Facebook Ad Campaign Setup: Here’s How You Do it Right

Facebook Ad Campaign Setup: Here’s How You Do it Right

Whether you use Facebook ads, Google Adwords, or any other traffic sources, it’s imperative that you plan your campaigns the right way.

If you don’t, you lose money. You’ll call it an experiment. You won’t get anything from it. You did hear that more than 98% of all ad spend is wasting, didn’t you?

It’s wasted because you don’t take the time to setup the campaigns the right way. There’s a science to setting up the campaigns while design and copy can be more like art.

In any case, you have the blessing of A/B testing to remove any kind of vague nonsense out of your campaigns and focus on what gets you results.

If you are doing paid campaigns of any kind, you’ll do well to follow a process.

The first steps are you build your lead funnels or sales funnels.

How to Build a Lead Funnel 

How to Build a Sales Funnel

Paid ad campaigns have the following components (varies with businesses, campaigns, and offers) :

1. An offer you are making (free consultation, free eBook, free whitepaper, free trial, free samples, free whatever). The offer is made with an ad which is also delivered in pairs (A & B) for testing.

When you start with ads, you’d start designing or writing ads (for Google Adwords) in pairs. Why pairs? You’ll be able to test between two versions ads as you run your campaigns.

Here’s an example:

Version A

Version B

annaandsimon

2. A landing page (example below) that presents the offer (the landing page also has two versions A & B for testing)

3. An autoresponder system (like Drip) that ensures lead quality with a “double opt-in — where leads have to confirm their registration by clicking on a link that goes out immediately after someone signs up for your offer.

4. Once people start visiting your landing page, Unbounce has A/B testing included for the landing pages to determine which version of the landing page works better (traffic will be sent to each version at random — 50% of traffic goes to page version A and 50% goes to page version B)

LP AB Testing results

5. What follows after this depends on your business. Completely online businesses like mine will continue a lead nurturing sequence to make sales happen. Other businesses might have to place phone calls, etc. In your case, I can see it’s going to be some sort of a consultation call.

Budget Allocation for PPC

While there’s no minimum spend for both FB and Adwords, always start with the lowest possible budget (the market determines how much you pay — and this depends on your competition in the geographic area you are targeting). Usually, $5 to $20 is the range I see (depending on targeted areas).

Split your budget 80: 20 — 80% for actual campaigns and 20% for retargeting, each month.

A few Suggestions to Boost Conversions

  • Don’t use the navigation on top of a landing page (or below, in the footer).
  • You can’t have any extra links on the landing page (this isn’t your website). Never add any other links except for the main call to action (CTA)
  • If you are using a video, that’s awesome. You should make a second version of the page without a video for A/B testing.
  • Ideally, you should be making a single offer (like sign up to receive a coupon code). When they signup, they have to confirm (double opt-in) and then they receive a coupon code.
  • If you have to provide more information (like How it Works), you should use a lightbox option and let a pop-up reveal more information (right there, on the page) so that users don’t leave the page at all. This also applies to any other buttons on the page.
  • Forms work best at the top of the page. Visitors click on a button, the form appears, and they fill out information. We can follow the same principle of “Intent-based reveal” — the form isn’t going to be exposed; it only shows up when visitors click on a button (click trigger style)
  • It’s best to ask for the absolute minimum information on the forms. In your case, do you need the telephone field? It’s alright if you do. If you don’t, we can remove it.

How do you design your landing pages? If you are looking for help with landing pages, you can get a landing page (each with two versions for A/B testing) only for $79.

Digital Marketing: Shocking Crap I Hope You Don’t Believe

Digital Marketing: Shocking Crap I Hope You Don’t Believe

Oh, the bogus they teach all over the place in the name of digital marketing.

I had been to a meetup on digital marketing yes ‘day and I was shocked by what they teach others in the name of digital marketing.

In India, there’s a term for reverse engineering: Jugaad.

That’s what it was.

