It’s not about getting clicks, but getting a lot of customers. In this podcast, James and his special guest talk about acquiring traffic and increasing conversions using the right strategies.
In this episode:
01:15 – Specializing in traffic and conversions
02:15 – What is App Store Optimization (ASO)?
03:05 – How on-site search box helps
04:04 – The big move to SuperFastBusiness.com
04:35 – What is content native advertising?
06:20 – How do you apply native advertising?
07:50 – “Disguise your advertisement as news”
08:55 – Are you using Twitter’s ad platform?
10:23 – How to track results on different platforms?
14:33 – Common mistakes with advertising
15:48 – How to craft effective ads
19:29 – The inspiration behind video sales letters
21:10 – What is an interactive VSL?
26:47 – Movie recommendation: Her
26:57 – Simplest ways to implement VSLs
29:20 – What is the action step?
What is App Store Optimization? [Click To Tweet].
What is content native advertising? [Click To Tweet].
What’s the best performing ad strategy? [Click To Tweet].
The benefits of native advertising. [Click To Tweet].
Track your results. [Click To Tweet].
How video sales letter helps. [Click To Tweet].
James: James Schramko here, from SuperFastBusiness.com. Today we are joined by a good buddy of mine from the USA, Justin Brooke. How are you, Justin?
Justin: I’m good man. Fire it up.
James: We just caught up recently and it’s always fun having a chat behind the scenes. It’s one of these interesting things where in the online world, some of the best relationships you have the people you actually end up meeting face to face and we bumped into each other a few times now. Certainly, we’ve known of each other for years and years.
Justin: Absolutely. I remember you with the hoodie and the Affiliate Pounce thing.
James: Yeah, and I remember you way back, you were flipping sites. And then, you had a few different iterations as I have done. And it tends to be the way. But the interesting thing is it’s a long game. And both of us have been certainly paying attention to one topic and that’s what we’ll be talking about today.
That is all about traffic and conversions, because these elements are essential for any online business. It’s always going to be important. That’s something you specialize. You run a website called IMScalable.com. Tell me about what you have been up to lately.
Justin: So, yeah. Traffic is kind of the thing that changed my life. Literally, the thing that took me from a job to a business and a successful business. So, it’s been a key focus of mine. Right now, we have an ad agency or have had an ad agency for the last couple of years. We’ve been blessed with some really, really good clients.
The reason I started selling traffic as an agency is I realized the Internet is booming and the thing that everybody needs on the Internet whether you are an app, a blog, a website, whatever, you need traffic.
The Next Big Thing After SEO?
James: I know someone was talking about the next revolution after SEO would be ASO.
Justin: Yup. App Store Optimization. Yeah. Yeah.
James: Yeah. How big do you think that’s going to be?
Justin: I think it’s going to be huge. I almost wonder if the actual words behind SEO will start to take more meaning because for so many years, SEO has stood for how to optimize for Google. But now, if you look in the context of actual search engine optimization, that’s kind of what people want to do with ASO, the App Store Optimization.
But it’s about Amazon. People want to rank number 1 in the Amazon, people want to rank number 1 in YouTube, in iTunes, in the App Store and that’s like true search engine optimization. That’s how I think about it.
James: A lot of platforms have their own search facility. Like you said, YouTube, iTunes. Even – one of the interesting things I have been digging around with on my own site is the on-site search box.
I remember Ezra was talking about when he gets when he gets e-commerce store, someone who is using the search box tends to buy more often. Most of the sales are coming from people who did a search on site because they knew what they are looking for.
It prompted me to always have a very prominent search box on-site and I pay a lot of attention to what people are searching for because it gives clues as to how I can make my site more usable, to help people find what they are looking for faster and they’re also literally delivering me the keywords that are topical for my audience. There’s a lot of cool stuff you can do around that.
Justin: Note, go put a search form back on my website.
James: Well yeah, I recommend you test it out at least. Check out the results. As I’m moving more products and services on to one of my sites, SuperFastBusiness.com is now the house for a membership community, website development, search engine optimization and traffic services as we’re now calling it because I think that’s a broader sense of what we’re doing.
We have publisher packs. Even our marketplaces moved across there. It’s really important that we help people find what they’re looking for in the minimum steps.
