Producer’s Pick: 5 Call to Action Podcast Episodes to Put in Your Queue

best marketing podcast
Our five fav episodes of the Call to Action podcast – so you don’t have to sort through ’em all. Image via Shutterstock.

Hey everyone! I’m Stephanie Saretsky, Unbounce’s Multimedia Producer. I’m also the host of the Call to Action podcast. It’s our weekly marketing podcast that has been running for just over a year and a half, and has featured some of the brightest minds in the marketing field.

If you’re new to the show and want to start listening but aren’t sure where to start, then I’ve got you covered. And if you’re a long-time listener looking for a refresh, well, I’ve also got you covered.

These are my favorite episodes that we’ve done over the last year in a half. I think you’ll like them too. They strike a really good balance of educational and entertaining.

Let’s walk through each episode.

1. Retargeting, As Explained by Nerf Guns

In this episode of the Call to Action podcast, we interview Johnathan Dane, CEO of KlientBoost (who is absolutely hilarious, by the way). PPC gets a bad rap as a discipline that is pretty, well, boring. But Johnathan is able to talk about it in a super engaging way (Nerf guns, c’mon!).

We discuss how to retarget without weirding out prospective customers, and how an IRS company increased ROI 20 times over with retargeting. Plus, listen through to the end of the episode for a wonderful Beyonce/Taylor Swift/Aaliyah mix-up. In a PPC episode? Yep!

2. Ginny Soskey on HubSpot’s Epic Blog Publishing Experiment

In this episode, we chat with Ginny Soskey, Content Marketing Manager at HubSpot, about a fascinating publishing experiment that changed the way Ginny manages the editorial calendar and the content HubSpot creates.

I really like this episode not only because Ginny is incredibly smart and a real pleasure to interview, but also because it’s chock full of interesting analysis and discoveries they made when they decided to tackle the age-old question: publish more often or publish better content?

Content marketers can learn a lot from their experience (heck, we just did our own two-week publishing experiment!)

3. Lessons Learned from Year 1 of the Call to Action Podcast

In this episode, we took a look back on the first year of the podcast from launch to calculating ROI. This episode is probably my favorite that we’ve done. It was cool to switch up the podcast format and have an actual conversation with Dan (Dan Levy that is, Unbounce’s Director of Content).

I come from a radio background, so I find chatting like this super engaging because its conversational nature allows for more improvisation. Scripted is good, but sometimes a friendly chat to switch things up goes a long way! Plus, we give you so many podcast tips and secrets, like the struggles we’ve had with reporting, and how a launch actually works. It was a lot of fun to look back on the podcast’s history and see how far we’d come.

4. Why Dungeons & Dragons Can Make You a Better Marketer

In this episode, we interviewed Ian Lurie, CEO of Portent, Inc. on his realization that the marketing journey is actually quite a bit like – wait for it – Dungeons & Dragons.

This was a really fun episode to produce, as Ian gave listeners an extremely novel way of looking at the marketing funnel. I don’t know how many of you have likened your jobs to playing Dungeons & Dragons, but it makes for a pretty powerful comparison.

Along with his explanation for why marketers are not storytellers but world builders, Ian also gives you tips on how to get your friends to play D&D with you. So many things to learn!

5. The No-Shortcut Approach to Building a Credible Content Marketing Strategy

This episode was a really engaging interview with Jay Acunzo, VP of Platform at NextView Ventures. Rather than focusing on tactics or step-by-step campaign optimization, this was one of our first episodes that looked at team structure, specifically how to grow a high-performing content team.

Jay really gets to the bottom of why you shouldn’t cut corners in your marketing, and shares a really interesting anecdote about how one of his posts went viral – which may sound like every marketer’s dream, but he had mixed feelings about it.

What about you?

So there are five episodes of the Call to Action podcast to get you started. Those are my favorites, but what are yours? Let us know in the comments.

Also, let us know what you’d like to hear about next on the show.

Producer’s Pick: 5 Call to Action Podcast Episodes to Put in Your Queue

Types of Outdoor LED Lights for Homes

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This kind of lighting is known for being vitality productive, dependable, and brilliant. This is the reason numerous property holders use LED lights for homes both inside and outside use. Since they don’t require much vitality to function admirably they are particularly useful in sun powered lighting. What’s more, on the grounds that the knob is so brilliant they additionally function admirably with security lights. The globule can likewise give light to any back or front yard. They can be utilized on a deck, in the pool, or in the greenhouse. Numerous mortgage holders use LED lights for homes to brighten their yards with strings of these lights for extraordinary occasions or amid the occasions.

