REPLAY: Facebook Video and How to Get 1,000 Views for $4.37 [Facebook Live Show]

Posted on Posted in Advertising, Facebook Live, Video Marketing

Episode DOS of Live Online Learning (LOL)… as usual we debuted a cool cheatsheet (The 5 Facebook Video Ad Tips Cheatsheet) AND gave away a seat in my Facebook ads course.


We talked about:

  • Facebook Video Stats
  • Facebook Video Tips
  • Facebook LIVE Video Tips
  • Facebook vs YouTube marketing and advertising
  • And answered questions live!

To be doubly sure not to miss future live shows, opt in here to join the email list so we can keep you notified!


REPLAY: Top 10 Facebook Ad Mistakes [Facebook Live Show]

Posted on Posted in Facebook Advertising, Facebook Live, Facebook Marketing

Our first episode of Live Online Learning (LOL) last Thursday went great! Kate rocked it, of course… I played a theme song I made up on guitar. We taught a ton of valuable stuff for free.

We got over 1,000 views the first day, and another 12,000 since then.

Here’s the replay:

We debuted The Top 10 Facebook Ad Tips Cheatsheet, which you can get here…

And we gave away a free seat to my Facebook ads course, The Facebook Leads and Sales Machine. Congrats to Lizzie Smith-Wetzel on winning!

For more REPLAYS of the LIVE show check out these episodes:

Great free info. You don’t want to miss it and have your competitors get ahead of you with these tactics and tips…

To catch future episodes, opt in here so we can keep you notified via email!


How to Go Viral and Sell More with Memes

Posted on Posted in Sales, Social Media Strategy, Viral Marketing

[Originally posted on]

Many companies go after engagement in social media. Others go directly for sales. If you can get both engagement and sales at the same time, that’s the holy grail. In this post, we’ll talk about both, using a type of post that not everyone has already worn out.

Engagement itself is valuable because it:

  • Grabs Customer Attention: Many companies spend millions just on reach and exposure, but it’s hard these days to grab and hold attention, and the competition just for attention is fierce.
  • Starts a Conversation: Engagement proves you not only got customer attention, but interest, which is one level better. You can get valuable information from customer interaction that can help you sell better.
  • Creates an Emotional Relationship between your customer and your brand, which increases the chance you’ll get the sale and increases the chance they’ll become loyal to your brand and stay loyal to you. It’s not just about sales, but about long-term customer loyalty.

There are many types of Facebook posts that create engagement. But few companies have taken full advantage of memes, which is crazy because we want Facebook posts that get shares, and…

A meme (/?mi?m/ meem) is “an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture”.

You can take any of your own images and turn them into memes with this tool:

For example:

New Live Series

Posted on Posted in Facebook Advertising, Facebook Live, Facebook Marketing, Internet Marketing Strategy

I’m very excited to announce a new Facebook Live series about how to do better marketing…

And I have a co-host! Video marketing strategist and Facebook Live Diva Kate Volman, who’ve probably heard of from her GoDaddy’s Garage interview series and her work with Jay Baer…

Here’s what it is:

  1. A weekly Facebook Live on teaching you LIVE how to get better results on various social marketing topics. Interact, ask your questions, heckle me, whatever you want.
  2. During each Facebook Live we’ll tell you how to get a super-valuable FREE download checklist, tip-sheet or cheatsheet.
  3. Each week I will give away one seat in my popular Facebook advertising course (The Facebook Leads and Sales Machine, a $997 value)! Some lucky business owner or marketer (who answers the day’s quiz question correctly… you do have to show up and listen and learn first!) will win a free membership to the course.

If you don’t want to miss these live trainings, use this link to opt in and I’ll send you an email when it starts!

Here’s a Facebook Live video about the Facebook live video series 😉

#INFOGRAPHIC: 5 Tips for Creating Content Marketing That Gets Big Results

Posted on Posted in Advertising, Content Marketing

We also have a video walk-through of how to do this in detail! (opens in new window).

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10 Marketing Trends That Will Change The Way You Brand

Posted on Posted in Branding, Digital Marketing

Have you ever run into conflicts between what a company’s “brand book” dictates and digital marketing success?

Are you worried your brand is stuck in the past and you can’t improve customer satisfaction or ROI?

Are you concerned you may be vulnerable to disruption?

Then you’ll love this article… because we’re going to talk about trends that answer how to solve those problems.


Branding IS critical to the success of your company, your products and your services.

If you have no identity, and you can’t project that identity to position yourself in the marketplace, your company may fail.

It’s also matter of degree.

How well you do this branding can limit how much you succeed.

But branding is not all there is in the modern world of digital marketing. There’s also:

  • Research
  • Customer Segmentation
  • Digital Marketing
  • Social Marketing
  • Advertising
  • Pricing
  • And more…

Digital and social marketing and advertising have become more and more important over the last two decades. More and more money and attention and people have moved from traditional marketing and advertising to Internet marketing.

