Email: hardmediag@gmail.com Let's Connect: 937-536-4800
Email: hardmediag@gmail.com Let's Connect: 937-536-4800

Perfect is the enemy of good

One of the greatest content creators of all time once said: “Perfect is the enemy of good.” 

Make no bones about it, quality is important! But when quality hinders production in a world that moves so fast, perfection can quickly become an enemy. You have to be posting a minimum of 3 times a week to even make noise in this world. So… WHY would you hold a post that isn’t “perfect”? 

We know why. You’ve been conditioned since you started your business that every minor thing you do will change the course of your brand and will throw you into an unrecoverable tail spin. 

False. This just isn’t true. 

OMG… Did a marketer just say BRAND isn’t important ? 

No, I’m not saying that at all. What I’m saying is… GET THE DAMN CONTENT OUT. Could that post be worded slightly better? Probably. Could we have included a better angle of the Mercedes A250 to grab attention? Sure. Could we have re-rendered the logo to stand out more in the 30 second video? 100%. But we only have so much time and tomorrow another post, video, article, or photo is due to go out.

There are (3) rules to producing content on a “high volume” level that can keep you safe when your aiming for GOOD > PERFECT. 

  • Authenticity

Be you. Whatever you do stay authentic and stay your self in all of your messaging… No matter what. The second that you decide to stray your customer base will notice, and when you lose your authenticity, you lose your brand.

  • Transparency

Think about the type of marketing that is popular right now. Or even better, think about the platforms that are popular. We are seeing the death of “main stream”. We love transparency and human produced content. TikTok, Instagram, and Youtube allow you to show what your business is truly about. Open the castle gates and let your constituents in for tea. 

  • Tone

On social media you need to be using the same tone for all your advertising and daily posting. It’s simple. That voice you hear in your head when creating content for your company… Stay loyal to it. 

Remember, when Kobe Bryant had his famous 81 point game, he was 28 for 46 from the field and shot 50% from the three-point line. He wasn’t perfect, but he was damn pretty effective. 

– Justin Rankin (CMO Hard Media Group)

THE STIFF JAB THAT IS “BRAND AWARENESS”

Some people say that the jab is the most important punch in boxing. Hard to disagree with this as some of the greatest boxers we’ve ever seen, all had great jabs which they heavily utilized. The jab is a very quick punch that keeps opponents at bay and off balance. The jab doesn’t really end fights or knock people out, but it sets up everything that does. An absolutely amazing punch to have in your repertoire. But how does this tie into brand awareness and why is this so important to your business? In our experience at Hard Media, great brand awareness is similar to the jab. When you have consistent, quick touches at the top of the funnel like email campaigns and social media posts, this allows you to set up the bigger plays like converting new customers. 

Quality Jab AKA Quality Content

But just like boxing, you can’t just throw anything out there. The jab has to be well timed and stiff. You throw out a wet noodle and you might get your block knocked off. In the business world, similar consequences exist. You put out weak content, no one is going to pay attention to it. Those that do may get the impression that you’re running a sub-par company. You have to make your content exciting enough that it will first, draw attention. Once you have their attention, your content should cleverly explain how you can solve their problems.

From Awareness to Conversion – “Jab to Knock-Out Punch”

Once the content/jab is figured out, you have to take it past the brand awareness stage. This is where the boxer will start to mix in the knock out punches. The hook, the upper cut, the straight right hand… all of these become much easier to land because of the good work through out the fight utilizing the jab. Similar to the marketing world, the brand awareness grabbed the attention of the target and massaged the relationship. We now have to take it to the next step to convert them over giving the knock out blow. This can happen several different ways. 

  1. In the perfect world, the target has a need and because of your ad or email, pursues you directly. For example, you’re an HVAC company and are running ads about a special you have going on via social media, and someone sets up an appointment. Or you send an email with a link to schedule a free estimate, and the target reaches out. These are always the best, but don’t always happen. Especially in the B2B world.
  1. The HVAC company ran a social media ad that received 40 likes and a some comments. Instead of waiting for the customer to contact you, you or someone on your sales staff directly engages with some of folks who liked or commented on the ad. They contact them via direct message and see if they would be interested in a call, a free quote, coupon, etc. The brand awareness or “jab” has them engaged but not quite ready to convert. It’s now on the sales team to seal the deal as they now have leads in the funnel. This is the knock out blow. In our experience at Hard Media, we’ve seen clients in the past fail miserably on this part. Brand Awareness was created and leads hit the funnel, but there was no internal function prepared to take the lead to the next step. DO NOT invest into any brand awareness campaign if your internal sales function isn’t ironed out. 
  1. This is typically, more of a B2B situation. In our experience working with B2B clients on LinkedIn, the most successful campaigns have always been when brand awareness is consistent which establishes the online touch, but there’s also a dedicated sales team that not only is following up on possible leads from engagement, but is always actively pursuing targets and leads offline working in conjunction with the brand awareness being produced. Taking it beyond the jab to pursue a meeting or call aka the knock out punch.

