Tag Archives: General

Should You Disable Comments on Your Blog?

This is a post by ProBlogger expert Ali Luke

When you started out blogging, you were probably thrilled when you got a comment. People were reading your posts, and cared enough to leave their own thoughts.

As time went by, you probably found some of the comments very useful. Maybe they sparked off an idea for a different post, or gave you a perspective you wouldn’t have otherwise considered.

But if you’ve been blogging for a long time, and your blog gets a lot of traffic, those comments may be starting to become less of a delight and more of a chore.

Responding to five comments on every post might take only ten minutes, so it’s no big deal. But responding to fifty could take you the best part of an hour.

If you write two posts a week, that’s two hours you’re spending on comments. You could have written another blog post in that time.

Even if you hire someone to respond on your behalf, you’re still paying for their time. And that money could probably be better spent getting help with something else.

So it’s no surprise that some people who run large blogs decide not to have comments at all.

This isn’t a new thing. Way back in 2005, Steve Pavlina closed comments on his self-development blog. In 2006, Seth Godin closed comments on his business blog.

In recent years, it’s become something of a trend. I’ve seen several blogs I read (avidly!) close their comments sections.

Copyblogger removed their comments in 2014, and then brought them back in 2016.

Michael Hyatt removed comments from his blog in 2015, and then brought them back a year later.

A few months ago one of my very favourite bloggers, Carol Tice from Make a Living Writing, decided to close comments on her blog. I’ve often glanced through the comments there, and I was always impressed by how often and how thoughtfully Carol responded. But I completely understand that it wasn’t sustainable.

What about your blog? Should you stop taking comments altogether? Or do you think blogs should have comments?

Deciding What to Do About Comments

When you launch a blog, chances are comments are enabled by default. It’s easy to run with them enabled, but there’s no rule that says blogs must have comments.

Here are a few things you might want to think about.

  • What value do you get from comments? Does your blog attract thoughtful, engaged readers who leave comments that spark off great ideas for you? Or are most of the comments spam or very short comments that don’t really add any value?
  • Are you happy with how much time you currently spend moderating / answering comments? You may well be. On my Aliventures blog I post only once a week, and rarely spend more than ten minutes a week answering comments. This is perfectly sustainable for me.
  • Would your readers prefer to interact with you in a different location (e.g. on your Facebook page)? Obviously there are pros and cons to doing this. But some blogs encourage readers to leave feedback on social media platforms instead of (or as well as) commenting on posts themselves.
  • Do you get worried or stressed over comments? Even if it doesn’t take you long to respond to comments, they can still cause a lot of anxiety – especially if you’re writing in a niche where readers tend to be snarky or critical.

There are no right or wrong answers here, and different bloggers will come to different conclusions about what to do. For a couple of useful perspectives, take a look at:

Blog Commenting Isn’t Dead – It’s Different, Charlie Gilkey, Productive Flourishing

This is a thoughtful, detailed look at comments and whether or not we should disable them on blogs, along with an in-depth explanation about the “Campfire” (a thriving Facebook group Charlie runs for his readers) and the role it plays in encouraging conversations.

Do Comments Actually Increase Your Search Traffic? A Data-Driven Answer, Neil Patel, Quick Sprout

This post digs deep into whether comments benefit your blog in terms of search engine traffic, and concludes that they have a small impact. (Obviously, you might be looking for different benefits from comments.)

Of course, removing comments doesn’t have to be a decision you make once and stick to forever. Like Copyblogger and Michael Hyatt, you may want to experiment with removing comments for… say, a year. You can always re-enable them.

If you don’t want to switch off comments completely, but want to reduce how much time you spend dealing with them, you might want to think about:

#1: Installing a Robust Anti-Spam Plugin

Removing spam comments can take up a lot of time. (And if you don’t weed them out promptly, they make your site look bad). To save yourself a lot of effort, install a good anti-spam plugin such as Akismet. It  will remove almost all spam comments before you even see them.

#2: Closing Comments on Older Posts

There’s no rule that says you need to leave comments open forever. Many large blogs close comments on older posts after a set period of time (e.g. two weeks, one month, etc.) Readers can all join in the discussion when the post first goes live, but readers who stumble across it a year later won’t be able to comment. This can cut down on spam, and means you have a smaller number of conversations to keep track of at any given time.

