Detailed Walkthrough: Our Complete 7-Step Facebook & Google AdWords Online Lead Generation Formula

This is exactly how we’ve helped dozens of marketers of services and complex products use AdWords, Facebook and landing pages to generate more leads and enquiries at less cost. Want proof this strategy works? Take a look at our Case Studies page.

If you’re not happy with the performance of your Facebook PPC and Google AdWords campaigns, this comprehensive guide will help. Bookmark it, print it, or save it as a PDF.

The Six Step Process:
How This Strategy Gets You Results

Here’s how our strategy generates more leads at less cost:

1. It Scientifically Targets Your Desired Prospects

You need to display eye-catching ads to web users who have a burning problem you can solve, or want an outcome you can provide, and are in a position to be convinced to take action. This may be via Facebook PPC, or AdWords Search, or both.

2. It Convinces Them To Click On Your Ad

You need to use your Irresistible Offer (explained below), components of your Unique Value Proposition (explained below), emotional triggers, and smart creative execution to make it difficult for your prospects not to click on your ad.

3. It Carries The Prospect’s Thought Process Through To Your Landing Page

If your prospect searches for “widget paint” then your landing page must talk about exactly that – widget paint, not something even slightly different like widget paint brushes. Providing this hyper-specific and congruent ad to landing page experience is CRITICAL.

4. It Explains How You Can Solve Their Problem Or Provide Their Desired Outcome

Simply explaining “what you do” will not cut it any more. Your prospect needs to know that you “get them” and that you empathise with their struggles or desires. Make sure your landing pages are packed to the brim with proactive salesmanship that clearly presents you as the BEST problem solver or outcome provider.

5. It Automatically Follows Non-Action-Takers With A Secondary Wave Of Ads

You need to use intelligent retargeting methods to display ads to visitors who don’t initially convert on your page. It’s this smart fallback strategy that re-captures timid prospects who ‘sit on the fence’ or feel they have to shop around before taking action.

6. It Learns Constantly, Forever

Every ad, keyword, audience, campaign structure, and landing page must be tested repeatedly, forever – so you learn exactly what works, and what doesn’t. There are multiple magnitudes and layers of testing, too: incremental adjustments or transformational differences to design, copy, layout, emotional triggers, offers, targeting, and campaign delivery. It’s this attitude of “Constant And Never-ending Improvement” that gets you better results.

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Step One:
Introducing The Components You Need For This Strategy

Here’s what you need to assemble and launch this lead-generating formula:

  • A Unique Value Proposition
    Before you assemble ANY collateral for your lead generation campaign, you’ll need a gripping written statement that clearly explains how you’re different when compared against your competitors. This is called your “Unique Value Proposition” and we inject it deep into your ads and landing pages to ensure they cut through the competitive landscape and position YOU as the ideal solution to your prospects.

    If you don’t have a Unique Value Proposition yet, that’s OK – when you join us, we’ll go through a UVP creation process to create it. You can use the final product in all your other marketing, too. More on this below.

  • An Irresistible “Value-First” Offer
    Next, you need to formulate an Irresistible Offer – a value-packed offer that will be woven in to the core of your ads and landing page. It’s not enough to say “enquire now” or “buy now” anymore — you need to offer something of value for free, even at the start of your sales process. Not sure what that means? Your Irresistible Offer needs to answer burning questions your prospects may have. It needs to solve problems they can’t solve on their own. And it needs to give them a sense of security… that you understand their problem and can create the outcome they want better than anyone else.

    If you don’t have a compelling offer that your prospects simply can’t ignore, that’s OK – when you join us, we’ll work through an Irresistible Offer creation process to design one. You can also use the final product in all your other marketing, too. More on this below.

  • Direct Response Landing Pages
    Your landing pages play a huge role in converting your paid traffic – they’re the ‘automatic salesperson’ that sells your products or services 24/7. Your landing pages must be hyper-relevant to the visitor’s demographic, psychographic or search intent. They must clearly explain how you are different and therefore better than your competitors. They must use the right emotional triggers so your prospects can relate to you. They must solve burning problems or present desirable outcomes. They must present an irresistible offers and strong calls to action. They must be mobile responsive and provide a visually-appealing experience, and they must be designed in a way that ensures “skim readers” and scanners will absorb your key information as their eyes skate down your page.

    If you don’t have any dedicated landing pages yet, that’s OK – we’ll create and host them as part of your engagement with us. Read more about landing pages below.

  • Tightly Targeted, Waste-Free, Efficient Traffic Campaigns
    Your traffic campaigns must be engineered to serve the right message to the right people whilst outperforming your competitors and delivering a congruent user experience. To make sure this happens, all campaign components must be working in harmony to achieve this: targeting, ads, ad extensions, waste-reduction strategies, and even initiatives to combat your competitors need to constantly be addressed. And where possible, continual testing should occur on as many components as possible. It’s this combination of art and science (ad writing vs. acting on data) that incrementally improves campaign performance to reduce Cost Per Conversion and get you more bang for your buck.
  • A Never Ending Optimisation Process
    Lastly, you need to continually test, adjust, and optimise every moving part in your campaigns. Why? Markets shift. Ad creative wears out. Targeting methods change as platforms evolve and grow. Some platforms work better than others. And competitors apply pressure, so the ‘click economy’ drives up costs. By testing things like headlines, ad text, ad types and landing page variations you’ll create a compounding series of improvements that add up to an amplified improvement overall. This is the key to the optimisation process: never-ending analysis and adjustment.

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Step Two:
Your Unique Value Proposition

The most important foundation your organisation’s digital marketing strategy is a differentiating sentence or statement called a Unique Value Proposition, or “UVP” in short.

A UVP describes the UNIQUE value or benefit(s) your organisation provides to your target market(s), and differentiates you from your competition whilst simultaneously attracting responsive, “ready-to-buy” customers. The key operating word here is “unique” – fundamentally, a UVP addresses one key question asked by your potential customers:

“WHY SHOULD I BUY FROM YOU, AND NOT SOMEBODY ELSE?”

Your Unique Value Proposition should:

  • Speak directly to the desired outcomes of your target market,
  • Speak directly to your target market, in their own terms, using “you” language, instead of using only “we” or “I”,
  • Be stated from your customer’s point of view, and solve a problem or provide an outcome they don’t yet have,
  • Contain PROOF that you can make true of your claims,
  • Contain unique data points that separates you from your competitors,
  • Make it 110% clear that you are THE #1 LOGICAL CHOICE to your prospect, and
  • Contain a guarantee and/or elements that will contribute to some form of reduction in risk.

In other words, an effective UVP exists inside the overlap between the needs or wants of your target market, and the unique offering and experience you provide. In a digital marketing context, without a Unique Value Proposition, marketing tools and channels like Google AdWords, Facebook PPC, landing pages and websites are undifferentiated ‘shells’ that do not and will not cut through a competitive landscape.

How to create your “Unique Value Proposition” and “Unique Value Statements”

STEP ONE: “Your Desired Customers”

To begin with, you need to get a CLEAR understanding of the hot buttons and psychological drivers of your prospects.

Write down as many responses as you can to the following questions:

  • What BURNING problem(s) do your prospects have that they don’t want?
  • What ADVANTAGEOUS outcome(s) do they want, but currently don’t have?
  • What do you think they need to see in a solution, that will make them consider engaging it?
  • Are there any persona types that have varying differences on the above problems, outcomes, or solutions?
  • What common, pre-conceived objections or risk-aggravators might these customers or personas have?
  • What are common demographic statistics and psychographic drivers of these prospects and persona types?

STEP TWO: “The Value You Provide”

Next, answer the following questions:

Your Value Offering

  • What VALUE do you offer your customers, for free?
  • What VALUE do you offer your customers, in exchange for their money?
  • What VALUE do you offer uniquely, that you competitors do not?

Your Skills

  • What skills (AKA your features) do you have, and what result can they produce for your customers (AKA your benefits)?

Your Experience

  • What experience do you have, in a quantifiable format? For example, years in business, number of cases completed, etc.

Your Proof Elements

  • What testimonials, reviews or other forms of social proof do you have?

STEP THREE: “Your Competition”

Analysing your competition is important – not so much for creating your UVP and UVS, but for analysing your offering at a higher level.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself:

  • What VALUE do your competitors offer your customers, for free?
  • What VALUE do your competitors offer your customers, in exchange for their money?
  • What VALUE do your competitors offer uniquely, that you do not?

STEP FOUR: Compiling This Into A Succinct Written Unique Value Proposition

This is the most difficult part of the process and requires skills in the areas of business analysis, consumer psychology, and copywriting.

Firstly, use the above information you’ve compiled to produce a list of key UNIQUE benefits that you offer your customers.

If you can’t pull out any unique benefits, you mayyyyy have a bit of an identity crisis on your hands. Go back to the drawing board and see how you can re-position your offering so you CAN offer some form of unique value.

Secondly, using this information, create sentences that articulate how WHAT YOU DO UNIQUELY to provide THE BIGGEST OUTCOME(S) YOUR CUSTOMERS REALLY WANT, whilst simultaneously baking in proof, unique data points, a guarantee, an offer that drips in value, and good old copywriting salesmanship and sizzle.

Like I said earlier, this process is easier said than done and takes time, practice and probably multiple iterations to get a final, working result.

When you’re writing your value statements, follow these tips:

  • Use ultimate and proximate benefits, NOT features.
  • Use real facts and figures, NOT hype-driven exaggerations.
  • Talk in the terms of your customer: provide the burning outcome they’re looking for, interwoven with an offer they can’t refuse.
  • Leverage the things that make you UNIQUE. 

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Step Three:
Your Irresistible Offer

Your Irresistible Offer, or the piece of VALUE you’ll give to your prospect at the start of your sales process, is the most important conversion element on your landing page. If you have a limp offer, you’ll have a limp conversion rate. If your offer “sizzles”, you won’t have any trouble converting your traffic. 

Caution! Generic Calls To Action (CTAs) Struggle To Differentiate You

If you offer a service or complex product, your initial call to action is probably a telephone conversation with someone from your sales team.

The Call To Action for this engagement could be:

  • Get a free quote
  • Book a free consultation
  • Enquire now

The problem here is that most of your competitors probably offer something very similar… which means you’ll struggle to differentiate yourself. It’s not enough to simply ask for your prospect to get in touch for a free quote or free consultation – you need add additional some additional value to the exchange. 

The promising thing is that most general calls to action can be repositioned into Irresistible Offers. 

Goal: Convert a bland Call To Action into an Irresistible Offer.

In many cases, a simple ‘enquire now’ offer can be repositioned as an offer that drips in value.

Here are some examples for different industries:

  • Cosmetic Surgeons: Enquire Now and get a FREE Cosmetic Surgery Beauty Plan – provide value to your prospects by showing them how they can improve their appearance using your solutions 
  • Vet: Book an Appointment and get a FREE 27-Point Health Check-Up For Your Dog or Cat – give peace of mind to your prospects by performing a wider health checkup
  • Mortgage Brokers: Book your Home Loan Prep & Comparison Session – solve a problem for your prospects by explaining what they need to do to qualify for the home they want (and then give them loan options if they are ready to proceed)
  • Artificial Turf: Get A Free Quote & Sample Pack Sent Via The Mail – help your prospects choose YOU by sending them a sample pack in the post

Sell The Sizzle

The key here is to produce an offer that drips in value for your prospect. The prospect must REALLY want to access the information or value you’re offering them. If this ‘sizzle’ doesn’t exist, you’ll get a lax result and the prospect will end up sniffing around your competitors. Ensure your offer (and subsequent sales acumen) appeals to the #1 emotional benefit that must be addressed, to convince the visitor to take action. At a high level, this is either to reduce pain or increase pleasure. There may be other emotional triggers depending on your situation.

Not sure you can produce a tonne of value? Simply show your prospect how they can solve a problem they have or get an outcome they want, in a way that makes them choose YOU over your competitors. 

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Step Four:
Your Landing Pages

High performing landing pages are just as important as high performing traffic campaigns. If you send your traffic to an inefficient landing page, you’re wasting your click budget. Why? Think of this another way – if your landing page was improved to convert twice as much traffic, you’d halve your Cost Per Conversion. So, a better performing landing page = a better Marketing Return On Investment. 

Here’s a process for creating a high performing landing page:

1. Consider Your Visitors’ Level Of Awareness

Before you begin the creation of your landing page, you’ll need to clearly understand the visitor’s level of awareness around your product or service.

Advertising guy Eugene Schwartz coined the “Five Levels Of Customer Awareness” in his book Breakthrough Advertising, and they are inherently important in the landing page production process.