How do you do SEO?

Pick keywords, throw them all up on your website. You’ll be on top of Google

How do you start with Shopify?

Grab a few images from AliExpress. Put them up. Do Facebook ads. Make millions of dollars.

How to do Facebook ads?

Create multiple accounts (because you are certainly going to be banned). Launch ads. Make use you use Bit.ly to shorten links (because your full-links is going to make Facebook come down hunting for you). Use Video ads. Point ads to your store.

How does Facebook track visitors?

Oh, there’s this thing called the Facebook Pixel. Once you visit my website, I can keep targeting you for life.

How do you find images for Facebook ads?

“Find them on Google”

How do you allocate ad budget for Facebook ads?

“Start with $2000 per month. You’ll only make positive ROI if you run ads long enough”

What other advice do you have for us?

“Always use big, green buttons on your Shopify Store

How do you handle product returns?

“Use a virtual address and have no such thing as returns. If customers don’t like it or if they got damaged products, let them keep it”

Really? Nice strategy you got there.

It’s sad that this is what these “self-appointed experts” teach complete newbies. Every question was followed by a shocking answer that was either completely wrong, unsubstantiated, or at best, it was a half-assed answer.

This is unfair. Everyone deserves to learn better. Stop telling yourself lies. Don’t trust anyone who says “I know digital marketing like the back of my hand” or “I made a million doing SEO”.

Very few people can claim this for a fact. Everyone else is just lying.

Digital Marketing takes skills, efficiency, and commitment. Either you are in it or out

Here are some absolutely ridiculous things others are telling you or those that you believe or perhaps your neighborhood “expert” taught you:

Digital marketing = SEO

You got legs? You need two legs to walk. An engine needs anywhere from 1 – 12 cylinders for it to work – and all cylinders have to fire.

Digital marketing is vast and it has many things working together to make it work for a business. SEO happens to be just “one” of them. At the time of writing this, it’s only getting harder.

The right digital strategy is to fire all those cylinders together. You have to ALL of the following:

That’s it.

Limping on a Leg

It’s remarkable how so many businesses just want “one leg” to work. Websites look like they’ve been built in the late 1990s. They load extremely slow. There’s no content marketing strategy in place. There’s nothing else working in your website’s favor. Your domain is rather new.

Yet, you are willing to pay idiots to make your website show up on “top of Google”. You thought Google was an easy lay?

SEO is not about writing crappy articles that you outsourced for $2 or less. Heck, even $125 for a single post of 1500 words still won’t guarantee any SEO success. Even if you do guest posting, it might not work as well you thought it’d.

Plus, making SEO work is a long-term strategy and it takes time. If you were expecting short-term results, you’ll be sorry.

If you still think you are doing it right, you are only hurting yourself. You just don’t get it.

Chasing Shiny Objects

There was this one young chap who happened to “quit his job” to start full-time blogging. Stars in his eyes, passion surging from within, but absolutely clueless as to how to go about it all.

He arrives looking for answers. Because he doesn’t know any better, he is looking at the wrong sources for information and he isn’t getting any of it. He can’t make sense of what’s being talked about and he doesn’t like my answers (because those aren’t what he is prepared for).

He thought full-time blogging is like,

“Start blogging, will make money from next month”

That’s not going to happen.

He wasn’t the only one on a deluded path though. There were newbie affiliate marketers, bloggers, business owners, and many others.

There was this particularly interested, vocal, and an active man from a business background who was chasing “the micro-niche dream” – I’ll set up a blog on micro niche and make $100 per month.

Good luck with that, asshole.

Everyone was chasing the dream. They were all after shiny objects (micro niches? Products no one knows about so they have potential when you sell them on Shopify?).

Dreams aren’t bad. Chasing something worthwhile is worth it. Except that there’s no strategy, plan, or resources behind any of those dreams.

Those dreams then, are worth shit.

Cutting corners, everywhere

Put up Facebook Ad, and then point to a website.