You can change this under Settings –> Discussion in your WordPress dashboard. Look for the line that says “Automatically close comments on articles older than (X) days” and set (X) to whatever you want.

#3: Using Disqus or Facebook Comments (or Another Plugin)

While many bloggers are happy with WordPress’ built-in commenting functionality, others prefer to use a different system. Disqus and Facebook Comments are both popular, though there are other options as well.

For a look into the pros and cons of each, check out James Parson’s post Facebook vs Disqus vs WordPress Comments: Which to Use?

Ultimately, what you do about comments is entirely up to you.

Some bloggers have strong opinions, and feel that comments are a defining feature of a blog. But most people are fairly pragmatic about it, and agree that comments are valuable. They add to the discussion, can bring in interesting ideas / alternative perspectives, and create a greater sense of “buy in” for readers. They can even potentially help with search engine traffic by providing extra content.

But comments also come at a cost – your time and attention – and it’s up to you to decide whether they’re worth it.

Do you currently have comments enabled on your blog or not? Are you thinking about changing this? Let us know your thoughts below.

The post Should You Disable Comments on Your Blog? appeared first on ProBlogger.

      

The Prospect’s Perception Gap: How to bridge the dangerous gap between the results we want and the results we have

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There is no such thing as a brand promise — only a brand expectation — after the experience of the value proposition.

Brands make promises all the time, and most of them ring empty and hollow on the ears of a prospect — even if the brand can actually keep its promises.

There is, inherent in every transaction, a perception gap in the mind of the prospect that must be bridged before an exchange can take place.

In April, Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director, MECLABS (the parent company of both MarketingExperiments and MarketingSherpa), lectured on this gap and how marketers can close it.


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The Two Customer Conclusions Every Product Launch Should Foster

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In our work with Research Partners, we often get asked about new product launches. Eric Ries talks about product launches in his book The Lean Startup. In that book, he introduces a concept called the minimum viable product.

According to Ries:

…the minimum viable product is that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort…

In this video, MECLABS Managing Director and CEO, Flint McGlaughlin, talks about Reis’ idea and provides a simple, two-question framework for determining what your own minimum viable product should be.

You might also like:

Download the free 30 Minute Marketer: Value Proposition – Learn how to identify and communicate your value proposition

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Grab Your Earlybird Tickets to ProBlogger Evolve Conference and Mastermind Today

Today tickets go on sale for ProBlogger Evolve – two events in Australia for bloggers.

Yes you read that correctly – after 7 previous years of one event per year – we’re trying something new by running two events in two cities over two weekends.

We’re calling it ProBlogger Evolve because we think the way blogs are monetised really does need to evolve. The time we spend together will really focus in on some of the emerging models people are using to monetise blogs.

Here’s what you need to know about ProBlogger Evolve

Firstly where and when:

Brisbane – at Brisbane Rydges Southbank Hotel on 29-30 July
Melbourne – at Melbourne Rydges CBD Hotel on 5-6 August

Secondly – our new format of conference and masterminds

This year we’re trying a new format.

Day 1 Conference – in both cities the first day will be a single day conference to examine monetisation strategies through the lens of 4 key pillars of blogging – those of Content, Engagement, Traffic and Conversion. These days will be everyone in a single track for a full day.

Day 2 Mastermind – the second day is mastermind day and will be more intimate (we’re limiting it to 32 attendees) and a chance to dive deep into the business model(s) best suited to you and to spend time brainstorming, planning, asking questions about your blog and business.

Day 1 will be pitched at a level that is accessible for everyone but day 2 will be at a higher level for those who want to not only learn some of the great topics we’ll cover on day 1 but who want to talk through how to apply it to their business.

So there will be two ticket types:

  • Conference only ticket (just day 1)
  • Conference + Mastermind (both days)

Thirdly – let’s talk about our exciting international keynote presenter…

Last week in San Diego I did a little Facebook live to announce to our Facebook community who is keynoting the event this year.

So this year Pat Flynn is returning to our event for the second time. Pat came out in 2014 an has been one of our most highly rated speakers ever.

