5 Keys to Social Ad Lead Generation For Cloud Hosting & IT

Posted on Posted in Advertising, B2B, Content Marketing, Facebook Advertising, Lead Gen

5 Keys to Social Ad Lead Gen

Not long after keynoting for Microsoft, I was contacted by a leader in a Microsoft team that helps their partner companies sell MS hosting services. They had me design a digital marketing training program for these partner companies.

We also did a number of pilot programs with cloud hosting companies.

For one of these, in 2013, we wrote a whitepaper, guided them to create a lead gen download page, and we ran Facebook ads to generate leads. It was quite open-minded of them to do this, because even now on the doorstep of 2016, many B2B companies aren’t sure Facebook is right for them.

The results were:

  • We reached 467,000+ CXO’s and I.T. Sysadmins
  • We generated leads from $29 to $59 apiece.

Overall, it was a success.

Could it be better? Yes. These are definitely some of the more expensive leads we’ve seen… in B2C, leads can go below $1.00 CPA at times, and even in B2B I’ve seen them below $10.00.

I believe these leads cost what they did for several reasons, all of which we’e addressed in our marketing processes since, and here’s how we do it better now:

  1. TARGETING: Targeting chief executives can be more expensive. However, testing more ways to target the same groups helps you find lower costs, and Facebook has added more targeting options since we ran this campaign. We recommend testing at least 5-10 targeting criteria audience variations per target customer.
  2. PASSION: Whitepapers are boring and the way to lower costs on Facebook is to find the customer’s passion. The more interesting and stimulating you can make the content, the better. We’ve learned that selling to the intellect only is not as good as also selling to the emotions.
  3. DESIGN: There wasn’t a budget for design, so the graphic design of the whitepaper wasn’t that attractive- again, low excitement leads to higher costs. We recommend the budget include design work if you don’t have an in-house designer.
  4. SPECIFICITY: I also believe that in the whitepaper writing, instead of covering 11 I.T. problems, which is general and vague and gives you nothing to grab onto, we should have chosen the most painful specific problem and homed in on that. Then perhaps the name of the whitepaper itself would have evoked more interest.
  5. SPLIT-TESTING: The client insisted on using their own website for the landing page, which meant we could not split-test any creative; we’ve found that the best practice is to test at least three if not five versions of the squeeze page, and this can increase conversion rate by 50% – 200%. That means we might have cut the cost per lead in half right there. We now have platforms on which we create and run split-tests for clients.

So, if you are looking to grow new customer leads in the I.T. space, or any B2B effort (we’ve done other industries), reach out and let’s talk about achieving your goals!

35 Facebook Profit Tips UPDATED for 2017

Posted on Posted in Advertising, B2B, Content Marketing, Facebook Advertising, Facebook Marketing, Facebook Posting, Social Media Lead Generation, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ROI, Social Media Strategy

REVIEWED & UPDATED March 28, 2017- None of the previous tips expired in value or relevance. I’ve added a few new bonus tips at the end for 2016.

This post was originally written in June 2015. And some of these tips have been true since I started teaching Facebook marketing in 2011. I wrote this list a few months back for a keynote talk and have kept them up to date.

The tips are divided into 3 groups

  • Overall Facebook Marketing
  • Facebook Posting
  • Facebook Advertising

Note that Facebook marketing is a stepwise, funneled process- so, though not every tip is focused on the last step of the funnel, each tip is trying to increase your results down the funnel.

16 Tips That Apply to All of Facebook Marketing

1. Check out Facebook Audience Insights for your type of customer. This tool is located in the Ad Manager. Learn who your fans, prospects and customers really are. I’ll bet at least one thing surprises you. If you don’t have enough fans to see other likes, choose your biggest competitor, or an interest in your niche instead.

2. Don’t bring up a bad thing unless your offering fixes THAT problem. Or unless your specific audience likes warnings (e.g. bad weather) or being negative. In which case, your bad posts will get a LOT of likes. If they don’t, you don’t have that kind of audience. However, empathizing with your customer can be really powerful. Some of our most powerful case studies come from this.

3. Use happy positive faces that are close-up enough for us to read their expressions. 🙂

4. Avoid bland stock photography. Even if you have to take your own photos, find something authentic. If you do use shutterstock, find something exceptional.

5. Animals work. Even people who hate kids love animals. Yes, you can definitely make an animal relevant to your brand and yes people will love it. Yes, even in B2B. They’re still human beings. Open your mind and try it.

6. Cute works. Kids, animals, Ann Handley, etc.

7. Dogs always win. Pugs and labs are some of people’s favorites. This is the cutest dog on the planet.

8. Try something w/e/i/r/d. At the very least you’ll STAND out. Like that joke about my Grandma. You haven’t heard that? You need to watch my keynote videos.

9. Write content about mistakes people make in your niche- if you want to boost conversions.

10. Be brief, simple and clear. Try Hemingwayapp.

11. Test everything. Test posts, ads, images, cover photos and landing pages. I even split-test my blog post titles.

12. Capitalize on the big winner. Do more of what works and less of what doesn’t. Learn from what did and didn’t work, and come up with new ideas that are more like what worked and less like what didn’t.

