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Good morning, Marketers, should tech start-ups be worried?
Reading about Elizabeth Holmes’ conviction on four counts of wire fraud in the Theranos trial, I kept coming across suggestions from analysts and legal experts suggesting that the outcome of the case constitutes a warning to Silicon Valley start-ups in general. Stop talking up your product and exaggerating its merits. ”In Silicon Valley, hyping up your product – over-promising – isn’t unusual,” wrote James Clayton.
But is there really no red line between puffery and deception? Puffery, of course, is the term of art in advertising for expressing what is obviously an opinion. “This is the best detergent you’ll ever use” is a claim an advertiser can make without an obligation to provide conclusive data to support it. Does puffery happen in marketing technology sales? I think we all know it does. Are predictions of how software will solve challenges and drive revenue sometimes starry-eyed? You bet.
But a red line is surely crossed when, say, prospective purchasers of an AI-driven personalization solution are shown results that were actually derived from manual personalization using a spreadsheet because the AI actually doesn’t work. I think that’s what we’re looking at here (“…the defendants represented to investors that Theranos conducted its patients’ tests using Theranos-manufactured analyzers; when, in truth, Holmes and Balwani knew that Theranos purchased and used for patient testing third party, commercially-available analyzers).
Quote of the day. “Change management is the biggest issue Operations teams face. Period. It’s NOT adopting new tech, NOT creating new campaigns, NOT tracking ROI. Efficiently, and effectively keeping up with change.” Stephen Stouffer, VP Marketing Operations, SaaScend
About The Author
Kim Davis is the Editorial Director of MarTech. Born in London, but a New Yorker for over two decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space. He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020. Prior to working in tech journalism, Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.
Creating a video is a creative process which involves a lot of brainstorming, editing and producing. But the success of your video does not 100% rely on the quality or originality of that video.
Whether your video is going to be a success is determined by how many people will be able to find it and watch it.
Don’t underestimate the discoverability of your video. It may make or break your whole video marketing strategy performance.
One of the biggest channels that can drive findability of your video is search engine optimization, i.e. optimizing your video page for it to rank in search engines (mainly Google and Youtube search) for relevant keywords.
And one of the most important SEO elements of any page is its title.
What is a Youtube title?
“Title” is what you see on the browser tab when you open any Youtube page:
It is controlled by the “Title” field which is required when you upload your video to Youtube:
In the code of the page the title can be found within <title></title> tags.
On a Youtube video page, the title is also repeated underneath the video as the main heading making it also an on-page SEO element.
Youtube allows you to enter up to 100 characters to the title field and I recommend making the most of those 100 characters.
How can titles impact the findability of your video?
Page titles are key on-page SEO elements because they do both:
Page titles are direct ranking factors (Google uses them to understand what the page is about)
Page titles impact click-through by being the most visible parts of standard search snippets.
Since titles are so important for your video findability and clickability, spend some extra time brainstorming effective video titles. Here are a few ideas:
How to create an effective Youtube title
1. Include your keyword
This is important in the context of this article. Keywords are still very important for SEO because they still help search engines understand the main topic of your page.
Keyword research is also a great way to estimate a demand for any topic (by looking at the search volume).
Identifying your main keyword and including it into the page title will help that video page rank for that keyword driving views for your video and generating additional brand visibility to your business. There are lots of tools and plugins allowing you to identify your target keywords.
It is a good idea to grab URLs of your competing videos and run them through this SEO Content Checker to identify their keyword usage and learn from that:
2. Make it sound interesting
I know it sounds obvious but there are too many boring video titles for me not to mention it.
Your video title needs to invite a click, so make sure it is interesting enough to invite one.
I realize it sounds easier than it really is and in many cases it is also highly subjective. But there’s a tool to help.
Using ChatGPT will help you find some ideas, in case you are stuck. Here’s what the tool was able to generate when I requested the following “Generate video title ideas that will include “Youtube marketing” keyword. Make those titles sound intriguing:”
There are quite a few pretty nice ones. If you don’t like what the tool suggested, keep asking it for more, changing your request just a bit to make it think harder.
This tool is great but make sure to pick a title that won’t over-promise. There’s a fine line between “intriguing” and “click-baiting.” Try and avoid the latter as it may reflect badly on your branding strategies.
3. Include numbers
Including a number in your page title has proven to be an effective way to get more people to click it. Click-through is likely to be an (indirect) ranking factor, so if more people click your title, there’s a good chance it will rank higher.
You cannot make each of your videos a listicle though, so you won’t be able to use this trick in each of your Youtube titles. But it is a good format to keep in mind and use from time to time.
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4. Mention a brand (if there’s one to mention)
Finally, if your video is about a well-known brand (for example, if that video is of you speaking at an event) or, more importantly, if you create it in collaboration with a well-known expert and/or influencer, include that name in your title.
Not only will it help your video rank for that searchable name, it will also increase its click-though thanks to people recognizing that name.
