How to Improve Landing Page Conversions: A/B Testing

Whew, you've finished your landing page design and now it's launched. You're done!

Well not quite. Don't miss an opportunity increasing conversions for your business. Consider A/B testing for your landing pages.

First, what is A/B testing for landing pages? Some people may know or have this idea of what it is. Others might not. Think of A/B testing like you’re a scientist experimenting. Experimenting between two, three or more pages to see what landing page converts the best.

Why should you do A/B testing? Simple. There will be differences in your target audience’s behavior when they land on your landing page. What works for one industry may not work for another. Same between different companies of one industry. One reason to start testing is if you have a high bounce rate. Or when paid traffic (PPC) isn’t buying. A/B testing is finding the best solution for you.

Okay, so what do you A/B test? Experiment with your landing pages. Test headlines, call-to-action(s), images or completely different designs. While testing is limitless you still want to consider on how you manage your a/b testing experiments.

How to do A/B Testing

Now you’re convinced that A/B testing is the key to higher conversions, more sales and the bottom line. One of the first things to consider is what page or goal you should test first. You may have different service offerings or products to sell. If you want to go more in depth you can test with different audiences if you need to as well. A good way to also look at it is by testing your Key Performance Indicators (KPI). KPI’s are measurable values. They show how effective you are achieving key business objectives. For instance, if you are a SaaS company you may have sign up rates as a KPI.

A key thing to note for testing and results is that you should have a good bit of traffic coming in already. The more traffic the more data will make sense.

You need to make a list of tests

A/B testing takes setting up a strategy. Once you find out what page, goal or KPI to test then your next progression is creating a list of tests. An easy way to do this is to create a spreadsheet. A few examples of what to test are:

Headlines - It’s usually the first thing a web visitor sees. A compelling headline can make a huge impact.

Copy for your Call to Action (CTA) - Like headlines the action you want users to take is important. You’ll have different reactions when your call-to-action says “Get our free eBook” or “Our eBook is a must read now”.

Call to Action Placement & Styles - Place your call-to-action in different places. It will produce different results. Along with how it looks like. You may want one test using a button and the other as a text link. Or your button tested in different colors.

Images and Graphics - Don’t overlook the importance of what visual elements look like. Use images that signal an emotion. Even graphics have the same effect.

Landing Page Copy - A/B test short and long copy. Remember what may work for one audience might not work for another.

Pricing - While you may not be able to change your prices. You can definitely test how you present it. Telling people about free shipping or a percentage off is different even if it’s the same costs to you.

Layout - Test changing layouts of sections or elements. Layout 1 sees the header, image banner with a CTA, testimonials, trust factors, sale copy and footer. In that order from top to bottom. Layout 2 sees the header, trust factors, image banner with a CTA, sale copy, testimonials and footer.

Remember you’re testing one thing at a time. If it’s the headline then let the tests be about the headline. Landing page layout tests can have completely different designs between the variations. Which is focused on seeing what design performs better.

Have tests in order of priority

Now you have your list of tests. It’s time to put your A/B testing items in priority. The key reason? Test things that will have the biggest impact first.

If you have a bunch of tests lined up it’s not going to do any good if your confused on what to test first. By creating a process of what to test first and ask yourself why are these test placed in this order.

Going back to KPI’s is a good place to start when prioritizing. The pages that bring in sales should be the first. Go ahead and test your checkout or sales pages as a priority. Improvements on these pages can lead to the biggest revenue changes.

Another priority tactic is to focus on the bigger wins. Changing your message on your CTA message can create a higher conversion rate. The biggest wins doesn't have to be something drastic. In fact, it’s good to have a test that doesn’t have much effort to change but has a high reward. Such as the CTA message for filling out your form.

Like the list of A/B tests you need to have a process and framework on prioritization. One way to do this is with each test figure what is:

Know the design process of your A/B test

You’ve completed your list and everything's organized. Take a similar approach to A/B testing like any web design and development process. How is all this going to get completed? Who’s creating or making modifications to test pages?

We highlight an important aspect when choosing your option below:

Freelancers/Contractors - Do they have experience in optimizing landing page conversion? Ask upfront if they can design & develop, or design. Learn about their schedule as well to know if they can work on your testing.

In-house team - Are you a company with an in-house team? Know if they already have experience with conversion rate optimization design & development. If not, then you may want to consider other outside sources to work on or with your team.

Conversion Rate Optimization Agency - Hiring a team allows complete service and expertise. Test ideas, design variants, development, running and analyzing results are off your plate. Discuss your goals through consultation and recurring meetings.

