Daily Archives: March 11, 2017
Some of us baby-talk and cuddle our horses like they’re twelve-hundred-pound teddy bears. Some of us enter the pen with enough flags and whips that we look like a lion-tamer at a circus. It’s possible we’re on a behavior continuum not so different from horses.
Human behavior runs similarly from one extreme–very shut down–to the other extreme–overly reactionary. In other words, some of us are passive aggressive and some of us just plain aggressive. Too harsh? That’s what the horses thought about the words stoic and reactive, too.
Then one last assumption: If you were the sort of screeching, hard-handed, bone-crushing, slimy-reptile Neanderthal who was brutal with horses, my bliss-ninny positive training blog would have bored you to death years ago.
That just leaves us passive aggressives left. And it didn’t start out being our fault. Most of us are women; we were raised to be polite and quiet. We were rewarded for being good girls.
I, myself, am a recovering good girl, so if I want some wine, for instance, I take a breath and say, “Please bring some red wine home. Thanks, Sweetie.”
A passive aggressive good girl might say,”Excuse me, Sweetie, if you have time and it’s no trouble, perhaps you could detour on your way home, only if you want to, for some wine, if it isn’t out of your way, but if it doesn’t work out, it’s no trouble for me to go later, Honey, even though my foot is swollen and I’m a bit congested, I can limp out later after dinner, I was just thinking you might be able to get a nice Merlot, but it’s fine, just fine, either way.”
Just. Say. It. Already.
And to be clear, it’s okay to be passive aggressive out in the world. I’m just saying horses hate it.
Horses are prey animals, and coyotes (or people acting like coyotes) are their sworn enemies. Coyotes stalk them, passively aggressive, skulking around in the shadows, lurking and feinting. Circling their prey, just out of reach but relentless. They might tip-toe with a halter partly hidden behind their back, or nag-nag-nag with their feet in the saddle, or be twitchy with their hand, or maybe just lurk on the stiff-side rein. They might give a cue, contradict that first cue, then give a different cue, and still not pause for an answer, busily talking to themselves, up there behind their horse’s back.
Or worse yet, we might have so much compassion for our horses that we listen and listen, and never really say anything to them at all. We crane and squint and worry, wondering how they are responding, and is this what that blog meant? In the meantime, a horse picks up on the doubt and confusion and they can do nothing but lose confidence. We chatter down to them, over them, beyond them, until nothing we say has meaning. In other words, if we often stop and start, walk on eggshells to keep them calm, or over think everything in the saddle, we’re stalking them.
Do you find this prattle confusing? Imagine you’re a horse.
Bottom line: We lose our natural rhythm when we try too hard. We’d hate to consider ourselves abusive so we whisper, and even if we know horses are confused, we tend to commiserate with them about it and not clarify. They see a dog answer a sit command and get a cookie, and wonder why they have it so hard. It’s enough to make a stoic horse to shut down further or a reactive horse start to scream.
Truth: A horse will never confuse you for a horse. You will always be either a coyote or a human. Sorry for the bad news, but now let’s set about being a better human; honest communication is appreciated because it’s understandable. Think short sentences, with a thank you at the end.
Horses are looking a quietly confident leader who respects their intelligence. Let your body be still. Listen without expectation of good, bad, or otherwise. Breathe. Plan ahead. Ask for a transition with awareness in your body. Then breathe again. Wait for his answer. Reward him.
If he’s wrong, reward him for trying. Then “re-phrase” the question more simply. Go slow so that he can reason the answer. Slow yourself down so that you are clear. Be patient because there is nothing more important than a foundation of understanding. Speed is easy but real trust takes time.
Let him accept you for who you truly are, and if that’s a bit of a mess, don’t give him a whiny apology. Instead, smile, relax, and try to do better. Trust that he can tell your intention is good. Horses absolutely know honesty when they see it.
Horses not looking for groupies and they don’t want to be put up on a spiritual pedestal. They don’t need adoring humans to give them purpose. They want a whole lot more from us than treats.
Scientists tell us that horses have feelings similar to humans, but that is not the same thing as feeling what we do in the same situation and we’d be arrogant to think so.
Try to find the middle of our human continuum. Horses are drawn to calm leadership. They like a herd that feels safe; they appreciate emotional clarity. Leave your puny insecurities and your frail feelings in the house. No baby talk, no coyote stalking, no apologies. Square your shoulders and speak your truth clearly. They expect us to be nothing less than their equal.
