Google Optimize – the guide for beginners

Every marketer knows them, every marketer uses them, and now they are available in numerous variations and application forms: the marketing tools. In recent years, machines have played an increasingly important role in marketing, which has to be attributed in particular to the steadily increasing importance of online marketing.

Performance indicators such as clicks, views or shares have long since determined the everyday life of marketing departments in companies around the world. It hardly needs to be emphasized that tools today are hardly replaceable supports that help with the planning, implementation and analysis of campaigns and other advertising measures (advertisements, landing pages, etc.).

In short: the modern applications and social platforms of Web 2.0 have made the world of marketing so fast-paced and results-oriented that it is easy to overlook essential statistics and factors without the right tools, or to make avoidable mistakes over and over again. Devices report in real-time what your campaigns are good at, where their strengths lie and which areas are particularly well received by your audience. At the same time, tools also uncover your weak points and mercilessly reveal the problem areas of your marketing measures.

One company that is often mentioned in connection with the marketing and online tools is Google. The American company offers a wide range of online tools that support its users in the design and implementation of online campaigns and provide them with essential facts and figures.

Many of you will probably think of Google Analytics now. And don’t worry, there’s nothing wrong with that. But this article is meant to introduce another Google tool that most of you – at least I suspect – won’t hear for the first time either. This article is about the long-awaited Google solution for A / B testing and personalization: Google Optimize.

Optimize has been a household name in marketing circles for some time, but until recently the tool was only available as a beta version, so the public still had to be patient with the use of the new Google tool. Now that the beta test phases are over and Google Optimize has now been made available to the general public, it is time to take a closer look at the new Google tool and explain how to set up Google Optimize and integrated into its existing conception and analysis processes. This article explains the new Google prodigy from scratch.

Why is Google Optimize better than other test tools?

So let’s get down to business. After all, you want to know what properties Google has equipped its new tool with to be able to beat out the numerous existing competition. One of the essential features of Optimize is, however, formulated relatively only: It harmonizes perfectly with Google Analytics and can be easily integrated into existing processes.

Why is that so important? Take a look at the world of marketing tools on the World Wide Web. I know that as a marketer, you love the numerous tools, but here you can take a slightly more critical look. So one thing will probably be revealed to you: there are many tools. Specifically, there is an incredible number of tools.

And to put it in the modern and trend-oriented language of today’s society: there is real tool overload. Here are the tools for keywords, because the tools for link building, then tools for social networks (preferably one tool per platform) and not to forget the tools for search engine optimization and search engine marketing. Now back to Google Optimize.

The new tool addresses precisely this problem and continues Google’s goal, which is already more than reflected in Google Analytics: the goal of reducing complexity. It is about compressing all the properties of different tools and packing them in a few tools as possible without losing the overview. With Google Analytics, the American mega-company has already – and I think you agree with me – a very reasonable attempt.

Whereby quite passably means something like excellent or impressive. Instead of having to design and monitor his online marketing activities using many tools, Google Analytics offers a way to do these activities in one tool. Thanks in particular to this reduction in complexity, analytics is now the heart and soul of many marketing departments with far-reaching online advertising measures.

Google Optimize now enters the world of analytics as a test tool and hugs almost the famous and popular properties of analytics. Testing can thus be perfectly adapted to the KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) set in Google Analytics, which gives four advantages in particular at first glance: the setup of experiments and test processes is significantly simplified and almost automatically tailored to the desired factors, The targeting of the tests becomes much more specific due to the data (e.g. target group segmentation based on website visits etc.) from Google Analytics, the test reporting with the data from Analytics is not only easier,

In short: the combination of Google Analytics with Google Optimize offers you advantages that can set you apart from your competition. So why not take advantage of this? Optimize, in conjunction with Google Analytics, allows you to create unique offers that are perfectly tailored to your respective target groups.

Oh yes: If you are already using other test tools such as VWO or Optimizely, I can relieve you of three concerns about Google Optimize: First, the user interface and the application options it contains are very similar, so you don’t have to make a significant change. Secondly, you can use your data from Analytics in Optimize and your data from Optimize in Analytics, which leads to the advantages mentioned above. Which tool can this offer you? And third, Google Optimize is free, so what do you have to lose?

Google Optimize vs Google Optimize 360

Okay, you caught me. Of course, there is also a paid version for Google Optimize: Google Optimize 360. However, the functions of the basic version should be sufficient for you unless you work for a huge company or are in love with the possibilities and application forms of testing.

To keep it short and sweet, we come to the limitations of the basic version: the audience for targeting cannot be obtained from analytics, the multivariate testing is limited to 16 versions, in the primary text “only” three can Test are carried out simultaneously and cannot use the so-called “pre-selected experiment objectives” when the test is completed.

