Category Archives: Catch Engine

Local Lead Conversion and How the Spaces Between Platforms Make It Happen

Long title, I know. Sorry about that. Nick here to expand a little on the presentation I’ve been giving lately to local service providers on lead conversion. We have been speaking a lot in front of groups like the Homebuilders Association of Austin, the Austin chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (aka NARI Austin for those in the industry) and so on. My recent presentation for these groups has focused on expanding Rusty Shelton’s overview of building a digital platform and understanding the three different auditoriums that comprise every brand’s marketing makeup.

The Three Marketing Auditoriums – Quick Overview

lead conversion

You’ll notice that all three platforms interact based on the diagram above and, ultimately, the goal is to feed the Owned Platform from Rented and Earned endeavors.  For reference, here’s a quick overview of the three arenas Rusty discusses.

Rented Media

Spaces where many flock to talk, share and consume, but they do not own. You can build an audience for yourself from the milling crowds running around in these spaces, but you have to stay in these spaces to continue the conversation. These spaces are owned by others and you have to subscribe to them and follow their rules if you want to play. Which means that the rules in these spaces can change dramatically and without warning. 

Earned Media

Other spaces endorsing you and lending you to their brand in order for you to gain attention and credibility. They control the messaging, the audience and the space, but their endorsement can drive a lot of attention your way.

  • Magazines, Newspapers, TV and other traditional pubs
  • Speaking/Presentation Opportunities
  • SEO: Google, Bing, Baidu

Owned Media

Spaces you own and control. You have to build your own audience for this space, but you decide how you display and disseminate information from these spaces, and when someone is in this auditorium, you control where their focus goes next.

  • Website
  • Newsletter

The Spaces Between Auditoriums Drives Conversions

When thinking about these three auditoriums (what we do in each one of them and who participates in each of them), it’s important to ask about what happens between them as well. Living between the auditoriums is where engagements of consequence tend to happen. These engagements are usually the action items that lead to real conversion. Let’s break it down.

The Space Between Rented and Earned Media

These are places where your audience lends their credibility to yours but neither of you owns the platforms where these conversations happen. In a word, think reviews. Think of Yelp, Facebook Reviews, and Google Reviews. These are platforms where folks can tell the rest of the world how they really feel, sometimes fairly anonymously and sometimes completely in the light, it just depends on the platform. For service-based brands in fields like moving, construction or remodeling, plumbers, real estate, cleaning, etc., these 3rd party platforms lend a level of objectivity to folks looking for these services, especially when they can see a bunch of perspectives on a single brand all in one place that a business can do very little to modify or change.

Gnash your teeth all you want at the unfairness of these sites, but even if certain claims about fake reviews making up anywhere from 2%-16% of all online reviews, the majority are real and mass review attacks from malicious competitors or disgruntled clients and employees are rare if happening at all. Many 3rd party resources like BrightLocal and Search Engine Land talk review why these review sites are so important to getting found and converting online. So, if your reviews are lacking, your brand is seriously lacking. Get them, respond to them, ask for more of them. If they constantly come back negative, the adage about looking for the common denominator in all of those responses most likely applies.

Also, besides review sites, getting mentioned on social sites in closed groups (think local swap groups and mommy groups on Facebook or sites like Nextdoor.com) can lead to significant lead generation if the general conversation about your brand is positive. Even if an unhappy customer posts something negative about your business in one of these spaces, if your general service for others in the area has been positive, then this can lead to more attention and opportunity for your brand.

Yes, this means you need to be monitoring these spaces, but it’s worth it if these spaces are generating leads. That being said, don’t be afraid to ask customers to give you a shout out in this manner. It really does generate growth for your brand.

The Space Between Earned and Owned Media

This is credibility you have some control over. You not only gain information and credibility, you create an informed position to determine what happens next. In this section, we are talking about testimonials and assessments.

First, if you are going to get testimonials, try to get them as video testimonials, especially if you’re a B2C (business to consumer) type business. And with the video testimonials, you can always transcribe them for the written one. Typically, I encourage B2C companies to focus on building their reviews on 3rd party sites, but there is always merit to owned testimonials as well. For B2B (business to business), it’s easier to lend credibility to testimonials that come from other brands – accountability is easier to maintain.

Now, for the game changer in this category – assessments (or quizzes, if you prefer). Not just surveys. Surveys miss a step and provide non-specific results when someone hits the submit button. Create an assessment with results logic at the end of their feedback journey that provides them with specific calls to action or things to do based on how they answered your questions. Not only are you capturing all that useful data, you are driving your captured audience to then do something you want them to do. Basically, you are earning their feedback and then in turn controlling what they will potentially do next after giving you their knowledge. For satisfaction surveys, if they score high enough in their satisfaction, drive them to leave your brand a review. If you want to build an email list, then use an assessment to not only capture their email address but give them something of value in return and drive them towards action items that matter to them and to you. There are a few systems out there you can use for this. We use Catch Engine for assessment marketing.

