10 Reasons You’re Not Getting More Business

Do you want more new business?

Let’s face it- if you’re not getting new business, you’re at risk. The existing customers could dry up. A recession could hit. Who knows what could happen!

So, if your new business growth is not where you’d like it to be, what’s wrong?

Here are 10 things that could be blocking your organization’s customer growth.

BUSINESS BLOCKER #1: You’re not getting enough attention

If not enough people are giving you money, or buying from you, or inquiring, or coming into your store… do they even know you exist? Do they remember you exist?

You need to get people’s attention, then interest, then desire, and only then will they take action.

How many people’s attention does your business have right now?

  • How many ad impressions do you get a month? How many people do you reach?
  • How many emails from you do people open?
  • How many outbound sales calls does your org make?
  • How many leads do you get?

Even more importantly- how much is enough?

A simple rule is that you need to reach 1,000x as many people as you want customers, and you need to get their attention 5x before you can expect anything from them.

BUSINESS BLOCKER #2: You’re not getting enough traffic

Most businesses rely on website, store or phone activity to get new business.

  • How much website traffic are you getting per day?
  • How many people call a day?
  • How many people are visiting your store daily?

You need 100x as much traffic as however many customers you want.

BUSINESS BLOCKER #3: Your website doesn’t convert people to leads or sales

A lot of people have nice looking but ineffective websites. They don’t even know what their website conversion rate is. That’s like driving without knowing how fast you’re going.

And even worse, if you don’t generate enough traffic, you can’t find out if your website is the problem.

BUSINESS BLOCKER #4: Nobody wants what you offer

For newer businesses, if they’ve never sold at volume, they have an unproven product or service.

The first question to answer is- does anybody want this? Will they pay for it?

Then you can answer WHO will pay for it.

And in order to find out if they want it you have to get in front of them or get people to it.

BUSINESS BLOCKER #5: You’re not aggressive enough about promotion

If you build it, and that’s all, they won’t come.

Marketing and sales are about driving attention, interest and desire.

Some people aren’t aggressive enough- they choose only passive strategies like SEO or content creation.

If you’re not doing something outbound like advertising, networking, or outbound SDR, you’re going nowhere fast.

BUSINESS BLOCKER #6: You’re afraid to spend money

You have to spend money to make money. Why do you think all these new businesses want funding? Making money is expensive.

Attention, traffic and leads cost money. You have to spend it.

That can be hardest at the beginning, but even when times are tight, you have to keep investing. Businesses that pull back on promotion when things are down just end up going down even faster.

BUSINESS BLOCKER #7: You don’t have a creative solution

Content marketing is important for a lot of reasons, but it requires creating that content.

Ads and emails are powerful ways to get attention and traffic, but they require creative copywriting.

Ads, websites and landing pages are compelling ways to get new business, but you need to have an eye for graphic art, and an understanding of how creative affects customer psychology.

Creative skills and resources are critical. And they are often missing from many marketing plans and departments.

As a result, organizations show up in the marketplace looking and sounding mediocre, and fail to impress.

BUSINESS BLOCKER #8: You don’t have a scientific mindset

Business used to be a guessing game. But now we have data, especially online.

We get insights and reports that tell us what works and what doesn’t so that we waste less money and get a bigger response from customers.

If you’re not trying a lot of creative, copy, and new ideas, and learning from what the data says about the customer response, you’re stuck in the old paradigm, you won’t be able to be competitive, and eventually you’ll be replaced by newer companies and people.

BUSINESS BLOCKER #9: You don’t put enough time in

Sometimes we don’t have enough resources to do what needs to be done with sales and marketing.

Sometimes things are going well, so we coast.

The most talented people have drive. The best companies have lots of people who have drive. They are internally motivated to keep doing more and getting better everyday.

BUSINESS BLOCKER #10: You’re not continuously learning

The only constant is change.

Even when digital marketing and sales were young 10 years ago, there was a ton to learn in this space. But it doesn’t stop. Things continue to advance and get more complicated.

What worked 10 years ago may not work now- for example, SEO is much, much harder for new companies as a viable traffic source.

And what wasn’t a good idea 10 years ago might be now- for example, so many companies have gone online with lead gen, that fewer people are cold calling, and sometimes it works better than it did in 2000 or 2010.

You and your marketing and sales people must keep learning- must keep getting training, must keep reading, getting mentored, and going to conferences…

But only if you want to get and stay on top.

graphic of two hands shaking with business people on top

11 Shocking Sales Facts for 2020

It’s 2020 and a lot of companies are already launching their new fiscal years.

Are you up-to-date on your selling strategies?

You don’t want to fall behind.

You want to get ahead, right?

So let’s look at really working today in sales. What’s helping? And what’s outdated?

We took a look at the stats and what the most successful sales people were doing…

Read the list and take action today so you don’t get left behind!

Top Salespeople Use Social Media!

1. Over 90% of top salespeople use social media in their strategies (LinkedIn).

Social selling tools, including LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, are the most widely used sales technology.

Specifically, sales professionals see relationship-building tools as having the highest impact on revenue (LinkedIn).

How are you using social media to build relationships?

Millennial Salespeople Use Social/Sales Intel Tools!

