2 ways to go viral — today

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Focus on social media tactics based in video and images, not text


The future is visual. Nowhere is that more true than on social media. Lots of social media efforts from brands have been posts, tweets, and content marketing plays that rely heavily on the assumption people like to read. As every millennial knows, reading takes effort. Consumers barely want to read content from their friends, let alone from brands pushing products.


Images and video are the hottest ways to get noticed, and they’re incredibly shareable mediums. Social media users are more keen to sharing pictures and short-form video content than anything else. If you want to be seen and shared, turn your text-heavy marketing messages into creative infographics, beautiful images, or entertaining videos. Images and film are attractive; your brand will stand out if you invest creative resources into looking different on social media networks.


Use social media filters to target niche fans, not the whole world


With the ability to highlight posts, tweets, pins, and images, social media marketers have budgets to promote content on a variety of platforms. However, trying to get your messages seen by everyone can actually be counter-productive to lighting a viral fire. Don’t assume that just because someone has liked your page or followed your brand that they perfectly represent your ideal customer. Don’t even assume that they want to hear from you in mass.


Instead, craft a suite of visual marketing messages and use the variety of social media filters to target many different groups at different times. If you treat each demographic as special, your messages will not only resonate better, but those audiences will be more likely to share your content among one and other. Going broad can cause an audience to glaze over ads. If you target niche groups and speak directly to them, you have a much higher chance of being noticed.


Few know more about how social media virality occurs than Mashable CMO Stacey Martinet. She speaks with iMedia’s David Zaleski at the ThinkLA Social Breakfast about how marketers should attack big data, and why visual marketing is the winning strategy for the future.



Learn more about ThinkLA and upcoming events.


Click here to subscribe to the iMedia YouTube channel.


Video edited by associate media producer Brian Waters.


Social media network concept” image via Shutterstock.

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November 24th 2014 Uncategorized

iMedia 25: The top marketing innovators of 2014

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November 24th 2014 Uncategorized

12 advantages of being the newest brand on the market

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Being the new kid on the block can be intimidating. But in today’s crowded space, a fresh face can be a valuable asset to consumers. As part of an ongoing series, iMedia asked twelve young entrepreneurs: What competitive edge do new brands have in the market that should be taken advantage of?


The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.


Building a reputation from scratch is easier than fixing one later


Kelsey MeyerInfluence & Co.


“Many of the large brands that we work with are facing the battle of trying to re-engage with their target audience, and rebuild a tarnished brand image. New brands have the advantage that if they do things right they can authentically engage with customers right away and build a loyal following.”


You can afford to focus on smaller niches


John Rood, Next Step Test Preparation


“There are lots of opportunities that are too small for a billion-dollar brand to go after but which would make a nice $5M+ business. Think about what customers are under-served in a given market. For example, car rental agencies do a terrible job of offering premium service and real luxury vehicles. While they need to focus on volume, I bet someone could get off the ground by leasing three BMWs.”


You can flaunt what makes you unique


Kenny Nguyen, Big Fish Presentations


“Timeless business principle, but true — If you specialize in something, flaunt it. Just look at how hot startups Uber and Airbnb disrupted the taxi and hotel industry. Their competitive edge rocked large travel companies in an industry that’s outdated and not seen as sexy or glamorous. By showcasing why they’re unique, customers realized that both brands solved problems they never knew they had when traveling.”


You can engage your customers in a personal way that established brands can’t


Ben LyonKopo Kopo, Inc.


“Newer brands have the opportunity to create a unique and relatable personality from the onset. By using a warm tone, avoiding jargon and interacting with customers on social media, you can build a brand that people engage in the same way they’d engage a friend.”


You can position yourself as an alternative to the competition


Shawn PoratFortune Cookie Advertising


“When your brand is new, you can focus on the shortcomings of your competition, while they can’t do the same as you don’t yet have a solid reputation (good or bad). You can identify what customers are most frustrated by and explain how your brand is going to solve these issues. That’s why it’s important for new businesses to research the market and identify problems that haven’t been solved yet.”


You already know what everyone hates


Adam StillmanSparkReel


“As a new company, you have the opportunity to say to the consumer, “We see the same problem you see. We are the solution.” For example, the airline industry is a punchline. Virgin America decides it’s a good idea to not have an overall feeling of disdain for their customer and they have an outstanding approval rating.”