The Space Between Owned and Rented

Gain some control over a rented space for your messaging. This one is all about Pay Per Click Ad campaigns. Facebook Ads, Google Ads, Youtube Ads – you name it Digital Ads.

For this arena, it’s all about great content and crafting the right audiences for your ads. The nice thing is that you can control exactly who can see your ad campaigns on platforms like Google and Facebook. These platforms are getting eerily good at tracking everything from individuals’ interests to income to job groups to family dynamics. Seriously, it’s messed up, but man can it be effective.

Know your audience, research your competitors, craft your message, spend some money on design and start testing campaigns against each other with different focus groups.

You don’t have to spend tens of thousands of dollars to run decently successful digital ad campaigns that focus on lead conversion. Sometimes $40 on the right boosted post on Facebook, with the right audience, can generate 5 deck jobs. We had it happen for one of our construction clients.

Wrap It Up, Nick

This is a fairly brief overview of what I dive into in my seminar, but hopefully, it gives you something to think about when considering your marketing strategy. All three auditoriums are crucial to local lead conversion, long-term brand development and marketing success, and do not neglect the spaces between. And if you’d rather have someone else handle your marketing, don’t hesitate to contact us. Cheers y’all!

Catch Engine: Assessment Marketing and Building Brand Power

Assessment Marketing

Survey marketing has proven a very popular and effective brand building tool online for decades. Systems like Survey Monkey and Google Forms provide very polished and easy-to-use platforms by which anyone can create surveys to capture information. Typically, survey marketing focuses on data trends, gathering large numbers of responses for macro analysis and determining “big data” points of interest that occur when viewing large numbers of responses all in comparison with one another. This can be a very effective approach for brands to review these big data trends based on the questions they ask and then direct their operations, marketing, sales and other brand development efforts accordingly. Sure, a brand using survey marketing potentially captures some way to continue re-marketing to their survey takers, but there tends to be a massive, missed opportunity to assess and respond accordingly and immediately to every person who takes a survey. So, enter assessment marketing.

The Value Exchange

Every day more people are being more selective about how they spend their time online and what value they receive by not only giving their contact information but also their responses to specific questions. Assessment marketing, also referred to as quiz marketing, maintains the survey marketing element but takes things a step further by creating targeted responses to people on how they took the survey. Providing these targeted responses can be achieved by treating surveys more like quizzes, where every answer has a score and those scores then dictate the best response to send to the end user, all based on their participation.

In order for an assessment to provide something of value tailored to the end user, the end user has to provide an accurate input of information. For example, they answer a series of questions about their communication preferences and in return, the assessment provides them a response page gauging what kind of communicator they are. Both sides of the exchange are getting something from this engagement. The brand gets valuable information from an engaged end user along with their valid contact information (since that is the only way the end user gets their results.) The end user finds out something about themselves that they were not necessarily able to gauge readily or accurately on their own.

The Call to Action

You have heard us talk about calls to action before on this blog. Some calls to action are necessarily plain and simple (like “Call Us”). But that may not be the best approach when building brand awareness or vetting possible leads. An assessment, although a call to action in and of itself, can drive incredibly focused and appropriately targeted calls to action to those who participate in taking it. For example, a satisfaction assessment can determine whether someone is happy or not with a brand’s service—driving happy customers to Yelp or Google and unhappy customers to continuing the conversation until the brand makes things right. An assessment may also drive a budding author to consider a webinar series created by a particular writing coach based on their focuses and interests. All the while, the brand is being provided valuable demographic and feedback information about current customer satisfaction, potential leads, market segments, etc.

Furthermore, as a call to action, an assessment can also become a magnet for others to visit a brand’s website. People who take the assessment will likely share their results with their spheres of influence if the information is tailored enough to describe them and/or help them. A great example is the Narcissism Test by Dr. Craig Malkin. The assessment does more than tell you whether or not you are a narcissist. It determines how much of a narcissist you are and whether your narcissism is the healthy type or the extreme type or if you are not enough of a narcissist for your own health. This assessment has been taken hundreds of thousands of times because people share the test and it has built a very powerful brand for Dr. Malkin.

The System To Get It Done

Historically, creating assessment or quiz systems like this have always been expensive, temperamental and cumbersome. Most brands can’t afford to spend $30K or more (plus monthly management costs) for a system that cannot be easily manipulated on the fly. So, to build these assessments quickly, efficiently and cheaply, the principal over here at Alter Endeavors, Nick Alter, designed and developed a platform called Catch Engine.

Catch Engine allows for brands to effectively build out assessments (or quizzes, whatever you want to call them) with an intuitive system to build out the questions, answers, response pages, logic system and additional actions (like alerts and MailChimp or Infusionsoft integration). By creating assessments with Catch Engine, building brand power becomes a much more focused and tailored experience for both the brand and the end user. The end user benefits while the brand’s power builds exponentially.