New video for you visual/auditory learners! We also just published a companion infographic (opens new window so you can review while listening to video)
New video for you visual/auditory learners! We also just published a companion infographic (opens new window so you can review while listening to video)
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 increase customer delight?
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:
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.
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:
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…
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.
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:
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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:
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!
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…
Why listen to us about lead generation? The Brian Carter Group has a ton of experience:
I’ve been doing lead generation for my own business since 2004 when I started doing Google AdWords.
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.”
When leads reach out for YOU specifically, it puts you in the driver’s seat and increases your profits.
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:
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.
Use thought leadership to separate yourself from your competition so that they want YOU.
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.
Show your competitive advantage before leads contact you? They’re sold before they even contact you.
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
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:
Marketing is more effective when the marketing department talks to the sales department.
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:
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!)
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
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.
Content expires like sour milk. You need to create new lead magnets at least quarterly or results can dry up.
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.
Quizzes, ebooks and checklists are a combo of lead magnets that will do well on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
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.
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
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…
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?
Demonstrate expertise and authority so people know why they should listen, opt-in and buy from you.
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:
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.
Many businesses are failing simply because they\’re starving for visibility and traffic.
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:
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.:
Make sure you’re analyzing your fans and email lists.
You don’t really know your audience yet if you haven’t analyzed them with Facebook Audience Insights.
Upload your email list to Facebook ads as a custom audience and analyze it using Facebook Audience Insights to find out who they are:
…so that you know who they are.
Then you have a better chance of grabbing and holding their attention.
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.
If you’re doing lead gen, you must split-test landing pages. It’ll get you FIVE times the leads on average.
Unfortunately some companies have policies – but even if you have to send the traffic to your website, there are solutions.
…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
…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.
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:
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.
Get input from your salespeople to avoid cotton candy leads and increase lead quality.
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.
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:
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!
It sucks when your ads don’t get results. It feels horrible.
It can be accompanied by panic about how much money you spent to find out it didn’t work.
You may not know why it didn’t work. You may not have set things up so that you learned anything from what didn’t work. You may not know what to do next.
I wish every Facebook ad was a success. I wish every Facebook ad campaign worked brilliantly the first time. But that’s simply not realistic.
Even though we’ve had a ton of successes for clients (some of them are here– and there are about ten more super cool case studies I haven’t had time yet to document)…
There are many failures, and that’s just part of all digital marketing.
And life, really…
Michael Jordan said, “I failed over and over and over and that’s why I succeeded.”
So your Facebook ad MINDSET is critical…
Because even after you avoid the list of mistakes I’m going to give you below, sometimes you still need to…
So let’s look at the biggest reasons for Facebook ad failure, starting with the simple and technical and graduating to the biggest and most strategic problems.
Before we get into the list, I have a special freebie for you…
Ok so you opted into that webinar above? Great, let’s get to the list. 🙂
Hey not a big reader? Don’t want to read through this epic blog post? I mean it is 5,800 words long… Watch this video and I’ll talk you through it:
Or just want the short funny summary version? Here’s the ROI vs ROY video (ROI is Return on Investment. ROY is a redneck.):
#1 Insufficient ad testing budget
If you don’t spend enough, you have enough money to test enough ads to find the ads that work super-well, especially if your goals are lead generation or ecommerce sales.
If you really go cheap on your ad budget, you might not find anything that works.
You might run out of money before you get to your goal.
You need enough budget to test at least 50 to 100 ads. At least.
So if we had only run 76 ads, maybe we wouldn’t have had a single sale!
But one of those ads got 11,800% ROI. Every dollar we spent on it made them $11,800.
Another got 4,000% ROI.
Yes, 150 ads is a lot of work… but it’s worth it.
Sometimes when I look at someone’s Facebook ad account after they’ve said, “Facebook ads didn’t work.”
I see their account only has 10 ads in it and I say, “No, YOU didn’t work.”
You need to do more than that.
What’s the bare minimum you need to spend on Facebook ads?
Most agency folks and consults I’ve spoken to agree that a good start on Facebook ads requires at least $1,000 of spend.
How many things do we need to test? We typically need to run 50-100 ads per product to dial in what is going to work. We need to find the targeting criteria, images and copy that will sell. Some won’t work at all. Some will.
For ecommerce, we can look at your margin and cost per sale and estimate how much we want to spend on each ad before saying it isn’t going to work and turning it off.
Some of your products may be more popular than others. Some may require slightly different targeting. Some may be a good first buy and the others might be better sold as follow-ups via email. None of that is clear at first. It becomes clear over time.
We won’t know what a reasonable cost per sale is until we get an ad that sells. It might be $5, $10 or $20, or more. As we run the ads, we’ll find a number that convert all at different costs-per-sale.
For lead gen, it might be reasonable to go for a $2-5 lead in the business-to-consumer world.
In business-to-business, it could be $10-50 or even higher. And that’s fine when you’re selling things that cost from $1,000 to $100,000 or more.
Running Facebook ads to see what works is kind of like day trading, but you only get info about stocks you trade, and there are no mutuals- you can only buy single companies.
As we discover more ads that are converting, we can revise that cost per conversion target number. If we think $20 per conversion is reasonable, and we need to run a 100 ads, that’s $2,000, just to give you an idea.
The more ads we run, the more we learn and the more ads we find that convert.
This process is a function of the spend more than the time. So if you spend $3,000 in a month or $5,000 in a month, you’ll get there faster.
At the Brian Carter Group, we don’t increase our fees until a client spends $1,000 a day or more (it becomes a lot more work because the ads burn out faster, because the audiences are finite and they’ll all see the ads and tire of them, and stop responding, and the cost goes up, so we have to refresh the creative).
As you might be able to conclude by now, it’s impossible to set an initial ad spend without some degree of guessing. And your budget- the amount of money (hopefully profits from other marketing channels) you have to invest in growing the Facebook channel- plays a part too.
Knowing you need to spend between $1-5k a month gives you an idea what it costs to run a bare minimum professional Facebook ad campaign.
#2 Creating the wrong ad type
I’ve written and spoken extensively and I’ve taught elsewhere about how Facebook has ten different ad types and every ad type is goal-oriented.
You could go for engagement or video views or website traffic or event attendance or website conversions, but you have to know what goal you want from these ads and choose the right type.
The reason that that’s so important is that, no matter who you target on Facebook, Facebook will first show your ads to the people within your target group who do the most of whatever your goal is.
Let’s say you want to target moms who make more than $50,000 a year. If you boost a post, or promote post engagement, then…
Well, there are a lot of moms who make $50,000 a year (17 million in the U.S.). They can’t show your ad to all of 17 million of them at once, so first they’re going to show it to the ones that they know do a lot of liking, commenting, and sharing. Because you chose the post promoting type of ad. That’s the goal you chose.
And those heavy engagers are not the heavy link-clickers or heavy converters… if you want the latter, you need to choose a different ad type.
If you want to get ecommerce sales from those $50k+ moms, you might run a website conversion ad and send them to an ecommerce site. Then they’re going to show it to the moms who make $50,000 who’ve converted on external websites before.
Do you get the point? They’re going to show it to that subgroup of your target audience that’s done the goal that you’re telling them to do with the ad type you chose.
The dumbest thing you can do is only boost posts and expect to get more than likes, comments, and shares…
…because that means you’re just not aware there’s nine other types of ads and you haven’t gotten into the Ad Manager or Power Editor and you haven’t created those other types of ads.
