Leading ‘Advanced Technology’ marketing expert shares the newest secrets to online advertising.
What does an agency principal need to know about the latest breakthroughs in digital marketing? After all, it’s likely that the principal won’t be the hands-on technician, right?
But, every principal who sees their primary job as building a reliable Organic Growth Machine for their agency should at least know what today’s marketing technologies can do for them.
George Krahn, Founder & Principal of Proven Results Marketing Agency—one of Canada’s top marketing agencies—shares inside information on what cutting edge marketers are using to fill their lead funnel with pre-qualified leads:
- The latest advances to help you track your visitors, learn more about them – and guide them through a flawless journey to your agency.
- New breakthroughs on phone tracking… so you always know the source of your inbound calls. (Extremely valuable when you get your Marketing Engine in place.)
- Lead Magnets – best uses, best places, best ways to get the market to stand up and pay attention.
- The ‘insiders’ scoop’ on Facebook. George shares what the best pro’s do to test, measure and explode their inbound leads with Facebook advertising. (Not the same as it was 11 weeks ago.)
If you have time for one conversation, this is the one that will open your eyes up to new ways technology can turbo-charge your lead generation efforts. Whether you’re an agency principal, a marketer – or if you’re more-than-curious what’s new in marketing, this is for you. Listen – and get a Masterclass in modern growth strategies.
What are other agents & brokers doing to thrive? What are the biggest trends affecting the retail insurance agent & broker? What are the most important strategies and tactics you need to grow faster? Find out here in the Connected Insurance Podcast, where Michael Jans discusses the biggest issues affecting the independent insurance agent and broker with the industry’s leading figures.
Micheal Jans: Hello, George, thanks so much for joining us. How are you?
George Krahn: I’m doing good. How are you today, Micheal?
Michael: I’m doing great. Thank you. I’m excited about this conversation because every now and then I’d like to dive into something that is not just looking at the big trends and forces in the insurance industry but really diving into practical-tactical things. This one is important, mysterious, confusing, full of opportunity and maybe full of potential pitfalls. I’m glad we’re talking about it. George, you’re the founder of Proven Results Marketing Agencies. Do I have that name right?
George: Yes, that’s correct.
Michael: You are an expert in, what would you call it? Direct Response Online Advertising?
George: That’s absolutely right.
Michael: Platt platforms that you work on are like Facebook and Google Ads.
George: Instagram Ads, Twitter Ads, depending on what the right fit.
Michael: Now Instagram too?
George: Yes, Instagram Ads we found that not as good for direct response but it’s really great for awareness are those multiple touch points, they can give us this to some of the other platforms. You have to look at it through a different lens.
Michael: I’m curious is it safe to say that if we hold this conversation a year from now, you might actually have different things to say about it.
George: Absolutely. Things are changing really fast. In fact, a lot of the strategies for Facebook are quite different than they used to be a few months ago and there’s more changes coming in about six months. Those are all things that [crosstalk]
Michael: The river is moving fast and we need to jump in and figure out what’s going on around us. I will ask to start with just a super short thumbnail sketch, George, of your background and your bio and what you guys do now.
George: I started doing Google Ads about 12 years ago and then got into other advertising networks and stuff like that and used to be a freelance Google AdWords person when it was called Google AdWords. Now, it’s called Google Ads and then Facebook came along and now Instagram has come along. Things change very fast in the online advertising industry. I have a team of six and we all work together to help businesses get actionable results from their online advertising.
Micheal: All right, 12 years that makes you a seasoned veteran, I think in that industry. You’ve seen a lot of change in the past 12 years and I’m anticipating you’re going to see even exponentially more change in the next 12 years. I want to break this down into the very basics and get down to just the fundamentals of what we’re talking about in this industry here. Historically, advertisers, by historically, I mean, let’s go a little bit pre-internet, advertisers would seek traditional offline media. For example, when I started my company, more or less very quickly went from third-page vertical Ads to, because it worked. I went the next month into full-page Ads and we went to the full-page Ads and the four major trade magazines and connected those Ads with interesting technologies like 800 numbers would automatically transcribe your name and your number and then it would be downloaded automatically into spreAdsheets and then that would kick out nifty things to our printer.
