Categories
Video Marketing

Why Use A Video Landing Page?

A landing page is a page on a web site where someone “lands” after clicking a link. In some cases it might be the main page (or home page) of the site, but in many cases a landing page is used as part of a marketing campaign and the desired action is for the person who clicked the link to sign up to an email list.

In the distant past it was enough to say you’d send the prospect more information if they signed up for the list, but that approach doesn’t work as well today. People are more wary about giving out their contact information unless they’re getting something of value in return.

One way to accomplish that is to offer some kind of “ethical bribe” if the person signs up to the list. That could be a special report or white paper with information that’s useful to the prospect. And, of course, you’ll include more information on your product or service to try and convince the prospect to buy.

So now you have a reason for the person to sign-up, but you’ll still find far more people just go away rather than giving you their email address. You need to build some trust before they’re willing to go that far.

And that’s where video comes in.

Adding video to a landing or opt-in page not only gives the prospect information in a visual manner, but hearing a real person (and seeing them, in live videos) increases the trust factor. And the more trust that’s built, the higher conversion rate you’ll have on your landing page.

In a test that just finished running I went from a 31% opt-in rate on a landing page, to a 40% opt-in rate simply by adding a short video.

There’s no guarantee that adding video to your landing page will increase your conversion rate as much as I saw — but there’s nothing saying you won’t do even better, either.

Categories
Internet Marketing

Internet Marketing Trouble? You Might Need A Kick In The Butt!

I read a blog post recently from a well-known marketer and one of the comments was from someone who shall remain nameless.

That person started a list of what new people need, and it included something that…

  • automatically puts the correct keywords in a web page with the right density
  • automatically submits all pages to the right search engines
  • automatically creates lots of backlinks
  • automatically submits videos so you can get traffic, etc., etc.

My first thought was, “Oh, and what will YOU do, just go cash the checks that come rolling in?”

My second thought isn’t fit for publication.

Hey, I’m a big believer in tools and automation; developing stuff like that is how I make my living. But reading that comment I got the impression that person had NEVER done any of that stuff before. They weren’t looking for a way to cut down the time spent on their business, they were looking for magic beans.

Should people use tools that help streamline a process? Oh, heck yeah! But not until you freaking know what the actual process is! Not until you can do the process by hand. Until then you’re basing everything on theory and not practice. You don’t have a core understanding of what’s really going on.

My kids are homeschooled and we don’t follow a specific curriculum — we’re very eclectic in our approach and don’t usually use actual school books. But I just went by the “school store” today and bought a couple workbooks for the kids to work through over the next couple months.

One of them is math. Word problems. Oh, most people hate those. But here’s how we’re working them.

After the first page or two I don’t care if they give me the answer to the problem — all I want is the correct problem broken down into an equation. For example…

“Patty’s new car can go 135 mph. If she drives two and a half hours at an average speed of 64 mph, how far will she drive?”

A correct answer as far as I’m concerned is: 2.5 X 64 =

If the kids want to give me the answer to that equation that’s fine, but after I know they have the ability to do that, all I want is the actual problem. Because that’s the point of a word problem — to be able to figure out what is needed to get the answer.

I’m okay with shortcuts — as long as the person knows how to get there using the long way.

But over and over again I see “internet marketers” who don’t have an understanding of the basics of the business and think they should be able to jump right to the head of the line.

Sidebar: If you’re getting into internet marketing by starting a company and throwing a bunch of money at the problem, I’m not talking about you. This is directed at those of us who are bootstrapping our way into the business, working on it evenings and weekends while we hold down a (for now) day job.

How Long Should It Take?

Another commenter on that same blog mentioned he’s frustrated because after 8 months he still doesn’t know how to make his web site.

Eight months? Okay, there are two options for that guy that make sense:

1. Stop banging your head against the wall and give up. Dancing with the Stars is starting in a minute, why don’t you go settle down in front of that and give it your focus.

Or…

2. Stop looking for a stinking shortcut and get to WORK.

There’s absolutely no way a typical person can’t get decent at making web sites in just a few weeks — if you stop hopping around and poking at every shiny thing out there. HTML isn’t even close to being rocket science. You can find free tutorials on the web or run down to any bookstore and buy a book on how to make a web page with HTML.

