Planning a Website Redesign? See How These Industry Giants Got It Right!

Redesigning your website is risky business.

You spend money, time, and resources redesigning, hoping to hit a home run.

The truth is, you’re just as likely to strike out.

I’ve evaluated thousands of websites in my career and I’m pretty darn good at sniffing out the good ones and I’m equally good at sniffing out the posers. In this post, we’ll be evaluating 10 industry giants that got it right.

Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of design inspiration from Crayon.co; a design search engine that’s been super useful for coming up with new ideas for DigitalMarketer’s “blow it up” style test strategy—a strategy you’ll hear all about when I have plenty of results to share.

One of the best features Crayon offers is notifications when sites redesign their pages, and the ability to look back at the design before the update for comparison.

Light bulb.

I thought it would be fun to break down these design changes using the same criteria in my 15-point audit to see how they stack up to the previous versions of the site!

These guys are some of the best in the bizznazz, let’s quickly break down the criteria I’m using to evaluate these pages…

DigitalMarketer’s 5 Elements of Optimization

Clarity: If your visitor doesn’t know what the page is about and what’s in it for them in the first few seconds…you’re sunk. The goal here is to:

  • make sure you can properly articulate your offer…
  • make your offer attractive…
  • ensure they know how to take the next step…

Readability: This is a huge factor that is often overlooked on ‘non-blog’ pages. All too often companies go a little crazy with…

  • typefaces
  • characters per line
  • page breaks
  • bolding
  • colors

You need to stay consistent and make content easy to consume. If your text can’t be read, then your message will get lost.

Appearance: A professional site design will build trust with new visitors. Authentic imagery, coloration, and a solid visual hierarchy are all crucial factors for your site. You need some sections to stand out more than other and capitalize where it counts.

A site that does this well can subtly accent the most important content while giving the visitor a sense of autonomy.

On-site experience: You need to articulate the purpose, have solid usability for visitors of all skill levels and devices, and fast load times. If anyone of these things are missing, your user will have a hard time using your site and won’t convert.

Navigation: If we’re looking at a landing page, you want minimal navigation, but for all other pages it needs to be intuitive.

I’ll break down each variation and share which one has the edge in each category. When it’s all tallied up, we’ll see if the page is going in the right direction or if it still needs some work.

(RELATED: The 15-Point Landing Page Audit)

Let’s take a look at the pages.

Click on the month below to be taken to that set of redesign evaluations!

1. Versace’s Category Page

I love seeing how ecommerce sites try to stand out with design.

I was super excited when I got a notification that there was a massive change to Versace’s category page. Check out the video below to see how things stack up.

Final Score

Previous Version: 0

Updated Version: 3

This was clearly a case of “Give The People What They Want Expect.” The winning variant met the standard ecommerce user’s expectations and felt more like an online shop than an advertisement.

Oh, if you want to read my detailed synopsis and see another review of a B2B software company you can check it out in this installment of my weekly column.

2. Iron Mountain’s Product Page

There is nothing more difficult than coming up with a well-designed B2B page.

The specters of ‘old design trends’ still plague industry giants and due to their poor agility they haven’t been able to make template changes during a time when design entails trust.

(RELATED: [Checklist] 5 Image Elements Worth Testing On Your Landing Page)

Iron Mountain tackled this project with a new service product page. So let’s take a look.

Final Score

Previous Version: 0

Updated Version: 3

So Iron Mountain really stepped up their game and got out of the dreaded B2B design void. There are still some clarity and usability issues on the page, but that’s nothing some iterative testing can’t fix!

(RELATED: [Checklist] The Comprehensive Guide to Running A Split Test)

3. Freshdesk’s Blog Page

Blog page designs are absolutely crucial.

If you have a page that is tough to digest, people simply won’t read your copy.

A lot of organizations (including DM) are taking a simplistic single column approach to the blog to ensure the content gets all of the attention. However, for media companies this makes it more difficult to promote new products or indoctrinate readers.

Let’s see how Freshdesk hoped to improve the blog experience while maintaining the two-column structure.

Final Score

Previous Version: 1

Updated Version: 4

Overall the redesigned page is a more focused version that users will appreciate.

I am super curious about that Live Chat feature and if anyone from Freshdesk is reading, I’d love to hear if that’s helped with content consumption (or helped move other metrics).

Both this critique and the Iron Mountain Critique can be found here (with one more design breakdown of a video deliverability provider).

4. Best Buy’s Cable & Internet Service Page

Whenever big companies make changes to content while maintaining the universal header and footer there is a chance that they create the dreaded Frankenpage.

