Oct 17

How To Use Facebook Advertising To Create Profits In Your Business Over The Long Term

Facebook Advertising – Powerful, But Get It Wrong, Its Money Down the Drain

With Facebook’s Advertising Platform’s powerful demographic settings, advertising your business on this platform can create tremendous ROI. It can be a tremendously profitable way to promote your business. With that being said, I find it really disturbing to see the amounted of wasted advertising budget on Facebook, do to poorly thought out (or no thought out at all) strategies for the advertising. You need a strategy for Facebook advertising. Don’t just point an ad at a post, shoot and hope for the best.

The reason for this video is I actually see many professionals in the industry rolling out these poorly thought through campaigns for their clients, wasting much money that is not even theirs. As my role in the industry is to support marketing agencies, this video in part is for you. But as I would like to see a general improvement in the quality of advertising provided to the SMBs of the world, if you are a business owner, its ideal information for you too. You need to be aware of how marketing works so you give your business maximum opportunity for success.

I hope you enjoy it, the transcription is below:

What To Advertise on Facebook To Ensure Profits (Transcription)

So recently I’ve seen a lot of repeat errors in creating advertising strategies on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. And I wanted to create this video because the error keeps happening and it basically wastes a lot of money advertising in a strategy that is never going to work. So I just wanted to talk through what happens giving an example, so if you’re watching this video hopefully you can actually create a better strategy. And you know when you’re spending advertising dollars which is based around putting your message in front of people, so you’re paying for impressions or clicks or whatever, you’re actually maximizing your chance of having a successful long-term advertising campaign.

And to start the video, I just, I really wanted to point out how social media works because if you understand this concept, you’ll actually understand better how you can construct your advertising strategy for optimal potential success.

So when we’re talking about the advertising tool, we’re not talking about the content side of social media. We’re talking about paying Facebook money to put your message in front of the demographic that you’ve said, using the ad manager or the Power Editor, that kind of stuff. So you’re actually putting an advert out there and paying Facebook to put it in front of your prospects. So if you want to have a bit of an insight on how to get the marketing side of it, the content side of it to work for you more effectively, I’ll put a link underneath the video so you can see it. I’ve got another video that I’ve talked about making that effective.

Yes, but let’s talk about these social media platforms because what people use them for is not to read adverts, you know that’s more of a search marketing strategy. What people go to search engines to read adverts, to find the stuff that they need. So social media platforms are more about people interacting. You know I get on social media so I can see what my sister’s up to because she lives 4,000 km away and I can interact with their children, my nephews and nieces. That’s why I use, that’s how I use social media. And my Mum who lives 2,000 km away does the same thing, she gets on Facebook to see what I’m doing with my children.

So when we’re advertising on social media, what you have to realize is, people aren’t looking for your stuff. You know, they’re actually doing something else so it’s an interruption style of advertising. So when we’re putting our adverts in front of people that don’t know us, we’re actually interrupting part of their life as social stuff, with the message that they may find useful and be interested in, but they don’t trust us yet. So when… it’s really important to keep that in mind because the biggest mistake that I find in social media advertising, is people go direct to sale. They don’t use it to market or to advertise, they go to sell.

There’s a great example, we had a business coach recently who’s in Brisbane and they wanted to do a roadshow; they had four weeks I think, or three weeks, to fill an event in Cairns. So they put together a Facebook advertising campaign to put their sales message, which was an Eventbrite booking page with a $60 price tag on it, in front of a bunch of business people who they didn’t know and didn’t have relationships with, in Cairns. So it was advert up, write good enough copy so you get all the clicks through to your landing page which was the Eventbrite booking page, and hope people liked your ad and your booking page enough to pay $60, for an event in three weeks.

You know, it was doomed to fail. There was no trust-building. There was these people in Cairns had no idea who this business was. I wouldn’t spend $60 of my money on an event from someone that I didn’t know, even if it looked relevant, even if it looked perfect. You know it was doomed to fail. I wasn’t even looking for that event, I was speaking to my sister. So, you really need to understand that concept – on social media, people aren’t looking for your stuff, they’re not looking for your messages. So what you need to do, is you need to realize that it’s about advertising and marketing. It’s not direct sales.

