Podcast 9 – Ten Golden Rules of Internet Marketing

Show Notes:

Jay Berkowitz is renown for his 10 Golden Rules of Internet Marketing.

He is a highly regarded online marketing expert who has been in the field longer than most. Listen to this fascinating interview as we discuss the 10 things YOU need to be doing to succeed online.

Jay is also founder of the popular (and free) Internet Marketing Club which provides great content and community to help improve your skills. Check it out.

I highly recommend you follow him on Twitter @JayBerkowitz to get more of his wisdom.

If you prefer to read…

Philip:              So Jay, you’ve spoken at Adtech PubCon, Afffcon, Affiliate Sydney, you’ve keynoted there, Direct Marketing Association.  I guess the question is, is there any conference that you haven’t spoken at?

Jay:                 Yeah, I want to speak at Davos, Switzerland, the World Economic Forum but seriously though, I’d love to speak at a TED conference.  So if anyone has connections, hook me up.

Philip:              That’s nice, and you’re also an author and a fellow podcaster.

Jay:                 Yes, I wrote a book called The Ten Golden Rules of Online Marketing and my podcast is called The Ten Golden Rules of Online Marketing funnily enough.  My company and blog is also Ten Golden Rules.com.

Philip:              So I guess it makes good sense to talk about the ten golden rules then, right?

Jay:                 Yes, makes good sense to have good consistent branding and it’s been helpful to be known as the Ten Golden Rules guy and people see me at a conference and remember me by that.  It’s something that I happened upon in developing a presentation and I’ve stuck with it over time.

Philip:              I think it’s a phenomenal marketing positioning because it’s so memorable and immediately people want to dive in further.  I’m just quite surprised I haven’t seen too many other marketing type people, myself included use that technique.  I think it’s a great strategy.

Jay:                 Yeah it’s great.  One thing I would suggest though if you want to do something like that – to with six or seven because ten’s a lot to come up with sometimes.  All my presentations are ten golden rules, ten tips, ten strategies.

Philip:              So when did you come up with these rules? I know you’ve been doing this for a long time – and do these rules change?

Jay:                 Well I think the interesting background is that I’ve always been a big believer in ten lists and I worked corporately for companies like McDonald’s and Coca Cola and got into the internet very early with Sprint which is a large telco here in North America and Cellular as well.

And I always tried to get the companies to focus on priorities and there’s a real leaning with the CEO to try and do too much and an organization to try and do too much.  And I probably had my most success with the ten list prior to starting my company with a dotcom I worked at called ediets.com.

When I came to the company, there was literally 87 different projects in development and I had to work to categorize all of these because my marketing team was constantly being pulled in 15 different directions.

The IT team was doing 15 different things and the product development team didn’t know where to work and the CEO was constantly pushing everybody but there’s really nothing significant getting accomplished.  So we got him to agree to a top ten list.

And if we did this first thing and this second thing and this third thing, it would be huge for the company and we had a ton of success.  By focusing we got our first big project out, our second project, our third project and those were projects – real game changers for our company.

When you had Marketing and IT and Product Development, the business development folks all working on the same project, its amazing how you can accomplish these big projects in like 20/30 days where they were just languishing prior to that.

So I’m a big believer in prioritization and ten lists and I was asked to speak at the Direct Marketing Association and I wrote a presentation called The Ten Golden Rules of Online Marketing.  I really tried to put a stake in the ground and say these are rules.  These are overriding, over arching strategies of online marketing.

I’m proud to say they really stood the test of time because we’re going on eight years since I did that first presentation probably almost exactly 8 years.  Those strategies in my opinion – recently revisited them at a couple of conferences and presented that keynote presentation again.  The core strategies really stand up as do any business strategies stand up over time.  It’s the tactics that change.

To answer your question I believe that the ten strategies are still really the core strategies of online marketing, a lot of them borrowed from other traditional forms of marketing.  We’ll talk a little bit about that as we get into it but I really believe if you follow these rules, you’re good to go.

Philip:              Yeah, I think that’s really interesting because I see a lot of business owners that get seem frustrated or overwhelmed with all the latest must have shiny objects and with online marketing or tactics in SEO and get quite stressed about it.  In fact I had a tough question at a conference the other day.

A business owner stood up and said, “How do you expect us to keep up with this stuff?”  And my response was well, the fundamentals actually don’t change too much.  Even within search engine optimization the fundamentals are still pretty similar to what they were five years ago even though the algorithm may change 200 times in a year.

I think it’s a really interesting point that you made.

Jay:                 Yeah I agree.  It’s very easy to get caught up in Google Plus or Four Square or Seesmic or whatever’s coming down the pipe but really if you follow the core principles and provide people with really great content, you’re going to have success.

Philip:              Cool.  So you run a business in Florida in Boca Raton I believe.

Jay:                 Boca Raton, yeah

Philip:              Boca Raton.  Now in my research I have found out that message labs or semantic think that Boco Raton is the spam capital of the world.  What is your involvement with that?

