THE 4 TYPES OF CREATIVE TESTS THAT DRIVE PROFITS

Everybody wants results from digital marketing.

But what works for you and your business and your customer is different than what works for everyone else.

You can try to follow formulas and systems, and they’ll work to a point, but there is always testing and looking at results and optimizing.

Sometimes you find something awesome and creative that drives huge results…

But new creative often doesn’t work.

It’s risky to try new things.

Testing and learning is expensive.

Not testing, not creating, isn’t the answer either- you’ll never get noticed- you’ll never learn- but there’s a cost to learning.

And too much creativity and novelty is risky.

So how do you manage risk while testing and trying to achieve great results?

The more you spend on digital ads, the more you have to be aware of this.

As we attempt to expand while continuing to get good results, it becomes more and more important to manage risk around creative testing.

How Do You Maximize Profits With Ad Spend Allocations?

You have to make creative decisions and allocate your ad spend against creative in a way that balances the need for two things:

#1 Profitability (high results or low costs of any kind, regardless of the KPI we use for it at the time): any goals we have for appointments, revenue or cost per new customer must be achieved at the same time that we create and learn.

#2 Novelty: to push forward our KPI’s, we need varying degrees of novelty in the creative. It’s the amount of novelty, the degree that it diverges from what has been proven to work, that increases the risk, increases the cost of testing and lowers profit while testing.

At times, we work with a simple system of allocating ad spend between:

A. BEST: proven ads (and when I say ads, we may also mean landing pages, depending on how traffic distribution is set up) that achieve our best KPI performance so far. We allocate a certain amount of ad spend to this- as much as possible, to try to achieve the overall KPI goal- while leaving a certain amount of spend for the “TEST” group. In the beginning when nothing is proven, it’s all TEST. And the definition of BEST changes as the KPI’s improve.

– vs. –

B. TEST: new ideas that are unproven. Many of them will not perform and will be discontinued. Some will end up in the BEST group.
As a rule of thumb, we can recommend a ratio of anywhere from 50:50 to 80:20 BEST:TEST.

However, in more complicated situations like TPW, I recommend we look at more groups, as shown in this image…

#1 OLD Proven Creative
Proven profitable, or best performing creative so far
Keep in mind that the definition of proven is relative
KPI’s improve over time, and the definition of what’s best changes
Best investment for ensuring KPI goals

#2 NEW Slight Variations on Proven Creative
e.g. changing one bit of text or one image in an ad or landing page
Lowest risk of poor performance for new creative
Highest assurance of profitability for new creative

#3 NEW Bigger Variations on Proven Creative
e.g. a big landing page layout change, or changing multiple things at one time
Medium risk of poor performance for new creative
Medium assurance of profitability for new creative

#4 NEW Totally New Creative
e.g. totally new ideas, themes, messages, formats and customer pathways unlike previous tests
Some amount of totally new is required, but because its overall performance is, on average, the lowest, it should be allocated the least amount.
Highest risk of poor performance for new creative
Least assurance of reaching KPI goals

An example spend ratio could be…

ProvenCreative:SlightVariation:BiggerVariation:TotallyNew
60:25:10:5

The idea is to put spend in every group to allow for diversity but to allocate spend conservatively to reduce KPI performance risks.

It’s critical that to use this 4-category system for new ad, landing page and other tests as you go forward and increase ad spend.

If you don’t do this, you risk spending too much on the riskiest creative, and while you may learn a lot, you will not at the same time produce satisfying results.

Academic References for My Keynotes

I love talking to audience members who come up to me after my keynotes 🙂

Typically, they’re business owners, execs or marketers who want to learn more, or are excited about one ideas or another, or perhaps they really enjoyed the entertainment portion of it, or they want to hire my agency or have me speak somewhere else.

More rarely, someone comes up who is a very smart peer or industry consultant or vendor who wants to get into depth on the details.

I recently had one of those at my ARN 2018 talk to airport operators and concessionaires.

She was very complimentary and enthusiastic about the talk, but she courteously suggested that I be more clear about where my research and stats came from.

I completely agreed- in principle- because my education was very academic, and I am a scientist at heart, so it’s very important to me to get the facts right and not just make things up or bend research or stats to serve my points.

But when it comes to a keynote performance, which is a very specific and demanding sort of gig, speaking like a college professor isn’t the most effective approach.

Imagine 1,000 people (who are sometimes tired from several days of meetings or perhaps even hung-over from excessive networking) sitting and listening to an intellectual, scholarly dissertation… there’s a lot of eye-rolling and sighing and coughing and seat-shifting and phone-typing and suddenly-necessary trips to “stretch my legs.”

A lot of the success I’ve had so far at keynote speaking is because I can combine ideas with our real-world client experience and stand-up-comedy-style entertainment.