There were connected technologies even back then that was like 25 years ago. I suppose that whatever, the average business owner or entrepreneur, maybe they hired somebody to do their advertising but I didn’t. I mastered the art of display advertising and magazines and that was the first place that we went to set up our lead generation engine. Now, there are all of these other media that are available. I think it’s probably safe to say that, let’s say, the average agency principle or the average entrepreneur or the average insurerpreneur, they don’t necessarily need to be the technician of their own Facebook advertising, but if they’re going to be serious about their lead gen engine, then they lease need to understand the principles of some of the fundamental, so that they can have a serious and professional intelligent conversation with somebody like you or somebody in your industry, or if they’re delegating it to the marketer on their team, the principal needs to be intelligent and strategic about it. Does that make sense?
At the very least. Conceivably, again, back in the day, I was absolutely committed to writing my own copy. Nobody could touch the copy as well as I could, but I really felt I could design the Ad completely by myself, and I did. I did a fairly remarkable working word. For example, my rough notes Ad, it kind of look like a rough notes article. My national underwriter Ad looked like a national underwriter article. I was copying the fonts and the look and feel, the column size, and all that jazz. Until finally, because I was the only guy doing this back in the day, finally, the magazine said, “Hey, Michael. We got to start putting a little advertising bug up on top of the AdWords says advertisement, so they don’t think it’s an article.” Actually, didn’t hurt, response much, but now, it’s a complicated business with lots of media.
There’s all this stuff going on in the pay-per-click advertising. Give us a little bit of sense of how that industry works.
George: Okay, because we focus on direct response, so we always want to track things and make sure that it’s actually a good return on investment for the business owner-
Michael: I’m going to pause you right now, okay? I’m sorry about that, but you and I, we know that what the term direct response means. Can you make a distinction about that? You gave a little bit of a definition, but clarify that and make it distinct from, let’s say, other forms of advertising.
George: Sure. Direct response is when people actually take action. They either call your business or they send you an email or fill out a contact form. They’re taking the action that you want them to take. Whatever that action is, it’s not just like some advertising that’s for branding. It’s just to [unintelligible 00:13:01] good advertising and just really–
Michael: Most. Most advertising. I don’t want to minimize. I think having been a direct response guy for 25 years, I want to be very careful not to minimize the other forms of communication. There are very strong arguments for good branding but for entrepreneurs, there’s nothing like direct response because I think what you’re probably about to talk about is you can measure the results. In other words, if it’s direct response, you can measure the response.
Michael: Okay. Go on. I interrupted you, but I just want to clarify. Then you can see, “I put a dollar into this Ad and I only got $0.75 back. Not good. I put a dollar into the end I got $2 back. . That’s good.” The magic of direct response is the math is so tight that you can adjust your investment. Okay, back to this pay-per-click direct response world. Give us a kind of, again, big picture definition.
George: It just starts with when people actually show an interest. Let’s say they’re searching for something and they have a need, but let’s use contractor liability-
Michael: Okay, good. I’m a contractor. I need liability insurance.
George: Yes. You realize that and then you would go to Google on your phone more common than on your computer-
Michael: Okay. That wasn’t happening 12 years ago.
George: You’ll be searching it on your phone instead of on your computer, you might be out actually on the job site, and maybe an accident happened or something like that and was like, “Oh, shit. I need some liability insurance.”
Michael: Let’s hope they have it, but I hate my agent. I need another agent or he never gets back to me or I only hear from him when he wants my premium.
George: Probably shopping for insurance or a better rate or a better coverage and things like that. They’ll start with a search on their phone, and then the top few search results will actually be Ads and then they will go through to the insurance agent’s website, and if the advertising agency or the marketer of the insurance firm is doing it properly, they’ll go to a page that’s actually about liability insurance.
Michael: Yes. Okay, got it. The agent might have a page that, “For contractors, go here.”
Michael: Okay. What is the pay-per-click? Where does that fit in or what kind of actions does it inspire?
George: What we would do, we track different actions. If somebody would pick up the phone and call you. You used to not be able to track phone calls, and that’s something that can be tracked now, and you can track it back to which Ad they came from, what they typed-in on their phone when they were searching for you,and that’s where that getting $2 out for every dollar you put in. That how I’m going to play.
