Rise of the Digital Marketer & the Value of ROI
There are two main pools of people online that are either Googling stuff with intent or hanging out on Facebook being entertained, being social, exploring social proof interests (“Facebook Groups”) and connecting with friends and family.
Marketing for small and medium local businesses has evolved dramatically along with our attitudes since the rise of the smartphone and mobile. (iPhone 2007?). Because we are humans and are inherently social animals, it comes to no surprise that the rise of mobile and the first viable and accepted social platform, the Facebook, that we find ourselves, advertisers, marketers and businesses immersed and inter-connected to a pool of humanity of two billion people.
Even though it is possible and even rudimentary to get your ad and awareness of your business in front of huge audiences, general interest audiences, hyper interest or Geo targeted audiences, your competition audiences and so on….it is a different thing altogether to be able to get your audiences
1: Attention, 2: Interest, 3: Engagement.
If you are successful with all three of these then someone clicks on your ad and becomes a lead for your business.
So, depending where you send your lead, (Facebook lead form, your landing page, your qualifier quiz page, your contest page, your lead or sales funnel page, your website, your email list building page, your custom chat-bot or messenger, your product or service page or whatever your goal is for sending your lead to wherever, then you have a “pre-qualified lead”. The terms of lead, pre qualified lead, qualified lead and converted lead can shift in meaning depending on how you view your sales funnel.
Now with your pre-qualified lead you have gained three important things, you have their interest, you have their contact details, you have the ability to market and “re-market” to them. Because of the nature of limited attention spans and the hyper competitiveness aspects of how we interact with information on the internet, it is still a challenge to “convert” our qualified lead into a real customer for our business. Now we have the science and art of “conversions”.
One great way to convert a qualified lead for a local business is to offer them irresistible value with a commitment aspect. Take for example if you have a bakery and you decide to advertise on Facebook to everyone who lives within a mile or two of your bakery. They see your 7 second HD video ad of a mouthwatering fresh out of the oven piping hot cinnamon bun. Right away for most people that should induce a reaction of hunger cravings for baked deliciousness, hopefully you got their attention. At the end of the 7 second video you have text coming up that says buy one get one free coupon with a CTA (Call To Action), hopefully you got their interest AND engagement. When they click on the CTA they go to a landing page that asks for their name and email to receive the coupon, hopefully they do and now you have a lead. Now they are sent to a thank you page that has an offer to “buy a dozen cinnamon buns and get a dozen free”, click to our order page to claim. Now if this up-sell based on value is enticing enough, hopefully they will click through.
If they click through they are taken to your website “order page” for this offer. When they do you can call them a “pre-qualified lead”, and if they order the “dozen free cinnamon bun” offer you can then call them a customer and or a “conversion” in marketing terms. This is a generalized flow of a marketing funnel to create “interest” and ‘capture” potential customers. There are many variations of this process from simple to complex. You can also track all aspects of who you advertise to, where they journey through the funnel steps and including everywhere they go on your website. This is the “analytics” portion and can make a difference of percentages to your businesses bottom line. One or a combination of analytics conversion, paid ads and seo could make a difference of hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands, and hundreds of thousands of dollars a year or even a month depending on the type and scope of business. Also, very important to ROI with respect to lead generation is understanding what your Average Customer Lifetime Value is to your business.
The appeal and effectiveness of Facebook ads, and all advertising for that matter revolve around ROI – return on investment. For example, businesses who use Groupon to attract customers often experience very poor ROI because of the discount offer, the Groupon fee and the type of customers they usually appeal to which are (bargain hunters). You can have a service that you sell for $100, and then you have a Groupon offer for $40 off, and then a Groupon fee for around 50% of revenue generated. So in this example it costs you $70 to generate a “Groupon Lead” for your $100 service! Depending on the marketing expertise involved you generally can get lead at a small fraction of this cost with a better potential customer potential using Facebook ads. And depending on the state of your websites seo, conversion optimization and market targeting your ROI can be unparalleled.
There are several advantages of advertising on Facebook and some of them are
1: who you can advertise to
2: ad and lead costs
3: social sharing and proof
4: variations of marketing strategy
Advertising on Google versus Facebook are different beasts. Google has searcher intent. Facebook is more of a social qualitative intent. Facebook has many “don’t s” in their ad policies to maintain privacy and quality concerns with their platform. So, you can have an ad on Facebook as long as it does not look to much like a spam ad and adheres to their quality guidelines and policies. This is often the most difficult hurdle when beginning Facebook ads. After that then comes compelling copy to create interest and engagement, then after that creation of sales and value funnels to create qualified leads and conversions. But when you have all your ducks lined up in a row the ability to reach, engage and convert your prospective customers from Facebook ads is of high caliber and of low lead costs. This can make value packed ROI impressive when advertising on Facebook for many businesses.
