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.

Russell Brunson: Attractive Character & Seinfeld Emails [Video Interview, StoryDNA]

Posted on Posted in Internet Marketing Strategy, Social Media ROI, Storytelling

Attractive Character

Kathy Klotz-Guest and I interviewed Russell not only because he’s probably the best online direct marketer I know, not only because ClickFunnels is a killer platform for getting online results, but because in his new book DotComSecrets, he talks about a couple great storytelling concepts, the Attractive Character, and the Seinfeld Daily Emails.

Rocking Content Marketing w/ Jason Miller [Video Interview]

Posted on Posted in Content Marketing, Interview, Marketing Automation, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ROI

My hair is conveniently too long for this interview with author of the #1 Amazon best selling book Welcome to the Funnel: Proven Tactics to Turn Your Social and Content Marketing Up to 11, Jason Miller… Jason leads global content marketing efforts at LinkedIn Marketing Solutions. He’s also an avid rock n roll photo journalist.

We talked about:

  • Jason’s Rock N Roll Story And Why He Got Out Of The Music Biz
  • Why You Need To Be A “Hybrid Marketer” and what the heck that is
  • Philosophy Vs Science Of Marketing
  • Big Rock Content
  • What Leftover Turkey Can Do For Your Content Marketing
  • 5 Content Marketing Lessons From Gun N Roses
  • The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide To Linkedin
  • Creating Standout B2b Marketing Content
  • Marketing Automation

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!

Geeky Lady ROI: Social Media Measurement with Nichole Kelly

Posted on Posted in Analytics, Social Media ROI, Social Media Strategy

Nichole Kelly is the author of How to Measure Social Media: A Step-By-Step Guide to Developing and Assessing Social Media ROI.

As a bottom-line driven executive and CEO of Social Media Explorer|SME Digital, Nichole is most widely known for her Full Frontal ROI methodology; a systematic, measurement-orientedand practical approach to connecting an organization’s social media marketing activity to core business objectives: sales volume, revenue and costs which is documented in her book. And… Nichole is one of the best speakers on using social media to drive business performance!

How to Get 10x More Traffic From the Same Facebook Ad Spend

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

I was doing a review of someone’s Facebook ads- I won’t tell you who so they aren’t embarrassed- and I discovered a mistake that really surprised me!

I’ve never taught this particular distinction because it never would have occurred to me to do this particular mistake… probably because Ad Manager has ingrained this into me by way of its work flow… but here it is:

If you want website traffic from Facebook ads, one of the WORST ways to do that is to promote a Facebook page post that has a link in it. <– click to tweet

Know what I mean? You have a Facebook post with a link in it, and you think, “Oh I need to promote this post so they’ll go to my website!”

Well that works horribly.

Why?

Because when you promote a Facebook post, Facebook shows it to people who are most likely to engage with it. Engagement means like, comment, and share. Not website click. <– click to tweet

Website clicks are a whole nother thing! They aren’t showing your post to people who are likely to do that.

When you look at an ad that’s promoting a post, you might see $0.50 per engagement and think that’s good. But if you expand the ad, you may see that most of those interactions are likes, or even photo views. Oh my gosh, I’m paying for photo views? Yep, indirectly.

Here’s an example- in this post I really did want engagement, but you can see that if my goal had been to get website clicks, those are some expensive clicks! That $0.31 per engagement looks good until you realize you paid for 14 people to click on the image and only 2 people clicked the link.

If you want Facebook to show your ad to people who’ll click to go to your website, don’t BOOST or promote a post. <– click to tweet

If you’ve only created ads by clicking BOOST on a post, you won’t even know where to go to create the right kind of ad.

You need to go to Ad Manager. This is the main Facebook ad creation interface.

When you create an ad in the Ad Manager, you immediately have to choose one out of ten different ad objectives.

Facebook uses those objectives to determine who to show your ad to.

  • If you want website traffic,  select “Send people to your website.”
  • If you want leads or sales, install conversion tracking and select “Increase conversions on your website.”

Choosing the right ad objective is one major difference between success and failure with Facebook ads.