Youtube also allows you to tag that name in the title (much like tagging works on Twitter or Facebook). If you add @ and then start typing that name, Youtube will allow you to select that name from the drop-down (if that brand or person has a Youtube channel). This will notify them on the mention and urge them to engage with the video helping its visibility:
No need to include your brand name though (unless that video is all about you or your company). If you pick your Youtube name well, it will help you build your brand’s recognizability with every high-ranking video because the channel name is always included in search snippets.
Keep a close eye on your results
Finally, creating an effective title is something that you can never do perfectly. There’s always room for improvement and experimentation. Learn from other well-performing videos in your or outside your niche and never stop experimenting.
Monitor video carousels for your important keywords to get notified when a new video succeeds in getting there and not what may have brought them that success. There are SEO monitoring tools that can help you with that task:
Additionally, keep a close eye on your Youtube analytics to monitor keywords that generate views from Youtube search and learn from those results:
You spend hours creating your video. It deserves a good title which will help your video get found. Spend some time brainstorming an effective title, experiment with different formats and measure your success. Good luck!
Amazon’s FBA program is a tremendous asset for brands who sell products on the platform. With FBA, retailers can outsource the heavy lifting of logistics such as warehousing, fulfillment, and distribution for a fee. In the last few years, sellers have expressed the need for more capacity, predictability, and control over their inventory. Amazon’s recent update helps sellers tackle those challenges and so much more.
Amazon just announced a new streamlined FBA capacity management system that will go into effect on March 1, 2023. With this new system in place, Amazon FBA will be turned into an auction where sellers can bid for additional storage space.
The system will now incorporate a single, month-long FBA capacity limit rather than weekly restock limits that can make inventory planning challenging for sellers. Now, capacity limits for the upcoming month will be announced in the third full week of each month via the Capacity Monitor in Seller Central and email notification. According to Amazon, the majority of sellers will now have access to greater capacity volumes than before.
With this new update, Amazon also announced they will provide estimated limits for the following two months to help sellers plan over a longer period. In a recent blog post highlighting the announcement, Dharmesh Mehta, Vice President of Amazon Worldwide Selling Partner Services stated, “We will forecast how much space and labor we expect to have to provide these estimates, but these estimates may vary up or down based on how efficiently sellers are using their capacity, as measured by the Inventory Performance Index (IPI) score.”
With the new Capacity Manager in place, sellers will also be able to request additional capacity based on a reservation fee that they specify. Mehta noted…
“Requests are granted objectively, starting with the highest reservation fee per cubic foot until all capacity available under this program has been allocated. When additional capacity is granted, sellers’ reservation fees are offset by earning performance credits from the sales they generate using the extra capacity. Performance credits are designed to offset up to 100% of the reservation fee, so sellers don’t pay for the additional capacity as long as their products sell through.
Our goal is to provide sellers with more control over how much space they can have while limiting unproductive use. We’ve piloted this feature with certain US sellers, and we’re excited that with this launch, we will expand it so all sellers can request higher FBA capacity limits.”
The recent announcement also highlighted how Amazon will set capacity limits and measure sellers’ inventory usage in cubic feet (vs. number of units), which better represents the capacity sellers’ products use in our fulfillment centers and transportation vehicles. As many sellers prefer to plan in units, Amazon will continue to show inventory usage in units but will also provide an estimate of how many units specific cubic volume capacity limits are likely to permit.
Tinuiti’s Take on the New FBA Capacity System
Change is certainly on the horizon. Let’s hear from Tinuiti’s own Bjorn Johnson on tips for how you can prepare for the FBA change coming March 1st.
“These changes are likely to be impactful, especially to sellers with larger products. Amazon reverting to cubic foot-based storage limits is likely to reintroduce previous issues for these clients in maintaining healthy inventory levels. Their difficulties look to be exacerbated by the addition of the bidding system. In order to keep their already high-fulfillment-fee products in stock, they’ll need to bid on large amounts of space. On the other hand, sellers with smaller products are likely to be able to store more units than before, and have the flexibility to bid on smaller amounts of space. The decision from Amazon looks like a clear effort to encourage small, light, easy-to-ship and fulfill products.”
– Bjorn Johnson, Operations Manager at Tinuiti
Want to Learn More About the New Auction System for FBA Storage Space?
We will continue to keep you informed as we learn more about the new FBA capacity system. If you’re interested in learning more about our Amazon offerings or if you have any questions concerning FBA, contact us today.
Forms are probably the most important part of your customer journey. They are the final step where the user entrusts you with their precious personal information in exchange for the goods or services you’ve promised.
And yet, too many companies spend minimal time on making sure their form experience is a good one for their users. They don’t use data to establish where the UX problems are on their forms, and they don’t run form-specific experiments to determine how to improve their conversion rate. As a result, too many forms are unnecessarily driving potential customers away, burning potential revenue and leads that could have been converted if they had only spent a little time and effort on optimization. Two-thirds of people who start a form don’t go on to complete it, meaning that a lot of money is being left on the table.
This article contains some of our top tips to help optimize your forms + checkouts with the goal of improving their conversion rate and delivering more customers and leads.