Michael: Interesting. Okay. Let me back up and see if I’ve got clarification on this. In a lot of, let’s say, pay-per-click or Facebook advertising, there’s no phone option in a lot. It’s like a call to action, go to my page, buy my course or whatever, but there are some businesses where the phone is still, for a lot of people, a desirable form of communication or inbound communication. Not outbound, like, “Don’t call me, I have a need, I’m going to call you.” I think, are you proposing that there are some forms of pay-per-click advertising can offer an option? It can offer the phone number or visit our site?
George: Yes. There’s different options, but sometimes, the only option is to call. Other times, people want a little more information and they want to go through to this site first, and then call when they’re on a site. Both of those different types of phone calls can be tracked, and then you know how well the advertising is working.
Michael: Okay, help me out here with the mechanics of it. Let’s say I am the contractor, I’m on my Facebook, on my phone. I see an Ad. It’s like something that attracts me, I was like, “Yes. I got to check this out.” Now, how do you how does the technology know that I am calling? How does it to track my behavior?
George: There’s some code on your website, and then it ties everything together behind the scenes. There’s nothing that the business owner really need to figure out or anything like when that call gets put on there. It does all the heavy lifting and connects all the dots behind the scenes. That just have to be implemented one time, but then from there forward, then you can the calls coming in, you can see who called and where they came from, which store they came from, and stuff like that. The calls can even be recorded.
Michael: You can track them, you can quantify them like, “How many inbound calls did we get from the Ad?” Let me see if I get this. Does the Ad have the phone number or does the Ad drive to a page on the website that has the phone number?
George: Yes. Both of those. You’re right on both, Michael.
Michael: Either way, is it tracking the, let’s say, I see this Ad for an insurance agent who’s got contractors insurance, and it’s got a number. It says call 800-blah-blah. Is it a unique number for the Ad?
George: Yes. You hit the nail on the head there. There’s a pool of phone numbers. The number you see, Michael, will be different than the number I will see, and that’s how it tracks all those individual because there could be four or five people that call all at once, and they would all see a unique phone number, but it redirects to your main line. The unique phone numbers or how the tracking works.
Michael: Got It. I’m going to back up here again. Just to pick some of the basics and fundamentals of Facebook advertising. Let’s say in this case, I’m not going to play contractor play Richard’s agency principle and I’ve got a contractor’s niche. I say to somebody like you or I say to my marketer, let’s do some Facebook advertising and see what happens. What do you do, what does a professional do to make certain that I’m targeting that message as tightly as possible. In other words, I’m going to reach the right people.
George: What we would start with is the pages that they visited. They’ve already shown an interest. Somebody visited your contractor’s insurance page on your website, so we know that people have an interest in that.
Michael: Hang on, how do you know Bob, the contractor visited a certain page on my site.
George: We don’t know Bob specifically, but we know people who went to that page on the site, they wouldn’t have gone there unless it was relevant to them. Somebody goes to your website and then, oh contractor’s insurance. Okay. They’re self-identifying, I’m a contractor, this type of insurance is for me. They go visit that page of your website. This code that gets put on your site, now when they’re on Facebook, later on, they could see an Ad about contractor’s insurance because they visited that page on your website.
Michael: Now is that what the industry calls re-marketing?
George: Re-marketing or re-targeting?
Michael: Re-targeting. Step one is, somehow they went to my site. Now presumably either driven them there was something else or decent SEO or something got them over to my site. They visited the contractor’s page. All right, I got a little pixel or a little bit of hidden code that they can’t see and it’s following them. Then two days later, they get on Facebook and gee, there’s this Ad from George’s insurance agency with something that they have expressed interest in.
George: Yes, absolutely.
Michael: That’s a fundamental. I got those guys, but let’s say all right, last month a hundred people visited that page, that’s not enough for me to build my business on. Those people highly targeted. How do we then go beyond that limited group of people who visited that one page?
George: That’s where we marry that together with a Google search campaign. I’m trying to find everybody in your area who’s searching for contractors insurance, and then we driving more people there. You’re not just relying on your SEO traffic and people just going to your website from other sources. Now it’s an intentional, we’re going to go after people who are searching for a contractor’s insurance and then lead them right to that page and then increase the number of people going there. Some of them may call you on the first visit, but often they don’t. Then that’s where the re-targeting comes in.
