Conversion Optimization 101: Planning Social Media Landing Pages

In the last Conversion Optimization challenge I asked readers to review a series of promoted Tweets and the corresponding landing and thank you pages. The most important thing to consider for your ads or landing pages is the nature and context of your visitor.

Social media traffic is fundamentally different than search traffic, therefore social media landing pages must be thought of differently than search landing pages.

The social visitor isn’t seeking out your brand, your category or even your solution. They are interrupted by a tweet, post, update, etc. They aren’t in information seeking or buying mode. Their perception of you is not influenced by you showing up in a PPC ad or in a top ranking on a search results page. The social landing page must to communicate two a vital pieces of information:

  • Who you are
  • and what you do.

Let’s start off with the promoted Tweets. Eric Wittlake points out an issue he sees with the series of Tweets:

Only two of the eight tweets say anything about search, but this appears (I think, we will get there…) to be a paper about improving search. Sets the wrong expectation and draws the wrong audience.

Caseycarey wants to address a measurement issue that may pop up:

Looks like they reused many of the short URLs, so they will not be able to tell which ones performed the best.

He also hits the heart of the issue with this campaign:

Messaging – As someone running an ecommerce business, I don’t care about “Big Data Marketing” or any other meaningless jargon of the day, answer the following questions, 1) Why I should do something different? and 2) How will it impact may business?  I don’t wake up in the morning thinking, “I need to get some of that Big Data stuff.”  Rather I’m thinking I need to increase by number of new buyers, what can I do to help make that happen?

While I love all things related to Big Data most marketer’s in their target market may have heard of it, may even want to figure out how to leverage it, it is a term they don’t really understand well. Also be careful with the term whitepaper; many people have been really turned off by the thought of them as boring, academic, company centric marketing fluff. Whenever you plan ad you should leverage the Conversion Trinity; Relevance, Value, Call to Action.

A promoted Tweet is an ad with lots of restrictions but lot’s of benefits too. Think about your different Content Marketing Personas and plan what message in your Tweet will be relevant to them. A big data message may work well for your industry influencers but might not work well for your ecommerce executive. Plan, test multiple messages and refine your tweets to hit the right target personas. In order to test which messages resonate the best, you need appropriate analytics to track the different versions. You could do this by using multiple short urls (and preferably you have your web analytics campaign codes embedded into the shortened url.

One last tip for increasing click-throughs on the tweets, if possible use a custom url instead of the standard shortned url to increase clickthroughs: t.co/SEOMoneyball instead of a url that looks like http://t.co/LKYiKc82

The Anatomy of the Social Media Landing Page

Whenever I evaluate a simple landing page such as this one I always run it against my 10 point checklist from the Anatomy of a Landing Page. Let’s look at the BloomReach landing page:

  1. Logo: Check. It’s there. Very few miss this one.
  2. UVP or UCP: BloomReach has their tagline “Get Found” here but that is not enough for the visitor to understand what it is the BloomReach actually does. They dynamically generate  and optimize landing pages (using Big Data) to leverage the long tail of search terms.
  3. Headline: The landing page headline should reinforce the scent from the ad or Tweet that delivered your visitor to the page; that’s persuasive momentum. Many marketers use a dynamic system to personalize their landing pages for the ad or keyphrase that attracted the visitor in the first place, to have better continuity (scent) from ad to landing page. Dynamic tools work, but beware. “Learn how strong brands use Big Data Marketing for long-tail discovery.” – I think this headline is trying to address points related to their UVP as well as trying to be a headline to capture interest. But each piece of the headline has me and your visitors questioning what they mean: Strong brands – What is a strong brand? How do they qualify that? Big Data Marketing – That is kind of a broad category? Can you be more specific? I am not even sure exactly what that means? Long-tail discovery – Someone deep in search my understand what this means but not everyone will.
  4. Offer: We know they are offering a whitepaper but how is it KISS (Keep it Simple, Stupid) obvious from looking at the page? It is mostly implied and their is a little bit of copy at the end of the page; “To help you raise your on-base percentage when it comes to search, BloomReach presents a new whitepaper “Moneyball of Marketing.”
  5. Descriptive copy: There is very much copy describing what I will learn or be able to do once I read the whitepaper. This is your chance to expand on your offer and build up the case for what is in it for your visitor. 3 quick tips:
    1. Give them download details: Let them know how many pages it is, how big the file is, what format the paper is in (PDF, DOC), etc.
    2. Give them an excerpt: Very few people like reading poorly written, monotonous sounding, corporate gobbledygook. By providing an excerpt, you can help prove how well-written, easy to understand, and valuable your white paper is.
    3. Prove other people like it: Like endorsements on a book cover, “credible testimonials” on the download page of your white paper can help sell the value of the content and improve conversion.
  6. Product/service presentation: This is the imagery you use to support your copy and style for your page. The image is a small piece taken from the cover of the whitepaper but it doesn’t make it feel like a ebook cover. Merchandise your offering.
  7. Calls to action: The form is simple and only asks for 4 fields to be filled out. They also include social share icons – I don’t think these are working well here.
  8. Confidence building: This is where the landing page really breaks apart in several ways. First the visitor may not  know who BloomReach is and why they should trust them. How do they answer the question of what will they do with my information once someone submits the form? Will they be hounded by a salesperson? Get countless meaningless emails? This is where a point of action assurance can address these concerns. BloomReach works with some numerous, amazing brands some of which appear in the whitepaper; they also could be leveraged here in the descriptive copy, or even with another elements that shows some of BloomReach clients leveraging MoneyBall marketing.
  9. Link to more information: A quick bit of simple and condensed navigation that shared who BloomReach is and what it does would do wonders here.
  10. Template elements: This is actually done on the page with the footer links but they could have also included links to their social profiles.

