2018 Marketing Director Survey Part 2/2

If you aren’t aware of it, some amazing people have been putting out a great survey for a number of years. It’s called The CMO Survey, and it asks marketing directors, VP’s of marketing and others key questions to figure out what’s going on with marketing and where we’re headed. We wanted to bring more awareness not just to the great work done by Christine Moorman, her team and those at Deloitte, Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, and the American Marketing Association, but also to the trends uncovered by the latest survey.

We, of course, had some of our own opinions and insights to add on the topics in the survey based on our work in digital marketing and social media over the last 19 years… and it took us 2 hours to get through it all! We put the discussion into two videos. We hope to piece them into smaller topic videos soon.

This is part two of two. Go here for part one.

Discussion by the Brian Carter Group. This podcast is not directly affiliated with CMO Survey. All registered copyrights and trademarks remain the property of original owners.

The ONLY 5 Options for Digital & Social Marketing Execution & Results

 

Something I added recently to my keynote speeches if my audience is small businesses or entrepreneurs…

I realized that I was perhaps implicitly giving the audience the idea that anyone could do this stuff easily and quickly.

As you may know if you’ve started the digital or social marketing learning curve, it’s a long path and a big mountain- with many paths, really.

Your company has only 5 options for digital and social marketing (if you want noticeable business results)…

To be sure you have someone who can really drive business results:

  1. Sacrifice your own hobbies, free time and families to spend 20-40 hours a week learning for 3 years (why do you think all the job listings ask for a minimum amount of experience?)
  2. Hire someone with no experience and wait 3 years for them to have significant experience and expertise.
  3. Hire expert employees, experienced at ad platforms or analytics: $50-80K per year each – you’re going to need several to cover all the areas of expertise you need.
  4. Hire an expert agency: $30-60K per year (they can keep the costs down by having Tmultiple experts on staff more efficiently to cover multiple clients)
  5. Do nothing, don’t take advantage of online marketing and lose to competitors who leverage digital expertise.

Notice- what is not an option is: Do a whole bunch of random things you read on social media blogs… with no experience, no analytics, no skills… I mean you CAN do that, if you don’t want to create any real impact. But if you want to drive new customers, sales and profits, you need expertise.

Do you want to become a social media expert? Great- which platforms?

Facebook ad experts get hired for having several years of experience and paid at least $30/hour- often $40-50k and up.

You can check out indeed.com for salaries…

Google AdWords experts get paid the same or more- and it takes years to get great at that. Which is more complicated- AdWords or FB ads? They’re both crazy!

Google Analytics? Same story- the learning curve and pay…

So that’s just three areas of expertise, three paths- that for any one small business owner to mount? It’s formidable. And this is one reason so many SMB’s struggle to do it themselves.

Not everybody has the discipline, talent for math, tolerance for or love of geekery and analysis etc to do ads or analytics well, and those that don’t end up struggling by trying to just to the fun or easy parts of social media. The results aren’t so great.

No business has a lot of options until they’re profitable. Once you have profits, though, I highly encourage you to stop wearing so many hats and start doing only what you do best, start become a leader and specializing in management. Learn to be a better leader. Delegate.

In many cases that means letting go of marketing.

I’ve seen some business owners refuse to do this.

After all- they got themselves THIS far, right?

They must be good at it, right?

They might be ok- but they may not be great.

So many athletes are great in high school and make it to college but end up on the bench. Or make it to the pros but wash out quickly.

At some point you hit the maximum of your ability at a thing- and that might be because it’s not really your ZONE of GENIUS. It might not really be YOUR THING.

What if YOUR THING in your company is something else, and you are neglecting that, and hurting your marketing at the same time, by not doing your thing, and doing marketing poorly instead?

SMB leaders also go through growing pains at management and leadership (I’ve gone through this myself!) because we aren’t trained in it and we start out alone and if we’re successful we get help but we never planned to be managers or CEO’s. We may not have had exposure to great leadership. We don’t know how to do it. We make all kinds of mistakes.

So you have to start learning to be a manager and a leader. And it’s hard.

And part of that is learning to outsource and delegate and hire. You have to hire contractors or employees and/or vendor partners.

There are growing pains.

You have to learn to let go.