Michael: Hang on. Audience number, folks who visited my page, audience number two, you have found people through Google that searched for, let’s say contractors insurance. Our general liability insurance for contractors or something like that in let’s say, Houston, because I’m in LA, if I were in Houston. Does that make sense?
Michael: Then what do you do for those goods, then you put them up in your Facebook list and you target them with an Ad?
George: Yes. That’s actually another strategy.
Michael: What was the strategy?
George: The first to analyze is people who are searching for it. What we do behind the scenes in Google is we decide which are the right searches that we want to bid on for somebody searching for contractor’s insurance and things related to that. Some might say contractor’s liability insurance and then you would have a different Ad that’s speaking to that or you repeat their own language back to them.
Michael: You can also target them, you can add geographic targeting on top of that?
George: Yes, absolutely when you are not wasting your money advertising in other areas that [crosstalk]. Yes.
Michael: Now I got this list and presumably I’m not actually seeing like names and juicy stuff like that. I can still target them with what, how do I connect with them?
George: If you have a list of people who either they may have, downloaded something from your website or somehow you have their email address or their phone number, it’s good. They’re not customers yet, but if you have that information from them, you can upload that list to Facebook and then you can advertise directly to them on Facebook. They don’t even have to have visited your website and you can just advertise directly to that list, but this might be a list of contractors and then you can target them that way as well.
Michael: You did mention something interesting here. Maybe they visited my site and downloaded something. Now that’s a different strategy there altogether. Let’s say I have a lead magnet with a fairly common title, like seven things every contractor needs to know to be successful. Now that’s a pretty top of the funnel. I’m not even mentioning insurance, but, I’m making initial contact and I’m giving some value and developing some initial part of relationship. I’m beginning to develop a little list of presumably if they’re downloading a report on contractors, there are a contractor. I’ve got a pretty decent list. You’re saying that strategy now can be used to- because I can take that list and uploaded into let’s say Facebook’s advertising platform and now I can reach out to them as well.
Michael: We’ve got people who visited a certain page, we’ve got people who searched for my solution on Google we’ve got people who one way or another they got on my list, with a lead magnet or somehow they got on my list and they fit into this niche. Do we have three different groups here that were potentially playing with?
George: Yes. You would still pick them out separately because you still want to test how the difference [crosstallk] are pulling against each other.
Michael: We’re not going to like a lump them into one. We’re going to run a different campaign. Is it going to be the same Ad, but the only variable is the list?
George: Not necessarily, you would still want to show them a variety of that because they’ll pick up on it right away if it’s this one Ad and it’s exactly the same Ad and they are seeing it over and over. They’ll pick up on it right away and start tuning you out. We need to have a variety of Ads. There’s two benefits, one about getting repelled because it’s exactly the same thing. They’re not tuning out your message, that you have for them. The other thing is that you can test different Ads and see what actually works the best. You can see, okay, for whatever reason, this image of a contractor, on-site or whatever, this image is working very well. This other one is working very poorly and then you can give them the punch line.
Michael: I know, I know we’re going to have a little bit of an interesting conversation about what to do next but, I want to hold that and circle back to it. You’ve shared with me that there are some problems. I want to address a potential problem here. Let’s say people have visited my page, not that big people that download it by a lead magnet, maybe not that big yet. People who searched for the thing on Google. Maybe these are relatively small and in order for us to do legitimate testing, we need bigger lists. What do you do with each of these lists to make sure that you’ve got a sample size that gives you decent feedback on which of the variety of answers is working the best?
George: What we do is, we let them run for a set period of time until we have enough data in the backend. If you have a small list, it’s just going to take longer to get that data. Otherwise, you would try to get a bigger list. There’s another strategy where you can create a lookalike audience.
Michael: Talk to us about lookalikes.
George: A lookalike audience is like, let’s say you have a list of 100 contractors. When you upload that list to Facebook, they can connect the dots and they can see, okay, these are all contractors, they’re all in this geographic location. They can see this is what these people have in common. When you have this lookalike audience, then you can just say, I want to go and find more people like this. Then that can expand out to too many more contractors in your area besides the ones that are on your list. It’ll connect the dots behind the scenes and it’ll pull in more people who are just like them.