How The Internet Has Changed Branding

Your brand is not just what your company intends. It’s also the average consumer perception of your brand. Here are some factors that have changed:

  • The Internet may be a customer’s first experience of your brand: Your new customer’s first experience of your brand may be online: websites, social, ads, videos… yours or someone else’s.
  • Customer opinion is everywhere: Easy-to-launch blogs and Yelp/TripAdvisor review-sites have created more voices and louder voices, making it simple for consumers to discover what their peers think about your brand.
  • Customer service expectations are higher: Customers expect brands to be available, responsive and engaging via social media. Relationships, authenticity and transparency can be very powerful, and not making this shift can put you at a disadvantage.
  • Reputation can go sideways quickly: The Internet, social media and news can change our perception of a brand. It may be out of the company’s control. Mistakes and bad news can spiral out of control and create reputation problems. The Internet never forgets.
  • Competition is greater: There are more options and more competitors. Barriers to entry are lower. You need more of a competitive advantage, a unique identity and you can no longer take loyalty for granted. You don’t own your customers. Just about every company is vulnerable to Uber/AirBnB-style disruption.
  • Personalization is easier and expected: Segmented ads give you the opportunity to present multiple voices and faces to different customers. We can truly personalize our marketing. You need a brand voice but you no longer need be limited to just one. Personalization can be a competitive advantage and may be expected by your customer.
  • Microtesting can increase customer satisfaction and ROI: You can run small tests to find out how evolving your brand may get you bigger and better business results. The most successful online brands like Facebook, Google and Amazon have this built into their websites and cultures. Their customers are highly satisfied and loyal because these companies use data to personalize the experience- making things more relevant and saving people time. If you don’t take advantage of this opportunity to evolve in a way that satisfies your customers more, you may get disrupted.

With that in mind, here are 10 trends can help us do better branding in the digital marketing era.

Let’s look at each one in detail…

#1: Make Sure You Have a Brand

If you aren’t intentional about what you are, you won’t understand why people react the way they do.

You may just be a big hot mess. Or not so hot.

You have a brand even if you think you don’t.

It’s saying something to people, even if you don’t intend it to.

Get a brand.

Be intentional about it.

#2: Invest In Your Brand

A lot of small businesses, but even a surprising number of medium sized businesses under-invest in branding or advertising.

Many seem to think that having a logo or a few designated colors is all that’s required. “Yay, we checked the branding box!” Not really.

Here are some of the things involved in brand definition:

  • Brand Name
  • Attributes, Personality, Values
  • Emotional Benefits to the Customer
  • Tagline or Catchphrase
  • Visual Identity, Graphics, Shapes, Colors, Logo
  • Sounds, Scents, Tastes, Movements

Just reading through that list may give you an idea how well you’ve thought through your own brand.

Via advertising, you can segment the projection of your brand to individual personas or customer types and vary the brand voice or customer voices.

Many companies do not meet their business goals because they simply do not reach enough potential customers, and advertising is the quickest way to get in front of your ideal customer.

 #3: Segment Your Brand Voice

There’s all this talk that you have to have “a brand voice.”

I get it. But if you’re going to anthropomorphize the company, let’s take the analogy all the way.

If your brand is supposed to be like a person that talks to people, let me ask you this… you’re a person: do you talk to everyone the same way?

Do you talk to your kids the same way you talk to a taxi drivers or the fast food drive through person?

Do you talk to your significant other the same way you talk to a police officer?

I hope not.

Ok, there might be some scenarios… we’re not talking about that!

You customize your approach. You have to.

It’s the same with marketing. We personalize to different types of customers.

Everyone talks about segmentation, because almost nobody has just one type of customer.

The one brand voice thing comes from the old world of traditional media where we weren’t able to target customers…

The ultimate example of NOT targeting is a superbowl ad: so many different types of Americans are viewing your superbowl ad that it has to appeal to all your customer types at once.

But the opposite of that is a highly segmented Facebook ad, let’s say for example, to one of your 12 personas: professional millennial women… and you can customize the look and the voice to appeal to and stimulate this group exactly.

You’re going to want it to be different than when you advertise or try to engage your retired male baby boomer customers, right? I hope so!

If you don’t, you’re not going to maximize your response, the customer experience, your sales or loyalty.

We can’t talk the same to everyone. The brand can’t look or act the same to everyone. Similar, but not exactly the same.

We need to strike a balance between identity and personalization without being complete chameleons.

Google’s logo shifts with the holiday, but it’s always Google. It’s a great example of a flexible identity. Part of their identity is simplicity, efficiency and personalization.

So, who are your customers? Personas? And how does your brand voice sound different for each one?

#4: Speak in Customer Voices

Sometimes when we advertise, we use testimonials, or we speak in the first person as the customer.

So it’s not just about the brand voice… it’s also about the customer voice.

But as we’ve already said, there are multiple customers or personas.