The paid version Optimize 360 ​​makes it possible to access and change/expand the set factors after the test to be able to determine potential influences from these new factors.

And then there would be … no fun, that’s it with the limitations. So you can see that a lot is possible with the basic version. In combination with the cost factor (which practically does not exist with the permanent solution), you can then consider which variant is suitable for your requirements.

The Google Optimize setup

So, now enough talked about the advantages and possible uses of Google Optimize. Now we are finally going into practice. First, simply go to the Google Optimize website (https://www.google.com/analytics/optimize/) and click on the large green button that says “Sign Up For Free”. Then your Google Optimize adventure starts.

As with any registration, you first need a name for your account. I think that the majority of you can overcome this hurdle without my help, but if you have had a stressful day, for example, and have burned out, I will of course also give you tips for this: Just take your domain name! Or the name of your company.

Or the username you use for analytics. Or the name of your favourite singer. You have a free choice here, and it is best not to spend several hours doing this, because the real fun is yet to come.

Next, Google will give you some suggestions for improving Google products and doing some analysis.

Even if this is not popular in the dangerous expanses of the Internet, you can simply agree here. Just look at it this way: Google Optimize is a new product and the more you can learn and learn about it, the higher your advantage over the competition.

Now you have to add a container to your account. You name this, for example, “CXL Blog” or “CXL Campaign”. Once you’ve added a box to your account, there’s nothing standing in the way of your Google Optimize adventure! You should already have your first test screen in front of you.

To explain: Google uses accounts and the so-called containers for the better and more effective organization of your tests. The so-called box is part of your account and represents, for example, a website (or part of it) or specific landing pages.

The link with Google Analytics and the snippet installation

Even if Google Optimize wants to lure you into your first test, and you would probably prefer to start your first experiment right away, you should first connect Optimize to your Google Analytics account. For this, you should find an extra item in your Optimize checklist (which should be visible on your screen) (“Link to Google Analytics”).

Then click the blue “Link Property” button, which you can use to select the data from your Google Analytics account. Once you have done this, you can specify your selection before you can complete the link by clicking on the “Link” item.

The next step is to install the Google Optimize snippet on your website. To do this, click the blue button labelled “View Snippet”.

Afterwards, a new screen opens, which contains the exact installation description, so don’t worry, this Google Tool can also be placed on your website in just a few steps. To do this, you need to update your Google Analytics tracking code and follow a few steps (e.g. the snippet must be placed as high as possible in your code head).

There are two options for the update of the Google Analytics Tracking Code mentioned above, which we would now like to introduce to you:

Possibility 1: The Google Tag Manager

Before we get to the more detailed explanation of the Tag Manager, let me tell you: this variant saves you a lot of time and nerves AND is also really simple! I would, therefore, recommend this variant to you. There are numerous tutorials and online courses for the continued use of Google Tag Manager, which are very interesting and recommendable. Now back to our integration.

The Google Tag Manager seems more than useful for one reason in particular: event tracking. Google Optimize uses the data and goals from Analytics for the tests (and the associated factors). If you want to test elements that focus in particular on the interaction of your users, you must first set an event-based goal. The easiest way to do this is with Google Tag Manager.

So open the Tag Manager and create a new tag. You will soon see that Google Optimize is a selection option when choosing the tag type. Insert your IDs from Google Analytics and your container from Google Optimize here. This is important to avoid problems afterwards.

Now you can further limit the focus of the test if you want to. However, if you’re going to test your entire page, simply select “All Pages”. Now you only have to follow three steps: save, preview, and then experiment!

Possibility 2: Integration without the Google Tag Manager

Option two is admittedly not complicated either, but it is more likely to strain your time and (especially) your nervous resources. You simply follow the instructions from Google Optimize, which you receive after clicking on the “View Snippet” button. A line of code is generated there for you, but you must insert it individually on all of your pages. Sounds simple, is also simple, but costs significantly more time than option 1. You decide!

The setup of your first test

Now it is enough again with the necessary installations and settings, after all, you finally want to get the part of Google Optimize that is the most fun: testing!

Before you start, you just have to click the “Create Experiment” button, insert your desired URL and determine the type of test. Of course, the type of analysis means the test variant. Google Optimize offers:

  • A / B tests where you can simply compare two variations of the same page against each other
  • Redirect tests in which you can compare two different pages against each other, which can be particularly attractive when redesigning your website or when you want to weigh the efficiency of two different landing pages against each other
  • And finally, multivariate tests, in which you can compare many different variants of many elements at the same time to see which combination gives the best possible result.

