Author: Shane Yuen

Let’s face it – there are tons of digital marketing agencies in Singapore, probably more than we ever need.

You might have been on the end of cold calls and cold emails that blatantly pitch SEO or SEM services. These generic, no-value pitches are probably hung up on all the time.

But when you really want to take your company to the next level by outsourcing your digital marketing, how do you pick the best digital marketing agency to work with?

We have come to realise that good digital marketing agencies share 6 factors in common.

Simply run through this 6-factor checklist to pick the best digital marketing agency for your company: 

1. Focus on Returns 

At the end of the day, a digital marketing agency’s role is to help you grow your business. There is no way around this fact. Creative artwork, cool graphics, nice user-interface, funny posts and etc are good, but they shouldn’t be the focus of an agency.

You don’t hire a marketing agency to help you spend your spare cash. You hire a marketing agency to help you make more money. 

Therefore, a good digital marketing agency should always put your business objectives and return on investments as the sole priority. This means doing possible sales projections, understanding your margins, and gearing their strategies towards helping you make more money.

Unfortunately, very few digital agencies in Singapore do this. And that’s what makes Canny digital different – our entire company is founded upon the premise of generating a positive ROI for our clients.

2. Accessibility

We know that you want to get access to the people who are running your marketing campaigns as much as possible.

There’s no such thing as Monday to Friday, 9-5 anymore. Although many companies generally do not work on weekends, a good agency should reply to emails, text messages and phone calls, as soon as possible within reasonable boundaries. They should understand that sometimes, urgent matters can arise that need attention immediately, and they should be ready to respond fast.

3. Accountability

You need your agency to do what they say they are going to do. That means bringing in walk-in traffic, increasing your brand awareness, increasing the number of appointments that you have etc.

At Canny, we put a high emphasis on deadlines and working with the client’s budget to achieve their goals. We also constantly update clients on our work progress and the campaign results, because we are interested in your business growth.

4. Advice and Leadership

You want your agency to lead and give advice as a trusted expert.

You need an agency that proactively brings you ideas, listens to you intelligently, and ask you insightful questions. Order takers and “yes men” are not good enough. If an agency is just executing your ideas, why not hire a full-time marketing person in-house so that you can monitor him/her 9 hours a day.

At Canny Digital, we provide strategic advice on marketing. We pride ourselves on being leaders and giving sound advice to our clients for all our projects. We never take things at face value and are not afraid to voice out when we feel there is a better way.

5. Cost Effectiveness  

The best digital marketing agencies are usually not cheap because they do high quality work that gets results. And like all things in life, you pay for what you get. 

But this doesn’t mean they are extremely expensive either.

It’s all about cost-effectiveness and good value for money.

A good digital marketing agency should advise and help you spend every dollar wisely. It’s about having a big picture vision so that all of the money/efforts are investing in the right areas.

6. Business Acumen

In today’s world, marketing touches every aspect of a business. You should expect your digital marketing agency to understand your business as much as possible. You need someone at the table who can recognize and solve business problems.

Having business acumen and understanding is a big part of what makes Canny Digital different. We always aim to understand our client’s business deeply and tailor our solutions to achieve your business objectives

If you are looking to hire a digital marketing agency to help your company grow, you will never go wrong by running them through this 6-factor checklist.

 

Anyone can run a Google ad. Just search how to do it on Youtube.

Anyone can run a Facebook ad. Again, you can find out how to on Youtube.

It’s the same for running Facebook ads. In fact, Facebook even offers free videos on how to set up your own Facebook marketing campaign.

The point is that anyone can run their own digital marketing if they put the time and effort in learning how to do it.

But why do so many digital marketing campaigns fail if it’s so simple that you can do it yourself?

The reason why so many digital marketing campaigns fail is precisely because many agencies just simply help you create and upload a Google or Facebook ad. 

At the end of the month, they then report to you the number of impressions and clicks you get for your respective keywords.

This is an extremely limiting view of digital marketing. 

So limiting that, as mentioned, you can actually do it yourself. Save yourself thousands of dollars. 

But for campaigns that are wildly successful, there is a key difference. Assuming factors like brand recognition and industry are equal, the one key factor that determines success and failure is… 

Strategy.

But what really is strategy?

Strategy is defined as a plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall goal. 

Creating and uploading a Google ad is not a strategy. It’s just manual labor. You can learn how to do it yourself.

Strategy in digital marketing or lead generation mostly, consists of 3 key parts:

  1. Brand positioning – How will you stand out from your competitors? What messaging will you use? 
  2. Lead magnet – A lead magnet is basically what you will offer to in exchange for a new lead’s name, email address, and even mobile phone number. This is one of the most effective ways to lower your cost-per-lead. Common forms of lead magnets are first time trials or discounts, free previews, free consultation, and etc. The decision to pick the right lead magnet is key in attracting qualified leads. You don’t want freebie seekers.
  3. Lead conversion sales process – When you generate new leads, do you have a proper system to effectively convert these leads into actual sales? How are you going to maximise profits for customers that buys your products/services?

These 3 things when done right, will make your campaign successful and give you the positive return on investment (ROI) you are looking for.

Without these 3 things, your campaign will likely be underperforming to its full potential. 