You might realize you’re a micromanager even though you always hated being micromanaged and you never meant to micromanage anything. That happened to me. I didn’t intend for it to happen, but it happened. My first clue was when I had to ask myself why my people weren’t solving more problems for themselves- had I disempowered them?

If you hate letting other people do something poorly and slowly that you could get done way faster, it’s easy to become overbearing and to micromanage.

It takes patience and empathy to grow your team’s potential.

It’s tough.

But if you don’t learn to be a leader and delegate and let go, you will never grow beyond a certain point.

So many SMB’s never do. And it can be frustrating to be stuck at that level if you want to someday get to a point where things are easier for you!

The law of the lid: your company can’t grow any bigger than your leadership ability.

So start looking at your real strengths: what you do best that no one else can do.

And let go of everything else.

Delegate it.

Hire out for it.

Let go.

So you can grow.

2018 Marketing Director Survey Part 1/2

If you aren’t aware of it, some amazing people have been putting out a great survey for a number of years. It’s called The CMO Survey, and it asks marketing directors, VP’s of marketing and others key questions to figure out what’s going on with marketing and where we’re headed. We wanted to bring more awareness not just to the great work done by Christine Moorman, her team and those at Deloitte, Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, and the American Marketing Association, but also to the trends uncovered by the latest survey.

We, of course, had some of our own opinions and insights to add on the topics in the survey based on our work in digital marketing and social media over the last 19 years… and it took us 2 hours to get through it all! We put the discussion into two videos. We hope to piece them into smaller topic videos soon.

For now, here is part one of two. Go here for part two.

Discussion by the Brian Carter Group. This podcast is not directly affiliated with CMO Survey. All registered copyrights and trademarks remain the property of original owners.

Why Do Social Media & Community Building Actually Work?

The Ecommerce Times was recently writing article on social media community building and reached out to 15-year digital marketing expert and 10-year social marketing expert Brian Carter for an interview. ECT published some of his responses in this article, “5 Ways to Build Community Around Your Brand.”

If you liked that, here are Brian’s complete responses!

Q1. Why is it important to build social or community around a brand?

When we do social for clients, part of that is building engagement and awareness around a brand and its offerings.

 

In a time where a lot of digital experts have gravitated toward conversion optimization only, I understand that, because I grew up doing that with SEO focused on conversions, Google AdWords focused on revenue and ROI, Google Analytics, Omniture and split-testing.

I’m a data guy, a test-discover-learn guy… basically a geek!

So it took me a long time to believe that engagement really had a hard quantitative value beyond all the soft feel-good stuff people seemed to like about it.

Starting in 2010 when I founded my agency, we ran fan growth and engagement ads for companies along with Facebook and Google ads for lead gen, ecommerce and other conversion-oriented campaigns, though I often was skeptical about whether the fans or likes were really helping them grow their customer base, drive sales, or improve profits.

The customer often wanted fans and engagement things, and we counseled them about it (“this isn’t the quickest way to get customers or profits”), but they may have wanted the fan numbers or the likes on their posts, and we took the challenge to get the best results we could there. We drove fans and engagement down to low costs and discovered how to get really high engagement rates.

But I was still skeptical about the business value of fans and social media engagement.

And it’s hard to overcome that skepticism, a skepticism many people have, because:

a. Multi-touchpoint analytics are spotty (not every company has them)
b. The analytics for multi-touchpoint seems complicated or out of the way (not every company wants to dive into this just to examine whether their bias is correct), and
c. Finding out the truth about your social media’s conversion value sometimes requires spending money or even third party studies of your analytics.

Not every company can or will do all of that 20% or so of clients we’ve had who did both engagement and conversions AND looked at their metrics, we’ve always seen big benefits to running engagement ads in addition to conversion campaigns:

  1. Engagement ads usually spike organic search traffic and sales: Increased brand awareness from social engagement ads increases search engine searches for your brand name (people notice you more and think, “Oh what was that thing? Oh yeah that company… Let me search for that now…”), which gets you additional organic traffic and sales. When you see an organic traffic and sales spike after starting a new social ad campaign and not changing anything else, you have to be honest: it might have been that social awareness. Sometimes you can track that, if the social ads led to traffic, but if they didn’t, your website analytics can’t even track that, unfortunately.
  2. Engagement ads can pay for themselves: Often you can look at the social engagement ads data and see specific revenue driven from that same ad spend- and often it pays for itself. It may not be a positive ROI, but its breakeven. That means you have to run other ads, of course, to drive profits, but the engagement ads aren’t necessarily a cost- they may pay for themselves. Now, to make that happen, there must be links in your posts… if you aren’t putting links and calls to action in your posts, that’s a whole nother topic- how to create effective engagement ads that also drive traffic…
  3. Engagement ads can improve conversion rates and profits: The brand familiarity you get from this (look up the “mere exposure” effect if you haven’t heard of it) lowers people’s resistance to buying from you, which increases conversion rates, which in turn lowers cost per sale and cost per customer, which of course, increases profits.