Fact: Millennials are 33 percent more likely to use sales intelligence tools than industry peers aged 35-54 (LinkedIn). These tools help by generating extra info about your prospects and leads.

Millennials, as we know, grew up using computers and devices, so it’s 100% normal for them to think the Internet should be give us more info about sales prospects.

The more you know…

…the more your sales grow!

So how are YOU using the Internet to learn more about your prospects?

Buyers Use Social Media to Make Buying Decisions!

2. 67% of the buyer’s journey now happens online (Sirius).

According to SiriusDecisions research, online searches are executives’ first course of action (just like everyone else)!

Are you making sure that the online experience for prospects is complete, high quality, and answering their needs?

That includes:

  • All online materials
  • Your website
  • Your social media
  • Your social networking and contact with prospects online as a salesperson
  • The chat experience on the website

How great is that experience for your sales prospects?

Is anything lacking?

Buyers Consume Sales Propaganda Via Social Media Before They Talk to Salespeople!

3. Buyers consume at least 5 pieces of content (blog posts, videos and more) before contact with a sales rep (CMO Council).

It’s a shame but let’s face it- a lot of buyers avoid salespeople.

They definitely reach out if they have questions they can’t answer, but a lot of prospects don’t want to talk to you at all until they’re informed to a certain degree.

They don’t want to be pushed. They’ve had bad experiences with bad salespeople (not you!) and they’re afraid you’re going to be one of the bad ones.

You’re not that bad salesperson, but their past experience why they’re trying to get all the info and get prepared before they talk to you.

That’s why content marketing has become so important- and the distribution of content through social media.

So what can salespeople do? Become a resource. Do social media.

Some salespeople actually blog!

Yes, you read that correctly… they actually write words into the computer on purpose. I know- weird. That’s not for every sales person. In fact, that’s not for most of them- but the ones that do it reap all kinds of benefits like:

  • Standing out from their peers
  • Making their company stand out
  • Sounding more objective and less pushy
  • Seeming more approachable
  • Seeming more like an expert resource we want to talk to

And all of that means that more prospects will talk to you. Hmm, maybe it is worth writing a little blog post once in a while?

4. 94% of all B2B buyers research online before making a business purchase (Accenture).

Who doesn’t do the responsible thing of at least Googling a little bit before committing thousands of dollars to what might be a huge mistake?

It’s a no-brainer.

Buyers don’t want to screw it up. So they research. And Google is one of the easiest ways.

So, does your company’s website show up when you Google the kinds of questions your prospects ask?

Is your company’s blog coming up for those searches?

Or are you lost in space?

5. 55% research online at least half of their purchases (Accenture).

6. In addition, Research by IDC has found that 91% of B2B buyers are now active and involved in social media.

Social buying correlates with buying influence. The average B2B buyer who uses social media for buying support is more senior, has a bigger budget, makes more frequent purchases, and has a greater span of buying control than a buyer who does not use social media.

7. 75% of buyers and 84% of executives use social media to make purchasing decisions (IDC).

In the final stage of the purchasing process, when stakes are highest, online professional networks (e.g., LinkedIn) are the #1 information preference of buyers.

Cold Calls DON’T WORK

8. Over 90% of decision makers never respond to cold calls (InsideView).

9. The success rate of cold calls to appointments is only 0.3% (Baylor University).

97.7% of cold call activity is wasteful. You need to make more than 3,200 calls to generate 10 meetings and 1 sale!

Instead, market and do social media and lead gen to warm up your prospects.

Warm Referrals, Like Social Media Networking, DRIVE MORE SALES

10. A warm referral increases sales success up to 4x (Demand Gen Report).

11. 70% report that referrals convert better and close faster than other type of lead (SuperOffice).

Here’s Why Your Sales Emails and LinkedIn Messages Aren’t Working

Your sales emails and LinkedIn messages suck.

They’re annoying.

They make me want to mark you as spam, not talk to you.

You probably think it’s a numbers game.

And you’re right: as long as you think it’s a numbers game, that gives you an excuse to suck at it, and your numbers will be super low.

And if you treat everyone you email or message the same, and if you don’t get interested in how to get a better response from people:

  • Your numbers will continue to suck.
  • You will give yourself and your company a bad name.
  • You will feel like you’re doing something positive by taking action, but you’re actually having a negative effect.

If you have a PR department or branding people that are trying to give your company a good image, they probably hate that you’re giving your company a bad image with these spammy emails.

If you’re a salesperson, you may think marketing is stupid. That’s just something that lame, introverted, nerdy people do, right?

That attitude shows in spammy emails, because they lack any marketing sense at all.

The first thing a marketer does is give a crap about the audience.

“Hmm, what does the recipient care about?”

This is clearly not your concern when you write spammy emails and InMails.

All you care about is getting a phone call or demo scheduled.

That’s what YOU want.

BUT the prospects you’re writing don’t care what YOU want.

Prospects care about what THEY want.

You aren’t helping them care by writing in a compelling way.

And that’s why they’re marking you as spam and ignoring you.

They’re saying bad things about your company and your entire profession sucking and you don’t even know it.

They wish you cared, because they probably have problems you could solve.