What are your customers’s voices?

Read customer testimonials and social media comments. What do they sound like? Can you separate them into personas?

Try writing some messages and ads in their voices.

#5: Let Your Brand Evolve Through Testing And Data

Branding is only one piece of the marketing puzzle.

Identity and looks aren’t the only goal. There are other business and direct response conversion goals.

Branding can either help or hinder the business or conversion goals. If branding is hurting other goals, then branding may have to evolve. You can use advertising microtests to do this.

If the brand voice is so restrictive that we can’t test new ideas to see how customers react…

Especially if customers are not buying or becoming leads in response to the current “brand voice” type messaging.

If the brand voice is suppressing digital marketing results, you need to chillax and loosen the brand voice parameters.

#6: Take Your SEO Keywords with a Grain of Salt

Keyword domain names are so 2010! Google is pretty smart now. It knows when you’re trying to fool it vs. when you’re actually relevant to the keyword.

Keyword domains are not worth it, and don’t make a good brand statement.

It’s a great example of not being able to see the forest for the trees. Missing the big picture because of a fear of no traffic. Missing out on an opportunity to signal value and quality.

I made this mistake with my cowbell book. I let my emphasis on Amazon keywords research hold too much sway over the subtitle, and it confused potential readers and ironically limited the number of people who thought it was relevant to them. Never again!

SEO can and should help determine what content marketing or infographics you create- it still has a place, but be careful how it affects your brand.

#7: Combine Art and Science

In the dark ages of marketing and branding, all we had was faith, opinion and confidence.

We now have the opportunity to research the data, add that to panels and surveys, do micro advertising tests to our ideal customers. We can discover what customers will love with a high degree of certainty. We no longer have to guess.

We don’t have to fall under the sway of creative con-men. We don’t need magical Don Drapers to make us feel safe.

Yes, we need creative people more than ever, but we can’t stop there. We need to be scientific and make sure that our branding drives business.

Don’t be a stubborn holdouts of the old paradigm of not testing, not evolving, not looking at metrics (they tell you what customers want!), not split-testing.

Tomorrow’s brand managers want to run tests… because the CMO is asking about trends, best practices and data… because the CFO and CEO and are wondering about disruption risk and how to push forward profitability.

#8: Evolve Your Brand Forward

The 90’s version of your brand should not be the 21st century version of your brand.

The 2015 version of your brand may not be good enough in 2017.

Yes, Coca-Cola’s logo and taste will remain the same post-Internet, but that doesn’t mean their social or digital strategy should.

In a world where Old Spice can suddenly refresh and dominate its category and Uber can disrupt an entire industry, no brand can afford to stand pat.

#9: Get Your Brand Team and Your Digital Team on the Same Page

As we’ve identified, branding touches on creativity, identity and customer segmentation- but all of these need to go into a feedback loop with the customer to see how customers respond, and what they respond to.

For too long, branding has been an ivory tower activity that happens in isolation from the customer.

We now can evolve the brand forward via customer feedback (without the customer even realizing it), but to do that, brand managers need to team up with content marketers and social advertisers to run micro tests.

Branding folks can also get demographic and psychographic persona info from the Twitter and Facebook audience insights and ad interfaces… IF they team up with the digital marketers.

Just as the disconnect between marketing and sales can hurt your company, a disconnect between your brand manager and your advertising or digital marketing teams can stunt your company’s growth and prevent maximum customer response.

If you aren’t getting this kind of data about your brand, you should talk to us!

#10: Let Each Channel Empower the Brand Voice Differently

Many branding people want a consistent brand voice everywhere, and that makes sense, but it shouldn’t be robotic.

Every channel and medium is different.

How do you execute consistency against each channel’s limits without missing out on the advantages of each channel as well? It can be harder than you might think.

  • Your brand on TV is video, with a super-high budget, big reach and big credibility, but it’s usually only possible to create a small number of creative pieces.
  • Your brand on Instagram is a mix of photo and video, authentic, personal, behind the scenes, need a constant flow of new creative, at least 250 pieces a year and hashtags are very important.
  • Your brand on AdWords is often text-only since text ads work best, and often less than 90 characters or only about 15 words sometimes with only 25 character headlines, categorized by major keyword themes, which at least 10 variations for each.
  • Your brand at the mall  is about retail store presentation, banners, traditional and digital signage.
  • Your brand through a celebrity influencer may be a mix of their natural voice, product placement and FTC-compliance.

And those are just a few examples of all the channels.

Many companies’s brand guides are vague and open to interpretation. The more vague it is, the more open you are to internal arguments (and confusion with your marketing vendors), or tyranny from one person.

That’s why it’s important to spend time making sure there is enough specificity about brand voice for every channel, and enough room for testing.

Imagine the Supreme Court trying to rule in a life or death case without the Constitution being as specific as it is… trying to judge based on a brand guide only 4-5 sentences long. It’s an impossible task.

