My first question on an initial meeting with a business used to be:
How much do you know about content marketing and how many blogs are you prepared to write to be successful?
They have since been demoted to second and third place, my first question now is:
What’s your budget for spend on social media because in a nut shell the free stuff is almost DEAD!?
Even if you have created an amazing service or unbelievable life changing product and you believe all you have to do is put it on Facebook and the world will know your name, then sadly I have to burst your bubble and rain on your parade, because today’s social media is very nearly totally reliant on how much you can spend on ads and promoted posts. You won’t get very far with free edge rank.
Take it from me: We started growing our social media audience back in 2009 and we have been full time at it since then, we now have around 500,000 people on our social media sites and even with a well thought out heading, licensed images and sharing the blog to all and sundry, we will see around 100 people open and read our blogs from free syndication in the first day.
Now if you compare that to the average person starting business today with around 500 friends and 1 business page with a few hundred people on Facebook and they have yet to get on Twitter and although they have 500 contacts on LinkedIn how far are they going to get with a blog post? let alone the conversion ratio of readers to clicks on the call to action link and then agree to meet and to sell to!
Free is dead sadly, so before we agree to meet you need to think about your ads spend budget.
The good news is: paid ads are better than they have ever been, and conversions are very high if you take some time to learn about how the particular social media sites want their ads done and follow their guidelines.
Just this week a businessman told me no one he knows clicks the ads at the top of Google, well if he and his mates don’t so nobody else must be right? A very misguided assumption indeed.
Google, attracted $79.4bn (£61.5bn) in ad revenues in 2016, three times more than the second-largest, Facebook, which pulled in $26.9bn, according to Zenith. The previous year, Alphabet took $67.4bn of ad revenues and Facebook $17.1bn.
Nearly $80 billion in ads!!! That no one clicks???
When you think of Google ads you have to think about when you want to buy something now and you have the money now you will probably want to be sold to so more than ever, you will click the top ads to get sold to quickly, if you are just researching things then yes you will look deeper down the page where you will hopefully find more content than sales. So as far as the person selling; a Google ad hits the right buyer and not so much a tyre kicker!
Facebook ads are similar, we have over 20 groups and pages on Facebook some have over 10,000 likes and members and are very targeted groups so when we publish this blog we share to all relevant groups on Facebook then over 40 groups on LinkedIn plus our 14,000 LinkedIn contacts then many book marking sites, but without paying to boost posts and not having ads on Google we would soon fade to insignificance in today’s media race to be seen and heard.
Free Online press releases?
On top of all this you need to be putting out an online press releases each month to keep ahead of the battle to stay on top of search engines because they can see the noise you are making and they use this exposure on social media and other news sites as a signal you are interesting and that will push you up the rank and more importantly send more people to your site and a percentage ask for more information and a percentage of those buy from you and then you can feed your family!
Free press releases are available from most sites but they have almost paraphrased their social media counterparts and limited the effectiveness of their free exposure and the paid syndication they have is better than it was before as well so for $50 you can have your press release shared on over 50 news sites as well.
So make sure you put some budget into your business plan for social media and paid advertising, say what you like about the elite that run this world they are very effective at slowly but surely cutting the throats of free social media , which was once hailed as the voice for the cottage industry and one man bands of the world, and bringing the internet firmly under the control of businesses.