But they aren’t understanding that you could really help, because you aren’t talking to them in a compelling way.

You only care about your numbers and your numbers game, and you’re not communicating well.

You would still do cold calls if they worked. But they don’t work. Do YOU like robocalls? Probably not. They don’t work.

Neither does this spammy, selfish email approach.

Stop bothering people, and start caring about them, and you’ll get a better response.

If this did penetrate your skull at all, then what you need to do next is read 5 or 10 books on copywriting.

Copywriting is the more than 90 year old marketing discipline of figuring out how to write in a way that get people to take action- actions like saying yes to a phone call or demo.

Your emails are copywriting, whether you realize it or not.

It’s just that you are not a trained copywriter, so your emails suck.

Get some training.

You will learn some fundamental mindset shifts.

You will learn to think about your writing from the reader’s perspective.

And people will start responding.

You will get more appointments and sales.

And fewer people will think you suck.

Do it.

Oh, and if you’re not a spammy salesperson, but you agree with this article, share it with those annoying salespeople that bother you. Send it to the next salesperson who spams you via email or LinkedIn. It just might help them out- and prevent the next victim from getting spammed, too!

UPDATE: Some readers asked me, “So which copywriting books do you recommend?”

I first studied copywriting 14 years ago, so I’m sure there are a lot of great new copywriting books beyond what I read… If I were starting now I would go to amazon, search for copywriting, and check out the reviews. The ones I recall liking the most were Scientific Advertising, Confessions of an Advertising Man, Tested Advertising Methods, Words That Sell, Phrases That Sell. Some of those are older (like 1930’s or 1960’s or 1980’s older) so you may need to ignore or update some of their phrases.

But my best source these days for continuing to learn copywriting is applying my own system, plus the feedback I get from the advertising and landing page metrics.

This blog post describes some of the copywriting principles I’ve developed

and this is a mega blog post of copywriting formulas you might find helpful.

How People Are Creating Social Media Sales & Profits

Are you ready to get more from your social media than just awareness and engagement?

Are you dissatisfied with not knowing social media’s impact on your organization’s bottom line?

Do you want to join the organizations and marketers who are developing business with social media marketing?

Then you’ll love this article, which covers how top marketers are driving and tracking sales and profits with social media marketing in 2018.

The State of Social Media Results

Recent surveys of marketers and CMO’s tell us that many companies have not yet solved many basic social media marketing problems:

  • Marketing executives rate their integration of social media with their marketing strategy just 4.1 on a scale of 7 (CMO Survey, 2018, page 48). How can you expect great social marketing results, if your social strategy is out of alignment with your marketing strategy?
  • 56% of 5,700 social marketers surveyed by Social Media Examiner in 2018 are uncertain about their social media profits or were unable to measure it. Only 10% (570 social marketers) strongly agreed they were able to measure their social media profits. 
    These are the professional social marketers- the top of their field. Imagine how difficult and uncertain it is for small business owners who aren’t caught up on the latest tactics and who have to wear seven hats in their businesses. And consider that there are over 2 million small businesses in the U.S., 500 Fortune 500 companies, 5,000 companies in the Inc 5000…. If only 570 social marketers have strong confidence in their ROI measurement, then most companies don’t have someone who’s confident about it.
  • Although marketing executives’ #1 overall goal was customer acquisition, their #1 use of social media was not customer acquisition- it was brand awareness and brand building. Customer acquisition was their #2 purpose for social media (CMO Survey 2018, page 51). This odd priority echoes the above misalignment with their overall marketing strategy. It may be due to a misunderstanding or underestimation of the capabilities of social media marketing, or it may be reflective of the social media freelancers, agencies or employees they’ve had up to this point. When you work with social media personnel whose background is only in PR or branding, their orientation can affect your approach.
  • When marketing executives were asked to what degree social media contributed to their company’s performance (a vague question to be sure, but corporate performance typically is heavily based on revenue and profits), they answered with an average of 3.3 on a scale of 7. That’s not an overwhelming vote.
  • There are older surveys and stats that talk about the challenges of measuring social media, but I’ll stick to recent ones.

Does it surprise to you that marketers are having trouble improving social media profits if they aren’t measuring it well?

It shouldn’t, because as Peter Drucker said, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.”

In digital and social marketing, you can’t improve what you can’t measure.

And when your social marketing strategies are not aligned with your overall marketing priorities, you have a recipe for social mediocrity.

The solutions to the problems that marketers and executives are surfacing are:

  1. Prioritize the use of social media for business development: customer acquisition, sales and profits. Ask for more from your social marketing. It’s capable of it.
  2. Hold social media accountable for achieving these goals.
  3. Make it a priority to measure social media accurately. Choose KPI’s, sales goals and start to measure profitability tied to your resources, labor, time and costs.
  4. Budget for social advertising, because it’s the most certain way to drive these results in social media.
  5. Get the people, resources, talent, training and tools you need to make this happen.

Easier said than done, right?

But you can do it. Many companies have.

So, let’s dive in!

How Today’s Marketers Are Making Social Media Profitable

How do leading marketers prove the impact of social on their bottom line?

The best marketers have social sales and profits analytics at their fingertips.

Many companies don’t realize their analytics are set up wrong and are inaccurate.

