Conquering Chaos

Ep 7: Diversifying your Marketing Plan

May 14, 2019 Season 1 Episode 7
Conquering Chaos
Ep 7: Diversifying your Marketing Plan
Chapters
Conquering Chaos
Ep 7: Diversifying your Marketing Plan
May 14, 2019 Season 1 Episode 7
Erin E Hooley
Show Notes Transcript

Diversification in marketing platforms helps mitigate our risk with the inevitable ebbs and flows of shifting trends, algorithms and other potential unknowns. In this episode we discuss the creative testing process to help us get out of our complacency "maintenance" mindset and embrace "growth mode".

Speaker 1:
0:01
Welcome to the conquering chaos podcast. I'm your host here in East [inaudible], president and founder of multimillion dollar eight commerce children's clothing line, Bailey's blossoms. So it turns out I'm pretty good at business, but what really lights my soul on fire? It's providing other entrepreneurs and mompreneurs with the tools they need to truly succeed. So if you have a business or have one on your heart, you're in good company. Pull up a chair or dropping some earbuds and let's conquer some chaos today.
Speaker 2:
0:29
Hello, hello and welcome to another episode of the conquering chaos podcasts. Today we're going to be talking about ways to diversify your marketing efforts and help mitigate that single platform investment risk. This is kind of a huge one. I'll be honest, Facebook recently, for those of you who do, who are highly active on Facebook, chances are you've had this experience of an increased anxiety over increasing ad spend and decreasing Roi over the past six months and really even the past six days. I know with both Bailey's Bostons and Peyton breed, this has been a huge Aha for us as of late. And I thought this is something that you guys need to hear about. This is something we need to talk about. So we're going to be delving into that today. So why do we need to diversify? Number one is obviously to mitigate our risk.
Speaker 2:
1:17
You don't ever put all your eggs into one basket. If you listen back to my first podcast episode where I'm talking about how we were so focused on Etsy because 85% of our sales were on Etsy. We weren't thinking outside of the Etsy box until we were forced to think outside the Etsy box. And what that did was it rattled us big time at bridal us to the core when we left Etsy and when we were taken off that platform. So here we are kind of in the similar situation where you find, you just naturally tend to find that one thing, that one thing that just works really well better than everything else. And by Golly, for so many people, it's been Facebook for the past. You know, three, five, however many years you've been running your business, and suddenly all of these changes are happening faster and faster and they're getting bigger and bigger.
Speaker 2:
2:11
And within the past two years alone, I have seen with Bailey's blossoms, we, we could predict an Roi always above 10 if it wasn't at least above 10 we were really disappointed. And for retargeting ads, it was at least above 30 well then we started to go, okay, well now it has to be above 15 for retargeting and above eight for prospecting ads. And it's been slowly getting worse and worse and worse. And now we're going holy hand, I can we get a three, can we get a four, can we survive on a three or a four? Especially when we're pushing maybe a discounted item where the profit margin is already lower. So clearly there's a lot of things here that we need to focus on that we really need to take a step back and say, okay, what was yesterday may not be what works today and it definitely won't be what works tomorrow.
Speaker 2:
3:05
And if we're so hung up on trying to make the past the present and the past the future, we're going to be spinning our wheels awful fast and not getting anywhere. And that's how the majority of businesses get left behind in the dust. So for both Bailey's Boston's and Peyton Bree, we have taken a big step back and we've said, okay, it's time to reset. We're going to look at this similarly to how we looked at ourselves when we went through that whole Etsy debacle and what are we missing? What can we tap into? How can we diversify so we don't do this to ourselves again? So number one in why do we need to diversify is to help mitigate your risk. Don't put all of your eggs into one basket because the reality is at some point that basket is going to get worn down.
Speaker 2:
3:53
There's going to be a hole in it and it's going to grow and it's going to grow. And you can try to fill that hole by throwing in excess money and excess cash and excess investments to get the same amount of return back. But that's not a recipe for growth, scalability, and longterm success. So consider for a moment your overall budget, your overall marketing budget, and if 25% of your sales and traffic portfolio is coming from one platform and that platform starts to falter, that's going to hurt, but not nearly as much as if it were to represent 80 or 90 or even a hundred percent of your traffic and sales. Now, the reality is, and I think we often forget this, that your target audience is everywhere. Are you everywhere? Is Your Business everywhere? If you're too focused on a single channel, you become incredibly vulnerable to the fluctuations within that channel.