Sadly, many digital marketing agencies’ view of a digital marketing campaign is to simply send traffic to a generic home page or product page. 

At Canny Digital, we pride ourselves on providing superior digital marketing strategy so that your campaign has a much higher chance of being successful.

If you’re looking to take your digital marketing campaign to the next level, and achieve various success similar to that of our clients’, then simply call 6966 7424 to speak to one of our consultants today.

Based on losing $30,000 of personal savings, tripling our revenue in 6 months, interviews with fast-growing Silicon Valley companies, and entrepreneurs who built $20,000,000 companies

I’ve been really bothered recently by a myriad of companies and “profit strategists” trying to teach unknowing entrepreneurs and SMEs really short-term, non-strategic business lessons.

Hey, I’m not a “local business guru” or “Singapore’s highly sought after profit strategist” or any of that crap.

I’m just an average guy who happens to know some things about building a business through hard lessons and losing a lot of money in trial and error. There are many people more experienced and more successful than I am, and in no way am I claiming that I am a business veteran. 

But the reason I’m writing this blog post is that many of these “business gurus” who are publicly making ridiculous claims are teaching really short-term stuff that doesn’t really help.

Some (read: maybe 1 or 2) of these “gurus” really know what they’re talking about, but most of them, from my experience and opinion, are full of hot air.

How do I know this?

Firstly, I am highly connected to the U.S and some venture capitalists over in Silicon Valley. I have learnt priceless lessons from them in building real companies. Most of what local business gurus teach are completely short term and lack proper strategy. That’s why students who attend these business guru courses never achieve the success they’re looking for.

Secondly, my partner and I started our company as two 26-year-old fools with just a low 5-figure sum, struggled for 12 months, had countless sleepless nights, and basically had to learn everything the hard way. We were fortunate enough to get some informal mentorship by entrepreneurs who built companies to the $20,000,000 in revenue mark and that changed our perspective on everything. 

So with my limited business knowledge, I’d like to share 4 core truths I have learnt about building a company.

This is what I have learnt personally, so take it for what it’s worth.

Truth #1: There is no secret system, magic bullet, or template. There is only a proven process

Too many entrepreneurs and SMEs buy into grand promises, mostly due to impatience and lack of knowledge.

Don’t believe in the hype. There’s no secret system, there are no magic bullets, and there are no shortcuts. If there was, the people who are teaching you these secret systems should be Bill Gates already. They are not.

I’m a big believer of systems, but not secret systems.

There are no “plug and play email templates” or any other business templates that can work well for you.

Your brand is different; your business is different plain and simple. What works for someone else might not work for you. And besides, if you’re truly looking to build a big business, why would you want to copy someone else?

History has proven that pure copycats without any form of differentiation never succeed. Look at all the big companies you see today. They grew big because they had something unique and different to offer.

Using “templates” is the very mindset of a follower, not a leader. Let me give you an example of a “copywriting headline template” that won’t work.

A horrible copywriter once suggested a “headline template” that you can just plug and paste for your own business.

The headline went something like:

How to [fill in benefit] without [painful task] 

Examples:

  • How to get rich without working 
  • How to lose weight in 7 days without running or dieting

Hey sounds great right? Those are great headlines.

But the problem with this template is that your business must really provide the solution that you’re promising in the headline. Can you really help people lose weight without exercising or some form of dieting?

99% of the time, it’s all hype.

This type of teaching by local business gurus shows a very shallow way of thinking that is typical of a non-strategic, mediocre follower.

Unless you’re a start up with a truly innovative solution, this headline template will probably only serve to get your customer’s attention, but I don’t think you will be able to deliver what is promised in the headline. Instead of copying a template for business success, you should follow a proven process or framework.

The most proven process I know is to fully understand your customers, develop a strong positioning from day 1, and figure out how to generate leads consistently, predictably, and profitably over time.

This is an on-going process that takes time. A lot of time.

The fastest growing startups in Silicon Valley run 10 marketing experiments per week to find out what works and what does not work. And even for them it takes many months or years. 

They document their experiments down into a logbook to scientifically understand the thing factors that really result in business growth.

There is a process and framework, but not a template.

I’m not saying that all companies must do this. I’m saying this to highlight that fact that business growth is all about sticking to a process and framework of testing and learning. 

Again, this is all back to the fact that what works for other companies might not work for you and for your particular brand.

Truth #2: No business operates in a vacuum. Brand positioning is key

This is probably the number 1 reason most SMEs fail.

To understand this concept, you need to take a step back and understand a little about economics. In economics, there is the concept of Monopoly vs Perfect Competition.

A Monopoly is an entity that is seen as the only choice for its particular market. Take Google for example. When you think of a search engine, you just go to Google. There are no other choices. Yahoo and Bing are there but nobody really ever uses them.

Another example is Facebook. It’s the only social network you will ever use. No other choices.

As local business owners, you will very rarely create a monopoly. According to Peter Thiel, former CEO of Paypal, creating a monopoly only comes with proprietary technology, economies of scale, network effects, and branding.

This is usually not achievable for local businesses and 95% of businesses out there period. Most of us will find ourselves in the other end of the spectrum: Perfect Competition.

