Michael Utley: Hey everybody. Welcome to the Dodgeball Marketing podcast. I'm Michael and this is Chris.
Chris Raines: How you doing?
Michael Utley: And today, this is episode 20, we're going to answer the question, "Should I advertise on social media?" So, what we're going to talk about here is the universe of what is available and what social media channels are a good fit for which businesses, and how this works with, or is separate from, the world of search engine advertising.
Yeah, so we're first off, considering social ad versus paid search ads. These are two different worlds. I would say that in... I've been doing online marketing for 20 years, and in the history of online marketing, we had search advertising. Well, we had banner advertising for a long time and it was bought the way that traditional advertising was bought. And then, search advertising really introduced PPC, pay-per-click. And so, we thought of the search engine guy or girl as the pay-per-click person. But now, we've got these other channels. We've got some other real estate that's also pay-per-click, but it's in this world of social media marketing.
So Chris, you're kind of our guy for advertising.
Chris Raines: Yeah.
Michael Utley: Many advertising campaigns, you and I have worked together for years on a lot of campaigns. You run a lot of campaigns that we bring in, and that are part of what we're doing. Talk to us about social versus paid, and how that fits into an overall marketing strategy, and what's a fit for whom.
Chris Raines: The way I look at it is social versus search is who takes the first action, the customer or the advertiser? So in search, it's always the user takes the first action. So, they're typing in "Emergency plumber Sacramento". They're typing in "Roofers near me". So, they're signifying to the platform that, "I've got a problem to solve. I'm looking for this kind of person." That's the first time that there's content or information that exists in the interaction. The customer makes the first move and says, "I'm looking for something." And then the advertiser comes in and, for text ads, they want to bid on those and get in front of them, and hopefully with their ad and with their page, persuade them that they're the best option, and collect the lead, and get the sale, whatever the goal is. So, that's a context where the customer makes the first move. "Hey, I'm looking for something."
Social ads are different because the advertiser makes the first move. When you're on social, you're not looking to opt-in for an ebook. You're not looking to buy a shirt. That's not why you got on there. You were scrolling through your feed and something popped out. The advertiser made the first move. So, the way that I think those are different, is you don't want to advertise on social unless you have something to offer.
So, an example with the roofer would be, if you're a roofer, you got to be on Google first. Why? Because not everybody needs... Those people are further down in the sales funnel, right. So, all you need on Google pay-per-click is you put an ad out there and then you persuade them why you're the best roofer that you already know that they want. You already know they need a roofer; you persuade them whether you're the best one. On social, you don't want to just put a message out there if you're a roofer and say, "Hey, we do the best roofs. We're a reliable B2B accredited," because 95% of the people that are out there don't currently need a new roof.
Michael Utley: It's not what they were thinking about.
Chris Raines: So, you're going to see you're going to waste a lot of money. Now, what you could do is offer a free roof inspection.
Michael Utley: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Chris Raines: Now that's an offer.
Michael Utley: So, higher in the sales funnel on social.
Chris Raines: Yeah, then you can nurture that lead over time. A free roof inspection might be something you go out on social with, where if a storm just went through and you're advertising, "Hey here-"
Michael Utley: You could storm chase.
Chris Raines: “Is your roof damaged?”
Michael Utley: You could storm chase.
Chris Raines: Yeah, that's a different, "Free storm check," yeah.
Michael Utley: Yeah, then that's a case where you know there's.
Chris Raines: But again, the advertiser is putting the first-
Michael Utley: Exactly.
Chris Raines: Is opening the conversation.
Michael Utley: Exactly.
Chris Raines: Okay. So, that's really good. So, search and social are two universes [crosstalk 00:03:51].
Michael Utley: Have an offer on social, is how this works.
Chris Raines: You need an offer. If you don't have an offer to put forward, if it's just, "Hey, we're the ice cream shop."
Michael Utley: Yep.
Chris Raines: You're not going to see much results. You've got have an [crosstalk 00:04:02].
Michael Utley: You've got to have a compelling offer. That's great. Okay. Next step. So, let's talk about this a little further, social ads versus social content marketing. And you can open this up to PPC or to a search ads and social ads, but what are these two universes of ads versus content marketing? It's a little bit like what you're talking about, but how are they different?
Chris Raines: For me, it's who you're addressing, your audience. Your organic social, what you call social content marketing, posting to your page organically is for your audience. They already know who you are. They've been into the ice cream shop, they've bought a roof from you already and they follow your page. They have familiarity with you. So, you're going to give those people different content than you would have completely a new audience, right? So, that's the main difference that I would think. Organic content is important because you have to cultivate your audience and stay in front of them. But, the message that you send to them versus your cold audiences is going to be different.