Q2. What are some of the most effective ways that e-commerce businesses can build this kind of social media or community? Why do these strategies work?

You have to run Facebook and Instagram ads, create a lot of posts and ads, and see how your customers respond to them.

It’s just like learning how to get along with a real person- you have to get to know them- and online the only way to get to know people is to either look at their data first, or put stuff out there and see how they respond.

Listen to the data- what do they like? What do they share? What do they click on? What don’t they respond to?

You need a repeatable process for constant improvement- we call ours F.I.T. First you find the Facts- that’s data about who are they- then you Invent things, and Test them (discover what works by looking at everything!).

Then look at the Facts again- how did they respond to what you Invented? By Inventing more stuff like what they liked, you create a better and better fit of your marketing materials with their likes. If your marketing fits your customers, they love you more, likability increases, and you know what excites them.

The RARE company’s research on loyalty showed that 86% of customers are loyal because they like the company. So how likable is your brand, and how likable is your marketing? What are you doing to increase that? What process do you use to ensure you win at likability?

This is critical to your survival, and to thriving, because when companies disrupt others, or entire industries, its always because they suddenly make your customers a lot happier than they have been. You can’t afford to just be good enough and maintain, because that’s what companies like Blockbuster and Borders and the Yellow Pages and Yellow Cab did before they got disrupted by Netflix, Amazon, Google and Uber.

Continually strive to become greater and make your customers happier. Make sure you have a process for that. We use F.I.T.

Q3. What are common mistakes that e-commerce businesses make when trying to build social engagement, and how can these mistakes be avoided?

The biggest mistakes companies make with engagement are about vanity, narcissism, self-centeredness. We’re talking about smart people who would never walk into a mixer and talk about themselves for 15 minutes straight. Hopefully… They’re smart enough to know that people like people who focus on them. Not on themselves. They ask others about their lives and family and hobbies, and they make a friend.

But somehow they have a blindspot when it comes to marketing their brand- and they get very narcissistic. They do self-centered things by showing their products a lot… even their “lifestyle” images are about their products, not truly about the customer’s lifestyle.

They don’t think about who the customer is- what their daily life is like, their pains, fears, worries, dreams, goals and obstacles. And when they do it’s only in terms of their products.

You have to go a level beyond your product into the customer’s life and emotions and live with them and talk about other things and have faith that this creates a relationship that makes them love you so much that of course they want to buy your products.

You can’t be afraid to NOT talk about the product for a while. You can’t be so afraid that if you go off topic, you’re wasting time.

Because the truth is: so much of friendship and relationship is about wasting time because you are together.

You have to just be with them- without selling- sometimes, or you’re not building a relationship… you’re just an annoying salesperson… and that’s not a likable approach.

THE 4 TYPES OF CREATIVE TESTS THAT DRIVE PROFITS

Everybody wants results from digital marketing.

But what works for you and your business and your customer is different than what works for everyone else.

You can try to follow formulas and systems, and they’ll work to a point, but there is always testing and looking at results and optimizing.

Sometimes you find something awesome and creative that drives huge results…

But new creative often doesn’t work.

It’s risky to try new things.

Testing and learning is expensive.

Not testing, not creating, isn’t the answer either- you’ll never get noticed- you’ll never learn- but there’s a cost to learning.

And too much creativity and novelty is risky.

So how do you manage risk while testing and trying to achieve great results?

The more you spend on digital ads, the more you have to be aware of this.

As we attempt to expand while continuing to get good results, it becomes more and more important to manage risk around creative testing.

How Do You Maximize Profits With Ad Spend Allocations?