So, where the heck are the landing pages? Where’s your strategy to collect leads and then nurture them?

When I suggested that email marketing strategy is critical for success, I am told that:

“Email marketing is old”.

Who told you that for something to work exceptionally well, it has to be “new”?

“Retargeting is the new method that makes you millions”

Agreed that retargeting is awesome and that you should do it. Without the right strategy, assets, and a way to make it all work together, it won’t work.

“Spy on others and build your ads that way”

How do you know those ads even work? When asked, I was told that you’ll know how successful ads are when you see the engagement level on those ads (comments, shares, and likes).

But that doesn’t tell you how much money those ads really made. If there were any sales at all, you don’t know the Return on Investment. See?

Every single point being made felt like the world is in a rush to cut corners and find the shortest route possible.

People are chasing gimmicks, tricks, shortcuts, and crappy workarounds.

If your business is as cheap as tissue paper, go ahead and twist it all you want. There are at least a million scam artists to help you with that.

How important is your business to you?

I don’t care what you think but if you are cutting corners, going cheap, working with tricks, and looking for magic bullets, you don’t deserve to run a business. Go back to that day job and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Your entrepreneurial chutzpah depends on a lot, starting with that leap of faith. It starts with an idea.

Everything about you will be tested.

Your ability to sustain the vagaries of entrepreneurial uncertainty, your ability to get educated about what’s right and what’s wrong, the way you bring in finances to fund your business, your finesse of managing clients (employees, vendors, contractors, and investors).

Getting results with digital marketing depends on who you hire to help you with digital marketing or the choice of your digital marketing agency, the knowledge you choose to implement, and how you bring it all together.

I’d understand if you said it was all overwhelming. I can hear you out if you told me that all this is hard to manage. I’d empathize if you told me that it feels like you are putting a mountain that won’t budge.

What I won’t accept is that you choose to listen (and actually believe) all the nonsense that’s written on digital marketing, on business, and everything (or everyone) who is influencing you to do injustice to the very business you started with so much love, passion, and energy.

I won’t let you trample on your own dreams. Period.

Email Marketing A/B Testing: Why Bother & How It Matters?

Email Marketing A/B Testing: Why Bother & How It Matters?

Exactly 1 out of 143 clients in the last 3 years have bothered with email marketing A/B testing. It’s not surprising since many clients don’t even have “absolutely anything to do” with email marketing itself.

I mean, who the heck bothers with the old and boring email marketing when there are really hot social media platforms out there.

If you ignore email marketing, everything else you do with digital marketing is you sweating the small stuff and doing exactly that you shouldn’t be doing.

Why bother with email marketing A/B testing?

Assuming that you are convinced that you should do email marketing (hopefully), let’s look into the “why” of email marketing A/B testing.

  • You do A/B testing because you want to find out what works best for your business
  • Data-driven marketing is the only kind of marketing you want to depend on.
  • When an average email marketing campaign delivers 4300% ROI, it just makes sense to fine tune and optimize one of the most profitable digital marketing channels out there.
  • As always, you never know what subject lines, email copy, delivery timing would work the best with your audience.

Now, coming back to Email A/B testing; it works just like it does while you do A/B testing with ads, landing pages, websites, and others.

With email marketing A/B testing specifically, you can test:

  • Subject lines
  • The “from name” or the way sender details are presented
  • The content of the email
  • A particular segment or a set of recipients
  • Time zone that the emails are sent on
  • Particular weeks of the day the emails are sent
  • Recipient Group size, and more.

According to MarketingSherpa, here’s a full list of what you could do email marketing tests on:

email marketing tests

The winning emails are decided on a criterion you can setup. Some of those criteria could be open rate, click rate (total unique clicks), total clicks on a particular link, and more.

Most email marketing service providers like Mailchimp, Drip, and Campaign Monitor give you the tools for you to do A/B testing.

