Facebook Ads Performance 101

An example of what a few hacks & organization will get you. The best ROI on the web!

Too many people take Facebook advertising for granted. Over the past year, I have had many friends and colleagues approach me and ask to buy me a cup of coffee and/or beer (I prefer whiskey, FYI) so I can walk them through their first Facebook ad and make sure they are doing it right.

There are many things about that request that puts me in a hard spot.

First, I like to help friends and colleagues. Second, I am an advocate of Facebook ads because I feel like its the best ROI on the web (paid media that is.) So I want to create more evangelists of this space. I love seeing lightbulbs go off when I coach friends and colleagues, so this is kinda like crack for me; unhealthy and addicting. Third, I hate sounding like a douche bag but this is kinda what I do for a living (digital marketing). So it is like asking a mechanic friend to tell you how to do fix your transmission, or a lawyer to just look over some documents for you. It puts me in a weird and uncomfortable spot. I want to help, but this advice costs money for my clients and it’s my livelihood. Why would I give my livelihood away for free? Here is a good article on this subject of giving away free advice to friends.

My solution is this: I am going to blog more about this. I know there are a lot of blogs on this subject already, but I am going to do it with my twist. I am going to balance the basics with some advanced tactics along the way. The goal is to inspire folks to test, tweak, and respond with live examples and results. Let us all learn from one another with live results. Also, as an added resource please subscribe to aimClears blog. I have had the privilege to work out of Marty’s office a few years ago and stay in touch with his entire crew. I thought I was pretty awesome at Facebook ads until they opened up a few new ways of thinking about this space. That said, they made a monster out of me and now I am always trying to push targeting to the limits that may include breaking Facebook. Also, buy his book!

This is my attempt at Facebook Ads 101 with some performance hacks. Some basics to kinda set the bar and understand why this is more than just running one ad and having me sit through one cup of coffee to tell you what could be done in order to get the most out of it. 

Facebook Ads 101: Performance Hacks

Organize by Campaigns

First of all, let’s get something straight. No one just runs an ad. You run a campaign. Set your campaign budget and time range of the campaign, then run a minimum of 4 6 ads per budget. I don’t care if you are running a small $100 campaign or a $10,000 campaign, with various ad placements (mobile, desktop, news feed, right rail, etc.) you must test what placement your ad is performing best. You never just run one ad.

You must multivariate test the crap out of each ad unit. There are way too many variables as to why an ad is gaining traction or not. Variables like, the image, the header, the copy, and even the target audience. You can never put faith into one ad, there are just too many variables. Here is a matrix of ad placement based on performance, objective, and resources for delivery:

I manage campaigns by an audience. This means that each campaign gets one audience. I then compare audience performance by each campaign. Each budget I will run a minimum two campaigns with two audiences. This is my first A/B test, which audience is performing better?

Any adjustments I make to one set of ads, I make sure to make the same adjustments in the other campaign for consistency. At this point, if we continue with the $100 example, you are looking at 8-12 ads and two campaigns, optimized daily.

Yeah, its a lot of work. Most people run an ad or a few, and then get no results and feel Facebook ads are not a wise investment, which is ok. That gives us professionals more inventory to play with optimized ads. Results take management time!

Here is one one small campaign with 4 placements and one audience looks like. Remember I test at minimum two audiences per campaign so multiply the below campaign by 2:

Facebook Campaign Management

A critical piece of information is the frequency of the Facebook ad. Frequency is the average amount of times the typical user in your target audience has seen your ad. The smaller the audience, the more careful you have to be with the frequency. In the below image you can see an audience of 10k 15k with a frequency of 1.5-ish. I can push the Frequency upwards to 3 times in a small audience before I start seeing an ad burnout. Just make sure that in your A/B testing, that frequency is not an impact in your decline in actions.

Ad Burnout

Tweaks and Hacks for increased CTR / ROI

Lets break down the anatomy of a Facebook ads. There are many types of ads as showcased in the above matrix (sponsored post, news feed, mobile, mobile app install, event, Like-gate, etc.). For the purposes of Facebook Ads: Performance 101, I will only showcase some right rail, desktop only, ad hacks that work. These are the ad units most are familiar with:

Some of the more effective hacks are to play around with the image. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a Photoshop expert. There is a free image editing site I use called Luna Pic.

