Monthly Archives: November 2017

How to Use Social Media in 2018

How to Use Social Media in 2018 written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch About Social Media

I thought I’d drop in and give you my take on where we are with social media. It hasn’t gone away, it hasn’t died out, it has a place, and it’s here to stay, but let’s talk about how to use it in 2018.

It’s kind of funny, but some of the questions that I got when social media was brand new I’m still getting today:

  • How do I find time to do it?
  • What’s the ROI?
  • How do I make it pay?
  • Can I sell?

Those are the things that people asked in 2012 and 2013, but those issues haven’t gone away because people still see social media as this disconnected piece of marketing that you have to go figure out and play in.

The one thing that I said in 2012 and I’ll say it today, is that you need a strategy for social media.

Social media is just another channel, it is another part of marketing. So how does it fit into your overall objectives? You may actually end up realizing that you are wasting your time in a lot of what you’re doing with social media because it doesn’t help get your objective of growing your business or getting more clients or the things that we tend to want to do in marketing. I think a lot of people bought into, “I have to be there, I have to be in all these new places or I’ll be left behind.” In some cases, your clients aren’t there and you can’t physically participate and do well there without watering down your other efforts.

Why businesses use social media today

Let me ask you this, what’s the main reason you use social media today? My guess is, some of you are going to say, “I don’t really know,” and I think that’s probably the most honest answer. I can tell you that brand awareness and community engagement and content distribution are the biggest reasons that people use social media today. Sales, lead generation, and customer support are not far behind because those are the things that we want to do the most, but I think you have to realize that there’s a place for social media today and you just have to understand where that is.

On the flip side, I read a statistic recently that 46% of consumers made a purchase as a result of watching a brand video on a social network, so it does have the power to help you meet your objectives. I think the thing that has become painfully clear today that maybe wasn’t a few years ago, is that it’s really not about the tools or the platforms. It’s really all about meeting your objectives.

How to meet business objectives with social media

So how could social media meet your business objectives? Well, first you have to outline what those objectives are. Is it to get a certain number of new clients, is it to launch into a new service area? Is it to launch a brand or a new product campaign?

If you think about those as some of your objectives then you could start saying, “Okay, well how could we tie that then to marketing objectives,” because sometimes it’s very difficult to go from launching a new product to how does Twitter help us do that? If you think about some of the marketing objectives, like:

  • Increasing awareness
  • Driving traffic
  • Re-engaging current customers
  • Generating leads
  • Growing revenue
  • Boosting engagement
  • Building community
  • Social selling

Those are marketing objectives that actually can be accomplished quite nicely through the right use of social media today.

Think for a minute. What would be your top three marketing objectives for 2018? Once you have those, it’s simply a matter of saying, “Okay, how could social media help me do that? Okay, here’s a list of specific tactics that we are going to use in order to have social media do that.”

Let’s say, you want to expand into a new market segment. Well, the strategy for that might be to use social media to discover and build relationships with influencers and so then you could just break that down to a project. Create a list using Twitter lists or using something like BuzzSumo.

Find the influencers, make it a plan to reach out to 10 of them a day about potential partnering. You just break it down into very specific things and just ask yourself again and again, “How can social media help me do that?” You may have noticed by now, I haven’t mentioned a single platform yet. I will actually get to that but I think that this is the element that is missing, that we don’t understand how we’re going to use it and why we’re going to use it so that we can make these proper decisions about when and where. What are some of the tactics or some of the things that you can do in social media based on the stages of the buyer’s journey?

For example, for our stages, I talk about the Marketing Hourglass; know, like, trust, try, buy, repeat, and refer. I’ll even add an eighth step to that. For a lot of companies, social media can be great for hiring as well. Paid social, paid Facebook ads, and paid LinkedIn ads can be a really great way for people to come to know you or know about your content. There’s no question that showing a personal side on a social platform is a way for somebody to kind of identify with or like your brand.

Telling stories in social media is a great way to build trust, which is a step we need. You can make offers for certain types of businesses having a special or a sale or a holiday event as long as you are providing value and engagement in other forms. This is a very legitimate way of using social media. Doing things once somebody buys from you, like creating a Twitter video and just saying, “Hey Bob, we really appreciated working with you.” Or, “Hey Bob, here’s your finished product. We’re shipping out today.” That kind of stuff is a great use of social media to generate repeat business.

