We’ve worked with hundreds of clients in dozens of industries. In this video, Digital Strategist Ben Sweetlove explains the top ten ‘success formulas’ our most successful clients use to get outstanding digital marketing results…
Ben: Hi there guys, it’s Ben here. Now in this session, I’m going to talk about the top 10 strategies used by our most successful digital marketing clients. In other words, I’m going to talk about the success formulas, or the success patterns that we’ve noticed over time, that our most successful clients are using, that are getting the best results for them. Now this is based on working with hundreds of clients in dozens of industries over about 15 years, so there’s a fair bit of data that’s gone into producing these top 10 strategies.
Now, you probably want to know why I think or we think they’re successful; what are these — what makes them successful? First of all, when they’re using these strategies and tactics, they’re getting a higher volume of inquiries at a lower or a cheaper cost per inquiry, and that’s a pretty good benefit straight out of the gates. They’re getting more inquiries for less spend. They’re seeing some efficiency improvements over their overall marketing and sales in general. They’re getting better results from less effort. From a tactical perspective, they’re getting more organic traffic, so more free traffic coming through to their website. They’re learning more, or they’re learning stronger, psychological insights around the key audiences that they’re targeting; using things like website testing and the information that’s coming back from their campaigns. They’re learning more about what makes their target personas take action. They’re scaling faster ultimately; they’re getting more inquiries at a lower cost. And efficiency improvements, that means that they are finding it easy to scale. And ultimately, they’re focusing less on marketing and more on their value chain. Or they’ve got more time to look at growth hacking, which means they can — instead of focusing on lead generation, on the marketing side of the business, they can not worry about that and they can then focus on improving the value they provide to their customers or their clients.
So what I want you to do is use these ten strategies that I’m about to go through, to improve your own marketing. Now, let’s get into it.
So first of all, number one, our most successful clients passionately champion their customers’ desired end state; not just their product or service.
And what I mean by that is they’re passionate about solving their customers’ problems, or creating their desired outcomes, and there’s very little ‘me talk’ in their marketing. They communicate in a way that shows, literally shows, their customers that they understand their problems and their desired outcomes. That they’re articulating that they understand their problems and desired outcomes. And they also show how they’re going to solve that problem, or provide the desired outcome for them. And they use benefit based language, not features.
Our most successful clients, they speak to the unique problems and desired outcomes of targeted persona types. So this sort of takes the previous strategy I just mentioned and refines that into their target personas, or avatars. And essentially what that does is, it allows them to overlap their unique value, the business’ unique value, with the needs of those unique prospect types, or those persona types. And essentially, what it does is it creates a conversation in their prospects’ mind of, wow, this brand gets me.
And I’ve got an example of buying property. Now, say you’re a property developer, or you’ve got some property stock that you want to sell. And I’ve identified four different types of persona types here. One is a first time buyer, one is a growing family, one is a first time investor, and then finally, we have an advanced investor. Now essentially, the end goal here is all four of these personas are going to buy a property from you. However, all four, they have different problems. A first time buyer might struggle to put a deposit together. A growing family might struggle to unlock the equity that they have in their current home. As well, they might not have a deposit for a new home, potentially. A first time investor, they might not know how to get started in investing; it might seem like a bit of voodoo or a bit of a mystery around how to actually get started in that investment process. Or an advanced investor, they might be having trouble with their current portfolio. They might not know where to buy their next property, they might not know how to structure their tax entities correctly. They might have hit the 1.5 million dollar lending, ceiling, the glass ceiling. So essentially, they’ve all got different problems and what we are doing for our most successful clients, and for a lot of our clients now, is creating targeted persona pages. So each one of these personas will have their own learning page, where we talk about those problems; we articulate that we understand those problems. We talk about the desired outcomes of that persona type and then as the next logical part of their conversation on the learning page, we explain how we can achieve their desired outcome for them. We sort of present the offer of helping them buy that property, so that’s really important.
What does this mean for you? It means that your marketing should passionately show your customers how you solve their biggest problems, or create their desired outcomes. Your language should talk in terms of your customers’ desired end state. And essentially, you have as little brochure marketing on your website and your web properties as possible.
