Digital marketing can be incredibly confusing for business owners in any industry—perhaps even more so for entrepreneurs in the business-to-business space. Questions about how to execute effective digital marketing strategies are nearly limitless.
It’s enough to make anyone’s head spin. But for those fortunate enough to attend NextCon in October 2017 at Scottsdale, Arizona’s Talking Stick Resort and Casino, the answers came quickly and succinctly thanks to Neil Patel and Eric Siu, two of the world’s top minds in digital marketing and the brains behind the highly rated podcast Marketing School.
For a full hour, Neil and Eric answered audience questions in a rapid-fire format, making their panel one of the most attended of the three-day conference. By the end of the hour, you could have heard a pin drop. The only noises in the cavernous ballroom were the voices of Eric and Neil and audience members furiously typing/taking notes on their computers.
This post will give an abstract-version of their answers to some of the most burning audience questions. To watch the full session (so worth it), click here.
Here are a few questions and answers from the Marketing Master Class:
How can B2B marketers get the attention of customers on Facebook when competing with things like funny cat videos?
Eric: Drive people on content. Retarget them to more content—maybe an e-book–and nurture your lead that way. You don’t have to have a cat video to get a customer—cat videos don’t convert that well [laughs].
Neil: When you’re doing ads on Facebook, you can target your ideal audience by uploading your email list. Do that, and Facebook will find you similar customers to the ones you already have—these are called “lookalike audiences.” When you target ads to those lookalike audiences, the probability of conversion is much higher than if you didn’t upload your email list.
When targeting ads, don’t talk about your product or service first. Instead, share something educational. Explain how you can help make a person’s life easier. From there, you can sell your product. And take my word for it; I also compete with cute pictures of kids and cat videos on Facebook. I sell a boring marketing solution, but from Facebook advertising alone, my firm can generate $550,00 to $600,000 in revenue every month. For every dollar my company spends on Facebook ads, we are making triple-digit percentiles.
What is the future of marketing?
Neil: Everything is becoming personalized and automated. Marketing is mostly online—Google is the largest advertising company, with 83 percent of its income coming from ads. But with personalization, we are already halfway there with Alexa and Siri. You can ask Alexa to order you a pizza, and she will ask you what brand you’d like and if you want to use the same credit card as the last time you ordered.
This is going to become even more common. Soon, our refrigerators will start talking to us and asking if we want them to order more milk before our gallon is empty.
Eric: I’m really excited about machine learning. Companies like Automated Insights are helping with this. Pretty soon, we won’t have to worry about writing quick articles—a machine will write them for us, and we will be able to work on bigger, more important things.
What is your favorite traffic source for business-to-business companies?
Eric: I like Google; thanks to Google crawlers, things like podcasts get repurposed into texts. Everything revolves around content marketing, and you can retarget people easily with Facebook, which is also great.
Neil: There are three main B2B traffic sources that drive volume: Google—if you are going after keywords; Facebook—to retarget new customers; and Linkedin—if you are selling high ticket items, you can go after specific decision makers like CMOs and HR directors.
Eric: LinkedIn is really interesting right now. Especially since they got acquired, short posts are getting amazing traction. I’ve seen some of Neil’s short posts get 1 million to 2 million views.
Neil: It’s true. As business owners, we often look at the things that are shiny, like Google and Facebook, but it is important to look at sites that aren’t leading the pack, like LinkedIn. These are the sites that are fighting for your attention, so if you give them content, they are more likely to spread it and make it go viral, even if it isn’t that good. Look for channels that have your potential customers but might not be as popular. They will be more flexible and possibly give you more visibility.