Forum Replies Created
Your assumption is correct — and I’ve discussed the ad efficiency in your previous question on How to target Facebook ads.
And it’s quite logical, really. Aiming for reach alone gets you brand awareness. There’s no tangible ROI here and Facebook can wiggle around freely while cutting costs.
Paying for conversion (or a sale) is a tough promise that also depends on your existing brand, creatives, headline, product quality, landing page design – you name it. Most of the time, it’s a tough sell, which is exponentially more expensive for Facebook as well.
Finding a healthy mix is important. It’s usually a combination of sending traffic to freebies and other landing pages that will likely collect leads for you (that you can nurture later) + remarketing on Facebook for this audience which is warming up.
The cost of Facebook campaigns revolves around the traditional “supply and demand” needs.
There is a vast pool of advertisers and a broad set of options you can advertise for. And the more useful the platform is for you and your competitors, the higher their costs.
Which is why you need to be smart while running campaigns on Facebook. What does that mean?
- The more refined your targeting is, the higher the initial costs per click/conversion. This may scale better over time given a decent interest in your product, and even high CPCs may still lead to a higher conversion rate so keep this in mind.
- If you completely omit any targeting, this will likely bring your costs to 2-3 cents per click (even in the US on mobile) which is 10x-100x lower than some standard filters. Some use that for brand building which sells in the long run.
- The more you scale your budget, the more likely is your costs will go up, not down, as you’re reaching the limits of your market.
- Initial ad engagement will determine your long-term costs. Think of click-through rates which gauge the interest in your ad and how willing Facebook is to keep promoting this to their audience.
- Remarketing your audience is cheaper than targeting new leads.
- Sponsoring posts to your fan page is cheaper than traditional targeting (which is why it makes sense building followers despite the lack of organic reach)
- Using bid caps will prevent Facebook from getting too greedy due to automatically adjusted bids.
- A/B testing is worth investing in. Launching 20-$10 campaigns for a $1,000 promotion is a lot smarter than putting the $1K into a single one. With 20 test campaigns, you can gauge creative/copy interest and scale the one with the highest CTR and lowest CPC.
Mostly local businesses and large multinational brands.
With local companies, smaller ones go for cheaper advertisement – newspapers, radio, branding local shops, brochures handed by students.
TV and billboards are both expensive and there’s little to no targeting. They are suitable for large brands that sell at scale and can hypothetically monetize the vast majority of their audience.
Some seasonal campaigns may justify investing in TV or billboards every now and then. Cold and flu drugs sell really well on TV over the winter. Large supermarkets invest more before Black Friday or Christmas (thanks to the shopping craze).
January 26, 2019 at 11:36 am in reply to: What’s your most important interview question for a content marketer? #91
My interviews are hour-long usually, and this is after exchanging a few emails and conducting some due diligence on my end.
Which is why there is no simple question that would rule them all. To make things easier, I’ve listed ten on top of my head that I look for (asking explicitly or not) in a candidate.
1. How do you measure the KPIs for your content marketing campaigns?
Producing content blindly is extremely common for less experienced candidates. Especially college graduates or bloggers writing on emotional, lifestyle topics, “from their heart” — and there’s nothing wrong in this, it’s just a hit-or-miss and not a great investment for a business.
Covering particular areas outside of traffic or shares is always handy. Not easy either, and conversions aren’t always there to measure, but other social mentions, personal emails, subscriptions, backlinks, other conversations related to pieces of content help.
2. Explain the process of doing your due diligence before jumping into writing.
Research is paramount for extraordinary content. Some take it a step further with interviews, gathering mentions, using HARO for quotes or scheduling meetings within the team.
Either way, it’s not an easy “I just get started” answer. Unless they’ve spent 20 years in the industry and decided to convert to an employed full-time writing job.
3. How do you decide what topics to focus on and what format to use?
In case they are involved ever so slightly in the content strategy process, topic ideation is important. Same goes for figuring out what content matters, unless they only do long-form text content.
