Facebook Ads: Not Better Than Google, But Different — And Cheaper

You buy Facebook ads. You buy Google ads. Have you noticed a spending pattern emerge along the way? We’re talking about price. Facebook ads are about one-third to one-quarter cheaper than Google ads.

Let’s start by saying that Google is awesome and their ads are, too. We don’t want you to stop using Google. We do, however, want you to keep a little left over in your marketing budget for advertising on Facebook in 2017.

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Facebook ads don’t cost as much as Google, but that doesn’t mean they’re inferior. It means they’re a bargain.

If you advertise only on Google, it’s almost certain you’re missing clients that you could reach if you supplemented your ad buy with a place on the still-undisputed king of all social media.

You can certainly get more creative on Facebook. Target life events. Create lookalike audiences. Develop strategies based on recent purchase history. Nourish leads by using custom audiences.

You can do all of this and more on the cheap compared to what Google charges.

Facebook also has some game-changing goodies designed just for mobile.

Call buttons are, in a word, amazing. Hundreds of millions of Facebook users only access the site through mobile devices, while hundreds of millions more use their phones to check Facebook at least some of the time. Call buttons are the newest, coolest way to capture incoming leads through mobile — all for less than the price of Google ads.

Facebook is still simply too big to ignore. 22.9 percent of percent of people use Facebook. Not Americans, but 22.9 percent of everyone — like, all of humanity. It’s not just the sheer volume of people that is hard to ignore, but the stats on how they use it. People wake up to Facebook, go to sleep to it, get their news from it, and dump countless hours of their lives into it every week.

You could risk missing it all by going steady exclusively with Google.

 


Make the Play: Fresh Content Moves Your SEO Efforts into the End Zone

If you’ve made any effort to try to understand SEO and improve your company’s online presence, you know it’s not an easy task. The “rules” aren’t published, and it seems like they’re always changing. Just when you think you know exactly what you need to do to get your SEO efforts into the end zone, the goal posts move.

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There are companies of all shapes and sizes offering to help you improve your SEO game – for a pretty stiff fee, of course. And while their tactics may help, the key to true SEO success is much simpler than what they’re selling.

It’s content.

Regularly publishing quality, unique content on your website will dramatically improve your SEO efforts.

The trick is, your web pages probably don’t need to change that often. The services you offer, your contact information, your fee schedule, your company history or mission – it’s all fairly static. So how do you regularly update content when there aren’t any updates to make?

You blog.

Adding a blog to your website and creating (and sticking to!) a regular blogging schedule is the most important thing you can do to improve your company’s presence in search engine results. If we know one thing about the “rules” search engines follow, it’s that they strive to find and deliver the most relevant and current content to their users. Their algorithms crawl the web, looking for new pages to index – and every new blog post is a new page. In fact,studies have found that businesses that include a quality blog on their websites see up to 55 percent more site traffic than those that don’t. That’s a pretty convincing reason to start blogging as soon as possible.

So what do you blog about? And where do you find the time?

What do you want your customers to know? You can highlight a product or service. Talk about the history of what you do. Tie your business to upcoming holidays or current events. When you put your mind to it, you discover the options are endless. But as a business owner, endless your time most certainly is not. We get it. Starting a blog sounds great until you look at your calendar and wonder how you’re supposed to squeeze it into your already full schedule.

The Get Smart Group is on your side.

Helping businesses develop compelling content is what we do – and we have the track record to prove it. So if you’re ready to move your company’s SEO efforts down the field, reach out to today.

Put us in, coach. We’re ready to play.


Code Blue – You Need a Marketing Calendar!

Your business is on the Internet like it’s supposed to be. You have a website, a Facebook business page, a Twitter account, all of your top execs are on LinkedIn, and you even started an Instagram account for the business. But nothing is really happening on any of them.

We’d like to pose a question:

Are you posting on these outlets regularly and consistently?

If traffic on them is limited, then we venture to guess that the answer is something along the lines of “not really.” That’s because you don’t have a game plan. When you’re trying to reach your potential customers on every possible virtual channel, you must have a marketing calendar in place. Without one, you’re more likely to only post to Facebook when it’s convenient and not have fresh content popping up on your website to keep the Google algorithms happy.