Yourself - If you don’t have the liberty of any above your next options would be to use landing page tools. Ones that provide A/B testing features. A/B testing tools like Unbounce. If you already have a website. For instance, a WordPress website there are plugins that will help assist with A/B testing.

During the A/B testing make sure to run both tests simultaneously. Give the tests time to collect data. You can base the time on the amount of traffic you’re getting. At least 10,000 visitors is a good starting point to give you a sample size. If you get 10,000 visitors in a day, a week or month will also determine how fast you can conduct tests.

Alright Professor now it’s time to analyze your A/B testing results

Depending on what route you’ve taken with your design process. You’re either using an A/B testing tool that provides statistics or whom you’re working with will.

Focus on your goals and KPI’s. Paying attention to your primary test goal you’ll be able to see the results and determine what are the next steps. While you run these tests make sure that the results are significant enough to demand a change. Let’s say you’re performing a test on the value of CTA button colors. Test A button has a click rate of 5% while test B button is 20%. You’ll know what that will mean to you to make a uniformed decision.

The next step is to move onto your next test and process again!

Need a team to effectively A/B test your landing pages? Get in touch with us.

How to Improve Landing Page Conversions - 1:1 Attention Ratio

Let's talk about one area of focus to improve landing page conversions. We’ve gained a lot of experience designing and developing landing pages. From many tests, we see that results can vary from industry to industry, goal to goal. There are results that we see happen across the board as well. One thing is clear, page visitors need to stay focused on one aim, one goal. Here comes the attention ratio.

In landing page design the attention ratio is the number of links or actions compared to the number of goals you have with your campaigns. Thus you could have a 10:1 ratio. Which means 10 links or actions on the page with one conversion goal in mind. Some landing pages have 12:1 or 2:1. A 1:1 attention ratio is best. And every campaign has 1 goal in mind.

What should you do with your landing page when using 1:1 attention ratio

A 1:1 attention ratio means no to extra links, social sharing and even getting rid of a navigation menu. Having something higher than a 1:1 can overwhelm your visitors with too many choices to “exit” out. If you have a Google Ads campaign running and it was to sell a product what do you want your potential leads to doing? Buy the product. If you were offering a download of special content then you want people to give up their email address. In either situation, any more actions than the true purpose would lower your conversion rate.

Now you may be thinking do I need to have only 1 link on my landing page then? Not exactly. You can have a landing page that has some length to it. Placing many CTA’s within your page is fine as long as it’s to the same conversion goal.

Wait, you said get rid of your navigation menu. Yes, but having a navigation menu that has anchor links should be fine. Which means a link that goes to a certain part of your page. For instance, a “Testimonial” link takes users down to your testimonial section. Having links to a Privacy Policy is fine. Keep that at the bottom of the page.

When you practice a 1:1 attention ratio for your landing page not only are you increasing your conversion rates, but this will also help you with testing. It’s more straightforward to focus on how many clicks your CTA button(s) are getting.

Comparing Landing Page Designs that Use 1:1 to Those Who Don’t

MuleSoft’s goal on this page is to have visitors download a handbook. Do you see any other links?

Unbounce kept it true to having only 1 action to download their ebook.

At first, this application looks to have 1 action to download the app. Then immediately you see another button to buy gift cards.

If Blue Apron’s goal is for people to sign up for an account they’ve done that well below.

Hearsay was using PPC to drive traffic to this page. They want you to request a demo, but would you view more products or services too?

Stampli’s PPC ad drives you to a landing page that offers a 30-day trial and nothing else.

The success of your ad campaigns comes from having dedicated landing pages with a message that matches your campaign goal. With a 1:1 attention ratio you increase your landing page conversion rate with your campaigns. Remember to test, test, test.

Do you need to talk about 1:1 attention ratio for your landing pages? Get in touch with us.

10 Expert Tips for Landing Page Conversions

Businesses are now creating valuable marketing campaigns online. One of the effective marketing strategies used today are landing pages. But creating a landing page and having it convert well isn’t as simple as some may think. The design of a landing page should perform well, but that doesn’t happen in one try. In this article, we will touch on various points about design and feedback. Let’s dive deep into some important tips to improve your landing page conversions.

Does Your Page Work Well In Different Screen Sizes?

The importance of your landing page looking great on any device screen size is crucial. Especially the ones that matter the most. Pay attention to how your landing page looks on desktop, tablet, and mobile. Make sure that it's easy to navigate between each screen device. What may work well on a desktop computer might be difficult for a user using a mobile device.