It should be said that Google also offers a WYSIWYG editor (“What You See Is What You Get”) (but only works with Chrome!), Which together with the Google Optimize Extension for Chrome reveals excellent options.

There are three things you should keep an eye on First, the app bar at the top. Here you can not only change the name and status of the experiment but also switch between different variations and displays. Second, the palette.

It provides you with an excellent overview of all the customizable elements of your current selection while scrolling. And thirdly, the current selection just mentioned, which becomes apparent in away from the second. If you have any problems with this, use Google’s “What’s what” guide without hesitation!

Now we finally come to one of the most exciting factors: the configuration of the goals. Here you can, of course, choose between essential components such as page views, the length of time your users stay on your website or the bounce rates of your sites, but at the same time – and that’s the great thing about Google-Optimize – you can access all the goals of your Google Analytics account.

The basic version offers you to define one primary and two secondary goals (note: in the basic version, these settings cannot be changed afterwards!).

Then follows the setup for targeting (I know it is getting more and more exciting!). Here you determine the visitors to be observed, as well as the observation framework (e.g. 100% of the visitors are included in the analysis, whereby the two variants of the page are each shown at 50% of the observation time).

But Google would not be Google if the targeting analysis had already been completed. Optimize also offers numerous factors such as URL targeting, geo-targeting, behavioural targeting, technology targeting or – unfortunately only in the paid version – audience targeting.

Last but not least, of course, we must not forget reporting. Here Google Optimize can shine again! In the Optimize UI, after the test, you will see all statistics that are also available in Analytics. These include the so-called Summary Card, which summarizes the most critical test results, the Improvement Overview Card, which focuses on the effects of different variants, and the Objective Detail Card, which can weigh each element of the variations against each other.

With this data and the statistics in Analytics, it is now much easier for you to segment your target groups based on previous statistics and test results, which will gradually shape your targeting into an active and functioning success factor!

Marketing goals for founders and entrepreneurs

Marketing is not an end in itself. It is all the more important to define goals that should be achieved with the individual (already existing) marketing measures. This is especially true for larger companies – but smaller companies are also more successful if they formulate their marketing goals.

Marketing goals – that may sound a bit off the mark for some founders and small business owners. Ultimately, these can be directly subordinate to the corporate goals that every self-employed person should set, regardless of whether they have their marketing department or have to take care of the formulation and implementation of the goals themselves because only those who have a clear view of what they want to achieve can choose appropriate measures and use them precisely.

SMART formulate your own marketing goals

The SMART method is a project management formula that can be applied to all areas in which specific goals are to be achieved. It describes how these must be formulated to be successful:

S specific: The goals should be defined as precisely as possible.

M edible: The results should be correct; appropriate instruments are selected.

An attractive: The objectives should be formulated so that they are often tackled.

R realistic: The objectives should be able to be achieved in a mated time frame.

T erminier: For the targets, a specific schedule as possible should be created.

What marketing goals are there?

The number of conceivable objectives becomes more manageable if you group them. An overview of the most common classifications follows.

Quantitative and qualitative marketing goals

Marketing theory divides the possible goals into two broad groups: the quantitative (economic) and the qualitative (psychological) marketing goals. In practice, these are not always clearly distinguishable from each other, since there are many intersections and the purposes are partly mutually dependent.

Quantitative marketing goals

This is about hard facts. These have a decisive advantage over the psychological goals: They can be clearly defined in advance and can be measured precisely. If the desired success is not achieved within the set time frame, this can be quickly determined and corrected.

Marketing goals with numbers refer to:

  • sales
  • Profit
  • paragraph
  • contribution margin
  • value-based market share (sales revenue)
  • quantitative market share (sales volume)
  • Number of customers
  • growth

These quantitative projects aim to improve in the area concerned and are often superior to the other goals.

Qualitative marketing goals

The qualitative goals are rightly called psychological marketing goals because they have a lot to do with emotions. Often unconsciously, these play a significant role in the decision for a brand or a specific product. Companies can take advantage of this.

Qualitative marketing goals are geared towards achieving an increase or improvement in the following areas, among others:

  • quality
  • image
  • Awareness
  • Customer loyalty
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Trust (in brand or company)

In contrast to the economic goals, the psychological goals are challenging or sometimes not measurable at all. It is still the easiest way to determine the achievement of goals that relate to the level of awareness – but also not by a quick look at the database, but only by extensive surveys and surveys.

But even if they cannot be quantified, the qualitative marketing goals are just as important. The examples are given here provide the prerequisites for realizing the above-mentioned economic goals.

