If you were to throw $100 at google or facebook ads using their targeting algorithms and manage to make $120 in product sales, that's good right? You're making more than you are spending thus a positive ROI (Return on Investment).
Well, I don't necessarily agree with that. I often hear entrepreneurs throwing massive dollars at partially targeted marketing and sometimes they make a loss, sometimes they do ok and sometimes the risk really pays off. What if you were to put a little more brain power to the process and stretch your marketing potential a little further?
If you throw $100 at something and get back $120, that means your marketing dollar is worth $1.20. Are you happy with that? What if your marketing dollar was worth $2.00, shouldn't you get value for your money?
If you have the choice of loaning $50 to two people, one will pay back $55 and the other will pay back $80. Who do you pick? Both options allow you to make a profit, does that mean both offers are good?
"Those annoying people in shopping centers" Targeting
It's deadly important to think about what your customer is thinking. Let's take facebook advertising for example, what is your customer thinking and what are they not thinking?
- I'm going on a social network to see what my friends are up to
- I'm killing time
- I'm planning to buy a product
- I'm looking at the ads on the side, they don't need to do anything special to grab my attention
So this is where your first problem comes from, yes, you might be targeting customers based on their likes or location however they are not there to view ads, they are not there to buy something. So you have this massive battle to try and convince them that "Hey, you should be here for something other than what you intended".
This is not easy, it is why your click through rates are so low.
So if facebook is not the best way to target customers, what is? Make a list, if you were in their shoes and you wanted to learn what you teach (which shouldn't be hard, you learnt it from somewhere right?) then where do they go?
Building a website up from scratch where people go to learn is a lot of hard work, however targeting those already successful sites with your advertising could be almost as powerful as owning that website.
Using buysellads.com I found a suitable website to promote my course. I made a small marketing GIF to get me started:
Simple enough, animated to make it stand out a little more, explains what the course is about in as few a words as possible and has a call to action.
The website I found estimated 750,000 impressions for $250. Based on that if I made the link a $10 coupon I would have to sell 25 licenses to break even.
While the performance of this website was untested selling 25 licenses did not appear to be high risk.
30 days later the actual impressions were much higher, the clickthrough rate may look low but since I had no other baselines for this website there was no real way to gauge high and low.
So how many of those clicks lead to conversions? Since this campaign had it's own coupon code I can tell you that too.
The one month campaign brought in a total of: $406.08 which means my marketing dollar was worth $1.62 in this particular campaign.
So was that good?
Each course subject and niche and each website will have it's strengths and weaknesses, the only way you will be able to tell if a marketing investment was a good investment is to test the market as much as possible and see which avenues of advertising performed the best.
Do NOT waste money but throwing a large splash fund at facebook or even google, test it with the same marketing investment you are testing other websites. Compare prices, is $250 reasonable for approximately 750,000 impressions? I don't know, you will have to run the comparisons.
Record all of your marketing efforts in a spread sheet paying close attention to the performance and after a few months of testing the market your advertising should be in a reasonably good place.
What if that doesn't work?
If you work hard on your marketing and test the market right but still fail, you need to ask yourself the hard questions of "Is my course really worth what I am asking? Is it providing something that people want?".
While marketing is quite dynamic the results are normally fairly consistent, so if your product is not moving, it could quite simply mean no one wants your product.
Make your plan:
- Seek out websites that could be potentially great to advertise on
- Run logical analysis of their offer for advertising and see if it sounds fair
- Come up with a catchy campaign with a reasonable discount price (A B test if possible)
- Capture your results in a spread sheet, compare the best places to advertise
- Set a campaign period, nothing lasts forever, plan to discontinue your course before the value of your marketing dollar falls too low
I hope you have found this helpful, I'm not a professional marketer (I hate those guys) and this is just one of the techniques I use to market my products, please leave any comments you may have!