Specificity is your friend- take the time to create it.

Some of the channels you may be on- each has a different mood, character and limits- they have different vocabularies and palettes in addition to the personas you go after on them:

  • Facebook: very social and casual, mainstream, everyone is there including young people (91% of millennials use it even though Snapchat and Instagram are more popular with teens- and you can use Facebook ads to reach people on Instagram).
  • Instagram: skews female (68%).
  • Snapchat: skews young (71% under 34 years old), very video-oriented.
  • Google AdWords: very limited text for text ads- 90 or less characters.
  • Twitter: limited amount of text, more intellectual.
  • LinkedIn: more business-oriented and skews male (57%).
  • Pinterest: extremely visual, more image than video, skews female (81%).
  • YouTube: depends on your targeting, 62% male.
  • TV: depends on the TV channel and time slot.
  • Magazines: depends on the magazine and its readership.

If different people read different magazines or watch different TV shows or use different websites or different social networks, then we can’t communicate or appear exactly the same in every place.

You need a brand essence clear enough to be consistent on all of them, and a chillax-factor loose enough to let your brand manifest differently on all of them, or you won’t be able to maximize all platforms.

The Old Spice YouTube responses are a great example of a brand remaining consistent and customizing at the same time. You probably saw the TV ads, and may have seen them online as well, but they also took to Twitter and used YouTube to respond to tweets with customized videos in the style of the commercials. They created an unbelievable 185 customized responses to everyone from the super famous (Ellen) to the Internet business famous (Kevin Rose) to the regular consumer… and these videos received from 80,000 to 1.8 million views apiece. It’s important to note that their overall campaign, including all channels, doubled their sales when they started the campaign in 2010.

But ultimately they became the #1 body wash for men, and their CEO claimed it was through engaging customers online.

That kind of engagement and sales success can’t happen when your view of brand consistency is narrow.

It’s tempting to throw up the exact same picture, font and slogan everywhere in the name of consistency, but this is a missed opportunity. There are more ways to be consistent, and much bigger opportunities on each platform.

It’s a shame to have to go back to a campaign from 2010-2011 to find such a stellar example. It just demonstrates how few brands are willing to evolve older practices. Is it possible that since Old Spice had lost so much ground that they really had nothing to lose? And that more successful brands are just too risk averse to reproduce edgier outlier case studies? Probably 🙂

If you need help defining all of this for your brand, contact us about a Brand Extension project. We’d be happy to help!

The 5 Biggest Lead Generation Mistakes

Posted on Posted in Digital Marketing Strategy, Lead Gen

Do you want to increase your influence, be a leader in your space and grow your business?

Lead generation is a great way to succeed at online marketing by establishing authority, activating reciprocity, growing a list of prospects and ultimately creating sales.

In this article I’m going to talk about 5 major lead generation mistakes that industry leaders don’t make…

  1. Sour Milk Content: Almost no content can be evergreen forever. Most content has an expiry date. You need fresh new content, so let me teach you how to innovate it.
  2. The Nobody Syndrome: Are you just another voice, or are you special? Showing off your expertise, results and leadership is key not just to getting leads but to sourcing hot leads that easily convert to sales.
  3. Wrong Audience: Who should you be marketing to? Most businesses fail or barely survive because they don’t reach their prospects- or don’t reach enough of them. If you want to grow your influence, you need to expand your reach and market to your ideal prospects.
  4. Lazy Landing Page: Do your landing pages convert at an industry-standard rate? Having only one landing page is a major mistake. Our tests show that split-testing multiple versions of your landing pages creates, on average, FIVE TIMES as many leads.
  5. Cotton Candy Leads: Do you care about the ultimate sale? Focus only on marketing-quality leads but not lead quality and you may not get sales.

Why listen to us about lead generation? The Brian Carter Group has a ton of experience:

  • We’ve managed millions of dollars in spend generating leads for companies over the last decade.
  • We’ve generated tens of thousands of leads.
  • We’ve done it in many industries.
  • We’ve done it with and without advertising.
  • We’ve innovated lead gen tactics via search, social, organic and more.

I’ve been doing lead generation for my own business since 2004 when I started doing Google AdWords.

  • I was driving leads for new business to manage Google AdWords accounts.
  • In the beginning I was not good enough. I actually had to take a regular job twice (in 2006 and again in 2008) because I driving enough leads to build my own business.
  • But eventually I got good enough at lead gen to sustain a freelance business.
  • Then I got so good that we’ve built an agency of multiple practitioners on the strength of these lead gen strategies.

I’m going to teach you these powerful lead gen strategies that are powering our business and our clients’ businesses.

I’ve also created a great free download for you: it’s a cheat-sheet with 8 tips for lead magnets that don’t just get leads but will get you leads that turn into sales. Not only does it give tell you the goals you need to achieve and the 8 tips, but it shows you an example type of lead magnet that’s perfect for this (the 5 mistakes/myths/lies ebook) and two examples of how you’d create them. Get it here.

