No matter how clever your costume is this year, we can’t give you candy. But we couldn’t let Halloween go by with simply a story and a festive tweet. So: Our treat to you this October 31 is a collection of tips from some of the best minds in search and digital marketing.
Read on to fill your virtual plastic pumpkin with clever ideas and insights, tool recommendations, step-by-step guides on how to improve the customer journey and more from marketing’s best. That includes experts from the likes of Frito-Lay, Google, Microsoft, Adobe, Home Depot and The Weather Channel, among others. And you don’t even have to wander around your neighborhood in the cold! What’s more, we reckon this roundup will be useful long after your candy is gone. Happy Halloween from Momentology!
Ram Krishnan, Chief Marketing Officer of Frito-Lay North America
There are lots of platforms and shiny toys, so don’t spread your money too thin. Instead, purposeful experimentation on one to two key platforms and close loop measurements is highly impactful. It’s likely you can reach the vast majority of your consumers on these one to two platforms. And with very little money, you can tell if your idea/campaign will gain traction. Test it in a small way before amplifying with lots of money. Technology has been a great equalizer. There is no correlation between the size of the spend and the bigness of the idea.
Matt McGowan, Head of Strategy at Google
When it comes to your Google AdWords spend, there are two tools I highly recommend:
- RLSA, which allows you to bring together intent, context and audience to help your business drive sales and leads with great ROI.
- Customer Match, which allows you to customize marketing efforts based on audience segments from CRM data (email lists).
Speaking of email, which unfortunately doesn’t get the attention it deserves, I am also extremely excited about the newer Automation Tools that ESPs and Marketing Technology companies like Adestra.com now offer…not only are they simple to use. If you haven’t begun to automate the A/B testing and sending of your outbound messaging, you are missing the boat!
Bas van den Beld, Founder of State of Digital and European Search Personality of the Year
I think one big treat that at the same time is just a tiny bit scary would be to check out the tool Contentmarketer.io. It’s a tool that helps you find influencers and outreach to people really quickly. All you need to do is add in a page like this article and it will give you back e-mails, social accounts and more from those mentioned on the page as well as the author of the article:
If you want, it can instantly help you get in touch with these people using templates of different sorts. To me, this is a winner trick.
Gareth Hoyle, Managing Director at Marketing Signals
My search marketing treat is based around search term intent and the purchasing funnel. We manage a lot of paid search spend for our clients and often in research-driven B2C ecommerce products. We alter our campaigns and linguistics based on where the user is in the purchasing funnel. And so should you. Let’s take the example of a user looking to purchase a motorbike. The first search that they may do is broad and could be “motorbikes for sale.” At this moment in time, we have no idea what bike they are looking for. Is it a 125cc learner bike or a super fast sports bike? For this reason, we keep the advert text very broad and generic. We talk about the fact our client can offer low rate finance or have a really wide range of motorbikes in stock. We would typically place a lower CPC bid and we are happy to be in position 5 or 6 on the right hand side – we are unlikely to get the research click, yet the user should still notice the client’s domain name in an advert. The user will typically visit 5+ websites and browse around looking at a number of different motorbikes before deciding on a make or make/model. Once the user has decided on the motorbike they want, the next search is typically “Make Model for sale.” Let’s use “Honda 125 Varadero for sale” as an example here. We now know that the intent of this search query is much further down the purchase funnel. A decision on the item to be purchased has been decided and we can work harder to attract the click at this stage. Our advert text will include pricing information, stock levels and an advert highly targeted to the usage of the bike. In the example mentioned above, we include the fact it is a perfect learner bike for the taller rider. We would also use site links to link the user to a review of the motorbike so they can validate the purchase decision on our client’s website and include address and contact details. Following this process should give the user all the information they need to make the final decision and it’s all found under one roof — our client’s website. We have seen this as a very effective way to utilize client budgets at the right stage of the purchase funnel whilst still showing visibility at the research stage. We just try harder for the click the further down the purchase funnel they are.
Mel Carson, CEO and Principal Strategy Consultant at Delightful Communications
Get it together with regards to your personal branding strategy. Digital marketers of all people should own their own domain name and have a website dedicated to their professional life and work. LinkedIn and other social networks are great for showcasing your skills and experience, but have a place you can call your professional home where you control the message about you and your expertise.
