Let’s sell 1hour
In this module, you will learn the basics of driving more sales to your business. The topics covered, will touch branding, marketing, sales funnel and advertising.
What is the one thing that comes to your customers’ minds when they think about your company? In this lesson, you will learn how to create a brand driver for your business.
In 1990, Kenichi Omhae, a corporate and business strategist, published “The Borderless World”. In this book he outlined a completely new model of a globally interlinked economy. He claimed that, because of globalization, production and business can no longer be limited by national borders. Such a world opens a plethora of new possibilities and markets, but also, unfortunately, makes companies more vulnerable to competition. As of now, a company from the United Kingdom can occupy the same market as a similar firm from, say, Singapore or Canada. That means the possibilities to lose are much bigger, but the possibilities for winning have rose even more! And what is one of the ways to secure your company’s domination on the market? It is having a strong brand driver!
WHAT IS A BRAND DRIVER?
Kenichi Ohmae outlined a 3C model for a company operating in a globalized world. The Cs mean: Customer, Corporation and Competition. Each firm needs to take all of these into account in order to be successful. There is however one thing that is especially relevant to this article’s topic – it is the principle of selectivity. It means that a company does not need to excel in every field. Having a strong edge in a single field and being average in others is sufficient. As Ohmae argued, the mediocre features of your company will improve in time, driven by that one asset, in which you excel. That will be your BRAND DRIVER – something that your firm will be recognized for. Well, enough with the theory, let’s get to the examples!
Think of McDonald’s. Chances are that you live within a walking distance from one of their restaurants – the 2004 movie “Super Size Me” claimed there are 83 McDonald’s restaurants in New York’s Manhattan (which has an area of 59.1 sq km) alone! Of course it’s not that dense everywhere in the world, in fact Manhattan is a bit of an exception, but you should get the idea. McDonald’s restaurants are everywhere. They offer fast and relatively cheap meals. They’ve been around for decades now, constantly changing and shifting to better respond to customer’s needs. Anytime you walk into a McDonald’s restaurant you know exactly what’s what. The design, the base menu, the uniforms of the staff – it’s all the same all around the world! You could walk into one of their restaurants in the US, grab a Big Mac, then jump on a plane to Thailand and get another Big Mac – there would probably be no major difference between the two sandwiches.
Let’s think of more examples. Take Apple – a company known for its high quality computers, phones and electronic equipment. The shared feature of all the iPhones, iPads, iPods and iMacs is the beautiful minimal design. This is what makes Apple stand out from all the other smartphone and laptop producers. Another example – Mercedes cars known for their luxurious looks, durability and high quality. A person owning a Mercedes is likely to be considered a big shot or a seasoned car enthusiast. You need more? How about Coca Cola? A classic can and bottle design, the logo, and oh my goodness, that inimitable taste!
Are your company ready for changes?
This should be the first thing you should think about when deciding to search for your brand driver. There is a very true sentence floating over the internet “There is nothing more certain than changes” it’s a paraphrase of the idea of taxes, but it’s still very relevant and you should memorize it. You can start your research in few ways (which we will cover later in this article) and they mostly cost only time, but what will you do when the result come up? Are your company or organization structures ready for major changes in its overall direction and processes? How about the time you need to spend on the research and implementation of the changes? These questions are vital to the whole process of identifying what is your brand driver. it could be that the direction you took on the start of your company is not “the thing” that drives the company’s growth and you would need to focus your attention elsewhere on a field you didn’t think would be major – for example Miele’s main goal was to create high-quality products, but the thing that most of their customers valued were the innovations that each product had to offer. In this scenario, Miele retained the goal of creating high-quality products but also spent more money on research of innovations and technology. Be sure to be flexible and agile if it comes to changing of direction and implementation of changes, as it can help your company grow even faster.
Always make your research!
Some people while reading this will say – “well that’s the basic thing to do!”. Surprising, most business owners tend to just check if the field they want develop in is not so much occupied and additionally who is working there already. It’s always a good idea to check your current competitors but I advise to look even more into the issue. If somebody is already doing or even expanding similar ideas as yours, are they doing it the right way? Is their idea only similar or in some ways better than ours? Maybe your competitors main business focus only slightly overlaps with your company’s chosen brand driver, and you can improve the service they are offering? Or even expand it to a whole new level creating something clearly unique?
Also if you found a niche that is not used by anyone yet (good for you!) you need to do even more outside of the box research to find out how you can completely fill out that opportunity. The market doesn’t let any voids occur for long, so when you will start expanding on a new field that nobody tried yet, be sure that within few months there will be already 3 similar as your company’s specialized in the things you started. That is why you need to think out every major and minor thing through before going with your idea officially.
HOW TO IDENTIFY AND CREATE A BRAND DRIVER WITHIN YOUR COMPANY?
Let’s come back to the examples I listed in the paragraph above. Mercedes is known for not only for its positive traits, but also for its high prices. However, there are other brands known for cheap prices that managed to fill the market niche, where the demand for affordable cars was huge. While Mercedes sells vehicles for CEOs, Ford sells at a much lower price. In fact, Ford built its reputation back in the 1920s by offering mass-produced cars – the Ford T was so cheap that an average worker could afford it. By comparing Mercedes and Ford one can draw a conclusion that in order to identify a brand driver, one needs to look for a MARKET NICHE, which can be filled by a product or a service. Somebody offers an expensive product? Start producing a cheap version! Let the affordability become your brand driver. Or to speak in a broader sense – let the CONTRAST become your brand driver! That might be applicable if you are operating in an already established industry, just like the car industry, or an electronic equipment industry (following the example of Apple).
The possibilities of creating brand drivers are virtually endless. In this article I’ve only shown some of the most recognizable or striking examples in order to make my point clear. However, following Ohmae’s strategies, you want to look for that one defining feature of your company, its product or its service. Whether it’s affordability, great design, innovative approach, filling up a contrasting niche or taste, there needs to be something that makes your company special. That feature might not appeal to everyone – some people prefer the taste of Pepsi or Fanta over Coca Cola or a Samsung over an iPhone and some people resent McDonald’s omnipresence. However, as Solve’s example shows – there is a niche for everything and therefore there will be appeal for any brand drivers! Not everyone has to like you, but you have to be special in order to stand out. This might seem a bit obvious, but it’s the essence of the idea behind great brand drivers! Use it in your business and watch yourself carve a niche!
In this lesson, you will learn about the importance of prioritizing your customers over anything else. That means, making sure you always deliver the highest standard of quality!
If you want to produce big quantities of your product or finish a lot of projects within a short period of time, it is very probable you will miss something, or your customer service won’t be on a level that satisfies the customer. You should NEVER leave your client with the feeling of “there are more important things for my business than my customer”.
In this situation, you will lose your customer faster than you think.
If you sell digital products, then the customer service in the case of any problems is crucial, otherwise, your customer won’t trust your business anymore.
If you are a painter or decorator and you finish painting the whole flat in one day not paying attention to details, your customer will see it and I can ensure you – you won’t be contracted again.
Even if you are a blogger, you do not have to post articles every single day. Post them once a week or twice a month but ensure they exhaust the topic.
Remember that if you do your job properly and the quality is high, you will have more customers who will come to you due to the referrals. Beginnings won’t be easy but further in the future, you will be able to charge what you need to charge, because people will know what they pay for- the highest quality.