You have to get in there and create the right ad type for your goal.
#3 Not creating enough ads (not testing enough targeting or creative)
Our best case studies where we’ve had 2,200% ROI or we’ve gotten incredible results for low-cost leads, and all those kinds of things, and where we prevail with the most difficult circumstances and where we drive the most incredible results are when we’ve created the most ideas and put them in front of customers and we see which ones customers respond the most to.
If you only create one idea, it’s a real crap shoot. The chances that you created that home-run ad is very low.
If you create a hundred ads, there’s a much better chance that you found the right combination of targeting and image and headline that people will go crazy for. Then you’re going to get amazing results.
You’re looking for an outlier…
Statistically speaking, WHEN WEIRD IS AWESOME and awesome is weird.
The way I talk about it is I say look at any sport, like the NBA, where there are some amazing athletes…. people like Michael Jordan, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry and Lebron James.
These guys are freaks of nature and have drive and practice and they’re very exceptional people, but they’re only four guys out of millions that have ever picked up a basketball and out of thousands of guys that have been in the NBA.
If the NBA had only ever had four players total, the chances that we’d have those four guys is very low.
When you create an ad campaign and you have an ad account, the more ads you run in there, the more ideas you create and test, the better chance you’re going to have of having something really awesome happen.
The more ideas you put in front of your customers, the better chance you have of them going crazy for one of them.
It doesn’t have to happen all at once.
It might happen over time, one thing at a time. Over the course of time, you’re going to test fifty, a hundred, hundred and fifty, two hundred, maybe a thousand ads at some point.
You get to stop at the point where you decide, “The results are so amazing that I don’t want/need any better.” However, it may burn out at some point, so you should always be testing.
Don’t stop with laziness in the beginning or you’ll lose.
You have to test a lot of things. You’ll get results while you’re doing it, and you’ll get better and better results as you go.
#4 Putting too many ads into one ad set
The way that Facebook works, if you put ten ads into one ad set, it’s going to figure out which one is performing the best and it might only show that one. It’s going to decide on its own how much to show each ad. It doesn’t really give you any control over how much each ad in the ad set is shown to people.
Like we talked about earlier, there are different types of ads. If it’s a post promotion ad, it’s going to find the ad that’s performing the best for getting engagement and it’s going to show that one the most.
Sometimes it will show the one that doesn’t have the lowest cost per engagement, and you have to do your own optimization and pause the expensive one. That’s part of your job with the Facebook ads.
If you put ten ads into the ad set, some of them may never get enough reach and be put in front of enough people to really be tested. You have to only test two, three, four ads at a time, or they just won’t get enough reach for you to know that they were tested well.
What that means is that, if your ad set is to a certain target and you have all your different ad sets set up by different targeting, sometimes if you want to test a new ad you have to pause a good ad.
You might want to change the name of the ad. You’ve got the name of the ad itself, and then you just append to that, “Restart later.” Pause it and run some new ones and see if they do as well as the best one.
Another approach is to create a new ad set that’s got the same targeting and apportion some specific budget to the new testing.
I’ve got some accounts where we have
We’ve got a specific amount of money budgeted for testing and a specific amount of money running into the best ads.
That’s a smart thing to do too, because then you’re optimizing your budget. If you were investing, wouldn’t you put most of your money in the stocks with the biggest return?
You could have 80% of your budget going to the best-performing ads and 20% of your budget going to testing new ads.
You should always be testing new ads, because eventually your ads are going to stop working. If you’re showing the same ad to a finite audience, and all audiences are finite, eventually everyone that’s going to like or be influenced to click on that ad or do something with it or watch that video, eventually they’re all going to see it. Some of the people will never respond to it, so the performance is going to go down. It’s going to burn out. The costs will go up.
If you don’t have other ads that you’ve been testing over time that are on deck ready to go into your best-performing ads group, you will have to start over from zero and you’ll have a temporary dip in performance.
It’s not a bad idea to have best-performing ad set and testing ad sets.
#5 Not installing conversion tracking properly and testing it ahead of time
If you’re going to run website conversion ads, you need to have conversion tracking set up with either standard events or custom conversions.
That’s a little technical. I’m not going to explain how to set that up here. Facebook has some great help screens.
I will tell you that we found custom conversions to be more reliable overall than standard events.
You do need to get that set up so that you know which ads are working and which ones are not.
It’s not good enough to track Facebook ads in Google Analytics. You need the conversion tracking from Facebook in your website or landing pages to:
Like I said earlier, if you’re trying to run website conversion ads and you don’t have conversion tracking set up they will run like website traffic ads. Often you will get traffic with no conversions, which is a waste of money.
When you set up the conversion tracking, then you need to test it before running the ads. You don’t want to waste any money, so you need to get the pixel in. You need to check the pixel dashboard and make sure that it’s firing. You need to make sure it’s firing on the URLs that you have it on.
You need to, if you do custom conversions, to find that custom conversion by the thank-you page, or whatever confirmation page shows up after the conversion is complete.
If they complete a lead and then they go to a thank-you page, or they buy something and go to a confirmation page, the URL of that thank-you page or confirmation page is your custom conversion URL. You need to set that up, define it, and then make sure that you’ve gone to it again, and then that the custom conversions dashboard says that it’s active.
Once you’ve done that, then you can create and run ads that are website conversion ads that work. Make sure you’ve got all that stuff set up and verified ahead of time.
#6 Pushing on what you want rather than following the customer’s lead
This is a mistake I see a lot of businesses make on Facebook, is…
That’s the exact opposite response of how you should look at these things.
Facebook is a customer laboratory for you, where you can put things in front of customers and see what they like and see what they’ll respond to and what they won’t. Whether it’s engagement or videos or leads or sales, you can find out what works and what doesn’t.
You’ll do better if you go in the direction of what customers love and what they respond to. If you do that…
If you go the opposite direction, where you say, “No. This is our initiative. This is the thing we’ve decided is important. We need to hammer this into customers even though they’re not responding to it.”
The second one is like having a conversation with someone and not listening. You say something to someone, they don’t like it, and you say it again louder? That’s not how relationships work.
Follow the customer’s lead.
This is a really cool time to be marketing, because for years and years and years we’ve wanted to know, as businesses, what customers like and don’t like. There have been a lot of ways to try to figure that out- through surveys and focus groups and all that kind of stuff.
Every one of those customer discovery methods has flaws.
One of the biggest flaws they have is the customer knows that they’re being asked these things. That’s very different.
How a customer or a person acts when they don’t think they’re being watched, what they will buy, what they will do, is different. It’s more true and it’s more accurate than when they’re in a focus group trying to impress the other panelists or the person asking the question. Or when they’re taking a survey talking about who they wished they were instead of who they actually are.
You want to know how they actually behave, not how they wish or intend to behave.
When we put things in front of customers and they don’t realize it, they’re not really thinking about how we’re monitoring whether they did or didn’t respond to the post or the ad, but we are.
It’s like a top-secret survey they don’t even know we’re doing on them.
While we’re getting Facebook results, we’re also constantly learning from them without them realizing that we’re surveying them.
That’s what Facebook posts and ads do for us, is that they are a huge source of customer intelligence and they’re much more accurate than some of the other methods we’ve had for a long, long time.