The only reason why you aren’t running email marketing A/B tests are because you weren’t aware, you thought it was fancy, or maybe because you genuinely didn’t get around to do it yet.

With email marketing workflows off a fully-customizable and automated tool like Drip (and also with other ESPs), you can also measure actual ROI of your campaigns with A/B testing.

I know you. It’s not going to be easy to convince you about something as obvious as this. So, here are a few examples of how simple email marketing A/B Testing experiments got these businesses results:

Weddingwire

Weddingwire is a comprehensive website with everything related to wedding. It lists out vendors, has planning tools for weddings, has a list of wedding venues, photographers, Djs, planners, managers, and much more. Weddingwire also provides a ton of insights, inspiration, reviews on individual wedding related services, and a lot more.

Weddingwire’s newsletter, however, was one those things you could easily do the mistake of “just letting be”. With millions of subscribers, who’d care if there was one social button that doesn’t seem to work as well as it should?

It does matter. When you send out emails to 24 million people or more, everything matters.

While Weddingwire had no problems with people clicking on their main CTA, they were concerned as to why no one was clicking on the regular list of social media buttons.

Of particular concern was to find out why their Pinterest button wasn’t clicked on – from within the newsletter – as much.

The reason why Weddingwire worried about Pinterest was because their users were active there and Pinterest also makes for a great place for information and inspiration on anything to do with weddings.

The regular “social button array” faux pas?

So, when Weddingwire started including pins from their already active Pinterest account, here’s what happened, according to a case study from MarketingSherpa,

“WeddingWire saw a 141% higher Pinterest growth rate compared to the brand’s average, as well as an average lift of 31% on re-pins from email. Top articles reached as high as a 180% lift in re-pins.”

All that traction just for including pins that click through to Pinterest within a newsletter.

You bet.

The Obama Campaigns

Everyone knows how successful email marketing was for Obama’s election as the president and the following re-election too (all this and you still need convincing that email marketing is critical for your business?).

This also includes the famous “I’ll be Outspent” campaign or the one subject line that says “Hey”.

Everyone knows this. Joshua Green of Bloomberg has a fantastic piece on the Science Behind those Obama Campaign Emails.

But then, there was a ton of detail that was being tested behind the exact same email marketing strategy that helped raise more than $500 million in donations.

Thanks to David Moth of Econsultancy and Amelia Showalter – Obama’s Directory of Digital Analytics in 2013.

Obama’s team found out that a sequential form that asks for information, one detail at a time, worked better than a single, long-form. This produced a 5% lift in conversions.

Obama Email Campaigns

As Amelia puts it:

“For example, in one test on subject lines Showalter’s team found that the most effective iteration would raise $2.5m in donations, while the worst performing subject line would bring in less than $500,000.
Similarly, the team achieved a 5% uplift in conversions by A/B testing a long online donation form against a sequential format that asks for a little bit of information at a time, with the latter proving to be more effective.”

There were many more tests on the same campaigns for Obama.

 

For instance, Obama’s team boosted their donations conversion rate by a whopping 20-30% by a simple change of wording from “Save your Payment details now to make the process quicker next time” to “Now save your Payment Information”

Obama’s team also had a lot of insights that most people (marketers and businesses) wouldn’t get:

  • The team fostered a culture of testing
  • Ugly designs outperformed pretty looking ones
  • The test results were shared internally
  • Grabby subject lines proved to be worth millions of dollars.

Who would ever think?

Optimizely

It’s nice to see a company that makes A/B testing as the basis of its existence actually run A/B tests (and email marketing A/B tests, at that). Allison Sparrow of Optimizely ran a total of 82 email A/B tests as on 2017 with only 30% of those tests being significant.

How many calls to action should you have within an email? Any sensible marketer would tell you this: one.

But then, do you know for sure? You won’t know until you test.

In Optimizely’s case, they ran a test for 1 CTA vs Multiple CTAs with their existing customers.

The goal was to simply check in on the clicks for the CTA buttons.

