Author Archives: admin

JD Parkman is a former US Marine that has started and managed over half a dozen startups in education, healthcare, cryptocurrency and the digital media space. JD Parkman is an innovative and sharp Fortune 500 Digital Marketing and Lead Generation Consultant with approximately a decade and a half years’ experience strategizing, managing, and closing multi-million-dollar advertising campaigns on a global scale.
manage marketing campaigns financial trader
How to Manage Marketing Campaigns like a Financial Currency Trader

KPIs are due EOD.

Profit and loss statements need to be generated.

Budget status updates have been requested.

Juggling multiple marketing campaigns is stressful. But more importantly, it’s also incredibly risky.

Soon enough, you’ve depleted your budget to the last few cents, and you have nothing to show for it.

Or worse, you didn’t spot the right trends in a successful tactic before spending too much on the underperforming ones.

And now you don’t have enough money to re-allocate to top-tier mediums.

Curiously enough, adopting the same methodical mindset of a financial currency trader can help you better manage results.

Here’s how.

Start With a Currency Arbitrage Mindset

Here’s the problem with digital marketing.

It changes every day. Old stuff gives way to new stuff.

And you never really know how a campaign will perform until you try it.

That saying (1) is unhelpful and (2) requires extra money to experiment with potentially budget-draining activities.

But it’s true.

You really don’t know which playbook, game plan, or actionable tip is going to work until you experiment. The stuff that worked last year almost certainly won’t work the same this year.

Not to mention that every business is structured differently. Each caters to diverse audiences. So copying your competitors or that awesome tactic you read about is also out.

What works for Company X might bankrupt Company Z.

If there were set-in-stone tactics that produced million-dollar businesses overnight, every dude on GrowthHackers.org would be rich.

PPC might be amazing for your friend’s business. But that doesn’t mean investing in PPC is instantly going to turn you into the next Zuckerberg.

So where do people turn when they hit this realization? A/B testing.

You all know those case studies that promise a mythical pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

I did X and generated a 40000000000% increase in conversions!

Okay, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but it’s not that far off.

Most A/B tests fail, though.

They take too long to get results. Plus that whole “bias” thing. And of course, sample size.

You need a minimum of 1,000 conversions monthly for statistical significance.

So what should you do instead?

Implement a currency arbitrage mindset.

Currency arbitrage is a strategy in which the trader takes advantage of different spreads offered by brokers for a particular currency pair by making trades.

Different spreads imply a gap between the bid and ask prices. Meaning, they can buy and sell pairs to make more money.

What does this mean in English?

Place lots of small bets on different tactics, channels, platforms, and mediums so that you can evaluate their effectiveness in real-time.

Once you see specific trends developing (either positive or negative), you double down on the winners and cut your losses on the rest.

This way, you can test multiple experiments at once without the bias and lack of statistical significance that comes with A/B testing.

You get in and out fast. And you come out on the other side with specific campaigns to focus on rather than a mixed bag.

For example, you can’t always control the end result. But you can control the inputs that eventually get you there. And you can monitor, forecast, or predict where those will fall based on just a few days’ worth of performance.

Then, you can fine tune and adjust each ‘level’ accordingly to squeeze out the best results.

Adjusting Your Budget Based on Market Movement

The first banner advertisement ever appeared on HotWired in 1994.

Look at this gem:

Image Source

By today’s standards, it looks like a joke, right?

Is that tie-dye? Yes, yes it is.

But it gets worse:

See that subliminal “YOU WILL” message on the right???

Super subtle. Lord have mercy on us all.

But guess what?

This banner ad debuted with a click-through rate of 78%.

Yes, you read that right. Seventy. Eight. Percent.

If you told any marketer today that your banner ads are getting a 78% CTR, you’d get laughed out of the room.

Why? It’s inconceivable. It’s probably impossible in today’s world.

Today, the average display ad CTR is 0.05%.

Image Source

This all brings me back to one concept coined by Andrew Chen:

The law of shitty click-throughs:

All marketing strategies over time will result in shitty click-through rates.

As more and more people use these tactics, the market becomes saturated.

Users get sick of it, and they don’t click. Or they go banner blind.

You can see trends that follow this concept with almost any marketing activity.

Remember the good old days when Facebook organic reach was insane?

You paid nothing and reached thousands or millions of eager users.

Now, organic reach is almost nothing:

Image Source

As more and more marketers use the concepts put in place, it results in fewer and fewer results.