Strategic and tactical marketing goals

The termination plays a role in this division. It is also essential at which hierarchy level the goals are arranged. The strategic marketing goals are located at the management level and are rather long-term goals (achievable over several years). These are goals, such as increasing growth or sales.

The tactical marketing goals are pursued at the operational level to speak of functional or operational purposes. They should instead be reached in the short or medium-term and are therefore subordinate to the strategic goals. For example, to achieve the strategic goal of increasing sales, the tactical marketing goal can be to raise awareness.

Area related marketing goals

Marketing goals can also be formulated for each area or department. For example, a company’s sales can consider creating more offers and take the necessary measures. The online department may want to attract more unique visitors to the website and have the corresponding content created.

Define your own marketing goals for your company

The more precisely you work out the plan, the more intensively you can pursue your goals and measure the results of your measures. The following steps are useful for implementation:

  1. Perform actual analysis

This term also comes from project management and describes the starting point on which all considerations are based. Take a close look at your company and create an analysis. These questions help:

  • Where is my company currently?
  • What resources are available?
  • Which areas need to be expanded?
  • Where are (acute) problems?
  • Which measures have been successful/unsuccessful so far?
  • How do sales/profits/sales etc. develop?
  • How much do they differ from the target?

After this as-is survey, it should be reasonably clear where there is room for improvement and what needs to be done. Involve your employees to get the most precise possible picture of the current status. Also, your employees will certainly make some suggestions for implementation or improvement.

2. Specify quantitative goals

One of the targeted marketing goals will likely be to increase sales and profits. Perhaps even more customers should be won. This is, of course, not very tangible and must, therefore, be poured into concrete numbers.

In cooperation with the employees involved, you should set a precise and realistic target with a binding time frame (see also the SMART method mentioned above ). A simple “expand the customer base,” for example, becomes: “20 percent more existing customers by September 20XX”. If in doubt, it makes sense to set the desired vital data somewhat lower. Increasing the numbers after the first controlling is much more motivating than correcting them downwards.

3. Determine qualitative goals

Clarify with your employees or as a sole trader for yourself which qualitative goals can be used to achieve the quantitative goals formulated under point 2. Let’s stick to our example: To expand the customer base, it makes sense to rely on customer loyalty, since satisfied existing customers also bring new customers to your company through recommendations.

At the same time, it is advisable to include customer satisfaction and awareness, which is essential for founders in the plan. Even if the results of these goals are not so easy to measure, you should be as specific as possible when formulating them.

In practice, both quantitative and qualitative marketing goals will be a combination of multiple targets. Rarely is there a single specific goal.

4. Select marketing measures

Once the goals have been set, instruments must be put together with which it is likely that they can be achieved – the marketing mix must be defined. Like the corporate goals, the planned measures should be worked out as accurately as possible. This includes a precise schedule for the individual steps and a written record of who is responsible for which implementation.

For example, a service call can be introduced after a job has been completed to increase customer loyalty. The best way to instruct the employees entrusted with this is in writing how to conduct these discussions and how to respond to customer complaints.

5. Define controlling

The best goals and measures only remain approximate if you don’t control their results. You should, therefore, determine immediately after the package of rules with which control instruments and when a review should be carried out. Determine in advance which numbers need to be corrected. This avoids misunderstandings when interpreting the data and enables a faster reaction.

6. Commit employee

The employees who are already involved in the decision making are already in the picture. Now it is a matter of informing all employees about the planned measures and highlighting their importance. Everyone has to pull together. Corresponding employee motivation works more than any horror scenario that could occur in the event of a failure. Make your employees accomplices of a common cause.

7. Carry out a check

The first controlling should take place at the specified time. If everything moves within the desired framework, the selected measures can continue according to plan. If the results are weaker than expected, improvements must be made. If they are significantly above expectations, the quantitative targets should be revised and, if necessary, adapted to the new situation.

Emotional marketing for strong brands

Feelings are involved not only with a romantic rendezvous but also with every purchase decision. Brands use this to their advantage – in emotional marketing. We explain what the marketing method is and how you can successfully use emotions in your advertising.

Joy, anger, sadness, surprise, pride – emotions are intense, reliable and hard to hold back. Or have you ever seen a wedding proposal in which the person in question remained completely emotionless? Admittedly, an extreme example. But it is precisely these spontaneous reactions that get under the skin that companies use in advertising. This is summarized under the term “emotional marketing”, which gives every campaign the decisive pep.

In this context, “decisive” is really to be understood in the most real sense of the word, because in the case of purchases and orders in both the B2C and B2B sectors, emotional impressions tend to tip the scales. Especially with almost interchangeable offers in competitive markets, the decision is made in favour of the provider that you remember (from advertising) and with whom you “feel most comfortable”, with whom “you have a good feeling”.