The world of Perfect Competition means that there are many companies fighting for the same market with similar offerings.

Profits will get diluted because customers have choice. Your business does not operate alone in a vacuum. You have tons of competitors, and you will make less money than monopolies. So in the world of perfect competition, you need to find and give your customers a reason why they should choose you.

And you achieve this with art and science of brand positioning.

95% of companies do not understand the concept of positioning. Needless to say, most business gurus have no clue about this. They might have heard of the concept, but they don’t truly understand it nor know how to execute it.

Brand positioning is basically the place in the customer’s mind that your company owns. 

What do your customers know you for? Customer service? Premium quality services at affordable prices? We know Apple for beautiful design, and easy to use interfaces. We know Nike for making stylish and high performance shoes for athletes.

These are the positions they own in our minds.

What position will you own in your customer’s mind? If you don’t have a strong brand position, what happens is you will get easily forgotten and always compared with your competitors on price.

If you can’t answer the question: Why should customers choose you over anyone else?

Then your customers have no reason to choose you do they? They should just choose your competitors or whoever is cheaper.

So how do you answer this question?

There is an advanced process to finding out the answer to this question which I share more at our live seminar here: www.canny.com.sg/seminar

Truth 3#: All great businesses have cracked the code to consistent and profitable lead generation

Many people don’t understand what a lead means. They think that a lead is just anyone. Every company listed in the yellow pages is not a lead. The database that you bought from a “lead generation” company does not mean it contains leads. 

A lead is a potential customer who has expressed an interest in your product or service. Someone who signs up for a discount voucher is a lead. Someone who requests for a free trial session or class is a lead. Someone who requests for a consultation is a lead.

From my experience, consistent, profitable lead generation solves most business problems.

Consistently is the key word here.

A lot of business gurus teach you tips and tricks for lead generation that is really short term and not consistent.

You need to build a lead generation machine. A machine that will allow you to never worry for not getting new leads ever again. Building this machine takes time.

A lead generation machine usually involves a combination of finding a niche, picking 1-2 main key channels in digital marketing, creating a positioning strategy, continuous tracking, and continuous learning. This is a process.

But once you figure it out, your company can finally scale and grow quickly. 

I’d like to elaborate a little on the importance of tracking and measuring your marketing.

Imagine not doing accounting for your business. You will have no idea where your cash ins coming in and going out. No business can function without proper accounting. Similarly, you cannot successful build a real business without understanding your numbers in marketing.

For all you know, you could be spending $2000 and making only $1000 as a result of that Google Adwords campaign.

You need to know how much you’re paying every month to generate how many new customers, how much that customer is worth to you, and etc. If you know that for every $1 that you pay, you eventually generate $2 back, then you have a machine that works.

Making the numbers work in your favor is what creates the machine.

I go more in depth on this here: www.canny.com.sg/seminar 

Truth #4: Consistency is everything

The main pattern I see with many new entrepreneurs is jumping from opportunity to opportunity. I’ve been guilty of this myself when I first started out. Sadly, this is a recipe for failure and I had to learn it the hard way by losing $30,000 in personal savings.

When we started out, we were a generic digital marketing agency that did everything for everyone.

You need to consistently sell one product category or service well for only one core target market. This is the way to get remembered and stand out.

When we changed our focused to running Facebook lead generation for retailers, our revenue tripled within three months.

You need to stay consistent in your marketing efforts too. 

When we started out, we tried everything. SEO, direct mail, cold calling, Facebook marketing, website design etc.

The result?

Nothing worked.

Why?

Because we didn’t do one thing consistently or long enough for results to start paying off. The key is to be consistent and stick with doing one thing long enough to determine whether it works or not.

Don’t jump from SEO to Google Adwords to Facebook in your marketing just because you spent $200 dollars and it doesn’t work. It doesn’t work now doesn’t mean it won’t work later. That’s because again, this whole business growth thing is a learning process.

We have had clients who worked with us and for the first 2 months, results were extremely poor.

But we stuck to our process and in the 3rd month, made some tweaks that helped the client generate 30 new customers in the first week.

Spending $200 on Facebook ads and seeing no results is not a big deal. The big deal is what can you learn from this failed campaign?

  • Was it because your promotion was poor?
  • Was it because you were targeting the wrong market?

Stay focused to the process and learn from failures. You need to learn about your business everyday.

When you commit to doing something consistently, learning from failure, eventually you will find the formula for your success.

So that’s my 4 truths for truly growing a company. I’m not a business guru in any sense, but these 4 truths have worked for me based on my personal experience.

I hope they can help you as well.

If you are interested in growing your company, find out about our upcoming live seminar here: www.canny.com.sg/seminar

I go to the gym quite often, about 3 times per week, for about 2 years now.

There’s a guy named John that I have seen at the gym for all this time. He goes just as often as I do.

He’s a relatively skinny guy, trying to build on some muscle. But for 2 years, his body has mostly remained the same. I still remember him always sharing with me about this new strength training method he learnt from Youtube, and this new diet program he’s trying out. 

It changes every two months. On top of that, his lifting form is bad and overall he’s just not doing the right things to build muscle.

For me, I’ve gained 7kg in muscle and lost at least 3kg of fat in about 8 months. I maintain where I’m at now.