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Creating a Marketing Calendar: Where Do You Begin?

It’s best to start by focusing on just one outlet for a while. If it’s Facebook, utilize the post scheduling feature for your business page and schedule several posts days or even weeks in advance so that there is consistency.

If it’s your website that you’d like to see more traction on, then get your blog active and get some new content up at least once a week. Plan your posts in advance and write several at a time to schedule the posts ahead of time, so you don’t get bogged down in deadlines.

If the thought of all of this completely overwhelms you, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In fact, this marketing calendar thing is one our areas of expertise over here at The Get Smart Group. Every day we have professional writers working on new blogs and social media posts for our clients, as well as email marketing campaigns and website content.

Reach out to us and see what we can do to make your marketing calendar a more manageable aspect of branding your business, so you get more potential customers in through the proverbial virtual door.


Get Smart: Give Your Business Marketing a Fighting Chance Online

What’s your search engine optimization strategy? What metrics are you using to measure your organic search numbersIf your answer to these questions about business marketing is “Shut up. I have no idea what you’re talking about. Now leave me alone, I have a business to run,” then you need The Get Smart Group.

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Here’s the thing. You’re great at what you do. You’re passionate, you’re honest and you stand by your product and your reputation — but no one knows it because you’re terrible at building and maintaining a winning web presence.

Business Marketing: That’s Where We Come In

You continue doing what it is you know and love, and we’ll work behind the scenes to make you more competitive online. From your website to your blog to your social media accounts, we’ll develop your online business marketing presence in a way that positions you as an authority in your field. You’ll have credibility with both the people searching the web for your product and the search engines that determine which businesses get seen and which ones get buried in the rankings.

When people search for the product you make or the service you provide, they couldn’t do better than you — because you rock. But they don’t get you. They get your competitor — you know, that idiot who shows up overdressed to all the trade shows?

Why? Because he developed an online marketing and branding strategy that made his business appear higher than yours in the search rankings. Even though you do better work for a fairer price, he gets the job.

We’re here to steal the job back from him and return it to its rightful owner — you.


Your Business Marketing Needs Help

You’ve spent countless hours and dollars on what started out as an idea. It took sleepless nights, missed holidays and most of your best curse words — but you did it. You launched your own business. You’re officially an entrepreneur. There is, however, one small problem: business marketing.

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Have You Seen Your Website?

Your website looks like an oil painting. People don’t come to websites to buy stuff. They come to learn. You’ve been in the business for years. Your visitors want to borrow your knowledge on what works, what doesn’t, what to watch out for, mistakes to avoid and how to get the most for their money. Maybe then they’ll want to buy — but only after you’ve used your web presence to position yourself as a credible and authoritative force in your industry.

Business Marketing on the Internet

You’re not using your social media channels to showcase your personality. You’re not using your blog to post trustworthy, informative content that potential customers can rely on to make informed buying decisions. You’re not leveraging your website to guide people through their purchasing journeys.

Of course you’re not — you don’t have time! Running a business takes, like, 25 hours a day.

How are you going to do everything you need to do and also launch email campaigns that keep your customers informed and engaged? How are you going to use your Facebook and Twitter accounts in a way that makes people want to join your mailing list in the first place?

You’re not. We are.

Here’s a fancy marketing term: cross promotion.

When all your online holdings — from social media and your blog to your website and YouTube channel — are all integrated into a cohesive web presence that is unified for the same goals and purpose, then you’ve got game.

Right now, you don’t have game. Right now you have an outdated website with the personality of a bowl of oatmeal. It’s hard to find, it’s hard to navigate and it’s easy to miss.

Don’t worry. We’re here for you. You know how passionate you are about your business? That’s how passionate we are about ours — and our business is all about making your business better.


Capture. Every. Lead.

There are a lot of reasons leads don’t turn into customers. Asking for their contact information isn’t one of them. We see all manner of lead generation methods (and reasons to capture leads) when working with pool and spa dealers around the country. Some are promoting big shows or events, others are simply trying to drive traffic to their retail stores. Whatever the reason for generating leads, there are five things to remember when it comes to any type of lead.

Leads want to be captured.

Have you ever given someone your contact information and hoped that they never contacted you? Of course not. If someone is interested in what you have to sell and has any interest in ever purchasing, they’re a lead and you need to make sure you capture them.