Erin Everhart, Lead Manager of Digital Marketing and SEO at The Home Depot
Whenever you’re trying to get buy-in – either from your client, your boss or even your boss’ boss – for something (a new content campaign, building a new page, a new page layout, etc.) one of the easiest ways to help strengthen your cause is to show a direct competitor beating you who’s implemented what you’d like to do. No one likes to be told someone else is doing it better, especially if it’s something that can be changed quickly with little resources.
Kirsty Hulse, Head of SEO Best Practice at Linkdex
If you want some audience analysis to help content market campaigns, Google is currently running $50 off its consumer surveys here. Take your demographic data directly from Google Analytics and use that to create a targeted audience for some market research. This is especially useful if you’re a small business/startup without a big database or huge budgets at your disposal. You can also set up http://www.changedetection.com/ to alert you any time a page changes. It’s excellent for tracking competitors or making sure developers aren’t misbehaving behind your back.
Greg Jarboe, President of SEO-PR
Get some custom YouTube video thumbnails from Vid Thumbnails, Vidpow’s video thumbnail service. On average, their customers experience a 150 percent increase in organic views. Here’s how Vid Thumbnails does it: They will custom design six different video thumbnails for your video, A/B test the thumbnails to see which one(s) get the most views, deliver you a report and even upload the best thumbnails to YouTube or send you the final artwork. And, they do all this for only $8 per custom thumbnail. Spooky, isn’t it?
Jonathan Allen, President of Longneck & Thunderfoot
This simple trick creates a treat for blogs, authors and readers combined, helping everyone to succeed on social media simultaneously. For blogs and publications that accept guest posts or publish contributed content, it is super cool if the Tweet button is configured to not simply share the publication’s Twitter handle, but also credit the Twitter handle of the post author. The text can be configured to automatically pull the headline and multiple Twitter handles in a “by” and “via” logic (you can even add hashtags to the tweet automatically based on the article category or tag). It’s really simple to do but has a huge impact as it creates an amazingly rewarding experience for both authors and readers. It means that when readers click the tweet button to share the post, the author will get mentioned on Twitter automatically. This is great because then authors can instantly see that all their hard work writing for a publication (unpaid in most cases) really has helped them engage new audiences online and enabled them to meet new people. Not only can the author track the popularity of their article, but also they can instantly host conversations with that blog’s readers, which is a fantastic digital experience for everyone involved. The blog or publication can also instantly identify and engage power readers who are sharing the article live and direct from the tweet button, versus those who have social automation set up. This is especially useful if an article gets shared again months later, after it was first published, as it’s possible that the new discussion between author and reader will trigger renewed interest in the topic and drive more views to the publication archive in general. Furthermore, publishers and community managers can easily map social audience intersections and divergence between all their different contributors, which may lead to even more advanced influencer marketing strategies. Rewarding the author with strong social media exposure is a win-win. It costs nothing and makes everyone excited about collaborating. When I have used this strategy before, a contributor said to me, “I love writing for you guys because every time my post is published, it’s like my birthday on Twitter!”
Jon Bailey, Chief Relationships Officer at the i.d.e.a. Brand
If it fits into your Facebook ads strategy, utilize Facebook Celebrations to target people that just celebrated a birthday or got engaged. Use very specific ad copy congratulating them and give them a little treat (e.g., dinner at your restaurant). Also: Coming up with shareable content for our clients isn’t easy, but luckily there’s BuzzsSumo. Type in a keyword or topic and BuzzSumo will search the web for related posts. It then sorts the results by social shares and shows the posts with the highest share count at the top. This can help you understand what type of content has performed well in the past and influencers you should reach out to for engagement.
Simon Heseltine, Senior Director of Organic Audience Development at AOL
Set something up that monitors your own site’s robots.txt — that way when a developer “helpfully” changes it, you’ll know before large chunks of your site drop out of the index.
Dana DiTomaso, Partner at Kick Point
Always be running a small campaign on Facebook aimed at anyone who has visited your website (using the Facebook pixel) but isn’t a fan of your brand page on Facebook. It’s a low budget way to get already interested visitors engaging with you on social.