So what you do is you put your advert in front of your prospects, you get your demographic right. You know Facebook’s excellent at giving you the choice around demographic to make sure that the people who see your ad are as close to perfect to your prospects as they can be, but you get that part right. You write, really engaging ad copy, a really captivating title, have a really positive offer – but it’s not to sell, it’s to develop a database, or it’s to create awareness of your brand.

Don’t create a database on your business page on the social media platform, because you have no control over that and no social media platform really cares about business pages. You know, you invest and you end up with a hundred thousand likes and you do a post and it gets in front of 60 people, so don’t do that. Have a really captivating brochure or cheat sheet or something that, some piece of content that is of high enough value to your prospects that they’re going to want to read it or use it. Give them a tool for their business, or you know, for their home life, if that to get more of a retail business. But make sure that it’s high enough value that they’re gonna give you their email address and even better, their phone number, to use it. So you do that, you get people details and you build a database and, you don’t do it for a short period of time, you do it for every week, every month of the whole year. So it’s part of your ongoing marketing and you’re always building this database, and you nurture that database with high quality content as you go. You build those relationships.

So when people are ready to buy, because you’ve done the work they buy from you. Or if you have an event, you’ve already nurtured these people, they know who you are. So when you have an event, then use your e-mail marketing to sell the event to them. And they’ll pay for it because, firstly you’ve got the time and you’ve planned it and you know you’re actually nurturing for this event, and you’re advertising for this event, eight weeks, six weeks, four weeks in advance. So when it comes time and you have early bird tickets and all that kind of stuff, filling the seats isn’t a problem anymore. Because they also know you and they’ve been reading your stuff and they’ve been following your page, because they’ve been engaging with you in other forums.

So you know, that’s a key concept, don’t use social media to do direct sales. You know, I see it in the industry all the time. Facebook marketers and business coaches have this strategy all the time and they go direct to a dollar sale, that’s not how it works. It’s doomed to fail 98% of the time, I’m sure there’s someone there with an example of where it’s worked. For that example of where it’s worked for, that example I can show you 98, 99 times where it hasn’t worked.

Marketing is not, an advertising isn’t immediate. It isn’t “Let’s do this now and fill the room.” It’s not “We’ve got a thousand bucks, let’s bang it out for the next two weeks and sell our stock.” Its’ a long-term game where you actually do a little bit every month, you spread your budget over the year, and you build your prospects, and you fill your pipeline. Remember the sales funnel, it’s a pipeline. You put people in here then you’ve got this process that nurtures and filters nurtures and filters so down the bottom, you’ve got your ideal clients and that’s where you make your money.

So the point with something with social media advertising is, it’s just putting people in here and let the process, the sales process sort out the rest of the sales. So that’s social media advertising. You know I’m not, this video isn’t about “Don’t do social media advertising.” It’s about “Get the strategy right.” It really works well because the targeting of your prospects is so detailed that it can work really, really well, but you need to get a strategy right.


Sep 17

How To Pre-Evaluate The Likely Success Of An Advertising Campaign

As small and medium sized business owners, facing the world of digital marketing and advertising can be quite daunting. You are probably not expert in this domain,rather being expert in your industry. There are many so called “marketing gurus” selling their expertise and the ALL are saying different things. I’m in marketing myself and I acknowledge all these things.

Having been in marketing for over a decade, I have gained some insights on what should work, and what probably won’t. So I created the following video for you, to help at least set a positive foundation for your own marketing strategy. Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t bullet proof. Marketing still is dealing with human nature, so you need to take a long term approach and be prepared to test, measure, fine tune and improve as you go. But hopefully this video will give you a good grounding in the concepts you should be considering. There is a transcription below if you’d prefer to read. (And sorry this video is a bit dark)

What Questions You Should Ask When Creating Your Marketing Strategy

Hello everyone. I thought today I’d share a bit of a video about mindset for small business owners, when it comes to spending money on advertising and marketing. And the main reason for this video is that over the recent weeks, I’ve seen or been asked many questions that are from small business owners that I think are probably the wrong questions to be thinking about, or the wrong angles to be approaching when spending money on advertising or marketing. And some of these questions are things like, I saw on Facebook recently, someone posted up as a business owner, he was tired that he keeps liking other peoples pages when requested, but he doesn’t get the reciprocation.

