James has to acknowledge Charley’s diverse talents and his influence on the podcast’s production quality. He credits Charley for the improvements in camera and sound deck, the current overall look and sound of the show.
Today, however, their real focus is on Charley’s expertise in paid ads, specifically ad campaign types, lead magnets and intent. Given that online marketing is ever-changing, it’s of great value to know what’s working now, and that’s what James and Charley will tackle.
They’ll talk about the paid ads strategy Charley uses to get stellar results for his clients.
They’ll discuss whether paid ads on TikTok are worth pursuing, and for whom.
And Charley will share a slew of effective lead magnet examples for the benefit of James and listeners.
Table of contents
1. A skillset that came in very handy
2. If you could pick Charley’s brain…
3. Considering that platforms change
4. The businesses that do well on TikTok
5. Taking into account result compression
6. The environment we move in changes
7. A constant need for innovation
8. The kinds of campaigns you can have
9. Unpacking the lead magnet campaign
10. A good lead magnet for James
11. The diagnostic/review/audit campaign
12. More lead magnet examples
13. Something in the context of surfing
14. What is the intent of your strategy?
15. How Charley captures leads for his agency
A skillset that came in very handy
Charley actually credits James for advising him to focus on running ad campaigns, a skill he had a knack for. This suggestion led Charley to create a successful ad agency that he later sold.
Afterward, the rising trend in video podcasting inspired Charley to form a media agency focused on that medium.
Charley realized that his expertise in paid marketing could be useful in growing video podcast audiences. He reintegrated this skill into his work, which resulted in powerful growth for his own and his clients’ video podcasts.
The combination of high-quality content and paid promotion, according to Charley, is like “petrol in a fire,” an effective formula for success in the digital content world.
Charley reflects on how his past experiences and abilities have complemented each other. His knowledge in paid ads, combined with a knack for recruitment and team building, helped him form a powerful agency with a team of around 50. This combination of skills, he and James believe, is not easy to replicate, and it has certainly helped Valher Media stay ahead in the ever-evolving digital marketing world.
If you could pick Charley’s brain…
James is interested in learning from Charley’s extensive client experiences and understanding what strategies are working best in the current digital marketing landscape.
If someone wanted to glean insights from Charley in various fields – membership sites, agencies, services, e-commerce stores, or software – what could be the gist of their probing?
Personally, considering Charley’s vast knowledge from managing his agency, his team, and numerous clients, James would like to know the ideal campaigns to kick off if one were starting from scratch. He asks Charley about his dream rollout for a campaign.
Considering that platforms change
Charley explains that people have common misconceptions about paid traffic. First and foremost, he stresses the importance of understanding its dynamic nature.
Platforms evolve, says Charley, and strategies that were effective in the past may not be viable today because of these changes. He uses the example of Facebook’s page like campaigns, which were once a great method for business growth but are less so now due to alterations in the platform’s operation.
Charley brings up TikTok as an emerging platform that’s gaining traction. James is not a fan of TikTok, but Charley says that personal opinions do not dictate the success or potential of a platform, and James has to agree.
Charley reveals he and his team have been achieving significant results on TikTok and have even reached gold-tier agency status on the platform.
Being adaptable and open to new platforms, says Charley, can provide unique opportunities for businesses.
TikTok, he mentions, is eager to attract advertisers, and their proactive approach to agencies that spend significantly on the platform could offer advantages to certain businesses.
The businesses that do well on TikTok
And what are these businesses? Charley mentions three particular areas where he has seen TikTok success: career change services aimed at millennials or younger demographics, the finance industry, and hobby niches such as food, cycling, and fishing.
Charley highlights that people use TikTok to actively consume and engage with content, distinguishing it from platforms like Facebook or Twitter, which are more scroll-based and distractionary.
Touching on the evolution of digital platforms, Charley mentions YouTube has now introduced short ads, seemingly in response to TikTok’s success. He and James agree on the constant dynamism of these platforms, emphasizing that success comes to those willing to adapt to the changes.
This suggests, says James, that many courses and training materials can quickly become outdated in the fast-paced world of digital marketing.
Taking into account result compression
Charley introduces the concept of “result compression,” a term he uses for the diminishing returns that often occur in marketing strategies over time. He uses the example of a Facebook group strategy he implemented a year ago which was initially very effective, but gradually declined in its performance.
Charley suggests this is a natural occurrence in digital marketing, that indicates the need for constant innovation and adaptability in the face of shifting algorithms and audience behaviors.
Listener, says Charley, need to be aware of the signals of result compression in their own campaigns, using this as a trigger to reassess and potentially revamp their strategies.
The environment we move in changes
Aside from platform changes, environmental changes also impact marketing strategies. Charley points out that the current global situation is vastly different from before, leading to uneven impacts across industries. While some sectors, like finance, continue to thrive, others may be struggling due to these changes.
Charley further underscores the importance of marketing strategies that reflect current environmental contexts. For instance, promoting a travel tour during a pandemic would likely not yield positive results, regardless of the quality of the marketing. This highlights the need to consider the right timing and relevance of one’s promotions.