13. Learn from what your customers like. What they like is in Audience Insights and how they respond to your posts and ads.

14. Keep testing new ideas. Don’t give up. Don’t settle for what’s the best right now.

15. Shorten your funnel. Try to take out a step or two. Make it easier for your customers. It’ll boost your conversions and profits.

16. Think about whether your customers public and private faces are different. Serve the public one with public posts. Try segmented ads, private videos and segmented email lists for the private ones.

8 Facebook Posting Tips

17. Test multiple ways to say the same thing. Try more than one way to express it. Use science to test diverse language.

18. Include links in posts to get website traffic. (But when it comes to ads, this is not the most affordable way to get website traffic- read this).

19. Include a call to action to get them to do something. Like, “Hey, subscribe to my podcast, it’ll make you a better marketer, better business person, and you’ll smell better too!”

20. Track which Facebook posts work and don’t work. Figure out why you think they work or don’t. Develop your theories and test them with your next set of posts. This is one reason not to create a whole month of FB posts at one time. First, it doesn’t give you time to learn from the current month before scheduling new posts, and second you’ll get smarter every week, but your posts will be up to 4 weeks dumber than you are now.

21. Create coaching and cheerleading posts. Motivate people, and echo their values, beliefs and likes.

22. Find famous and motivational quotes.

23. Use universally revered people for images and quotes. Einstein and Maya Angelou are good. Thomas Edison is not.

24. Follow the 6 do’s and 4 dont’s from my Contagious Content ebook.

9 Facebook Advertising Tips

25. Always choose website conversion ads if you can (rather than just clicks to website), and use a conversion pixel. Even if you aren’t going for leads or sales, try putting the conversion code on a deeper valuable page your best visitors would check out.

26. Modify your targeting with behaviors like people who use Facebook payments (tells you with more certainty they have money to spend and/or might be a good ecommerce prospect) or lines of credit or other financial info.

27. Test granular creative to granular targets. Did you find 3-4 main demographic personas from Audience Insights? Are you testing personalized advertising to these personas?

28. Try widening your targeting and making your copy more specific. You can “target” by using the ad text to tell them who should click and who shouldn’t.

29. Test retargeting, custom audiences and lookalike audiences. Sometimes they work. Sometimes they don’t. But they must be tested.

30. Test using the brand name in headlines vs. not. You could also call them out by job title or interest.

31. Test superlatives. Are you or your product the most/best/cheapest/biggest/etc?

32. Test images featuring the product vs. not. You could also show a representation of their dream aspiration, or their current nightmare.

33. Show a preview of a lead magnet- or use an image in the ad that’s also on the landing page. Then they’ll know they’re in the right place when they land.

34. You can do lead gen ads now in two ways- via website conversion ads, or the new “lead ads.” The latter have a few weaknesses right now. #1, they have been more expensive in our tests. #2 You have to remember to log in and download the emails regularly from Facebook, then manually email people. It’s easier to use LeadPages or ClickFunnels tied to Aweber or MailChimp set up with automatic welcome messages or an autoresponder series. I suppose you could weekly download them, upload those to a system like GetResponse that lets you upload emails, have an autoresponder there, but after a week they’re cold. You’d need to download and upload the emails daily. Some companies are working on a solution to this, but right now it’s a mess. We still recommend website conversion ads combined with a landing page split-testing solution like LeadPages, ClickFunnels, Unbounce, etc.

35. One of the biggest problems we see with clients are when they create their own landing page or lead gen process. Custom programming can create problems, inflexibility, or interfere with tracking. If your website can’t split-test, you should use an industry-standard landing page solution like LeadPages, ClickFunnels or Unbounce. They can be customized to fit your brand and often can be made to look like they’re hosted on your main website or a similar one. Branding can be fixed. A lack of split-testing or the inability to track conversions cannot be fixed as easily.

That’s it- start with a few, and add some more of these tips to your practices every week!

Without This, Your Content Marketing Is Worthless

Posted on Posted in Advertising, B2B, Content Marketing, Facebook Advertising, Internet Marketing Strategy

Well, to be more accurate, it should be “Without this, your content is wasted.”

But I’ll tell you why I titled the blog post that way: sometimes, when people are thinking about creating content, they forget a really important part of marketing.

They may not forget about persuading people. Or knowing their audience part. Or utility. Or entertainment.

But they forget about that pesky distribution and visibility thing!

I ask them:

HOW are enough people going to SEE your new content?

Here are some weak responses to that question and why they’re weak responses. Afterwards we’ll talk about how you can do better.

“We email our content out.”

  • So your current email list reaches every prospect you want to see it? You don’t need to reach more prospects?
  • Are you taking into account that only 15-30% of people open emails? And only 2-3% of them click the links? In other words, do you have 40 times as many email subscribers as the number of people you want to go to the website?
  • (Don’t forget that not every website visitor becomes a customer… you’ll need 50-100 people to go to your website to get a new customer. So, you need 2,000 to 4,000 people on your email list for every new customer you want. Depressing!)

If you answered yes to all of those, congrats! Chances are, you didn’t, though. 🙂

[SOURCES: A great source for email marketing benchmark metrics, and another.]