You have to make creative decisions and allocate your ad spend against creative in a way that balances the need for two things:

#1 Profitability (high results or low costs of any kind, regardless of the KPI we use for it at the time): any goals we have for appointments, revenue or cost per new customer must be achieved at the same time that we create and learn.

#2 Novelty: to push forward our KPI’s, we need varying degrees of novelty in the creative. It’s the amount of novelty, the degree that it diverges from what has been proven to work, that increases the risk, increases the cost of testing and lowers profit while testing.

At times, we work with a simple system of allocating ad spend between:

A. BEST: proven ads (and when I say ads, we may also mean landing pages, depending on how traffic distribution is set up) that achieve our best KPI performance so far. We allocate a certain amount of ad spend to this- as much as possible, to try to achieve the overall KPI goal- while leaving a certain amount of spend for the “TEST” group. In the beginning when nothing is proven, it’s all TEST. And the definition of BEST changes as the KPI’s improve.

– vs. –

B. TEST: new ideas that are unproven. Many of them will not perform and will be discontinued. Some will end up in the BEST group.
As a rule of thumb, we can recommend a ratio of anywhere from 50:50 to 80:20 BEST:TEST.

However, in more complicated situations like TPW, I recommend we look at more groups, as shown in this image…

#1 OLD Proven Creative
Proven profitable, or best performing creative so far
Keep in mind that the definition of proven is relative
KPI’s improve over time, and the definition of what’s best changes
Best investment for ensuring KPI goals

#2 NEW Slight Variations on Proven Creative
e.g. changing one bit of text or one image in an ad or landing page
Lowest risk of poor performance for new creative
Highest assurance of profitability for new creative

#3 NEW Bigger Variations on Proven Creative
e.g. a big landing page layout change, or changing multiple things at one time
Medium risk of poor performance for new creative
Medium assurance of profitability for new creative

#4 NEW Totally New Creative
e.g. totally new ideas, themes, messages, formats and customer pathways unlike previous tests
Some amount of totally new is required, but because its overall performance is, on average, the lowest, it should be allocated the least amount.
Highest risk of poor performance for new creative
Least assurance of reaching KPI goals

An example spend ratio could be…

ProvenCreative:SlightVariation:BiggerVariation:TotallyNew
60:25:10:5

The idea is to put spend in every group to allow for diversity but to allocate spend conservatively to reduce KPI performance risks.

It’s critical that to use this 4-category system for new ad, landing page and other tests as you go forward and increase ad spend.

If you don’t do this, you risk spending too much on the riskiest creative, and while you may learn a lot, you will not at the same time produce satisfying results.

Airport Revenue Digital Marketing & Social Media Keynote Interview with Brian Carter

In March, Brian will be speaking about how to drive more visits and revenue with digital marketing and social media to airport operators and concessionaires like Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks and TGI Friday’s at the annual Airport Revenue News conference in Orlando. Here’s an excerpt of his interview with ARN!

Ward: What are some key mistakes that you see companies making?

Carter: I think one of the biggest mistakes is opinion versus facts. We now have data – we can test whether the customer likes our branding. If you listen to the wrong information, or your information is out of date or you make decisions that are based on opinion rather than fact, eventually you’re headed for disaster. The companies that are winning today, that are disrupting categories and established companies, are using technology to make customers happier than they ever were before. When your opinion is wrong and out of whack with the facts, you’re not going to be able to make your customers happy.

Read more of Brian Carter’s interview on airports and digital marketing more here…

Why You Shouldn’t Listen to Marketers Who Don’t Implement

What’s the danger of working with strategists who don’t implement? They can get stuck in theory, or third-hand information that’s speculative, not based in fact.

You need marketing and sales results and you don’t want to waste time or money.

You can’t afford to go on theories that sound good- you need best practices based in data and experience.

What’s Your Source For Marketing Best Practices?

I’ve always wondered where social media generalists get their strategy ideas from. New articles? Blog posts? Rumors? I’ve seen repeatedly in the last decade situations where the most insightful case studies were not published because a company didn’t want to give away the competitive advantage they had discovered. Not all the best tactics and strategies will be in the public domain.

That means that strategists who don’t implement anything will only know about the most average and common approaches- not the most powerful or cutting edge ones.

I remember when writing one of my books, an editor questioned something I called “a social media best practice.” As an editor with an academic writing background, she wanted an academic reference for it.