Eric Wittlake wants them to clear up their landing page messaging:

Way too many baseball metaphors in only about 50 words. I have seen a number of marketers make this mistake lately. It is like they are so enamored with the campaign idea that they carry that they have decided to talk about the campaign. In doing so, their real value proposition has been lost. Strong brands use big data for long-tail discovery. Completely disconnected from most of the tweets and way too big of a mouthful. It sounds like marketing, how would you explain it in a conversation over coffee? Hopefully not like that… It’s really about search (I think, when I strip away all of the metaphors) and basically says we will help you improve your search marketing. Ok, but about 1800 other companies or pieces of content make the same claim. Nothing motivates me and makes me believe this piece of content is better than the stack of similar pitches already sitting in my inbox.

Casey adds:

* Offer – It really isn’t clear what you are getting (in the tweets or the landing page) – it should be clear, especially in the headline what you are offering and why you should tike the time to download/read.  This should be supported by both imagery and copy. * Landing Page Imagery – The funky retro robots have nothing to do with the metaphor, offer, or anything else for that matter – WTF? * Landing Page Layout – The image of the whitepaper should be secondary to the copy.  The copy should tell the rest of the store setup by the headline – describe the offer and why you should download it. * Messaging – As someone running an ecommerce business, I don’t care about “Big Data Marketing” or any other meaningless jargon of the day, answer the following questions, 1) Why I should do something different? and 2) How will it impact may business?  I don’t wake up in the morning thinking, “I need to get some of that Big Data stuff.”  Rather I’m thinking I need to increase by number of new buyers, what can I do to help make that happen?

Mark Hauler just doesn’t trust them from the look of the landing page template:

This site itself looks like an amateurish design.  I don’t care for the particular colors chosen.  Blues in general are good, but I don’t think they’re enhanced by the boxy design in this case.  I think some sort of ‘curvy’ design and shapes rather than squares and rectangles would enhance the overall design.    In addition, the white banner across the top doesn’t look good against the (intentionally) blurry photo in the background – what is that supposed to be anyway ?  On the right side, the field descriptions for Email Address, Name, are too small.  Need at least a point size or two larger. Secondly, on the landing page, it just looks like bloomreach is trying to aggregate and collect names and addresses.  There’s really nothing to suggest that there is anything of  value to be gained once someone has entered their contact information (in spite of the ‘Download Now’ button).   They need a teaser or something to entice people to take the next step and provide their contact details.

Theresa Baiocco, a former MarketMotive Master Certification student of mine also feels they don’t address the conversion trinity well.

The landing page gives me no idea who they’re targeting.  Big brands?  Or are they saying the smaller guys can have the advantages that the big brands have?  I don’t know whether this is appropriate for me.  The tweets sound like they’re targeting big brands, but that’s not reinforced on the landing page.  And the thank you page is all “we-we” speak.  There are a lot of missed opportunities regarding relevance.

From tweet to landing page:
– Only 4 out of 8 of the tweets mention the name of the whitepaper, “Moneyball of Marketing”
– The 1st tweet matches the headline pretty well
– The tweet about branded vs. non-branded search traffic matches the copy at the bottom of the page, but that’s not obvious at first, so the scent trail could be lost on that one
– The tweets about the ROI pie and competitors catching up don’t relate to the page well at all
– Ok, I’m going to repeat one thing that was already said: they need a picture that demonstrates either what the whitepaper looks like, or the ownership experience (which could be hard to do in this case).  The funky robots aren’t helping to convince me to download the paper.  Anything that’s not helping is hurting.

How to Improve Your Thank You Page

 Theresa goes on to share her thoughts:

From landing page to thank you page:
– I know I’m in the right place because the look and feel are consistent
– They missed the opportunity to get me excited about the whitepaper.  They didn’t even take the time to repeat exactly what I’m getting.  It’s a very generic thank-you page.  It’s like they got what they wanted (my email address) then they stopped trying to impress me.  I feel so used!

Sparkerwebgroup thinks:

The headline is generic and impersonal. Mention the actual name of the white paper! How about ” Thank you for downloading Moneyball Marketing!”
2. Should probably give an instant download link on the thank you page. Use the harvested email address for a personalized thank you note that tells them (again) the link to download, upcoming Webinars of *relevant* (aka not any/all) topics, as well as ways to connect with the company — via social media or to simply send questions & feedback about the white paper.
3. Perfect opportunity to ask users to “Connect” to you via social media.

Mark Hauler is equally frustrated with the look feel of this page:

When one sees the ‘Thanks’ page, we have the same design issues as before, but this time they’re worsened by the awful, garish pink text and the almost unreadable phone number by the ‘Call us now’ .

Finally, the company is inconsistent with the design of their own name.  is it ‘bloomreach’ or BloomReach?

Eric brings it home:

Thank you page.
Really, don’t make me go dig out of email. I know you want to make certain you captured a legit email but your content is proof of your claims of expertise. Don’t make it so hard to get that your target audience never gets that proof.

“Thanks for your interest in BloomReach.” No, I didn’t express any interest in you, just your piece of content. Rather than assume I’m interested in you and present a bunch of links about you, offer up additional content or information I might be interested.

By giving me two or three related content options, my decision about what to look at next actually would give BloomReach additional information about me and my interests, which they could use to make any followup emails more relevant (enter marketing automation).

There are certainly many more steps involved in this campaign, including the emails, the actual whitepaper and follow up tweets that also could be looked at and optimized. Hopefully, you’ll know have a better way to plan your next social media marketing landing page experience.

Please share if you think others would benefit.