Archives for June 2019

June 14, 2019 - No Comments!

Messenger VS Email Marketing: Who wins?

We’re experiencing a transitioning period. By ‘we’, I mean all of us; marketers and entrepreneurs.

It seems like every day there’s a new tactic, a new channel, a new mindset that we need to follow so that our businesses will stand another year (or quarter, or month).

It’s easy to lose focus.

I know that I’m one of the people to blame for the situation; started as marketing consultant writing all about growth marketing, then I started preaching about referral marketing, and lately, I’m a Messenger marketing ambassador.

Being in this industry for some time now made me realize a very simple thing about marketing products and services; communication can’t be outmatched.

That’s pretty obvious.

It is, but I discover it again every time I hit the ‘publish’ button for a new article, or the ‘send’ button for every newsletter that I send (BTW, if you’re not subscribed in our newsletter you should do it. It’s a shame to miss my emails.)

The reason I wrote this prolonged intro about communication is evident from the title of this article. Email has been the flagship of our content distribution from Day 1, and Messenger- in the past year, has become a new way for businesses to deliver their message to their audience.

In this article, Email goes head to head with Messenger to find out which communication method is the best for you.

Enjoy!

Messenger marketing.

Messenger is Viral Loops’ latest obsession. We liked the idea of reaching people through this platform that we’ve built a template for running viral giveaways via Messenger.

There’s no point in directly advertising it, so I’ll propose you read our case study about how a small cosmetics brand generated 4K+ leads, and a few thousand in sales, by using the template

What’s excellent about Messenger marketing is undoubtedly the Open rates and the Click through rates it offers.

Using a Messenger bot can give you Open rates of up to 90-95%, and up to 20% CTR, which is impressive. 

Using a Messenger bot for lead generation can give you 90-95% Open Rate & 20-25% Click Through Rate.

People are used to receiving instant messages. They enjoy the ‘fast’ experience, and it’s true that whatever you do for your marketing funnel can be translated into bot-friendly content and put into a chatbot.

All you have to do to repeatedly get your message to the eyes of your users is to give it the appropriate format. That means that you have to structure it in a way that people that use Messenger are used to.

Even if the engagement rates of that Messenger marketing offers are high, what’s genuinely epic is the amount of data you can gather about your leads, just by having them subscribe to your Messenger bot.

While subscribing via email gives you just an email address, by subscribing to your Messenger chatbot people give you a ton of data entry points, such as their full name, timezone, gender, and profile picture.

Messenger VS email marketing

This is an excellent chance for a business/brand to start a personalized communication with the user and gather even more data on the go through simple questions that can be answered by the press of a button.

While gathering more info about your subscribers, you can tag them based on their preferences (similar to the segmentation you can do to your email list), and then run to those tagged users Ads according to their interests with Facebook retargeting ads.

Email marketing.

Oh, I love email.

For me- I only send content-oriented emails. Sending a newsletter is one of my favorite activities. It feels like I’m journaling.

I feel that this is the biggest downside of Messenger marketing; you have to downsize your message in just a few lines. Sometimes it’s way too challenging to do so.

Truth to be told, most of the time, you need space to expand on ideas or new offers.

I mean, how can you possibly send a newsletter like this via Messenger?

Messenger VS email marketing

On the other hand, if you decide to go with email marketing, segmenting your users might become a tedious task, as you’ll have to create multiple touch points to gather enough data; and you need data to nurture leads, or to retain customers.

That’s a point for Messenger.

The most significant advantage of email in comparison with Messenger is that email is an owned marketing asset. If Facebook decided to shut chatbots down, and you’ve put all your efforts in them, then you’re f**ked.

Seriously.

Having someone to give you their email address is a huge deal.

You can do everything that it’s possible through Messenger:

  • Notify people about new products or updates.
  • Send exclusive content.
  • Ask for feedback.
  • Offer customer support.
  • Send seasonal offers, or offers based on interest.
  • Run ads based on interest.
  • Save abandoned carts.

The downside is that it takes more time, as it’s not as direct as a message on Messenger.

A match made in heaven.

I guess that if you read down to this point, you still haven’t made your mind as about whether you should use email or Messenger marketing for your business, or brand.

Am I right?

Let’s see the pros and cons of each medium.

Messenger Pros:

  • High engagement rates (open rates & CTRs).
  • Instant personalized communication.
  • Access to lot more data without any touch points.
  • Build audiences for Ads quickly and easily.

Messenger Cons:

  • You can send bite-sized content only.
  • Not an owned marketing asset.

Email Pros:

  • It’s an owned asset.
  • No need for bite-sized content.
  • Build audiences for Ads.
  • People are used to marketing newsletters.

Email Cons: 

  • Lower engagement rates than Messenger.
  • We need more touch points to gather data.
  • It takes more time to segment your users.

The title of this section gives away the point that I’m trying to make here; you don’t have to choose a platform over the other.

They are both powerful as marketing channels, so you have the option of using both. You need the instant communication, and data gathering that Messenger offers, but you also need to be able to communicate with your users on a deeper level, and send them your best content or offers in better (and longer) format.

I’ll tell you what to do:

  1. Start gathering Messenger subscribers.
  2. Ask those subscribers for their email addresses.
  3. Create content for both mediums.
  4. Distribute this content accordingly.

For the first 2 points, we have a solution (it’s time for promotion). 

Start by creating a Manychat account and connect it with your Facebook business page. Then you have to download our Messenger Bot Giveaways template.

