Archive for the ‘facebook’ Category

Nov 29


landing page with bullseyeImagine you’re a used car salesman.  I know, you’re disgusted and feel like taking a shower now, but humor me.   A customer who has been searching for a Toyota Camry comes to your car lot because he saw your flashing sign for just that – a great deal on a Toyota Camry.   You tell him, “Sure!” and point him in the direction of the entire car lot.  “Find it yourself!”  Do you think you’ll close that sale?

How about imagine he walks through the lot with your Toyota deal in his mind, but you have salesmen calling him over trying to sell him BMW’s, Honda’s, KIA’s, etc.  Not only is your customer now annoyed that you made him search for the deal himself, you’re team is bugging him with promotions he’s really not thinking about or interested in.

Let’s say after that, your now annoyed customer sees a car lot next door, and ALL they sell are low priced Camry’s.  Who’s going to get that sale?

This is how you should be thinking about your site and competitors.    In particular, basic web usability theory says the internet make things so easy and convenient for us, that it’s trained us to be…well…lazy.  If you don’t make things as easy as possible for your visitors, your competitor will, and there is no penalty or price for your visitor pressing the “back” button and then clicking on your competitor.

10 Tips for Building Effective Landing Pages

The beauty of the internet now is that you can create targeted custom landing pages focused on closing one product or service without any distractions.  Landing pages are focused, eliminating confusion, putting your prospects into a “track” that hopefully will result in a lead or close.

In this post, I’d like to talk list some best practices on how to do that right.

1 ) Simplicity = Clarity.  This is a key point that not only web design and other media is based on in general,  but most of the landing page best-practices are based on this.   There is definitely a balance that needs to happen – all important information needs to be included – however, it’s important that information is succinct and that also there is no other fluff on the page that will distract the visitor from closing.  Hubspot (a great authority on internet marketing) calls this the “blink-test” – meaning it should be clear on the page (any web subpage) what the page is about within the first 5 seconds (before you blink).  How do you do this?  With clear headings, images, calls-to-actions and reducing all other distractions.

2 ) Maintain the Scent.  In many cases, your paid ads/email ads will be targeted and a landing page will be best to serve them, since the landing page can be focused specifically on what your ad/mail is talking about.  Like our Camry analogy, there’s nothing more annoying than coming to a page that says “Free Kindle!” but then all it says (and in fact is yelling), “Here’s a bunch of information that has nothing to do with that.”

Maintain the scent from your ad to your landing page
3 ) Headline.  In many cases, this is the first thing a visitor will see.  Make sure it maintains the scent of your ad if it’s from paid traffic.    Also, make sure it conveys what the page is about, whether it’s the name of your product, why they should purchase it, a promo you are offering, etc.   Again, internet surfers like to think as little as possible, if they scan your headings and don’t find what they’re looking for, there’s no penalty for them bouncing.

4 ) Salespoints.  Sounds obvious, but too many times we’ve come to a page and they dance around the main reasons why we should buy their product or contact them.  Understand your prospects, what they are looking for, what possible hesitations may stop them from taking advantage of your product/services.  Outline that then make sure it’s all included in your landing page.  Only thing to keep in mind is when you put them there, you don’t want to write a novel as to why visitors should buy.   Minimal, succinct words and phrases that best convey your ideas.

5 ) Clear Calls-To-Action.  Another one that sounds obvious.  Your design should clearly distinguish it’s call(s)-to-action.  It’s image should contrast (a bright button on a muted surface) or the link should be bright and big.  If there is only one clear button, and that’s the only place they can go, it increases their chances of them going there.   Also, minimize your calls-to-action and keep them above-the-fold (meaning it shouldn’t be at the bottom of the page where visitors have to scroll down to find it).  If your conversion element or call-to-action is a form, make sure it’s nice and big, stands out, and is above the fold.

6 ) No Escapes.    I want them to look at the rest of my site!  I want them to see what other services I provide!  I want them to see my Facebook page!  By them leaving this page that nurtures the lead, you are significantly risking them losing the sale.  Remove all escape elements from the page – no navigation, no social networks, no other offers.  In the case where they may want more information on your company, you may provide one hidden escape to again minimize the chance of them getting distracted an you losing the lead (maybe link your logo to your homepage), but make sure to open this page in another tab/window so the original offer/landing page is not lost.  If you want them to see your certifications, high-profile clients you’ve served, etc – include that in the actual landing page design and layout.

urchin landing page with call to action

7 ) Reduce Distractions.  Aside from actual link “escapes”, design can get in the way too.  Too many images, background patterns, textures, rotating information, etc – can distract a visitor from your main “track”.  You may need to include some of these things, but minimize it.  Simple backgrounds, simple images, simple colors.   You can still be simple and be aesthetically chic.