Some of the most effective tricks to the image is to put a different color border around the image. A subtle drop shadow effect, and even giving a punch to the image with a little yellow/green gamma. I have seen double the CTR with these tricks than without, in the above A/B testing model. Same copy, same picture, same audience. The only difference is these subtle adjustments.

Tip: Use Pinterest to find images. They are already socially tested. The images with higher re-pins tend to get great CTR on Facebook ads. 

Don’t go overboard and push the image into the land of ugly or annoying where the user will not click. Remember to adjust and test. When you see the CTRs go down, you pushed too far.

Warning (ranting coming): Treat the click-thru-promise like a religion. I cannot say this enough. The click-thru-promise is when you convey a message, a feeling, or take advantage of a user envisioned intent through an ad.

You MUST follow through with that on the click-thru and on the landing page. You must give users what they think they will be getting. This is where most marketers fail with Facebook advertising. If you use a meme, a lolcat, or some other funny image that has nothing to do with the landing page, then you are paying for clicks and not conversions. You might as well be using your budget for toilet paper.

If an image is funny and you are getting clicks, it does not mean you are converting. Make sure that the ad image and text mirror the landing page with the same, cleaner image and message. Do not bait and switch. Bait and switch are why people hate us, marketers. Stop making me look bad. /rant.

Gaming the Bidding System

Hack Facebook AdsFacebook obviously gives preference to higher bids. I build my campaign higher that what I am budgeted for, and bid manually for actions higher than the suggested bid. Once the inventory is opened up and the ad begins to be delivered, I throttle the bidding down under the suggested bid and bring my campaign spend back to my budget. This has always opened up faster delivery of ads and higher impressions for me.

Facebook Drip Marketing via Ads

Also, manage how you bid effectively. Nurture them along with a Facebook Ad Drip Strategy. Think of it as a funnel. Bidding to a wider audience at the top of the funnel, bid CPC and de-incentivize the click. Send them branded messaging to keep the brand at the top of their minds.

Example: Blah blah blah BRAND NAME. Blah Blah Blah BRAND NAME with BRAND LOGO. These are not built to compel. These are built to burn the brand into the memory of your target audience. You don’t want to send the user a compelling call-to-action just yet. Send them strongly branded messages through CPC, and get some free Facebook advertising out of this. If someone actually clicks through, then I would call that a highly qualified user. That click is worth the $$.

Then, after your frequency is at 5-6 to a targeted audience, push a strong call-to-action connected to the brand they have burned into their minds. Send the user to a conversion page that will collect the UID or email of the user. The call-to-action should be an inquiry. If a user jumps through that hoop and converts with the strong click-through-promise, then not only did you respond to the user’s intent, you converted and now have a unique identifier. Congratulations!

Take those collected emails or UID from that specific campaign, and upload them to a Custom Audience within the Power Editor. Now you have an opt-in audience that is already engaged with your brand. So from here on outbid via CPM. They already trust you enough to give you an email address, why not maximize your spend and keep that channel alive. When they click now, your cost per action will be dramatically less.

Wow okay. I didn’t realize how much was in my head on simply running your first campaign. If you are still reading, I am impressed.

Do you see why a simple coffee –or hell, a bottle of Laphroaig– won’t cut it? If you want ROI on your Facebook ads, you have one of three options:

  1. Learn a lot. You can keep coming back as I update on this subject. My next posts will be about hyper-targeting, persona marketing, custom audience vs. lookalike audience fine tuning, content marketing (framing the content) for promoted posts, 3rd party data (such as DMV data), and retargeting with Facebooks Ad Exchange.
  2. Hire a professional in-house and a team to do this. It takes a team. I know some folks that I have hired in the past if you are looking for a few good people. Hit me up, and Ill hook you up.
  3. Outsource this to professionals. Like us over at Voice Media Group. Just saying. 😉

Hopefully, this gave you some insight that this Facebook advertising game is not simply running some ads. This is why agencies charge 25% management fees it takes time! That said, before you run away from ever marketing on Facebook, let me remind you of the first image on this post. Yeah, +1,500 highly qualifies clicks for $110. Where on the web can you get that ROI?

Is the 1% Still Relevant?

