As a young man of 20, I truly believed I was in my prime. I had a job at Taco Bell, a roof over my head, and enough friends to keep me perpetually occupied. Boy, was I living the life!
The thing is, at the time, I was perfectly content with taking orders from both customers and my managers. Sure, you get the occasional customer from hell, but nothing you can’t brush off your shoulder. As long as I showed up and did my part, I’d get my whopping $300-400 twice a month. In hindsight, I never really thought or cared much about my future.
I worked at Taco Bell for 13 months which, for most people, is an eternity in fast food. Having virtually no responsibilities outside of work, I began to become entrapped in a comfort zone that should never have existed in the first place.
Then one day, my parents drop the bomb that they’re moving and I am NOT coming with them. They needed the extra room for storage.
I wasn’t upset, though, and had no right to be. In the back of my head, I knew this day would come. Luckily, my mom had been saving the “rent” money I’d been paying for this very occasion.
“This is it,” I thought to myself, “In a few short months, I’m going to have my very own place!” And it’s true. I did get my own place.
But you know what that place was?
A trailer… with a broken AC… in a trailer park dozens of miles from anyone I knew in the height of a particularly hot summer. On top of that, I’d quit my job and was living entirely off of savings.
Fortunately, it wasn’t too long until I took up residence with a friend who was to become my roommate. I still had to pay for the lot at the trailer park, but at least I was near my people.
Fast forward a few months. Said roommate and I are now on a lease together but I’m still unemployed and my savings are depleting fast. I’m able to get a few jobs here and there but nothing I could stick with. The last job I had in that period of my life was Taco Bell… again.
I’d come full circle. However, this time around was far worse than the first. Not only were the managers rude and unfair, but there was also a severe language barrier between us.
I remember one particular night it was just me and two managers on shift. Business had been pretty slow following a minor rush. Rather than completing register duties (i.e. clean, stock, etc.), they made me do the dishes. That’s no problem in itself but every time I looked up, they’d be leaning on the counter, poppin’ the poop. They literally just talked and laughed for over an hour while I did all the work.
After that shift and my four mile walk home at 3:00am, I decided to check my email which was something I seldom did back then. Much to my surprise, I saw an email from an old friend, Dennis Yu.
“Strange,” I thought. We’d done some work together in the past but hadn’t heard from each other in years.
Curiously, I opened the email and see that it’s a career invitation. Considering what I’d seen at work just a few hours prior, it didn’t take much convincing for me to accept. I didn’t even put in my two-week notice.
Within a few days, I’m working from home making more than double my previous wage. As long as I’m consistent, I get to choose my own schedule and can work extra if I so choose.
Three weeks later, I’m on a business trip in Vegas, staying in some of the nicest hotels I’ve ever seen. I get to eat whatever I want, whenever I want. All of this is paid for by the company. Compared to my previous life, I felt like royalty.
Since my mentor is a renowned speaker in the industry, I get to attend conferences that many people would gladly fork over $3,000 to attend, all free of charge.
From Vegas to Dallas to San Diego and so on, I’m able to get more travel under my belt than I’d ever imagined. All the while, I’m participating in workshops, learning valuable skills, and connecting with great people and other professionals.
I traveled more in two months than I had in my entire life prior to joining BlitzMetrics. I even left the states for the first time!
On top of these wonderful perks, my saving’s account was starting to look quite attractive. My skills have become a lucrative asset. For the first time in my life, I had genuine confidence. My ambitions became apparent and stopped seeming like a pipe dream. Rather, they’ve transformed into realistic, achievable goals.
It was around this time I looked back and realized just how one-dimensional my working life had been. Every job I’d had previously was just that: a job. But now, I have a career. I have confidence. I have exponential room for growth. Everything I need to continue achieving my goals is lined up for me.
Do I regret working at Taco Bell? Hell no. That experience taught me social and psychological skills I would’ve otherwise never acquired. It taught me that you really can’t judge a book by its cover. It taught me humility and teamwork.
But I’d never go back, that’s for sure.
Yeah, I may have been content with those fast food duties but that doesn’t mean I enjoyed doing them. My passions don’t include taking orders from strangers and cleaning toilets but that doesn’t mean it’s not someone’s passion. As they say, “Get a job doing what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
I’ve always loved writing. So I became an editor. I can flip burgers or pump gas (yes, that’s a job in Oregon) but who can’t?
That’s the difference between being valued rather than merely being acknowledged.
If you’re over 20 and making minimum wage, there’s a certain stigma about you being “lazy” or “uneducated” and whatnot. Obviously, that’s not always true but people don’t see that. People like judging yet nobody likes being judged.