You face less risk (and lower cost) to enter the market


Alfredo AtanacioUassist.ME


“New brands have the advantage of market and product knowledge that other brands have usually paid for before — often in the form of costly trial/error procedures and product development. New brands can see what’s been done and which market needs haven’t been satisfied yet. With that information, they can build their competitive advantage.”


You can give great customer service faster and better than older peers


Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance


“New brands have the ability to deliver stellar customer service in new and innovative ways that older brands might be slower to adopt — for example, taking reservations or allowing customers to buy products via social media.”


Embrace the mystique


Robert GlazerAcceleration Partners


“The key competitive edge that new brands have is that they’re new. People are attracted to things they’ve never seen or tried before. New brands should be taking advantage of the mystique they have in the marketplace because the window of time they have to take advantage of being new is somewhat small.”


You have far greater flexibility


Dave NevogtHubstaff.com


“New brands have a lot more flexibility than older, more established brands. When early adopters use your product differently than you had imagined or ask for additional features, new brands can quickly pivot to meet those needs and improve the product. This kind of flexibility can help you to build your product into something that your early adopters love and begin to rely on, leading to growth.”


You have full freedom to experiment and even fail


Brewster StanislawInside Social


“Established brands have expectations from both customers and the market. This limits the freedom to experiment with new and/or different brand messaging and marketing. As a new brand, you are unencumbered with expectations and free to try things. Crazy things. A new brand should embrace failure in its marketing positioning. It’s OK to try and fail as you establish your voice in the marketplace.”


You can make decisions quickly and progress faster


Erik SeveringhausSimple Relevance


“New brands have the opportunity to — and requirement of — embracing innovation. Their advantage of making decisions and putting them into action immediately without red tape keeps them two steps in front of their bureaucratic counterparts.”


On Twitter? Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.

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November 24th 2014 Uncategorized

Why Facebook isn’t as mean as marketers think

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When Facebook announced last week that it will soon become more difficult for brands’ page posts to appear in the news feeds of their friends, fans, and followers, the outcry was predictable. This was the latest move, many brands asserted, in Facebook “forcing” them to buy ads to reach their rightful audiences.


After all, the thinking goes, news feed post appear only the in the feeds of people who hand-raised to follow the brands. So any incidence of Facebook filtering, editing, or otherwise controlling which posts are seen, and by extension, which are not, is pay-to-play statement.

On the one hand, that’s true, in part. Facebook is a business. Its monetization model is ad sales, and that’s the way it works. Of course it wants brands to buy ads.


But what Facebook also wants and needs even more than it needs ad revenues is users. Facebook researched user complaints that their news feeds were ringing too commercial and promotional. Upon probing deeper, the company learned users weren’t complaining about actual ads so much as they were complaining about the brands that they follow on the platform. Posts were too click-here-buy-now, and loaded with promotional calls to action.


So Facebook will now institute a system that requires actual humans to check the quality of brands’ news feed posts for overtly commercial, promotional content. If the human factor deems posts to be to promotional, they’ll plummet like stones in organic results.


Quality score. Organic feeds versus paid placement. If this vocabulary sounds familiar, it should. By checking feeds for quality and determining whether or not they appear prominently (or at all) in users’ feeds, Facebook has just taken a page from Google’s playbook. Google, as you’ll recall, applies this selfsame human evaluation technique not to organic search, but to ads. Actual human beings evaluate search ads based on a number of criteria such as copy, landing page, call-to-action, etc. The ads that Google deems higher in quality are positioned more prominently (i.e., higher) on the search results page.


And of course, Google famously has algorithms to determine the relevance and ranking of organic search results. In no small part, these criteria center around content that is well-crafted and well-written, relevant, useful, shared (i.e., linked to), and credible.


There’s something fascinating about Facebook doing for organic what Google is doing for ads, isn’t there?


There’s also a lesson being reinforced here, namely, there’s a difference between organic content and advertising copy. Between owned and earned media (content and social) and paid media (advertising).


Media are converging, but the medium also determines the message. It’s fallacious to blindly accuse Facebook of trying only to sell more ads because they are trying to up the quality of the news feed. The same accusation was (and continues to be) lobbed at Google when brands’ organic search results suffer: “They’re just trying to make us buy ads.”


Both Facebook and Google aren’t going to turn away your money. But the fundamental reason brands are prepared to pay money to advertise on both these very different platforms is because of the size and breath of the audiences they can deliver to advertisers; audiences they wouldn’t be able to build or maintain without a steady stream of content those audiences are eager to return to consume again and again.


