Why We Get Results For Clients in 2020, Where Others Fail – With founders Blake & Simon

Why We Get Results For Clients in 2020, Where Others Fail – With founders Blake & Simon

1. So what’s been the biggest shift in the digital and social media landscape in 2019?


Simon:

So what’s been the biggest shift in the digital and social media landscape in 2019?

Blake:

I think the biggest shift, firstly across the social media landscape. That’s where GMS was born and where I first got the grasp of our digital marketing. It’s going a bit crazy to be honest. I think a lot of the automation tools they’re out there and there are so many and it’s quite a saturated market. We’ve really lost the personal touch of how we deal with a prospect. This includes webinar models, which are no more than a sales strategy these days. Messenger bots where people can go from an ad to an automation feature. Even on the website, the customer service is an automation. And when we’re trying to reach out to Facebook, it’s often an automation too.

Blake:

So we’re constantly speaking to robots and I think the ability to actually connect with someone on a human level has been lost. And this goes not just from Facebook, obviously it’s the monster that is sort of, that’s where it stems from, but we see the same things on Google, on YouTube, even through programmatic in the way that we interact from a display ad. It always goes through some sort of automation feature. So I think the biggest shift and what’s going to start happening is like, and obviously the idea of this AI taking over agencies and this absurd theory that, I don’t think it’s going to come anytime soon.

Blake:

There needs to be the human element still. We are humans, we like to interact with humans, and I think if we’re going to really go down that automation path in the way that we’re dealing with customers, we need to start going back to the old school way of dealing with how we interact with someone and implementing a bit of human touch and not being afraid of picking up the phone or even doing a nice evening event versus a webinar. And if someone’s following you on Instagram rather than sending a Messenger bot out to them, just say hello. And yeah, being a little bit more humanized in the way that we’re learning.

Simon:

Yeah. I think if people and brands can get into the, more of the less B to B or B to C and even more the P to P is the term I’ve heard being thrown around a lot this year. So it’s more the people to people or the person to person communications. Actually talking to someone as if it’s a personalized conversation, someone you haven’t seen in a long time and you’re actually sending messaging and the communication is very much tailored to that individual. I think with Facebook and Instagram, especially in the social media landscape, it’s become such a saturated busy platform. There’s only so much inventory that they can have and they’re doing as much as they can to add more by acquiring all these different platforms and stuff.

Simon:

But advertisers are just, there’s more and more. So there’s more noise, there’s more messaging, there’s more ads, more businesses trying to find more and more customers. So I think the brands that are really going to get ahead and that have gotten ahead this year have been the ones that are able to have that P to P, more humanized one on one conversation and actually personalizing their message to those customers rather than just a real blanket, buy this, buy that, try to get a lead in here. But actually tailor that and actually nurture and show that they care about that consumer before asking for a transaction or a conversion or whatever it is.

2. So what’s been the biggest win that we’ve had in GMS for 2019?


Simon:

Let’s go on the other side of things.

Simon:

So what’s been the biggest win that we’ve had in GMS for 2019?

Blake:

Biggest win that we’ve had in GMS. I think it would be the fact that we’re diversifying a lot as an advertising agency and a marketing agency, particularly in the direct response world. We’ve been so reliant on just picking the one platform that’s best suited for a client.

Blake:

GMS was originally a Facebook ad agency. We’ve now diversified, and more often diversified, over the past six to 12 months, across all the social platforms that we could possibly advertise on. We’re not just advertising for the sake of advertising, obviously we like to test what we think is going to work versus just trying to throw spaghetti at the wall.

Blake:

But the biggest win we’ve had right now, where we’ve had a lot of results and success in our Pinterest advertising, which has been a bit of a surprise, but that’s been an awesome win with a lot of contextual advertising with some of our eCommerce clients.

Blake:

Snapchat, we’re starting to get a few wins on the board as well. Everyone thought that Snapchat was dead but it is still alive and still kicking.

