REPLAY: Why Retargeting is Even More Important than Email Marketing [Facebook Live Show]

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

Episode OCHO of Live Online Learning (LOL):

To be sure not to miss future live shows, opt in here to join the email list so we can keep you notified!

Here’s what we talked about, in addition to attendee live questions we answered:

 

  • What is retargeting?

 

      • It’s the best way to stay visible to your hottest leads and best potential customers. It’s a best practice to getting quicker revenue and profits.
      • Retargeting is when ads follow you around- have you ever viewed a site or product and then you see it everywhere? It’s stalking you!
      • Showing ads to people who’ve been on your website or viewed one of your products or services- if you include custom lists it’s also visibility to your opt in email lists and contacts

 

  • Why retarget?

 

      • Owned marketing- these are people who are now in your audience, similar to email subscribers or fans or followers- they haven’t opted into a list but they did show interest.
      • How few people buy or take action right away
        • What’s your bounce rate? That means the % of people who only view on page on your website and leave right away. The average site has about 50% of visitors bounce, without viewing a second page. For many sites it’s as high as 70-90%. Many businesses haven’t optimized their websites behaviorally to get users to stick around and view multiple pages. Retargeting is a great way to bring them back.
        • What’s your ecomm conv rate? 1-2% Reverse it. 98-99%. That’s the % of people you’re losing who forget about you within 1-3 days. Retargeting keeps you top of mind.
        • What’s your email or lead gen opt in rate?  3%-20% Reverse it. 80-97% That’s the % of people you’re losing who forget about you within 1-3 days. Retargeting keeps you top of mind.
        • If you’re working hard or paying to get that traffic, how do you feel about losing most of the people and them promptly forgetting about you? It sucks, right? Retargeting fixes this.
      • Retargeting is like email but better
        • Do you email market? Have you grown a list and done follow up emails to them?
        • Only 20-30% of people open emails
        • 97% of people use cookies, don’t block them, and can be retargeted
          • Advertising on Facebook and Instagram, you can reach 72% of Americans, 69% of Canadians, 68% of U.K.
          • Those ads will get a substantial message in front of people, like a short email- but in front of 2-3x as many as those who open your emails.
        • If you have an email follow up sequence you need a retargeting ad sequence
        • Best practice is to do both email marketing and retargeting (website and custom lists)
      • People need to hear about you 7 times before they’ll buy. Or is it 17 times. Or 27 times? There are different numbers quoted out there- who’s right?
        • Who cares. It’s more than one time! Most people don’t buy the first time they hear about or visit a brand.
          • Sometimes the first time you go to a website, you’re distracted by something or you get pulled away or you’re not focused on their message or you don’t have time or you’re resistant- but over time with repeated exposures to the marketing message, you hear and “get” the message, or hear about the value and how they solve your problems and the unique benefits of their offering and eventually you come to want that thing.
        • Retargeting helps you stay top of mind until they’re ready to take action so that you’re their first choice when they buy- are you worried about competitors getting all the sales?
          • Without retargeting, when your prospect is ready they might see your competitor’s ad or marketing, and you miss out on the sale. They visited you 3 weeks ago, but your competitor is luckier in their timing (or perhaps your competitor is retargeting) and you lose the sale.
      • Familiarity increases affinity (in social psych it’s called The Familiarity Principle, aka The Mere-Exposure Effect)
        • Studies show that the more we’re familiar with a person or brand, the more we like it.
        • For not very much money you can look like you’re everywhere to the most interested people- they don’t realize you’re not advertising to the whole world this much, so they think you’re a huge deal.
      • One of the two best converting targeting options
        • Along with email subscribers, these are your hottest potential leads.
      • Just spending $1 a day on retargeting means you’re in front of 100 of your best prospects a day- instead of zero of them.

 

  • How do you set retargeting up?

 

      • Facebook Pixel code from Facebook goes on every page of website, every landing page, in your ecommerce cart, checkout, everywhere! (in AdWords it’s called remarketing and it’s in the audiences section of “shared library”)
        • This cookies every user that goes to the site, and grows a list of people who can see your ad. If the cookie is on their computer, Facebook can show your ads.
      • Also custom audiences are similar, and are built from email lists and phone lists- so combining web traffic and opt in lists, you can reach just about everyone who knows your brand

 

  • What kinds of retargeting ads are best?

 

      • Ad type depends on goal-
        • Conversion for ecomm or lead gen with landing pages
        • Leads ads for lead gen with
        • Video views (also can drive traffic)
        • Post engagement
      • Variety- it’s best to have more than one ad, so that people don’t tire of it- when the audience is small they’re going to see it more frequently
      • Things to put in the ads
        • Lead magnet- grow your opt in email list with an ebook, checklist, quiz, etc
        • Sales: Offering related
          • Benefits- what does it do for them? If there’s a lot of this, use multiple ads to get them all across
          • Problems- what problems does your offering solve for them?
          • Unique selling prop- how are you better or different than the competition?
          • Discount- offer a special/secret discount

 

  • How not to be annoying or creepy

 

    • Maybe don’t run ads that acknowledge that you know they’ve been to your site- because they don’t always know how they’ve been targeted
    • Watch your frequency, don’t go above 3 within a week- when your retargeting audience is small, you have to have a smaller budget. It’s often around $10 CPM, rather expensive to do small retargeting audiences but worth it- so if you only have 1,000 people in your retargeting audience early on,
    • Ad variety
      • Have 5-10 ads in the retargeting ad group so Facebook has a number of ads to choose from to deliver variety to people. Pause ads when their frequency is above 3 in a week (unless they’re converting so well that you don’t care!)
    • Exclusions
      • Exclude people who’ve bought- don’t annoy them by showing them the thing they’ve already bought- create an audience of people based on the url of the purchase confirmation page and exclude them based on that or the purchase conversion

REPLAY: 5 Biggest Lead Gen Mistakes [Facebook Live Show]

Posted on Posted in Advertising, Facebook Live, Lead Gen, Social Media Lead Generation

Episode TRES of Live Online Learning (LOL)… as usual we debuted a cool cheatsheet (8 Tips for Lead Magnets That Sell) AND gave away a seat in my Facebook ads course.