In other words, she was asking, “What other book or blog post corroborates your claimed best practices?”

I had to reply, “It comes from our experience getting results for real clients.” Our day-to-day experience working with 10-20 clients at a time over the last 10 years, is usually richer and more useful for answering specific strategy questions than the blogosphere, which often seems to be based in nothing but opinion.

Marketing must seem like a weird industry to academics. In medicine, research is done independently with government grants, or is funded by huge companies. Practicing doctors based their clinical approach on that research and other doctors’ clinical experience. But in marketing, we don’t have nearly the research industry, so we rely much more on very small case studies and opinion. And the marketing ecosystem changes much more rapidly than the human body could ever evolve. It’s a moving target. So, the more of research you can do and experience you can gain in-house, the more effective marketer you will be.

Working with clients forces you to be oriented toward what really works (because you’ll lose the client if you’re wrong) and to keep secrets (because clients don’t like you to give away their competitive advantages).

When people hire us, they’re paying us to implement what we’ve found that works, and to avoid what we’ve found to be dead ends.

The Upshot

If you’re not working with people who implement digital marketing tactics daily, you won’t have access to the most powerful strategies- you’ll fall behind and miss opportunities. If you want to be a market leader, you need to find the smart people who are working on the gnitty gritty of digital marketing every day.

3 Simple Steps to Build a Social Media Marketing Sales Funnel

Originally posted on SME

Are you looking for a smart way to use social channels for lead conversion?

Are you tracking and leveraging your target customers’ path to buying your product?

Collecting fans and followers is one thing, converting them to paying customers can be quite another. That is, unless you have a customized sales funnel in place.

In this article you’ll discover how to put together a marketing and sales funnel with the right channels and key trackable metrics. You’ll also find advice on how to test and tweak your funnel for maximum boost.

Why Is Your Marketing and Sales Funnel Such a Big Deal?

Social media marketing is about using social networks and tools to guide prospects through a series of steps–a funnel–to get them to take the actions you want (e.g., becoming a fan, sharing their email address or buying your products or services).

There are tons of social media tools, networks and options that include everything from Facebook and Twitter to landing pages and email marketing to SEO and ads. Each of these social marketing channels is one more way to guide your prospects through your sales funnel.

marketing channels

Use varied social marketing channels to guide your prospects through your sales funnel.

With all of these marketing channels at your disposal, how do you decide which ones fit within your sales funnel?

To answer those questions, you have to know who your potential customers are and how you can reach them most effectively. You also have to know your company’s goals, how you’ll measure those goals (i.e., the metrics you’ll analyze) and what your target numbers are for those metrics.

Without those key facts, your marketing and sales funnel will be skewed. Excessive focus on one part of your funnel can cause problems elsewhere. If you focus only on owned media like follower numbers and email addresses, you may have trouble with conversions. Or, if you only focus on brand awareness and neglect email marketing, you’ll likely miss out on sales.

Every decision you make about how to create brand awareness, garner engagement and make conversions and sales should be a reflection of your funnel.

The rest of this article shows you how to build, track and test your marketing and sales funnel to give your company the big results it wants.

#1: Define and Implement Channels and Jobs

Did I mention you have a ton of social marketing tools at your disposal? Frankly, it can be overwhelming to think about using all of them at once as part of your marketing and sales funnel. So don’t.

Start by determining what your high-level sales path should look like. In the example a little further down, I’m using Awareness, Repeat Visibility and Engagement and Sales.

Next, prioritize the social channels and tools your audience is already using and that you’re familiar with, then organize those by their primary function (or job). For example, Facebook is great for raising awareness and driving leads, but not for converting sales. Email blasts are excellent for conversions, but not awareness.

As you’re deciding which marketing channels go where in your funnel, consider which ones are most relevant to your short-term and long-term goals, what each channel’s strengths and weaknesses are and what job you’re expecting that channel to do.

marketing funnel concept

Use your funnel to organize your channels and hold each accountable for its role in the process.

As you see in the illustration above, you may have channels that overlap; for instance, different kinds of social ads in the Awareness part of the funnel. In addition, each channel may have different facets (e.g., Facebook ads versus Facebook fans). Each facet builds upon its own functions, as well as the functions of other networks, to lead to your ultimate goal: sales.