I often describe this in terms of a car dealership. If you’ve ever walked onto a car lot, you know that within a very short time someone will come up and introduce themselves. Whether you know it or not this is the first step in capturing the lead. Over the course of the conversation a car sales person will (typically) eventually get your name, what you’re interested in, your phone number and your email address. These are incredibly valuable pieces of information. Smart businesses know this and will stop at nothing to capture lead information.

Your website needs to act like a car sales person. At every turn, it needs to be politely asking for contact information. “But I don’t like websites that ask me to fill out forms” I hear you saying. Get over it. I’m sure you’ve filled out at least one form on a website in your time browsing the internet. Do you know why? You were interested in that product and wanted to learn more. Would you return to a car dealership if no one ever introduced themselves to you? Probably not. If someone is ready to move forward with learning about your product and you never give them the opportunity to easily get in touch, they’re not likely to return and your marketing efforts were for nothing.

Leads need to be captured.

Do you spend money on advertising? Has a customer (that you spent countless hours making happy) ever provided you with a testimonial or referal? Are potential customers walking into your store. Are you capturing every lead?

As a business owner, you absolutely must capture every lead. They need to be captured. If you’re not, you are literally throwing money away – and not in that casual, incorrect usage of the word ‘literal’. It’s going to waste, never to be seen again.

Recently, Tim and I went to a weekend spa sale with a client. Our job was to sit at the front door and capture every lead that walked in the door. I’m proud to say that out of 155 people that walked through the door, we managed to get 145 names with email addresses. Spa shows are expensive. When all costs are accounted for, every person who walks in the door costs a dealer anywhere from $300 to $500. Averaging that out, if one third of the people who walk through the door buy a spa, you’re spending $1200 in advertising for every spa sold. Profitable? Usually. But it’s more profitable if you capture every lead.

The math is very, very profitable

Let’s keep the math fun going. Of those 145 email addresses we captured, let’s say the third mentioned above purchased. That leaves us with about 96 people who didn’t buy. Now, let’s keep the numbers small. If you enter all of those people in to a ‘post show’ follow-up campaign using our Leadgic automated follow-up system, you’ll close another 10% of those within the next 90 days. Assuming an average profit of $3000 per spa, that’s another $27,000 (profit) in your pocket. In most cases, you’ll also close another 10% within the next six months. Another $24,000 (hey, profit!). What if you’re doing a show every weekend? Even if you only do four shows per year, you’re throwing away $100,000 simply by not capturing every lead and staying in touch. Wow.

Leads that don’t show up or don’t come into your store are still leads!

Let’s continue with the show example. Based on analytics reports of website traffic, we see thousands of people who visit the show landing page. Are you capturing these leads? Or are you just telling them to come to the show? I think you see the math coming…

Let’a assume 3000 people visit you landing page and we capture just 1% of their contact information. That’s 30 leads who are interested in what you have to sell (see above). Using the same 10% in 90 days and 10% in six months model if you properly follow-up with these people you’re looking at another 6 sales, netting you ~$18,000 (per event!).

This model applies no matter what your business.

Spa shows are concentrated examples of lead generation, lead capture and getting new customers. But this same math applies no matter what your business. By not making concentrated efforts to capture every lead you’re throwing away tons of potential revenue that is even harder to get next time.

As someone who routinely helps businesses capture more leads, properly follow-up with those leads and generate more sales, I ask that you take a good, hard look at your lead capture apparatus and make sure you’re capturing every lead, every time.

If you’d like to review your current strategy please do get in touch, we’d love to help.


Do Old Leads Die?

Serious question.  What happens to old leads?  Do they become worthless at some point?  Here at The Get Smart Group, we don’t think so.  Well, maybe after 20 years when the product no longer exists, but really, old leads are still good leads until you get a “No” or a “Yes”.

When we’re building out follow-up systems for our clients, we always include a “Re-Engage” sequence.  This is where we put all of your “dead” leads and let the system work its magic.  On average, 10% of those leads will immediately come back to life and become hot.  Another 30% will re-engage with you in the following 90 days.  This is from a list that was previously deemed “dead”.