Then, there are all kinds of ways that you can use social media. Say, creating a Facebook group of your customers or your champion customers and creating something special or different or unique or custom for them. Then from a hiring standpoint, the greatest thing is most of your employees are on social media so you can use their networks, in some ways, to help recruit and maybe create some sort of formal program. If you think about using social media not as just this megaphone that gives you an audience but for your very specific marketing objectives, business objectives, and then meeting certain intent throughout the customer journey, you can develop a strategy that makes some sense.

How I approach social for my business and myself

I’m going to wrap things up by just talking about a couple things that I’m doing. People, for some reason, like to know what tools I’m using or what platforms I’m using. I will say, for a marketing consulting business like mine today, we are focused primarily on Facebook and Instagram. We certainly participate in LinkedIn, but Facebook and Instagram are the ones that we spend more time because we feel like we can get the best type of engagement. We have limited resources so we want to go deeper in a couple places.

With the days of auto-publishing everything and going out and curating hundreds of posts, and making sure that you’re posting three times a day, Facebook has basically said, “We don’t want that. We don’t think that’s worth very much. If you do that we’re not going to show your content to very many people.”

Really, the approach that we have taken in Facebook is we want to promote on the business page. I have a personal page and a business page and those two both serve a business function for me. The personal page is more on the personal side of John Jantsch, the author, where the business page is meant to be more straight up Duct Tape Marketing stuff. Now, there’s some crossover upon occasion but that’s how we try to split it up. Now, as far as content goes, about 30% of the content is our ongoing content, the content that we’re producing on a daily and weekly basis.

About 25% is curated content from other sources, 25% is straight up business goals so we’ll promote a product, I’ll promote a webinar, I’ll promote something that I’m doing that I want people to take advantage of because they may opt-in. It’s straight up business goals that we’re trying to meet. We will boost or advertise most of the content. Then, we like to look at, say, another 25% is about people, and culture, and personal observation. We round that out with our ongoing content that is on our editorial calendar. A fourth is curated from other sources, a fourth is aimed at meeting our business goals, and about a fourth is just people, culture, goofy stuff. That’s the mix that we like to go with on Facebook right now. Seems to be a good mix to create engagement and to create views, and to create comments. Then, we do put routine or consistent advertising into Facebook as well, primarily as the two categories of our own ongoing content and of the content that supports our business goals.

As far as Instagram goes, Instagram recently introduced a business page type of account. You get some more insights and you get access to the advertising platform. I was on Instagram very, very early on and so I had an account that I just called Duct Tape Marketing. I used it as much as anything as a personal account but it had the Duct Tape brand.

I converted that to a business page and then I created a new page, John Jantsch, that I am sharing my primarily personal rambling of travel pictures and things of that nature and then sticking with promoting things much like we do with our Facebook content on Instagram on the business page. I recommend that you look into creating an Instagram business page if that is a platform for you.

Tool to consider

As far as tools go, I am and have been for many, many years a big fan of Buffer. I think Hootsuite is still a great tool for publishing your content as well. I find myself actually publishing directly on the platforms now. It’s not maybe as efficient but I think you get the most bang for your buck.

Facebook seems to like you to do that, especially if it’s videos or native videos or native photos that you’ve uploaded from your computer. Those seem to get shown more than anything else.. Facebook and Twitter actually have some pretty good insights. Now when you go over to the business side on Instagram you’ll actually get some analytics there. Really, from an engagement standpoint either Buffer or Hootsuite are really great tools to monitor and respond and things of that nature.

That’s kind of my take on where we are in social media. It’s all still about meeting objectives, both business and marketing objectives, and looking at the platforms that really allow you to do that. Again, I think half of these tools that are out there will do most of what you want and so it’s a matter of making a determination about the business objectives and marketing objectives you’re trying to meet. Just set up campaigns, set up tactics that are based on your strategy and you will ultimately win.

Answer this one question really if you’re trying to make a decision about social media today is: is the use of this tool or this practice or this tactic going to benefit my customers? I think if you can say “yes” to that, then you will always find a return on investment.

Powered by WPeMatico

How National Companies Can Get Friendly in Local Markets

How National Companies Can Get Friendly in Local Markets written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Megan Hannay
Podcast Transcript

Megan Hannay

I’ve long been a big fan of partnering with not for profits in your community. (I wrote about this in The Referral Engine.)