#7 Bad copy
That means copywriting. Copywriting is a fundamental marketing discipline.
It’s very important to understand that different phrases and different words affect people differently. There’s been work in this area for over eighty, almost ninety years. People in marketing have been trying to write things that get bigger and better results from customers.
You need to understand the fundamentals of copywriting. There are many books out there, many courses out there, about copywriting.
Beyond that, there’s even psychological research about what words people respond to the most, what words are positive for people, negative, arousing, stimulating, which ones men like, which words women like. There’s a lot of good research out there too.
There are places like BuzzSumo that analyze blog posts that work and don’t.
There’s a lot of data out there, and then you can create your own data. You absolutely should because your customer group is going to be somewhat unique and is going to respond uniquely to your offer and brand, so ask yourself:
If you’re smart about it and you’ve learned the basics of copy writing, you have thought about what are the benefits of my product or service, what is my unique selling proposition… there are a whole bunch of fundamental copy things you need to know about your business. If you’ve figured those out, you can test them with Facebook ads and find out what works the best for your customers.
You may start with bad or mediocre copy, but you don’t have to stay there.
Facebook is a customer laboratory, and testing is the process that saves us from ourselves and our bad ideas and our office politics, and it helps us get better results.
#8 Not split-testing landing pages
Fundamental thing to understand about getting results online is that a landing page is anywhere you send somebody. It could be your homepage. It could be a leadpage. It could be a click funnel’s entry page. It could be any webpage. A landing page is the first page they go to. You want them to do something when they get there. Maybe you’re trying to get a lead. Maybe you’re trying to get them to sign up for your email. Maybe you’re trying to get them to register for an event. Maybe you’re trying to get them to buy something. Whatever it is, you’re trying to get them to do something.
You can split test that landing page to see which page gets a better result. What’s the conversion rate? What percentage of people who went there did the thing you wanted them to do?
It’s not as smart to do sequential testing, which means we’re going to have our website look like this for a week, and then we’re going to change it and have it look like something else for a week. Because who knows what happened this week versus last week? Maybe there was a holiday. Maybe there was a national crisis. Maybe the economy went up or down. Things can change in time.
Split-testing allows us to see how people responded to different things at the same time, which eliminates a lot of variables that could screw up our results.
Split-testing is really important. There are a lot of different platforms that allow you to do that. There’s lead pages, click funnels, Unbounce, Optimizely. There are WordPress themes. There’s a WordPress plugin that lets you split test your blog post titles.
Split-testing is a fundamental part of digital marketing. It’s really very similar to testing multiple Facebook ads. You need to have this understanding that the cost per conversion, whether that’s a lead or a sale online, comes from a couple different things: the cost per click, how much did that traffic cost to get there; and then how many people did you have to send there per lead or sale, that’s the conversion rate.
If you can increase the conversion rate or lower the cost per click or both, you lower your cost per sale cost per lead. You increase your profits. These are your two biggest levers.
We’re back to copy writing, images, all those things you put on a landing page, the format, the layout, whether there’s a video or not, what kind of video it is.
Let me add one thing here. When it comes to testing ads, testing copy, testing landing pages, the research says it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been a marketer, you don’t get better at guessing. Your guesses do not get more accurate. You can get better at writing copy. You can get more disciplined at the testing process. You can get more creative. You can get better at understanding customers, but you can’t get more right. You still have to test a lot of different things.
Testing is liberating, too, because not only does it increase our chances of getting higher profits, it’s a profitable activity, but it liberates us from the personal opinion, feeling, emotional, messy side of creativity, where somebody’s attached to the image they like or the headline they wrote, or whatever. If you can get everybody on board with science and say, “Look, these are all great ideas. Let’s see what the customer likes. Using a scientific process, we’re going to find out.”
Then everybody on the team is free to have good ideas and bad ideas. No one has to say, “I’m a good person or a bad person because I had a good idea or a bad idea.” That’s not what it’s about. It’s about a process, trying to understand the customer, and create things, and test things, and get better and better results. It’s just a conversation with the customer where we serve them better and better. Landing pages are a big part of that.
#9 Too many steps before conversion
One thing to understand about digital marketing is the more steps people have to take to get anywhere, the fewer people will get there.
The longer the journey is, the more people die on the way. That’s a horrible analogy.
If you think about email marketing, for example, to get people to buy something you’d have to get them to open the email, that’s step one. Before that you have to get them to sign up for your email list. You have to get them to go to your website to sign up for the email list…
That’s email marketing.
How many people open the email? 20%? 30%? That means 70-80% didn’t open the email.
How many people that opened the email click through? Maybe it’s 20%, 30%. Again, you lose another 70-80%.
When they get to the site, how many purchase? A good ecommerce conversion rate is 1% or 2%.
98% or 99% of the people that clicked on your email, went to your site, didn’t buy.
You lose most of your people at every step you make them take.
With Facebook, if you have to get a fan, get them to see your post, we know Facebook reach is a problem, get them to click the link in the post, that’s a lot of steps to get them to your site.
You can cut out some of the steps just by having a Facebook ad that sends them directly to the site. You cut out two steps. You didn’t need to get them to be a fan. You didn’t need to get them to see the post. Just running the ad got them to see it.
We know website conversion ads, get better people there to convert. Your conversion rate’s going to be higher. That’s even better.
That’s why fan marketing is broken. It’s partly you might have the wrong people. They might not be buyers. It’s also extra steps.
Having too many steps in your funnel
Simplify the customer journey and you increase your profits.
#10 Custom programming and generally reinventing the wheel
Sometimes I see entrepreneurs hire a programmer and have the programmer create things that are not as good as stuff that’s out there. There are a lot of software-as-a-service apps out there. Landing pages are a big one. Have a programmer create a way to buy something on your site instead of just using lead pages or click funnels and plug it into PayPal, or something. You’ve got two obvious SaaS’s that are bulletproof and they always work, as opposed to having a programmer create something that might be buggy.
The problem with programmers is you never know if they’re going to be really good or they’re going to do things on time or they’re going to hold your code hostage or what. There’s a lot of problems there. You don’t know if they’re going to provide good customer service. I heard so many nightmare stories with programmers.
It’s better to find an existing service out there that does something you want them to do than to custom program it.
You create a lot of problems for your self by reinventing the wheel and hiring programmers to do custom things that are already out there. Don’t do that. Check and see what’s already out there before you hire somebody.
Uh oh, there’s one more!
THE BIGGEST mistake that will cripple your Facebook Ad Campaigns…
OFFERING SOMETHING NO ONE WANTS
We have sometimes have clients who are entrepreneurs who have a new idea.
It sounds great, it looks great, but we don’t realize until we put it out there nobody wants to buy it.
If it’s a product that no one’s ever bought before, you can test it with Facebook.
Facebook is very affordable- more affordable than Google ads. If it’s a totally new thing, nobody’s searching for it, so AdWords doesn’t make sense.
It might be a new category of things. Nobody’s searching for it, so Facebook makes sense.
Reach the right people, tell them about it.
People go, they check it out.
IF… no matter how you explain it, no matter what you do, you get influencers, you create awesome videos… No matter what you do with it, nobody wants it….
Sometimes you have a business or a product idea and it’s just a DUD.
The good news is that you can pretty affordably test your new product or business or service idea with Facebook ads.
You can even use Kickstarter to test a product idea without putting out money to create the product… because if no one wants to fund it and buy it ahead of time probably nobody would buy it.