Michael Utley: And there's room for both of these. I see social content marketing as an extension of the website. If you're creating a website for your SEO, this is actually how we implement it. If you have content you're producing on a regular basis for your search engine strategy, a new blog posts, new services pages, new case studies, new sample projects, new product lines where you're sharing some introductory information to get people familiar with this new service. That's content that's regularly flowing toward your website. You can also share that on your social channels, because those are a good little hook for people to keep tabs on what you're doing or for customers to stay engaged. And it's also a handy place for offers, things that are a little bit more noteworthy. But social advertising is really to open up these new relationships and new conversations. And there's room for both.
Chris Raines: Yeah. Here's a quick example how the content would be different from the audiences. So, if you're a med spa, for your organic, you might post something like, "Hey, it's Kate's birthday. She's one of our anaesthesians. She's been with us for five years. Happy birthday." And maybe a lot of people on the page know her and are like, "Happy Birthday!" Yeah, that's your insider kind of content sharing with your audience. You wouldn't share that with your... That's not something [crosstalk 00:06:23].
Michael Utley: If you're running ads for that med spa, what you're going to run is 10% off this service.
Chris Raines: Yeah. We're going to have, for the next week, we're giving half off of a Hydrafacial. We're only accepting 20 people for this limited time offer. Click here to get it.
Michael Utley: Good. Yeah, and I would also add that with social ads versus social content marketing, sometimes these strategies are coming from two different directions. They're coming together in the social media channels, but they could be two different skill sets. And so, having those under one roof is kind of a unique thing. We do both of them for a comprehensive social media program. But, they're really two different creatures.
Chris Raines: Right.
Michael Utley: Okay. Next, let me ask you about this. We've seen... So, we want to talk about social ads, choosing social channels for what you're trying to accomplish. We've seen Facebook has been around for a while. They've started to monetize their platform with advertising. Twitter's got advertising, LinkedIn was bought by Microsoft, and now they're getting a little bit more intentional about what they're offering. Of all these channels that are out there, how do you guide folks in the right direction for which channels to start off on?
Chris Raines: I would say, where do your customers hang out, and what mindset are they in when they're on the platform? So, where do your customers hang out? My company has a client that sells a DVD Blu-Ray film. The film happens to appeal mostly to people 50 and older. The data shows us that's who buys the film. Well, guess where those people are hanging out?
Michael Utley: Facebook.
Chris Raines: They're hanging out on Facebook, yeah, but to a large degree. Even more than younger... Facebook is starting to skew older. So, we advertise on Facebook for that. If you're selling fashion accessories for girls in their twenties, you're going to have way less success on Facebook because people in their twenties, they're gravitating towards platforms like TikTok,
Michael Utley: Instagram-
Chris Raines: And probably Instagram.
Michael Utley: I think so.
Chris Raines: Yeah. So, you're not going to want to go heavy on Facebook for something like that, but just because of the age of the person. So number one, I would say, where does your audience hang out? Two, to a slightly lesser extent, would be, what mindset are they in on the platform? So, if you are an HR consultancy company and you're advertising a white paper on, “What are the 2021 Trends for HR?”, something like that, you might want to look at LinkedIn first, not because your customer isn't on Facebook, they probably are, but because they're in a different mindset, they're in a work-oriented, professional development, learning mindset on LinkedIn. So you might try LinkedIn to get downloads for your new white paper.
Michael Utley: Yeah.
Chris Raines: So, it's similar platform... I would say similar platform age-wise, although I don't know the real numbers to that, as Facebook, but different mindset. People are looking to do different things. They're going to learn, network, and interact on a professional level. So, those are the two things; where's your customer hanging out, and what mindset are they in when they're on those platforms?
Michael Utley: Yeah, that's good. I tend to do that. I tend to silo work stuff to LinkedIn, and then I use Twitter for a lot of news and work. And then, I use Instagram plus Twitter for hobbies, because I get visuals. If it's scuba diving or aviation, I'm interested in that on Instagram because I want to see the cool picture somebody got at Sombrero Reef for the shark they saw or whatever.
Chris Raines: Right.
Michael Utley: Yeah, and it's more visual and it's more chill time rather than leaning in, work time.
Chris Raines: Yeah.
Michael Utley: Taking a break, work mode. Okay. Next, something that we talk a lot about here are sales funnels and where people are. And social media has really opened up for us a lot of tools for reaching people who are very high up in the sales funnel. So, what do you think of when you're putting together a strategy for advertising for brand awareness? How do these advertising channels give you another tool for doing brand awareness?