Today I had a gentleman talk to me about Google AdWords and his comment was that the model’s flawed, that he doesn’t want to look at it because the model’s flawed because of a potential for click-fraud. You know, people and bots deliberately clicking your link to rake up your costs. Previous to that, you know I’ve had people say I don’t want to do Google AdWords spending because of the problem with university kids or students who are looking for information, they see your ad and they click on your ad because they think that there’s information there that they can use on an assignment and that’s a waste of your advertising budget.

There’s many examples of these type of questions that as a business owner you might think about. You know another one just for Adwords is really, really common is “Wow 7, 8, 10, 12 dollars for one click to my website and that’s just to see my website. That’s way too expensive you know? That just doesn’t make sense that I’d spend that kind of money on lead generation, you know with such lack of clarity on what happens when they get to my website.”

You know all those questions while they seem valid, they’re all kind of fear based. But they’re not actually commercial questions that you’re asking. And I think if you’re thinking about advertising for your business you need to ask commercial based questions, and there’s really only one that you need to ask. And it’s pretty simple, and it doesn’t matter what advertising you think about, whether it’s Adwords or SEO or social media or putting a billboard up or a TV commercial.

The question you need to ask is:

  1. I’m going to spend this much money on this advertising channel. Is it going to bring enough business to me to:
    1. pay for the advertising;
    2. pay for all the expenses of delivering the product or the service we need to deliver and
    3. make a profit at the end.

So, that’s the question you need to answer. If the answer to that is yes none of the other stuff actually really matters. You know the other stuff you can refine and get better at to get a better result with your advertising budget but to not consider an advertising platform or an advertising strategy for non-commercial reasons in a business sense, it doesn’t make sense. There’s no business sense to that at all.

So, you know, the example with the cost per visit at your website using Adwords you know if your industry there’s plenty of trades like painters you know and pest control where the industry average could be $12 for a visit to your website. Now, if you look at that and think, “Wow that’s too expensive. I’ll never make money out of that.” Without even trying it, I assure you your competitors who are paying for that, because it’s quite high, they’ll be making good money out of that spending. And they’ll probably be cheering and clapping that you’ve decided without even trying that you’re not going to have a look at it.

You know, similarly if you don’t do AdWords because you’re afraid of a university kid costing you a few bucks to have a look for stuff for their assignment, that’s blocking your reaching potentially hundreds of your prospects every month. You know, it doesn’t make sense that you fear about one university or five university kids costing you, you know, 10, 20, 30 bucks is gonna hold back your business.

So you know, it’s quite tempting particularly when you know cash flow is tight. Which tends to be quite often for small businesses. It’s quite tempting to write stuff off for the wrong reason. So I just wanted to put this video out there just to make it just pause and think, “Well what am I actually trying to achieve with advertising?” Which is growth in business. Can I measure that and only that? And you know, make a proper decision. You know, maybe a start with a small test, but make a proper decision as to whether something is going to have the commercial impact it’s supposed to rather than make a decision on other stuff that’s probably not all that relevant.

So, I hope this video helps with your thinking around marketing and advertising.

Jan 14

New Years Resolution: Market Your Business Better

At this time of year, we all reflect on the previous twelve months, celebrate the things that went well, try and glean a lesson or two from the things that didn’t go well and reset our minds and intentions for the following twelve months.

At the end of 2013, it certainly seems like the economy has thawed and activity is starting to pick up again. So this new year it is an excellent time to review your marketing and make a resolution to market your business better. As the economy continues to gather speed, any improvements in you marketing will simply add revenue and profitability to your business. It will make you money!

So what does this mean?

I would start with a review of your marketing in 2013. Firstly, which marketing activities did not make you a profit. List these. Looking at this list, appraise which strategies are worth discontinuing. For example, a strategy not making money for you and which has gradually performed worse and worse over years is probably worth discontinuing. Markets change, and advertising is no different. Advertising media which were effective 5 years ago are not necessarily effective today.

Not all non-performing marketing strategies over the last 12 months should necessarily be discontinued though. Review the list and see if there are strategies which can be refined and improved. A bad advert for example may not be profitable, even in a profitable medium in front of a profitable audience. Do you need to make changes to ads to improve effectiveness?

So from your 2013 marketing list, you have discontinued terminal marketing campaigns and made adjustments to campaigns which could perform better to either make them profitable, or make them more profitable, Now review your budget. Do you have money to spend given the discontinued strategies? You should also think about expanding your budget for marketing now, to get a step up on your competitors as customers come back into your market.