Pat will be our closing keynote at the Day 1 Conference in both cities (as well as involved on that day with Q&A) but will be heavily involved in the mastermind days too – so those taking that opportunity will all have an opportunity to sit around a table with him in a small group to ask questions, brainstorm on your blog together and learn from his years of experience.

Earlybird Tickets Available Now for a Limited Time

We’re still putting the rest of our lineup for this year’s events together but wanted to let you know what we’re planning and also today are making Earlybird Tickets available.

These earlybird tickets give you $100 off both ticket types. This will be available for two days only (10pm AEDT on 30 March).

The Earlybird Ticket Prices are:

  • Conference only ticket – $299 (AUD)
  • Conference + Mastermind – $1199 (AUD)

There are limited numbers of tickets available in both cities and extremely limited numbers of tickets (and a high interest from what we can tell) in the mastermind tickets – so to avoid disappointment we suggest securing your tickets as soon as possible.

Get full details of what’s included in tickets and what we’re planning in terms of the agenda on our events page which is where you can also now pick up your tickets.

PS: For those of you in the US – we have an event for you too!

If you’re in the USA an want to get to a ProBlogger event you’re in luck.

This year I’m cohosting an event called the Success Incubator in Dallas Texas on 24-25 October and you can also pick up an Earlybird ticket to that event until 31 March.

The post Grab Your Earlybird Tickets to ProBlogger Evolve Conference and Mastermind Today appeared first on ProBlogger.

      

5 Healthy Work Practices for a ProBlogger

5 Healthy Work Practices for a ProBloggerThis is a guest contribution from Chelsea Lee Smith of MomentsADay.com.

As a part-time blogger and homeschooling mother of three, I often get asked: “How do you do it all?!”

In the past, I usually ran through a few different answers: I have had a regular cleaner at times; I usually do my shopping online to save time; I rarely watch TV; I have occasional childcare.

But these answers are only a small part of the bigger picture.  Yes, making certain lifestyle choices has contributed to my ability to get things done.  However that in itself would not provide me with the professional environment required to continue my work as a blogger.

The underlying reason I have been able to keep up my blog alongside a very busy personal life is that I aim to maintain healthy work practices.  This keeps my blogging at a level where it doesn’t overtake my life and ensures I keep enjoying it.

5 Healthy Work Practices for a ProBlogger

I did not map all this out until recently when I nearly hit rock bottom as a professional blogger.  It wasn’t because my statistics had dropped or anything else catastrophic had happened (knock on wood).  I was simply emotionally exhausted and drained.

I basically got to a point that I felt so overwhelmed with blogging that I was seriously considering giving it up.  We had moved to a new town and setting up house was taking much more time and energy than I had envisioned.  Article deadlines were constantly creeping up on me, leading to late nights and a lot of anxiety.  Nothing was being checked off on my project to-do list.  My inbox was going bonkers.

After e-chatting with a few blogging buddies, I recognised the need to sit back and really take stock.  I had been through many busy periods during my blogging career.  Study, pregnancy, new baby, a year of travel around Australia.  What was the issue now?  Why was it so challenging?

I asked myself:

  • Was I enjoying my work?
  • Was I maintaining my boundaries?

The answer to both questions was no.  I was not enjoying my work because I felt constantly behind, leading to a little voice in the back of my head saying that it would never be enough no matter what I did.  I was sticking to my post schedule instead of writing what I was passionate about.  I was checking my email on my phone throughout the day, trying to get one or two jobs done here and there, and not staying present with my family or myself.

Were these patterns contributing to a better blog?  Not really.

Did I want to continue blogging?  No way.  At least not like this…

So I outlined the practices I had followed in the past that would help me enjoy my work and maintain my boundaries again.  What a difference it has made to reintroduce these habits in my life.  I now feel that I have a better blog and am able to be a better me.

5 Healthy Work Practices for a ProBlogger

I am sharing my list of healthy Pro-Blogger practices with you in case these points help you create better choices around your work as a blogger.

1. Take yourself seriously

Emails sent in the checkout line are rarely typo-free or complete.  Don’t skip meals or stay up all night tweaking something that can wait until tomorrow.  Do work when it’s working time, in your own designated working space.