For those that have not heard about the 1% rule (or the 90-9-1 rule) it is the philosophy that of consumption of information and/or knowledge via social channels that 90% are passive consumers; 9% are participants in a conversation/comments, contributing to a forum thread someone else started maybe sharing or recommending; and 1% are initiators, starting new discussions, posting original content or reviewing information:

User participation often more or less follows a 90-9-1 rule:

  • 90% of users are lurkers (i.e., read or observe, but don’t contribute).
  • 9% of users contribute from time to time, but other priorities dominate their time.
  • 1% of users participate a lot and account for most contributions: it can seem as if they don’t have lives because they often post just minutes after whatever event they’re commenting on occurs.

The question is, as the world tends more toward a social discovery of information/knowledge does the 1% rule change?

The BBC says it is dead:

My team and I conducted a large-scale, long-term investigation into how the UK online population participates using digital media today – from sharing links, to writing blogs and uploading photos. And it revealed a fascinating, and at times, surprising picture.

1. The model which has guided many people’s thinking in this area, the 1/9/90 rule, is outmoded. The number of people participating online is significantly higher than 10%.
2. Participation is now the rule rather than the exception: 77% of the UK online population is now active in some way.
3. This has been driven by the rise of ‘easy participation’: activities which may have once required great effort but now are relatively easy, expected and every day. 60% of the UK online population now participates in this way, from sharing photos to starting a discussion.

GigOM says they’re wrong:

The BBC appears to have missed the fact One Percent Rule was never intended to dictate a single pattern across the entire web: it was a rough guideline for expectations inside any given online community or service.

Should it be a surprise that 77 percent of people are active in some way in some sort of community? I don’t think so — and to suggest otherwise ignores the fact that people behave in different ways in different places. After all, like me, you could be highly active on Twitter, and therefore part of the one percent, but remain a lurker on a site like Metafilter (even though I’ve been a member there for a decade).

Or you could be a highly active Wikipedia editor (one percent) who uses Instagram simply to browse pictures from people you know (10 percent). Or you could be an active commenter on one blog but never leave comments anywhere else. It goes on.

That’s where your 77 percent comes from: the BBC research is really just comparing apples and oranges.

Yes, the internet has many channels and ways of digital consumption and engagement. Fair. But the 1% rule is all in compassing of these channels. Think about how information is consumed and engaged with when it comes to online restaurant reviews versus news and editorial pieces.

In the days of video conversations platform Seesmic and 12 Seconds TV (the pre-cursers to Google Hangouts and Vine) there was a 90% consumption (lurkers of video) and only 10% of the audience converted to production of video. Now we see Google Hangout and Vine extremely popular and a massive adoption in getting infront of the camera and producing media. Is this because of access to hardware or a change in our culture/adoption of user generated content?

When it comes to journalism, has there been a shift? News outlets like Gannett have began using Facebook comments in an effort to bring an engagement ecosystem many users already opt-in to and port that user experience in the comment section of their blogs. Last year I led the transition from Disqus to Livefyre on our Voice Media Group sites in an effort to shift focus from a Disqus powered community to our own independent community database. We have seen an upward trend in account creation as well a shift in quality comments. We have seen a loss in amount of comments however on-article. We have seen an increase in Facebook comments on our Fan pages from 2011 to current. There is something to Gannetts strategy using Facebook comments to drive on-article comments because of that comfort of leaving comments on Facebook versus a 3rd party site. With Facebook powered comments, Gannett looses access to its community. It is Facebook community. With Livefyre we are able to port those Facebook comments onto the article and grow our community.

This leads to the question has Facebook engagement changed the way we consume and engage? Has the Like shifted web culture to the point that the 1% rule is no longer relevant?

Paul Grabowicz over at UC Berkeley writes:

Having people use their Facebook profiles to register and then requiring such registration to post comments on stories may also cut down on the number of inapproprite comments people post. See the Poynter story about news organizations that have seen higher quality discussion by readers after switching to Facebooks commenting system.

If a persons comments are traceable to their Facebook identity they may be more hesitant to make offensive remarks. And a very small percentage of people on Facebook use fake names, according to a study by Entrustet.

But also check this study by Disqus that concluded people with pseudonyms made higher quality comments than those using their Facebook identities.

We took the hybrid approach. GIving the users the ability to leave anonymous comments and pull in conversation from Facebook with Livefyre. Facebook is our number one traffic driver (next to direct that is.) The fact that people are coming from an engaging environment into our city sites and having the ability to use the Facebook login to engage does drive our engagement. I for one feel Facebook has indeed shifted the culture of the lurkers toward more engaged behaviors.