In a landing page context, the five levels are:

Most Aware – Page visitors who know and love what you do. They buy your products and are loyal to your brand. Easy to sell to.

Product Aware – Page visitors who know your product or service, but haven’t bought it. They are familiar with your competitors’ value propositions, and aren’t sure if YOU are the right choice for them just yet.

Solution Aware – Page visitors who know what solution they are looking for, but didn’t previously know about your specific product or service.

Problem Aware – Page visitors who know they have a problem to solve or an outcome to achieve, but don’t know how to solve it yet.

Unaware – Page visitors who don’t know they have a problem, or don’t have an outcome they want to achieve.

The less aware your page visitors are, the MORE salesmanship and direct response collateral is required on your landing page because:

  • You may need to explain the problem you’re solving, or the outcome you can provide
  • You may need to explain what solutions and options the prospect has
  • You may need to convince your prospects that YOU are the best solution when compared against your competitors

Generally speaking, the less aware the visitor is, the longer your landing page will need to be.

2. Consider The Page’s Traffic Source

The type of traffic arriving at your landing page will dictate the complexity and messaging required to get the best response.

  • If a page is driven by keyword-centric traffic, you’ll improve the page’s performance by specifically tailoring headlines and supporting text towards these search terms, to improve ad → landing page relevance. Correctly executing this process will improve your page’s conversion strength (its ability to convert a visitor into a prospect) and Quality Score relevance.
  • If a page is driven by audience-centric traffic (from a source like Facebook PPC), you’ll need to be mindful of varying demographics and psychographics you’ve chosen to view the page. Visitors are more likely to respond to situations and images they can relate to – sending a senior citizen to a landing page containing pictures of young people might not be a strong conversion strategy. Targeting CEOs? Increase production value. Trying to persuade a younger demographic? Use energetic, inspiring imagery.

3. Make Sure You’ve Addressed These Critical Strategic Elements

When planning, designing, refining and testing your landing page, ensure the following strategic elements have been addressed:

  • Offer: Remember your landing page exists to present, justify, and SELL an Irresistible Offer. This offer should fall into a broader sales funnel, and the landing page’s SOLE focus should be to convince visitors to execute this offer, and nothing else.
  • User Experience: Make sure the landing page is seamlessly integrated into a logical user experience. Generally, this means means  your keyword → ad → landing page → thank you page relevance should be logically organised.
  • Quality Score: If the page is an AdWords landing page, make sure Quality Score has been taken into consideration. Higher Quality Score = lower average CPC.
  • Competition: Getting a feel for the playing field is also a good idea. Review the landing pages of your top three competitors to see if they’re doing anything better than you, or something you might not yet be doing.

4. Make Sure You’ve Addressed These Critical Tactical Elements

Every landing page should contain the following tactical elements:

  • Headline: Explaining how the offer solves the visitor’s problem, provides an outcome they desire, or presents a unique promise they can’t refuse.
  • Supporting bullet points or sentence(s): Containing additional descriptors and value surrounding your offer, and distinct and compelling reasons why the prospect should take action.
  • Call To Action (CTA): Explaining the next logical step and a reason to act now. The CTA should also sell the value (what the prospect will get) and be worded in a manner that portrays minimal risk. A strong CTA will also explain what could happen if the prospect DOES NOT take action.
  • Paragraphs: Supporting the core points of the headline and opening text. These paragraphs should play on the #1 emotional trigger of the page, and focus on a desire or fear.
  • A Persona & Image: Humans do business with other humans, not businesses. A strong landing page will feature a profile of a real person. 
  • Proof points: Should be woven through the page. Examples of proof points are testimonials, data (number of clients serviced, number of members, number of units sold, etc.), memberships, accreditations, et cetera. At least one form of proof should be above the fold.
  • Diagrams and value-adding imagery: Diagrams like charts and data visualisations are efficient at communicating quantitative messages, and images are essential but should not appear tacky (or “stocky”) and should not draw attention away from sales copy.
  • Rich but not distracting visuals: Yes, production value is very important, but function and performance is more important than a page that looks ‘nice’.
  • Lead capture form: Requesting the bare minimum amount of information required (eg. name, email address). The form should somehow reinforce the VALUE the prospect will receive when they accept the offer, and will demonstrate a concern for the prospect’s data privacy.
  • Frictionless mechanics: Whereby the form should complete smoothly, and the transition to the Thank You Page should be seamless.
  • Device responsive versions: So the landing page can be viewed, and is effective, on ALL mobile device sizes.

5. Follow These Guidelines When Writing Copy

Follow these guidelines when writing copy on your landing page: 

  • Landing page copy must take your Unique Value Proposition and overlay it over the unique needs and wants of your customer – in other words, you must demonstrate how your UNIQUE offering provides an outcome your target needs, or a solution to a problem they have but don’t want. This is a sweet spot: aligning your unique offering over your customer’s needs and wants. To take this further, your copy must single out the difference between your “Market Entry” benefits and  “Unique” benefits. Market Entry benefits are plain, vanilla attributes that anyone can demonstrate to enter the market. Avoid those at all costs. Unique features and benefits are what sets you apart from your competitors and should be leveraged as much as possible.
  • Oh, and it goes without saying – discuss benefits, not features. Features are important, but only when describing a benefit.
  • Ensure every element on your page passes the “so what” test. For example, if you tell me you have 10 years of experience, you’ll also need to explain to me how that’s going to help solve my problem or provide the outcome I’m looking for.
  • Copy must provide an argument containing a choice of yeses. The more yeses the reader verbally or non-verbally says, the more likely they are to take a desired action.
  • Copy must flow logically – small arguments must smoothly flow in the stream of an overall, larger argument that guides the reader into taking action.
  • Copy must convince the reader that they’d be worse-off if they DID NOT take up the offer on the landing page.
  • Copy must not contain a word or sentence that doesn’t provide some form of value towards the persuasion process. Every sentence should answer a “so what” test – if the sentence doesn’t relate to solving a problem or providing an outcome the prospect needs, it’s noise and should be removed.
  • Use bullet points wherever and whenever you can. Generally, people don’t read large blocks of text – they skim through text and scan over paragraphs. When you use bullet points, with bolding and italics, your ‘skimming’ audience will still absorb your critical sales messages.
  • When you’re writing paragraphs, use short, simple sentences. And ensure every paragraph works off a desire or fear.
  • Use the word “YOU” not “WE” or “I”. Make the experience, argument and logical solution about the customer, NOT about you.
  • Try and use the word “you”, “imagine”, and “because” as much as you can. YOU allows you to talk directly to the reader. IMAGINE allows the reader to place themselves in an imaginary scenario where YOU are providing the solution for them… this is a psychology hack that creates a deep association between you and the solution the prospect is looking for. BECAUSE allows you to explain the ‘reason why’ behind your message… allowing you to create a stronger argument.
  • Ensure headlines can be digested in less than five seconds. Any more, and you risk losing the attention span of the visitor.
  • Ensure headlines address the problem the prospect is trying to fix, the outcome they are desperately trying to manifest, or the unique problem you can provide to them.
  • Ensure copy is written to the required level of sophistication and awareness of the audience.

6. Follow These Guidelines When Crafting Layout & Design

Here are design rules and guidelines I generally follow when constructing a landing page:

  • A page’s design must be striking enough to capture the attention of users within FIVE seconds. Web users have very short attention spans – they’ll skim, scan, and only “see” the information that stands out the very most. A landing page’s design must portray the value of the page’s offer in the least amount of time possible. Less than three seconds is ideal.
  • The page’s layout, and relationship between design elements, must guide the visitor’s eye through a logical, sequential path of written and visual elements. A landing page’s most core components must capture attention via a hierarchy – headline first, sub-headline second, bullet points third etc. Web users are impatient – so the sizzle of the hierarchical components must pull the reader into viewing them sequentially.
  • It’s important to use whitespace to accentuate core conversion components.
  • On a landing page, there must be one call to action only (possibly repeated throughout the page). It should be the most visible component on the page. Try the “squint test” – look at a landing page and squint your eyes. If you can see the call to action visibly sticking out, the page has used colour and layout to properly position its call to action.
  • Proof elements are critical to the success of any landing page, and must be woven throughout all page components (proof comes in many forms – examples are testimonials, accreditation badges, certificates, pictures of real-life examples and video testimonials).
  • Typography must be easy to read – this means size, contrast to background, font style, font weight, leading, character spacing etc. must be considered.
  • Diagrams and visualisation will be used to decrease the time it takes for a prospect to digest and understand a message. The brain interprets visual information faster than the written word. Charts, graphs and flow charts are examples.
  • A page’s colour palette is also very important. There’s no magical colour that makes every page convert, but colour choice, and the relationship between colours on a page DO influence a page’s conversion performance. Ideally, colours should welcome a reader and guide their eyes towards the persuasive components of the page (copy and call to action). A flash of colour in the right place will guide eye flow towards desired components.
  • Stock images should be genuine and high quality, but should not distract the reader from the page’s copy and call to action. 

7. Follow These Guidelines When Designing Your Pop-Up Form

In most cases, landing pages with a pop-up/modal form generally convert at a higher rate than pages with a form built into the layout of the page.

Here are some guidelines when creating your form:

  • Collect the bare minimum amount of information as possible. Ask for a name, email address and phone number only. You can get the rest of the information when you call the prospect. Asking for too much information, too soon, creates friction that may prevent the visitor from taking action.
  • Somewhere in close proximity to the form, reinforce the value of the call to action. Provide a few distilled bullet points explaining benefits the prospect will receive. Make it VERY easy for them to understand what they’re going to get.
  • Ensure the text on the button reinforces what the user will receive. Don’t use text like “Submit” or “Send Data”. User text like “Request Consultation” or “Get A Quote”.
  • Include a statement reinforcing your respect for their data privacy.

8. Make Sure You Address Mobile Traffic

Mobile traffic powers a rapidly increasing segment of the Internet, so it’s important to make sure your landing page converts from mobile traffic.

Here are some guidelines when considering mobile traffic:

  • Ensure your landing page displays and FUNCTIONS correctly on all devices. You might consider removing or adjusting components like images and diagrams, as they may not display as intended on small screens.
  • Ensure your lead capture form displays and FUNCTIONS correctly on all devices.
  • Ensure tracking and remarketing codes fire correctly on all devices.
  • Consider adding a “Click To Call” function on mobile landing pages. Some visitors might be ready to call you. Give them a quick and easy way of doing so.
  • Test ALL of the above features, at least twice, on different mobile devices.

9. Install Tracking Codes & Remarketing Pixels

It’s critical that you track the performance of your landing page and confirmation page (also known as a Thank You Page). This means monitoring:

  • Number of visitors
  • Number of conversions
  • Traffic sources
  • Conversions from different traffic sources

Tracking the above allows you to tweak and optimise performance, therefore allowing you to produce a better campaign ROI. It’s also important to ensure you’ve got correct remarketing pixels installed on all pages. This will allow you to remarket to page visitors who do not convert.

Here are some guidelines:

  • Ensure tracking codes for Google Analytics (and/or any other analytics software you may be using) exists on the landing page and also the Thank You Page.
  • Setup “goals” in Google Analytics, so you can measure page performance quickly (without having to do manual calculations).
  • Ensure conversion codes/pixels for your advertising platforms are installed on the Thank You Page. Some platforms require you to install a pixel on the landing page also.
  • Ensure remarketing pixels have been added to all pages.
  • Click tracking software is another useful tool that might provide you with insights around user behaviour.

10. Create An Effective Thank You Page

Your confirmation page, or “Thank You Page” (TYP) is an important tool often overlooked.

Firstly, make sure you have a TYP whereby the visitor is taken to a NEW page, instead of receiving a notification inside the landing page itself.

This confirmation behaviour must occur for a few reasons:

  • To trigger conversion codes, and Goals in Google Analytics
  • To reaffirm the visitor that they’ve made the right choice, and to reiterate the value they’re going to receive
  • To present the next logical step in your nurturing funnel or sales process.