And then start working through it. As nice as it would be to gain the knowledge through osmosis, just buying the book won’t do anything for you. Now you *must* make the time to start going through the book — and actually doing the examples, etc.

Most people could go through a book like that in a month or less, even if they have a job, family, etc. And once that’s done you have a solid foundation for the rest of your online life.

If you still can’t put together an opt-in page, a down load page, etc., why don’t you do that? Maybe you’re too lazy? (Note: That fits for 99% of the cases. Maybe you’re the exception.)

If you’re not willing to put in some WORK then please stop telling people you’re an internet marketer and are building an online business. TANSTAAFL – There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. If you want to reap, you’d better be prepared to sow.

“But There’s Just So Much To Do”

I’ll give you that one — kind of. There are a billion and a half things you CAN do, but not that many that you really must do.

  1. You need a product to promote (either one you’ve created or as an affiliate)
  2. You need a way to promote the product (typically a website)
  3. You need to get traffic to that website

That’s it, you don’t NEED anything else. Yes, you should be building a list. Yes, you should tweak and test your website to make it convert better. Yes you should be doing everything else.

Later. Not now.

If you don’t have those three things SOLID, then stop flailing around at everything else and just DO THOSE THREE THINGS until you have those things firmed up.

Each of those steps will be the subject of an upcoming article and we’ll go in depth on each.

Hey, there’s no way I’d suggest I have all the answers, but I have some of them and I don’t mind telling on myself when I’ve made bonehead moves — there’s no sense in you falling into the potholes if I can steer you around them.

Internet marketing, and business in general, isn’t a “one size fits all” endeavor, but there are certain foundational aspects that will serve you well into the future. At the same time, if you don’t have that foundation, anything you build is not going to be stable enough to keep growing and making more money.

Have you decided to stop darting off in every direction at once and work on building a real business? If you’re not willing to do that, do yourself and your family/friends a favor — stop poking at this internet marketing and free up your time for other things that everyone will enjoy more than watching your blood pressure spike.


What do you think, am I being too harsh? Do I not remember what it’s like to be a newbie? Or does this make sense?

Categories
Internet Marketing Video Marketing

What I’ve Been Waiting For

It might sound kind of weird because I created the product, but Instant Video Web Pages is the tool I’ve been waiting for. As I was playing around with the Template Editor this afternoon I realized a lot of the other tools I’ve created were just practice for IVWP.

Here’s why…

While the primary purpose of Instant Video Web Pages is to create video sales letters and video opt-in pages, with the addition of the Template Editor I can now very quickly create pages without video. So all those other pages that we need — thank you pages, download pages, etc., can quickly be generated with IVWP.

Honestly, I’m not a stranger to creating web pages — I’ve been doing it since somewhere around 1994. Give me a nickel for every web page I’ve created over the years and I’ll send you a postcard from my yacht in the Caribbean.

But just because I do it doesn’t mean I like spending the time. And that’s why IVWP is such a killer product.

I made it easy enough for nontechnical people to put up video web pages — but it’s also for technical people who don’t have enough time to do everything from scratch.

The official launch of Instant Video Web Pages is coming up around the first of May. Until then I’m upgrading people from the Standard to the Plus plan at no extra charge. But when it launches, that special deal is over.

Categories
Internet Marketing Video Marketing

New Look, Oh Baby!

I just spent the last 8-10 days working too many hours every day, but I added three VERY cool features to Instant Video Web Pages, plus…

…I gave it a complete makeover. Before, it was functional and okay. Now it’s functional and COOL!

Here’s a very quick video that will show you what it looks like on the inside…

Categories
Internet Marketing Video Marketing

The Pros and Cons of Video Marketing

Video marketing isn’t the practice of trying to market and sell videos, it’s using video to promote a product or service. Just like article marketing has you writing an article that’s designed to sell a product, video marketing works the same way.

You record a video on a given topic and if people want more information, you give them a web page link where they can find out more, or purchase the product.

Most people think it’s easier to write a blurb about a product than to shoot some video, but there are some big reasons why video marketing should be a much used tool in your marketing efforts. Let’s look at just two of them:

1. It’s quickly becoming a world of video. While audio and print aren’t going away, more and more people are turning to video, not only for entertainment, but also for information. In fact, more and more online retailers are using video to help sell items, and studies show those people who watch the videos are more likely to buy.

