show.

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Stephanie Nivinskus:

It’s being the head of the one-person show and making sure that the team that’s implementing the day-to-day activities has all of the strategy, all of the support and every opportunity possible to be successful with what they’re implementing, whether it be social media or email marketing or website stuff, or whatever it is. That they have a captain of this ship, if you want to say.

Laura Dolan:

Exactly. That’s awesome. Would you consider yourself a fractional CMO at this point?

Stephanie Nivinskus:

I am a fractional CMO, yes.

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Laura Dolan:

Awesome. Cool. Well, let’s dive right in by identifying what you think marketers are doing wrong on their websites right now. What is preventing customers from converting?

Stephanie Nivinskus:

I think there are several things. One of the most important things that I see every single day is unclear messaging. People are so close to their businesses, they’re so close to what they do every day that it’s very, very difficult for them to see things from a consumer standpoint. So they use marketing messages that are full of industry jargon and things that they think are clever and cute, but they’re not clear, and it really is a problem. The messaging isn’t clear, and so they’re not getting the conversions that they want. Another thing that I see all the time is that there isn’t a clear process of guiding website visitors toward making deliberate decisions, right? People are visiting websites and they might click here or there, but it’s kind of random. There’s no real strategy or plan to get them to click on what we really want them to click on so that they take the options we really want them to take.

Laura Dolan:

Right. So it’s they’re not providing that clear navigational path for them.

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Stephanie Nivinskus:

Right. They just throw up a bunch of random things and they’re like, “Well, hopefully they find what they’re looking for.” And instead of really guiding them through a step-by-step journey. Another thing I see all the time is companies are not acknowledging the pain points that their prospects have, and that’s a huge thing. Sometimes I hear people say, “Gosh, we don’t want to be negative. We don’t want to talk about all the bad stuff.” But I stand on the other side of that coin because really people take action when they have pain. When you break your arm, you take action and get it in a cast.

Laura Dolan:

Right.

Stephanie Nivinskus:

And everybody has pain. Pain is what motivates us to change something. And so if we pretend the pain isn’t there and we don’t acknowledge it, and we don’t agitate it at all, then people don’t really feel the pain, and they don’t really take the steps to change anything.

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Laura Dolan:

There’s no initiative, and they don’t feel the need to be proactive at that point.

Stephanie Nivinskus:

Right. Right. And then another thing that really impacts conversions that is not done frequently is people are not identifying really how they’re different or better than the competition that’s out there. They look like everybody else. A lot of people play it real safe.

Laura Dolan:

It’s true. Yeah.

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Stephanie Nivinskus:

Yeah. And I get it. I why they want to play it safe. They don’t want to rattle things, they don’t want to offend anybody. They don’t, none of that stuff. But the bottom line is your prospects have a lot of choices in who they can give their money to. And if you want them to give their money to you, you need to tell them why they should.

Laura Dolan:

Do you think it’s also an issue of budgeting? Maybe companies can’t afford a website wire frame that sticks out, so they just basically invest in something that looks exactly the same as everyone else’s.

Stephanie Nivinskus:

I think that happens a lot, but I’m going to call the bluff on can’t afford it as much as won’t afford it or don’t understand why they need to afford it.

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Laura Dolan:

Sure. Yep. Big difference.

Stephanie Nivinskus:

Yeah, I think the money is probably there. It just needs to be reallocated. And when people understand, look, if you make this small investment in the grand scheme of things, if you invest $8,000, $10,000 in making your website rock, and as a result you’re making seven plus figures from it, well, that’s a pretty dang good ROI.

Laura Dolan:

Right. Definitely. So what do you think is the solution to those issues? So when it comes to content, what should marketers be putting out there right now to not just capture their attention, but make sure that the layout is conducive to what customers are looking for to meet those pain points?

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Stephanie Nivinskus:

One thing that’s super important, I call it the big bold promise at the top of the website. When somebody goes to your website within just a couple of seconds, they need to know exactly what you sell, why they need to have it, and how to move forward if they want it. Right? It’s a very simple three-step process of creating a statement like that. But when you do that right from the beginning, you hook the website visitor in and they know immediately that they’re in the right place, which is going to lend to them spending more time on the site and scrolling and going to the next place. As opposed to landing there, seeing something that doesn’t really stick, doesn’t really hook them, doesn’t show them that you can immediately solve their problem, so they click away.

Laura Dolan:

So just don’t bury the lede. Right?

Stephanie Nivinskus:

Don’t bury it. Let people know they’re in the right place right away from the top.