Then you create your ad.

Now, the newsfeed part is going to look a lot like the Facebook post you might have promoted, but it will get you website clicks for $0.10-$0.50, whereas the website clicks from boosted posts are going to be $1.00 – $5.00.

MAJOR price difference.

So, get 10 times the number of website clicks by going to the Ad Manager and choosing the right ad objective.

Do it!

Content Marketers: Do You Want Buzz or Sales?

Posted on Posted in Content Marketing, Sales, Social Media ROI

Content Marketing is The Big Thing right now. Everybody wants to write a book about it. Companies want to spend millions on it.

Just like previous marketing tsunamis – SEO, digital advertising and social media – content marketing has a “marketing must-do.”

As companies begin to adopt content marketing, they run into a few common obstacles:

  • The Red-Headed Stepchild: “Why are people ignoring our content?”
  • The Big Chill: “Why isn’t our content getting more engagement and shares?”
  • The Content Treadmill: “How do we create enough content to stay in front of people frequently?”
  • Curationophobia: “If we curate content, we lose traffic to other websites!”

But the biggest problem is one that most of them are not yet thinking about.

The Revenue Black Hole: “Why isn’t this content creating sales?”

I’ve been in the content creation game since 1999. And I’ve created content for all kinds of goals: awareness, traffic, leads and sales.

What I’ve found is that it is immensely tempting to try to create content that gets buzz and traffic and shares.

You see other LinkedIn posts with 20,000 views- you want that too. You see Buzzfeed getting 20,000 shares on a post- you get buzz envy.

Buzz-Envy: “How can we go viral like they did?”

Buzzy viral content does not necessarily create sales. The most viral content is funny or weird or tear-jerking; but it doesn’t make you more likely to buy something.

Yes, there are exceptions. There are a handful of examples that contradict this, like Blendtech or Old Spice (but you’ll find they are not only viral- they also make a strong point about the product).

If you take a look at the most shared types of blog posts (for example, a “Where Should You Actually Live?” quiz) and try to think about how you’d create one for your business (for example, a “When Should You Actually File Your Taxes” quiz), you’ll see that your content doesn’t fit the buzz formula, and it’s just a distraction…

The most SHARED posts in the least year, according to BuzzSumo:

  1. 20 Reasons Why Your Big Sister Is The Greatest Gift Your Parents Gave You (2.3 million shares)
  2. The 46 Most Brilliant Life Hacks Every Human Being Needs To Make Life Easier (2.0 million shares)
  3. Is Drinking Wine Better Than Going To The Gym? According To Scientists, Yes! (1.8 million shares)
  4. Do You ACTUALLY Know The Lyrics To The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air? (1.8 million shares)
  5. Can You Pass The Psychopath Test? (1.7 million shares)

Are any of those relevant to what you ACTUALLY sell? Unlikely.

(Are they relevant to anything anybody sells? Maybe a wine company could use #3… assuming they wouldn’t get sued by somebody for taking that position. If that’s not a risk there, then I would go for it- because you don’t have to say no to shares if it’s also going to help you sell.)

Those are fine posts for Buzzfeed and Playbuzz, who make money on display ads. But not for most other businesses.

One of my most popular blog posts in the last year was “The 20 Most Viral Posts on the Internet And Yes They’re Shocking.” It was buzzfeedy. It brought in some email signups, but no business inquiries.

And although I can’t track it currently, I would bet those email subscribers are some of the least likely ones to buy from me.

Why? Because that blog post topic does nothing to QUALIFY someone as my buyer or to PERSUADE them to buy. I sell audits and advertising management and content creation. We do help people with Facebook posting and getting more shares, but that’s as close as that post comes to our services, and not even one of our most popular services (it turns out most companies don’t realize how much of a problem they have with their posts- or how much better their results could be- so it’s not a pain point currently).

Ironically, within a year of posting “The 20 Most Viral Posts on the Internet And Yes They’re Shocking,” I’m teaching that the most viral posts may be the least profitable.

I got sucked into two TRAPS:

  • Traffic-for-traffic’s sake, and
  • “Look at my big share numbers!”