Chris Raines: So, I would only use social for brand awareness if you can afford it because it takes a lot... So, that's a parameter. You're talking about a big investment. It takes more investment upfront, and it takes a longer-term investment for it to start to pay off because you're targeting people that your only goal is to let them know who you are. And they may not be ready in the first one month, three months, six months. Here's an example. We're in Nashville, Hiller Plumbing is one of the big plumbing companies here.
Michael Utley: Yep.
Chris Raines: They do a ton of awareness advertising. Now they can because they're really big, but I guarantee you when they started out, they weren't doing all the TV commercial buys that they're doing now. So, I would say if you're prepared to spend a lot of money to generate a lot of activity six to 12 months from now, then yes, do brand awareness. If you're new in an upstart, if you're a new plumbing company, you're just starting your two or three guys or something, probably the worst thing you could do is start to spend $10,000 a month on your local Facebook advertiser because it's just going to take too long to play out.
Michael Utley: Yeah. So, for offers and leads, you're going to maybe look to focus on having an offer, having something, 15% off labor costs, something tactical that you can [crosstalk 00:11:40]-
Chris Raines: If you're new in plumbing, go to Google search, hit a really targeted area, and where you're not spending a ton of money. And honestly, do organic referrals, B&I, that kind of thing. So, it's just a bigger spin. Like Proctor & Gamble can do brand advertising for their new detergent or whatever, because they have the budget to do that. So I would say, yeah, brand advertising is valuable, but you have to understand that you need a prolonged spend over a pro... A higher spend over a prolonged amount of time for it to pay off. It can pay off and it does, but it's not appropriate for smaller advertisers.
Michael Utley: Well, we'll have some of those coming in this year in healthcare space. We actually are going to be helping bring a bunch of different new healthcare products into North America that have been developed in another country and are expanding to North America. So, I think that's one where there'll be a six to 12 months timeframe for introducing something new.
Chris Raines: Yeah.
Michael Utley: Cool. So, for audience growth, or advertising for audience growth and nurturing; let's talk about that. A lot of times we're not necessarily trying to get a lead or a sale right away. We're trying to capture audience. There's email capture, there are other types of captures, likes, and shares. What's the framework and how does it work to use social media marketing advertising, in particular, to gain and capture an audience?
Chris Raines: Yeah. Social, I think is great for that kind of audience growth lead generation, because the threat level is pretty low. If you're offering something valuable to someone... I'll give you an example from one of the clients that we carry with my companies. We serve a homeschool curriculum company. And so, we have two modes that we go into. There's a certain curriculum buying period for homeschool curriculum, right?
Michael Utley: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Chris Raines: And it's-
Michael Utley: There's a lot of seasonality.
Chris Raines: It's from April until September when people are going into the new year. So, when that's in effect, we're doing sales; buy, buy, buy, buy, buy. When it's outside of that period, we're doing lead generation. And it's really effective. We put together a huge bundle of homeschool resources. And so we put it out there to our audience because we know our audience doesn't want to buy then; they're out of market. So, we offer them content in exchange for their email address. So, it works symbiotically because we're getting downloads on this content at around 88 cents a piece. So, they go into our system, and bam, they get nurtured, nurtured, nurtured through email. And then when we have a sale, we tell them about the sale, and then we sort of cash in on that on the backend.
So I think overall, lead gen is great for social, because, like I said before, they're not there necessarily to buy something, they're not there to do business; they're here to interact. So, a low threat level of, "Hey, check out this video series. Check out this download. Check out this e-book," is appropriate.
Michael Utley: So, these would be middle of the sales funnel. They might know you exist, but you may not have the stickiness with them. And so, you can take that interaction on social media and maybe turn it into an email address that you have in your database.
Chris Raines: Right. And so again, it's like you make the first move, you offer them something for free in exchange for their email, and then you nurture over time. And then, you can sell to them. That, I think, is one of the... That's one of the best uses. I always advise people if they can, go out there either with a really compelling offer for services or lead generation, give them something valuable in exchange for their email.
Michael Utley: Excellent. So there's always an exchange, social media is not just hammering people with ads. It's creating value, offering value in order to get value. Give them an offer, find out what they want, and give it to them, yeah.
Good. All right. Yeah, this was, "Should I Advertise on Social Media?" I hope this was helpful. Drop your comments, subscribe and let us know you're out there. Run over to dodgeballmarketing.com, drop into chat and say hi, and really appreciate all the feedback we've gotten on everything we're doing this year, and super excited. We'll see you on the next one.
Chris Raines: See you on the next one.