Speaker 2:
4:50
And I think a lot of us are seeing that on Facebook right now. Unfortunately, many people are now scrambling to say, okay, well crud. I wasn't worried about it when it wasn't broken, but now that it feels like it's broken, now I need to find something else. And we're in this little strangle hold where if we look back and you go, Dang, if I had diversified before this, if I had looked for areas to improve before the crisis hit, I wouldn't be in this moment of panic right now. And so you can look at all of these businesses and you can see, okay, who's scrambling, who's panicking and who clearly has a diverse marketing strategy and their budget in multiple different avenues. So we're going to talk about what those potential avenues are today. Now, one thing that I have to touch on here is the whole concept of the life cycle of a customer.
Speaker 2:
5:42
When you want to acquire them and when they are no longer applicable or resonate with your product, it's no longer relevant to them. So for example, for us being an infant and toddler line, of course we want to acquire somebody right after they have had a baby. We want to acquire them in that infancy stage. So as we do that, we have to look at where each of those young mothers for each generation is residing. So when I was a young mother, for example, it was all about blogging. There were bloggers up the Wazoo, and I was constantly looking for collaboration opportunities with these bloggers to be able to get in front of their readers, to get in front of their audiences, to be in their RSS feeds, to get a highlight in their email feeds, all of these different things. Well then it started to shift as Facebook continue to grow in popularity.
Speaker 2:
6:35
Then we started to dabble in retargeting ads and prospecting ads and more paid advertising with Facebook will now again, as we see and watch these constant shifts and turns this upcoming, newer, younger generation of mothers, which is no longer who I am, I need to watch who they are because while my audience may be the same, the demographic may be the same. The characteristics, the behaviors and the trends have shifted and if I am not keeping a constant temperature on those shifts, I will be irrelevant to them. I can't assume that it's just a recreation of me every five to 10 years because that's not the case. They're on Instagram, they're on snapchat. They use social media in different ways and for different purposes, so I need to constantly assess and watch and say where is my audience and why are they on each of these different platforms?
Speaker 2:
7:32
What are the behaviors, what are the, the tendencies that they go to those platforms with? Because each of the platforms is going to have a different set of behaviors and expectations and if you aren't familiar with with what they are, you're going to miss out on the most relevant ways to market to those individuals. Different types of people use different types of media sources and platforms for different reasons. An easy example would be for video content. If I'm on Facebook, I'm going to be less likely to watch a video with sound. It's usually more short form video. It's going to be muted, so oftentimes I'm reading captions or I'm just watching the video with no sound at all. Whereas if I'm on youtube, it's going to be long form video sound on. I'm unplugging. I am winding down. I have gone specifically to youtube to watch a video, so you have to consider the reasons that people go onto each, onto each platform, why they're there, where they're probably at.
Speaker 2:
8:35
For example, I may be at a doctor's office and on Facebook, but I'm most likely not going to be sitting in a waiting room watching something on youtube, so that's more likely going to be in the comfort of my own home or on an extended break at work, etc. These are all great things that we need to keep in mind as we are looking at our strategy when we approach each of these different platforms. Now, if social media is currently your primary source for traffic, the obvious next step might be pay traffic on the same platform using retargeting ads, which is the most hanging fruit that you can grasp outside of retargeting ads. There are many other strategies that we can utilize. For example, building out a longterm strategy for organic content. I'll be honest, when I first started my business, I didn't have two dimes to rub together to pay for paid traffic or to pay for retargeting ads.
Speaker 2:
9:29
Even we were bare bones, didn't have a single thing. We'd invested all of our money to get started and that was the end of it. So we had to get really creative with our content. One of the things that I've said before is that people don't like to do business with businesses. People like to do business with people. So take out the B, two B, the B to c and person to person. Connect with people on an individual level and consider what that looks like for you and your company and your brand, regardless of how fantastic your content is. If your audience isn't engaging with that content, that content isn't going to do you much good. It's not going to get the results you want. It's not going to get the engagement and it's not going to convert. So while yes, we need to pay attention to our content even more, we need to pay attention to our engagement.
