8 Content Marketing Tricks That Helped Dollar Shave Club Go Viral

8 Content Marketing Tricks That Helped Dollar Shave Club Go Viral

Ask any North-American male aged 17-30 whether he’s heard of Dollar Shave Club (DSC). He’ll probably say, “Yeah.” And it’s not just dudes who know about DSC. A lot of women know about it too because they’ve bought subscriptions for the men in their lives. Dollar Shave Club is a classic example of startup that blew up—in a good way. What was one of the first signs of their success? A video. A viral video. If you haven’t seen it, you ought to check it out: The company’s launch video, casually titled “Our Blades Are F**king Great,” quickly became a sensation on the web. With punchlines and gags to suit a variety of tastes, the video racked up nearly 5 million views within the first 90 days. The company’s founder, Michael Dubin, had a few aces up his sleeve to help create a professionally cut video. The CEO studied […]

Content Strategy for the Hispanic Market

According to the Content Marketing Institute, in 2012 U.S. Hispanics had an estimated $1.2 trillion in purchasing power; that number is expected to grow to $1.5 trillion in 2015. U.S. Hispanics are spending more time online at twice the market growth rates, adding over a million users per year. In addition, they watch more online video: 62 percent more digital video than non-Hispanics.

U.S. Hispanics a tailored-made target market for digital content strategy: as content strategists, we need to start creating new content specifically tailored to the needs of Hispanic audiences — content that speaks directly to their preferences, interests and culture.

Hispanic Content Doesn’t Mean Spanish – Language

Developing a content strategy for the Hispanic market doesn’t mean that you have to create a Spanish-language site. Confusing Spanish marketing with language is a common mistake and could mean that you are missing out on the majority of your target market: 42.9 percent of U.S. Hispanics prefer to consume online content in English. This statistic is certainly to grow as more bilingual users accept more English Hispanic-centric content.

So what is the best approach for this emerging market? Appealing to the Hispanic Market doesn’t just mean speaking the language; it means understanding Hispanic users and culture. Over at Contently they provide several examples of strategy for reaching the Hispanic market, including:

  • Knowing and Understanding “Spanglish”
  • Understanding and marketing to the Hispanic extended family
  • Using the power of video, particularly on YouTube.

Read the complete article: 5 Content Marketing Tips That’ll Help You Appeal to a Hispanic Audience

Learn More Must Die

Learn More, you have been good to me and I appreciate you. You have helped me tremendously over the past years, especially early in my web copywriting career. When I didn’t know what to call my link, you were always there for me. But like all good things, our relationship must come to an end.

In the world of content marketing, the produced content over the last five years has improved and evolved to fit the changing Internet landscape; content on the web is more centric toward SEO, providing users with the right keywords so it can be found, and has become more information rich and helpful, not the filler content for content sake (like the Top Ten list, a content pandemic that must also be eradicated).

However, there is an exception to this progress and it concerns one of content marketing’s most critical components: The Call To Action (CTA). The CTA is arguably is the most important component of any landing page, article or blog post; its sole purpose is to convince visitors to take the next step and complete a specified action. Yet most CTAs are totally lame and uninspiring, and one CTA in particular is as old as the Internet itself but still in widespread use: Learn More.

To all copywriters and content managers: it’s time for Learn More to die. We can do better. Not only is Learn More tired, it’s deceptive and without detail: the very phrase infers that by clicking it, you will learn something you did not know before, you will be provided with more detailed information. But in reality, this is very rarely the case. Often, it’s a link to something completely unrelated, a cop-out by the writer who didn’t know what else to use.

I say it’s time to start using our imaginations to come up with better CTA’s; no more can we rely on the old cop-outs like Learn More, Sign Up, Buy Now, or, shudder, Click Here. We as web professionals have done our jobs well; the Internet user community has bought into what we have sold and consequently have become more smart and savvy, but also demanding, and are less-likely to click on the links we provide unless they are interesting and enticing.

So what can be used as a good call to action instead of tired old Learn More? Google “Good CTA examples” and you can find literally hundreds of examples; blogger and designer Christian Watson has a list of over 30 CTA’s that you can substitute for Learn More. Hubspot has a PDF with over a 150 CTA suggestions.