“We post it on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.”

  • So given that all the data shows that most Facebook pages’ posts are seen by only about 10% of fans, and only about 1% of those who see a post click on its link, meaning that only about one out of a thousand fans will click on your link, do you have 1,000 times as many Facebook fans as you want to visit your website?
  • And given that at most at any one time, only about 7% of your Twitter fans will be active when you tweet, and that roughly 1% will click on your link, do you have 1,400 times as many Twitter followers as you want to visit your website? Or even if you tweet that link 14 times a day (which would be excessive for just one link), do you have 100 times as many Twitter fans as you want to go to your website?
  • On LinkedIn, only 13% of LinkedIn users interact with the site daily. People don’t spend a ton of time on LinkedIn, and when they do, it’s usually not looking at their news feed. My estimate is that maybe 1% of your connections might see any of your posts in their news feed, so do you have 10,000 times as many LinkedIn connections as you want to visit to your website?

All you really need to do to be convinced is look at your website analytics and see how little monthly traffic you’re getting from these three sites… and divide that by 100- that’s how many customers you can expect from them per month. Got 1,000? Great, you might get 10 customers from that, if they’re quality prospects.

(There are certainly exceptions to some of my numbers if your website is exceptionally effective and your post are dramatically more effective than average- but to get to those places, you’d need to be an accomplished Internet marketer or already have worked extensively with on.)

[SOURCES: Twitter CTR stats, Twitter CTR stats for huge accounts, an older Twitter CTR anecdote for reference, 3 years ago when 17% of fans saw Facebook page posts, around the same time, Techcruch said 12%, more coverage of declining visibility in 2014, comparison of FB ads and LI ads for post promotion, Pew Research on frequency of social site usage.]

“We have good SEO.”

That sounds A LOT like the lazy and dangerous Build It And They Will Come myth, but let’s inquire further:

  • How quickly are your new blog posts ranking in the top 10 for their keywords? Although you may have great rankings and traffic from older pages and posts, how quickly does that work with new content? Can you afford to wait 3-6 months for that traffic?
  • How are you getting new links from other websites to your new traffic? Twitter is one strategy for this, but again, how many see your tweet and retweet it? Is this enough links to improve your rankings?
  • How big is the keyword search demand for the keywords you’re using in your new blog posts? Keep in mind that you won’t get all of that traffic. If a keyword gets 1,000 searches a month, the #1 organic listing might get 30-55% of the traffic. The ads are usually getting from 1-3% each. The first page altogether gets about 70%. If you get a first page ranking, you can expect an average of 7% of that keyword demand, which would be 70 visits per month. Not 1,000; but 70.

[SOURCES: A great 2014 study of search result CTR by position, another 2014 study, an older 2011 study.]

So… how are enough people going to find your content?

If your findings above aren’t satisfactory, then…

The upshot is, you have to use ads to get the numbers you want, and Facebook ads are the most profitable way.

However, promoting posts can be a danger zone, getting you more engagement than website clicks. When you calculate the cost per click for this method, it can easily be $1-2 per click. You must use the ad manager and choose the website traffic or website conversion ad type, and then you can easily get clicks for less than $1 each.

Also, the website conversion ads do convert better, so they lower your cost per lead and cost per new customer.

So, combine content creation with Facebook ads!

Why B2B Facebook Ads Beat LinkedIn Ads Every Time

Posted on Posted in Advertising, B2B, Facebook Advertising, Facebook Marketing, Internet Marketing Strategy, Lead Gen, Social Media Lead Generation

Some people have it wrong. You- savvy reader- probably already know this, though, right? 🙂

“Facebook doesn’t work for B2B. It’s for B2C,” people say. “Users aren’t on there for work.”

Correct, they are on there to be distracted. “I’m bored,” they say. “Show me something awesome!”

If that awesome thing you show them happens to help with their work, they’ll click on it. That’s what the data tells us about B2B Facebook advertising.

 Why FB works for B2B: FB users want distraction. Show them something awesome that helps their work and they’ll click on it. <– click to tweet

Besides, we live in an era where the line between home and work has blurred.

Here are some of our B2B Facebook advertising case studies over the last 12 months:

  1. An attorney got a case worth $100,000 from Facebook after spending just a few hundred dollars on Facebook advertising.
  2. A cloud hosting company got new business leads from Facebook advertising and a whitepaper for $59 each. The most affordable ads brought in leads at just $29 apiece. The most expensive ones targeted CIO’s and cost $74.08 each.
  3. A new B2B financial industry business discovered their offering wasn’t needed or wanted by the target audience- they discovered this (via extraordinarily low clickthrough rates) with an investment of just a few hundred dollars in Facebook advertising. They saved tens of thousands of dollars by not going further down that dead-end path.
  4. A financial industry event generated 305 registrations at $71.34 each while ads reached 1.5 million people and generated clicks from 18,125 people.
  5. A marketing agency generated new client leads for $29.26 apiece.
  6. An SaaS company used a whitepaper to generate 504 leads and 92 new demo signups for $26 per demo signup. Notable here was that the target was people who worked at Fortune 1000 companies.

Based on our experience above, people do click and opt in for B2B offers while they’re on Facebook.

