Businesses that rely a lot on SEO and Google Adwords (or Google Ads as it is known now) for paying customers face a pretty daunting problem – the cost and time to acquire customers can be high. But these are tried and true lucrative channels if done right. On the flip side, monetizing Social Media has always been a struggle for many.
And it’s true, visitors from social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn may not always have the same purchasing intent as search visitors. So while they are good for building traction and followers, converting these visitors may seem like a tough call. But companies are doing it. One study found that the average conversion rate is 9.21% with Facebook Ads. This is way higher than the average landing page conversion rate of 2.35% across all industries.
If your social media campaigns have not been yielding such results yet, here are a few tips to improve your customer targeting and increasing conversion rate of your social media visitors.
Social media marketing requires a great deal of patience and investment. You need to focus on the key platforms that make sense for your business and your target market. If your market is Gen Z, Instagram, which is most popular among 18-24 year olds, might be a great fit. The type of company you are makes a difference too. Linkedin is popular with B2B (business to business) companies and service providers.
You’ve built your website, it looks awesome. Launch day comes, with much fanfare. Finally your website is done!
And then you wait. And aside from your friends and family, no one seems to visit your website. So it slowly dawns on you that you need a website traffic strategy. But which traffic source should you focus on?
The case for Facebook ads has been strong for a while. And only getting stronger. Yes, it’s not quite as cheap to advertise on Facebook as it was in the early days, but with the right campaign you often can beat the costs of other digital advertising, such as Google Adwords.
Facebook has gotten smarter too, its algorithm has gotten exceptionally good at optimizing your campaign so you don’t have to be a complete ninja to crush it. Yes, you definitely do need to understand the platform, but you don’t always need to get all the options exactly right.
In fact, at a Pubcon session recently Blitzmetrics’s Dennis Yu shared that once you have a winning ad set up and running, you can actually remove the targeting and Facebook will still deliver it to the right people.
Recently I ran into a problem with adding a Facebook pixel to a LeadPage (which we had mapped to WordPress using the LeadPages plugin). I could see both the Google Analytics code and the Facebook pixel code in LeadPages’s tracking code dialog, but only the Google Analytics code was showing up in the source code. I solved the problem by reversing the order of the scripts, but at that point I decided there had to be a better way to manage all the tracking scripts you might need for a paid traffic campaign or optimizing a funnel.
There is, it’s called Google Tag Manager.
Once you have it installed, Google Tag Manager makes it easy to manage your scripts. Instead of having to update your website with each new script, you just log into Google Tag Manager and add it as a new tag. The other benefit is that it will help your site’s performance as Google utilizes their own CDNs to execute the tag, and the GTM script itself fires asynchronously; taking the burden off of your server and not impacting your render time.
If you are not familiar with this business model, here’s how it works.
Of course this is just a high level overview, but that should be enough information for you to get the gist of it. So the question is, do you have to disclosure the fact that you are a partner (or a affiliate) in the email you send to your list?
Canada rolled out a new anti spam law (the CASL) in late June of 2014. The majority of the provisions of the new law are already in effect (as of July 1st), however there is a transitional period to seek “explicit consent” from people you already have a business relationship with, more on that in a moment.
You might be thinking, I don’t live in Canada, so who cares? Well if you run a business that might have Canadian customers, you have to care. If you have gathered email addresses for a list, it’s quite likely that some of your subscribers are Canadian. And while some of them might have a .ca email address, plenty more will have used a free email service such as gmail or hotmail, so you really can’t tell who are the Canadians on your list.
So you might as well assume that you need to comply with CASL, which is more restrictive than the US CAN-SPAM Federal Act.
I’ve spent some time reading through the law text and various articles, and here’s what I’ve learned. Now I’m not an expert, on any law, Canadian or otherwise, but this post should serve as a starting point. If you want to learn more, I would suggest reading Michael Geist’s articles that can be found on the Toronto Star, since he IS an expert on Canadian Internet Law.