However, as you might notice, some businesses (e.g. Ryanair or Lidl) can still be recognized among the competition even though they focus mainly on quantity. How is it possible? Firstly, within certain industries, in order to become a player in the market, it is necessary to benefit from economies of scale. This term means that a firm produces many outputs of the product and, therefore, it is able to keep its fixed costs low. Such costs may include labour, maintenance of the equipment or costs of transportation. You can imagine that if your company produces, for example, matches, then it will not obtain sufficient profit unless a huge amount of the product was sold. However, a necessity to sell a certain quantity of a product is not an excuse for low quality. Look at Lidl which can be considered as a strong brand. It has a large selection of products offered for a low price, but at the same time, this company advertises itself as a brand that cares a lot about quality and good customer support.
Need an example of the company that failed to ensure the quality and safety of the products and as a result, suffered from a decrease in its brand’s strength? Well, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 is a perfect illustration of how ignoring the importance of indicated aspects can contribute to the loss of customer’s trust and retention. The scandal was associated with a battery defect in many units of the product – this defect caused phones to simply explode. In order to succeed, it is always better to put quality as the company’s priority.
A blog is an amazing way to communicate with your customers. In this chapter, we will talk about the importance of maintaining a business blog.
Are you starting or planning to start your own business? That’s amazing! However, there are some things you need to know in order to allow your firm to grow. I am talking exactly about proper marketing techniques! Without them your business is highly unlikely to take off and gather any traffic, let alone a loyal customer base! We live in a highly competitive world and you need to do all you can to get yourself out there. There is a myriad of ways to do this and another myriad of marketing techniques that can bring you sales. In this article however, I am going to focus on only one of them. It is probably one of the most underappreciated techniques, but it really does work! I am talking about content marketing!
When you visitthe page of a company that offers for example, advertising services, how do you measure the expertise of said company in their field? How do you know that they are truly passionate about what they do? A portfolio of past clients? Well, it might seem a bit unclear if you’re new to the topic and a bit too general. To find out the most about the company you should head straight to the “blog” section! This is usually the place where companies share well written posts and articles on various topics referring to their field of business. This is where they truly showcase their expertise and passion.
Content marketing may take many different forms – videos, graphics, podcasts – whatever content the customer base will find enjoyable. There is only one condition – it needs to be valuable to the customers. In this article I am going to focus on written content, as this is perhaps the easiest and most accessible form of content marketing, which still can bring tremendous results when done right!
“Okay”, you might think, “it all sounds great and all, but why do I really need a blog?”. Well, I am here to answer this question!
Why do you need a blog for your business?
- A company blog is a great way to showcase your passion and expertise in your business field – I already mentioned that above, but it’s really worth explaining once again. You can fill up your blog with articles and posts ranging from simple and short news pieces to lengthy opinion articles examining industry trends. If you’re a craftsman, you can upload vlogs from your workshop. An advertising firm can post blog articles on a new app that makes everything so much easier. A private consultant can write analytic entries on the changes in the market he’s operating in. Possibilities are endless and a blog format can be easily adapted. You can make it long or short, to the point or filled with pictures and fancy fonts – do whatever your heart desires and whatever your business requires!
- Blogging is cheap! If you have a company, you probably already have your own website. Why not add a blog to it? It will really require more time than money and if you write about what you are passionate about, the right words will not only come easy, but the writing process will be enjoyable for you! Comparing blogging to other marketing techniques like PPC, ads, landing pages etc. it turns out that the associated risk is very low. In case of a failed marketing campaign based on, for example, Facebook ads, you are likely to lose quite a lot of money. Blogging rids you off such dangers – the starting costs are super low and so are the costs of maintaining it. That means you can easily adjust your blog to the needs of your customers – make the articles shorter, focus more of the theoretical side of your industry or anything that your customers might expect from you. You can try out different strategies and see which one works the best for you, but with none of the costs associated with other types of marketing campaigns.
- A well-run blog can bring more organic searches to your website! A person in need of help with a certain issue related to your business area will probably look for answers online. This is your potential customer who might stumble across your blog article, which explains the solutions perfectly. Going further, he will go to your website offering services he needs and there you have it – a new customer! There is however one condition – the content you publish needs to provide solutions, be informative and valuable so that your customers may benefit from it and your services.
- Blogging can help you connect with your customers! If a potential customer is typing keywords related to your business niche into Google, they can easily stumble upon your blog and discover what you offer! A blog is a great way to create a strong brand identity – as I mentioned before, it will showcase your passion and expertise. It will also provide help for the customers who may have some questions and are looking for answers online. A blog makes you look like an expert – especially if your business is operating in a niche!
- Blogging can prop up other marketing campaigns! Need some content for your social media? Blog links will work just fine! The posts can also seriously improve your SEO conversions. It is no surprise that your customers are much more likely to find you online than by any other way. Luckily you can put all the keywords you need into your blog posts! Once a customer visits your blog you can hit them with a well-targeted ad showcasing a product or a service they are looking for!
- You need to keep up! Literally everyone is blogging nowadays. A company with no blog can be seen as obsolete nowadays – if you stay in the same spot, you are in fact going backwards! Data indicated that 88% of B2B companies and 76% of B2C companies use content marketing as a way to drive more sales. It’s a catch up or die out world, so don’t wait and start publishing!
As you can see, there are a lot of reasons to start a blog for your company. A blog binds many pre-existing elements such as SEO, social media or PPC emphasising their impact. At the same time it acts great as a standalone entity creating a channel of communication with your customers and a place to showcase your expertise – a great way to build a strong brand identity! That’s quite a lot of benefits for a thing that bears little to no risk, is highly adjustable and requires tiny costs!
How to monetise your content
You may be the best content writer, creating irresistibly engaging blog posts and still get no exposure. In the highly competitive world of online marketing, simply being great at writing might not be enough to succeed. Great content is obviously the base upon which you can build your further endeavours, but you need to think beyond that!
Here, I will present you with three ways, in which you can make your content marketing profitable.
Pair content marketing with other online marketing campaigns
Content does not exist in a vacuum! Every marketing strategy you undertake can be supplemented by the others. Keep in mind that such an approach will yield much better results than conducting each strategy as a separate campaign.
Examples of such an approach can go from the most trivial and obvious to more sophisticated ones. An instance of the former can be simply sharing links to your articles on social media channels, thus providing content to share on your channels.
Another example is supporting your SEO with keywords found in your articles. Additionally, if you use graphics or embedded video content on your website, you can also optimise these to improve your SEO.
A blog can also be paired with your paid search (a.k.a. PPC) campaign conducted via Google AdWords. The latter is based on customers searching for services, products and businesses via keywords. It can therefore be a major assistance in improving your blog. How? AdWords offer a lot of useful analytic tools, with which you can, among others, see, which keywords people type into Google when they find your business. You can then apply these keywords in your writing and improve your organic reach!
The examples I presented in this point have shown how content marketing can improve other marketing campaigns. These will not necessarily make your blog earn money on its own, but it will make your social media, SEO and PPC better. So, in the long run, it will make you more money and will increase your exposure!
Content is not only the written word!
When you think about content marketing, it is likely that the first thing coming up to your mind would be a blog. There’s nothing wrong about it – a blog is a content marketing staple, something everybody, who’s using this strategy, has.
It is however worth it, if you have proper means, to introduce other content platforms to your campaign. Video marketing is currently at the forefront of content marketing. With the rise of services such as YouTube and the recent advent of video on social media (most notably Facebook, but also Twitter and Instagram), short, engaging clips are becoming the best way to market!
