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This episode of the Journey explores how Social Media Examiner faces constant challenges. The marketing department wants to target a new audience, and the CEO wants to slow down to ensure success. What happens?
The show opens on a meeting between Michael Stelzner (founder and CEO of Social Media Examiner) and YouTube ads expert Tom Breeze (CEO of Viewability).
Because Facebook's Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) is out of control, Mike wants to explore YouTube re-marketing to reach the 25k people who visit the Social Media Marketing World sales page each month.
After some discussion, Mike and Tom settle on a mix of persuasive and scarcity-focused ads. Tom says because the campaign will be re-marketing heavy, he feels Mike will see really good ROI and CPA.
Mike says that with Tom's direction, he and marketing manager Mitch Dong can produce whatever video is needed. Tom gives Mike some helpful tips and, later, Mike and Mitch head to Mike's backyard to shoot a number of ad spots.
Cue a water pipe explosion, intermittent birdsong, a low-flying plane, rain, background construction work, and a power mower.
Later the same day, Mike is at the conference table with marketing team members Saidah Murphy, Kim Reynolds, and Jennifer Ballard to discuss two serious challenges the team is facing.
First, the company's main website traffic is down 400k sessions over last year. Second, emails aren't getting delivered. This situation is especially problematic, Jennifer says, because these are the two most effective channels for generating conference sales.
Mike says the emotional-based messaging the team is developing with Talia Wolf is gaining traction, but there's still a struggle to find the sweet spot with that messaging.
Kim shares that the team is feeling like a group of crazy people who are doing the same things, over and over, but expecting different results. She wants to widen the net to a include a new audience.
Mike doesn't veto the proposal out of hand but does layout some clarifying facts. He explains that in order to draw a new audience, the company would need to offer something of unique value to that audience.
He reminds the team that everything the company currently produces (The Journey, the Social Media Marketing podcast, the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, the daily editorial content) is designed to draw the current audience to the conference.
If, he says, the team were to use their limited resources to target MLMs (for example), the company would have to turn away from the audience they already have.
Mike then shares some encouraging numbers to help the team refocus on the current audience: over the last month the company has gained 15k new email subscribers and pulled in 850k unique website visits. Of that audience, the team wants to 7k people to Social Media Marketing World in San Diego.
Saidah agrees and asks, “Where do we go from here?”
At hand is a decision. Does the team push on with the short game in December knowing things aren't working, or do they slow it down and play the long/smart game? Because January is historically a strong month for sales, Mike's intuition says it's time to slow down.
The show closes with Mike and Jennifer telling someone that the events team now has the opportunity to have a huge financial impact on the company in a brand new way. Who's on the call? What's the deal?
What do you do when it feels like nothing is working? Let us know in the comments below.
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