Now, brochure marketing, or having a brochure website, is essentially where you have a website that’s got a homepage, a pretty basic homepage that talks about what you do. You might have an about us page, you might have a services page and maybe a contact us form somewhere. That’s a brochure website because it’s pretty much just explaining what you do; it’s explaining your services or your products. If you want to have a high converting website, your website needs to do those two middle points there. You should passionately show your customers how you solve their biggest problems, or create their desired outcomes, and you should talk in the terms of your customers’ desired end state. So not what you do, but what you do for your customers and that desired end state that they are looking for.
Number two: our most successful clients understand the importance of differentiation and having a simple “big idea”…
…and what that means is they know they need to be different to set them apart from their competitors.
And how they’re doing that is by having a unique value proposition. And essentially what that is, is a statement that articulates how they’re different. It articulates the different promise that they make to their prospects. It contains social proof and if possible, it can contain an offer, or the next logical step in this sort of sales process, that these clients have to engage their clients. They understand that they need to be not another ‘me too’ organization, and what they do is they spend time working out how they can become more and more different. So it’s never the case of, okay, we know that we’re different now. They set that in stone, in concrete, and then just move on. They’re always working out how they can become more and more different in their marketplace, to maintain their competitive edge.
They also have a simple but impactful big idea; so their UVP isn’t complex, it’s not complicated. Instead, it’s easy to explain, it’s a simple idea, just executed well, in a unique fashion.
Now, moving onto number three: our most successful clients are relentless content creators.
What they do is they create compelling, interesting content that solves problems or creates desired outcomes. That’s really important to achieve those two things. One, solve a problem or create a desired outcome. They’re doing it one to two times per week, and the format of this content that they’re producing could be blog posts, could be videos, could be case studies, could be webinars. Could be podcasts or it could be PDF downloads. There could be a checklist or a white paper; now a checklist of white papers is not 1-2x a week, but they are producing them on a consistent basis.
Now, producing content achieves a number of things for these clients. Number one, it allows them to show and not sell. So if they are showing how to do something, essentially that’s doing the selling for them because number one, they’re showing that they know what they’re talking about. And two, the prospect is forming a decision in their mind, that yes, these guys know what they’re talking about, and they can produce their desired outcome that they’re trying to achieve.
Content helps businesses provide value to their customers and their industry, and having good content on a blog, or on a website, is much like having a university degree. Where a business can show off how much they know but they don’t need to invest years and thousands of dollars to do so. Or an expert can show off how much they know, without having to invest in a degree to do that.
And also as well, having a lot of content on a website. One, you can show off how much you know, but two, you’re going to provide value to your prospects, and it’s going to do that showing, not selling. So having great content is — it achieves so many things.
Google also loves it. If you want to rank higher in search results, your website needs to achieve an authority status; you need to be an authority in your vertical or in your industry. And a very strong way to become an authority website is through content. If you are creating that content, Google is going to rank you higher for the search results that you are writing content about.
And lastly, our most successful clients, they’re achieving what I call expert status, or they’re becoming an information celebrity, through the content that they’re creating. Because they’re creating so much content, and because it’s being shown to their prospects on platforms like Facebook, on Twitter, they are achieving this information celebrity status. Where prospects are thinking, okay, this person, they obviously know a lot about selling properties; they’ve become a bit of a celebrity. When I’m ready to buy a property, I’m going to go to this person, because I know that they know what they’re talking about. Moving on…
Number four: our most successful clients use video to provide value and communicate their proposition.
Now, they use video in the following places. Facebook, YouTube, blog posts and email marketing. And they use video for a number of things. Now, it’s certainly not the case of how, you know, let’s just record a video of me talking. There is a strategy behind it. So they use video to solve problems, provide outcomes and generally provide value. They use video to explain their sales process. And they use video to proactively address certain parts of their sales process. Or they’re using video to contain some sales strategies, and I’ll talk about these in more detail in a second, but essentially, they’re looking at constraints and accelerators of their sales process. And I’ll share about this in a second. Now, moving on…
Number five: our most successful clients use marketing funnels to attract and nurture prospects along their decision making process on autopilot.
Now essentially, a nurturing funnel has three components, or there’s three goals of that nurturing funnel. Number one, it casts a wide net and it attracts the right type of prospect. Number two, it nurtures using value, and then number three, it converges and converts using scientific, psychological strategies. And our most successful clients are using a funnel methodology to achieve these three things.