Unfortunately, at the keynote level, which is very different from a training or a how-to class, I sacrifice some of the academic requirements to deliver a powerful, punchy, fun, yet transformative talk with big business impact. That doesn’t mean making up stats- it might mean not listing every source if that would be tiresome. Some of my slides combine 4 or 5 sources into one quickly understandable chart.

The whole point is to make it quickly clear, and going through all that would undo the work I’ve done to make it digestible.

She understood all that.

But her point was still good- and I kept thinking about it-

So I decided I needed to create a resource for my keynotes- a sort of back-of-the-book reference section…

And hence… thus… ergo… this blog post!

The following are the data, facts, research, stats I mention in my keynote and their sources. Hopefully that will satisfy the occasional person who thinks, “Where does all this come from?”

How many users are on each platform (Facebook, Google, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter)?

This depends on whether we’re looking at U.S. or I’m speaking internationally.

These numbers changes all the time, and so do the sources for this info. I update it at least every 3 months, and sometimes more frequently than that.

Basically, I Google it every time and look at the sources… but here are some of the usual suspects (some are direct sources, and some are meta-sources that collect data from multiple sources):

Customer Loyalty

Digital and Social Marketer Salary Info

Comparing Amazon and the Other Top 500 Internet Retailers

Business Case Studies

  • A number of these are from our agency clients, so the data comes from their advertising and analytics accounts.
  • The PayPal case study came directly from the marketer responsible for the results at the time, Dave Peck,  delivered in a panel I moderated for Social Media Marketing World.

Facebook Advertising Facts & Statistics

How Americans Spend Their Leisure Time (Including Social Media)

There you go- Enjoy!

Of course, the stats change a lot, so from time to time I have to Google things again and find new sources- but that’s par for the course in a constantly changing industry…

Airport Revenue Digital Marketing & Social Media Keynote Interview with Brian Carter

In March, Brian will be speaking about how to drive more visits and revenue with digital marketing and social media to airport operators and concessionaires like Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks and TGI Friday’s at the annual Airport Revenue News conference in Orlando. Here’s an excerpt of his interview with ARN!

Ward: What are some key mistakes that you see companies making?

Carter: I think one of the biggest mistakes is opinion versus facts. We now have data – we can test whether the customer likes our branding. If you listen to the wrong information, or your information is out of date or you make decisions that are based on opinion rather than fact, eventually you’re headed for disaster. The companies that are winning today, that are disrupting categories and established companies, are using technology to make customers happier than they ever were before. When your opinion is wrong and out of whack with the facts, you’re not going to be able to make your customers happy.

Read more of Brian Carter’s interview on airports and digital marketing more here…

Why You Shouldn’t Listen to Marketers Who Don’t Implement

What’s the danger of working with strategists who don’t implement? They can get stuck in theory, or third-hand information that’s speculative, not based in fact.

You need marketing and sales results and you don’t want to waste time or money.

You can’t afford to go on theories that sound good- you need best practices based in data and experience.

What’s Your Source For Marketing Best Practices?

I’ve always wondered where social media generalists get their strategy ideas from. New articles? Blog posts? Rumors? I’ve seen repeatedly in the last decade situations where the most insightful case studies were not published because a company didn’t want to give away the competitive advantage they had discovered. Not all the best tactics and strategies will be in the public domain.

That means that strategists who don’t implement anything will only know about the most average and common approaches- not the most powerful or cutting edge ones.

I remember when writing one of my books, an editor questioned something I called “a social media best practice.” As an editor with an academic writing background, she wanted an academic reference for it.

In other words, she was asking, “What other book or blog post corroborates your claimed best practices?”

I had to reply, “It comes from our experience getting results for real clients.” Our day-to-day experience working with 10-20 clients at a time over the last 10 years, is usually richer and more useful for answering specific strategy questions than the blogosphere, which often seems to be based in nothing but opinion.

Marketing must seem like a weird industry to academics. In medicine, research is done independently with government grants, or is funded by huge companies. Practicing doctors based their clinical approach on that research and other doctors’ clinical experience. But in marketing, we don’t have nearly the research industry, so we rely much more on very small case studies and opinion. And the marketing ecosystem changes much more rapidly than the human body could ever evolve. It’s a moving target. So, the more of research you can do and experience you can gain in-house, the more effective marketer you will be.

Working with clients forces you to be oriented toward what really works (because you’ll lose the client if you’re wrong) and to keep secrets (because clients don’t like you to give away their competitive advantages).

When people hire us, they’re paying us to implement what we’ve found that works, and to avoid what we’ve found to be dead ends.

The Upshot

If you’re not working with people who implement digital marketing tactics daily, you won’t have access to the most powerful strategies- you’ll fall behind and miss opportunities. If you want to be a market leader, you need to find the smart people who are working on the gnitty gritty of digital marketing every day.