The 4 advantages that Facebook ads have over AdWords and LinkedIn ads are:

  • Facebook has the largest audience.
    • Google is almost as big, but you can only target people looking for what you have. Facebook lets you target people based on job title, company, etc.
    • LinkedIn is much smaller than the other two.
  • Facebook ads are prominent enough for a lot of people to click.
    • Google also does a good job with this.
    • LinkedIn’s self-serve ads… what’s the last one you remember seeing? Exactly. Unless you spend $10k per month, you can’t use their more prominent “enhanced” ads. So the biggest problem is that your LinkedIn self serve ads don’t get seen and therefore don’t get many clicks.
  • Facebook has the lowest cost per click.
    Facebook clicks are usually below $0.75 and often as low as $0.10.

    • Google ads average over $2.50 per click and can go up to $25.00.
    • LinkedIn ads average over $3.00 per click and often are as high as $6.00.
    • Twitter ads are usually $1.00 – 1.50 each.
  • Facebook ads reward you for trying more ads and targets.
    You can lower Facebook ad costs by 50% or more when you create ads that get higher click through rates.

    • Google ad cost per click doesn’t vary much no matter how you optimizes- less than 10%.
    • LinkedIn ad cost per click doesn’t vary much either.
    • The same is true for Twitter ads.
  • BONUS: Facebook ads can target people by job title, company, seniority, what they majored in at college, net worth, income and nichey jargon. All of these can be used to hit your exact B2B prospect.

So, Facebook ads reach more people, grabs more attention, cost less, and cost a lot less if you work at it.

Now that you know Facebook ads are so effective for B2B, why aren’t you using them for lead gen?

The Business Networking Mistake Everyone Is Making On Facebook

Posted on Posted in B2B, Facebook Marketing, Social Networking

I bet you expect me to say it’s talking too much about business on Facebook. No- that’s not the one I have in mind… in fact I see people do that way too much on LinkedIn. They aggressively pitch strangers, and it doesn’t work.

I do think it’s good to network for business on Facebook- with the right people, at the right times.

It’s certainly natural for me to do business networking there. I have more business connections on Facebook than personal ones. I count a lot of those business connections as real friends, too. And we get a lot of clients and some white-labeling work for agencies that way.

Yes, I know… Some people don’t do any business on Facebook. That’s fine.

But if you already do business networking on Twitter and LinkedIn, you should also do it on Facebook.

Facebook makes networking more fun, and it gets you more into people’s real lives. Most people don’t really “live” on Twitter or LinkedIn. They don’t visit it as many times per day. They don’t put as much of their personal life on Twitter or LinkedIn as they do Facebook.

People live on Facebook.

Getting connected with people on Facebook is somewhat like going to their house for dinner. You’re being invited into their personal space.

Most people don’t have more privacy levels in their Facebook than just friends and non-friends. Some people do have an acquaintance level where you still don’t see that much about them. But most people don’t go to that much trouble. That means once you’re in, you’re totally in.

One more thing before I reveal the biggest Facebook networking mistake- I want to differentiate between social media and social networking.

It’s an important distinction I don’t think everyone makes in their minds, but you should:

  • Social media broadly means sharing media on social platforms. Media is content, which is images, video, etc. Content marketing falls under this umbrella. It scales, but can become fairly impersonal.
  • Social networking means meeting people and building relationships on social platforms. It doesn’t scale quite as far, but like real-world networking, it’s a powerful source of opportunities. Other people can dramatically improve your career.

So what’s the biggest mistake people make with Facebook networking?

They don’t make enough information about themselves public.

I don’t care how much info you have on LinkedIn. I don’t care if it’s on your website.

If someone wants to get to know you on Facebook, they need to be able to see a good representation of who you are and what you do.

I can’t tell you how many times people have done a poor job of requesting my friendship on Facebook. Here’s what happens:

  1. They request my friendship…
  2. They don’t message me to say why they thought this was a good idea.
  3. I see we have between zero and 250 mutual friends. I decided somewhere along the line just to accept anyone with 50+ mutual friends. But for the rest, I click to see their profile.
  4. Most of them don’t have any work or education info visible to the public.
  5. Many don’t have much of anything visible to the public.
  6. Some don’t have a real face as their profile photo.

So, I have no idea why you want to be friends, and I can’t find anything out about you quickly. You probably don’t realize how little of your Facebook info is public. You want me to Google you? Forget it.

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned over and over again in online marketing: You want somebody to do something? Make it easy. Make it less work. Make it less clicks. Because every extra step they have to take decreases your chances of success by at least 50%, if not more.

In other words, you’ve made it hard for me to confirm your friendship. So, you don’t have a chance.

I don’t say this to sound exclusive. It’s just an example to show you how NOT to network on Facebook.

First, go look at your public profile and see what non-friends can see.

This is super easy:

  1. Click on the lock icon in the upper right
  2. Click on “Who can see my stuff?”
  3. Click on “View As”

You’ll probably be surprised how little of your information is public. Now look at that and ask yourself, “If I was looking at this person and didn’t know them, would I want to get to know them? Is there enough visible?”

