Do you get all of your leads from the one lead source? For example, I know that some businesses rely on attending exhibitions for 90% of their revenue. Others rely exclusively on Facebook advertising, or joint venture partnerships or mainly on cold emailing.
If you’re in the position where most of your leads originate from one source, you need to diversify your advertising channels. I use to rely on Google Adwords for around 84% of my online products business. After about 1 year on Adwords, I made a mistake on my landing page which violated their information harvesting policy (a squeeze page where the intention is just to capture contact details) and the ad campaign was suspended.
I was warned that repeated violations can result in termination of my Adwords account. I realised that Adwords called the shots and for the first time considered the risk that I may get banned. There are other risks too. More competitors may enter and increase the cost of advertising. Google may update their advertising policy to make it more difficult and expensive to capture leads. They were a lot more lenient only a few years ago with landing page policies. You can see the same thing happening with Facebook — they’re getting more stringent about what you can put in the ads. Certainly building a list and having some kind of recurring business is a great way to reduce reliance on Adwords. But ultimately, diversifying your lead source is your safest bet.
Now the first step before you do this is to make sure that you have a refined marketing machine for whatever advertising channel that you’re using. In other words, your campaign should be profitable and you should have some form of automation in place. If you’re still trying to figure out how to make your ads work and you’re not turning a profit on your campaign, then you’re not ready to add different advertising channels. A lot of people make the mistake of either trying too many advertising channels all at once or just sticking to the one channel. Master the one channel before you move on.
You should also have some kind of automation in place so that you don’t need to do everything after you’ve captured leads. If getting more leads and sales means that you have to manually write in a spreadsheet to record what’s going on, you’ve got to automate. Manually typing information into a spreadsheet is good if you’re just starting out or testing a business idea. But it’s not scalable. If you’re going to grow your business and have lots of leads coming in, you’ll need a system that will allow you to work on your business. That’s where something like Infusionsoft can really help.
The Search for Alternative Sources of Advertising
So you have a profitable advertising channel and an automated back-end? Then you’re ready to expand your advertising sources. But which channel to try and master? Here are some ideas:
Media Buying, Banner Ads, Ad Networks (e.g. BuySellAds.com)
Email Marketing (including cold emailing, purchase email blasts from organisation, etc.)
Affiliate Marketing (e.g. CJ.com or building your own affiliate network)
CPV Marketing (e.g. Leadimpact.com)
Article Marketing (e.g. Outbrain.com, Taboola.com)
Other Social Media (Pinterest, Instagram)
Print Advertising in Newspapers, Magazine, Trade Magazines, and Flyer Inserts
Direct Mail including Postcards
Speaking at Events, Seminars
Write a Book
I hope this list give you some ideas to try. If you’ve always been advertising online, that doesn’t mean that offline can’t work for you, and vice versa. Some of these channels are more expensive or require more money to start and master (e.g. Adwords) while others are fairly low cost (e.g. Guest Blogging).
When testing new advertising channels, make sure that you are always tracking your ROI. If you can measure against lifetime customer value, even better.
You should always keep an open mind. I know a lot of B2B companies that presume Facebook Advertising will never work because “people are only on Facebook to get away from work and socialise”. In some cases this is certainly true but in other cases, I’ve seen huge ROIs on Facebook Ads. The key is to test, measure, and learn.
Let’s do a quick case study. I have a B2B Consulting client that I recently built a Business Dashboard for on top of Infusionsoft. They advertise on Adwords Search, Facebook and some other channels. We’ll just focus on their Adwords and FB stats.
Adwords | $41.00 per email
Facebook | $7.00 per email
Based on this, you would think that Facebook is the clear winner, right?
We keep tracking to the next step which is for a “Free Demo Call”
Adwords | $194.00 per Call
Facebook | $59.00 per Call
Facebook is still winning. The next step is to send the prospect some material and then to “close” the prospect. This is done via email follow ups and phone calls.
Adwords | $1,164.00 per Sale
Facebook | $820.00 per Sale
Facebook is still winning but at a lower rate. Now we will take a look at the customer lifetime value.
Adwords | $14,200.00 (Profit: $13,036.00)
Facebook | $9,195.00 (Profit: $8,375.00)
Now we can see that Adwords is the superior advertising channel. However, Facebook advertising is still working very well and it’s definitely worth it to keep advertising with them.
If you are spending a substantial amount on Adwords or Facebook, it’s also a good idea to track the conversion rates, cost per lead, customer lifetime value, among other metrics, and you can sort them by search keywords, ads, campaigns, as well as advertising sources. You’ll find some surprising insights (e.g. that some keywords like “free” work a lot better than without).
If you’re targeting verticals, then you’ll have more chances of success with Facebook or LinkedIn. If you’re looking for customers that are actively searching for solutions to their problems online, then Adwords is a pretty good bet.