Do You Know What Your Customers Like?

Posted on Posted in Facebook Marketing, Internet Marketing Strategy, Social Media Marketing

There’s really no point to posting something on Facebook if people aren’t going to be engaged in it.

If they don’t watch it or click on it or something, people aren’t going to see it very much and they’re going to stop seeing your stuff. That’s how the Facebook algorithm works. Whether you are a person or a company page, you have to be engaging or you will become invisible.

That’s how the newsfeed works, so you have to get engagement.

If you have a Facebook page and you’re not checking your engagement rate, or you don’t even know what an engagement rate is, you’re not even in the game.

This is the biggest metric that matters and you need to know which of your content is getting engagement and which isn’t.

If you don’t know that, you’re not even in the game.

You got to get on the Facebook page, click on insights, click on your posts, and then click on that metric that says engagement rate…

… and find out which of your posts are getting engagement and which ones aren’t. You got to figure this out.

You got to start separating in your brain, “Which of my posts do people interact with and which ones do they not?”

You got to start caring which of your content people like and which they don’t.

e75f25c7eb9b46022b8263d4acd8d2a6

You’ve got to stop putting out content that people don’t care about.

Please.

Look, it’s just like being in a conversation with someone….

  1. If you’re talking to people and you’re not listening to them and
  2. you’re talking about stuff they don’t care about and
  3. they start ignoring you and you keep saying the same things,
  4. you’re not going to have any friends.

You’re not going to have any great conversations anymore.

30f182ebb6d6d7813e88d015b0ba03c0

You have to listen and THE WAY YOU LISTEN on Facebook is by looking at the DATA.

The data is the engagement rate.

You have to listen to your audience by looking at the data and engagement rate is the way you do that.

You need to pay attention to this and learn what kind of content your customers love.

You’ve got to do it.

3

 

funnnynotlistening

Why You Have to Market with Facebook Video

Posted on Posted in Facebook Advertising, Facebook Marketing, Video Marketing

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

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

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

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

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

There are a lot of internal obstacles to it:

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

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

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

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

The 5 Facebook Ads Every Company Should Run

Posted on Posted in Advertising, Facebook Advertising, Facebook Marketing, Facebook Posting

Facebook is the king of social media. It has the most users and the best advertising platform.

You absolutely have to be marketing on Facebook. Everyone does. Period.

And because of the organic reach problem you have to be advertising on Facebook if you want to market on Facebook.

But Facebook advertising is a blessing, not a curse.

Here’s why I love the Facebook ads platform:

  • Biggest reach
  • Most affordable
  • 13 types of ads
  • Reach anybody for any purpose
  • Works for B2C and B2B

It’s a big, sophisticated, powerful platform you can easily get lost in, even if you’re an expert.

So let me simplify things for you.

The 5 Facebook ads every company should run are:

  1. Ads to your ideal customer
  2. Website conversion ads
  3. Email custom audiences (and retargeting)
  4. Promotion of “emotional selling” posts
  5. Video view ads

CONTENT UPGRADE ADS WEBINAR

The #1 Most Important Ads You Can Run on Facebook: Ads Targeted to Your Ideal Customer

The most important kind of ad you can run on Facebook is an ad that targets your ideal customer.

So how do you find out who that is?

If you have the ability to upload a buyer list of e-mails to Facebook audience insights, then you may be able to find out more about them through that tool. If you find out what’s unique about your buyers compared to a list of leads who don’t buy or to your fans, then you’ll be in great shape.

What you want to know is what are

  • their interests on
  • their personas
  • their education level
  • their income level

…and all those other factors that are in audience insights that you can use to target with Facebook ads.

What’s unique about your buyer that you can target with Facebook ads?

If you can’t use an email list of buyers and Facebook audience insights then you may have to run Facebook ad tests using website conversion ads that are fairly aggressive about sales to a number of different Facebook ad targets and see which one responds the best. And I mean being really specific about what you sell and how much it costs so that only the best people will respond to these ads.

Once you have a really good idea who your best customers are and best responders are on Facebook and you’ve figured out how exactly to target that on Facebook then the most important ads you run are going to be the ones that target your ideal customers… whether those are post promotion ads or video view ads or whatever kind of ads, the ones you target to your customers are going to teach you the most.

Because, whatever you’re doing, who cares what some fan thinks, if they’re not buying? If they’re not in your ideal buyer profile?

The most important ads for you to run are not ads to your fans and not ads to people on your newsletter email list- they’re ads to new people who fit your ideal customer profile.