Data shows that companies that use video marketing gain 49% more revenue than those who don’t. Videos tend to get 1200% more shares than text and images combined. Videos also seriously increase your SERP ranking, thus helping your SEO efforts.
The attractiveness of video content stems from the fact that it can be experienced in a more passive manner. Written content requires attention, while a video can be put on as a background to doing your chores.
But what if you don’t have the means to produce videos, or simply don’t like being in front of the camera? Podcasts are a great alternative! You only need a microphone and some basic audio editing software to record and edit it. There’s also a multitude of ways in which you can conduct your podcasts – from short daily insights, through interviews with authorities in the field to longer think-pieces. The only limit is your creativity!
Use different promotional channels
Promotion is something many content creators forget about or neglect. Publishing content is not enough to get you exposure, readership (or viewership) – you need to reach out to people. Social media may immediately come to your mind – there’s no denying that this is a great platform for promotion, but it isn’t the only one!
Use your metadata! There are lots of types of metadata, but in general they describe what your content is about, what topics or other articles does it relate to and which audiences might be interested in it.
Tags can be an example of metadata. Every article you publish can be described using several phrases that express its gist. For example, this post’s tags could look as follows: “content marketing”, “blog”, “conversion”.
Get rid of ROT – redundant, outdated and trivial information on your website. Let’s suppose you’ve been writing consistently for a year now. One of your first posts was about social media audience engagement. After a year, you’ve gained more knowledge and insights, so you write another similar post. What you should do right away is delete the old post – you don’t want your audience to feel misled! Perform a content inventory and content audit every once in awhile. The former will let you look at all your content from a perspective and delete repeating topics. The latter will allow you to check which content gets the most readership and why – this information can be also used for improving your future blog posts!
Consistency is also crucial for your content’s performance. It’s not only about posting regularly. Using the same language is the key! It makes your overall message clear and allows your entire blog to click!
The old and trusted email marketing is another alternative method for promoting your content. Emails can be personalised so that particular people receive messages with content that will interest them! Content can be a great tool for lead generation. Ask your readers to subscribe for regular updates, discounts or newsletters (this will allow your email marketing campaign to gain momentum!).
The most important conclusion is that content itself is not enough for it to be profitable.
Content works great with other marketing campaigns. It won’t make it convert to sales, but it will seriously support other campaigns’ conversions – SEO, PPC and social media can seriously benefit from it!
Another thing is the utilisation of different content platforms. Video is currently the rising star of content and its bright future. Podcasts are also a great alternative to written blogs.
Lastly, you need to start thinking beyond social media when it comes to promoting your content. Sometimes it might be about small adjustments to your blog, sometimes it will be about finding new channels. The point is that, in order to make your content marketing profitable, you need to spend as much time promoting your blog as you spend creating it!
Blog content promotion
Blog content promotion can be a daunting task.
With people telling you that for every hour you spent writing you need an almost equal amount of time devoted to promotion, it might seem like a monumental task. It is however, better to publish less, but do it better and use all the opportunities to the max.
Writing great blog content is obviously the foundation for getting it out there. There are however, many more things you can do to ensure that your blog is reaching more and more people! In this article, I am going to show you ways in which you can successfully promote your blog content.
Use social media
I don’t really suppose that anybody who’s into content creation doesn’t use social media. It is an absolute must for all businesses!
However, you might not fully utilise its potential. How many channels do you use? For example, if you have an Instagram account, think of Pinterest as well! The point is to reach as many people as possible and keep them coming back. Social media is a perfect platform for doing just that!
Video content for the win
If you have the means to do so, you should seriously consider adapting video marketing into your written blog content. According to data, video content drives 157% more organic traffic in SERPs. Additionally, visitors spend 88% more time on websites with a video than on ones without. Viewers understand the message you wish to convey much better with a video than text.
Obviously, creating video content is not for everyone. You need skills, software and, if you appear in front of the camera – charisma. If you don’t feel like video is for you, you might want to try doing podcasts!
Improve the SEO of your blog content
The first thing that comes to mind when you think of SEO? Probably keywords.
Well, you are not wrong – using the right keywords as well as keyword research will have a huge impact on your search engine ranking.
However, you need to pay attention to on-page SEO as well. It’s all about optimising your website, making it more more informative and more comfortable to use. It also makes it easier to find in search engines!
But, what does on-page SEO include? Think of metatags, headlines, outbound and inbound links or images. Optimising all these would be like oiling a machine – it makes your website work smoothly. And Google likes to reward well-optimised websites with a higher spot in SERPs!
Let’s talk about outbound links in detail. When you’re writing a blog post you are likely to use some sources apart from your existing knowledge. These will often be blog content posted by other people in your field. When you link their article in your blog post, you are creating an outbound link.
Now, for them, what you did, would mean something different. For them, this would mean extra exposure. Additionally, as you are citing their work, they would appear as experts in the field, a reliable voice, which can be trusted. And trust is not to be taken for granted!
But how to build your own links? It’s simple – post great blog content and you will be found! It’s not like other blog writers will want to include an outbound link to a badly written article!
Try and get some guest blogs for yourself.
Guest blogs are a little bit like link building – at least the general idea! It’s all about establishing yourself as an expert in a field and making people trust you.
Guest blogs are especially effective if you try and hit up content creators bigger than yourself.
It works in two ways – you can either post an article on another blog, or have somebody else post on yours. Either way, it’s a great way to establish your position in the field!
Keep people on your website
Once a person has found your website you want to keep them there and keep them coming. This can be done in several ways:
Message architecture – What are your communication goals? What do you want to achieve with your blog? How will your blog content reinforce your branding strategy? Answering these questions will create your message architecture!
Consistency – It’s not only about posting regularly. Most of all, consistency is about using similar vocabulary, phrasing and structures all over your blog. It’s easy to implement when you are writing on your own. However, if you have a content marketing team, you might need to provide them with guidelines.
Website design and responsiveness – People are impatient and demanding when it comes to websites. If your website takes more than three seconds to load, they might not take you seriously and exit before even familiarising themselves with your blog content! What is more, your website needs to be designed in an intuitive way. Take a look back at on-page SEO, which I mentioned earlier. The colors you use, placement of menu and the content of sections such as “About” or “Contact” – all these will have an impact on what the visitors will think of your website. If their experience is bad, it is highly unlikely that they will think highly of your blog content!
This is yet another way of keeping your readers coming back, but I think it deserves a separate paragraph.
You can obtain leads, usually in the form of email addresses, by simply asking people to provide them! This can be done on a landing page, a blog post pop-up or during registration (if you are an e-commerce platform). The leads can be later used for conducting an email marketing campaign.
If the visitors liked your website and the blog content, they will likely want to be retargeted with more content (and also promotions or newsletters). But remember – great content and a great website are a MUST!
Use paid search to let more people find your blog content
Paid search – the PPC, is an amazing online advertising method. It can help customers find businesses that offer services or products they need.
When it comes to promoting your blog, PPC can come about as very useful. A well done paid search campaign will get you on the first positions of the related SERPs.
Although great, PPC requires a financial input – this solution would therefore be good for e-commerce platforms, which run a blog.
When thinking of promoting your blog content, you need to look beyond the most obvious thing – the social media. Despite being an amazing promotion platform, there are many others that can yield amazing results!
The point is to keep searching and keep improving – this is the only way to stay afloat in a highly competitive world! Post great content, gather an audience, keep them and win their trust – this is the best way to succeed!
Keep in mind that in order to get the best results out of your content promotion campaign, you should combine at least several of the strategies I have described. One or two will not suffice – the more platforms you appear on, the bigger the chance of people finding your content!