The result was that one focused CTA was more effective (by 33% increase in clicks) than multiple ones.

If you are interested in reading more about Email Marketing A/B Testing, here are a few subject lines A/B test ideas from Sujan Patel on MailShake. 

But then, most A/B test results won’t even give you any meaningful results. The folks at MixPanel tell you why A/B tests give bullshit results

“So if you’re sick of bullshit results, and you want to produce that 38% lift in conversions to get that pat on the back and the nice case study, then put in the work. Take the time to construct meaningful A/B tests and you’ll get meaningful results.”

Are you doing A/B testing for your email marketing campaigns?

Free Marketing Plan Sample: Will You Now Stop Making Excuses?

Free Marketing Plan Sample: Will You Now Stop Making Excuses?

Disclaimer: This digital marketing sample plan is generic. Every business — depending on different circumstances — can approach this differently. Also, this is purely an organic marketing plan sample. Things are slightly different for paid advertising plans.

Every small business is empowered to make it big. The world has truly gone flat. The online battlefields play no favorites.

It’s about how you execute your digital marketing, it’s nothing.

You did start with an effort to make your digital presence count. What you ought to know is the following:

  • Most people have no freaking clue what it’s like to do digital marketing. They just don’t get it. 
  • A meaningful digital presence takes effort and time (and little money). Read Digital Marketing: Are you willing to commit or cop out? 
  • You’d need to give more than you take.
  • You’d have to think in terms of value: why should a customer spend time on your website? Why should someone else buy from you?
  • If you thought your customers are there for “checking you out”, that’s losing your marketing pounds or dollars per visit.
  • Your job is to prepare for the long-haul or find the right people to do it (and an occasional monthly bill on applications or tools).
  • You’d also have to pay for other people’s services. Being cheap here won’t cut it.
  • Marketing is worth any investment you make for it provided you are doing it right. Also, don’t buy into any hype when it comes to marketing.
  • Marketing isn’t a one-time affair. It’s not something we indulge in during the holiday season or because the sales numbers seem to be going down for the last few months.
  • Marketing is punishing, expensive, backbreaking, thankfully, lonely, and relentless, forever, and ever.

With that out of the way, Your primary aim for marketing should be as follows:

digital marketing steps

Of course, the diagram above doesn’t even begin to do justice to the complicated juggernaut that marketing really is.

There are just too many variables — including marketing tools and digital marketing channels here.

Yet, you’d have to do it. That’s what this digital marketing plan sample is all about.

Your Website

Your website should be built with the purpose of making things happen for you, and not for looks. Your website should get you traffic, help you establish your brand, get you leads, and help you make sales.

Invest in copywriting, because the chances are that you can’t do it yourself. Effective copy should be short, succinct, sweet, and to the point.

The hero section (the part of the page above the fold) is prime real estate. Use it to make website visitors do one thing that’s very important for your business – and that should be an opt-in form asking for an email address with something worthwhile that you give away. Build it like front page landing page design and learn more about Sales funnels and lead funnels below:

All product pages (along with the sidebar on all pages) should have social media buttons.

Landing Pages

Build Landing Pages (for anything you’d want your potential audience to do, outside of your website)

Landing pages are bridge pages with an intense focus on getting your audience to signup, buy, or do something. That something is led by “call to action”. This is the page where you give away something valuable, like a tool kit, an e-book, a free trial, etc.

Paid ads, social links, and even links within your website should be pointing to a landing page.

14 Winning Landing Page Tips
Why are Message Matching Landing page Tips Critical?
The Anatomy Of the Best Landing Page design
Are you Embarassing Yourself with These Landing Page Mistakes?
Read my Unbounce Review: The single best Investment for Landing pages You’ll Make

Your Blog

Maintain a frequency of 1-3 blog posts a week with regular publishing days through the week. It’s important to post at a regular frequency and never miss it. Choose your frequency of publishing but honor it.