#2: Website Conversion Ads

So many people run Facebook ads and don’t even know this ad exists, and they don’t know why they’re not getting leads for sales.

It’s because they’re not running this kind of ad.

This means sending people to websites or landing pages for leads or sales. And it requires setting up conversion tracking, or the ads won’t function as conversion ads.

If you’ve never set up Facebook ad conversion tracking, you haven’t done this. And that’s why Facebook isn’t working that great for you.

#3: Ads to Email Custom Audiences

Retargeting is really important.

But it’s not magic. It’s not as big a deal as some people think it is. Why?

Because it takes a while to get enough people into your retargeting audience for there to be enough to matter. Since only a few % click on ads, you have to have thousands of people in the audience before it generates any noticeable traffic back to your site. And overall, it doesn’t bring most people back.

But retargeting is a best practice.

It keeps you top of mind. It creates affordable sales you would have lost otherwise.

When most people think of retargeting, they think of website retargeting. Website retargeting means people have been to your website and they’re getting shown ads based on that or based on a specific URL that they’ve been to.

But there’s another kind of retargeting (that’s not really called retargeting but you can think of it that way) and that is the email custom audience which I think is much more powerful for a lot of people and surprisingly few people use it.

What is it? You can upload any email list to your Facebook ad account’s audiences section. A certain percentage of those people will have the same email list for their Facebook ad account and so those people will match and you’ll be able to show them ads.

So you can upload:

  • Your buyer email list,
  • An email list of leads,
  • An e-mail newsletter subscriber list,
  • All your LinkedIn connections (download them first)
  • All of your personal email connections or Gmail contacts

…and then target those people with Facebook ads.

For myself, I have a huge list of everybody that has been to all of my different websites all of my LinkedIn contacts and all of my Google contacts all together.

My custom email audience is over 30,000 people.

Think about your email lists- when you send them emails, only about 20 to 30% of them open the emails, right?

But if 50 to 60% of your email lists match on Facebook, you can get ads in front of all of those people. And those people who aren’t opening your emails right now? You can:

  • Put your latest video in front of all those people.
  • Get them to interact with your latest post.
  • Influence them.

#4: Promoted “Emotional Selling” Posts

I have mixed feelings about post promotion ads. There are so many companies out there that have grown fan bases that are completely useless. They don’t understand that their fans aren’t seeing their posts.

They create posts no one sees and they boost those posts and their fans interact with them but that’s all that happens. Their Facebook page is this almost-dead thing they’re clinging to and trying to get people to interact with so that they can pretend their Facebook fan base isn’t really dead.

The Facebook fan base really isn’t doing anything for these companies’s bottom line. They need to step back and think about the fact that they’re in business to make money. And they probably need to grow their email list.

So that’s why the website conversion that is so much more important than a post promotion ad (boosted post).

But there is a kind of promoted post that’s worth doing.

I’m going to ask you do a specific kind of post promotion ad- I don’t want you to just promote whatever post you’re doing.

Because promoted posts are not going to make a huge difference if the posts themselves aren’t that persuasive to your audience. Most of what I see people post on Facebook is not that persuasive.

Some people do a fairly good job of getting people engaged to because they engage people’s emotions.

But very few people bring to bear the decades and decades of copywriting wisdom that’s out there. Be honest: how many copywriting books have you read? How much copywriting have you studied?

Very few people are bringing what they know about their company’s unique selling proposition into their Facebook posting.

And very few companies have done a deep dive into their ideal customer enough to know how to activate their ideal customer through their Facebook posts.

The most important post promotion ads that you can create are the ones that activate your ideal customer’s emotions…

  • What fears do they have?
  • What do they love?
  • What are their dreams?

These are the things you need to identify that are going to emotionally move them towards a purchase.

You won’t know what these are when you start, but you need to have some ideas what they are. You need to develop some questions about what they are… some theories. And test those theories by creating posts.

If you’ve done that work above to figure out who your ideal customer is and how to target them on Facebook… if that work is strong, then these Facebook post that you’re creating to emotionally move your ideal customer will have an effect on your bottom line.

What we’re talking about is the emotional part of selling. The emotional part of marketing. The irrational part of your customer’s decision-making process.

You need to get inside their head and their heart.

And the way you’re going to know that you’re on track with that is

  • Engagement rate will go up.
  • Click-through rate will go up.
  • Some of these posts will create leads and sales.

