Conversion Is The New SEO

Many online retailers and commerce sites focus on traffic, either through organic search results or through the purchase of banner ads and text adds in relevant search engines/social media. Quite often conversion is something that is done ad hoc, and many design issues are dictated by convention or personal opinions inside the marketing and interaction-design departments.

So what happens when AB testing or other conversion testing is done?  The results can be spectacular, due to the nature of compound conversion. See the infographic below.


1. Amazon wins the conversion game by having customer’s credit cards on file, and a one click purchase process.

2. Fast loading sites, and that means each and every page, have higher conversion rates.

3. Making small changes can bump up conversion rates, and sometimes it is many small tweaks that make that statistical difference.

4. Going from a conversion rate of 6% to 6.6% does not sound like a lot, but for large enterprises, the ROI is substantial – largely because that percentage of increased conversion compounds over many months and years after the changes have been made.


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Tweet-a-Coffee and Change (Tweet) the Channel!


Starbucks is launching a campaign called Tweet-a-Coffee that lets you give a $5 E-gift card for a friend through Twitter.  You go to the link provided and connect with your credit card account, then tweet “@tweetacoffee” with the lucky recipient’s twitter handle. That person will receive the $5 E-gift card.

The first 100,000 who hook up with a Visa will get a $5 gift card for themselves as well.

Starbucks has 5 million followers on Twitter to promote this campaign to (and for comparison’s sake, they have over 35 million on Facebook.

Change the Channel with a Tweet

Twitter has a compendium of advertising products to offer advertisers, and will start to roll out their services more aggressively in the months to come. One of the more creative services lets you change TV channels.

Comcast and NBC Universal have announced a partnership that lets users tune in to a TV show directly from a Tweet. It’s an offering called See It, and it’s designed to integrate with other video distribution partners, networks and websites.

Twitter is also aggressively pursuing ad platform opportunities around TV sporting events and shows. The Oct. 6 premiere of Long Island Medium drew 2.6 million viewers, and 785,000 Tweets about the show were seen 24.5 million times, as a result of a campaign that offered viewers a chance to win a all-expense-paid trip.

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Some Managers Don’t, IBM & Salesforce Do

Fast Company and American Express teamed up to survey managers in corporations to see what their opinion of social media was, and the results are a bit comical when contrasted with the results IBM, Salesforce,and Comcast are getting. However, if an organization does not have the culture or the tools to implement social media in any of these activities, the managers might be justified in downplaying it’s importance. But with the right tools and a bit of focus…


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Ebay Embraces Social Media Ecommerce

social media ecommerceNot only has Ebay redesigned the layout of it’s site to match what you see on Pinterest, but it is creating new features that integrate social media design and interaction into its platform.

In order to attract a younger online audience, and to compete against arch-foe Amazon, it is adding curators to the site. These would be well-known online personalities who users can follow to see what products they are highlighting. Both buyers and sellers will have more visible online profiles, allowing both to share more information then in the past.

Ebay is hoping these initiatives will boost the amount of time users are on the site, and to leverage social proof around what influencers are buying.

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Twitter Marketing Gets Easier: Geo-Targeted Tweets

twitterBrands that have numerous Twitter accounts to handle the different regions they operate in will have another problem on their hands – consolidating all those identities into one profile/account handle for all of their Twitter marketing activity.

That’s because a new Twitter tool offered through its API allows brands to target their Tweets to specific geographic locations. Brands can use one wholistic account to control messaging worldwide, reducing administration costs and multiple identities.

When it comes to consumer feedback, comments and reviews can be monitored centrally and the actions taken more consistent with brand guidelines in real time.

Some agencies are predicting it will take a year or so for brands to swing around to administering only one Twitter identity, but that is what they will do when they realize the benefit of one worldwide brand account.

Approximately 77% of Twitter users are outside of the U.S., so brands with a focus on global growth will be more inclined to use the ad platform in campaigns that are targeted to specific countries.

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Hashbag: Shop Instagram Now!

Hashb.agHashbag ( creator Mike Bodge noticed that there were over 2 million posts per year placed on Instagram that had the #forsale tag attached to them. So he came up with a system that let’s the user communicate, make a payment, and arrange shipment of items sellers put up for sale in the social media site.

Hashbag trawls Instagram for pictures with a #forsale tag, and then puts them in a database. The user types in a search for “handbag”, and any item with both #handbag and #forsale pop up in the search results. There are no other filters at this time, but that may change as the site becomes more popular and has a larger selection of items in each category.

