YOUR MARKETING PRIORITIES ARE OUT OF WHACK

In 2012, when I started (what is now) ARCH Digital Agency, social media marketing was completely different.

Back then, I worked hard to convince business owners that social media wasn’t a passing fad and was necessary to the growth of their businesses. I juggled multiple social media channels without tools or fancy apps to make the repetitive actions easier. I learned Facebook ads because it was beginning to take fruition. And I cultivated every account the old-fashioned way – through relationship building, providing value and being consistent.

In 2017, the industry isn’t the same place.

People are automating hellos and introductions instead of taking 3 seconds to personally do it. Folks are requiring followbacks if they give you one. Everyone believes that ads are the answer. And business owners think they know what’s best for their social channels.

Folks – this isn’t the way.

Instead of wondering why your accounts are flatlining, instead of blaming it on ad spend or lackluster content – look at yourself or whoever is managing the social media channels and pinpoint the priority.

Money. Promotion. ROI… and, Money.

Not that making money is a dirty thing – we all need it! But we have forgotten to invest the essence of social media into social media – being social, building relationships, taking the TIME to get to know someone, providing value, investing time, and giving back.

Do you remember what social media used to be like? How much joy did you have unearthing your first old friend on Facebook? Making a new contact on Twitter who shared your interests? In finding a solution to a pain point via LinkedIn?

It was killer. It was glorious. But the necessity to monetize it came in and removed our ability to continue creating the same magic and today we find ourselves in a completely different space.

But guess what – five years after starting my business, the same principles still ring true and continue to cultivate the strongest communities and foundations for businesses.

While ad spend is a legit necessity, gorgeous visual media a commodity, and well-written content a must, even these strategies won’t adhere if a solid foundation isn’t in place to show a brand has integrity, provides its audience and customers with top notch service, and is always around.

Here are your old-fashioned values/priorities:

  1. Know your target audience

If you don’t know who your target audience is – and I mean REALLY clearly – then all your marketing efforts are going to fall flat. Numbers might grow, the audience might increase, but the quality of it will be a completely different story.

Marketing to everyone is one of the biggest pitfalls of businesses these days because it generalizes the message and therefore it blends in with everything else out there.

Get nit-picky about the who/what/where/when/how and pain points of your target demo before embarking on marketing of any kind.

And if anyone tells you it doesn’t matter, RUN away. Like immediately! No joke.

  1. Be consistent

Consistency has to be one of mankind’s most difficult challenges, but it ensures trust, growth, and loyalty – guaranteed.

Create schedules for all marketing endeavors and stick. to. them. no. matter. what. Yea, I said it.

This is a toughy for most, including myself, but if there was ANYTHING I’d say is necessary to marketing success (and really, ANY kind of success), it’s hands down – consistency.

  1. Provide value

I was recently sitting in on a board meeting that was discussing the next major event and how to make it a success. But instead of focusing on what we could do to ensure value to attendees, the focus was on making it pretty, i.e. the fanciful stuff that anyoneeee can pull together.

Whether it’s a Facebook post, an event, a launch party, a newsletter – whatever it is, make sure it provides value to your target audience. Don’t try to please the masses, don’t get lost in being popular – think about your target audience. And again, if you don’t know who they are – go back to number one – you clearly aren’t ready for this point yet. Haha.

Because guess what folks – if you’re doing marketing correctly – you know it’s not about you! It’s your audience, your fans, your customers that make you successful, so their needs/wants/pain points must be taken into account.

  1. Give your customers and audience reasons to fall in love with you

Marketing is a song and dance between two lovers: the business and the customer, and both are equally important. If we aren’t consistently providing value and making our folks fall in love with us, then we aren’t investing in the relationships, and the end is in sight.

Take it offline. What happens when you don’t reply to a friend’s email? When you’re saying “no” multiple times to an invitation? When you spend time with someone and make the entire evening about you?

You end up alone.

Same with social media.

We have to stop treating our online relationships any differently than our in-person ones. One of my biggest surprises when reviewing a new account or doing a social media strategy for a brand is seeing how many rarely respond to their audience. It’s crazy!

Bottom line: yes, this may seem like fru-fru stuff to you. But if you aren’t a MASTER of these practices then begin anticipating the expiration date of your marketing efforts. Remember, it’s not about you – it’s about them. And social media is about being social and building relationships FIRST, and then the money will come.

Guaranteed.

Disagree? Explain why. Would love to hear your thoughts!

