5 Things I Learned in my First 6 Months at WEVO

Since joining WEVO six months ago, my entire conception of the digital marketing process has evolved radically. Like everyone else I knew, I had long relied on my finely-honed sense of marketer’s intuition and set of proven best practices when it came to improving website performance.

Ok, who am I kidding here? Basically I was guessing at what different audiences would respond to and using A/B testing to test (and hopefully validate) my guesses on live traffic. Sound familiar to you? After seeing dozens and dozens of websites WEVOed, I could never go back to doing that. WEVO gives marketers real data on how their audience will perceive their page before it ever goes live. The results have been eye-opening for the customers I work with, and me too.

Many marketers love what they do: helping companies solve a problem, communicating their story to their prospect. But we as marketers only have a small area of real estate and a few moments of time to get our messages right.

Joining WEVO has made me love what I do even more: because now I help marketers really, truly understand how their audience really perceives their page and if they can connect the dots their messaging lays out. WEVO helps our clients understand their audience’s perspective and get their pages right the first time.

When marketing fails us, or underperforms, a lot of us like to console ourselves by saying that our product is too sophisticated. Our audience is too specialized and hard to reach. If we’d only launched our page on the second Tuesday of the week instead of the first one. . . . or share your favorite excuse in the comments below.

Well, in the last six months, in the countless tests and client consultations I’ve had, there are indeed definite patterns that emerge across every industry I work with. Here are the top five I’ve seen since WEVO first rocked my outlook six months ago:

  1. This one is so basic and fundamental so I’ll get it out of the way first: you really really really reaaalllly need to know who your target is long before you create and deliver content to them.

  2. Your images matter more than you think they do. Our clients are often surprised by the negative customer feedback they get on their photos. Customers can tell when you’re using an overly sterile stock photo or one that seems inauthentic to them. And if they have no emotional connection or identification to your images, how easy do you think it’s going to be to sell them on your product or service?

  3. Many sites are too complicated and visitors get lost in the content. It is critical to make it easy for a visitor to “get” what you do and what you offer. Simplicity of message and they way you present complicated information is a key differentiator and impacts all aspects of a visitor’s experience of your website.

  4. Don’t repeat yourself. You have limited space to communicate your message to your potential customers. Redundant information turns people off and is a wasted opportunity. If you have to market to two target audiences on one page, focus on the option that turns off the least amount of people as opposed to the option people will like more.

  5. Content and headlines need to address your audience’s biggest hopes and fears. Whether it’s the secret fear of being the dumbest person in the room to being the best possible parent to their kids, your copy needs to get to their heart of hearts quickly and effectively. Show them you get them, even if they haven’t told you what they want (shameless hint: if you use WEVO, they won’t have to) Headlines that instead demonstrate your audience how clever your writer is aren’t going to move those bottom-line numbers.

Every digital marketer I’ve worked with wrestles with these issues. They all have the best intentions, but the echo chamber that marketing is becomes a funhouse mirror and skews our perception of how the world is.

Your landing page is like your organization’s front door. You only have a few moments to capture your audience’s interest and make them want to come in. You know it has to communicate its message as quickly, effectively and compellingly as it can. Before I joined WEVO, I’ll admit I was guilty myself of using my intuition on what I thought would work best. And as I work with WEVO clients, I like to go on that journey of discovery with them. I make my own private guesses prior to WEVO’s pre-live tests to what I think the outcome will be for my clients. (I still get a couple guesses wrong from time to time, but I’m getting better!) And the best part of all is when I see it click in for our clients and they find out something so critical and fundamental that changes the game for them.

Good marketers know there is no silver bullet to conversion. As much as we know our audience’s demographics and psychographics down to the molecular level, we are not usually our own target audience. As much as we’d all like to think we’re excellent judges of consumer behavior, we’re not psychics.

And WEVO is the closest thing to getting into our audiences’ minds and knowing exactly WHY visitors will or will not convert. As marketing has become more enmeshed in everyday life, it’s become more competitive for organizations to grab their share of wallet–not to mention minds (awareness) and hearts (loyalty). And if you’re not taking advantage of every opportunity to understand your audience, personalize your content, and pre-test it on a representative sample audience, then you’re really not marketing. You’re just guessing. And that’s not solving the problem.

About WEVO

WEVO is the first technology platform that optimizes digital experiences before you go live. Leveraging crowdsourced visitor insight and artificial intelligence, WEVO generates recommendations that have proven to significantly increase conversion. WEVO has successful experience working with Fidelity, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Harvard University, Santander Bank and others.

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