How does emotional marketing work?

Emotions are psychophysiological reactions that are triggered by an event or situation. They are accompanied by a noticeable physical change, for example of muscles, heartbeat or breathing. In a strict sense, emotions are, therefore, not the same as feelings. The latter occurs less in effect, but include a wide variety of psychological experiences.

  • Emotions: interest, disgust, love, envy, disappointment, joy, pride, etc.
  • Feelings: jealousy, insecurity, enthusiasm, melancholy, etc.

However, the terms are often equated. And in marketing, too, there is no clear distinction between emotions and feelings.

Emotions influence the decision to buy

Buying decisions are made with both halves of the brain. For his publication Descartes’ Error (review on Psychology Today), the American neuroscientist Antonio Damasio examined that the emotional component plays absolutely no subordinate role. For this purpose, he carried out a study with people whose connections between the left and right brain were broken.

The study participants were able to process the available information rationally but were not able to choose between different alternatives. To make a choice, you have to be able to find out how you think about the individual options or how you feel about them. The activity of the corresponding brain regions can be measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging.

About decision-making, emotional marketing comprises two aspects: First, it is about the customer rationally realizing that he needs a particular product. The research initially relates to information. When making the final purchase decision; however, feelings and emotions prevail (often unconsciously). In the B2C area, it may also be the case that the consumer does not need anything in principle, but develops a desire to buy through smart, emotional marketing.

Additional studies, called Psychology Today, have demonstrated that.

  • Feelings in the form of personal experiences come into play when evaluating brands and not the product-related facts.
  • The consumer’s emotional response to an advertisement has a far more significant impact on their intent to purchase than the content of the ad.
  • The sympathy for a particular brand, the best indicator is the extent to which advertising is to increase sales.
  • Positive emotions towards a brand have a more significant impact on customer loyalty than trust and judgments from others.

The more emotional the bond with a brand is, the more loyal the customer will be to it. So it’s worth investing in emotional marketing.

Emotional marketing in practice

The purpose of emotional marketing is to combine positive feelings with the brand message. The product is therefore not explained in terms of its technical properties, but rather in terms of customer benefit, which in turn evokes (hopefully pleasant) feelings among users. It is precisely these emotions that potential customers must feel immediately.

We have known this well enough from classic advertising, for example on television, from clean men shining into the camera, cheering children and sighing homemakers with a sigh of satisfaction. What was used quite strikingly in the 1970s often works a little differently Today? The desired feelings are awakened but more subtly than before.

Determine the target group

As in all other marketing areas, the target group should be narrowed down first. The better you know them, the more precisely emotional marketing can be tailored. Find out what makes your target group tick, what needs, what desires, what fears it has. The age structure and interests are also essential to find functioning starting points.

Find the right emotions.

Happiness, joy, enthusiasm – these are the feelings that advertisers want to trigger among the clientele. However, it is not enough to simply present these positive emotions. As we know from Antonio Damasio’s study, among other things, buying decisions mature through a perfect interaction of the different brain areas.

This means that the rational components must also be right, first of all, the quality of the product. Then it’s about finding emotions that match the product and brand being offered. For example, a married couple shaking with excitement doesn’t seem particularly credible when it comes to the next tax return. If a service provider offers help here, there is a feeling of relief.

Depending on the offer, negative emotions can also be linked to the product or service of the target group. For example, if a security service advertises particularly efficient burglary protection, emotions such as fear and discomfort are also present. The art is to convey a feeling of security that outweighs negative emotions.

The task of marketing is to find a credible situation and suitable emotions that help to describe the offer. Customers should find themselves in the case with their wishes and needs. When it comes to problem-solving products, there must be a solution with positive emotion that remains permanently connected to the brand.

Colour psychology in emotional marketing

Specific colours trigger individual associations and thus certain feelings. Although the taste of each customer is very different, there are particular properties of the colours that are supposed to have a relatively uniform effect on the psyche while blue is associated with calm and reason, among other things, red stands for passion and danger.

Knowledge of colour psychology can be used excellently in emotional marketing and should be taken into account, for example, when choosing an image background or the colour for the logo. For international campaigns, it is essential to know that colours may have different meanings in different cultures. And then, of course, there is always a personal aversion to specific colours.

Let pictures speak

Our brain takes pictures much faster than written or spoken words. And not only that: they are also stored much better and linked to the permanent information. If the first few seconds are decisive, an eye-catching image is indispensable – just as little as for the marketing message to have a lasting effect.