Michael: All right. Let me ask a question. It’s not complicated, but it complicates the issue. Let’s say one of my first objectives in this exercise is to determine which lead sources the best. Is it people who visited my page? Is it people who searched on Google? Or is it people who may have gotten list number three, maybe visited my page and downloaded lead magnet? Presumably, list number three is going to be high. Now I’m going to presume, George, would it be a problem to do the lookalike? Is like as soon as you add the look alike, you start to distort the purity of each of those three lists.
George: Well, again, you would have the lookalike separate.
Michael: Got it. All right. You keep separating and separating. You maintain purity throughout the entire test. This is to a large extent. One of the kinds of ways that I describe marketing is that it’s like it’s half math and science and half art, the liberal arts. You’re on the math and science part to some extent, at least so far, what we’ve talked about is like this is pure math. We’re trying to keep it as pure as possible. We are testing. We’re creating some hypothesis that this list is going to work, and then we’re going to test it. We’re going to see what the results are. If it works really well, then we’re going to, what are we going to do? Let’s say, all right, I got it. Yes, everybody who downloaded my magnet, that’s the hot list. They’re responding really well to Ad number three. Now, what do I do? It’s like I can’t all of a sudden say, “Okay, get me more people who downloaded my lead magnet.” I can make that happen but it’s going to take time. We got Ad number three and we know it’s working well, what do we do?
George: We try to reverse engineer and understand why Ad number three works the best. Then what we’ll do is we try to use that for different audiences. You’re trying to come at it from many different angles. You know that this Ad works, but now it’s a matter of duplicating that and then testing it on a slightly different audience or you test something different in the Ad. You make a minor variation of the Ad. That would be another way to test something new or to expand out. You’re not just cranking up the budget because in more recent best practices, cranking up the budget will just make everything worse. You’re going to have chaos and what was working good is going to fucking quarterly. The new best practice is to expand out horizontally and try different things, different assets based on that already know, instead of just going vertical, “I’m just going to throw more money at it.”
Michael: Let me see if I’m understanding this principle right because I think it’s important. Let’s say Ad number three works and what you’re saying and let’s say, Ad number three to list number three is working really well. You’re saying, and let’s say my budget for it is $50 a day. Gosh, I’m getting $2 back for every dollar I put into it. Let’s do that. , the obvious answer is cash flow. There’s the cash flow being part of the factor because I’m not getting it all back until maybe the end of the year, next year. Managing that cash flow, I’m going to go from $50 to $500 because now I’m going to get 10 times the results. You’re saying I wish it were so but it’s not. Is that true?
George: Yes. You’re right.
Michael: It’s odd because as in the– Let’s go back a generation. If I had– This is an old direct mail secret. You got a hot list that you’re willing to sell me or rent me, I’ll get 10% of it. Let me buy 10% of it or rent 10% of it. I’m going to test my direct mail piece to 5,000 people. “Hey, I got a great response. Let me buy the rest of the list.” Then, in theory, I’m going to now mail it out to 50,000 people and get the same results. Now, you’re saying that in the new world for whatever reason having to do with Facebook’s algorithm, that’s not necessarily the case?
George: Yes, that’s right. It confuses the algorithm behind the scenes in like, now there’s chaos and now they’re just increasing the size of the audience so much. You have a bigger budget and it’s like, well, it just throws everything off. When you keep it at a smaller size, and you make 10 duplicates instead of keeping the original one and just increasing the budget times 10.
Michael: I’ve heard this before. I continued to be a little bit confounded by it, but it’s just we need to play by the rules. Essentially, let me just clarify one thing. Instead of going 10 times the size into my successful test, you’re saying I horizontalize it and I create, let’s say nine other. Are they exact duplicates? Or they slightly modified?
George: Yes, they’re modified, because if they’re exact duplicates, then you’re competing with yourself. You either modify the Ad slightly to a slightly different audience so that it’s not an exact duplicate. Then because you’re driving your own costs up.