Is your Landing Page Upfront to your Audience?

Be direct and concise with your landing page. Often I have seen landing pages that do not grab the visitors interest. When your lead comes in they should know what they are on there for when they arrive. Especially if you are using paid advertising. You wouldn't want your ad headline to mismatch with your headline on your landing page. Your content should help the visitor understand what you're offering. Then reel them in with benefits. Write compelling headlines and then follow up which strong copy.

You Better Believe Attention Spans Are Short

When a visitor lands on your page and if they are presented with multiple actions to take you’re doing yourself no good. For instance, a link to this page and that page. Or buy this now, but also subscribe to our newsletter. Because the visitor is presented with so many actionable things they will have a higher chance to leave and not complete the conversion. So if you had one action to take on your landing page then that is the only option the visitor we'll make. Oli Gardner describes this as the 1:1 attention ratio. It's a good practice. Drop all distractions. Your landing page conversions will go up when the attention ratio goes down.

Make Sure Buttons Are Apparent for Users

Does your call to action button stand out? If you want your visitors to take action than a good CTA button will be important. Play around with colors, shapes, and sizes. Place them above the fold and between important parts of your page. You should have a clear idea of what will happen next when they click the button. You can use text that gives a sense like they are saying it themselves such as “Yes, I’m ready for my free download”.

Headlines Can Make or Break How Users React

Have bold and straightforward headlines. Your visitor's attention span is a matter of seconds. If your headline is simple and to the point, you have a higher chance of grabbing your visitor's attention.

The Copy On Your Page Should Connect with Visitors

Convincing landing page copy. Besides having your page looking great you want your content to shine as well. The flow of text from the headline to copy should be to the point and genuine. If your visitors aren't hooked and satisfied you can bet they will leave your page. Depending on your goals the amount of copy will depend. Landing pages will do best with 500 words or more. Then there are landing pages that are lengthy such as two thousand words. make sure your copy is clear from distraction. Motivate your visitor toward your conversion goal.

Do You Have Trustworthy Factors?

You want people to trust you so why not add any testimonials or reviews. Do you have any seals of approval? Showcase them. Your visitors can relate if they read reviews from other trustworthy people. Be careful though if it doesn't look authentic it can have a negative effect on your conversion rates. Don't make your visitors think it seems too good to be true. An example of trust seals is the Better Business Bureau badge.

Why You Test Pricing Tables If You Can

Do you have a pricing plan? Test and see if a pricing table works better on one version of a landing page compared to one that doesn't have it. Are you afraid of a pricing table on your landing page could affect conversion rates? Visitors tend to like to know their options and what they're about to get themselves into.

Be Fast As You Can

Pay attention to page speed. No matter how well your design and copy is if it doesn't load fast then you can kiss your conversions goodbye. Tools like Google page speed insights suggest improving your page speed. one of the number one places to start is your website hosting service. there's a reason for you get what you pay for. optimize any images and Scripts to improve your page speed. not only will it please your visitors but search engines take into account your page speed.

If You Don't Test Now Then You Should Start

Way to improve your landing page conversion rate is to test. There are a ton of tools to use for a/b testing. Unbounce is a tool that helps create many variations of landing pages. Also, get analytic data on which landing page performs the best. Test different headlines, different colored CTA buttons, and completely different layouts. Segment your audience by sending different paid traffic to different land pages.  if your goal is to increase your conversion rate then testing is the way to go. don't think you can have one landing page and you're done. always be improving.

We hope you can take some or all these tips to heart. Start practicing today to improve your landing page conversion rates. We know it will make an impact! If you're looking for help with any of these tips and more for your landing pages please get in touch with us.

5 Landing Page Design Tips to Help with Conversion

Building a good landing page design is only successful from the testing that is done. We work with clients to help build and test custom landing page design to help with their goals. Along the way we've discovered some of the best landing page design tips.  We've collected a few of the tips to share with you below.

Hide that Nav Menu on your Landing Page Design

Yes, no navigation menu. If you're not already hiding your navigation menu we recommend to do so now. Why? Simple. Your top menu should not be the focus of your landing page's objective. A navigation menu is well of course at the top of your website. By cutting the menu out your site visitor will follow on through the landing page design as expected. Hopefully, converting on the call to action.