The images must also arouse the desired emotions among consumers and should be as authentic as possible. This means that your photos are best suited instead of images from image databases, which may also be found in the competition.

Search for starting points

Emotional marketing works particularly well if you build on what is already known. Positive memories come into question. The advertising often appeals to a happy childhood, which revives it briefly in advertisements and spots. Or the first big love, the first purchase with self-earned money etc. The awakened nostalgia should be fulfilled with the help of the brand associated with it. In reality, this does not always work for the buyer, but it does create the feeling that it could be – and that is enough.

Another option in emotional branding is the use of significant events, movements and megatrends. It can be a soccer World Cup or the Olympic Games, or maybe a film that draws millions into the cinemas – everything that arouses emotions in us. Since the “Fridays for Future” demonstrations at the latest, many people have reacted sensitively to climate and environmental protection issues, especially if they still have a regional connection.

The same applies here: it must fit the brand and the message. If it is too evident that a trend should benefit in all circumstances, the next shit stream is usually not far.

Tell stories

With storytelling, the most boring technical backgrounds can be packed into exciting stories. Every customer starts their head cinema; images are created in the subconscious that can be used for emotional marketing.

Emotional conditioning

This term from behavioural research is often used in connection with emotional marketing. It describes the process of combining two different stimuli and subsequent effects. This means that a brand (neutral stimulus) is always presented in combination with a particular emotion (emotional stimulus). After successful conditioning, the consumer will always automatically associate the previously neutral brand with the same feeling.

The link between the brand and the desired emotion can, as already mentioned, be brought about by appropriate images. Another possibility is direct verbatim statements. The best example: McDonald’s with its claim “I love it!” Visiting the fast-food chain means having a good time together (former claim: “Every time a good time”). Positive emotions are awakened through advertising and applications, which are then linked to the visit – and ultimately also to the McDonald’s brand.

Podcast

Plandemic documentary: conspiracy theorists celebrate their new heroine

An alleged corona virus unveiling video is viewed millions of times on YouTube – and then deleted. The case shows how important the fight against the infodemic is. The social media platforms are therefore increasingly using fact checkers.

The corona pandemic is accompanied by a worrying “infodemic”: fake news and disinformation are booming, conspiracy theories are flourishing. This is currently shown in the example of the pseudo-documentary “Plandemic”. The film is scheduled to be released in summer but is already featured in a 26-minute video. This was also published on the video platform Youtube and has been viewed millions of times.

The protagonist Dr Judy Mikovits, a controversial American researcher who worked at the National Cancer Institute. In an interview with filmmaker Mikki Willis, the molecular biologist claims that leading US experts such as immunologist Anthony Fauci are covering up the truth about the new coronavirus to gain power and money. The pandemic is a conspiracy of people trying to benefit from vaccines. In addition to several unprovable claims, she also explains that vaccinations help people get Covid-19 because they weaken the immune system.

Furthermore, the short film assumes that protective masks spread the virus. However, since it can take up to 14 days for someone to show symptoms, masks are said to prevent droplet transmission. The interviewee thinks that the beaches should reopen quickly because people are protected by “healing microbes in saltwater”. The fact-checking portal Politifact has compiled the false and non-verifiable claims made in the document.

Offended pride because of a career break

Right at the beginning of the interview, Mikovits is staged as a victim whose career has been willfully destroyed. Specifically, this is a work from 2009. At that time, the researcher co-wrote a paper that put forward the theory that a retrovirus discovered in mice played an essential role in the development of chronic fatigue syndrome. Since several laboratory tests could not confirm the thesis, the investigation was withdrawn due to technical shortcomings.

After further controversy, Mikovits initially lost her job and was even briefly arrested after a house search. The failure of her academic career is still attributed to Fauci, the adviser to the US President, who is currently the most crucial expert in the corona crisis in America. The allegations go back decades: She claims that Fauci threatened her and benefited from her work on the HI virus. “The whole world is listening to him right now,” the interviewer stated in the video. “How do we know he is telling the truth?” He asks his counterpart. “What he says is pure propaganda,” replies Mikovits, who also claims that Fauci has been complicit in millions of deaths since 1984. 

In the course of the interview, the interviewee mentioned other names of well-known people who were part of a vast conspiracy. However, due to the one-sided perspective and the dramatized presentation, the audience quickly gets the impression that this is primarily about the offended pride of a woman who uses the current pandemic as an occasion to rehabilitate her burst career and her battered reputation. This assumption is confirmed by the fact that Mikovits recently published an Amazon bestseller book that deals with corruption in science.

Dr When asked by various media, Fauci said he had never worked with Judy Mikovits, and he dismissed the allegations.