To be sure not to miss future live shows, opt in here to join the email list so we can keep you notified!

Here’s what we talked about, in addition to attendee live questions we answered:

  • Why build a list?
    • Most people don’t take action right away first time they come to your site- what % of your visitors become customers the first time they come to your site? How long do they spend on your site the first time they come? Often it’s just a couple minutes.
    • You have to build a relationship and take time to tell the whole story of
      • your value proposition,
      • your company,
      • how you can help them,
      • how you’re different,
      • why they should work with you
      • And you need to capture their info so you can continue that relationship.
    • Historically email marketing is the highest profit digital marketing channel, period.
    • Along with retargeting, it’s hard to do profitable digital marketing without email marketing and lead gen.
  • Do you have an email list?
  • What should leads cost?
    • List some of our results
    • Home furnishing client: 84% reduction in cost per lead through customer analysis to discover ideal customer profile, plus ad and audience testing.
    • Self-help author: 32-cent quiz leads and $3 ebook leads.
    • Staffing company: job applications at 75% lower costs than CareerBuilder.
    • Travel and hospitality: 10-cent B2C leads.
    • Marketing services: $1.82 B2B leads through combination of ad testing and personality quiz.
    • Musician promotion and mentorship website: 7x the new users mainly by testing 80+ images and 15 audiences.
    • Microsoft partner cloud hosting company: $29 B2B leads from CTO’s and IT sys admins.
    • What are your leads costing you?
      • If they’re free, you’re probably not advertising which means you can’t accelerate your volume. Very few companies find free ways to drive enough lead volume.
    • How do you drive down lead gen or email subscriber costs?
      • Smart advertising and testing- having an optimization process to drive more action at a lower cost- ours is called A.C.T.
      • Conversion optimization through split testing
      • Great lead magnets- creating and testing 4-5 of them at least over time
      • Have you analyzed your audience with facebook audience insights?
        • Targeting helps a ton- if you’re in front of the wrong people, you may not get leads, and even if you do, you won’t get sales
  • How do you get more leads? Are you getting enough leads? How many new leads or email list subscribers are you getting a day?
    • Are you giving people a reason to give you their contact info?
    • A newsletter isn’t good enough
    • Are you split testing your landing pages
    • Do you want five times as many leads?
    • List the x times we got from each kind of testing
  • Are leads good enough or do you want sales
    • Are your leads becoming customers?
    • What’s the lifetime value of your leads? (how much revenue does the average subscriber bring you?)
    • Are you reaching enough people? If you don’t get enough leads you’ll never get sales-
    • It’s possible to get leads in a way that doesn’t make them think of you as someone to buy from- they get the thing and forget
    • They maybe get the lead magnet and don’t even read it
    • You might get an email but not have a follow-up sequence to engage and educate and warm them up
  • How being a thought leader increases the power of your lead gen- they want you not just one of you
    • Is it hard to sell the leads you get?
    • Maybe you aren’t differentiating yourself enough
    • How are you different or better than your competition?
    • Do you know who your competition is?
    • Does your lead magnet position you as different and better?
    • Start selling before they talk to a salesperson
  • 10 Lead magnet types
    • What kinds of lead magnets have you created?
    • Quiz, checklist, ebook, case study, webinar, free report, whitepaper, swipe file, cheatsheet, toolkit
    • Whitepapers are boring but credible and highly shared on linkedin
    • Quizzes are the most shared type of lead magnet on facebook
    • Checklists and ebooks are good on fb, li, twit- so doing quizzes, checklists and ebooks is a good way to hit all three.
  • What you need to do great lead gen
    • Advertising (traffic source)
    • Lead magnet (reason to give up contract info)
    • Split testing landing pages, with platform like unbounce, leadpages, clickfunnels, optimizely, optimizepress (or maybe skip this with fb lead ads)
    • Email provider like aweber
    • Email follow-up sequence

 

How Facebook Cut This Company’s Cost Per Lead by 84%

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

This is the first case study interview in the relaunch of my podcast. And yes, a lot of my podcasts start as videos. 🙂

Real companies, real campaigns, real results.

One of the biggest problems we struggle with these days is an overwhelm – too much information, too many ideas, too many platforms, too many strategies.

What actually works?

That’s what we’re going to talk about in these case studies.

I think it’s time for social marketing to mature. We’re going to talk to companies that are doing big things in social media, and getting quantifiable, measured results.

INTERVIEW:

Jonathan Leake (Director of Digital Marketing for DirectBuy): In the first six months of doing Facebook, we drove our cost per lead down by 84%, which is massive. I mean, we’re talking in dollars and cents, we’re talking – prior to initiating the Facebook campaign, we were well over $1,000 at a cost-per-member perspective, and now we’re sub $400 on average.

Brian Carter: That’s crazy.

Jonathan Leake: Yeah, cost-per-member is crazy. Our cost-per-member across all our media spends, and all our channels – and this is a very generalized number, so we can get very finite based off of channels. Prior to really initiating social, we were over $1,000. Today, if you look at all of our channels combined, we are generally lower than $200.

Brian Carter: We got to work with DirectBuy on this stuff, and what we’re going to talk about today is some great attribution stuff, right? Jonathan has done a great job with all of your data partners, your analytics partners of identifying what’s really going on. So many people use social, and no matter what they’re doing, they don’t really know what effect it’s having.