Taking a client from the coaching sector as an example, Charley illustrates how a shift in marketing strategy in response to the environment can yield success. The client switched their focus from business growth to hiring the right team and surviving recessions, which resonated more with their audience in the current context.
A constant need for innovation
James stresses the importance of adaptability and innovation in managing a paid traffic agency. He believes that having a solid system for ad creation, platform navigation, client billing, and reporting results can let a business effectively pivot to suit any prosperous platform or client base.
James and Charley discuss how perceptions of reality may vary greatly. While some struggle to pay bills, others are figuring out where to allocate their surplus business revenue. This points to a need to recognize prosperous market niches and adapt one’s business model to better serve these sectors.
James emphasizes his commitment to continuous innovation, which he views as crucial for his business’s survival. He advises against becoming overly dependent on a single source or becoming trapped in a one-way path. Instead, he urges thoughtful consideration and collaboration when deciding which direction to take a business, as this decision can be quite challenging, especially for those new to advertising on various platforms.
It’s important, says James, to have help in running ads, given the complex and dynamic nature of today’s advertising platforms. He also mentions the value of having an excellent offer or piece of content, and using paid ads to enhance and distribute it across various platforms.
The kinds of campaigns you can have
James views campaigns, particularly those involving lead magnets, as “on-ramps” that gradually bring potential customers up to speed with a company’s primary offering. The effectiveness of these campaigns depends on the relevance and appropriateness of the transitional path offered to the customers.
What strategies have worked well for Charley’s clients when using paid ads to onboard customers to their products or services?
Charley talks about running dual campaign strategies, which would have similar offerings but are different in nature. This strategy, however, may not be well-suited for e-commerce, and is better applied to sectors such as education, services, and software as a service (SaaS).
Unpacking the lead magnet campaign
Charley discusses the concept of a lead magnet campaign. Using Facebook as an example, he suggests offering a downloadable resource as a link-building strategy.
The current economic environment makes this a cost-effective time for list-building on platforms like Facebook. The key is that the lead magnet should be well-correlated to what your business actually does, to grow and nurture a potential client list.
James raises a concern about the nature of the lead magnet. If the magnet teaches a person how to do what the service provides, it could negate the need for the service. It’s crucial, therefore, to decide how much to reveal in the lead magnet, balancing between providing value and not giving away so much that it makes the service unnecessary.
The lead magnet should identify a need, but not fully meet it, to encourage the potential client to seek out the service.
Charley agrees that thought and intention should be given to the content of the lead magnet. If a lead magnet is hollow and provides no value, it could negatively affect subsequent interactions with the business. A valuable and resourceful lead magnet, on the other hand, would help build a strong foundation for future interactions.
The lead magnet should ideally solve a problem and be useful to the potential client, setting the stage for a better experience with the business.
A good lead magnet for James
What of James’s book, that he actually gives away? Might that not be providing too much value?
Charley feels a book might not be the perfect lead magnet for promoting a membership, as it is too broad and general. James shares that for him, a multi-email campaign where he breaks down a complex topic into bite-size videos has proven successful, with around 68% to 70% of people going through all the emails.
Charley proposes a different type of lead magnet for James — the “100K Membership Blueprint.” The blueprint would be very aligned to the outcome people want when they interact with James’s business.
This lead magnet would offer clear guidance and specific steps to build a membership business, with potential case studies included. After learning about the possibilities and finding value in the blueprint, potential clients may seek further help from James’s membership.
James likes the idea, and mentions he has a membership course available to the public. Listeners are welcome to reach out to him if they are interested.
A lead magnet should ideally lead to nurturing the potential client towards a sale, either through a setting team or sales team. To that end, Charley emphasizes the importance of choosing the right lead magnet.
For agencies, he again advises against lead magnets that teach clients how to do the very thing the agency is offering as a service. Instead, magnets should provide case studies and proof of how the service can work for them.
James agrees and suggests a diagnostic or review process as a possible lead magnet for service agencies, which works well in starting the communication process and assessing potential clients’ needs.
The diagnostic/review/audit campaign
On the topic of lead generation, Charley discusses two types of campaigns: list growth and conversion campaigns. The former serves to expand the audience, while the latter converts leads into sales.
Charley suggests offering a lead magnet that educates potential clients, such as a consumer buyer guide, before moving on to a conversion campaign. The conversion campaign can involve a diagnostic, review, or audit, which works particularly well for service providers.
For instance, an ad agency can offer a guide on “how to hold your ad agency accountable” as a lead magnet, followed by an audit of the client’s current ad strategy. This combination allows for audience growth and a transition into a more interactive engagement.
The interaction with the team after the lead magnet can be free or paid, depending on the niche and the business size. If the business can handle a high volume of interactions, offering the service for free can be advantageous. Conversely, for a smaller business where the calendar may be tight, charging for this interaction can ensure only the most serious and high-quality leads are pursued.
Charley underlines again the importance of an effective lead magnet. It should be aimed at people with a specific problem that the business can solve. The lead magnet should attract potential clients by confirming their problem and promising a solution, thereby improving the chances of conversion.