The takeaway from Facebook’s adoption of a quality score (let’s just use Google’s term for it) is that brands must learn to distinguish between advertising content and content marketing content. The latter is never overtly commercial in nature. It’s pull marketing — the marketing of attraction, rather than push, the marketing of interruption. Content requires very different skill sets and strategies than does advertising.


Facebook’s decision in this arena doesn’t just do its users a service. Ultimately, it’s doing a favor for brands, too, by helping them to make this important distinction.


Rebecca Lieb is an analyst, digital advertising/media, for Altimeter Group.


On Twitter? Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.

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November 24th 2014 Uncategorized

Moms in marketing: Making it work

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Digital media is a young, dynamic industry filled with powerful executive women, many of whom have spoken out quite publicly about the tradeoffs they make in juggling a demanding work and home life. C-suite executives like Marissa Mayer and Sheryl Sandberg are portrayed as glossy, Gucci-toting examples of progress for women in corporate leadership, and specifically mothers.



And yet, throughout the ranks at ad agencies, marketing, and ad tech firms, being a mother in media is as much a challenge today as ever, and perhaps more so. With pressure on margins at agencies and increasing revenue goals for companies striving to go public, it’s not an easy career for anyone, let alone those with a hectic family life. The struggles are common, but those who stay in this industry after their post-collegiate bar-hopping years are inspiring a new generation of moms to lead this industry to its maturity. 


Here are the biggest challenges our industry moms are facing, as well as the emerging opportunities that allow them to shine on the job and still be home for bath time.

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November 24th 2014 Uncategorized

The right way to use social media in a B2B industry

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There is an inherent flaw in the way businesses approach their social media strategy today. Thanks to the glorification of what I call the “Buzzfeed-syndrome,” businesses measure their social media success by the number of shares and likes they get and not by the actual conversions that such social media engagements bring.


But the trouble does not start there. Most businesses initiate their social media strategies by asking, “We have created a Facebook and a Twitter page — now what?” And this is where the problem lies. A lot of businesses are on Facebook because their competitors are already using the platform, and there is a feeling of being left out or being too late in the game. This results in a half-baked social strategy where you are on Facebook and Twitter for the heck of it — not because you find potential in the platform.


This problem is exacerbated in a B2B industry where sales cycles are longer and the typical consumer is not watching cat videos on Facebook. Unless you run a B2B service targeting the tech savvy younger customer, your memes and fun graphics will be lost on your customer. You need to be professional and straight-forward, even if the platform is fun.


A lot of marketers do get this, and that is why they end up making boring, redundant Facebook posts about how good their service is every second day. That is not a social media strategy. Rather, it’s just wasteful expense of your resource bandwidth. Every campaign you run must either help get the word out, or help your customers get one step closer to initiating a discussion with you. It’s no different for social media campaigns. The objective should always be: Have I either reached out to more prospects, or helped existing prospects arrive at a better decision through this Facebook post? If not, rethink your strategy.


Let us take an example of a B2B industry like invoice management. The typical customer is the CFO of a mid-sized firm that deals with thousands of invoices every year. At the outset, there is not much scope for targeting prospects via Facebook posts. How many CFOs regularly check their Facebook pages, let alone make purchasing decisions from them?


The trick is to create helpful content that can be distributed socially. Take the example of ADP.com, a pretty well-known resource management solutions builder that includes invoice management. Their strategy revolves around creating success stories, case studies and how-to videos for YouTube, and presentations on Slideshare. Facebook and Twitter, in this case, are mere channels that complement their outreach strategy.


Another great example to consider is CrazyEgg. This is a company that offers heat map analysis for business websites looking for enhancing conversion rates. Instead of promoting their tool in their social media posts, the company chooses to solve the other problems their prospect faces. Since their customers are typically those with an online business, the typical problems include search engine outreach, social media growth, increasing conversion rates, content marketing, etc. CrazyEgg addresses all these problems through high-quality blog posts, which are then shared over Facebook and Twitter for additional outreach. As more and more prospects are funneled in to the blog, the word about the core offering increases, which helps increase sales.