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Laura Dolan:

So then as far as leveraging content, how do you ensure that you stand apart? What channels should marketers be using right now in lieu of, let’s say, a wall of text with blogs that just has a CTA to the same place on the site? Do you have any recommendations in mind on how marketers can go a different direction or be more innovative in that space?

Stephanie Nivinskus:

Sure, sure. I’m still a massive fan of blogging. It works great still. You just don’t want to regurgitate the same content that’s already been shared thousands of times by everyone else, right?

Laura Dolan:

Yeah.

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Stephanie Nivinskus:

You need to be different. In addition to that, however, huge fan of podcasts. When you host one, I love slicing and dicing podcast content and repurposing it in 10 different ways, into a blog, into a video, into social media posts, into LinkedIn newsletters, into lead magnets, even possibly writing a book from it, developing a course from it. There’s so many different things that can come just from podcasting. I wrote the content of my own book four years ago, and I have sliced and diced that baby and reused it in just about every way possible, and it has created incredible revenue growth for me as a result of the slicing and dicing.

Laura Dolan:

I love it. That’s a great idea.

Stephanie Nivinskus:

Of course, another thing, short-form video is hot, has been for a while now, but when you’re doing reels, you’re doing TikTok, YouTube shorts, etc. That’s a place that you just need to be, and you need to be taking advantage of that right now, because that’s getting all the visibility.

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Laura Dolan:

It is. Videos are hot right now.

Stephanie Nivinskus:

People have such short attention spans, so especially if video as a whole is wonderful, I feel like, because when somebody watches a video, it is possible for them to hear the tone in your voice, see the body language that you’re putting out there, listen to the wisdom that’s coming from your mouth, but it’s a more holistic experience of engaging with a brand as opposed to just reading text for a blog. Right?

Laura Dolan:

Exactly.

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Stephanie Nivinskus:

And because their attention spans are so, so short, whenever we’re doing stuff like a 15 or even a seven-second reel, or a real short TikTok or YouTube shorts or whatnot, we’re feeding that desire for information, for education, for entertainment, but we’re doing it in these tiny bite size pieces that are making it super easy for people to digest and to digest on the go wherever they’re at. Right?

Laura Dolan:

Exactly. Yes, exactly. They don’t have to worry about having access. I mean, obviously, everybody’s on their phones now and everybody is making websites with responsive design. That is absolutely essential. ‘Cause people, they want to read on the go. If you want them to look at your website, make sure it’s conducive for mobile, because they’re looking at your videos, they’re reading your blogs, they’re listening to your podcasts, and like you said, making it digestible and more accessible that way, I’m sure makes a huge difference in your conversions.

Stephanie Nivinskus:

It sure does. Absolutely. Yeah. You want to meet people where they’re at, and we have to be very aware of the fact that everyone is being pulled in 10,000 different directions. Most people that own businesses have some form of ADD, I think, right?

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Laura Dolan:

Yes.

Stephanie Nivinskus:

And whether diagnosed or undiagnosed, just our attentions spans are shot. So what can we do to provide them with the content that’s really going to hook them in and intrigue them and showcase our authority and our credibility, but also do it in bite size pieces so that people don’t have to spend a half an hour or an hour doing something, they can do it, literally, they can get some value from something in 15 seconds.

Laura Dolan:

Absolutely. And I also want to circle back to repurposing content. I’m such a huge advocate of working smarter, not harder. So if you have, like you said, a podcast you can repurpose as clips on social media or a book that you could splice into something smaller like an ebook or a white paper or a blog series on your site and already have that content there and just kind of building up from there. That’s such a smart way to market right now, especially if you are working on a budget or you are working with a smaller team. The possibilities are endless when you can be that innovative and just look at what you already have.

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Stephanie Nivinskus:

And the thing that’s funny is that I think most companies already have a ton of content. They just haven’t compiled it all in one place and thought about how to slice and dice it properly.

Laura Dolan:

I went to Content Marketing World last week, and a few of the speakers gave us the same stats, that right now there’s about 4.6 billion blogs that exist online that were published just this year.

Stephanie Nivinskus:

Wow.

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Laura Dolan:

So there is so much information out there, and we just keep piling on and piling on and adding to it, and everybody’s having the same issue. Nobody’s converting, nobody’s clicking on this stuff. So what can we do differently? And I think this is something that more companies do need to explore. So as far as getting into the nitty gritty of conversions, what do you recommend as far as robust CTAs go? Are there any particular action verbs industries should be using right now in lieu of what’s already out there?