So what made the difference? How did two people who go to the gym just as often, have drastically different results?

Well, John was working hard, but he was working hard on doing the wrong things and not sticking to something long enough to see it pay off. His weight lifting form was wrong, he wasn’t lifting heavy enough, and he wasn’t eating the right foods.

I work hard on the right things, made sure I lift the correct weights, correct form, and correct sets. In other words, I followed a proven strength-training framework that allows me to improve month after month. Every week, I know exactly what I’m supposed to do to achieve my goals.

I have a blueprint.

And it’s the same with growing your business.

Too often SMEs jump from tactic to tactic without having a proper strategy or framework that can lead to consistent growth. 

One day you try some Facebook tip, another day you try Google ads, etc. We call this spray and pray marketing. You try something for a while and hope that it works. If it doesn’t work after spending $500, then you stop.

This is a sure-fire recipe for failure.

Also consider this: If you do Facebook marketing or Google ads, so can your competitors. These are open platforms any business can use.

Doing these things won’t help you grow your business to the level you want it to be.

It is the strategy behind using these platforms and sticking to it long enough that will make the whole difference.

What you need is a proven marketing framework that can consistently and repeatedly generate long term sales growth.

When you have this, you control your destiny by knowing exactly how much your revenue can grow based on your resources. You will also have a clear blueprint on how to get there.

If you want the proven framework for growing your business faster for the long term, then go here: www.canny.com.sg/seminar

So you’re looking for an SEO agency with the promise of getting your website on the first page of Google.

Getting in front of your potential customers who are searching for your products/services is a wonderful thing, and you might be tempted to think that with these “Guaranteed SEO Packages”, you can rank on the first page and dominate your competitors. We are sorry to burst your bubble, but the real world of SEO is not as simple as you think.

SMEs like yourself have been lied to and cheated by SEO companies more than we can ever remember. Very few companies recoup their SEO investment. How do we know this? Simply from our years of being in the industry, information obtained from industry insiders, and having seeing the work done by unethical SEO agencies ourselves.

The 3 Dirty Truths that SEO Companies Don’t Want You To Know

Dirty Truth #1: Nobody can really guarantee results

Why? Because the only person who controls the search rankings is Google. Anyone who says they can guarantee rankings might as well start a different business and get their websites ranked up the first page every single time and make millions.

All these guarantee sales pitches are rubbish, and is simply a desperate tactic agencies use to get your money quickly. If you see an SEO agency who guarantees results, please run away. I personally know of digital agencies who faced lawsuits because they guaranteed results and did not deliver. Clients were angry and sued the agency. And this leads me to my next point…

Dirty Truth #2: Proper SEO does not come cheap

In order to execute a proper SEO campaign, one that can bring you long-lasting results, an agency must do a lot of things. These things are:

  • Writing high quality content on a regular basis 
  • Getting high quality backlinks to point to your website
  • Having an active social media presence (yes, social media and SEO are linked)
  • Fixing your website structure and design to be more SEO-friendly
  • Optimizing your website load speed (the faster the better)

and many more. Doing all these things require A LOT of effort. There is no way a proper SEO company can do all these work for $500 – $1000 per month. They would be making a huge loss at this price point.

So the only way to do SEO at this price point is to take short cuts. What they do is use blackhat methods (methods that try to cheat Google and game the system) that might get you banned from Google, or help you rank for easy-to-rank keywords that nobody is searching for.

For example, if you sell furniture, you can easily get the top spot on Google for a keyword like “antique furniture shop singapore ang mo kio”. But this long obscure keyword doesn’t even have any searches on Google. That means no one is searching for this keyword. Take a look at the screenshot:

no one is searching for your keyword on google

This data is pulled from Google Keyword Planner. It is a free tool that provided by Google that shows you the number of searches per month for your keywords. So yes, you got your keyword to the top, but that keyword literally gets you ZERO new customers because nobody is typing in those long useless terms.

Ranking for these obscure, no-searches keywords are super easy, and doesn’t require much effort on the SEO agency’s part. That’s how they keep the cost of your SEO packages low. If you want to rank for the most popular keywords, keywords that many people are searching for, then be prepared to pay around $1,200 – $2,500 per month, depending on the number of keywords you’re trying to rank and the competition you face.

Dirty Truth #3: Most SMEs are not suited to do SEO

Just take a look the search engine rankings yourself for any industry. Google favors brands over normal small-sized SMEs. Say you’re in the retail business. Brands like Zalora, Osim, Fortytwo, Zara, CottonOn and etc. They usually occupy the top spot for most keywords. This is because consumers trust big brands more than SMEs.

And Google’s mission is to provide it’s users with the most relevant and useful search experience; and these bigger brands are usually able to provide the most relevant results that the mass consumer market is looking for. This means that unless you become some sort of a brand name in your industry, you are fighting a long, uphill battle to reach the top.

Medium-big sized companies have full time writers, social media team, and in-house SEO experts executing proper SEO techniques for them every single day.

Do you think you have the budget to compete as a smaller sized SME? The likely answer is no. Having said that, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do SEO. Not all SEO companies are bad. In fact, there are many great SEO companies out there who do honest, legitimate SEO work that can truly help your company grow.