Each of these blog posts will have a relevant image or video where possible. We could start with unpaid royalty-free stock photography sites such as Unsplash, Pexels,  SXC, and more. Or you can also try custom graphics.

Each blog post will try to have links back to our main site, links outbound to other blogs and other content. This will be a good start for your link-building strategy.

Integrate social media buttons with your blog.

The blog needs to be set-up for maximum search optimization. SEO is all about getting the balance between valuable content and a judicious use of keywords for your business.

If possible, have guest bloggers, staff writers, and others to rope in their content with a brief introduction, by line and a link back to their own website. This increases traffic for us and also makes us well known.

Email Marketing

Email marketing – in spite of the big scene about social media – is still an absolute winner. Your subscribers are worth gold. As expected, you’ll need a dedicated landing page for email subscriptions alone (in addition to any signup forms on your website, on social media, and other avenues).

Learn Why You Need Email Marketing?
Check out a few email marketing stats to convince yourself.
If you are not doing email marekting, you could be sweating out the small stuff
Email marketing is not Dead, but you could have just killed it

  • Your list of subscribers (customers) is a great way to start a newsletter and an occasional marketing blitzkrieg
  • If you don’t have a list, start with your previous customers. Ask them for permission and manually create a list if you have to.
  • Do we have auto-responder software? Some of the good ones are Drip, Campaign Monitor and Mailchimp. It’s not a choice to have these; it’s mandatory. Pick one and use it.
  • We will need a well-written report, a toolkit, a free consultation, or anything else you can give away to seduce readers into subscribing with us in exchange for their email address.

Soon after each user subscribes, an autoresponder email will be sent with thank you and other details. Following this, send out an email each week: 4 per month; 52 per year.

Following this, send out an email each week: 4 per month; 52 per year.

No wait, how many emails should you send? Test it out

Some of these emails can have sales promotions, discounts, specials and other such offers you might want to do.

Social Media

Social media isn’t exactly a bustling marketplace. It’s not like you can just saunter in and sell. You can’t promote. You can’t pitch.

The last thing you would do on social media is to beat your chest and try to make money off it.

Yet, it’s a medium like no other. It’s the Holy Grail for marketing. It’s almost everything a business can ask for.

Branding: The more your brand grows in strength, the more profitable a business is. Social media is free (except for your time spent). Build your brand and everything else will follow.

Serve better to sell more: The more you serve – and as you learn to get better at it – the more you’ll sell. Now, that “selling” might or might not happen on social media itself. You are being watched. That’s a good thing for small businesses, which had to otherwise pay for eyeballs in the “not so distant past”.

Build relationships: Every thing in business is about relationships. Thanks to social media, we just have a lot of people available to make that happen.

Open gates for communication: Businesses are more open to conversations. Communication leads to trust. Customers buy only when they trust businesses.

Your name is out in the open: How exciting would it be for a business when the name of one of its brands, products, or services are mentioned at a water cooler discussion? Social media is a huge water cooler. Word of mouth just got itself a super dose of steroids. Manage these conversations. See why your name popped up. Step in and help when needed.

Play nice and laugh your way to the bank: Share information, get into conversations, relate to others, amplify emotions, and build relationships, it’s just a nice thing to do. When you do, however, you are creating little bridges of opportunity. Playing nice like that has its benefits. You’d end up high on the trust radar. You’d get popular. Everyone likes to do business with popular brands.

It’s all about social proof: The people talk about your business, the more you’ll do business. But they won’t “just talk”. You’ve work to do – a lot of it – before people talk about you, share your content, get in touch with you, and more. Period.

