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August 23, 2010

Dialogkonferansen – Bring Dialog 2010 – Strömstad

I am currently at the Dialogue conference in Strömstad, Sweden. I have just had my talk and I am eager to share some of my feelings from Stockholm departure until now. It has truly been a weird trip so far. I will update this post with my presentation, with references and with insights from the sessions I join, so stay tuned.

Social Media Money – my presentation

Earning money from social media

First off I wanted to kill some myths. I don’t know if I did, but at least I tried. First, social media is all about creating billing relationships. You can do this by using the social persuasion mechanisms available through social networking platforms and open source data mining. Secondly I wanted to kill the myth about viral campaigns. They are not based on luck but on skill and I released my 5 C’s of Vrial Marketing which will be the topic of my book (that still needs some final touches before it gets published).

The challenge I was facing is that I can go on forever about those things, but I managed to squeeze it into a 40 minute session.

Amazing audience at dialogkonferansen 2010

The audience was absolutely brilliant and they were awake, laughing, moving around and smiling throughout the presentation. I should provide some links to the data that I base my assumptions on, but I’ll do that later as the nielsen reports and forbes studies have some copyrights that I’ll have to check on first.

Here is the presentation:

The trip to Strömstad

Have I ever told you I am scared of flying. Well, I am… ridiculously scared. Especially flying in propeller airplanes looking as though they are a rest product of Aeroflot’s golden days. I don’t know, but why do they call this Golden Air? There is nothing golden about it at all. Perhaps it’s like the expression “Silverbacks” we tend to call experienced people. Only that these planes have been through so much that they are now Golden. Bah… The flight was scary and I think I saw my life flash by outside the window there for a while on the inflight to landing.

Golden air scare flight

Then I guess I had my longest cab ride with “Nenad the Serb”, actually, he might have been Macedonian or Albanian as well, but I just don’t know. He was a great companion for a 1,5 hour ride that put Dialogkonferansen back another 2400 SEK for my journey.

When I got to the venue I tested my stuff and it was amazing how quickly they got the set in order. As you can see from the “day before” image below, the room was barely even thought of being setup when I got there. Amazing people working at this conference. The hospitality has been great and everyone seems to be genuinely smiling. I really should move elsewhere than Stockholm. Hmmm… hehe…

Setting up the conference

I checked into my hotel and enjoyed the late night view from my window. Strömstad should be visited again, I thought to myself.

Hotel View Laholm Strömstad

The Conference – day one

The first day I got to listen to three presentations. One by Mike Teasdale from Harvest about e-mail marketing, one from Søren Brahm Lauritsen about data driven marketing, winback campaigns etc. and one from Jay Highley about mobile marketing. All of which were highly interesting. I especially enjoyed the one from Jay as it was down to earth and focused on where the mobile marketing sphere is heading. I think that we as ad agencies have a lot to do in this sector. Hopefully sooner than later.

The mobile market is full with notify-possibilities, something which we use in social networking all the time. I don’t really see why we shouldn’t utilize this when we run TV-ads, online banner campaigns and YouTube video promotions. It simply makes no sense to exclude the mobile, sms or smartphone services from the full experience of a brand communication.

I would like to take a mobile campaign and use it to launch a viral e-mail campaign, using the triggers available on Facebook. I think I am going to have to conceptualize that and pitch it to someone… hmm….

Sadly I didn’t get the chance to listen to the last speakers of the day as there is a reality to take into consideration at home as well. I held two Skype meetings and 4 calls in two hours. But I am sure tomorrow will treat me with some excellent stuff and so I am not that worried the rest of my time here will be the same as home time. I already feel inspired to create!! Something which I haven’t felt for the longest of times.

Bring Dialogue – Day two

The second day was harsh on me. I got really “tipsy” the first evening which wasn’t a bad thing at all, however it made me quite sore in the head the second day. I managed to squeeze in some of the talks and it was nice to kick back and listen in on some thoughts from people I rarely get to meet otherwise. I had the good fortune of talking to some people from other companies that were experiencing some of the “usual” problems. Hopefully my advice can help them push through.

I haven’t had time to reflect for so long and listening to other peoples problems, challenges and ideas really helped me, not only neglect my headache, but also get inspired to some new and original ideas that will be published in this blog later on.

The high note of day two was to listen to PG Wettsjö. Not that he brought a lot of new stuff to the table, more the way that he put it out there. Truly inspiring and humorous.

At night we went to Koster and had a meet and seafood fiesta! It was a great hang at our table with Johan Ronnestam and two Swedes from a Norwegian company. The party wasn’t over when we left Koster and I found myself in a room filled with happy people until 5.30 the next day. The funny thing is that we really didn’t stop talking about trends on the web when dancing. Happily enough I stayed a bit less intoxicated the second evening and I got some really good discussions going. Amongst other things I realized that I have to get deeper in my presentations. People really want to see “how things are done” and not only listen to what can be done.