CASE STUDY: INCREASING INSTAGRAM FOLLOWERS 462% IN TWO WEEKS

This week’s blog is a bit of a departure from my typical blog about Facebook Ads, but rather another social network that is near and dear to my heart – Instagram.

If you know me well, or asked, you would know Instagram is by far my favorite social network. As a marketer with a graphic design background and a love for photography, I’ve naturally gravitated to Instagram since it’s launch.

But recently, I’ve taken it more seriously in terms of growing an engaged following instead of following friends, family and keeping my feed fairly personal. After doing some traveling lately, and noticing the success of my travel photos within my own feed and beyond, I decided I would focus on growing my personal community on what I know is an already active travel photography community on Instagram.

The following blog post details the strategy I used over the past 14 days to grow my account from 478 followers to 2545 highly targeted and engaged followers – or 432% growth – through completely organic methods

Knowing Your Audience and Community
I have been lucky to travel to some beautiful places over the past two years and also have a large backlog of content that is ripe for Instagram and my particular interests.

The Travel Photography community on Instagram is highly active and engaged, which is ripe for acquiring a following within. But this method could be repeated within any niche, as long as there is an active community.

A few notes about understanding your community and preparing your account:

Identify hashtags relevant to your community. There’s a reason Instagram is rife with hashtags, they are a great way for you to increase the reach and exposure of your content – understand your niche, and choose hashtags that have plenty of activity. There’s also a fine line between identifying a hashtag that has

There’s also a fine line between identifying a hashtag that has too much activity, which might cause your posts to be buried. For instance: #wanderlust versus #traveldiary while both have over a million pieces of content on Instagram, the #wanderlust stream is updated multiple times a second, where #traveldiary is only updated a few times a minute, meaning if people are out searching for new content with new hashtags, there is a higher chance your content will be closer to the top of the #traveldiary feed than the #wanderlust feed.

Quick tip: You can also use the suggested hashtags at the top of the feed, to discover new hashtags.

Determine how you will identify an influencer. We’re not just looking for accounts that have high follower counts, we are looking for accounts that have a highly engaged following. Meaning someone with 5K fans who averages 200+ comments/likes per post is more valuable than someone with 10K fans who averages 150+ comments/likes per post. Make a short list of these, and start to follow them, view their posting schedule, their comment structure, and how they engage with their followers. For the Travel Photography community, I noticed many of the most popular accounts contained quite a few emoji’s in their bio description and even in their name – so I edited my bio to reflect my the new focus of my account and also to include additional emojis.

Make a short list of these, and start to follow them, view their posting schedule, their comment structure, and how they engage with their followers. For the Travel Photography community, I noticed many of the most popular accounts contained quite a few emoji’s in their bio description and even in their name – so I edited my bio to reflect my the new focus of my account and also to include additional emojis.

Set up a consistent posting schedule. This goes for any social media platform, you must have some sort of content posting schedule that keeps new, fresh content in your followers’ feeds, as well as your targeted hashtag feeds. I have also always been a proponent of a ‘slow and steady’ approach that is easy to maintain, than something that will burn you out.

In my case, since this is a personal account, I settled on a schedule of posting one picture per day, in the morning between 7:30am – 9:00am. This creates a consistent, predictable feed of new content on my page and is something I can easily manage.

Activating Your Growth
The overall strategy to growth that I employed was simple. I identified a handful of influencers – emphasizing quality of following over quantity of following as mentioned above – and followed them. Once one of my targeted influencers followed me in return, I would visit their most recent content posted on the page, and follow all of the people who liked that particular content.

The reason to wait until an influencer followed me was simple, when viewing a new profile, you can see the “Followed by” accounts – these are accounts that you share in common. In this case, having an influencer listed in this ‘Followed by” section creates additional social proof that your account has valuable content.

Continuing Growth
As you continue to find new accounts to follow, you may begin to stretch your definition of an influencer. But continue to stick to the general concept that the number of followers doesn’t matter – it’s the number of engaged followers.

Always stick to the rule that the account you are sourcing followers from must follow you in return, and must have content similar to your stream with a high engagement rate. Leverage that social proof.

When you are followed by a new account with quality content relating to yours, examine their most recent posts, if they have a high number of engagements – likes/comments, on their posts in general, then the second step is to look at their most recent post. If it was posted in the last 6 hours, follow all the accounts who have liked this particular media. The more recent the content was posted, the better, because this increases the likelihood that the person is still engaged on Instagram at that moment.