Still, we average 800 million pageviews and just over 600 million comments a year. Those figures alone speak volumes. Engagement is up.

But I leave the question out there. Is the 1% rule still relevant?

Here are some good articles/resources on this topic. What are your thoughts?

Digital Marketing Manifesto (circa 2013)

This was started at the outset of 2013 and never published. It was a late night therapy session for myself.) I decided what the hell. Let me just put it out there. So I dusted it off and am posting it in its raw, unedited, ranty self.)

It started with an image on my Facebook newsfeed. A friend and colleague of mine that I have known for years took a photo wearing Google Glass. It suddenly became very real for me. Yes, I have been reading about Google Glasses for over a year. I have seen all the demos. But suddenly seeing them in the wild kinda freaked me out. Why? Well, it is how companies are collecting data and how that data is then available to advertisers which freak me out.

You see I am constantly defending marketers on Facebook as well as calling out the crappy ones. There is some incredible data you can use to target behavior. If you know how to. With every Like or every song you listen to that pipes into Facebooks Open Graph, that is gold for us marketers. For us sociologically driven marketers, this social data gives us an insight into many sub-groups or cultural networks of behavior. For others, it gives advertisers with a credit card the ability to target randomly, literally and NASCAR up the Facebook experience with bad ads and link bait. That is my fear with Google Glass. Now data collection is in the eyes of those walking down the street and eating up tons of data for Googles advertisers. This scares me to death. Not so much the tin-foil-hat in me (but there are privacy concerns there too.) But what this collection of data will lead to in the marketplace for advertisers. Are marketers as a whole mature enough (and responsible enough) to harness this data in a way that is meaningful and noninvasive?

I am having a Jerry Maguire mission statement moment for us digital marketers. Forgive me. But if you continue, just know you have been warned. Rant started.

For the folks here is the gist:

There are good marketers and there are bad marketers. The good are the ones that respect data, platforms, conversations, and influence and support one another. The bad are the link bait, spammy, fill-up-my-internet-with-junk, flash in a pan marketer. Those ruin platform data and opportunity for the good ones. We in the marketing world must begin calling out that crap and policing bad marketers protecting the web for the consumers or more intrusive data collection will be done.
We love our data, but we don’t like big brother data being the cooperation giving all that data away to the biggest ad budgets.
Further, taking leads off of saturated platforms and nurturing them into a controlled environment where marketers can solve problems, provide pain relief, and help more will reshape and redefine marketing toward the better.

Good vs. Evil.

Let me just state this passionate belief that I have, all marketers are not evil. That said, many are attached to leads and quotas which by default make them suspect to bad behavior. But that is more of a business management design failure than talent or ethics of the marketer themselves. Good marketers are sociological, anthropological and rewarding. If you can respect the culture, and respect the fact that others might have a worldview different than what your-your product/service caters too, then you are a good marketer. Marketing is about understanding and respecting the culture and adapting strategy as such. In a Buddhist worldview, it is the philosophy of detachment. The ability to see a person point fo view void from your own ego and open to the idea that others have a vastly different view. The ability to understand and have empathy and develop communications and campaigns around this world view. This is the art of good marketing. Spamming and blasting and over exaggerating value propositions is desperate. These are the marketers who give marketers a bad name.

Interestingly enough, the main motivation behind this post was the fact that the person who was in this photo wearing the Google Glasses struck a nerve with me some time ago. Not a bad nerve mind you, but in a juxtaposition of this rant, an interesting one. A few years back, she was heading up the social media strategy for one of the largest consumer electronic brands in the world. She was kind enough to give me a tour of their campus and during this tour, we were catching up on social media trends. One of the topics of discussion was engagement and outreach. Specifically, a brand or an individuals follower counts on social Twitter. I made the comment that if a person is following more than they are followed that then they are grabbing more than they are returning in regards to engagement and content. She took offense to this. I was actually shocked. This person is someone who rarely gets offended and she is smart. Very. She had more followers than who she followed, so I was confused. She is not someone who friend-jacks or just following random people to not engage with. So I wanted to understand her perspective as to why this was so offensive.