Let’s see if Best Buy creates the most feared design monster with this redesign

Final Score

Previous Version: 0

Updated Version: 4

Despite the limitations, Best Buy was able to dramatically improve the design of their site. Sure, there are some “Frankenpage” features (the cross-sells and “Ultimate Viewing Experience”), but overall they have the right idea and should be able to iterate out an even better page.

(RELATED: Test This, Not That! Swap This Split Testing Bad Practice for 6 Results-Driven Practices)

5. Buffer’s Product Page Redesign

Promoting a product line complete with different branding and naming can be pretty difficult.

How much of your current brand equity do you borrow and how much do you want to make the product stand on its own?

Let’s see how Buffer handles this in this redesign!

Final Score

Previous Version: 2

Updated Version: 3

Wow, I got a little ranty” in that one.

I guess that’s what happens when you get such a close call! The team at Buffer is definitely on the right track and dramatically improved their page. I think the most important change came from updating the copy.

They are actually talking to a specific group, telling them what they offer, and why it is good for them. All the other changes were gravy; the clarity change was the big one!

You can read the full write-up to these redesigns plus see how Cisco attempts to improve their DevNet community page here

So if you made it this far you probably noticed one interesting trend:

All of the updated versions seemingly had the edge!

I wonder how much longer that trend will last… I mean what’s new isn’t always what’s better.

(NOTE: Want DigitalMarketer’s proven 8-Step Optimization Process for turning existing traffic into more leads and more sales? Get our Optimization & Testing Specialist training and certification. Learn more now.)

 

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October 2016

6. Uber’s Product Page Redesign

Uber decided to make some sizable content changes to their driver recruitment page. What I was excited to see was a big company making interesting updates without having to deviate too much from the template (this makes it easier to change things and get things rolled out when your dev team is working on things that are “more important”).

Do these image and content changes improve with the latest update or push me to drive for Lyft? Find out in my 9-minute review.

Final Score

Previous Version: 1

Updated Version: 2

So this really could have gone either way, but the updated version had the [very] slight edge. Had they improved some of their clarity and focused more on the driver rather than the app, then this would have been a landslide. However, it just squeaked by as two major factors were a “no contest” because the design scheme remained the same.

7. Kissmetric’s Homepage Redesign

As a fan of Kissmetrics and being a part of their target audience, I was super hyped to get an alert about this recent redesign. Find out if my excitement continues when I see the new redesign or fizzles out into disappointment in this 11-minute review.

Final Score

Previous Version: 4

Updated Version: 0

IT FINALLY HAPPENED! I’ve been doing these redesign reviews for quite a while and this is the first time the previous version won out. Here’s why:

  • There was a lack of clarity by removing key feature sections.
  • The new layout made it harder to read the page (white text on light blue background… yuck).

The one thing I was happy to see is they got rid of the awkward choice to request a demo or start a trial in the header. Unfortunately, it was still a choice to make in the last content section, which made me have to pull some of that praise back.

8. Mixpanel’s Pricing Page

Ah the pricing page, my most recent obsession based on my work here at DM. When I saw this update I jumped for joy and you’ll find out exactly why in this 8-minute review.

Final Score

Previous Version: 0

Updated Version: 4

This is the second near sweep and had there not been a “no contest” in one of the categories, then it would have been a full sweep. Simply put, this new page is WAY better than the sad table they had before. Awesome work, Mixpanel!

9. Cisco’s Solutions Page

One of my favorite type of redesigns is when you get an “old web” page versus a page that both looks and functions like something that was made for the present. However, does Cisco’s new polish improve the functionality, or is it just lipstick on a pig?

Find out in my 9-minute review.

Final Score

Previous Version: 0
Updated Version: 5

It’s a clean sweep; take that old school three column text-heavy layouts. In all seriousness, this update isn’t perfect but is miles ahead of its predecessor. There is one spot in particular that is a genius improvement but completely lacks in execution.

10. Lyft’s Sign Up Page

This might be my most surprising review today! There are two drastically different pages: one the ugly interstitial form vs. the pretty landing page. Find out if what is pretty should perform better in Lyft’s 7-minute review.

Final Score

Previous Version: 4

Updated Version: 1

Well, that was a surprise! The moral of this story is to avoid extraneous elements and keep the visitor focused on the task at hand. Furthermore, make it as easy as possible for them to sign up, e.g., Sign Up with Facebook.

This review is reliant on the assumption that this is between two “Sign Up Pages.” Whenever you include an inline form on a page you have to do they heavy lifting of educating and persuading your office, in addition to optimizing the form itself!

The previous version had to do less work, was clear, and had better functionality.

