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

Posted on Posted in Advertising, Content Marketing

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

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Is Freemium Content Marketing Killing Your Sales?

Posted on Posted in Content Marketing, Lead Gen, Sales, Social Media

imageWhat’s the point of content marketing? What’s the goal? Why do we do it?

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.

  1. So you’ve grown a list of 10,000 or 100,000 emails…
  2. And 20-30% of those people open your email- are you emailing daily or every other day or twice a week or weekly?
  3. About 8% of them click to the site and read more free content-
  4. How many of them are actually buying something? Are you tracking that?

Freemium, high quality content marketing is only PART of the answer because… we human beings are all a bunch of freeloaders!

We’ve Created a Bunch of Information 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…

  • How many newsletters have you joined and then never paid that company a penny?
  • How many podcasters have you listened do and never given them a dime?
  • How many bloggers have you read and you’ve never bought their course?
  • How many blog posts have you read and you don’t even remember them or who wrote them?
  • How many whitepapers and ebooks have you downloaded and you didn’t fully read and you don’t remember where they are on your computer?

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…

Why Do People Buy?

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)…

  • Why should the potential buyer take action with you right now?
  • Why not procrastinate?
  • Why not ignore you?
  • Why not choose your competitor?

You have to sell. How?

  • Urgency
  • Scarcity
  • Pain relief
  • Gigantic opportunity now
  • Limited-time only

The difference between rich and poor people, billionaire and middle class, successful sales organizations and unsuccessful ones is understanding:

  • Pain
  • Value (which includes relevance)
  • Urgency and
  • Tribes

“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.

  • Why is your thing a new, big, limited-time opportunity?
  • Why NOW?
  • Why do you think Microsoft puts out new versions of Offce and Windows all the time?
  • Why are there always new iPhones?
  • Why are there new models of the same cars each year?
  • Why does the McRib keep going away and coming back?

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.

Sell Something and Track It

Freemium is not bad. I do all kinds of lead magnets. They’re great. But you have to sell something too.

  • You need to track which of your leads become sales.
  • You need to track which of your customer targets are not just great lead sources, but which ones are great buyers.
  • Which of your lead magnets create customers, not just leads?

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.

The More Ideas You Test the More Likely You Win

Posted on Posted in Content Marketing, Creativity, Facebook Advertising, Facebook Marketing, Facebook Posting, Internet Marketing Strategy, Social Media Strategy, Strategy

You’ve got to test more ideas in digital marketing and social media.

Because if you only text one post or one post a day or one ad a week, you’re only going to discover so much stuff and you’re only create so much stuff and you’re only going to get a certain level of results.

The more stuff you create, the more ideas you force yourself to have, the more likely you are to find that idea that your customer goes crazy for.

I’m talking about…

  • Gigantic engagement rates,
  • Gigantic click through rates,
  • Gigantic sales,
  • Gigantic leads,
  • Incredible conversion rates.

Here’s my analogy. Let’s say, in any sport, like my sport is the NBA. I love basketball. When I watch these guys, I’m like “Wow, there’s some amazing players.” Historically we got Michael Jordan, we’ve got Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, we’ve got Magic Johnson, we’ve got Shaq, we’ve got LeBron, Kobe, Durant, Steph Curry, Steve Nash, all these guys are one in a million, one-in-a-billion, right, because they’re freaks of nature in one way or another.

There have been thousands of guys in the league over the years but if we had only had 10 guys in the league, if the NBA hadn’t been so big and hadn’t been so popular and hadn’t been so much money going into it, probably wouldn’t have that many guys and those guys would have done different things with their lives. They wouldn’t have been basketball players. We never would have found those genius basketball players.

If you don’t put enough money or time into your content, you’re never going to find that exceptional outlier of content that performs super well.

I’ve got this post that has a crazy dog in it that gets me 6 likes per penny I spend on it, because I’ve tested hundreds and hundreds of posts.

crazydog

The more stuff you create and the more you test, the more likely you are to find that exceptional, you know, the Michael Jordan of Facebook post, the Michael Jordan of Facebook ads.

It’s probably not the one expect it is. That’s the other thing that’s weird about it.

There’s research that shows that marketing experts, even after 10 or 15 years of experience, do not get better at guessing which content is going to win with the customer.

You could say, “Brian Carter’s a great marketing mind. He’s amazing.”

He still can’t guess which one is going to work with your customer.

All he can do is say, “I think I analyzed your audience and I understand ’em pretty well and based on what you’ve said, you and I are going to figure out some ideas. We’re going to put them in front the customer and we’re going to see which one it works.”

If we only put 5 ideas out there, our chances of success are much lower than if we put out 100 ideas.