Make sure your Thank You Pages have the following:

  • Correct tracking and remarketing pixels
  • Statements reinforcing the value they’re going to receive
  • The next logical value proposition in your funnel, so if the prospect is VERY keen to engage you, they can do so
  • At least one form of social proof – this could be a testimonial or case study

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Step Five:
Your AdWords Campaigns

Here are the features of a high converting AdWords Campaign:

Strategic Features

Your AdWords campaign should have the following strategic features:

  • The campaign should be PRIMARILY engineered to address the unwanted problems and/or desired solutions of your target market, with a SECONDARY focus on the benefits/features/facts provided by your business. This approach of solving problems or producing desired outcomes should be baked into ad creative, ad extensions, and keyword selection/targeting.
  • Your Unique Value Proposition (the unique features, facts, and benefits offered by your business) should also be baked into ad creative, ad extensions, and landing pages. Boring, generic, unsubstantiated, hype-centric copy like “We Provide The Best Value”, “Best In Class Customer Service”, or “Choose The Experts” will never exist inside an effective Search campaign. Why? These statements provide no value to your prospect’s decision making process.
  • Your campaign will be designed to promote tight keyword -> ad -> landing page relevance. In other words, this means a visitor from AdWords traffic must view a landing page that TIGHTLY matches the search term they entered. To reverse this concept, ad groups containing loosely targeted terms will NOT allow you to create a relevant user experience, because the pages will be too broad in their messaging. Tight keyword -> ad -> landing page relevance will also contribute to a higher Quality Score (QS), which generally translates into cheaper cost per click.
  • Your overall campaign Click Through Rate (CTR) must be as high as possible. CTR is a large part of AdWords’ Quality Score equation. The higher the QS, the cheaper the average Cost Per Click will be. The cheaper the Cost Per Click, the cheaper the Cost Per Conversion. The cheaper the Cost Per Conversion, the more conversions the campaign will produce under a set budget.
  • Your campaign’s ads must create some sort of Search Engine Results Page (SERP) differentiation, so your ads look different and stand apart from your competitors when being evaluated ‘in Google’ by the searcher. This could be through the creative use of ad text or the use of different ad extensions.
  • Your campaign must be conversion driven. In other words, conversion tracking will be functioning to allow the optimiser to adjust campaign settings to drive conversion growth. Not having conversion tracking is like driving a sports car with an inch of mud covering the windscreen. 
  • Your campaign must be tested, tweaked, optimised continuously, forever… to eliminate any elements that DON’T produce conversions (prevent marketing waste) and find and amplify components that DO produce conversions. Markets change, and an AdWords campaign MUST change with it, to keep performing as efficiently as possible.

Tactical Features

Your AdWords campaign should have the following tactical features:

Tightly Targeted Ad Group Structure

  • Your campaign must feature tightly targeted ad groups — meaning the keywords in an ad group will all be of the same, tightly-organised theme. The number of keywords inside of the ad group isn’t important – it can be one or a hundred, but the keywords need to be VERY similar… so that an ad and landing page displayed after being triggered by each unique keyword is highly relevant to that search term.
  • Search and Display networks should be separated into their own campaigns.
  • Top performing keywords should be placed in their own ad groups (sometimes their own campaign) so they can be carefully optimised for ad → landing page relevance and QS.

Keywords

  • Your most effective keywords (a) will be commercially motivated, (b) will possess enough search volume to warrant bidding on them, and c) won’t be too competitive, when compared to your available budget. Generally speaking, the stronger the competition surrounding a search term, the higher its bid price will be.
  • Appropriate match types (broad, phrase, exact, broad match modified) should be used tactically to achieve the widest relevance of search intent, and no more. Too wide = unqualified traffic.
  • Search Query Reports should be run regularly to ensure waste is not occurring (waste = non-qualified search terms).
  • New keywords should be added regularly, using Search Query Reports and keyword suggestion tools.
  • Short tail AND long tail keywords should be tried and tested.
  • Bids should be modified with surgical precision to deliver the right balance between position and cost. Generally speaking, the higher the position, the higher the cost. The lower the position, the weaker the keyword’s conversion strength.
  • Negative keywords at both Ad Group and Campaign level should be added via Search Query Reports. General negatives should also exist “jobs”, “careers”, etc. Negative keywords should also be used for complex ad group setups, where exact and phrase terms are being funnelled into a specific ad group.

Ads

  • As described above, your ad copy should be engineered to address the unwanted problems and/or desired solutions of your target market, with a secondary focus on your business’ Unique Value Proposition.
  • Your ads should focus on different pain or pleasure points, or emotional triggers, or proof elements, or problem solving, or solution provision, or other psychological tactics designed to generate a high Click Through Rate.
  • Your ads should feature extensions (app, call, location, review, sitelink, call-out, consumer ratings, previous visits, seller ratings) where possible. Extensions increase SERP visibility and help influence prospects’ decision making processes.
  • Your ads should be A/B tested inside of Ad Groups all the time, forever. The goal of this continual ad testing is to improve CTR and conversion rate.
  • Dynamic Keyword Insertion should also be used, depending on keyword selection.

Quality Score Strategy

  • The tactical optimisation of your campaign must incorporate a holistic Quality Score strategy, designed to improve and retain Quality Scores.
  • Note: High QS comes from (a) a strong landing page experience, (b) strong keyword -> ad -> landing page relevance, (c) a high overall campaign Click Through Rate, and (d) other smaller factors.

Campaign Settings

  • Time Of Day/Day Of Week settings should be optimised using conversion data. In other words, times of the day or week that do not produce conversions could potentially be deactivated to save budget for times that DO produce conversions.
  • Location settings should be optimised (using conversion data and external geographical requirements) to deploy the campaign ONLY in regions where conversions SHOULD and DO occur.
  • Automatic bidding and scripts can be used to improve performance, but only where appropriate. At time of writing this, AI or bots can’t handle EVERY angle of campaign optimisation. Humans are required to inject psychology strategy.

Conversion Tracking

  • Conversion tracking MUST be installed and working, either via a Google Analytics import or AdWords’ own conversion javascript. Conversion tracking is essential for the optimisation process.

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Step Six:
Your Facebook PPC Campaign

A high performing Facebook campaign will use intelligent targeting to serve your ads to users who are most likely to engage your Irresistible Offer, based upon the platform’s ultra-specific demographic and psychographic data. Instead of reactively showing ads to users who are searching for a solution or outcome (like AdWords Search), Facebook’s strengths lie in proactively targeting two traffic types:

(a) Cold traffic (are NOT familiar with your business) via their location, demographic, interest, behaviour, or connection data, or

(b) Warm traffic (ARE familiar with your business via sophisticated remarketing audiences. This remarketing strategy allows you to target users who:

  • Have already viewed one of your Facebook videos
  • Have already visited your website but didn’t convert
  • Are on your email list
  • Like your Facebook Page

It’s this detailed targeting power that allows you to display different ads to different users, depending on their levels of awareness and position in your sales funnel. If they are cold traffic, you’ll focus more on providing value and explaining your value proposition. If they are warm traffic, you can promote deeper offers and use traditional sales levers like urgency and exclusivity. 

More Strategic Features Of A Facebook PPC Campaign

Your Facebook PPC campaign should have the following strategic features:

  • Like your AdWords campaign, your Facebook PPC campaign should be engineered PRIMARILY to address the unwanted problems and/or desired solutions of your target market, with a SECONDARY focus on the benefits/features/facts provided by your business. This approach of solving problems or producing desired outcomes should be baked into ad creative, ad extensions, and keyword selection/targeting.
  • Your Unique Value Proposition (the unique features, facts, and benefits offered by your business) should be baked into ad creative, and landing pages. Remember – Boring, generic, unsubstantiated, hype-centric copy like “We Provide The Best Value”, “Best In Class Customer Service”, or “Choose The Experts” will never exist inside an effective Facebook campaign. Why? These statements provide no value to your prospect’s decision making process.
  • Unfortunately for us humans are programmed to ignore advertising, so if you want your ads to cut through your prospect’s News feed, your ads should stand out, and be should be contrasting – but shouldn’t look like a traditional ad.
  • Facebook is going to favour ads with higher engagement rates. Ads with more Likes, Shares, and Comments will be shown at a cheaper cost per click. So, write your ads in a way that promotes user engagement.  
  • ALL components of your campaign should be tested: Core Audiences, Demographics, Devices, Platforms, Ad Types, Positioning, to remove any delivery settings that don’t produce results and spend your budget on the components and settings that DO create desired marketing activity. 

Tactical Features Of A Facebook PPC Campaign

Your Facebook campaign should have the following tactical features:

Campaign Outcome/Advertising Objectives

  • When setting up a new campaign there are a number of different “Advertising Objectives” you can choose from. Because you’re using Facebook PPC to generate leads or enquiries on your own landing page, the Campaign Goal you need to select is “Conversions”.
  • Note, in our experience: Facebook’s native Lead Generation form seems like a neat tool but its performance is below par when compared to a traditional Facebook Image/VIdeo ad →Landing Page conversion funnel.

Audience Targeting

Facebook’s targeting function is one of its key differentiating strengths. Facebook’s targeting works by choosing one or more ‘Audiences’ of users. There are three main types of Audiences:

There are three main types of Audiences:

  • Core Audiences are audiences created by Facebook that group users together based on factors like geographic demographics, lifestyle/lifestage demographics, purchase-based demographics, etc. This data is pulled from the information people share in their Facebook profiles and the behaviors they exhibit on the platform. Generally, core audiences should be used to target cold traffic. At time of writing this, Facebook’s Core Audience categories are Location, Demographics, Interests, Behaviours, and Connections. 
  • Custom Audiences are audiences created by advertisers based on your pre-existing email lists, website pixel cookies, Facebook page, or pools of users categorised by their engagement with your Facebook assets (videos, lead ads, or canvas ads). Custom audiences are generally used to remarket to visitors who have interacted with your ads, Facebook page, or website… or are on your email list. 
  • Lookalike Audiences are audiences created by Facebook’s targeting platform that allow you to target users who share similar demographic and psychographic attributes to your customers, hence the term “lookalike” – the audiences created by this feature will ‘lookalike’ your own current email list, Facebook Page likes, or website retargeting list etc.

Image & Video Ads

  • In general, consumers are trained to not see forms of advertising, particularly in close-proximity mediums like social media on mobile devices. This means it’s important to design your ads so they cut through the surrounding ‘noise’ in your prospects’ News Feeds. Unfortunately, you’ll need to compete with cat videos. 
  • Ads that provoke emotion through story will elicit a response from your prospects more effectively than traditional “enquire now” ads. Try and create rapport in your ads. 
  • Ads that start with a question that has an implied “Yes” will engage readers.  
  • Your image selection is VERY important and drives most of the success of your ad. Increase the contrast of the image, and make sure the image tells a story too. 
  • Facebook Video ads are the new “TV commercial” – if you have the ability to launch video ads, try using these as a ‘value-first’ mechanism. Use video ads to deliver value, and then remarket with ‘enquire now’ ads to those who engage with them. 
  • Similar to AdWords ads, your ad copy should be engineered to address the unwanted problems and/or desired solutions of your target market, with a secondary focus on your business’ Unique Value Proposition.
  • Your ads should focus on different pain or pleasure points, or emotional triggers, or proof elements, or problem solving, or solution provision, or other psychological tactics designed to generate a high Click Through Rate.
  • Your ads should be A/B tested inside of Ad Sets all the time, forever. The goal of this continual ad testing is to improve CTR and conversion rate.
  • Ad Frequency shouldn’t increase up by three or four. If this happens, it’s time to adjust your campaign targeting. 
  • There are many other ad types on the Facebook PPC platform… but they’re not going to function as well as traditional image and video ads (for the purpose of this style of lead generation). 

Pixels & Conversion Tracking

  • Conversion tracking MUST be installed and working – this is achieved by (a) adding the Facebook Pixel to your landing page and Thank You Page and (b) creating a Custom Conversion that is registered when a user visits the Thank You Page. Conversion tracking is essential for the optimisation process.

Campaign Settings

  • Time Of Day/Day Of Week settings should be optimised using conversion data. In other words, times of the day or week that do not produce conversions could potentially be deactivated to save budget for times that DO produce conversions.
  • Location settings should be optimised (using conversion data and external geographical requirements) to deploy the campaign ONLY in regions where conversions SHOULD and DO occur.

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Step Seven:
The Lean “Ongoing Optimisation” Process

An ongoing, never-ending optimisation process is CRITICAL to the success of your lead generation funnel.

Here’s why it’s so important:

  • You’ll reduce marketing “waste”. Using testing, you’ll learn what campaign components (or landing pages) are ineffectively using your budget. Cull this waste, and you’ve instantly got more budget for the campaign components and landing pages that do work.
  • You’ll produce valuable psychological insights into your landing page visitors, that can be used in other sales and marketing collateral. Once you understand what drives your prospects and customers to take action online, you’ll be able to use or modify this factual data for other advertising, sales, and marketing initiatives.
  • Your market changes over time. With the right information and knowledge, you can adapt and pivot as required.
  • It’s fast and inexpensive to create and launch tests and feedback mechanisms. Website feedback mechanisms (examples below) and testing regimes (examples also below), and learning about your traffic and customers, is not expensive at all. Using the tools I mention below, you could setup a website test in under 60 minutes, that could save you THOUSANDS.
  • To summarise, website testing and feedback loops are important because you LEARN what sales and marketing collateral works (and what doesn’t). You IMPROVE performance of your sales and marketing ecosystem (online and offline). And you gain valuable INSIGHTS into your customers and your industry.