For my next two talks this year I will do just that. eMetrics in Stockholm and SEM-konferansen in Oslo will get some detailed examples from my crypt.

Dialogkonferansen – day three

I only listened in on one speaker – Johan Ronnestam – on day three. I was too busy working with stuff from home. It is crazy times at the agency right now as we’re steamrolling on all frontiers. I won’t say we are a success yet as there is still so much to do, but getting out of the house for three days really didn’t help my todo out the least bit.

However, Johan is a great speaker and I managed to pick out some takeaways from his methodology that I will hopefully be able to integrate into my own way of presenting ideas.

Dialogkonferansen – the Staff & Organization

If you haven’t been to Dialogkonferansen yet, then you have really missed out. It is not only good, but it is spectacular. The staff is really professional, friendly and help you out in ways you really don’t expect them too. The venue is amazing and although the weather wasn’t the nicest, you really appreciate the sort of remote location and the focus that it brings.

I am truly thankful for the experience.

I think I’ll update with more images and text later, but I am too exhausted right now.

December 1, 2009

8 Obvious Reasons to why your Traffic Don’t Convert

This list is aimed towards you who work with conversion or eCommerce and need help with troubleshooting why your pages aren’t converting. These are some of the obvious reasons you might want to check out first before moving onto more advanced test and targeting.

Conversion of online traffic is and has always been a hot topic. This list aims at giving you some advice along the way.

1. You promise more on the source page than you deliver on the landing page

Regardless if you are attracting traffic through Social media or Search engines or Banners, you are in a hole world of mess if you offer something in your link or banner that is not available on the landing page you are directing your traffic to. If you write “compare your alternatives” then the alternatives should be comparable on the landing page. If you say you have the world’s best offers, then they should really be the world’s best offers. At least your page has to give the impression that they are. If you do not manage to deliver on your promise you will not convert regardless of how optimized your page is otherwise.

2. Your load time is horrible

This is not only a bounce rate inflator, but also a real conversion killer. If the load time is long, then it is quite natural to see that extreme amounts of traffic falls off at that time in the conversion process. If you want to enable people to buy stuff from you, then you shouldn’t keep them waiting. Patience is not a trait seen too often in Internet users.

3. Your haven’t optimized based on referring domain

You really have to pay notice the referrer of the traffic to your website. If your traffic comes from the search engines you can generally assume they are more purpose oriented than the research oriented traffic coming from social media. In order to convert a purpose driven visitor you have to give them exactly what they searched for and right away. In order to convert a research driven visitor you need to give them all the information available on the topic. Then they will book mark you until they want to buy what you offer. In order to be successful you need two parts in your website that takes aim at satisfying both of these needs. A good example here is Amazon.com. Easy to convert, and easy to read more about the product. Researchers scroll you you don’t have to put all the links to “read more about…” in the top of the page.

4. You run the same design and features regardless of market

If you are running the same business across several different markets, cultures and TLDs you cannot rely on tests done on one market. You cannot even rely on tests done to a sufficient significance for all markets. You have to test every market individually. This is because culture, trends and opinions differ from market to market, and although there are patterns in the way users interact with a website, regardless of culture, there will be huge gains to optimize your pages with this in mind.

5. You use distracting colors and images just cause “they look good”

I know you have them in your organization. The people who do not care how things work as long as they look good. These people should be terminated as they will cost you LOADS of money. They might be lucky a couple of times or a lot of times, but in the long run they will cost you a shit load of money. If you put something blinking on your page, it should sure as hell have a purpose.

Taste is something you cannot base your decisions on when it comes to converting traffic. Taste is highly individual and even though you take a vote in your group you are tainted by internal organizational sicknesses that makes you blind. THIS cost you money. If you want to sell more, you need to test, target and then let the data make the decisions for you.

6. You don’t take season into consideration

If it is xmas, people want to buy gifts, when it is spring people want to fall in love, in fall people want comfort and in summer people want freedom. Just generalizing, but it is important to meet the buyer where their mind is set. Prepare seasonal changes in the design of your website. Then execute them depending upon weather. You will definitively see effects in your conversion rates. Don’t try to sell sun in the desert.

7. The one mile one page one form

I have seen to many examples of long registration forms. PLEASE put your registration forms into a process of at least three steps. Write a 1 – 2- 3 in top of the registration form page. Then use Ajax to load the next section as a user completes the previous one. This way you’ll reach two extremely converting principles. First of all you will get the most important data such as e-mail address and nationality in the first stage of the sign-up. Secondly you will have nicked the user completely as they feel a sense of satisfaction from completing step one, then step two… woops they are almost done… so they better fill out the difficult stage number three. You see. When they have filled out so much info, they might as well take the extra 5 to do the last page.