This conversation is not about a popularity contest mind you. It is about the observation about how brands and individuals engage. She told me that if she is wanting to sit back and experience the social web and more or less soak up information, she had the right to and should not be judged based on that follower count ratio as someone who might not be effective in this space. I asked her if this was a more research minded approach to understanding tribes or social culture?

She responded, Does it matter? I pondered to myself a bit wondering why, to me, it does. We moved on to another topic of discussion but I often reflect back to that conversation throughout the years. I still conclude that it should. The social web is transparent for the most part. You know the creepers, you know the broadcasters, you know the brands that service their customers well within this space and those that fall painfully short. The cocktail party approach to social marketing is an approach that has been inherent for nearly a decade now. That said, the technology of collecting social data has evolved. Companies like Google and Facebook are collecting actions, semantic data, intent etc., in more ways that direct engagement and/or social voice. Putting on those goggles and collecting behavior for marketers to learn and target campaigns too is much like following without engaging. It is now the machine soaking up culture and feeding it to the cracked out marketers (of which I am painfully aware of I am.)

The point being, it should matter.

Data is good. A collection of data that is noninvasive of the community is good as well. But the accountability of this data at the hands of all marketers (both good and bad) is what we as a community of internet marketers lack. The fact that Facebook ads have become noise to so many consumers is proof of this. The fact that users are clicking less on ads and platforms are trying to become more and more clever to hide the fact that it is indeed sponsored content means abuse is happening too frequently. The platforms are adjusting to fool the user that paid content is actual organic content. This is not healthy for us as marketers.

Gimmie Links!This is the wild west of marketing. There are black hatters, gray hatters, and white hatters that try to play within community-defined rules and regulations and platform terms of service. Is it our responsibility to police how this data is being used? No, the platforms themselves do that. But I feel the responsibility is ours to call a spade a spade and enhance the creative delivery within these systems. We build our careers around such opportunity and should call out bad marketing when we see it. We should strive to keep honest engagement alive and truly connect the dots between behavior and content. We must not abuse the data but learn from one another to build meaningful marketing opportunities.

If we abuse this data and start exploiting these passive collection points with bait and switch marketing tactics, then users will revolt, data will be tarnished, and more technology collecting new data will be pushed deeper into our lives as consumers. Right now marketers have access to your credit card purchase habits, your grocery shopping habits, the TV shows you watch, the songs you listen to, the magazines you subscribe to, and your gift card transactions. Let’s put goggles on walking down the street and collect that data too to feed the beast. I know I am hungry for it. What’s next?

Responsible data and the crack.

My name is Kevin Spidel and I am an addict. I am addicted to data. No seriously, I sometimes drool at the idea of what I could do with this data. Some background

I first got into marketing data (at that point I didn’t even know what I was doing was marketing) when I ran passionate campaigns around social justice. Yes, I was a lefty liberal progressive who didn’t believe that unjust wars and unjust killing were good for us. Call me naive, call me young whatever, that is not really the point of this article, just giving you perceptive. I put 10 hard years of my life professionally fighting for the cause. I was a lobbyist on the Hill, a campaign manager hated on my the Democratic Party and even a National Field Director for a Presidential candidate. I am not divulging this to be righteous or arrogant, but laying down perspective of spending that time trying to find the passionate folks in society who are with us based on their lifestyle, subscriptions, behavior, etc. I wanted to authentically find people who are passionate about our subjects/issues and I had little money to find, motivate, and invoke a response. Ultimately that is what digital marketing is about. find, motivate, invoke.

Let me be clear you can’t fake this.

When you scout out and hunt down a person who is passionately aware of your campaign issues and you can’t fake the sell. You need to convince, empower, and then mobilize the potential voter. Voters are harder to sell than anything I have every had to market in my life, let me tell you. Remember, I worked with passionate campaigns trying to prove a point and make an impact on the nation. We can’t bullshit the facts and we don’t have the money to mass saturate the market with branded content. We had to be smart, nimble, and not only close the sell but then invoke and empower them to remarket and evangelize the message. With little resources and a lot of passion, data was the edge I had on other campaigns. I would try to infuse as much knowledge as I could into my targeted lists and build campaigns that returned the biggest bang for the buck. This was the birth of me as a marketer who really values the data, the audience and the right message.