UNMUTE Your Business

A life, business and marketing lesson I learned from my first voice lesson with an OPERA SINGING teacher. Yes, really! Oh, and James Brown. Make it funky!

What happened? Singing!

  • I went and got my first singing lesson
  • The first, most basic thing he taught me was to hold your head up and keep your mouth open really wide.
  • It was really uncomfortable! 
  • It was just me and the voice teacher in the room- but people who don’t even exist are making fun of me… There’s no one there making fun of me but in my head people are criticizing me.
  • He’s trying to teach me to create this ideal singing sound in my vocal cords… to get those cords to vibrate freely. There’s a certain tone a really good singer has. It’s very open it’s joyous.
  • When people sing with that natural, free, open tone, a joy comes through that listeners resonate with. It emotionally impacts them, the way that one tuning fork will cause another one to vibrate to the same frequency.
  • He says “stop that.” Stop what? “You’re bringing your head down and constricting your vocal cords.” I’m closing off my voice making it harder for myself to sing! 
  • I’m muting myself. Why am I muting myself? Why am I automatically subconsciously choosing to turn off my own voice?! Isn’t that the ultimate self-criticism? It’s creative suicide. It’s personality suicide. why am I making it harder to express myself and why is it so hard for me to open up and not want to make fun of that?

What did I learn? Express yourself!

  • I’m a marketer with an ad agency. I write books. I’m a keynote speaker. I do some comedy with that. There’s a lot of creativity in my life. I’ve done music. I’ve done a little bit of visual art.
  • But I shut off a lot of that creativity. I’ve been in business focused on profits, results, analytics and all that left-brain, practical stuff.
  • The way that I showed up trying to sing said something about where I was at expressing myself in other areas. The way that I tried to sing says something about how I’ve been showing up in business.
  • I muted my singing voice and I’ve been muting myself in business. I haven’t been writing books. I haven’t been putting blog posts out. I have been doing videos or podcasting.
  • I’ve been conflicted about how I should show up and how much of myself should I let out.
  • What I learned in marketing is that to affect people psychologically, to get those business results we all want, you need creativity. You need creative people. You need to express yourself.
  • If I want to achieve full impact in business, I have to express myself and ship it without worrying about how it’s going to be received.
  • I’ve also learned that as an author and speaker trying to brand and promote myself that, when I hide my light under a bushel, when I don’t put myself out there, when I’m afraid to be myself, I’m less powerful. I’m blah, I’m like everybody else. I don’t stand out.
  • Plus being more creative and expressing yourself is essential to achieving your full potential.
  • I was just watching a James Brown documentary and he talked about you know be yourself put yourself out there being you, being weird, being unique, loud and proud. 
  • There’s only one you. One of the most valuable things you have is who you are… that’s your gut instinct, what your heart says. Even when it’s different, express it. Speak your peace.
  • The right people will hear your honest, confidence expression and respond to you positively. Who cares about the other people?
  • If I want to really sing and really express who I am, stand out and find the people who wrote resonate like a tuning fork with my particular expression then I have to sing out.
  • Ignore the critics. There are a lot of people out there when we’re growing up or even now as adults who seem to want us to conform. To be normal. To be like them. To be mediocre. To stay quiet. They may not intend to suppress personal expression. It may be a kneejerk subconscious reactions sometimes to be critical or sarcastic or judgmental. If it’s subconscious, who cares? They may not really mean it. If they do mean it, why would you care what a mean person thinks? Don’t take critics personally.  And don’t let fake or past critics live in your head. They aren’t real.
  • I learned I need to hold my head up and express myself. I can’t mute myself or turn myself off.
  • Keep your head up and keep your mouth open expressing who you are.

How is that a change for me? I’ve done it before but I got stuck!

  • I’ve been really stuck. I’ve been overthinking it. I’ve been trying to figure out systems. I’ve been learning a lot of stuff and working with clients and keynoting but
  • I haven’t been creating a lot of business content. I haven’t been finishing blog posts. I haven’t been finishing the editing of videos. I haven’t been diligent in finishing my book ideas.
  • This isn’t who I am. I wrote 5 books in four years. I’ve a written hundreds of blog posts. I’ve created tons of videos. I’ve written thousands of stand-up comedy jokes and routines since 2006.
  • Somewhere in the last few years, I became afraid to be myself- afraid that, if I express myself, I will lose business.
  • Looking back, it was just time to reach a new level of expression.
  • I had compartmentalized business. I thought business was different from creativity or that personal development should be separate from from business. I’m finding I can’t live that way. I can’t keep business creativity and personal development separate, because they’re not. I also think that it might be helpful to other people if I combined them too and showed how my creativity and my personal development helps my business and my marketing.