Do you have the tracking, the data and the insights you need to prove how social is driving customer and profits for your business? And to measure and improve it?

What does that look like? In our experience, these are the kinds of things you need:

  • Expertise, or at least competence, at understanding, exporting and analyzing data from the social platforms: Facebook Page Insights, Facebook Ad Manager, Facebook Audience Insights, Twitter Ads, Twitter Insights, Instagram Ads, LinkedIn Ads, etc.
  • Professional implementation of social ad tracking pixels: If you are using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn or similar ads that use conversion code, make sure you either have a professional install and check the code, or hire one to check it. Not only is that code critical and indispensable for tracking, it also it essential to how the ads run. You need it for retargeting and in some networks, it also affects how well or poorly the ads are targeted within your targeting selections. It’s not optional. We’ve heard many IT and programming people who were not professional digital marketers assume that these pixels were only for tracking and that web analytics or a CRM would be enough. They are not. The tracking from the ad platforms must be installed also. If your web or ecommerce platforms are not compatible with the common ad platforms, they need to “get with it”, you need to switch to another platform that is compatible, or you will have to hire programmers to fix it. Or you will be seriously hampered against your competitors in the marketplace. We’ve worked with clients who had to stop marketing socially for 4 months while they had programmers white-label and make their third party scheduling software compatible with Facebook ads. It’s a problem of ignorance in the SaaS industry that will eventually fix itself, but it may take another five years.
  • Google Analytics (or the like) with UTM parameters: you must manually help GA track the source/medium of all website traffic from social, or some will be undercounted. For example, without this, Facebook traffic will be undercounted by as much as 40% and will be placed in the “Direct” category.
  • Google Analytics conversion assist reports: you need to consider both first click and last click, because once you graduate from the search marketing last-click only mentality, you will drive a greater volume of traffic and sales, but without first-click reports, you may cut out some of the first-click sources that ultimately drive your sales. Often, retargeting ads from various networks, and search sources close the sale with a last-click, but they may never have happened without the first click. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn ads can increase your organic search volume dramatically, but you’ll never have evidence of this and you’ll spend in the wrong places without these reports.
  • Professional CRM, and any additional add-ons required to track accurately: You need something like Salesforce, Hubspot, Infusionsoft, Zoho or the like if you are driving leads for salespeople. Your email account isn’t good enough. You need to track the leads in a professional system, and you need marketing attribution. Also, beware of conflicts in attribution reporting. Just as GA can misattribute social traffic, so can CRM’s. For example, if you use Hubspot free, or even paid without buying the Ads Add-on, Hubspot will not track Facebook ad traffic accurately. They admit this in their help screens.

Branding Alone Doesn’t Drive Sales

How do top marketers do social branding in a way that drives new customers?

Savvy marketers drive engagement, sales and profits while leading their categories.

The painful truth many companies discover is that branding alone doesn’t create sales. Just putting your brand out there doesn’t create sales. Just creating engaging posts doesn’t get you new customers. It might drive a few, but not enough to sustain a business. Not enough to call social media a viable business development channel that you’d want to dump more cash into and scale.

Do you have the tracking, ads, posts and optimization strategies in place to cash in on social?

First I’ll give you a list of the things that don’t drive customer growth and sales in social media- and then I’ll give you a list of the things that do drive them:

What doesn’t drive social media many sales and profits, if any:

  • Tweetchats: they’re usually measure in terms of reach, which is not unique reach, so it’s deceptively high. There often aren’t a lot of links included in the chat’s tweets, so you may not even get much website traffic, let alone sales.
  • Facebook posting without ads: Most pages don’t reach very many people when they post, unless they advertise to promote that post. Without reach, you have very little chance of anything else happening… like traffic, leads or sales.
  • Facebook posts boosted on the page: This is the poor cousin of the engagement ad you can create in the Ad Manager, and it doesn’t work as well. It’s often created by someone who’s not really a Facebook ad professional, the targeting isn’t good, and the post itself may not have a high engagement rate. If it doesn’t have a link in it, there’s little chance of traffic, leads or sales. Even with a link, this is one of the worst ad types to try to try traffic, leads or sales with. You’ll probably just gets some engagement, and that’s it. But your costs will be high and your money won’t go as far as with an engagement ad in the Ad Manager.
  • Instagram posts: you can’t add a link- they have to go to your bio link, and you only get one- it’s an extra step, and you may not have that many followers… so you probably won’t get very much traffic, if any… and even less leads or sales. You can promote these posts within the app, but again, these are not as good as creating Instagram as from within the Facebook ad manager.

What drives more social media sales and profits? Let’s move to the next section…

Social Ads Help Drive and Measure Sales & Profits

Why are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn ads the most effective and trackable form of social media marketing?

Why are these ads the main drivers in social media sales and profits?

Because social ads drive not just engagement but also traffic, sales and profits… from 300% to 700% and higher.

