Monthly Archives: April 2020

Apr 29

Should you invest in marketing during a crisis

By Michal Koziol | Strategy

There were some signals of a downturn coming but nobody expected a global pandemic and crisis of the scale we’re experiencing right now in the second quarter of 2020. Businesses from all industries have found themselves in an unprecedented situation — a situation that no one could have foreseen or planned for. The best contingency plans did not predict a crisis of this magnitude. 

One of the first reactions during a crisis is to cut costs; and that’s often a very good approach. But, as with anything else, cost-cutting has to be strategic and put in a bigger context. After all, you don’t want to saw off the branch you’re sitting on, right? 

So it begs the question – should I or should I not invest in marketing during this crisis? It depends on your situation and you’ll need to make the decision yourself; but here are several considerations you should take into account: 

  • Take Advantage of Lower Advertising Costs — Advertising on social media is at the cheapest level in 10 years. What used to cost $1 now costs $0.10. So if you can spend $100 to get 10x the return you would have gotten just a few months ago, perhaps it’s worth doing
  • Take Advantage of Less Competition — Now is the time to be visible and play offense, because most businesses will be playing defense. That means less competition and more opportunities for you. If you can get in front of the eyes of your potential customers at the cheapest level, then it sounds like a reasonable approach
  • Consider Your Conversion Rate — Does your offer convert? If it does, now is probably a good time to double down on it and add fuel to the fire. If your offer doesn’t convert it’s probably better to save your advertising dollars right now. Why? Because you need to conserve cash during times of crisis, and testing offers without having enough cash reserves is not the best strategy
  • Build Your Pipeline for Less — Even if your clients aren’t buying from you right now, you can still use this time to build your pipeline. When things go back to normal in a few months you’ll be teed up with all those leads you’ve gathered. If you “save” the marketing investment now, you’ll be building the pipeline later when there’s more competition and higher advertising costs. Plus, you won’t be ready to run as soon as this is over… instead you’ll be trying to build momentum at the same time your competition is.

If you’re in a position to invest, now is a very good time to keep your marketing focused on getting new business. Keep in mind that you might not close the new leads right away, but the pipeline you’re building now will pay off in the long run. Your marketing efforts will be the cheapest now and your ability to stay top of mind for your clients will go a long way when things go back to normal. Your clients focus on two important aspects when making purchase decisions: price and trust. If you keep building your brand – and your clients’ trust in you – right now, your marketing efforts will bring the expected return later. 

Photo by Brian McGowan on Unsplash

Apr 29

Dos and Donts in marketing during a crisis

By Michal Koziol | Strategy

There is a difference between making money from the crisis and during the crisis. And during this unprecedented time you, as a business, need to tread carefully not to cross a fine line between keeping your business afloat and serving your clients versus taking advantage of the crisis to make a quick buck.

Some basic dos and dont’s to keep in mind right now:

  1. Keep serving your clients to the best of your ability. This is the time when your clients need you. Due to the information overload, shutdowns and confusion of what kind of businesses can be open and what should be closed, it’s important that you make sure your clients know you’re operational. A simple Facebook Ad that says “Hey [location] we’re still open and happy to serve you. Contact us at XYZ” will do
  2. Adjust your message to the current situation. If you keep a happy uplifting messaging you used to have before the crisis some of your potential clients might consider you tone-deaf. Make sure you recognize the situation and explain how you keep serving them. 
  3. Don’t use messaging that evokes fear. Everyone knows what the situation is, so there is no need to use click-baity, sleazy or sensational messaging in your marketing now just to get more clicks and more traffic to your website. Not only is this uncool but also against social media platforms’ policies.
  4. Don’t raise prices on products just because the demand is high (ex toilet paper, hand sanitizers etc). Now’s not the time for the quick buck as your clients are struggling to find essentials. Your help now will go a long way once all of this craziness is over.

Remember that all business is personal. And as a business owner make sure you run your business and your marketing with the main reason WHY you run this business in mind. That reason is to serve your clients. Your business should be there to serve them and provide them with value. Now, more than ever, it is important to ensure that what we do as businesses is helpful and tactful. 

Photo by Tonik on UnsplashCopy

Apr 28

Case Study: How We Made A MedSpa $67,910 With $761.47 In Ad Spend During Black Friday

By Charlotte Sargeant | Case Study

Case Study: How We Made A MedSpa $67,910 With $761.47 In Ad Spend During Black Friday  

The Client

Profiles Laser and Medical

Profiles Laser is a medspa in the US, providing a wide range of services to address age management, weight loss and aesthetics. Their goal is to help their clients to look and feel their best!

The Challenge

Business requirements

Profiles came to us looking to drive revenue via their huge Black Friday sale. As an agency, we have run their Black Friday promotions for the last 2 years. They offered discounts across a wide range of treatments, from facials, to Botox, to eyelash extensions. 