While video isn’t a requirement, folks are starting to expect video on a site and if it’s not there, they may wonder why.

2. If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many words is a video worth? There are many cases where a 1-2 minute video can cover more ground than a full page article. If you’re thinking of buying something, would you rather see a video of what it looks like and does, or read a description of it?

The same goes for tutorial, or informational videos. Tying to teach someone to hold a tennis racket correctly can be done using video far faster than trying to explain it using text.

Okay, if video is so good, why isn’t everybody using it? While there are many reasons, I think it usually boils down to one of these two:

1. Making videos requires _______. You can fill in that blank with many things, from “expensive equipment,” to “specialized training,” to “too much time.” But all of those are just excuses, none of them are true. You can create screencast videos (recordings of your computer screen) using free software. You can learn how to do that in a couple evenings, and once you’ve demolished that learning curve, you can crank out a good video in less time than it takes to write a decent article.

2. Putting video online is too hard – I’m not technical. While it’s true that being a technical geek can be helpful, there are copy-and-paste templates available that make putting video online very quick and easy. And once again, after you learn it one time, you’re set for life.

Video marketing has been proven to increase sales and sign-ups and if you’re not using it for your internet marketing business, you’re losing out on profits that could be going into your pockets.

Categories
Internet Marketing

Instant Video Web Pages

What if putting up a video opt-in page, or video sales letter, or video postcard…

…was as easy as:

Step 1. Upload your video file.

Step 2. Fill in two form fields.

With Instant Video Web Pages it IS that easy!

Take 8 minutes right now and ┬ásee what you’re missing!

This is my newest product and I’m more excited about what this will do for people that anything else I’ve created!

Categories
Article Marketing

Top 3 Differences Between Writing Articles and Article Marketing

Lately I’ve been hanging out with a bunch of writers and while I do consider myself a writer, for the most part I write as a way to promote the internet marketing products I create. That’s the core of article marketing, after all.

Those other folks, though, write because they’re writers. And while they also get paid (usually) for their writing, marketing is not what they’re thinking of. How can writing an article for payment be different than writing an article for marketing?

Here are the top three differences:

1. The purpose of the article. While both kinds of articles should give good value to the reader, an article written for non-marketing purposes will stop there. No further action is expected from the reader after finishing the article.

But in article marketing there needs to be a strong call-to-action at the end of the article. Remember the old show-business adage, always leave them wanting more? Your article should whet their appetite and the resource box at the end of the article should promise them more information, all they have to do is click the link.

That call-to-action is what changes the article from straight information to a direct-response marketing article.

2. Where the article is published. Most article writers are trying to get published in offline magazines, most article marketers are trying to get published online. There is a lot of overlap and even today there are online-only magazines that article writers target, but in general there’s a pretty apparent split between the two.

3. How often the article is published. For “real” writers this one is simple — when your article is sold you forget about it and start working on another article. In many cases the article is published one time and that’s it.

For article marketing purposes, your article is going to be published online as many times as you can. While there are some online article directories that require exclusivity, most article marketers steer clear of those. The majority of the directories like exclusive articles, but don’t require it. That means most articles for marketing are going to end up posted on the author’s blog, in the major article directories, in as many ezines and newsletters as the author can make deals for, etc.

The more people who see the article, the more chances of making a sale when the reader clicks the link in the resource box at the end.

If you’re a writer and you’ve never thought about using your talents for marketing purposes, you might want to look into it. You already have the skills, all you need is a direction to get yourself started.

Categories
Internet Marketing Video Marketing

Served 400,698 Times

That’s how many videos have been served up by Sonic Flix so far.

And Sonic Memo Express has served up 1,688,109 audio files.

Those are two of the tools inside Sonic Toolkit — and I hate to even put up a link because the sales letter just sucks. That’s why I don’t promote STK very much — because I know I need to rewrite the sales letter and I just don’t have the time.

Taking a peek at the sales letter I see it’s so outdated it doesn’t even list all the tools inside:

Adsense Eliminator
Expiring Links
Inline Profits
Exit Attack
Sonic Test & Track
Sonic Flycatcher
Sonic Memo Express
Sonic Syndicator
Sonic Flix
STK Survey
Monthly PLR Materials
Miscellaneous Marketing
Title Brainstorm

This weekend I’m working on a new tool — kind of an extension of Sonic Flix — that will make it very easy to put together video sales letters.