A great candidate will proactively assess the industry, some of the top competitors, what type of content they produce, whether video or podcasts would be reasonable, are infographics handy for their audience, etc.
4. What were the most effective distribution channels for your content at your previous job?
Translation: were you aware of what’s going on with your content at all?
Was Facebook the “king” of shares (this is a go-to answer so I’d question it) or other channels worked really well?
5. Do you run your own blog?
Most passionate writers would maintain their own online presence as prolific bloggers or content creators. More importantly, a personal blog will reveal the content they are really comfortable with, outside the boundaries of the corporate style guide.
And it’s a great way to run tests and see what works.
P.S. Not mandatory, but often a determining factor of whether this is a job or a way of living.
6. What was the most effective experiment or change you applied in your content that made a difference?
Showcases proactiveness and measuring results.
A lack of answer would mean strictly following protocol and limited understanding of results/outcome within the department.
It’s not the end of the world if you don’t care about either — we just do.
7. What makes a piece of content successful/What would the most incredible piece of content be for readers?
This is an open-ended, broad topic, that also assesses creativity and the power of dreaming.
I say “dreaming” because a writer should be striving to be amazing, a real rockstar in their field, a master of the feather in a sense.
And there’s no shame in looking at ways to improve. If an applicant states that their content is out-of-the-world, I’ll probably stop the interview since it’s pointless.
Also, this measures the potential of helping with content strategy or revealing other forms of content that work well.
8. What is the difference between the top, middle, bottom of the funnel for your readers?
The intent of creating content is often a leading disconnect between bloggers and companies looking for professional content writers.
Content has its own purpose. But at the end of the day, it has to bring revenue (one way or another).
Understanding different types of content and how they incorporate within the marketing funnel is important. Treating transactional intent and informational content differently is one of the factors here.
9. Who are the most prolific writers you truly enjoy following/reading?
Name your heros, in a sense.
I say “writers” since it also allows for book authors, thought leaders, or other influencers. But writing is a byproduct of tons of reading, coming up with fresh ideas and an enhanced verbal train of thought isn’t quite possible withing reading regularly and a lot.
10. What types of information do you include in your pieces for credibility and richness of content?
For most types of content, including stats, quotes, industry data, survey results, and other forms of credibility and trustworthiness is really helpful.
The applicant should name most of these (and then some) right away if they incorporate them for almost every article. Otherwise, I would be wondering if they just spin off content out of an existing piece or two, or write down the most common ideas without really validating them with the latest industry trends.
Sure, it’s a great place to “find” talented fits for your organization.
I stress on *find* as listing them down is just the first step of the process.
I read a wonderful post on the trouble hiring senior engineers a couple of days ago which explains the disconnect between the traditional hiring process and the growing market need for engineers. There have been multiple examples that illustrate the hiring case for more senior candidates:
“When hiring senior engineers, the company doesn’t choose the candidate, the candidate chooses the company.”
Or, put more simply:
“When hiring senior engineers, you’re not buying, you’re selling.”
This is extremely important to figure out while conducting your recruitment campaigns. I urge you to read this post before starting a hiring round as it’s pure food for thought.
LinkedIn is pretty straightforward in its core. Throughout a myriad of filters, you can search for applicants with a previous job experience (and its duration), in certain roles, at given locations, you name it.
You can exclude and include companies you want to avoid (friends) or focus on (relevant industries that will reduce your onboarding experience).
There is no better network that lets you filter as thoroughly, review CVs “for free”, and even get access to testimonials.
The real problem is convincing those applicants that your job is worth pursuing. Of course, top talent is already employed or runs their own business. Making the leap should come with a very legitimate reason — which makes it double as complicated if you don’t have the brand positioning in place.
The recruitment industry is a bit more complicated and there’s no tool that fits all needs.
It covers all industries and types of roles, some on-site and others remote, for various roles across different locations.