My decisions ultimately helped me break away from the clutches of modern day slavery. And it took making a lot of bad decisions and suffering their consequences for me to realize that if I was ever going to get anywhere in life, I needed to change my thinking entirely.
It’s so easy to remain dormant, make excuses, and operate exclusively from your comfort zone. But if living in your comfort zone doesn’t provide comfortable living, it’s time to take that first step out.
We’ve heard that video is so key in mobile and social– especially when it comes to boosting posts on Facebook. And you know that short videos (under a minute long) create the light touches that are necessary for the multiple sequences you need to have a funnel.
But guess what! Do you have a video editor? Do you have someone to chop up your live videos into these bite-size pieces, to caption them, to clean the sound up, and to post them across your various channels? I’ll bet you don’t have a full-time video editor nor can you afford one.
That’s where services like Fiverr or Fancy Hands are so key because, even if you’re skillful in iMovie or using simple tools like Animoto, the odds are you don’t want to be doing it yourself. I believe the answer is that you need young adults to do this work for you, not an agency and definitely not yourself.
Your time is too valuable. The work is not hard. It’s repetitive and tedious– perhaps even simple. You don’t need a professional videographer who charges $50-$100 an hour. A young adult who is properly trained can do it for $10-$20 an hour.
And that is where you have a secret weapon on your team working just for you at 10 hours a week, or even full-time, to help you kill it on Facebook because this person is your all-round marketing specialist to edit posts, boost them, and tune your Facebook ads for better performance.
There are two commonly held misconceptions people have.
- Young people are on social media all the time. They’re naturally good at this stuff, and will get awesome results for my business.
- The reason my social media is failing is because I trusted a young person to manage it. They’re young and don’t understand what they’re doing.
Often, the first leads into the latter belief. Hiring managers look to their young candidates and see the future of their social media success, but are then quick to point the finger when the results aren’t there. [Read more…]
Rather than using blunt force to completely cut off audiences that aren’t performing as well, consider that at the right price, nearly any audience can be profitable.
That means bidding and budgeting can make “okay” audiences perform as well as any other audience, such that we allocate marginal dollars to where we get the most marginal return– a core microeconomics principle.
So lower budgets on lower performing audiences to see CPL go down. Then manual bid, if still necessary to force down the CPL. This is a more elegant approach than basically excluding an entire audience.
I’ve been to Vancouver half a dozen times– an easy 2 hour drive from Seattle or a short flight up from Portland, SF, or LA. My favorite experience was hiking Grouse Mountain with Brad Twohig, before he become a big-time venture capitalist and before I became 70 pounds in the obese category.
This is Canada’s San Francisco, in my opinion– clean, high tech, and very outdoorsy. There are tons of tourists (Asians, like me) and much to do downtown. When I was there a few days ago, I saw a movie and caught a bunch of Pokemon. I’m at Level 29 now.
For those trying to save money, I’d recommend you fly into Seattle and then drive or take the super scenic Amtrak up. When I bought Brad’s ticket, which was for our trip to see our buddy Markus Frind, it was under $250 round-trip from New York to Seattle, even last minute. Had I bought a ticket from New York to Vancouver it would have been almost triple that.
The folks at corporatestays.com reached out to me as an influencer, offering me a free stay at one of their locations in exchange for an honest write-up.
So I chose their downtown Vancouver location (Vancouver, BC– not Vancouver, WA), among the many they have in North America, South America, and Europe.
It was on the 20th floor, right next to the stadium and the SkyTrain—high enough that you can actually look into the stadium and see the scoreboard.
I was there on business, so there wasn’t time for going to any of the games.
But I did manage to go to a restaurant that is now my favorite one in Canada—Chambar.
It was so good, I went there twice. Unbelievable lamb shank and desserts. And with the Canadian dollar worth only 76 cents against the US dollar— everything is on sale!
I’m a frequent business traveler, doing over 300,000 miles per year, so convenience and simple luxury is key. Being right in the middle of downtown is great.
The condo itself was what you’d expect from a 3-star hotel. Having a kitchen was nice, if you’re staying somewhere for a long time and wants some comforts of home. I was on the road for the last two weeks in San Francisco, Seattle, Washington DC, Miami, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, and other places.
The washer/dryer was nice—and they included the soap packets, too. Saved me the effort of going to a fluff and fold, which is what I typically do on the road. I won’t pay $100 to do laundry, normally preferring to pay $10 to drop off my luggage of clothes and pick it up 4 hours later.
The condo has some standard features like a doorman, small gym, and outdoor pool/jacuzzi. It was snowing outside, so I wasn’t “that” badly interested in going in the jacuzzi..