Jay:                 We’re very proud of that.  No, I think that’s an old tag that came up because it was a big email community here.  There was actually a big tech community very early on.  They called it Silicon Beach named after Silicon Valley out on the West coast and we of course have the beautiful beaches here in Florida.

There is a lot of tech stuff going on.  Someone at some point stole a big email list.  I don’t know if they started – IBM had big offices here and Xerox and a number of big companies and someone stole a big list and started spamming.  I think what happened was in the early days of email when you could sell these names, a couple of people just downloaded the list and three or four email companies were based out of this area but certainly…

Philip:              But no involvement

Jay:                 No we like to think we have a pretty robust community down here and there is probably an over developed amount of internet marketing success in this area because there are a lot of people who choose to live in South Florida who can choose to live an internet lifestyle.

So there’s a lot of us who do some very innovative stuff down in this market area.  When we have some of our meet ups, some of the real top brains in the world migrated to South Florida and naturally there would be probably an over population of successful internet marketers down here who want to live that quality lifestyle.

Philip:              Cool, excellent.  Well let’s get into it.  So you’re first rule is that they are no rules.  That means that numbers 2 to 10 are meaningless.  What do you mean by there are no rules?

Jay:                 Well really what golden rule number one, there are no rules, refers to is when it comes to internet marketing, you can’t really apply the rules of traditional marketing.  And I worked as I mentioned on McDonald’s and Coca Cola and Sprint, big brand advertising.

We would do focus groups and we would evaluate what the consumers wanted and then we would come back with some story boards with some TV ideas, more focus groups, ask the consumers if we were compelling in our messaging and sure enough we then produced a TV commercials and we put it on the air.

And we maybe have a little bit more success like we might sell 1% more Coca Cola or McDonald’s could be a little bit busier one weekend and we’d attribute it to our brilliant marketing.

But I – to be honest – I think those rules were just intelligent guess work but the beauty of online marketing is there really are the rules to do lots of testing.  For the most part you can’t really predict what’s going to work and I like to think I’m a pretty experienced and effective internet marketer and I would say I’m only right about 67% of the time and that’s actually pretty good.

Because a lot of times we will produce landing page or a test or a new type of offer or promotion for one of our clients and I think it’s just a killer idea and sometimes it won’t work all that well.  And so the moral of the story is that as experienced you are or as sophisticated the learning you bring from another category might not work very well.

A seemingly innocuous type of idea might really kill it.  So the moral of the story is you got to do lots of testing and it’s fast and it’s inexpensive to do lots of testing.  It’s very, very easy to put up one offer on one page of your site, another offer on a different page of your site and send half of your traffic from them to Google advertising or Facebook advertising to Page A and half your traffic to Page B.  At the end of a week or two you got a pretty clear indication which offer is working better.

Then what you do is you come up with offer number C and you test A versus C and then maybe C beats A.  So now you have a new ware.  And now you test idea D versus idea C and on and on it goes.

So really there are no rules when it comes down to the real rule of the rule of testing.

Philip:              Yeah and I think the mindset of not being emotionally attached to what you’re doing and just knowing that sometimes you have a perfectly designed, what you think is a perfectly designed landing page but when it loses to the old version you get disappointed or emotionally involved.  It’s quite an interesting maturity process or progress that you can actually just say, well, that’s fine.  That’s the test, let’s move on.

Jay:                 Yeah, exactly.  Don’t get too emotionally involved.  Let the consumer be right.

Philip:              There’s a great website which I’m sure you’re familiar with which is www.WhichTestWon.com where you can choose and have a guess which are the two tests or two landing pages won and then it shows you the uplift in percentages.  Do you know that site?

Jay:                 Yeah, isn’t it Anne Holland who was with marketing experiments, a brilliant site and I’m ashamed to admit, I’m wrong a lot of times.

Philip:              Absolutely and it’s interesting reading the comments and it’s always more interesting than the actual test because you see 30 or 40 online marketers commenting on why they think the one won and the one lost.  And everyone has very different opinions.

Jay:                 That’s a – you can sign up to get a free email for every test.  I would highly recommend it – Which Test Won.com.

Philip:              Alright let’s move on to the second one.

Jay:                 Well the second rule is that the internet is not television.  To a certain extent we touched on it a minute ago that the strategies you take to market with television marketing are really not the same in internet marketing.

Internet marketing from a strategic stand point and is a lot more like direct marketing than it is like television because television – you’re playing commercials, it’s a one way media.  You have audio and video, it’s a very powerful media.  Don’t get me wrong.

But in direct marketing you have the ability to test.  If you think back to old fashioned direct marketing, you might send out a mailer and you might send it out with a blue cover and a red cover.  You might do a test, you might have one offer that’s buy 12 months, get the 13th month free.

And the other offer might be 5% off and at the end of a month, once you’ve got a bunch in the mail back, you have a pretty good indication that the blue envelope out performed the red envelope and 10% off out performed 13th month free.

But the beauty of internet marketing is that it’s essentially the same type of testing and we talked about it a minute ago but it happened so much faster.  So within a few days or depending on how much traffic you have a week or so, you’ve got a very good precise answer down to the penny which campaign is more effective in not only clicks but you can also evaluate conversions.