You think this is repetitive? I don’t care since most businesses don’t do it right.
See this:

Do or Die: The only 3 Ways To Use Social Media Right
How you get Your Social Media Strategy Completely Wrong
10 Tools Guaranteed to Boost Your Social Media Engagement

Content Marketing

Your blog works as the main hub for all the information you’ll produce. Your social media networks are the channels using which you can promote your original content (in addition to others’ content). In addition to normal blogging, you can also opt to work on:

  • Guest posting (publishing on other relevant blogs for free with credits to you)
  • Creating podcasts
  • Creating Videos for YouTube
  • Making slide decks and sharing them on SlideShare.net
  • Producing Infographics

While I am still trying to get anywhere near this, you should check this out:

22 Companies That Grew With Content Marketing & Sweat
Guest Blogging Sucks, or Does It?
Why You Shouldn’t Sweat the Digital Marketing Stuff?
Sponsored Content: Are the High Costs Worth It?

Online Communities & Forums

You are the expert on what your business relates to — on everything that relates to it. Online communities thrive on common interests such as these and you’d have plenty of opportunities to showcase your credibility and expertise. Think of it as profiting indirectly by “giving” to a community of small & medium sized businesses.

This isn’t where you pitch and sell. It’s where you dish out pure value in exchange for credibility (and hopefully, some traffic).

Learn How to Make Quora work for you

Now, honestly, that’s there is to your organic digital marketing plan. Stop chasing brand new strategies and secret tactics. There’s no magic bullet. Just make good use of a single weekend, decide how you want to go about doing digital marketing (include this plan) and then just get to work.

Do you think this marketing plan sample can help you get started? How does your marketing plan look like?

Digital Marketing Strategy: How You Screw It All Up

Digital Marketing Strategy: How You Screw It All Up

Digital Marketing isn’t easy and it’s not hard either. The mechanics of online marketing remain more or less the same. There are only so many channels you’ll work with and it doesn’t get fancy anywhere.

The only variables are aspects that you’ll change depending on your business and your brand.

Also, how you want your brand to be portrayed determines how your offers are positioned, which also means that you’d then worry about the purpose for which you create content, the style of communication you choose, the blog posts, the copy on your web pages, the forms, your email marketing messages, and everything else.

But I see variations in what clients expect. I see how things begin to shape up depending on what the clients need.

You see, if you are reading this, I can bet that you need results. You want your digital marketing to work. After all that effort you take for marketing, something better happens for your business. Right?

It’d, but then, you don’t let that ever happen.

You seem to have your own skewed, twisted, preconceived, and half-educated knowledge of what works and what doesn’t work.

“I want SEO done. Will it be delivered tomorrow?”
“I want a beautiful website. It should look good”
“Looking for someone to help me with Facebook Advertising”
“Retargeting won’t work for my niche products”
“Email marketing is dead. Will you help manage my social media?”

I can put in 18-hour work days, Monday to Monday, and still never get tired. But a single statement like that and I am huffing, puffing, panting, and desperate to go do something else like weaving baskets or rolling cotton balls.

Digital marketing strategy is what it is but you screw up almost every time. Here’s why:

Because “Digital Marketing Strategy” sounds Like a Cool thing to say…

That word sounds so intellectual, geeky, and nerdy, doesn’t it? I am willing to bet more than 70% of all businesses in the world are sitting in a conference room wasting time with a morale-draining, complete unproductive meeting right now, at the time of writing this.

We are so drawn to fancy words and good-for-nothing meetings, aren’t we? You make it sound so big, this digital marketing strategy thing.

Instead of dwelling on a worthless “strategy” meeting, you could have written an entire week’s worth of blog posts.

Another strategy call could allow you to post social updates into the future using something like Hootsuite.

You spend too much time talking, and talking is cheap.

You worry so much about results that you don’t take the most important steps. Instead, you waste your time sweating the small stuff.

You spend half a week looking for Facebook advertising secrets instead of actually launching a campaign and learning from the data you gather.

You look for a developer to build landing pages when you have tools to help you build them.

You buy all fancy tools, courses, and eBooks but you don’t follow through what you learn.

Comfort is where the crowd is

If it’s popular, it must be good. Right?

Wrong.