If they don’t, then you can still save everything they have done up until this stage and then send them an e-mail in the evening saying, “you only have one step left to complete your order” or you can send them an e-mail saying “your super savings offer will expire in 60 minutes, return to the stage in your registration where you logged off the last time”. You will convert MAAAAD times doing the latter 🙂

8. You’ve optimized for the wrong keywords

You might be number one for a single word in a highly competitive vertical, but you still don’t convert. You ask yourself why?? Well, most commonly you have optimized your website for a word that is not a converting keyword. This happens all the time and it is generally not the words with the highest traffic volumes or the fiercest competition that converts the best. It is the action driven keywords that do. So if you are optimizing your website for the keyword “make-up” then you are probably in the wrong place. But add a brand name and a buy into that mix and perhaps you are in a better place. This one is a no brainer but sometimes corporations optimize with link spam towards words that are completely useless when it comes to sales. Think first, test some, do research, start where it is easy to end up no 1 and then move to the more narrow words. 🙂

Ok That’s it… won’t share more, but please e-mail me or add me on LinkedIn and I’m sure I’ll give you another 35 quick hints on why your page might not be converting 🙂

November 29, 2009

Irrational Conversion from a User perspective at #Searchmeet

Credits to @cemper for photoOn Saturday (28th of November) I held a talk at Searchmeet in Stockholm arranged by Per, Simon and Johan. They had done an excellent job finding speakers that would compliment each other in a good way and make this the best conference I have been attending for a really long time. No one seemed to be there to sell or overcome each other in the “I know the best” category. Simply excellent execution from start to finish.

Speakers during the day was Gary Beal from Vanguard SEO who held a presentation on the 12 SEO trends of 2009. Bo Tidelius had a interactive session on how one would market Ahlgrens bilar. Just before that Johan from Dinwebb, one of the organizers talked a bit about what they do. Post that group activity I took the stage and gave a session on the Value Ladder. More on that later. Then Cristoph C. Cemper from cemper.com took over and dished out a link building beating worthy it’s name. All speakers nicely molded into each other and there was a clear sense that this day was not like other days aiming to be this day. It was extremely nice, and I’ll leave you with that.

The Psychology of Economic Decisions - Book - Amazon

Irrational Conversion

My talk wasn’t very much about irrational conversion principles at all. First of all, it is a very complex topic to cover in a 20 minute session, and secondly it is probably only two people in an SEO crowd that get a hard on by listening to me getting side tracked by all ideas I get when talking on the topic. Instead I decided to recommend an excellent book on the topic – The Psychology of Economic Decisions by Isabelle Brocas and Juan D. Carillo. For this purpose you’ll only need to read the first chapter in Volume I. But for those of you interested in the intersecting space between psychology and economic theory, I suggest you read the rest these two have written as well.

Keep in mind that this is a highly disputed area of science and even though the research that supports these theories is highly accepted, there are still a lot of exceptions where these rules do not apply. Well…. they are in fact no rules at all, but they give you some insight into how the human brain works and how we make decisions about our money alone or in groups. Many times we find ourselves deciding over our own money in the wierdest and most irrational kind of way. We pay more for the same just to get it now. We get insecure and vulnerable. We feel threatened and pacified. However, our worst enemy when working with being rational in our economic decision making is our perceived well being. Anyhow, read the book. You’ll like it.

Presentation on the Value Ladder

Instead of digging any deeper into the actual theory base of the topic of the day, I started talking about how one can split conversion into several steps and that the user enters your site with a specific frame of mind that you need to take into account if you want to convert him or her. This ladder was first introduced to me by this guy Henrik from Litium, but I have since then elaborated on it quite a lot and built it into a model for customer value and investment in time/money.

The video will be added (I’ll tweet when I add it) as soon as I get it. That way I do not have to transcript this whole session which would be a bit of a mess anyhow since I really don’t remember what I said. I might come out looking like a retard, but from what I could tell by the tweeted feedback, people seemed to get some entertainment at least :).

Tweets on my session from Searchmeet 2009

I enjoyed the railing discussions I had with the people at the conference. Please visit Searchmeet.se to find more info about who was there. I guess you know how to use google.com/translate right 🙂

Thank you all that was there today for a fantastic day! Connect to me on LinkedIn if you’d like a place to stay in touch easily.

//Jesper – who hasn’t had this many outbound links ever.. 🙂

October 25, 2009

Goals and Measurement of Social Media

Had some fun cutting down some clips I found on YouTube tonight. As I was playing around I thought of an idea to actually try to break down what differs companies that make money and the ones that do not make money from social media. This first episode deals with the fact that you have to set up goals that are connected with your business strategy and overall business goals as well as measure how you’re moving towards these goals with the help of Social Media KPIs.

Please comment for improvements!

//Jesper