There are a number of factors that are important to being able to succeed at driving leads and converting them into new business, whether you are a solo service professional, whether you do marketing or advertising or plumbing- no matter what you do.

Shared Lead Services Aren’t Ideal

For certain types of professionals there appear to be shortcuts where you can get access to shared leads. But they’re actually horrible.

What are they?

Let’s say you’re a contractor and somebody wants a quote on roofing… and as soon as a homeowner submits the lead, if you signed up for this service, they’ll send you the lead.

Next you try to call them right away.

But five other roofing people have already called this person!

You don’t get an exclusive shot at the deal. You’re fighting over scraps with ten competitors.

That’s not ideal, because…

You Want To Get YOUR OWN Leads

What you want is for a lead to have contacted you specifically because they want to talk to you.

In our ideal world, they don’t want to just talk to just any roofer or contractor or marketing professional or coach or piano teacher or whatever the heck you are. Why?

The prospects who are talking to tons of your competitors are more likely to price compare you and negotiate your price down until you have no profit leftover. That sucks.

You want leads that want to talk to you. These are great leads. The reason they’re reaching out to you is because they want you specifically. That’s the goal.

That’s a much warmer lead that’s easier to turn into business than someone who thinks, “I just want one of whatever you are.”

Get Your Leads to Want YOU

Many of my lead gen (and sales) successes come from convincing people before they ever contact me that I am or my agency is really amazing. I know that sounds narcissistic but that’s the thought-leader portion of what I do:

  • “Oh, Brian’s best-selling author.”
  • “Hey, Brian’s an amazing speaker.”
  • “Wow, Brian’s been on TV.”
  • “Huh, Brian has worked with Microsoft and NBC.”
  • “Look, all these people say great things about Brian’s speaking and agency and course.”

All those little things that are in my bio separate me from the competition, whether I’m a Facebook ads guy, or I’m the guy that’s going to split test your landing pages or I’m going to do your keynote speech.

If you think thought-leader is a weird term, just think “being an authority in your field.” It makes a huge difference in your leads and sales.

“Oh, Brian has a stand-up comedy background- he’s funny and our people are not going to go to sleep. They’re going to eat their food and then we’re going to have the keynote speaker and if it’s not Brian they might fall asleep! Shoot, we better get Brian because he’s funny. We can get this other speaker to talk about marketing or social media sales or how to lead through digital media, how to write emails and how to remote manage your workers but these other speakers may put our people to sleep after they’ve eaten the chicken. We better get Brian. He’s going to keep people awake, he’s going to get the laughs, he’s got the great takeaways and all that stuff.”

That’s why I get a bunch of the keynote speaking deals I get.


Make Them YOUR Leads

You want to get leads that are your leads right?

They’re not just anybody’s leads- they’re your leads.

That makes those leads not just hot to get what you provide- they’re hot for you. 

That’s very important.

But something else…

Get Your Leads Ready to BUY

When I talk to salespeople or even chief marketing officers about lead generation, inevitably we talk about the sales department being unhappy with the lead quality. Why?

Because there is more than one type of leads

  • Unqualified Leads: Somebody says, “Yay we got a lead!”
  • Marketing Qualified Leads: Marketing says, “This person fits our target/persona.”
  • Sales Qualified Leads: Sales says, “I think we can sell to this person.”

Obviously there are a lot more leads that come in that are unqualified, and there are more marketing qualified leads than ones that the sales department says are qualified.

One of the reasons some companies have a lot of leads that the marketing department is excited about but the sales department is not excited about is because…

…when the marketing department creates their lead gen program- their marketing materials, their ebook, their quiz, the content, lead magnet, or their advertising- the marketing people aren’t thinking in terms of the sale.

At worst, marketing can get all excited about crazy weird lead gen content pieces that may not bring in people who are ready to buy. The leads might be qualified in the sense that they’re part of the prospect audience but they’re not ready to buy. They’re nowhere near persuaded.

To improve, they need to talk to the salespeople. Interview them and ask them key questions like:

  • What gets the prospect to convert?
  • What phrases or words convince them?
  • What objections do they usually have?
  • Who are the worst prospects you talk to?

With this blog post, I’m writing and speaking a bunch of mistakes as my content mode because I want you to know that I have enough authority to talk about mistakes and that makes me an expert.

Why would I do that?

It tells you:

  • I can help you.
  • I’m experienced.
  • I’ve gotten results.
  • I’ve tried things that didn’t work and
  • I’ve tried things that do work.

Telling prospects about mistakes they should avoid doesn’t just get you leads… it gets you leads that turn into sales.


Because if the customer wants someone to lead them through the jungle without you falling into a pit… get past the crocodiles, kill the snakes, get you safely through the jungle and find the treasure, get back to civilization safely so they can have a beer in the tiki hut, well that’s me because I’ve been through the jungle of marketing, sales, social media and communication.