Josh McCoy, Lead Strategist at Vizion Interactive
For us digital marketers, one of the handiest treats I have found at the moment is utilizing social media advertising to help you better understand your targeted digital personas. This can provide direction for what types of content you should be creating and for which audience you should be creating it for. This tactic can be a little more of a trick well before it becomes a treat. It is definitely a practice that must go through several tests. Personally, and depending on client and industry, I enjoy testing sponsored content across both genders as well as multiple age groups and interests/behaviors. I prefer to test content targets in Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. While it helps to have a slight understanding of your targeted digital personas beforehand, a few months of varied targeting will help you understand what content is preferred by men, women, young, old and — very importantly — by interest or behavior. In much of a wash, rinse and repeat manner, consistently forming a better understanding of your targeted content consumer will help you to create the type of content that can “run.” Now, if social media advertising seems too daunting for you, you can always fall back on demographic reporting in Google Analytics via a slice-and-dice manner. By reviewing specific content by URL data, you can also create secondary dimensions by demographic data to better understand user behavior metrics by specific user segment. Whichever you choose, take advantage of the ability to better understand your content consumers, because the only greater treat this time of year are Krackel bars (the best candy bar ever made)!
Nichola Stott, Owner of theMediaFlow SEO Agency
My number one tip would be to get familiar with rel attributes that can really assist with describing the relationships and hierarchies between pages, thus helping search engines to understand when content is or is not duplicated. Getting this nailed can make a significant difference to index efficiency, page equity and tip-top performance in the SERPs – particularly for large ecommerce sites. One example of this is rel=next and rel=prev, which are attributes that paginate content and work perfectly on those long category landing pages you might find at the top of a product range. Imagine I search for “shoes” and there’s over a thousand in stock; using rel=next and prev allows me to describe the relationship between the page 1, 2, 3, etc. of my results so that I can get all these pages indexed without worrying that they are all substantially similar. The rel attribute takes care of explaining that.
Andrew Smith, Director of Escherman
One of my recent favorite tricks is calculating accurate viewing/readership figures for news stories around a given topic that appear in Google News. Step One: Use the free tool from Customer Dev Labs to search for relevant stories in Google News and then auto generate a CSV file with all the relevant URLs. Step Two: Copy and paste URLs into Coverage Book — this automatically creates a report that pulls in readership data from SimilarWeb and then calculates a specific viewing figure for each article based on a variety of factors. It will also detect if any of the stories contain links back to your own site/content. You now have an accurate sense of how many people may actually have read the news articles concerned — either in terms of your own brand references or to get a general sense of levels of awareness for given topics.
Lisa Williams, Associate Director of Digital Engagement at Oregon Health and Science University
When working on digital integration with content, search and social teams, first validate their audience goals then show organic search benchmarks that support them and educate them on ways to grow organic to further support their goals. Remember it’s not about you, it’s about them. It’s also great to get everyone on the same page regarding your organization’s digital vocabulary. If you use categories like Paid, Owned and Earned, make sure you all agree what belongs in each bucket. For example, do Paid Social Content Distribution strategies belong in Paid or Earned? Making sure everyone buys in to how you structure your strategies as well as your analysis is a great treat for teams who want to integrate. It’s also sweet for the customer journey.
Jose Truchado, Online Marketing Consultant, Founder of Loud Voice Digital
Halloween is a time of the year that has a bigger professional meaning to me than costumes and scary stuff. It’s the time to make sure that your strategies for December and January — the biggest months of the year for most commercial sites — are aligned. Perhaps it is because of Halloween that Google unofficially unleashes its naughty side around this time of the year, but somehow many companies usually find themselves relying on paid advertising campaigns for the Christmas season due to their sites being affected by some kind of algorithm update. Make sure you don’t have a big scare this year by thinking and acting ahead of time. Although keeping your knowledge up to date by reading articles like the SEO Trends for 2015 is very helpful, your sites will react to these trends individually and you need to make sure you know what will work for your site and what won’t. I’ve always found it very useful to have “satellite sites,” sites that are in the same sector as your main site but are completely separate from it (no link between them, different class C IPs, etc.), where you can try applying new techniques without the risk of ruining your business. This is where being a bit naughty and experimental can prove useful. Whatever changes you apply to your main site, make sure they are bulletproof — Google algorithm updates are more frequent and target more aspects of your SEO strategy than ever (links, content, mobile, advertising, etc.) and it’s hard to keep up with them, so be proactive rather than reactive, study user behavior on your site and read about user trends in general. SEO strategy changes usually come months after new user behavior trends are discovered and talked about widely, so leverage that knowledge and you will be ahead of your competitors. We always say you should write content for people and not for search engines, but rarely mention usability. Think about these questions: Am I answering my users’ questions or needs? Would my users navigate my site this way? Would users from this site find a link to my site useful? Which social media outlets would my users use? You will find the answers to all these questions in your analytics. The impact in rankings of mobile readiness, advertising and page layout are all part of Google’s intention of keeping up with how users use the Internet nowadays, so think about how Google might change in the future rather than how it’s changed in the past and adapt your site accordingly. It’s surprising how many major brand sites are not yet mobile friendly when the majority of their users are or will be using mobile devices to access their site.