One of the reasons that the rise of independent digital marketers has become a “thing” is because of the rapid change of how the average person interacts with information since the advent of “mobile” just in the last decade. While most business owners are busy running their business others have “plugged” themselves into the industry of information and have begun to understand and leverage the brokerage of this information. This entails using the technology of the internet and being able to offer “value” with the manipulation and shifting of informational arbitrage. From pre-internet high powered magazine ad advertising executives to the eighteen-year-old who learned an entrepreneurial Facebook ad course a week ago, we are in interesting times in how we can offer value to one another.
Digital marketing is a multidisciplinary profession. One can specialize in one aspect, or a combination branching out to all aspects. From hosting and website configurations and designing websites for UX to complex funnel and website analytics – from technical software configurations to email marketing sequences – from market and competitive research to technical search engine optimization and conversion strategies – from content ideation, marketing and optimization to psychology and customer personas – from creativity and compelling user experiences to rigid business standard operational procedures and business analysis…..the common denominator to all this is revolves around value and ROI we can procure as digital marketers. This is how it was for business before the internet and remains so with the internet. And probably after the internet if there is such a thing.
So, with the rise of digital marketing and its agencies, consultants, freelancers, entrepreneurs and Joe from down the street offering services, the internet has also become a quagmire and minefield for businesses – finding the expertise they need in order to be found and compete in the “hyper-competitive” digital landscape. Because digital marketing can be extremely involved and complex like many other service trades, it is easy to sell overpriced “perceived value” based on our own limited knowledge and time. And with so many digital marketing cookie cutter processes that are often outdated or ineffective coupled with the evolving nature of the internet (Google updates, Facebook changes, New stuff!) it is easy for both service provider and client to fail with the value exchange.
As with pre internet and even still the informational overload we deal with everyday it’s simple to “pre-frame” and “pre-sell” based on the perception and emotion of value. This concept is the value of really good copy writers and integral to many sales funnels. To be able to make a connection and a motivation within us to create an action, a decision to press that buy button and make a sale. Much of this is the same approach for many “digital marketers” who “pitch” the value of their services based on business owners “pain points”. Indeed, many a marketing people have earned a bad reputation and equal number of business have and should be justifiably wary.
It’s difficult to be able to know and trust in a proven marketer or agency, it is easy to put up false and silly testimonials on a website, it is easy to come across as an expert or professional but in reality only offer “reseller” services and have no clue how to make a website, optimize or sell. It’s easy to provide x amount of services for “perceived value” that have little actual value. It’s not so easy for a busy business to research and understand the complexities and inner workings of digital marketing pitfalls except for how it affects their bottom line. That is why they hire an expert. It is the same thing really with other industries where we have to rely and trust on others knowledge, expertise and professionalism to provide value but in many instances fall prey to over pricing, scams, bogus and substandard work.
Good marketers will feel sensitive to the fact that they only succeed when their client succeeds. This depends on measurable goals that can translate into measured ROI. They will take the time to connect and learn about you and your business, and the goals that matter to your business. There are many marketers who work from existing and successful frameworks that have delivered good results and value for businesses, and they “seek” out similar business in hopes to scale and provide an equal value exchange. Many of these people have just started and some of them can actually deliver value results and will progress with their value exchange as they learn, streamline and grow their processes and SOP. But most fumble until they get the processes right if at all.
New Facebook ad marketers offer free trials, student case studies and some even pay ad spend out of their pocket to produce results for clients and to establish themselves. Depending on various factors businesses can see positive results and ROI within a day or maybe a month or two. For example, if you are a HVAC business and the area is experiencing a heatwave or first season high temperatures, air conditioners would probably be breaking down and staying cool would be top mind for a lot of people. In this scenario it stands to reason you could see immediate results and ROI value from a Facebook ad campaign. For the second example if you are a mortgage or real estate business and depending on area demand and market conditions, you may not see any results or positive ROI for maybe a month, maybe longer.
Most will offer one ad campaign with basic Geo targeting and if the ad copy, offer and lead follow up is in place often this will make a suitable result for many small businesses where the value of ROI is justified. Depending on many factors such as the type of business and the thoughtfulness and strategy of the ad campaign, the business may not see value of ROI. Usually the pricing models range from a few hundred dollars a month for small Mom and Pop business to a thousand, maybe fifteen hundred for real estate agents or higher earning business. If the business are multi locations then a “deal” of mutual value exchange is negotiated and can result in a several thousand dollar monthly client by running a handful of “successful” ads.
Often it is difficult for many small and medium sized businesses to find value from digital marketing services because of the multi-disciplinary processes it entails and aligning them continually with the ever shifting and evolving landscape of the internet and how we use it. We search for information and attempt to satisfy the “intent” of our searches, and information finds us if it captures our attention and engages us if “interesting” enough and provides some sort of value. Sometimes it can be easy or sometimes it can be difficult to reach prospects and generate new or old business online because of so many variables we can and cannot control.