The process itself includes a ton of separate steps:
- Job writing
- Publishing across job boards
- Promoting to networks
- Collecting and compiling applications
- Filtering and organizing
- A process tracking system (for applicants) and the status of the conversations
- Collaboration software for reviewing applications together before interviews
- Scheduling meetings or online phone vetting calls
- On-site interviews
- Test assignments
- Offers and negotiations
- Hiring terms finalizing
I am probably missing some steps. But this explains why a single tools doesn’t get the job done.
Ideal.com published a really useful post on the 36 top recruiting software tools of 2019.
There are different techniques which also depend on the organizational structure as a whole.
For instance, a team may have a “senior” expert in their field, a team leader, a supervisor, a department leader, a branch manager…
I’ve also worked with organizations that allocate a single expert to a project. Think of consultancies or social media agencies.
Then I’ve worked with factories or engineering companies, where a project is comprised of experts across a large set of skills, with niche professionals jumping between multiple teams.
Jeff Bezos has shared his “Two-Pizza rule”, stating that a team is too large if they can feed themselves at the room with two large pizzas. Depending on how you look at this, I’d venture 7 to 10 people should suffice.
In project management, 6 to 8 subordinates is optimal for less experienced managers. Professional ones, especially having worked with this particular team for at least a year, can handle 10 to 12 subordinates effectively.
Your mileage may vary, but this should be a good starting point.
It’s hard to help out with a generic reply (since the context matters quite a lot).
What I can say is that every process is comprised of steps, each step expecting some input and resulting in some outcome.
Taking a closer look at each of these steps will reveal some opportunities to research and discover activities to automate.
Not everything can be automated. But plenty of things can, many of whose can be made optimal.
Automating your online presence
With an online presence, consider what it takes to be “present online“.
With existing, evergreen content, you can keep investing in paid campaigns or boosted posts. Facebook (and most ad platforms) are smart and flexible enough to handle most of this on autopilot. So you’re good to go on this front.
Things like content production are different. You either outsource to a ghost writer or write yourself. It’s unique content after all. You can “spin” content with automated tools but the quality would be utterly horrible. Same as automated translation with Google Translate across multiple languages.
Submitting and publishing content? Tools help out with this one. Buffer for scheduling social statuses is one of the options. WordPress allows for scheduling multiple pieces in a row over a period of time.
Email marketing allows for automated cadences, online courses, and others, defined once and iterated upon every subscriber.
January 25, 2019 at 2:27 pm in reply to: As a business owner, would it be a good idea for me to have my own WordPress sit #84
It depends, but probably yes.
A single-person “solopreneurs” do not necessarily need a website. They usually do because this helps their marketing efforts (and that’s what customers look for while doing the due diligence).
Larger firms — 99.999% of them have websites. We’re living in 2019 after all, this is the main place anyone would look at for news, contact details, team information, possibly industry information or additional resources, and much more.
There are certain exceptions, such as restaurants or coffee shops. Most of them do just fine on Facebook, Google My Business, and other local listings. A website may exist but it isn’t really critical.
More about this – Do you need a WordPress website for your small business?
If you refer to monitoring networks, hardware, software, connectivity on a technical level, then it’s all about stability, scalability, security.
Mostly scalability and stability.
Traffic peaks and the like can crash your entire infrastructure if it hasn’t been set up properly. And this is easy to fake with bot traffic and other DDoS attacks aimed at your network.
Most vendors apply a series of steps to prevent that from happening. From caching layers through intrusion prevention systems, web application firewalls, offloading resources externally, etc.
System monitoring as in “network health” or operability of hardware components is also important. Some applications (and additional chips) allow for reviewing the health of hard drives or CPUs, alerting upfront in case the device is about to go offline within the next days/weeks.
It’s pretty flexible, a lot could be done in different portions of the stack.
It doesn’t make sense unless your account is shady and would otherwise be banned.
There may be a few edge cases here, but 99% of the time open is better.
January 24, 2019 at 12:23 pm in reply to: Do you have any tools that helps your employees to be productive? #79
You have to recognize the reason employees are not productive.