A standout amongst the most well known types of open air lighting is sun powered lights. The reasons are that numerous property holders need to keep their yard lit up while sparing cash and power. You can utilize these lights in sun oriented light apparatuses that are put along the edges of the yard or garden or along walkways or pathways. This will permit your guests to see your well-kept yard or extraordinary bloom plant or to see where they are strolling. Utilizing LED lights for homes will spare the property holder a considerable measure of cash on globules that should be supplanted regularly and takes a great deal of vitality.

On the off chance that you have a security light outside you need them to be enduring and splendid. Ordinarily a property holder will join a LED knob with a security light that has a movement sensor so the light just turns on when somebody approaches. At the point when utilizing this mix it will guarantee that the LED knob keeps going quite a while. Property holders can discover numerous utilizations for open air LED lights for homes. They can utilize them with beautifying light to flaunt appealing elements like statues, a little bloom garden, trees, or plants. In the event that they have a pool they can put this kind of knob in the pool’s light installation so they can see when they are swimming around evening time. In the event that you have a deck utilizing LED lights will give them a chance to enliven around evening time and not need to utilize a bigger light apparatus that utilizations more vitality. Lights for the deck can even be incorporated with the surface and give the lights a streamlined look.

There are some that finish their yard with beautifying lights and abandon them there year round however just utilize them incidentally. One case of this is occasion lights that utilization LED globules. On the off chance that they are set in difficult to achieve places they can stay there year round and just be utilized at Christmas. These LED lights for homes arrive in an assortment of hues, including white as it were.

Types of Outdoor LED Lights for Homes

How to Grind Customer Acquisition to a Halt with these Conversion Killing Design Trends

QR codes are largely pointless.

The concept is decent. But the execution is flawed.

Think about it for a second:

You’re forcing people to take an additional step to download an application prior to using it (because let’s be honest, only sociopaths have QR code readers on their phone).

Design trends like flat design, unconventional navigation and carousel sliders are no different. They sound harmless in theory. Some are fun to mess with. But most can do more harm than good if you’re not careful.

They’re also perfect examples of how herd behavior can actually backfire and grind conversions to a halt.

Here’s why, and how to avoid it.

When Flat Design Strikes Back

Parallax is like the design equivalent to Andre’s fashion.

When used with discretion, it can enhance the overall aesthetic, breaking up important sections of pages with visually intriguing movement that adds layers and depth to the site.

But that’s just it. When is it ever used sparingly?

Parallax is an innocent example though. We can gripe about the minor drawbacks here or there, however it’s not gonna kill you.

Flat design has been another wide-sweeping trend the past few years, with the goal of bringing simplicity back to user interfaces. Again, it’s largely beneficial. Until it isn’t.

The premise of the excellent Don’t Make Me Think is somewhat obvious. The best user interfaces (and online user experiences) make it easy for people to intuitively find things or figure them out.

Flat design becomes problematic for example, when you leave form fields naked. Or if you strip away critical shading, colors and borders. The result, is that you’re making key page elements – you know, the stuff you want people to do on the page so you can get more $$$ – completely indistinguishable to the common user.

Those visual cues were there not just for aesthetic, but to tell the user what to do (and where to do it).

Again, flat design by itself isn’t bad. What you do with it can be though. This HubSpot example below helps bridge the gap between using flat design to stay contemporary, yet providing interactive animations for the user like the form field lengthening (along with a blinking cursor) so visitors know exactly what to do when they get here.

hubspot-website-grader

Yet another example of cleverness sinking conversions are simple text links.

Links are one of the obvious primary page elements that (a) help people navigate or (b) are a precursor to conversions.

It should go without saying then, that text links should still capture some resemblance to the ones we’ve grown up on and become accustomed to seeing over the past decade+.

That means links should be some kind of blue. While an underline would also be nice.

This sounds so trite and obvious that we shouldn’t need to debate or back up sources. But here’s four for the hell of it.

Let’s keep in mind though that many of these are relatively minor examples.

The more egregious conversion killers are still to come.

Putting the ‘A’ Back in IA

Information architecture (IA) is a fancy term that helps consultants charge more by making them sound smarter explains how stuff is organized on a website.

That means the logical organization of stuff into categories or buckets, how they’re linked together, and how a user might flow from one thing to the next until they get to their intended destination.