When *that’s* done then I’ll use it to create a new STK sales letter. And I’m going to significantly bump the price as well (don’t worry if you’re already a member, you’ll be grandfathered in).

More info as the new product comes together…

Categories
Article Marketing

Why Article Marketing Will Never Disappear

In my work with article marketing I solicit questions from people who want the free, prequalified, targeted traffic from writing simple little articles, and one question keeps coming up time after time:

Q. Does article marketing still work?

Sometimes the writers are wondering about backlinks, or search engine optimization techniques, or any of the other tactics for which they’re using articles, but it all boils down to the question of whether it still works…

…and whether it will continue to work in the future.

Here’s Why Article Marketing Will Always Work

The simple answer is that getting free traffic from articles happens for many different reasons, and there’s no way every one of those reasons will vanish.

For example, the search engine aspect — even if every search engine in the world vanished overnight there are still many ways you can use articles to drive traffic to your sites.

Even if the search engines stopped indexing links in articles, so the use of backlinks ceased to work, there are still many ways to drive the user to your web site.

The only way article marketing will stop working is if people stop reading — and that’s never going to happen. A lot of reading has switched from physical books, magazines, and newspapers to the digital versions, and articles used to promote products or service have switched right along with them.

Just to get your thinker working, let me give you three ways to use articles for marketing on the internet that don’t rely on search engines in the slightest.

1. Become A White Knight – In general, you help people who write ezines/newsletters, blogs, etc., come up with new content for their readers, so they win, and you win because your resource box is exposed to a new audience.

2. Long Term Sales On Autopilot – Use your articles as a “passive sales pitch” in a series of autoresponder messages. Once people join your mailing list, start sending them sales messages in the form of articles (that also give them great information).

3. Automatic Special Reports – Combine several articles on the same topic together and publish as a PDF file. You now have a “special report” that can be given away as an incentive to join your mailing list, or even sold as a stand-alone product.

I’ve written entire articles on those techniques, so look them up if you’re interested in all the details.

No matter how you slice it, article marketing has been around for decades and will be around for decades to come, driving free traffic to our web sites.

Categories
Internet Marketing

The Power of a Nobody in Internet Marketing

Recently I split-tested an opt-in page to see whether a testimonial would help increase conversions.

Sidebar: In a nutshell, split-testing is when you split the traffic in two (or more) parts and send them to different web pages. Each one is typically the same with just a single difference. Then you keep track of which web page brings in the most sales or opt-ins and you know whether that difference is the one you should use going forward.

Most people might say a testimonial would help, but it’s always a good idea to test things so you know for yourself what’s true in your market.

In this case, yes, the testimonial helped — although that’s not what I think is the most interesting thing.

First, here are the stats:

Page without testimonial: 10.37% opt-in rate.
Page with testimonial: 14.40% opt-in rate.

Both pages were identical other than the testimonial and those numbers are after almost 100 opt-ins. So according to the test I get 4% more opt-ins with the testimonial than without. That’s settled, the testimonial stays in.

But here is what I found more interesting…

The testimonial I used wasn’t from Marlon Sanders, or Mike Filsaime, or Frank Kern, or anybody else who’s a “known big-wig” in the internet marketing scene.

It was from a guy that probably very few people in the internet marketing world have ever heard about. I don’t know that for a fact, but looking at his site and Googling him I think he’s a “nobody.”

I mean that in the sense of “name recognition in the IM world.” Using that definition most of us are also nobodies — I’m not belittling the guy or what he does.

My point is that you don’t have to have the backing of a “big name” marketer to make a difference. Even someone who’s basically unknown (a nobody) to your target market can make a positive impact if they like what you’re doing and publicly say so.

If you’re selling a product or service and Jane Doe says something nice about you, ask if you can use that quote in your marketing. They may not have a known name or a huge following, but their sincere words about your product or service can be the catalyst for changing prospects into buyers.

So thank you to that unnamed person and every other “nobody” who takes the time to speak up and say what you like — as you can see from the stats on this test you have the power to make a big difference, well-known or not.