This could be due to:
- An inefficient business process
- Lack of ownership (relying and depending on multiple people)
- Lack of experience/skills
- Poor hires
- Lack of a personal time management process
- Lack of motivation
- A wrongful fit for the team
- Poor onboarding
We use Slack and Asana at work and have used other messengers and project management systems for different needs.
Some of our members run time trackers like TimeDoctor or RescueTime for general breakdown of their working hours. We need to fill out spreadsheets for client work in order to be accountable, keep scaling, and track inefficiencies.
You can’t really *help* an employee become more productive. You can motivate them and reduce obstacles, i.e. pending on approvals from management or lack of access to certain platforms.
Everything else is 100% working culture. They either don’t care or they do. Those who do would do anything in their power to contribute to the bottom line. As for everyone else, you can reason with them, share feedback on an ongoing basis, put them on performance improvement plans. But you don’t want to be a shepherd together. Business strategy and growth will affect everyone on the team if your valuable time is spent on an employee who doesn’t care about the job.
What sort of business are you running?
Also, are you referring to your business page or your personal profile?
Facebook’s organic reach is weird, especially for business pages. Sure, boosting a post internally to your followers is usually a worthy investment, it’s cheaper than selling to a cold audience.
There are different marketing strategies that work on Facebook. Some rely on video and retarget after watching for 10 seconds or so.
Or writing a ton of content (and distributing across Facebook).
Or building communities with engaging questions on their way to personal or corporate branding.
There’s no easy answer here. Researching your competitors would give you a rough idea of what works for them. You can play the safe bet by replicating or experimenting along the established strategy.
I would classify the non-successful retention of customers into:
- Lack of long-term vision
- Poor targeting
- Failing business model
- Poor job quality
- Lack of a USP
- Operational challenges
Lack of long-term vision
Onboarding a client should envision the long-term potential of the business relationship.
The best deal you can cut is the one that maximizes the lifetime value of a customer.
This could be handled in different ways — take retainers or support packages as an example. I’ve shared some examples in this video.
Setting up the stage for a long-term game is important. Of course, you need to have a strategy in place, be it through your own products and services or via a network of referrals and other partners who can pick it up (with a kickback for you).
Otherwise, you get the main job done. And that’s it. The client is gone. The next conversation will require half of the warm-up it took you to get there.
Some customers aren’t suitable for long-term clients.
If retaining them is crucial to you, make sure you vet them properly as early as possible.
My core business is a tech agency. 95% of our work is retainer-based.
We rarely take on one-off projects. Some leads are great, but it doesn’t fit the rest of our workflow, investing in R&D and business development for our committed partners.
Consider how important long-term leads are for you — it’s just one way to do it.
Failing business model
I remember a lead calling me with a proposal for some subscription website.
The idea wasn’t lucrative. We would have charged $20K for a somewhat standard build and he would have paid.
However. His business model revolved around a $1/mo subscription. After 15min on the call, we went over the possibilities to make this venture profitable at all, i.e. collecting enough subscriptions at a little incentive for something that required hosting, content marketing, and some promotion.
The business idea was weak by itself. It wouldn’t have been profitable.
Realizing this as early as possible will allow you to work with businesses generating a positive ROI from your work.
Poor job quality
This one is a no-brainer. If the customer isn’t satisfied with the quality of work, retaining them would be a hard sell.
It’s also related to the proper targeting. Your work may be suitable to SMBs but not enterprises. Or the other way around if you are too expensive, but this is a different game.
Lack of a unique selling proposition
What makes you unique?
Convincing anyone to invest in you long-term is contingent on a niche skill.
Competition can steal all of your customers if they have a better deal than yours.
Positioning yourself as an expert in a certain community is important.
Could be a unique skill set. Or a business acumen in a given industry, combined with a portfolio of success stories in this field.
Leveraging your key skill is the added value to a fruitful business relationship.
Communication issues. Lack of an established process.
Tedious or unstable management over time.
Other mistakes caused by the inefficient process management will contribute to killing a successful relationship in the long run.
I would probably rank communication as #1. Great communicators can solve plenty of problematic cases and poor communicators can make an otherwise smooth journey a bitter one.