Blake:

LinkedIn, I think, is still the most underutilized ad platform out there. I think there’s still a lot of growth and maturity that LinkedIn needs to have before we start really pushing a lot of clients over to that space. It’s still very heavy of an organic platform, and a person to person feature. I think for a business to advertise, and a person to interact with that ad, there still needs to be a lot of changes there, because we’re still finding it’s a bit of a hit and miss.

Blake:

So social media, it’s not just about Facebook these days, or Instagram. Obviously Facebook and Instagram are one, but we’re really seeing a lot of success over other social platforms. Not only that, but marrying up a search and social strategy. People are a bit scared of the rising cost of a click on Google, but I think it’s still important to have those low hanging fruit keywords put into your campaigns, around your business name, your person name, and your products’ names, just so you’re picking up the organic search and going through and you appear top of the page.

Blake:
So I think having a bit of an omnichannel presence is going to be really important. We’ve even gone as far as I’m testing some programmatic and going old school with online, and doing some display advertising, which again is having some pretty good results.

Blake:

So the three elements that I feel that we’re going to start focusing a lot more on is, social, covering all the social media landscape; search, and marrying up the social and search strategies as best as we can; and also display, when we’re exhausted those two strategies, let’s find more customers and go that one step further.

Simon:

We’re really about diversifying your whole portfolio and having multiple touch points.

Blake:

Yeah.

Simon:

No one’s really going to… People are a bit more sophisticated with their marketing now, especially the consumer. So having multiple touch points, and going back to that P2P, and actually touching people on multiple points across different channels. Then just always getting them back into your funnels, or back into delivery business.

Blake:

Absolutely.

Simon:

Yeah. De-risk and diversify.

Blake:

Yeah. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, guys.

Simon:

That’s it.

 

3. Couple of our biggest challenges with GMS and our biggest wins that we’ve got on the board.


Simon:

Couple of our biggest challenges with GMS and our biggest wins that we’ve got on the board.

Blake:

Yeah, biggest challenges. I think the biggest challenge we’ve had this year, more than the past three years was definitely the competition in so many people popping up, acting as though they’re an agency. A lot of gurus, a lot of coaches out there. As I said before earlier, it’s gone crazy. It’s a madhouse on social media right now and I think we’re probably reaching a bit of a tipping point. And I think to really overcome that challenge what we’ve done is, number one, implement it a bit more of an omni channel presence, so we’re not just fighting with all the other Facebook advertisers out there, but we’re skilled in pretty much anything that we can do from an online advertising point of view.

Blake:

Sticking to our nation being direct response advertisers, we’re managing over $800,000 a month right now across our portfolio and we feel like we’re still scratching the surface. So there’s a lot that we can still do as a business. But I think the biggest struggle is that advertising and marketing us as a marketing agency, in a digital marketing agency online, you’re competing with thousands of other providers out there and I think it’s not only a challenge if I ask to reach the right customer, but on the flip side it’s a big challenge for the customer to find the right agency to work with, and to find an agency that they’re not going to get burned by it. We hear too often, people coming to us and they’ve got four proposals on the table and they’re scared to pick one because they’ve already been burnt by numerous before.

Blake:

So I think the way that advertisers and marketing agencies need to start positioning themselves in the market is through a lot more education, a lot more market to message, niching down, and making sure that your message is fit for the right customer and not just throwing an open net to the market. Because that’s something that we’ve been at fault at doing. So that’s going to be a big change for us next year. Positioning ourselves in the market a lot better with who we’re actually specializing working with, making it a bit more tailored to the right customer and not just throwing lead generation ads out there to try and get any customer, but a lot more conversational marketing. I think that’s going to be a bit more of a term that’s going to be coined for us is conversation, conversion and conversation marketing, which we’re going to look at doing a lot more, not only for us but for our clients.

Simon:

Yeah, cool. I think getting that message right and knowing why we’re different, and actually conveying that to the client.

Blake:

Yeah. Marketers lie, but stats don’t lie in and we’ve got a lot of proof to back it up, versus someone that’s just throwing a website up.

 

4. How are we going to help our clients cut through the clutter in their industries and their respective niches?


Simon:

How are we going to help our clients cut through the clutter in their industries and their respective niches?

Blake:

One of the biggest benefits of being in marketing and having a marketing agency and having clients to service, we practice what we preach. What we do for ourselves and what works, we can roll out for our clients. And vice versa. So I think number one… And we’ve actually been at a few workshops at Facebook HQ. Being a premium agency partner of Facebook, we get invited to these sort of workshops to learn cutting edge strategies and what’s happening in the market and what will be happening in the market. So we’re sort of learning ahead of time. One of the core things that we sort of picked up in our knowledge from attending these workshops, was the importance of unique content creation. More and more competition means that there’s more and more content, which means that you have to be a lot better at creating quality content.

Simon:

Yeah.

Blake:

And I’m not saying you need to spend 20 grand on a video. You can have the phone in front of you, walking down the street or in your car. Obviously don’t drive. But you can have a raw. You don’t have to be professionally developed, but you need to have the quality content within those pieces, to make your marketing work. One thing we’re implementing and just like we’re doing today with some of this content, we’re going to be rolling out a lot of content services for our clients. So we’re not just managing ads for our clients, but we’re implementing a bit more of a strategic direction and a bit more creative direction with our clients.

Blake:

That’s one thing that, from feedback we’ve got from the market. A lot more clients want someone in an agency to manage their ads, take away all the nitty gritty from their plate, but also help with the content. Because there needs to be more content. And the more that you scale up your campaigns, whether it’s on Facebook or Pinterest or Snapchat or even Google, you need to have lots and lots of fresh content that’s developed monthly or at least quarterly to sustain and allow your campaigns to scale.

Simon:

And another point, I think obviously going back to the whole diversification with new strategies and the platforms and the way you’re speaking to people, people reacted to creatives in a lot of different manners. So something that might work for one person, might work totally different for another person. So it’s having that very diversified approach across your creative assets as well. I think when we went to one of the Facebook workshops, they mentioned that a good campaign or a good business now needs to have about 1000 pieces of creative content every year. So I guess that’s a Testament to how important that actually is. And actually having multiple different types of creative and not just putting all your eggs in one basket, to use that phrase again. But from a creative standpoint as well. Yeah, it’s going to be hugely important. And obviously diversifying across every aspect of the business is going to de-risk things for you moving into the future.

Blake:

So quality content and more of it.

Simon:

Yes. That’s it.

 

5. Predictions for 2020 for Instagram and Facebook from the two of us.


Simon:

Predictions for 2020 for Instagram and Facebook from the two of us.

Blake:

What I feel is shifting a lot with Facebook and as we’ve seen in 2019, the organic side of the business has completely just taken a turn. It was already depleting on Facebook and I think now it’s almost gone. The removal of the Likes and the removal of the video view count I think is a good move for a lot of trolling and bullying that happens on social media, on Facebook and Instagram. On Instagram, I heard on the radio this morning that it was the biggest platform where bullying was happening so I think from a consumer health point of view and the public eye, it is a really good move for advertisers. I think we also need to move in that direction and be really mindful that people can exploit social media platforms very easily.

Blake:

Now that it is, you have to pay to play both on Facebook and Instagram. We also need to make sure that we’re creating content that’s relevant to the user’s eyes. I think the power of it, the fact that we can tailor content depending upon that user’s behavior is great, but don’t exploit it. Making sure that if you are marketing something, it is actually valuable and you’re not just marketing for the sake of marketing.

Blake:

And making sure that we’re giving back. If you’re asking for someone’s information, what are you giving in return?

Simon:

There’s always a transaction.

Blake:

It’s always a transaction. Right. Rather than just throwing a blanket out out there saying, “Hey, book a call and speak with us.” You’ve got to make sure you’re delivering key content. That’s what we’re going to be doing a lot of next year as a business, is giving a lot of educational content away and educating our market and nurturing that client before they can actually speak with us.

Simon:

Yeah, and I think the whole going back to Facebook and Instagram, removing Likes and all this social currency that has sort of bred this unhealthy life or unhealthy image for a lot of people. But that is also going to now force a lot of creatives and advertisers to go down the path of creating and it’s going to force them to make better content for the platform.

Blake:

Yeah, that’s right.

Simon:

I think one of my biggest predictions for next year, and it has slowly happened over the last two or so years, but we know, mobile is starting to surpass desktop and everything. With Facebook especially, I think that is going to impact how content’s made as well. Everything’s got to be optimized, whether that’s your funnels, your landing pages, your content, videos need to be in vertical images. Any sort of creative that you’re doing is going to need to be a mobile-first approach. How is this going to look on mobile? It’s going to be the most important thing moving forward, even more so going into 2020.

Simon:

I think as well, going back to the personalization, I think a lot of people are wanting brands that they can interact with on a personalized level. Whether that’s through messenger bots and different messaging and that sort of platforms on Instagram and Facebook, too.

Simon:

So yeah, I think there’s a lot to come out. I think as well, Facebook especially, is going to be much, much more of a video type of platform. I know the rise of YouTube over the last four months or so has sort of Facebook now has to compete on that level so I think video is going to be a big part of a good strategy moving forward.

Simon:

Next year, I think video content is going to be a big, big thing to focus on for any successful brand or any brands that want to kind of … that’s true.

Blake:

Yeah, absolutely. I think that the Instagram Stories is probably the number one most used ad placement but also feature. I know I sometimes get stuff on it in the mornings and the likes on Instagram Stories. I get lost big time. I keep just boom, boom, boom, hitting it. But yeah, I think Facebook and Instagram, there’s a lot of bad media out there. I think people just shouldn’t be as scared of what they are from a marketing point of view. It’s an unparalleled duo between, say, you have the comparison with Pinterest and Snapchat and LinkedIn, that the ad platform from an advertising point of view is still second to none. But I think we might see a lot of shift from the organic point of view in people moving away from those platforms. We’re already seeing the rise of TikTok and it’s a huge organic opportunity right now. I think it’s important to sort of just play around and see what platform is right for your business.

6. Then finally next year, what’s our biggest piece of advice?

 


Simon:

Then finally next year, what’s our biggest piece of advice?

Blake:

My biggest piece of advice for anyone looking, whether they’re starting out and just giving it a crack next year or whether they’re looking to scale and really take it to the next level, whether you’re going from seven to eight figures. I think it’s about having an omni-channel presence. I think I’ve seen a lot of companies doing really well on maxing out Facebook. They’re relying on the one, the run platform to really generate most of their income and their revenue.

Simon:

A few of our own clients. Right? They’re maxing out certain platforms.

Blake:

Yeah, that’s right. Yeah. Yeah. I think the fact that we’re skilled in, across so many different areas now, whether it’s working with us or another agency, I think it’s super important to, obviously stay and not try and do everything at once, but once you are getting some results in one area, try and then move across to another platform that you feel you could have some similar results. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and think about where they actually are, where they’re lying. One business might not be a fit to advertise on Snapchat, but we know for some of our fashion and beauty clients in e-commerce, we’re getting some really good results on Pinterest. Same for a local restaurant or a local clinic.

Blake:

I think it’s really important to have a dual strategy across Google, YouTube and Facebook. If you’re looking for lead generation, definitely try to give Facebook and Google as best chance as you can. Also, if you’re looking to spend a lot more and follow that customer and have a lot of nurturing happening in the retargeting, then why not give programmatic a go as well?

Blake:

I think, whilst you can do a lot when it comes to digital marketing and social media for any business, big or small, it’s about focusing on one thing at a time, getting the win, and then moving onto the next best platform and making sure that you’re diversifying your strategy.

Simon:

Cool. All right. I think that wraps it up. I guess the biggest takeaways from this are, 2020 is going to be a big year. It’s going to be a big, big year for the whole industry, especially us. I think the biggest thing is to look up and to focus on 2020 are diversification and broader content strategies.

Blake:

Quality content, too.

Simon:

Quality, creative and content. Yeah.

Blake:

Well, thanks, guys.

Simon:

Thanks a lot.

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