That’s a really important theme I’m sure you’re familiar with.  But a conversion is very different from a click so you don’t want to just measure how many people came to your website, you can actually how many people took a desired action when they came to your website.

So how many people downloaded your free white paper and became a lead or if you sell something, if you have a ecommerce website, like for example in my book, The Ten Golden Rules we used the case study of my first client which is called Annie’s Costumes.

It’s a costume retailer and make-up retailer.  So they are selling items so you can evaluate how many items were sold which is the ultimate conversion obviously.

Philip:              Yes, yes, agreed.  So you’re rule number 3 is create a unique value proposition which is basically marketing 101.  How does that apply to online marketing?

Jay:                 Well it really is create a UVP or unique value proposition.  The principle there is to create something free or inexpensive that people are going to interact with when they come to your website.

So a simple example is download my free white paper, download my free brochure and you would always want to be very provocative with that.  My friend Jeff Walker calls it an irresistible bribe so that you’re bribing people in effect to get something that seems so valuable and in fact it should be valuable.

So download my Ten Golden Rules of Online Marketing, you can get a free copy of the presentation slides or the PDF of the presentation slides on my website.  We also have a free chapter of my book on my website.

These are hopefully irresistible type of bribes and then I can measure how many people came to my website and I also get permission to send them future emails because if they download this information, ostensibly I’m going to email it to them and then I have permission to carry on an email based relationship with these folks.

But other uvp’s could just be like a free calculator, like a mortgage rate calculator or loan calculator or a savings calculator or a weight loss calculator depending on your industry of course.  So something very valuable so people would come back again and again to use and they would bookmark your site or they would remember the same of your site and they would refer other people to your site and link to your site which is going to benefit you from a search engine optimization perspective.

Philip:              Yeah, I mean I think one – I tried to get people into that exact same mindset moving from your website needs to sell to somebody on their first visit to the site to your website needs to just start a relationship.

Jay:                 So true.

Philip:              And I like the irresistible bribe.  That’s a good term.

Jay:                 It is a great line.

Philip:              So what’s next.  Rule No. 4.

Jay:                 If you build it they won’t just come.  And I think so many websites have experienced this or so many web entrepreneurs that you think you’re building something that’s just fantastic, that’s going to change people’s lives – you put up this website and people won’t necessarily just show up at your doorstep.

So you typically have to push, pull and drag people to your website and you can do that with online advertising, email advertising.  You can search engine optimize the site to get people to the site, affiliate marketing and there are a number of different tactics that you can use to get the traffic to your website.

At a certain point, once you build up relationships with people and you build your email list, then you can bring people back to the site.  But you probably going to have to stimulate it with a little bit of paid advertising in the early days.

Philip:              Have you seen much changes – well I know the answer to this, but I guess what sort of changes have you seen around search engine optimization over the last eight years or so.

Jay:                 Well I think the biggest change I would say is it’s tough now.  Even three, four years ago, you could do some basic search engine optimization and quickly get to the first page of Google for a number of terms.  We used to send out a press release and target three different keyword phrases.

So I might target internet marketing company Florida, search engine optimization expert and free marketing tips in a press release for example.  And two of those terms would get on the first page of Google.  Now it’s very, very hard to get one term on the first page of Google with a press release.

You have to work long and hard optimizing against a phrase building links to a specific page, building an internal linking strategy.  So I would say that the biggest factor despite people talking about the algorithm changes and what-not is that there’s millions of websites now optimized, millions of websites with a history of links to the website which is other sites linking to your website make the site more important in the eyes of Google so that massive competition I think is the biggest change.

Philip:              Yeah and that applies to Pay Per Click as well.  I mean a lot of people who haven’t run Google Adwords campaigns before I find have unrealistic expectations as to how easy it is.  You just set it up, turn it on and the money starts pouring in.  I think you really need to have your ducks in a row quality campaign and a quality website, specific landing pages, essentially best practice to make it work.

Jay:                 Although I’m very excited about a new form of internet advertising that’s actually beating Google.  I’m going to save that till No. 10, also to tease folks to stick with this till the end of the podcast.

Philip:              I like it.  An online marketer to the core.  Beautiful!  Rule No. 5 – Subscription Models Survive.

Jay:                 Subscription Model Survive.  Basically a lot of people who in the early days of internet advertising thought they could do the advertising model and that was build a website with lots of articles and information and run ads in websites.

While that model works and it actually works a little bit better because Google has a Adsense program where you can actually put Google ads on your website.  So it’s very simple and cost effective to put targeted advertising on your website with Adsense, so you’re essentially partnering with Google.

For the most part the advertising models really didn’t work.  Unless you’re Yahoo or AOL or Microsoft, you got massive traffic to your homepage.  For the most part, subscription models are going to outperform the advertising model.

So subscription model in its simplest form – we talked about it earlier is people subscribing to get an email newsletter and then every week or every two weeks or every month, you send out really great articles and they have to be really great because you’re emailing people these articles.

But if the articles are great, people are going to come to the website to read the rest of the article for example if you have just the first couple of paragraphs of the article and that’s going to drive traffic back to your website.