I know the territory. I’ve been there. I’ve made the mistakes myself. I’ve seen my clients and other people make mistakes. I know what works and what doesn’t that.

All of that is implicit when I do a piece of content that tells prospects what mistakes not to make, right?

So with a mistakes piece of content, I’m demonstrating leadership and building trust and credibility.

They don’t want to make those mistakes right? Nobody wants to make mistakes. That’s why people read these blog posts and lead magnets. That’s why this is such an important approach in lead gen.

Other lead gen approaches may get leads but not leads as likely to turn into sales.

Now let’s talk about some specific lead generation mistakes… (that was a long intro!)

Lead Generation Mistake #1: Sour Milk Content

Content has an expiration date.

You need to create new content.

Even if you have lead gen content pieces like eBooks, quizzes and checklists that are already getting you leads, over time they will become less effective. Just like advertisements do, if you go to the same audience, they get burnt out on what you’re showing them.

If you go fish in the same pond too many times, you’re either gonna

  • Catch all the fish (run out of prospects)
    – or –
  • The fish are going to get wise to your lures and start ignoring them (change in prospect perception)

Have you seen this happen yet?

So you need to create new content. You need to do it now before your great content burns out and your stuck with a lull in performance.

Think ahead like a squirrel before Winter.

Or a Game of Thrones fan:

You can’t rest on your laurels, or leads and new business can dry up. You may still get some leads but it can become a trickle.

If you want a healthy new business pipeline, it’s important at least every quarter at least every three months to come up with some new type of lead gen magnet, whether that’s an e-book or a quiz or a video, a checklist…

There’s a whole bunch of different types of content you can use as lead magnets, and we have a list of the types that get shared the most in different social media outlets. That will help you as well to get a little bit of free shares, although in other mistakes I will explain you are going to have to advertise if you want to reach enough people but shares help.

Quizzes are great on Facebook. Whitepapers are great for LinkedIn but not Facebook. Checklists are pretty good on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

Altogether those three content types are pretty good. A whitepaper may not make sense for every type of business- it’s good for b2b but may not make sense for a B2C company like Nike for example.

And there’s all kinds of outside the box stuff you could do- crazy pieces of the content like the Marketo Thought Leader coloring book that Chris Beuhler of Scorch and Jason Miller (now with LinkedIn) did a few years back- you can get really creative too.

So you need to have a new lead magnet every quarter. Don’t rest on your laurels.

Keep pushing, because not only can you get better results, but the results from even your really good lead gen pieces right now will eventually taper off.

Lead Generation Mistake #2: The Nobody Syndrome

Are you just another voice, or are you special?

How are you special? Are you communicating that?

I talked before about demonstrating not just expertise but also results.

I can list off a whole bunch of results we’ve gotten

  • 10-cent B2C leads for cruise company…
  • $1.82 B2B leads for a marketing agency…
  • $29 B2B leads for a Microsoft cloud hosting partner…
  • Job apps for a staffing company 90% cheaper than Careerbuilder…
  • $5.28 leads for a home furnishing buying club…

We’ve been able to take the initial cost per lead for all those clients and cut it down quite a bit.

Usually we can cut the cost at least fifty percent if not ninety percent. How?

It’s all about testing…

  • Testing multiple lead gen content pieces as bait and
  • Testing multiple audiences – even if you only have one target prospect persona there’s still multiple ways to target them with different ad platforms
  • Test different ad platforms as well, if you want to get great results, because you never know where it’s going to come from. Sometimes it’s AdWords, sometimes LinkedIn, somtimes Facebook. It depends on the client and campaign. Sometimes B2B Facebook ads are best. Sometimes it surprises you, you really need to have an open mind and test a lot of platforms.
  • Test a lot of ad creative and
  • Test a lot of targeting if you want to find the best results

So we get a lot of results through testing. That’s one way we’re special.

Do you get results? Are you talking about it?

What other things make you special that you could talk about?

Lead Generation Mistake #3: Wrong Audience

The third biggest mistake is not reaching enough the right people.

Who should you be marketing to?

There are two things you need to do:

  • You need to reach the right people and
  • You have to reach enough of them.

Now I think one of the biggest problems that most businesses have is they don’t reach enough potential customers- period.

Their business is not growing at the rate they want because they simply are not in front of enough people often enough.

As humans, we make this mistake because we see our business and think about it all the time and we assume that other people have seen it, too, right? But they haven’t.

I think you’ve probably experienced this: you’ve been probably talked to a friend and you’re surprised that they haven’t seen what you’re up to lately because you showed it on Facebook or Twitter or elsewhere, but they didn’t see it.

The fact is people are pretty busy, and they’re focused on their own stuff.

So unless you get in front of them somehow, unless you put yourself in front of them on purpose, they’re not going to see it.

And you have to put yourself in front of people in an attention-grabbing way, right?