I made a decision a couple months back to only write posts I thought might make people buy from me.

Compare “The 20 Most Viral Posts on the Internet And Yes They’re Shocking” to my more recent posts:

  • 5 Social Media Tips for Meeting & Event Planners: This provides value to one of my prospect audiences… people who can make the decision to hire me as a speaker, or at least get me into the consideration set. This post is an excuse to get in front of that audience. In exchange for their attention, I’m helping them get better results with their events.
  • 11 Reasons Your Site Redesigns Steal Your Traffic – And How To Prevent That: This establishes or solidifies me (depending on how well the reader knows my SEO background) as an SEO expert, and plays on fear of loss. Now when a business moves toward a redesign they may recall my warnings and hire me to consult during the process.
  • 5 Sales Funnel Mistakes That Are Killing Your Business: Similarly, this alerts the brain that if revenue or profits aren’t ideal, maybe they’re making one of these mistakes. People HAVE to know what those mistakes are and then feel confident they aren’t making any. If they are, they may hire me to help out.

With those last three blog posts, there’s a PLAUSIBLE REASON they might lead to sales.

I’m not writing about wine or psychopaths just to get page views and sell ads. I’m selling valuable consulting services, keynotes and trainings, so my content needs to reflect that.

Before you create anymore content, ask yourself questions like:

  • How does this TOPIC relate to what we actually SELL?
  • Why do we think this will make someone more likely to BUY?
  • Does it position us better? Does it establish us as the authority? Does it increase trust in our brand?

And post stuff that makes people more likely to buy from you!

There’s nothing wrong with getting shares and going viral. Just make sure you go viral with something that makes people more likely to buy from you.

Social Selling Is Now As Easy As Engagement

Posted on Posted in Books, E-Commerce, Facebook Posting, Social Media ROI

Authors, experts, and influencers sold $10 million dollars worth of eBooks in 1995 almost exclusively through Amazon.

In 2014, they sold about $1.6 billion dollars worth of eBooks on Amazon alone.

Now influencers, experts, and authors are becoming more digitally savvy and have built email lists, Facebook fan pages, and Twitter accounts.

They’re using these channels to sell their digital content using a new tool called Heyocart.com.

Heyocart.com allows authors, experts, and influencers to sell to their Facebook fans by asking their fans to simply comment “buy” to purchase. I talked about it at my Social Media Marketing World presentation!

Now, I’ve got additional data to add along with the process, and best practices.

Here’s how it works (you can do this too, it’s free):

  1. Go to http://heyocart.com and click “Try for Free”
  2. Select the fan page you want to sell on then type your status update, upload a strong image of the eBook, put in a product title, set the price, then click the orange next button.
  3. Next, upload the product (Heyo Cart takes care of product delivery for you) and type in how you want Heyo Cart to pay you (either a debit card or your bank account) when you get sales. Click next.
  4. View a live preview of your post and when you’ve got it set how you want, click publish to publish now or schedule it for later.
  5. Once your post is live, fans can comment Buy to purchase and Heyo Cart will automatically respond to them telling them to finish their purchase:
  6. The best part about Heyo Cart is that once fans buy once from you, they never have to put their information in again (they don’t have to click any links!). They simply type “Buy”, and Boom! You’ve got a new sale:
  7. Once your fans have paid, Heyo Cart then takes them to the product page where they can easily download their new purchase:
  8. As sales come in, use the Heyo Cart back end to see who is buying. You’ll get first name, last name, and email (many people say buyers lists are the most valuable – so segment this list in your email marketing or CRM tool for future upsells and product launches).

3 Tips For More Sales From Heyo Cart

Heyo Cart is just a tool- you need a good product and the right price, too!

  1. Price your product between $5-20 dollars (any more expensive and it becomes too big a decision for Facebook buyers)
  2. Put the “Comment Buy” call to action on the image like Kim Garst did here.
  3. Tell your fans to “Comment buy to purchase for $5.99” within the first 3 sentences of your post. During the rest of the post, tell them more about the product.