What I’m committed to doing:

  • What’s brought me out of that- I’ve been on this path… I read The Artist’s Way (highly recommended- one of my top 100 non-fiction books of all time) and I started doing “Morning Pages” which is writing 3 pages every morning in my composition book. Sometimes it’s less, sometimes it’s more, sometimes creative, sometimes it’s journaling, sometimes I’m learning things… and it’s it’s helping me evolve. I’m building a creative studio. I’m taking these voice lessons. I’m making music.
  • All that stuff doesn’t seem directly related to marketing or business but it is really related…
    • It’s about who I am- knowing and expressing that instead of being a frustrated, unconscious drone.
    • It’s about Expression, about creativity and inspiration and feeling motivated.
    • How I show up as a marketer with ideas and energy for clients and my team.
    • The skills I bring for that work to get the business results they need.
    • The presence, power and confidence I can bring to a keynote speech.
  • I’m a learner. I need to be stimulated. I need to go out find new things.
  • I’m going to continue to take the singing lessons and see how that affects my expression.
  • I’m writing music and discovering what I have to say the world and how that affects what I want to write in a nonfiction book.
  • I’m committed to doing these videos and expressing what’s going on in my real life and how that relates to business…
  • I’m showing up as a real person to express, to not be afraid to show you who I really am, to not be afraid of judgement or of losing business as a result of that.
  • I’m holding my head up, opening my voice and singing my heart out.

My Challenge for You Is…

Take a look at how this relates to you:

  • Is there some other thing in your life like this- a limitation holding you back?
  • A stuckness that might be hurting your business as well? 
  • Is there is there something in your golf game that you have trouble with it that relates to your business or your marketing?
  • Is there something about how you go to the gym and work out- where you overdo it or under do it or your challenges there that relate to the way you do business?
  • Is there a problem you have with your your spouse or your significant other- with the way that you approach that relationship that shows up the same way in your business?
  • Take a look. It may be there for you. It may not be.
  • You may find inside there you may find there’s a block. Something you’re doing that you’ve always done that way, and if you can break through that you’ll get to the next level. You’ll get what you really want, whether it’s profits or more freedom or a more enjoyable experience of your work…
  • Don’t be afraid to to look at yourself and face these challenges.
  • If you’re like me you have always been growing. You’re always daring. You want more… and that has to come from inside- not just out there in business.
  • Find that inner limitation that’s limiting your business so you can take it to the next level

I hope that was helpful to you!

3 Simple Steps to Build a Social Media Marketing Sales Funnel

Originally posted on SME

Are you looking for a smart way to use social channels for lead conversion?

Are you tracking and leveraging your target customers’ path to buying your product?

Collecting fans and followers is one thing, converting them to paying customers can be quite another. That is, unless you have a customized sales funnel in place.

In this article you’ll discover how to put together a marketing and sales funnel with the right channels and key trackable metrics. You’ll also find advice on how to test and tweak your funnel for maximum boost.

Why Is Your Marketing and Sales Funnel Such a Big Deal?

Social media marketing is about using social networks and tools to guide prospects through a series of steps–a funnel–to get them to take the actions you want (e.g., becoming a fan, sharing their email address or buying your products or services).

There are tons of social media tools, networks and options that include everything from Facebook and Twitter to landing pages and email marketing to SEO and ads. Each of these social marketing channels is one more way to guide your prospects through your sales funnel.

marketing channels

Use varied social marketing channels to guide your prospects through your sales funnel.

With all of these marketing channels at your disposal, how do you decide which ones fit within your sales funnel?

To answer those questions, you have to know who your potential customers are and how you can reach them most effectively. You also have to know your company’s goals, how you’ll measure those goals (i.e., the metrics you’ll analyze) and what your target numbers are for those metrics.

Without those key facts, your marketing and sales funnel will be skewed. Excessive focus on one part of your funnel can cause problems elsewhere. If you focus only on owned media like follower numbers and email addresses, you may have trouble with conversions. Or, if you only focus on brand awareness and neglect email marketing, you’ll likely miss out on sales.

Every decision you make about how to create brand awareness, garner engagement and make conversions and sales should be a reflection of your funnel.

The rest of this article shows you how to build, track and test your marketing and sales funnel to give your company the big results it wants.

#1: Define and Implement Channels and Jobs

Did I mention you have a ton of social marketing tools at your disposal? Frankly, it can be overwhelming to think about using all of them at once as part of your marketing and sales funnel. So don’t.

Start by determining what your high-level sales path should look like. In the example a little further down, I’m using Awareness, Repeat Visibility and Engagement and Sales.

Next, prioritize the social channels and tools your audience is already using and that you’re familiar with, then organize those by their primary function (or job). For example, Facebook is great for raising awareness and driving leads, but not for converting sales. Email blasts are excellent for conversions, but not awareness.

As you’re deciding which marketing channels go where in your funnel, consider which ones are most relevant to your short-term and long-term goals, what each channel’s strengths and weaknesses are and what job you’re expecting that channel to do.

marketing funnel concept

Use your funnel to organize your channels and hold each accountable for its role in the process.