Stephanie Nivinskus:

I think there’s a couple of ways that we can look at this. One way is what we need to avoid and what we need to do more of. So when we think about what we need to avoid anything in a call to action that sounds like work, for example, download this or subscribe to this. Even though download, I mean, realistically it’s clicking a button. It’s not work, right?

Laura Dolan:

Right.

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Stephanie Nivinskus:

However, the way the human brain works, it feels like you’re telling me I have to do something and now my to-do list that’s already 10 miles long, just got 10 miles longer. And so we want to avoid using words like “download” or “subscribe”. Instead, we want to use words that bring it back to what always matters in marketing, which is what’s in it for me as the prospect, right? What do your people really want? The CTA should give it to them. So for example, let’s say I owned a tax firm. A good CTA to test could be something along the lines of “Save thousands of dollars with these commonly overlooked deductions”. It tells me the benefit. I’m going to save thousands of dollars. It also peaks my curiosity because I mentioned that these are commonly overlooked deductions. So I’m like, “Huh, am I overlooking something? Am I actually giving more money to Uncle Sam than I need to? I should check this out and see.” Right?

Laura Dolan:

Exactly. It’s just, again, getting that pain point in there.

Stephanie Nivinskus:

Yeah. I think it’s also really important to test adding verbiage that creates a sense of urgency. So, for example, adding the word “now”, adding the word “today”, adding the word “immediately” to a call to action can be really powerful. Get the surprising deductions list now. Save thousands of dollars today. Do you see how just adding that one word gives it a sense of urgency? And I’m like, “Oh, now I should do something now. Oh, okay. They want me to do something now. I’m going to click the button.” Right?

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Laura Dolan:

Exactly. Also, giving them a deadline, too. You have till tonight to save 50% on this or something like that. Kind of also giving them that sense of FOMO as well.

Stephanie Nivinskus:

For sure, for sure. I always like to caution companies, definitely play into the FOMO, but only do it if it’s legitimate. There’s nothing that ticks people off faster than being told, you only have until this much time. And then they find out that deal never really expires. Right?

Laura Dolan:

Right, right.

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Stephanie Nivinskus:

They just say that to everybody all the time. It immediately causes a break in their ability to trust you.

Laura Dolan:

Exactly, yes. You’ve got to maintain that trust. ‘Cause then so now you’re facing bad reviews.

Stephanie Nivinskus:

If you’re going to do it, awesome, do it. But make sure that when you say the deal is over, make sure the deal is really over. Another thing I think is so important with CTAs is don’t be afraid to have fun. Depending on your brand voice, you can use all kinds of different things. But kind of going back to this hypothetical example of someone that owns a tax firm, a fun CTA might be, “Show me the money!” Have some fun, add a little personality. Don’t just be like, “Get it now.” I think another thing that works super duper well is making CTAs affirmative. So your CTA button could say something like, “Yes, I want to pay less tax.”

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Laura Dolan:

I like that. And then do you have an opinion on whether or not first person versus second person is more effective?

Stephanie Nivinskus:

First person, always. Hands down, it always wins.

Laura Dolan:

So “Give me my discount.”

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Stephanie Nivinskus:

Yeah. Absolutely. Because here’s the thing that we need to keep in mind is that we’re marketing to people. People, at the end of the day, people are making the buying decisions. And it doesn’t matter if you’re making a buying decision on behalf of a billion dollar corporation or you’re making a buying decision on behalf of a two person company. At the end of the day, it’s still about what does the person that’s making the decision want, and that person is indeed an I, right?

Laura Dolan:

Exactly. So yeah, I mean, at the end of the day, we’re all in this for ourselves, even though we are doing it on behalf of something, it’s our personal decision in how we’re going to make the best choice. So yeah, definitely.

Stephanie Nivinskus:

And we know that if we are making a decision on behalf of the billion dollar corporation, well that’s part of doing our job well, and we do our job well, and we get more recognition in the company, and then we get more raises, and then we live happily ever after. Right?

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Laura Dolan:

Right. That’s the dream.

Stephanie Nivinskus:

Yeah. I think it’s also super important with your call to action to talk about what people really, really want. We have an innate desire as humans to do anything that’s going to save us time, anything that’s going to save us money or address another very common pain point. It’s always good. Always address whatever you really want. When you’re thinking about the product or services that you sell, what is it your customer really, really, really, really wants from you? And making that the call to action button. You’re going to get what you really, really want, so do it.