The take-away is this — Facebook and Twitter cannot operate in a silo. By design, these channels only help users share content that exists already. The success of these platforms for your B2B business depends on the kind of compelling content you can build over other platforms like YouTube and Slideshare, which are designed to host such content. If you are a B2B business that does not have too many new things to talk about every day, choose a strategy similar to CrazyEgg, where you can target the host of problems faced by your typical customer. When you do this, you help your customer. You offer them an incentive to like and share your content. And when this reaches out to more prospects, your sales funnel fills up and ultimately leads to more customers. And this, is the ultimate criteria to measure your success.


Frank Gothmann is a marketing consultant.


On Twitter? Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.

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November 24th 2014 Uncategorized

How talent reviews can better your business

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We all crave reviews. Whether it’s a new movie, a chic hotel, or a restaurant people today rarely make a purchase or take an excursion without first reading reviews. I know I would never make a reservation for a client dinner before first checking the restaurant’s reviews. Not to mention that to any filmmaker, hotel owner, curator, or restaurateur, reviews are treasured gems that represent how the public feels about them. Just like all other types of reviews, talent reviews hold a great value for employers as well as employees.


Typically, the phrase “talent review” incites goose bumps in employees and major anxiety in employers. In fact, there is an old saying in human resources: Talent reviews are like fruitcakes — they come once a year whether you want them or not. I can point out a handful of things wrong with this negative mentality toward talent reviews. This process should not be a dreaded one — talent reviews are an excellent way to stay aware of what is going on in your business and to help cultivate its growth.


The first problem with the fruitcake metaphor is the assumption that talent reviews should only come once a year. As an employer, if you only conduct talent reviews once a year, you are missing out on a great deal of intelligence into how your company is running. Holding off on talent reviews until the end of the year has two more negative consequences. Firstly, if you wait until the end of the year, you risk conflating an important discussion about progress and goals with another necessary end-of-year chat: the compensation and bonus conversation. It’s a good idea to keep these conversations separate so that your employees are open to discussion about their work, rather than defensively negotiating for a raise. Another reason to do talent reviews as often as possible is that they are extremely beneficial, both to employers and employees.


For employers, talent reviews function as a way to identify, reward, develop, and retain top talent. As you know, good people are the most valuable asset of any business. Identifying talented members of your team is a great way to develop your business and make sure you are relegating your most important tasks to the most capable people. This process is an essential one, and not one that should be left to the last minute or considered an afterthought. Supervisors should take their time when conducting these reviews as they have major repercussions on their business.


Talent reviews are not only helpful in identifying top achievers — typically those are already evident before reviews. They can be especially helpful in identifying team members with high potential: those who aren’t yet achieving to their highest capability, but those who are worth the extra effort to help get to that high-achieving point.


On the flipside, talent reviews are beneficial to employers in identifying weak team members. It is equally important to keep an eye on weak performance as it is to identify strong performance. By keeping track of who isn’t performing up to par, you can make necessary cuts and replacements to keep your business running smoothly. When employers only hold talent reviews once a year, they risk letting weak performers with low potential fall under the radar, thereby weakening their business.
 
As you can see, the main categories an employee review helps evaluate are performance and potential. One way to stay organized in your talent reviews is to utilize the nine-box method: nine boxes, with performance on the X-axis and potential on the Y-axis. After an employee review, it can be helpful to place each team member in one of the nine boxes to determine their strength in the company.




(Photo Credit)


Talent reviews are not only helpful for the employer — they can be immensely beneficial to the employee as well. However, in order for the employee to reap the benefits of these conversations, it is essential for the employer to be completely transparent about their thoughts regarding the review. If the employer conducts the review and then gives the employee no feedback on how it went, they are missing out on an excellent opportunity to help a member of their team grow and start achieving to their highest potential. The talent review process should be a two-way street — more of a problem-solving discussion rather than a graded rubric.


Thinking about talent reviews as more of a two-way problem-solving discussion makes the process less like an audition and more like a mutually beneficial conversation, which is what it should be! One technique some supervisors use when conducting talent reviews is to flip the script and start the conversation by asking the employee to answer questions about themselves. Asking the employee to answer questions such as “how have you done,” “what are your goals,” or “what is your greatest accomplishment so far this quarter,” not only gives the supervisor a better idea of where the employee is at but helps the employee assess themselves. Also, talent reviews can serve to help employers understand the strengths and weaknesses in their own businesses. By asking questions like “what problems have you faced and how did you solve them,” you can consider ways for both the employee and the company to grow together.