Speaker 2:
10:24
For example, if you're a new and upcoming brand and you see, wow, people, every people are liking my posts, but nobody's actually commenting on it. Where's the harm in taking a few moments out of your day and sending us a private DM message and saying, thank you so much for liking my recent post. How can I serve you better? What more can I do for you? Get to know people on an individual level. There is no feedback, no market research that you can do that will give you quite as clear direction as the people who are following you today. Ask them what they want to see from you. Ask them what would be a value to them and then show up and deliver that. There are so many cues that we can take from our customers and from our fans that if we're not paying attention to them, we completely miss.
Speaker 2:
11:17
So one of the things that I am the most proud of when it comes to driving engagement is something that we established back in the beginning days of Bailey's Boston's. Before we had two dimes to rub together. We couldn't pay for advertising. So we started this thing that we call the QT contest. Now, this was back in the beginning days where I couldn't afford to pay a photographer. I was doing all my own photography and we started receiving thank you emails back from customers who were saying, oh my gosh, thank you so much. This was such a great outfit for this birthday shoot or this wedding, or whatever it was. And they would send us these pictures and go, oh my gosh, she's pictures are fantastic. Can we use them? And they'd say, absolutely. And then it really just got my mind spinning and I thought, how do we get more pictures?
Speaker 2:
12:01
Because every time I get a picture, it just lights my soul on fire. It gets me so excited to see my work in action. How can we do that more so we created what we call a cutie contest. We do this every single month and we would say, okay, you sent in your photos, one per month of your child, your niece, your nephew, your nephew, your granddaughter, your dog, any of these things where you send us in these pictures one time a month and we will put it into this big contest album on Facebook, every single entry, and at the end of the month we will choose the top 10 or the top 20 it actually used to be the top 10 now it's grown into the top 20 and then we'll open up to the public to vote for the last three days of the month and the person with the most likes will get a $50 gift certificate.
Speaker 2:
12:52
Then second place we'll get 25 third place. We'll get 15 or however we wanted to structure it at the time, and we started getting this influx of this content where people were sharing, understanding that as they submitted that to us, we could use that on Instagram, on Facebook, in our emails, on the home page of our website, on the product pages of our website. And we started seeing this snowball effect where people were sending us this content, this fantastic content, but not to sending it to us. Then all of a sudden we started seeing if their, if their image got into the top 20 now people are sharing it, they're excited. They want to share that with their family. They become a part of the brand and people started becoming fans more than followers. And we realize the value in turning a customer and turning a follower into a fan by allowing them to be an integral part of what you're creating.
Speaker 2:
13:47
And that's what we did unintentionally at first. And we kind of saw this magic unfold, but it was really this brilliant Aha where I thought, my goodness, there are so many ways that we can creatively tap into the power of our network to increase our reach and to be able to see how far we could run without having to spend any money. You see, this whole concept of diversification isn't solely applicable to people who have unlimited deep pockets with money to burn. There are things that you can do on each platform that drive organic reach at no cost to you, and once you master the platforms on an organic level, then you can better predict which one to put a little fuel behind which one to give a little boost with a little investment. So here we are, we find ourselves watching all of these people who are now going onto the website, taking a snapshot of the homepage and sharing that on social media.
Speaker 2:
14:51
Check out my little sweet Susie who's on the home page or Bailey's Boston's dot com or check out Mary. She's on, she's the featured product image for this new dress that just came out. Oh my gosh, and you've got all of these proud parents and we're this proud business owners going, we love it that they're a part and they love that they're apart and that loyalty is fused both ways. Customer to business, business to customer and really person to person. Now when you are posting and curating your content, now obviously each platform is going to have different types of content that you're going to utilize. One of the things that needs to be very clear is do your posts always have a clear call to action? When people are done, do they just feel like they've checked in it's time to move on or is there something that you're giving them to do at the very end, there should always be a clear call to action.
Speaker 2:
15:44
There should also be a clear emotion. What emotion are you trying to fuel and how are you wanting people to feel when they see your post or when they see your ad or your video or your photo or your words, whatever it is, get clear on how you want people to feel. What emotion are you trying to inspire? The objective for each platform is also going to vary because the viewing habits for each platform is going to vary. For example, somebody on Facebook may be more inclined to click a link that's going to take them off of Facebook, whereas somebody who's on Instagram is quickly scrolling and you get maybe a half a second of their time if you're lucky. So the things that you put into place need to be captivating for the viewing habits that you know are present on each of those platforms.
Speaker 2:
16:33
For Youtube, you've got that Hook. That hook opportunity is about in the first five to 10 seconds. If you don't hook them in the first five to 10 seconds, they have moved on. Get familiar with each of the viewing habits on each individual platform as you build out your content strategy and how you want to show up with what information and how it's being presented. It's also important to get familiar with the type of content that each platform favors. So for example, Facebook and Instagram have increasingly begun to favor video. They cater to video, they put video front and center. They're shifting trends and opportunities that we can tap into. It used to be Facebook pages. Now if you pay attention to the Facebook feed, it's predominantly Facebook groups, so it's constantly diversifying. It's constantly making sure that you are touching all of the areas that may take precedence tomorrow and while it might feel like that's just one more thing to worry about today, you can also look at it as one less thing to worry about tomorrow.
Speaker 2:
17:47
Now it's incredibly important. Note that you need to set realistic expectations for these diversification tests. When you are walking into a test and learn environment, you can't expect perfection in every avenue that you dabble in. The point here is to diversify in order to gain Intel and data so that you can better plan for the future, show up to the best ability in every platform you choose to explore and begin to track the behaviors, track your efforts, track the engagement, track the traffic, the growth, the potential, the reach, and the conversions that come from each of those avenues. One of the biggest stop balls to creativity and innovation is fear. Fear of failure stifles our ability and the ability of everybody who's around us might I add to be able to be creative and innovate. It's in direct opposition to creativity. So how do you clear your mind and get creative when you feel burdened with that negativity and that fear?
Speaker 2:
18:59
So there's a few things that I do that helped me a ton. Number one is to get moving. I have to get up, I have to get out, move myself about the house, run up and down the stairs, dance to a my favorite song. It doesn't matter what it is, but I got to get moving. The next one, number two, would be get outside. There's something about fresh air. When I'm in a creative stump that just helps me to clear my mind, to refresh, to recharge, and to come at it again full force. Number three is to have a creative brain dump session. Now I can do this alone or I can do this with a group of people depending on what I'm trying to achieve. Now the way to do this is to sit down, give yourself a time limit and ask a question so it could be as easy as who am I trying to reach?
Speaker 2:
19:50
Well, I'm trying to reach Suzy. All right, well where does Susie spent her time and you give yourself five minutes and you just start writing it down. Write down everything, man. Susie, she loves Costco. She shops at target, she likes Youtube and she likes Pinterest and she likes Facebook and Instagram and she's on all of these different places and you start writing it down and then when that time is up, then you break it down. You say, okay, what does Susie do on each of these in each of these places? What does Susie do on each of these platforms? And you start breaking down. Why is Susie on Youtube? What is Susie? What is Susie going there to do, to escape from? What is she wanting to feel? Why is Susie on Instagram? Why is Susie on Pinterest? Why is she going to each of these places?
Speaker 2:
20:34
Because I promise you as you start to delve into the weeds there, you'll start to realize that the message you need to deliver and even though you may be talking about the same thing, the way you talk about it, the way you deliver it is going to change and adapt based off of the experiences that Susie is trying to have on each of these different platforms. Now, one of the fun things that I actually did today, I did it today just for you just because I wanted to talk about this was I said, okay, we're talking about diversifying and I'm going to tell people to get outside their comfort zone and so I got outside my comfort zone today and I tested out two live sessions because I'll tell you there's something that Facebook favors and that is live video and that shouldn't come as a surprise to everybody.
Speaker 2:
21:21
Right now you are a normal posts are not reaching very many people, but if you go live, Facebook puts that at the top of the priority low rung and people get that Nice little indicators saying, Hey, guess what? This person or this brand is showing up and they're showing up fully and they're showing up right now. And if you're interested, you can join them now here and now. And it is probably one of the only times where people actually go to Facebook and turn their sound on to engage in a video format content, which is more long form similarly to youtube. So today when we were talking about all of these different changes with Facebook that we've seen even in just this past week, and I said, you know what? Let's do a test. I'm going to go live. And while this is scary, I'll be honest, because number one, video is never my preferred method of communication.
Speaker 2:
22:12
I have forced myself into this path because I knew it was necessary, not because it was something that brought me immediate joy. I have to tell you that as time has gone on and as I've been practicing and putting myself out there more and more, it absolutely gets easier. So for those of you who are cringing, considering getting in front of the camera, I promise you it gets easier. The more you do it and the more consistently you do it and the more consistently you show up. So here I am. First I went on Facebook, we gave people an hour notice to let them know, hey, we're going to be on Facebook. And people showed up and we did a live sale for the first time and it was a huge success. We tripled our sales volume for today within one hour going live versus running all of our paid ads, all of our retargeting ads.
Speaker 2:
23:01
Now, the whole point here, guys, the whole reason I'm sharing this is not to pat myself on the back and say, wow, aren't we so fabulous? No. The point is to inspire you and say, Hey, guess what? There are things that are working that may be would work for you if you would just try. But the only way you're gonna know is to get out of your comfort zone, to diversify and test and learn in every possible area that you know to do. And if you don't know to do them, then you educate yourself and you get out there and you try anyways. Now that whole fear of failure thing we tapped on, you got a shelf that you have to shelf it and say, you know what? I know that I'm going to mess up on this life. I know that it's not going to go off without a hitch.
Speaker 2:
23:45
I'll be honest. This is episode number seven in the conquering chaos podcasts. If you just go back six weeks ago and listen to episode one or episode two, there is a clear difference in my comfort level. You can feel it, you can hear it because those first couple times I had no idea what I was doing. I just knew that I had a message and I wanted to put it out into the world. So the more that you put yourself out there, the more that you shelf that fear and you say, I'm going to test and I'm going to learn and to heck if I make a fool of myself to heck with it all. I don't care because I want the learning opportunities. And the experiences that come from those mistakes more than I want the praise of being perfect. One of the best ways to position yourself to stay on top of this rapidly in ever changing world of digital marketing is to establish yourself and establish a solid foothold in multiple different platforms.
Speaker 2:
24:43
Now, this could be email marketing, SMS, text message marketing, social media channels, Facebook, Instagram, youtube, Pinterest, Twitter, linkedin, snapchat, blogging, Google plus search, having your own app, engaging with influencers, doing collaborations, heck podcasts. There's so many different avenues out there. It is not Facebook or bust. It is not one opportunity or bust. If it was, we'd all bust. That's the reality because things are constantly going to change. The one thing that never changes is the fact that everything changes, everything changes and we need to be constantly thinking one, two, three, four, 10 steps ahead of where we're at right now so that when things do change, we're not surprised. We were expecting that we're ready for that and while yes, it means that we have to brush off ourselves and that complacency, it also means growth because every time that there is a big block in the road where a massive change hits the floor, at least 50% of your competition is going to drop off because at least 50% of them are going to throw their hands up in the air and say, this is too hard.
Speaker 2:
26:01
I no longer understand it. It's not worth it to me anymore. I'm tired, I'm done, I'm done. And they throw in the towel and you get off to a running start because you're already ready up on that block. You're already ready to get going. When that gun goes off, there is no one size fits all solution guys, I can't tell you what's working for Bailey's Boston's and what's working for paint and Bree are the same because you know what? They're not. We're reaching two different demographics, infants and toddlers, tweens and teens. It's completely different. So I would be lying if I were to say that. What works for us in either of those is a sure fire way to work for you. The reality is you will only know what works for you, for Your Business, for your audience, for your target market as you test and learn and constantly test and learn and diversify.
Speaker 2:
26:53
Now there's tons of different types of content that you can tap into. Here you can do inspirational, educational, promotional, relatable, humorous. There's so many different types of things that you can do as you build out that content calendar and we'll get more into that within further episodes of the podcast. There are guest postings, reviews, and social proof. Get your customers involved in your process. Guys, your customers can be your biggest fans and your greatest assets if you will. Leverage them and leverage that relationship in a true serve serve. This is not a take take. This is a give take. We're both parties are made better through a collaboration together. That is how you build loyalty. Seek to build that loyalty and seek to reach your audience in a diverse arena of platforms. That's it. It's as simple as that. Test and learn, understanding that not everything will be a success and being okay with that shelf thing, your fear and stepping in to the potential as you decide to show up
Speaker 1:
28:02
up in each area and each path. Thank you for taking the time to connect with me here on the conquering chaos podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, will you please take a moment to leave her view? It's the fuel to my fire and lets me know that my efforts to enact change and broaden your perspective of what's possible matter. Thank you so much for your support. If you want more content like this, don't forget to subscribe and connect with me on social media at Aaron [inaudible] or@aaronequally.com. Have a fantastic day. Get out there and conquer some chaos.
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