Laura Dolan:

And giving them the path of least resistance to it.

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Stephanie Nivinskus:

The Air Force has a great CTA that I’ve seen that I absolutely love. They actually are quite bold, but I think it absolutely works for who they’re targeting. They have one that just says, “Prove yourself.” Which anyone who’s competitive, anybody who is eager to be a better version of themselves, they’re going to see that and be like, “Oh yeah, game on, let’s go.”

Laura Dolan:

Yep. That’s all I need to hear.

Stephanie Nivinskus:

Yeah. Yeah. I’m not in the military. I’m too old now. I’ll never be in the military, but if, as a competitive person, if I saw something that said prove yourself, I’d be like, “Oh yeah, okay. Let’s go.”

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Laura Dolan:

Challenge accepted!

Stephanie Nivinskus:

It’s super important to make sure, this is probably the most important thing I can share, that if people really want to increase conversions, they need to add more CTAs to every page of their website. Most companies do not use nearly enough, and because of that, they’re leaving big, big money on the table. Have more CTAs. You really, really need to give people multiple opportunities to make a decision to go to the next level with you.

Laura Dolan:

Awesome. So any chance you can … Any opportunity to break up your text or just have that button in the middle of your webpage, just put it on there. I mean, what do you have to lose?

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Stephanie Nivinskus:

And being mindful of the fact that people make decisions in different ways. People process information in different ways. Some people are going to see that big, bold statement at the very top of your website with the call to action button, and they’re going to be ready to click and make things happen.

Laura Dolan:

Right.

Stephanie Nivinskus:

There’s other people that, they’re processors, right? They’re careful decision makers, they take their time. In fact, they have a personal philosophy that they never make decisions under pressure, and they’re the ones that are going to read and read and read and read, and they might read into the third section of your homepage and be ready to make a decision, but they might not. It might take them to get to the fifth section or the seventh section. So give them opportunities throughout the page to take action so that whenever they’re ready, they don’t have to look real hard for that button to convert. It’s real close to wherever they are in their reading journey, so they can easily just scroll up a tiny bit or a tiny bit down and click that button, convert and make things move forward.

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Laura Dolan:

There you go. It’s just giving them that ample opportunity every time. Awesome. Well, being conscious of time, Steph, I’m sorry, Stephanie. I get-

Stephanie Nivinskus:

Steph’s good.

Laura Dolan:

I know you really well now. Is there anything else we didn’t cover that you like to talk about before we wrap up?

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Stephanie Nivinskus:

I think so many companies are just leaving so much money on the table by, and if you just make some real simple tweaks to your website, you can absolutely blow up your conversion rate. I have actually something that I think can really, really help your audience increase website conversions immediately. It is “7 Fast & Easy Tweaks” that they can make to their website. These seven tweaks, literally, they’re really fast and easy to make, and when you do, you can see an immediate, an immediate difference in your website conversions. So why would you not want to do them, right?

Laura Dolan:

Exactly. I love that. Yeah, please send that over. I am going to put that in the blog of this podcast. I will make sure the link is dispersed throughout so that our readers can have multiple opportunities to download that, because I want to read that too. I need to know.

Stephanie Nivinskus:

Yeah. Awesome.

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Laura Dolan:

Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Stephanie. How can our audience find you?

Stephanie Nivinskus:

You can find me at sizzleforce.com. You can also find me on LinkedIn. My last name is a little bit scary, so you’ll have to look at the show notes for the spelling, but it’s linkedin.com/in/stephanienivinskus. And of course, we’re on Facebook, we’re on Instagram, we’re on all the social media channels, but LinkedIn and my website is the easiest way to track us down.

Laura Dolan:

Okay, perfect. I will make sure to put links to those in the blog as well. And again, path of least resistance, just click on that link and reach out to Stephanie and she will help you out.

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Stephanie Nivinskus:

Thank you so much. This has been fun.

Laura Dolan:

Thank you so much, Stephanie. It’s been such a pleasure speaking to you. Thank you for taking the time, and thank you all for taking the time to listen to this episode of the Optimizely Podcast. I am Laura Dolan and I will see you next time.

Laura Dolan:

Thank you for listening to this edition of the Optimizely Podcast. If you’d like to check out more episodes or learn more about how we can take your business to the next level by using our marketing, content, or experimentation tools, please visit our website at optimizely.com, or you can contact us directly using the link at the bottom of this podcast blog to hear more about how our products will help you unlock your digital potential.