Treat yourself like an important employee – give yourself a desk, all the tools you need, and time to regroup when you need it.  If you take care of yourself and maintain your head space, your work will be better and you will be in a better place personally to handle pressure when it comes your way.

2. Guard your work hours

As a work-at-home blogger, it can be tricky to overcome distractions.  I have found that when my work interferes with family time, even 10 minutes here and there, I head down a slippery slope towards resentment by myself as well as my family.

Therefore when I am able to schedule time to work on my blog, I fully dedicate that time to working on my blog.  No cleaning, no cooking, no laundry, but work, as if I were in an office away from my house.  If I find I am getting distracted by Facebook or start procrastinating by doing the household chores, it is time to take a break.  I like to be productive in bursts instead of feeling like I’m spending hours getting “nothing” done.

3. Surround yourself with inspiring colleagues

Who doesn’t like to chat at tea break about what’s going on in the office?  It’s necessary to have colleagues not only for professional development but for a sense of teamwork and mutual support.

My blogging buddies are absolutely irreplaceable because – it’s just a fact – no one gets blogging like a blogger.  I was lucky towards the beginning of my blogging career to be hooked up with some pretty fantastic bloggers who are not only a great sources of information but some of my most reliable cheerleaders.  We share our struggles and our milestones, ask each other questions, let each other know about embarrassing typos and all the other good stuff that happens in blogger Facebook communities.

If you don’t have a blogging group that fits you, find one or create your own.  It can be a game changer to be supported by like-minded bloggers, especially those in your own niche.

4. Choose quality over quantity

No one can do it all.

All the bloggers I have ever met have expressed that there are so many things they would like to do – ebooks, ecourses, better SEO, more printables – but simply don’t have the time.  Being a blogger in itself takes serious commitment, a good amount of planning, a whole lot of time, and often a few tears.

I often have two dozen projects on my list and have to narrow it down to one or two that I want to actually complete.  I do allow myself a bit of time to dream and explore different options, but choosing a couple things to actually finish helps me meet a deadline.  I also constantly remind myself that I don’t have to be everywhere on social media as long as I’m consistently in one or two places where my readers know they can find me.

5. Be true to yourself

There is a delicate balance between writing what you want to say and writing what readers want to read.  No matter what topic you are writing about, you have a voice and a skill set that is uniquely yours.  Your blog is your platform to share a message with the world.  What will your legacy be?  Be true to yourself and write from the heart.  Not only is it more satisfying, but following your passions will keep you motivated to continue progressing in your blogging career.

Remembering these healthy work practices has helped me get my blogging groove back on, and I hope they might help you consider what will lift your blogging work higher as well.

Have you considered healthy blogging practices before?  What are your must-dos?

Chelsea Lee Smith is an author and parent educator who shares personal growth activities and resources for the whole family at MomentsADay.com.

The post 5 Healthy Work Practices for a ProBlogger appeared first on ProBlogger.

      

Landing Page Optimization: Customer service can be a treasure trove of ideas for LPO

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If you’re engaged in landing page optimization, step back from the analytics for a moment and ask yourself a bigger question — why do we have a landing page in the first place?

Sure, you’re selling stuff. Getting leads. Achieving a conversion. Blah blah blah. Yes, that is all true.

But, all of those objectives have a fundamental similarity.

The objective of a landing page is to help a customer make a decision

And yes, that objective usually skews towards the get them to buy/donate to/download something. But by taking a customer-first marketing approach to your landing page, you can see them with a new perspective — not merely what you’re trying to get other people to do, but how can you help them through this decision.

One excellent place you can get this information is from customer service. What do customers have questions about? What concerns them? What confuses them? Should your landing page be able to answer these questions? If so, why is there a gap?

Hearing from customers in their own words

If you work for a very small company or you’re a solopreneur, you may be close enough to the customer to naturally get this information.

But if you work for a company of any size, you likely aren’t seeing this information every day. Can you work with customer service call centers and email and chat support to log both recurring topics that customers ask about as well as examples of these customer concerns, questions and frustrations in their own words? And can you get regular access to them?