Jonathan Leake: That’s totally true. I mean, a lot of people just – they have a lot of money and I think it varies by the size business that you are. Generally, the larger business that you are, the harder it is to attribute things so you use tools like Adometry, which is a wonderful tool to use, but in my experience with different brands, you’re making huge financial decisions with 10-15% of data. That’s a lot of data that you’re missing. The opportunity with that other 85% of the data that you’re missing on is huge.

Where we were struggling as a business, is that we didn’t really have a really good attribution path or report to really tell us what channels were pushing and pulling. If you think about media, you want to push and pull different levers based off what’s working. Sometimes you actually want to push a lever further out, that’s actually not working for brand reasons. A billboard is a perfect example in every day.

We’re like, “Why do we want to put a billboard up on the street?”

“Because Coca Cola is on the other side of the road, and I’m Pepsi.”

You just need to be there.

When you want to get down to conversion and lead gen, it’s another ball of wax. Where do I want to put my efforts in? In this case, for us, it was social. It was an area that we knew, based off our experience working together. We knew that we could drive a lot of brand-awareness. We knew that we could drive leads at a really efficient cost. It just was a question of, “How was it going to impact our business?” And the results are huge.

Brian Carter: Let’s go back. What was Direct Buy doing before with social, if anything?

Jonathan Leake: Previously, we were really community. It was about engaging members, getting them to work with our page. We’ve had a brand reputation issue in the past, so we try to make sure that we put customer service first. We want customers to come to our page. We want them to ask questions, and have our customer service team answer those questions. It really was not about a membership conversion vehicle. We didn’t use Facebook as that. We were using it as an engagement tool with our existing membership. Some of the type of content that we put out there is inspirational for folks that like to do things by themselves, like DIYers and things of that nature.

I would say the opportunity – and as you and I know – that Facebook and social in general has become a pay to play kind of space. If you want to actually drive your member engagement up, if you just want to drive your page engagement up, you have to pay just to get your post shown. If you want to use social as a lead acquisition vehicle, then you can also do that too, but you also have to pay. Your organic stuff, that you can do, can certainly help that but it’s an assisted conversion. It’s a question of, “How does pay change the algorithm for you, within social?” It can certainly do a lot of good things, and that’s where your team helps us out a lot.

Brian Carter: We did several things. Number one, we identified who is the best buyer. We took all Direct Buy’s e-mails, we uploaded them. We looked at members who stuck versus members who didn’t stick versus people who didn’t become members. Then we looked at the difference between who those people were. That helped us target the ads better. I always tell people now, I’ve summarized it. Advertising is instant- targeted- visibility, whereas organic is like, “Uhh, we might reach some people. We don’t know who, and we don’t know when.” That’s the problem with organic.

The other thing, too, is that there’s this black box. You identified through the attribution study that social is often the first touch. Google is often the last touch, but in between what was it that increased all the Direct Buy searches? Was it the brand reputation stuff we did? We did a number of different awareness and engagement campaigns. We know they all helped, we just don’t know which one helped the most.

Jonathan Leake: Right, and that’s actually what we’re working on right now. We’re working with our analytics partner to get better attribution. Out of every dollar, if you’re thinking about a linear attribution model, that’s generally a 40/40/20 split. First click gets 40% of your dollar. Last click gets 40% of your dollar, and the remaining channels get 20, so you spread 20% across all the other channels.

What we know from our experience, is that sometimes it’s non-branded that actually influences people to come into Facebook. Doing a search for a product on non-branded might just be for furniture in a particular location – let’s say furniture in Charlotte, NC – and then they go into Facebook and they see our ad, because that influenced what happened in Facebook. All of a sudden, we show up because we targeted furniture. Then, they engage with our ad. Then the go back out online, and they’re like, “Oh, who is this Direct Buy?” Then they do a search for Direct Buy Furniture, and then they learn about our business and they come to our website. That’s a general path for our business, and how someone learns about us.

We’ve done a good job with content online. Pinterest helps us out a lot with getting other content out there. Inspiration Moments, our blog, does a lot of good work there too. The search team that we work with has really put together a lot of good content on our blog about things like a man-cave – how to make the perfect man-cave. I know it’s a cliché type thing, but let’s be honest here. We all want a man-cave in some way, shape, or form – or I want a really awesome garage. Take your pick, which it is.

Content is what’s driving people into the other channels, in addition to paid. Paid just influences where people go organically. It’s being able to have the right content in place across the other channels that drives them back in. Maybe it’s through another paid channel, but often it’s direct. When I say direct, I mean people literally just type in your domain name in their address bar. That’s the ultimate goal, at least for us because that allows us to tell our best story.

Brian Carter: Why do you think Facebook had such a big effect on the cost-per-lead, cost-per-member?

Jonathan Leake: I think the targeting is the best element. You can do targeting in other markets. You can do targeting in Google, but you have to pay a lot in Google’s world to actually utilize all the functionality that’s available. It takes a really heave media spend to be able to target what you want. Say, for example, that you want to target people with a FICO score, which is something that you do. It’s a cohort, of sorts, that you definitely want to hit if you’re in our market. If we can target people by FICO score, that would be fabulous. It helps us make sure that the people that want to sign up for membership can continue to be a member of us and also have disposable income to be able to take advantage of the savings that we offer every day.

Facebook was huge for us because we were able to look at demographic information that’s not normally available in other sources. Household income is one. That’s generally something that you would get through a business that does FICO scoring – like an Experian. We could take household income, geographic locations – if they happen to be within a territory that we have a club located, which helps amplify the social footprint, and the digital footprint of the business. These are all things that are relevant to what we have going on.

