Facebook Ads Have Evolved, So Should Your Strategy if You Want to Win

When I heard that the cost of Facebook Ads had gone up 171% in 2017, I knew that I had to do something to help out my fellow entrepreneurs.

Here’s what’s happening… in a nutshell:

  • There’s a war over cold traffic (people who have never seen or heard of your brand). Big brands are spending a lot of money on broad targeting to build their audiences so that they can remarket to those audiences at a lower cost, including using Facebook Ads (more on that later).
  • Inexperienced advertisers are improperly targeting Facebook ads and guessing which audiences are most likely to convert (i.e. to get them to purchase their offers). There is a much more effective way of doing this.
  • People aren’t using the proper tools and ad objectives to properly optimize their Facebook ads. That leads to ads that are trying to accomplish too many goals at one time. Like, trying to increase their audience (Facebook page likes), getting people to engage, and getting people to purchase all at the same time. WHEW… that’s a lot for one ad to accomplish. This used to be possible (like 5+ years ago), but now the game has changed entirely.

Facebook Organic Reach Just Isn’t What it Used to Be

Read more

Getting to Know Your Customers: Demographics and Psychographics

I’m sure you’ve noticed that it’s become increasingly difficult to be heard amongst all the noise out there. Businesses large and small are competing for millions of potential customers that are searching for and engaging with content daily… and of course the green in their wallets.

In some cases, this struggle has created a divide between the haves and the have-nots where the playing field is seemingly tipped in favor of businesses that have large budgets, big marketing teams, and technical know-how.

As with anything, there’s a way around all of these disadvantages for new and small business owners who are seemingly at a disadvantage.

Start with the basics: getting to know who your customers are

I was at a SCORE.org workshop about 10 years ago listening to a marketing expert talk about advertising strategy for huge companies like Nissan. He asked a very interesting question: Read more

Slingshot Aerospace Website Redesign Phase I [A Look Before & After]

Another website has made it off of our launchpad!

We did it! Phase 1 of Slingshot Aerospace’s new website redesign has officially launched, and we’re pretty proud of it.

Slingshot Aerospace is a forward thinking company providing cutting edge solutions in geospatial analytics. So when they approached us to redesign their website to match the progressiveness of their company, we were up for the challenge!

Redesigning a website for an aerospace company.

Slingshot uses data gathered from remote sensing and ancillary data sources to solve everyday problems for businesses. The challenge for their previous website was that many of their potential clients weren’t able to ‘see’ the solution that Slingshot had for their business pain.

We needed to not only make the website attractive, but communicate the need for the product in a way that was easy to digest from the customer’s perspective. The end result was an attractive and mobile friendly website that both amaraREPS and Slingshot are excited about.

“amaraREPS went the extra mile to really understand what we are all about and the message we needed to convey with our website.The new site looks great!”  

Thomas Ashman,

Chief Product Officer, Slingshot Aerospace

One Small Step for Slingshot…

This launch marks Phase I of their redesign. The website will continue to evolve as their business evolves; they will have the ability to add SEO rich content, additional services, and much more over time.

We wish them luck as they lead the charge in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (aka solving the world’s problems).

 

For companies trying to illustrate a potentially complex or technical product via their website, we recommend starting with the following steps:

First, clarify the audience you’re targeting.

  • Slingshot Aerospace planned to use their website to attract customers, team members, and investors; they knew that their purpose and value had to be crystal clear to maximize their potential.

One way to do this is to make sure you have a comprehensive business plan that includes buyer personas and your strategy for funding and generating revenue.

Learn more about buyer personas as discussed in our CMO’s 10 Essentials of a Winning Marketing Strategy article.

Second, try explaining your product in the simplest terms possible.

  • We challenged them to create content that painted the picture of their products and services so that their target audience(s) could easily understand who they are and what they do. It wasn’t an easy task, but with our collaborative process, we were able to make it happen.

RESULT? We avoided complicating an already difficult subject.

 

Third, make sure you describe real life applications of your product versus just mentioning them.

  • For example… rather than just listing “Residential Property Intelligence,” the team at Slingshot Aerospace provided more clarity on the nature of their solution with descriptive bullet points.

Now, your everyday real estate insurance company, fraud investigator, or development firm understands the value of Slingshot’s solutions; solutions they may not have even known existed before.

 

To learn more about Slingshot Aerospace and the services they provide, visit their About Page, or contact them directly at 844-496-2200.