Although email might have some grey hair now, email marketing is still a thing! In this chapter, you will read about the factors that make email marketing effective.
It might seem that in the age of social media, email has become a thing of a past. Like… so 2000s, right? Well, there’s nothing more wrong than that statement! Almost 3 billion people use email and there are 200 billion emails sent daily! The numbers really show the size and importance of this platform – it’s quite easy to see that email has remained relevant. However, it is important to outline the reasons why it has managed to retain its position as one of the most widespread communication channels. Widespread use of computers and smartphones as well as the omnipresence of the Internet are surely some of the reasons. In this article, I am going to focus on an easily omitted question of email marketing. Why is it crucial for businesses? How does it differ from other forms of internet marketing, especially social media?
1.You can target all the right people!
Email is different from social media in this sense. Clicking a like or a follow button on your Facebooks, Instagrams or Twitters isn’t as binding as providing your email address consenting to receiving a company newsletter or promotion messages. When you do that, it means that you are genuinely interested in a product a particular business offers.
While social media are a fantastic platform for interacting with your audience, email has a different purpose – generating conversion. It is via email that you can send out discount codes, seasonal promotion or newsletters. They inform your customers directly about what you have to offer – and that is what generates revenue and acquires customers.
- Email marketing is cheap!
It costs literally nothing to send out an email. However, when you do that on a massive scale, you might want to utilise some tools dedicated specifically to email marketing. The costs of sending mass emails is ridiculously low compared to a predicted conversion rate. The time costs of planning an email marketing campaign are also quite low. Acquiring a database of email addresses, drafting and sending out, as well as measuring the impact can all be done using proper tools, such as Send Grind, MailChimp or Vertical Response, which make the job so much easier!
- It’s very personalised and customisable
You can add customer’s names to the email. You can send them a personalised message with “treat yo’self” offers around Christmas or their birthday. These little moves can really win the customer’s heart!
Pushing the right content to the right customers is also crucial. With social media, you can only send out a message to your entire audience. With email marketing, you can divide your contact list into groups based on their needs. A personalised, tailored email has much more chances to be actually opened and read through.
- You can easily measure the impact of your email marketing campaign
Tools used for email marketing can also be used to check the data on how your campaign is doing. How many people opened your message, which links were more likely to be clicked, how many subscribers have you gained or lost – this data can be then used to adjust and improve your campaign.
Additionally, email marketing is a fantastic platform for A/B testing. Send out two different emails to two similar groups. Which one was more likely to acquire you some customers? Which phrases are more attention-grabbing? With measuring tools, you can easily tailor your email marketing campaign and start generating more revenue.
- Smartphones are now very common
There was a time when you had to connect to the Internet via a phone modem (which was time consuming and often failed!). Now, you can access the Internet everywhere – in a middle of a forest, in the shower (only if you have a waterproof phone!) or standing in the line at the grocery store. ExactTarget reported that 91% of smartphone owners use them to check their email accounts. It’s easy to see how this technological advance managed to increase the importance of email marketing.
6.Emails can be used to distribute coupons/promotions
Perhaps the easiest way to drive sales is to make something cheaper than it was before. While the pricing of your products or services is up to you, emails are a great way of notifying your audience about a discount or a seasonal promotion. You can also send out loyalty vouchers for customers who have been subscribed to your email list for a longer period of time. The possibilities with that are endless!
- Receiving an email triggers a response
As I said before, email marketing has a much more personalised nature. Social media is for targeting entire audiences, but emails allow for precise strikes. For example, if you put a customer’s name in the email topic line, there is much more chance that it will be interacted with.
- It allows for increasing brand awareness
Email marketing is a great way to spread the word about your CSR actions. Whether it’s a donation you did, or a fundraiser for planting trees you organised, it’s worth notifying your customers about it. You can also share some anecdotes from your business’s history – that will make your company look more human in the eyes of a customer! Similarly with the coupons and discount distribution, the possibilities are endless!
Why would email be even considered to be a thing of a past? It’s true, that email is not as ‘social’ as social media, and therefore not as flashy and bright. However, it is a fact that the results of a well-curated email marketing campaign can result in incredible returns as well as customer acquisition. With features such as a personalised approach, low costs (both money and time), instant feedback on your performance and endless possibilities for customisation of content, email marketing is a fantastic way to target your customers.
Although email marketing is an effective strategy, there are some approaches that are more suitable for a younger audience. In this chapter, we will compare email marketing with Facebook’s Messenger.
The Internet is currently the number 1 place to do marketing. Almost half of the earth’s population now has access to the Internet (and this number is growing!) – that means there are around 3,5-4 billion people that can find your business and interact with you. Patterns of work and employment have also shifted. A person located in Japan can now do IT work remotely for a company in the UK.
Marketing has also changed – with such a massive audience, it’s easy to be overlooked. Luckily, there is a myriad of available techniques, tools, etc. to make your business recognisable. Here I will focus on comparing the two – the old, trusty email marketing and the new, dynamic Facebook messenger bot.
There are many different platforms, which allow for setting up an email account. When combined, they give a total of 2.76 billion email users! That’s around three quarters of the total Internet user base! What is more, it is actually predicted to grow!
As of now, Facebook Messenger has about 1.2 billion users. That’s much less than email. The very size of email audience already ensures it wins over the Messenger one – you can simply access more people! However, Messenger has a couple of aces up its sleeve!
Interaction with the customer
There’s no better way to acquire a customer than to send them things they want or need. Facebook Messenger bot solved this by utilising its most basic function – instant messaging. Let’s suppose you need a recipe for a dinner. You can look for an idea online for ages, or you can message a bot set up by a food-related page and ask it for suggestions. You can narrow it down to include your preferences and exclude foods you are allergic to. To sum up – Messenger bot offers valuable and quick responses. Additionally, talking to a bot feels just like talking to your friend on Messenger – this makes Messenger bot a much more humanised internet marketing option than email marketing. The fact that Messenger is integrated with Facebook – the most widely used website – makes it an even better tool for rapid responses. This is confirmed by the fact that 92% of bot messages actually get opened!
Email marketing on the other hand may have some difficulty with that. Emails can go unopened for a long time. People you target with email marketing might still be interested in what you offer, but the time factor is what makes a quick question-response type of conversation quite impossible. Email marketing, contrary to Messenger bot has only an average open rate of around 20%.
Personalisation of content
Both Messenger bot and email marketing are doing fine in this area.
As I said above, the bot can give your customer a very precise answer, thus solving their problem or query. The kind of content that is provided via the bot depends on what kind of query the customer has. A Messenger bot can also send out articles, videos and content in general that customers might be interested in. However, this method, according to some social media analysts, can sometimes be considered as spam by customers. For example, receiving a message with an interesting offer or an article during a business meeting will not get the recipient to open it! An everyday bot message with an article, which aims to get the customer closer to a particular company’s product can also be hit or miss. Such one-way conversations are much better suited for email marketing.
Email marketing works largely on the basis of lead generation. In layman’s terms – it includes acquiring emails of people who could potentially be interested in what you offer. You can add the customer’s name to the email message or do all kinds of little things that can win the hearts of individual customers. The problem of spam messages can be largely omitted when it comes to emails – customers can keep a particular email in their inbox and open it when they think the time is right. With Messenger, coming back to a random message that popped up on a phone (and was immediately navigated to the bottom of the screen) it is not so likely.
