This interview with Mike Templeman of Foxtail Marketing is part of our Webinar Series.To view the transcript of Mike’s entire presentationvisit our webinar library. A transcript of the Q&A portion is available below.
McKay: Mike that was great. That was fantastic stuff. You really did a thorough treatment of demand gen in a short time, which is not easy. So that was well done and I would echo everything Mike said as well. There is a significant amount of value that you can provide your prospects through just providing into useful information for them.
So whether it is data you can provide them, whether it is content that you can provide them. Man, there is a lot even do for them that will spark them to give you their information and increasing information as they move down the funnel so yeah, great stuff Mike. Okay, we have got a lot of questions here, so let’s just jump into those.
All right, let me start here. Talk about e-books, compare those to the white papers a little bit Mike, I don’t know if you have any data backing this up or if it’s just opinion but what are your thoughts on white paper versus e-book? Do those definitions even matter anymore?
Mike: They do. I have noticed that people expect to have a more clinical, more investigative look at something with a white paper. Whereas an e-book can be fun, engaging. It can be really anything you want it to be. It is that old SAT question.
Are all white papers e-books and are all e-books white papers? But no, white papers should usually be kept to being more investigative and informative and e-book should be more engagement oriented. And we have had people download a white paper that was miscategorized as a handbook or something like that and say, “Hey this didn’t give me any insights or in-depth citation or anything like that.” So I would just say keep white papers informative, little shorter, e-books longer form, more engaging.
McKay: Great, that makes sense. What about specifically for companies that are just getting started. If you have got a very small email list, how do you begin this process? Do you have to spend money and the outset or are there content methods that you can use at the outset that will jumpstart your engine if you will when you don’t have the large of database to begin with?
Mike: The ones that are the easiest to scale up on the lowest budget would be blogging, because you can get the resources internally to write for it. To give you some idea on what we have tracked ourselves. We initially started blogging once a day when we first launched the company and our traffic grew and grew and grew and then it plateaued. We then went back to once a week and our traffic actually never dipped. We then moved in one fell swoop to just kind of go nuts and we now blog 10 times per week. In the two months that we have been doing that, we saw a 300% increase in our organic traffic and that’s actually very, very significant because we had really good traffic to start with.
We have also had about a 200% increase in just inbound leads that we have been receiving from there. If you can blog, blog as much as possible. That’s a great way to start, have a call to action on the blog for people to sign up to get insights. If you go to our website, you will notice that there is a little pop-up that says, “Do you want some free marketing tips?” We captured tons of emails from that and that’s how we build out our list. And then the other way is to create something that makes them want to give you information. An e-book, you can cast someone in the company to put together an e-book or like I said grab five or six of your best blog posts and merge those into an e-book. Put it up on a landing page that requires an email, name, phone number and start building your list like that.
Promote that socially. If you don’t have a big budget to promote that, then go into LinkedIn groups, write e-books that involve experts in the field and then let them know and they will usually promote it for you for free to their 20,000 Twitter followers or their 50,000 LinkedIn followers. That’s a great way to get a lot of traction very, very quickly. We are working with a group right now on developing a big rock piece of content and we call it rock because it is what you build everything else upon. It is called The Inside Sales Bible and it is an in-depth look at different aspects of inside sales, each chapter written by a different expert. It has taken a long time to put it together.
The buy in we have from this people and the amount of followers you have and that every one of them saying, “We’re going to promote the health out of this,” it is going to hit in a big way with almost no budget behind it. We will be doing paid budget to increase that but that’s a sneaky way of getting a lot of that organic reach for your content.
McKay: Perfect. Talk about redirecting a little bit. I’ll give you our example Mike. We have had limited success with retargeting. It is a really I think a great branding activity but we have had a hard time actually generating much in terms of lead gen from retargeting specifically related to banner ads. We have not done a ton of Facebook retargeting for example but we have got a lot of people asking retargeting questions. Any best practices for retargeting and is our experience common or is that on the low end of the curve in terms of how we are perforating with retargeting and not actually generating many leads from retargeting banner ads specifically?
Mike: No, actually that’s a very common concern and the reason that you can usually identify there is because you’re asking. Again, if you are constantly asking for the sale rather people are going to start tuning you out so instead we give, give, give, give, give so we have a lot of retargeting ads but very few of them are actually demands on their time. Most of them are us giving them additional information to build that relationship. You’re going to notice that if you turn of your retargeting, your organic traffic and direct traffic are going to drop because even though they may not be directly clicking on your retargeting ad they are seeing your brand and it’s making it them come to our site.
Retargeting should always be up. Again, it is great for buyer branding but if you’re giving that’s going to start increasing the advocacy of your retargeting. And the way you will measure that is you will notice that as you start putting in these other pieces, starting to give away with your retargeting, you’ll notice that your organic and directly leads start increasing significantly when you’re doing that.
Also, image usage is huge. You will notice that a lot of our ads have very bright colors, expressive people, in B2B for some reason people think that boring is efficient and it is not and boring is effective and it is not. Don’t put up the typical gears turning image that everybody uses in B2B and don’t put up the typical chart moving upwards. Those images are so played out.
McKay: Right, right, I totally know, I can picture the chart upward.
Mike: Yeah, the thing is nobody even recognizes those anymore. We have already identified that people have banner blindness. They don’t even look to those things and if you are giving them banner blindness on top of giving them an image they are seen a 100 times, you’re just going to blend in. And another point on that is with AdWords retargeting yes, it can be tough because they put their ads where banners are and people have trained themselves not to look towards where banners are on websites. If you go out there and look at banner blindness you will see [inaudible 00:41:41] maps where people’s eyes literally do not touch the areas of the page where banners are.
However, with Facebook and Twitter it injects your message directly into their newsfeed on both of those so it can’t get away from it. And 90% of the time, actually 99% of the time the only way to identify it is, it has a [inaudible 00:41:58] text that says, “Sponsored,” but if you make it engaging they won’t even see it as an ad they will see it as, “Look a new article to read” or “Hey, a study has been done on this” or “Hey, I might want to go look at that infographic.” That’s why Facebook and Twitter are so damn effective, is because they put it front and center and people can’t avoid them.
McKay: That’s great advice. Mike, thanks for taking the time today. We really, really appreciate it, really good content. We have done a ton of webinars. We have done about 250 webinars over the last couple of years and you have some fantastic good tactical advice and I think that’s what everybody is after. Thanks for taking the time to prepare a great presentation Mike, we appreciate it.
Mike: My pleasure, thank you McKay.