I recommend you make the following public:

  • Work history
  • Education
  • Places: Hometown, Current City

And if you want to add some flavor, so people can see if you have common interests and get a sense of who you are, make these public:

  • Sports
  • Movies
  • TV Shows
  • Books
  • Apps & Games

That’s it- then when you request friendship from someone, consider messaging them as well! If it says the message will go to their “Other” folder, chances are they won’t see it. But a lot of times, you can send a message directly to them. Do it.

And network away!

The Funnest & Shockingest B2B Facebook Marketing Podcast Ever

Posted on Posted in Advertising, B2B, Facebook Advertising, Facebook Marketing, Humor, Lead Gen, Social Media Strategy

7Always alotta (I say that’s a word) FUN to be on Kathy’s podcast! Because she’s another business mind who loves to do improv. Therefore, this will both fill your cranium with small explosions of insight AND entertain your limbic system- let’s just say it’ll make your limbic system do “the limbo”.

  1. Why Is Facebook A No-Brainer For B2B Marketing?
  2. Why Do Facebook Ads Beat The Freaking Pants Off Linkedin Ads?
  3. What Are The No Brainer Lead Gen Strategies To Combine With Facebook?
  4. How Do You Use Facebook To Crowd-Source Product And Service Ideas- To Save A Ton Of Money And Heartache?
  5. What The Heck Does More Cowbell Have To Do With Making More Money?

I sure hope this podcast leverages your synergy to paradigmitize your cashflow!

Business Owners: 7 Secrets For More Sales AND More Free Time

Posted on Posted in Advertising, Advertising, B2B, Facebook Advertising, Google Advertising, Social Media ROI

Working-on-VacaDisclaimer: a lot of business owners don’t vacation a lot- they’d rather be working, but successful ones are more able to go on vacation. We’ll come back to the vacation thing- the whole point is:

  • How can you set up processes and systems and tools that help you continue to make money so that you can focus on whatever you want. Things like running the other 80% of your business.
  • How can you make sure that Internet marketing and sales is a tool that works for you regularly, not a problem to constantly fix?

Internet marketing is complicated: geeks do it.

Internet marketing is broad: there are at least ten subtopics.

Internet marketing is deep: you can spend weeks learning just one of those subtopics.

There’s way too much to learn, from way too many blogs. It’s a win-win clients when they pay us to manage their Facebook ads and Google ads. Our services aren’t free, but they save our clients a ton of time, worry, and click costs. We drive the costs down and the profits up. Interested? Bring it on.lawrenceready

Tip #1: Advertise

There are businesses who can’t afford advertising. In my MOZ Facebook Ads article I said, “If you can’t afford $30 a month (for Facebook ads), you shouldn’t be in business.”

I personally have spent more than $29,000 on Facebook ads and more than $34,000 on Google ads for my own business.

We’ve managed client advertising spends that range from $100 a day to $28,000 a day.

Tip #2: Focus on Advertising PROFITS

coffeeYou need to know you’re getting real customers out of this.

Put that coffee down. Coffee is for profitable advertisers.

To not lose money in online advertising, you either have to

  • Climb a steep (and geeky) learning curve to do-it-yourself, or
  • Have enough money to hire someone.

The battlefields of 21st century business are littered with the corpses of companies who used Facebook and Google ads ineffectively.

Even offerings like Google’s Small Business Express AdWords program, since they’re automated, can be ineffective. Google and Facebook are definitely making money off this, but can you? Yes, if the people running those ads are experts.

Tip #3: Combine Facebook & Google

Facebook + Google = A Winning Marketing/Sales Team

Facebook is like a marketer and Google is like a salesperson. Traditionally, the marketer grabs awareness and gets people in, and salespeople close the sale. matrixorigami

Facebook ads can perform just about any marketing function– from market research to raising awareness to lead gen to sales.

Google ads get you the quick profits. They help you reach prospects who are ready to buy. That’s a smarter spend, but the cost can be high. Facebook advertising’s strengths are its low cost. In some niches it’s almost too expensive to even try Google ads.

  • For example, our clients in the hosting niche often can’t spend Google’s $28 – $65 per click for leads. Those Google click costs mean the customer sale can cost $2,000 – $6,500.
  • With Facebook ads we get these hosting companies leads for $22 – $130 each, and the cost per sale is closer to $200 – $1,300.

Combine both Facebook and Google. Add in their retargeting capabilities (to keep ads in front of people who’ve been to your website). Then you’ve positioned yourself:

  • To be known,
  • To persuade,
  • To stay top of mind, and
  • To sell.

Kaboom.

Tip #4: Focus on Facebook Ad Sales

leoWe’ve used Facebook ads to generate sales for clients in businesses as diverse as:

  • A Pizza Delivery Chain in Scotland
  • A Company That Produces Rock Concerts on Cruises
  • Online consultancies

A lot of companies haven’t gotten sales with Facebook because:

  • They haven’t tried,
  • They didn’t advertise, or
  • They didn’t have a Facebook ads expert.

If you can afford to advertise, test driving sales with Facebook ads by working with a Facebook ads expert.