What’s also great for the member profile is that we can actually pull sales data, as in if a lamp happened to be the most popular selling item, then we can change our creative up in Facebook very quickly to identify people that like lamps. You have people that are just very passionate, and I always call them passion-points, and Facebook allows you to really tap into those passion-points really easily. That just amplifies your ad work – what you’re doing within advertising – really well. It’s creative and target all in one.

Brian Carter: I was thinking about brick with “I love Lamp” when you said that.

That’s true and I don’t know if everybody knows that. You can find out people’s income-level from Facebook, on insights. Or that you can target people with Facebook ads by income, by net-worth, or by the value of their home – which have been huge. Like you said, we discover things about – It’s interesting because maybe it’s not the type of furniture that they end up buying, but we discover the type of furniture that leads them to enter their lead information, which may be different from the coolest-looking furniture. It may not be what you expect, and we get to find that out.

Jonathan Leake: Yeah, I’m always amazed that we’d like to think – I personally like modern furniture, but I’m always amazed at how much Americana is out there. When I say Americana, there’s a lot of tattered American flags that are ordered all the time.

Brian Carter: Yeah, and there’s a lot of brown furniture, and comfortable stuff that looks like I could lay down on that and it would be comfortable, as opposed to – We’ve even had people on the Facebook posts go – I don’t know if they’ve said this but they’re like, “It looks I could actually injure myself on that furniture. It’s too sharp.” Or “It’s too white. I’m going to spill juice on it immediately.” We learn a lot of stuff from the posts, and we’re showing them to the best target customers so we’re actually learning what the ideal customer thinks – which is great.

Jonathan Leake: I think what was really interesting, when we first started as a business you do your research and you identify who your customers are. We have four different sets of people that we like to look for. I think what was interesting, though – there’s this argument in the marketplace that you should always be going after millennials. I think millennials are phenomenal people – lots of wonderful ideas, but I have to tell you; millennials right now, today, they’re not our core customer. That’s one of the things we were able to identify. There is a millennial customer that is right for us, but most millennials haven’t experienced the life-moments to really take them to a place where they could really take advantage of our membership in the best way that they could.

Brian Carter: Yeah, and they haven’t had the opportunities. They had the millennial story. We came out of college, there was no jobs. They economy was horrible. That’s what I tell people. “Hey, yeah I’ll give you some millennial data here. The data shows that they don’t have a lot of money.” Maybe they will be the next big customer. There are a ton of them, and they’re going to inherit their parent’s money. So in ten years, fifteen years, maybe they’ll have some money for a while. But right now they’re not a good customer for a lot of different things.

Did you want to share any of those slides, any other thing we haven’t covered yet on those?

Jonathan Leake: Yeah, let me pop up the slides real quick.

Brian Carter: We had Jonathon present at Social Media Marketing World. I had two panels. I had a Facebook panel, a Twitter panel – all corporate stuff. It was a lot of fun. I’m going to have some more of those people in interviews like this.

Jonathan Leake: This is a quick thing. We we are able to identify in a super quick way is, here is our 84% reduction we attributed directly to Facebook because we were only doing advertising in Facebook. We’re not spending money on Twitter, or LinkedIn, or any other place that we could acquire people socially. On the flip-side, what we were able to do is really target the fact that our most inefficient channel, as a result of this, was non-branded pay-per-click. What we did, is we actually cut out our non-branded pay-per-click and it reduced our overall cost-per-lead by 60-70% in just four months. What we talked about originally was 84% reduction in our cost-per-lead. Our member acquisition costs dropped by 80% as well.

Brian Carter: That’s huge.

Jonathan Leake: This is how we did it. In month one, we set benchmarks – super duper important. If you don’t have benchmarks, you should set them now. Even if you don’t have any research, just set them. I’m sure you have some data to establish them. When we went out of the gate, we were looking at trying to get a $40 lead. This gives you an idea, in our lead generation, how it works. We started out, in month one, at $164 a conversion. Month two, we ended up figuring things out a little bit more in our targeting. Our spend ratios and everything we were doing. We ended up with $25. And by month three and month four, we literally were able to achieve a $4 conversion. It’s completely outstanding to see what you can do just by focusing in on the data, which is really important.

This gives you an example of what we actually set. When we put the program together, we worked with you. We ran a full digital audit across all our channels. We looked at what we are trying to actually achieve. These are the four things. We’ve got engagement – 20-50% pulls-per-lead in month one. We were already able to achieve that goal. We were able to achieve the engagement rate that we wanted. As you can see, in month four, that went up in terms of our engagement rate. That’s great.

Then you get down to leads. You have, $40 was our benchmark. Month one wasn’t so good. $106, but by month four, we’re down to $7.45. That’s fantastic. One of the biggest challenges that we had was trying to figure out how to get quality leads in the door. We were able to get a lot of leads, but the question that we had was – of the people that give us phone numbers, how many of those people actually show up at the door?

That’s kind of a big deal. At the end of the day, we really need to make sure that when people become a lead, they actually want to follow through on the appointment that they made with us. It’s a pretty common experience these days to not have that happen. People literally just don’t show up for their appointment. It was top of mind when they actually became a lead, but you didn’t give them a conversion event to do anything other than become an appointment. That’s not what they wanted to do. Maybe they just wanted to sign up right now. That happens all the time, and now we’re trying to refine that process to make sure that the lead that’s coming in the door is the best quality lead to enable our phone sales team to actually work with a lead and convert the lead.

On the flip-side, if you don’t happen to want to engage with actual people, which is more and more common. You just want to text, and you just want to chat. You really just want to be digital. You don’t want to have human interaction, but you want digital human interaction. If that’s how you want to convert into a customer for someone, then we need to give them that opportunity. That’s what we’re working on actively as a business – to make it easier to become a customer.