For us humans, we take comfort in “common”, the normal, that which everyone does.

Everyone talks about SEO. Freelance marketplaces have vendors yelling out loud: “I will do SEO. I Will do SEO”.

Your idiot friend happened to share a drink with you and told you how he gets 124,000 visits a month just by publishing blog posts outsourced to a cheap freelancer and only publishes 4 times a month.

You think that’s the way to do it.

Some moron tells you that Social media is where it all is. You spend the next several weeks just trying to figure out how to make Twitter work for you.

Then another idiot like me would insist that you’d have to do email marketing and stop sweating over the small stuff.

You can see that you’d drift, coast along, and do nothing in the end.

Digital marketing is like a V12 Engine – all cylinders must fire. You can’t keep cranking a single cylinder (like social or SEO only) and hope that the world will come knocking on your door.

You have zero respect for the actual work

You want results. You look for vendors, freelancers, staff, and agencies.

For all the entrepreneurial hero that you already are, the Internet makes it easy for you to disrespect.

You can say anything you want. You can do anything you want. You can Tweet back at President Trump. You can leave a bad review for anyone.

This gives you a false sense of superiority. Plus, the Internet actually started making everyone believe that we live in an “Instant anything” world.

“Instant coffee”
“Instant online delivery”
“Instant access”
“Instant hotel bookings”
“Instant cabs”

Unfortunately, results from digital marketing are anything but “instant”. It’s a thankless, lonely, back-breaking, and soul-sucking job.

Either you do it or have someone else do it. When they do, don’t ramp up your expectations by expecting results yes ‘day.

That’s unfair.

See how much commitment digital marketing really needs. No one got successful on day one.

When you know this, why do you expect others to wave a magic wand and expect magic on day one?

Good freelancers and agencies do the campaigns the right way – they’d research, create ads, setup landing pages, do A/B testing, and run the campaigns the right way.

You could do it too. It’s just that it takes time and a certain degree of expertise. So, you’d choose not to.

Just because you choose not to doesn’t mean that people you hire have to get results instantly since it’d take them time to show you results as it’d take you time.

Your opinions are expensive & loss-making

A lot of business owners have strong opinions. That’s actually a part of what makes up for the entrepreneurial DNA. They visualize, believe, and commit. They take risks and they invest money. They have more to do in a day that 10 other normal folks do.

That’s also where there’s an issue.

You, as an entrepreneur, are supposed to have opinions but you’d normally depend on people much smarter than you to take decisions that help your business grow.

Instead, your fat ego and stupid opinions mar your digital marketing efforts:

“I want only 350-word blog posts”

Why? Why can’t they be longer?

“Please don’t link to any other blog posts”

Why shouldn’t I link to others?

“I want this image to be exactly 600px wide and 400px tall”

Exactly how many millions did you lose because of this?

“Change the color of the button to green”

What’s the proof that green works better, given that you don’t do any sort of AB testing?

“I don’t care about A/B testing”

Because you are sitting on billion dollars in cash to spend?

You can ask for explanations. You can be a curious cat and ask questions. You can jump right into an argument. You can even question moves your staff or contractors make.

But if they are smart, you let them take the risks for you. If they are good at what they do, let them do their job.

Consultants, agencies, freelancers, and even members of your staff have spent doing digital marketing for ages (like when you were still working on that job or when you were in college).

Don’t bring your big fat entrepreneurial ego when you hire consultants and question their goodwill, expertise, or skills – especially when they didn’t even get started yet.

Digital marketing strategy and all that jazz are all fine. But you won’t get a lead (and hence make a sale) if you continue to do what you do.

Great leaders and successful entrepreneurs depend on other smart people to do the work. They don’t nose around, bully, or disrespect.

If you still choose to walk your ass around the aisles of the Internet thinking that you are somehow privileged just because you choose to hire someone for $6.25 an hour, I know exactly where you’ll go and how you’ll end up.

I don’t want to see you there, so don’t go there.

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