There are so many organizations that need and deserve our support and by partnering you further cement your business as a community asset.

When an organization is new to a market or is trying to establish a local presence from afar, knowing who to partner with can be difficult.

My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Megan Hannay, co-founder and CEO of ZipSprout. She and I discuss the unique approach national companies can take to infiltrate local markets through community organizations.

Hannay has experience in Silicon Valley, Hollywood and independent consulting. With more than five years of experience in social media strategy development, data diving, and customer listening, she’s developed an attention to customer needs.

At 22, she “won” a job at a social media agency when the client chose her campaign, and she’s been brainstorming and building ideas ever since.

Questions I ask Megan Hannay:

  • How can local sponsorships be a homerun for businesses?
  • Where does ZipSprout’s marketing tactic fit into the marketing mix?
  • What’s the hardest thing about being the co-founder and CEO of a startup?

What you’ll learn if you give a listen:

  • How national brands can connect with local markets
  • Why both local organizations and national businesses benefit from partnering with one another
  • How ZipSprout matches successful partnerships

Key takeaways from the episode and more about Megan Hannay:

Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please!

Are you an independent marketing consultant or an agency owner? If so, you may want to check out the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network. It is a growing group of independent marketing consultants and agencies that are partnering and collaborating using the Duct Tape Marketing tools, and really scaling their businesses. Check it out at

Powered by WPeMatico

What You Need to Know About Google Local Services Ads

What You Need to Know About Google Local Services Ads written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Oh, in my truest Bob Dylan voice, the times they are a changing for local marketing and SEO.

Local search is one of the last places left for Google to wring a little more ad spend out of small businesses.

The local map listing today is pure gold for mobile searches for certain types of businesses and Google knows it so they are expanding their Local Service ads accordingly.

Google recently expanded their Local Services ads (formerly known as Home Services ads) to include 17 cities, with plans to expand to 30 cities by the end of 2017.

Current cities include:

  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Riverside, CA
  • Sacramento, CA
  • San Diego, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • San Jose, CA
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Miami, FL
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Chicago, ILLocal Service Ads
  • Boston, MA
  • Detroit, MI
  • New York, New York
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Dallas, TX
  • Seattle, WA

The categories that currently qualify include:

  • Locksmiths
  • Plumbers
  • Electricians
  • HVAC
  • Garage Door Services

With the expansion of these ads coming up fast, I thought now would be a good time to discuss exactly what they are so that you can consider them for your business or your client’s business moving forward.

What are Google Local Services ads and how do they work?

Google Local Services

With Local Services, you have the ability to advertise your business on Google and receive leads directly from potential customers. Local Services ads appear at the top of Google Search results (see above) when people search for the services in a given area. Once you click on “50+ plumbers serving Los Angeles,” you will be taken to a separate results page where you’ll see a list of all of the participating local services businesses. You’ll also see a drop-down menu of relevant services next to a zip code search box. We’ll discuss later on how to optimize your chance of getting found in the first three spots on the first page of Google and not just in the list on the full list page.

local services ads

People have the choice to call a business or send a message by clicking on the ad. By using the Local Services app, businesses can reply to messages, manage leads, track bookings, manage campaigns and budget (it’s easy to turn your ads on and off depending when you want them), view an ad’s performance, and review ratings (ratings can come from Google My Business or through Local Services). Businesses can personalize their profile page and select the areas and predefined services where their ad will appear.

To be clear, the ads you run are simply a way to get leads. It’s still your job to turn them into customers.

Businesses that want to participate need to apply and go through a verification process (including meeting certain insurance and licensing requirements) and each employee must go through a background check, so be prepared that you likely won’t be able to get these ads up and running overnight. Once a business is screened and approved, they will receive a Google guarantee badge which builds trust and ensures Google will cover claims as high as the job invoice amount if a customer isn’t satisfied.

Benefits of Local Services ads

Hearing that the beta version of these ads was a success isn’t really a surprise, and the fact that Google is planning to expand significantly by the end of the year suggests the many benefits these ads provide to the businesses who use them. Some of the many benefits include:

  • Increased exposure
  • The ability to connect with customers at the moment they’re looking for services you provide (which, in turn, can lead to higher conversion rates)
  • Access to an easy-to-use management platform
  • Receiving the Google Guaranteed badge (which, along with Google reviews help to build trust)
  • Limited wasted time, as customers choose you (no chasing)
  • Increased odds of turning more leads into customers

How much does this cost?