And lastly, even the smartest marketer in the world won’t know exactly what components will work and what won’t – this is only achieved by testing with real-life market data.

For example:

  • Only real-life market data will tell you which headlines work, and which don’t.
  • Only real-life market data will tell you which emotional triggers work, and which don’t.
  • And only real-life market data will tell you what button colour gets more sales or enquiries.
  • This means you need to constantly test and tweak to improve the performance of your digital marketing ecosystem.

Example: How a Single, Isolated Test Can Save You $$$

Let me walk you through a basic scenario:

  • Let’s say you have a landing page that converts traffic at 5%.
  • So, for every 100 users you send to the page, you get 5 conversions.
  • Let’s also say it costs you $200 to get 100 users to your page.
  • Using this logic, you’re generating 5 conversions every time you spend $200. That’s $40 per conversion.
  • If we run a landing page test that increases conversion from 5% to 6%, you’re now generating 6 conversions per $200.
  • That’s $34 dollars per conversion, or one additional lead for the same spend.

Now, assume your monthly budget is $10,000. This means you generate 5000 visitors.

  • 5% conversion rate of 5000 visitors: 250 conversions.
  • 6% conversion rate of 5000 visitors: 300 conversions.
  • Using the logic above, increasing your conversion rate from 5% to 6% will generate you 50 more leads for the same spend, or a saving of $2000 (300 conversions at a cost per conversion of $40 = $12,000).

And lastly, let’s assume the split test took you an hour to setup. Your ONE HOUR of work saved you $2000.

High Level Optimisation Process

Here’s a high level optimisation process:

  • Remove elements that create waste (unqualified traffic, poor performing ads, quiet times of day/week, locations),
  • Amplify performing elements (improve high-performing keywords, ads, ad extensions, times of day/week, locations),
  • Find new opportunities,
  • Test new ads/keywords/extensions/audience combination et cetera…

… with the ultimate goal of managing an evolving, responsive, efficient campaign that produces qualified conversions at a cheap cost per conversion.

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The post Detailed Walkthrough: Our Complete 7-Step Facebook & Google AdWords Online Lead Generation Formula appeared first on Marketing Results.

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The Top 10 Digital Marketing Strategies Used By Our Most Successful Clients

The Top 10 Digital Marketing Strategies Used By Our Most Successful ClientsWe’ve worked with hundreds of clients in dozens of industries. In this video, Digital Strategist Ben Sweetlove explains the top ten ‘success formulas’ our most successful clients use to get outstanding digital marketing results…
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Video Transcript

Ben: Hi there guys, it’s Ben here. Now in this session, I’m going to talk about the top 10 strategies used by our most successful digital marketing clients. In other words, I’m going to talk about the success formulas, or the success patterns that we’ve noticed over time, that our most successful clients are using, that are getting the best results for them. Now this is based on working with hundreds of clients in dozens of industries over about 15 years, so there’s a fair bit of data that’s gone into producing these top 10 strategies.

Now, you probably want to know why I think or we think they’re successful; what are these — what makes them successful? First of all, when they’re using these strategies and tactics, they’re getting a higher volume of inquiries at a lower or a cheaper cost per inquiry, and that’s a pretty good benefit straight out of the gates. They’re getting more inquiries for less spend. They’re seeing some efficiency improvements over their overall marketing and sales in general. They’re getting better results from less effort. From a tactical perspective, they’re getting more organic traffic, so more free traffic coming through to their website. They’re learning more, or they’re learning stronger, psychological insights around the key audiences that they’re targeting; using things like website testing and the information that’s coming back from their campaigns. They’re learning more about what makes their target personas take action. They’re scaling faster ultimately; they’re getting more inquiries at a lower cost. And efficiency improvements, that means that they are finding it easy to scale. And ultimately, they’re focusing less on marketing and more on their value chain. Or they’ve got more time to look at growth hacking, which means they can — instead of focusing on lead generation, on the marketing side of the business, they can not worry about that and they can then focus on improving the value they provide to their customers or their clients.

So what I want you to do is use these ten strategies that I’m about to go through, to improve your own marketing. Now, let’s get into it.

So first of all, number one, our most successful clients passionately champion their customers’ desired end state; not just their product or service.

And what I mean by that is they’re passionate about solving their customers’ problems, or creating their desired outcomes, and there’s very little ‘me talk’ in their marketing. They communicate in a way that shows, literally shows, their customers that they understand their problems and their desired outcomes. That they’re articulating that they understand their problems and desired outcomes. And they also show how they’re going to solve that problem, or provide the desired outcome for them. And they use benefit based language, not features.

Our most successful clients, they speak to the unique problems and desired outcomes of targeted persona types. So this sort of takes the previous strategy I just mentioned and refines that into their target personas, or avatars. And essentially what that does is, it allows them to overlap their unique value, the business’ unique value, with the needs of those unique prospect types, or those persona types. And essentially, what it does is it creates a conversation in their prospects’ mind of, wow, this brand gets me.

And I’ve got an example of buying property. Now, say you’re a property developer, or you’ve got some property stock that you want to sell. And I’ve identified four different types of persona types here. One is a first time buyer, one is a growing family, one is a first time investor, and then finally, we have an advanced investor. Now essentially, the end goal here is all four of these personas are going to buy a property from you. However, all four, they have different problems. A first time buyer might struggle to put a deposit together. A growing family might struggle to unlock the equity that they have in their current home. As well, they might not have a deposit for a new home, potentially. A first time investor, they might not know how to get started in investing; it might seem like a bit of voodoo or a bit of a mystery around how to actually get started in that investment process. Or an advanced investor, they might be having trouble with their current portfolio. They might not know where to buy their next property, they might not know how to structure their tax entities correctly. They might have hit the 1.5 million dollar lending, ceiling, the glass ceiling. So essentially, they’ve all got different problems and what we are doing for our most successful clients, and for a lot of our clients now, is creating targeted persona pages. So each one of these personas will have their own learning page, where we talk about those problems; we articulate that we understand those problems. We talk about the desired outcomes of that persona type and then as the next logical part of their conversation on the learning page, we explain how we can achieve their desired outcome for them. We sort of present the offer of helping them buy that property, so that’s really important.

What does this mean for you? It means that your marketing should passionately show your customers how you solve their biggest problems, or create their desired outcomes. Your language should talk in terms of your customers’ desired end state. And essentially, you have as little brochure marketing on your website and your web properties as possible.

Now, brochure marketing, or having a brochure website, is essentially where you have a website that’s got a homepage, a pretty basic homepage that talks about what you do. You might have an about us page, you might have a services page and maybe a contact us form somewhere. That’s a brochure website because it’s pretty much just explaining what you do; it’s explaining your services or your products. If you want to have a high converting website, your website needs to do those two middle points there. You should passionately show your customers how you solve their biggest problems, or create their desired outcomes, and you should talk in the terms of your customers’ desired end state. So not what you do, but what you do for your customers and that desired end state that they are looking for.

Number two: our most successful clients understand the importance of differentiation and having a simple “big idea”…

…and what that means is they know they need to be different to set them apart from their competitors.

And how they’re doing that is by having a unique value proposition. And essentially what that is, is a statement that articulates how they’re different. It articulates the different promise that they make to their prospects. It contains social proof and if possible, it can contain an offer, or the next logical step in this sort of sales process, that these clients have to engage their clients. They understand that they need to be not another ‘me too’ organization, and what they do is they spend time working out how they can become more and more different. So it’s never the case of, okay, we know that we’re different now. They set that in stone, in concrete, and then just move on. They’re always working out how they can become more and more different in their marketplace, to maintain their competitive edge.

They also have a simple but impactful big idea; so their UVP isn’t complex, it’s not complicated. Instead, it’s easy to explain, it’s a simple idea, just executed well, in a unique fashion.

Now, moving onto number three: our most successful clients are relentless content creators.

What they do is they create compelling, interesting content that solves problems or creates desired outcomes. That’s really important to achieve those two things. One, solve a problem or create a desired outcome. They’re doing it one to two times per week, and the format of this content that they’re producing could be blog posts, could be videos, could be case studies, could be webinars. Could be podcasts or it could be PDF downloads. There could be a checklist or a white paper; now a checklist of white papers is not 1-2x a week, but they are producing them on a consistent basis.

Now, producing content achieves a number of things for these clients. Number one, it allows them to show and not sell. So if they are showing how to do something, essentially that’s doing the selling for them because number one, they’re showing that they know what they’re talking about. And two, the prospect is forming a decision in their mind, that yes, these guys know what they’re talking about, and they can produce their desired outcome that they’re trying to achieve.

Content helps businesses provide value to their customers and their industry, and having good content on a blog, or on a website, is much like having a university degree. Where a business can show off how much they know but they don’t need to invest years and thousands of dollars to do so. Or an expert can show off how much they know, without having to invest in a degree to do that.

And also as well, having a lot of content on a website. One, you can show off how much you know, but two, you’re going to provide value to your prospects, and it’s going to do that showing, not selling. So having great content is — it achieves so many things.

Google also loves it. If you want to rank higher in search results, your website needs to achieve an authority status; you need to be an authority in your vertical or in your industry. And a very strong way to become an authority website is through content. If you are creating that content, Google is going to rank you higher for the search results that you are writing content about.

And lastly, our most successful clients, they’re achieving what I call expert status, or they’re becoming an information celebrity, through the content that they’re creating. Because they’re creating so much content, and because it’s being shown to their prospects on platforms like Facebook, on Twitter, they are achieving this information celebrity status. Where prospects are thinking, okay, this person, they obviously know a lot about selling properties; they’ve become a bit of a celebrity. When I’m ready to buy a property, I’m going to go to this person, because I know that they know what they’re talking about. Moving on…

Number four: our most successful clients use video to provide value and communicate their proposition.

Now, they use video in the following places. Facebook, YouTube, blog posts and email marketing. And they use video for a number of things. Now, it’s certainly not the case of how, you know, let’s just record a video of me talking. There is a strategy behind it. So they use video to solve problems, provide outcomes and generally provide value. They use video to explain their sales process. And they use video to proactively address certain parts of their sales process. Or they’re using video to contain some sales strategies, and I’ll talk about these in more detail in a second, but essentially, they’re looking at constraints and accelerators of their sales process. And I’ll share about this in a second. Now, moving on…

Number five: our most successful clients use marketing funnels to attract and nurture prospects along their decision making process on autopilot.

Now essentially, a nurturing funnel has three components, or there’s three goals of that nurturing funnel. Number one, it casts a wide net and it attracts the right type of prospect. Number two, it nurtures using value, and then number three, it converges and converts using scientific, psychological strategies. And our most successful clients are using a funnel methodology to achieve these three things.

And as I mentioned before, the ad content and the collateral we’re using inside of their funnel, it’s definitely not sort of, hey, let’s just write a blog post and share it. There is a strategy and a science behind it. One of these is proactively addressing constraints and accelerators in our clients’ sales process.

And examples of that would be, pushing hard buttons or overcoming common objections. So say if, as part of your sales process, one of your most common objections is, your service costs too much; or I don’t have time to engage you right now. What we do is we proactively address those in our clients’ nurturing funnel. So we proactively address the case of, okay, if you think our service costs too much, then here’s the value you’re going to get. So it’s that sort of proactive, addressing of those objections that we are using as successful content in these funnels.

Leveraging pains of inaction and showcasing social proof is other types of collateral that we’re using. And other point as well is that we are — we do use different types of learning pages for different stages of the marketing funnel. So a top of funnel learning page will be different to our bottom of funnel learning page; one from a length and complexity perspective, and also from an offer perspective, and I’ll talk about offers in a moment.

Now, a strong marketing funnel have carefully considered calls to action and offers, and the technology, or the tech stack that we use to automate clients, our clients’ automated funnels, contains Facebook, adwords, learning pages, email marketing, and marketing automation. And as I mentioned before, our clients’ marketing funnel strategy allows them to become that proactive information celebrity, and when that status is achieved, that’s a lot of the selling done automatically for them. So it’s a very good milestone to achieve, when you become that information celebrity. And one, creating content and two, using a funnel to promote that content is how you become that information celebrity. Now, moving on to number six:

Our most successful clients have strong, sizzling offers, that are structured correctly.