Tip #5: Track The Source of Your Sales

The fact is, to prove you can get sales, you have to be able to track the sale’s online source. B2B salespeople must use a sophisticated CRM like salesforce to track the sale back to the original online marketing channel. Otherwise, you’re throwing money away.

At least some of it. John Wanamaker said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The trouble is I don’t know which half.” With great online tracking, you can find out which half, and stop wasting it! Instead of wasting that money, use it elsewhere or reinvest it in the profitable advertising. failgoodbye

But many businesses can’t track their sales accurately back to the original online channel- no matter how willing they are. Just like this skateboard kid, we lose track of them.

Consumer packaged goods clients like Pediacare, Chloraseptic and Dramamine sell their products in many retail outlets- those retail stores, such as Walmart and CVS, compete with each other, and don’t make it possible for brand to track their retail sales back to the online marketing source. So, for these clients often all we can measure online is awareness, web traffic, social engagement, and coupons. Even online coupon-creation services don’t make it easy to track online advertising success. Tracking problems are epidemic. But these clients do know that:

  • We’re generating super affordable awareness,
  • We’re making their website traffic much more affordable, and
  • We’re build relationships and loyalty that give them a competitive advantage.

Some of our B2B clients use us to generate leads via Google ads, Facebook ads, ebooks and whitepapers- but not all of these companies use a modern CRM, like Salesforce. As a result, we can increase their leads and lower their cost per lead, it’s clear we’ve improved their lead pipelines and they can convert those leads to sales, but the exact ROI number is difficult to find.

A TON of B2B companies are still making, or thinking about making, the transition to 21st century marketing and sales. Many of them have succeeded so far on word of mouth, but to grow further, they need to add online advertising and a modern CRM, like Salesforce.

Any company with the ability to track their sales back to the online source has a real advantage, because that information can be used to eliminate waste and increase profits. That bears repeating: Accurate tracking is a competitive advantage.

Tip #6: Choose Smaller Marketing Agencies

We run a boutique (that means small) internet/social marketing shop for several reasons.

  • First, we can handle a lot of business as we are, because one of our biggest values and talents is efficiency.
  • Second, we are able to charge what we think the value is- which seems high to some people and low to others.
  • Third, we can choose to work only with savvy, open-minded and teachable clients and agencies.
  • Fourth, we’ve found that having experts who know how to do more than one thing helps us find the client more opportunities and get better results.

matrixblocks I’ve worked at an agency, and I’ve worked with about a dozen other agencies. There are pros and cons for clients to work with them. (And by the way, I’ve seen much smarter things happen at the smaller agencies. We have several favorite agencies because they get it.)

On the pro side, if they’re a large, big-name agency, if their results for you aren’t good, you can blame them and hire another agency. If CYA and job-preservation is your main goal in your job, sure, go with a big-name agency.

But if you’d rather explain to your boss why your results are so awesome, don’t. The biggest problem with big-name agencies is that they often either:

  • Have interns (with just a few years experience) do most of your marketing work (because that boosts their profits), or
  • They outsource it to companies like mine (because we get better results).

The most extreme example I’ve seen of Internet marketing outsourcing was:

In the early days of Facebook ads (2010), we were hired as one of two companies generating fans for a well known Fortune 500 brand- we were hired by a company that was hired by a company that was hired by an agency that was hired by the brand.

What happens when you do business in that way? Yes, risk is mitigated, but prices are boosted at every step. Lack of contact with the actual client can also lead to missed opportunities or miscommunications. Goals and execution are fragmented to the point where sometimes the sum of the parts turns out to be less than the whole. learning fall

The most maddening problem is when a brand manager really doesn’t understand internet marketing or social media, and the big-agency account executive doesn’t want to make the brand manager feel dumb, so they don’t educate them, so the brand manager chooses bad strategies. Do you really want your company to make the same mistakes other companies have already made? If not, be teachable.

These days, you don’t have to know how to DO everything, but you do have to learn what’s possible and what’s not- what works and what doesn’t.

If you want to get the best results with Internet Marketing, let experts advise and run it the smartest way. If you’re going to micromanage, learn about strategies, results, what’s possible, what’s likely, what the typical obstacles are, what doesn’t work… et cetera.

If you don’t like learning, get good at delegating or get into a simpler business, like pool cleaning maybe 🙂

If you micromanage your vendors, but you don’t ask for education from them, you’re asking for trouble.

Tip #7: Learn From The Leaders

catstudystrategyThe trailblazers in discovering the best ways to grow profits using the Internet, for the last decade or more, have been:

  • Internet marketers: the people and companies who do email marketing, SEO, and online advertising are usually the first to employ the latest greatest tools and tactics.
  • Internet marketing tool providers: software-as-a-service companies that provide innovations in marketing and sales often eat their own dog food and grow faster than their competitors.
  • Infoproduct and affiliate marketers: people who make money by teaching and selling to marketers are often the first to include new tools and tactics in their processes.

By looking at the offerings of companies like Facebook, Google, Marketo, Salesforce and Leadpages and learning how other companies have succeeded with them, you can clearly see the path to 21st century online profits. I wish it was easy to outline all of that in one blog post! Contact us for more info about how your company can get to the next level with online marketing.

