“Your Baby is Ugly – Rapid Fire Live Landing Page Critiques”
The title of this session at Content Marketing World 2014 snagged my attention, and I got exactly what was advertised. It was the best.
Tim Ash, author of Landing Page Optimization, was rude, he was crude, and he gave a ton of quick tips to improve the audience’s landing pages that I will share in a forthcoming post. It was easily the most entertaining and helpful hour of the week. There were plenty of panel sessions that I attended at CM World 2014 where the presenters spoke in broad terms about themselves and gave the attendees very little (or nothing) that was actionable. His session exemplified what we all need to do as marketers:
Rule 1: Tell your audience what they’re getting – and deliver
Rule 2: Content must be about them [audience], not you [marketer/company]
Rule 3: Speak like a person
Rule 4: Be concise
Think you’ve heard those tips before? Let me assure you that they’re worth repeating to seasoned marketers. It was astonishing how many of these alleged experts in the field needed a fine tuning of their speeches. The biggest gaffe came from the founder of Content Marketing Institute, Joe Pulizzi, who started his presentation with a two and half minute slideshow of pictures of himself. No substance, just selfies. In the first few minutes, he had already failed three of those four rules:
Rule 1 Fail: The session was called “How to Create a Dominant Media Brand” and he did not share any steps for “how to” do that from his experience starting the Content Marketing Institute.
Rule 2 Fail: What we got was an hour talk about him, his personal life, his podcast, and an inappropriate number of pictures of him dressed in orange. This was not a talk that applied to anyone else in the audience.
Rule 3 Success: He did speak like a person – I’ll give him that.
Rule 4 Fail: He was not a concisely spoken person. That slideshow was just one example of something that could have been condensed (preferably removed.)
As the session dragged on, I envisioned an unsubscribe button that I could use to get out of the room. Meanwhile, the session with Ash flew by and could have gone for twice as long because of all the great critiques he gave the audience. I came out of both of those sessions with a newfound understanding of what it means to make content about the audience, not You.
These rules don’t just apply to landing pages and speeches. Anything and everything we do as marketers should meet those simple requirements. Forget any of those key ingredients, and your message is going to have a much more difficult time resonating with audiences. It might be time to check our unsubscribe list and find out what content triggered those requests.