But make no mistake, they will not be your cheapest option because of the high quality work they do. You can do SEO if you have a decent budget and the ability to wait a longer time for sales to come in.

In other words, you should view SEO as a long term investment that will only start to pay off many months down the road, especially if you’re in a competitive industry. And besides, for SEO in competitive industries (i.e. finance, education, retail, health and beauty), there is no guarantee if you can ever reach the top spot (or first page) unless you truly have a big budget.

In a nutshell, is SEO right for your company?

If your company falls under any of these categories, don’t think about doing SEO:

  • startup
  • small business with limited funds who are in the finance/education/retail/health and beauty industry
  • need sales fast
  • need to test your idea

If your company falls in any of the above categories, then SEO will not be the solution for you. And please erase the idea that SEO is free traffic. It is not. It is a heavy investment that will only pay off later.

So if you want to grow your sales fast in a more affordable way, what’s a better alternative?

If you look along the digital marketing spectrum, you have Google Adwords, Facebook and Instagram, LinkedIn (for B2B), Youtube, and etc. The most cost-effective way to grow your company’s sales from our experience, is Facebook marketing.

With click prices as low as $0.05 per click (compared to a few dollars per click on Google), Facebook poses an extremely huge opportunity for SMEs to reach out to their target customers, BUT only if you know how to use it effectively. The screenshot below is a campaign that we did for one of our clients who runs a baking business. We got $0.05 per click (agencies usually get $0.25 – $0.45 per click) on the ad. On the first month, this client got 48 sales from their Facebook marketing campaign alone, with a $1,000 ad spend.

Imagine if they were to use Google Adwords to advertise for their baking class. How much would it cost them to acquire 48 sales? Let’s take a look at Google Keyword Planner’s data.

google clicks for baking

These are some of the keywords for baking classes. The suggested bid column shows the average price you have to pay per click for each of the keywords on Google. Let’s take the average click to be $1.50.

For every 100 clicks, client has to pay $150. The average conversion rate for a landing page is 2.35%. That means, for every 100 clicks, client will get 2.35 customers.

To get 48 customers, there needs to be 2,042 clicks to the landing page. 2,042 clicks X $1.50 = $3,063. Client would have to pay a whopping $3,063 for 48 sales from Google, compared to just $1,000 for 48 sales from Facebook marketing. Obviously Facebook marketing is the more cost effective option.

And that has been the case for most of our clients. They get immense ROI from the Facebook marketing campaigns that we run for them. At Canny Digital, we have been successfully helping SMES generate as much as $2,500,000 in sales from Facebook marketing campaigns.

Want to know how we do it?

I invite you to attend our flagship course that shows you how: www.canny.com.sg/seminar

An open letter to SME owners. Here is the most cost effective strategy to boost your sales this year.

Dear SME owners:

If this is something you can relate to:

“I’m not getting enough leads for my business. Operating costs are high, I can’t seem to grow my sales and I don’t have much control over it.”

Then I encourage you to read this article completely because it will matter a lot to you. The sentiments above is a problem many SMEs face today. Why is this so?

Here’s why:

As an SME owner, you have many competitors, be it bigger or smaller than yourself. So you try to beat your competitors everyday. 

You can run a Google ads campaign, but the truth is: so can your competitors. 

You can create a Facebook page: so can your competitors.

You do newspaper ads or hand out flyers: so can your competitors.

And the worst part? Some of your competitors can offer their products or services at a lower price or with a better offer.

So how can you compete?

This is a never-ending struggle for growth. The very simple reason why you are struggling to see the kind of sales growth you want to see, is in layman terms, due to lack of branding.

With proper branding, everything changes.

You see, the most successful local SMEs today all succeeded and flew ahead of their competitors because they have established a brand.

Think of companies like Yakun, BreadTalk, Osim, Tung Lok, Thai Express, Bakerzin, the list goes on. We all know these brands for something specific they do or stand for, and that is why they experience continued success till today no matter if new competitors enter the market.

“Woah branding… so expensive”

That is true. The usual branding activities offered by branding agencies cost 6 figures at least and most SMEs will not be able to afford them. But what if there was a solution to create branding more affordably? Like 5 times less the cost of a normal branding campaign?

As it turns out, there is. We call it strategic social media marketing.

I can understand that when you think about social media marketing, you think of things like posting random Facebook posts, and running a $50 Facebook ad now and then – things that even your mother can do for you.

STOP.

You are completely wrong. And if you continue to think that way, you will continue to experience slow sales growth. 

Here is the truth about social media or Facebook you need to know:

  1. Facebook is the most cost-effective branding tool on the planet due to its ability to consistently communicate with customers
  2. You can post graphics and videos that build your brand (pictures and videos capture attention and tell stories)
  3. You can run ads to exactly the people you want to target at any given time and generate customers on demand if done right (I know because I have helped SMEs generate over $1000,000 in sales from Facebook)
  4. You can find out who your best customers (the ones who pay you the most are), and reach out to these people at a lower cost

And you can do all of this without the budget of a big branding campaign. The important thing to keep in mind is that Facebook is a medium for communication with customers. 