And essentially an offer is a burning reason for their prospects to speak with them. Now, the concept of inquire now, that is a call to action that many of our clients, when they first come on board, they’re using that — I mean, that is sort of an offer; more of a call to action. That is not going to get the response that you’re looking for nowadays. Inquire now is a yawn, as a sentiment there, is pretty boring. What you want is an actual reason for your prospects to speak with you.

A strong offer will alleviate pain, or satisfy a strong desire. Contains a quantifiable value exchange, so your prospects are going to get something for free when they take you up on that offer. In lead generation, a bottom of funnel offer is usually generation — well at any stage in the funnel, it’s generally information.

And I’ve got an example of that. Request a free home loan reduction session to see how you could save 500 dollars per month on your home loan, guaranteed. Now let’s just analyze that. So first of all, it’s looking at alleviating pain or satisfying a strong desire. If I’ve got a home loan, I might be feeling a bit of pain because I’m paying quite a bit in monthly repayments. So this offer is going to help me reduce, or alleviate, that pain. There is a quantifiable value exchange, so I’m going to save 500 per month; that’s quantifiable. And it contains information, so I’m actually going to learn how I can go about reducing my home loan repayments, to save that amount.

And another thing as well here, that I haven’t actually mentioned in a bullet point is, the next logical step in your offer should be an engagement, or an actual — either paid or not paid, but if you’re a broker, generally your clients won’t have to pay you. But the next logical step in that offer would be an engagement with you.

And there’s a good saying that I like to say about crafting an offer and that is, your offer is like the sword that you’re taking to battle. You use to cut through competition and impress potential customers. It’s sharp and the sharper it is, the better it cuts. It’s not too heavy or complicated, so it’s easy to swing. It might take you some time to polish your offer; grind your sword, but when it’s done, it’s worth it. There are different types of swords for different purposes, for different stages of your funnel. People are going to talk about an impressive swords; if you have an offer that is pretty impressive, people are going to talk about it naturally. And lastly, don’t make your sword a wooden stick. So invest a bit of time and thought into crafting a very strong offer. You don’t want to sort of go into battle, so to speak, with a wooden stick, when your competitors have steel or broad swords. Moving on to…

Number seven: our most successful clients use multiple forms of social proof and they never stop collecting it.

So essentially, social proof gets their happy customers to sell for them, and it’s the gold standard of marketing.

Different types that our successful clients are using: reviews, testimonials, case studies, star ratings and accreditations. And one thing to note is that our most successful clients, they do gather social proof as part of their day to day operation. So they never stop gathering it, they have automated processes to collect that social proof. And I mean we’ve got clients who have hundreds and hundreds of reviews on their website, all because of an automated review capture process. And essentially, their happy customers are doing their selling for them and it really is the gold standard. Where other people are doing your selling, for you. [Read more here]

Number eight: our most successful clients offer a strong guarantee; where they carry some part of the buyer’s risk…

and that could be a money back guarantee, or something based on performance or results. The guarantee makes it stupid for their prospects not to engage them. And a note here, if it can’t be performance or money related, then an on time could work well. So if you offer a service and you can’t offer a money back guarantee, then something to do with some sort of time window could work well.

And our most successful clients, they’re using their guarantee as a differentiator. They’re using it to set themselves apart in their industry.

Moving on to number nine: our most successful clients don’t accept mediocrity, yet they understand that perfection is the enemy of profitability.

And this one really is a mindset approach, of excellence versus shipping the minimum viable product.

Our most successful clients, they definitely are committed to excellence, that’s the, they sort of don’t accept mediocrity. They’re collaborative, but they also understand the value of shipping that MVP. They know that they could keep a learning page or a sort of campaign behind closed doors, while it’s continually refined and they’re going to file off rough edges and keep adding licks of paint here and there. It’s not going to provide any value if it’s not released out into the marketplace. And the data that comes back, the live, actual, real life data that’s coming back is going to provide more value to that improvement process than just keeping it behind closed doors and trying to achieve that excellent status, before it is released and used to provide value.

So they’re also committed to continuous improvement of all collateral, or all moving parts, and I touched on that just then. You need that data coming in, from real people, the real marketplace, to tell you if something is working or not.

And lastly, our most successful clients, they follow a predetermined strategy instead of throwing the tracks in front of the train.

And this is all about having a strategy versus aimless execution.

Now, in digital, at the moment, due to the state of the current global economy, it’s easy to build first and plan second. Or it’s easy to find cheap labor to build your digital properties. You can go to a freelancer website and say, hey, build me a website. Build me an AdWords campaign or a Facebook campaign. That’s very easy, it’s super easy to do that. However, this type of aimless execution can end in disaster; waste your money, waste your time, and generally, creates a frustration with digital in general. It can lead to an organization thinking no, online marketing doesn’t work for us. We’ve tried that and we just wasted our money. What our most successful clients know is that strategy, or what they do, is the most important component.

And our clients follow a predetermined strategy, that incorporates the psychology of their prospects. Many of the campaigns that we see when a client comes on board, they fail to address this. They fail to address the actual hopes and dreams, the desired outcomes, the problems of the prospects that are being targeted in the campaign, and that’s where a campaign will tip over. It might be the nicest looking learning page in the world. It might be sort of the best designed Facebook campaign or AdWords campaign in the world. If psychology isn’t addressed, the psychology of the prospects that are being targeted, then the campaign is not going to work as [well] as it possibly could.

The desired outcome here is to have the conversation in your prospects’ minds of, wow, this organization gets me. They understand what I’m trying to do, they know my problems; it’s like I’m reading a page out of my diary. They know what I’m feeling, and they know what I’m trying to achieve.

Our clients’ strategy also includes their unique value proposition, that’s very important. We help our clients articulate that and that informs the bedrock of their online marketing. Once the UVP has been created, it allows us to create ads, to create landing pages. To write emails for email marketing and so forth, that’s really important.

And lastly, the funnel is also critical as well. So our clients follow a funnel formula that contains those three steps. So one, attracting the right prospect. Two, nurturing them with value. And then three, converting them with sizzling offers.

So those are the ten steps and I quickly just want to chat about your desired outcome. Now, if you are interested in getting more results from online. Maybe you want to get more results from Facebook, or from Google AdWords, or just your online marketing in general. Then if that’s the case, we’d love to chat with you about that.

The next logical step is to request an online marketing growth session, and you can do that on our website. Just click the top right green button that says book my growth session; we’d love to chat. On the session, we’ll look at how — we’ll give actual strategies on how you can improve your online marketing.

So step one, we’ll look at where you are now. Step two, we’ll look at what you want to achieve. So if you do invest in marketing, we want to know exactly what you want that to look like. And then step three, on the call, live on the call, we’ll go through some strategies that will actually help you get there. So you will get some value from the call itself; you’re going to know how we would propose to produce that desired outcome, for you.

The post The Top 10 Digital Marketing Strategies Used By Our Most Successful Clients appeared first on Marketing Results.

How to Rank for Competitive Keywords in Search Engines

How to Rank for Competitive Keywords in Search Engines

How important is website traffic to your business?

If you rely on web traffic to generate leads and grow your business, then SEO needs to be on your radar.

Paid ads are a great way to generate quick wins, but if you can optimise your site for search engines it’s like the gift that keeps on giving. The traffic comes in day after day even when you’re not doing anything extra, OR paying for it.

Given the age of the internet and the considerable amount of websites competing for the same search engine traffic, SEO is much harder than it used to be. Especially when it comes to ranking for competitive keywords in your industry.

But if you CAN rank for competitive keywords, your business offer can get in front of your target market consistently and sustainably.

So how do you rank for competitive keywords?

The problem is that there are established brands with HUGE marketing budgets that already have the top spots filled, and they aren’t going to give them up without a fight.

Sure they might own the real estate for now, but using the proper strategy and tools can help you beat the competition.

Let’s take a closer look at how.

Check If It Is Even Possible

Start your SEO journey by creating a list of potential keywords you would like to get search engine traffic for.

When creating the list, try to choose long-tail keywords that are four words or longer instead of broad-based terms that are likely to be EXTREMELY competitive already.

benefits of targeting long-tail keywords

These keywords have less competition, and they attract highly qualified customers because it is more obvious what their INTENT is when they are searching.

If you want to use shorter keywords, you can, but it will take more time to find words that you can rank for.

When you have your list ready, go to Google and type them into the search engine. Google is your most important research tool, since it controls 65% of the search market share.

If the results contain a lot of URLs with .GOV and .EDU extensions, disregard that keyword since you most likely can’t compete with these high-authority sites.

longtail

Sites with .COM extensions might also have high domain authority rankings, but use a tool such as Open Site Explorer to check the domain authority for each site in the results. This will give you an indication of whether or not you will be able to play with the big boys or not.

Inside Open Site Explorer you should start by checking your site’s own domain authority to see how you compare:

opensite

Then, put the first competitor’s domain name into the box. If you have a better authority score, you are one step closer to outranking that competitor for the keyword you have chosen.

opensite2

Google also uses domain age when determining page ranking. To figure that out, go to the WHOIS database to check each site’s domain age:

contact information

If your domain loses in regards to age and authority, you will need to put a lot of time and money into ranking. So it may not be worth your effort.

Instead, you could use the Moz Pro Keyword Explorer and SERP Analysis Tool to find long-tail keywords that are easier to rank for. Simply type your desired phrase into the tool and then click “See Full Analysis” under “SERP Analysis”, and it will generate some potentially valuable keyword alternatives for you.

overview

In this search:

  • The “Volume” refers to the number of people who search for a keyword on average every month
  • The “Difficulty Score” shows how difficult it is to rank for the keyword. The closer the score is to 100, the harder it will be to rank for
  • The “Opportunity Score” illustrates the click-through-rate potential for organic results. If people typically buy ads for this keyword the opportunity will be lower, because it means you are competing against ad clicks as well
  • The “Potential Score” is a combination of the metrics. If you find a key phrase with a high “Potential Score,” you can likely rank for it

Uncover How Many Backinks You Need

Google puts a significant emphasis on backlinks when ranking your pages in their searches.

Put simply, “backlinks” are literally as they sound – someone has hyperlinked from their website back to yours. It’s seen as a signal of quality in the Google algorithm.

It’s not a black-and-white comparison, but if you have more quality links than the other pages trying to rank for a certain search term, then it is highly likely that you will outrank them.

“Quality” is a very important term here though. You are better off having a select few credible domains linking back to your website, rather than a hundred low-quality spammy websites.

To analyse how many links you will need to rank for a certain term, go to the Domain Comparison feature in Ahref’s software.

Put your domain name in the first box and the domain names of your top four competitors in the next four boxes.

domaincomparison

This shows how many links you need from each referrer in order to move past your competition.

While many of the links are .COM, the top sites also have .EDU and .GOV links. These are the real momentum-shifters when it comes to ranking your site for competitive keywords. Of course these links are significantly more difficult to get than .COM links are, which makes them much more valuable.

Write Long-Form Content

SERPIQ conducted a study that found that websites in the top ten of Google’s search results have an average content length of over 2,000 words:

serpIQ

Sites that rank number one have an average content length of 2,416 words, and sites that come in tenth have an average word count of 2,032. This shows that there is a slight drop in page rank as the word count reduces.

Longer content (if interesting and engaging) tends to attract more backlinks and it helps position yourself as an authority. It also gives you additional opportunities to rank for long-tail keywords and increases the amount of time people spend on your website, which is another factor Google takes into account when ranking content.

Regardless of your domain age or your authority ranking, you can reap the benefits of long-form content by creating something that is 10x better than anything else already out there on a topic. This will help you stand out, not only to Google but also to your customers.

Try to include stories, visuals and a variety of media in your long-form content. You need to engage readers for a long period and ideally make them want to check out other pages on your site.

 

The goal with long-form content is that your readers will have everything they need from that topic when they finish reading, and won’t need to look elsewhere.

Do On-Page SEO

“On-Page SEO” is essentially anything on your web page that you can influence, optimise or edit in order to better align with Google’s ranking factors.

There are various components to on-page SEO, and each component plays a role in helping your site move up in the search rankings.

Let’s take a look at some of the on-page factors that are most important when trying to rank for competitive keywords.

Page Loading Speed

Google announced speed as a ranking factor in 2010, and plans to use it as a mobile ranking factor in 2016.

A content delivery network (CDN) is an easy way to speed up your website. It cuts down on the space between visitors and the server by storing cached versions of the site in various locations.

It looks a little something like this:

CDN

When someone accesses the site, the server that’s closest to the user provides the information, allowing the site to load much faster.