And as I mentioned before, the ad content and the collateral we’re using inside of their funnel, it’s definitely not sort of, hey, let’s just write a blog post and share it. There is a strategy and a science behind it. One of these is proactively addressing constraints and accelerators in our clients’ sales process.
And examples of that would be, pushing hard buttons or overcoming common objections. So say if, as part of your sales process, one of your most common objections is, your service costs too much; or I don’t have time to engage you right now. What we do is we proactively address those in our clients’ nurturing funnel. So we proactively address the case of, okay, if you think our service costs too much, then here’s the value you’re going to get. So it’s that sort of proactive, addressing of those objections that we are using as successful content in these funnels.
Leveraging pains of inaction and showcasing social proof is other types of collateral that we’re using. And other point as well is that we are — we do use different types of learning pages for different stages of the marketing funnel. So a top of funnel learning page will be different to our bottom of funnel learning page; one from a length and complexity perspective, and also from an offer perspective, and I’ll talk about offers in a moment.
Now, a strong marketing funnel have carefully considered calls to action and offers, and the technology, or the tech stack that we use to automate clients, our clients’ automated funnels, contains Facebook, adwords, learning pages, email marketing, and marketing automation. And as I mentioned before, our clients’ marketing funnel strategy allows them to become that proactive information celebrity, and when that status is achieved, that’s a lot of the selling done automatically for them. So it’s a very good milestone to achieve, when you become that information celebrity. And one, creating content and two, using a funnel to promote that content is how you become that information celebrity. Now, moving on to number six:
Our most successful clients have strong, sizzling offers, that are structured correctly.
And essentially an offer is a burning reason for their prospects to speak with them. Now, the concept of inquire now, that is a call to action that many of our clients, when they first come on board, they’re using that — I mean, that is sort of an offer; more of a call to action. That is not going to get the response that you’re looking for nowadays. Inquire now is a yawn, as a sentiment there, is pretty boring. What you want is an actual reason for your prospects to speak with you.
A strong offer will alleviate pain, or satisfy a strong desire. Contains a quantifiable value exchange, so your prospects are going to get something for free when they take you up on that offer. In lead generation, a bottom of funnel offer is usually generation — well at any stage in the funnel, it’s generally information.
And I’ve got an example of that. Request a free home loan reduction session to see how you could save 500 dollars per month on your home loan, guaranteed. Now let’s just analyze that. So first of all, it’s looking at alleviating pain or satisfying a strong desire. If I’ve got a home loan, I might be feeling a bit of pain because I’m paying quite a bit in monthly repayments. So this offer is going to help me reduce, or alleviate, that pain. There is a quantifiable value exchange, so I’m going to save 500 per month; that’s quantifiable. And it contains information, so I’m actually going to learn how I can go about reducing my home loan repayments, to save that amount.
And another thing as well here, that I haven’t actually mentioned in a bullet point is, the next logical step in your offer should be an engagement, or an actual — either paid or not paid, but if you’re a broker, generally your clients won’t have to pay you. But the next logical step in that offer would be an engagement with you.
And there’s a good saying that I like to say about crafting an offer and that is, your offer is like the sword that you’re taking to battle. You use to cut through competition and impress potential customers. It’s sharp and the sharper it is, the better it cuts. It’s not too heavy or complicated, so it’s easy to swing. It might take you some time to polish your offer; grind your sword, but when it’s done, it’s worth it. There are different types of swords for different purposes, for different stages of your funnel. People are going to talk about an impressive swords; if you have an offer that is pretty impressive, people are going to talk about it naturally. And lastly, don’t make your sword a wooden stick. So invest a bit of time and thought into crafting a very strong offer. You don’t want to sort of go into battle, so to speak, with a wooden stick, when your competitors have steel or broad swords. Moving on to…
Number seven: our most successful clients use multiple forms of social proof and they never stop collecting it.
So essentially, social proof gets their happy customers to sell for them, and it’s the gold standard of marketing.