Relevant and Short Headlines

We consider the headline one of the most easiest and fastest way to make a change for testing. Your headline should not be too complicated. Limit yourself from trying to be too creative or unique. Test with the most direct and relevant headline first. Don't try to be too lengthy with these titles in these first tests. If you want to get inside your potential lead's mind make the headline answer what they want. When you think of the title begin saying "I need to..." and complete the sentence with the value you're providing them. For example, "I need to manage expenses quickly" can become the headline "Manage Expenses Quickly".

Word Play on CTA Buttons

One thing that is usually tested with call-to-action buttons is changing the color. From red, green to yellow the variations are almost endless. Since a pastel orange might look good on one landing page and a dark orange may look good on another. But to take it a step further try focusing more on the phrase of the button. If everyone uses "Buy Now" or "Download for Free" and all landing page visitors notice this from one page to another do you think it's convincing? Probably not. Let's take a look at some PDF weightloss guide for example, instead of trying to convert a lead with "Download your Free Guide Now" test out "Yes, I Want to Start Losing Weight".

The Weight of the Font

It's amazing how often we run into "can we use a different font for this headline, another font for the sub headlines and yes, let's try this font with the paragraph". Honestly, we think it's better to stay with only one font for the landing page design and adjusting different weights for the title, headlines and paragraph. Different weights simply mean light, normal, bold and bolder. Trust us, you're not going to suddenly trick someone to focus on a particular section or element just because the font is different from the 5 other fonts on the page. If you absolutely feel like the page needs some different font choices only use about 2 font choices. Three would be the maximum.

Cut Featured Items Down

We get it, you have all of these testimonials and you think it'll be good to showcase all of them. If you're A/B testing then try this out. One variation show 2 of your greatest testimonials and the other variation with 10 testimonials. Why do we think the one with just 2 testimonials is preferable? Well, it's proven that you can convince a customer with little as possible. Especially when it's your best material. This will give a sense of decluttering or doesn't give them too much to take in. Have something to feature like portfolio or awards? Cut it down. Remember, we need them to convert not get caught up in so much fluff.

We have given some great tips to try and test with your next landing page design. We're sure you'll be able to see a difference when you follow our advice. If you want to learn about more tips and the value we provide find out more about our custom landing page design.

Website Design Goals To Consider and Examples

Back when the Internet was in its infancy, the first rendition of websites were no more functional than a digital billboard. Businesses simply put up a website with basic functionality and call it a day. However, since then the purpose of a website evolved to become an integral part of any business strategy. Now with more modern tools like Social Media, Email Marketing and so forth...your website design goals should be a powerful ally to your company objectives.

Setting Goals the SMART way!

Before we jump into specific website design goals for your online marketing strategies, we first have to understand what a SMART goal is.

SMART is an acronym for; Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. Utilizing these parameters, you will be able implement goals that will actually benefit the bottom line of your business objectives. Ignoring these might result in your company bleeding money in their respective departments. Do not implement marketing practices that are not in your best interest, not attainable or simply cannot be measured.

Understand the process of establishing SMART goals now? Let’s see how we can apply these to specific departments within your business model, or see how SMART goals are incorporated in Growth Driven Design.

Breaking Down the Website Design Goals for Each of Your Company's Departments

Firstly, let’s take a deeper look into the specific goals for each department. Understanding these points will help you design your website accordingly. Which aligns the functionality of your online endeavors with the goals each department seeks.

Marketing – Their main objectives will always be to generate leads by driving in traffic, to engage prospects in relation to the Buyer’s Journey and to re-engage old customers for repeat conversions. Sounds like a mouthful, but this is the general gist of it all.

Sales - The sales department of the business will always require a website to assist in closing sales through validating and supporting sales team communications. In other words, utilizing a CRM that will streamline leads to the sales department. Which assists them in closing a prospect on a specific offer.

Customer Support – Here it's all about creating a deeper sense of ‘customer satisfaction’ by providing a more robust service to the customer. This is usually done through, live chat functionalities, email support, support desks, telemarketing services integrated into the website and so forth.

Webmasters – These are the people that keep the site running smoothly. Their goals usually depend on simplifying and optimizing content updates and general website management. They want to keep your site as current and as secure as possible.

IT – The IT Department focuses on cross-platform integration, security issues, performance and scalability issues. Think of everything related to the back-end of your site.

Operations – The ‘Operations department’ works on streamlining and automating the website in order to reduce costs and optimize workflow.

HR – The functionality of the HR department focuses on attracting and hiring new recruits. Additionally, they can create a space on the site where current employees can find additional assistance without having to show up ‘in person’. This also helps optimize the HR Process and reduces costs in the “Operations Department”

C-Suite – For the top dogs of the organization, their ultimate goal is to grow the company’s bottom-line. Which should increase profitability in all sectors. When it comes to websites, it refers to lowering costs, increasing company practices efficacy and streamlining the functionality of all departments.

Now that we know the general objectives of each department, let’s see what we can do specifically in each of the departments to insure that their goals are SMART. Below are some examples to provide you with a general sense of ‘what you should be looking for with your company website design goals’.

Marketing Department

Within the Marketing Department, their main objectives is to attract relevant potential customers to the website. Then engage with them on their particular ‘stage’ within the Buyer’s Journey. Lastly, convert them into customers.

Here are some of the most common marketing-related goals for a website:

  1. Quality Lead Generation – As mentioned, websites of today are meant to generate relevant leads for the business. However, simply generating leads isn’t enough. It is important to focus on quality over quantity. For most businesses, rather than putting “X amount of leads per month” you should be focusing on a lead increment percentage. So instead of saying, “We want 50 leads per week”, you should say something more along the lines of “We want to increase lead generation by 10% monthly”. This gives you the framework for measurability.
  2. Conversions – Secondly, generating leads is nothing without converting them. Most marketers achieve this through a “Smart Content Marketing Strategy” including blogs, landing pages, bribe gifts as well as many other tactics. Once more, it’s best to establish a percentage goal as opposed to a specific number as the measurability becomes more dynamic in nature.
  3. Brand Awareness – Another typical goal for the marketing department is brand awareness. In relation to a website, this means ‘how easy is it for your customer to understand what your company does, what your offers are or any other specific element of your business you’d like to promote. Typically, this can be done through landing pages or “squeeze pages”, information sites and so forth.

Sales Department

Now let’s move onto the Sales Department. It is obvious that the main goal of this department is to generate more sales. However, what about companies that do not push sales directly through their website? How do they utilize the website to assist them with their overall objective of generating more sales?

Usually, for companies in the second category, the idea of the website comes more as a “supportive tool” rather than a direct sales mechanism. Allow me to explain in a bit more detail;

  1. Generating More Sales - Obviously, the point here is that the site (company) ultimately wants to increase their sales. This applies to a wide range of companies. Once more, the idea here is to set a percentage goal as opposed to a “fixed number of sales” per week as the scalability is more dynamic in nature.
  2. Improve Sales Conversions – Secondly, it is just as important to increase the conversion rates of the leads the marketing department is generating. To calculate your current conversion rates, simply take the number of unique monthly visits and divide it by the actual converted customers (those who made a purchase). Similarly, you’ll want to establish your goals by percentage benchmarks as opposed to “physical numbers”.
  3. Support Systems – Finally, it’s important to be able to increase the support system around your sales. Once you have made a conversion, what are you doing to keep your customers happy, to respond to their follow up questions and so forth. To establish goals within this field, it’s more about understanding your sales department than the external customer. Thus surveying your sales teams about the performance of the website in relation to facilitation of sales is the best way to establish key performance indicators, which can then later be set as goals. Based on what your sales team responds, make the appropriate adjustments.

Customer Care Department

Let’s move onto Customer Care. Most websites today have some sort of customer care option. Whether it’s the “contact us” part of the website, live chats, telemarketing services and so forth. In order to fully understand how we can establish website design goals for this department we can break it down into two sections;

  1. Satisfaction – In this section, you’ll be focusing on ‘how you can improve customer satisfaction throughout the buyer’s journey. To do this, you’ll need to generate data first which can be done through surveys before and after a customer makes a purchase. It’s not easy, as most customers simply want to purchase whatever they want, and move on. Thus, implementing small surveys throughout the sales process can help quantify this data.
  2. Task Time Reduction – Secondly, we look at ‘how long it takes’ for your support team to take care of a problem. This is much easier to measure as you will be able to see the steps ‘in-living-color’ as your support team handles requests. To set a SMART objective, once more rely on percentages as opposed to “minutes/hours” as the framework. For instance, increasing the ‘completion time by 10%’ is a good example of setting a proper goal.

Webmaster + Content Creators

These people are usually the people running the digital aspect of your website, from content generation, integrating CMS’ and creating landing pages for specific products/services.

Similar to the Customer Care Department there are two main points you need to be focusing on;

  1. Satisfaction – We’re not talking about how satisfied your customers are with the content. Rather how satisfied your content creators are with the workload. If you have unmotivated workers, you’ll receive unmotivated content. This will directly affect every other aspect of your online endeavors. You’ll need to listen to your webmasters/content creators and make adjustments accordingly.
  2. Task Time Completion – What can you do to make your content creators more efficient? Perhaps using task manager apps, weekly calls, summaries etc. To set a goal, simply take the current time it takes for one of your content creators to finish a task (a.k.a create a blog). Figure out their steps and see how you can optimize the process.

IT Department

The IT Department is all about allowing you to run your website efficiently. They need to keep everything current, secure and working smoothly. While they are not always necessary, they are crucial for the success of your digital endeavors. After all, if a website is “down” or “offline”, you’re not generating sales or activity for any other department.

The IT department has one major goal;

  1. Reduce Costs and Improve Efficiency – In this case, to create a goal for the IT department you will want to look at physical costs (servers, hosting, licenses etc.) In many cases, IT departments charge by the hour. Seeing how efficiently these hours are being used can help set the framework for your objectives. This includes updating platforms, migrating to better systems and so forth.

Operations Department

These guys are all about efficiency and seeing ‘where they can automate’ processes. Thus, one of the major goals of the “Operations department” is set to;

  1. Automation and Workflow – How much of your website can be automated? Sales, email, customer support, CRM integration etc. All of these elements fall under the goals and objectives of the department. They will need to analyze the current state of the website and see where automation is possible.

Human Resources

For most websites, the HR department focuses on the ‘in-house team’ meaning they look for recruitment and support for current employees. Thus the website design goals they should be focusing are;

  1. Application Optimization – How easy is it for an applicant to send you their resume? Getting a key employee that will benefit the bottom line of your company is a priority for this department. Similar to lead generation goals and objectives, you can track this process through a CRM. This will let you see here the pain points lie. Understanding the points of conflict and how to optimize them will be a heavy influencer in relation to establishing goals.
  2. Employee Satisfaction – How can they help make your employees more efficient and how satisfied they are with their current tools. You will need to analyze the current “toolbox” your employees are using, measuring the frequency of use and seeing where there are areas to increase the overall efficiency of it all.

C-Suite

Now that we have looked at every department in detail, what about the ‘head honchos’ of the organization? How does a CEO or a COO fit into all this digital workspace? Mainly, the job of a CEO is to increase the overall revenue of the company thus their main objective is;

  1. How to Maximize ROI – They will need to analyze every aspect of every department, find where to improve and suggest the changes for each. Based on the feedback of each department, the CEO can measure areas of improvement and implement timeframes of transition. The main question a CEO should be asking is; “How will this new website help our bottom-line?”

Conclusion

Now, you should have a deeper understanding on how to establish website design goals. Especially, if you want to focus on a specific department. Obviously, this is merely touching the tip of the proverbial iceberg, but it should give you a clearer picture when it comes to establishing SMART goals for your company in relation to the digital workspace. Learn more about how we go about our website design service.
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Video Marketing Statistics Proves Why You Should Use It

Remember when "Video Killed the Radio Star?" It turns out that "video wasn’t done killing!"

The 1979 hit by the Buggles “Video Killed the Radio Star” will always act as a reminder that as we innovate technology, the old mediums become less important can eventually “die off”. While we still have radio, it’s popularity has dwindled and today people prefer the power of streaming music they want to hear without the clatter of unwanted ads.

Similarly, the Internet has evolved and it seems that ‘video’ has a thirst for blood once more. This time around in the world of online marketing. Video has become a key strategy for brands of all sizes to engage their target audience and with the tools to create compelling videos becoming ever more accessible, the demand for video marketing increases.

The Ruthless Power of Video Marketing

While "written content" will be forever needed to some degree, video content has become a more effective means of getting the message across in a quicker timeframe. The average internet user has an abysmal attention span, even lower than the dumbest goldfish. This is why it has become so important to utilize those precious "8-seconds" before a user loses interests and swims to another fish bowl.

However, just like the market "favored video over radio" back in the early 80s; market trends show us that the market continues to favor video over pretty much every other marketing medium available.

Here’s some statistics to illustrate the "love for video":

Source (HubspotForbes)

To be honest, the list can go on and on and on.

This should give you an indication that if you don’t have video as a part of your marketing budget, you should definitely start to consider it as the future market trends suggest that ‘video will go on killing it’ over time.

Explainer Videos and Retention

While the "video marketing spectrum" is quite vast, there are different types of videos to focus on. You have everything from sales videos, hype videos, viral videos, tutorials and explainer videos. They also all come in a various shapes and sizes.