The bigger the company, the more complex this is. But I don’t want you to feel it’s impossible. So, here’s an example from perhaps the largest, most complex customer service feedback to any organization in the world.

During his presidency, former President Obama received about 10,000 letters and messages every day. And he personally read ten of them each day. The complex and well-thought-out system to go from 10,000 to ten and make sure the most powerful person in the free world heard directly from his customers in their own voice is the subject of this fascinating article from The New York Times Magazine about the Office of Presidential Correspondence.

An example based on my own failings

The reason hearing from customers about their questions and concerns is important is because every marketer has a blind spot — self-interest.

To wit, I’ve been working on the marketing for the University of Florida/MECLABS Institute Communicating Value and Web Conversion graduate certificate program.

I’m also a student in the program, so I should be able to empathize with prospective students. And hopefully I am. But once I’ve taken on the role of marketer, that subtle, unintentional shift happens, and I start to look at metrics and think of the landing page as a means to an end I’m trying to reach. As much as I try to see through the eyes of the customer, this self-interest somewhat obscures my vision.

So, when our education team shared a customer service email that asked a few key questions, it helped me see — through that prospective student’s eyes — the gaps we had on our landing page. You can see the current landing page here, and below are some examples of changes we made based on that customer service email.

How much does this cost?

Price is a huge concern for customers for every possible product I can think of. Even if it’s free and doesn’t have a monetary cost, what does the customer need to do to get it?

Many ecommerce landing pages do a great job of displaying the price. But for a more complex purchase, like our graduate certificate program, the cost can get buried.

Now, I’m not saying you should lead with cost. You want to communicate value before cost, especially if you want to win on value proposition and not price.

However, there will be a logical moment when a customer has heard enough about the value and wants to know what it is going to take to go forward with the conversion action.

For our graduate certificate program landing page, we thought a sensible place for the cost of a course was in each course’s description (similar to a product description on an ecommerce page). However, when a customer asked how much the program costs, we realized that many customers may not wade that deeply into the page before wanting to know the cost, so we made the cost accessible on the landing page without a click.

Again, you don’t need to lead with cost. You should lead with value. The image below might be misleading because the cost is actually about two scrolls down the landing page, not at the very top. You can see the page here. But by that point, we figured enough value had been delivered that visitors will start wanting to know the cost.

uf1

When does the customer get value?

We were so focused on the date that was important to us, our conversion objective — in this case the summer semester application deadline of April 1st — that we overlooked a crucially important date for the customer.

“When does the summer semester start?” — someone asked in a customer service email.

So, we added in the dates when the summer semester classes will actually take place.

uf2

This is another example that tends to be better on ecommerce pages — when the product will ship, how long it take to get to me — than on a bigger or complex purchase.

For example, if I’m buying siding or new windows for my house, when will the install actually be complete? That may be equally as vital to a customer as when a discount is ending.

What is going on in the customer’s life and how does it affect purchase of your product?

One anxiety that potential students might have about taking classes in summer semester is if they would still be able to take a summer vacation. We were asked, “Are all of the materials available at the start of the class so I can work ahead for a vacation?”

So, we updated the landing page with that information.

uf3

Note how similar the copy is to the actual voice of the customer. Building rapports and addressing concerns it not about using fancy language (this is especially important in the health care industry); it’s about talking to them about their concerns in their words.

Customers may have concerns about taking a conversion action that has more to do with their personal lives than your product, so you would never think to add that to your landing page. As in the example above, our landing page is about a graduate certificate program, not a vacation package, so why would we think to talk about summer vacations?

Because that is what the customer is thinking about. That is her priority, and it can lead to anxiety.

These concerns can take many forms, from health (“Is the lox you’re selling made from farm-raised or wild caught salmon?”) to ethical (“How does your mutual fund company vote on shareholder climate change proposals”) to safety (“Is your school located in a safe area?”) to fear (“Will this medical procedure hurt?”) to ego (“Will my friends think badly of me if I buy a giant SUV?”).

If and when you have real value there (obviously don’t just make something up to placate customers), how can your landing page address these concerns to help your customer?

In our case, the courses are on-demand so students can naturally work at their own pace to allow them to enjoy a vacation or fulfill any other work or life obligations or plans they have while still meeting the course deadlines. We just didn’t talk about it in that specific language on the landing page before.