#5: Any of the Four Types of Video Ads

Videos are so hot right now we can’t not choose the video view ad. People love to watch videos just like they love to watch TV. Videos are powerful and Facebook can get you a lot of video views.

Now you have to keep in mind that there are four different ways you could run videos through the Facebook ad platform. You could use it as creative in a website click ad, a website conversion ad, a boosted post ad, or the video view ad. And each one of those has a different objective. So you’ve got the video you just need to make sure you understand what goal you’re choosing.

If you want to get video views more than anything else the video of you at is your choice. The video view ad is a powerful way to get more awareness for your brand. And it’s a great way to educate people.

I made it the fifth option in part because not every company is creating video yet. I’m trying to go a little easy on those companies that are stuck.

But also because I have mixed feelings about video view ads- you get a LOT of different metrics on videos back, and it’s tough to decide which metric you should judge their success on. If you’re going to look at how long people viewed them for, since every video has a different length, I don’t think you can look at % viewed- look at the sheer duration in seconds. And think about why you are showing it to people- if it’s not to get a conversion, we can’t judge it by conversions… but are we happy with just getting views? Ultimately I’m not- I think videos a are powerful part of branding, but also should be used in website conversion ads to see if they work as well or better than any images you might be testing.

And if you haven’t started creating video, you need to get to it. The obstacles are probably in your head. Your standards are probably too high. A lot of companies and individuals are creating video and people are enjoying it. Don’t let perfectionism stop you from getting something done.

And that’s it- the five types of Facebook ads every business should run.

How many of them are you running?

CONTENT UPGRADE ADS WEBINAR

[VIDEO] The Top 10 Facebook Marketing Mistakes in 2016 [BLAB]

Posted on Posted in Advertising, Facebook Advertising, Facebook Marketing, Interview, Social Media Strategy

Top 10 FB Marketing Mistakes

I was interviewed on Blab by some folks with a show on Blab… but then Blab went away! A lot of social media folks put a lot of time and emotion and hope into the platform, and ultimately, it didn’t gain traction, and the company that started it gave up and did so in a way that angered their devotees.

That’ll teach you to focus on super new unproven platforms!

Stick with the big ones like Google and Facebook.

The 6 Types of Facebook Posts That Go Viral

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

Want more shares of your Facebook posts?

Want to get people to share your idea for you?

Want to reach the people you can’t reach yet- without even paying for it?

“Let’s make it go viral!” : It’s the executive order that marketers dread, because it’s so much easier said than done.

But the research shows us what kinds of Facebook posts get shared, and which kinds of posts they don’t share…

What People DON’T Share Is…

  • (Selfish) stuff about your company that doesn’t help them. Beware of PR and press releases that the CEO cares, that even the media might care about, but your average customer does NOT care about. You need things that make your best customer say, “Awesome!” Something that’s cool or helps them. Stop focusing on your company and focus on the customer. Try to think the way they think. Very few companies do this well. So when you do, you get big rewards in the form of sales and profits.
  • (Offensive) stuff that’s inappropriate or edgy or weird. Remember, if they hit “share” it goes to anyone they’ve connected to- their grandma, their boss, their employees, their mom, their kids… so a lot of people are only going to share PG to PG-13 items at most. The only exceptions are when your audience is defined by their edginess.
  • (Obscure) stuff that few people know about or like. Again, if most of their friends won’t even know what this thing IS, they probably won’t share it. They’ll know that their interest in it is weird. Like if you like the bands Rush or Yes, chances are, most of your connections don’t. If your business is all about that weird interest, go for it, but if it’s not central to your business, and it’s an odd post topic, it probably won’t get shared.

The 6 Types of Posts People Share:

This is a diagram I created based on my analysis of Agorapulse’s thousands of Facebook pages and post data back in 2012-2013. We’ve proven that these principles work for dozens of companies. And in every Social Audit we’ve done for any company, their most shared posts are always one of these six types.

(And by the way the 5-step framework you see on the left is part of my SuperViral Facebook Post Blueprint, a bonus I give people who join my super affordable Social Marketing Profit System course with Amazing.com)

#1 Posts That GIVE Go Viral

When you give, people not only want to reciprocate (you’ve read Cialdini’s Influence, right?), they also want to give the same to others.

So when you offer discounts and deals and run contests, you may see those get shared, and you may also want to make sure your contests are set up to reward people for sharing.

You can incentivize virality (give them a carrot to get them to share) with a variety of contest platforms.

#2 Posts That ADVISE Go Viral

This is another type of giving, but from an information and insight perspective.