Brian Carter: That’s the next frontier. Cool. Awesome. I think that pretty much covers it. Thanks for sharing all that info. Test everything. Track it. Analyze it. Do better. Any final words?

Jonathan Leake: One of my mantras is – Launch, measure, rinse and repeat. You’ve got to fail fast, and you have to learn quickly. The only way you’re going to do that is you’re going to dive into the data, and make sure you’re measuring things. Make sure you’re setting benchmarks. If you’re not doing that stuff, find a way to do it. It’s really, really hard but it’s also super easy. It’s the same way that you’re going to grow in life. If you don’t ever say that you’re going to graduate high school, you’re never going to graduate high school because you’re not challenging yourself. You want to graduate college, well set the goal and you’ll make it happen. It’s not easy. No one said anything is easy, but you’ll make it right and you’ll figure out what works to get to where you want to be.

Brian Carter: Awesome! Jonathon Leake, Direct Buy. Thank you very much.

Jonathan Leake: You bet.

TAKEAWAYS

Some of our main take-aways from this are

Number one, Facebook audit can be huge to help you identify who your best customers actually are.

That can be super valuable for a couple reasons. Number one, once you know who your best customer is, in terms of the data, then you can ensure that you’re not targeting the wrong people, and that everybody in your organization is focused on the ideal customer. Then you can use that information to target your ads to the right people. You can make sure your content gets in front of the right people. Then, you can also make sure that when you get feedback about your content, that feedback is coming from your ideal customer, not just from anybody. You don’t want to go crazy with, “People don’t like this or that info-graphic, or that blog post,” and they’re not even your ideal customer. That’s a huge thing to start with.

This Direct Buy case study, for us, is one of our first huge end-to-end things where multiple strategies, multiple tactics, all in place and we saw that having everything going together created a gigantic lift in a lot of ways, for the entire business.

The second thing we saw was that posting in a lot of different ways – for brand reputation, for engagement, and getting across the brand’s value proposition and unique selling proposition really helped soften up the target.

That led to more searches for the brand name. It led to a lower cost per customer acquisition overall, and also allowed us to even stop running certain other types of advertising – certain types of Google ads that were very expensive. We decreased our awareness costs. We decreased other costs. We created more customer awareness. We got them ready to buy sooner. We really made Facebook the most efficient and effective first-touch channel online.

The third things we did was, we found out that Facebook, again – as it has been for many, many of our customers, both B2C, B2B – is a very, very effective, low-cost way to get leads.

Not only can you get customer sales, eCommerce, members, but you can also get a ton of leads for your sales people to contact.

What was really most interesting to me, though, was that by doing everything – from the audit at the beginning, to the posting engagement, the customer targeting, the lead gen – doing everything together had a gigantic effect for their business. We have other clients who sometimes engage us for just one thing. Maybe it’s just the ads. Maybe it’s just the audit. Maybe it’s just posting. They don’t do the entire system of things that is Facebook marketing. We got to see the gigantic effect for using all of the different strategies that Facebook has available. It had a gigantic effect, so we’d love to do that for more businesses – to put everything into play.

What can you do with this information?

  • I definitely encourage you to check out Facebook audience insights. Upload your e-mails, if you have them – your buyer e-mails, your lead e-mails. Analyze the difference between your buyers and your leads, and your fans, and people who just like your competitors, or people who like things in your niche. Find out who your ideal customer is.
  • Do a lot of posting to your ideal customer. Learn what they like and don’t like.
  • Make sure you use ads, because Facebook is pay-to-play. You have to use ads, and like Jonathon said…
  • you’ve got to test. That’s fundamental to everything we do. While we’re getting results, while we’re getting engagement, leads, and sales, we’re also always learning because we’re trying different images, different messages, different ways to target that ideal customer. You always want to be learning.

That’s what you should do with this information from this case study.

I hope it was useful to you and I look forward to bringing you the next one.

See you then!

 

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!

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?

How To Get More Registered Website Users

Posted on Posted in Social Media Lead Generation, Social Media Marketing, Social Media Strategy

We have a client who offers free press kits for musicians, along with paid promotional services. Within a few weeks we were getting them users with Facebook ads for as low as $3.25 apiece. With more testing, I hope to improve that to $1.50 or lower.

He asked me:

Eventually, I’d like to breach the double and then triple digit thousand of users. How can we ramp up our ad usage in order to do that after we test? Is it just a matter of adding more $ to the ad spend or are there other factors involved or ways we can do this?

Yes, here are some options, which can be done in combination:

  1. Spend more per day on ads.
  2. Lower the ad cost per new user (to make ad spend go further).
  3. Build things into the website to make social sharing easier. e.g.
    1. clicktotweet.com and
    2. Facebook sharing button.
  4. Incentivize social sharing. What if they received a discount on their monthly subscription, or a free new feature in their free account, in exchange for sharing the site on Facebook?
  5. Email sharing: Do #4 and #5 for emailing their musician friends.

Immediately, I thought- well this needs to be a blog post! 🙂

5 Secrets that Experienced Startups Often Learn the Hard Way about Facebook Advertising

Posted on Posted in Advertising, E-Commerce, Entrepreneurship, Facebook Advertising, Social Media Lead Generation, Social Media ROI

Nobody wants to learn the hard way.

You want to get customers and prospects. Facebook ads is a very affordable, targeted, powerful way to do that.

But you don’t want to waste your ad budget, right?

Here are 5 things I’ve learned that most start-ups don’t understand before they starting Facebook advertising… 5 things that can waste your money.

#1 Great Ad Performance Requires Testing. And Testing Costs Money

It takes money to test ads to find the profitable ads. You have to spend money to make money.

The simple fact of digital advertising is that there are a lot of ad settings and a ton of ways to write an ad. That’s true whether it’s AdWords or Facebook or whatever.