Conclusion

Brand awareness creates the foundation for new sales. It doesn’t always close the sale, but when done correctly, it positions the company to have that sales opportunity. We see a lot of companies neglect this. No outbound program in place what so ever, living and maintaining off of the brand equity they’ve created over the years. This keeps the lights on and payroll met, but does very little for growth. Just like a boxing match, running a business is a fight. Neglect brand awareness aka the “jab” and you’ll soon be knocked out. ESPECIALLY, in today’s business climate.

– Derrick Humphrey (CEO Hard Media Group)

 

The Inconvenient Truth About Facebook Ads

We all must admit that at one point, we all felt Facebook ads were something that we could just simply turn on and just like magic – leads start spitting out. We now know that this entirely not the case and that most of us that dabble in Facebook ads have been terribly disappointed. This isn’t something that should discourage us because Facebook ads do actually work. We just have to learn the rules of this game. 

Before we jump into some fundamental things that can make Facebooks ads work for you or your business, we must first understand that Facebook is not designed for businesses to sell their products or services. A bit of an oxymoron because Facebook has an ad feature, but Facebook was designed strictly for the consumer to enjoy content. A puppy and baby sleeping peacefully. Grandma’s 90th birthday. This is what gets the most engagement and this is what the consumer is looking for most of the time as well. So now that you understand what you’re up against, let’s talk about how to get your ads noticed and start seeing real conversions. 

  1. What’s the goal of the ad? Is it to get more leads, is just simply brand awareness? Are we trying to drive the end user back to a landing page to retrieve information or do we want the end user to see the ad and have a click-to-call option? We have to know what we’re trying to accomplish with the ad and from there, we design the ad specifically to fulfill that purpose. When setting up the ad Facebook will give you options. Select the best that applies to your ad purpose:
  • Brand Awareness
  • Reach
  • Traffic
  • Engagement
  • App Installs
  • Video Views
  • Leads
  • Messages
  • Conversions
  • Catalog
  • Store Visits
  1. Proper Targeting This can be tricky for most because sometimes we like to target too broadly. Facebook can certainly put your ad in front 200 million if you want. Very doable. But the problem is, how many of that 200 million will actually buy? The name of game is “narrow is always better”. For most small businesses, they know where their customers are coming from. So when setting target parameters, use zip codes opposed to just setting a radius based on miles. This allows the ad to circulate in specific areas that are your prime territories. If you are selling a product or service that is more of a commodity. For instance apparel, you can be more general in your search. But even with commodity products and services, zip code targeting can still be very useful.
  2. Choosing content for the Ad Think about fishing for a moment. The content you choose for your ad is very similar to the bait at the end of the pole. Your bait will attract certain fish. So you want it to be quality and engaging! If you’re putting out ads with poor content, just like fishing, you won’t get many bites. I’m not saying that the content you choose has to be the most amazing piece of content ever made, but it’s got to draw people/fish in. Sometimes people think aesthetics are everything and completely miss the message. The end user may be attracted to the bright and shiny object but if they don’t get what they’re looking at, they’ll scroll by your ad in a heart beat. Unlike commercials on TV, they do NOT have to engage. So make sure you’re ad is not only aesthetically pleasing, but gets to the point and doesn’t confuse the end user. 
  3. Allowing Facebook to Optimize Your Ad This is the part that many struggle to grasp and often pull the ad too soon because they feel that it isn’t working. Before you run any ad, make sure you understand that it may take some time. This is not some magical situation where you hit a button and the ad just starts to churn leads. Dues will be paid and part of that due paying process is “optimizing” the ad. Facebook will need some time to understand your audience and how the ad should work best. We’ve seen one too many clients that we refer to as “lead fiends” not allow the ad to run and for Facebook to learn to the ad, and pull the ad to soon out of impatience. This process can take a week and sometimes up to 90 days. So if you’re going to invest into this game, understand that it might not be an overnight success!

– Derrick Humphrey (CEO Hard Media Group)