When you give tips and how to’s that help people overcome obstacles and get closer to their goals and dreams, they get shared.

You increase your chances of getting shares when those tips and how to’s look super high quality.

So if it’s a video, give it some production value. If it’s a blog post, write a good title, make it scannable, readable, and use great images.

I would recommend infographics if Facebook is a big part of your distribution plan, because infographics are not very compatible with Facebook:

  • Facebook images are smaller and horizontal compared to typically gigantic and vertical infographics.
  • Infographics won’t pass the 20% text rule (put a 5×5 grid over your image, and you can’t have text in more than 5 of the squares), so they’ll never approve an ad to support it, so it will get very limited reach.
  • Instead, take the chunks of info you want to get across, and post them one at a time.

#3 Posts That WARN Go Viral

This often comes into play for news services, for example TV news.

But it can also apply if you know something about your industry.

For example, I could write a post like “WARNING: Facebook Ad Costs May Skyrocket in 2016” and talk about how

  • Since more and more companies are doing Facebook ads…
  • The ad costs are going to increase, and so
  • That’s why it’s so important to learn to resonate with your audience by knowing what they like, because
  • When you resonate, which increases your click-through rates,
  • Facebook lowers your ad costs.

So that’s how you tie one of the viral post types in with your sales message- I would then be selling either Facebook ad services or the Social Marketing Profit System. And yes, ninja trainees, I just sold it in this blog post too! 😉

#4 Posts That AMUSE Go Viral

Humor. Almost everybody loves it. The problem is: how do you do it in business? To do humor well in business, you have to:

  • Be relatable- it has to be based in a common experience of your audience
  • Make sure you don’t offend anyone (or not too much)
  • For extra credit, make a marketing or sales point with it that gets people closer to buying

And because of the not offending and not being edgy thing, it may actually not be that funny compared to what you’d see on Comedy Central. But that’s ok. Corporate humor that doesn’t make everybody uncomfortable and is in fact hilarious at a conference may only warrant a chuckle from you alone at your desk. You don’t have to be Chris Rock or Louis C.K. In fact, if you try to be, you’ll probably offend somebody, and you won’t get shares- and even if you do, it could hurt your company’s image.

Now this is different for every company- it has to fit your brand, your culture, and your legal department. Some companies are younger and smaller and are OK with taking more risks, and they benefit from them. That’s great. Just make sure the level of edginess you choose fits your company.

#5 Posts That INSPIRE Go Viral

People tend to agree with positive, inspirational messages. They “like” them. And they share them because of

  • The positive post made them feel good and they want their friends to feel good, too. I think this is probably the biggest part of the motivation.
  • They think the positive post will make them look good. “Wow, Brian is really wise for sharing that Facebook post.” I don’t know that we really ever think that consciously, because it sounds stupid when you voice it out loud, but the “looking good to others” factor does play a part.

#6 Posts That AMAZE Go Viral

We may not have created the Internet to see amazing monasteries in the clouds or puppy videos or Asian ladies covering AC/DC or skateboarders falling on their faces… but it is amazing how much amazing we can now spread.

The Internet connects us in a way that allows us to share more amazing things with more people than ever before.

In the past, it was just through TV shows (That’s Incredible! and Ripley’s Believe It or Not and America’s Funniest Home Videos), and people had to mail VHS tapes to these shows, or the TV shows had to have people traveling the globe to find them- but now so many people have smartphones, we can capture tons of things and the collective human race can judge and make each thing viral or not.

And all of that stuff is right there for you to find with Google and BuzzSumo and PostPlanner… because no matter how many people have shared it, a lot of this amazing stuff has not been seen by most people. It’s not only proven viral- it’s still new to many. Especially the stuff that was on sites like Ebaums World before Facebook. Sometimes you’ll see something go viral on Facebook and discover it happened four years ago…

So those are the 6 types of posts that go viral!

How to Make Your Revenue Go Viral

The goal here is not just engagement, though- but also to tie it into your sales and marketing messages.

Engagement is great, because every brand needs attention, but if you want extra credit and better ROI, make sure you’re also thinking about your customer’s pains and problems and your services’ and products’ benefits.

Tie it in and connect the dots. Give them a call to action related to your brand. Put a link in the text (and some utm parameters to track it well in Google Analytics) so that they can go somewhere to take an action meaningful to your bottom line.

You’ve already pressed their buttons and stimulated their emotions- so channel that into a transaction with your company- or at least make the courteous suggestion that they might considering doing that…

Then it won’t just be your engagement going viral- your revenue can go viral, too!