Customisation of content
With Messenger bot, everything occurs within Messenger. This fact is crucial, as all content is pushed via a single app and only for users who actually installed it. This ensures a smoother operation and much better integration of various tools, messages and options into Messenger. Simply put, Messenger bot is able to display more entertaining things, which are integrated into the app much quicker. In return, it allows for sending out a clearer message.
As I mentioned before, there are a lot of different platforms where one can set up an email address. There is also a multitude of different devices, from smartphones and mobile phones, to PCs and laptops, on which email accounts can be accessed. That can make things complicated for marketers using this method. Emails have to be generally clickable, but that takes much more work in order to implement it across various platforms.
There are also different platforms for setting up your Facebook Messenger bot. Some examples include: ManyChat – aimed at mostly promotional messaging, ChatFuel – focused on an AI function, thanks to which automated chats with customers are possible and Surveybot – as the name says, it is aimed at sending out surveys!
All the points above, which aimed to compare Facebook Messenger bot with email marketing are rather in favor of the former. Does it mean marketers should completely resign from the latter? Definitely not! Email still holds the most users and is likely to keep its position for some time. While there are several drawbacks to this method, email marketing wins with its massive audience. However, with Messenger’s rapid growth, it is likely to have its position diminished (it’s not that likely to be overtaken, at least not in the upcoming years).
Email marketing and Messenger bot serve different purposes within the same domain and should be used cleverly. While both are great tools for customer acquisition, email marketing can be better at long-term customer acquisition, sending out newsletters, targeted product lists, promotion of content and so on. Messenger bot on the other hand, is a much better tool for the quick and real-time solving or customers’ queries and promotion of content as well. Its biggest asset is the speed, in which a customer’s issue can be sorted out as well as the humanisation of the entire process.
The final point is that both methods have strengths and while email marketing has the benefit of a much larger audience, the Messenger bot can boast a much more innovative and forward thinking approach. Your business should definitely utilise both of these!
In order for your brand to be successful, you need to constantly keep an eye on it. In this chapter, you will read about three great tools that can be used to make your brand stronger.
When you have your own brand you want it to be as good as possible. You want to know what people say about you and address any concerns they might have. That is not an easy task, especially when you are just a small company. You simply do not have the resources to pay for a social media and customer relations team. Following Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and all sorts of different platforms can be time consuming and yet you don’t want to miss anything important.
Fortunately, there are a number of tools to help you that allow you to manage your social media profiles from one place. Most of those tools also come with advanced analytics so you get a betterunderstanding of your audience. Knowing who talks about you, who is most likely to engage with your business on social media and which posts are the most popular can give you an advantage over your competition and significantly boost your brand.
From all the different tools available, we have choosenthree. Starting from the most basic to the more complex software there is something for every business no matter whether you are only just starting or already have an established brand.
Hootsuite – Free for the basic plan or £6.99 for Pro version
Hootsuite is great if you are only just starting with your business and don’t want to spend a fortune on social media. There are two plans that are ideal for small businesses. The basic plan is free and allows you to monitor up to 3 social media profiles. It gives you basic analytics and message scheduling. So if you simply want to have your social media profiles all in one place Hootsuite is the way to go.
The ‘Pro’ version will cost you £6.99 but you get up to 50 social media profiles. In addition to basic reports that you get in the free version, each month you can access one enhanced report. It covers a wide range of sources and gives you more detailed information about your audience. You can even see the profession or education level of people that post on your website. There are other interesting features as well. For example, the software understands different languages and can identify the intention of buying a product so you can reach out to people and close a sale.
Hootsuite is more focused on social media engagement rather than monitoring, but given its price it is excellent for small businesses.
Brand 24 – $49 (£35)
Brand 24 is a powerful social media monitoring tool. Thanks to a range of different price plans it is popular among both large and small businesses. The basic plan, which we cover here gives you excellent data and sentiment analysis. You can monitor up to 5 keywords and the results are refreshed every 12 hours (real time if you chose the more expensive plans). So if there is a buzz around your business you will know about it soon enough to react. Excellent algorithms pick up slang and emoticons so you can actually know whether people are positive or negative about your brand (or any keyword you monitor). Uniquely, it monitors not only social media but also news sites and message boards. It monitors different languages, so it is great if you operate internationally. Brand24 is excellent for monitoring and analysis, but it does not allow you to respond to posts or schedule your own posts, if you really need these, then you need to look elsewhere.
Raven – $99 (£70)
Raven is one of the most advanced (and expensive) social media monitoring software. For the monthly fee you get access to over 30 different tools that help you monitor, analyse and respond to social media. This means you can schedule your posts on Facebook, Twitter and a number of other platforms via Raven. You can also see who comments on your pages and reply to comments.
The package also includes YouTube and email campaigns monitoring, so you can easily see how successful your marketing campaigns have been across different platforms. There is also a report generator allowing you to export the data into different formats including PDF’s and CSV. Finally, Raven includes email support and free weekly classes on using the software allowing you to master it quickly.
There is no doubt that Raven can be very useful, but being the most expensive option on our list it might not be the most cost effective. Before you sign up, make sure you really need all the tools and check out cheaper alternatives.
In this lesson, you will learn about how mapping the journey of your customers form the moment they become aware of your existence to finalizing a purchase, can help increase your ROI.
To answer this question, firstly, we have to explain what is a selling funnel. A selling funnel can be described as a journey or a way that a customer has to go through from the very beginning when he just realised the existence of your company, to the end which is a purchase of your product/service. A selling funnel is usually visualised with the use of the diagram which reflects how on every stage of the customers’ interest in your products there are fewer and fewer people who actually decide to take one step further. Below there is a graphical representation of a selling funnel.
The selling funnel can be implemented by marketers, for instance, with the use of targeted ads combined with proper email marketing. Firstly, you make the customers aware of products (through ads) and then, by sending them emails, they make an opinion about your services and then, step by step they go from consideration to action. The question is, why your business needs a selling fuel at all?
Driving the right clients
As mentioned, using the selling funnel may be associated with creating ads in order to make customers aware of your brand. The success here depends on how well you are able to target an advertisement to the right audience. The selling funnel can actually help you with defining your “ideal customers” as if you will go through every stage of the diagram, you may start considering what type of people will be likely to reach the next steps of the selling process.
For instance, if you want to promote your rock band, displaying an ad about your music to everyone may mean that pop or rap fans will simply not be interested in your product. Eventually, they may reach “opinion” stage and unless your music is really a masterpiece, they would be likely to leave the process of buying your new music. By understanding how the selling funnel works you will probably analyze your potential customers better as you know that it does not make a lot of sense to involve in this process people who almost surely will ignore your business. Nevertheless, remember that the idea of a selling funnel is that even if you will target your audience perfectly, the last stage, i.e. purchase will be taken only by a small percentage of targeted customers. And it’s completely normal – coming back to the example of a rock band if the musicians display an ad only to rock fans, some of them may be interested in the music but, at the same time may don’t have enough money to buy a disk. However, keeping them within your selling funnel may ensure they will not forget about the existence of the band and decide to buy the product later.
Yes, a selling funnel can actually increase your sales. Firstly, it allows you to sort and prioritize your purchase process. The higher stage of the “reversed pyramid” is achieved by the customer, the more attention you should sacrifice to him. Although the person who clicked the ad and formed a good opinion of your business is important as well*, an individual who really would like to purchase the product and contacted you via phone about it, deserves more of your engagement as he is just one step from buying the services. If you will correctly handle customers at each level of the selling funnel, you may be able to increase your sales. Also, keeping enough people in the loop can help you generate higher profits. More precisely, remember that at the last stage you will have maybe 1-2% of the people who reached “awareness” stage. And this percentage should be enough to cover the costs of leading a selling funnel. However, if you will ignore the importance of attracting a new audience through an ad at the first level of the selling funnel, then at some point, you may realize that the last stage was reached by too few people who are not enough to make you profitable.