And constant communication will allow you to build a power brand if you know what you are doing. If you don’t believe me think about all the brands you know. Why do you know these brands? 

Because you see and hear about them all the time! Usually for one specific thing they do or believe in. For SMEs, Facebook gives you this power – to appear in front of your customers all the time for a cheaper cost than ever before.

So how do you manage a Facebook page that builds your brand and generates sales automatically?

  1. You need to know how are you different from your competitors, and why customers should choose you
  2. You need to produce content frequently around your brand values and unique difference
  3. You need to spend some money promoting these content
  4. You need to spend some money running ads to sell your stuff

Yes, you still need to spend money. Do not think otherwise. Facebook needs to make money. So in order to succeed in Facebook you need to spend money. There’s no escaping it.

But the amount you spend can be a fraction of what it would cost to do a branding campaign without being much less effective.

Here is a concrete example.

M3 Studio is an interior design firm with 47,000 fans on Facebook. They get almost all their clients from Facebook. They post engaging content on Facebook about their work, and interior design tips at least twice a week.

And guess what this achieves in the mind of their clients?

They become interior design experts because their clients constantly get educated by them. And because they keep appearing in their client’s Facebook news feed, their clients think of M3 Studio any time they want to redesign their home. Just because they keep appearing with good content.

Education is the name of the game. Constantly educate, constantly post the right kinds of content, measure effectiveness, build trust, then sell your products.

Your customers will buy because they keep seeing you around and they trust you. 

It works.

This is probably the most cost effective way to build a brand in the digital world we live in today, will give you an edge over your competitors, and can grow your sales year after year.

If you found what I have shared interesting, then you might be interested in signing up for our flagship course here: www.canny.com.sg/seminar

Your customers’ attention spans are getting shorter and shorter these days. Their attention span can range between 1-5 seconds. That’s not a lot of time to capture your visitors’ attention.

Why is understanding your visitor’s attention span important?

Because when you’re doing social media marketing, you can be sure that your customer is not only checking out your Facebook page, but also your competitors’ Facebook page as well.

The customer will then look and compare Facebook pages, and stay on the pages that appeals to him or her.

So with the average attention span between 1-5 seconds, or even 10 seconds, you only have that time to make your visitors stay on your page.

How can you capture their attention in that short amount of time?

Three words:

Unique Value Proposition (UVP)

A UVP is a short statement about the unique value your company provides to your customers.

It is not a slogan or tagline.

Think of it as a short sentence that quickly tells customers how you are different, and why they should choose you. Some folks say that having a UVP doesn’t really matter. After all, most companies within the same industry offer pretty much the same services anyway, right?

Not so fast. In Hinge Marketing’s research, they’ve found that most of the high growth firms have a strong differentiator.

Your business can’t be a “me too” business. Offering everything to everyone just doesn’t work when you’re building a profitable business for a very simple reason: customers are getting smarter.

Customers don’t just check you out. They check out your competitors as well. They do research on you guys. They read up reviews. They read up about your products, before making a decision.

So, you need to stand out. You need to give them a reason to buy from you.

Take a look at these 5 examples of how UVP is displayed through a company’s Facebook page.

#1 Canny Digital

Of course the first example is ours 😉

canny digital facebook page

Would you stay on our Facebook page longer after seeing this cover photo that greeted you immediately? Depends. If you’re not interested in doing social media, probably not. But if you’re a company that’s interested in running social media campaigns that increases sales, there’s a high chance that our Facebook page would capture your attention. All our Facebook posts are about social media marketing (some digital marketing). These serve to educate our prospects and clients, and would position us as the authority in this field.

#2 Artmani Italia

artmani italia facebook page

Artmani Italia’s UVP is that it sells luxury furniture at very affordable prices. This UVP is supported by the high quality photos that are posted on their Facebook page, and product prices that are cheaper than other luxury furniture stores in Singapore.

Beneath this tagline – luxury furniture made affordable – is the belief that everyone should own a set of high quality sofa, or any other quality furniture that they sell. Their furniture is for the mass market. All the content on their Facebook page was created based on this belief. They have frequent promotions, lucky draws (to reward their own fans), educational content that help buyers make a more informed decision when it comes to purchasing furniture. Did I mention that we help them to generate 6 figures in sales consistently every month?

#3 Slimpify

slimpify facebook page

The headline on the Facebook cover clearly articulates their business positioning, and what they offer. It is very well written. In one sentence, it consists of proof (by doctors) and benefit (lose weight in 60 days), both of which makes a very good UVP. If you look at their Facebook posts, all the content are crafted carefully based on their UVP. If you’re a busy career lady, who has tried dieting to no avail, you might be interested in this medical weight loss program that guarantees results in just 60 days. This program doesn’t require you to exercise or diet. That is their UVP. And it is plasted all over their Facebook page.

#4 IKEA Singapore

ikea singapore facebook page Find it faster. That’s the theme for IKEA’s current marketing strategy.

Coming up with UVP

Coming up with a UVP is not easy and can take a lot of time, but is probably one of the most important things you should be doing for your business.

It is a statement that once developed, can not only be used on your website, but all your marketing materials. It aligns your marketing messages and creates superior branding. It is the powerful magnet that automatically attracts customers to you.