As you see in the illustration above, you may have channels that overlap; for instance, different kinds of social ads in the Awareness part of the funnel. In addition, each channel may have different facets (e.g., Facebook ads versus Facebook fans). Each facet builds upon its own functions, as well as the functions of other networks, to lead to your ultimate goal: sales.

Your funnel should be stable, but not inflexible. If your company cares more about email marketing than its number of followers, adjust your tactics accordingly.

For example, instead of using Facebook ads to increase brand awareness and gain more fans, jump straight to an ad campaign targeted at list building. Create an ad that sends leads to an optimized landing page on your website where you ask them to share their email address to access content, a download, etc.

#2: Assign and Measure Key Metrics

Any bottlenecks in your funnel will slow your momentum or stop it completely. Depending on where the bottleneck happens, you could miss out on brand awareness opportunities, growing your owned media lists or conversions and sales.

To measure the health of your funnel, you need to assign key metrics to each stage. That usually looks something like this:

marketing funnel channel metrics

Set a key metric for each tactic in each part of your funnel to quickly diagnose where the funnel is anemic.

With your key metrics in place, look at each tactic in each funnel section and set any industry benchmark standards.

Use these benchmarks to compare your company to your competitors and your industry as a whole. How do you stack up? Look at which of your tactics and funnel sections are best or worst compared to industry averages and adjust as needed.

Speaking of benchmarks and comparing, are you making the most of your analytics and tracking what you need to track? Awareness metrics, Facebook Insights and Google Analytics all have flaws, but I have a few tips for you.

If you’re tracking awareness, I suggest looking at impressions instead of reach. Tools like AdWords don’t give reach data and Facebook’s reach data is inaccurate.

Have you noticed that you’re getting inconsistent results from your Facebook Insights? Start exporting your Insights data to an Excel spreadsheet so you can consistently track and compare the right metrics and get a better idea of how your tactics are working long-term.

You’re probably using Google Analytics on your website, but if you’re not using the Google URL Builder or event tracking, you’re missing out on a lot of useful data. Google URL Builder allows you to customize URLs for posts and ads so you can track visitors from social networks and how they move through your site.

yoast wordpress plugin

Yoast’s Google Analytics WordPress plugin tracks events.

Event tracking gives you information about button or link clicks, which is especially useful if customers have to go offsite to buy your product. If you have a WordPress site, you can even install this plugin that automatically creates event tracking for you!

#3: Test and Tweak, Then Test Again

The number-one thing you can do to boost your results is test everything. Every good idea you think of is something to test.

As you test, always think in terms of your key metrics and make use of your analytics to find out what works and what doesn’t. Let’s use Facebook as an example.

You can constantly test your Facebook success by trying a variety of status updates. Which has the best engagement rate—photos, text, links or video? Does your audience prefer news or funny videos or memes? Take the time to analyze your previous and current posts to see what worked and what didn’t.

If you want to find your engagement rate for a given post, I suggest dividing its total engagement (likes, shares, comments, clicks, etc.) by total post impressions. If you’re using Facebook ads, the Facebook ad display algorithm shows which posts get the most engagement.

post engagement metrics

Pay attention to which posts your fans respond to.

The key is to look at your best and your worst posts. In both instances, keep an eye out for differences in post type, topic, colors, sentiment, message and graphic style.

What do your 10 most engaging posts have in common? What do your 10 least engaging posts have in common? Just knowing the commonalities of those top and bottom posts can help you dramatically boost your post engagement.

When I went through this exercise for a client, their page had a month-over-month increase of seven times as many likes, comments and shares and 31 times as many link clicks!

Are you using ads? Then you definitely need to be testing!

Ads burn out fast, so it’s important to create and test ads weekly. If you have the budget for it, you can create, test and optimize new ads three times a week or more.

If you’re using AdWords, create new ads until the point of diminishing returns. Check actual search phrases to see if you need more negative keywords. If your AdWords manager is slacking, get an AdWords Audit.

google adwords

Do you use Google AdWords?

Not sure which channel ads to spend money on? Compare your options. Run Facebook, Twitter and even Reddit ads to see which works best for your audience and gives you the best awareness or conversions for your money.

A Quick Note About Content Calendars

A lot of brands use a content calendar to create a month of posts (for Facebook, Google+ or any other channel) ahead of time and then submit it for review. This seems organized and diligent, but in practice I believe this approach makes you less likely to improve your posts and get better results.

Every month you need to analyze your key metrics and learn from any mistakes. It’s hard to implement those lessons when you’ve already assigned content for the next month (without the benefit of analysis).

In place of content calendars, I recommend submitting examples of types of posts you want to test or creating your posts daily, or at least weekly.