More lead magnet examples
An example of a successful lead magnet Charley knows of is a wealth tracker marketed by a property agent. It can be argued, he says, that a potential client interested in such a tool is likely interested in building and tracking wealth, signifying strong intent.
The second part of this concept is a portfolio review, or a case study showing progress from point A to B. These are effective follow-up strategies, nurturing potential clients who have downloaded the wealth tracker.
Software tools are very effective as lead magnets, says James, pointing out how spreadsheets can be turned into interactive tools to attract leads.
Another example Charley provides is from the trade and contractor industry. Here job interview question lists and job ad templates serve as lead magnets, he says, as they indicate an immediate hiring need. This kind of intent-focused lead magnet is seen as more effective because it attracts quality leads that are more likely to convert.
For a conversion strategy, Charley suggests a comprehensive guide on hiring and training, which is directly connected to the initial lead magnet. The entire process is strategically designed so that the nurturing campaign pushes people towards the conversion campaign.
This method works not only through ad promotion but also through the existing email list, making it incredibly powerful.
James and Charley, however, stress that focusing on quality over quantity is more important for email lists. They argue that a smaller, more responsive list of people who are genuinely interested in doing business is far more valuable than a larger, broader one.
While large email lists could still be beneficial for selling advertising space, this tends to be the exception rather than the rule.
Something in the context of surfing
Charley suggests a potential niche within the surfing market, focusing on the needs of taller or bigger individuals. He proposes creating a “tall guy’s guide to surfing” as a means of providing value and attracting a specific group within the broader surfing community. This guide could include tips and advice tailored to these larger surfers, and possibly be paired with products designed specifically for their needs, such as larger surfboards and tailored surf training.
James, agrees, saying that this sub-niche can form its own community, with members sharing similar experiences and needs. This community can provide a sense of belonging and cater to the specific needs of bigger surfers, something not usually addressed in general surfing guides or products. James remarks on the strong handshakes he receives from the fellow “big guys” who buy his surfboards, underscoring the camaraderie within this niche.
What is the intent of your strategy?
Charley highlights the importance of targeting specific, intent-driven markets to increase the value of a brand’s customer list, for example targeting older golf players who have unique needs due to decreased flexibility and strength.
He emphasizes that intent is a key aspect of this strategy, as it can enhance alignment with business goals. This approach calls for creating content that appeals directly to a specific audience’s needs, to deepen the relationship between a brand and its customers.
James supports this point. Intent, he says, is actually the most significant takeaway of this episode. He discourages spending time on audiences that fall outside the ‘bullseye’ of a brand’s target market, arguing that focusing on the core market is far more valuable.
James criticizes brands that artificially inflate their follower numbers, saying that such tactics ultimately backfire, as these brands appear inauthentic and lack genuine audience engagement.
Charley shares an example of a poorly targeted lead magnet that advertised to people lacking money to buy real estate. The approach has a big problem: the intent of making a sale, to people who don’t have money, makes it unlikely the desired outcome will be achieved.
James and Charley agree that lead magnets with poor intent, such as a ‘win an iPad’ competition, result in lists of people with little to no interest in the brand itself, thereby reducing the value of the list.
To round off, Charley and James discuss the importance of patience and a long-term nurturing strategy. People’s circumstances change over time, and often it can take months before they are ready to make a purchase.
James uses the analogy of seasonal fruit, suggesting that potential customers will ‘ripen’ and become ready to buy when the time is right. He and Charley both stress that the nurturing cycle should be adapted according to the nature of the market. They also agree on the continued relevance of video sales letters or long-form videos, emphasizing their usefulness in gaining quality leads when done right.
How Charley captures leads for his agency
Charley’s agency, Valher Media, uses a unique lead generation strategy based on reviewing clients’ advertising practices. The process involves a thorough diagnostic of a client’s current advertising strategies, providing insights they might not have recognized themselves.
The review particularly focuses on examining the client’s media and advertising integrations, identifying any potential areas of opportunity that could be capitalized on to improve the client’s ad performance.
Charley stresses that while ads sometimes fail to yield results, this shouldn’t deter businesses from investing in them. Such failures could be due to numerous reasons, including outdated strategies, unsuitable environments, or other complex factors.
Charley likens advertising to food, suggesting that a few bad experiences wouldn’t prevent you from continuing to eat. He notes that Facebook and Google’s continued existence is testament to the efficacy of ads.
To further assist clients, Charley offers a review service for businesses that are running ads but are not satisfied with the results. This service provides a second set of eyes to evaluate the strategy, and potentially pinpoint areas of improvement that the client or their agency might have overlooked.
The review can also be beneficial to businesses that have run ads in the past and are looking to revitalize their advertising strategies.
Charley emphasizes that when done correctly, advertising can scale a business immensely. He encourages businesses to not give up on ads, stating that the landscape is more exciting than ever.
Clearly, says James, ads are working for some people, and just as clearly Charley has an idea what’s working well through his agency.
If you’d like Charley to audit your ad campaign, check out the service at valhermedia.com/review.
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