The whole check-in and check-out process was fast and efficient. Better than what you’d typically get through some other services.
The condo I got was well priced as well– way cheaper than a hotel. The bed was comfy, too. No pics of the bathroom, since I feel weird taking pictures there.
Facebook’s lead generation capabilities are powerful. With the right strategy, you can drive warm prospects to landing pages, registration forms, or checkouts for no more than $1.
… it’s possible.
Tip 1: Get your plumbing in place.
Without tracking, there’s no attribution of conversions to specific ads or landing pages. This means lost revenue, since you’ll be paying for ads without knowing which ones are driving sales.
Plumbing is critical for analytics, driving more revenue from abandoning audiences, and for creating lookalikes (to find similar customers). By putting users into buckets you can remarket to them, creating a personalized customer experience – a step in nurturing folks through funnel logic.
Pro Tip: Use the Facebook pixel instead of the Conversion Tracking pixel, since Facebook has shifted away from it.
We have a do it yourself guide with checklists to help with implementation.
Tip 2: Boost to audiences that are warm.
Use custom audiences (your email list or your website traffic). They’ve already opted in and consume your content, so they’re more likely to want to hear more or buy.
You can build lookalike audiences from these lists to find similar customers too.
Website Custom Audiences (WCAs) are retargeting audiences who have visited other pages, but have not ended up on your “success page”. This “bucket” is typically full of folks right at the bottom of your funnel who need only a nudge to convert.
You must have plumbing in place first– otherwise Facebook can’t do the targeting for you.
Tip 3: Create similar ads to choose “winners” and boost evergreen
Ads manager allows you to “create a similar ad set”. When targeting audiences, start off with interest, workplace, and even behavioral targeting, but don’t do these all at once. Create similar ads with a few specific interests and boost them all at once.
Once the ads start picking up traffic (over 500 impressions), pick out the interests that are performing the best (low Cost per Engagement (CPE), high relevance, high engagement).
Start combining effective interests together to start building saved audiences that you can boost to directly from future posts.
This “scientific method” of targeting is great for discovering ad/audience combinations that can be boosted evergreen.
When a piece of content drives consistent engagement at a CPM of $2 or less, set it as “ongoing”, so it can continuously push traffic through your funnel (this can be done on Twitter and LinkedIn too).
Alison Herzog is an expert marketing strategist, thought leader, and figurehead for women in the workplace. We promoted an article about her on our Facebook page using this method.
We promoted against 5 different interests and compiled an ultimate “engagement” audience, which made a massive jump from a max of 27 engagements to 119. The relevance score sat at 8 for some time with a CPE of $0.17 (before the audience started to burn out), indicating or goals, content, and targeting were all aligned.
Tip 4: Video. Video. Video.
Have you scrolled through your news feed lately? Video is hot on social and with Live being Facebook’s latest release, it gets favored in the news feed.
Use every opportunity to create video content, because it will drive excellent engagement for a fraction of a penny.
Tip 5: Micro-targeted ads
Some of these companies that are spending 20k a day target broad audiences and lose money doing spray and pray advertising.
Facebook lets you micro-target using the Dollar A Day strategy– the biggest bang for your buck on social.
Hint: you can do this on Twitter and LinkedIn too!
Because you’re targeting audiences of less than 1,000 people, you stretch your ad spend for maximum impact – hitting just the influencers.
Do you have complaints about the new iPhone? What would you like to say to Tim Cook?
Or perhaps you’d like to avoid the round and round with customer service like we did with Uber.
We have a guide on this featuring stepwise checklists, so you can do it too. This is the ultimate form of lead generation, since you incept the executives and influencers at the companies that you’d like to work with.
Who’s your dream client? Write a blog post or article on a high authority site and micro-target them.
Then let me know, so I can applaud you for it!
Have you used Facebook for lead generation? Let me know how in the comments below (tell me about your saucy lead ad tips).
One of our main goals at BlitzMetrics is bringing out the human element in an otherwise machine and data-driven industry– to give it that human touch.
Kelsey Carroll leads branded social content for Hewlett-Packard Enterprise. Prior to her current role, she ran PR for an independent film studio in Austin, TX and then got her start in marketing with the integrated agency, W2O Group. When she’s not reviewing ad copy and creative, she can be found eating Mexican food and seeking out the perfect karaoke song.
She recently answered some of our questions and shared some advice on the importance of the human element while applying it to B2B campaigns:
Why is being human important (especially in B2B tech)?
The robots haven’t taken over (yet). While it’s true that many commoditized, repeatable tasks have been automated, B2B tech sales has remained a largely relational person-to-person business. People like doing business with people that they like and trust… it’s that simple.
But how can a big brand come off as likable, relatable? Being human is important, especially in B2B tech, because we believe there is a person behind every transaction and we attempt to connect with those people through shared experience. For example, one of Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s key partners is Dreamworks Animation. Instead of saying, HPE FlexFabric increases rendering efficiency, we might lean into the story that families love Kung Fu Panda and HPE technology makes that possible.
Since people are getting better at spotting and avoiding ads, how can you make sure your ads attract the right users’ attention?
Let’s say you’ve done everything right in the social advertising world, according to Dennis Yu. The plumbing is set, your targeting is on point. You’ve optimized the process so your content has landed in front of the right people at the right time. You’ve “hacked” the mysterious algorithms (!) But, there’s still a person on the other end receiving your message. That person can skip, scroll past or even block your ad if it’s not useful, entertaining or valuable. Ads that attract and attain the right users’ attention are usually the ones that embody at least one of those key attributes.
How can content marketers make an emotional connection and get an audience to care about their brand?
As content marketers, we need to be honest with ourselves. Even though I am not necessarily the target customer for B2B tech sales, I’m always asking myself, and challenging my team to ask themselves, “Would I share this? Would this make me smile? How useful it this?” It has to pass the human litmus test, or else it will get scrolled past, skipped over. There is such a competition for people’s attention these days and any the most captivating, through-provoking, visual content will be worthy of anyone’s time, let alone your target customers’.
Social media provides a unique opportunity to make a connection, then track behaviors and responses to form a relationship, over time. From awareness to interest, to consideration, and ultimately, conversion, the narrative should remain consistent. It’s like someone who goes from being a stranger to acquaintance, and then a friend who becomes your best friend. The person doesn’t change, you just get to know them better, while they build credibility and gain your trust.
What’s the best channel to reach a B2B audience?
It depends on what your goal is, of course. If you’re going for more of an awareness play, I say, go where the eyeballs are. Facebook and Instagram’s ad tools allow for some pretty sophisticated targeting, plus they reach almost 2 billion of the world’s population.
Since one-to-one social selling is more about finding that exact right person within a company that makes the buying decisions, LinkedIn is most likely the best channel to search and locate for that person. With tools like Sales Navigator you can track and qualify leads all within the LinkedIn environment, which seems pretty efficient.
What advice would you give to a brand that doesn’t have a big budget for creating content or promoting it on social?
I think a common feeling towards social media marketing for small businesses is that they tried it and “it didn’t work.” Marketing on social media isn’t any easier than any other method, but it’s far more efficient.There are a variety of different levers that can be pulled, like width and depth of your targeting, and small tweaks in graphic or messaging. The more disciplined marketers will A/B/C/D/E test these different variables in order to optimize.
Sometimes smaller brands can create their own attention by being the early bird as social channels roll out new features. As we saw with Facebook Live, the News Feed has been favoring live content and brands who leveraged saw a bump in engagement and reach.
All in all, focus your efforts on one or two pieces of hero content that tell your story in a visual way. Once you nail down who your specific target audiences (the more specific the better), try promoting it for just a dollar a day. It’s a small enough budget that you can learn as you go. Once you’re more comfortable and you’re seeing a response, you can add fuel to the fire as you optimize.
What are your predictions for 2017 marketing trends?
Share of attention is shifting to dynamic & easily-digestible, mobile content
There’s a palpable tension building as mobile migrates toward mostly-video (i.e. Snapchat, Instagram) slamming into the fact that no one has the patience to watch videos that aren’t extremely captivating. The problem– or opportunity, if you’re savvy– is that by nature, every brand cannot create “extremely captivating” content. The cream will always rise to the top. Consistency is key for strong brand awareness. If a brand has a strong narrative in place, it’s easy to translate it from LinkedIn to Twitter, and maybe even Snapchat. Every marketing campaign should have a strong, concise message that is easily replicated across different platforms.
Remember these takeaways:
- Show that there’s people behind the brand. Focus on relatable messages rather and shared experiences.
- There’s people on the other end receiving your message- so make sure your message captures their attention and meets their needs.
- The best channels for reaching B2B depend on your goals, but LinkedIn wins due to refinement and access to decision makers.
- For small budget efforts, focus on content that tells your story and target a highly refined version of your intended audience with a $1.00/day budget. This provides a test bed to play around and optimize your message to see what works.
Are you thinking in terms of business-to-business, or human-to-human?
Today, a few members of the Blitz team tuned into “4 Steps To Creating Personalized, Segmented Campaigns For Your Audience”, a Perpetual Traffic podcast featuring Ryan Levesque. Here’s our thoughts:
Why is it that people won’t stop sending cold email blasts and spending countless ad dollars on broadly targeted, misfiring ads? We know ads are most effective when they cater to specific “buckets” of people – targeted audiences.
We’ve seen this with remarketed ads – ones that follow you, coaxing you to convert. With plumbing in place, businesses can track behaviors, like when you visited the Nike site and spent an hour deciding whether or not to buy the new “Free Runs”.
Details like this allow for the most personalized digital ads experience – tying a user all the way to a specific product that they’ve shown interest in, but haven’t yet purchased.
Ryan’s developed a unique process to magnify and segment his target audiences – he just asks prospects about their concerns. It was in the niche industry of Orchids (yes, plants!) that he tested this method.
Ryan’s “Ask” method, is driven by quizzes and “Deep Dive” surveys.
“Find out what their pain is in a very deep and profound way. Then you learn specific language patterns, echo back that pain in their exact words, and solve it for them.”
– Ryan Levesque
When you group folks into these “buckets” you can customize your funnel and user experience. Nurturing leads down the funnel is key to a campaign’s success. Nothing better than marketing to people’s self-addressed needs.
After running surveys, Ryan realized there’s 4 main concerns or questions that folks had:
- How to get your orchid to re-flower
- How to re-pot your orchid
- How to save a sick or dying orchid
- People who are given an orchid as a gift.
He customizes user experiences through quizzes and survey. People who received an orchid as a gift would be directed to a landing page on “How To Care For Your New Orchid”.
The power in this technique comes from the target audience’s sense of being understood.
You’re essentially asking, “What can I do to help you?” and creating a solution that they’ll pay for. We’d like to test this and see what power can come from pairing surveys with large WCAs to create a double whammy effect.
Don’t settle for our summary. Check out the podcast to find out more on how Ryan went from $375/mo. to $25,000/mo. with his Orchid business and continued to apply his method for others.
Are you using remarketing techniques? How about surveys and quizzes? Let us know how your campaigns are doing in the comment section below.
- Better to spend 5 minutes a day optimizing than one hour a week optimizing– frequent, lightweight touches are key with Facebook ads because of progressive boosting.
- Your Facebook paid metrics are undercounted– Facebook places the spillover effect of paid into organic, which can often be 10X bigger than the organic component. This is separate from cross-device and direct/none issues in Google Analytics. It means that boosted posts create impact beyond that post alone- great content creates great word of mouth.
- Forget about manual bidding on Facebook– just use oCPM, since your issue is not the bid, but the relevancy between your content and targeting.
- You should be spending 80% of your time boosting posts to various saved target audiences, even though boosts are 20% of your budget. Start with a dollar a day (so $7 for 7 days) and progressively add more if the performance is strong. You can now select engagement or website clicks for boost objective. https://blitzmetrics.com/idea-facebook-funnel-backwards/
- Facebook is one component of your remarketing efforts, so you’d want to run Google and Facebook remarketing together using the same rules. Remarketing is a fancy way of saying “user behavior targeting”, meaning that when someone clicks in any channel, we remarket the next piece of content to them.
- Use Google Tag Manager or Adobe DTM to drive all your pixels– way more powerful and accurate if you have more than 5 pixels.
- Use Business Manager to manage your Facebook assets for the same reason– you’ll avoid heartache later by doing it now.
- 95% of “broken” Facebook campaigns have an issue with GCT (goals, content, targeting), as opposed to anything that could be solved by knowledge of Facebook ads. Because of this, your ability to follow a process is far more important than any PPC skills you have. https://www.tabsite.com/blog/dennis-yu-answers-toughest-facebook-questions/
- GCT is “strategy” or another way to say funnel sequences– it’s channel independent. Strategy doesn’t change, while tactics are channel level (SEO, PPC, etc) and change all the time. Tools, therefore, are not strategic.
- If I had an extra hour of time to invest, I’d put it into building process among our people instead of getting deeper into tools. Most companies chase shiny objects instead of getting the basics right.
- Your own personal branding as a PPC professional is critical to opening doors for you at Google, Facebook, and other companies you’ll work at over the course of your career. So reach out and “interview” these people for your blog. Make them look good by adding value before you ask, and they will remember you.
- “Inception” is influencing the influencer– to set up employer targets and boost to these for a dollar a day. Have your customers and the influencers in your vertical do the work for you. https://learn.infusionsoft.com/marketing/advertising/how-much-do-facebook-ads-cost-a-budgeting-guide-for-small-businesses