8 ) Credibility Badges.  Any certifications, testimonials, client logos, authority certifications of your business will help legitimize you and could refute apprehension by your visitors to convert on your landing page.  The nice thing is now that your landing page is simple, it has space for this information.

9 ) Test! In design, it’s always important to understand – best practices are just that – “best practices”.  They are not written in stone and may not always apply, or a tweak to them may further optimize them.   It’s great to have hypotheses of how your visitors will act on the page based on their marketing personas and to also follow best practicesthis is a great starting point.  However, you wont truly know how your page will perform until it goes live, and you wont know if it’s doing the best it can do till you test different strategies, layouts, designs. You can have different landing pages under different campaigns to test, conduct user-testing, or you can try A/B testing services such as the Google Website Optimizer.

10 ) Thank You Page UPSELL!  This is something everyone neglects (even until recently, so did we!) .  You just closed a lead!  You can place a plain thank you message, or further your business by putting a promotion on the thank you page, upsell other products you have, or even better, add a social “share” link so that your happy lead can share this info with their friends.  Word-of-mouth sales close significantly greater than cold leads.

Nov 17

Facebook Ads Dashboard ScreenshotFor the last couple weeks, I’ve been attending the Facebook Marketing Bootcamp and summarizing their webinars.  As I’ve said before, if you’re just getting into Facebook and Social Marketing or need an in-depth refresher – there is some great information in these webinars. While we usually look to “industry experts” for tips, the benefit of this is not only do they give best practices on how to effectively market your business using Facebook pages and their Ads platform, but since they are the creators, they can answer any basic questions people have about the interface itself.   If you’re interested, the webinar videos are on demand here!

This particular webinar was similar to the last webinar, but gave a little more detail on optimizing your Facebook Ad campaigns using their insights and reports features.

Here are some summary notes:

1) Optimizing the Creative of your ad

  • Try to think about what engages your target audience.
  • Adding questions is usually engaging – “Are you up for it?”  “Want the best football boots?”
  • Keep the body copy of your ad as concise as possible, but try to include as many key selling points as you can.   The more fluff or words you use, the less space you’ll have for key selling points..
  • Urgency often increases click-through -”Offer ends…”
  • Offers/Discounts help -  “Free” “Promotional”
  • Image – Logos don’t really work unless it’s a well known brand.  Use really attractive images.

2) Target and Segment Campaigns Clearly

  • Your ads are broken down into campaigns.  Make sure to set up campaigns and set them up correctly – segment them by gender, age, geography, etc.  Ex.  Female, UK, 13-30 yrs old.
  • They suggested a maximum of 3 -4 ads per campaign – it makes it easier to dissect data
  • Make sure your landing page or custom Facebook landing tabs have relevant info. As they say “maintains the scent”.  If you say there’s a free download, that landing page/tab better clearly deliver.

3) Utilize reports

  • Facebook ads interface is able to generate detailed reports.
  • Every few days, look at all creative and see what works.  From there, PAUSE ads that arent working.  That way, they dont compete with each other – only the best one is running.
  • Look at frequency and reach of the ad.
  • Launch new campaigns after people have seen the ads a couple times.  Refresh the creative so ads look fresh and people aren’t seeing the same ole ads.


Evaluating Performance

Facebook Ads General Dashboard

You can view the:

  • Size of your target audience or “Reach” – unique users that have seen your ads.
  • Social Reach – The beauty of this is many people will see that their friends that like an ad.  This carries a rapport or “word of mouth” value.
  • Look over past couple days, note if you see peaks (Ex. maybe they are clicking more on the weekends, so you want to focus ads at that time).
  • You can break it down by ads.  Monitor the Click-Through-Rate, Cost-Per-Click, etc.

Responder Demographics Report

Seeing the demographics can be valuable insight, because then you can further segments to further optimize then refocus your budget.   Ex. This age group might be working better or this Gender, so you can tailor some ads to those specific demographics.

Facebook Page Insights

  • Facebook pages themselves (vs. ads) have great insights built in.
  • You can see if your friends are fans or if non friends are fans of your page
  • You can monitor your Total Reach.
  • A new insight added are “People talking about you.”  Basically, this is the # of people who have liked your page, liked a post, posted on your page, shared a link about your brand, etc.  It’s a good indicator of how engaging and popular your page is.  While you may have x amount of followers, if no one is talking about your page, what’s the point?!
  • By viewing these insights you can optimize your page posting strategy!
  • See when people are responding best and post at that time
  • Gain insights at what types of posts people are responding to and increase those types of posts.


Questions from the Audience

How does system decides how much my ads costs?

