James: James Schramko here with my friend, Will Wang, from GrowthLabz.com. Hey Will, how are you?
Will: Good. Thanks, James, how are you going?
James: Good. Thank you. I love how you’re always getting very active with your agency, trying different things. You’ve been great with cold outreach, but you’ve also had some wonderful campaigns using various marketing channels and different techniques. I’m curious today, if we could answer a question about how we go about choosing which marketing channel to approach our audience with and what are some of the common options that people can actually choose from?
Will: Yeah, sure. So channels are a really big thing because, generally, there are a few things we look at with the campaign. And the number one thing is where are the people that we want to get in front of, which is the question of what channel, what platform do we use? So typically, we start at a very broad level, and we split it up and say, if it’s PPC or if you know who your audience is interested in, go to somewhere like Facebook. If your audience is actively searching for your product, go to somewhere like Google ads. Or if you’re more of a B2B player, then we say go to LinkedIn as a very general overview.
Now, there are obviously exceptions. And you can make all the channels work, it really does come back to what resources you’ve got to market in your business, who your audience is, what your offer or product is, and then what your most preferred way of actually marketing to them, or what platform or what kind of vehicle if it’s video or content you prefer to use to market to your audience.
James: So if you would say you are like your customer, would you then have a look at the sort of platforms you’re using? Because I’ll give an example to explain that.
We heard Gary Vee talking about Snapchat, but then I was thinking, I’m a bit like my customer but I’m not on Snapchat. And then I’m hearing about TikTok and I’m thinking, I don’t want to spend my day on TikTok. That doesn’t interest me. And then we tried Pinterest, but I’m really not using Pinterest as a user and we didn’t get much of a yield from that. Where we did get a yield from was LinkedIn. And that’s somewhere where I could be more. And I was just not interested in the platform for a while. But then I started to get more interested in it as my audience seem to be there watching videos. And now I think the platform is improving, it’s actually becoming a more useful platform. So is that one test we could use is, like, where we are if we are our customers?
Will: Yeah, absolutely. If you are your customer, you’re the perfect kind of avatar for that. You’re absolutely right. I mean, there’s a million platforms coming up all the time. TikTok, that is the latest craze or phase or however you want to call it. But if you’re in a B2B space, you’ve got to think, are these CEOs to the companies that we’re trying to work with on TikTok all day, every day? I can imagine the answer is no.
James: Yeah. They’re on LinkedIn.
Will: Exactly. They’re on the more professional networks. They could be on Facebook because everyone in the world is on Facebook, but the way that we like to view it is, when do you want to get in front of them, for what purpose, and that’ll tell you what platform that you should be on.
James: So I guess you could have some kind of matrix that graphs that out, like the timing part and the customer type. And you would intuitively know now by the time you’re speaking to a customer, you get a feel for what they’re in. So you would generally ask your customers where their customers are or you know?
Will: It’s kind of a process where we work with them. But we also kind of have a good feel of where they are. And it also depends on what they’re selling. So for example, if you’re selling an online course or online education, even if we’re in the B2B space, Facebook can be a good platform. Whereas if you’re selling more corporate services or professional services, LinkedIn would be the platform. But at the same time, it’s about knowing your audience, it’s about us knowing a little bit or having a good gut feel of where we should be. And at the same time, also coming back and looking at the offer or the product as well that kind of determines a product mix I want to get to.
James: Awesome, that’s really helpful. So when you’ve chosen a marketing channel and you start your campaigns, are you being sort of hyper-responsive in the early phase to see if you hit the mark or then you start focusing on the message?
Will: We look at it by audience first. So we look at indicators like, are the audience reacting to the message, are they clicking on it engaging with it? If they are, what’s happening afterward? So we always look at the return on investment or what our clients get from the campaigns that they actually run. Because you might be on a path like TikTok, and you might get a whole bunch of views, but there are no sales. So we ultimately track it back to sales and use sales to inform the process and work backwards to see if a campaign is working or not.
There is obviously a period of time that you do have to test every single campaign, we’ll watch it very, very closely in the first week. And after three or four days, we have a general sense of if the campaign is going to work on the platform or not.
James: And one channel you didn’t mention but I know you’ve been quite active with is email marketing. When would you go for building an email database versus using an existing platform and harnessing the customers that are already there?
Will: Yeah, we love email and probably should have been one of the first things we talked about.
James: I was wondering if you’re keeping it up your sleeve because I know it’s like a secret weapon for you, like, you’re one of the few people I know who can hand build a database of quality email people and get high results from it. Most people are very scared to do cold email marketing, there’s a lot of legal and technical challenges regarding that but you’ve done so well with it that’s why I wanted to raise it.
Will: Yeah, thanks for prompting me James. I think we do it so much that it’s kind of like engraved with me. It’s just so natural.
James: Everyone does email, sure.
Will: You know, it’s just become such a big mix in what we do and it just becomes so natural that I think for me, it’s like, well, everyone should be doing it. But I mean email is for me, still the number one best channel and I think James, you do this really, really well with the warm email stuff that you do as well. And for some of our clients, it’s still the number one biggest driver of sales and revenue. So we might use other channels and platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn to get someone’s details and get them to join our email list but all the heavy-lifting and all the sales actually come from the email itself.
James: And a couple of other channels that are worth mentioning. Some that I’m using, I’m using Amazon with my book. I’m using iTunes with my podcast. And we’re getting a little bit from YouTube, as well. I imagine, YouTube’s probably quite accessible for advertisers in an area that might work really well for some very visual or very instructive-type markets could be a good platform. Have you had some experience with that?
Will: Yeah, we’re experimenting a lot with that because we’re kind of in the podcast game as well. We’ve got a podcast out and we do a video podcast and also the usual audio for iTunes and Spotify and all those platforms. And YouTube, I think it’s another way, if you’re good on camera or if you can really demonstrate your product in a very engaging way, it’s a great platform to be on. It’s not as crowded at the moment as Facebook, and there’s – if you’re advertising or if you’re just building up an audience there, I think it’s a great place to be on.
James: Well, thanks for the tip. So in summary, we’ve got to pay attention to who our audience is, we got to know them very well and know where they are. We should be sensitive to running the tests to get feedback fairly early. And we should experiment with a few new ones when they come out. But don’t get lost in the weeds, we would only put a small percentage of our campaign to the unproven or untested or faddish platforms. There’s still probably great gains to be made from the very established platforms.
Of course, if you need some help with this, get in touch with Will, he knows all about this, GrowthLabz.com. Thanks, Will.
Will: Thanks, James.
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