Add to this fact, I have always been a geek. Like a bleeding-edge-adopter-of-all-tech-and-gadgets like a geek. I always respected new gadgets, new systems, new tech to understand its relevance in the marketplace. In 2006 2010 I worked with a lot of social media startup companies. Had my own agency, and had a few wins and losses. I got to know many of the giants today during this time when we were all bootstrapping for a dream. There were parallels to this startup era of my campaign days. Limited resources but lots of data. So bridging data to understand what is working and what is not working with many of these startups was a natural transition.

Data gave us the ability to know what the users want and how to communicate to them. It wasn’t until recently when I had access to some major resources to really see the scale of rich marketing data. In 2010 I launched a new social marketing arm of Gannett. The goal was to listen to semantic/social intent behavior and engage with social media adopters and lead them through a discovery funnel that eventually would drive commerce for our clients. We were successful to a point. But demand was strong. We, as every company must do with success, had to scale. The scaling led me to the point of becoming more of a frontman in explaining/marketing/selling what we do within the markets we launched the product in rather than stay in the shop and perfect the actual product and adapt the team for evolution. Not respecting the pulse of the digital climate and adjust the fulfillment of the product accordingly is how marketing ultimately failed in that experiment. Data is attractive to clients. Access to these behaviors, these actions and putting Gannett’s clients in front of these moments was not only addictive to the client but us as marketers. Lesson learned: Don’t abuse the data. Evolve the product with the data. Data is more than an opportunity. When paired with a marketing strategy, it must breathe with the community and the offering.

I eventually left Gannett because of this. The problem is in this digital age when you see an angle, you build fast on it and try to corner and scale without respect of the reality that things evolve fast. Gannett had reached in 89 print markets and 29 broadcast markets. We could introduce this new intent-based listening and lead generation model to many local markets for small and medium-sized businesses. I felt like I was doing a positive thing for the nation and creating social change using data by pairing opportunity with intent while driving commerce This plan could help rebuild local small businesses more so than a government stimulus program would do from the government during these times of recession Trust me, I spent time in the government trying. I truly believe that marketing (the right way, will lead to community prosperity more than political or government reform will ever do. That is another rant I will get into in another post.)

I won’t lie when I had access to user data from Gannett on how readership/viewership engages with all newsworthy and lifestyle content in our 86 print markets and 29 broadcast markets I did geek out. I mean the access to such audience is crack to the dude that had little access to these tools and toys for years. However with such access is power and temptation to abuse.

Now that I had this reach with Gannett we promised this good marketing to many and fast. The matching intent with content based on behavior data is crack for many sales reps. In an effort to scale we hired fast and launched faster. Market to market we did not train well. We gave them a taste of this crack. How to find customers for Gannett’s big clients through this semantic data. It was honest and true, but without the adequate training and poor managing of expectations, the crack became too much too soon. The promise to clients combined with the lack of systems tested and continue to evolved based on market feedback lead for many launches of campaigns that were just not ready. False promises to clients with the lack of ability to adequately deliver.

Marketers must manage expectations better. We often fall victim to the sales pitch sounding sexy. Promising and not delivering is the worst for a brand or a solution. Connecting intent with an opportunity based on this semantic targeting must be nurtured. Marketing automation is key to managing expectations. Taking leads off of a saturated platform and managing the funnel in a controlled environment will help us get off the crack.

Nurture. Reward. Redefine good marketing.

GoodMarketing automation leveled the field for marketers, thankfully. Marketing automation is the combination of creative and logic. The left and right brain fueling marketing and lead nurturing. This means you have defined an intent, exploited it, respected it, nurtured it to the point you educate, then qualify and build interest toward a sales-ready lead. I know that is a lot of geek talk but the point is, that if someone turns their head your way, respect it. Nurture it. Empower it. But the most important thing about this process is to not tell them what you think. good marketers listen! Great marketers listen and score their responses in a way that authentically gives them a result of their discomfort.

Yes, we have access to wonderful data that define intent, but that data is often skewed based on the abuse of the platform by marketers gaming the targeting. A lead funnel through marketing automation gives us the ability to control the path and data clearly. We can drive a user through an interesting path by rewarding them. each touch point we collect their data in our environment. No longer dependent on 3rd party data sets, this is our ecosystem. By taking the lead out of the environment of a competitive landscape full of good and bad marketing tactics you can, in essence, police these channels. In order to effectively nurture the lead, you must give more than you take.