Your funnel should be stable, but not inflexible. If your company cares more about email marketing than its number of followers, adjust your tactics accordingly.

For example, instead of using Facebook ads to increase brand awareness and gain more fans, jump straight to an ad campaign targeted at list building. Create an ad that sends leads to an optimized landing page on your website where you ask them to share their email address to access content, a download, etc.

#2: Assign and Measure Key Metrics

Any bottlenecks in your funnel will slow your momentum or stop it completely. Depending on where the bottleneck happens, you could miss out on brand awareness opportunities, growing your owned media lists or conversions and sales.

To measure the health of your funnel, you need to assign key metrics to each stage. That usually looks something like this:

marketing funnel channel metrics

Set a key metric for each tactic in each part of your funnel to quickly diagnose where the funnel is anemic.

With your key metrics in place, look at each tactic in each funnel section and set any industry benchmark standards.

Use these benchmarks to compare your company to your competitors and your industry as a whole. How do you stack up? Look at which of your tactics and funnel sections are best or worst compared to industry averages and adjust as needed.

Speaking of benchmarks and comparing, are you making the most of your analytics and tracking what you need to track? Awareness metrics, Facebook Insights and Google Analytics all have flaws, but I have a few tips for you.

If you’re tracking awareness, I suggest looking at impressions instead of reach. Tools like AdWords don’t give reach data and Facebook’s reach data is inaccurate.

Have you noticed that you’re getting inconsistent results from your Facebook Insights? Start exporting your Insights data to an Excel spreadsheet so you can consistently track and compare the right metrics and get a better idea of how your tactics are working long-term.

You’re probably using Google Analytics on your website, but if you’re not using the Google URL Builder or event tracking, you’re missing out on a lot of useful data. Google URL Builder allows you to customize URLs for posts and ads so you can track visitors from social networks and how they move through your site.

yoast wordpress plugin

Yoast’s Google Analytics WordPress plugin tracks events.

Event tracking gives you information about button or link clicks, which is especially useful if customers have to go offsite to buy your product. If you have a WordPress site, you can even install this plugin that automatically creates event tracking for you!

#3: Test and Tweak, Then Test Again

The number-one thing you can do to boost your results is test everything. Every good idea you think of is something to test.

As you test, always think in terms of your key metrics and make use of your analytics to find out what works and what doesn’t. Let’s use Facebook as an example.

You can constantly test your Facebook success by trying a variety of status updates. Which has the best engagement rate—photos, text, links or video? Does your audience prefer news or funny videos or memes? Take the time to analyze your previous and current posts to see what worked and what didn’t.

If you want to find your engagement rate for a given post, I suggest dividing its total engagement (likes, shares, comments, clicks, etc.) by total post impressions. If you’re using Facebook ads, the Facebook ad display algorithm shows which posts get the most engagement.

post engagement metrics

Pay attention to which posts your fans respond to.

The key is to look at your best and your worst posts. In both instances, keep an eye out for differences in post type, topic, colors, sentiment, message and graphic style.

What do your 10 most engaging posts have in common? What do your 10 least engaging posts have in common? Just knowing the commonalities of those top and bottom posts can help you dramatically boost your post engagement.

When I went through this exercise for a client, their page had a month-over-month increase of seven times as many likes, comments and shares and 31 times as many link clicks!

Are you using ads? Then you definitely need to be testing!

Ads burn out fast, so it’s important to create and test ads weekly. If you have the budget for it, you can create, test and optimize new ads three times a week or more.

If you’re using AdWords, create new ads until the point of diminishing returns. Check actual search phrases to see if you need more negative keywords. If your AdWords manager is slacking, get an AdWords Audit.

google adwords

Do you use Google AdWords?

Not sure which channel ads to spend money on? Compare your options. Run Facebook, Twitter and even Reddit ads to see which works best for your audience and gives you the best awareness or conversions for your money.

A Quick Note About Content Calendars

A lot of brands use a content calendar to create a month of posts (for Facebook, Google+ or any other channel) ahead of time and then submit it for review. This seems organized and diligent, but in practice I believe this approach makes you less likely to improve your posts and get better results.

Every month you need to analyze your key metrics and learn from any mistakes. It’s hard to implement those lessons when you’ve already assigned content for the next month (without the benefit of analysis).