And only about 5% of the ad ideas you come up with will be profitable. That’s true even for advertising experts with a decade of experience. Research bears that out.

You must write 10-20 ads to find one outstanding ad. And outstanding ads are what we need to win this game.

Here are some of the decisions you have to make, and each variation costs money to test:

  • What image will you use? Positive or negative? People or objects? Problem or solution?
  • What will headline be? Calling out who they are? Asking a question? Making a bold statement?
  • What will the ad copy say? Gosh there are so many things we could say…
  • Who will you target and how? You can often target the same people with several different targeting options. We won’t know which targeting method is cheapest until we test it.

At the beginning of the testing process, we know the least. The more winning ads we find, the smarter our following tests are. But the first month is the worst. As we learn from those ad test results, profitability increases. But that learning process involves spending money on ads.

#2 Successful Companies INVEST in Their First Three Months with Facebook Ads

We’ve managed Facebook ads for dozens of clients- over $2 million spent on ads. They’ve spent anywhere from $33 a day to $1,000 a day; that’s from $1,000 a month to $30,000 a month.

That budget fuels testing and leads to profitability. We often find the first couple weeks is all learning. We start to see promising ads. By the end of month two, we should have some strong ads that reliably get leads or sales. By the end of month three, we’ve reached. Our goal is to cut the initial cost per lead or cost per sale by 50%.

How much does $1,000 spend in a month, for example, get you? Let’s do some math:

  • If you’re looking for leads, hopefully your opt-in page converts at 20%; if your cost per click is $0.50, then a lead is $2.50. If your lead gen page is not very effective and converts at 5%, that lead would cost $10. If the niche is competitive and the cost per click is more like $1.50, then that 5% conversion page makes your leads $30 each. That’s how the math works.We’ve seen lead gen costs as low as 12 cents and as high as $78. It depends on the niche, the competition, and how efficiently the lead gen page converts. That’s why we need to split-test landing pages and find out which one converts best.If you can split-test and take your conversion rate from 10% to 20%, you cut your lead gen cost in half. You double how many leads you can get from the same spend.At the same time, we’re testing ad creative and targeting to multiply that improvement.

    Doing a little math ahead of time helps you have more realistic expectations and be prepared to implement the strategies that work. Going in blind usually results in wasted money and unsatisfactory results.

  • If you’re doing e-commerce, the baseline is a site that converts at at least 1%. Sometimes a new site has problems and only converts at 0.5%. Amazing sites can do 2-4%, but that can take years of evolution to reach.If your cost per click is $0.50, a passable 1% converting ecommerce site has a cost per sale of $50.What is your profit margin? Is it more than that?Some products will kill your business, because their profit margin is too low for digital advertising.If your cost per click is $1 and you have a conversion problem and only get 0.5%, then each sale costs $200.

We’ve seen e-commerce cost per sales of $5 to $500. Again, it varies with the niche, competition, and your website’s conversion efficiency.

This is just the math of pay-per-click profitability.

#3 WHY Would People Want to Buy What You’re Selling? 

This is the most basic lesson of marketing.

And it’s critical to ask if no one ever has bought what you’re selling yet. Or if no one has ever bought it online.

If you have no marketing experience, 99% of the things you think are awesome about what you’re selling are likely features, not benefits:

  • Plush seats.
  • Moon roof.
  • 24-hour customer service.

Those are features.

The customer says, “Who cares? Why should I care? What’s in it for me?” So, yeah, really, you have to spell out what the benefit is to them.

  • Plush seats? “Experience luxury driving.” That’s a benefit. And, bonus: we get them to imagine having it, which makes them more likely to buy. But let’s be honest… plush seat luxury is only appealing to people who love 1984 IROC-Z Camaros. Look at this fine specimen:
  • Moon roof? Great for werewolves. Ability to look up when you should be looking at the road. Just kidding. “Your passenger can look out your moon roof and (s)he will be impressed. With YOU.” That’s a benefit that makes them visualize the experience of the solution. By the way, your 1985 Camaro is awesome. IROC you say? Yes, U really do ROC.
  • 24-hour customer service? “We’re there to help you fix it when everything goes wrong at 3:00AM. We’ll save the day, any time of day. If you have a huge everything-grinds-to-a-halt problem, you won’t have to wait. We’ll fix it now. Relax, you can rely on us.”  That’s a benefit that makes them visualize the experience of the solution.

Those are the benefits of your features. That’s the most BASIC level of copywriting you need to be able to do. They sell much more effectively than features.

Getting them to imagine experiencing the benefit will get you even bigger results. So do both.

#4 You need to know WHO would want to buy from you.

It’s easy to have the wrong idea of who your customers are, or a very vague idea. Some companies even achieve a level of success without an accurate picture of who their best customers are.

Digital marketing teaches you about them. Many of our clients find out their customers are only SORT OF who they thought. But there’s often something surprising…

  • “Oh, wow, people over 50 years old DO buy this. Interesting…”
  • “Our customers are mostly single? Weird!”
  • “Our customers like George Takei? Who the heck is is George Takei?”

That kind of stuff- which by the way, can dramatically lower your Facebook ad costs- can also be applied to all your other marketing. When you discover who they are, you may look at your email marketing or your print ads or radio or TV ads and realize you’ve pitched them to the wrong person. Changing that will improve your results. And since many types of offline marketing can’t be tracked- what worked or didn’t- this information from digital marketing is super valuable if you’re doing offline marketing.

And, by the way, there’s a ton of free market research inside the Facebook ad interface. Enough to put some market research companies out of business. It’s called Facebook Audience Insights.

#5 Your website has to be really efficient at converting your Facebook ad visitors.

You saw it in the math. If you can double your conversion rate, you cut your costs in half.