Campaign requirements

Profiles was looking to target their local area, sending traffic to a fully transactional funnel where users could purchase the deals online and receive an email with redemption and purchase details.

Desired outcome

Beat the previous year’s Black Friday sales of $44,360!

The Solution

How did we approach it?

We sent traffic to a fully transactional funnel landing page which displayed a countdown timer to create urgency. The funnel displayed all the offers, took payment, sent the data to Facebook™ and provided the customer with a confirmation email. 

We targeted users based on their location, those who live within close range of the medspa. We optimized the campaign for purchases and let Facebook™ work its magic at finding the best people within the audience to target, with the ads it deemed most appropriate. 

We utilized a mixture of creatives – both images and video. The ad copy referenced Black Friday, displayed some of the deals, reflected on the time of year and also drove urgency.

The Results

We blew the previous year’s Black Friday sales out of the water… We increased the revenue by 65%.

In total, we generated $67,910 in revenue from $761.47 in ad spend. 

2 ad creatives in particular drove the best cost per purchase, and so were favored by Facebook. The video creative delivered a cost per purchase of $6.11 and the medspa’s own image of a treatment taking place generated a cost per purchase of $9.43.

We had a call with our Facebook Representative and he was amazed by the results we got in this campaign. Here’s what he had to say “I’ve never seen a ROAS [return on ad spend] off 144 [meaning for every dollar spent you get $144 dollars in revenue] from a reach campaign”

Facebook representative feedback about the campaign performance
Apr 28

Lead Generation Case Study – Premiere Recruitment Firm For Behavioral Health

By Charlotte Sargeant | Case Study

About the Client

FCS – The Premiere Recruitment Firm For Behavioral Health

FCS is a nationwide recruitment firm in the US, focusing on behavioral health opportunities. They help employers to solve one of their most frustrating problems: finding highly qualified, motivated candidates for their behavioral health position openings.

They’ve been in business since 1982, and have over 3 decades of experience in Behavioral Health Recruitment.

The Challenge

Business requirements

FCS came to us looking to find high quality, pre-qualified leads for their recruitment service. They requested leads to complete an application form detailing their job history, qualifications and a copy of their resume. FCS was looking for leads within their specific niche, ready to find a new job, and willing enough to complete the equivalent to a job application form.

Campaign challenge

We first started running ads using a lead magnet with advice on how to write the perfect resume. After receiving their free lead magnet, users were encouraged to apply for the free recruitment service. The lead magnet performed well and generated low cost per signup, but the conversion to leads who completed the application was low at 2.9% and CPL was $272.74 from 21 leads.

We tried different ad creatives for the resume lead magnet in our attempt to capture the right type of opt-ins – ones that would lead to completed applications. But all that did was alter the success of the resume opt-in, not the success of the application form.

Desired outcome

We wanted to achieve the benchmark of completed applications coming in between $100-$200, as the cost per application usually increases when the user is asked to provide a lot of information. Each converted lead would typically result in between $10,000-$30,000 for the recruitment firm, dependent on the job role of the candidate placed.

The Solution

How did we approach the challenge?

We started with the basics. Back to the data!

Of those who opted-in for the lead magnet, only 2.9% applied for the job-matching service. It became clear that not everybody who signed up for tips on how to improve their resume were necessarily the people trying to find a new job in the behavioral health sector.

We rationalized that a resume improvement opt-in could be appealing to anyone at any time of their career, or to people who were playing with the idea of finding a new position, but not ready to take action yet. Essentially, this type of lead magnet wasn’t exclusively appealing to those looking to find a new job.

That 2.9% conversion also told us that maybe the application page wasn’t compelling enough to drive applications.

What was the solution?

We decided to remove the lead magnet entirely and send users directly to the application page. We used the same conversion campaign, optimized for leads and the same ad set with the same audience. We even used the same image which had delivered a good response rate for the resume lead magnet.

We altered the ad copy to make sure we were capturing the attention of our target audience. We also adjusted the landing page to make it more irresistible for visitors to complete the application!

Results

We blew the benchmark out of the water…

Cost per lead reduced from $272.74 to $64.65. So far, we’ve delivered 28 leads at the new, reduced CPL. We also increased conversion from 2.9% to 5.2%

From the same amount of ad spend, the previous strategy delivered 18 leads over a period of 69 days. With the new strategy we delivered 28 leads over a period of 35 days.

There are always multiple variables to consider when running funnels for clients – such as the niche, the avatar, the number of steps expected of the user… to name just a few! But this client, and these results, really demonstrate the importance of testing strategies that may seem unorthodox or counter-intuitive. Usually we wouldn’t go directly to a cold audience, especially with such a detailed application form before warming them up – but the results showed us that this strategy delivered the best performance!

Update…

Since the strategy update discussed in this blog, we’ve made a further strategy tweak and reduced the cost per lead down even more, down to $35 per completed application across 104 new leads.