Wow! This batch surprised me. There was only one case where the reviews were close and TWO cases where the previous version definitely had the edge. If you liked these reviews, give us a like on YouTube and please comment there to share your thoughts (no trolls please).

(NOTE: Want DigitalMarketer’s proven 8-Step Optimization Process for turning existing traffic into more leads and more sales? Get our Optimization & Testing Specialist training and certification. Learn more now.)

optimization2

April 2017

11. Spotify’s Sign Up Page

Two of my favorite things: form pages and Spotify… this one is going to be fun.

Let’s see how Spotify tackles their redesing in the 9-minute video below:

Final Results

Previous Version: 2

Updated Version: 2

So, I feel a little lame leaving this at a draw, but I think this is more of an opportunity for Spotify than a cop-out for me!

Both of these pages are solid.

What they need to focus on is serving this page to the correct audience.

The updated variant feels more like a bare bones landing page relying on brand whereas the other is a traditional sign up page. If people are coming to the website directly, show the new variant and if they are coming from an internal link show the old variant!

Oh – also kill that CAPTCHA with fire. You are incredibly good with data and must have a better way to catch spam.

12. Draftkings’ Mobile Homepage

Draftkings is constantly updating their site, but it’s generally their above the fold offer that gets the treatment while the rest of the content remains the same.

This lead me to look for any “major” updates, and I started digging into their mobile experience.

They made some slight changes. But overall, were these changes enough to make a difference or did their sleeper pick stay asleep? Watch the 11-minute video below to find out:

Final Results

Previous Version: 0

Updated Version: 3

Draftkings made some minor changes that could have amounted to some big wins, but it’s my guess they didn’t see much of a difference between the two versions. Both variations have a sub-par user experience and the Updated Variation won out because it tightened the messaging above the fold.

Ideally, I’d like to see this go back to the drawing board and for Draftkings to try something brand new.

13. Cisco’s About us Page

I was super excited to see that Cisco had done another massive update to their site! Last time they launched a redesign, I gave it a perfect 5 score against its predecessor.

Can they get this again? Watch this critique to find out!

Final Results

Previous Version: 0

Updated Version: 5

Hot dang they did it again! Whoever is designing these pages at Cicso… well, give them a raise.

The new page gets out of the dated Enterprise software template and brings them into the modern design age.

This isn’t all a facelift! Cisco…

  • Builds a page that tells a better story
  • Use visuals to prime the visitor
  • Gives better direction surrounding what to do next

Great work and I can’t wait to see what you do next!

14. Ghostery’s Homepage

As a long time Ghostery user, I was curious to see how they’ve updated their homepage. It looks like they went from a longer form “You’re Here” style homepage to a more specific squeeze page.

Did that work? Find out my thoughts in my video critique:

Final Results

Previous Version: 2

Updated Version: 3

This one was CLOSE.

Really the only reason the updated version won was because of the unified message. They really fell flat in terms of design and the lack of content really hurt the page. Maybe they can merge the two designs to come up with a “compromise” page that increases both brand awareness and conversions.

Oh! If you want to get these redesign alerts to see what other organizations are up to, signup for the Blink newsletter.

(NOTE: Want DigitalMarketer’s proven 8-Step Optimization Process for turning existing traffic into more leads and more sales? Get our Optimization & Testing Specialist training and certification. Learn more now.)

optimization2

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7 Hidden Facebook Power Editor Features to Save You Time

Do you advertise on Facebook? Are you taking advantage of all of the features in Power Editor? Power Editor has a number of often-unnoticed options that can help marketers create more effective ad campaigns while saving time. In this article, you’ll discover seven overlooked Power Editor features to manage your campaigns more efficiently. #1: Split […]

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– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

Facebook Live via Desktop Rolls Out Globally: This Week in Social Media

Welcome to our weekly edition of what’s hot in social media news. To help you stay up to date with social media, here are some of the news items that caught our attention. What’s New This Week Facebook Expands Ability to Broadcast Live from Desktops and Laptops to All Users: Facebook announced that everyone around […]

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– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

Facebook Messenger Marketing: What Marketers Need to Know

Do you want to communicate with your customers via Facebook Messenger? Wondering how Facebook Messenger bots and Messenger ads can help? To explore this topic, I interview Molly Pittman. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It’s designed to help busy marketers and […]

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– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

Get the 3-Step Pinterest Jumpstart Plan that Led to a 40% Increase in BabyList’s Revenue

It’s easy to push Pinterest under the rug.

Yes, more people use Facebook.

However, users on Pinterest are signing onto the platform to plan, buy, and do. That’s a much different intention than users signing onto a platform to watch cat videos.