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MARKETING

Best Practices for Business Growth

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Best Practices for Business Growth

*This article was authored by Meredith Unger, Creative Strategist at Tinuiti

If you find yourself scrutinizing your ads and questioning their performance, the culprit might be your creative. Have you ever pondered why certain ads outshine others or why one format yields success while another falls flat? We have too.

The demand for better, more measurable ROAS is understandably driving advertising budgets towards digital media channels, which is where performance data comes standard. Here all creative can be considered performance marketing, enabling us to transform insights into strategies that drive more cost-effective ad spend across platforms.

In this article, we will break down what creative strategy means and how it is an overlooked but powerful tool in maximizing your ROI. Discover how creative strategy can empower you to optimize your returns through more efficient messaging that resonates with your audience.

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What is a Creative Strategy?

A creative strategy is an organized plan of action for deploying an idea or creative platform. This helps brands develop content in a consistent and methodical way that supports specific KPIs and facilitates overall business growth.

It consists of three major parts: the platform itself (what the idea is for solving a business problem), communication orchestration (where and how pieces of the campaign click together) and tactics (what the specific ad unit executions should look like). 

Creative Strategy vs. Creative Brief

Creative strategy and a traditional creative brief are similar but different. While creative briefs are often seen as perfunctory documents containing target audience information, product value propositions, and specifications; creative strategy blends traditional briefing with insights and relevant industry research to build upon past performance and audience trends. 

In short, creative briefs outline what you need, and creative strategy focuses on how you will make it resonate.

Why is it Important to Implement a Creative Strategy?

Without a creative strategy, your ads may not be any different or distinguishable from your competitors. Creative strategy addresses the “why us, why now” aspects of a message. 

Business Insider conducted an experiment on TikTok to see how many ads they encountered in a two-hour scroll; the results revealed 140 ads within 500 videos during the scrolling period. As you might imagine, viewers will only remember a handful of these ads, and an even smaller number actually purchase anything. 

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According to Nielsen, great creative is the best way to ensure your ad leads to that coveted purchase. One of their studies found that creative was the largest factor (47%) driving ROI and sales over any other advertising element. In an internet full of competing messages, having a good creative strategy is imperative to ensure your messaging reaches your audience and stands out in the sea of sameness.

Across our routines, we are exposed to thousands of ads a day in various formats from billboards, podcast sponsorships, affiliate content, Meta, TikTok, Reddit, Google… the list goes on. Out of all the messages and marketing, how will your brand use its spend and bandwidth efficiently?

6 Best Practices When Developing a Creative Strategy

Now that we see how vital creative strategy is to improving our ROI, how do we make sure we know how to build a strategy that is effective? Below, we will break down our best practices for crafting a creative strategy that drives results.

1. Define Your Goals and KPIs

Determine the business outcome you are most interested in improving. For example, are you looking to increase awareness or boost sales? If you are aiming to increase awareness, what does success look like? For awareness, you might be seeking a certain CPM, impression share, etc. Success might look like decreasing your CPMs by X%.

Having defined goals and KPIs to aim for will help measure the creative’s success and inform the messaging strategy based on where it falls in the funnel.

2. Find Your Target Audience

In order to create copy and imagery that resonates most with the audience, we need to define whom we are trying to reach and add any research about what they currently know or think of our brand. This piece is critical to consider any audience barriers, motivators, or preferences so we can customize our creative to speak most effectively to the main audience.

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Tip: Stick to a maximum of 2-3 key audiences to ensure your message isn’t too broad and watered down.

3. Look Back at Prior Performance and Research Competitors

When it comes to creative strategy, looking at past performance is crucial for determining how to move forward and build upon what we know. If you have not done a lot of creative testing up to this point, you can still learn directionally from what worked or didn’t in the last few months.

Best Practices for Business Growth.webp

Take a look at 3-5 top and bottom performers based on the same key KPI and audience you are trying to reach for this project. It can also be helpful to take a look at what your competitors are doing and summarize your findings to help distinguish your message and answer any comparison questions before the audience seeks them out.

4. Break Down Your Advertising Campaign by Deliverable and Funnel Position

Include important nuances and specs for your production team so that each creative is right-sized for the platform. Ideally, you want to create messaging for the platform vs. resizing from one and retrofitting for all others. This is also a good place to remind them of where each deliverable will live in the funnel or campaign so the messaging fits the desired action.

Here is where you can start to assign specific tests to iterate on within the campaign to learn how your audience reacts to certain creative elements.