Kristine Schachinger, CEO of The Vetters Agency
In today’s digital environment, it is no longer sufficient to rely on one method or strategy for site visibility. This means diversifying your traffic sources and working across channels. Social, search, PPC — the list is wide and deep. This means it is important to know what works and does not work for your company and/or vertical. You want to make sure your customers and channels meet somewhere in the middle. To that end, we have found utilizing Facebook’s Remarketing and/or Targeted Audiences in Blind Ads have provided some really excellent qualified traffic at a low cost. This is especially true for clients with a focus on local markets. In fact, we were able to extend one company’s season by 4 weeks, just by using Facebook Ads combined with Organic and PPC. So when you need a little bump, give those a try.
Purna Virji, Senior Bing Ads Client Development and Training Specialist at Microsoft
As a treat to yourself that helps you trick and outsmart the competition, I’d recommend using Bing Ads Auction Insights. Found within Bing Ads Intelligence, it’s a handy tool to see how your ad performance compares against competition. Channel your inner James Bond as this tool is great for spying on the competition. It enables you to see trends around which competitors are showing up in the auction with you, how many times their ad ranked higher and how much impression share you have. These insights can help you piece together their strategy — what terms do they bid heavily on? What are the times they’re upping spend? What seasonal trends do they follow? It’s a really handy tool to help you outmaneuver the competition and perform better. There are three key things to keep in mind: 1. Use Auction Insights One Keyword at a Time at First A common rookie move is loading the tool with all 3,000 of your keywords. More than a handful of keywords can be misleading – the data is based on impressions, so a single high-volume impression keyword with a different set of keywords will cloud the data. Drilling into the top terms will give you a solid picture of your competitive landscape, especially on brand terms. Typically, you’ll want to analyze your top-performing or top-priority keywords from brand terms to keywords you just added because your client says it’s a must. When possible, analyze one keyword at a time. 2. Be Aware of Your Quality Score Remember, a huge chunk of quality score is a competitive CTR benchmark – how well is your ad performing versus the competition. So combining quality score and Auction Insights is very powerful. If your quality score is 10/10 for the keyword, you have little room for improvement in CTR. Focus on bids and targeting. If your quality score is 2/10, focus on better ads, negatives and potentially restructuring the campaign. 3. Compare Different Timeframes on the Same Keyword In addition to providing a look in to the previously mentioned metrics, the Auction Insights report can be a valuable tool in troubleshooting the occasional CPA spike at the Keyword, Ad Group or even Campaign level. This is best done by identifying inflection points in your account performance — points where your CPA takes a noticeable turn for the worse, in this case. Auction Insights is historical, meaning you can see how it changes over time — so if you see a spike in your average cost per click, looking at the before and after in Auction Insights might just clue you in to a competitor muscling in on your territory.
Topher Kohan, Senior Product Manager of SEO at the Weather Channel
Make content creators and developers your partners for great SEO. No matter how big or small your SEO team is, you will still need help. And one of the best ways to do that is to work with the teams that create the content for your site and the developers that deal with on page code and work with your servers. So many times they can be seen as the “other folks” or the “enemy,” when in reality, if you make them part of your team and train them up in good SEO best practices for your site, not only can you get the things done you need to happen faster, but you might even see a bigger impact from them sooner. I like to get to know them and then give them ownership of getting the project done. It is a teach-the-man-or-woman-to-fish method. Not only do they feel more invested in the project, but they also are now advocates for SEO in their part of the site. Win win! Once the project is done, keep them in the loop for the impact the part they worked on have and give them the credit to your boss and to theirs and I guarantee that next time you have a “quick turn” item they will hop on it without you having to ask twice.