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6 Brands That Nailed Their Product Launches (And What You Can Learn From Them)

6 Brands That Nailed Their Product Launches (And What You Can Learn From Them)

This is a guest contribution from Shane Barker.

Planning to expand your reach and grow your readership? As a blogger, you regularly produce valuable content that your audience loves. But what if you could provide your readers with something beyond your blog posts and eBooks?

For instance, you could share your expertise and knowledge with your audience through online courses and webinars or other e-products – they can be a great way for your blog to reach new audiences and make more money. B

elow are some great examples of brands that nailed their product launches so you can get a better idea how to successfully promote your new product:

Example #1: Pingit by Barclays

In 2012, Barclays launched the mobile app Pingit, a mobile payment service that lets users transfer money easily through their mobile phones. Available only for U.K. residents, the service allows users to transfer money to other people using only their phone numbers. Soon after the app was launched, Barclays made the most of its social media buzz to collect real-time user feedback.

They realized that, although a majority of the reactions were positive, there were still a few negative mentions. Upon further analysis, the main issue was that the app was only available for people aged 18 and above. Not only did teens feel left out, many parents were also unhappy as they were unable to use the service to send money to their kids.

6 Brands That Nailed Their Product Launches (And What You Can Learn From Them)

Barclays quickly acted on this and made the service available for users aged 16 and above. So the bank managed to turn a possible PR disaster into something positive with the help of social media feedback and response. Social media monitoring also helped Barclays find out what they were doing right. For instance, users were delighted about the balance checking feature, which was only added as a side feature. Due to the high amount of positive responses, the bank even developed a new app just for this.

6 Brands That Nailed Their Product Launches (And What You Can Learn From Them)

What to Learn from Barclays:

Whether you’re launching a new course or promoting a new webinar, social media monitoring can get you a long way in understanding your readers. Maybe your signup process is a bit complicated for them or maybe you could get their opinion about what topic you should cover next. Either way, social media monitoring can help you get a clear idea what you’re doing wrong or right and make adjustments accordingly.

Example #2: Chrome by Google (Thailand Launch)

Google wanted to introduce its Chrome browser to a more diverse market by bringing it to Thailand. But launching a product in a diverse market comes with its own challenges as you need to adapt your strategy according to cultural preferences. Realizing that people in Thailand appreciate traditional storytelling, Google decided to implement that into their product launch campaign.

They chose to tell the story of Ramakien, a national epic that stems from the Hindu story of Ramayana and focuses on the triumph of good over evil. The idea was to use visual storytelling to demonstrate the features of Chrome while bringing the ancient story to life. This helped users understand the browser’s capabilities without having to watch a long, boring tutorial. They even added in-story games so that the audience remained intrigued throughout the interactive experience.

6 Brands That Nailed Their Product Launches (And What You Can Learn From Them)

The campaign was met with approval by many Thai people, including the Prime Minister. During the campaign period, the number of Chrome users grew by 53% and resulted in the browser becoming Thailand’s no.1 browser. Google even experienced a 3.5 point increase in shares following the campaign.

What to Learn from Google:

Visual storytelling enables you to entertain and inform your audience at the same time. But you can further leverage this by telling the story with a theme and tone that fits the preferences of your readers. You can implement this tactic by creating informative yet eye-catching infographics to promote a product or service you’re launching. Find out what interests your audience to get inspiration on how to develop the infographic content.

Example #3: belVita by Mondelēz  

Modelēz International is a multinational company dealing in confectionery and other food items with brands like Cadbury, Oreo, and Halls as part of its brand family. They launched two new products in Brazil – Trident Unlimited and belVita – and wanted to effectively market these products. In May 2014, they started promoting their new belVita apple-and-cinnamon breakfast biscuits through YouTube TrueView.

The brand then measured the campaign performance using Google’s Brand Watch Solution, analyzing how their target audience responded to their video and display campaigns. They discovered that there was a considerable drop in viewer retention after the first five seconds. So they started testing another version of the ad, mentioning their brand name within these five seconds. The revised ad also displayed the product on screen and even appealed to viewers not to skip the ad.