Michael: Man, it does get complicated. Now, typically, in AB testing, we change one variable, for example, let’s say that the Facebook Ad has headline image, text, call to action for the sake of discussion. Let’s say I’m going to do duplicate Ad, I’m going to change the headline. That’s it, nothing else because now I’ve learned. The test beats the control by whatever, 17%. I’m going to go, “Good.” Now the complication is, I can’t just roll that Ad out. I need to keep playing the creative game and going horizontal.
George: That’s all right.
Michael: I want to take a look at the other side of advertising here. We’ve looked at the math behind it, list-building, and the use of lists, and this principle of going horizontal on Ads instead of just vertical on Ads. On the creative side, right now, what’s working? I realized that there’s some broad principles we need to achieve because it’s no doubt going to change industry by industry. What do you see working right now on the creative side? By creative, I mean the words and the images.
George: What’s working really well is actually, to be honest, we don’t always know what’s going to. That’s why you’re testing a bunch of different creations.
Michael: You’re going to start your test because you just described the whole principle of direct response. We don’t know anything until the market tells us. We also have to go with our best foot forward. As pros, we’re going to test with. This is most likely we think is going to win. What are the principles that drive good creative and good copy in online advertising?
George: It’s doing your copywriting, it’s coming up with messaging that’s going to resonate with them, that’s going to have hit that emotional nerve. It could be a good emotion or a bad emotion or it’s emotional writing, it’s imagery that supports that and testing different images because a picture tells a thousand words. We found that testing different images makes the biggest impact on Facebook Ads because it’s the visual medium, people are scrolling through their newsfeed and the image is the first thing that catches someone’s eye and then they read the messaging and then it triggers them on an emotional level and then that’s when they’re compelled to take action.
Michael: Okay, the kind of offer that is made, let me separate it between two– Historically I call them a hard offer and a soft offer. Hard offer is, “I want your product” Let’s say it’s back pain. You’ve got an Ad for some goop I can put on my back and make back pain go away. I don’t want to read about it, I don’t want to study it, I don’t want to read– I don’t want to find out seven things that I can do to alleviate back pain, I want your product. That’s a hard offer. The soft offer would be like a lead magnet, “Seven things every contractor needs to know in order to succeed” or along those lines.
How do you know? Atop of the funnel, I want people to– Yes, I’m willing to recognize. In the world I live in, valuable content is my best lead magnet and I’m willing to allow people to learn, get value from a relationship with me without any transaction and will guide them fairly strategically through some kind of a marketing funnel until they get further and further down the funnel and then, it’s time for conversion. How do you know what– Again, you might say test it, but talk to us a little bit about the lead magnet approach as opposed to “Buy insurance now”. How do you see companies using free offers of legitimate value to convince people to start moving their direction?
George: It starts with positioning yourself as the expert. It’s like you said, it’s giving away the information for free and there’s no hard-selling or anything like that and just adding value to them. It’s usually starting out with that stuff, like you said, top of the funnel, so you’re just getting more exposure to people and they’re getting exposed to you and they see, “Okay, yes, these people know what they’re talking about” or they like you, they like the content that you’re putting out. When they do have that meter, they do make their decision later on. They know who they’re going to go to.
Michael: It’s still an age-old principle that continues to work. Maybe we call it by fancy names now but– Back in the day, it was your free report, now it’s whatever. A lead magnet is a pretty good description about what we’re talking about. The other thing that I want to talk to you about is, sometimes those leads are not ready to take action. They might say, “Yes, I would like to get the booklet or the free guide on ‘Seven things every contractor needs to know in order to be successful‘ but it doesn’t mean “Oh, read” and then “I got to call George and do business with him”.
A lot of us live in a world where we need to continue to add value and move people closer and closer. Talk to us a little about how Facebook and other paper-click advertising can bring somebody into a funnel that then moves them along. Sometimes, there’s fairly sophisticated steps built into a marketing process using technology to support those steps. I know you’ve got clients who have probably lots of different funnels that get people ultimately to the point of conversion.
George: Yes. It usually starts with a lead magnet where if you’re getting something valuable them, and then we can see, okay, these people all downloaded the lead magnet, so they’re interested in this and then you might send them to some other content or you would show them Ads and then they would be exposed to some more of the information that you have. They’re orbiting you as a [crosstalk].