A Referral Program that Benefits both the Referrer and the Referred.
Southern and Sovereign Pest Control is offering a Double-Sided Escalating Referral Program that will reward $50 for those that refer a friend, neighbor, family member, acquaintance or client. This payment is available to those who refer a friend, relative, neighbor or client that purchases a pest control or pet lovers’ service plan. In addition, the referred friend, relative, neighbor or client will receive a $25 discount to be used towards the purchase of pest control or a pet lovers’ service plan.
Escalating Referral Program Applies to All Referrals:
- 1st – referral is $50
- 2nd – referral is $50
- 3rd – referral is $100
- 4th – referral is $100
- 5th – referral is $100 – plus 1 free specialty service
- 6th – referral is $100
- 7th – referral is $100
- 8th – referral is $100
- 9th – referral is $100
- 10th – referral is $250 – plus 1 free specialty service
* There is no limit to the number of referrals you can make.
How Does it Work?
- Identify a friend, neighbor, family member, acquaintance or client that could benefit from SPC service plan.
- Submit your referrals by filling out the referral form located on the right-side of this page.
A SPC service rep will contact the referred friend, neighbor, family member, acquaintance or client.
- Referred friend, neighbor, family member, acquaintance or client receives a $25 discount when purchasing a pest control or pet lovers’ service plan.
- If your referral becomes a pest control or pet lovers’ service plan customer, and pays for one full year of service, you will receive $50.
Referral Program Terms and Conditions
- When we contact the referred friend, neighbor, family member, acquaintance or client, we will mention you or your company as the referring party.
- There is no limit to the number of referrals you can make.
- Must submit referrals via website form, facebook or call a SPC representative to be eligible.
- The referrer $50 voucher can be used toward all services (i.e. pest control service plan, pet lovers’ plan and mosquito treatment, specialty services, termite treatment etc.)
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Instagram Marketing Case Study: How Microsoft And National Geographic Got 3.5M Likes on International Women’s Day
For International Women’s Day, Microsoft leveraged National Geographic’s wide-reaching social media audience as well as some of the most renowned adventure photographers to build an Instagram marketing campaign. In this case study, we’ll take a closer look at Microsoft’s partnership with National Geographic and why it succeeded.
Approach & Background
Microsoft’s International Women’s Day Instagram marketing campaign was part of their “Make What’s Next” campaign. The campaign, which Microsoft launched last year for International Women’s Day and picked back up this year, aims to encourage young girls to work in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). Other components of the campaign include a 60-second TV ad, a career explorer tool created in partnership with LinkedIn, and a workshop that will be available in stores and on Facebook Live on March 18, 2017.
For the Instagram component of the campaign:
- A total of 30 photos were posted on five of National Geographic’s Instagram channels: @natgeo, @natgeotravel, @natgeaoadventue, @natgeoyourshot, and @natgeochannel.
- The photos were taken by several popular adventure photographers, most of which are affiliated with National Geographic.
- Each photo caption featured the story of a prominent female scientist or adventurer.
- Each photo caption also included: @Microsoft – Empowering girls to change the world, stay in STEM, and be the ones to #MakeWhatsNext. Microsoft welcomes girls for a free workshop with @natgeo personalities at select Microsoft stores on 3/18/2017.
- Build brand awareness and foster positive public perception.
- Create genuine messaging that encourage girls to pursue jobs in STEM.
- Capitalize on a trending, worldwide event, International Women’s Day.
- Over 3.5 million total likes on the 30 photos posted on International Women’s Day (over 115K likes per post)
- Potential reach of 91 million people (total followers across National Geographic’s five accounts)
- Over 1,000 pieces of content generated on Instagram with #MakeWhatsNext
Why Microsoft Succeeded
1. Leveraged National Geographic’s established social media reach
National Geographic has an extraordinarily strong social media presence. It was recently named the #1 brand on social media by Shareablee based on a combination of followers and engagement data. By partnering with a well established and credible brand publisher on social, Microsoft was able to reach an enormous audience of 91 million.
2. Aligned campaign messaging and date with an international holiday
By planning its campaign in conjunction with International Women’s Day, Microsoft was able to contribute relevant content to the IWD conversation and maximize its campaign’s impact.
3. Showcased authentic stories and powerful imagery through sponsored posts on Instagram
Microsoft crafted its sponsored posts around stories of real human experiences. The faces of this campaign were real faces with real stories, and that was a powerful core element. This strategy helped Microsoft connect and engage with audiences on a deeper level and build long-term brand awareness and approval.
Best Examples From Microsoft’s Instagram Marketing Campaign
Photographer and marine biologist @CristinaMittermeier explores the clear waters of a “cenote” in the Yucatan Peninsula. Being a photographer on assignment @natgeo is exciting but it requires tremendous sacrifice. It demands boundless energy, unflagging enthusiasm, a spirit of adventure, the ability to survive under difficult circumstances, and the courage to confront danger. For me, this all-consuming career is fueled by a passion to make a difference to the conservation to our beautiful planet. The life that we have chosen is frenetic, exciting and sometimes dangerous but, for the chance of making a difference, every minute of it is worth it. Photo by @PaulNicklen #InternationalWomensDay – @Microsoft – Empowering girls to change the world, stay in STEM, and be the ones to #MakeWhatsNext. Microsoft welcomes girls for a free workshop with @natgeo personalities at select Microsoft stores on 3/18. Visit makewhatsnext.com for details. #IWD2017 #sponsored A post shared by National Geographic (@natgeo) on Mar 8, 2017 at 3:22pm PST
In this post, Mittermeier’s passion for her work as a marine biologist shines through. Coupled with a stunning visual, this creates a compelling image that helped deliver Microsoft’s message to millions in an elegant way that lent itself to sharing (tags) and organic engagement (likes, comments, and social sentiment).
Photo by @amivitale | In the incubator room at Bifengxia panda base, part of the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda, cub keeper Liu Juan nuzzles a furry charge. Despite the pressure of keeping the babies alive and well, there are rare moments when the caretakers get to relax and enjoy the animals that depend on them. It’s an important and stressful job and Liu Juan is working a 24-hour shift, her second one that week. She has a toddler son who stays at home with family. “This job is more intense,” she says of mothering the pandas, “but I love being with them.” After decades of hard work and research and because of the work of people like Liu Juan, the giant panda was recently taken off the endangered species list. #InternationalWomensDay – @Microsoft – Empowering girls to change the world, stay in STEM, and be the ones to #MakeWhatsNext. Microsoft welcomes girls for a free workshop with @natgeo personalities at select Microsoft stores on 3/18. Visit makewhatsnext.com for details. #IWD2017 #sponsored A post shared by National Geographic (@natgeo) on Mar 8, 2017 at 1:13pm PST
This post, which highlights the role Juan served in helping save the giant panda from extinction, is an excellent example of why women in STEM matter. By highlighting a central idea as a part of an important theme, Microsoft’s message became a part of a larger message likely to resonate with many.
[4 of 6] Photo by @krystlejwright // Not only is Moab home to some of Utah’s most diverse national parks, it offers world-class terrain for rock climbers who are seeking sport climbing, traditional climbing, and even soloing. Engineering and mathematics have advanced the sport of rock climbing and helped athletes understand how to stay safe on the cliff’s face. A balance of fall ratios and well-placed gear is essential to the sport. @Microsoft – Empowering girls to change the world, stay in STEM, and be the ones to #MakeWhatsNext. Microsoft welcomes girls for a free, workshop with @natgeo personalities at select Microsoft Stores on 3/18. Visit makewhatsnext.com for details. #IWD2017 #sponsored A post shared by National Geographic Travel (@natgeotravel) on Mar 8, 2017 at 1:36pm PST
This post appeared on the adventure focused National Geographic sub-account and shows how STEM is vital to activities like rock climbing, which rely on math and engineering to make the sport safe and possible. By finding a real-world application of vital STEM principles, this post helps align relevant, real-world applications with Microsoft’s campaign message.
Photo by @kitracahana | Eighteen-year-old Elinore Millstein takes a measurement for a science experiment she is conducting at the Gulkana Glacier in Alaska. Ellinore is a member of the Girls on Ice program for high school students. Along with their all-female team leaders who consist of a special group of scientists, an artist and a wilderness guide, the tight-knit group spends their time on the glacier exploring the terrain and carrying out their own scientific projects. #InternationalWomensDay – @Microsoft – Empowering girls to change the world, stay in STEM, and be the ones to #MakeWhatsNext. Microsoft welcomes girls for a free workshop with @natgeo personalities at select Microsoft stores on 3/18. Visit makewhatsnext.com for details. #IWD2017 #sponsored A post shared by National Geographic (@natgeo) on Mar 8, 2017 at 5:11pm PST
By focusing on community and the impact women working together in science, this image of a young female scientist serves to inspire other girls to follow their passion in STEM. The human element in this post helped bring a strong, resounding idea to Microsoft’s messaging that extends beyond the brand itself.
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Marketers often struggle to come up with new ideas and angles to improve their marketing campaigns.
So in this post, I’m going to show you an effective way of collecting the insights and ideas you need to create breakthroughs, by using post-conversion questionnaires.
Why I Started Using Post-Conversion Questionnaires in my Campaigns
A little while ago, I was helping some clients generate leads online with paid advertising.
We were operating in a fairly competitive niche, so I found myself constantly having to come up with new angles and ideas in order to keep my copy ‘fresh’ and to battle campaign fatigue.
After a while though, I ran out of ideas and I knew I had to go back and study my market in more detail.
However, this was a challenge.
There weren’t many resources online (e.g. online forums and blogs) that were available for my particular target market.
And I simply couldn’t rely on my clients to give me the information I needed.
My clients were too busy running their own businesses and even if they did have the time to speak to me, they would end up filtering information through their perspective and language, thereby defeating the whole point of the research.
What I needed was a way to listen to the market directly.
Now, at the time, I had call tracking software setup on the landing pages I had created for my client.
That way, I could track the number of people who called my client directly instead of submitting their details via the form on the landing page.
But the call tracking software had an unintentional benefit: it also recorded those phone calls and literally allowed me to listen into the conversations my market was having.
This seemed like the answer I needed.
Except there was one problem: only a very small percentage of leads ever called the number (less than 5%).
Most people simply submitted their details via the form on the page and waited to be followed up.
Since I didn’t have call recording setup for outbound calls on my client’s end (which would have been virtually impossible to do), I was missing out on an enormous number of conversations and in turn, the rich data I needed to improve my campaign.
It was then when I came up with an idea: Why not include an additional step in my funnel to capture information directly from the prospects that submitted their details on the landing page?
Well, that’s exactly what I did.
I added a brief, optional questionnaire after a prospect submitted their contact details.
Though the questionnaire was optional, 75-85% of people ended up filling it out (some in great detail).
This quickly gave me the information and insight I needed to come up with new ideas and angles in my campaigns.
And because these ideas came straight from the marketplace, I knew they each had a very good chance of succeeding.
Why the Questionnaire is Shown After the Conversion
Using questionnaires to survey leads and prospects is not a new technique by any means.
In fact, since Ryan Levesque released his book, ‘Ask’, the use of questionnaires has exploded across the world of internet marketing.
However, in most cases, questionnaires are placed before the conversion.
The reason for this is usually to increase the conversion rate by tailoring the funnel according to the answers provided by the prospect.
In our case, however, the primary goal of the questionnaire is to collect information, not boost conversions.
In fact, we do not want to alter the performance of the funnel at all until we have collected the information we need to make a well-informed change.
Now, another reason why we put the questionnaire after the conversion is because the people who convert tend to be the ‘hottest prospects.’
They resonate with the appeals in your copy, are motivated enough to take action and are therefore the ideal people to survey.
You may be asking then, “why don’t we put the questionnaire on the initial lead capture form?”
As mentioned before, we do not want to impact the performance of the funnel until we have collected the information we need, and adding more fields to a form will nearly always decrease the conversion rate.
Putting the questionnaire after conversion allows us to leave the conversion rate of the funnel untouched while still allowing us to collect the information we need to improve it over time.
In practice, I’ve found that 75-85% of people converting end up answering the questionnaire anyway, even though it is optional, which provides more than enough data to work with.
Advantage Over Other Market Research Methods
Post-conversion questionnaires have a few advantages over other market research methods.
- You can collect information on your target market very quickly. It should only take you around an hour to add an additional page with a questionnaire into your funnel. After it is setup, you can start collecting a significant amount of data on your target market very quickly. For example, if you have a funnel that generates 100 leads a week; you will end up with around 75 – 85 completed questionnaires after a week.
- You can collect information for virtually no additional cost or effort. You are already spending money to generate leads with your funnel. The post-conversion questionnaire allows you to tap into this existing asset and capture the information you need at virtually no additional effort or cost.
- You are collecting quality information. When someone converts (whether it’s to request a consult or download a lead magnet), they are in a state of action. They are consciously feeling the pains, frustrations and desires as demonstrated by their motivation to act. By capturing their thoughts while they are in this state, you will gather very accurate insights that can be used to recreate this state in other people in your target market.
What Questions to Ask
In your questionnaire, you can ask closed-ended questions to get a better idea of who the person filling it out is.
However, open-ended questions are what will end up providing the most useful information for improving your campaign.
Open-ended questions encourage people to express their problems, frustrations and desires in detail, without any constraints.
This is especially important because we want to not only capture what problems and desires our market has, but the way they articulate them.
Two open-ended questions I often like to use are:
- Tell me a little about your situation
- What is your biggest challenge with XYZ?
An example post-conversion questionnaire with closed and open-ended questions
“Tell me a little about your situation” is a very open-ended question that doesn’t specify what information is desired from the respondent.
It simply allows the prospect to talk about anything they think is relevant to their situation, whether positive or negative.
This could include how they ended up where they are now, their motivation for wanting to make a change, their current problems and frustrations, their goals or any other relevant details about their situation.
“What is your biggest challenge with XYZ” on the other hand, asks more specifically about the negative issues the prospect is experiencing.
The reason why we ask about the problems and challenges they are facing is two-fold.
Firstly, the human brain has evolved to react more strongly to negative stimuli than to positive stimuli. Pain can therefore often be a stronger motivator for action than wants and pleasures.
By uncovering what problems, pains and challenges our prospects are experiencing, we can use them in our copy to motivate them to buy our product or service as the solution.
Secondly, people often find it difficult to articulate exactly what it is they want in detail and with accuracy – especially if they have never achieved or experienced it.
However, people find it very easy to articulate their exact problems, pains, frustrations and challenges since they are experiencing it in the present.
How I Used Questionnaire Answers to Create New Copy
Here is a Facebook ad I ran to help a client generate first-time homebuyer leads:
As you can see, the bulk of the copy is focused on an individual’s financial situation. For example, having limited savings for a down payment, poor credit score or a complicated employment situation.
I used the post-conversion questionnaire as shown in the previous section to gather new ideas and angles for the campaign.
Here are some actual answers to the question “Tell Me A Little About Your Situation” on the questionnaire:
Even from this small sample of responses, you can see a variety of ideas, angles and phrases, including:
- Being “tired of renting” and wanting a place of their own
- Buying a house in order to “establish a base” and give their family a stable environment to live in
- Battling against rising rent
- Feeling “ready to buy”
- Issues with their current landlord
- Finally discovering the area they want to live in for the rest of their life and wanting to buy a home there
- Wanting to buy but having financial barriers holding them back (not much money available for a down payment, low credit score, bankruptcy)
- Already paying a lot for rent and wanting to use the money to pay off their own home instead
From the answers in the questionnaire, I was able to ‘feed’ some of the ideas back into the copy of a new test ad:
Here is a comparison of how the new ad (“TNew”) performed against the old (“TCon”):
The new ad performed well, achieving a similar cost per lead to the control after a short period of time (the cost per lead tended to stabilize after a few conversions and would stay at roughly the same cost for more than 50 conversions. So even though the number of conversions of the new ad at this point was far less than the control, I knew this ad was good).
Though I was not able to significantly reduce the cost per lead with the new ad, the fact that it performed similarly to the control ad despite containing different ideas, confirmed the effectiveness of the post-conversion questionnaire.
It also meant that I had a new converting ad which I could put into rotation to extend the life of my campaign while still maintaining my lead cost targets (since the ROI on the leads was already very high for my client, making sure I could extend the life of the campaign as much as possible and deliver a consistent volume of leads, actually mattered more than decreasing the cost per lead).
Post-conversion questionnaires can be used in virtually any online marketing campaign that requires people to convert. They are a quick and effective tool for discovering new angles, ideas and ways of articulating your market’s hopes, fears and dreams.
Try adding them to your campaigns today. It will only take an hour or two and the information you gain from them will be well worth the time spent.
About the Author: Nathaniel is a digital marketer who specializes in lead generation with Facebook Ads. Connect with him on LinkedIn.
There was a time when Georges St. Pierre fought the best the UFC had to offer. But according to Luke Rockhold, that may not be the case when he returns and wins the Middleweight title against Bisping.