Michelle Nickolaisen
3 minutes read

In our last interview Rand Fishkin (CEO Moz) told us a great quote about how to become a more succesul digital marketer for 2015 “Become a T-Shaped marketer.

Today we have a great guest who have a big passion in the content marketing domain. You can read her articles on FastCompany, KISSMetrics, Lifehack and other websites. Michelle Nickolaisen is a freelance writer/biz owner that lives in Austin, TX. When she’s not writing (typically about business or productivity related topics), she’s watching Buffy, Doctor Who, or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. When she is writing, Spotify is her best friend.

She’s been freelancing since 2008 and blogging since the wee age of 13 when a teacher encouraged her to start a daily writing practice.

Official Website: www.chelleshock.me

Twitter: @_ChelleShock

1. What do you think about advertising on social media? How this will change in 2015?

“I think advertising on social media has gone from a “nice to do sometimes” to an “everyone will do this occasionally” activity. Especially with Facebook’s recently announced algorithm changes, any post that is purely promotional (which should NEVER be the basis of your social media strategy) isn’t going to get a lot of views or shares.

Instead, brands should focus on providing insanely helpful, useful, or entertaining content 95% of the time, and the other 5% of the time, when they do share promotional information about a specific sale or product or service, they should do it in an entertaining/interesting way and can put their ad budget towards that.”

2. When is A/B testing a good idea? When is it a bad idea? Can you give us an example?

“A/B testing is a great tool to have but there are a few things to remember:

A. Qualitative data is as important as quantitative data.

I didn’t really realize the extent of this until I started working with a UX agency on their content marketing strategy. It doesn’t do you a whole lot of good to know that 64% of people prefer version A to version B if you don’t have any idea why. With something like the color of a call to action button, it might not matter so much. When it comes to core components of the website or product design, it does matter why people prefer one thing over another.

B. To get a strong statistical certainty, you need a lot of visitors.

If your traffic is small, by the time you get enough usable data to say that one version performs better than the other, the data could very well be irrelevant.

If you’ve got an e-commerce site with plenty of traffic coming to it and you’re testing the color of the “add to shopping” cart buttons to see if it makes a difference, A/B testing is a good idea. If you’re developing a new product and making huge changes in the interface between versions, then A/B testing should probably be set aside until you’ve done more user research.”

  • 7 basic banner ad A/B testing ideas
  • How to run A/B testing with Creatopy

3. Which are the first 3 best practices that you recommend for marketers in 2015?

Measure everything–know where your leads are coming from, where the BEST leads come from, what types of updates on social media get the best results, what kind of content (length, video or written, etc.) works best for generating results in your business, and what doesn’t. Don’t just look at “top layer” data and make decisions based on that. If Twitter drives 3x more traffic to your site than Pinterest does, but visitors from Pinterest are 10x more likely to become email subscribers or purchasers/users, then focusing all of your efforts on Twitter would be a mistake.

Have context–a lot of marketing fails come from not understanding the customer (and their wants/needs), not understanding the product, or not having any kind of cultural context for things that the marketing efforts are attempting to ride on. You see this all the time when a brand jumps on a trending hashtag before checking out the context and it backfires in the worst way.

And stay focused on the people–at the end of the day you should be in marketing not just to make more sales, but to make peoples’ lives better. If your product or service is awful, the best marketing in the world won’t make a difference. If your product or service is great, then it’s your job to market it well so that it can get out there and help people out.”

Thank you Michelle!

Robert Katai
Robert Katai is the Product Marketing Specialist at Creatopy. His work was featured on Adweek, Entrepreneur, Marketing Profs, Content Marketing Institute and other places.

1 Comment

  1. I love the idea of effective A/B split testing. This needs to be a scientist process in which the companies goals are focused on continuous improvements across all your campaigns and ads. When working on my Adwords ads I’ll test one element at a time.

    – Headline
    – Bullets points
    – Call to action
    – Images

    If you test test test then your ads will always get better and your profits will increase along side your ads improvements.

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