Conclusion

Customers like to make decisions on their own terms. In most cases, they’re looking for a relationship with a company, not necessarily a hard sell. You can use this human nature to your advantage.

Take note of the social channels your audience is using most, then use those channels to guide them through your sales process.

Set up a funnel that allows leads to jump in wherever they need to. If your funnel is stable but flexible, you’ll be able to adjust its use to fit your customers’ behaviors and needs—and make sales.

Your biggest sales results will come from constant measuring and testing. Be prepared to make changes quickly and match your customers’ reactions to your efforts. You’ll be seeing intensified results in no time.

How to Learn Facebook Ads: Our Recommended Course of Study

Do you or your employees need more Facebook ad training?

As we’ve scaled our digital marketing agency to hire more employees and handle more clients, we’ve also gotten better at training our employees in Facebook ads. Here’s what we recommend to you- the same process we send our employees through:

 

#1 BEGINNERS: First start with this Google spreadsheet I created of recommended videos from Facebook’s own “Blueprint” training. Facebook has some great introductory training. But you don’t need to look at all of it in the beginning. These are the most important modules a beginner needs.

 

 

 

#2 INTERMEDIATE: More intermediate for getting results is my Amazing.com Facebook marketing course, “Social Marketing Profit System,” taken by over 1,800 students. SMPS is part of their entire training platform which has a bunch of other courses, but you can just sign up monthly, take mine and decide whether or not to stick for their other courses after that.

 

 

#3 ADVANCED: The advanced course is my Facebook Leads and Sales Machine course. People tell me it’s too much if you haven’t done blueprint or the SMPS course first. But this is the mac daddy when it comes to getting professional results from one of the most powerful ad platforms in the world.

 

10 Compelling Stats Prove You Need to Prioritize Video Marketing

Everybody loves video, whether it’s TV, movies, cartoons, Hollywood blockbusters, compulsively watching 5 Netflix episodes in a row, sharing some crazy viral video…

We all love video, so it’s not surprising that, using video for marketing is becoming more and more critical to achieving business objectives.

YouTube is already the #2 search engine in the world. And one Facebook insider has said they believe that within a few years Facebook may be 100% video.

  1. 85% of the US internet audience watches videos online. [comScore]
  2. 45% of people watch more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos a week. [Wordstream]
  3. 92 percent of mobile video viewers share videos with others. [Invodo]
  4. 87% of online marketers use video content. [Outbrain]
  5. The average business publishes 18 videos a month and has a library of 293 videos. [Hubspot]
  6. Video attracts two to three times as many monthly visitors, doubles their time spent on the site and has a 157% increase in organic traffic from search engines. [MarketingSherpa]
  7. Viewers spend 100% more time on pages with videos on them. [MarketingSherpa]
  8. Shoppers who viewed video on Stacks and Stacks product pages were 144% more likely to add to cart than other shoppers. [Internet Retailer]
  9. 52% of consumers say that watching product videos makes them more confident in their online purchase decisions. When a video is information-intensive, 66% of consumers will watch the video two or more times. [Internet Retailer]
  10. Viewers are 85% more likely to purchase a product after watching a product video. [Internet Retailer]

And yes, this should be a video- and will be soon! 😉

Video Marketing with YouTube and Facebook

People love video. And in marketing, video is becoming more and more important.

YouTube is the #2 search engine in the world. One Facebook insider said they believed within a few years Facebook may be 100% video.

To keep up, you business needs to market with video effectively.

So how do you get the best video marketing results?

You need to think about how to:

  1. Create great videos,
  2. Show them on people’s favorite platforms, and
  3. Use advertising to ensure they reach the right people.

What are the Best Video Marketing Platforms?

Our agency has done experiments, with and without ads, to see what works best with:

  1. Edited videos of various types: Most of our experience with video (TV and movies) is edited, not live. Edited videos are planned. They don’t waste people’s time. This is the best for ensuring people see your whole message and you get the best results.
  2. 15-second edited videos on Facebook: Generally speaking, Facebook videos need to be shorter. Facebook itself is recommending 15 second videos now when you create video ads. We’ve created tightly scripted 15-second videos that get up to 8% clickthrough rates.
  3. YouTube videos: People watch videos longer on YouTube. You can make them extremely long (30 minutes, for example) if you want. But I would make videos for ads shorter- 3-5 minutes max. A smart new strategy is a choose your own adventure video where your first video gives people a choice and they can click to other more specific videos more relevant to them.
  4. Instagram Video: 60 seconds and under, square dimensions- and you can use Facebook ads to target people. This is my third choice after Facebook and YouTube video.
  5. Facebook Live: People often go live for 15 minutes to 45 minutes, but the average viewer still may only watch for 20-30 seconds. This is a challenging format for many.
  6. Twitter video, both edited and live: Everything is limited on Twitter because of the smaller audience size, and we recommend advertising to ensure your video is seen.
  7. Snapchat video: Very hard to get a sizable audience, and no ad platform for most companies. The filters might be entertaining, but limited marketing application here.