Here are a few very short results from some case studies using social ads:

Lead Generation Case Studies

  • HOME GOODS: We helped a home goods company lowered their cost per lead by 84%, getting them 7x the leads. We also more than doubled their new customer acquisition speed across their entire company. They were using an omnichannel approach, and the social ads, used as a swiss army knife for awareness, engagement and lead generation also directly drove some sales. We commissioned a third-party impact study and discovered that the social campaigns had stimulated an increase in organic searches in Google for their brand name. It was a shot in the arm for their entire company. Most of these effects happened within 4 months. The first month wasn’t brilliant, but soon after our measurement abilities enabled us to drop costs and drive performance.
  • IT/CLOUD: We worked with a number of Microsoft’s partners in the cloud hosting business. For one, we created a new whitepaper. They wanted to experiment with Facebook ads rather than LinkedIn ads. We targeted CIO’s, sys admins and IT people. The most affordable leads were $29 each. According to industry stats, average lead in IT costs $370. Our cost was 92% more affordable than that. Facebook’s ad costs are quite low, and its ability to target job titles makes it both powerful and affordable. Sometimes LinkedIn is better, but LinkedIn can also be expensive and lower volume, since people spend an average of 2 minutes a day on LinkedIn and 35 minutes a day on Facebook. This, of course, varies with the audience.
  • RECRUITING/STAFFING: We’ve worked with a number of companies to fill staffing and recruiting gaps applicants. We’ve been able to drive job applicants at 75% lower costs than CareerBuilder. Our social advertising for job candidates drives more traffic for these companies than any other source including Indeed.com.
  • MARKETING: We created a lead-quiz for a marketing agency and drove thousands of leads for just $1.74 each. The average lead cost in this industry is $173. Our cost was 99% more affordable.
  • SAAS: A SaaS company wanted to reach only people who worked at Fortune 1000 companies. We drove traffic to their whitepaper and got them new demos for $26 each. Again, the standard here is $370, and this was similarly about 93% more affordable than average.
  • EDUCATION: We teamed up with an educational bookstore to run multiple lead gen contests. The average email acquisition cost has been around $0.60 apiece. The average lead cost in the Education industry is $60. Our leads were roughly 99% more affordable than average.

Why is the average lead cost so high and were ours so affordable? In part, the average costs are high because they include many traditional offline lead gen sources, which are more expensive. They also may include mark-ups for retail selling of leads. And we always see drastic reduction in costs when we do a lot of testing and discovery online. In traditional marketing, you can’t test a lot of things to find the most effective, compelling offer, wording, video or picture. Online we discover huge advantages through testing, and it saves companies lots of money and increases profits dramatically.

Again, when you can measure it, you can improve it. And we can measure a lot more things a lot more finely online.

When you explore the best in each of these categories, your improvements multiply:

  • Targeting and customer psychology
  • Creative, video, ads, copywriting and persuasion tactics
  • Landing Pages and conversion optimization
  • Lead Magnets, ebooks, whitepapers, quizzes, etc.

Make sure you aren’t lazy about your creative and testing/discovery processes. If you are, you’ll pay more than you need to, and you won’t get the kind of results we’re talking about here.

Ecommerce Case Studies

  • HOME GOODS: With the home goods client above, we achieved a 60% reduction in cost per new customer. We saw over 900% ROI on the social video ad campaigns. 1,000% ROI on post engagement. And overall a 274% ROI on customer acquisition.
  • TRAVEL: We’ve worked for years with a specialty cruise company drive customer bookings for as low as $30 apiece.
  • FOOD & BEV: We drove 22x in revenue for a small pizza chain in Scotland of all places. I’ve been told not to talk about this one because the ROI sounds so high that it’s unbelievable. Oh well… those were the real numbers. Believe what you want. It’s true!
  • HEALTH: We opened up a new revenue channel for a health products business. It was 700% ROI and the first year we drove 6 figures in revenue monthly.
  • FITNESS: We helped a franchise personal training business open up a new marketing channel. Their goal was $700 per customer. We drove new customers at $415 apiece.

Social media driven ecommerce is the most challenging thing we’ve seen in digital marketing, but with enough time, investment and the right people and tools, profits can be found.

Sometimes it’s easy. Sometimes it’s difficult, and there are technical, branding and budget challenges. Every situation is different.

How Do Businesses Make This Happen?

These kinds of successes don’t happen instantly. There’s no magical CASH button in digital marketing. There are plenty of people trying to sell short-lived or fantastic tricks and short-cuts. As in many areas of life, those who can only tolerate easy answers tend to fall for get-rich-quick schemes and lose their shirts.

If you’re smart, responsible and realistic, you have much better chances of success.

Creating profitable social marketing is a process that takes 3-6-12 months. Businesses need to commit $5k in ad spend or more per month. It’s an investment. You’ll see a return on it, but not instantly.

  • Month one is all about set-up. Ads may start running, but you have to get all the pixels and analytics in place, have the right targeting, all the right creative, etc.
  • The first three months tells you what’s going to be profitable and what isn’t. You should have some really effective targeting and ads by the end of month three. That means affordable, high-quality leads if lead-gen, or profitable ads if ecommerce.
  • By the six month mark your entire social campaign should reliably drive efficient results to the extent that it has made up for the costs of the first three months.
  • By 12 months you should have learned so much and be getting such great results that you won’t even recognize your social program. It may have revolutionized your entire marketing program with the insights you’ve gathered.

Who Can Help You Accomplish All This?