Your ad or marketing or social or communication needs to get them to think or say, “Oh gosh, the way you put that, that really speaks to my problems and my pains, where I want to go, my goals…”

“Oh, you really showed me a picture or a thing that I really like, that really grabbed my attention!”

Unless you’re doing that…

It’s one thing to put your brand in front of people, but if you haven’t connected your brand to people’s what they care about, then you’re not really going to grab them and hold them, ok?

So you’ve got to:

  • Reach out to the right people
  • Reach enough of them and
  • Reach into their minds and hearts

Very important.

There are a lot of tools for that… a lot of data out there.

So make sure you’re analyzing your audience’s using the insights available through Twitter and through Facebook audience insights.

Facebook audience insights doesn’t just contain what people have told Facebook about them. It also contains billions of data points from three of the biggest consumer data companies in the U.S.:

  • Acxiom has detailed entries for more than 190 million people and 126 million households in the U.S., and about 500 million active consumers worldwide.More than 23,000 servers collect and analyze more than 50 trillion data ‘transactions’ a year. pigeonhole people into one of 70 very specific socioeconomic clusters (personas) in an attempt to predict how they’ll act, what they’ll buy, and how companies can persuade them to buy their products.It gathers its data trove from public records, surveys you’ve filled out, your online behavior, and other disparate sources of information, then sells it to banks, retailers, and other buyers.
  • Epsilon has the world’s largest cooperative database (over 1 Petabyte of data across global data centers) with over 8.6 billion consumer transactions and 4.8 billion business transactions. The different data Epsilon sells includes age, profession, residence, ethnic information and political affiliation.
  • Datalogix, acquired by Oracle in 2015, now called “the Oracle Data Cloud,” it helps Facebook advertisers find customers on Facebook by onboarding first-party data, target customers through relevant audiences, measure campaign effectiveness based on offline purchases; their expertise spans across all industries including; CPG, Retail, Auto, Travel, Financial Services, Telecommunications, Technology and more.Datalogix aggregates and provides insights on over $3 trillion in consumer spending from 1,500 data partners across 110 million US households… across Auto, CPG and Retail Industries;DLX Auto: 99% of all U.S. Sales Captured, 20+ years of ownership data;DLX CPG: 50+ Grocery Chains; 7,000 brands; 300+ categories;DLX Retail: 10 billion transactions; 1,400 retailers; 1,000+ categories.

Make sure you’re analyzing your fans and email lists.

Upload your email list to Facebook ads as a custom audience and analyze it using Facebook Audience Insights to find out who they are:

  • What they like
  • How much money they make
  • What they buy
  • What they don’t buy

…so that you know who they are.

Then you have a better chance of grabbing and holding their attention.

Lead Generation Mistake #4: Lazy Landing Pages

Do your landing pages convert at an industry-standard rate? Having only one landing page is a major mistake.

There are a lot of people that do a great job testing a lot of ads and audiences with their advertising but they still don’t test landing pages.

It’s one thing you’re doing e-commerce. It’s harder to split-test that. I understand that.


Unfortunately some companies have policies – but even if you have to send the traffic to your website, there are solutions.

  • If you use WordPress some of the great split testing platforms like Unbounce, ClickFunnels and LeadPages have WordPress plugins that will allow you to make the landing pages appear to be on your website domain.
  • Even ClickFunnels will give you an HTML page that works as an iframe that can keep appear to be on your website even if it’s not WordPress

…so there are workarounds for this. And you should do this anyway, because Facebook has changed their policies so that your destination URL and your display URL and the URL associated with your Facebook account need to be the same. So you want to do this anyway.

But there’s no excuse not to split-testing landing pages and let me tell you why…

Because in our experience with testing even just two alternates to your initial idea so you have three total variation your landing page meaning

  • I’m going to try a different headline a different image maybe a video versus an image different call to action or
  • a different layout to the landing page

…just doing that on average gives us five times more leads.

Across all of the lead and campaigns we’ve done… when I did the presentation on this for Content Marketing World I listed out all of our lead gen campaigns for all our clients over the last four years, and how many tests we’ve done and the difference in the cost per lead for the best and the worst…

And the average difference we saw was that if you split-test your landing pages you get five times as many leads.

What does that mean?

Your leads are five times cheaper.

Why is that?

Because your conversion rate is five times higher.

That’s insane. Insane. Why?

Because you’re sending the same people to the same lead magnet, whether it’s an e-book or quiz or whatever but you’re getting five times as many leads.

Why wouldn’t you want that?

So yes it’s a little bit harder. YSu have to figure out how to do landing pages, or you hire somebody like us to do them and it’s not that expensive, right? It’s not that expensive. How much more money are you going to make by having five times as many leads? Let me ask you that- because you’re going to have five times as many prospects… you should have time times many sales or your salespeople are going to be able to be more selective with who they pursue and they’ll be able to call better prospects, ok?

Which means your lead quality just went up, right?