Facebook ads and Kickstarter are really good ways to test an idea ahead of time and not commit a lot of time and money and emotion to something that no one’s going to want to buy.
It’s a tough thing, because
But there’s still a chance that they won’t buy it.
I’ve seen numerous situations where it just totally made sense people should want this thing, but nobody wanted to put money out for it.
I’ve even seen products created from customer surveys where people said they wanted it, but when it came time to purchase, nobody bought.
What people say they’ll do and what they’ll actually do are very different.
Until the cash register rings, you don’t really know for sure.
Save yourself some heartache and some money and use Facebook ads to test the idea.
Just seeing if people will click through at a high rate on the ads for it. If they won’t click through a newsfeed ad, a 1% or a right-hand column ad at 0.1% for it and it’s the right target audience, there’s just not enough interest.
You could do a beta, do a website that’s like, “Check this out. Sign up. Put your email in to hear about it when it’s available,” or, “we’ll give you 20% off when it’s ready.”
If you’re not getting a lot of interest from that, then you got a good indicator there’s something wrong. Something’s not right.
It’s good to know that as soon as possible. You don’t want to invest a lot of time, money, heartache into something that no one’s going to buy.
It can be challenging, because there are a lot of mistakes people make. And I see so many businesses make the exact same mistakes over and over. That’s why I write posts like this.
It’s frustrating, because I think a lot of people get excited about things.
They say, “Oh, Facebook ads are going to be great! Snapchat’s going to be great! Live video is going to be great!”
They get very excited about the opportunities, but they don’t see all the traps and pitfalls and mistakes ahead.
I’ve seen so many people make the exact same mistakes and fall into the exact same traps.
My passion is to just tell you guys, as difficult as it might sound, “Here’s some problems ahead of you that you need to avoid.”
I want you guys to succeed. I want you guys to profit. I want you guys not to waste your money.
Please don’t make these mistakes. That is my message to you.
But at the same time…
So if you’re smart about it, you can succeed with digital and social marketing.
When we do lead generation for clients- we have achieved $0.32 B2C leads and $1.82 B2B lead with quizzes! We help them create quizzes, ebooks, checklists, whitepapers, and then run Facebook ads to generate the leads.
Most people won’t buy the first time they hear about you. If you want customers, you need a list of people to contact over and over again. Those are called leads. You need to generate leads.
If you want to do lead generation you need lead magnets.
The lead magnet is why people would give you their contact info.
Maybe it’s a white paper… maybe it’s an ebook…
Hopefully it’s NOT just an email newsletter because email newsletters are BORING… and annoying.
Almost every website you go to there’s a gigantic pop up that says, “Hey, here’s my email newsletter! Jump on my email newsletter! You’ve got to get on my email newsletter if you want your life to be good! If you want your business to be good! OR click NO if you don’t want your business to be good because you’re stupid and you suck and I’m guilt-tripping you and that’s pretty obvious! WAIT WHERE ARE YOU GOING???”
Quizzes get shared the most overall in social media… but it’s a little bit more complicated than that.
Quizzes gets shared the most on Facebook.
White papers get shared the most on LinkedIn.
Here’s the full chart:
This data came from Buzzsumo (which I call “the Google of highly shared content”).
One consideration in your choice of lead magnet is: which social network do you want to thrive on?
Most of us care about more than one.
You probably care mainly about Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, right?
Some people try to be active on all of the social networks, but usually those people spread themselves too thin, and you don’t want to be like that right?
Maybe if you have a big company, and you’ve got 25 people working on it you can do that, and that’s great.
So you are going to have to create a bunch of content, and you need to decide: “Am I going to create a books or quizzes or white papers or what am I going to create?”
Are you going to have a team of people creating it? Great, but what kind of content are they going to create? And how far is that content going to go given how these types of content do on different social networks?
My recommendation would be to choose your lead magnet type according to:
The third factor is really important. If you take 6 months to create a 100-page ebook, and it flops… or 2 months to write a highly-research expert-collaborate whitepaper that doesn’t convert customers… how many quizzes or 5-page ebooks could you have written and tested in that timeframe?
You can get a quiz going in a week. A 5-page ebook in a couple weeks. A checklist in a week or two.
Digital Marketing mega-success comes from testing more things faster. Not just quality but also quantity. So make sure you have diversity in your lead magnets and you’re not putting everything into one hugely-time-consuming lead magnet.
If you refer back to the chart…
If you do quizzes, checklists and short ebooks, the combination of those three content types will have you doing well on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Your major social media platforms are covered, and these are lead magnet types you can get created quickly and affordably.
Here’s an example B2C Quiz:
To promote a book, we created this B2C quiz…
And with Facebook ads we attracted leads for $0.32 apiece. (It’s not running anymore, though.)
For our own marketing agency, we use a variety of quizzes. This one:
…gets us leads for $1.82 apiece. (And you can click on it to take it, if you like.)
Why the celebrity approach? Because these people are recognizable, and we’re using the identity psychological trigger… A lot of people are walking around asking themselves, to one degree or another, “Who Am I?”
If you analyze enough of the most shared content via Buzzsumo, this is one of the patterns you’ll see. Identity quizzes are huge.
“I am my sports team, my job, the style of clothes I like, the TV shows I like, my political party… etc.”
Even if your prospect is pretty sure who they are, they still want confirmation that they’re right- they look at the people in that quiz and think, “I want to be Steve Jobs, I sure hope it doesn’t say I’m Bill Gates!” or the reverse of that, depending on who they are; maybe they think Steve Jobs was a big jerk and Bill Gates is admirably altruistic. Whatever. Identity is relative, and as a marketer, you need to be neutral.
The other type of quiz is a score quiz… “Only Real Friends (TV Show) Fans Can Get 15 of These Questions Right” plays into their fandom and their pride… but of course it has to be relevant to what you’re marketing.
But how to conceive a quiz that’s relevant to what you’re marketing and qualifies the lead? Well, that’s part of our process as consultants. 😉
There’s an assumption in social media that if we get fans or followers and cultivate and invest in those relationships, that will create buyers- and possibly even loyal customers.
Well, you know what they say about assumptions, don’t you?
(If you don’t, ask somebody- I’m not going to say it here, because it’s a little inappropriate!)
What if cultivating relationships and engagement with customers doesn’t lead to sales?
Ok, so engagement probably leads to SOME sales. What if it doesn’t lead to very many sales? What if they’re really expensive sales and it’s not profitable?
The data we have from all our clients suggests that for the most part…
Buyers aren’t fans. And fans aren’t buyers.
By the way, before I show you all the data, which some of you are not going to like, let me share a story from when I used to be in alternative medicine…
I used to read a ton of research, because I had to find proof that the acupuncture and herbs I was learned and practicing wasn’t a bunch of B.S.
During all that reading, I ran across this study of medical doctors. It was research about how medical doctors read and responded to research. It turned out that, for the most part…
The upshot? Even our super-smart and scientific doctor friends believe what they want to believe and don’t want to be swayed by the data when it disagrees with their beliefs.
It’s hard to be scientific and objective. It’s hard to be open-minded, because it means you sometimes have to be wrong. Being wrong means you need to change.
We don’t want to change. We want confirmation that we’re already right. We want to keep doing what we already do.