5. Right-Sizing The Strategy Against Your Budget

Once you have the creative strategy, asset mix, specs, and testing planned, you will need to determine what budget is best to fit the number of assets for the period of time you want them to run.

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If you have a smaller budget, you may want to pare back the number of assets and tests you run at one time to make sure enough spend gets to the test versions. If you have a large budget, it might be a good time to play with more intentional tests and determine which channels need the most support.

6. Determine Your Ideal Timeline

Now that you know what, how, and why you want to produce new creative, determine when you need it and how long it will take to be ready to launch. Sometimes the best plan is the simplest. If time doesn’t allow for multiple tests, prioritize the most impactful variations and plan accordingly.

Your timeline should include any content refreshes you expect based on channel fatigue. For example, if your campaign is running on TikTok, you may want to stagger your creative so you can refresh it more often throughout your flight.

7. Gather Insights and Repeat

Once the project is kicked off and your creative is live, the process is just beginning. In order to build upon your creative strategy for the next time, keep a pulse on the performance throughout your campaign run and recommend any adjustments as needed to the creative to boost performance. Once the campaign wraps, collect data and analyze which variations were winners and what you should hold off on and test again at a later date. Iterate and repeat the process.

8162022_Q4_Performance_Creative Featured

The right creative agency should help guide the messaging and formats that will work hardest for each channel and placement based on facts and performance, not guesswork. By analyzing past performance, marketing teams can learn what messages, media types, and imagery led to improved KPIs performance while tailoring their approach for the next creative campaign. Strategic messaging, testing, and insights are absolutely imperative when forming a plan for creative that delivers real results and pushes past the clutter.

Conclusion

With new platforms and ad types popping up daily, a well-crafted creative strategy is necessary to keep from falling behind your competitors. As we discussed, creating effective ads goes beyond where you put them and how much you spend; it relies on the balance of art and science. Creative strategy will allow you to define your goals, understand your target audience deeper and harness insights from you and your competitors past performance. 

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But the job doesn’t end with creative execution. Creative strategy relies on continuous adaptation and iteration to find the right message and format for your brand. Just as the platforms and mediums evolve, so must our approach to our creative. Creative strategy is all about looking deeper, digging into the data and ultimately making sure your creative drives the coveted return on investment. 

Want to learn more? Check out our recent examples of creative client success or contact us today!

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Optimizing Zoom’s digital experience for explosive growth

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Optimizing Zoom's digital experience for explosive growth

In February 2020, Zoom had millions of weekly visitors to their site, all of whom were coming to Zoom.us to do a handful of activities. Flashforward a month later to March, and Zoom’s traffic spiked to tens of millions of visitors every week. Those visitors arrived to not only use Zoom for a couple of work calls per week, but to entirely reinvent how they interacted with colleagues, partners, teachers, students, and even friends and family.   

Zoom used this opportunity to transform its users’ experience into incredible growth and customer happiness across geographies and verticals. How did they do it?  

At Opticon ’23, Alex London, Head of Digital Zoom and Jay Dettling, CEO of Hero Digital, joined Alex Atzberger, CEO, Optimizely to share how Zoom re-built their entire digital ecosystem. 

Keep reading to learn how Zoom partnered with Hero Digital and Optimizely to transform its customer experience and drive stellar results including these early wins: 

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  • Page load improved by 60% 
  • Speed to market improved by 50% 
  • Conversion improvement of 10% 
  • Publishing time from days to minutes (reduced by about half) 

The Year the World “Hopped on a Zoom Call” — & What Came Next

In March 2020, Zoom watched as web traffic, sign-ups, users and attendees grew from millions to hundreds of millions virtually overnight. Not only did its customer base and user group skyrocket, but its core use cases did, too: online meeting rooms were now used to host weddings, game nights, and math classes. At the same time, corporate brainstorms, sales calls, and even government processes requiring the highest security clearances moved to  Zoom to continue working as normally as possible. 

To meet the incredible demand for new use cases and services, the Zoom team had to ideate, test, and ship new products and features on a timeline that the internal teams refer to as “at the speed of Zoom.” Their success meant that their brand entered a hallowed hall of exclusive brands whose names made the transition from noun to verb. It was the year of: “Can we Zoom?” 

Getting there wasn’t just about building and launching products and features;  that was only half the battle. To scale and continue delivering happiness to customers, the team needed to ensure they told the story of Zoom across all customer touchpoints. 