I think like all good advertising and conversions, you want to have the same simple conversation from start to finish, like let people have a seamless flow from wherever you find them to wherever you’d like them to get to, whether it’s on-site or off-site, right?
Justin: Yeah. Yeah. Love it.
Content Native Advertising
James: Let’s talk about content native advertising, because that’s something that you’ve been getting pretty popular for talking about, and I think that that is something that our audience really needs to know more about.
Justin: Yeah, absolutely. This is something that I am completely geeking out about lately. This is what’s fun for me. And It’s really cool that it’s becoming so popular this year.
I started doing it probably about a year and half ago when I kind of gave up on Google SEO. So, we do content marketing and everybody, if you have a blog, you want more traffic. That is why we focus so much on SEO and Google, is where we want more traffic.
Well, if I can just get the traffic cheap enough and just drive it myself, I wouldn’t have to care about Google, I wouldn’t have to wait. It’s not that I don’t care about Google but I just wouldn’t have to wait for Google to bless me with their magical powers.
I could just get traffic all day and as much as I wanted. So I started experimenting little by little and now, it’s this whole big thing, and they’re calling it native advertising which really just means that your ads blend in with the content around it.
It’s not like banner ads that are intrusive or that are interruptive. It’s meant to either actually be a piece of content or look like a piece of content. And right now, it’s getting really really high CTRs and getting more likes. You know, it’s a wonderful thing.
James: So, it’s kind of like the can of Coke in a product placement for a movie.
Justin: Yes. Yes. Absolutely. It doesn’t look like it is an advertisement but that spot was paid for.
James: Right. So give us some examples on how we can put this to use.
Justin: So, there’s different levels of it. You’re really, technically, guest posting. A guest blog post on someone else’s blog is kind of native advertising except, you don’t have to pay for it.
There’s actually a form of native advertising now where you can get paid placement. You can have your article on Buzzfeed.com or any of the viral moguls or these other really hot websites out there, Mashable. You can pay the plane now. That’s one form.
And then there’s another form of advertising inside the Facebook news stream. The Facebook users, they know of the ads that are on the right hand side. Not all of the users understand that those suggested posts are actually sponsored posts. So, that’s another form.
When I make a news feed ad, I do everything I can to make it not look like an ad. So many people, they put their products in there, and they put their “discount for the next 24 hours only.” That’s such a giveaway.
You’re in the world’s greatest real estate right now, I believe the newsfeed is, and you’re blowing your cover by making your ad look like an ad instead of a piece of content. And so that’s what I do. I don’t want to get rambly.
James: Well, some of the greatest direct response copywriters always said that you should disguise your advertisement as news. We’ve seen this in print newspapers.
Some of the full page advertisements in the weekend paper here read like a news story especially about markets like weight loss or even collectible toy cars.
You wouldn’t realize that it’s not a newspaper article unless you see that little advertisement disclaimer on top of the ad which I guess is very similar to how Facebook have their little sort of note to explain to someone what this part of the page is.
Justin: Yeah. Any direct response marketer who has ever done magazine advertising knows that an advertorial inside a magazine is usually the best performing ad you can use. It looks like a piece of content inside the magazine.
This stuff’s being done for, I don’t know exactly the time, but probably, almost a hundred years. So, it’s nothing new. It’s just new to the Internet and it’s no surprise that it’s taking off so well.
Where To Do Your Marketing
James: OK, so you’ve mentioned a couple of websites and you’ve also mentioned Facebook. Where else can we use this strategy?
Justin: Actually, in my SuperFastBusiness presentation, I’m going to be talking about a case study on how I’m doing this with Twitter because a lot of people don’t know, but Twitter has an advertising platform that is very competitive to Facebook. I mean with their targeting options, and their geo-targeting options and what you can do.
So, I’ll be talking a lot about how I’m using that right now. That’s kind of the latest thing I’ve been working on is using Twitter with this but I use it a lot with Facebook and a couple of other websites that you can use is Taboola.com. There’s also Outbrain.com. They’re really hard to get into.
You have to have a really good piece of content and they really don’t want to smell any marketing on it. They really just want you paying to advertise content and then hopefully, you will get something out of that. Taboola, they don’t care as much. They care that you’re paying your bill and you are not doing anything illegal or hateful.