This is based on CPC (cost-per-click) or CPM (cost-per-1000 impressions).   When a user visits an ad page, an auction takes place with the ads.   It takes into account:

  • Your bid, so to better your chances, bid slightly above the range.  This is not how much you necessarily will pay, but it’s the max and allows you to compete.
  • Historical performance of your ad – how well was your ad doing?  CTR, etc.
  • How are users interacting with your ad?  Are they liking them, or hiding them?

Do you have details on optimizing my Facebook page?

  • Figure out when you are going to post.  Best thing is to have a strategy – preferably a post calendar (to avoid spamming).
  • Post engaging items – photos, videos.
  • Insights – use it to figure out how many people are engaging and what posts.

Can you give further details on “# talking about this” stat on FB pages?

Anyone who commented on your page, tags your page in comments, likes your posts, etc.  It gives you a picture of how many people are interacting with your page (more importantly, engaging).

How often do you suggest we refresh creative?

No hard rule about it.  Monitor your ads for a couple days so you can see how its performing.  Then you can determine if you want to optimize them – generally 7-10 days.  You’ll see impressions declining, reach will decline – so that’s when you refresh.

When should I use “likes and interest” targeting vs “broad” targeting?

Depends on your target.  If you want all sports, say you have a sports store, then you use broad.  If you want something accurate, like people playing golf – then you use precise interest targeting.

Do you find differences between ads that lead to Facebook or external websites?

Depends, but Facebook objects tend to do better because they allow for social targeting.

Can you explain “Social Reach”?

Your ad reaching friends of friends and shows that their friends like your ad.  This is better, as it builds rapport if “friends” like a brand.

How often should I review reports?

Everyday.  Check where your impressions are going.  For example, if you see some demographics are getting an ad, you may do another ad to focus on another segment of age.

Sponsored Stories vs. Ads?

Ad you control the text and creative.  Sponsored stories – something that is within the newsfeed and you can promote that.  Say if someone likes the page, or a post on your page that had a great response.  Gives posts a boost.

Ads performance has declined, what should I do?

Figure out which ads have declined and do your best to figure out why.  Then refresh creative.    But it will be normal to see that after awhile, an ad will naturally will become stale and decline.

Is it a good idea to target an ad to only your fans?

It is, you can get them to interact more with your page and posts.  You are generating virality.  Keep in mind only 5-20% of your fans will see a post.  Whereas an ad targeted to them, 100% will see it.

Nov 14

Hubspot 5 Steps for Awesome Social Media Lead Generation CoverHubspot, as usual, conducted a great webinar called 5 Steps for Awesome Social Media Lead Generation (Video and Slides). The main speaker was Kipp Bodnar,  Inbound Marketing Manager at HubSpot and co-author of the B2B Social Media Book.

Kipp opened the webinar with a yell that jolted me a little (he was really excited :) .  He confessed that he is a giant marketing dork (his words, not mine), and that while normally, experts paint a fluffy picture of social media, he wanted to do something different.

He started by pointing out a problem – a study that angered him:  73% of CEOs say that they don’t believe marketers drive revenue or demand to their business!  “They thinks were just arts and crafts!”  He argued the good news here is the only way to go is up.

Bottom line is, as marketers, the measurement of success in social media should be it’s ability to generate leads.   When we can demonstrate that Social Media does generate leads, we can prove that 73% wrong.

Here are some summary notes:

  • This is the best time EVER to be a marketer.
  • Leads is the metric to rely on.  Its a proxy for sales.
  • Social Marketing that doesnt drive sales wont last.

Examples of how social lead happens:

  • Tweet > Landing Page > Form > Lead
  • Friend “Likes” a Facebook post > You read the Blog Post > There’s a Call-To-Action > Landing Page.
  • +1 on Google > Brings you to a product page > Call-To-Action > Landing Page


Best way to generate leads with Social Media?

Kipp spent 2011 doing in depth research on what works.

1) Get the “basics” right

  • Build your reach! This is a HUGE step.  If no one is there, it doesn’t matter what you share.
  • Follow, Friend, and CONNECT.  This is the simplest step, but at the same time hardest -  a lot of marketers think reactions are just going to happen by themselves.  NOPE.  You need to search and seek out the conversation.  For example, follow industry people on Twitter, then they’ll follow you back.   That’s how you start.  Get out there, talk, connect, friend.
  • Share lots of links!  People are looking to news and info more than ever before.  Dan Zarrella found a correlation that those who share links have more followers.
  • Post often and consistently! (the link shortener website) released data on their clicks- the shelf life of a social media link is only 3 hrs!!!!!  That means you need to post something engaging and post often cause chances are after awhile, that link will disappear.
  • Automatic Sharing.  Use some automatic sharing applications to minimize your admin time.  Set up connections between twitter feed, blog posts feed, etc.  There are plenty of services like tweetdeck, hootsuite, etc, that will do this for you.
  • Leverage your existing base of contacts to join your social networks.  They can start as early members.  They may also be advocates that share your info, thus building your reach.  Email marketing is a huge opportunity to build social network.  Include social links in your emails, explicitly ask existing subscribers to join.
  • If you have a Facebook page, USE A “LIKE GATE”!!!!  These are landing tabs that force visitors to “like” the page to see hidden content, which is usually a promo or something free your company can offer to entice them to join.  “Like this page to get….”  IT WORKS.