In place of content calendars, I recommend submitting examples of types of posts you want to test or creating your posts daily, or at least weekly.

Conclusion

Customers like to make decisions on their own terms. In most cases, they’re looking for a relationship with a company, not necessarily a hard sell. You can use this human nature to your advantage.

Take note of the social channels your audience is using most, then use those channels to guide them through your sales process.

Set up a funnel that allows leads to jump in wherever they need to. If your funnel is stable but flexible, you’ll be able to adjust its use to fit your customers’ behaviors and needs—and make sales.

Your biggest sales results will come from constant measuring and testing. Be prepared to make changes quickly and match your customers’ reactions to your efforts. You’ll be seeing intensified results in no time.

REPLAY: 5 Marketing & Sales Funnels Mistakes 99% of Businesses are Making [Facebook Live Show]

Episode SEIS 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 a Funnel?
    • You may have heard of clickfunnels but that only covers a small part of the whole sales and marketing funnel
    • AIDA: Attention –> Interest –> Desire –> Action
    • Ads –> Landing page –> Content –> Capture/owned media (email/retargeting) –> Sales process
  • What is YOUR Marketing and Sales Funnel?
    • You have a sales funnel even if you don’t know it
    • It’s the steps people take to buy from you
    • Map it out or you won’t know how to improve it
  • #1 Mistake: Too Many Steps in Your Funnel
    • People won’t go too far out of their way
    • People want it to be easy
    • People are easily frustrated
    • How many steps do people have to take to buy from you?
    • How many clicks?
    • How many form fields to fill out?
    • Why the fan-getting process doesn’t work
      • Extra step
      • Fans don’t see posts
      • Still have to pay to get visibility
      • Fan buyer overlap is small
  • #2 Mistake: Not Getting Enough People Into Your Funnel
    • Most businesses aren’t reaching enough people
    • How many people do you need?
      • Do the math
      • Ubiquity
    • Cold traffic
    • Retargeting to get them back
  • #3 Mistake: Not Getting Shares and Virality
    • Don’t sneeze at free exposure and traffic
    • Get more people from the people you already get
    • Is your content valuable enough to get shares?
    • Is it the kind of thing people share?
    • Does it make them look good to share it?
    • Is it easy to share? Share buttons?
  • #4 Mistake: Not Creating and Testing Enough Ideas
    • How many funnels have you created?
    • Are you split testing landing pages?
    • How many new ads have you created this week?
    • If you only have one idea for your funnel, what if it doesn’t work?
    • Russell Brunson says on average with a new business idea they have to try 7 funnels before they create one that’s profitable!
    • When we split test landing pages in lead gen we get 5x the leads
    • Too few ideas leaves you vulnerable to failure and going out of business
    • More ideas means bigger results and profits
  • #5 Mistake: Don’t Be So Inbound and Anti-Push That You Never Close Any Sales
    • Without customers, you go out of business
    • Does your funnel, content and lead magnets pre-sell them?
    • Does it make the sale easier and more likely?
    • Do you ask for the sale or tell them to buy? Are you using calls-to-action?
    • Sell fearlessly. If your thing is valuable and helpful, and you’re focusing on their pains and problems and they’ll welcome it.

 

How to Go Viral and Sell More with Memes

[Originally posted on Amazing.com]

Many companies go after engagement in social media. Others go directly for sales. If you can get both engagement and sales at the same time, that’s the holy grail. In this post, we’ll talk about both, using a type of post that not everyone has already worn out.

Engagement itself is valuable because it:

  • Grabs Customer Attention: Many companies spend millions just on reach and exposure, but it’s hard these days to grab and hold attention, and the competition just for attention is fierce.
  • Starts a Conversation: Engagement proves you not only got customer attention, but interest, which is one level better. You can get valuable information from customer interaction that can help you sell better.
  • Creates an Emotional Relationship between your customer and your brand, which increases the chance you’ll get the sale and increases the chance they’ll become loyal to your brand and stay loyal to you. It’s not just about sales, but about long-term customer loyalty.

There are many types of Facebook posts that create engagement. But few companies have taken full advantage of memes, which is crazy because we want Facebook posts that get shares, and…

A meme (/?mi?m/ meem) is “an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture”.

You can take any of your own images and turn them into memes with this tool: https://makeameme.org/upload

For example: