For this particular room the escape rate was only 40%, that means that 40% of the people that attempt this room escape successfully within an hour, and that’s considered sort of a beginner room at this place. This is a place in Plano, Texas just north of Dallas called Escape Expert; highly recommend it if you’re in the area. They claim to be the largest (square footage wise) escape room facility in the United States and they have multiple rooms. I think 11 or 17 rooms, I can’t remember. You can check out their website if you’re so inclined. It’s a very cool thing to do.
The neat thing about it, for the purpose of this show, was the marketing lesson that I was reminded of. When you walk in the very first thing you see is they have a call to action for you. We’re going to talk about calls to action later in the show.
The first thing they want you to do is to check-in on Facebook, which makes sense, it’s word of mouth marketing, guerilla marketing. There are big signs with the Facebook logo that encourage you to check-in on Facebook and during the orientation the guy asks for the thing.
So there’s one marketing lesson right there. If you’re in marketing, one of the things you have to do is ask for the sale, you have to ask for the conversion that you want.
This guy asked us to check-in on Facebook, which we did. Then at the end of the escape room activity you either win by escaping or your lose. If you win, you get these amazing signs that say things like, “I’m a winner. I’m a genius. I’m really smart. I crushed it.” Each one of the team members gets these signs to hold up and you get to take a fun picture.
The place posts that picture to Facebook, you can go in and tag yourself, they send you the picture so you can post it to Facebook. Then as you’re leaving the guy asks you to please go onto Yelp and give a review of the destination. Very clear social media marketing strategy right there.
One of the things that makes that social media marketing strategy work is they create a fun thing. It’s something sharable. In this case the fun sharable thing they’re creating is this goofy picture. It’s fun to share.
The lesson for you is if you have ideas for creating something fun, or something valuable, or something that is worth sharing, that makes this whole organic social media marketing thing a lot easier.
It’s a two-step process. You want to create something that is exciting and fun to share and then you want to go ahead and ask for that share in a call to action. We’ll be addressing those calls to action next, so let’s get right into that.
Call to Action Fatigue
As you know, I’m a big fan of The Cliff Ravenscraft Show. Cliff Ravenscraft is The Podcast Answer Man and he has The Cliff Ravenscraft Show. The other day he had this teaser for what I thought was going to be an incredibly controversial episode called Product Launch Fatigue. I thought for sure, although it would have been very unusual for Cliff to do something like this, was going to attack people who use Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula and create this product launch fatigue.
Basically, in this show, which I encourage you to listen to, it’s an incredibly valuable episode, talks about his experience with this sort of thing that he calls product launch fatigue. As it turns out, that’s really kind of a fun thing to call what might more accurately be called call to action fatigue.
Cliff raises several issues about call to action fatigue. Some of the issue is around the idea that everybody seems to be promoting everything all of the time and a lot of our marketing channels are polluted, as Ray Edwards says on the same episode as Cliff’s guest, our content channels are polluted with these promotions and calls to action.
Cliff’s point of view is simply can’t live without content, content that people are clamoring for, isn’t really authentic whenever it’s done for the purpose of promoting something else, oftentimes. That’s oftentimes the case, or at least that’s Cliff’s feeling. Let’s hear a few words that Cliff has to say about call to action fatigue.
Cliff: I’m not fatigued about the actual process of PLF. The only reason I chose the title that I shared with you is because it is the idea of we’re always launching something, we’re always promoting something, and I find it fatiguing. It just seems to be jamming up my content consumption stream with constant barrage of calls to action.
Ray: I think you’re 100% correct.
Cliff: But I don’t think that’s because of Jeff Walker’s sequence, series, or his formula. PLF, I just thought product launch fatigue, I’m fatigued about all of these product launches. That’s the only reason that I chose PLF.
Ray: You’re a good copywriter, that’s a provocative title, I can’t blame you.
Cliff: Let’s go back to this idea of people who seems to be promoting everything. It’s like every piece of content is an opportunity to sell something and generate either a direct sale of their own product or a commission off of something else.
Ray: That’s just a huge business mistake. You should not do that.
I feel the same way Cliff does on occasion. It’s something that I worry about with this very show. I call you to action all the time. I’m calling you to action to check out my affiliate links, I’m calling you to action to check out the show notes, I’m calling you to action to buy some product, I’m calling you to action to check out some article, or to go listen to Cliff’s podcast.
Here’s the deal. For the rest of this episode, no more calls to action. No more. No more calls to action for the rest of this episode in honor of Cliff’s presentation.
I will tell you, there is a right way and a wrong way to do calls to action. In next week’s episode we’re going to talk about some best practices for using calls to action and promotions in your marketing channel, wherever you’re creating content. I want to give you some tips for how to do that the right way and ways to think about.
I want to get inside my head a little bit and let you know what I’m thinking every time I call you to action. The only way I can help you is if I get you to do something for yourself.
I’ll give you an analogy. If you’re a smoker and I know that smoking is bad for you, and maybe you’ve even expressed a desire to quit smoking, maybe the only way that I can help you quit smoking is to call you to action to buy Nicorette Gum or whatever I’ve done a bunch of careful research about that actually works to help you quit smoking.
After all, we know that internet marketing is full of, replete with, the vast majority of people that talk about doing something, study internet marketing endlessly, consume podcasts and blog posts and courses endlessly, but don’t actually take action.
What I try to think of whenever I’m doing these things, and it’s one of the best practices that we’re going to go into in detail next week, is am I calling you to action in a way that will result in something that actually helps you, and do I honestly believe that, do I honestly believe the value to you will be increased. Even if you’re buying something, do I really think that is going to help you?
That’s where my head is really at every time that I call you to action. I know that’s a similar that Ray thinks about things, I know absolutely that’s the way Cliff and Pat Flynn, that’s how we think about. Not everybody thinks about it that way and I think that’s part of Cliff’s beef.
Next week we’re going to kind of do chapter two of this. Normally I would call you to action and say take a look at your marketing, really sit back and understand when you have a call to action are you leading your prospects to something of value, but I’m not having any more calls to action in this episode, so I’ll just leave it at that and let you choose to think deep thoughts about how you’re calling your prospects to action for the rest of the episode.
Google Voice Search Optimization
I led off this episode with my Amazon Echo device starting the podcast, because one of the things that we want to talk about today is this idea of voice search.
My house is full of these Amazon Echo devices now. You guys know that I’m an Apple geek, but I’m also an electrical engineer and I love home automation. That’s one of my favorite things to mess around with. The truth of the matter is that while Apple has done some work in the home automation space with HomeKit, they’re just woefully behind. I don’t know what they’re doing, they’re kind of goofing around.
The thing that is really frustrating about it is you would expect, or at least I would expect by now, that Apple would have a device based on their voice technology. I’m not going to say the name of that one either, let’s call that Schlomo. We would expect that they would have a Schlomo technology, a little box that sits in your house so that you could talk to Apple’s intelligent voice command anywhere in your home. You can talk to it on your phone, you can talk to it on your watch, now you can talk to it on the Macbook. I don’t know where this box is and why Apple hasn’t released this box.
I got tired of waiting for Apple and I started playing with the Amazon Echo, and they’re fantastic. I have a Wink Hub and I have a bunch of stuff hooked up in my house. I can turn on lights, change thermostats, and unlock doors and do all kinds of crazy stuff just by giving it voice commands. My children love this, they play with it all the time. We have three or four of them in strategic locations throughout the house. As you heard, one of the things that you can do is play the Late Night Internet Marketing Podcast, which is super cool.
Another thing that you can do not so great with this Amazon Echo device, but certainly better with Schlomo, Apple’s product, is you can do voice search. This is something that has been pioneered by Google. It turns out that Google is reporting maybe as much as 20% of searches done on Google mobile are now done by voice. I certainly ask Schlomo on my iPhone search questions all the time. We know this is coming.
One of the things that Google has been doing to prepare for this transition, of course they’ve been emphasizing mobile, we talked about that even just in the last episode about how important mobile is for your website. The other thing that they’ve been doing, that you’ve probably seen, is they have started to add these featured snippets at the top of the search results.
If you enter a phrase or a question into Google that has an answer, like say for example, “How do I bake a cake?” that’s a natural voice syntax, it’s not ‘how to bake cake’ or anything that you would normally type in, ‘cake, how to’ or those kind of Google type in phrases.
One of the things that you get back is a featured result, in this case out of WikiHow, method one making a vanilla pound cake. It’s an eight step process and a link to the WikiHow article.
From an SEO standpoint this is absolutely something that you want to do.
Here’s tip number one from this voice search trend. You want to construct your content in a way that allows you to rank and get these featured snippets. The easiest way for you to do that is for all of your great content make sure that you have a section of frequently asked questions and direct concise answers to those questions that Google and find and choose to feature. There’s not a real magical algorithm to figure out how to get these things featured, but certainly you want your question and answer titles in H-tags, you want to have the question stated in the same way that you would expect someone would type it, and you want the answer to be concise and right there.