Dave Davies, CEO of Beanstalk Internet Marketing
The downside of being an adult is that there just aren’t as many tricks and treats offered up on Halloween. That’s why sites like Momentology work to fill that gap. When I was first asked to submit an SEO trick or treat, I pondered for awhile what would have wide application and be useful. While I found myself pulling some code from a cheat sheet I keep handy it struck me: htaccess rules. So here are a few of my favorite and most often used additions to virtually every htaccess file. While you may be familiar with some of this, won’t it be nice to have a few key htaccess rules handy and Bookmarked? You might not think this is handy, but if you didn’t know this existed you’d be surprised how often you use it to quickly recover larger volumes of link weight in a shorter period of time, especially with older sites that used earlier CMS.
Matt Riley, CEO of Swiftype
Don’t scare away your customers by not having a slick site search experience. One way to do this is by incorporating autocomplete into your site search. Customers want to get to your products and content as quickly as possible. So, don’t force them to hit enter if you don’t have to. Autocomplete for the search function should take customers directly to content, not result pages. Most search engine autocompletes simply suggest what the search query should be, and once a customer selects one, it takes them to a search result page for that query. This is fine in the context of a Google Search, where a customer is typically searching for something that they hope exists, but it is not as good on an individual site where more often someone is searching for something they know exists. After integrating an autocomplete experience that takes customers directly to the page, take the experience a step further by making autocomplete more functional. Common practices include displaying different types of content, such as videos, thought leadership pieces, and product pages in the options. For companies with an ecommerce presence, consider adding an “add to cart” or “buy now” button next to each suggested page. For marketers focused more on demand generation, include sponsored or featured content in the autocomplete experience.
Jozlynn Rush, Social and Digital Manager at Taco Bell
At Taco Bell we have a fan first philosophy. Our followers on social media are our biggest fans and we constantly evaluate our content with them in mind to ensure it contributes to their lives in a meaningful way — and doing it as a friend, not a corporation. By elevating the emotional connection you go from a brand people buy to a brand people buy into.
Andy Ferguson, Freelance Creative Director
I think that the trick to search, as it relates to marketing, is to remember that people want to be informed and/or entertained. Ideally, they prefer a combination of the two. So whenever you’re putting content out into the world, you have to really consider if you’re achieving both of those metrics. On top of that, people also enjoy being surprised and delighted. So if you can provide them with entertaining information, in a surprising and delightful way, you’re making their day better and you’re giving them something to share with their network. Recently, I helped Comedy Central relaunch “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah”. Part of that effort was to consider search as part of the marketing experience. We knew that the audience was curious about Trevor and they had a lot of questions. So we turned that curiosity into a game. We created a whole series of unique video content in which Trevor answered their anticipated questions in funny and memorable ways. Videos were created answering search queries like “How old is Trevor Noah” (His Answer: 72) to “Trevor Noah Girlfriend.”
Darrell Williams, Digital Analyst at seoWorks
The best tip that can be used across various verticals not pertaining specifically to an SEO company is to take full advantage of web tools. We live in a fast-paced world. I am sure anyone can attest to only having 24 hours in a day but needing extra hours to complete tasks. Here are three tools I tend to use that give me the illusion that I have more hours in a day than others on this planet. Perhaps you will feel the same way after applying some tools listed below in your day-to-day work life.
- Boomerang: This handy tool helps schedule emails to go out at specific times.
- Grammarly: This is a great tool for correcting those pesky typos. This tool goes way beyond your basic spell check.
- Excel-add-ins: Excel has additional tools that you can use called add-ons. Do you have duplicates on your sheet? Download the power editor tool in Excel.
Bianca Lee, Founder of White Rose Marketing Solutions
The hardest thing for most marketers to do is to give their audience content that isn’t about the brand. It just feels wrong. However, in today’s world, where people are on 100 percent of the time, you have to keep your audience engaged. It is necessary to be the source of various types of information and given the volume of content necessary to consistently engage audiences, the content cannot be 100 percent brand messaging. If you want your readers to open your emails or followers to share your social media posts or even click through to your website, the trick is to engage them consistently with content that THEY want, not content that you want them to have. Focus on the content that they want to read, see, hear, share, etc. In order to do this, you have to know your audience. If you ask them what they want from you, they will most likely tell you. Then you deliver that content to them consistently. Do they want your brand to report current events in politics? Do they want motivational quotes? Do they want beauty tips? Keeping consumers engaged in the brand is the best way to get them to search and share content which will ultimately do well for digital/search marketing. The trick is, there is no trick – give the people what they want!