We’re not born with kinds of skills you need to do the social advertising and analytics that drive social media profits. Digital natives don’t have them just because they know how to use Snapchat. Experts need business skills, copywriting skills, technical ad platform experience, analytics talents, and marketing experience.

You’re going to need:

  • Social ad expertise: Facebook ads, Instagram ads, Twitter ads, LinkedIn ads. Do you want to have all those options? Do you already have someone who does Google ads for you? You may get some social strategy expertise when you get someone who can do the social ads, but you probably want to ask them about it.
  • Analytics expertise: Website analytics like Google Analytics or Adobe Omniture expertise, CRM analysis, marketing automation analytics if you use Infusionsoft or Marketo or the like.

So how do you add that to your company? These are your real-life choices:

  1. If you’re a small business owner, you may want to do it yourself… 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 for this stuff 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. Are they taking online courses to learn? Are you paying for that?
  3. Outsource to someone freelance and part-time via a platform like Upwork. They’ll cost anywhere from $30-$60 per hour.
  4. 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.
  5. Hire an expert agency: $30-60K per year (we find that the costs our agency are lower than in-house employees because we have multiple experts on staff who can more efficiently cover our various clients)
  6. Do nothing. Keep your social media status quo. Risk falling behind the competition.

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… 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.

Conclusion

So, if you want your social to be as profitable as it is for these businesses:

  • Make a commitment to build the program for 6-12 months.
  • Set your goals.
  • Create a budget.
  • Hire the people or the agency.
  • Start using social ads and all the analytics I talked about above.

Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to measure your social media results.

Now go improve them!

risk graphics

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.

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:

What if Your Fans Aren’t Buyers and Your Buyers Don’t Want to Be Fans?

There’s an assumption in social media that if we get fans or followers and cultivate and invest in those relationships, that will create buyers- and possibly even loyal customers.

Well, you know what they say about assumptions, don’t you?

(If you don’t, ask somebody- I’m not going to say it here, because it’s a little inappropriate!)

What if cultivating relationships and engagement with customers doesn’t lead to sales?

Ok, so engagement probably leads to SOME sales. What if it doesn’t lead to very many sales? What if they’re really expensive sales and it’s not profitable?

The data we have from all our clients suggests that for the most part…

Buyers aren’t fans. And fans aren’t buyers.

By the way, before I show you all the data, which some of you are not going to like, let me share a story from when I used to be in alternative medicine…

I used to read a ton of research, because I had to find proof that the acupuncture and herbs I was learned and practicing wasn’t a bunch of B.S.

During all that reading, I ran across this study of medical doctors. It was research about how medical doctors read and responded to research. It turned out that, for the most part…

  • If the conclusions of the research conflicted with their preexisting beliefs, they would always question the study’s methodology.
    “It must be wrong, so there must be something wrong with the study or data.”
  • If the research conclusions agreed with what they already believed, they didn’t look at the methodology at all.
    “It’s what I believe so the way it was done must have been fine.”

The upshot? Even our super-smart and scientific doctor friends believe what they want to believe and don’t want to be swayed by the data when it disagrees with their beliefs.

It’s hard to be scientific and objective. It’s hard to be open-minded, because it means you sometimes have to be wrong. Being wrong means you need to change.

We don’t want to change. We want confirmation that we’re already right. We want to keep doing what we already do.

Which is why every agency or social media person that gets paid to do engagement is going to question the validity of the data I use in this post 😉 

But this data is based on anywhere from hundreds of thousands of people to millions. In most cases, it’s based on more data than their beliefs will be.

If you disagree with this post- email me (brian at bcg (spell it out) dot com) and tell me what your data is, and how many datapoints or people are in your data. 🙂

Digital Marketing History: From Conversions to Engagement back to Conversions?

How has digital and social marketing evolved?

  1. I started in 1999 with SEO and AdWords, when the whole digital marketing industry also just starting, and everyone was very focused on traffic, leads and sales.
  2. Around 2007 and 2008, Twitter exploded and everyone got excited about engagement and relationships.
  3. By 2010, Facebook was getting hot and companies wanted to grow fans. Initially our first Facebook ads clients back in 2010 all wanted fans. For years, they wanted more Facebook post engagement with those fans and others. Many companies still are chasing post engagement.

Both the original Twitter explosion and the Facebook fan and post engagement movements center on the philosophy that businesses need to be human and relationship-oriented; which you certainly can’t argue with…

Humanized, personable brands certainly are powerful. And relationship building and personality clearly work for one-on-ONE networking. If you’re a salesperson, building relationships makes a ton of sense. No one can argue with that.

But does one-to-MANY big-brand relationship-building create more sales and profits?