After this revision, their view-through rate improved by 15%. In comparison to a control group, the ad had a 57% increase in ad recall, and brand awareness increased by 27%. Armed with this critical data, Modelēz was able to make adjustments to its campaign for increased effectiveness. They also used insights from Brand Watch to narrow down their target audience to a more specific age group, as they had a 79% brand recall with people aged between 35 and 44.

What to Learn from Modelēz International:

Your product launch campaign doesn’t end as soon as you have launched the product. There are chances your campaign might not be as effective as you had predicted, despite your extensive study of the market and target audience. So thorough performance monitoring will help you understand what you could be doing wrong or what you could do better.

As you can see from the example above, Modelēz was already seeing improvements in performance after revising their ad. But they decided to further improve their performance by narrowing down their target audience into a specific age group with which they seemed to be performing the best. Make the most of monitoring insights and data to adjust and improve your product launch campaign.

Example #4: Unsplash

Unsplash is a blog that provides people with free photos that do not require any form of attribution. If you visit the blog, you’ll find some breathtaking images taken by professional photographers and donated for public use. You might even find images that you can use for your next blog post. Here’s an example so you can see the quality of the photos:

6 Brands That Nailed Their Product Launches (And What You Can Learn From Them)

From a $19 blog with 10 leftover photos, Unsplash grew into a community of more than 8,000 photographers. The 30,000 photos submitted on the platform have been downloaded more than 50 million times. As a way to thank and further promote these generous photographers, the Unsplash team decided to make a book. The book features some of the most inspiring photos from Unsplash as well as essays from renowned creators such as Lawrence Lessig, (Founder of Creative Commons), and Stephanie Georgopulos, (Editor of Human Parts).

To fund and promote the book, the team launched a Kickstarter campaign with a goal to raise $75,000. They leveraged the campaign with an inspirational video telling the story of Unsplash and how the inspiration for the book came about. The video featured some of the photos on the blog and the people behind the project. The campaign managed to raise more than $100,000, exceeding the initial target by around $25,000.  

6 Brands That Nailed Their Product Launches (And What You Can Learn From Them)

What to Learn from Unsplash:

There are several reasons why this campaign worked so well. First of all, they added value to the product by curating and including the works of key influencers in the creative industry. Another reason for the campaign’s success is that they used a video to tell an intriguing story about the inspiration behind the product, and to showcase the lives of the people behind the project.

Partner with key industry influencers to co-create valuable content or products that your audience will love. You can then promote the content/product by telling your story in such a way that your audience forms an emotional bond with you. The more emotionally invested they become, the more likely they will be to buy your product or continue reading your blog.

Example #5: Front App

Front App is a team management app that lets you communicate with team members and manage tasks seamlessly. After seven months of beta testing, the app was officially launched in 2014 and was featured on three reputable websites relevant to the app industry – Hacker News, Product Hunt, and TechCrunch. These features managed to generate a high amount of page visits, leads, shares, and signups.

The folks at Front App monitored the performance of these three channels during the 24 hours following the post and discovered that each of them had unique benefits for promoting the app. Hacker News was able to drive the most traffic at 6,174 unique visitors. TechCrunch, on the other hand, drove the most engagement and conversions with 173 signups, 108 qualified leads, and 107 shares. Product Hunt too generated significant traffic and conversions.

6 Brands That Nailed Their Product Launches (And What You Can Learn From Them)

What to Learn from Front App:

This case study shows that features and guest posts can significantly boost your product launch campaign. They can help you raise awareness about the product while driving traffic to your site and generating leads. The idea is to ensure that the links are coming from reputable and relevant websites. You could talk to publishers about the product to see if you can get a feature highlighting some of the main features of the product.

Otherwise, you could also submit a guest post detailing what the product is all about. Your goal should be to inform the audience about what the product can do for them. You’ll be promoting the product through a trusted platform, reaching out to a massive audience relevant to your industry. Getting featured on successful blogs and renowned publications could also help you build your credibility and brand image, as a feature usually means the website is vouching for you.