That’s why running a selling funnel with the proper number of people involved in the whole process can help you to reach the right profits continuously. The desired situation for you is to elaborate the selling funnel which is “scalable”. Through repetition of the process, you would be then able to estimate that the fixed cost of running the selling funnel is $100 per month but it is almost certain that with this amount of investment you will end up with $400. With such knowledge, you can invest $1000 and gain $4000.
Possibility to do process automation
The last advantage of a selling funnel is associated with the possibility to do process automation. Process automation occurs when you repeat the same strategy again and again without high involvement from your side. With the selling funnel it could work in the following way: at the first stage, you run an automated ad on the Facebook platform. This ad leads users to your landing page on which they can download a valuable article in exchange for their email. Once you have the email addresses of new potential customers, you send them automated messages about interesting articles which mention your products. Through mail marketing, you build a desire for your services. At this stage, you may also need to sacrifice your personal time for people who contacted you about the product. Finally, a certain percentage of the initial audience would make a purchase. Notice, that this process is almost entirely automated – you simply have to repeat each step and wait for the results. A selling funnel can indeed save a lot of your time which you can allocate to other tasks at work.
We hope that this article has convinced you about the importance of having a selling funnel. With the use of this strategy, you are able to better define your audience, to automate the whole process of selling your products as well as to increase sales. If you are not experienced with this kind of marketing, at the beginning you may sacrifice a bit more time to test and apply a selling funnel to your needs (for instance, the proper targeting of ads is not as easy as it appears). However, after a certain period, you should be able to notice a visible improvement in results – a selling funnel allows you to create an order to a complicated process of selling. If you have any questions, please, contact us.
- You can suppose that a customer has a good opinion of your business if he likes your business fan page, engage with content on social media, etc.
Now that you know what a selling funnel is, you will learn how to create one for your business.
Do you need a magic, easy and very profitable marketing strategy that will help you acquire hundreds of new customers each month without any investment, creativity and time? Well, I assure you that such a one does not exist. However, I want to introduce you to an advertising method which is reliable, not very costly and its effects are easy to be measured.
So far you have learned how to create a Facebook ad and what you should focus on.
Now let’s get to the point. How to make money out of it?
The strategy I’m about to show you might seem to be difficult to implement in your business but spend some time on it – it’s worth it.
I will explain it directly in an example to make it easier for you.
Let’s say your business provides accounting services. You’ve created a nice looking website and now you want to focus on getting some customers using Facebook.
You can start by following the tips we’ve already discussed andinvesting in getting likes or increase engagement by using paid ads. But it might not give you new customers!
The formula I’ll give you not only works, but it’s also scalable – it means that you can easily analyse the cost-profit ratio and extend your reach.
The first task to do is simple. Implement everything I’ve already told you about in this book. Spend at least 3-4 weeks just creating your brand. Nice looking website, active social media accounts and maintained, a blog with content relevant to your business and brand identity itself. Make yourself look friendly, open to new customers and easy to understand.
Once you’ve done all the mentioned steps, you minimise the chance that you will lose your customers on the last step of the selling funnel you’re about to create.
Now, after you’ve established your brand, you will need to create a couple more things.
Email marketing tool
You have to understand that email marketing is as important as other marketing activities. By creating a marketing list, you gain valuable assets. Assets you can use to sell your products at any time. The conversion depends only on the way you present your product or services in the email.
But first, learn how to use one of the mailing marketing platforms like MailChimp or GetResponse. You will need to know how to gather email addresses of people who will sign up for your newsletter. Both of them are fairly easy to use (a guide on how to use them is included), that’s why it doesn’t make any sense to cover it in this book.
The next step is to create a very simple website with one feature – to enroll to your mailing list. That’s all. No menus, contact forms, nothing that might distract the user from opting for your newsletter. There are tonnes of platforms that can help with creating the landing page. For instance, GetResponse provides such a feature and it’s directly integrated with the system. If you are not a tech-fan, don’t worry as this tool is easy to use even for people who are not experienced in IT.
Remember to inform your potential customers that you won’t sell or share their email addresses with any third parties. Also, ensure people that they won’t receive spam.
As the name suggests, the Lead Magnet is something that attracts people. Let’s get back to our accounting services example. In this case, the Lead Magnet can be an ebook titled “How to Save $1000 in Your Small Business Every Month”. In such a text, you could explain how small businesses and self-employed individuals can save money on various things, including accounting or efficient management of a company’s expenses. Such pdf documents should be at least 5 pages long so you can provide enough value to it in order to attract people to actually download it. If you wonder what would be the relevant price of your ebook the answer is exactly $0. Surprised? Then what if I will mention that, in addition, you have to pay Facebook for each download that people make? Sounds crazy, huh?
I’m pretty sure that by now you understand the importance of data. Everybody gets annoyed when we watch on TV that the CIA or other government institutions spy on their citizens. Data is the key.
But don’t panic. You won’t spy your customers. You will just try to get their email addresses and eventually, their name using the data that is already available on Facebook and was voluntarily provided by its users. Remember that targeting is the key. Before you even start the process, take a couple of days to think how your customers behave, what movies do they watch, what are their character traits, what are their favourite websites and even songs! All this data will be a key to success while targeting ads.
At this point, you should have your email marketing tool set up, landing page designed and your pdf written. Now you can use those 3 elements to create a bomb that should provide you with new potential customers.
Let’s go back to the Facebook advertising platform.
Create an ad focused, either, on clicks or leads.
If you choose the conversion option, create your advert with a link to your landing page.
The second option (leads) will have its own landing page inbuilt on Facebook, but this option doesn’t provide an easy solution connecting Facebook to your email marketing tool like GetResponse. You would need to use an additional, quite expensive 3rd party tool called Zapier ($99/mo). But, there is another way. Facebook saves the emails users leave in the lead form and you can easily download it as an excel file and upload it to your email marketing tool.
Using the first option- clicks- each time that someone goes to your landing page, you pay for it – that’s why testing of your FB advert and landing page will be extremely important. Using Facebook ads you can easily create a split test for one advert. It means that you can, for instance, use different image and text for your Facebook advert. You can also create two different landing pages and create adverts for each one and measure the traffic and conversion of each landing page. Using this method you can improve overall conversion rates. After a couple of weeks, you will know what type of landing page and facebook ads work best for you.
You want people to opt-in to your email list in exchange for your pdf “How to Save $1000 in Your Small Business Every Month”. It is likely that around 10-20% of people who clicked on your FB ad will opt-in to your email list to get your ebook. They need to confirm that they opted-in so you can be 100% sure that those are genuine email addresses. This way, you will build yourself a list of potential customers. Remember that during the process of ad creation, you targeted only owners of the small businesses so you can be sure that at least 90% of them are already founders of such organizations – your potential future customers.
The next thing you should do is to prepare some extra content for those people. Create a newsletter that will be sent once a week or every two weeks. Make sure that your new audience from your email list gets something extra from you – again, for free.
Facebook is not only the biggest social network – it is also an advertising giant. In this chapter, you will learn how you can use Facebook Ads to increase your customer base and convert that to sales!