This tactic is at the core of why this strategy works for building an actively engaged Instagram Account. The reason being is two-fold:

These followers are actively engaged on Instagram
They are also interested in engaging with the type of content that you are posting on your account.
Managing Your Growth
You will end up following a LOT of accounts following this strategy, and while your followers to following ratio is more of a vanity metric, you don’t want your account and feed bogged down with people who are not engaging with your content. The whole purpose is to build a highly active and engaged community – so if the accounts you follow are not following you back, you should be unfollowing them.

The two types of accounts I monitor are:

Not following me back: accounts who have not followed me, but I have followed.
Ghost followers, being accounts who like my page, but do not engage with any of my content.
It would be possible to manage this all through the Instagram app, but I’ve found two tools that have been useful in managing the growth of my account.

To manage my following I use a free app called “FollowMeter” to track who is not following me back and ghost followers. Generally speaking, I give an account 24 hours to follow me back, and if they have not followed me back after that 24 hour period, I unfollow them. FollowMeter app makes identifying these accounts and unfollowing them easy. The only downside is there is an hourly limit to the number of accounts you can unfollow.

The second useful tool that I use is “Iconosquare” which is a paid app, but has a 14 day free trial. Iconosquare helps measure account growth, engagement, and allows you to build feeds, manage comments and plenty of other useful tools that I haven’t fully explored. This tool is likely much more robust than the hobbyist needs, but is worth exploring the 14 day free trial to see some very deep analytics and insights into your account.

My Results
By applying the above strategy, over the 14 days of my experiment, my account grew tremendously in terms of engagement and following:

Followers:

Beginning: 478

Ending: 2,690

Growth: 462%

Averaged 169 new followers per day.

Engagement:

Percentage Following Engaged Beginning: 13%

Percentage Following Engaged Beginning: 49%

Growth: 36%

Most Post Likes: 982 Likes

Most Post Comments: 26 Comments

Key Takeaways

Understand your audience and your niche: The most important piece is understanding who your target is, and what type of content they engage with. Identifying influencers within your niche and learning from them can be the best place to start.
Be consistent with your approach: Whether it’s your posting schedule, your commenting/liking approach or the number of new followers you engage each day, just be consistent. Make it something you can manage.
Track your results and make adjustments: If you find that you’re not getting results, adjust your content, the accounts you’re attempting to follow or the influencers whom you are using to identify trends.

HOW TO CREATE THE PERFECT PRE-LAUNCH SEQUENCE FOR YOUR PRODUCT LAUNCH


It’s your worst nightmare…

You spend months creating a great product – perhaps an online course or just an awesome service…

…Then when you go to launch it, you hear crickets. Almost nobody buys.

And so, you do all of that work for nothing.

Sounds terrible, right?

Well, you can prevent this type of situation with a great product launch formula.

Now, there are plenty of product launch strategies out there – webinars, video launches, email launches, etc. But today, I want to talk to you about one of my favorite launch strategies.

And actually, it’s a strategy I just used myself, and will be launching my product with it within the next week or two.

You may have heard of this type of strategy before – there have been many variations of it. But today I’ll give you my own version of it.

It’s a 3-video launch, with a sales page after the third video. I’ll outline each step for you so you can recreate it yourself.

(And if you’re not technically inclined, I suggest using Clickfunnels to set up this funnel. I learned the software in a couple of day and I love it. They even have templates to create the exact launch strategy I’ll discuss.)

Let’s get into it!

Step 1: The Opt-in Form
This is the beginning of your product launch funnel.

Your optin page should include:

A headline that fits your value proposition (i.e. the theme of the video series)
A big “Get Access Now” opt-in button
A background that fits the theme of the video series
When you launch your product to your email list, this is the page you’ll send them to get them started with the funnel.

Step 2: Pre-launch video 1 (Day 1)
This is the video where you’ll be doing the most teaching. You’ll send it right after they opt-in.

Here, you’ll spend 5-10 minutes teaching something specific that helps your audience overcome some challenge or problem they face.

Here’s the structure to follow:

Hook them in with a good intro (1-2 minutes)
Tell a little bit of your “hero story” (2-3 minutes)
Teach them (5-10 minutes)
Wrap it up and give them a reason to watch the second video (1-2 minutes)
Ask for comments underneath the video (pose a question for them to answer. This helps get them engaged.)
This video helps you earn your viewers trust (because you’re teaching them something valuable for free), helps them get to know you and relate to you, and also gets them intrigued to watch the second video.