Business Owners: How To Get More Sales While You're On Vacation

Posted on Posted in Advertising, Advertising, B2B, Facebook Advertising, Google Advertising, Social Media ROI

Working-on-VacaDisclaimer: a lot of business owners don’t vacation a lot- they’d rather be working, but successful ones are more able to go on vacation. We’ll come back to the vacation thing- the whole point is:

  • How can you set up processes and systems and tools that help you continue to make money so that you can focus on whatever you want. Things like running the other 80% of your business.
  • How can you make sure that Internet marketing and sales is a tool that works for you regularly, not a problem to constantly fix?

Internet marketing is complicated: geeks do it.

Internet marketing is broad: there are at least ten subtopics.

Internet marketing is deep: you can spend weeks learning just one of those subtopics.

There’s way too much to learn, from way too many blogs. It’s a win-win clients when they pay us to manage their Facebook ads and Google ads. Our services aren’t free, but they save our clients a ton of time, worry, and click costs. We drive the costs down and the profits up. Interested? Bring it on.lawrenceready

Tip #1: Advertise

There are businesses who can’t afford advertising. In my MOZ Facebook Ads article I said, “If you can’t afford $30 a month (for Facebook ads), you shouldn’t be in business.”

I personally have spent more than $29,000 on Facebook ads and more than $34,000 on Google ads for my own business.

We’ve managed client advertising spends that range from $100 a day to $28,000 a day.

Tip #2: Focus on Advertising PROFITS

coffeeYou need to know you’re getting real customers out of this.

Put that coffee down. Coffee is for profitable advertisers.

To not lose money in online advertising, you either have to

  • Climb a steep (and geeky) learning curve to do-it-yourself, or
  • Have enough money to hire someone.

The battlefields of 21st century business are littered with the corpses of companies who used Facebook and Google ads ineffectively.

Even offerings like Google’s Small Business Express AdWords program, since they’re automated, can be ineffective. Google and Facebook are definitely making money off this, but can you? Yes, if the people running those ads are experts.

Tip #3: Combine Facebook & Google

Facebook + Google = A Winning Marketing/Sales Team

Facebook is like a marketer and Google is like a salesperson. Traditionally, the marketer grabs awareness and gets people in, and salespeople close the sale. matrixorigami

Facebook ads can perform just about any marketing function– from market research to raising awareness to lead gen to sales.

Google ads get you the quick profits. They help you reach prospects who are ready to buy. That’s a smarter spend, but the cost can be high. Facebook advertising’s strengths are its low cost. In some niches it’s almost too expensive to even try Google ads.

  • For example, our clients in the hosting niche often can’t spend Google’s $28 – $65 per click for leads. Those Google click costs mean the customer sale can cost $2,000 – $6,500.
  • With Facebook ads we get these hosting companies leads for $22 – $130 each, and the cost per sale is closer to $200 – $1,300.

Combine both Facebook and Google. Add in their retargeting capabilities (to keep ads in front of people who’ve been to your website). Then you’ve positioned yourself:

  • To be known,
  • To persuade,
  • To stay top of mind, and
  • To sell.

Kaboom.

Tip #4: Focus on Facebook Ad Sales

leoWe’ve used Facebook ads to generate sales for clients in businesses as diverse as:

  • A Pizza Delivery Chain in Scotland
  • A Company That Produces Rock Concerts on Cruises
  • Online consultancies

A lot of companies haven’t gotten sales with Facebook because:

  • They haven’t tried,
  • They didn’t advertise, or
  • They didn’t have a Facebook ads expert.

If you can afford to advertise, test driving sales with Facebook ads by working with a Facebook ads expert.

Tip #5: Track The Source of Your Sales

The fact is, to prove you can get sales, you have to be able to track the sale’s online source. B2B salespeople must use a sophisticated CRM like salesforce to track the sale back to the original online marketing channel. Otherwise, you’re throwing money away.

At least some of it. John Wanamaker said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The trouble is I don’t know which half.” With great online tracking, you can find out which half, and stop wasting it! Instead of wasting that money, use it elsewhere or reinvest it in the profitable advertising. failgoodbye

But many businesses can’t track their sales accurately back to the original online channel- no matter how willing they are. Just like this skateboard kid, we lose track of them.

Consumer packaged goods clients like Pediacare, Chloraseptic and Dramamine sell their products in many retail outlets- those retail stores, such as Walmart and CVS, compete with each other, and don’t make it possible for brand to track their retail sales back to the online marketing source. So, for these clients often all we can measure online is awareness, web traffic, social engagement, and coupons. Even online coupon-creation services don’t make it easy to track online advertising success. Tracking problems are epidemic. But these clients do know that:

  • We’re generating super affordable awareness,
  • We’re making their website traffic much more affordable, and
  • We’re build relationships and loyalty that give them a competitive advantage.

Some of our B2B clients use us to generate leads via Google ads, Facebook ads, ebooks and whitepapers- but not all of these companies use a modern CRM, like Salesforce. As a result, we can increase their leads and lower their cost per lead, it’s clear we’ve improved their lead pipelines and they can convert those leads to sales, but the exact ROI number is difficult to find.