The beauty of these ads is that you only pay for leads related to your business and the services you offer. The actual costs may vary depending on the type of lead, your location, and the type of job needed. You only pay if you receive a message or phone call through the platform.

You also won’t waste time with spammy leads because if one of your leads isn’t legitimate, you can dispute it with Google (you may not always get your money back, but it’s worth a shot!). The other nice thing about this payment plan is that you’ll never exceed your monthly maximum budget. If for whatever reason you get leads that exceed your monthly budget, they will be credited back to you.

Your cost is easy to manage. You can set a weekly budget based on the number of leads you want to receive, and you can always track your progress in the app by viewing your payment and charge history.

How to get the most out of Google Local services

Google won’t say specifically what factors go into their rankings, but there are some speculations out there that could help. I’m a big fan of building up your total online presence, so if you’re like me, the best practices below shouldn’t be all that surprising and should be things you’re already considering in other aspects of your marketing:

  • Focus on quality
  • Focus on increasing your 5-star ratings and reviews
  • Respond immediately to your messages and phone calls (failing to do so may lower your ad ranking)
  • Maintain consistent NAP (name, address, phone number) across directory sites online
  • Optimize your Google My Business Listing
  • Stay in good standing with Google. If they receive numerous complaints about your business, it will likely work against you.

In addition, Google is a business after all, and they want to make money, so increasing your weekly Local Services ad budget isn’t the worst idea. Your proximity to potential customers’ locations may also impact your rank (Google wants to provide a good experience for the user, not just your business).

Only time will tell what these ads will become, but if you fall into one of the categories and locations, I’d recommend testing them out.

Powered by WPeMatico

Weekend Favs November 25

Weekend Favs November 25 written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

My weekend blog post routine includes posting links to a handful of tools or great content I ran across during the week.

I don’t go into depth about the finds, but encourage you to check them out if they sound interesting. The photo in the post is a favorite for the week from an online source or one that I took out there on the road.

  • Kapwing – Kapwing is an online image, GIF, and video meme generator for your favorite content.
  • Drag – Drag transforms your Gmail into organized Task Lists. It’s a free Chrome extension that turns your inbox into a manageable workspace (just like Trello, but for Gmail).
  • BetaTesta – Pairing makers with testers: Validate and improve your website or app for free.

These are my weekend favs, I would love to hear about some of yours – Tweet me @ducttape

Powered by WPeMatico

How to Understand and Solve Your Customers’ Problems

How to Understand and Solve Your Customers’ Problems written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch About Problem Solving

I want to talk about solving problems. I really think in the end that is our job and I think it takes a special point of view. We as business owners and marketers are so in tune with this idea of promoting what we do and talking about our solutions, but until a prospect or a client understands that we understand their problems that they’re trying to solve, I don’t think we can make any kind of connection to the solutions.

I often think that the person that wins is the person that understands and articulates the problem more so than the person that understands and articulates the solution. I know this is kind of the cold hard sort of crass sounding facts, but I really do think that nobody wants or cares about what we sell. They want their problem solved, period. If we can make that connection, if we can get them to understand that we understand their problems, they’re going to listen to our solutions. The reason I say this takes a special point of view is because it requires us to fully understand our customer’s problems and in many cases, understand problems that maybe have nothing to do with the products and services that we offer.

When I work with businesses, quite often I will try to get them to list all of their problems and challenges. When we work with clients on their websites today, the biggest thing on their homepage should be “Here’s your biggest problem. Here’s our promise to solve it.” I don’t think that anybody wants to pass go until they’ve been able to make that connection.

Figuring out your customers’ problems

A lot of times, you know what they are, you hear them every day. I think the real art is to actually find those problems that people are trying to solve very early in their journey before they’ve really led to, or even figured out if what we do is going to solve their problems. There are some great tools out there and I really recommend that you take a look at these, because I’ve been telling people for the last few years that I think keyword research or that part of SEO that people used to call keyword research, I think has actually become one of the master skills now for marketers. We have to get very good at understanding intent because all the data is there, we just have to know how to mine it.