Then even more powerful models are when you have enough value on a website that you can get people to subscribe.  It can be a micro subscription for $4.97 or $9.97 or it could be a $49 subscription or $99 subscription.  Some websites are so powerful that people are charging $397 for really cutting edge industry information.

Those types of monthly subscription models are very, very powerful.  Really in my opinion the way to go if you can get there.

Philip:              And what sort of industries does that apply to or what sort of industries does that not apply to?  So if you think about local service based businesses, doctors, lawyers, plumbers, those sort of things.  Is that relevant for them?

Jay:                 Perhaps a little bit less relevant.  Maybe some of them – some of them are typical things that we’ve talked about earlier can still work like there is a tremendous example of a dentist who wrote an ebook.  It was free ebook download like we said a uvp – a unique value proposition and it was “If You Floss, You’ll Get More Sex”.

That’s not the exact title but that was the implication about the importance of flossing your teeth.  And this dentist evidently went from a very small practice to having six other dentists working with her and a ton of success.

The same type of internet marketing, we work with attorneys and lot of folks have tapped into our internet marketing training who are in some of the most basic type of industries.

Like I think you mentioned a plumber or roofer or whatever example, if you provide valuable information in the form of that irresistible bribe, even something as simple as a check-list, like download our free check-list – the eleven things to check before you call the plumber or download our free check-list – 22 things to know about selecting a roofing contractor.

I mean you’re changing the metric so significantly that instead of 1% of people phoning up that plumber, probably 10% or 15% or 20% of people are going to download that free check-list.  Why not?  Here’s 10 things I can check about my toilet before I call the plumber.

And well, you’re going to have your phone number and the contact information for the plumber on that.  The person is going to print it out, take the check-list over to their bathroom and there’s a really good chance that they’re going to call the plumber because it’s the law of reciprocity.

He gave me something for free and I’m getting something of value in exchange and I’m building that first level of trust.  So that works like a charm.

Philip:              What do you use on requesting an email address and adding that layer of friction for any of these irresistible bribes?

Jay:                 I would refer back to Rule No. 1 – that there are no rules, and the really important thing to do there is test.  In some instances we found that without the requirement of an email address, you might get 20 or 30 times as many people downloading something like a check-list or an ebook or piece of information that said downloadable.

But think of the math.  Like let’s say 1% of the people are going to give me an email address but 20% of the people are going to download it without an email address.  And let’s say that two of those people are going to come back later and contact me because I built that first level of trust.  Well, you just doubled your success.

Right, if only one person was going to give you the email address, but 20 people downloaded it without the email address and two of them came back and subscribed, you can track them with a cookie or something like that on your computer, so the answer to the story is you got to test.

Like if you could come up with an amazing irresistible bribe, you can capture the email address in that initial visit.  But if you’re able to evaluate and test, maybe you can bring them back later, you get a much higher percentage of people to download it without the email address.

Philip:              And I think not requesting an email address is force you to focus on better quality because you want them to come back from their own free will.

Jay:                 Yes

Philip:              I was listening to David Meerman Scott’s podcast the other day, he was saying the exact same thing.  They had found in their test that you would get the downloads of that free check-list for example, get out to 40 times as many people – you were saying similar things.  I think it’s quite a – I think it’s a great – it’s a preferred approach.

Jay:                 Yeah, I would recommend check out David Meerman Scott’s website, that’s a great example of a free ebook.  Was it The New Rules of Marketing and PR?

Philip:              That’s right.

Jay:                 I think he wrote an ebook called The New Rules of PR and he said it was downloaded over 100,000 times and it got him a publishing deal.  The book The New Rules of Marketing and PR turned him into an international keynote speaker.

Philip:              Okay, let’s move on.  What’s Rule No. 6?

Jay:                 Rule No. 6 is to remember the four P’s.  Philip you remember them from your marketing text book right?  Product, Place, Price and Promotion.  Well the four P’s are still important in online marketing.

First of all product, I always recommend think of your website like a product and I had the good fortune of working for Coca Cola in product management.  One of the products I was tasked with was to introduce the new bottle for our Sprite brand.

If you remember the – I assume they had the curvaceous Coca Cola bottles all around the bottle.  They also had a unique Sprite bottle with little dimples in the green bottle.  Some markets around the world had been testing the green dimple bottle in the plastic bottle.  So it was my job to investigate those tests and bring that product to market.  So I was a Product Manger in my marketing world.

So if you think of your website in the same way, think of it like a product management procedures.  So I’m going to build a new section in my website and I’m going to map out a strategy to sort of get that done.  I’m going to put a project plan with work backs in place to make that happen.

And always be thinking of how can I improve the product.  What’s the new improved version?  What’s the new packaging?  What am I testing?  Really assign all those project managers to be developing the new component parts of your website.  It’s really marketing and pure marketing and applying that product manager thinking is essential.

In terms of place, the Golden Rule of Real Estate is location, location, location and the most important location on the internet is probably that free site of a Google search.  Facebook’s becoming equally important, you want to build up your Facebook fan page but think of places.  The critical locations and you want to appear in the prime real estate where your target market is going to be surfing around the internet.

Price is often model of free to paid works really well.  We’ve talked about a number of examples of that.  We have free check-list or free download or free white paper, and you build that relationship with people on a free basis and maybe revolve it to a paid type of relationship.

Finally is Promotion.  And we’ve talked about a number of different promotions and different types of testing and again it comes back to that keyword of testing.

Philip:              Excellent.  I love your Rule No. 7.  This for me is probably the starting point whenever we work with a client or evaluate a website and their online presence and that’s trust is golden.  In fact I’m just publishing a blog post on all the trust and credibility indicators that you should have on your website.  Can you expand, talk a little bit about trust?

Jay:                 Sure, the credibility indicators are perfect.  Even one of the things I found really interesting when I was researching this paper was a study that was done at Stanford University.  I think they talked to 2800 consumers and they asked people what makes a website credible in your eyes?

I forget the exact number but I think the number one thing 28% of people said it’s the design of the website.  It has to look professional.  And I think that’s really very true.

Today, if you come to a website and it looks kind of sketchy, the images aren’t clear and it doesn’t load up very quickly.  If that design isn’t professional or well organized, we’re out of there.

The second point of well organized is if you can’t find what you’re looking for, there’s a saying called “the four second rule”, if you can’t find exactly who’s site it is, what they are offering, you can’t figure out how to do what it is you are looking to do within 2 or 3 seconds, you just know how to hit the back button and go back to the search of the other website that referred you in the first place.

So you got to be very attuned to that professional design because that’s an indicator, that’s the first indicator of trust.

Philip:              What other trust indicators – I think having a well laid out website, just a nice pleasing design that portrays your brand really well.  Strong copy – I find copy is one of the areas that a lot of business owners underestimate and tend to cut corners and it’s a really under invested area in my opinion.  What other trust indicators do you think are important?

Jay:                 Well if I could build on that thought about the copy, to me people underestimate how other people use the internet.  Margie in our office is a reader, she amazes me sometimes, the little facts she’ll know about a client when we first go to look at their website.  I’m like, “how do you know that?”  She’s like, “Oh I read it, it’s on their website.”

I’m not a reader, I’m more of a clicker.  I’ll go from link to link to link and I may go a lot deeper on a website than she will.  And then still somebody else in our office loves to watch videos.  I’m a little bit too impatient to watch videos but we know video is massively important across the internet.

So I would say you want to have the different medium available for people because there’s different types of users and far too many times, the CEO will say, “Nobody’s going to watch a video, we don’t need to produce a video.”  I would never do that but the I would never do that is really, really something you never want to say in internet marketing development.

Couple of other trust indicators, obviously as you’re going through the sales efforts and what we call the sales funneling.  You’re getting into some of the secure pages, you want the page to be secure and you want to have some of those indicators like E-trust or some of the credit cards security indicators, associations are really good, if you’re a member of any industry association, other indicators of trust.

Even a simple thing we talked about was uvp’s are those downloads where we’re trying to capture the consumers’ email address.  I never like to use the term capture but that is what we’re trying to do from a marketing perspective.

When we’re trying to give the consumer an irresistible bribe, you might want to have a blue link that says Privacy Policy and just by simply indicating that there is a link to your privacy policy, that’s enough to tell most people, hey there is a privacy policy, these guys are probably not going to sell my email address.

And that can increase the percentage of people who give you their email by 10%, 20%, 30%.  Again these are all elements to be tested.

Philip:              Yes, I was looking for some computer speakers couple of weeks ago and I had to dig around to find the phone number of this ecommerce store which frustrated me.  I eventually called them and it went through to voice mail.  So clearly I didn’t make the purchase and they lost me right then and there.

I had my credit card out, I wanted this exact product but I couldn’t speak to a human to ask them a technical question.  It was just frustrating but I see it all the time.

Jay:                 Yes, so again, you got to treat people professionally and design the stuff like you’re designing it for your best friend.

Philip:              Do you tend to use a lot of video with your clients?

Jay:                 Yes, big believer in video.  Again I’ll give you my little sound byte.  There’s a study recently done – I’ll try to think of the name before we’re done.  They basically talked to 1800 internet marketers and they asked them what tools are you using in your internet marketing programs.

And I think number one was blogs and number two was Facebook and number thee was Twitter and number four was Linkedin.  Then number five was way, way down the list because it was like 81% we’re using Facebook, 80% we’re using blogs.

But way down at 41% was YouTube. So only 41% of your competitors are using video.  Look at the amazing numbers on YouTube.  It’s now the No. 2 search engine in the world.  More people are searching on YouTube than they are on Yahoo or Bing.  Of course Google is No. 1

YouTube is the No. 2 place that people are searching for things.  So I know a lot of times – let’s go back to the plumber scenario.  I have a leaky toilet, if I search ‘fix leaky toilet’, I might find the solution there.  Or ‘how to do SEO’, there’s probably some great demo video.