Step 3: Pre-launch video 2 (Day 2)
You’ll send this video the day after video 1.

The structure is very similar to video 1, as you’ll also be teaching something to your audience.

Here’s the structure:

Thank them for the comments in video 1
Quickly recap your hero story
Teach them (this time, the lesson should open the door for you to pitch your product in the final video. Your product will be like the “missing piece” they need to take action on everything you’ve taught them.)
Wrap it up and give an open loop for video 3
Ask for comments underneath the video
Step 4: Pre-launch video 3
You’ll send this video the day after video 2.

In this one, you’ll reveal your product/course, and position it as the “missing piece” to everything they’ve learned so far.

Here’s the structure:

Thank them for all their awesome comments so far
Quickly recap your hero story one more time
Reveal your product/course
Explain the benefits
Talk about the money-back guarantee
Include testimonials (if applicable)
Future pace (talk about how they’re life will look in a few months after they use your product/go through your program)
Give them a call to action to click on the button below to register for the course/buy the product (this will lead them to the sales page)
Stress that either the registration or the price point will only be available for a limited time (this adds scarcity which is important to get people to take action and buy now)
Step 5: Sales page
Your sales page is where it all comes together.

It doesn’t have to be as long-form as a typical sales page, because at this point your viewers will already have a sense of who you are and what you’re course/product can do for them.

But here are some things you should include:

Great headline
A powerful “hook” that makes them want to keep reading
Quick recap of your hero story
A timer to add scarcity
Compelling bullet points that outline the benefits
A “Buy now” button (you should have at least 3-4 of these spread throughout the sales page)
Explain your money-back guarantee
A strong call-to-action to buy
Conclusion
Over the years, I’ve learned that the quality of your product is important, but what’s perhaps even more important is the strategy you use to market and launch it. Plenty of great products and courses go to the wasteside because of a lackluster launch strategy.

Do your research and figure out what type of launch strategy suits your needs and will appeal most to your customers. And if you decide to go with this launch strategy, feel free to email us here at ARCH and let us know if you have any questions!

4 TIPS FOR LAUNCHING A BEST-SELLING BOOK ON AMAZON


Have you ever thought about launching a book on Amazon?

If not, you should consider it.

Why? Here are just a few reasons:

It can be a great source of income that lasts for years
It can be a huge lead generator
It increases your credibility and can make you an authority
I know this from first-hand experience.

I launched a book on Amazon last October, and between it’s 3 formats (Audible, Kindle, and paperback), it has sold well over 10,000 copies, and continues to sell over 1,000 copies a month. That means that a book I wrote over a year ago is still generating me a livable source of income by itself, and it’s barely slowed down at all. My estimate is that it will continue to sell at least 500 – 1,000 copies per month for the next few years to come.

What’s more, the book has generated thousands of email subscribers thanks to the lead magnet I put at the beginning and end of the book.

Here’s the book if you want to check it out: Conversation Casanova

I credit much of the book’s success to my launch strategy. The launch strategy I used allowed me to get over 350 sales in the first week, which catapulted it to the top of the rankings where it has stayed for the past year.

In this article, I’ll outline that strategy so you can launch your own best-selling Amazon book!

  1. Nail the Cover and Title
    In general, simpler is better for the cover of your book.

The goal is to convey what it’s about as easy as possible. You don’t need to make it a puzzle – that just creates a guessing game for your audience.

My book is about conversation in the dating realm. So, the cover consists of a heart in a conversation bubble. You can’t really get much simpler than that!

Some people even said it was too simple at first, but the proof is in the pudding and the cover is one of the biggest reasons it has sold so well.

Here are some cover creation tips:

Consider using cover designers from Fiverr and 99 Designs. Get a few covers that you can test against each other.
Collect some stock images to give your designers ideas.
Keep it simple!
As for the title, try to keep that relatively simple too. Get a few working titles, and test them against each other with Facebook ads. You never know what title will work best until you test!

  1. Prepare Your Launch Week
    Your launch week will be one of the biggest determinants of your book’s success. So you have to get it right.

You should launch the book over a 5-7 day period, at the price of 99 cents (don’t worry, you’ll raise the price later). The goal is to get it as many sales and reviews as possible, and get it to #1 in your sub-category (for example, I got my Kindle book to #1 in Men’s Health).