Their goals

  1. Reimagine and rebuild the entire digital stack (including attribution models, analytics systems, acquisition, and localization) 
  2. Move from an existing agnostic, one-size-fits-all model to a global, flexible digital experience to cater to personas, geographies, and use cases 
  3. Improve their speed to market to continue moving “at the speed of Zoom” 

The Tactical Challenges of Reimagining Zoom’s Digital Stack 

Zoom’s overarching goal was to put the story at every single touchpoint of the customer journey. Given the dramatic change in their business, building a new site for Zoom would be incredibly complicated. Yet, if they succeeded, they’d generate demand, better enable purchases, and support its users.  

So how did they do it? Before making the leap, they looked to their strategic partners — Hero Digital and Optimizely.

 

 

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Zoom needed a new digital foundation to achieve all of its goals at scale. More importantly, their new foundation needed to untangle serious web traffic complexity.

Zoom has four primary visitor types — all arriving on Zoom’s marketing website by the millions. They include: 

  • Individuals and SMEs buying Zoom online 
  • Demo requests 
  • Product support requests 
  • Users and attendees accessing Zoom’s website as part of their workflow 

To add even more complexity, the teams needed to account for multi-lingual requirements for 20+ languages across the globe. 

“How do we build for these four levels of complexity? And how quickly can we move to tell our new platform story?” – Alex London, Head of Digital at Zoom

Before anything else, Zoom needed to build a new design system, and Hero Digital stepped in to help. Together, they built a minimum versatile component library that would scale across the website, mobile, ads, and anywhere else Zoom encountered customers. The initial minimum library featured 38 components with 29 variants and 8 page templates. 

Zoom also had to untangle the domain and subdomain issues of their own making. The past choice to build their digital foundation on ‘Zoom.us’ and create new subdomains for customers (coming in north of 10k subdomains) meant speed and ranking were complicated. Essentially, Zoom was competing with 10k+ sites that Zoom itself had created.  

Resolving this problem by choosing to unify content on a single domain, Zoom, Hero Digital, and Optimizely got to work. 

Hero Digital’s Foundation + Optimizely’s Architecture = Moving at the Speed of Zoom

By partnering with Hero Digital and Optimizely, Zoom reimagined its complete customer experience and upgraded to a best-in-class technology platform that combines AI-accelerated workflows with experiment-driven digital experiences. 

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The team deployed the Optimizely Digital Experience Platform, featuring Optimizely Content Management System, Content Management Platform, and Experimentation, as the architecture to bring their foundation to life and scale faster than they could ever imagine.

Component Library + Optimizely CMS  

One of Zoom’s goals was to move from its existing agnostic model to a global, flexible digital experience to cater to personas, geographies, and use cases. To do that, they needed a modern content management system. 

In the first phase of the build, the team focused on Zoom’s marketing site, now untangled but still over 200 pages. They established a foundation on Optimizely’s Content Management System to create a foundation with a migration plan over months. 

Even in the earliest stages, the results were huge because the CMS meant Zoom can could now push global changes in just minutes. They save hundreds of hours of work across the company by: 

  • Eliminating the devops processes, which previously took days or weeks to work through
  • Reducing publishing processes by half even with new added governance steps

 

Optimizely’s Content Marketing Platform

Improving speed to market was Zoom’s third goal. With the first two goals unlocked by their phased migration to Optimizely’s CMS, they needed to not only unblock the velocity but also the creativity and collaboration in producing new content. Zoom’s teams receive 80-100 requests a week for new content across their digital properties. 

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For Zoom, the re-build of the intake process for content requests was a key component of speeding up their processes. They built in guard rails and governance processes that when used within the CMP, reduced publishing time to minutes rather than days.

 

 

Now, with the first three goals— a reimagined digital stack, a flexible digital experience, and improved speed to market—accomplished, Zoom will focus on its next digital phase: experimentation and personalization. 

How could a digital experience platform help you navigate the next phase of your business? Learn more from the experts with access to The Forrester Wave: Digital Experience Platforms, Q4 2023 report.

 

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The Role of Enterprise Mobility Management in Modern Businesses

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The Role of Enterprise Mobility Management in Modern Businesses

In today’s fast-paced business environment, Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) has emerged as a critical facilitator for enhancing operational efficiency and competitiveness. EMM solutions streamline workflows, ensuring that enterprises can adapt to the rapidly changing digital landscape. This blog discusses the indispensable role of EMM in modern businesses, focusing on how it revolutionizes workflows and positions businesses for success.