Then we’re going to find one or two that really perform amazingly and your customers are going to go nuts for them. That’s not only going to drive down your costs…

  • Cost per engagement
  • Cost per lead
  • Cost per sale…

It’s also going to:

  • Create much more enthusiastic customers
  • Who will love you and your brand more.
  • More excitement and loyalty

But you don’t get that if you don’t test enough ideas.

So many companies out there are just doing the bare minimum. They’re doing checkbox marketing. They’re like, “Yep, we put out our content calendar. Yep, we ran an ad.”

It’s really easy to do. I know. I’ve done it myself. You get tired, you get busy and you’re like, “I created an ad. I’m done. I’m going to go watch Netflix,” you know? “I’ve got so many meetings today, I don’t have time.”

Okay, but you got to figure out how in your process to make this possible.

And if you’re a manager, you got to figure out how to make this possible for your marketing team, give them more time to brainstorm. Figure out how to help them create more ideas and get more stuff out there. You’ve got to do it.

This is a competitive advantage, to be able to create:

  • More ideas,
  • More creativity,
  • More unique, different ideas.

It’s very important today because the better your ideas are and the more you test, the more likely you are to win.

Geeky Data Increases Customers and Loyalty

Posted on Posted in Advertising, Analytics, Content Marketing, Facebook Advertising, Facebook Marketing

If you’re going to do digital marketing or social marketing you have to have geeks or you have to get a little geeky. What does that mean? You need to get into the analytics, you need to look at your metrics, you have to start keep a track of these stuff.

You can’t just put on a content calendar that you think is full of content that you like or your marketing department likes or your CEO likes because what really matters is what your customer likes.

That geeky approach, the scientific marketing approach … Facebook is a digital marketing laboratory.

You put this content out. You can get ideas from a bunch of different places, from anyone in your company, anywhere. From customers, anywhere.

Throw all those ideas into your internet digital laboratory aka Facebook see what metrics come back, get a little geeky, look at those numbers and figure out what people like and what they don’t.

It doesn’t matter what YOU like. It matters what your customer likes.

You need to get geeky and figure out what that is.

geek

Content Marketing World: Facebook Advertising Lead Generation and Content that Sells

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

Want to hack your customer’s brain, create content that sells, and get affordable, high-quality leads from Facebook?

Want to harness the power of Facebook ads and content marketing to boost not just leads but also your LEAD QUALITY and SALES?

I’ll be teaching a special in-depth 3.5 hour WORKSHOP on September 6th at Content Marketing World in Cleveland, Ohio about combining Facebook ads and customer analysis with lead generation and content marketing that sells. Topics include:

You can create content that not only grabs attention but also attracts leads and sales. Based on dozens of case studies with results like $7.00 B2B leads and $0.10 B2C leads, I will teach you:

  • Highly-effective Facebook advertising targeting, images and copywriting for Content Marketing.
  • The “7 Types of Social Content That Convert”, so you can get into the customer’s consideration set, build brand authority and customer trust, make you their #1 choice, and activate buyer emotions to trigger them to buy from you.
  • How to get $10,000 of market research for free and uncover the difference between your best buyers, your competition’s customers and the average Joe Schmo so you can laser target your best customers and get them to buy.
  • “The 4 Basic Marketing Strategies” in The Persuasion Grid™ to ensure you’re selling at full power. Many companies are losing customers and revenue because they’re ignoring one or more of these basic marketing strategies.
  • Killer scientific tips on lead magnets and squeeze pages so you can lower your lead cost and improve lead quality.

BONUSES just for attending…

  • I’ll share with workshop attendees only my exclusive, proprietary, highly-protected Conversion Questionnaire. This questionnaire was developed over 15 years to identify the most important elements that go into “Content That Sells” and high-performance Facebook ads. Answer its questions and you’ll be 80% of the way to success with Facebook advertising lead gen.
  • Also, just for attending, I’ll also share with you several other valuable content and ad creation tools not available to the general public, including my SuperProfitable Ad Messages Template, SuperViral Facebook Post Blueprint, ViralProfits Meme Creator and World’s Best Facebook Ad Blueprint.
  • I’ll also give you access to a private, workshop-attendee-only Facebook Leads & Sales Community Group so you can get answers to any questions that arise as you execute day-to-day.

Get more info about Content Marketing World and Sign Up Here.

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!

Where to Get Your Next Awesome Marketing or Brand Idea

Posted on Posted in Content Marketing, Creativity, Improv

Where to get your next awesome marketing ideaIt’s a noisy world and a noisy marketplace. Content marketing is driving almost everybody to create more stuff. But you need to stand out to get attention for your products and services. And to stand out you need a great brand and great marketing ideas.

Where do they come from? How can you reliably generate a lot more great ideas?