It also can sometimes help to have an image nearby, because Google will pull an image in with that answer. That’s super cool and that’s a search engine tip. Usually that’s associated with the first result. You want to talk about getting some click real estate, in this example of ‘how do I bake a cake’ on my Macbook Pro the combination of that featured snippet and the listing for the same article that the featured snippet comes out of is taking almost 40% of the search engine results page. The click through rate for that has to be enormous.
I definitely recommend that you consider structuring your content in that way if you are interested in this kind of search traffic result. You can type in all kinds of questions and you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about and that should give you some ideas that you can add to your content.
There’s this very famous annual trends report that Mary Meeker publishes. In this report over on KPCB.com Mary talks about the rise of digital assistance, voice assistance particularly, and how it is up and that way more than half of U.S. smartphone users use a voice assistant in some way on their phone. The voice queries are up in Google by multiple factors of ten.
The whole upshot of it is that voice search is coming and that you should be preparing for voice search. It’s obvious, right? Besides the fact that we’re getting these voice assistants, when do you use voice search? I use it whenever my hands are full, whenever I’m driving, when I’m doing something, or when it’s faster to talk than it is to type.
These things that we generally refer to as conversational search queries are going to get more and more important. This is all part of this 2013 Hummingbird update that really is part of artificial intelligence and these algorithms that Google is employing in search to try and understand what it is that you really are talking about.
Just like when you were in grammar school, the kinds of keywords that you want to be placing in your content, or more appropriately the questions that you want to be answering, are the ‘newspaper’ questions, the who, what, when, where, why, and how questions that you want to ask about whatever topic it is that you’re writing about.
Sometimes the main idea of the article is who, what, when, where, why, or how. But sometimes you write this great article and then there’s an opportunity at the end to add a section of frequently asked questions, where you can either look at keyword research results to understand exactly what is being looked for or just use your imagination, because in some cases this stuff hasn’t quite trended yet because Google voice search is on the rise. You might want to just go ahead and guess what kind of questions people are asking and what should you be doing.
That’s the reason that voice search is important. It’s my speculation that it will become more and more important for you to get shown in the search results for you to be compatible with this kind of language that is used in search, because in voice search we say things quite a bit differently oftentimes than we do when we’re typing things.
By now most of us have been trained to remove stop words and be very specific, and to type into Google search a certain way. In other words, we might say something like ‘Canon 7D firmware update,’ as something we might type in Google. If we were just asking that question conversationally we might ask, “How do I update the firmware on my Canon 7D camera?” That kind of thinking needs to be part of your thinking as you write content and have it rank in search.
I won’t call you to action on this, but I will refer you to an excellent article from Yoast. Yoast creates a tremendous amount of awesome SEO information. If you have more interest in this topic, that article is there for the taking.
Not saying you have to go read it, I don’t want to fatigue you with too many calls to action here. See, it’s very hard for me to not call you to action because I want you to go do stuff to make your business better.
Wrapping Things Up….
Before I let you go today, I wanted to say thank you. The month of January 2017 is a record for the number of downloads for the Late Night Internet Marketing Podcast. I really appreciate it. All of you that have taken time to share the podcast, to give me shout outs, to download the episodes and listen, I’ve told you this a million times but it’s only because it’s true, I really appreciate the investment that you make in me and in the podcast. I hope you find it of great value. Thank you very much.
It’s time to close the show, but I have this problem. I can’t close the show with a normal outro because there’s a call to action in the outro and I promised you I wouldn’t have any more of those. So I have a special treat.
Many times I get the question, “Where did you get your show music?” I’ll tell you, there’s this really famous jingle musician out there and his name is Geoff Smith. He’s also one of the nicest guys that ever walked Earth. This guy is just awesome.
When I knew I was starting the podcast back in, I guess it was back in 2009 when I approached Geoff, I said, “I want to do this podcast. Here’s the story about the podcast. I need a jingle.” He called me and interviewed me for like 45 minutes, asked me all these questions about the podcast, what it was about and who the target audience was. At the end of it I said, “I’m kind of thinking of something that is reminiscent of the Friends music for the TV show on NBC,” which was popular 20 years ago. This is what he came up with.
To take us out, to avoid the call to action, I’m going to play the actual song, the Late Night Internet Marketing theme song. I used to play it all the time years ago, but I never play it anymore because now I play the cut down version from Music Radio Creative at the beginning of the show.
Without further ado, the Late Night Internet Marketing theme song by Geoff Smith. If you need reach Geoff, he’s easy to find.
I hope you have an absolutely fantastic day. I will talk to you next week when we talk about best practices for managing your calls to action and how to do that right in your content. And the week after that I have an amazing interview about email marketing. I am going to blow your mind when we get Terry Dean on the show in two weeks.