RANT + PODCAST: “Do Whatever It Takes”

Posted on Posted in Facebook Marketing, Inspiration, Productivity, Social Media ROI, Social Media Strategy, Strategy, Thought Leadership

Do Whatever It Takes

This is a blog post that began as a podcast- feel free to listen instead, or listen AND read along below.

Today, I want to talk to you about something I think is really important for success for business and something we see all the time with marketing.

You have to be willing to do whatever it takes to get better results, and to avoid your competitors eating your lunch, or your entire industry being disrupted!

Companies run into a lot of different obstacles. Sometimes, companies hire us because they just need help with something they can’t do, like we’ll do Facebook ads for them, and they can’t do it, and we can get them the results. Other times, they just have a problem, and they don’t know what it is.

Sometimes, we have really complicated clients who have a ton of problems.

Sometimes, they have reputation problems. And, sometimes, we can do certain things.

We’ve got a client who has a big reputation problem. We can do certain things for them, but they also have some issues with customer service. The level of customer service is not high enough. They set expectations for customers they can’t possibly meet. They’re not really clear how to describe what they are compared to other companies.

There’s a lot of issues that have, so, when you start trying to market to solve some of these problems you discover, some of them you can solve, and some of them are internal company problems.

You’ve got to give them feedback, and I wonder if they think they think it’s weird…

  • “The marketing guy’s telling us to improve our customer service!”
  • “The marketing guy’s telling us we don’t know what our company is about!”
  • “The marketing guy is saying that it’s not okay that our IT people are telling us that something is impossible!”

…and that last one is the one that gets me the maddest. Because right now, everything is internet-based. Everything is programming-based. Everything is computer-based.

And it’s a gigantic opportunity, it’s been a gigantic shift in our economy and in business, and the world is completely changed. I mean the new thing with Amazon, you’re seeing those buttons where you get a Tide detergent button you put in your kitchen, and, when you’re running out of Tide, you would just push the button, and it orders it through Amazon. It shows up to your house 2 days later.

Very dangerous. You don’t want to have that for candy with you if you’ve got kids in the house, right? 🙂

Technology is everywhere, and so many companies have come out of nowhere, like Uber using smartphones to disrupt the entire transportation industry, not just taxis but they’re going to be competing with FedEx and DHL and UPS.

They’re running the Uber Eats thing in Houston as a test, delivering food. I wouldn’t be surprised if they start delivering groceries and either Amazon or Uber disrupts the whole grocery business.

You always see, anywhere that technology can improve convenience, new companies win and old companies lose. Companies like BlockBuster go out of business because of Netflix. The list is super long. Borders went out of business. Not only did Borders send traffic to Amazon rather than having a web store, which is just idiotic, but they didn’t adapt like Barnes & Noble did. Barnes & Noble copied the Kindle, created the Nook for an e-reader, right? And so Barnes & Noble has survived. They’re profitable. Borders went away.

Now, my point about this is is that, if your company, and we hear this sometimes, has an IT department or programmers who are saying, “This can’t be done,” or, “We can’t do it,” or they’re just slow or they’re just stubborn or they’re just difficult.

I grew up a geek. I’ve programmed some. I’ve hung around programmers. I know programmers. And I understand. They’re different, and they’re great. I love programmers. They’re different, so sometimes they struggle a little bit with some of the social things that other people in your company don’t struggle with, and sometimes they have different priorities, and sometimes they’re hard to deal with. Sometimes they’re difficult.

But the thing is I think you have to be willing to go nuclear on your programmers and say, “Look, you guys are problem solvers. You have to be willing to solve these problems. I’m not interested in you saying you can’t solve this problem. Don’t tell me you can’t do it. I don’t ever want to hear that. Solve the problem or you’re fired.” It needs to be that simple.

If you don’t have a culture of programmers and IT people that will solve problems quickly and see themselves as quick problem solvers… the overall topic I want to talk about today is willing to do whatever it takes, because there’s a lot of disruption, and there’s a lot of change, and there’s a lot of opportunity.

Millennials get it. They’ve grown up in a time where everything has changed frequently.

A new business can come out of nowhere and they no longer use the old business, whereas people who are over 50 will have stayed loyal to a company or business model for 10 or 20 years or whatever. That may seem weird to them, and, basically, you may take your customers or business model or advantage in the industry for granted. You ignore problems, assuming you can.

Another younger, faster, more agile, more motivated company comes along with programmers who do want to solve the problem you’re ignoring- and suddenly it’s too late for you.

The biggest enemy for companies that are going to get disrupted is an internal culture of laziness and procrastination and just barely good enough instead of ambition.

You really need hungry people, because there are so many start-ups, and many of them fail, but a few of them completely disrupt industries, and that’s the problem, right?

You have to be willing to do whatever it takes.

We see this on other levels too. When we work with clients sometimes, some of our clients are still getting used to the whole fact that we can test a whole bunch of different messages with customers, and we can test a whole bunch of different images. They’re so used to the old marketing paradigm of, “Let’s decide what the ad and the marketing images and all that stuff are before we put it out.” They decided on the basis of personal preference, like, “I just feel like this is good.” They’re accustomed to making these decisions on, very little knowledge about the customer.

Often, they think they know the customer better than they actually do. Often, the data we as their digital marketers come up with about the customer when we run a bunch of different ads is surprising to them. We learn about the customer. And there are some great tools, Facebook Audience Insights, with their data partners and all the information we have from all those retail loyalty programs, gives us net worth and income, and shopping behavior info, and all these things that we can learn about your customers, especially if we upload your email list and we profile those people or we profile the emails of your buyers versus those who don’t buy. That’s gigantic, and we learn a ton about your audience, then we learn more when we run all those different ads.

If your internal culture is not willing to do whatever it takes, they’re not willing to let go of their preferences about messages, they’re not willing to let the customer tell you which ones they prefer. 

Instead of having an internal counsel at your company that decides what messages should go out… Yes, you need legal, yes, you have to have brand parameters, but I’ve seen companies make a lot of arbitrary decisions that are above and beyond those things. Creative decisions that don’t have anything to do with their branding.

The thing is, if you do that, if we’re just doing it with guesses and with, “It’s my opinion,” what the data tells me from having run, 10-15 years now of ad tests and experiments is that, even when you have the data on your customers, EVERYONE’S guesses about what your customers are going to like are often wrong.

Being personally attached to your ideas is a liability in digital marketing. It’s a huge liability. It’s why some companies are losing at marketing.

There are some great books out now, the Freakonomics books, the Daniel Kahneman… books out there about the biases that we experience. We have great science now about basically the ways in which our perception is often wrong. The ways in which we fool ourselves, the ways in which our ego basically screws up our chances of success.

So when we get so attached to our own opinions, or when your company has a system that allows that… The way around it, I love this whole digital marketing laboratory approach, because the older thing was you’d have like a boss who has a great marketing idea, and, if you have a marketing director who isn’t that strong of a personality, then they’re always getting bulldozed by the boss who has a marketing idea, which may be good or bad and often may be bad.

They’re not trained in marketing, and, when you’re a CEO, you’re basically getting told you’re awesome all the time, so anybody that’s in that situation starts to believe it, whether they are awesome or not, right? So you’re putting out these marketing ideas thinking that they’re awesome because you’re awesome, and, if they’re not working and especially if you’re not tracking, you don’t really know if they’re working.

But, in a digital marketing laboratory, where we can see where each ad, “Does this ad get us leads?” “Does this ad get us sales?” Then you can tell, right? The boss can have an idea, the marketing director can have an idea, the marketing assistant, the marketing interns, they can have ad ideas, and we can see which ones work the best. Now, that’s a democratic situation where we get to see what works.

If you’re still attached to your ego there… Then, when your ad doesn’t work, you feel bad, you feel ashamed, you feel like you lost, you feel like you’re a bad person, you feel like something bad is going to happen, but that’s not what we’re doing. We’re not trying to prove we’re good people by having good guesses. That’s not what we’re doing.

We’re trying to put enough ideas out there to let customers choose the best one so that we have a better chance of succeeding.

Because the fact is like there is a research study that showed that, after 10 years or more, marketing experts do not get better at guessing which creative ad marketing message or image is going to work the best. They don’t get better at it.

You don’t get better at it. What you can get better at it is being disciplined about the process of putting out more ideas. And, yeah, you don’t want to put out stupid ideas. I think you get better at finding some best practices, but there’s often things that break the rules. A lot of people I know, including myself, who’ve run conversion optimization on landing pages find that, when you put a video on the landing page, it doesn’t convert as well as when you just have an image, which is counterintuitive, and there’s a lot of counterintuitive stuff in digital marketing. That’s why you have to test.

All the people who are going by their gut are going to fail on the counterintuitive stuff. All the people who are testing are going to find a counterintuitive thing that works awesome and the super-performing outliers, and they’re going to find the things that work super duper well that you wouldn’t have found if you didn’t have an open mind and you didn’t test a lot of stuff.