It’s a good idea once you post your product to alert all your email subscribers and social contacts as well. The sooner you get responses on that Facebook post, the wider it will go.

Brian’s Tip: Never Start With a Wedding Cake

Have you ever spent dozens of hours creating an infoproduct and then debuted to lackluster sales?

I have. I’ll admit it.

Even though I ran a poll about it before creating The Awareness Blueprint… what people say they’ll buy is different from what they actually buy. You can’t find out what they’ll buy until you’re selling it! I only made about $1500 from that, which is not good enough given how many hours I put into it.

So instead of creating a whole wedding cake first, create a cupcake to see if they’ll buy it. If they buy, then make a wedding cake.

In other words, create a small $7 or $17 product first, sell it with Heyo Cart, and then if that goes well, create a bigger version that’s more expensive!

Read more on cupcakes and product design in this great piece by Des Traynor.

I’ve tested a couple cupcakes now with Heyo Cart, and got radically different responses to each. I’m already saving time by not continuing to work on the less “buyable” one.

I’m going to create 3-5 more and then whichever one does best, I’ll create a bigger product for that one.

How Influencers, Authors, and Experts are Making Money with Heyo Cart

In a recent A/B test conducted by author and info-marketer Sue Zimmerman, Amazon and heyocart.com were both put to the test. Sue posted her latest eBook for sale on Amazon and also to her Facebook page using Heyo Cart to see which would drive more sales.

On Amazon Sue sold 15 copies, earning her $106.76 over the first 10 days.

Using Heyocart.com, Sue posted on Facebook and sold 95 copies, earning her $591.05 in the first 10 days.

“An additional benefit we gained from using Heyocart.com was that it gave us the ability to collect the email addresses and names of our buyers. This made it easy to put them into our CRM like HubSpot, InfusionSoft or OntraPort for future upselling and content marketing. Amazon doesn’t do that,” said Zimmerman.

Heyo Cart CEO, Nathan Latka expects that trend to continue in 2015. Heyo Cart allows authors and infomarketers to sell on Facebook by having their fans simply leave a “buy” comment on a post.

“There’s an enormous opportunity for experts and influencers to sell digital products to their consumers inside of Facebook,” said Nathan Latka, CEO of HeyoCart.com. “This is where consumers spend their time and it’s where they’ll buy.”

According to internal data from heyocart.com gathered in Q1 of 2015, the best price point for authors and infomarketers to sell ebooks and other digital content on Facebook is $9.00. This was based on a sample size of product prices shown to 1m people who are fans of influencers and experts.

According to Heyo’s Q1 2015 data, the best price point for authors and infomarketers to sell ebooks and other digital content on FB is $9.00 <- click to tweet!

As influencers, experts, and authors look for ways to spread their content, make more money, and gain in popularity, Latka anticipates this trend toward social commerce to grow exponentially.

“Total transaction volume done on social media networks on both mobile and desktop will surpass $40 billion by 2025,” said Latka.

If he’s right, heyocart.com might be the next Amazon for authors and info-marketers. Click here and you can try it for free.

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.

The 5 Biggest Facebook Ad Mistakes

Posted on Posted in Facebook Advertising, Social Media ROI

Love Sports animated GIFWe’ve run more than $1 million in Facebook ad spend for clients of all sizes, with goals ranging from fan growth to selling products and services online. We get sales and leads and engagement for them- whatever their goal is. We test constantly to ensure that the ad costs are as low as possible, and that the ad spend goes to the best performing ads.

Some companies get profits, or super low-cost leads- but other companies fail with Facebook ads. No matter how powerful Facebook ads CAN be, there are some common mistakes that prevent Facebook ads from getting you great results.

fbprocess

You need to get all five of these things right if you want to even have a chance of getting great Facebook ads results.

Mistake #1 Having The Wrong Goals Or No Goals

When you create a Facebook ad, the first thing it asks you is what your objective is:

fbadgoalsEgo Egotistic animated GIFEach ad should have a goal, and you need to know what metric measures your success with that goal.