So if you like learning that way, it’s an amazing tool to search.  I’ve recently been watching a lot of tennis videos and learning tennis, and I found a really great website called Fuzzy Yellow Balls.  I’ve become friends with the guys who run that website.  It’s an amazing way to learn tennis.

The other key statistic, YouTube is the No. 3 website in the world.  Here you have only 41% of your competitors using video and it’s the No. 2 search engine in the world and the No. 3 website in the world.  So yes, video is awesome.

Philip:              Yes, the first question that comes up with clients when we talk about video is the question of how do I get started and what quality is good enough.  Do I need to hire a full production house to have these promotional videos or can I start doing it in-house and how do I get started?  What are your thoughts on just getting stuff up there as opposed to doing a real professional job.

Jay:                 Well you can do a real professional job and it definitely doesn’t have to be the old million dollar commercials we made for Coca Cola.  But you can do a very professional job with a student at your local college and a lot of times they have same HD cameras you could shoot a movie with.

Matter of fact there are some commercials on TV where they show you they shot the commercial with a standard camera using the video function.  So you can shoot HD video, make sure your leggings good.  Most important is to actually make sure you have a mike separate from the camera.

But a lot of times you don’t even have to be a star on camera, you can just use a tool called Camtasia for a marketing video.  You can just use screen capture and just go through a little slide show with audio and really, really simple video can be very powerful.

The strategy that we take with all our clients who are just starting out is let’s just do one video a month which isn’t too high in objective.  It’s pretty easy for us to accomplish and the first one, why don’t we just do a how to video and demonstrate how to use the product or service and then the next month, let’s answer couple of questions that are the most popular questions that our prospects ask us.

The next month let’s try and make something a little bit funny so maybe you could go viral and the month after that we can come back and just do another how to video.  It’s really simple to come up with different kinds of ideas.  If you just use the discipline of a calendar which is very powerful for all the things we’re talking about.

That newsletter should be on a calendar, you know you’re getting out twice a month and you’re writing three newsletter articles.  You should do a press release minimum of once a month.   You should do 3 or 4 blog posts a week but put it on a schedule – Monday, Wednesday, Friday – we got a blog post coming out and Tuesday and Thursday, we’re going to write articles.

So if you calenderize this stuff, it gets done and its very powerful.

Philip:              I’m also a big fan of the batching approach, doing a couple at a time, the set up and the effort of thinking about how to do it and getting all your equipment out and getting ready and finishing off and all that sort of stuff and the planning process.  I quite like the batching and I do three at a time or four at a time.

Jay:                 How many podcasts are you doing today?

Philip:              I’m doing another one tomorrow.  So I like to do a couple of podcasts, do the effort on the research, schedule them in very close together and then the post production stuff, I’ll also batch up.  The editing and uploading to WordPress and all that sort of stuff.  I try to batch it, I find it a lot more efficient.

Jay:                 Yeah that’s smart.  I like that.

Philip:              Right, we’re onto Rule No. 8.

Jay:                 Rule No. 8 is use the right tactic.  What the sort of strategy here is that a lot of people will come to me and they’ll say, we need affiliate marketing.  And I say, okay, what’s your CPA.  And they look at me like they’ve never heard of a CPA.

Well CPA is the internet term for Cost Per Acquisition and you need to know how much it costs you to acquire a lead or to acquire a sale, a conversion.  So these are things we talked about earlier about developing it, the landing page, developing a couple of tests and testing how cost effective you can acquire a lead or a sale for.

Before you do affiliate marketing you need to know what your Cost Per Acquisition is because then you can go out and get affiliates or like a virtual sales force.  You can get those folks to promote your product or service and hey, it cost me $10 to get a lead on my website.

So then you can go to the affiliates and say I’ll pay you guys $8 every time you give me a lead because you know it’s more effective than what you can get and you’re only paying for a lead.

Back to using the right tactic, a client will come to you and they’ll say hey we need to do affiliate marketing.  It’s like well no, first you need to do – you need to develop an offer.

Second you need to develop a couple of landing pages to test a couple of different offers.  Third you should run some Pay Per Click against those offers and once you’re acquiring those folks, you should build a data base and you should have an irresistible bribe and then you should do follow on marketing because most people won’t buy the first time they come to your website.

After we do all that and we got our landing page tested and we’ve got our trust indicators tested and we’ve got really convincing sales funnel and our follow on marketing is in place.

After we do all that we can go and launch it to the affiliate community because there’s no sense putting an offer that’s no good.  Landing pages that don’t work, conversion that’s no good into the affiliate market place.  So you want to use the right tactic.

Basically Pay Per Click advertising, Google, Facebook, even YouTube is a very good place to get started in driving some traffic, testing landing pages, very good way to test different offers, follow on marketing is a great way to build that relationship with people once you’ve brought them to your website.

That’s sort of a highlight if you use the right tactic.

Philip:              Yes, I think that’s some awesome ideas for listeners.  Doing the right thing in the right order and not jumping ahead is really important.  I’d encourage people to listen to an interview I did a while back with Mary O’Brian.  We talked about online marketing strategy and sort of what to approach in the right order.  I thought that was a really great podcast.

Excellent, alright, we’re getting towards the end.

Jay:                 Alright.

Philip:              So we’re on Rule No. 9.

Jay:                 Rule No. 9 is the best never rest.  And the subset of that is the best never rest, test, test, test.

Philip:              Testing has come up in quite a few of your rules and it really is a the core of everything isn’t it?

Jay:                 Yes, and we’ve kind of beaten that one to death but really the best never rest is – once you get that website up, you’re just started and you really need to be constantly developing new content, so new articles and press releases and product information pages on your website.

Google likes to see your site constantly being updated and nice and fresh –  Google and the other search engines.  Of course I’m just referring to the search engines.

You want to be testing lots of offers as we talked about.  You want to be always developing new areas of your website like a product manager.  So really the best never rest is about innovation and constantly exploring new things.

You and I were speaking a little bit more about, before we started recording about info product marketing and that’s a fascinating field that I’m spending a lot of my personal time investigating.  How can you use your professional expertise and sell people relatively inexpensive information.

The kind of things we’re talking about here tonight for you and I are just common sense because we’ve been at this for a long time.  But for a lot of people this is valuable information that people would pay $19.95 or $39.95 for an ebook or $199 for a training course.

That’s an example of – even though I’ve been at this internet marketing stuff for 15 or more years, I’m constantly going to conferences and even though I’m a speaker at the conference I go and see all the other speakers and I’m constantly reading blogs and listening to podcasts and sucking up as much information as I can.  I’m paying for these same ebooks and online courses.

I’ve recently paid $2000 for an online course.  I’m a big believer in the best never rest, constantly learning and always growing.

Philip:              Yes couldn’t have said it better myself.  What tools do you recommend for testing?

Jay:                 Well the simplest thing is just conversion tracking in a Google Adwords campaign.  What a conversion – we talked about that earlier, like if you offer people a free download of a white paper or an ebook and what you need to do is on the first page just put in your first name, last name and email address and then when they get to the next page, it’s called a Thank You page so thank you very much, click here to download the ebook.

Google and the other search Pay Per Click search companies will give you a little what’s called a conversion code.  So it’s a little unique identifier code and you place that code on the Thank You page and you know how many people gave you their first name, last name and email and got to the Thank You page.

So that’s the easiest way to test different variables.  We talked earlier about just testing two different landing pages.  You want to test the conversions, you don’t want to make your decision based on clicks.  You want to make your decision based on people actually taking an action in a business to business like your business or my business where people are just making that first relationship with you.

You want to just evaluate how many people you’re getting as a lead and back to my friends at Annie’s Costumes, the costume store, they can evaluate how many people purchase some make-up or costume or mask.

Philip:              Have you used unbounce at all recently?  We’ve been using that for landing pages and have had some great success.

Jay:                 I’m not familiar with that one so thank you, I’ll check it out.  Unbounce?

Philip:              Unbounce, yes.  I think it’s unbounce.com

Jay:                 Cool, okay.

Philip:              Really great useful tool for building landing pages really quickly and also gives some good A/B testing.

Jay:                 Great.

Philip:              Excellent, we’re on to the last one.  Lead the trends and you promised you had some awesome – the silver bullet to achieve massive online marketing success.

Jay:                 Yes, I’ve been doing, talking about this stuff for 8 years so it’s pretty rare that I get really, really excited about something new.  And I think for about 6 of the last 8 years Google has been really dominant and I actually wrote a new presentation called The Death of the 800 Pound Googlerilla.

I’m not suggesting that Google’s going to go out of business or go away but Google has been such a dominant force in our industry and in a good way for the most part because they’ve allowed us to do a lot of major business but they have become a little bit of an 800 pound gorilla if you know the business expression that they really dominated the market place.

And for the first time we’ve seen something beating Google and by beating I would define – I’ll go back to what we talked about earlier, this CPA or Cost Per Acquisition.  As a marketer, we’re constantly measuring what’s the lowest cost way that I can get someone to my website and get them to take a conversion action.  A measurable action on my website.

So the Cost Per Action, let’s say it’s $10 with Google to get people to download an ebook on a website or it’s cost $10 to sell small child’s costume on the costume website.

Well there’s a new thing on the landscape which is more effective than Google in about 8 out of 10 industries and that is Facebook advertising, paid Facebook advertising.

The reason why it’s so effective and most people tried Facebook advertising and failed because 12, 18 months ago, there really wasn’t enough data in Facebook.  And the other thing is it is still very difficult to do conversion tracking with Facebook advertising.

So two things changed.  One is we’ve all been more active on Facebook in liking different websites and completing our profile information and joining groups and creating other demographic and psychographic and likeographic information if you will on our profiles.

The other thing is we’re using Google analytics to track a Facebook conversion action through to the website.  So we’re tying a Facebook adgroup to a unique URL in Google Analytics.

So those two things have turned the corner for us of Facebook advertising.  I’ve give you the best example.  This is almost like a 100% guarantee.  If you’re able to target people who like your competitors and click the like button and their fans of a competitor.

If you’re selling costumes and you find a bunch of people, they are fans of other costume stores or the next level is if you can find people who are fans of costume parties and people who are fans of Star Wars and Star Trek and all kinds of different dress up occasions.