The companies that aren’t willing to do whatever it takes… They aren’t willing to put aside their ego, they aren’t willing to make their program solve problems, they aren’t willing to test a lot of ideas, they aren’t willing to go with the analytics instead of opinion, those companies are going to lose.

It’s simple as that. They’re not going to get as good of results. They’re not going to have as big a profit margin. Their spend is not going to be as efficient. So they’re not going to do as good.

For a public traded company as well, you can only go so far on all that cash. There are plenty of companies that are huge that fail. And that get bought up. And there are plenty of troubled companies that get acquired, disassembled, et cetera by better companies. Being big is not good enough. You have to be willing to do whatever it takes.

That’s what I wanted to say today. It is kind of a rant.

I’m amazed that people don’t do it, but I think that, for me, it comes from just a insatiable desire to get results for whatever I do.

And I do that in comedy, I want to get laughs, and I do it in business, I want to get clients, leads, and sales, and whatever results they want. But I go with the data, and, when the data tells you what’s working and what’s not, that’s when you have to make the change, right? It just doesn’t make sense to me when you’re not willing to go whatever direction the data, which really is what the customers are telling you through the data, which direction to go.

If you’re not willing to go the direction the customers are telling you to go, well, you’re missing a gigantic component of business. You’re in business to satisfy the customer so they will part with their money, and you’re there to satisfy them to make them happy so they’ll continue to give you their money, and everyone will be happy. The data tells you what to do to do that. You have to be willing to do whatever it takes to create and sustain that relationship.

That’s it. I’m going to go to Las Vegas and talk in the Amazing.com Conference. It’s like 4 days with a thousand customers who have bought courses from Amazing.com, which I call them the Mercedes-Benz of course creation. Udemy I call the Wal-Mart of course creation. Nothing against Udemy instructors, et cetera, Udemy’s got a lot of great stuff, and they’ve been doing great things for a long time, but Amazing.com takes it to another level. They’ve got an instructional design person on staff. They treat instructors like really well. They flew me out to Austin to film parts of the videos.

I’m creating a course called Social Marketing Profit System. It’s got 4 and a half hours of video, 25 videos on the basics of Facebook marketing advertising strategy, how to not choose the wrong strategies, because, again, this is a counter-intuitive thing. A lot of people, the first things they choose to do are actually not the most effective ones, and everybody’s making the same mistakes instead of getting a little bit of training and avoiding that heartache, avoiding losing that money, right? Save some money, save some heartache.

Some people do their own things, and then they conclude that Facebook marketing or advertising doesn’t work. Well, that’s just dumb. You didn’t get any training. It’s a very complicated system. There’s a big learning curve, so, just like anything that’s complicated, you need to get some education before you try, or you’re likely to fail.

And then there’s a whole bunch of stuff on how to get better likes and shares and comments on your Facebook posts and a ton of information about Facebook advertising, how to get better results. We’ve got all kinds of results. I mean one of the big things that’s different about me from other Facebook marketing instructors is I’ve worked with a ton of real companies getting them real results, leads, and sales. I don’t just go out and teach people to be social media consultants. I don’t just run retreats where we talk about personal growth.

I love personal growth, but I work in the real business world helping real companies get profits and leads and sales and stuff, right? And I’ve done that with all sizes of businesses: small business, medium, Fortune 500, all over the world, talked to all kinds of different audiences. I know what works and doesn’t work for real businesses. The first people that got profits from Facebook marketing in 2011 were students of mine, we’ve been succeeding like that for 4 years.

I used to hate to bang my own drum, but, right now, I hate to see people go get training that doesn’t come from that kind of experience. I was talking about data. We’ve got a ton of data from companies showing what does and doesn’t work for business to consumer and business to business marketing on Facebook. It’s the most powerful platform in the world. I think it’s the most powerful marketing platform ever. I could go on and on about it, and often do.

I love Google, and Google’s important, and you’ve got to do Google ads if they’re profitable for you to a degree, but then you’re going to get limited sales volume. So, after that, if you want to expand, reach more people who are potential consumers, convince those people to buy, Facebook’s the most affordable way to do that. And they just put out new stats: 1.55 billion people on Facebook. I’ve spoken in a bunch of different countries, and, in most countries, at least 50 percent of the population is using Facebook.