And, when you consider that 50% of women and 50% of dads in the United States are using Pinterest—that’s some buying power. (Hint: that’s 47,000,000 American users.)

See where I’m going with this?

generate-organic-pinterest-traffic-img1-v2

 

If you need more reason to pay attention to Pinterest, then let me let you in on a little secret: Very few marketers get Pinterest, which means there is opportunity left on the table, and you can rake it in by learning the basics.

(RELATED: How Ezra Firestone Generated $41,254.34 in Ecommerce Sales From $775.50 in Pinterest Ad Spend)

This is exactly how I got started establishing a Pinterest presence for BabyList during my time as their CMO.

Using the incredible results from the three strategies below, we were in a great position when we were given access to Pinterest Promoted Pins—a venture that resulted in a 40% increase in revenue during its first five months!

Those steps were basic, but powerful, and they’re what I’ll be sharing today.

Let’s get started.

Step #1: Forget Your Profile

Everyone thinks you have to start with a Pinterest profile, and then you have to find and save cool pins to your profile day and night to gain followers.

These people are WRONG.

And I understand their confusion.

Every other social platform makes you start with a profile and encourages businesses to build their number of followers.

But Pinterest is different.

While you do need a Pinterest profile to spend advertising dollars on Pinterest, you DON’T need a profile to get tons of traffic from Pinterest.

Let me give you an example.

The grocery store Trader Joe’s does not have a Pinterest profile, but I know they get tons of traffic from Pinterest.

How do I know Trader Joe’s gets tons of traffic from Pinterest?

Here’s the trick: You can go to “www.pinterest.com/source/[enter_url_here]” to see what people are pinning from ANY website.

So, let’s see what people are pinning from traderjoes.com by typing in www.pinterest.com/source/traderjoes.com:

generate-organic-pinterest-traffic-img2-v2

Look at that! Recipes from the Trader Joe’s website are being saved to thousands of Pinterest profiles, all without Trader Joe’s having a Pinterest profile. Huzzah!

(NOTE: Want a 5-step process to bring a flood of shop-happy traffic to your ecommerce site? Get started with Pinterest’s new ad platform and get a proven system you can follow to fast-track your way to quick results and measurable ROI. Learn more now.)

pinterest-CTA2

Step #2: Figure Out What People Like Pinning

Okay, now you know you don’t have to create a profile to get Pinterest traffic.

What’s next?

Start by getting a feel for your competition on Pinterest.

To do this, type your best search terms into the Pinterest search bar.

generate-organic-pinterest-traffic-img3-v2

For example, if I have a toy company, I’d type “toys” into the Pinterest search bar. If I’m a motivational speaker, I’d start by typing in “motivational speaker” into Pinterest.

generate-organic-pinterest-traffic-img4-v2

What comes up for your search terms? Which pins have the most re-pins?

Now, a lot of people think of Pinterest as a social media site, but it really functions as a search engine.

So, treat Pinterest like Google.

Type in your search terms, see who wins them, and strategize on the content you can create to get you to appear among the results.

(Related: Episode 66: Creating Content that Converts with Laura Hanly)

To illustrate, during my time as CMO of BabyList, I realized there was a lot of potential for us when it came to baby gear searches on Pinterest.

Search terms like…

  • “best stroller of 2016”
  • “baby swaddle blanket”
  • “how to cloth diaper”

So, we created blog posts to target these searches… and it worked.

We got 100,000 more visitors to our site as a result.

(Related: How To Write Blog Posts That Sell)

Step #3: Add Vertical Images to Your Posts

Once you have blog posts that match well with Pinterest search terms, you have to make sure there is an awesome VERTICAL image included in the post.

Buzzfeed has some great examples.

When they write a post they think will do well on Pinterest, they always include a vertical image with the post.

Here’s an example from BuzzFeed:

generate-organic-pinterest-traffic-img5-v2

See the vertical image/collage that’s featured at the top of the post?

At this point, you might feel overwhelmed – I have to add vertical images to all my blog posts now?

Believe me, this can be simpler than it seems.

You just need…

  1. A portrait image that matches your blog post theme (I love Stocksy for finding images).
  2. A way to overlay the title of your blog post on top of the image (I love picMonkey for adding text overlays – you don’t even need a designer).

Your pins don’t even have to be professionally designed.

In fact, I believe the pins that look homemade do better than the super well-designed ones because they look less like ads.

Try these simple three steps and take your Pinterest game to the next level and leave your competition in the dust.