If the seller has signed up for a Hashbag account, the user will be able to purchase the item through PayPal on the Hashbag site. If the seller has not signed up yet, the site will send you to Instagram, and the buyer can leave a message. Hashbag also notifies the seller and asks if they would like to sign up as a seller, to benefit from the streamlined approach and extra traffic. Presently Hashbag collects 99 cents from the seller…buyers can use the service for free, and listing is free also.

Because the site is new, and the randomness of selling items on Instagram is novel as well, the items displayed aren’t very polished…but that’s the beauty of it, finding diamonds in the rough.

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Save Money with YouTube Advertising

The YouTube advertising platform (called TrueView) delivers the same or better results than Google Adwords, and it is a cheaper alternative as well. Here are some important metrics to keep in mind:

It is 53x more likely that your branded keyword-specific video will show up on the front page of Google for that specific keyword than other content (like a website or blog).

There is usually a 43x higher Click Through Rate (CTR) with a video ad than a text ad.

The optimized cost on a YouTube TrueView campaign can be as low as .03 – .17 cents (cost per view).

There are 4 types of TrueView ads. (see images below). The following is an excerpt from a YouTube case study, using this platform to drive traffic and conversions:

ShoppersChoice was ripe for embracing YouTube at its earliest stages.

Years ago, they would set up a camera and record a demo and recipe all in one video, which ran between 8 and 10 minutes. But after posting it on YouTube, they soon discovered that viewers were clicking away after 1.5 to 2 minutes. Matassa and Dryden, and the group chose to break up the content into 7 to 8 shorter, fully searchable segments with video annotations that linked to other steps of the recipe.

Now, visitors can easily find the content they’re looking for, gaining practical tips and ideas from a trusted name in outdoor kitchen expertise. With reviews and product ideas delivered in easily digestible bits, ShoppersChoice has seen a steady lift in conversions, and an increase in quality sales leads.

At a budget-friendly cost of 2 to 3 cents per click on a predetermined $3 to $5 a day budget, the company is benefiting from a highly affordable, flexible advertising solution. By keeping costs low, the team has been able to purchase relevant, generic video keywords, which has raised brand awareness and increased click-throughs in ads that appear alongside Google search results.

“We have a lot of success with TrueView campaigns. They are so easy to implement. The YouTube channel delivers quality leads and drives tremendous traffic to our site. People are definitely watching us,” says Matassa.

In Search - YouTube Ads


In Display





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The Myth of Viral Videos: YouTube

Most marketers will say they want viral videos: and in many cases that is the key reason for investing in the medium in the first place. The reality is that although there have been some branded videos that have done well by being virally shared, there are many thousands of  branded videos that have not.

Viral Video

The issue is not to plan for viral, but rather to plan for a targeted audience that is shared by key influencers. This is based on the premise that a roomful of passionate buyers is worth more than a stadium of casual viewers (and by design there are many casual viewers in YouTube who will move on to the next video seconds after seeing yours).

The infographic shows some of the numbers provided by Tube Mogul and YouTube. A brand’s best bet is to create videos that are relevant and resonate with the audience they are intended for, contact influencers to share this content with their audiences, use paid placement within the YouTube platform to boost viewership, and avoid creating expectations of a viral success.

Viewers will share a relevant video and there will be a viral aspect to the reach a video gets – it just will not be the main driver of success that some may hope for.

As well, by using YouTube Content ID a brand can control all aspects of content that users upload. A brand can monetize their content, turn fans into marketers and distributors, educate fans about copyright restrictions, and collect data on viewer engagement.

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Facebook Power Editor New Look

Facebook has revamped and redesigned both the Facebook Ads Manager and Facebook Power Editor in its ad platform. The new changes make it easier to setup campaigns and navigate through numerous Facebook advertising options. Here are some examples of what has changed:

The creation of an ad is broken down into 3 areas:

  1. Objective and Creative
  2. Audience
  3. Optimizing and Pricing

Under the Audience tab, you can switch between the Standard and Advanced views, which makes it an easier way to toggle between the two.

Another main feature is that you have more options for previewing your ads. The only thing you won’t be able to see are mobile ads, at least not at this point in time.

The page post link format has changed as well. The image size for a page post link is now much larger, and clicking on the image can take you to a landing page off of the facebook site.

You can switch between Power Editor and Ads Manager. The toggle is well placed and more easily managed.

Advertisers are asked to identify their advertising objectives, such as sales conversion for a website, mobile app downloads, increasing page Likes, increasing engagement for Facebook posts, and events.

Another useful feature is that you can upload multiple images for one campaign, meaning you can test 5 different ads at once. The dashboard will also show which image is performing best, something every A-B marketer will appreciate.

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