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Laura B. Poindexter is a renowned thought leader, guiding clients through the changing electronic marketing and social media environment. Her public seminars have helped thousands of business owners learn and employ affordable marketing solutions. Since 2000, her company, Queenb Creative (formerly laura b creative), has managed clients’ online presence, maximized their social media and electronic marketing to positively impact their bottom line and enhance audience engagement.

03 March 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Please Do NOT Boost that Facebook Post


Facebook Advertising: There is a better way.

Let me start by saying what I tell all my clients. It is more important to have 100 fans/subscribers/followers who love you then 5,000 who are moderately acquainted with you.

On the surface, boosting a post seems like a good thing:

  • You will reach a larger audience.
  • Facebook is helping you.
  • It only costs $5. I mean who wouldn’t pay $5 to reach 20-52,000 people?

The problem is that if that exposure doesn’t lead people into your funnel to business then you are not only wasting the $5 but you are hurting your own organically grown Facebook engagement.

There is a better way. It’s called Custom and Lookalike Audiences. We are going to base this on your existing email list but you can actually create Custom and Lookalike Audiences from your existing fans (and their friends), customer database, LinkedIn connections, or from people who have visited your website.

Here we go. First, you need to upload your email list to Facebook. Just the email addresses. Don’t worry Facebook isn’t going to spam your list. Facebook isn’t after your list. I mean, they are Facebook. They have a bit of the market cornered already. Uploading your email list creates a Custom Audience that says “these are my people”. Facebook matches the email addresses up to their users with the same email addresses. What can you do with this information?

1) You can advertise to just those people – your email subscribers who do not like your page on Facebook. Encourage them to like your page so that they can automatically receive your special offers and exclusive content. This is a great strategy to form deeper relationships with your existing audience.

2) You can find people like those people. When you Boost a post, you can choose targeting like age and location. But let’s be honest, you are just guessing really. However, Facebook knows everything about its users. Think about that for a moment. Facebook knows EVERYTHING – your birthday, your friends, where you work, where you went to school, the keywords in your profile, whom you interact with, which pages you like, EVERYTHING. All of your fans may share interests like wine and Scandal. You have no way of knowing that, but Facebook does. When you create a custom audience, you say, “these are my people”. When you create a Lookalike Audience, you say “find more people like my people”. Facebook is not going to tell you what those factors are. I am not sure a human could tell you. It’s an algorithm, but it’s a very accurate algorithm.
3) You can target that group of people based on all of the broad targeting factors available like gender, age, location, language, relationship status, and pages they like. Pause. Read that again. Pages they like. Boom. Do you ever wonder how you get that ad for the Dallas Cowboys t-shirt for a woman living in Virginia? Now you know. (Guess who my favorite NFL team is?)

Now, let’s take this planned advertising strategy where we are targeting people who might actually be interested in our products/services and put those leads into an online sales funnel that will deliver value over time.

If you want to learn more, click here to download a free 11-part video course on Facebook advertising from my friends at LeadPages.

This post originally appeared on the Constant Contact Community Blog at http://bit.ly/18iuyVD.

02 February 2015 ~ 0 Comments

3 Reasons Super Bowl Ads are Bad Examples of Marketing

Super Bowl AdsSuper Bowl maybe the one time in American TV viewing throughout the year when the public looks forward to the advertisements. Super Bowl ads have fast become part of the Super Bowl Sunday experience as much as the game, the snacks, and the halftime show. In fact, in lieu of a wardrobe malfunction or a bad 2nd down call on the 1 yard line with 26 seconds left to play, the ads are often the most talked about part of the game, especially if you are a fan of any of the 30 NFL teams that were also at home watching the game.

Super Bowl ads may be entertaining, but they are bad marketing examples, especially for small business owners.

  1. No call to action. Marketing today especially is about a eliciting a measurable response. With limited time and resources, small businesses cannot waste any of them on branding. They need to have a call to action that gets prospects in their sales funnel. What is that first step in your sales cycle? What do you want your prospects to do once they find you? Is it subscribing to your email list? Filling out a form on your website? Calling for an appointment? This needs to be very clear in all your marketing. Unfortunately most Super Bowl ads, do not have a call to action or more specifically a call to action that leads prospects down the path to purchase. The exception this year may be McDonald’s.

