Optimise Oxford is a well organised networking event for people interested in digital marketing and related disciplines. Taking place every couple of months, it kicks off at 6:30 at the St Aldates Tavern in central Oxford.

With 3 good talks and a sponsored bar, this month’s theme was ‘Understanding & targeting your audience’. Here’s my summary of the talks:

1. Rebooting your content strategy to engage your audience

Chris Grant from Passle told us there are 3 types of content:

  1. Hero content: which should be valuable to your audience, different, shareable, and should ask for something in return. Chris’s example of this is HubSpot’s ‘B2B vs B2C content lessons
  2. Hygiene content: the ‘who we are’ and ‘what we do’. Tends to be very samey
  3. Hub content: which is the differentiator. Expert led, shareable. Needs to be recent, relevant, on message, regular, expert, and shareable

What makes content shareable?

Ask yourself: is it interesting, engaging and beneficial for your audience? Will it make them look good?

Not sure if you’ve got a decent headline? Try running it through CoSchedule’s headline analyser.

Of course, content that’s boring for many could be fascinating for others. It’s a matter of targeting the right audience. Chris told us how one of their customers was creating content about ‘Six Sigma’, a set of techniques for process improvement invented by Motorola. He got nothing out of it until he began sharing it in a specific group on LinkedIn; whereupon he began to get business from it.

You can download Chris’s slides on SlideShare here.

2. Agile thinking and your content

Next up was Charlie Williams, Head of Marketing at White.net and the evening’s main organiser.

The best bit of Charlie’s talk was the long list of tools he recommended. Here are some of them:

3. Case Study: How to double your leads by understanding human behaviour

Ryosei Kurihara from Leadformly gave the last talk of the night: a case study of how they had helped a financial services company increase the conversion rate of a form on their website from 16% to 43%.

Ryosei’s talk focused on 3 behavioural science frameworks:

First off, cognitive biases: human behaviours that account for illogical behaviour. Understanding cognitive biases helps you to create marketing material that make people feel more comfortable. Two of them that Ryosei mentioned are:

  • The ‘IKEA effect’ – which says you apply greater value to something you’ve built yourself: so make forms on your website multi-stage.
  • The ‘Bandwagon effect’ – the tendency to do or believe things because many other people have done, or believed, the same. How to use it? Show how many people have signed up to the service or purchased the product beforehand.

Second, the Fogg Behaviour Model which asserts that for a behaviour to occur, such as filling in a form on your website, three elements must converge: Motivation, Ability, and Trigger.

  • The components of motivation are: pleasure (or pain), hope (or fear), social acceptance (or rejection).
  • Ability is about how easy it is to complete the task at hand. For example, fewer people will complete a form on your website is they are asked to fill in 10 fields, than if they have fill in just 3. Don’t underestimate how little effort people are willing to put into something: as demonstrated by the market for ready cut vegetables.
  • Trigger: the trick here is to tap into people’s existing motivations, rather than trying to artificially create motivation

More on the Fogg Behaviour Model here.

Lastly, the LIFT model which says that the value of a product or service is positively influenced by its relevance and clarity, and negatively influenced by distraction and anxiety.

When asked to complete an action on a website, people may feel less anxious if they can see the service has been used by brands or people they recognise. They will be less distracted if there is very little else on the page they are on (keep your messaging simple).

More on the LIFT model here.

You can download Ryosei’s slides on SlideShare here.