2) Maximize Content Discovery

  • We need to get people excited to read and share content.
  • First, you need to create or have fresh regular content.  So people will know to come to you for information.
  • Second, you need to share that content.
  • Next, we have to do dedicated monitoring.  Who’s talking and responding to your posts?  Who’s sharing?  Of those people, who do we engage with so they can continue to support you and advocate for you?
  • COMMIT to a CONTENT CALENDAR.  A lot of companies wing it, and you will find yourself struggling to come up with content everyday.  Take the time to sit down and build this calendar so you just put the time in once a week/month, then everything else is like clockwork.
  • BUILD Social thank you pages.  This was a great piece of advice I hadnt heard before.  Put links on thank you pages to share.  When a visitor likes your page thank them and explicitly ask them to share your page.  To make it easier for them, provide a “share” link (many plugins or widgets are provided by facebook/twitter themselves).
  • Time-box  – too many people spend too much time monitoring their social networks (or they dont spend enough time).  Start out with 15 minutes a day, post and respond.  Scale up as needed.

3) Create Conversion Ubiquity – Calls to action all over the web

  • Place Calls-To-Actions everywhere!!!!  If you’re not catching them, your missing opportunity.  It doesn’t have to be in everyone’s face, but make it available.

4) Test and Fail fast.

  • FAILURE SUCKS!!!!  But, invaluable part of marketing.  Allow us to improve and iterate.
  • Set qualitative objectives.  If you can’t measure your progress, then you cant know if you failed and how to improve.
  • Set a methodology how to gather data.  You need to figure out how you will measure everything.  There are plenty of built in insight tools as well as 3rd party tools to measure social media.
  • Finally, conduct and experiment.  Set action items following up experiment.
  •  If something works, you double down, if it doesn’t, change.

5) Optimize for Maximum leads

  • Social media converts best vs. most other traffic.  The rapport from word of mouth or that is just built from interacting with your brand is invaluable.
  • Keep in mind though, not all platforms are right for all businesses.  If your “Visits” to “Leads” are low for x platform, change your strategy and try a platform that works.
  • Conduct RADICAL tests.  Landing page, web design, social media campaign.  Test 2 radically different ideas, and most likely, you will end up with a hybrid of working parts from both tests.

Oct 25

I “liked” the Facebook Marketing Solutions fan page.  Awesome page that gives great training on marketing on Facebook (directly from them)! I am viewing Sheryl Sandberg’s live talk “Sandberg’s Quietly Audacious Pitch to Marketers: Put a Little Facebook in Everything You Do”.   Here are some notes.

  • 68% more likely to remember an ad with social context. 2x more likely to remember ads messages. 4x more likely to purchaseYour establishing connections to your customers, multiple times, and their friends, but its your job to keep them engaged
  • Strike balance – not too much bad content, good content
  • Talk “with” not “at” – just like your profile, put things up you think your friends will like.
  • It’s iterative – we can see what works. Put it out, see what works, then evolve
  • Drive convos with ads – connect ads back to Facebook page
  • Sponsored stories – make sure more people can see what your fans say about you
  • This is how you light your brand up
  • People tell friends about products, thats what sells products – WORD OF MOUTH
  • Dont go in set from the beginning – Monitor, Adapt, Leverage
  • Social needs to be the fundamental ingredient from the beginning- can’t just “sprinkle” social
  • Dont get rid of other ads – TV, print – create a cohesive campaign that connect.
  • Reach customers AND THEIR FRIENDS!
  • Link to social graphs – make everything the basis for on-going connection
  • Engage customer, write back to them so they keep coming back. This is how you get messages to go viral.
  • Inspire. Be creative. Put out experiences.  Get them to put their experiences, their childrens.  Great messages, videos, pics – these things get twice as much engagement.
  • The web has gone social, marketing can go social too.
  • Ex. Barista put out an ad with curse words.  Outcry on Facebook page.  They apologized, put up a new cut, and they got a great response for taking responsibility and listening to their audience.
  • First time you can have a comprehensive conversation with brands themselves.  Go iterate, get started.