Explainer videos however have become an important part of maintaining user engagement within their websites. Not only has this marketing tactic increased user retention on many big sites like Dropbox and Work.com, it also increased conversions between 10%-20%.

It’s simply a more effective way to introduce your brand, educate your prospect in a fun and engaging manner. People are predominantly visual learners and with video you stimulate both visual and auditory learners.  A quick, short and engaging video allows your users to quickly grasp your ‘intent’ and can motivate them to take action much quicker than ‘written copy’.

This is one of the reasons why the demand for video marketing has increased so drastically in 2015.

The Bloody Bottom Line

Video marketing has taken the world by storm and with further innovations in the realms of holographic marketing, video will only become more powerful. As a business or a brand, implementing video within your marketing budget is a solid investment, especially if done correctly. You can gain mass exposure with a small budget and reach your desired audience with higher efficiency.

Video did kill the radio star, and has continued killing ever since. The question is, will you use video to ‘kill it’ for you?

10 Tips on How To Make an Explainer Video

You've probably heard of explainer videos or animated explainer videos, but you might be wondering what they are, and how they can help your marketing strategy. 

What is an Explainer Video?

Explainer videos are visual pitches that give your customers and idea of what you're offering them. Most businesses employ them to get new sales and leads, but explainer videos have many functions. These videos are usually between one and three minutes, but some can be longer. Usually animated explainer videos are made for a business’s product or service, but live motion video explainers are great too as long as the script and acting are perfect. There are many editing tools and video production services that can assist with creating these videos.

If you want your customers to know more about your brand than just your slogan, explainer videos are a great way to showcase why your product or service is one of the best available to them.

Whether you relay this message in a youthful tone, or choose a more sophisticated one, explainer videos have proven to be effective in creating brand awareness, increasing revenue and garnering the interest of future prospects.

10 Tips for Creating a Great Explainer Video

  1. Keep it short. Nobody is looking for a 30-minute sales pitch. Tailor your material to people's current attention spans. You may show your video on a home or landing page and statistics show web visitors only stay on a page for a few minutes to short seconds.
  1. Write Great Copy. One of the most important things is a great script. If it doesn’t make sense or isn’t compelling you’ll lose your audience. You may have all these wonderful things to say, but if you can't put it together we suggest in hiring a professional copywriter. One who specializes in explainer video scripts and the fundamentals of video conversion. We have some valuable tips on how to write an explainer video script for you to read.
  1. Make 'Em Laugh! Although it's easier said than done, a little humor goes a long way, talk with your scriptwriter about conveying your message in a humorous way.
  1. Use Emotion to your Advantage. Know what emotion you're trying to elicit from your customers, and relay your desires to your scriptwriter.
  1. Draft a Storyboard. Along with your script it’s great to have every scene planned out. A storyboard will usually include frame-by-frame visuals, scene descriptions, time of each scene, voice over and audio layout.
  1. Plan Visuals Carefully. Viewers are engaged when there are well-executed animated video production of graphics. For live video pay attention to locations and camera angles. We recommend using a decent camera, lighting and such for live motion and if you don't have that then hire video production services to take care of that portion.
  1. Use Professional Recording for Audio. If you are trying to convey a professional image, a poor-quality audio recording is going to do you a major disservice. Proper recording equipment (a high-quality microphone recorded in a soundproof space) will lend your video a professional quality your customers want to see.
  1. Use a Professional Voice Over. If you’re not going to record your own voice over then carefully select an appropriate and professional voice over artist. Preferably one who has the proper recording equipment we mentioned.
  1. Consider Using a Song and SFX in your Video. Music stirs people's emotion like few other things can. It can be hard to obtain the rights for popular songs, but there are thousands of artists on the Internet who have recorded music specifically for corporate/promotional materials. Find something that matches the tone you are trying to elicit.
  1. Plan for your Product Launch. Select what platform on which you'll release your video. Share your video on your blog, website, and social media platforms.

Now that you know the basics of how to create a great explainer video, use these tips to improve your video marketing strategy!

Is Your Website Responsive? Find Out Why It Should Be

Responsive Web Design: The Time is Now

If you've made it this far in life, you probably already realize how important it is to adapt to a situation. Being able to realize things cannot always go your way and having the ability to accommodate situations/feelings is a vital survival and success skill.