So how do you go about developing a UVP?

The easiest way is to survey your customers. Ask them why they chose you in the first place. This will give you insights into factors that made customers choose you over your competitors.  Look for common themes.

You should also take a look at your competitors.

  • What is everyone already doing?
  • How can you be different?
  • Can this difference be easily copied?
  • Is it really unique?
  • Does it matter to your customers?

These are questions you should think about.

Then use these answers to craft a powerful statement. Plaster it on every page of your website in the header.

Use it for other marketing campaigns, even offline marketing campaigns.

Test it, measure it, and adapt if you need to.

A good social media marketing campaign, or any kind of marketing campaigns for that matter, starts from a UVP.

Canny specializes in helping clients develop impactful UVPs that work, using our proprietary research system and formula. If you would like to develop a UVP that works for your business, contact us today.

 

Quick question: What’s the true goal of your website? There are probably many answers to this: To improve my brand, to have an online presence, etc. At the end of the day, these answers all point to one common goal: to help you get more business. The goal of a website is to help you get more business. There’s no way around it. And that’s why the only meaningful way to design a website is to make sure the website captures your customers’ attention and then persuades them to do business with you. But how does one achieve this? To design a website that gets you more customers, keep these 6 principles in mind:

1. Clear Value Proposition

A value proposition is a statement that shows your customers what your company is about. It must be simple and most importantly, persuasive enough to capture your customer’s attention. In this digital age, your customers have too many options when it comes to choosing who they should buy from. A value proposition helps you win them over. And this value proposition must be place at the top of your website home page so it is visible for all customers to visit your website. Here are some examples:

POS system Intelligent online pos software from Wallmob Wallmob 

View at Wallmob

Yogurt Lab Frozen Yogurt Shops Self Serve Frozen Yogurt

View at Yoghurt Labs

Curt s Special Recipe Salsa BBQ Sauce Bloody Mary Mix View at Curt’s Special Recipe

2. Less Clutter

Take a look at this: Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 2.22.17 PM

Would you ever read the website? I’m guessing not, and I don’t blame you. We all have very short attention spans these days. Clutter is the enemy of readability. If your website looks cluttered or messy, then no customer will take the time to read your content. A sales-driven website should be cleanly designed, use easy-to-read fonts, and have key pieces of information placed in strategic locations, all for the purpose of helping the customer actually read more about your business. Compare the website you saw above to this:

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 2.40.03 PM This difference can lead to more customers or the lost of it.

3. Email Marketing

Email marketing is simply the art and science of using email to market to your consumers. Harsh truth: Most of your customers leave your website after they visit it. It is estimated that only 3% of customers buy immediately, 45% want to consider their options, and weigh out pros and cons for their needs and the rest will never buy. That is why every website should make it a priority to capture the email addresses of these 45% potential customers to gain more revenue and market share. How do you capture email addresses? You implement an email lead magnet – giving away something of value to potential customers, in exchange for their email address. Some examples here:

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 2.51.46 PM Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 2.58.25 PM

When we work with our clients, we help them plan and think of the best email lead magnets to use for their business.

4. Proof Elements

People only buy from you when they trust or believe you can solve their problems. Without belief, there is no sale. Period. So in order to get people to trust you, you need to include proof elements on your websites. Proof elements are basically things that build proof of your credibility. Examples are testimonials, endorsements, video demonstrations, content that demonstrates your expertise, social proof like number of Facebook likes, and etc. With more proof comes more believability, and more believability means more clients. Here are some examples of the use of proof elements on a website:

Personal Trainer Your Doorstep Results Personal Training SingaporeScreen Shot 2015-05-04 at 3.05.09 PM

5. Persuasive content

Visitors who arrive at your website are looking for a reason as to why they should choose you over your competitors. Therefore the content on your website must be persuasive and benefit-oriented. It must be written in a way that shows tremendous benefits to the visitor, and persuades the visitor to choose you. Write your content for your customer, not for yourself. Focus on what benefits they can get from your company.

6. Call to actions

After you have done your job winning the customer over, he’s now ready to buy from you. The website’s job is to guide the customer and make it easy for him or her to order or call you. An effective website should have call to actions located in places easily visible to customers. Having your phone number at the top of website, in the navigation bar, and in the footer is always a good idea. Having call to action buttons on your home page is always a good idea.

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 3.09.40 PM Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 3.13.11 PM

Call to actions make it easy for your customers to take that next step, which means more revenue for your company. Using the 6 principles above, we have personally revamped websites and seen 200% increases in sales for our clients. Having an effective website can make a world of difference to your business. If you are looking to get your website designed, then get in touch with us to turn your website into a sales-generating machine.

 

So I went to Levis to buy some jeans the other day.

I walked into the store, headed over to the jeans section, and started browsing. After looking through most of what they had on display, I pinpointed 2 pairs that I really liked.

I tried them on.

And my god, I looked stunningly handsome in them (yes I am super confident and have no humility). So I ended up buying those 2 pairs of jeans.

After my purchase, the lady at the cashier gave me 2, limited-time, $25 coupons for shirts and shoes. Instinctively, I went to check out some shirts and shoes.