(NOTE: Want a 5-step process to bring a flood of shop-happy traffic to your ecommerce site? Get started with Pinterest’s brand-new ad platform and get a proven system you can follow to fast-track your way to quick results and measurable ROI. Learn more now.)

pinterest-CTA2

The post Get the 3-Step Pinterest Jumpstart Plan that Led to a 40% Increase in BabyList’s Revenue appeared first on DigitalMarketer.

Advertising on Facebook? This Little Tweak Cut Our Lead Cost in Half

I’m so happy we decided to test this…

As you’ll see in this case study, we changed one option in the Facebook Ad Manager and and started getting leads for half the cost… but not on Facebook.

Instead, our ads started to run (automatically) on Instagram.

If you weren’t aware, Facebook bought Instagram in 2012 for about a billion dollars in cash and stock and they have since made it super simple to use the Facebook Ads Manager to advertise on Instagram.

You’ll see the ads, ad copy and the results (leads for $1.76 anyone?)  we used in these “hybrid” campaigns.  I say hybrid because these ads run on Facebook and Instagram simultaneously.

I’ll also give you some pointers on getting started with your Instagram advertising.

But first, you need to how to…

Generate Leads Using “Value First” on Instagram

Our goal for paid ads has always been to present an offer for something free in front of an audience who would be thrilled to learn more.

So, when Instagram ads became an option for us, we already knew what our strategy would be.

We have an Instagram Marketing Strategy Guide we use as a Lead Magnet and ran paid ads to it throughout the year.

The guide acts as the very top of our sales funnel.

Once someone opts into the guide, whether through a paid Instagram ad or a form on our website, they are brought through the same follow-up sequence of onboarding emails.

book2

During our last list building campaign, my team and I decided to test out results using Facebook’s “Automatic Placement,” so the ad was fed to all the placement options.

This option is found under “Ad Set” when you are setting up your Facebook ads.

instagram-advertising-stratergy-img2

By selecting this ad placement, your ad can be seen on BOTH the Facebook newsfeed and on Instagram.

Below is the ad we ran on Facebook for the 2017 Instagram Strategy Guide…

instagram-advertising-stratergy-img3

And this is how the ad appeared on Instagram…

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For this campaign, we spent $1,096.02 for 534 leads, an average of $2.05 a lead, which we were happy with.

When we went back to the reports to analyze what made the difference, Instagram placement beat out Facebook placement on cost per conversion significantly.

In 14 of the 17 targeting audiences, cost per conversion was HALF on Instagram than its Facebook counterpart.

On average, a lead from an Instagram ad ran us $1.76/lead – 89¢ fewer than those shared to Facebook.

Moral of the story?

It’s worth it for business owners to test BOTH platforms.

We don’t only use Facebook and Instagram Ads for our lead generation, but also to directly convert sales.

There is a BIG opportunity for selling on Instagram…

Generate Conversions Using Retargeting on Instagram

Two of our lower priced products, The Hashtag Handbook and Social Media Class Tickets, have sold well with Instagram ads.

Screenshot 2017-03-21 12.04.55

We served these ads only to warm audiences, retargeting the visits to our sales page.

In a quick test of retargeting ads in January 2017, they converted at a cost of $8.77. With the Handbook priced at $27.99, that is a $19.22 return per sale.

Any small business owner can benefit from running retargeting ads.

Unlike the Instagram Strategy Guide ads from above, which can focus on cold and warm audiences, retargeting ads can take a lot less time to set up because it only requires setting up targeting once.

(RELATED: [DOWNLOAD] The Complete Guide to Facebook Ad Targeting)

(NOTE: Want The Ultimate Facebook Ad Template Library? Copy & paste these 7 proven Facebook ad campaigns to create low-cost, high-converting ads on demand. Get them here.)

Facebook Ad Templates

3 Tips For Getting Started with Instagram Advertising Campaigns

1. Test on Both Platforms

Like we did with the Strategy Guide above, test your ads on both Facebook and Instagram.

Running on both platforms is easy to set up and will help you target where your efforts should be spent. It turns out these ads were super successful on Instagram, and the actual cost per conversion was $1.09!  With this information, I now can make a decision about where my budget is more wisely spent, and for this campaign it is Instagram.

For instance, we ran a retargeting campaign for our Hashtag Handbook in January 2017. We started by running the following ads on both platforms:

On Instagram…

instagram-advertising-stratergy-img8

And on Facebook…

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It turns out, these ads were super successful on Instagram and the actual cost per conversion was $1.09!

With this information, I now can make a decision about where my budget is more wisely spent, and for this campaign it is Instagram.

If you are going to test the two platforms for your retargeting ads, you can save yourself even more time by ensuring the ad copy you write for your description will work well on both platforms.

What do I mean?

On Instagram, only 300 characters of your description are visible, the rest is hidden behind a “read more” button.

Because of this, you need to make sure you use that real estate wisely and include a hook right at the beginning of the ad

instagram-advertising-stratergy-img8

For example, in the Hashtag Handbook retargeting ad, you can see we come right out and tell people to stop wasting their time.

The sentence tells our audience we want to help them get a precious resource back: time.

The copy continues to explain the selling points of the handbook, which someone can view if they hit “More,” but to get them there, you need something to attract them in the first place.

It is easy to test out where the copy on your ad would be cut off, take a peek at your ad and with “ad preview” in the Ads Manager or Power Editor.

2. Start with a Small Budget

Nervous to invest in ads?

Keep the budget low.

We ran the Hashtag Handbook retargeting ads for 3.5 days at $10.00 a day.

(RELATED: How 6 Pro Marketers Would Spend $10/day Buying Website Traffic)

This is an ad spend that anyone can afford, and at this pricing and conversion rate, you stand to more than double your investment in 7 days.

You are also gaining increased visibility for your accounts when you are running ads, so the ad return is not just in cash earned but also in brand awareness and account followers.

3. Set Up Two Audiences

Remember, in order to retarget visits to a sales page, you need to add your Facebook pixel to the page and set up the Facebook custom audience to start collecting data.

(RELATED: How to Use Facebook Advertising Pixels to Create High Converting Ad Campaigns)

We suggest setting up not one audience, but two.

The first is obvious: People who visit the specific web page.

The second is an audience to use for exclusions.

The purpose is to exclude people who decide to purchase your product from being served ads for a product they already own.

The easiest way to do that is to create a second custom audience, one for those who visit your Thank You page. Anyone who visits that page is a customer of the product.

When you create the ad targeting under your ad set, select your custom audiences, the first under “include” and the second under “exclude,” and you are good to go!

Try out these tips to get your Instagram paid advertising off the ground.

(NOTE: Want The Ultimate Facebook Ad Template Library? Copy & paste these 7 proven Facebook ad campaigns to create low-cost, high-converting ads on demand. Get them here.)

Facebook Ad Templates

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How to Maximize Your Facebook Reach

Is declining reach impacting your Facebook marketing ROI? Looking to improve your Facebook exposure? Organic reach has become harder to achieve on Facebook and marketers are turning to creative ways to get their messages seen. In this article, you’ll discover how to help your Facebook posts go further. About Facebook Organic Reach I will say, […]

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– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

Facebook Tests Video Insights for Profiles: This Week in Social Media

Welcome to our weekly edition of what’s hot in social media news. To help you stay up to date with social media, here are some of the news items that caught our attention. What’s New This Week Facebook Testing Video Insights for Personal Profiles: This week, Social Media Examiner staff noted that Facebook appears to […]

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– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

How to Size Images for Facebook Event Cover Photos

One of the easiest ways to connect your friends, family or fans is through an event. And on Facebook, it’s simple to create an event, send invites and keep the conversation going. With all the noise on social, you need to make sure your Facebook event cover photo stands out and is memorable to invitees.

If your Facebook event photo is missing, set at an incorrect size or just plain boring, you could end up with no attendants. When you don’t put the effort into making something look professional, such as a Facebook Event, who says people will take you seriously?

That’s why we’re here to help you add an image to your event, choose the right image and correctly size it to fit Facebook’s dimensions.

How to Add a Facebook Event Photo

Creating the perfect Facebook Event doesn’t have to be a strenuous task. But for marketers using Facebook, the last thing you want is to have your page look sloppy or quickly made.

That’s why we provide the best-in-class Facebook management tools to ensure your efforts don’t go unnoticed. Try us today for a free 30-day trial!

create a facebook event example

Once you get started with your event details, you have two options to upload images:

  1. Choose a Theme: Facebook provides a set of themes to use that range in topics such as birthdays, holidays, parties and more. These options replace the need for an event image, but there’s only so many preset illustrations to choose from.
  2. Upload a Photo: Facebook also allows you to upload your own personal image (following Facebook content guidelines). Here you can adjust the size of the image to fit your event dimensions.
facebook event images

Facebook Event Photo Size & Dimensions

facebook event image size

Selecting the correct Facebook event photo size and dimensions means all the difference between a crisp or blurry image. While there are several versions of images sizes across the web, Facebook updated the event image size and dimensions for users as follows:

  • Facebook Event Image recommended size: 1920 x 1080 (16:9 Ratio)
  • Facebook scales down to minimum dimensions: 470 × 174
  • Image shows in feed: 470 x 174

Where Your Facebook Event Image Appears

Facebook has made several changes to the event photo over the last few years. Now the event photo has three different locations, but they all still appear the best when following the 1920 x 1080 recommendation.

  • Upcoming Events: Displayed as a thumbnail, you can see the Facebook event photo in your upcoming events. It’s wise to choose an image that looks good at full scale and as a thumbnail so users can recognize the event.
  • Event Page: Your event image displays at 470 x 174 on your event page. This is the main resource for the event’s specific details, comments and updates.
  • Newsfeed: Event images within your Newsfeed display at nearly the same dimensions shown on the actual Facebook event page.

How to Choose the Best Facebook Event Photo

Facebook CTA GIF

The image you choose could be the difference between an accept or decline. Additionally, if you don’t put much thought into your image, it can seem spammy or unprofessional. Follow these tips to choose the best Facebook event photo:

1. Make Your Image Stand Out

Plain and simple, we remember images better than text. A study found people have the ability to recall more than 2,500 images with roughly 90% accuracy. However, information presented orally drops to 10% accuracy.

That’s why it’s essential to choose an image that stands out. If you’re creating a recurring Facebook event, choose an image that can be slightly altered, kept the same or within the same theme across all your events. Users will begin to recognize and recall your events when it passes in their Newsfeed.

Events are often suggested to users and pretty much anyone on Facebook has experienced an overwhelming amount of events. That’s why it’s important to have your image grab people’s attention and stand out among the rest.

2. Use Relevant Images

If you’re a business hosting an event and plan to send out Facebook invites, make sure your image is true to the occasion. Far too often, users are unsure about certain details that might come from a confusing image.

relevant facebook event image

For example, if you’re a restaurant hosting a cooking competition, you might want to avoid using an image only of food. This gives viewers the idea that you’re providing food or that they get to taste it.

Instead, use images of cooks or a food judge panel, and list the specifics in the event details. It’s easy to get images mixed up, so make sure you choose relevant content. If done correctly, users will contact you with limited questions. Relevancy is key!

3. Use a Photo Editing Tool

Before you hit publish on your Facebook event, take a second look at your image to make sure it’s as professional looking as possible. Using an image straight from your iPhone shouldn’t be the extend of your editing.

Instead, use free image editing tools like Canva to add logos, enhance photos or add hues. You can also try out Sprout Social’s free image resizing tool, Landscape. Easily fit the same or multiple images to the correct dimensions across all social networks.

landscape facebook banner

With a little effort, you can increase the quality of your image. Don’t be afraid to get a second opinion to ensure you’re submitting a respectable image.

If you’re still stuck on the correct dimensions and sizes of other popular social network images, check out our always up-to-date social media image sizes guide!

This post How to Size Images for Facebook Event Cover Photos originally appeared on Sprout Social.

Top 5 Facebook Trends & How to Implement Them

It seems like every time you check the news, there’s something new going on at Facebook. It can be challenging to keep up with all the latest changes and updates. But we’ve got you covered with a few of the latest Facebook trends we’ve seen.

These Facebook trends aren’t the shiny new features that may or may not take off. Instead, they’re trends that we see brands using on Facebook to reach new audiences and set themselves apart from the crowd. So here are our top five Facebook trends and how you can implement them into your own social media strategy:

1. Facebook Live

Facebook Live is currently only available for verified brand Pages and public figures using Mentions.

One of the larger advantages of using Facebook Live as compared to Instagram is the ability for the brand to keep the video as a post on their Page. Even after a Live video ends, the content lives on, helping you reach even more people.

Global Web Index found in 2016 that 20% of Facebook users watched a Live video within the last month. It’s important to also note that Live videos are considered a separate content type from normal videos, ranking them higher in the News Feed while they’re live.

Incorporating Live videos into your marketing strategy could prove useful, especially if you are still hesitant at investing in normal video content.

How to Execute a Successful Facebook Live Video

Preparation is key. Before launching the Live video, put together a strategy for promotion. If Facebook is a major social media channel for you, promote this in other channels too, to bring in a larger audience.

Be sure you understand the controls of launching Live and what you’ll write to accompany the launch. You don’t want to end the stream before it gets to the main event. To avoid technical issues and poor lighting, set up the space ahead of time and plan for the best camera angles. You could also consider using a tripod.

During the event, give some time for your fans to trickle in. Have someone monitoring the comments and jotting down the questions that can be relayed over to the person in front of the camera.

There are many ways to use Facebook Live for your brand:

  • Host a Q&A session
  • Introduce a new product
  • Conduct a behind-the-scenes tour
  • Gather customer feedback
  • Partner up with a like-minded brand to co-create content

Take a look at the partnership of BuzzFeed Animals and Subaru.

Sephora teamed up with the Tatcha founder to talk through a skin prep tutorial.

2. Investing More in Paid Advertising

According to a 2016 Content Marketing Institute survey of content marketers, 61% used promoted posts as a paid advertising method, up 14 percentage points from the previous year. In addition, the marketers found that promoted posts were 76% effective and social ads were 74% effective.

While it is easy to say you should invest more in paid advertising, we also encourage you to invest smarter.

How to Invest Smarter in Paid Advertising

Facebook’s advertising features are robust and new ones are being added each month. Most recently, GIFs were added as an option to be used within an ad. Like videos, GIFs will auto-play and loop in the News Feed, which can grab a fan’s attention better than a photo.

Utilize retargeting features like uploading a customer list or inserting a Facebook pixel onto your website to target the customers who are already interested in your business. For example, if a customer visits a denim retailer online, but doesn’t buy anything, the business could promote an ad that features a third-party denim review to the potential customer.

3. Establishing a Distinct Brand Voice

Really good content (whatever that means for your business) will stand out in your fans’ feeds. Some brands like Arby’s have embraced a certain humor that resonates with their customers.

 

For the Art Institute of Chicago, successful posts buck the short caption recommendations. Instead, their posts are filled with interesting historical knowledge about the art pieces.

 

How to Execute Your Own Unique Brand Voice

We’ve written a useful how-to guide on creating a brand voice here.

The most important points are:

  • Have a strategy in place by documenting vocabulary and personality traits
  • Be consistent across all the channels: newsletters, website copy and social media
  • Reinforce the company values

Don’t be afraid to put a little fun weirdness into your posts. Embrace the personality traits that make up your company.

 

Once you have voice attributes in place, be open to adjusting it to customer feedback.

4. Adding Integrations & Customizations to Your Page

Are you a venue or a cafe? Do you only sell online or do you keep retail hours? Gone are the days when every Facebook Page looked the same. With ready-made templates and a wide selection of categories, you now have the option to customize many components of your Page.

One integration example is the Shop feature. It can work by itself or with the Shopify integration, which will lead to more customers buying directly through Facebook. If you add the integration to Facebook, you’ll also have the option to tag your products in your posts.

Francesca’s uses their Shop feature by tagging outfit components in their photos.

How to Customize Your Facebook Page

Your options vary depending on the business category that you select. In your Page Settings, you can change your template to one that better fits your needs. Some of these Tabs can be added, removed, rearranged or customized.

Anthropologie operates in many retail locations but they also offer services in personal styling and home styling. Adding this Tab to their Page is a no-brainer.

For The Met, you’re able to see vital information on their Page. Location hours and popular times are easily accessed without any scrolling.

Introducing integrations and customizations into your Facebook Page is another way to help you stand out from other businesses.

Facebook CTA GIF

5. Using Messenger Chatbots

One of the newest Facebook trends to emerge is the use of Messenger chatbots. Chatbots are a fun way to add more interaction with your customers as long as they are executed well. They can do anything from answer basic customer service questions to providing entertainment to ordering food.

ChefSteps’ chatbot lets you ask questions about their Joule product and general sous vide techniques.

The Denver Broncos’ chatbot helps answer your pressing questions on their rosters and playing schedule.

How to Use Messenger Bots for Your Business

First, you’ll need to decide the main purpose of the bot. Will it answer common questions about products? Will it send blog posts to help customers understand your company better? Or perhaps it can tell fun jokes?

Next, you can use tools like Botsify, OnSequel and Chatfuel to create your own Messenger bot without needing any prior programming knowledge.

And finally, be sure to test the chatbot out thoroughly before launching it live.

As you go through the process of creating your own chatbot, keep in mind that it does not excuse you from checking your Messages. Not every question can be easily answered by a bot and it’s a good idea to keep an eye on any Message that comes through.

The 1–800-Flowers.com chatbot will help you order flowers without ever leaving Facebook.

As with any new trend that you incorporate into your strategy, we encourage you to keep track of key Facebook analytics before and after implementing the features. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback and adjust accordingly.

With 50 million small business Pages, it’s important to keep track of trends that will help your business stand out from the crowd. Not all trends are equal and from experimentation and analytics, you’ll be able to find the ones that are best for you.

Is there a Facebook trend that you’re excited about? Leave us a tip in the comments below!

This post Top 5 Facebook Trends & How to Implement Them originally appeared on Sprout Social.