Self-assessment is an extremely important process for anyone, in both the professional and personal spheres. The only way any individual can improve themselves is by identifying their strengths and weaknesses honestly. It can be hard to gain clarity on your own, so it is helpful to have a supervisor’s outside perspective to help you understand what your strengths and weaknesses really are. Clearly, the talent review process is far preferable to, and much more beneficial than, the average fruitcake.


Talent reviews are an immensely valuable process, both for the reviewer and the reviewee. Employers, don’t be afraid to conduct them as often as possible. And employees, don’t be afraid to be honest with yourself and with your employer. The goal of a talent review is to do what’s best for the business and for the employer. Everyone should come out of the process with some wisdom on how to be a better teammate and how to better run your business.


Erika Weinstein is CEO and founder of eTeam Executive Search.


On Twitter? Follow Weinstein at @eTalentSeeker. Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet. 

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November 24th 2014 Uncategorized

4 social platforms that 20th Century Fox loves

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Facebook: overview pages for films & content


Facebook is clearly the 800-pound gorilla of social media, and Twentieth Century Fox has a surprising place for it in its marketing strategies. Instead of using the platform as the base from which to throw out a multitude of marketing messages with different tones, Facebook pages are used as introductory overview hubs to get people familiar with the content it puts out into the market. The pages are more of “about us” sections for film and TV, and are used to spark interest and gin up initial appeal. Facebook pages are also utilized as content headquarters.


YouTube: teasing the audience & eliciting excitement


There’s no better or more popular place online to immerse an audience in video than on YouTube. Twentieth Century Fox uses this platform to inspire engagement through trailers, teasers, clips, and behind-the-scenes content. It’s perhaps the best place for Hollywood to market its products in a natural environment. YouTube — and other various video outlets — are as native as it comes for promoting video material on a digital platform.


Twitter: creating a personality for content & characters


Twitter is used to create a persona for content and bring characters to life. Since this platform is so agile, not only can a movie or TV show take on a distinct personality through the network, the characters within them can be brought to life and interact with users. Twitter is perfect for short-form content that is meant to be delivered quickly and is simple. It’s easy to respond in real-time and create quick, fun marketing messages to engage viewers.


Pinterest: useful when it makes sense, given its main demographic


Finally, Pinterest is used by Twentieth Century Fox only in instances when it works. Because the main Pinterest demographic is female, it doesn’t make sense to promote X-Men on the social network. However, the company did a very compelling Pinterest campaign for “The Other Woman” because it made sense given the main demographic of Pinterest users. The company uses it for campaigns that resonate with a niche female audience.


Katie Lavin, VP of digital marketing for Twentieth Century Fox speaks with iMedia at the ThinkLA Social Breakfast about how the company utilizes social and employs a specific strategy to reach audiences.



Learn more about ThinkLA and upcoming events.


Click here to subscribe to the iMedia YouTube channel.


Video edited by associate media producer Brian Waters.


Photo of an old movie projector” image via Shutterstock.

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November 24th 2014 Uncategorized

Brand innovation labs: The 4 boldest moves yet

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A new era is upon us. As Forrester contends, a 20-year business cycle began in 2010 in which “the most successful enterprises will reinvent themselves to systematically understand and serve increasingly powerful customers.” Referred to as the “Age of the Customer,” this period of time will inevitably force brands out of their comfort zones to embrace risk in efforts to reach consumers with the most innovative and relevant marketing and products. Just think about the sheer amount of power consumers have today compared to their age-old counterparts, whose circles of influence grew only as large as their non-digital lives allowed. Even though it has been estimated that roughly 30 percent of web reviews are fake, one can’t argue that online review sites and the surplus of social media networks hasn’t increased the control consumers have over companies — which is great if you’re a customer-obsessed marketer who truly understands your audience.


Brand innovation labs: The 4 boldest moves yet


As brands reinvent themselves to meet the needs and desires of modern consumers, stagnant companies are falling victim to more agile and innovative organizations. In an interview with Ad Age, Kyle Nel, the executive director of Lowe’s Innovation Labs, highlighted the need for brand innovation as a weapon against market competition of the “unknown,” referencing Blockbuster’s demise at the hands of Netflix to support his position. As Nel explains, Netflix seemingly emerged from nowhere to annihilate Blockbuster because Blockbuster didn’t understand that its business “wasn’t in owning stores” but in “selling content to people in the easiest fashion.” In other words, Blockbuster failed to foresee, thus effectively compete against, a threat like Netflix — a company that certainly understands us binge-loving modern consumers of video content. However, the main point is not to prepare in order to combat more innovative competition but to adapt and continuously evolve so that your brand is the most innovative competition. According to Nel, “The only strategy right now is an offensive strategy.”