They say that when you’re not on Facebook, you’re not really existing. It might sound absurd at first, but when you think about it, it kind of makes sense. I mean, of course, you exist without Facebook, but you’re really missing out on something. As of 2017, Facebook has 2 billion monthly users that number is on the rise all the time. With millennials and next generations embracing technology as an everyday thing, this number is likely to grow exponentially.
The success of Facebook is however not only palpable as a social networking platform. The potential of the portal had been quickly noticed by marketing people. Facebook is often referred to as “the king of internet marketing”. In this article, I am going to present several reasons as to why it deserves this name.
People use Facebook more than other websites
According to data presented by Experian Hitwise, as of 2012, one in five page views in the US occurred on Facebook. One in eleven visits on the Internet was done within Facebook. 96% of visitors were returning visitors – this indicates high customer loyalty towards the brand. Facebook accounted for almost 500 million visits among the most well-off social group, while YouTube accounted for 224 mln and Twitter for 15 mln. As of 2016 there were eight new Facebook users per second, according to SponsiredLinx Academy. Facebook had 1 billion active users monthly.
It is important to note that as of 2017, these numbers are probably much higher.
Still, the numbers above indicate that Facebook is the single most popular website globally. The incredible amount of users gives companies a perfect platform for advertising and finding new customers. But how do the advertisers navigate these masses of people?
This is the answer! It is not a novelty that Facebook collects data about its users. Everything we like or comment is collected and used in tools such as Facebook ads!
Facebook introduced this innovative tool, specifically targeting it at businesses of every size and budget. With it, companies can send out ads targeted to their desired demographic – filters include location, behaviors, contact information, friends, job and much more. In this way a certain advertisement can reach people that need a particular service or product.
Say, for example, you are searching for a new flat to rent in a particular area of a particular town. Facebook noticed it and will show you ads from rental companies who operate around the area you are interested in. It’s a very intuitive yet innovative way of connecting companies with potential customers. Given the size of Facebook, it is clear how revolutionary it is not only for internet marketing, but for marketing in general.
Facebook makes it easy for customers to seek out products and services they need
‘Facebook Search’ is a relatively new addition to the website. It is however, game changing to say the least. It allows people to type in general keywords about the type and location of the product/service they need. For example, when you want to go out for a nice dinner in Manchester you can simply type in: “manchester pub” or “manchester steak cheap” and you will be flooded with propositions of spots to visit. Facebook’s search tool is so popular and versatile that it ranked a second app for searching out local businesses. It beat Bing, Yahoo or Apple Maps – only Google Maps got more searches.
Let’s suppose you searched for a cheap steak in Manchester. You are now posed with a choice between 20 different restaurants in close proximity. How do you pick the right one? Facebook also found a way to solve it – reviews! You can now easily see which restaurant ranks the best. If you are interested in a particular factor, you can read people’s opinions. And there are plenty of those! According to Adweek, Facebook contains four times more reviews per some businesses (for example restaurants) than on other well-known sites.
What is more, the addition of reviews forced businesses to try extra hard to provide excellent customer service as well as made them much more transparent, which is always a good thing!
Video content is the future of marketing and Facebook is the platform to execute it
We are visibly moving from informative to experiential entertainment. The rise of such services as YouTube, Netflix or Snapchat only proves that shift. Videos, more than text have the ability to convey immediate emotional reaction, be it laughter, sadness or anger – that’s why they are such an attractive form of communication. Take a look at last year’s Christmas ad published by a Polish online marketplace, Allegro: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tU5Rnd-HM6A . It’s been internationally praised for very emotional footage showing a grandpa learning English to talk to his grandkid.
Facebook quickly jumped on the bandwagon introducing such cutting edge features as Facebook Live or 360 videos as well as a brand new video page layout and a new video metric for brands to measure their stats. Due to the size of the service and the time an average user spends using it, video content gets a massive audience. This can be proven by the fact that videos can go viral overnight reaching hundreds of millions of views.
It is a fact that video is the future of marketing and Facebook has reserved its spot at the top!
Facebook’s main asset is its sheer volume and an incomparable number of users. The service used this asset perfectly and created a multi-dimensional platform for advertising, social networking, reviewing, seeking out businesses and customers, and sharing content. This is why it has witnessed such enormous success and why the number of users is rising exponentially year after year. Companies simply find it profitable to exploit various marketing tools provided by Facebook, because this way they can target their content to the biggest online audience there is. This is why Facebook is and will most likely remain the king of internet marketing.
As I explained above, Facebook is the biggest social media platform with the most detailed customer database access in the world. If you know how to use it you can sell almost anything to tonnes of people. Let me show you first how to create basic Facebook ads
We will focus on the default adverts manager provided by Facebook. There is also a “Power Editor” for Facebook ads that is dedicated to professionals due to its complexity.
Creating customised ads
In terms of advertising, Facebook is a great alternative to e.g. Google Adwords, not to mention a TV ad. You can start with a budget as low as $1. Of course, the higher the budget, the better the potential results, however, with the use of a Facebook campaign, small businesses do not suffer from the financial barrier. Every player on the market can adjust the funds to its needs. This guide will help you to understand how to create a customised ad which will allow you to promote your organisation more efficiently.
What and how to promote?
“What to promote” is a very important question considering a number of possibilities provided by Facebook. In order to create a successful ad, think what you want to actually achieve with the campaign. More sales? New page likes? Ad views by as many people as possible? To make a decision easier, Facebook proposes 3 objectives of a hypothetical ad. Those objectives are awareness, consideration and conversion. By choosing the first option you can decide whether you want to focus on brand awareness, local awareness and reach. What are the differences between them? Well, a brand awareness campaign aims to show the ad to people who may be interested in it. For instance, a basketball player may have displayed an ad of a shop with sporting articles. A local awareness campaign fits small businesses operating locally as such an ad is shown to people who live near the designated location. Finally, reach campaign’s objective is to display an ad to as many people as possible regardless of their interests of the place of living.
Consideration campaign is more costly as it aims not only to showyour post but also to engage people in your business. The available options under this category include traffic, engagement, app installs, video views and lead generation. Video views will attract people to watch the chosen video, app installs are associated with getting more people to install your app. A less obvious option which is engagement is directed to gaining likes for your posts or business page. Traffic will attract people to e.g. an organisation’s website whereas lead generation will drive more sales leads.
The last category, conversion, has the three following variations: conversions, product catalogue sales and store visits. The first one aims to drive actions on the web or mobile app. Product catalogue sales will display a particular product to the audience that may be interested in it. Finally, store visits’ objective is to encourage customers to physically visit your nearby store or office. Once you have decided what is the main aim of your campaign, the next step involves creating a customised, creative ad.
Creating your first add
How to customise an ad? Informative, sticking to a topic, with a good graphic layout, funny or inspiring… The list of features of a well-designed customised ad is long. If you feel a bit lost, start with thinking who you want to target and how you want to attract viewers of the ad to become interested in your content. If you like learning from examples, then we have prepared two ads for Tauri Travel company which specialises in organising tours to South America. One ad is customised and professional, whereas the other leaves a lot to be desired. Take a glance and compare them:
You can notice that the first ad targets people who are strictly interested in travelling to South America (1) and do not possess a fortune to spend (2). Therefore, two pieces of important information are contained in just 7 words. The description of the second ad contains 9 words but you cannot be sure what are the featured destinations of this tour operator or what kind of holidays are offered. Also, the quality and magnificence of the photo matter a lot and the above example proves it. The good news is that if you are unsure what photos from the available collection will best fulfil the task of attracting customers, then Facebook makes experimenting with photos very convenient. Instead of running four ads with different photos, you can run just one ad but have up to 5 versions of it regarding the picture. It means that you can easily compare the performance of different photos while operating within one budget.
