The Problem with Conversion Rate

What’s the number 1 metric Digital Marketers talk about? Conversion rate.

It’s calculated as the number of sales over the number of visits

But have you ever thought about what conversion rate is really telling you?

Because of the way its calculated, a Higher Conversion Rate Doesn’t Always Mean Higher Performance!

Consider these 2 examples:

Week 1: 4% conversion rate. (50,000 visits, 2,000 sales)

Week 2: 10% conversion rate. (10,000 visits, 1,000 sales)

 So what’s the problem? The problem is that week 2 is telling us that we have a better engagement rate. But in reality, it has half the number of sales. It’s misleading us into thinking that conversion rate accurately reflects performance. 

So the lesson is – be careful when using conversion rate – look at how it’s been calculated, and don’t blindly use it as your main metric of success.

Price Discount or More for Free?

Is it better to offer more of a product for free, or offer a price discount?

Consider this example of chocolate (though the concept is true for any product).

In this example we’ve got two bars of chocolate. The difference is on the left you’re offering a 33% price discount from the usual $2.99, and on the right you’re offering 50% more for free.

In both cases you’re making the same amount of money – 2 cents for each gram of chocolate you sell. They are the same deal.

But – research tells us that consumers will tend to respond to the bonus free option more than the price discount option. You’ll earn more money from sales buy always offering ‘more for free’ rather than offering a straight discount.

For more short marketing tips, please check out my YouTube channel.

The Service Recovery Paradox

What do you do about negative feedback online. Delete it? If it’s a crackpot contribution or using profanity  – sure go ahead. BUT if its genuine you might have an opportunity to INCREASE customer satisfaction and loyalty. By using something called the ‘Service Recovery Paradox (SRP)’

So what is the SRP?

A study was done years ago that found that customers who had experienced a “transgression” – or something that went wrong when buying from a brand,  and had the transgression fixed by the brand were actually more satisfied with the brand than if the service encounter had gone smoothly.

For example, a traveller’s flight is cancelled. When she calls the airline, they apologise and offer her another flight of her choice on the same day, and a discount voucher against future travel. Under the service recovery paradox, the traveller is now happier with the airline, and more loyal to it, than she would have been had no problem occurred.

In a study we did some years back we found that when someone senior from a brand responded to negative comments their brand, the brand was perceived as more trustworthy, more genuine, and generally a more positive brand.

We tested two fictitious social media pages in a laboratory experiment. Group A was a mix of positive and negative comments about a brand. Group B was purely positive.

The other difference was that in Group B, the negative comments had a response from someone senior from the organisation, in this case Sam Head of Sales. The response signalled empathy and an offer to fix the transgression (problem).

The results found the negative page had more positive evaluations from consumers. Evidence of the “Service Recovery Paradox”

So – the point is that on social media you shouldn’t arbitrarily delete negative comments from dissatisfied customers – they can potentially be a huge opportunity.

To see more tips, check out my 18 MBA Marketing tips on YouTube – short tips – Gold nuggets of marketing knowledge hidden in academic literature — stuff that has a powerful effect on consumer behaviour, but perhaps not that well known.

How to use Affinity to Increase Content Engagement

When you create content to post online, what’s the number 1 thing you care about? Engagement right? Affinity is the key to engagement. In this blogpost I describe what affinity is, how to create affinity, and why it drives engagement.

What is ‘Affinity’?

Affinity is something that people deeply care about. Ultra strong relevance, usually tied to people’s value system. If people don’t care about the story you’re trying to tell, they’re not going to share it.

Technically, affinity is a feeling of warmth, respect, and deep appreciation for an activity, idea, or object. Affinity is different than emotion, which is characterised by more of a short term physical response to a stimulus. Affinity is an enduring quality of feeling radiating from the heart, that doesn’t necessarily have any physical symptoms.

The most important thing to note about affinity is that it’s a requirement for something to go viral. If somebody doesn’t relate to or care about your Marketing, then they most certainly won’t share it. Although emotion might be important when creating marketing content, affinity is critical.

One of the ways to create affinity is to remind people why they love something. The biggest problem with this however is that not all of your target audience might like the same thing. It’s of course easier if you’re selling something where your target market is bound together  by a shared passion, like motorcycling, but for many brands their target audience is more mixed. In this situation, activating meaningful memories that a wider range of people care about is a better choice.

Here’s an example. This is a well-known surf brand here in Australia, and this type of advertisement is often used by surf brands – a pic of someone surfing inside the barrel of a wave.

Did this go viral and get a lot of engagement? No. Although it appeals to their target market’s main interest – it doesn’t tap into their value system (create affinity).

Compare that example to this example from a competitor. They realised that their target market cared deeply about 2 things – (1) location – where they had surfed. And (2) the health of the ocean – surfers care about ocean a lot – it taps into their value system.

So in this image we have someone surfing in an iconic surf location for those who surf – Java – an island in Indonesia. And it’s also showing the amount of pollution in the ocean. You think this went viral? Its sure did – the engagement was through the roof.

So that’s affinity – before you start creating content – figure out what your target market deeply cares about, and use that in your campaigns.