Michael: Let me ask you this, a standard way with a lead magnet is to make it gated, “Hey George, I’ll be happy to give you my free report,” the landing page is saying, “Just give me your name and your email address.” Now, I’ve got your name and your email address, so the reaching out with more content. Obviously, one standard way we do that is email. I got your email, and now you’re going to get a series of let’s say, 10 emails over the next three weeks and every two or three days I’m going to add just a little more value. “Here’s your video, here’s a tool, here’s a free guide. How else are people reaching out to automate the cultivation of deeper, closer relationships?
George: Some other automations would be the re-targeting Ads. If somebody saw this piece or that’s typically an email marketing, you would give them the information and then they might click through to your website or sometimes there’s no link and they are just getting the information. What we’ve done as some trends in the industry are just re-creating your email marketing campaigns but now they’re in your social media, where people are taking time. They’re getting that same content, they’re just consuming it on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter, and then they’re still reading it and getting to know you better and getting that value from you.
Michael: Let’s walk through an example. I’ll walk through one of mine, all right? So many downloads, one of my lead magnets of which there are plenty. If it’s a gated piece of content, then I’m going to get their email, address and their name and now they’re going to get– I think we have 10 or 12 follow-up emails, right now. I know you each did this, so let me share a little more about it, or you might be interested in this.
There’s a lot of value that’s delivered, it’s an opportunity to give value, it’s an opportunity to establish expertise. I’m delivering that via email and there are opportunities for them to take action, like, I’ll click here and visit this or click here and get this or download this attachment. There is a sense of engagement and involvement and participation. It starts to feel like a relationship with Michael. You’re saying that same content can be delivered on social. My next thing, my next book, my next video. How do you deliver that? Is that organic, the postings or advertising, or both?
George: Organic postings, that’s fine too but the problem is that it doesn’t really scale [inaudible 00:48:14] with your Facebook page. Not everybody is seeing not some misconception that some people have is that, I post something on my Facebook or on my Instagram, everyone’s going to see it. I understand it quite a little bit different but Facebook for sure, there’s a percentage that are seeing it but not 100%.
Michael: 2% or 3% [chuckles] it’s not high, right?
Michael: It’s not high. Advertising?
George: Yes, that’s where we would do the paid Ads again and then they would see this content and then once the person is seeing this, then they would see a different [crosstalk]
Michael: Interesting, okay. You can identify the people who– Let’s say you’ve got seven pieces of content. If they downloaded one, I know that list. Now, I want to present to them number two, is that possible?
George: Yes, that’s right.
Michael: Okay, that is cool, that’s pretty exciting. What else on social? I’m curious, what are the breaking trends that are happening in social right now?
George: Something that we’re seeing is that a lot of people, let’s say they’re seeing a piece of content and they’re interested or they might ask a question or they’ll post a comment. It could be a question that you could answer right there. If somebody from your company is monitoring that, then you can respond to them in real time and then they can see, okay, these guys have excellent customer service. They’re very responsive. Even though I’m commenting here on this Facebook post, they wouldn’t necessarily know what’s an Ad, but they’re making a comment there. You can use that opportunity to reply to them in a quick manner and give them the information they need quickly whenthey are asking for.
Michael: Okay, they– sometimes if they post on one of your– if they make a comment on one of your postings. Is that what you mean?
George: Yes, that’s right.
George: The more comments, the more interaction there is on your advertising, you’re paid posts, to lower your cost score as well because Facebook wants to reward you for having stuff that’s engaging, that people are having a conversation and when people are liking it and sharing it.
Michael: Yes, okay.
George: It’s something that they– it’s something they track and okay, for whatever reason, this content is getting lots of engagements. People are talking about this. They’ll lower your costs so that you can reach even more people and then you’re getting rewarded by having a good Ad if that’s not even perceived as an Ad. Often it’s just a good piece of content.
Michael: Okay, got it. All right, do you advice, I mean for a lot of people, they’re not getting much engagement. Okay. But if they are, somebody should be monitoring close to real time. Can you set up notifications?
George: Yes. That’s one thing is getting notified so you don’t have to be sitting there logged in and watching it all the time. You can get notifications on your phone and your computer and then you can respond to them. Their a customer service team or sales team, that would just be another avenue that they can use to just interact with the potential customers.