To achieve this, we moved to utilizing lead forms within Facebook, rather than sending users away from the platform to a funnel. The lead form asks all the same questions as the funnel did and captures all the answers within the Facebook platform. We also narrowed the audience down further within the behavioral health niche.

Brand Central Marketing
Apr 06

Want to be an influencer? Here’s how.

By Michal Koziol | Strategy

With the current state of online entrepreneurship, quite a few people want to become the influencers of the Internet. We go on Facebook or Instagram, see the amazing pictures of beautiful, successful people with amazing items (boats, cars, watches etc) they possess and we want to be like them. We want to become influencers. 

Here’s the tricky part. To become an influencer you need to…influence people. You need to have mechanisms that will change people’s beliefs. That will take them from point A to point B and then to C and so on. Your job is to guide them and show them the path. There isn’t a shortcut to it. There is no magic formula to follow and become an influencer and a personal brand overnight. 

Even though there is no magic formula that will make you an influencer with a snap of your fingers, there are some fundamental elements you need to put in place and build a sphere of influence that will result in you becoming an important part of your clients’ lives – an influencer:

  1. Have you realized that you often talk with someone about a concept that is so familiar to you and that you believe so much in, that it blows your mind someone might not be “getting it”? The reason it happens is that you and those other people are on a different stage of the beliefs path. They have a different worldview than you have. Your job is to bridge that gap in worldviews so you are all “on the same page”
  2. You need to do your research and identify where they currently are, what is their current worldview. A direct marketer would start hitting their current worldview with some direct response marketing messaging – hitting the pain points, fears. This will work on some and will “convert” some people to take you up on your offer and purchase your product or service. Direct response marketing is a very common approach to selling online, but it won’t make you an influencer. And direct response tends to “push” people to do something while building a sphere of influence is a way to “pull” people towards something, to lead them. 
  3. Once you have identified what the current worldview of your audience is, your next step is to identify the steps they would need to take, the elements they need to understand to reach the same worldview you take. This is a journey you take them on. 
  4. Now, when their worldview is in the same spot yours is, they see you as an influencer – they know you, they trust you, they like you. This is when they will believe in your offers, products and services and will be eager to purchase them. 
  5. Some ways to build the sphere of influence are:
    • Running a series of online training sessions helping your audience understand the concepts and steps that are the “gap” between your worldviews
    • Writing a series of blog posts 
    • Educating using Facebook Live
    • Sending email nurturing sequence that guides your audience 

Building a sphere of influence is a long-term strategy that has the potential to build relationships with your audience for life and to impact the masses. Worth a try. 

Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

Brand Central Marketing
Apr 06

Fix your marketing funnel one bottleneck at the time

By Michal Koziol | Strategy

When launching a new offer online, a new funnel or any other marketing activity that involves spending money, it can feel a little bit stressful. That stressful feeling in the stomach can lead to making decisions that, in the long run, are not for the best interest of the business. 

The tendency we see is the “pressure” and urge to change things quickly to limit money spent and “wasted” while we’re conducting tests”. 

There are a few elements that need to be taken into account when evaluating funnels’/offers’ performance and making decisions when to spend money, when to stop, and when to scale:

  1. Salespeople have two rules: Coffee is only for Closers and ABC – Always Be Closing. Meanwhile, the ultimate rule for marketers is ABT – Always Be Testing. We are always trying to get as much data as possible to understand the performance of the market and the response to the offer. That means money needs to be spent to gather, analyze and understand the data.
  2. Most of the funnels have at least a few steps that the customers follow and that means various moving parts to analyze. The urge a business owner might have is to change everything because they are spending money and they want to see the results as fast as possible. Gathering data is a game of patience. It takes time and money to “buy” traffic and gather the data.
  3. Nobody has a crystal ball to guarantee anything. Even if something worked two months ago for one of the clients nobody can guarantee it will work now for a different client. There are just too many variables – the offer, branding, messaging, tone of voice, price structure etc. That is why we need data.
  4. Once the data is sufficient we can evaluate how “healthy” the funnel/offer is and only THEN can we suggest tweaks. And, most likely, those tweaks will not be applied to all elements of the funnel.
  5. The main data points we look at are:
    • Performance of the ads – are people clicking them, do they share them, comment on them, engage with them, and are we driving optimal traffic to the landing page
    • Performance of the funnel – are visitors clicking through one step to the next
    • Performance of the offer – does the offer sell

Any of the above a-c points have subpoints we look at when assessing the situation. That is why it is so important not to make rushed, fear-based decisions that can actually ruin an overall good campaign.

If tweaks are needed, they need to be applied in steps to address the identified (based on data, not on a crystal ball) bottlenecks. Only then can we make educated decisions based on facts.

Photo by NEW DATA SERVICES on Unsplash