Business Planning for Transitional Aged Youth [Acknowledgement Credit]

We recently had the pleasure of working with Deena Saunders-Green, of Green Pines Media, who graciously mentioned amaraREPS in her newly released business planning workbook: Transitional Age Entrepreneurs. Deena, a graduate of California State University, has worked with at risk juveniles since her internship as a therapist in juvenile hall. Through her experience as a Southern California social worker and various other non-profit organizations, she was awakened to the disturbingly high rates of homelessness and lack of life skills among the youth she often served.

Transitional Age Entrepreneurs  is written specifically as a guide for young people who fall under the term “Transitional Aged Youth” (TAY) who would like to start a business, but need some guidance. This 100 page workbook is an especially extraordinary project, as the would-be entrepreneurs who fall under this category are considered to be high risk during a time when they are transitioning from foster or state care into society on their own (typically between the ages of 16-24). Young adults in this category are considered to be “at risk” because they are at an age where adolescents are normally faced with making several life-changing decisions. These could be things like getting ready for college, getting their first job, or moving out on their own. Because children in the foster care system, or those who have aged out may not have support and guidance of a typical family system, this makes an already stressful time even more challenging.

 

“I wanted to use indie publishing and podcasts to raise awareness about the challenges facing emancipated foster youth. The problem was, I knew nothing about starting a business. Social work taught me the value of collaboration, so instead of spending hours and hours on research, I sought business consultants with a proven track record. amaraREPS was the solution. They guided me through the process of building a solid business plan. They also made marketing much easier for me to understand.”

-Deena Saunders-Green, Green Pines Media

 

The publishing of Transitional Aged Entrepreneurs is just one of the ways Green Pines Media is raising awareness about the challenges facing transitional aged youth, with additional efforts in the form of speaking engagements on the subject.

amaraREPS is honored to have the opportunity to help Deena not only as an entrepreneur, but because she has dedicated her business to helping others. Because she has decided to help other young entrepreneurs, we’re doubly excited to be able to offer the unique and valuable expertise she has chosen to share with others. While this book is meant to serve transitional aged youth, I would also welcome you to share this with young folks who aspire to start their own businesses, as business planning is a crucial step in the entrepreneurial process.

The new workbook, as well as other publishings and information about Green Pines Media can be found on their website, www.GreenPinesMedia.com . You may also find the workbook on Amazon. Supporting the book helps to further Green Pines Media’s efforts to support children transitioning out of foster care, so please… spread the word or share this workbook with a kid that has BIG dreams and BIG ideas. 🙂

What’s Your Go-To Marketing Recipe?

So, I decided to make some soup one day, and while I was doing so, I realized that a lot of the requirements to pull off a good soup recipe, are the same ones that are needed to make a great marketing campaign happen.

Here is a not so quick recap of what I realized…
(If you don’t have time to watch, read below):


 

  1. Your Why…
    Identify why you want to create a marketing campaign in the first place, so that if it gets complicated and overwhelming, you remember why you started this campaign in the first place. Is it because the cash register isn’t ringing? Is your business in a lull? All to often, business owners get caught up in the frenzy of running a business, that it can be hard to make time to market your business, even though it is an essential part of growing your business.
  2. Setting SMART Goals
    Specific
    Measurable
    Attainable
    Risky
    Timely
    This is important so that you can assess whether or not you hit your goal once your campaign is over.
  3. Plan!
    The most important part of the recipe that often gets overlooked… the plan. Make sure that you set yourself up for success to accomplish your goal and complete the campaign. Outline who is responsible for what, figure out what specifically you need, and make sure that you set aside time and/or money to bring the campaign to fruition.
  4. Tools
    Marketing tools are an essential component of executing a campaign. They can help you save money, time, and make replication easier. Don’t get overwhelmed if you are looking into new tools, and you see a number of options out there. Refocus on what you need, and think of future campaigns before re-evaluating your options. Ask for help if need be.
  5. EXECUTE
    Make the campaign happen!
  6. Assess/Measure
    It’s always important to reassess what worked and what didn’t, after ALL marketing campaigns. What was your ROI? Did you hit you goal? What would you do different next time to make this recipe/campaign better, or is it best to not do this again, and try something new? Whatever the answer is, don’t get discouraged if you get less than stellar results. What you learned during the process of the campaign is really important for future campaigns. And, whatever you do, don’t give up on marketing your business if it has been a struggle. It takes practice, and it’s harder to make an impact on your business when you are reactive vs. proactive. People can smell the desperation a mile a way, so try to do something consistently every month until it becomes your go-to recipe (strategy) for success.

 

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