Which is why every agency or social media person that gets paid to do engagement is going to question the validity of the data I use in this post 😉
But this data is based on anywhere from hundreds of thousands of people to millions. In most cases, it’s based on more data than their beliefs will be.
If you disagree with this post- email me (brian at bcg (spell it out) dot com) and tell me what your data is, and how many datapoints or people are in your data. 🙂
How has digital and social marketing evolved?
Both the original Twitter explosion and the Facebook fan and post engagement movements center on the philosophy that businesses need to be human and relationship-oriented; which you certainly can’t argue with…
Humanized, personable brands certainly are powerful. And relationship building and personality clearly work for one-on-ONE networking. If you’re a salesperson, building relationships makes a ton of sense. No one can argue with that.
But does one-to-MANY big-brand relationship-building create more sales and profits?
Let’s look at the data…
As we’ve shifted our Facebook clients toward leads and sales, and as we’ve done Facebook Marketing/Strategy Audits for new clients using Facebook’s data (which includes data from Datalogix, Epsilon and Acxiom)…
Correlating the email addresses, Facebook tells us what it knows about these people, plus:
We’ve looked at the data, and the data says: in many cases, buyers aren’t fans, and fans aren’t buyers.
For example, here’s the overlap (or lack thereof) between one company’s…
Across a number of these audits, we see anywhere from zero overlap to 35%, but that 35% is the exception. The average is 1% or zero.
These are the facts…
That doesn’t mean that you can’t:
But what’s more interesting is this:
When we analyze the difference between loyal buyers, non-loyal buyers, and leads who don’t buy, in many cases, we look at the Facebook activity of
…the buyers and the loyal buyers tend to score LOW in post likes, post comments and post shares:
In the chart above, the light blue area is the Facebook average. The dark blue is what the loyal buyers are doing. As you can see, they’re:
We’ve seen this pattern in many buyers and loyal buyer groups.
What does that mean?
Often, the more of a buyer someone is, the less of a social media engager they are.
Now, of course this is not true for every brand…
There are some brands with highly engaged buyers- depending on that brand’s psychographic or demographic.
There are exceptions, and you should analyze your own customer and prospect lists to discover the truth about your customers.
But be open to the idea that your best buyers and your most loyal buyers may not be the people who want to engage with your fan page or posts.
When you go to Amazon to buy, are you feeling chatty?
Or do you just want to buy the danged thing and get going?
Speaking for myself, I might do some research or comparison before I select the item or the company to buy from, but I’m not in the mood to like or comment on Facebook posts- I’m ready to buy.
I’m often buying something that few or none of my friends have ever bought. I may not be in a community of people based on that thing I’m buying, so trying to get that purchase info socially is not always realistic. Not all purchases are social- and not all the people who buy them are social.
For example, I rock climb, and I even have a local climbing gym, but I don’t care at all what the guys at my local climbing gym think about my next pair of climbing shoes- I just read the Amazon reviews. That might be a form of social, but it’s not on Facebook.
On the engagement side of the equation, who are the most socially engaged people you know?
Consistently the Facebook tell us the most engaged demographic is 13-18 year old females. They’re also one of the groups with the least money! They’re high engagement but don’t have much buying power.
Facebook Audience insights won’t show us the 13-18 group, but here are the 18-24 females:
See how every interaction is above average, except for promotions redeemed- interesting… redeemed promotions requires money, and they’re only average at that.
Now, think about the no-nonsense rich powerful guy in his 50’s; does he want to sit around and engage with you on Facebook? No! He barely even wants to be ON Facebook! He want to get in and get out, because he has more important things to do. The following chart is the activity level of the over 50 guy with a net worth over $1 milion:
As soon as I switched it from both genders to men only, the activity dropped. And by the way, in some of our audits, we find that the loyalty groups are more men-predominant… so there you go- loyal buyers not wanted to engage on Facebook!
Early in our Facebook marketing days, we had a client whose customers were all action sports dudes- they all wanted to buy GoPro helmets, but none of them wanted to interact with Facebook posts. They just wanted to go outside and do stuff. They weren’t into social media engagement. Make sure you know your audience.
There are some exceptions- some of the female demographics are very engaged- but again, this engagement doesn’t always lead to sales. I recommend a healthy dose of skepticism, measure your engagement tactics and monitor very closely whether they’re actually converting.
So many social campaigns are called successes based solely on engagement metrics- yet here’s no proof they’re leading to any bottom-line results.
There is actually a really good reason about why buyers would not be fans and fans would not be buyers- and it’s baked right into how Facebook ads work.
The ad type you choose adds another level of targeting to the ad- so
The fact is, some people are more likely to do one or the other, and the Facebook ads display algorithm picks the subgroup based on your ad goal.
So, if you want to beat that, you’ll have to
You’ll have to keep an eye on the costs of both. In our experience, they are not the most profitable approaches.
We find that the best approach is not this strategy:
With every step in a digital funnel, most people drop out, so longer funnels are not good.
Reachpocalypse happened, and now organic visibility on average is only 2.6%. You have to pay to get fans, pay for visibility, and then post promotion ads don’t tend to lead to affordable link clicks.
The entire process is very expensive, and you spend a lot of time with fans who may be more interested in engaging than buying.
The fan marketing is the strategy the entire industry started with, and it wasn’t until we tried other methods with multiple clients, the data convinced us this wasn’t the most efficient method.
This strategy is better:
Here we’ve cut out three steps, which means losing three failure points.
We can still target fans, or email audiences, or totally new cold audiences, but we send them directly to the website right away. If they don’t buy right away, we retarget them.
The website retargeting ad guarantees a higher quality visitor that’s more likely to buy (this is a second level of targeting I’ll explain on further slides).
Cost per sale is as much as 90% lower with this method than the fan marketing method.
We recommend you use conversion ads to go straight for sales.
And if you’re doing lead gen before sales, use this:
Get to it!
I’m about 99.9% sure Facebook created relevance score because advertisers were not getting that clickthrough rate (CTR) is king… check this out:
Think CTR and Relevance Score are related?
You just about NEVER see an R2 value this high with ad metrics… the closest to this I’ve seen is the correlation of CTR to CPC, and if I recall that was only around 0.5 or 0.6.
If you’ve never heard of scatter graphs and R2 values, here’s some background. Excel actually makes it REALLY easy to create one and get the R2 value at a simple level.
The point is, relevance score is just a code word for CTR, and CTR is an indicator of how well your message/creative fits your targeting.
As you may know, Mark Zuckerberg wants you to create ads people love, or ads people want to interact with at a high rate… in other words, ads that don’t suck… and that’s why unlike any other ad platform in the world, if your ads are exceptionally relevant and get exceptionally high CTR, you can get INCREDIBLY low cost clicks, engagements, video views, etc.
That said, when you’re going for conversions, the highest CTR is not always the best. In fact, we find that a more average CTR leads to better conversion rate.
You may also want to read:
For most businesses, once they get online, it’s all about growing your list, because you can’t sell everybody the first time they meet you. Only a few people buy the first time they encounter your company.
So do you want more profits and sales? Is your funnel efficient? How do you improve it and get more profits?
Once you get into list building, and build funnels that drive those people toward a sale, you eventually get to ask the really important questions:
And you may have trouble answering those questions.