This rings true in all areas of life, including web development. Like a chameleon who adapts to its surroundings, your website must also adapt to different devices. If a user is on a mobile device and your website has not been made to adapt to their screen, they will probably leave your website. This loss of interest often results in a loss of business opportunity.

Mobile vs Responsive Design

Responsive design has been the most popular and widely used method for designing a mobile website. It requires one website to be coded to adapt to all screen sizes from any device. Whether the website is viewed from a desktop computer or handheld device, the content is not compromised. It simply shifts and changes to the best display for each screen.

Mobile templates are built for each specific site, not screen size like responsive design. They do not adapt to different devices, and if a user has to try to adapt themselves, there is higher chance they will give up on your website. This is why your website needs to be responsive. Check out some of the statistics below to give yourself an idea of just how important mobile-friendly websites are and why you should choose responsive over mobile templates.

Mobile Device Statistics

According to Smart Insights, mobile devices account for:

61% of users will leave if they can't find what they are looking for on a mobile device. On the flip side, users are 67% more likely to make a purchase if they have a positive mobile encounter with a website. According to ComScore, over half (55%) of social media activity happens on a mobile device.

Google Prefers Responsive

In 2012, Google's Pierre Farr revealed at SMX Advanced that Google will index responsive websites before mobile templates. It's easier for Google to crawl and index responsive websites with little room for index errors. If you want to push your brand forward past your competitor's mobile template websites, it literally pays to make a responsive website over a mobile template website.

Speed Matters

The standard loading time for content on a mobile device is 1 second and the entire page is under 2 seconds, according to Google's PageSpeed. When loading a website designed for a desktop on a mobile device, these speeds are typically impossible. PageSpeed Insights will tell you how fast your website is loading as well as how to make it load faster.

What Does the Future Hold?

As newer devices are being used for web browsing now and in years to come, having a responsive website will enable your site to look clean and concise no matter which device is/will be used. Since technology is moving quickly, it is critical that you provide users with a mobile website that can adapt to all kinds of screens. The future of your business depends on it!

Let us know if you'd like to learn more about redesigning your website to be responsive and mobile ready.

Or, learn more about Growth Driven Design by downloading our eBook below.

What is Flat Design

We were once in the age of embracing the reality of Skeuomorphic design, or a false reality. In it are textures, drop shadows, gradients and more to make things appear visually real. Now to simplify things all that has to be done is to take out these extra “realism” effects. Introducing “flat design”, not a new artistic approach, but one that is catching steam in every day design. Simple without the 3-D feel. A 2-D concept. Mix in bold fonts, colors that are vibrant and shapes that are simple then you have flat design. Everyone is talking about iOS 7 taking on this approach just as Windows has embraced it. But really, flat design has been around. Here and there. Now it’s just getting wide-stream attention in this present time of updated and newer technology.

When it comes to web design, logos, business cards and ads flat design has and will be taking up the spotlight. For how long, no one really knows. One would think that this design method wouldn’t be hard to accomplish, but in our opinion creating flat design can be challenging when it seems so simple.

Looking For or Creating a Flat Design?

HookLead Logo - Flat Design Comparison

As you see above, we took our HookLead logo and simplified it by taking out the gradients and changing the color palette. While it may seems that flat design is simple you should know there are a couple of things to note:

Simplicity at it’s best – You should keep the design simple. Logos, icons or websites. Simple, minimal. No more three dimensional effects such as shadows and textures that add depth. Keep it 2-D. Shapes should be clean, straight lines, round or squared edges.

The color palette – Typically you’ll see flat designs with vibrant colors. The palette can be bright which compliments the simplicity. Play with the combinations of high contrasting colors. Leave gradients behind or use much less of it.

Typography & Copy – It is important to apply typography in a simple manner with flat design. Sans Serif and font weights are common. Don’t go overboard with typefaces as it should match the design visually. When it comes to copy your text should stick with simplicity at mind. Less of it.

Sounds simple, right? Less is more.

To Be Real or To Be Flat?

Honestly, that really depends on you as a business or as a designer. It is something to discuss for certain projects or overall branding. You’ll know if you need to use flat design or not. Often you’ll see brands experimenting with trends because it brings the attention that they need. So use it where you see best.

Once as everyone enjoyed a realistic feel it goes back to a common thought process. When something becomes popular and widely-recognized it will have reached it’s top and begin to decline. Then clear the way for something new to appear in the scene. Whether if this is a common trend, flat design is being embraced. So if skeuomorphic design leans more for reality, and flat design is just as it sounds then what’s going to be next as a trend? Semi-Flat?