For example:

  • Website clicks: measure the cost per click (or cost per conversions if you’re tracking that)
  • Website conversions: measure the cost per lead or cost per sale
  • Page Post Engagement: measure the cost per engagement
  • Page Likes: measure the cost per fan

Those are the most common objectives. By focusing on “cost per” metrics, you can improve effectiveness without increasing the ad spend.

SOLUTION: If you can track a lead or sale, definitely test the website conversion ad type. Test that against a website clicks ad, and against promoting a post that has the link to the landing page in it.

Use the Facebook conversion pixel and add parameters to your links with Google URL Builder (or Google Analytics will count many of them as “Direct”).

Mistake #2 Not Creating Enough Ads

A rookie mistake is to go in and create one ad and think you’re done. Nope, far from it. If you only create one, chances are you created one that will underperform.

The only way to find the 20% of ads that get 80% of the results is to create at least five versions of your ad.

advariations

SOLUTION: You need to test different objectives, headlines, images and targeting. For every ad idea you have, you need to create five versions.

So, for just one headline and copy idea, you could test five images, and two or three ad objectives- right there that’s 15 ads (1 headline x 1 body copy x 5 images x 3 objectives)

Mistake #3 Putting Everything in One Ad Set

An ad group is where you get to choose your budget, and you can put a ton of ads in each ad group, but Facebook is probably going to give most of the reach in an ad set to just one of your ads. So, you’ve got to “keep them separated”.

If you put 20 ads in an ad set, most of them will not be shown to enough people for you to know if they would work or not.

SOLUTION: Create a different ad set for each test- no more than five ads per ad set.

You can organize ad sets however you want- here are some options:

  • Based on your targeting
  • Based on your goal
  • Based on your creative
  • Based on a combo, e.g. one type of targeting for one goal, vs. another type of targeting for another goal

Watch how much reach each ad gets. If one hasn’t reached more than a few hundred, it probably hasn’t been adequately tested and could be put in its own ad set:

  1. Click on it to expand
  2. Click on “create a similar ad”
  3. Change the ad set to a new ad set
  4. Submit it

Mistake #4 Not Testing Targeting

There are many ways to cut an onion, and there’s more than one way to target the people you want to reach.

Rookies tend to create one ad with a ton of interests in them, which may work, but you also need to test more granularly- just a few interests per ad.

You can also slice and dice by age, gender, workplace and more, so if you want to see how people 25-34 respond vs. 35-44, you need at least two ads for that; maybe two ad sets if you’re also testing different images.

SOLUTION: Test the same creative (image, headline, body) against multiple targets by creating several ads. See which gets you the best results, then test more creative against the best targeting criteria.

For example: Want to reach journalists? You could target

  • The interest of journalism
  • Their educational field of study, or
  • The workplace of specific newspapers and TV stations.

Mistake #5 Crappy Landing Pages

If you don’t know what a “squeeze page is”, we need to talk.

People are more likely to respond if you ask them to do just one thing- This is called a “call to action”. Make sure there’s only one thing they can do on the landing page.

There is only one option on a squeeze page, and we’re trying to “squeeze” most of its visitors through that action into the next segment in the marketing funnel. You get more results when you ask for just one specific thing.

What happens when you don’t squeeze them? Let’s say you send them to your website’s contact page and there are 20 other thing they could click on. Chances are:

  • Fewer people will do what you want (conversion rate goes down)
  • Cost per lead goes up (CPL = CPC/CR).

That’s bad. Our goal is always to lower clients’ cost per sale and cost per lead.

SOLUTION: Optimize your landing pages. Try a service like LeadPages. Do split-tests to see what makes people convert at a higher rate.

Bonus: Mistake #6 Neglect

Apathy David Bowie animated GIFIf you create ads but never check them, you won’t do well. The bad ones may take up all your reach. The good ones will stop working once the finite audience you chose tires of them. Your spend won’t be efficient. You’ll waste money and miss out on profits.

SOLUTION: You must check how your ads are performing at least weekly. If you’re spending more than $500 a day, you might need to check every other day. Create new ads to replace those that burn out.