Killer Content: How Do You Create Videos People Love That Drive Them to Take Action?

To find out what’s most effective, we are constantly working on new things for ourselves and our clients:

  • Video creation tools: Camtasia, Ripl, Slidely
  • Video type: Live talking head, live in front of audience, edited, greenscreen, talking head, animated- You need lots of different kinds of video because you never know which kind your audience is going to respond best to until you create it and test it
  • Video content outline:
    • Starting with a list of persuasive copywriting points you need to hit will get you better business results. Who is your audience? What are their pain points? What are their biggest fears? Problems? How do you benefit them? Solve their problems? What are their dreams? What is your unique selling proposition? Why should they take action now?
    • Read about the charismatic leadership tactics of Martin Luther King, Jr. and other great speakers, and write a new script based on that.
    • Experiment with serious vs. funny videos
  • Video length: 15 seconds, 30 seconds, 60 seconds, 90 seconds… on Facebook if you want people to see your whole video, create 15 second videos.
  • Ad targeting: Cold prospects, retargeting…
  • Video editing techniques: Greenscreen, video background loops, huge caption text…

We track the results to see what drives views, traffic, leads and sales.

It’s usually different for each client, so you have to experiment to discover what works best for you based on your customer and your offerings.

Targeting: Who Do You Show Videos To?

I always advertise my videos to multiple audiences, and see which videos each audience likes the best:

  • Cold (new potential customer) audience targets
  • Retargeting people who’ve been to my websites
  • Retargeting people who’ve watched my other videos
  • People who’ve signed up to my email lists
  • Cold lookalike audiences based on retargeting or email lists

Retargeting and small custom (email) audiences can have a high CPM but it’s worth it.

Budgeting: How Much Does it Cost?

  • We find that typically, Facebook ads for video are more affordable than YouTube ads for video. 
  • YouTube cost per view ranges from $0.05 – $0.15; these are 30 second views
  • Facebook’s definition of a view is only 3 seconds, which is useless. They may not have even looked at your video, they may have been looking at a post above or below it. Dig into the 30-second view metrics when you analyze your results. Look at cost per 30 second view. To get that you have to export to Excel and calculate it yourself! If you don’t want to, go off cost per 10 second view.
  • The right goal: Is your goal just views? Don’t you want clicks to your website? And possibly real action like leads or sales? If so, I would recommend looking at CTR and CPC instead of cost per view or CPM.
  • The right metrics:
    • Facebook video ad clickthrough rate is higher, and CPC comes down with higher CTR, so…
    • Facebook cost per click is much, much lower- my own avg CTR is 3.0% (across 133 videos for our agency, infoproducts and my keynote speaking)- avg CPC is $0.69. YouTube CPC can easily range from $4 – $13… basically 10x the cost.
    • YouTube CPM’s can be 2-3x Facebook CPM.

You need a lot of content online period. And you need a lot of video. You need new video content at least once a month, if not weekly.

There are endless amount things to try with video and we all need to work on getting better at it.

Why You Have to Market With Facebook Video

I mean it’s obvious why Facebook video rocks, right? I mean you see a ton of it in your news feed. Right? It’s always there.

Facebook live, Facebook edited videos, it’s constantly there and you’re getting pulled in from one video to another through that carousel experience. You may be watching a sequence of videos before you even realize it.

It’s very popular and Facebook is pushing it like crazy, they definitely want to beat YouTube. YouTube just put out there YouTube Live thing, so Facebook and YouTube are fighting for video. There’s a huge war in general about the screen.

Facebook’s going to bring in all these people like Gordon Ramsay and try to capture your video viewing time. They don’t want you to necessarily to be on Netflix doing video viewing, they’d rather you were on Facebook doing it. Right? Anyone that’s using Facebook video has a huge advantage right now.

I’ll talk at some other time about photos versus videos, because photos still have a big advantage on Facebook just because they’re so quickly consumed. It’s not easy to do Facebook video, or video anywhere well, in a way that people are going to love. It’s a huge opportunity because Facebook really wants everyone to see it, so they are favoring it in the news feed… so you should definitely figure out how to do video.

There are a lot of internal obstacles to it:

  • Like our videos aren’t good enough
  • We don’t have enough money
  • We’re not good on camera

You can do something like this. I’m filming this on an iPhone. I bought like an eight dollar thing to attach it to my tripod. My tripod probably cost thirty bucks, I don’t even remember. You can go on Amazon get a tripod and a little thing to attach your iPhone to your tripod.

The iPhone creates great, I don’t even have special lighting in here. When I bought an HD camera that required special lighting to look good. My iPhone does not, it’s very low maintenance.

There are ways to get involved and do video, and you’ve got to figure it out and start doing it because it’s a huge opportunity.