Zach and I discussed questions like this and his company Funnel Dash in this amazing interview that will change your life, make your stronger, melt away your belly fat, and get you lots more hot individuals of whichever gender you are attracted to (not really, but it will help you with funnels and analytics):
Brian Carter: Hey, everybody, Brian Carter here. How you doing, Brian Carter group, this is actually part of my podcast, which is called Brian Carter’s Brain. Which means you’ve entered a strange place. That’s right, Brian Carter’s brain. Today, I have with me, Zach Johnson of FunnelDash, and FunnelDash … Why did you name it FunnelDash? What’s the dash part?
Zach Johnson: Dashboard.
Brian Carter: Dashboard? Oh, dashboards. I get it. It’s a funnel dashboard. Do you, like, have a dashboard? That’s like the dumbest question I’m going to ask you the whole interview.
Zach Johnson: Way to start it off right, man. I love it.
Brian Carter: Yeah, man. Brian Carter’s Brain is a special place with special people inside of it. All right, so yeah, I’ve known Zach for a long time. I think we’ve interacted multiple times around various digital marketing topics, but I heard your stuff on Rick Mulready’s podcast, and I was intrigued. Because you were speaking my language, which was ROI …
Zach Johnson: Yeah.
Brian Carter: … and talking about some key metrics, right? I want to get into some back story in a minute, but first, tell me, give me your pitch. Like, what are the key metrics that people who are doing online marketing don’t know, and why are they in really bad trouble because they don’t know them?
Zach Johnson: Yeah. I think the number 1 metric that I track, personally, when I’m scaling 6, 7 figure a month campaigns, is knowing the value, the lifetime value of a single email address on my email list. Facebook, AdWords, and any paid media manager is going to easily tell you what your cost is to acquire that email opt-in for your webinar, or for your video series, or for your lead magnet, but it’s actually pretty challenging to know how your marketing funnel is doing in terms of monetizing those email addresses, so when … It turned around for me, when I was running marketing at old … Not old, a software company called Leadpages, and before that another Inc. 500 software company called ONTRAPORT, and I had to figure out, what’s the max I’m willing to spend to acquire an email address? Because at the end of the day, it’s all about growing your list. How fast can you grow your list, how can I grow my list faster each and every month, and how can I do that with more confidence so I can invest in my marketing more aggressively and be confident in my ROI?
That’s my secret slash most important metric when you’re scaling big campaigns, is knowing that lifetime value of a single email opt-in, and I’ll share some stories with your people and you, today, Brian, on how a single email address can be worth upwards of $100 over …
Brian Carter: What?
Zach Johnson: … its one-time value. Yeah …
Brian Carter: What?
Zach Johnson: … to your business. Yeah.
Brian Carter: Yeah, well, I mean, so obviously, and for a beginner, you can’t sell everybody, when they first come to your site, so you need leads, right? A lot of people, they struggle even to get leads, right, and then, when you start getting leads, you’re really excited,
Zach Johnson: Yeah, exactly.
Brian Carter: You’re like, “Wow, I’m getting leads, yay!” Then the next step is what you’re talking about, “What are my leads worth,” and then go more granularly, right? Like what am I, so what are my leads worth revenue-wise, and then if you get that realistic figure, then maybe you get a fire under you to figure out how to make your leads worth more, right?
Zach Johnson: Hey, yeah. Right? Then it all comes back to the funnel, right?
Brian Carter: Yeah.
Zach Johnson: I mean, and some funnels, that my definition of, what is a great … What should a great marketing funnel do, and how do I know if I have a good marketing funnel, so I can go to a guy like Brian and he can ramp up my Facebook traffic. Right?
Brian Carter: That’s right.
Zach Johnson: Like, “Yeah, that’s right. That’s right.”
Brian Carter: “That’s right, send them to me. Send them to me.”
Zach Johnson: Yeah, yeah, and so a great marketing funnel is one that generates the highest lifetime values in the shortest amount of time.
Brian Carter: Right.
Zach Johnson: One that monetizes efficiently and effectively in terms of both on a click, a lead, and a customer basis, and the … Go ahead. You seem to have a question there.
Brian Carter: Do you look at a, do you look at everything as a funnel? For people, like everybody’s talking about funnels now, right?
Zach Johnson: Yeah.
Brian Carter: For people who don’t like, they’re like, “Well, is a funnel that thing Russell Brunson’s talking about? What’s a funnel?” I’m serious, is everything a funnel to you?
Zach Johnson: Yeah, I would say, really, there’s kind of two parts to marketing. There’s lead gen and building your email list; and then there’s closing, last click attribution, like closing deals, doing promotions and getting people to buy. If you kind of just simplify marketing in those kind of two buckets, the first bucket is all about how many marketing funnels can you put people into, and … Not all funnels are created equal, and not all traffic sources are created equal, and not all leads are created equal, and so …
Brian Carter: Right.
Zach Johnson: … part of my inspiration for creating a tool like FunnelDash was so that someone like yourself or someone like myself who’s building on a funnel, or scaling an ad campaign, could come in and say, “This funnel with this traffic source is generating you the best customer.” That could be a webinar funnel, that could be a video series, that could be a survey funnel. You don’t have to take any guru’s word for it. You can basically take a data-driven approach, and you can know what’s best for your business.
Brian Carter: Right, and I need to do this, and I’m not procrastinating, really. I sort of am procrastinating, it’s only because I’ve been so freaking busy, but for example, like, I know I’m getting leads from my lead quizzes quiz for $1.82 …
Zach Johnson: Nice.
Brian Carter: … versus a webinar replay that’s recorded for maybe $6 versus my new webinars that are live, maybe 4 or $5, but I need FunnelDash to tell me how much, what’s the ROI on each of those, because maybe I shouldn’t be as excited about lead quizzes …
Zach Johnson: Yeah.
Brian Carter: … and I am. Right?
Zach Johnson: You can go on LinkedIn, man, and you can pay $40 for an email I helped in, if you want. If you’re doing great. Some funnels, you’ll be stoked with that, because maybe 1 out of every 3 of those leads is closing.
Brian Carter: Right.
Brian Carter: Okay. Yeah, because we’ll see, so if we’re … Yeah, when you get those disparities between, like, you’re looking, I’m looking at stuff with a client sometimes and they’re like, “Well, Facebook says you sent 500 people, but ClickFunnel says there’s only 150 people that came to the page.” We’re getting lost in these midstream metrics when we should be concerned about what was the spend, how many people, and then what was the revenue, right?
Zach Johnson: Yeah, and also, reporting a lot of that stuff off of a Facebook pixel … A Facebook pixel could, Facebook will tell you that they made a sale. They’re greedy, man. They’ll just say, they have this view through pixel thing, right, where if they view your ad, but you don’t know … No one ever clicks on it, and then later, you have a custom audience uploaded, they see your ad, and you send an email, and they close, Facebook’s still going to take credit for that sale and that pixel being fired, because they saw your ad.
Brian Carter: The view-through versus the other, the regular conversion pixel?
Zach Johnson: Yeah, the regular … Yeah, basically click-through, right?
Brian Carter: Yeah. Yeah.
Zach Johnson: I personally don’t want to give Mark Zuckerberg that money. I’m like, “No, you didn’t deserve that sale. You didn’t close that sale. I closed that sale.”
Brian Carter: “You showed up at the sales meeting but didn’t say anything, somebody else made the sale … ”
Zach Johnson: Yeah. That’s great. Exactly.
Brian Carter: … and that’s kind of like, “You were sitting there at the table. You didn’t do anything.”