And it is a piece of content and it can be pretty aggressive in the marketing. I’m doing it with YouTube ads. I am paying to sponsor my YouTube ads inside of other people’s YouTube.
So, there’s that first 5 seconds when you watch a YouTube ad? Well, you can have your content show up there. You can have it show up in the sidebars or in the newsfeeds. So, there’s a lot of different places to do this.
Tracking Your Results
James: Right. And how do you track the results of this? Just out of curiosity, because I imagine you going to most of these platforms and you’re taking out advertisements. Some of them might give you a tracking pixel. Some of them might not. Do you have a simple process for this?
Justin: Yes. So, I’ll give you the simplest version and probably what I’ve done the most and it’s become the most successful is just from the Facebook newsfeed to a blog post and that blog post has a call to action to something at the end of it.
So, with Facebook, you have conversion codes. You know, built right in to Facebook. That’s just a standard part of Facebook advertising. So, I put my conversion codes on the thank you page. And just to really get specific for me, it’s a blog post about “Are you making these mistakes with your Facebook ads?”
And then it talks about the mistakes, it talks about what you should do and then it has a call to action to “find out more about my coaching program” which is an application and on the successful completion of the application, it fires that conversion code.
So, what I’m able to do, that’s one thing why I love it so much. It’s such a Swiss army knife of traffic. One, because I’m using my fanpage for the ad, I’m getting likes naturally just because they’re seeing my ads in there and people that have never, that introduced my fanpage or seeing this fanpage, they like the content that I’m sharing so they click like, they want more posts like this.
And then they click on the ad, because they want to read the article. It looks interesting. They want to know if they are making these Facebook mistakes.
So, they click the ad and now they’re introduced to my blog so I’m getting blog subscribers out of it. On my blog, I have options for them to opt-in and become a part of my newsletter and get my free learning course.
So, I’m getting leads off of it and then I’m also getting actual, like the purpose of it, is to get coaching clients. So, I am able to track how many people are filling out my application form for my coaching program and then I can back that data out to find out OK, well, I know right now that every lead I get on there is worth at least $35 while I’m getting those leads between $6 and 8$. So, it’s very profitable for me.
James: Nice. That’s a great way to, obviously, we should always be including a way to track our campaigns. Do you have the same ability to do this on other platforms?
Justin: Yes. I tell you, like I said, Twitter has a very competitive – I really think that they’re trying to take on Facebook. They’ve got conversion codes. Other networks have conversion codes. And if you don’t have, if a network doesn’t have conversion codes, you can always use another service. One that I really like to use is Improvely.
You can use Google Analytics if you really know how to get into that with goals and stuff like that. But Improvely will give you a conversion code and you put that on all of your pages and then you tell it a goal.
Like if somebody reaches this page, then count that as a sale or a lead or whatever. You can attach a value to it and then they give you a tracking link so it watches only people that have clicked this tracking link and have made it to that goal page, and if they do make it to that goal page, then a conversion is tracked and if you added the value of that conversion, it’s tracking the money value for you as well.
So, you can track your earnings, your costs, your clicks, your leads, your conversions, all that good stuff.
James: Wow. Yes. It’s very important to track. That’s a great tool you’ve mentioned. I’ve been using Google Analytics but I’m sure, that this is, this sounds like it does work. Programs like AXROI used to do way back when they were very effective before they stopped working.
Some Common Advertising Mistakes
James: What do you think some of the common mistakes are? You did mention you have a report. It would be interesting, I think, to cover a couple of them.
Justin: Common mistakes with?
James: With advertising in general. Like when you take on a client and you’ve seen some of the things that they’ve been trying to do with the things that you always spot that you think, uh, OK, you’ve got a problem here.
Justin: OK. The biggest thing that I see people doing wrong is they’re just making these crazy ads and I get it because when we first start advertising, we want clicks. We’re like desperate for clicks when we start our first couple of campaigns but we got to remember that it’s not about getting a lot of clicks, it’s about getting a lot of customers.
That’s actually something I was taught by Brad Fallon. He taught me that. And so, putting the red borders on the ads with these crazy pictures that some people are coming up with, like they will get you a lot of attention and clicks.