It’s super viable, and the ads are super affordable. You just need to know how to do it right. If you use the system that I teach, you’re going to cut your ad cost by 50 to 90 percent, and that means your spend is going to go twice as far to ten times as far, okay? So you’re spending maybe 500 bucks a month? Maybe you’re going to end up getting 5,000 bucks worth of advertising out of it. Or, if you’re spending 1,000 bucks, you’re going to get 2,000 to 10,000 dollars of value out of it because you’re probably doing some things wrong right now.

For example, if you’re trying to get people to go to your website by putting a link in a post on a Facebook page and then you’re boosting that post, your cost-per-click for that link is probably a dollar or two or more. That’s ten times higher than it needs to be because you’re using the wrong kind of ad, right? You need to be using a website conversion ad or a website traffic ad from within the Facebook ad manager or Power Editor.

Little mistakes like that, there are a ton of them, and I’m going to share those with the 1,500 people at the Amazing.com Summit. That’s going to be exciting. I’ll be in Las Vegas for 4 days, and I’m going to be doing a lot of webinars to promote this thing, this course. It’s going to be a big push for me. It’s going to be good, because I’ve done a lot of webinars for other companies, some of them had paid me, some I’ve done it for exposure, but I haven’t done it for myself because I never had the right product, and now I’m with a company where we’ve got a great product, and I think it’s the right time. I think it’s time to tell people, “Look, you’ve got to demand results from Facebook. You can do it. This is the system.” So I’m going to promote the heck out of that.

I hope that was all helpful to you guys. If you have any questions, you can always contact me through the contact form on this site. We do a ton of different types of services for people and companies as well, and you can check those out there.

That’s it. I’m running out of steam, and I got to get ready to get on the plane, so I hope you guys are doing well and your business is doing well and your family is well. I wish you guys all the best.

Facebook Benchmarks: Do You Measure Up?

Posted on Posted in Analytics, E-Commerce, Facebook Advertising, Facebook Marketing, Facebook Posting

FB Benchmarks

How do you know if you’re doing well on Facebook? And once you’re doing ok, how good can it get? Here are the minimum thresholds and some of the best metrics we’ve seen:

Minimum Threshold Awesome
Facebook Post Engagement Rate 1.0% 16%
Newsfeed CTR 1.0% 5.0%
Right Column CTR 0.1% 0.5%
Lead Gen Squeeze Page Conv Rate 5.0% 40%
Ecommerce Site Conversion Rate 1.0% 3.0%
Amazon Product Page Conv Rate 12% 20%
B2C Cost Per Lead $10.00 $0.15
B2C Cost Per Sale $10.00 $3.00

How NOT to Connect with Influencers on Facebook

Posted on Posted in Facebook Marketing, Influencer Marketing, Social Networking

 

How Not to Connect With Influencers

I get a ton of Facebook friend requests. I already have more than 99,000 public followers and 3,500 friends. There’s a 5,000 friend limit, so I can’t friend everybody, and there are dozens of people from around the world that request my friendship per day. I’ve already written about this in The Biggest Networking Mistake Everyone is Making on Facebook… subsequent to that I did get one personal message explaining why someone wanted to connect with me, but it really didn’t do a great job of explaining why I should connect to them. I didn’t want to be a jerk about it with my answer but I also didn’t want to ignore it, so here was my answer:

Hey I don’t want to ignore your message- I’m going to be completely transparent- the key questions you to answer for somebody like me are:

  • “What do you want from me?”
  • “Why do you want my Facebook friendship?”
  • “What do you have to offer me?”
  • “Why do you need Facebook friendship to do that?”

So far you told me you’re in social media and inbound marketing which is awesome but there are thousands of people in that- and actually there are probably 50,000-100,000 of them internationally and since I can only have 5,000 facebook friends, I can’t connect with everyone who requests me on Facebook, so to be honest you have to do a better job of standing out and connecting- which is a great marketing lesson and networking lesson- what do you and I have in common and how can you evoke emotions around that in your message? You could use graph search to figure that out- I tell you that so you could apply it to networking with not just me but other influencers too.

It’s much more effective to friend someone on Facebook AFTER interacting with them somehow- in message comments or private messages or on the phone or LinkedIn or some other social network or in person… the absolute best way is when you know you’ve made an emotional connection already- you talked about your kids or pets or you shared a joke or a hobby. Then a Facebook connection makes sense. Sometimes people will connect without that, just on a business basis, but there’s a chance they won’t.

But to be  stranger and completely unknown and friend request without a message- you’re going to get ignored. If you do message an influencer, make sure you answer the questions above.

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!