The shoes were not great, but a few shirts caught my eye so I tried them on. And yes, I looked good in them yet again, but this time, not as good as I would like. This time, it wasn’t good enough for me to pull out my wallet again (hey even celebrities look average in some clothes).

So I thanked the sales staff for their service and left the store. Sounds like a normal shopping day right? Well, almost.

A few days later, as I looked through my wallet and saw the limited-time coupons from Levis, something hit me. That fine day in the Levis store, I almost ended up buying something I didn’t need (shirts) just because of those coupons!

If it wasn’t for the fact that I didn’t really like the shirts after trying them on, I would have probably spent extra money. In other words, if I happened to look like a million dollars in the shirts I tired on (happens quite often), I most definitely would have bought them.

The coupons were a non-salesy upsell strategy, and I almost bought into it. Of course, handing out limited-time coupons or vouchers to customers is nothing new.

We all know about them. However, I don’t think people truly understand the persuasive powers of limited-time coupons. The persuasive power of limited-time coupons is two fold.

The first one is obviously scarcity. The fact that the coupon will not last forever is a great reason for customers to act fast because they’ll be thinking they won’t get a chance to save money on your products again. And if they don’t use the coupons, they’ll think the coupons will “go to waste.”

The second is less obvious.

It’s the reverse psychology of letting you think that you’re saving money, when in fact, you’re NOT. Why? Because you could be spending more on things you weren’t intentionally looking for in the first place. When I went to Levis, I was only looking to buy jeans.

I was not looking to buy T-shirts. But just because I received a couple of coupons, I was compelled to buy something extra. With the combination of these 2 persuasive elements, my mind was framed into thinking…

“Hmmm… since I have this coupon, not using it would be a waste wouldn’t it? Having more shirts to wear is always a good thing, and it could go well with my new jeans! Plus I can save some money when I buy the shirts! Yay! Think I’ll go look at some shirts…”

Persuaded. And the best part?

The whole process is not salesy at all. It’s almost like stealth persuasion. People don’t feel any form of sales resistance when they are given coupons.

They don’t have the feeling of being “sold to.” In fact, they have the feeling of being “GIVEN to.” Sales resistance is almost zero. When people’s sales resistance is low, they are more likely to buy.

Compare receiving coupons to having a salesman persuade you to buy more stuff and you’ll see my point. So this has got me thinking.

Why aren’t more people doing this online? Instead of sending people to a totally hyped-up upsell page, why not just send people a limited-time coupon code for other related products after their purchase?

Giving out coupons doesn’t scream, “Come buy this now or you’ll freaking lose your house!”

It’s not salesy, it’s not hype. It’s giving your prospects a chance to sell themselves. And that’s what I like about it.

The key is to give out coupons for related or complementary products to the product they’ve just bought. Doing so would make the coupon even more persuasive because a related product helps them solve their problems further, and they’ll be thinking, “Since I have a coupon, I might as well use it. Not using it is a waste anyway!”

So persuasive, yet so stealthy. To be sure, I have never tried this before online. I’d have to test it out to see it’s effectiveness on the overall bottom line.

Till then, I’ll follow up with another blog post to tell you about the results. For now, I’d love to hear your comments on this. What do you think? Do you think more online businesses can take advantage of using limited-time coupons as an upsell strategy?

Imagine going to a party and meeting a new friend.

He’s a smart, knowledgeable, and an overall nice person.

So you’re talking to this new friend, but then after a few minutes, you feel like you want to run away from him if you could.

He’s not enthusiastic. His voice is monotonous and dull. He’s just plain boring!

Doesn’t matter if he’s super smart.

Doesn’t matter if he’s super knowledgeable.

Doesn’t matter if he’s a nice guy.

You wouldn’t want to talk to him again because he’s just super boring. So what does any of this have anything to do with content marketing?

Everything. Content marketing is a form of communication, just like talking. When you do content marketing, you’re talking to someone. And when you’re talking to someone, you simply cannot be boring. It’s the biggest sin you can ever commit. It doesn’t matter if you have good information to share.

As long as you’re boring, I guarantee that your content will fail. Many marketers and business owners think content marketing is all about pumping as out much content as possible.

They just write content for the sake of writing content, thinking “Oh I just need to give free good info, then prospects will come.”

Wrong.

Content marketing is ultimately about building relationships. When you building relationships, it’s not good enough to be good. You have to be interesting too. Being interest is the thing that will actually make people pay attention to what you have to say, and keep coming back.

Ever wondered why almost every website is doing content marketing, but few ever gain a huge readership with their blog posts “liked” and tweeted thousands of times?

You have your answer.

Anyone can provide information. Anyone can just “write content.” It’s boring. And boring is sin. How to not be boring? Here are a few ways.

Tell stories. Inject attitude into your writing. Write casually. Write conversationally. Don’t be like a formal robot with a script (in case you’re thinking you have a brand to maintain, maintaining a branding doesn’t mean you can’t write informally. With so many companies writing like corporate robots, writing casually and conversationally will help you seem more human and stand out).

State your opinions. Don’t be afraid to be controversial. Go against conventional wisdom. Provide a unique perspective on things. Find a different angle to cover a common topic. Provide insights that few people know of. Just be interesting. Your online success could very well depend on it.

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