Over the past decade, digital marketing pushed brands towards increasingly aggressive tactics. One such tactic was automatic opt-in. I used to just see these opt-ins for newsletters, but, more recently, I’m seeing this used for sales and add-ons. I assume these marketers want to get more active users, a more engaged audience, and more sales. But in my experience the ends don’t justify the means–in fact, this method isn’t even that effective. In 2017, marketers need to ask, “Is an automatic opt-in the best tactic for my clients?”
Articles about social media marketing.
When people write web copy, they often take an “If You Build It, They Will Come” approach to their website. There are two major problems to thinking like that:
- That phrase references Field of Dreams, and the “they” in that statement are ghosts. Ghosts don’t buy anything. In fact, we’ve written about the problems ghosts cause on websites.
- If people do come to your website, but the content isn’t interesting, people leave. In digital marketing, we call this “bounce.”
Design Attracts New Visitors–Content Converts Them to Returning Visitors
A lot of people will tell you that a snazzy design or some kind of catchy name will fix these issues. While they do help, in my experience, a bigger factor is written content—you know, what many website owners think they should get from an unpaid, unproven intern.
Your written content is your customers’ first chance to find out what you do and what you’re all about. More importantly, perhaps, it’s also your best line of attack and defense in the never-ending War to Control Search Algorithms via SEO (another service you should vet and take seriously, but that’s another blog for another time.)
No lie, there are millions of websites that purport to teach people how to write effective, SEO-friendly copy. Of those, Heather Lloyd-Martin’s emails are the best I’ve found for effective advice on real-world websites. If she hasn’t run into it, it’s unlikely to be a real problem.
But for those of us who are pressed for time, I use the following rule:
Answers Two Questions on Every Page You Write
1.) Who Are You?
Have you ever been to a website that purports to be the best at something, but you have no idea who the company is or why they’re so great at that thing that they do? This means that the webpage(s) you saw failed to establish who it is that’s doing the talking. We accomplish it on the Chow-Bryant blog by associating an article with an author. Pretty easy, huh? If you don’t have the picture option, there are others. Pictures help. Stating experience helps. Doing both, though, is priceless. Even simple in-text links to your about page is a step in the right direction.
Speaking of, on a website, your about page needs to drive home who you are and why you—as a person or a company—are relevant to what you’re selling. If you can, use the rule of thumb for screen writing: State it three times. Be abundantly clear on who you are, why you’re interested in what you’re doing, and why you’re relevant to your field. If we don’t know who a website is about and why we should trust them by reading the about page, the copy has failed completely.
2.) Why Should I Care?
It’s not enough to tell people you sell things. You must also tell them what those things are and why they’re so needed. In digital marketing, we usually call this a USP, or unique selling proposition. Honestly, the name doesn’t matter. What matters is the substance. On average, people have an 8-second attention span, so the lengthy, wordy text of ads of yore just doesn’t work anymore. We read, but we read in blurbs and snippets. It’s best to get to the point—why people want what you’re selling—fast. Foot in the door tactics? Sweet Brown is right: https://media.giphy.com/media/10PcMWwtZSYk2k/giphy.gif
New Live Stream Calculator
In November we wrote a technical beginner’s guide to streaming on Twitch. At the time we were linking to live stream calculator on OBS’s site. Unfortunately, that calculator is no longer up despite being a handy tool for finding a good starting point for stream settings. As a result, we decided to build our own. You can find the new live stream calculator here.
Future Marketing Tools in The Works
There are also plans for some new tools in the near future. Check our Chow-Bryant Tools section for the latest. Additionally, you can browse our GitHub repositories here. This is where we provide templates and code snippets for website optimization, analytics filters, and structured data markup.
What is The Open Graph Protocol?
The Open Graph Protocol is a lot like Twitter Card Data and Schema markup. Basically, the Open Graph Protocol is a collection of meta tags that allow a website to become a rich object in Facebook’s social graph. As a result, a website with Open Graph data on it has the same functionality as any other object on Facebook like profile links and stream updates.
What is a Twitter Card?
When you share a link on Twitter, the link may automatically add an image, title, and description below your tweet. This information is called a Twitter Card, and it comes from some HTML tags on the webpage called a rich snippet. This markup lets site owners easily share additional information about their articles, images, videos, and even apps. Here’s an example of a Twitter Card for my article on The Cat Line. Read more
Lately, there’s been an increase in articles touting what a great branding and awareness platform live streaming is. This is true. If you have a winning personality and a talent for something visual, it’s kind of awesome. Anything goes as long as it’s not illegal on YouTube and Facebook Live. But we have an elephant in the live streaming studio: Twitch.
Twitch: Live Streaming with Restrictions
Twitch, purchased by Amazon in late 2014, is a live-streaming platform that was birthed out of Justin.tv (R.I.P.). Originally only “Let’s Play” style live streaming, its expanded parameters now also include Gaming Talk Shows, Poker, Music and Creative. It is important to note, though, that your stream must fall into one of the approved categories.
This platform is dominated by the ever-valuable 18-45 male demographic and comes with all their special quirks. This includes distrust of advertisers, use of ad blockers and an occasionally toxic outlook on the world. Much of the Twitch audience are also Redditors and/or on 4chan normalfags, /b/tards and shitposters. Most marketing blogs don’t use these terms. This is why I’m writing this: So you don’t look like a scrub when you try Twitch, which can be pretty willing to flay you alive if you don’t belong.
Welcome to the internet. Just call me Virgil. Read more