With this in mind, you should do at least one of the following every day during launch week:

Email your list
Have a guest post published
Promote it on social media
Use a book promo site like Buckbooks and RobinReads
Keep in mind that Amazon looks for consistency in sales. So if you can make consistent sales each day of launch week (versus a ton of sales on just 1 or 2 days followed by a big drop off), you’re more likely to stay atop the rankings.

  1. Get at Least 10 Reviews ASAP
    The “10” is a big number when it comes to reviews. You’ll want to get these reviews within a few days, because some promo sites require that you have 10 reviews before they’ll promote your book.

To get these reviews, I recommend using this tool: http://getbookreviewsnow.com/

It helps you get honest and quality reviews from star reviewers.

  1. Raise the Price Incrementally
    Once launch week is over and you’re hopefully sitting atop the rankings for your category, it’s time to raise the price.

To find the perfect price point, you should raise it incrementally.

Start by raising it to $2.99, then $3.99 and so on, by a dollar each time. Continue raising it until the sales start to slow down a noticeable amount to the point where the sales volume no longer makes it worth it to leave it at that price point. This is how you find the perfect price for you book for the long-term.

Wrapping Up Tips for Launching a Best-Selling Book on Amazon…
A best-selling Amazon books can bring you a lot of long-term benefits. But a lot of people write books and just toss them out there, expecting they’ll sell well. Then they’re disappointed when they barely get any sales.

You can prevent this by following the strategy I’ve laid out here.

To recap, here’s the launch strategy for a best-selling Amazon book:

Nail the cover and title (remember, simpler is better)
Prepare your launch week
Get at least 10 reviews asap
Raise the price incrementally
Have you ever thought of writing your own book? What has stopped you from doing it?

Let me know in the comments below!

3 FACEBOOK AUTOMATED RULES YOU SHOULD BE RUNNING

Earlier this year, Facebook released Automated Rules, allowing advertisers to automatically update or notify of changes within your Facebook Ad Campaigns. When setup properly, these automated rules can let Facebook Ads managers be more efficient in monitoring multiple campaigns.

Anything that can save you time and effort is great, right?

Let’s examine a handful of simple rules you can create to make your life easier.

Frequency Rule:
Much has been said about the optimal frequency for an ad to be displayed. From managing numerous clients campaigns, we’ve found that each industry is different.

However, what is not debated is that as ad frequency increases, CTR decreases, and CPC increases.

(Image by AdEspresso)
From the graph by AdEspresso, we can see CTR steadily drops between one and five ads, then drops more sharply before evening out. This, of course, depends on the size of your audience, daily budget and length of campaign but we commonly suggest keeping ad frequency between three and four.

In this case, the Frequency Alert we want to set up is to send the notification when our Frequency hits three, as shown below.

When this alert fires, we we can then examine and adjust the campaign – either editing the targeting or simply turning the ads off depending on the success of the campaign.

Cost Per Result Rule:
Each business should know how much they can pay for a certain action on Facebook, whether it’s a purchase, link click or custom conversion.

These metrics depend on you overall CAC and marketing budget, but once you have established this number, you can begin to put in rules for each of your campaigns, and then monitor accordingly.

For this example, let’s say we are running a new webinar and we are willing to pay $5.00 for a webinar registration. For our webinar campaign we would set up an rule to notify us when we cross this threshold.

In the case of Cost Per Results Rules, it is recommended that you give your ads enough time to stabilize. As we know, new ad campaigns can fluctuate in results early in their lifetime, but eventually even out. In this case, Facebook will automatically add a “Lifetime Impressions is Greater than 8000” condition to your rule.

When this alert is received, you now have the opportunity to adjust your campaign creative to maximise the success of your campaigns.

Lifetime Spent Rule:
For those marketers using a daily marketing spend, while trying to juggle the total spend on your ad campaigns, this one is a must!

The concept is simple – turn your campaigns off when they reach the maximum amount of dollars you are willing to spend on your campaign.

This ensures your budget is maintained for each of your campaigns, while racing to the finish line! This might seem redundant with other options available to you when you build out your ads, but the last thing we want to do is over extend our budgets – having these rules set up will safeguard you from any surprises on your budget sheet!

In Conclusion
These three, simple, campaign rules can be set up within minutes for your campaigns and can save you time, energy and a lot of ‘campaign anxiety’ – allowing you to focus more on growing your campaigns, fine tuning your the targeting to your audiences and A/B testing more creative.

What Facebook Automated Rules can’t you live without? Share in the comments below!

If you need help growing your business with highly targeted and customizable ads, contact ARCH Digital Agency for a free consultation call to learn about how we can help!