This is a perfect example of market movement and active management in currency trading.

You can’t hold certain trades forever and expect exponential performance.

Just because something is generating an insane ROI now, doesn’t mean you can ride it off into the sunset.

Markets are constantly shifting, just like marketing tactics.

What was hot one day (banner ads) isn’t now.

If you don’t adjust your strategy based on analytic research and forecasts, you risk declining performances associated with passive management.

Passive management is when you sit idly by and attempt to cruise to the finish line on your current strategy.

Active management relies on analytical performance data over time to spot trends and make informed decisions about what needs to change.

If you notice a decline in organic reach on Facebook, you probably shouldn’t be dumping your campaign dollars into it.

Unfortunately, us marketers (including me) fall into this trap more often than we’d like to admit.

You log in to Google AdWords or Analytics and see some great conversion data:

Your plans are working as you’d hoped.

But that doesn’t mean you can sit back and let the good times roll.

Sure, you can do that for a little bit. But over time, as markets, tactics, and consumers shift, you’ve gotta take an active role in managing campaigns.

Adjust based on trends.

A great way to do this is by analyzing specific topics on Google Trends:

Or even keeping up to date with the latest studies on popular marketing tactics by conducting a basic Google search:

Stay up-to-date with market movement and look at the underlying trends or patterns. Because when people are blogging about it, tweeting it, favoriting it, or liking it, it’s already too late.

Be Cautious in a Bull Market

When everything is running smoothly, it’s referred to as a bull market.

Investor confidence and financial optimism are at an all-time high.

On the surface, everything is running like a well-oiled machine.

Unemployment is low. The economy’s GDP is growing steadily. Stocks are rising.

And your marketing tactics are getting more traction.

But with all of this surface-based optimism comes serious potential side effects:

It now becomes difficult to predict potential shifts and trends or when tactics might change.

Facebook’s organic reach was booming just a few years ago. Until, of course, it didn’t.

Image Source

Now? Good luck. We’ve crapped out.

There is actually a pretty easy explanation for it. Simple supply vs. demand.

User growth is slowing while the number of content pieces has exploded exponentially. Too much supply, not enough demand.

Guess what’s going to repeat now on Instagram?

Right now it’s the place to be for your content. Just give it a minute.

And don’t get swept up by the bull market.

Find your own Big Short

Have you ever seen The Big Short?

If not, I highly recommend it. It’s a great movie.

Not just because it’s an incredible, intense account of the 2005 housing crisis.

Mainly because it features Steve Carell:

via GIPHY

Inspirational as always, Prison Mike.

In all seriousness, it’s a great movie that heavily relates to digital marketing.

The main concept of the movie was based on the true story of Michael Burry, a hedge fund manager who shorted the housing crisis of 2005.

He believed there was a housing bubble, leading him to short sell and bet against the banks who thought he was a chump, taking his deals like candy.

The idea of short selling is motivated by the belief that a security’s price will decline, enabling it to be bought back at a lower price point for maximum profit.

And people thought Michael (Burry, not Prison) was insane.

Who in their right mind bets against the housing market when prices are nearly doubling year after year?

But Burry noticed a few troubling trends. He saw that subprime home loans were in danger of defaulting. And many adjustable rate mortgages with balloon payments were all adjusting around the same time.

He decided to throw more than one billion dollars into credit default swaps.

It’s safe to say that the banks weren’t too happy in the end.

Here’s the moral of the story:

Very few people believed him. But Burry discovered the mystical unicorn that most marketers strive to find.

The main point as it relates to marketing campaigns is this:

You need to find your own big short.

Your own diamond in the rough that you can tap into before anyone else.

Your own display ad invention that generates a 78% CTR.

Finding the tactic that brings your conversions up by 10x.

Sounds wonderful. But you know it’s not easy. Because it hasn’t been blogged about or shared at conferences just yet.

But examples of it do already exist in the marketing world today.

For example, Brian Dean of Backlinko raised the link-building bar with his skyscraper technique.

He took a spin on a classic link-building tactic that increased his search traffic by 110% in just two weeks.

Image Source

On top of a massive increase in traffic, he generated countless backlinks from thousands of different referring domains:

referring domains from backlinko blog postImage Source

He effectively took his link-building strategy to the next level by going against the grain.

He didn’t sit back and ride the wave of guest blogging or other outdated, declining strategies.

He found his own big short.