    McDonald’s featured an endearing ad with a clear call to action.
  2. No value to the customer. Super Bowl ads are more about being cute and getting talked about than delivering value to the customer. As a small business, you cannot afford to be cute and not make it clear to your customers what you do. As a society, our attention spans are getting shorter and shorter; the most effective marketing is to be direct about whom you serve and how you can help them. A good example from this year’s Super Bowl ads is Weathertech.

    There’s no question what Weathertech does. This is a good clear message.
  3. No increase in sales. Often the most-loved ads do not improve the sales. Perhaps, the most-loved and favorite Super Bowl ad of all time featuring Mean Joe Greene was pulled after a few months by Coca-Cola because sales did not increase.

    Unfortunately, this beloved ad did not help Coke sales.
    Small businesses need to make sure there is a positive Return on Investment for every dollar spent marketing. Winning the ads on Super Bowl Sunday does not equate to winning sales. A smart small business owner should not be concerned with winning ad competitions, but rather sales competitions.

So by all means, enjoy the ads and the memes that spring from them. You can view them all here. However, please do NOT model your marketing after Super Bowl ads. Model your marketing with a good solid strategy that focuses on eliciting a measurable response.

Not sure where to start? Read about the 10 Marketing Must Haves for Every Business Owner.

29 September 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Social Media Editorial Calendar Templates

Thank you so much for reading my emails through this short series on my 3Cs of social media marketing – Customer, Content, and Capabilities. We have reached the last C – Capabilities. In short, what can you do? An effective strategy on paper won’t help if you can’t put it into action in your business. Read on to find out how including an Editorial Calendar Template.Facebook Editorial Calendar Template

Remember, the point of this short series is to give you direction on creating an online strategy that works for your business. I want you to have a plan that doesn’t take all of your time and gives you real results a.k.a. SALES!!!

We’ve talked about defining your ideal customer profile and where they are online. This should point you toward the right platform to focus on. And then we talked about the type of information you want to share and some quick content ideas like Customer Testimonials. The last piece of the puzzle is all about you. What can you do – realistically?

Your social media and online marketing activities have to fit in with your daily workflow and personality. If you don’t like to write, I’m not going to ask you to blog. If you take pictures of your projects, let’s find a way to fit imagery into your strategy. If you have funny tidbits of information or daily thoughts, maybe Twitter will work for you. It is important that capabilities come last in this list because the first two pieces are so important to reaching the right customer. Capabilities should simply guide the execution of the strategy not help to mold the strategy.

This is why each business needs a unique online strategy that fits this 3 Cs test of Customer, Content, and Capabilities. Keep it simple. Stay focused on the one measurable action you want your audience to complete. Measure your success and adjust accordingly.

Filling In Editorial Calendar Templates

Here’s how we use Capabilities to guide the strategy:

  1. Choose the ONE platform that makes the most sense based on all you’ve learned about your customer. Facebook may be the easy choice here, but let’s use my business as an example. In that case, LinkedIn is the best platform because most of my clients come to me from referrals. Knowing that about my business, I want to use online marketing for credibility and to assist in the referral process.
  2. Choose what type of content you are going to share – usually one or two distinctive types that match your desired goal on that platform. For me, I’m going to use LinkedIn to publish content for credibility. I also want to deepen relationships with existing referral partners and find new ones so I may share content with those target partners or just engage with them by responding to their updates.
  3. Here’s the big step – place these items on your calendar. This is the publishing piece of your plan. Unfortunately, many of you won’t do this, and that is where your plan falls apart. With that in mind, I have created 2 Editorial Calendar Templates – one focusing on Facebook, the other on LinkedIn along with a completely blank one for you to fill out for yourself.