Facebook video is huge- Facebook reported seeing 100 million hours of daily video watch time near the end of 2015. And with the newer “related videos feature,” where people are automatically served another video after their current one, you can bet video views have grown dramatically from there.

There are a lot of Facebook video options:

  • Facebook Live
  • Facebook video in your personal or page posts
  • Facebook video ads

Why You Have to Advertise to Promote Your Videos

As you might know, I am a big believer in advertising everything you can on Facebook, even if you have a small budget…

Before you run away- let me explain!

What happens if you don’t use ads with your videos?

  • No certainty you get views. They don’t get viewed much. You may get lucky if your video is super awesome and goes viral… but unless you’re already a celebrity, you probably won’t get more than a couple thousand views.  Even if you’re super interesting and talented, most videos don’t go viral- they get a few hundred views and fizzle out.
  • No certainty of target audience. Organic videos don’t necessarily reach who you want them to. Who sees them is not under your control. It’s whoever happens to be on Facebook right then, however the algorithm works, whoever likes or shares, whoever their friends are, et cetera.
  • No certainty of reaching your target buyer. If you’re doing this video for business, you might not reach your target customer. Or out of your several hundred views, maybe only a few dozen are your ideal buyers.
  • No certainty of traffic, leads or sales. Even if you have a link somewhere in that video or post, the percentage of those who watch that click is not 100%; it’s going to be between 1-10%. So if 200 or so watch, maybe 2-20 people click to your site. And what % of visitors do things on your site? Maybe 1% buy and 10% opt into an email list? So very little action comes from this.

But when you advertise your videos, you can:

  • Reach exactly the right audience (your best buyers, not just anybody, not just friends family employees)
  • Reach them right away (not like whenever… maybe… but NOW)
  • Reach enough potential customers to discover how they respond to your content- or don’t
  • Get more detailed stats and metrics from the ad manager than you do from Facebook Page Insights

The last thing is critical. If you don’t run ads for your videos, you won’t get a lot of analytics or insights about them. And you won’t learn much. The video analytics you get when you don’t run ads are pretty limited.

Trust me, you’ll be surprised by what you learn. You need to know

  • How many seconds people are watching your videos on average
  • Which audiences watch them the longest
  • Which ones convert
  • Which ones don’t

There are four ways to run video ads on Facebook, and all produce different results.

The first thing you absolutely MUST understand about how Facebook ads work, that many many people don’t know is that the ad goal determines who FB shows the ad to  based on their most common FB activities which ensures you mainly get that response and very little of the others…

In other words,

  • Choosing an engagement ad shows the ad to people who engage a lot, but these people don’t necessarily click to websites…
  • Choosing a video view ad shows the ad to people who view a lot of videos, but these people don’t necessarily like posts or click to websites…

So your actual Facebook targeting is:

  • Not just the targeting you choose, but also
  • The subset of those people who most do the thing that you’ve chosen as your ad goal.

targetingbygoal

The five ways to advertise video on Facebook are:

  1. Video in post, promoting the post (whether boost or a post promotion ad from ad manager/power editor): gets you in front of the subset of your audience who likes, shares and comments on posts, so you get much more engagement on the post than video views, link clicks or conversions
  2. Video view ad: gets you in front of the people who watch a lot of video, so you get a lot of video views, more than post engagement, link clicks or conversions
  3. Website traffic ad with video instead of image: gets you in front of people who click off FB on links to other sites (but not necessarily the subset that converts), so you get a lot of link clicks, more than video views, engagement or conversions
  4. Website conversion ads with video instead of image: gets you in front of the people who click AND convert BOTH, so you get conversions, but less clicks, video views and engagement.
    Start with your goal, then choose the right ad type.
  5. Awareness boosting ad with video instead of image: this is interesting, because in our initial tests with this, it actually beats the video view ad at its own game!

Here’s how those shake out:

video options

NOT PICTURED: The awareness boosting ad gets you larger reach and at times can get you more views and longer duration than the video view ad.

But just beware- both the video view ad and awareness boosting ads can get you a lot of exposure but won’t necessarily get you interaction or conversions.

What do I recommend?

I like the awareness boosting ad and the website conversion ad with a video in it. I run them in separate campaigns with separate budgets.

That way you can get exposure AND conversions. Best of both worlds.

But it’s going to be different for all of you- if you have someone looking over your shoulder who expects to see interaction on your Facebook post that has a video in it, you probably should run a post promotion ad (similar to a boosted post)… remember, it’s all about your goals!

When You Don’t Need a Facebook Page

It’s a misconception to assume that the best way to do Facebook marketing is with a Facebook page, and getting fans and posting to them.

There is another option- and that is sending people directly from a Facebook ad to your website. Let’s compare the two strategies, their pros and cons, and thne you can decide which one works best for you.