EMM solutions act as the backbone for securely managing mobile devices, applications, and content that facilitate remote work and on-the-go access to company resources. With a robust EMM platform, businesses can ensure data protection and compliance with regulatory requirements, even in highly dynamic environments. This not only minimizes the risk of data breaches but also reinforces the company’s reputation for reliability and security.

Seamless Integration Across Devices

In today’s digital era, seamless integration across devices is not just a luxury; it’s a necessity for maintaining operational fluency within any organization. Our EMM solutions are designed to ensure that employees have secure and efficient access to the necessary resources, irrespective of the device being used. This cross-platform compatibility significantly enhances productivity by allowing for a unified user experience that supports both the agility and dynamism required in modern business operations. Leveraging cutting-edge technology, our solutions provide a cohesive ecosystem where data flows securely and effortlessly across mobile phones, tablets, and laptops, ensuring that your workforce remains connected and productive, regardless of their physical location. The adoption of our EMM solutions speaks volumes about an organization’s commitment to fostering a technologically forward and secure working environment, echoing its dedication to innovation and excellence.

Enhanced Productivity

EMM facilitates the seamless integration of mobile devices into the corporate environment, enabling employees to access corporate resources from anywhere. This flexibility significantly enhances productivity by allowing tasks to be completed outside of traditional office settings.

Unified Endpoint Management

The incorporation of Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) within EMM solutions ensures that both mobile and fixed devices can be managed from a single console, simplifying IT operations and enhancing security.

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Advanced Security Protocols

Where cyber threats loom larger than ever, our EMM solutions incorporate cutting-edge security protocols designed to shield your organization’s data from unauthorized access and breaches. By consistently updating and refining our security measures, we ensure your assets are protected by the most advanced defenses available. This commitment to security not only safeguards your information but also reinforces your company’s reputation as a secure and trustworthy enterprise.

Data Protection

EMM solutions implement robust security measures to protect sensitive corporate data across all mobile devices. This includes encryption, secure VPN connections, and the ability to remotely wipe data from lost or stolen devices, thereby mitigating potential data breaches.

Compliance Management

By enforcing security policies and ensuring compliance with regulatory standards, EMM helps businesses avoid costly fines and reputational damage associated with data breaches.

Driving Operational Efficiency

In the quest to drive operational efficiency, our solutions streamline processes, reduce redundancies, and automate routine tasks. By leveraging cutting-edge technologies, we empower businesses to optimize their workflows, resulting in significant time and cost savings. Our approach not only enhances operational agility but also positions your organization at the forefront of innovation, setting a new standard in your industry.

Automated Workflows

By automating repetitive tasks, EMM reduces manual efforts, increases accuracy, and speeds up business processes. This automation supports operational efficiency and allows employees to focus on more strategic tasks.

Real-time Communication and Collaboration

EMM enhances communication and collaboration among team members by providing tools that facilitate real-time interactions. This immediate exchange of information accelerates decision-making processes and improves project outcomes.

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Testimonials from Industry Leaders

Leaders in various industries have witnessed tangible benefits from implementing EMM solutions, including increased productivity, improved security, and enhanced operational efficiency. Testimonials from these leaders underscore the transformative impact of EMM on their businesses, solidifying its vital role in modern operational strategies.

Our commitment to innovation and excellence propels us to continually refine our EMM solutions, ensuring they remain at the cutting edge of technology. This dedication not only solidifies our standing as industry leaders but also guarantees that our clients receive the most advanced and effective operational tools available, tailored specifically to meet their unique business challenges.

Looking Ahead

The evolution of EMM solutions continues at a rapid pace, with advancements in technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and the Internet of Things (IoT) further enhancing their capabilities. These developments promise even greater efficiencies, security measures, and competitive advantages for businesses willing to invest in the future of mobility management.

Our proactive approach to integrating emerging technologies with EMM solutions positions our clients at the forefront of their industries. By leveraging our deep technical expertise and industry insights, we empower businesses to not only adapt to but also lead in an increasingly digital world, ensuring they remain competitive and resilient amidst rapid technological shifts.

In conclusion, the role of Enterprise Mobility Management in modern businesses cannot be overstated. Its ability to revolutionize workflows, enhance security, and drive operational efficiency positions it as a foundational element of digital transformation strategies. We invite businesses to explore the potential of EMM solutions and partner with us to achieve unprecedented levels of success and innovation in the digital era. Together, we can redefine the boundaries of what is possible in business operations and set new benchmarks for excellence in the industry.

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