Back to my follower ratio mentioned previously. Good marketers give more than they take. They listen, they engage, and they reward. Bad marketers broadcast and ask and probe without giving anything in return. Not to say the colleague I mentioned before was trying to market something, she was just observing. Even in observation mode in a lead funnel, you want to learn. Reward the lead through the funnel along the way with case studies, solutions, answers to questions, etc.

Let’s be honest, no company wants to pay for marketing. But if they want to know why their competition is doing that is effective, you need to listen to the pain points of your core audience/clients. If you honestly listen and respond to pain points, you will get more leads that are honest. Point being, if you ask something from your potential lead, give them a response that gives them more.

A B2B example: A defined concern from a lead expressed that came through a landing page talking about social media concerns. The lead declared in a form I don’t really know how to measure my ROI on social media? The initial response should be to give them examples of measurement that is connect to how your service reports ROI for the client. You want to do this way before you respond with a pitch. This will allow the user to explore more with trust and for us to find their pain points. We then create the opportunity for them to opt-in with questions that are legitimate, and for us to respond with solutions that mitigate their anxiety.

See? Good marketing!

Give pain relief. Help solve problems.

Core point, if you ask a question, then give them something in return that is relevant. Marketers can not just take. Give. Please. More.

This is what I am building and working with over at Voice Media Group. Rewarding consumers, clients, and building partnerships. The good marketing stuff.

seriously-shut-upWhat a rant!

I could go on and on. In fact, I have pages of notes. If you are still reading at this point in the blog, I am impressed. This got really long winded.

You can tell I am passionate and protective of data, how it is used, consumer behavior being protected and treasured, and studied. We need to respect this data, this space and call a spade for a spade. There are bad marketers out there. There are many great ones too. But when we learn, adapt, and reward consumer behavior, I think us marketers will get a better wrap that we deserve.

On that note, here are some great resources for the good marketers out there:

  • 1) WOMMA

    2) aimClear

    3) Site Tuners

    4) Convince and Convert

    6) V Digital Services

  • Loaded Words

    This blog posts inspired my project #VoicesofAZ (Orginal post: April 8th, 2010.)

    • Pro-Life, Pro-Choice.
    • Liberal, Conservative.
    • Socialist, Capitalist.
    • Freedom, Fascists.
    • God.

    The power of words is an interesting thing. Over the last 10 years, I have worked in many different campaigns: political, educational, marketing and advocacy. We use these words to invoke a response or make a point: to manipulate the outcome of discourse.

    They are loaded words. Regardless of your belief, these words are trump cards. Pull them out during a conversation and you will get a heated response. Each person has their own bias to each of the words listed above. Is anyone really ever “anti-life” or “anti-choice?” By the literal understanding of those words devoid of the context in which they’re used, no, but people identify their beliefs to these loaded words.

    The die was cast by those, like me, who have spent millions of dollars in ad campaigns, positioned opinion pieces in your daily newspaper and with talking points for the talking heads to which many listen.

    Personally, I respect that game because both sides of any argument have the same tools to play it. However, I have grown tired of the consequences of these loaded words in every day, neighborly conversation.

    God. Thousands of traditions and faiths have a different understanding of this word. Wars are fought and millions have died over this word. We have all been at that dinner party where the word “God” was used to justify a point. The tone of the conversation changed right? If wars have been fought over such words/concepts then why bring that into a dinner conversation to prove a point? No matter the intent, a reaction will be made. Be mindful of this.

    In recent conversations, many supporting Obama’s Health Care Reform Bill have been called Socialist. The concept of Socialism being used to label supporters of a bill drafted and voted on by an established republic is not meant to be literal. It is meant to be tongue-in-cheek.

    This is the point. Too often we react or use loaded words to invoke a response versus really, truly listening to another person’s point of view and finding common ground. As a campaign architect, I have seen the damage this has done to every day, neighborly conversations. It pains me.

    Voices of Arizona was created to have a discussion about YOUR opinions with the goal to strengthen community dialogue. At the end of the day, we might still disagree, but through the process of engaging in respectful dialogue, we can harness a stronger community. We try hard to avoid such words, or at the very least by mindful of them when we use them.

    Be mindful of loaded words in a conversation. They might mean something completely different to the person with whom you are sharing a conversation. Before you use such words, be mindful that it might just be a landmine you are setting down. Is your goal really to blow the conversation up? Because often, such words do.