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Machine vs. Marketer: 4 Tips to Stay Relevant During the Digital Age

Unbounce recently hosted the CTA conference—a gathering of 1,000+ marketers and one special guest: a mindful marketing machine.  At the event, 437 attendees played “Machine vs. Marketer,” a game designed to test a landing page’s likelihood to convert (based solely on copy). Here are the results:

  • 437 people played
  • 32 completed all 204 rounds
  • Marketers: 50% Avg. score
  • Machine: 79.7%  Avg. score

That’s right: In a room full of people who live and breathe SEO, CRO and every other marketing acronym, a machine scored 29.7% higher. So, what can you do to outpace machines (or, at least, keep up)? Unbounce CTA Conference speakers shared the following tips:

Tell Specific Stories

You’ve read tons of tips on telling “better brand stories.” In fact, we’ve written about it ourselves. Master storyteller, Kindra Hall, however, shared a game-changing framework for engaging more customers through stories: normal, EXPLOSION, new normal.

The explosion must be a specific moment in which everything changes—not a high-level principle, awesome piece of data, or something that simply alludes to the story. Why? Because in real life, stories happen in a particular moment and speak to specific, relatable emotions. She also alluded to the importance of characters in a story who have something at stake. And when it comes to brands (whether B2B or B2C), that character can be a customer, your company, or even an employee!

Utilize Customer Language

Your customers aren’t looking for features, they’re looking for solutions. It’s why marketers say toothpaste “can help whiten teeth 5x faster,” while a customer will say that the same toothpaste, “gives them the confidence to smile more than ever before.” Your customers often describe your product in a way that resonates better with your audience—so why not use their language to inform your marketing strategy?

Copywriter Joel Klettke recommends the following tips for collecting customer insight:

  • Conduct Interviews & Surveys: With tools like Uberconference (free) and Typeform (logic-mapping), you can remotely conduct interviews to figure out your audience’s experience with your product, and what led them to seek it out.
    • Pro Tip (Ranking for Priorities): Typeform questions that let your customers rank their priorities. These types of questions will let you see what customers think is the most important feature of your product.
  • Install a Chat Box: Customers use chat when they can’t figure something out, or want to know something urgently—a perfect opportunity to collect language about your product. Plus, chat boxes can also be used to identify any unclear copy on your site.
  • Check Out Reviews: Reviews of your product (and competitors’) on 3rd party sites can provide fast and free access to language your customers use to describe what you do.

Adopt the “Less is More” Content Principle

Andy Crestodina of Orbit Media shared that marketers can boost rankings not just by creating new content, but by adding to existing work instead. For example, Crestodina explained that “an ally in creation is an ally in promotion.” Meaning, a great way to boost an existing piece is by incorporating quotes from relevant subject experts. And when it comes time to publish, your collaborators will likely share with their audiences.

  • Pro Tip (Explore Quora): Professionals use Quora for solutions to their problems. Not only can marketers use the site as a source for customer language, but also to show how their products are the solutions people need!

Besides adding collaborators, conduct a content audit to determine what’s ranking, what’s not and why. For anything not performing, compare to your content that is and optimize accordingly. Crestodina went on to explain that adding to published content will not only ensure your insights are up-to-date, but also provide more opportunities to incorporate additional keywords and semantically linked phrases for which you want your site to rank using tools like

Listen to Customer Cues (And Use Technology to Respond)

Use content to fully support the customer journey, by using data to directly answer customers’ questions. Wil Reynolds explained that customers searching for your product often do so with a comparative mindset (i.e. BEST content management tool implies there’s a WORST). So, any “Best +” searches should lead prospects to a comparatively oriented landing page that directly addresses how you stack up against competition.

To aid in this effort, model your content after organic articles that rank well for your brand’s preferred search terms. Finally, strategically invest in ad space on the sites that rank well for your search terms to further reinforce your brand across all relevant consumer touch points.

Next Steps

Humans tell stories by identifying and stringing together specific moments, then listening and adjusting based on the audience’s reactions. Olapic works with the world’s top brands to help them in a similar way by seamlessly incorporating customers into their brand identity. For tips on putting your customers at the front and center of your marketing strategy, connect with an Olapic expert today.

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