If you want your site to be fast, don’t make the mistake of using large images and scaling them down, as the website still reads them as large images. If you take an image that is 2000 x 2000 pixels and use CSS to scale it to 200 x 200 pixels, browsers will still view it as 2000 x 2000 pixels.

Instead, scale your images to their appropriate size and use TinyPNG to compress them. TinyPNG reduces the size of images without reducing the quality so your site will load faster without losing its visual appeal.

tiny png-panda

Another thing you can do to improve site speed is to reduce your HTTP requests down to 10-30 files per page. That is a big reduction from the 99 requests per page that website owners average. (Of course this one requires a bit more technical know-how so you may want to enlist an agency or web expert to help out)

User Experience

Google closely looks at user experience when determining rankings, so design your site in a way that minimises the bounce rate. (The time it takes for a visitor to land on your page and leave again)

For example, long-form, highly readable content that is 2,000 or more words keeps people on your site longer.

Your text’s readability score should be around an eighth grade level so everyone can read it with ease. Check the readability score with the Hemingway Editor.

Multimedia also engages users and keeps them on your site, so try to integrate videos on your pages to increase interaction. But be sure to test your multimedia, since it can also increase bounce rate if it takes a long time to load.

Navigation and Design

Make use of whitespace. Visitors who get overwhelmed with text and options tend to leave a website.

They also leave if they can’t navigate the site. Follow the three-click rule. People should be able to find what they want within three clicks.

On-Site Engagement

Getting visitors to share your web pages on social media increases your site engagement and tells Google that people care about what you have to offer.

Include social sharing cues on your website such as calls-to-action, images and embedded social buttons using tools like Shareaholic.

shareaholic

Other On-Page Factors

  • Mobile friendly web design is a ranking factor, so you need to create a responsive website or build a mobile version of your current site.
  • Every page on your site should include 2-3 internal links to other important pages on your site
  • External links from your pages out to other authority sites also helps
  • Create a short, easy to understand URL for every page on your site. Google pays attention to the first 3-5 words of the URL so include your keywords here if possible
  • Use H1 and H2 header tags on your pages, and include your keywords in these headings if possible

titletag

Source: Backlinko

  • Optimise your images for SEO by using an Alt tag that consists of your keyword and a description of the image
  • Include your keyword in the first 100 words of your blog post. If you have a less valuable keyword, put it in the second paragraph
  • Write a meta description that encourages action and includes your keywords. Consider the user intent and write the description accordingly

Start Link Building

Once your site is optimised for SEO, you need to get quality backlinks pointing to it. This is known as link building.

Start the process by submitting your site to directories. Before you submit to a directory, check its authority and rank in Moz’s Open Site Explorer.

Go to the explorer, type in the name of the directory, and click “Compare Link Metrics”:

opensite2 (1)

Look at the page authority, Page MozRank, and Page MozTrust scores before moving forward.

In general, most directories won’t have perfect authority, rank, and trust ratings. Choose directories that are above the middle of the pack to benefit from the links.

In the example above, the link has a Page Authority of 80 and Page MozRank and Page MozTrust scores over 6. This would provide a quality link for a free directory.

Consider paid directories such as Business.com as well. Paid directories provide no-follow links that help with exposure and reputation building, which in turn can get you more links.

businesslistings

Continue to create quality content that people in your industry will want to link to, and use PPC and social media to promote your content.

Getting .EDU and .GOV links is more difficult, but this article will help.

Integrate with Google

Integrating your site with Google begins with creating an XML sitemap so the search engine’s robots can crawl and index your site properly. Some content management systems auto-generate sitemaps, but WordPress users need to use a plugin such as Yoast SEO to do so.

seo

Once completed, make sure the sitemap can be accessed via a URL, then go to the Google Search Console and add your website.

searchconsole

Verify your site and select it. Then click “Site Configurations” and “Sitemaps” and add your site map.

Next, create a Google+ page for your business so your brand will be more visible online, and to Google.

googlebusiness

Continue creating a Google presence by building a Google My Business profile…

googlebusiness2

Finalise your plan for ranking in search engines by adding social media and customer reviews to your site. Google uses social cues for its rankings so this will help your site move up the search results. Plus, people are more likely to engage with a site that has positive reviews visible in a search.

Consider tools like Review Buddy and Testimonial Robot for adding reviews, and Shareaholic and LoginRadius for social media integration.

Conclusion

Ranking for competitive keywords might seem like an impossible task, but with the right strategy and some hard work it’s within your reach.

And it’s worth it…

People going to search engines for information isn’t a trend that is going to disappear tomorrow. In fact, it continues to grow as more of the world’s population access the internet via their mobile devices.

I won’t sit here and tell you that SEO is the one and only tactic you should use to generate traffic and leads for your business. However, it is an extremely important cog in a well balanced and diversified digital marketing strategy.

How do you fair when it comes to ranking for competitive keywords?

If SEO is a regular sticking point for your business and you are interested in driving MORE revenue, not just more traffic contact us for a free quote.

The post How to Rank for Competitive Keywords in Search Engines appeared first on Marketing Results.

In-house Vs. Outsourced Digital Marketing – The Ultimate Comparison

In-house Vs. Outsourced Digital Marketing – The Ultimate Comparison

Have you ever considered outsourcing your digital marketing function?

Or perhaps you’re preparing for a growth phase, and it’s time to make some choices about how you staff your digital marketing efforts?

Deciding whether you hire a full-time digital marketing team or outsource to an agency can be challenging. There are lots of things to consider, many of which are hidden from plain view. Especially if you’ve never been through it before.

That’s why we decided to put together this comparison for you. The rest of this post will help you make an informed decision about what the best path for you and your business is, by clearly outlining the Pros, Cons and indifferences about hiring a full-time digital marketing employee or outsourcing to an agency.

Full disclaimer up front, at Marketing Results we are positioned as a “Full Time Digital Marketing Replacement”. But don’t worry, I’m not here to sway your opinion either way.

The information below is designed to help you come to your own conclusion about what’s best in your unique situation. If after doing all of that, you’re interested in taking things to the next step, then we can talk.

Let’s get into it then…

Pros of In-House Digital Marketing

Cultural Immersion

If you hire a full-time team member for your business, they can immerse in your culture and values 24/7.

Your brand has a unique history, vision and goals that you’ll need to explain clearly to an outsourced team if they’re going to help convey it in your marketing message.

An in-house team has a much easier job making this connection with your brand. Not to mention that engaging with internal team members can be an effective digital marketing strategy in itself.

Here’s an example of Nokia doing just that:

A brand connection for in-house vs outsourced digital marketing

Image Source: LinkHumans

Internal Business Intelligence

Someone on your internal marketing team will have extensive internal business knowledge.

This means they will have specific insights when performing analytics and interpreting your data, that an outsourced team won’t be able to access.

Faster Processes

Your own employees will have the best understanding of your company, its products, and customers. A team that’s in-tune with your business can respond faster to internal and market changes.

Also, some marketing tasks require input from other departments (product, IT, etc). They’ll need less time to get up to speed on your marketing needs, and know exactly what areas of your business have been affected by changes.

Outside agencies can only work with what you tell them.

The Right Mix of Talent

The kind of team you need will depend on your business and product, but building your own team gives you the opportunity to hire the right mix.

For example, a marketer selling a new kind of workout equipment may need bodybuilding experts, nutrition experts and many other team members to market their product. It’s unlikely you will find a digital marketing agency with these specialist credentials.

Cons of In-House Digital Marketing

Lack of Skills

Digital marketing requires many brains – the person who is a genius at copy is different from the person who is a genius at design, or development, or analytics, or strategy,

Someone who is genuinely EXCELLENT at a broad range of skills will be;

  • very hard to find
  • very hard to keep, or
  • very expensive

Working with an internal team means at least some of them have to have skills in all of these areas, and according to B2B leaders, skill gaps are a big problem:

Lack of skills for in-house vs outsourced digital marketing

Image Source: B2BMarketing.Net

Not Enough Time and Resources

A lack of time, budget, and reputable training can stall in-house digital marketing teams from learning the skills they need to succeed.

A lack of time means that over 80% of digital marketers learn on the job:

a wider skill set for in-house vs outsourced digital marketing

Image Source: MarketingLand

This can be a big problem when working with an internal team. If everyone has a maxed out work load and a reduced skill set, it can be hard to take care of your changing marketing needs.

No Direction

Working with an internal team also means taking the time to develop a digital strategy, and guiding your employees on the right path to execute that strategy.

This learning curve takes time and money, which might be why many marketers are still struggling to develop a focused digital strategy.

the learning curve for in-house vs outsourced digital marketing

Image Source: Regalix

Cost

The cost of hiring an internal digital marketing team can be substantial.

The true cost of employment includes:

  • Hiring/recruitment cost
  • Training cost
  • Management supervision
  • Performance reviews
  • Paid holidays
  • Other benefits
  • Equipment cost
  • Floor space
  • Professional development cost
  • Ramp up cost (time spent at less than full efficiency while they learn your systems)

Research from Bersin by Deloitte found that recruitment can cost nearly $4000 per individual hire, and here’s how much some specialised digital marketing professionals are earning every year:

cost for in-house vs outsourced digital marketing

Image Source: Moz

Scalability Problems

If you have an in-house team and want your marketing efforts to be scalable, the only way to do that is to hire more talent.

Investing in new marketing initiatives is a valuable strategy, but it’s limited by internal budgets.

It’s no surprise then that securing enough budget for marketing initiatives remains the second biggest challenge for internal marketers:

Scalability problems for in-house vs outsourced digital marketing

Image Source: Hubspot

If you hire an agency, they already have the resources available to them and can scale as soon as you are ready.

It can be a useful “implementation support resource” to an internal marketing manager or team who don’t have the time, specialisation or budget to implement everything in house.

Difficulty Finding Talent

Research by Bullhorn found that 64% of recruiters report a shortage of skilled candidates for marketing roles.

This is compounded by the fact that digital marketing professionals are more in demand than ever.

Moz did a study of digital marketing job listings on Indeed.com and saw massive spikes in the listings:

Difficulty finding talent for in-house vs outsourced digital marketing

Image Source: Moz

Less talent and more demand means finding talent for your team could be all the more difficult.

With the best digital marketers in high demand, it also increases the chance that you will hire the wrong person.

Mis-hires can be extremely costly, and here’s why:

  • You must first identify that the person is off track
  • Then you will need to provide some intervention (e.g. management) and monitor their performance
  • Next you need to figure out that the intervention hasn’t worked
  • Fire them and pay out any entitlements
  • Most likely go without the function for a while
  • Rehire and go through the whole process again

Pros of Outsourced Digital Marketing

A Wider Skill Set

Hiring an agency means you get access to senior experts to develop your strategy – then lower-cost implementers to make it happen.

These experts are charged with keeping up with the latest trends, techniques and technologies. And the training budgets and resources are significant for marketing agencies.

Truly keeping up on these changes can seem like a full-time job in itself:

a wider skill set 2 for in-house vs outsourced digital marketing

Image Source: MarketingLand

This skill set is also more flexible. You can ramp up and down quickly, or stop with little notice.

Specialisation

Hiring an agency is the “expert team” approach – you get the right brains in the right quantities – so you can get what you need and don’t over-pay for what you don’t need.

And 96% of marketers feel that the breadth of marketing skills needed for team success has increased dramatically:

Specialization for in-house vs outsourced digital marketing

Image Source: MarketingLand

Outsourcing gives you access to a larger team of expert copywriters, strategists, marketing tech, designers and more who specialise in each digital marketing role.

It’s Cost Effective

Outsourcing can save businesses up to half the cost of hiring a full time marketer.

You save money on recruiting, training, salaries, and benefits – and any other hidden staffing costs that you can’t predict.

The cost of outsourcing depends on your needs, not individual salaries.

And sure the “per hour” cost will probably be higher than an internal resource on paper (but you’ll get more done in the time AND you don’t have the high hidden cost of a full-time employee).

Measurable ROI

They’ve done it before, which means they can get in and get the job done quickly.

And good marketing agencies are results focused. They design their engagements based on hard outcomes rather than “processes” or being seen to be “trying hard”.

This solves an internal marketers biggest challenge – Proving ROI:

Measurable ROI for in-house vs outsourced digital marketing

Image Source: Hubspot

An outsourced team knows how to analyse key performance indicators of a digital strategy to monitor ROI. They use this information to test, optimise and improve campaigns.

This is a valuable asset, considering that proving ROI of marketing activities unlocks budget too.

Cons of Outsourced Digital Marketing

Less Control and Speed to Market

Offloading work to an agency makes it difficult to maintain as much control over your campaigns. And an agency who takes projects and runs with them without keeping you in the loop can be problematic.