You can learn more about Affinity in my book, or in my Virology Viral Marketing Masterclass

Rejoinder: The difference between Affinity and Emotions

Affinity is a powerful feeling that creates the foundations of sharing. Affinity manifests itself as a feeling of warmth, respect, or deep appreciation for an activity, idea, or object. Affinity is different from emotion for several reasons.

An emotion is characterised by some kind of physiological effect. Adrenaline is released, or blood pressure increases. Facial expressions might change to match the emotion. Emotions are characterised by energy and a physical change in the body. They’re usually short term, and can come and go quickly.

Affinity in contrast is a long term quality of feeling. It is a passion that somebody has for something that radiates from the heart. It is a closeness to something, characterised by passion.

Operationally, affinity has greater importance for the prediction of viral content than emotion.

How to Automatically Add Subtitles to Your LinkedIn Video (for free)

You should always add subtitles to your video because (1) most people flick through social media feeds with no sound, and; (2) it increases your engagement.

Adding subtitles gives you a chance to entice people to pause and turn the sound up on your video. And of course the accessibility issue.

I generally find my engagement is higher on my videos that have subtitles (e.g., my MBA Marketing Tips Series) And it’s not actually that hard to add subtitles – so it’s a no-brainer for me.

Although Facebook and YouTube can generate subtitles for you automatically, unfortunately LinkedIn doesn’t have this feature. So we need to be a bit creative to make it happen.

Linkedin provides the option to add subtitles by uploading an ‘.srt’ file at the time when you upload your video.

In a nutshell, what you do is generate the subtitles in Facebook, and then generate a subtitles file to use in LinkedIn. You upload the subtitles file when you upload your video in LinkedIn.

Both Facebook and YouTube have sophisticated machine learning algorithms that generate subtitles automatically for you, but I have found Facebook’s algorithm is more accurate and easier to adjust for Linkedin.

Step 1: Upload your movie into Facebook.

As mentioned earlier, we need a way to auto-generate subtitles for our footage, and Facebook has the best algorithm for this. So you’ll first need to upload your movie into Facebook to get the subtitles generated (you could use third party software and manually transcribe your movie but who has time for that?)

When uploading, you’ll be given an option to “Auto Generate Captions”. Go ahead and do this. It might take a few minutes, but in general the results are fairly accurate. After generating it will also give you the option to check and edit the result – go ahead and do this if you want, but generally to save time I just trust the accuracy (except it never gets my name spelling right — Calls me ‘Brent Koga’ instead of Brent Coker, lol).

Step 2: Generate an ‘.srt’ file for LinkedIn.

Open your video in Facebook after it’s finished processing. Make sure you’re using Chrome browser (you could use another browser, but these instructions are Chrome specific).

Press the F12 button on your keyboard to open the developer tools.

Then press Ctrl and f to open the search feature in the developer tools.

Then type the word ‘captions’ without quotes into the search box.

It should highlight a URL that begins with the word ‘blob’. Double click on this URL to select it. Press Ctrl and C to copy this URL.

Paste the URL (Ctrl and V) into a new tab in your browser. For example, in my example below I copied the URL blob:

You should see a page with text. This is the subtitle information used to render subtitles.

Step 3: Generate the .srt file for LinkedIn.

I use Notepad++ for this step, but you could also use regular Notepad.

From the URL you pasted into your browser, select all of the text in this page (Ctrl A).

Paste all of the text into a new Notepad document (Ctrl V)

Save the file. Change the “save as type” to All types. Give the file a name ending with .srt

Now, we have an srt file, but the problem is that it is still in the Facebook format so won’t work in LinkedIn (linkedIn will give an error if you upload it).

To make the srt file compatible with Linkedin, we need to do three things.

First, delete the word ‘WEBVTT’ at the top of the document.

Second, open up the find and replace function in Notepad (Ctrl F). We need to remove all the ‘size’ references. Type the size statement into the ‘Find what’ field of Notepad, and keep the ‘Replace with’ box empty. In our example, the size statement is size:90%

IMPORTANT: There is a space between time information and the size statement. You MUST also remove this space, otherwise LinkedIn won’t accept the file and will throw an error.

Third, we need to replace all the full stops in the document, with commas. Use Find and Replace again to do this.

Last, save the file.

Now we have a LinkedIn compatible subtitles file. After following this process a few times, it becomes very quick.

Step 4: Upload the subtitles file into LinkedIn

Choose the video upload post option in Linkedin. At this point, you’ll see a small ‘edit’ button after you select your video file. This is where you upload your subtitles file to match your video.

Click on the Edit button, and browse to your .srt subtitles file degenerated in the previous step.

After you select your file, you should see this:

If you see an error instead, then you have done something wrong when you removed the Facebook specific stuff in Notepad in the previous step (the WEBVTT statement, size information statements including spaces, and replacing the dots for commas).

If it works, then go ahead and save the video settings in Linkedin, and you’re good to go!

Hope this tip was useful for you. Please connect with me on social for more Digital Marketing and Consumer Psychology tips. Thanks for reading!