The question that you may think about is how to actually target the audience so the ads will be shown to desired people. Fortunately, Facebook’s tool is intuitive and, at the same time, quite extensive in terms of available options. While creating an ad you are provided with a tool which allows determining the exact age, sex, language, and place of living as well as interests of people to whom the ad will be displayed. Regarding e.g. interests, you can be very specific or use more general terms (see the picture below). However, you have to realise that the more targeted your audience is, the more it will cost to provide the same results. For instance, you can spend $5 to obtain 12 page likes from people who are interested in restaurants or obtain 7 page likes from people who are interested in restaurants and Chinese cuisine.
An ad will be even more attractive if you will mention about the new discount of the product or about some special deals. As long as you have chosen who to target, then people would be interested in the promotion.
To sum up, a good, customised ad on Facebook should possess an inspiring or attractive visual element – a photo or video. It must be relevant to your business, so the customer that decided to click a link to your website will not be disappointed that your organisation actually operates within a different market area than expected.
Facebook Ads offer an incredible scope of targeting. In this chapter, you will learn how to scale your ads to target people who might be looking right for what you offer!
Here is where your selling starts.
So far, you’ve invested your time and money on creating a landing page, writing a pdf and spending on FB ads. But you acquired a priceless asset – contacts to the potential customers.
Inside of your weekly newsletter, apart from providing relevant information and free advice, you should mention your business. People value the free help and they will recognize your expertise in the topic. One day, when they will need an accountant to solve a problem, you might be the chosen one. You can create packages of your services, like monthly accounts for a business up to $20k revenue per month and 5 employees, for $99 a month. You can create a nice looking email with different pricing and packages and send it to the whole email list. Even if you will get 1-3 new customers per month, you’ll probably make much more from them than you’ve spent on Facebook ads.
When using this method you can even scale your business. After a couple of weeks or months, you will find out how much you pay for 100 new email subscribers and, further, how many real customers you have from 100 or 1000 email subscribers.
I didn’t put any Facebook costs of advertisement on purpose. It’s because every single campaign is different. The price for a click may vary from $0.05 to even $10.
Let’s make a simple calculation.
CPC (Cost Per Click) might cost normally around a $1. Let’s assume that you will get a 20% conversion rate so from 100 people ($100) you get 20 new potential customers who opted-in to your email list. It means that you paid $100 for 20 new people. 20% is something achievable with some time spent on a very good ad copy and landing page.
$1 per click- $500 for 500 clicks, 20% conversion rate= 100 new emails.
Let’s scale it up. From 500 clicks ($500) you get 100 people. Then, you send your newsletter together with your offer. Start with something cheap, like a pdf for $7.99. Then offer something for a little more, like $39.99 and the ultimate product should be subscription based, like your services, let’s say for $99 a month. Using this value ladder you make your customer feel more comfortable spending money on your products and services as they see value in your cheaper products that were easier for you to sell.
Now, let’s say that out of 100 people, ONLY 3 people buy your services for $99 on a monthly basis.
It means that you’ve spend $500 once to get yourself a revenue of $3564 during the whole year.
Exclude the $500 you’ve spent on ads and we can say that those $500 gave yourself $3064 in profit and 3 new customers who may recommend your services further. Apart from that, there is a huge possibility that you will sell some of your cheaper products for $7.99 or $39.99 to one of your 100 list members.
To sum up, although at the beginning you might view this strategy as a bit mad or foolish, I proved that it can actually bring reasonable profits. Similarly, like during the implementation of other marketing methods that involve gaining customers’ emails, the one that I showed you is associated with hard work, certain capital needed for investment and creativity. Nevertheless, the effects of such a campaign are measurable (easy to scale) and you don’t need to spend a fortune to start.
The markets of the world are open for businesses from any country. But it’s not easy at all! In this chapter, you will learn about the dangers you need to consider before expanding your business to another country.
Expanding your brand to new countries is very exciting. It means you have been successful in your area and are ready to grow. If done right, such expansion can further strengthen your brand, but you need to be aware of many challenges that come with entering new markets. Today we discuss those challenges and give you some tips that will help you successfully expand to new markets.
Expanding into new countries can be stressful enough, with tons of legal requirements, finding an appropriate location, dealing with local authorities etc. With so many issues to think about, the challenges to your brand might not be the top priority, but don’t neglect their importance. Many well-established brands like McDonalds or Starbucks failed to expand into new markets because they underestimated the cultural differences and the challenges they posed to their brands.
To be successful your brand needs to be consistent, unique and different from the competition. This is fine when you operate in just one market and position yourself against local competition. However, as you enter new markets, where your competitors are different and the customers have different demands it becomes very challenging. How can you maintain the consistency of your brand while adapting to local preferences across different countries?
Starbucks and Walmart lessons
Starbucks is immensely popular across many different countries including the UK, USA and China, but it is almost non-existent in Australia. When expanding into the country in 2000 it underestimated local preferences and the competition from independent cafés. The Aussies did not enjoy the ‘sugar- laden’ coffee served at Starbucks. Also, because cafes served as local community hubs, a global chain like Starbucks was not fit for the purpose. Local communities were reluctant to change their habits. The brand was not flexible enough to adapt to local customs and the results were disastrous. In 2008 it made a record loss of $143 million and was forced to close down most of its stores.
Another company that underestimated cultural differences was Walmart. When the company launched its ‘everyday low prices’ campaign it worked brilliantly in the US, but failed miserably in Japan, where people equated low prices with very poor quality. Make sure that you research the country you want to expand to so that you are aware of local customs. Try to differentiate between different markets, but when doing so, make sure you also stay true to your brand promise and value.
Culture and Language
Researching cultural differences is crucial when expanding to a new market. Such differences can influence how people perceive you and your brand and ultimately determine your success (or failure) in that market. Find out about holidays that people celebrate, understand their meaning. Learn about local customs and habits, as well as value systems. In some cultures, people view things like alcohol or smoking differently. The same goes for the perception of colours across cultures. In one of the chapters, we mentioned how the Japanese describe green light as ‘blue’.
It is essential to adapt to cultural preferences while maintaining your brand identity. You don’t want to be launching a ‘Christmas Sale’ in a Muslim country. If for some reason you do want to launch a sale over the Christmas period make sure you name it appropriately i.e. ‘Winter Sale’. Be mindful about the language differences as well. Your brand name might sound wonderful in English, but might as well mean something nasty in another language. To give you an example, in Albania ‘Kar’ (pronounced same as ‘car’ in English) is a slang name for penis. Make sure you are aware of any such language issues so you can remedy them before entering a new market.
There are significant language differences even between British English and US English so before expanding to the US make sure you to check whether the Americans will understand what it is that you are selling. Also, remember that different historical experiences have shaped the meaning of certain words. A word casually used in the UK might be offensive or racist in the US or the other way round.
Differences can exist even if you don’t trade overseas. In the UK, expanding from England to Wales and Scotland can be equally challenging. In Wales, Welsh has an equal status to English and in many rural parts of the country is spoken by the majority of the locals. So if you want your brand to fit well into the local community you should consider advertising bilingually. Training your staff to learn basic Welsh would also be very beneficial. Showing that you respect local customs and traditions will help you be respected yourself.