That sounds like a bonus. But if your conversion rate is sub-standard, your costs can be through the roof. So you might need to improve your website, or take the more modern approach of using squeeze page platforms that can split-test.

The most vulnerable people to mistakes here are web designers. Anyone who thinks they have a new way to design your website. A more aesthetic way. Lots of ideas about impressive designs.

If that gets in the way of usability, you’re done.

  • Sure, your web visitor may think it’s a beautiful website, but it’s so beautiful that they forget to buy.
  • Or can’t figure out how to buy because the navigation elements were too ugly for your web designer.

If you’re interviewing web designers, ask them what they do for split-testing and conversion optimization. The ones that trip over the answer? Move on  to another. The next evolution is using services like unbounce, clickfunnels, leadpages and optimizely.

If you want to run a profitable business, you need to strike a balance between form and function- between branding and conversion optimization.

That’s it- if you’ve grappled with these five issues, then relax- you can advertise on Facebook confidently, and look forward to great results!

If not, we can help with services or my online course, Social Marketing Profit System.

5 Facebook Funnel Mistakes 99% of Businesses Are Making

Posted on Posted in Digital Marketing, Internet Marketing Strategy, Lead Gen, Social Media Lead Generation, Social Media Strategy, Strategy

If you sell online, or market for leads online, you definitely have a sales funnel. You may not know what your sales funnel is, but you have one.

The question is: how effective is your funnel?

When we map out a business’s funnels and assign numbers to them, they’re usually stunned by how many people drop out at each step.

In this example, we have only 5 steps and we start with 100,000 fans:

This funnel sucks

Only 5 sales? We lost 9,995 people in the process? Crap!

In digital marketing, the number of people lost at each funnel step is gigantic. It’s amazing to me that anyone sells anything online. And, in reality, many people fail.

Many much tears.

Unfortunately, many business people assume that online sales and lead gen is easy. In fact, it’s near-impossible.

Successful sales online (including inbound lead gen and offline sales) requires:

  1. Great planning,
  2. Lots of iteration (that’s the fancy word for trial and error), or
  3. Sheer luck.

The ones who succeed by sheer luck don’t learn anything. Usually they fail with their second business attempt and can’t figure out what happened.

Successful digital marketing requires:

  • An offering people want,
  • Marketing well planned and executed,
  • Testing,
  • Time, and
  • Money.

That’s the truth about selling online, and it’s not sexy. Unless you think executing wisely and achieving business profits is sexy. That would be like calling Gandalf sexy. Well I suppose there is someone out there who has… anyway-

To me digital marketing is not about sexiness or fun (though you can definitely have fun with the testing). It’s about finding and using a system that gets you results.

If you want to confront the cold hard facts and succeed, then you need to overcome the 5 most common mistakes that businesses make with their digital sales funnels.

Funnel Mistake #1: Too Many Steps

Every action people have to take requires a decision. At most decision points, more than 50% of your audience (usually more like 80-99%) opts out. That means they do things like:

  • Don’t click on your ad or link.
  • Don’t opt into your email list or your lead magnet (ebook, whitepaper, webinar).
  • Don’t put something in a shopping cart.
  • Don’t check out.
  • Don’t finish paying.

So, let’s imagine you have only those 5 steps above, and 10,000 people see your ad. Here’s what happens if ONLY 50% (we’ll be generous and give you a best-case dream scenario) don’t go through with it:

  • 5,000 don’t click on your ad or link.
  • 2,500 don’t opt into your email list or your lead magnet (ebook, whitepaper, webinar).
  • 1,250 Don’t put something in a shopping cart.
  • 625 Don’t check out.
  • 312 Don’t finish paying.
  • 156 buy

Let’s say you spent $5,000 on those clicks ($1 CPC). If you don’t profit at least $32 per sale ($5,000/156 sales), you lose money.

But let’s be more realistic with those numbers. Let’s say 100,000 see your ad…

  • At a 1% CTR, 99,000 don’t click on your ad or link. 1,000 do.
  • At 20% lead conversion rate, 800 don’t opt into your email list or your lead magnet (ebook, whitepaper, webinar). 200 do. (We’ll save this number for later)
  • At a 1% sales rate, 792 people don’t buy. 8 people do buy.

So if you spent $1,000 on those clicks ($1 CPC), if you don’t profit at least $125 per sale ($1,000/4 sales), you lose money.

Pretty dire, right?

But we still have those 200 emails. Here’s what happens with them:

  • 20% of them open your email. That’s 40 people.
  • 10% click to the site. That’s 4 people.
  • 1% buy. Shoot, you only have 1/25th of a buyer! That’s smaller than Mini-Me.

One more demonstration:

  • Let’s say you manage to get 100,000 Facebook fans.
  • 10% of them see your Facebook post- that’s 10,000 people.
  • Many Facebook posts get 99.9% interaction, not website clicks. A post that does well with website clicks may get a 4% clickthrough rate. That’s 400 people.
  • 1% of these buy- that’s 4 people. 0.004% of fans convert per post.

So your 100,000 fan page got your 4 sales. Pretty lame, huh? This is why we stopped doing Facebook fan growth: too many extra steps and too many people lost in the process.

Relax. It’s not the end of the world. If 4 people buy per Facebook post per day x 365 days = 1,460 people buy per year.

But how did you get those 100,000? You may have to pay $10-50k to get 100,000 quality fans with Facebook ads. Because the low quality fans will never buy.

So, you’d have to be profiting $7 to $34 per sale to break even on that fan cost after a year. And that means you’d have to be able to wait a year to make that $10-50k back.

This is assuming:

  • You don’t run any ads to promote posts (which many people do), and
  • You reach 10% of your fans (which many pages don’t).