Michael: Okay. Now notification is something [laughs] let’s say we have Sally, she’s going to respond to people who make some comment on social. Can we set up for her notifications? It’s zeroed in on that. Not every Facebook notification that might be interesting to her, but people who like commented on our Ads. Is there a way to set up immediate notifications on that?
George: Yes, absolutely.
Michael: Okay, cool. How do you do that?
George: But yes, you would just go into your settings. Then figure that you don’t want a whole lot of notifications. You don’t want your staff to be sidetracked.
Michael: Right. That could be a [crosstalk] waste of a day. You can set up notifications for Ads or?
George: Yes. When people make a comment. It might be just a regular page post or it would be on your Ads, then they get notified and then they can respond. They don’t want to respond appropriately and then it can trigger a further conversation or sometimes it goes to a private message, then you can keep the conversation going there, they can get the info they need and you might want to talk to them about something privately that you don’t necessarily want to post there publicly by, that’s where it started.
Michael: Got It. All right. Looking down the road, George, when you look at a Direct Response Online Advertising, in kind of the near and mid-term future, what do you see as opportunities that are opening up? What do you see as potential problems that agents might have to deal with?
George: Yes. Problems I guess I’ll start there is that, the algorithms change all the time. All the behind the scene calculations and everything, all of the technical stuff that seems to change very often. It’s kind of tough to stay on top of that. If you can have someone at the marketer on your team or outsourcing to an advertising agency, somebody who’s staying on top of all these changes, then you can stay ahead of your competition and you can have that edge. But as long as you’re not becoming obsolete because I’m doing it the way things were done six months and now the rules are different.
Michael: Yes, okay. Yes, it is a fast-changing world. What do you suggest? I’m a full-time professional marketer and couldn’t possibly keep up with all of the changes in every technology media platform and so on and so forth. We all pick our areas of expertise and then to some extent, yes, we find other experts to help us. Maybe that’s the answer you’re going to give, but what do you suggest to an insurance agency principle or an entrepreneur who is serious about organic growth? But I– they can’t possibly stay up to date like a professional, but they have to stay up to date with some things. What should they do?
George: I guess finding a trusted source of information.
Michael: Yes. Okay.
George: Somebody to– well, it could be that marketer are on your team, your delegating– we do that at our agency too, is we go through the industry updates every week and what are the changes coming down the pipe and how does that affect everything that we’re doing? Having somebody who was taking that responsibility, staying on top of that and what is the most important information I need to know as a principal? How does this affect our agency? Or does it even, is this just a bunch of hype and stats and stuff like that that aren’t going to be relevant? It’s having somebody who can filter that for you, what’s really important here and does this affect us even? A lot of it is shiny object syndrome [laughs] and the oldest changing coming then per se. That doesn’t matter that people are getting on that bandwagon but that’s the wrong bandwagon to be on.
Michael: Yes, okay. All right. George, before we adjourn, I’m going to ask you to share how people can find out more about you, how they can reach out to you if they choose to. I think it’s obvious why they might want to. I had it clearly– we’ve established that there are phones in Manitoba.
George: Yes, there are phones here in Manitoba?
Michael: Yes. Is there still snow in Manitoba?
George: Yes, there is. It wasalmost nothing then we have been a snow yesterday [crosstalk]
Michael: [laughs] Oh God. Okay. Well, you know, because you were here not too long ago that we actually had snow in the foothills of the Sonoran desert. You’re not alone. I’m just glad we don’t have anymore. All right, so George, how can people find out more about what your firm does and reach out to you if they choose to?
George: They can go to our website. That’s probably the best way. Provenresultsagency.com and then you can see more about what we do there and a phone number there, email address, all those things so they can contact us.
George: If they’re interested.
Michael: All right, very good. Okay, George, this has been a masterclass in at least this aspect of Direct Response Online Advertising. I really appreciate it. I Appreciate you putting up with my relentless questioning. You’ve been very patient with me, all right. Well, I do look forward to seeing you the next time we have a meeting and I want to thank you very much for joining us today.
George: Yes. Thanks for the opportunity to be on your podcast.
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