Different types that our successful clients are using: reviews, testimonials, case studies, star ratings and accreditations. And one thing to note is that our most successful clients, they do gather social proof as part of their day to day operation. So they never stop gathering it, they have automated processes to collect that social proof. And I mean we’ve got clients who have hundreds and hundreds of reviews on their website, all because of an automated review capture process. And essentially, their happy customers are doing their selling for them and it really is the gold standard. Where other people are doing your selling, for you. [Read more here]
Number eight: our most successful clients offer a strong guarantee; where they carry some part of the buyer’s risk…
and that could be a money back guarantee, or something based on performance or results. The guarantee makes it stupid for their prospects not to engage them. And a note here, if it can’t be performance or money related, then an on time could work well. So if you offer a service and you can’t offer a money back guarantee, then something to do with some sort of time window could work well.
And our most successful clients, they’re using their guarantee as a differentiator. They’re using it to set themselves apart in their industry.
Moving on to number nine: our most successful clients don’t accept mediocrity, yet they understand that perfection is the enemy of profitability.
And this one really is a mindset approach, of excellence versus shipping the minimum viable product.
Our most successful clients, they definitely are committed to excellence, that’s the, they sort of don’t accept mediocrity. They’re collaborative, but they also understand the value of shipping that MVP. They know that they could keep a learning page or a sort of campaign behind closed doors, while it’s continually refined and they’re going to file off rough edges and keep adding licks of paint here and there. It’s not going to provide any value if it’s not released out into the marketplace. And the data that comes back, the live, actual, real life data that’s coming back is going to provide more value to that improvement process than just keeping it behind closed doors and trying to achieve that excellent status, before it is released and used to provide value.
So they’re also committed to continuous improvement of all collateral, or all moving parts, and I touched on that just then. You need that data coming in, from real people, the real marketplace, to tell you if something is working or not.
And lastly, our most successful clients, they follow a predetermined strategy instead of throwing the tracks in front of the train.
And this is all about having a strategy versus aimless execution.
Now, in digital, at the moment, due to the state of the current global economy, it’s easy to build first and plan second. Or it’s easy to find cheap labor to build your digital properties. You can go to a freelancer website and say, hey, build me a website. Build me an AdWords campaign or a Facebook campaign. That’s very easy, it’s super easy to do that. However, this type of aimless execution can end in disaster; waste your money, waste your time, and generally, creates a frustration with digital in general. It can lead to an organization thinking no, online marketing doesn’t work for us. We’ve tried that and we just wasted our money. What our most successful clients know is that strategy, or what they do, is the most important component.
And our clients follow a predetermined strategy, that incorporates the psychology of their prospects. Many of the campaigns that we see when a client comes on board, they fail to address this. They fail to address the actual hopes and dreams, the desired outcomes, the problems of the prospects that are being targeted in the campaign, and that’s where a campaign will tip over. It might be the nicest looking learning page in the world. It might be sort of the best designed Facebook campaign or AdWords campaign in the world. If psychology isn’t addressed, the psychology of the prospects that are being targeted, then the campaign is not going to work as [well] as it possibly could.
The desired outcome here is to have the conversation in your prospects’ minds of, wow, this organization gets me. They understand what I’m trying to do, they know my problems; it’s like I’m reading a page out of my diary. They know what I’m feeling, and they know what I’m trying to achieve.
Our clients’ strategy also includes their unique value proposition, that’s very important. We help our clients articulate that and that informs the bedrock of their online marketing. Once the UVP has been created, it allows us to create ads, to create landing pages. To write emails for email marketing and so forth, that’s really important.
And lastly, the funnel is also critical as well. So our clients follow a funnel formula that contains those three steps. So one, attracting the right prospect. Two, nurturing them with value. And then three, converting them with sizzling offers.
So those are the ten steps and I quickly just want to chat about your desired outcome. Now, if you are interested in getting more results from online. Maybe you want to get more results from Facebook, or from Google AdWords, or just your online marketing in general. Then if that’s the case, we’d love to chat with you about that.
The next logical step is to request an online marketing growth session, and you can do that on our website. Just click the top right green button that says book my growth session; we’d love to chat. On the session, we’ll look at how — we’ll give actual strategies on how you can improve your online marketing.
So step one, we’ll look at where you are now. Step two, we’ll look at what you want to achieve. So if you do invest in marketing, we want to know exactly what you want that to look like. And then step three, on the call, live on the call, we’ll go through some strategies that will actually help you get there. So you will get some value from the call itself; you’re going to know how we would propose to produce that desired outcome, for you.