While small marketing tactics like A/B testing and creating new ads or creative for your campaigns is a step in the right direction, it isn’t the end-all-be-all. Small bets don’t move the needle.

They merely help you figure out if you’re on the right track (or not). And help to show you when it’s time to go all-in.

Conclusion

Managing marketing campaigns is a stressful task.

Big, splashy, high-budget campaigns have high expectations. Bosses and clients expect big, lofty performance to go with it.

Money can get away from you fast if you aren’t careful.

Even worse, you can get so caught up in data that you miss the right trends.

Trends that tell you which aspects of your campaign are winning and which are losing.

Instead of flying blind or crossing your fingers, think like a financial currency trader.

Analyze the data with a currency arbitrage mindset. Keep up with market movement by taking an active management role in your campaigns. Be cautious in a bull market when everyone’s saying the same things.

And don’t be afraid to bet big when the time comes.

social media tactics
Social Media Tactics That Can Increase Your Conversion Rates

“Wash. Condition. Rinse. Repeat.” Sound familiar? It’s a common theme for those talking about a routine systematic process. Whenever you settle into a life routine and feel comfortable it feels like our life is being run on autopilot.

For cerrtain things in our lives, this works well. However, for others it just doesn’t. When life feels like it’s being ran on autopilot we become complacent and when you become complacent you forget to look for improvements. Perhaps your homes exterior would look better without if you cut the grass more than once every other week, but if you never stop to question your routine, you will keep doing the same thing over and over again. You might think to yourself, so what?  I’m happy though. True, but the problem doesn’t involve your happiness, it has to do with personal development. Growth as a person. Being on autopilot causes you to be stagnant.

Now, lets apply the same logic to your brands social media tactics. It’s easy to continually repeat the tactics that have worked well for you up till this point, generating just enough buzz to keep you hooked on the social feeds and what’s happening on Facebook.

More than likely, you are  just going through the daily motions without any consideration to how you could more effectively use your social media tactics to really soar conversion rates.

When we’ve been using the same social media tactics for years the impact you once had starts to level off. When this occurs, it’s absolutely necessary to review and revamp your marketing goals and make sure that your social media tactics are consistently increasing conversion rates, building your brand awareness, and bringing in new leads and sales.

1. Pick 1 or 2 Social Channels And Share Video Content

The truth of the matter is is that Internet users are addicted to video content, and that’s great news for digital marketers.

Data indicates that all Facebook users added together consumes around 100 million hours of video every day! Around 80% of Twitter users consume video content. Digital Marketers still have great results with LinkedIn Video, which was introduced in August 2017 which allows its users to introduce themselves, explain their professional credentials, and/or connect and engage with those that they’re not connect with already.

If you want to increase conversion rates on social media, double down on the channels that are already working for you. For example, if you see more engagement on Twitter than you do on LinkedIn, it’s a good idea to direct your efforts on Twitter.

After we saw higher engagement with Facebook videos, especially the one about the three essential ​WordPress plugins for websites, we narrowed ​our targeting ​to ​people ​that are ​interested ​in ​WordPress ​as a ​software ​and ​those ​who ​work ​in ​IT ​industry such as the ​web ​developers ​or ​freelancers. As the result, we’re able to ​reach ​more ​potential ​customers ​and ​generated ​immediate page ​likes ​and ​engagements, increasing ​the ​average ​daily ​registrations by 71%.

2. Use Conversion Oriented Social Sharing Buttons

Many publishers simply work hard to create content and trust that readers will figure out how to share their content. However, it’s easy for publishers to integrate compelling social sharing buttons onto their blogs– and these easy-to-click buttons help drive virality.

That’s why it’s crucial for publishers to optimize their social sharing buttons to drive more content engagement. But before we get into the tactics, let’s talk about what makes a good social sharing button in the first place:

  • Clarity. Social sharing buttons should be both easy to spot and understand. Remember those “Try me!” toys in the toy store? Those are great examples of buttons with clarity. All you have to do to have fun is press the button. Don’t make users work to share your stuff.
  • Non-interference. Social media buttons that interfere with the content tend to get on our nerves. Users will have no qualm sharing your content if they think it’s worthy of sharing — your job is to make it easy to share and the sharing button doesn’t get in the way of the content.
  • Strategic placement. What do we mean by “strategic”? You should place your social media buttons just at the moment someone feels compelled to share your quality content. Don’t jump the gun or make users search for a long time for your buttons, only to finally give up.