Use online tools

One of the first tools I want to tell you about is Answer the Public. It’s a really cool site, because what it essentially is, is a search engine of sorts, but if you put any search term, it will a thorough list of questions and related topics to that term. It’s different really than the traditional kind of keyword search terms that might show you terms that are related and different ways to say the same thing. This is really more of an intent engine, because it structures many things in the form of questions. I do think that it’s hard to misinterpret what somebody is looking for, what their intent is, what they’re trying to solve when they actually put in a question.

That’s why I really love this. It can spark so many ideas. In fact, I would venture to say that you could actually go here and most businesses could get a year’s worth of content that they need to produce just around a couple themes in terms of answering questions that are very specific. These are things that people are actually typing into search engines. You can even break it up into all kinds of ways. They have comparisons. They have questions. They have things that start with prepositions. There’s a whole lot of ways to slice and dice Answer the Public.

Interview your customers

Getting on the phone and interviewing your clients is also invaluable. This is a great way to kind of push them to help them tell you not only what their challenges are, but, more importantly, what problem you are actually solving for them. You want to ask them, “What good service looks like to them, or tell me a story about a time when we provided good service.” That’s when you’ll start hearing things like, “You show up on time and you clean up the job site.” That doesn’t sound like something that would be a great marketing message, but clearly it is.

Look at your reviews

I’ll tell you another place to go look. Look at your reviews. If you’re in one of those businesses that gets reviews, you’re going to find that quite often people will be very honest and open about the exact experience they had and the value that they got from that. You might think in terms of looking at your competitors. What do their reviews say? If you find negative reviews, what are people putting in the negative reviews?

These can be actually really good clues to the problems that people are actually experiencing that nobody’s addressing. You want to look for those problems and you want to turn those problems into a way for you to connect and maybe even reposition your entire business around. Frankly, when I started Duct Tape Marketing, I really created this systematic approach to marketing to solve my problem, to solve my frustration.

Solve the problem

I really determined that the best way for me to run a profitable business was to basically walk into somebody and say, “Here’s what I’m going to do. Here’s what you’re going to do. Here’s the results we hope we can get. By the way, here’s what it costs.” Pretty quickly I found out that in an attempt to solve my greatest frustration, I had actually landed upon one of the greatest frustrations of most small businesses. It’s actually very difficult to buy marketing services, so the idea that somebody was going to talk about marketing in this comprehensive way, strategy-first, and install a marketing system, that became a way to address what is today still, a very core problem that small business owners try to tackle.

If you can tap into solving a problem and using that as your total positioning, I quite frankly find that to be even more important than this idea of niching your business down to a certain market.

I have a friend that owns an SEO firm and he basically says, “All you need to know about SEO is that we make the phone ring.” SEO’s sort of complicated for a lot of people. A lot of people like to make it complicated. What he’s done is taken a positioning that really is about their problem. They want the phone to ring, so that’s all you need to know about SEO. There are so many opportunities and I think you have to understand how those objectives, and questions, and problems that people are trying to solve evolve as they move through the various stages of the customer journey. The funny thing about problem solving is that really every innovation, every time a problem gets solved, it simply creates another opportunity to solve another problem. Every innovation creates another problem. A goofy example is the person that invented the ship also invented the shipwreck.

Social media has now taken over a lot of people’s lives and it’s made it so much easier to connect, and share, and promote ourselves, and it’s also created this era of depression, and fear of missing out that people experience. All of a sudden social media created a problem all by itself and now people are creating opportunities.

Stuart Triers, a friend of mine, has a really fun business where he goes after certain industry niches. One niche that he was after was Auto Locksmith. He wanted to do marketing for them and instead of just trying to bang on their doors and say, “We can do websites, and email marketing, and advertising for you,” he discovered that one of the biggest problems they face is that many of the calls that they get, happen in the middle of the night. People lose their keys when they’re out at a bar, so they would get these calls. He’d have to wake up. They’d have to answer the calls. Half the time the people didn’t want to pay the $500 or whatever it was. Triers created a database that became a WordPress plugin that could go on their sites, so when somebody would come and go to a landing page to try to find this locksmith, they’d actually put in, “Here’s my make and model” and it would say, “Yes, we have that key. We can bring it right out to you. Here’s what it costs,” and they wouldn’t pick up the phone and call unless they wanted the key. It gave them a great tool to solve a problem. All of a sudden locksmiths were more than willing to listen to him and his pitch on doing their marketing. Find a way to change the context, to make the competition irrelevant, and to provide a utility that makes you a welcomed guest.

Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please!

Powered by WPeMatico