Reptiles, Robots and Drunks: 5 Takeaways from Content Jam 2015
On November 5, several StudioNorth team members dedicated a day to Content Jam, where we heard “experts in content strategy, SEO, analytics, promotion, conversion, and measurement … share their smartest tools and techniques.”
Here are our biggest individual takeaways:
THE FOUR F’S DICTATE WEB BEHAVIOR
Before you’ve even consciously decided whether to take action on a web page, the reptilian centers of your brain have evaluated everything on the page and run it through the “four F’s” filter: fight, flee, feed, or … fornicate.
The net takeaway: you need to simplify the overall experience (like removing distracting motion on a homepage), limit choices, and guide the user with visual and language cues that align with the primitive forces at work beneath the conscious level.
“EVERY WEB PAGE IS A PARTY …
… but nobody shows up to puke.” So said Angie Schottmuller, a 2015 Forbes’ Top 10 Online Marketer, in her presentation, “Holy Grail of On-Page Content Optimization.”
She began with her #1 Key Metric, the five-second “Non-Bounce.” Homepages generally have the highest five-second failure rate, with the least amount of “stick.” Her solution: focus the visitor’s attention on what’s most important, by clarifying the visual path.
But the best part was the “User is Drunk” test—a video of an inebriated person trying to customize a pair of sneakers online. Complex experiences fail to convert when there’s a lack of focus and clarity.
I’d measure this by counting how many f-bombs get dropped during an interaction … but that’s just me.
WE ARE STORYTELLING ANIMALS
That may be true, but Jill Pollack, owner of StoryStudio Chicago, insisted that humans are also creatures who crave long-term engagement.
Sharing research from author Jonathan Gottschall, she claimed the more absorbed you are in a story, the more it changes your behavior. Content, she said, should always be creating demand for more content. Don’t tell the whole story at once—withhold information to keep readers pushing forward, and you’ll have them hooked.
“EVERY NUMBER IN YOUR ANALYTICS IS INACCURATE”
Thank you, Andy Crestodina—Co-Founder of Orbit Media Studios—for sharing the ignominious truth of every Google Analytics account.
Our traffic sources aren’t organized properly, we’re probably tracking fake robot visits, and—worst of all—we’re probably not tracking activity across devices. So, do we really know how real people are interacting with our websites?
Before everyone launched into an existential crisis and questioned the fundamental meaning and purpose of their marketing activities, Andy shared some helpful tips and tricks to get your GA account back on track. Set up filters, update robot exclusion settings, and set up UTM tracking parameters for URLs. Thanks, Andy. You saved us all.
POSITIONING IS MORE THAN A STATEMENT
- You must solve an unmet need for your audience. They have to wake up in the morning and know they need it.
- You can’t have several target audiences—you must choose one.
- Children are never your target audience.
- You must understand why your product is unique. (Hint: it’s never your price)
- Learning about your target audience doesn’t have to take months of interviews. Get the four or five internal stakeholders who know the customer best in a room for four hours, and bring your Post-its.
I WANT TO BE A CONTENT CREATOR!
There are two kinds of people on the internet—those that CREATE and those that LURK.
Andy Crestodina’s afternoon keynote presentation inspired me to be in the number of creators, who are only about 1% of the population. So often I’m focused on creating content for our clients. I’d like to take some time to create more on my own!