Depending on your specific blog and its graphic style, you’ll likely want to choose between two types of social buttons: inline or sticky share buttons. The choice is ultimately a matter of your own strategy and preference, but here’s an overview of each type:

  • Inline share buttons are arranged together, which makes them easy to sort and insert into your content without interfering. When you hear “inline,” think “inline roller skates”–where the wheels are arranged neatly together.
  • Sticky share buttons are a little more interactive. For example, they can include a floating sidebar or a floating banner. As the user scrolls down, the buttons follow along, without getting in the way of the reading experience along the way.

Below, you’ll see examples: first, inline buttons arranged neatly together for a graphically-satisfying result that makes its presence clear:

social media tactics use visually appealing social share buttons to attract more attention

 

Your choice? Simple. Pick the style that suits your site the best.

3. Add Value By Engaging with Other in Social Forums

When it comes to social forum sites, you’re looking at three main contenders: Reddit, Quora, and Inbound. Each of these sites is full of active communities that are chatting, sharing, and getting support.

If you participate on these sites, you’ll get more attention on your brand. Here’s a great example of a Quora answer that shot to the top because of the time and insight shared in the answer:

Social Media Tactics That Can Increase Your Conversion Rates

If you have read this Quora marketing guide, you’ll remember the site gives you exposure to 1.5 million monthly viewers so you stand a good chance of drawing more attention to your site. If even a fraction of those eyes want to check out more about you and what you do, the investment you’ve made in sharing value online will pay off.

4. Continuously Split Test Your Social Ads

Are you thinking like a data-driven marketer? If not, you should. You need to analyze data to figure out which platforms performs the best in driving brand awareness, engagement, and ultimately conversions.

A key component of data analysis is A/B testing. Perform A/B tests on your social ads to find out which version resonates more with your audience. On most of the social media platforms, you can invest a relatively small amount of money to gain insights that could generate huge returns. Facebook is big on promoting its own A/B testing platform, which means that most of the work is already done for you.

Not sure you want to spend any money on social A/B testing just yet? You can even use strategies to test your Facebook posts without putting a single penny down.

5. Consider Exactly How Your Audience Buys on Social Media

Given the variance in demographics of different social media platforms, it’s not surprising to see that some products sell better on one platform than another. Some sales processes are built for the platform. Others…well, they’ll take a while.

For example, an email service provider may not capture many direct sales from Twitter, but that doesn’t mean it can’t build brand awareness and long-term name recognition. On the other hand, when Kylie Jenner announces a new lip kit on social media, she can expect instant sales.

The bottom line? Understand the sales process of your audience and create a social media strategy tailored to the demographic of each platform.

6. Use Emotionalilty to Beef Up Headlines

According to CoSchedule, there are three headline formats that perform particularly well. These can be used as headline for your blog posts, and can then be used on social media to increase conversions.

  1. How to {Do Something} That Will {Help You Experience Desired Result}
  2. {#} Ways to {Do Something} to {Produce Desired Result}
  3. What is the Best {Topic} That Will {Do Something Desirable}?

Social Media Tactics That Can Increase Your Conversion Rates

These headlines share a few things in common. First, they get to the point: there’s no doubt in what you can expect to get or learn when you read the post. Second, they take on the customer’s perspective — some of them even sound like keyphrases that customers and readers are entering as they search for your solutions.

When it comes to headlines, start from the customer’s perspective. Think about what will resonate most with them, and you’ll rarely go wrong.

7. Play Nice With Others

No one wants to follow a social media robot online. Follow this golden rule: be the kind of social media account you would want to follow. For example:

  • Participate. Tag those you’ve quoted and mentioned when you share on social. You won’t only share insights with your audience, but you’ll earn some brownie points along the way.
  • Curate content. Think of your social media like a blog. Promote the work of other companies if you think a link is something your audience might want to check out. Some people will follow you online just because you’re so good at finding interesting tidbits and links.
  • Give, give, give. Infographics, statistics, insights, stories–if you can provide something that your followers will find valuable, make sure you share it. After all, social media is a two-way street: don’t just promote your company and forget to give valuable information to readers.

8. Use Social Media as a Primary Support Channel

Did you know that in the last two years, customer service interactions on Twitter have increased 250%? That’s a lot of people asking for help on social media.

Today’s social media user expects your service to be timely and responsive, even in matters of customer support. Why not give them what they want? Send personalized and timely replies on social media, even if it’s simply to direct someone to the right customer support channel.