Example #6: Wonders of the Universe App by HarperCollins

HarperCollins wanted to establish an online presence and venture into the digital world with a goal to tap into the U.S. marketplace. In 2012, they launched a series of educational apps based on a popular BBC TV series hosted by Brian Cox. The Wonders of the Universe and Wonders of Life apps came with rich multimedia elements and interactive animations along with informative videos.

They kicked off their campaign by developing a unique key message to fit different personas within their target audience base, which included tech/app reviewers, educators, parents, and science and astronomy publications. Each of the messages highlighted the apps’ features and capabilities despite being geared towards specific audiences.

HarperCollins then embarked on a product launch promotion campaign that involved exclusive outreach to high-ranking media outlets, sneak peeks for top technology blogs, and free app downloads for top-tier teacher and parenting blogs. The app was featured on reputable websites like Popular Science and Educade, raising awareness among the target audience.

Following the campaign, the Wonders of the Universe app managed to get more than 81,000 downloads and helped the brand generate $500,000 in new business. It was also featured in the App Store’s “Best of 2012” in both the U.S. and the U.K.

What to Learn from HarperCollins:

The most significant takeaway from this campaign is how they adapted their messaging to suit different audience personas. As a blogger, this would be your area of expertise but there are times you get stuck because you’re too used to writing for a specific type of audience.

Whenever you’re writing for a new audience, like with guest posts, you need to gain a thorough understanding about what the audience would appreciate and how they are different from your regular readership. Adapting your writing style and tone according to specific audience personas boosts your chances of winning readers over.

Conclusion

The examples highlighted here have demonstrated several strategies for a successful product launch. They can help you come up with an effective plan to promote a new e-Product or service. Use these tips to leverage your status as an influential blogger and to ensure that your product launch is successful.

Are you looking for ways to fully monetize your following and influence? Need some help negotiating with brands that want to work with you? If so, then get in touch with me so you can start capitalizing on your influencer status to the max.

Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant that specializes in sales funnels, targeted traffic and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, Influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities. Catch him on Twitter or LinkedIn.

The post 6 Brands That Nailed Their Product Launches (And What You Can Learn From Them) appeared first on ProBlogger.

      

Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately?

Reading Roundup: ProBlogger

This week we’re talking about changing up routines and slashing things out of our lives if we want to be successful. Also Facebook maybe making our lives easier, taking quizzes, and what to do when you wanna chuck it all in… I’M MOTIVATED! Let’s do this.

13 Things You Should Give Up If You Want To Be Successful | LinkedIn

Well this was food for thought. I’m not sure I agree with all of it… what are your thoughts?

Want to Have More Creative Breakthroughs? Redesign Your Day According to This Step-by-Step Guide | Inc.

Huh. Well, there’s nothing better to bust out of a rut than to do things a little bit out of the box. I can’t see the harm in trying a new way of structuring my day! I definitely forget (or maybe just dismiss) the importance of mindless activities when things get busy.

 Should you bother rewriting your ads? | Search Engine Journal

I’m the first to admit I don’t really ever do this. Perhaps I will have to change my ways.

News site deters comment rants by making you take a quiz | Endgadget

This has made a lot of my friends very excited – it could take the heat out of the moment, no?

Denny’s Got a Bit Too Real With a New Meme, and the Result Is the Brand’s Best Tweet Ever | AdWeek

I love a success story, especially when it makes me laugh! And yes, I was distracted, and it was glorious.

Seven Things to Do When You Feel Like Giving Up on Writing | Aliventures

I’d have been happy with one (anything!) but Ali gives us seven. Round of applause.

Facebook’s Rolling Out a New Page Inbox to Manage Page, Messenger and Instagram Comments in One Place | Social Media Today

WHAAAAAAAT?!!!!!

Identity Matters: How Content Strategists Build Trust and Loyalty | Content Marketing Institute

Personality and authenticity goes a long, long way.

YouTube Tops 1 Billion Hours of Video a Day, on Pace to Eclipse TV | Wall Street Journal

This is nuts. TV is so ubiquitous, it’s hard to think of it being second fiddle… but here we are. Better get our content onto YouTube!

How to Create Content That Keeps Earning Links (Even After You Stop Promoting It) | Moz

Passive income jackpot!

What’s caught your eye this week?

The post Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately? appeared first on ProBlogger.