The Facebook post visibility problem is just too expensive. A “Facebook Fan-Reliant Strategy” reduces your sales funnel’s effectiveness by 90%.

That’s why we switched to three funnels with fewer steps:

  1. Facebook ad -> Squeeze page to get email -> email -> click -> sale
  2. The shortest one: Facebook ad -> Sales page -> Sale [only 3 steps!]
  3. Retargeting audiences from #1 and #2 -> email or sale

Now, we’ve seen profits up to 2,200% from Facebook ad campaigns. To get that high, you have to create 100 ads a month. That’s how you find the ads that work incredibly well.

The upshot: Reduce the number of steps in your funnel.

Funnel Mistake #2: Not Getting Enough People Into Your Funnel

Advertising helps, and it’s critical for new sites. But only so many ads will be profitable. It will bring you a limited volume of sales.

You’re going to need more affordable traffic.

That means you need SEO or unpaid social media. And that means you have to create awesome content like this blog post. You have to create something that helps your prospect and you don’t get paid for it. But it brings in tons of people, some of whom opt into your emails and some of which buy.

But the most common mistake with content marketing is to create content that gets lots of buzz. You get tons of shares and comments and you slap each other on the back. But this often doesn’t move your prospects toward the sale. Check out this article to learn how to create content that gets shares and retweets and website clicks and sells.

The upshot: Create content that brings in traffic and sales.

Funnel Mistake #3: Keeping It Too Private

Because of how many people we lose at each funnel step, we need to do whatever we can to get shares at every step. For example:

  • Create ads that are tweets and Facebook posts that deserve shares/retweets and website clicks.
  • Create landing pages that deserve shares and retweets.
    • For example, a free lead magnet (ebook, whitepaper, video series, webinar) that’s so cool that people have to share it.
    • You can put Facebook commenting at the bottom of their free content so that excited people can comment. Those comments get shared via their Facebook account as well. Here’s how you add it. And Leadpages (note: affiliate link) has some squeeze page templates that have it built in. I use Leadpages and Clickfunnels (aff link) both for creating opt-in and sales pages. They’re both great.
  • Create thank you pages that empower people to share or tweet about it- especially after email opt-ins- but also for sales.

The upshot: Learn what kind of content the research shows people share and don’t share here (free whitepaper I wrote for Marketo).

Funnel Mistake #4: Only One Idea Per Funnel Segment

In the olden days of marketing, people created one campaign and ran it for months and months. If it tanked- they were screwed. 

Then a few brilliant folks like Claude C. Hopkins started using coupons to track what worked and didn’t. Direct mail was born. This evolved over the decades- and with digital marketing it has become standard to at least split-test your ideas. If you aren’t familiar with split-testing, you’re way behind. Google it.

  • Get a platform like LeadPages or Clickfunnels that empowers you to easily test 2 or 3 opt-in pages.
  • Create 2 or 3 sales pages, too.
  • Combine that with your ad testing and you will cut your cost per lead or sale by 50-80%.

You can’t afford not to do this, because many people who don’t just go out of business. It’s hard to make the math of profits work without this kind of testing.

And it’s how some marketers enter old niches and quickly dominate them. Some companies get put out of business. The most vulnerable businesses are the ones that have been around long enough to get cocky and think they don’t need to keep up with the times.

Don’t be lazy here or you’ll regret it.

The upshot: Split-test wherever possible.

Funnel Mistake #5: Being So Inbound That You Don’t Close The Sale

I get it. It’s cool to just market. To just do inbound. You aren’t pushy and you don’t get rejected.

Except you do. Someone else gets the customer.

Stop being afraid of selling. Get more of them to convert to the next step.

Figure out what objections or fears are keeping people from buying. Tell them about the other things that will happen if they don’t work with you that they should be more afraid of.

The upshot: Figure out what it takes to move them to the next step. Close the sale. Coffee is for closers.

Conclusion

In conclusion, my English teachers in school told me to write conclusions.

Fix all the mistakes above. You may go out of business if you don’t. You’ll reap massive profits if you do.

5 Best Practices That Drive Profits For Hosting Companies

Posted on Posted in Advertising, Social Media Lead Generation, Video Marketing

ms-digital-marketing-whitepaperIt’s been an interesting and successful 12 months working with Microsoft and its hosting partners!

  • Thanks to the amazing Derrick Wheeler, I was honored to be the social media keynote speaker at Microsoft’s Internal SEO conference last year.
  • Since then I’ve create an ebook (see image on the right- available only within the Microsoft Partner Network) and a video with assessment for the Microsoft Partner Network.
  • And then we embarked on a six company pilot program for our Digital Marketing in a Box launch program. The most successful have been those for whom we created an explainer video or whitepaper. We’ve been able to drive affordable targeted lead with a combination of advertising and content marketing, as well as dramatically increase these companies’ visibility.

intellisuite-whitepaperHosting is one of those categories where leaders like RackSpace do all the best practices like:

  • Creating content (whitepapers, ebooks, videos, blog posts) that solves problems for your customer
  • Advertising through search engines (targeting people looking to buy now) and social advertising opportunities (targeting people by their job title)
  • Growing owned media lists (email, fans, followers et al) and leveraging them to communicate new services and offers
  • Landing page optimization, especially split-tests to decrease their cost per lead and cost per sale
  • Integrating CRM into their marketing and sales process, especially to granularly track the success of marketing campaigns

When you have most or all of those in place, it’s feasible for us to create 50% – 400% improvements in your cost per lead or sale. Contact us about doing that for your company.

But many hosting companies are missing one or more of the above best practices. The task there is to audit what they have and find the gaps, custom-prioritize strategies and then execute a launch of best practice strategies. Then we can go back and increase efficiency and profitability.

If you’re interested in taking your marketing and sales results to the next level, contact us!