A TON of B2B companies are still making, or thinking about making, the transition to 21st century marketing and sales. Many of them have succeeded so far on word of mouth, but to grow further, they need to add online advertising and a modern CRM, like Salesforce.

Any company with the ability to track their sales back to the online source has a real advantage, because that information can be used to eliminate waste and increase profits. That bears repeating: Accurate tracking is a competitive advantage.

Tip #6: Choose Smaller Marketing Agencies

We run a boutique (that means small) internet/social marketing shop for several reasons.

  • First, we can handle a lot of business as we are, because one of our biggest values and talents is efficiency.
  • Second, we are able to charge what we think the value is- which seems high to some people and low to others.
  • Third, we can choose to work only with savvy, open-minded and teachable clients and agencies.
  • Fourth, we’ve found that having experts who know how to do more than one thing helps us find the client more opportunities and get better results.

matrixblocks I’ve worked at an agency, and I’ve worked with about a dozen other agencies. There are pros and cons for clients to work with them. (And by the way, I’ve seen much smarter things happen at the smaller agencies. We have several favorite agencies because they get it.)

On the pro side, if they’re a large, big-name agency, if their results for you aren’t good, you can blame them and hire another agency. If CYA and job-preservation is your main goal in your job, sure, go with a big-name agency.

But if you’d rather explain to your boss why your results are so awesome, don’t. The biggest problem with big-name agencies is that they often either:

  • Have interns (with just a few years experience) do most of your marketing work (because that boosts their profits), or
  • They outsource it to companies like mine (because we get better results).

The most extreme example I’ve seen of Internet marketing outsourcing was:

In the early days of Facebook ads (2010), we were hired as one of two companies generating fans for a well known Fortune 500 brand- we were hired by a company that was hired by a company that was hired by an agency that was hired by the brand.

What happens when you do business in that way? Yes, risk is mitigated, but prices are boosted at every step. Lack of contact with the actual client can also lead to missed opportunities or miscommunications. Goals and execution are fragmented to the point where sometimes the sum of the parts turns out to be less than the whole. learning fall

The most maddening problem is when a brand manager really doesn’t understand internet marketing or social media, and the big-agency account executive doesn’t want to make the brand manager feel dumb, so they don’t educate them, so the brand manager chooses bad strategies. Do you really want your company to make the same mistakes other companies have already made? If not, be teachable.

These days, you don’t have to know how to DO everything, but you do have to learn what’s possible and what’s not- what works and what doesn’t.

If you want to get the best results with Internet Marketing, let experts advise and run it the smartest way. If you’re going to micromanage, learn about strategies, results, what’s possible, what’s likely, what the typical obstacles are, what doesn’t work… et cetera.

If you don’t like learning, get good at delegating or get into a simpler business, like pool cleaning maybe 🙂

If you micromanage your vendors, but you don’t ask for education from them, you’re asking for trouble.

Tip #7: Learn From The Leaders

catstudystrategyThe trailblazers in discovering the best ways to grow profits using the Internet, for the last decade or more, have been:

  • Internet marketers: the people and companies who do email marketing, SEO, and online advertising are usually the first to employ the latest greatest tools and tactics.
  • Internet marketing tool providers: software-as-a-service companies that provide innovations in marketing and sales often eat their own dog food and grow faster than their competitors.
  • Infoproduct and affiliate marketers: people who make money by teaching and selling to marketers are often the first to include new tools and tactics in their processes.

By looking at the offerings of companies like Facebook, Google, Marketo, Salesforce and Leadpages and learning how other companies have succeeded with them, you can clearly see the path to 21st century online profits. I wish it was easy to outline all of that in one blog post! Contact us for more info about how your company can get to the next level with online marketing.

[Infographic] Why Webinars Are One of the Highest-Profit Content Marketing Strategies

Posted on Posted in B2B, Webinars

Webinars are one of the most effective content marketing strategies. Marketers consistently rank them first or near the top, with only in-person events and case studies ahead of them. Unlike many types of content marketing, webinars can lead quickly to sales, and thus short-term ROI (your CFO is jumping up and down and clapping). But they have other benefits too, depending on how you use them:

  • Webinars can drive lead generation
  • Webinars can prompt a faster buying decision
  • Webinars can drive customer engagement
  • Webinars can create loyalty and improve customer retention

But a lot of webinars suck. Before I ever conducted a webinar, back in my agency days, I watched tons of them. My attention waned as the speaker droned on and on. Perhaps the webinar title promised greatness but the content was too basic, or the whole thing was just a veiled sales pitch. My employees agreed they were often time-wasters.

Webinars are a great way for experts to partner with businesses. The expert lends their credibility to the company while getting paid to teach. I’ve been fortunate to be hired for paid webinars by companies that include Microsoft, Citrix, Marketo, Mediapost, and Instant E-Training. (If you want me to do one for your company, click here!)

So, to create an EFFECTIVE webinar that gets high participant ratings and makes the sponsoring company happen, combine

  • Best Practices and Practical Takeaways so participants get a return on their time,
  • Success Stories that prove you aren’t full of crap, and
  • Entertainment value that keeps people awake.

Tech Content Marketing Infographic Series: Webinars

Explore more visuals like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.