Let’s look at the data…

Diving into Consumer Data

As we’ve shifted our Facebook clients toward leads and sales, and as we’ve done Facebook Marketing/Strategy Audits for new clients using Facebook’s data (which includes data from Datalogix, Epsilon and Acxiom)…

  • Analyzing creative and targeting: what has worked and what hasn’t?
  • Investigating customers on buyer email lists: who are they?
  • Discovering prospects on lead lists: who are they?
  • Reviewing fans: who are they?
  • Characterizing ideal buyers: what makes them unique compared to non-buying prospects and non-buying fans?

buyers

Correlating the email addresses, Facebook tells us what it knows about these people, plus:

  • Acxiom has detailed entries for more than 190 million people and 126 million households in the U.S., and about 500 million active consumers worldwide.More than 23,000 servers collect and analyze more than 50 trillion data ‘transactions’ a year. pigeonhole people into one of 70 very specific socioeconomic clusters (personas) in an attempt to predict how they’ll act, what they’ll buy, and how companies can persuade them to buy their products.It gathers its data trove from public records, surveys you’ve filled out, your online behavior, and other disparate sources of information, then sells it to banks, retailers, and other buyers.
  • Epsilon has the world’s largest cooperative database (over 1 Petabyte of data across global data centers) with over 8.6 billion consumer transactions and 4.8 billion business transactions. The different data Epsilon sells includes age, profession, residence, ethnic information and political affiliation.
  • Datalogix, acquired by Oracle in 2015, now called “the Oracle Data Cloud,” it helps Facebook advertisers find customers on Facebook by onboarding first-party data, target customers through relevant audiences, measure campaign effectiveness based on offline purchases; their expertise spans across all industries including; CPG, Retail, Auto, Travel, Financial Services, Telecommunications, Technology and more.Datalogix aggregates and provides insights on over $3 trillion in consumer spending from 1,500 data partners across 110 million US households… across Auto, CPG and Retail Industries;DLX Auto: 99% of all U.S. Sales Captured, 20+ years of ownership data;DLX CPG: 50+ Grocery Chains; 7,000 brands; 300+ categories;DLX Retail: 10 billion transactions; 1,400 retailers; 1,000+ categories.

And by the way, discovering and targeting the ideal buyer is powerful- see our case study of how it lowered one company’s cost per lead by 84% and cost per customer by 60%.

We’ve looked at the data, and the data says: in many cases, buyers aren’t fans, and fans aren’t buyers.

For example, here’s the overlap (or lack thereof) between one company’s…

  • Facebook fan base,
  • Prospect email list and
  • Customer email lists…

buyerfanoverlap

Across a number of these audits, we see anywhere from zero overlap to 35%, but that 35% is the exception. The average is 1% or zero.

These are the facts…

That doesn’t mean that you can’t:

  • Create campaigns to get buyers engaged, or
  • Target your fans better to get them to engage…

But what’s more interesting is this:

When we analyze the difference between loyal buyers, non-loyal buyers, and leads who don’t buy, in many cases, we look at the Facebook activity of

  • Buyers vs the non-buyers +
  • Loyal buyers vs non-loyal buyers…

…the buyers and the loyal buyers tend to score LOW in post likes, post comments and post shares:

interactionofbuyers

In the chart above, the light blue area is the Facebook average. The dark blue is what the loyal buyers are doing. As  you can see, they’re:

  • Liking fewer pages than the average Facebook user
  • Commenting less than the average Facebook user
  • Liking fewer posts than the average Facebook user
  • Sharing fewer posts than the average Facebook user
  • They’re even clicking on ads less, so we should expect and be OK with a lower ad CTR

We’ve seen this pattern in many buyers and loyal buyer groups.

What does that mean?

Often, the more of a buyer someone is, the less of a social media engager they are.

Now, of course this is not true for every brand…

There are some brands with highly engaged buyers- depending on that brand’s psychographic or demographic.

There are exceptions, and you should analyze your own customer and prospect lists to discover the truth about your customers.

But be open to the idea that your best buyers and your most loyal buyers may not be the people who want to engage with your fan page or posts.

Think Realistically About Buyers and Engagement

When you go to Amazon to buy, are you feeling chatty?

Or do you just want to buy the danged thing and get going?

Speaking for myself, I might do some research or comparison before I select the item or the company to buy from, but I’m not in the mood to like or comment on Facebook posts- I’m ready to buy.

I’m often buying something that few or none of my friends have ever bought. I may not be in a community of people based on that thing I’m buying, so trying to get that purchase info socially is not always realistic. Not all purchases are social- and not all the people who buy them are social.

For example, I rock climb, and I even have a local climbing gym, but I don’t care at all what the guys at my local climbing gym think about my next pair of climbing shoes- I just read the Amazon reviews. That might be a form of social, but it’s not on Facebook.

On the engagement side of the equation, who are the most socially engaged people you know?

Consistently the Facebook tell us the most engaged demographic is 13-18 year old females. They’re also one of the groups with the least money! They’re high engagement but don’t have much buying power.

Facebook Audience insights won’t show us the 13-18 group, but here are the 18-24 females:

1824fem

See how every interaction is above average, except for promotions redeemed- interesting… redeemed promotions requires money, and they’re only average at that.

Now, think about the no-nonsense rich powerful guy in his 50’s; does he want to sit around and engage  with you on Facebook? No! He barely even wants to be ON Facebook! He want to get in and get out, because he has more important things to do. The following chart is the activity level of the over 50 guy with a net worth over $1 milion:

over50over1mguy

As soon as I switched it from both genders to men only, the activity dropped. And by the way, in some of our audits, we find that the loyalty groups are more men-predominant… so there you go- loyal buyers not wanted to engage on Facebook!