I’ve received invitations to a BBQ party in Wisconsin, a trail of notifications of Christmas shopping purchases in Florida, an admonishment to close the gate from a UK suburb association, numerous car insurance quotes, invoices, periodic pleas from a gaming site to please please come back, and even a notification from a tax software company that the IRS rejected my return.
Just back from Loral Langemeier’s Alumni conference in San Diego. While not specifically focused on internet marketing, there were several internet marketing sessions there, including a panel that included Geoff Zimpfer from Infusionsoft. Infusionsoft if you are not aware of it, is the uber online customer management system. It’s a CRM (customer relationship management), EMail Marketing and eCommerce system all in one. It’s pricey, but a quite a nice system and surprisingly intuitive.
Geoff said something interesting that I wrote down. I think we all can agree that with email marketing it needs to be a balance between providing value and selling. But what’s that balance? Geoff proposes a point system. For each email you send out that delivers value to your audience you get a point. An email that is a sales pitch, you deduct 7 points. So he’s recommending you strike a 7 to 1 balance here.
I think he is right that a balance needs to be struck, however I’m not sure I agree with the math. Why would 5 to 1 be less effective? If you deliver great value and it in general is more frequent than the sales pitches, does the 7 to 1 ratio need to be rigorously adhered to? My suspicion is that he based the comment on statistics that Infusionsoft has available to it, so I don’t think we can dismiss the comment lightly.
Perhaps I was just plain stupid in deciding to advertise via my Clickbank affiliate link. I had heard that most affiliates had abandoned Google PPC due to the strict quality guidelines and that it was very hard to get an ad approved. But I didn’t have a suitable landing page to advertise. And for my learning purposes, if none of my ads were approved I could live with that. Just the exercise in setting up a campaign would be useful. Apparently this was a fatal mistake.
The money is in the list. With a list you can build on your relationship with your clients so they are more likely to buy from you and also let them know of exciting products and services. For me, I wanted to keep in touch with my community and build my reputation as a web marketer, so what better way to do that than to create an email list with a monthly newsletter? To get myself into action on this goal, I had an networking event coming up so I decided to hand out postcards with a website URL where a free report was available for download when visitors opted into my email list.
To make this happen there was a number of components that I needed to build or configure to work together. The cost was just over $100 (mostly for the postcards). Use this blog post as a guide to build your your own!
Step 1: Create Your Offer To encourage people to opt into my list, I wrote a free report called “Five Ways to Make Your Website Googlicious”. Most website owners do not know much about SEO (search engine optimization), so my goal was to open their eyes on how they could make their website more search engine friendly.
Step 2: Create the postcard I used VistaPrint for creating the postcard. On their site (Advertising and Marketing –> Postcards), I found a template that I liked and added the text I needed. Your choices of templates are overwhelming but otherwise the process is straightforward. Cost: approx. $90 for 250 double sided glossy postcards
Step 3: Squeeze Page For the squeeze page, I bought the domain www.yoursuccessfulwebsite.com and recruited a bored college student to create a squeeze page out of a template we got for $9. I’m not happy with the template code, but it does the job. Since I hosted the site in a subdirectory in a bluehost.com account I already had, I didn’t have to buy additional hosting.
Finding Images On the postcard there is a picture of a person looking through a spyglass which aligned nicely with the messaging of the postcard which asked “Can Your Customers Find Your Website?”. To reinforce the messaging and as a memory jogger, I wanted to show a similar image on the website. I found one in istockphoto.com for a few dollars.
Image Tweaks for the non Graphically Inclined While everything looked great on a PC, I arrived at the seminar with my Mac laptop and found that that the header of the website was not displaying properly! For the just in time simple or last minute tweaks to images on my Macbook Pro I used Paintbrush which is a free download.
Step 4: Autoresponder / Email System Since I wanted a flexible autoresponder for multiple uses, I created an account at aweber. aweber is $19 a month for 500 contacts. If you just want to just email a newsletter to a list, you might consider icontact which is cheaper. Both will generate web form code that you can copy and paste into your squeeze page for your opt-in box.
I hope this overview helps you put together your own email list and opt-in web form. Good Luck!