Monitoring Social Media

You also need to review and respond to social media. Depending on how active you are. You may just need a few minutes at the beginning and end of each day or maybe you dedicate 20 minutes at lunchtime. This depends on when your audience is likely to engage with you and when you can engage with them. This is the last C for capabilities – what can you do? I check my profiles every morning. I also curate some interesting content while perusing blogs I like and schedule those to post throughout the day using Hootsuite or Buffer. I also have NutshellMail set up to monitor my social media activity. These tasks are not on the Editorial Calendar templates but you need to add them to your calendar.

When you put an Editorial Calendar in place following this process, you will have an online marketing strategy in place that drives sales without stress. You will be free to run your business while your marketing plan is delivering real results.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/laurabcreative.

25 September 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Online Content: Customer Testimonials

This is part 2 of a series talking about my simple 3-step process to develop online marketing strategies for my clients. I call it the 3 Cs of Social Media: Customer, Content, Capabilities. In the first installment, we discussed Customer and creating your Ideal Customer Profile.

We are on to the next C in this post which is content and more specifically what do you have to say.

Content is a big topic, and it’s something that I love to talk about. And it is the biggest question I get about social media marketing. Some business owners don’t know what to say, and others have a lot of content but they are not sure how to distribute it and get a response.

Remember the goal is to deliver content that elicits a response from your audience. Simply posting to Facebook or another social media site is not enough. You want to get engagement that leads people into your sales funnel.

With that in mind, creating an editorial calendar is a major part of what I do with my clients and in my small group trainings. I’m hoping that this series will give you direction on your online strategy.

Here are some questions to get you started with content:

  • What do you have to say and share?
  • What formats will work best for this content?
  • Can you make your information visual in the form of product images, infographics, or video content?
  • Can you make your calls to action simple to complete?

Be sure to offer value to your audience as a rule and sprinkle in your marketing messages. No more than 1 in 10 messages should be blatantly promotional.

Customer Testimonials

This is such a big topic, but you know I want to give you something actionable. So let’s talk about the number one piece of content that every business owner has or can develop relatively quickly — customer testimonials and case studies. Nothing is as effective in getting a new customer interested in your product or service as hearing another customer sing your praises.

Where can you find them? Yelp Customer Review on Facebook Page

  • Look through your emails
  • Reviews on online sites like Yelp! are public. Sometimes I just screenshot a review and post that image on my client’s Facebook page.
  • Surveys at time of service like events or immediately after the engagement in the case of a home remodeler.
  • Capture people when they are singing your praises. Use that smartphone and snap a quick video (see an example from a recent conference) or get an audio recording of their voice that you can transcribe later. Don’t let the moment pass. Because even if someone fully intends to give you a glowing testimonial, it’s unlikely that they will get around to it, so you need to capture that enthusiasm as soon as possible.

Interview Strategy

If getting testimonials is a challenge for you, you can try my interview strategy. I have a colleague call my customer and talk to them about the service I provided and the results they experienced. My colleague makes notes on what my customer says and then puts together a nice succinct quote based on that conversation using the customer’s own words. We send the quote to the customer for approval which they always give. This makes it very easy for my customers to provide that testimonial they were willing to give, but were too busy to create on their own.

Case Study

A related piece of content to the customer testimonial is the case study. Telling the story of how you solved your customer’s pain point is very powerful. Specifics and numbers are really important here. Even just one or two good nuggets that people can hold on to will make a great impact.

I often talk about one of my customers — an auto repair shop. When we started working together in 2008, they had 3 bays in one location. They now have 20 bays across 3 locations.

I like to use this example because it includes numbers and growth, but I didn’t have to get into revenue or any specifics on what I did for them. I can dive deeper with prospects who want to know more.

This is not only a great testimonial for my services, but customer testimonials through online review sites are one of the big reasons that the auto repair shop experienced such strong growth.

If you don’t have any testimonials on hand today, start collecting them immediately – maybe try my interview strategy. This is the single most powerful type of content you can share so make it a priority in your online marketing.

Let me know your thoughts on content, specifically on getting customer testimonials. We will pull this into a strategy when we look at the last piece – Capabilities.