This typically means less access when and where you want it – you have to plan more and it may be harder to shoot from the hip with a new campaign that needs to go out “yesterday”.

No Full Time Employees

Agencies have many clients, and you’re just one of them. They MAY be less available, or slow to complete work – it depends on who you work with.

This can affect communication when other client meetings and work take up their time.

On the other hand full time employees are devoted to your needs and your needs alone. (Most of the time)

Integration Challenges

The marketing partner is external so they may take some time to understand and absorb your culture.

Outsourcing can make it difficult to keep all your marketing activity integrated and complementing each other, unless you outsource the WHOLE function.

This requires close coordination of your marketing message on social media, paid advertising, blogs, and other platforms.

The Wrong Fit

You could end up with an agency that just isn’t a good fit for your business.

Perhaps they don’t have experience in your industry, or they don’t understand your audience, or they don’t work well with your business structure and needs.

This just comes down to picking the right one.

How to Choose

It’s clear that digital marketing overall has benefits that are continuing to grow.

The real factor to consider is how capable your in-house team is at taking advantage of these benefits:
how to choose for in-house vs outsourced digital marketing

Image Source: Marketing Mag

If your in-house team is limited, you have two options for ensuring continued growth:

  • Outsource or collaborate
  • Add to your internal team

Because of the benefits of marketing integration, many businesses prefer to grow their internal team. But it comes with limitations:

  • Lack of budget to hire new talent
  • Inability to find the talent you need
  • Restrictions on your ability to scale fast

If you find yourself in that situation, you’re not forced to abandon your internal team and go completely outsourced.

Many businesses opt for a mix of in-house and outsourced digital marketing activities:

mix digital marketing activities for in-house vs outsourced digital marketing

Image Source: Smart Insights

Ongoing digital marketing activities that aren’t necessarily campaign-based could make sense to do in house:

  • PR
  • Content marketing
  • Social media

Specialised, campaign based activities that require certain talents could be best outsourced:

  • SEO
  • App development
  • Display ads
  • Webpage design
  • PPC
  • Copywriting

This is a generalisation, because ultimately the tasks you outsource will depend on your internal team’s skills and your digital strategy.

In the end, a mixture of in-house and outsourced team members might best help businesses reap the benefits of both options.

An Example Agency Program

Disclaimer: This is where I tell you about what we have to offer and “sell” a little bit. Feel free to stop reading if you’re not considering the outsourced alternative above.

Are you wondering what an agency program actually looks like?

Here’s an insight into our Gold Client Program which is delivered by our team of highly capable online specialists.

They build a state-of-the-art Google AdWords campaign, install a testing and tracking system, then tweak and optimise the heck out of your online sales process.

Then we throw in the services of a pro copywriter, who works with you to perfect your sales message so you’re clearly, undeniably BETTER than everyone else in your market.

And once your online sales process is ticking along nicely, we pour in more traffic from sources including organic (free) search engines, Facebook advertising and social media.

We don’t do this so you can sit back and relax on the beach with a pina colada (though you’re welcome to do so if you’re able).

We do this so you can concentrate on doing the thing that YOU are best at in your business.

Those that have an imaginary business think the Gold Client Program is expensive – your investment will be around $9,000 in the first 3 months (plus traffic).

Yes, if you have an imaginary business, that’s pricey.

But if you have a REAL business, it’s CHEAP.

Here’s why: compare that to hiring an employee… ANY employee.

In Australia, $9K will get you a new graduate 2 days a week for 12 weeks. That graduate will likely have NO experience and limited real-world skills.

In the Gold Client Program, it buys you a crack team of website development and optimisation specialists who know how to do one thing: make your website make money.

You can spend the next 3 months trying to cobble together a team of freelancers, or you can get the best team money can buy working on your site right away.

If increasing the revenue and profit of your current website by 100 to 300 percent over the next 12 months would translate into a significant boost to your business, I invite you to consider joining us on one of the most profitable journeys you’ll ever take.

The first step is very low-key. I invite you to request your complimentary Online Marketing Strategy Session.

The Strategy Session is a 30 to 45 minute session with me on the phone in which we will discuss your current website results and where you want to be – then formulate a plan to get there. (If you don’t yet have a website, we can also discuss the best way to get started, although I should mention we only work with well-funded startups).

Of course, there’s no obligation whatsoever. This is just a no-risk way for us to get to know each other a little better and explore whether or not there’s a “fit”.

Click here to contact us now

Since I’ve held your interest this far and you’re still reading, chances are the Gold Client Program could be exactly what you need to put your online marketing on auto-pilot so you can focus on your core business.

The post In-house Vs. Outsourced Digital Marketing – The Ultimate Comparison appeared first on Marketing Results.

The Ideal Lead and Sales Management Dashboard

The Ideal Lead and Sales Management Dashboard (1)

For over 13 years our focus has been on lead generation – but it didn’t take long before the realisation hit that nothing happens until a sale is made.

All the leads in the world mean nothing until they convert into new cash, customers and profits.

And because we work remotely from our clients, to really see what’s happening on the coalface, we’ve needed to develop complete lead and sales management systems that provide full visibility of the entire revenue generation function.

And there are 5 functions to this system you need to have in place in order to continuously improve results.

They are:

  1. A lead generation function: marketing campaigns that draw qualified prospects to you on a steady and consistent basis.
  2. A lead management function: a process for effectively managing the leads you get and plugging them into your sales process. You need to ensure unqualified leads don’t unnecessarily consume your salespeople’s time – and also that good leads don’t get dropped.
  3. A sales process: a series of defined stages that prospects go through in order to become your client.
  4. Sales scripts: structured language designed to achieve the best sales outcomes (without appearing “wooden” or unnatural).
  5. A sales management function: this includes the visibility you need to monitor what you’re getting, warn you when things are off track, and report on outcomes and progress.

Today I’m going to share with you some of the sales management tools we’ve developed to help ensure your sales process remains on track.

Part 1: The Ideal Lead And Sales Management Dashboard

Here’s the lead and sales management dashboard we use to monitor the health of our sales and marketing pipeline.

(We use Infusionsoft – although the same concepts could be set up in most CRM dashboards if you happen to use a different tool.)

Below I’ll unpack why each box exists and what it achieves.

Lead and sales management dashboard image

1. New Leads – Uncontacted

New Leads – Uncontacted contains a list of all the people who have contacted us whom we have not yet attempted to call to set up an appointment.

Because we aim to call back leads who may look qualified extremely quickly, at all times we want this box to look like this – empty!

Uncontacted leads in sales management dashboard

 

If at any time there are leads in that box (during business hours), we aim to pounce on them.

We also keep a timestamp to record our actual callback speed – and work internally to improve our performance.

2. New Leads – Contact Attempts Started

This box contains a list of all the new leads that we have attempted to contact at least once. They’re in process.

We’ll attempt to contact these leads 6 times via phone and/or email before marketing them as “uncontactable”.

Our aim is to establish real-time contact via phone to determine what happens next.

New leads in sales management dashboard

3. Open Opportunities

This is where the magic happens 🙂

We use a pipeline approach to managing opportunities, and the Open Opportunities tracks every current live opportunity and what stage it is at.

Open opportunities in sales management dashboard

We can easily see at a glance, who we’re talking to, what stage they’re in, who owns the opportunity, the Next Action – and the Next Action Date.

These last two are critical.

Especially as your sales opportunity volume climbs, it’s vital that for every opportunity you know what’s going to happen next and when it has to happen by.

Providing these fields are constantly kept up to date, you’ll always have forward momentum in your sales pipeline.

This brings us to…

4. Overdue Opportunities

I’ve seen many companies have the best intentions to establish a wonderful sales process with documented pipeline steps and the whole nine yards – but they fall down on execution.

Even if you’re the sole salesperson (but especially if you have multiple salespeople) – you need an easily visible “warning light” to tell you when sales opportunities go off track.

The way we do this is with the “Overdue Opportunities” view.  This shows us the moment an opportunity has a “Next Action Date” that is in the past.

Overdue opportunities in sales management dashboard

This provides a simple mechanism to ensure we:

  1. Always remember to update the opportunity with a “Next Action” and;
  2. Get a reminder to implement any “Next Actions” that get missed

This allows salespeople to self-regulate in most cases, but it also allows sales managers to remain more focused on only the items that are “off track”, rather than having to stay across every sales opportunity.

5 and 6. Won and Lost Opportunities

I find it useful to keep Won and Lost Opportunities within easy viewing reach. I can quickly see where we Won and Lost (and why), so if I have to access an opportunity from the recent past, I can.

7. Recent Activity

Infusionsoft has a widget called “Recent Activity” that can be useful for reading the “heartbeat” of our subscribers, leads and opportunities in real time.

Here’s what this looks like right now:

Recent activity in sales management dashboard

These “triggers” allow us to see with a quick scan, what individuals in our database are doing.

It can be useful to see if key emails were opened, or if individuals are interested in a particular topic or resource.

This allows our phone calls to be better timed and more relevant.

8. Recent Email Broadcasts

Zooming out to a more “macro” level, I like to see at a glance the results of recent email broadcasts. Infusionsoft has a ready-made widget that does this:

Email broadcasts in sales management dashboard

This allows me to see which emails and topics are getting more interest than others.

The above dashboard is something I’ve tweaked and refined over several years.

It works – and is easy to change up if I decide I want to see something else.

Most importantly, it allows us to manage and keep track of a complex, high volume pipeline quickly and easily, and ensure that leads don’t slip through the cracks.

A dashboard like this is great for tracking your real time activity – but it’s not great for getting a feel for the trends and performance of your sales function as a whole.

For that, you need a sales reporting process

Part 2: The Ideal Lead And Sales Report

Keeping your sales function ticking over smoothly is all-important – but it’s not the whole picture.

Here’s an example to illustrate: a lot of CRM systems will produce a “Pipeline Report” that tells you how many sales opportunities are in what stage of the process, like this (fictional) report courtesy of Infusionsoft:

Pipeline report for sales management dashboard

The real problem with reports like this is that it is only a static snapshot.

This doesn’t tell me critical information like:

  • how fast opportunities are flowing through my pipeline
  • how close I am to making my next sale(s)
  • whether or not the sales function is getting more or less effective
  • which pieces of the process need the most focus and improvement
  • whether or not we’re on track to hit our targets

For that, you need a sales report.

Here’s the structure we use for ours:

Sales report in sales management dashboard

We use Google Docs for this, and the report is compiled semi-automatically each week by our Sales Co-ordinator.

Let’s unpack this in more detail:

Weekly Views – this allows us to get a sense for the “flow” of opportunities through our pipeline every week.

One of our clients once had around 80 opportunities in the “Ready To Proceed” stage of their sales process.  It looked good on paper – but when we started to use a report like the one above, we saw that very little were actually crossing over into a “Won” opportunity.

What they actually had, was a number of dead opportunities in their pipeline that they refused to pronounce last rites over. A report like the one above picks this sort of thing up.

List – this is the number of new subscribers joining our email list. While not a “sales” metric, per se, this is a great leading indicator of future sales enquiries and opportunities.

If this number drops, it may indicate that our enquiry pipeline will dry up in the near future

Enquiries – this is the number of raw sales enquiries coming in every week, via email or phone.

Appt Set – this is the number of Initial Appointments set – and the following column, Appt Set % – tracks the percentage of Enquiries converted into an appointment. This percentage gives a rough sense of lead quality and/or may flag issues around lead response times.

Appt Held – as you know, some appointments that are set are never held. They may be cancelled, or result in a no show, or similar. Nothing really happens until the appointment is held, so this number is critical.

FU Booked means “Followup Appointments Booked” – the number of initial appointments that result in a continuation of the opportunity. This provides a rough indicator of lead quality. If this number falls, that may suggest issues with either sales effectiveness (process, scripting), or lack of pre-qualification of certain opportunities in the pipeline.

Won – my second favourite column. The number of discrete opportunities won during the week.

New Rev – my all-time fave. The amount of new revenue generated during the week.

You’ll notice certain columns are further highlighted in aqua. These are the MOST CRITICAL numbers I like to keep track of very closely:

  • Number of new subscribers
  • The number of appointments with new prospects
  • Number of deals closed and revenue generated

If these numbers are looking healthy, the sales function will be healthy.

How do your sales management processes stack up?

Where we’ve implemented sales re-engineering projects for our clients, they’ve usually seen a significant uptick in revenue and also reduced management time spent monitoring and improving the sales function.

Contact us if you know this is an area where you have potential and want to get a sense of the upside in terms of increased revenue, profit and reduced costs.

The post The Ideal Lead and Sales Management Dashboard appeared first on Marketing Results.

Lead Management Best Practices [Infographic]

Lead Management Best Practices

Too many businesses put an overwhelming focus on lead generation and not enough on turning those leads into customers.

“Let’s go out and get as many high-quality leads as we can – that’s how we’ll hit our numbers.”

But what happens when you have those leads? What’s the next part of the journey?

Lead management is the systems, practices, processes and activities that support the nurturing of a prospect from “lead” all the way through to “paying customer”. It’s the money-making part of the marketing strategy that too many businesses give very little attention to.

So while lead generation is important, without a way to nurture those leads, it’s wasted energy.

Why do you need lead management?

If you have a well constructed lead management strategy, it helps you understand where your best leads are coming from, and how you can better focus the energy of your sales team.

It also ensures that less qualified prospects fall through the cracks, because they weren’t nurtured appropriately.

Over time if you fine-tune your lead management processes with lead scoring, grading, filtering, contact touch points and follow-ups – you can begin testing and optimising the individual components of your strategy and increase the ROI from your marketing efforts.

What are best practices for lead management?

When it comes to best practices for getting your lead management in order, we have found a great infographic from the Harvard Business Review. This infographic was published on the Inside Sales blog, and is packed full of helpful information to help you with this topic.

The research behind the graphic comes from three years of data across companies that respond to web-generated leads. It tracked results of 15,000 unique leads and 100,000 call attempts, so it’s a good sample size to go off.

The focus is to visualise how businesses can better respond to leads they get on the internet, to maximise results and minimise effort.

Below the infographic I dive into the findings in more depth with some additional comments and actions.

Enjoy.

Lead Management Best Practices Infographic

This infographic was originally published on the Inside Sales blog.

Key Takeaways

Qualify leads on Wednesday and Thursday

The findings of this report suggest that the most effective time to follow up with warm leads and qualify their interest, is on Wednesday and Thursday.

And it’s not by a small margin… In fact there is a 49% difference in responsiveness between Tuesday and Thursday.

What does this mean for you?

When you are building out your lead management workflows and follow up processes, include follow up calls on Wednesday and Thursday.

For a better response, contact leads between 4 and 5pm

As well as considering the day you contact warm leads, it’s also important to take into account the best time of day to do so.

This study found that between 4 and 5 pm in the afternoon delivered the best results for the participating companies. Again, there was a significant difference in the responsiveness based on time.

For example, participants were 169% better off contacting leads between 4 and 5pm than they were between 1 and 2pm. (Perhaps due to a lunch break)

If late in the afternoon doesn’t mix with your ideal workflow for lead nurturing, consider contacting leads first thing in the morning. Between 7:30 and 8:30am is the second preference.

What does this mean for you?

Think about how this affects your team’s day-to-day workflow and structure. If you have them following up with prospects on Wednesday and Thursday, you could chunk the calls down into two slots – one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

Be responsive, or lose your leads

The section on response time was definitely the most disturbing section in this infographic.

The longer you leave a lead sitting dormant, the less chance they are of converting. In fact, the less chance you even have of qualifying them.

Without doubt the craziest part about this research is that a lead contacted within 5 minutes of submitting their information is 400% more likely to be qualified than a lead that is left for 10 minutes.

What that means is you have to be responsive. People want immediate attention and if they don’t get it, there are too many other factors that will help them change their mind.

Strike when the iron is hot or miss out.

What does this mean for you?

A 5-minute turnaround on an inbound sales lead is a tough ask for any business, but there are some things you can do to increase your response time and subsequently get better results from your lead management.

For example, live chat tools such as Lead Chat provide real-time engagement with your prospects and help them overcome any challenges they may have.

Marketing Results lead management live chat example

You can also setup direct alerts and chat management capabilities for your sales team, to make sure they are prepared to respond as quickly as possible when a lead is on your website, or ready to chat.

Don’t give up on a lead, they need a bit of persistence

Believe it or not, but 30% of leads in this study were never contacted at all…

Are we really investing money and resources into lead generation and then not bothering to talk to them?

Depending on the sales team you have on the ground, and how diligent they are with follow ups, it’s quite common for salespeople to give up far too early. So even if they do contact someone, it won’t take much for them to get disheartened or write the lead off completely.

In fact, 44% of sales people give up after one follow up… and 80% of sales actually require FIVE follow ups to close the deal.

What does this mean for you?

Build multiple follow ups into your lead management workflows, and use performance reviews and KPIs to make sure your sales team are making it happen.

Final Thoughts and Next Steps

Far too often lead management is an after thought. It’s a haphazard process where a lead comes in, someone calls them up and then gives up when the phone goes to voicemail.

It needs to be better than that.

The more time and energy you put into marketing your business online, the more important the management of your leads becomes.

Treat lead management just like you would any other part of the marketing equation. Drill down a process, create some workflows and build it into the performance reviews of your team.

We all know how hard it can be to get leads, so when you do, make sure you’re ready to capitalise.

How does lead management play a role in your business? 

The post Lead Management Best Practices [Infographic] appeared first on Marketing Results.

[Case Study] How A Mortgage Broker Generated 131 New Consultations With Facebook Ads

[Case Study] How A Mortgage Broker Generated 131 New Consultations With Facebook Ads

In a previous article in this series I wrote about why Facebook advertising is becoming a more critical part of the lead generation mix for lead generators and response-oriented marketers.

Now in this article I want to share with you a specific case study from an industry you may not immediately think of when it comes to advertising on social media – mortgage broking.

Background

Trilogy Funding is one of Australia’s premier mortgage brokers specialising in serving the needs of property investors. They’re also one of our longest-standing clients. We first started working together in 2005!

Within their target market of “property investors”, Trilogy further identified sophisticated property investors with at least 3 properties / $1.5M in loans as a sweet spot that they can serve better than almost any other broker.

This is a textbook application of the “80/20 Principle Squared” – they were able to get hyper-focused on the small piece of the market that generates maximum value for their firm. (You’ll find further reading on this topic over at this article on Value Proposition Formulation).

Value proposition formula - facebook ads case study

It’s an important first step to know WHO you want to target…

But it’s another thing entirely to strategise HOW you’re going to target them – and then executing on that strategy.

That’s where Facebook advertising comes in…

Key Results

Trilogy’s Ideal Client can potentially represent very high value, but they don’t grow on trees. That’s what makes these results even more impressive.

Over a period of 6 months the client was able to achieve the following with FB advertising:

  • Spend $17,358
  • New Subscribers: 1,429
  • Cost Per Subscriber $12.15
  • PLUS New Enquiries (e.g. Consultations, Contact Forms Etc.) 131
  • Cost Per Enquiry $132.50

TOTAL Goal Completions (Conversions) From Facebook Ads: 1560

Total goal completions - facebook ads case study

New Subscribers From Facebook Ads: 1429

New subscribers - facebook ads case study

Key Execution Success Factors

Facebook Advertising success comes down to much more than just the ads and the targeting themselves.

There is a whole series of elements that must be in alignment in order to achieve the best results.

Let’s unpack what some of these elements are:

Success Factor #1: A Defined Target Customer

The more specific the targeting, the more likely you are able to laser in on a buying “hot button” with your Ideal Prospect.

(The flipside of this is that the more specific you get, the smaller your audience.)

So in other words, your audience has to be big enough to be impactful, but small enough to be relevant to what you have to offer.

In the case of Trilogy Funding, some of the elements of their Ideal Customer Persona were:

  • Existing property investors
  • Multiple property owners (3+)
  • $1.5M+ in borrowings
  • Interested in better investing strategies

With a clear audience persona in mind, the right offers and funnel could be devised…

Success Factor #2: The Right Offer(s) and Funnel

Here’s a success secret of Facebook Advertising: nothing really happens until you get the prospect OFF Facebook and ON to your email list.

Facebook is a great attraction medium, but it’s typically not a great conversion medium without further assistance from your marketing funnel.

Here’s a (highly-simplified) diagram of how the Trilogy Funding funnel is constructed, with the aid of landing pages and Infusionsoft.

Infusionsoft integration - facebook ads case study

  • Traffic reaches the website and their offers via a variety of sources (including Facebook ads)
  • Traffic that hits the website but doesn’t convert is then retargeted on Facebook (as one of many targeting methods)
  • Traffic is driven toward the primary lead magnet, titled “The Advanced Property Investor’s Guide To Managing Debt For Success”. (Note how the lead magnet calls out directly to the specific target market with an irresistible problem-solving statement).
  • Email nurturing kicks in, aimed at enlarging on the core proposition of the lead magnet and suggesting one of several “Next Step offers” and further downloads.
  • Next step offers include print booklets and a variety of other premium content pieces.
  • The ultimate goal is to promote a Consultation Offer which connects the advanced property investor up with a Trilogy Funding broker.

Success Factor #3: Strong Direct-Response Ad Copy

Now with the right funnel in mind, it’s time to create ads – lots of them!

Here are a few examples of some of the ads in play, showing a variety of copy elements, images and offers:

Example #1

Trilogy ad one - facebook ads case study

Example #2

Trilogy ad two - facebook ads case study

Example #3

Trilogy ad three - facebook ads case study

Example #4

Trilogy ad five - facebook ads case study

Success Factor #4: High Intensity Ad Testing

So you have your ads in place. Now it’s time to test!

At the time of writing there are 1,058 ads operating across 13 campaigns.

Facebook ads can produce markedly different conversion results based on a number of factors:

  • Targeting (of course!)
  • Image selection
  • Copy
  • Device – mobile vs desktop (mobile is BIG on Facebook)
  • Action buttons
  • Lifecycle factors (is it the first ad the prospect has seen, or the 5th ad in a series?)
  • And more

Strategy can go part of the way, ensuring that the right messages are matched with the right targeting.

But beyond strategy, it comes down to a combination of creativity and deep knowledge of what has worked well in the past in similar situations. If you need inspiration, this swipe file of 35 great Facebook ads will help.

Success Factor #5: The Right Targeting

As I’ve written previously – the right targeting on Facebook ads is critical – and Facebook offers some of the most interesting and impactful targeting methods around.

Here we tested a range of targeting methods, including:

  • Retargeting website visitors via all traffic sources
  • Existing Facebook fans and friends-of-fans
  • Lookalike audiences based on a Custom Audience “seeded” by the client’s existing email list
  • Topic targeting – e.g. people interested in Real Estate / Wealth / Investing

Usually, one or two audiences will begin to out-perform the others, allowing the focus to go where the results are best.

Success Factor #6: Re-Calibration and Expansion of Targeting

Facebook Advertising is effective, but audiences and ads can “fatigue” within a matter of days or weeks, which means re-calibration is necessary to keep results rolling in.

Some techniques here include:

  • Regularly changing up copy and creative
  • “Resting” successful creative for several weeks before re-activating
  • Shifting successful audiences to related or “shoulder” audiences
  • Expanding what’s working with lookalikes
  • Testing new landing pages
  • Bid management to maximise clicks within a given budget
  • Pausing advertising for a time and focusing on funnel nurturing

It’s a never-ending process:

Step 1 is to get a campaign up and running that works.

Step 2 is to test, measure and optimise that campaign to keep it going and growing in the face of ever-stiffer competition on Facebook.

Conclusion and Next Steps

Trilogy Funding’s success is one of many examples we could share.

While some industries work better than others on Facebook, we’ve found that almost any industry can achieve a solid Return On Investment.

But as you can see, there are quite a few pieces of the puzzle you need to have in place in order for this to work.

So after reading this article, you might be in one of three situations:

  1. Despite the success others are having on Facebook, you hate money and don’t want to try anything new. 😛
  2. You’ve never tried Facebook advertising, but are interested to get started the right way.
  3. You have existing Facebook ad campaigns that you believe can perform better with the right strategy and management.

If you’re sitting in camp #1, sorry, can’t help you there…

But if you’re in either of camps #2 or #3, the next step is to have a phone chat about your campaign objectives and goals.

Then based on where you are now and where you want to be, we’ll devise a strategy to get you there.

If you like our strategy, we can talk about us managing the whole process for you.

But regardless of what you decide, you’re free to take the strategy we develop and implement it any way you want – or not at all.

To arrange this initial chat, please contact us now.

Facebook advertising is great, but it’s only getting more competitive. Many Google AdWords advertisers wish they could go hop in a time machine and step back in time to 2006, when clicks were cheap and competition flimsy.

That’s where Facebook advertising is now. It’s cheap and effective right now. The time to act is now – not in 10 years when the opportunity will be greatly diminished.

The post [Case Study] How A Mortgage Broker Generated 131 New Consultations With Facebook Ads appeared first on Marketing Results.