QAnon, anti-vaccine and right-wing extremists celebrate their new heroine.

The original video, which generated at least eight million views on YouTube, has since been deleted from various significant platforms. However, this does not prevent conspiracy theorists from uploading a dozen copies of the video. They found a new “whistleblower” in Mikovits. The pseudo-scientific video is particularly well received by anti-vaccination groups, right-wing extremist news portals and the QAnon movement, which a secret government in the United States claims to have recognized behind all evil.

This “deep state theory” is also becoming increasingly popular in Europe. In Germany, conspiracy theorists like Ken Jebsen try to hijack the public debate with their crude theories. His fans are happy to describe the so-called “New World Order”, a profoundly anti-Semitic conspiracy theory. The narrative that Bill Gates benefits from a corona vaccine is also prevalent and is also mentioned in the Plandemic video.

Doctors use YouTube for debunking videos.

Doctors, doctors and scientists are currently doing educational work on YouTube. If you are looking for “Plandemic” on the platform, you will be shown fact-checking videos with attached links to trustworthy sources such as the WHO. Some of these reaction videos have already been viewed millions of times.

In the expert videos, Judy Mikovits’ claims are exposed as false or misleading, and the fake news and myths are contrasted with facts (so-called debunking). “I am shaken,” says Dr Zubin Damania in a video, “That Americans are so stupid to believe for a second what is said in the conspiracy video.” And another doctor named Dr Todd Grande says: “You always have to ask yourself whether there is evidence to support the claims and what sources are mentioned.”

46 per cent of all fake news comes from Youtube

According to a recent study by the scientific journal “BMJ”, YouTube has a massive problem with disinformation and fake news. According to this, more than a quarter of the most viewed videos on the platform show misleading content. There are a total of 62 million views worldwide. In contrast, videos from trustworthy sources are underrepresented during the current pandemic. The researchers are, therefore calling on health organizations to act even more aggressively against disinformation.

According to the research portal Correctiv.org, 46 per cent of all fake news originated on YouTube. From there, they are distributed on Facebook, Instagram and Co., where they achieve a high reach. Whatsapp is the most common distribution channel, explains the portal, which specializes in fact-checking. Corrective founder David Schraven told the NZZ that the messenger service Telegram was also very dangerous. It plays a growing role in the dissemination of fake news because unlike Whatsapp; you can set up more substantial groups and exchange information there.

Twitter and Facebook are cracking down.

Now that YouTube also wants to work more closely with fact-checkers in the USA, other platforms have also stepped up their measures. As announced by Twitter , tweets with content that experts have misleading or wrong that could harm people are to be deleted. Controversial information should therefore be provided with a reference to trustworthy sources. Leading politicians such as US President Donald Trump could also meet this regulation. “These labels apply to anyone who shares misleading information that meets the requirements of our guidelines,” a spokesman told DPA.

Facebook has already taken steps to curb the spread of disinformation. In April alone, the platform provided 50 million posts with false or dubious posts about the coronavirus with warnings. The measure shows success: In 95 per cent of the cases, users did not click the link when they saw the sign, according to Facebook. The basis for the information would have delivered 7500 items from fact-checkers. Also, 2.5 million posts were removed, which were about the sale of masks, disinfectants or Covid-19 tests.

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UX storytelling: Make the user journey a hero journey

Storytelling can be used not only to tell stories in marketing but also in UX design. Staging the visitor’s customer journey as a hero journey can increase the conversion rate. We show how to do it.

The heroes of each story involuntarily embark on great adventures, fight villains, overcome unpredictable problems, receive unexpected help, and finally return home: wiser, more experienced, and usually quite tired. For thousands of years, people have been telling stories and experiencing the adventures, sufferings, and moments of happiness of others. Stories touch us. They make us sad or happy, angry, or satisfied.

UX designers have now recognized the potential of storytelling for their work. They use storytelling as a tool to trigger emotions among users. Visiting the website is quite like a hero’s journey. Because just like Frodo, who has to destroy the ring in “Lord of the Rings,” or how Arielle, the little mermaid, is pursuing her goal of living as a human being, every website user has a mission: if only a theater ticket to buy, to book a train ticket or to find out information.

The first impression counts

Which emotional journey user experiences when visiting a website depends heavily on the functionality of the page. The web design of the delivery service has different requirements than that of a hotel operator. And yet there are some basic rules. For example, a clear value proposition on the website decides whether a user chooses a product or a service. The first impression is significant. Therefore, the home page should convey the essential functions and a message.