At the heart of some major brands’ offensive strategies are innovation or tech labs. These labs are corporate workshops where new technology, marketing strategies, and product development collide to create the consumer product experiences of the future — or at least that’s the goal. On behalf of their brands, these labs are devoted to speeding up innovation by using new technology, partnering with startups, and levering consumer insights to create new products, services, and experiences that reach consumers through relevant marketing efforts.


Here’s a look at a few brands that are setting the digital curve with bold efforts from their innovation labs. Are their ideas good or bad? You be the judge. 

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November 24th 2014 Uncategorized

The issue that digital marketers can no longer ignore

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Count out loud to two. That’s how fast users expect your site to load. Add just one second to that, and 40 percent of your visitors are gone. Most of the users who stick around will leave with a negative perception: 79 percent of shoppers who suffer through poor site performance say that it makes them less likely to buy again from that site.


But despite this, sites are getting slower and bigger: Over the past year, average load time for ecommerce sites jumped to 10.7 seconds – a 49 percent increase — while page size climbed 67 percent. First impressions are critical, and page load time plays a substantial role in how users perceive your site and your brand. Digital marketers can no longer afford sluggish sites — it’s time to reverse the trend and focus on speed.


Old assumptions no longer apply


Many in the industry have long ignored page load time, operating under the assumption that users could quickly engage thanks to speedy ethernet connections. The exponential rise of mobile computing has changed the game, and new research proves that 10ths of a second affect conversion rates. (For example, Google found that a half-second delay dropped traffic by 20 percent.) These changes are forcing brands to re-think the implications of page load time, and how it fundamentally affects the success of each digital experience.


Slow site speed disconnects you from search customers


Page load time affects your site even before a user has arrived: Pages that load slowly often have higher bounce rates, a metric search engines use to decrease ranking in search results. This is especially important for mobile sites, as poor mobile performance can also affect the ranking of corresponding desktop sites. Simply put: slower page load time means a lower ranking, which decreases your visibility and traffic, and provides an opportunity for your competitors. Some potential customers may never see your site at all.


Speed plays a big role in user perception


Speed isn’t just about raw numbers — it’s also about user perception. In one test on the psychology of waiting, a major airport found that moving its baggage carousels farther from each gate reduced customer complaints, because passengers spent eight minutes walking instead of waiting. Even though it took just as long to retrieve luggage, walking felt more satisfying because passengers were actively moving toward a goal rather than passively waiting. The airport found a clever way to alter their customers’ perception of wait time, making something that used to be tedious feel quick and easy.


Smart design can make even heavy pages feel fast and simple


Much like the baggage example, users may feel a site is fast if they are able to quickly find their desired content, even if a page has not fully loaded. Google recommends that the visible portion of a site loads first — so even if you have a heavy page, the user can start reading right away rather than waiting in front of a blank screen.


A smartly structured site also helps users find what they want faster, creating a sense of a speed and ease, by making their next steps intuitive. Building digital experiences with structure in mind forces designers to focus on the most important content, while eliminating or deprioritizing content that may slow down the user’s experience — avoiding both sluggish page load and the frustration of navigating a complex experience.


Site speed is both a challenge and an opportunity


Today’s consumers are impatient, more technologically savvy than ever, and often are on the go, with less-than-perfect connectivity. They also have copious experience using well-built websites, which reinforce already-high expectations. This poses both a challenge and an opportunity for digital marketers — consumers are hard to please, but providing fast and easy experiences can set you above your competitors. You can achieve this by:



  • Gathering and analyzing data — Before starting a project, research the factors that may most affect site speed (imagery, JavaScript, data calls, etc.) to know where to focus

  • Making site speed a project benchmark — Focusing on performance from the start underscores its importance, sets a clear goal for the entire team, and yields better results by avoiding significant last-minute re-work

  • Understanding the implications of design decisions — Ensure that creative and development teams collaborate from the start for a great design and great performance

The bottom line: No one likes to wait, and waiting can cost you money. It’s time for digital marketers to embrace this challenge and make site speed a priority for every project.


Michael Histen is associate director, experience design at DigitasLBi. Co-author Michael Gauld is associate director, SEO, and co-author Jill (St. Cyr) Baker is senior creative engineer, technology at DigitasLBI.


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November 24th 2014 Uncategorized