So you have to split-test landing pages, whether it’s leadpages or unbounce or clickfunnels- there are 17 other split testing platform out there- I don’t know anybody who knows how to use all of them- those are the three that we use, and they all have pros and cons.

LeadPages is pretty strict and that you can’t even change an image size on the page of a template. However if you’re new to split testing it is an easier way to start because you don’t have to do an entire design thing.

But if you have brand guidelines that you need to follow I would recommend something like unbounce or clickfunnels because it’s a little bit easier to use the WYSIWYG interface what-you-see-is-what-you-get to make it look like your brand.

It only should the average web savvy person three to five hours to be able to design well enough- maybe eight hours or you hire someone to do it, but it’s worth it if you want five times as many leads for the same ad spend right?

Who doesn’t want five times many leads? That’s ridiculous.

Lead Generation Mistake #5: Cotton Candy Leads

Do you care about the ultimate sale? Not just the leads?

if you focus only on marketing-quality leads but not lead quality and you may not get sales.

If you get 1,000 leads and no sales, who cares? That’s like cotton-candy; sweet but no substance.

If you don’t have any customers at the end of the process, who cares about the lead gen?

So lead quality is critical and you can’t afford to ignore whether they’ll ultimately buy.

The quality of the lead is affected by every step in the process:

  • Your understanding of who to target affects that. If you target the wrong people, you’re not going to get sales in the end.
  • If you don’t know why they want to buy, then the way you write your ad copy and the content you create (the e-book or the quiz or whatever) will be off… it might be exciting or engaging, but it might not grab the people who are most likely to buy.

Something I learned a long time ago with Google ads, and it’s true of every type of ad is that a high click-through rate ad is not necessarily a high conversion rate ad.

Interest does not equal buying intent.

Some people are window-shoppers. Looky-loo’s.

Just because some people love to click on something doesn’t mean that they’re going to want to buy anything.

It’s like window shopper- some peole love to walk around all the stores but not necessarily buy anything

Now, my typical behavior is, “I need these five things and I’m gonna get in and out as fast as I can!”

Just because someone loves to look at the stuff doesn’t mean they’re going to buy it.

It’s the same with Facebook post interaction: just because you get a fan on your page and they interact with the post does not mean they’re going to buy.

When we’ve done audits of a bunch of different companies’ customers, we’ll upload their email list and analyze them and we’ll look for overlap between the email lists- the difference between loyal buyers and non-loyal buyers, then we look for the overlap between the buyers and the fans and at first we were surprised: “Wow, like only 1% of the fans are buyers! Why is that? Did the buyers not go to the page and like it? Did the fans never go buy?”

So it’s a it’s a myth, a mistaken assumption that just because you like a brand on social media that you are their customer or that because you’re a customer you’re going to like their Facebook page.

Just because you’re walking through the mall doesn’t mean you’re going to buy anything, and just because you fill out a form to buy an e-book does not make you customer.

So marketing departments have to be very careful- and if you are a solo service professional you have to be very careful, because this is your livelihood- don’t create a lead gen campaign that is so exciting that it gets tons and tons of cheap leads but no sales.

You gotta avoid that.

It’s great if they’re excited, but you want to make sure they’re excited about something that is qualifying them as a buyer. And that’s why you have to talk to the sales people here to find out what separates a good prospect from a bad one in the salesperson’s eyes.

How can you work that into your content marketing design?

Get with your sales team talk to them about what makes a quality prospect and then see if you can work that in to your concept for your content… or at least make sure that the direction you’re going with your content doesn’t conflict with what they know about good prospects.

Is it a good prospect if they make more money?

What do you know about them?

Can you analyze the difference between buyers and non-buyers?

What you learn may change the way that you design your content. Your content may call out to them.

Conclusion: Thought Leadership and Authority

Those are the five biggest lead gen mistakes people make and if you don’t make those mistakes and you do what I recommend it to you you’re going to do a lot better.

The only other thing I can say to you is it’s a good idea to establish credibility the way that I have.

Look at your bio. Build an impressive bio or company profile. It takes time to do that and it sounds a little narcissistic but more things you have that I call credibility points, credibility factors or credibility markers… the more of those you have the better and they are things like:

  • Who you’ve worked with or for
  • Media mentions
  • Recommendations
  • Awards
  • How many years you’ve been in business
  • Achievements
  • Book bestseller status
  • Anything where third-party endorses you
  • Trust logos in ecommerce
  • Testimonials

Those are the kind of things you want to be able to add to you or your company’s description on the website, on the landing pages.

All those credibility markers can help quite a bit. As I said in the beginning, you want to make sure that the leads are interested not just in what you offer but in you specifically doing it for them.

This is your lead, not anybody’s lead.

And the way that you do that is by establishing how you are better and different than the other people or companies who offer what you offer, ok?

Credibility markers are very important.

And that is how we get big results with lead gen, and you can too!