With this additional budget, try some different and new marketing strategies. You already have some successful strategies, some improving strategies, you should try some new ones. There are three benefits of testing new marketing strategies. These are:

  1. Additional profitable marketing will increase your profits and build your business
  2. Expanding your marketing platform will reduce your business risk. Ie. If you only have 1 marketing strategy and it stops working, your business fails. If you have 20 marketing strategies working as well as each other, you are not overly exposed if any of them stop working
  3. People will see your brand more often, in different places. This will improve awareness of your brand and help people make the decision to use you. IE the more prospects see you, the more likely they will think of you when they are ready to buy AND the more they will trust your brand as being a robust business able to deliver.

So there you have it – a really great NY resolution for you this year – market your business better.

Sep 13

Ideas For Blogging – My Top Content Tip

Its clear as day now that if you want to market yourself, or your business online, adding fresh, engaging, useful, unique content is crucial. You need to ensure your website remains current, useful and is being used by its visitors for more than just to get your phone number.

When explaining this to clients, the best picture I can paint is to explain to them that Google sees the internet as a source of information – not a business directory. So to feature, you need to transform your website into a trusted and industry leading source of information, giving more than just basic business information.

But how do you keep coming up with great content that your clients and prospects will appreciate?

The simple fact is you probably have already produced this information, ready to publish. All you need to do is go to where you stored it, copy it and publish it on your blog. So where is this storage of awesome blog content you’ve already produced…?

I’m drawing it out a bit huh!!

Ok, simple – look to the sent folder of your emails. Here is the process:

  1. Clients/prospects send you emails looking for information that is both relevant to them and their purchasing decisions.
  2. You answer those emails, giving your clients/prospects the information they need, the email saved to your sent folder.
  3. This information is relevant and current content in your industry.
  4. If one prospect is asking you a question, it is logical a different prospect is asking Google for an answer to the same question
  5. So make the question a title of a blog post
  6. Paste the answer you sent to your prospect which is in the email, into the content area of the blog post.
  7. Add a photo – even one of you smiling if you must
  8. Publish.
  9. Repeat once or twice a week
  10. Watch your traffic and enquiry rate increase.

That is my top tip for finding new content for your business website.

If you are really clever, you can also create a blog category called FAQs. Turn the feed for that category into a FAQ page on your website and this will put all your sales questions and appropriate answers all in the same spot, so prospects can all but sell themselves on your services, through the content you would have sent them by email anyway. This may even reduce the emails you spend time on in your sales process.


Sep 13

Social Media – Changing The Way We Communicate

I am due for a haircut today, which prompted this post. I’ve been with the same hairdresser for a few years now and we’ve become social media friends. Its handy for me particularly when I am late for something like mothers day, I can send a social media message and get a gift organised almost immediately.

The last time I had a haircut, my hairdresser commented to me that she hardly uses FaceBook at all anymore, opting instead for Instagram as her preferred platform to communicate with friends. If you don’t understand how Instagram works, its basically a social media platform for photos. Its mobile phone based too – I don’t even know if you can add photos on a PC, I think you can only do so from your phone app. (I may be wrong here though).

One thing about Instagram is that it is completely image (and now video) based. You don’t have status updates, you don’t have a message area or PM facility. The written word has become the secondary method of communication, following the primary method of communication which is imagery (by photo of video).

So looking through the history of communication and recording our lives, we started with images painted or etched on rocks and through story telling. Following on from that, the written language was invented and word started to replace rock etchings and stories told around the fire. Now we had stories written and read – stories set in stone rather than evolving with the telling. We wrote and posted letters. We recorded our lives in diaries. In the early years of internet, the written word was still king. Websites, blogs, social media platforms like FaceBook, MySpace and Twitter, not to mention all the forums around – all used written word as the main medium of exchange. Images and video tended to support the written word.

Is this changing now though. Is the emergence of platforms like Instagram taking us back to a high tech version of communication through imagery and story telling? In recounting my conversation with my hairdresser, I think it may be. Using photos has become her preferred method of recording her life and communicating with her circle, words only used to support her imagery. And if this is the case, what adjustments do we need to make in business to ensure we continue to communicate effectively, in the next evolution of human communication.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic.