Welcome to 2019! In our first episode of the new year, I’m sharing my predictions for what will (and won’t) work with digital marketing this year, in the age of hesitant buyers + a saturated marketplace.

If you’re ready to snowball your success, this episode is packed with my best tips for success (coming from our multi-million dollar year). I’m sharing my top 4 predictions for 2019, plus:

  • What you need to prioritize this year (i.e. where your time + money matter most)
  • What to do with a small budget + When to scale
  • How to plan for long-term success

The KEY takeaway: People buy from people. How can you set your business up to serve in 2019? Tune into this episode for my best advice (and as always, share your takeaways in IG stories + tag @emilyhirsh for a shoutout)!

Key Points:
[1:19] Vital to your survival: What you need to prioritize this year
[4:26] And if you’re not doing THIS by the end of 2019, you’ll be irrelevant.
[5:44] How to stand out in a saturated marketplace
[8:35] You might not like this if you have a small budget, BUT…
[11:18] “What happens after the webinar?” (i.e. TIPS for success with a long-game strategy)

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There’s way too many crappy products out there, and programs, coaching programs, or masterminds that people have felt burned that they’re just getting more and more hesitant. It’s also more and more competitive, so you have to really convince people. What we call this is Step 2 in The Hirsh Process. If you haven’t listened to that, you can go back to the very first episodes of this podcast and listen to our step by step Hirsh process. I did an episode for each of them, so this part has an episode all dedicated to it and how you use visibility and content.

What this looks like for our clients most of the time is they do some sort of either batched or regular content in the form of usually video. We also combine whatever they’re doing. So, are they posting great things on social media, do they have a podcast … whatever it is that they’re already putting out there. And then we put about 5-10% of their ad spend to promoting this to cold traffic so that new people are seeing it, so that new people are constantly flooding in, getting access to their content, watching their videos, listening to their podcasts, reading their blogs, reading their posts, commenting on their posts, engaging. And then they can be re-targeted to the next step where we actually just usually ask for their name and their email.
That’s the first thing. I think that this is gonna be so crucial that if you’re not putting time and money into this now, if you’re not doing it by the end of the year, you’ll be irrelevant. Your ads just won’t work. The more you can put into this, the more success you’ll have, because the bigger warm audience you’re gonna have, and it becomes a snowball. Anytime you want to promote something, you’ve got this warm audience to promote it to, so I can’t say it enough. Marketing’s also so much the long game, so you have to really consistently, that’s very important, put time and money into this, so that it pays off throughout the year and years to come.
Number two, my predictions for 2019, ad creative has to be unique and stand out. Ad creative meaning, when I say “creative” I mean the image or the video, the headline, and the copy. We’re finding this more and more. One of our specialties as an agency is scaling ads. Customers and clients will come to us and say, “I’m at 10K a month spend and I can’t get it over without my conversions tanking, or spending eight hours a day on the ad account, and I want to scale unlimited because my funnel’s converting 3 to 1 ROI.”

For example, I actually just had a call like that yesterday. He’s spending 20K a month and his funnel’s converting 3 to 1 and he wants to take it, like ATM machine right? He wants to take it as big as he can. The ad creative plays such a huge role in this, because audiences are definitely important, and utilizing lookalike audiences are important, but in 2019, you’re gonna have to stand out in the newsfeed and get people to stop the scroll, because it’s so busy and crowded. It’s just gonna get more crowded. It’s just gonna get more saturated, and if you have a templated ad up there that looks like everybody else’s ad and follows the same templated process, people are just gonna scroll right past. They’re not gonna click.

We’ve been using fun apps. I’m trying to think of the name, [CuriCuri] is one. It makes this little mini five second video sparkly in your image. We also have used different apps that pair images with text, if the client can’t get us a video, so it creates this little mini video. We have done gifs. We have done an image with an arrow on it that just flashes a little bit. It doesn’t look cheesy and scammy, I never want that, but whatever you can do to stand out. Really think about your brand and your messaging, and how do you be unique in your creative, with your headlines, with your copy, with your images, with the video? Because that’s just gonna become more and more important.

When you scale, you need new creative every week, if not more, new ads. That’s actually what Facebook’s favoring. They used to not, and the algorithm changed early 2018 where they want a new ad every week, because they want fresh stuff in the feed. So Facebook favors that, and that’s how you scale. You can always filter things back in that worked two months ago and then saturated, but you’re going to need consistent … That’s why my creative team is such a huge asset to us, because we’re always getting new images, new copy, new headlines, asking the client for a gif, Insta story … All those things are gonna become so important. I want you to really put time into it. What can you do differently? Because you know, go scroll your feed. You’ll see. There’s very few ads that you actually stop and pay attention to. The ones that you do probably had excellent ad creative paired with them.

The third prediction, a lot of you may not like, but small budgets are not gonna go very far anymore. Facebook ads are getting more and more saturated, so if you have a $200 budget, it’s not gonna do much for you. I would just put into visibility and let that visibility build up, and then re-target people to your funnel. But my argument and requirement for clients is that they have a very very minimum of $2,000-3,000 a month just ad spend, so not [including] our management fee. I really would prefer more like $3000. That’s just when we’re testing a funnel. When we actually want to get momentum, my clients are spending more than that.
If you come into it saying, “I’ll just spend $20 on this post,” or $50, or $100, or even $200, it’s just not gonna get you very far. It’s not enough to get data. It’s not enough to test a funnel. I mean if you’re paying an average of $5 to $8 a webinar registration, which is what we’re seeing right now in the B2B space, a $200 budget is gonna, what, get you 40 people signed up at $5 a lead? And $8, it’s less. You can’t get very far with that, so it’s gonna get harder. Be intentional where you put your money, and if you have a small budget, save it and put money into visibility, only visibility, and don’t drain your resources trying to drive traffic to a funnel where you’re getting only a couple of people signed up for your webinar and then you’re not able to convert them, because it’s so low. Because you’re gonna end up just frustrated, and … It sucks, but the people coming in with big budgets are just gonna push out the small people, because the ad space is supersaturated, and it’s already saturated.

The people with $10, $20, $30,000 a month budgets, those are my clients, and we’re dominating the ad space, because we’re putting out a new ad every week. We’re pushing it to all these audiences. We’re everywhere. That’s what you want. It’s gonna be really hard, harder and harder for smaller businesses to be successful with just Facebook ads, so my advice, I mean if that is you, is really try and see how much you can do organically and with relationship building until you get to a point where you have $2,000-3,000 a month to spend, because $200 a month … You might as well save it and put it into building relationships and getting your product to a certain place and your business to a certain place to where then you could really seriously invest in Facebook ads.

You may not like that prediction, but I’m seeing it more and more, because there’s a lot of big people and big influencers out there putting a lot of money into their ads. Because things like webinar registrations are costing $5 to $8, if you have a small budget, I mean 20 people in your funnel is just not gonna do much for you.

My final prediction kind of goes with this one, is you’re going to need more and more long game strategies. Because of this budget, because small budgets aren’t going to work and because the cost per lead is a little bit higher, cost per webinar registration we’re seeing is higher, you’re going to need long game strategy, which means that you see the purpose behind investing in visibility and visibility ads, and content ads, and webinar registrations. That it’s not just about that initial point of contact, so it’s not just about somebody watching your video or even just about somebody signing up for a webinar, it’s the long game nurturing, because, I think I’ve done an episode before on a webinar nurturing sequence that we do which is building a 90 day … after 90 days of the webinar you basically have 90 days of nurturing after the webinar with two flash sales, because people think it’s all about just getting the webinar registration, which it is for probably less than 5% of those registering that will actually buy, but then what happens?
If you have a really good long game marketing strategy that becomes this snowball effect and picks up speed and starts getting sales from people who have been on your list for awhile or signed up for your webinar a few months ago … I mean I even have that, right? I have people who come and sign on as clients who said that they’ve been wanting to work with me for over a year. I have clients who, their average customer value or average customer lifetime on their list before they buy their $2,000-5,000 product is a year, which is crazy.

The people who come in with a small budget and want an immediate result, they’re just not gonna last. They just won’t, and you’ll waste money, and you’ll be discouraged. It’s not sustainable, and your business won’t work. You’re going to have to really focus on the long game strategy, see the benefit of testing and getting data, and driving people through your funnel, and perfecting that one funnel because you’re focused in your marketing and you’re not doing a million things and spreading your budget across four funnels and four products and confusing offers and confusing messaging. You’ve got one main funnel that you’re trying to perfect and drive as much traffic through it as possible and start getting that ROI so that you can scale.
Those people are gonna see great results still in 2019, because they’re gonna have the budget to keep putting out new creative and being able to scale their ads. They’re just gonna push out the smaller people who want a result immediately and who need a result immediately because their business depends on it. It’s unfortunate, but … Really work in your funnel and your strategy in the long game. What happens after the webinar? Do you have nurturing set up? Do you have flash sales? Do you have promotions planned? Are you sending regular emails to this list? Are you building that relationship with these people that you’ve already paid to put on your list or paid to watch your videos?

Be super intentional with it, because the more you are and the more invested you are in your long game marketing strategy, the more of a snowball effect that’s gonna happen and the more results you’re gonna get as the year goes on. Those are some of my 2019 ad predictions I wanted to bring to you guys. If you want support with your ads in 2019, we only have a few spots right now for clients. We actually were totally full in December and we had to say ‘no’ for like three weeks, but we do have a couple spots that opened up. If you go to HelpMyStrategy.com, you can apply to work with our team.

If you are one of those smaller companies, don’t be discouraged by what I’m saying. I’m just saying paid marketing, it might not be the right time for you, and it might be more beneficial for you to invest in relationship building and organic traffic and trying to get people through your funnel to get enough money so then you can go invest in ads. Thanks so much for listening guys.