In fact, when Ali and I were doing a training for a new client back East, we had started the re-engage campaign on a Thursday for Above Ground Pool leads.  By Tuesday, they had sold 7 new pools just to the old leads. It’s always fun seeing a system work and a near immediate ROI.

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Think about it this way.  A lead would not enter their contact information if there was not some interest in what you have to sell.  Even if the timing isn’t right, they’re still interested.  And hey, even if they went to a competitor, you still have accessories and related products you can sell to them, right?

Once you realize that there is immense money in the list, you’ll realize how important a proper follow-up system is.  When you work with us to craft a customized follow-up system, we’ll make sure that all of your leads are getting emails and your sales people are getting reminders for a minimum of one year.  If you’re not sure how often people are getting contacted (or for how long), please get in touch.  We can walk you through what we do and how we can give you the peace of mind you’re looking for.

Old leads don’t die, they just go to the company with the best follow-up.  Be that company.


Quick lead follow-up makes you money

The longer it takes you to follow-up with a lead, the less likely you are to close the sale.  This has always been true, but is even more important to understand in the world of online lead generation and customer research.

Time to respond to leadsA timeless article in the Harvard Business Review shows what happens when you don’t follow-up right away.  In fact, the statistics are downright scary.  After studying 1.25 million sales leads, these two amazing numbers have come to light:

  • You are seven times more likely to qualify a lead if you follow up within an hour than any time later.
  • You are sixty times times more likely to close a lead within the first hour than if you wait more than 24 hours.

I want to make sure you read that.  SIXTY TIMES MORE LIKELY!  Ok.  Got it?

When a new lead comes in to your business, you need to have a process in place to follow-up with that lead immediately.  Whether a dedicated person or the nearest available person takes care of it – this is super important.

Using our  Leadgic follow-up system gives you the peace of mind that every lead is being followed-up with immediately and far into the future.  As a business owner, the prospect of losing sales because of slow follow-up is frustrating… but solveable.

If you’re at all concerned about your process for new leads, please do give us a call to discuss.  We can show you how we do it and how our system works.

Just don’t let another one fall through the cracks because you’re too busy.  Please?

 


Build a mobile responsive website… or Fail

Three basic practices of responsive web design

Reprinted from AndroidGuys

With more and more web users now viewing a record number of websites from mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones, it’s never been more important to ensure that your website or blog has a design which is responsive. Since the majority of internet users are now on a mobile device, it’s no longer enough that your website looks and works great when viewed on a desktop computer or laptop. Along with that, Google has also added mobile-friendliness to its list of SEO guidelines for websites. Since having a responsive design is now more fundamental than ever before to your success, we’ve listed some of the basic practices of a responsive design.

Responsive Web Design Detailed on Blackboard

Begin with Branding

Whether you’re looking after the coding of your website’s design or are paying somebody else to do it, making sure that you begin with your brand first and foremost is absolutely essential. When putting together a responsive design for your website or blog, it’s not only important to make sure that your brand’s persona, voice and values are clearly communicated when viewed on a laptop or desktop, but on any other device. Paying careful attention to your branding and ensuring that each of your visitors knows who your brand is, its values, and what it’s offering is vital.

Page Loading Time

The amount of time that your website and pages take to load can be more significant to the success of your business than you may realize. Research shows that a huge percentage of internet users expect a page to be fully loaded within a matter of seconds, and will go elsewhere without a second thought if they are kept waiting. With such high expectations when it comes to page speed, it’s not only important to choose a design which is responsive, but also make sure that it is uncluttered, simple and ready to load up as quickly as possible on any device. Page speed is also crucial to your SEO efforts, with Google offering more favor to sites which load up quickly.

Content Strategy

Choosing a responsive design which allows you to easily update the content on your website or blog is absolutely essential. Your content strategy should be a huge priority when it comes to putting together a responsive web design. Along with ensuring that text content is also responsive and readers can view blog posts, articles, and text on pages easily on any device, it’s also important to understand that today, web users are increasingly looking for other forms of content to words.

Images or video, for example, should be able to be seamlessly included in your responsive design in order to ensure that your site visitors have the best experience. A responsive web design is absolutely crucial for any website owner or blogger today. But, when choosing a responsive design for your website or blog, there are a range of important practices which should be taken into consideration.