Use data to identify your problem fields
While user testing and session replay tools are useful in identifying possible form issues, you should also be using a specialist form analytics tool, as this will allow you to quantify the scale of the problem – where are most people dropping out – and prioritize improvements accordingly. A good form analytics tool will have advanced insights that will help work out what the problem is as well, giving you a head start on creating hypotheses for testing.
A/B test your forms
We’ve already mentioned how important it is to nurture your forms like any other part of your website. This also applies to experimentation. Your A/B testing tool such as Optimizely should allow you to easily put together a test to see if your hypothesis will improve your conversion rate. If there is also an integration with your form analytics tool you should then be able to push the test variants into it for further analysis.
Your analytics data and user testing should guide your test hypothesis, but some aspects you may want to look at are:
Changing the error validation timing (to trigger upon input rather than submission)
Breaking the form into multiple steps rather than a single page
Removing or simplifying problem fields
Manage user expectations by adding a progress bar and telling them how long the form will take upfront
Removing links to external sites so they are not distracted
Re-wording your error messages to make them more helpful
Focus on user behavior after a failed submission
Potential customers who work their way through their form, inputting their personal information, before clicking on the final ‘Submit’ button are your most valuable. They’ve committed time and effort to your form; they want what you are offering. If they click that button but can’t successfully complete the form, something has gone wrong, and you will be losing conversions that you could have made.
Fortunately, there are ways to use your form data to determine what has gone wrong so you can improve the issue.
Firstly, you should look at your error message data for this particular audience. Which messages are shown when they click ‘Submit? What do they do then? Do they immediately abandon, or do they try to fix the issue?
If you don’t have error message tracking (or even if you do), it is worth looking at a Sankey behavior flow for your user’s path after a failed submission. This audience will click the button then generally jump back to the field they are having a problem with. They’ll try to fix it, unsuccessfully, then perhaps bounce back and forth between the problem field a couple of times before abandoning in frustration. By looking at the flow data, you can determine the most problematic fields and focus your attention there.
Microcopy can make the checkout experience less stressful
If a user is confused, it makes their form/checkout experience much less smooth than it otherwise could be. Using microcopy – small pieces of explanatory information – can help reduce anxiety and make it more likely that they will complete the form.
Some good uses of microcopy on your forms could be:
Managing user expectations. Explain what information they need to enter in the form so they can have it on hand. For example, if they are going to need their driver’s licence, then tell them so.
Explain fields. Checkouts often ask for multiple addresses. Think “Current Address”, “Home Address” and “Delivery Address”. It’s always useful to make it clear exactly what you mean by these so there is no confusion.
Field conditions. If you have strict stipulations on password creation, make sure you tell the user. Don’t wait until they have submitted to tell them you need special characters, capital letters, etc.
You can often nudge the user in a certain direction with a well-placed line of copy.
Users are reluctant to give you personal information, so explaining why you need it and what you are going to do with it is a good idea.
A good example of reassuring microcopy
Be careful with discount codes
What is the first thing a customer does if they are presented with a discount code box on an ecommerce checkout? That’s right, they open a new browser tab and go searching for vouchers. Some of them never come back. If you are using discount codes, you could be driving customers away instead of converting them. Some studies show that users without a code are put off purchasing when they see the discount code box.
Fortunately, there are ways that you can continue to offer discount codes while mitigating the FOMO that users without one feel:
Use pre-discounted links. If you are offering a user a specific discount, email a link rather than giving them a code, which will only end up on a discount aggregator site.
Hide the coupon field. Make the user actively open the coupon box rather than presenting them with it smack in the middle of the flow.
Host your own offers. Let every user see all the offers that are live so they can be sure that they are not missing out.
Change the language. Follow Amazon’s lead and combine the Gift Card & Promotional Codes together to make it less obvious.
An example from Amazon on how to make the discount code field less prominent
Get error messages right
Error messages don’t have to be bad UX. If done right, they can help guide users through your form and get them to commit.
How do you make your error messages useful?
Be clear that they are errors. Make the messages standout from the form – there is a reason they are always in red.
Be helpful. Explain exactly what the issue is and tell the user how to fix it. Don’t be ambiguous.
Don’t do this!
Display the error next to the offending field. Don’t make the user have to jump back to the top of the form to find out what is wrong.
Use microcopy. As noted before, if you explain what they need to do early, they users are less likely to make mistakes.
Segment your data by user groups
Once you’ve identified an issue, you’ll want to check whether it affects all your users or just a specific group. Use your analytics tools to break down the audience and analyze this. Some of the segmentations you might want to look at are:
Device type. Do desktop and mobile users behave differently?
Operating system. Is there a problem with how a particular OS renders your form?
New vs. returning. Are returning users more or less likely to convert than first timers?
Do different product buyers have contrasting expectations of the checkout?
Traffic source. Do organic sources deliver users with higher intent than paid ones?
Alun Lucas is the Managing Director of Zuko Analytics. Zuko is an Optimizely partner that provides form optimization software that can identify when, where and why users are abandoning webforms and help get more customers successfully completing your forms.