Early in our Facebook marketing days, we had a client whose customers were all action sports dudes- they all wanted to buy GoPro helmets, but none of them wanted to interact with Facebook posts. They just wanted to go outside and do stuff. They weren’t into social media engagement. Make sure you know your audience.

There are some exceptions- some of the female demographics are very engaged- but again, this engagement doesn’t always lead to sales. I recommend a healthy dose of skepticism, measure your engagement tactics and monitor very closely whether they’re actually converting.

So many social campaigns are called successes based solely on engagement metrics- yet here’s no proof they’re leading to any bottom-line results.

Is It Because of How Facebook Ads Work?

There is actually a really good reason about why buyers would not be fans and fans would not be buyers- and it’s baked right into how Facebook ads work.

The ad type you choose adds another level of targeting to the ad- so

  • When you do a page like ad or a post promotion ad, your ad is shown to the type of people who engage, but not necessarily those who click links or buy.
  • When you do a conversion ad, you’re shown to the type of people who buy, but don’t necessarily engage.

The fact is, some people are more likely to do one or the other, and the Facebook ads display algorithm picks the subgroup based on your ad goal.

So, if you want to beat that, you’ll have to

  • Do conversion ads targeted to fans (but stop them if they’re not cost-effective)
  • Run post promo ads that get conversions (but often these are not cost-effective)

You’ll have to keep an eye on the costs of both. In our experience, they are not the most profitable approaches.

The Most Cost-Effective Facebook Strategies

We find that the best approach is not this strategy:

assumedfbstrategy

With every step in a digital funnel, most people drop out, so longer funnels are not good.

Reachpocalypse happened, and now organic visibility on average is only 2.6%. You have to pay to get fans, pay for visibility, and then post promotion ads don’t tend to lead to affordable link clicks.

The entire process is very expensive, and you spend a lot of time with fans who may be more interested in engaging than buying.

The fan marketing is the strategy the entire industry started with, and it wasn’t until we tried other methods with multiple clients, the data convinced us this wasn’t the most efficient method.

This strategy is better:

bettersalesstrategy

Here we’ve cut out three steps, which means losing three failure points.

We can still target fans, or email audiences, or totally new cold audiences, but we send them directly to the website right away. If they don’t buy right away, we retarget them.

The website retargeting ad guarantees a higher quality visitor that’s more likely to buy (this is a second level of targeting I’ll explain on further slides).

Cost per sale is as much as 90% lower with this method than the fan marketing method.

We recommend you use conversion ads to go straight for sales.

And if you’re doing lead gen before sales, use this:betterleadgen

That’s it.

Get to it!

The Problem With Free Content Marketing

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

Some would say it’s to grow an audience. Some say it’s for search engine optimization. Some do it for lead generation. Some only care if it ultimately increases sales.

My problem with focusing entirely on freemiums and growing an audience with free content is that it can almost become “guilt-trip content marketing”…

“Hey, if we give them a whole bunch of free content, they’ll feel like they owe us and they’ll have to buy from us!”

Whether that’s consciously or subconsciously manipulative (no more manipulative than trying to sell people something), I’ll table for now…

Even if the freemium approach is “get-to-know-like-trust-us” and we’ll build-an-audience, it only works sort of well.

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

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

We’ve Created a Bunch of Information Freeloaders

As content consumers, we’ve been trained now to expect a lot of free helpful content.

Marketers have been taught over the last decade to create free content that is as good as content people should have to pay for, but the companies that are creating this free content aren’t getting paid for it…

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

This freemium deal with the devil strategy only makes sense if you can monetize that audience- but are you monetizing that audience? How? Are you tracking it well enough to know it’s profiting you?

Sure SOME of this audience of freeloaders converts without you trying that hard. But how many more people would have converted, how much higher would your ROI be if you’d thought about converting them? If you were better at direct marketing?

So content and lead gen are just one piece of the puzzle and if you do them the wrong way you make it hard on the salespeople. Or if you’re an entrepreneur you make it hard on yourself to get sales.

You haven’t done all the work, just part of it…

Why Do People Buy?

Because we as people only buy when we are really excited or in really big pain we can’t stand one second longer or when marketers make us feel special or we think it’s a really good deal on a really valuable thing that’s going away forever (there has to be value and trust there for that to work, of course)…

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

You have to sell. How?

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

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

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

“Join our tribe now and we’ll relieve your pain and you’ll be special and have super powers like us but if you want in, you have to join now, for a limited time only!”

This is the difference in getting 2% of your webinar attendees to buy and 16% to buy.

It’s the difference between 1% of people interacting with your Facebook post and 21% interacting with it.

The difference is measurable and huge.

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

If you’re too free and too available, you’re not that interesting. When they see your content there’s a lot of hmm and huh and meh. You can’t compete.

So- the biggest pitfall of the marketer is being too soft, not wanting to sell.

Don’t be soft.

Sell Something and Track It

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

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

Use AdWords and Facebook pixels and conversion tracking. Make sure you have a way to trigger a conversion for the purchase not just the lead. Then you can track all of that back to the content.

If you can’t do that, your content marketing and freemium work will always be off target, and you’ll be at a competitive disadvantage.