The most obvious example of this problem comes when viewing your analytics data, and seeing people leaving your top pages in droves before they get to the money, err page.

Page navigation or menus should, in theory, help solve this. However that doesn’t happen when they’re multi-level navs or using overly vague naming convention as UserTesting.com has discovered after looking at 100,000 usability studies.

On large sites, they point to Amazon as a great example of using a large pop-out section to avoid the difficulties often associated with multi-level navs.

amazon-multi-level-navs

Largely because they can see all of their options at once, without needing the fine motor skills of a professional athlete to carefully select yet another drop down and avoid having to start over completely like a third grader that keeps failing the same level of their favorite Xbox game.

There should also be a clear site hierarchy that helps users intuitively understand what’s primary, what’s subordinate, and what’s a subgroup.

Navigation labels can also trip people up, especially when uncommon terminology, overly clever or internal names are used in place of the obvious, yet standardardized options.

It’s also a baby step away from talking past your customers and losing them entirely. From a broader perspective, it’s also a perfect microcosm that illustrates when a company’s worldview is completely opposite of their customers.

correlation-brand-strength-mckinseyImage Source

When in doubt, standardize. Even better, is if you include some ‘trigger words‘ that get people to take action.

Beyond the design and labeling, keeping your site hierarchy flat can help keep the most important information just a few simple clicks away from most primary pages. Stuff doesn’t get buried, or lost down a rabbit hole of endless subcategory scavenger hunts.

deep-flat-site-architectureImage Source

Beyond helping visitors find stuff, which in turn should grease conversions, these improvements also help SEO. The better the organization, the more people come to the site, the better the experiences and the more conversions. (I would call this synergy if I wasn’t afraid of you calling me a D-bag.)

All of these issues bring us to one of the biggest pet peeves of all. And this one really gets the blood boiling.

It’s finally time to bring up the elephant in the room: F-ing carousels.

Carousels: The Epitome of Groupthink in Action

B2B companies love themselves some carousel sliders.

In a quick analysis conducted for Search Engine Land, one author found 18 out of 30 B2B websites (in different industries no less) all had one directly on their homepage.

Despite the data-backed facts that they’re terrible usability, conversions, and speed. Three things that fly in the face of good web experiences.

Why are they so bad? Let me count the ways.

For starters, people don’t actually use them (like less than ~1%). For example, peep the data from Harrison Jones’ aforementioned Search Engine Land analysis:

carousel-conversions-website-statsImage Source

In each of the three scenarios, the slide received a less than 1% click through rate. Part of the reason, is because these pervasive sliders can mimic banner blindness (thus causing people to ignore them entirely).

Beyond the fact that nobody actually clicks on them, they also commonly fail to load properly on mobile devices. While also potentially hurting SEO a number of ways by (1) not having static content (2) misusing header tags, (3) using high-res images that might slow the site down, and (4) resulting in ‘thin’ content if outdated technology is used.

should-i-use-a-carouselImage Source

Ok, ok. If they’re so bad, why do companies keep using them?

Compromise.

Therefore it’s not just the carousel itself that’s so bad. (Although as we’ve established, they do suck.)

What’s so bad about carousels is how they happen.

They’re the result of too many cooks in the kitchen. Too many HiPPOs in a room that all want their voice heard, or interests promoted, front-and-center on your website’s most valuable real estate.

When design by committee happens, everyone loses.

Designers lose because their excellent work slowly erodes away.

Marketers lose because their voices get overrun and ignored.

And ultimately the very same HiPPOs lose because their selfish actions – well intentioned or not – ultimately result in a worse web experience for visitors, which results in lower website conversions and less revenue.

Conclusion

Offline, print design is static and passive. Its focus is on beauty and art.

However web design is about interaction. Its focus should be form and function. Utilitarian even.

Design trends like flat design, parallax, navigation structure and labeling can all have a significant impact on the success (or failure) of your site.

Elements like carousel sliders not only water-down your objectives, but actively work against them too.

The bad news about web design is that it’s never finished.

But the good news about web design is that it’s never finished. You’re unable to truly fail if you own up to mistakes by quickly making them right through embracing testing and iteration.

About the Author: Brad Smith is a founding partner at Codeless Interactive, a digital agency specializing in creating personalized customer experiences. Brad’s blog also features more marketing thoughts, opinions and the occasional insight.

How to Grind Customer Acquisition to a Halt with these Conversion Killing Design Trends