Kathy Klotz-Guest, Gary Ware and I have found that the games and exercises from improv comedy can generate great marketing and branding ideas. That’s right, the same games that make you laugh when watching Whose Line Is It Anyway could power your next business success!

Yes, some are funny, some are serious and some are too over-the-top, but you usually get some truly viable ideas… one of which just might be the next Old Spice “I’m on a Horse”, Gangnam style, or Blendtec.

Next up, on December 2nd, watch us brainstorm some ideas for products sold on Amazon.com.

Here are some of our previous sessions:

Uh Oh, Content Marketing Ideas Improvised Live!

Posted on Posted in Content Marketing, Improv

The Improv Content Marketing team (go check out Kathy Klotz-Guest and Gary Ware elsewhere too) is back at it again, and this time, we made the foolish commitment to try to improvise content ideas live on camera! Well, it mostly turned out pretty good, considering how it might have gone. No, actually I was pretty impressed- it could have been horrible and there were some pretty cool ideas here.

What can you do with this? If your team has been brainstorming but doesn’t have the improv background, you might use this as a touchstone- hopefully we’re modeling support and a willingness to voice ideas that might be dumb or might be brilliant- and only if you’re willing to take that risk will the best stuff come out.

What Content Marketing is NOT

Posted on Posted in Content Marketing, Marketing Automation, Social Media Strategy

What’s the point of content marketing?

  • Is it just getting some blog posts up?
  • Is it creating cool infographics to get tons of shares?
  • Is it becoming a podcaster?

Well… those are all examples of content marketing- but what is the point of content marketing?

Professional, enterprise-level content marketing… what we should all aspire to- is organized, measured and automated. Great content marketing drives everything toward sales and repeat sales. Conversion and loyalty. That’s the point.

Content Marketing is NOT getting as many shares as Buzzfeed. Even when you succeed with top-of-funnel awareness-raising supercool content in your niche, it probably won’t have the broad human appeal of bacon or “26 Pictures Will Make You Re-Evaluate Your Entire Existence” or “24 Pictures That Will Make You Feel Better About The World“.

So content marketing is not about viral marketing. And good thing, too, since your chances of pulling that off are slim to none.

Content marketing is about sales.

And you can’t do professional content marketing without marketing automation. Even if it’s just an email autoresponder of follow-ups for people new to your brand.

7 Content Marketing Questions Your Organization Must Answer

You have to answer these questions:

  1. What are the buying stages of my prospects?
  2. What does that make our funnel look like?
  3. What content do we have for each stage of the funnel?
  4. What is the conversion rate for each of those pieces of content- what % of content-consumers does it get to the next funnel stage?
  5. Where is the bottleneck?
  6. What kinds of content are we missing?
  7. How can we improve our results?

Until you’ve answered those questions, you don’t have strong content marketing.

The 14 Stages of Organizational Content Marketing Evolution

And if you’ve been focusing on buzz only… well here are the stages of content marketing evolution in an organization, as stated by your very excitable marketing person:

  1. “Oh no: We don’t have content!”
  2. Yay! We have a blog!
  3. Oh, no! Our blog isn’t getting any attention!
  4. Oh, no! Our buzzy posts aren’t getting shared!
  5. Oh, no! We need more types of content!
  6. Oh no! We don’t have enough budget!
  7. Yay! We have more budget!
  8. Yay! Now we have lots of content!
  9. Oh, no! Our content isn’t organized!
  10. Yay! We purchased marketing automation!
  11. Oh, no! We’ve had marketing automation for 3 months and haven’t set it up!
  12. Yay! We are tracking the success of our content!
  13. Oh, no! Our content isn’t effective enough!
  14. Yay! We have a new comprehensive content marketing plan!
  15. Yay! We are coming up with new content for the bottlenecks!
  16. Yay! We have content marketing ROI!

Got it? Please feel free and go ahead and skip some of the learning-the-hard-way!

That said…

7 Types of Compelling Content that Convert

…here are some tips on creating content that converts better and gets more sales:

  1. Dispel lies & myths about your niche to gain authority and trust.
  2. Arouse fear and worry about making the wrong decision to gain trust.
  3. List the mistakes customers make in your niche to gain trust.
  4. List the problems it will help them overcome and show your offering’s benefits to get into the consideration set.
  5. Prove the unique superiority of your offering to beat your competitors.
  6. Tell stories of customers’ specific results. Film testimonials from customers to gain trust.
  7. Walk prospects through how your offering will change their experience of life or work activate their emotions.

Not sure what channels to use and what content to create? It helps to map out your buyer stages, then what question you need to answer for buyers at each level, then what channels you’ll do it in:

Now I believe you have plenty of work to do? Get to it! 🙂