Kyle Reyes, President and Creative Director of The Silent Partner Marketing
The best trick is a philosophy that ultimately ends in treats for all. It’s simple. Be where the eyeballs are. Be what the consumer needs. Just because your competition is doing it when it comes to traditional advertising doesn’t mean you need to be. For example, we’re killing it right now for clients by being early advertisers on Instagram, by rolling out Snapchat marketing strategies and by now being two years into Facebook Dark Posts. We’re extremely bullish on Periscope, Meerkat and we’re early adopters of Blab and Yik Yak, along with 360-degree videos. Why? Because it’s where the eyeballs are. And it’s that trick of being where the eyeballs are that brings the treats in the form of revenue for our clients…and in turn, revenue for us.
Ashley Orndorff, Director of Marketing for Visual Impact Group
The best treat I have to pass along is to focus on user experience – really, seriously focus in on your user. User experience is so much more than the look and feel of your website. Everything you do should be focused around your user, more specifically your buyer personas. These fictional representations of your ideal customers should filter through everything you do, from the content you create and how you deliver it to the way you have your internal processes set up and everything in between. If you want your users’ business, you have to be able to connect with them. You have to think about how they navigate a site, what they like to see there, what their goal happens to be, and the easiest way to get them there. Along the way, you have to deliver the content they want to see and find interesting, in the way they want to see it. Are your users active on social media? Then, make sure you’re there too, communicating with them the way they want to communicate with you. Do your users love eBooks? Then, make a landing page with an eBook offer to capture their information and build an engaging relationship. Figure out who they are, how they navigate life online and offline, and then use all of that to ensure your user experience goes beyond how your site looks and turns into a real, personal connection with your brand throughout every step and interaction.
Patrick Tripp, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Adobe Campaign
When it comes to marketing, context is king. Contextual data consists of the visual and invisible cues that make a message relevant to that person on a specific device at that particular time. Unfortunately, there’s a disconnect between the success of personalized emails and reality: while 68 percent of marketers feel they are doing a good job in regards to personalization, 70 percent of consumers think marketers are doing poorly. Contextual marketing is all about creating helpful and timely experiences for consumers as a brand. This approach leverages truly relevant information to improve the consumer-engagement experience, creating real-time value and interactions that customers will actually care about the moment they open an email.
Cory Edwards, Head of Adobe’s Social Media Center of Excellence
Social media is one of the most influential channels for brands to communicate and engage with customers. While most leading companies have brand presence on social media, they can make a larger impact by empowering employees to be their amplifier — just by being socially active. The most important part to empowering employees is social media training. The focus for this training is not to teach employees the subtle nuances between sharing content on LinkedIn versus Twitter versus Facebook. The goal is to educate them on the company’s objectives on social media, equip them with judgment so they can easily discern what content to share, and appreciate the need for and limits of a disclaimer. Many brands social media to just marketing departments, and those brands are missing out — their voice will grow increasingly quiet as more companies magnify their voice through an empowered workforce of employees.
Nancy Harhut, Chief Creative Officer at The Wilde Agency
1. Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble. People judge phrases that rhyme to be more true and accurate than phrases that communicate the same thing in a non-rhyming way. Researchers believe it is because the rhyming phrases are easier for the brain to process. This brings new insight to “Nationwide is on your side.” Or, for something a little more macabre, “If the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” Think about this before writing your next headline or subhead. 2. Missing digits. When you’re listing price, use the format without the decimal point and cents after it. When you’re expressing savings or value, use the decimal point and the numerals after it. Why? The brain perceives the former as smaller and the latter as larger. Even though $20 is the same as $20.00, choose what you put on your landing page based on whether it’s price or value. 3. Bloody true. Include the word “because” in your copy. Scientific research has proven that when people hear or see the word because, they automatically assume what follows is a good, rational, truthful reason – without really processing it. It’s a decision-making shortcut we often take. Because we like to conserve mental energy and not put the effort into weighing every bit of information that comes our way. 4. Want some candy little girl? Use questions strategically. Researchers at BI Norwegian Business School found that tweets and ad headlines phrased as questions outperformed declarative headlines by 140 to 150 percent.