Zach Johnson: Right.
Brian Carter: Okay.
Zach Johnson: Right, right.
Brian Carter: Yeah. Well, so, okay, so I got another question about FunnelDash, because we have a, I did get a client over to you that’s one of our clients who has some … Like, he’s got a lot of weight loss supplement products, and I’m like, “Okay, your stuff’s really complicated. We need to … ” One of those things that FunnelDash does is, I think, is going to help them sort of simplify. The big picture, right …
Zach Johnson: Yeah.
Brian Carter: … but is it just that … One of the things I’m seeing already that is helping them and us do is make sure that we’re tracking everything. Right?
Zach Johnson: Yeah.
Brian Carter: Because if you aren’t tracking everything, FunnelDash can’t work, right? You know what I’m saying? Like if you don’t have your UTM … If you don’t have your UTM parameters in it, it can’t, FunnelDash can’t work, right?
Brian Carter: Cool.
Zach Johnson: … you create UTM links on the fly, and then, when they go in and submit the email address, we’ll be logging all that data, so inside of FunnelDash, you’ll know, “What was the first click that they clicked on before, when they entered into my world, and what is that click worth, and where did it come from, and what was the audience, and how valuable is that to me as a business today, a month from now, 90 days from now?” We had a client that we were doing this pre-FunnelDash, right, where they had never really done any Facebook ads, and they really kind of had a bunch of sales pages, but no marketing funnel, and … Hey, you’re going to build a webinar funnel, you’re going to do live webinars every week. They engaged FunnelDash.
At the time, we were just doing funnel management services with this data-driven approach, and we were doing it all manually in spreadsheets, and the work was taking us forever, and we built their … Have the funnel, even $1,000, just with … Every single month with this funnel, it’s … Just yet, and so we said, “Hey, we’ve been tracking all this stuff, and … ” It’s a complete no-brainer, and we, when we broke it down to them, in that kind of simple way, it kind of took the scariness out of scaling an ad campaign past maybe 5 grand a month or 10 grand a month, and ramping it up to 30 to 50 grand a month. Then, a year later, they kind of find out that an email address is worth even more, it’s worth, like $101 …
Brian Carter: Wow.
Zach Johnson: … and so, then they’re like, “Yeah, let’s keep spending money on Facebook,” right? Like, “Yeah, it’s working for you.”
Brian Carter: Nice. Now, was any of that … We are going to go into your backstory, did you already … What was that, or did you already do it?
Zach Johnson: No, I mean, you know, I … Yeah, buddy.
Brian Carter: All right. Well, no, I mean, like, so yeah, so why FunnelDash, and where did it all come from?
Zach Johnson: I mean, It came …
Brian Carter: Was that, did you already answer that one?
Zach Johnson: It was … I mean, a little bit.
Brian Carter: Yeah.
Zach Johnson: It was, yeah, a little bit.
Brian Carter: A little bit.
Zach Johnson: We can dive into it more, though, I can talk about it all day.
Brian Carter: No, we’re not going to do that. Give me the 2-minute version. Well, when did you know, like, “Okay, no, I want to start a company based on this?”
Zach Johnson: Oh, man. Well, it was right when I left Leadpages, and, you know, we had explosive growth when I was managing the marketing there, and the first thing I did was, I created dashboards for everybody on the marketing team. I figured out, “How much is a lead worth from affiliate traffic, from organic blog traffic, and Facebook ads? When I know how much those are worth, I’m going to take surefire bets and invest the marketing dollars here and here, and try to ramp up lead gen here, so that I don’t fail. I can’t afford to fail,” right? Like, a month goes by, you don’t hit your revenue goals, you’re like, “Peace,” you know? I asked Clay what the, kind of the most valuable thing was that I did at Leadpages, during my time there, one of the things is like, dashboards? It’s like, “Oh, my gosh,” it’s like, “It’s such a pain. Go build a dashboard company.”
I knew at the time that I wanted to do it, but I felt like it was a little bit early, and this, kind of, whole data-driven approach, and people geeking out and mastering their marketing metrics wasn’t really super hot a couple years ago like it is now. I sat on it a little bit, and I kind of built out the services side of the business, and we started doing funnel management, I said, “I really want to validate this idea. I’m going to go work with 6-figure business owners, 7, 8-figure business owners, build, optimize, and scale their marketing funnels, and I’m going to try every tool out under the sun to try to get these reports and data that I need,” and I couldn’t do it, so I was like, “I got to start. I got to build this myself.”
Brian Carter: Nice.
Zach Johnson: Yeah, so that was … I guess.
Brian Carter: That’s great, that’s like, I think it’s what … Hooked? In “Hooked,” have you read Hooked?
Zach Johnson: No, no. It sounds like a name …
Brian Carter: It’s a good book. I don’t recommend a lot of nonfiction books, and I’m not, you know, I’m not a big … I’m not a big business book reader, I’m really not, but when I read a few, and I love them, and that’s one of them, and one of the things he said was, “The best way to build an app is to solve one of your own problems,” you know?
Zach Johnson: Yeah, totally.
Brian Carter: To make sure that it’s really something somebody would use. That sounds like what you did there.
Zach Johnson: Yeah.
Brian Carter: That’s a good one. What else? Tell me some other awesome …
Zach Johnson: Tell you some other, some awesome stuff?
Brian Carter: Other awesome case study stories, yeah.
Zach Johnson: Yeah, well, let’s see here. You know, even just for this other client that … They were savvy guys, but before working with us, they didn’t even have a marketing funnel, and they didn’t know what they were going to sell, they wanted to launch a … The thing really came down to, “How do we build the marketing funnel as quickly as possible, and how do we invest in Facebook ads as quick as possible?” I was, like, within 30 days, we had the funnel built, and we were scaling traffic, and we knew exactly how much an email address is worth. Many people are stuck in this, like, funnel-building purgatory, or spreadsheet hell, where they’re building funnels for 6 months, or 12 months. I’ve made this mistake myself, but, hey: Get the funnel live, get feedback, figure out the numbers, and then iterate and improve from there. You’ll be light years ahead, you know, 30, 60, 90 days into it, profitably spending money, and iterating and tweaking off that …
Brian Carter: Nice.
Zach Johnson: … off that funnel.
Brian Carter: Right.
Zach Johnson: Now, this guy spends between 30 and 50K a month on Facebook, and they’re on their third or fourth funnel with us …
Brian Carter: Nice.
Zach Johnson: … and so it’s, for them, it was about speed of execution, and speed to their end objective, and goal ultimately, getting a [result 00:17:47]. That’s a great story. They were selling both an info product and coaching services in the world of, kind of, offline, teach people how to build and market to offline businesses.
Brian Carter: Nice. Are you learning anything, in general, from these guys? I mean, are you learning in general, or you got to have analytics, and just, you’re going to, every … It’s going to be different for everybody, or are you learning any lessons in general about business, from what you’re seeing?
Zach Johnson: I would say I’m learning that, you know, some different industries … I mean, I guess I’m learning that some different industries and … Need a month, maybe it’s a 6 months, 12 months, to go from a lead to a sale, right?
Brian Carter: Hmm. Yeah.
Zach Johnson: In B2C, you can go from, like, day 0, sale.
Brian Carter: Right.
