Marketing Advice: Avoid My Mistakes
Having been in marketing for a while now and seeing all these marketing tricks out there, I wanted to write down some of the lessons that I picked up so you’ll be able to make informative decisions going forward.
And save you some time and money.
This article is for the entrepreneurs having to rely on marketers without transparency. And, it’s for business owners that want to avoid being scammed.
Let’s start. shall we?
So the first thing new business owners do is start with Facebook and/or Instagram. The first thing you need to know is that you basically can’t reach new customers on Facebook without paying for ads. So most start posting like crazy at first and after a while they notice that there’s not much benefit from it and stop all together.
One of the reasons for that is that Facebook wants you to pay for the ads so they try not to give you any choice in the matter. And the second is the algorithms that Facebook uses in order to show what they think the user wants to see. An average person on Facebook has about 500 friends, a ton of liked pages and Facebook has to rank and show these posts in an order. So even if someone liked your page, it’s getting more and more unlikely that he will see your posts.
Advice 1: Don’t kill yourself posting on Facebook everyday and expecting it to pay off.
As for Instagram, there’s still a chance to reach people without ads through the use of hashtags. But for this you need a little research first and a couple of guidelines.
You can either come up with your own list of hashtags or use a hashtag generator. With a hashtag generator, you just input the main ideas of your post and it gives you the related hashtags associated with that.
After you get your list, head over to a tool like metahashtags. Your post needs to to be among the top 9 posts in that hashtag. So in order to do that, you need to know how many posts that have that specific hashtag are uploaded per hour(x) and the minimum number of likes(y) that the top 9 has. So to simplify the equation, the lower the x is, the longer the time you have to get to y. As you move closer to y, your post can reach more and more people until you get to top 9 where you can really benefit from a hashtag strategy.
After you reach a new customer, you need to take full advantage of that by having your hashtag relevant to your services/products and by having a good sales copy in the post description.
Advice 2: Aim 70% for hashtags you can reach while the rest aim for the unreachable. A lucky break can jumpstart your account.
Next you’ll be getting a ton of experts emailing you and telling you how their plugin will 10x your business. And while some of these new tools might help with conversions, most are just general solutions that don’t really help your situation.
These plugins include pop ups, landing page builders, email automation etc.
- pop ups requires you to have an extra offer that would entice the customer to do what you ask (a discount code, a free E-book, a free trial…)
- Landing pages are mainly used by businesses that have one product or for the purpose of getting the customer’s email address. As a rule of thumb, the less steps between a customer and a product the better, but if you can offer something of value to the customer in exchange for that email, by all means go for it.
- Email automation is the cheapest type of marketing out there. It is extremely cheap to send 1000s of emails with just the click of a button. My only advice before doing that, is having a complete sequence of emails to convert customers before applying it.
Also invest in a good copywriting book.
Having a good understanding how to write an email also applies to your story as a business. “ Your customer has a problem that your product can solve.”
In any written copy on your website, landing page or email, you need to start with either the customer’s description or their problem in order for them to relate to what you’re saying. This allows you to guide them through their story of how they eventually got what they wanted.
There are plenty of other tools out there. Just don’t trust the numbers the sales person tells you. I’ve had one tell me that “having their IP tracking software is going to make me millions” which of course justified their 10,000$ price mark! Do your own research before you commit to anything.
Advice 3: “Let me think about it” will make the sales person be more pushy but “talk to me next week” disarms him and gives you time to do your research.
Now Google is the mother and father of digital marketing. There’s a couple of ways to get traffic from it. The paid way through PPC(pay per click)ads or the “free” way through SEO. I say “free” because it’s very expensive to rank first page on Google especially for common products. It will either cost you a lot of money or a lot of time.
If you have a marketer running PPC ads for you, he should give you weekly reports containing:
- The Click Through Rate which tells you how good his ad copy and targeting is.
- The Cost per click (CPC) of the ad word to know how much you’re paying for each potential customer.
- The Conversion rate (CR) which tells you how good your landing page or website really is. It is also an indication that the ad copy and website aren’t matching.
All these plus the number of total clicks can give you a summary of the ad word campaign. To break even, your profit per sale has to be equal to CPC divided by CR.
As for SEO, it might take over a year to show any significant results. Factors that affect your ranking include site speed, mobile responsiveness and best practices like optimized meta descriptions. These are quick fixes that you can finish quickly.
Other steps include
- Keyword research
- Citation creation/management
- Backlink strategy
- New content on your website
You get plenty of these sales calls also where they charge you 1000s of $ and all they do is create citations for you in online directories here and there. There are also good ones out there, where they take the time to implement an outreach strategy to build external links from reputable domains.
Advice 4: Ask about their backlink strategy
I won’t go too much into SEO in this article as there’s so many techniques but a quick trick you can do is buy a used domain name. The age of a domain is a factor in search engine rankings. Expireddomains.net is one of the places where you can do that.
I couldn’t end this article without writing about the webinar phenomenon. We all have seen that ad where you can see this free live presentation and he’ll teach how to get rich (they say different things but that’s the premise of every one of them). What ends up happening is that a keyword in one of those ads sparks your interest and you watch the webinar.
The webinar always follows the same structure. First they mention your problem and how they had so much trouble at first but eventually they figured it out. Then they focus on their background and why you should listen to them. During the webinar, you get 1 useful information in a sea of gibberish. And at the end, you’re in luck, a 3000$ service is now only worth 199$ just because..
Probably because it’s only worth 20$. This and the fact that the webinar isn’t really live makes it really profitable to whoever is doing this because he can repeat it with as many number of people per day. The made up chat on the right, with the bots writing, adds a little social proof. And the price reduction makes you think you’re getting a steal. He couldn’t be lying, all the achievements he mentioned at the beginning — he must be telling the truth.
Advice 5: Never buy anything from a webinar. Google it and you probably will find the same thing a lot cheaper if not for free.
There’s plenty more platforms and techniques out there. And we haven’t even scratched the surface of SEO and paid ads. And then there is Twitter and Linkedin. You have so much possibilities and so much information about them that it might get intimidating. Just take your time and make an informed decision.
One final advice: Find where your customer spends his time and target there whether it’s a flyer in a specific neighborhood, an image ad on Facebook or a blog post on Linkedin.