Or big fans of Halloween, then you can target your Facebook advertising very precisely.  You can target mothers for example because you know they have young kids and they are probably going to be dressing them up for Halloween and coming up in the next month or so, the Halloween season is going to be heating up.

So you can target mothers who are fans of Star Trek and Star Wars and there’s a good chance they’re going to be dressing up some young Lukes and Laras right.

Philip:              Absolutely, we encourage listeners to look at our last podcast.  Do you know Paul Dunay at all?

Jay:                 It sounds familiar but I don’t personally know him

Philip:              Okay yes, he’s a Facebook guru and we had a good chat a couple of weeks back with him.  Have you had much success in the B2B space on Facebook?

Jay:                 We’ve started to have some success and in a similar precise type of targeting on Linkedin.  We’ve had a little bit of success there too.  It doesn’t have the same volume as consumer, but we have had some success.

As a matter of fact I didn’t mention our internet marketing club and we created a new community called Internet Marketing Club.org.  We’ve done a little bit of testing with Facebook and Linkedin advertising and had some initial success in bringing folks to the community even internet marketing club.org is a completely free community but we do internet marketing training webinars every week over there at internet marketing club.org.

Philip:              Yes, excellent.  We have links to that website in the show notes.  You’re also launching a new internet marketing club?

Jay:                 Yes, it’s really just a new upgrade.  It’s internet marketing club 2.0 and we have a lot more features in the site.  If you just join up on the free site, internet marketing club.org, we’ll be opening up the new features probably every month or so.

Philip:              Awesome, excellent.  Was there anything else you want to close with?  Anything around lead the trend or any other parting comments?

Jay:                 Well what was the new – well really just to sum up and I’ll use the Facebook example again.  There’s often about a 6 month window in internet marketing when you hear about something like Facebook advertising and you’ve now heard about it two weeks in a row on Philip’s podcast and you’ve heard a couple of experts saying hey, Facebook advertising is killing it and as I said, it’s beating Google in 8 out of 10 categories.

Part of the reason for that is that not many people have discovered it or not very many people have discovered how to do the tracking that I talked about by using the Google URLs.  So you’ve got about a 6 month window because any day now Facebook is probably going to be integrating conversion tracking into their software.

Unless you take advantage of this window where people haven’t figured it out, you’ve got this opportunity where very few people are bidding for those ads and you’ve got the secret now on how to track it so you’ve got what is it?  700 million people now on Facebook, you can target them very precisely and you’ve got very little competition.

So Lead the Trend is all about taking advantage of those windows, finding out the cutting edge things that are working before the mass market figures it out and jumping on that and doing a lot of robust testing to make it work for you and your category because 6 months from now everyone is going to be caught up and by then you can be onto the next thing figuring out, testing, evaluating how to make it work.

Philip:              Is there any way we can direct listeners to around the tracking with Facebook and Analytics?  Have you done any blog posts on that?

Jay:                 Well we definitely have bunch of – I think we have 5 or 6 webinars that we’ve done in internet marketing club.

Philip:              Great, we’ll direct people there.

Jay:                 Yes and stay tuned.  I’m going to be putting up a whole video on Facebook marketing as well.

Philip:              Beautiful.  So closing comment Jay, what do you think we’ll be talking about or what do you think the big focus will be in 12 months time?  How do you think – any particular strategies, new strategies or challenges with Google and Facebook?  What do you think will be the focus of the online marketing community?

Jay:                 Yes I think we’ll definitely see lots of Facebook.  I mean it’s very early but it looks like Google Plus is going to be a winner.  Looks like Google is finally solved social media and it has some very interesting features that I was looking for as a consumer, particularly the circles.

If you don’t have an invite to Google Plus yet, you definitely want to find a friend who has a Google Plus membership and can get you an invite.  The early numbers were about 2 weeks into it and they say that 10 million people have already signed up.

So and like I said the circles feature you can put people into circles so if you want to send a message out to only your friends, you can put them in the friends circle and if you want to send it to only your business contacts, I wouldn’t send my business stuff necessarily to my aunt and my mom and stuff like that.

So looks like Google circles will be a winner and so it’s ironic that I said Facebook is challenging Google in the paid advertising space.  Looks like Google will be taking on Facebook in the community space so Google Plus might be a winner that we’re talking about in 12 months.

Philip:              Beautiful.  Well thanks so much Jay.  You’ve given us some awesome information.

Jay:                 It was my pleasure and please check out Ten Golden Rules.com.  We have lots of free stuff on that site and internet marketing club.org.  It’s an amazing community.  Actually there’s a group called the down under group.  I don’t know how many of you listeners are down under but there’s actually a networking group of internet marketers from down under within the internet marketing club.org.

Philip:              Excellent, I’ll definitely check that out.  And your Twitter profile is just your name isn’t it?

Jay:                 Yes, Jay Berkowitz

Philip:              Excellent, beautiful.  Thanks so much Jay

Jay:                 Thanks so much Philip, my pleasure

By Philip Shaw