As writers, the descriptive CTA is our secret weapon; an enticing action that leads our readers and users where we want them to go. With such a powerful weapon in our arsenal, why waste using something as lame as Learn More? Be creative! Who knows, as a writer you might even….learn more.

They don’t work for you: Why your customers aren’t filling out your contact form

Recently, a client came to me with a problem on his website: they were not getting much customer feedback or leads.  This client had been very careful in the construction and marketing of their website: they had selected a good design, had made sure there was on-page SEO and had also ensured there was enough CTA’s to point people to their contact form.  They were mystified as to what was keeping people from reaching out.

I took a look at their site and was able to decipher what the problem was almost immediately: their contact form had 28 fields. The form scrolled on forever, and asked too much personal information not relevant to their inquiry.  A quick check on the Google tags for their form confirmed this: their users were abandoning the form after filling out a few fields.

My recommendation to them was this: cut out the information and fields you do not need in order to help; keep it to what you feel is the bare minimum.  Once you have done that, make that version half as long.  Once you have completed that, you will begin getting more feedback.

They were skeptical to this request.  The fields they included came from their support group: they needed this information in order to better answer the requests that came through.  Without this information, it might take twice as long to accommodate their customers’ request.

I countered: The support group don’t need all this information, they want it.  It will make their jobs easier, and perhaps make the resolution quicker.  However, the burden of having to do all the work for resolution of the problem by filling out the form  is being put on your users; they don’t work for you and this is why they are not filling them out.

We agreed to a test: We would reduce the number of fields on their form from 28 to 5: First Name, Last Name, Type of Problem (Drop-down), Email and Comments.  In 2 weeks we would revisit the feedback and analytics and see if that helped their problem.

The results were spectacular: Their feedback through the forms had gone up over 130%, and their abandonment rate had dropped to 20%.  The time for resolution had gone up slightly as the support team had to do more leg work in contact with the customers, but that time was inconsequential to the stream of feedback and leads they were getting from their users.

It’s always amazing to me that we, as digital marketers, tout the sophisticated study of usability and the urgency for companies to apply it to their websites, yet many sites feature forms that are too long and ask for too much information, the antithesis of usability.

The data and studies are very clear: People do not like filling out forms or giving too much personal information no matter what the reason.

Marvin Russell writing on the website http://mysiteauditor.com/, echos this sentiment: “Have you ever left a store without purchasing anything because the checkout lines were too long? That’s because you are human and humans are impatient, especially on the internet. We use the internet to make our lives easier, not more complicated and definitely not more difficult. A long contact form can be very overwhelming to look at and scare your potential customer right off your website.”

Courtesy of Hubspot

So this begs the question: We know that long forms suck and customers hate them; why do we keep making them?

Much like the client I assisted, the idea that the “more information I get up front the better I can serve you” is old-school thinking, yet a common argument for putting many fields on a form to gather as much information as you can.  It’s only as our users rebel in the form of non-communication do we begin to understand how dysfunctional a practice this is.

And it’s not just the amount of information you are asking for, but also the type of information you might be asking for: according to Hubspot, users are less likely to fill out a form that has “phone” or “phone number” as a required field. While email filters may help against you getting spammed if you enter on a form, many users are wary of getting endless telemarketing calls on their phone, as well as the specter of identity theft, if they give out their phone number.

So what is the best rule of thumb when creating contact forms that users will want to fill out?  The team at QuickSprout have come up with an infographic that lays out some very simple, and useful tips:

  • Keep it simple and easy: 3-5 fields maximum
  • Don’t ask for stuff you don’t need (phone number!)
  • Don’t ask them to “Submit”. This is how Google defines “Submit”:Try something more action-oriented and positive such as “Go!” or “Send!”
  • A/B Test: Try moving the fields around and see what flow works best: let your users tell you how they want to communicate not the other way around.  Another clever test: try putting your (short) contact forms on pages other than the contact page.

All these things can be done very simply, in about a day.  You may have to do more of the work for your customers, but be honest: did you make the web site for your company or your customers?