Zach Johnson: That doesn’t necessarily mean that, you know … You can still, like, hold your, carry your marketing, your, basically, what we call your time to break even, and you can carry your marketing spend and go negative for 6 months, if you have a continuity offer. The more I get into these, the more attractive B2C offers look, in terms of, like, just B2C , speed to ROI, is something that I’m looking at.
Brian Carter: That makes sense.
Zach Johnson: I’ve always, I always love looking at other people’s marketing metrics, and we’re always going to be adding more and more dashboards, right? People look at different numbers all the time, and they’re optimizing different parts of their business, so with FunnelDash, the idea was to build a dashboard solution that would be pre-configured, right? You didn’t have to go in and be, like, “I need to tell you, dashboard tool, what I want to track,” and we wanted to kind of erase that and just say, “Hey, select from all our templates. The same way Infusionsoft brought you automation campaigns, or Digital Marketer brings you swipe email copy, ClickFunnels brings you template funnels, Leadpages brings you template landing pages.”
Brian Carter: Yeah.
Zach Johnson: We just want to bring …
Brian Carter: Brian Carter has template Facebook ads, you know, I mean …
Zach Johnson: There you go. We want to bring template dashboards.
Brian Carter: Yeah, nice.
Zach Johnson: We think that there can be a simple and easy way to have a dashboard in solution for marketers in the space, and we want to keep cranking away on that.
Brian Carter: Nice. Cool. What else did I not ask you about FunnelDash? Oh, you’ve got the Facebook part coming, there’s a Facebook ad component that’s coming soon …
Zach Johnson: Yeah, yeah, we’re sort of integrating directly from Facebook and Google ads. That’ll coming live, online in the next week.
Brian Carter: Right. What does that add to what it’s currently doing, or how it’s doing it now?
Zach Johnson: … Well, from Facebook, as opposed to, kind of, manually pulling that cost data. It’ll also, you know, segment out all your cost data for each and every traffic source , or like, traffic target audience, or ad campaign, and ad creative; so you can really get granular on what your cost is for different segments, and what your R is on, ROI is on certain segments.
Brian Carter: Awesome. Awesome. Cool, all right. Anything else? Anything I’m missing?
Zach Johnson: No, man, that’s, this is it, this is the FunnelDash, man. I mean, I’d love to, people can get a download of FunnelDash if they just go to go.funneldash.com/demo, and we’re , happy to kind of show them, give them an audit of their last, you know, 60, 90 days funnel metrics, and show them how FunnelDash is, can be, kind of, solving some of their blind spots …
Brian Carter: Yeah.
Zach Johnson: … and help them get set up with it. We also have a free score , a funnel scorecard tool that people can kind of type in, and get, you know, start playing around with some of their own funnel metrics. If they go to, I believe it’s funneldash.com/scorecard, will take you there. That’s a fun little fancy tool, so you can figure out what an email opt-in is worth for you.
Brian Carter: Yeah. It uses hamsters, as I remember, too.
Zach Johnson: Yeah, yeah.
Brian Carter: It does, so cute.
Zach Johnson: Hamsters are nice, just running in little wheels.
Brian Carter: Yeah, and I recommend it, because, seriously, most clients that I work with, they’re like, they have Google Analytics, but it’s not fully set up, you know what I mean? Like, they’ll have, “Yeah, we have it,” that means they put the code on their site, but they may not have goals, or their Google Analytics goals are 3 years too old. I mean, you go to their goals report and nothing is tracking.
Zach Johnson: Yeah, that’s a problem.
Brian Carter: Almost nobody is using UTM parameters in their, the URLs they put in their Facebook posts, or in their Facebook ads, so …
Zach Johnson: Yeah, you’re not tracking.
Brian Carter: Yeah, so, if you …
Zach Johnson: You’re naked out there, you’re naked and it’s great …
Brian Carter: You’re blind, yes, you’re like a homeless person. Your marketing is like a homeless person’s, so you need, if you go to FunnelDash, and you’re like, “Hey, I want this awesome dashboard,” you’re going to realize, “Oh, I haven’t done all this, now,” and you do all this, then you’ll have your 360 degree view of everything.
Zach Johnson: Yeah, we call it clarity control, man. It’s a beautiful thing.
Brian Carter: Clarity control, it sounds like something from the air force.
Zach Johnson: Yeah.
Brian Carter: Like, “Yes, we have clarity control.”
Zach Johnson: They invested in FunnelDash.
Brian Carter: Did they?
Zach Johnson: No.
Brian Carter: All right. Well, awesome. Thanks, Zach Johnson. Funneldash.com, correct?
Zach Johnson: You got it.
Brian Carter: Everybody go, check it out.
Zach Johnson: Thanks so much for having me, man. I appreciate it.
Brian Carter: Yeah, man. My pleasure.
Zach Johnson: It’s been awesome.
Brian Carter: Awesome.
Some would say it’s to grow an audience. Some say it’s for search engine optimization. Some do it for lead generation. Some only care if it ultimately increases sales.
My problem with focusing entirely on freemiums and growing an audience with free content is that it can almost become “guilt-trip content marketing”…
“Hey, if we give them a whole bunch of free content, they’ll feel like they owe us and they’ll have to buy from us!”
Whether that’s consciously or subconsciously manipulative (no more manipulative than trying to sell people something), I’ll table for now…
Even if the freemium approach is “get-to-know-like-trust-us” and we’ll build-an-audience, it only works sort of well.
Freemium, high quality content marketing is only PART of the answer because… we human beings are all a bunch of freeloaders!
As content consumers, we’ve been trained now to expect a lot of free helpful content.
Marketers have been taught over the last decade to create free content that is as good as content people should have to pay for, but the companies that are creating this free content aren’t getting paid for it…
This freemium deal with the devil strategy only makes sense if you can monetize that audience- but are you monetizing that audience? How? Are you tracking it well enough to know it’s profiting you?
Sure SOME of this audience of freeloaders converts without you trying that hard. But how many more people would have converted, how much higher would your ROI be if you’d thought about converting them? If you were better at direct marketing?
So content and lead gen are just one piece of the puzzle and if you do them the wrong way you make it hard on the salespeople. Or if you’re an entrepreneur you make it hard on yourself to get sales.
You haven’t done all the work, just part of it…
Because we as people only buy when we are really excited or in really big pain we can’t stand one second longer or when marketers make us feel special or we think it’s a really good deal on a really valuable thing that’s going away forever (there has to be value and trust there for that to work, of course)…
You have to sell. How?
The difference between rich and poor people, billionaire and middle class, successful sales organizations and unsuccessful ones is understanding:
“Join our tribe now and we’ll relieve your pain and you’ll be special and have super powers like us but if you want in, you have to join now, for a limited time only!”
This is the difference in getting 2% of your webinar attendees to buy and 16% to buy.
It’s the difference between 1% of people interacting with your Facebook post and 21% interacting with it.
The difference is measurable and huge.
If you’re too free and too available, you’re not that interesting. When they see your content there’s a lot of hmm and huh and meh. You can’t compete.
So- the biggest pitfall of the marketer is being too soft, not wanting to sell.
Don’t be soft.
Freemium is not bad. I do all kinds of lead magnets. They’re great. But you have to sell something too.
Use AdWords and Facebook pixels and conversion tracking. Make sure you have a way to trigger a conversion for the purchase not just the lead. Then you can track all of that back to the content.
If you can’t do that, your content marketing and freemium work will always be off target, and you’ll be at a competitive disadvantage.