To ensure this, website operators should test their site on first-time users and ask them what impressions they have: What feelings does the website trigger? What is its purpose? What added value? Companies with complex products and services face a particular challenge here because a sentence or two is often not enough to convey their value proposition.

Visual storytelling is particularly useful here, i.e., images, videos, illustrations. Because where texts take a few minutes to read, a user processes the photos within a few milliseconds. They convey emotions faster and more immediately. They build an emotional relationship with the product and explain abstract facts and universally. In contrast to stock photos, self-made photos increase the recognition value and thus the interest of the user.

Lemonade is an excellent example of this. On his homepage, visitors receive a clear value proposition: “Everything in a flash. Fragrant prices. Big heart.” Translated this means: fast, cheap, customer-friendly. A short video explains how the company differs from other insurance companies.

Navigation as a mentor

Clear navigation encourages you to click further on the website. Here companies should make sure that they choose the right terms. If “complaints” or “return” is given instead of “contact”, this triggers negative associations. The company often seems to be dealing with problems and defective products. UX designers should rename such terms or move them to the FAQ area. Second, times are often misleading. Navigation elements should be clearly and formulated. Creativity is out of place. Calling the donation area of ​​a website “doing good”, for example, can be misleading. Is the user doing good himself? Then what does that mean? In the worst case, someone visits the website to donate – and leaves it again,

For a user to achieve his goal without problems, he needs a precise orientation. Because, unlike books or films, he does not experience the history of a website linearly. The user has to choose between different options on each page. Does he click on the link in the text? Or does he return to the home page? A good UX design always shows the right, i.e., the shortest route. Companies often make the mistake of wanting to present all sections of their website on their homepage. But that seems confusing and overwhelming. You should instead give users a clear starting point and then guide them to the goal as linearly as possible, for example, through a clear call-to-action, through interaction elements or directly through minimalist design.

A comparison of the interface designs of German and Swedish railways shows the difference: At Deutsche Bahn, users have too many different interaction options. The Swedish railways, on the other hand, provide a clear starting point by placing the simple question, “Where do you want to go?” Very large and prominent. By restricting the choice for users, it provides a clear direction.

Motivate to be a hero

Users have to be motivated again and again on their journey through a website so that they do not lose interest. Especially if you are visiting the site for the first time and you are new to the company and its product or service. Users are motivated by encouraging them to keep clicking. For example, by cliffhangers, like the open end of every Netflix series. Teasers at the bottom of a page cause visitors to continue scrolling. Among other things, UX designers can easily place part of the following content at the bottom of the page. But be careful: If there are apparent gaps when scrolling, users may overlook the content.

Less is more, as the comparison of the UX design of German and Swedish rail shows: While Deutsche Bahn overwhelms its users with too many interaction options, the website of the Swedish rail gives a more precise orientation through a reduced, minimalist design.

Texts should also motivate. Numerous studies on reading behavior on the Internet have already shown that Internet users are mainly skim-reading today. Because their attention span is also decreasing, UX designers have to design bright and clear websites. For this reason, a good UX design does not have long body texts. And if it does, then only with precise subheadings and pictures. In this way, users can orient themselves on the various focus points. Also, designers should place content on the left or in the middle, since users are used to reading from left to right and therefore typically scan a page in a Z or F pattern.

Smooth usage delivers a good user experience. However, this is not a unique selling point. But what makes a website unique? Good stories! Therefore, the success of a web design today depends not only on the functionality but, above all, on whether it generates emotions, the best positive one. Some brands do this by touching the user through pictures and videos, through their speech and choice of words. The messenger service Slack has found a proper implementation: It welcomes its users in a friendly manner, motivates the participants, has apparent features that everyone understands intuitively. The Mailchimp platform also shows how emotions can be aroused by celebrating the successful sending of an email campaign with a fun animation.

But which feature works? When do users feel motivated when do they lose interest? Do users understand the content or message of the company? It is all about finding out as early as possible. The basis of good UX design is, therefore, communication with users in the form of tests or surveys. Designers need to understand how users interact with a website and how each feature affects them.

To optimize the websites, a more detailed test in which the users are observed is suitable. These tests show how well an interface design supports the user in his mission – and what hinders him. Based on these results, UX designers can create personas, a kind of prototype for the target group. They also make it possible to generate a detailed customer journey map, in which the needs of users and customers are recorded so that they can better understand their decisions.

Conclusion

Storytelling offers many ideas for a successful user experience design. Anyone who sees their users as heroes who experience the visit to the website as a journey to a specific destination can offer them a bright, appealing, and exciting design of their website. With visual surprise elements, a positive and emotional response as well as the simple presentation of complex content, users have fun clicking and scrolling.

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