Inside the template, you’ve added a special flow for gathering email addresses from your Messenger subscribers. In case you want to learn how our template works, you can see my beautiful face and hear my soothing voice, explaining it to you:

Creating bite-sized content that sticks with people is an arduous task.  What I propose is to send in Messenger a concise description of what you want to communicate to your audience, followed by a nice gif, or a looping video that fits the essence of your message.

Then, in the same message, you can add a CTA, that drives people to a landing page with your full offer, or the page of your blog post- if you’re trying to distribute your content.

Since Messenger offers you enough data, you can leverage them to create different variations of the same message to send it to users that fit into a specific demographic, e.g., females

Before you go.

At the end of the day, both Messenger and email are tools for communicating with an audience.

There’s no winner here.

You’ll have to harness the power of both platforms to maximize the result. Make sure to create content that fits the medium. It might be difficult in the beginning, but it will eventually pay you off.

June 7, 2019 - No Comments!

Marketing a CBD brand without paid advertising

I guess that by now you’ve already seen it somewhere; You can’t run ads for CBD products on Facebook and Google.

Although I’m a huge advocate of the pharmaceutical use of cannabis myself, I kinda understand this policy. I mean, there are a lot of people producing their own, non-approved, products. Also, there’s a lot of misinformation about the benefits and effects of CBD products- a rather dangerous thing.

But what about the companies who are trying to actually help people?

Being unable to advertise, is a huge bummer. Especially for a new CBD products brand.

There are ways. It’s a bit harder but definitely doable. 

And if your brand suffers from these advertising policies, remember that you’re not alone; it’s possible that we won’t be able to run ads for this post as well. 

Here are the best ways to market your CBD products without any paid ads.

natasha

We are hosting a Webinar on the 12th of June. Click on the Banner to reserve your spot!

Messenger Giveaways.

Facebook ads might be out of the question, but that doesn’t mean that you are going to stop trying to leverage the billions of people who use it daily; especially Messenger users.

I bet that Messenger is on the top 5 apps you use every day.

Also, giveaways offer a great opportunity for brands to build awareness and drive sales. If you keep track with what Viral Loops does, you know that recently we managed to merge Facebook Messenger with giveaways.

Now you can run your viral giveaways entirely via Messenger and the results can be amazing.

It’s perfect for eCommerce; recently a cosmetics brand managed to gather 4K+ leads and generate a few thousand dollars in 5 days.

All you have to do is to set up your campaign, offering up to 4 prizes for the winners. Allow people to choose their reward, and then ask them to participate.

Viral Loops for Messenger eCommerce flow

Right after participating, you can ask them to invite their friends.

You can also set 2 re-engagement flows (these are included in our Template) that will be triggered after 1-2 days, asking the participants to follow you on Instagram, in exchange for more entries for the giveaway- that way they will have more chances to win the prize.

Viral Loops for Messenger Instagram flow

The great thing about this method is that it doesn’t require any paid ads in order to make it work. Word of mouth will do all the heavy lifting for you.

Apart from gathering leads, Messenger allows you to build a personalized communication with your customers. The open rates and click-through rates are sky-high, due to people being so familiar with Messenger.

Get discovered.

Search engine optimization is one of the best ways to be discovered by people interested in CBD products.

SEO is neither easy nor fast. Although this sounds intimidating, the good news is that once your rankings start picking up, you’ll potentially have a wave of leads coming your way for free.

Search engine algorithms change regularly, and no one really knows all the factors that play an important role in how search results are being served. That doesn’t mean that we know nothing about it, though.

I don’t think so.

SEO comes into 2 parts:

  1. Off-site SEO
  2. On-site SEO

Off-site SEO

As its name suggests, off-site SEO has to do with elements that affect your brand’s ranking, that “live” outside of your main website.

Off-site SEO is mainly based on link building. That means that your CBD brand’s ranking is affected by the quantity and quality of the websites that link back to you.

Other factors that might affect your off-site SEO are:

  • How relevant to your CBD business is the website linking back to you.
  • The linking website’s domain authority.
  • The anchor text they use to link to your website.

In order to get as many great websites linking back to your CBD business as possible, there’s a one-way road; Content marketing. Further down this article, I have a whole section dedicated to it. Read on!

On-site SEO

On-site SEO is all about optimizing elements that exist on your brand’s website. Those elements are the ones that search engine crawl in order to serve their results.

These elements can be either keyword-related- consisting of things like product titles & descriptions, or non-keyword-related

Non-keyword-related elements could be:

  • Your website’s load speed.
  • The URL structure.
  • The internal and external linking structure.
  • The of Schema.org structured data or other markups.
  • Website’s metadata.
  • The use of Rich Snippets.
  • Mobile friendliness.

Keyword related elements could be:

  • The product titles.
  • The product descriptions.
  • The alt-tags on the images.

 Content Marketing.

If you’re reading this, I have to confess something to you.

If it wasn’t for content marketing, I wouldn’t have a career in marketing. Also, if it wasn’t for content marketing, Viral Loops would not be the same.

Since the CBD industry got kicked in the face by Facebook and Google (and Twitter, but who gives a flying F*), content marketing is one of the few viable solutions for CBD brands to create awareness for their products.

If you have no idea on how you can start with using content marketing for your CBD brand, allow me to give you a short outline of the things you have to do.

  1. Find keyword opportunities.
  2. Write in-depth articles that cover subjects that people really care about (e.g. the benefits of CBD products for people suffering from seizures).
  3. Provide free exclusive content in exchange for email addressed- you should start building an email list.
  4. Promote the article as hard as you can. Outreach to influencers in the CBD niche, post it in social media, send it to your email list, send it to your friends and family, etc.
  5. Repurpose the article into different formats such as videos, infographics, podcasts.
  6. Try to write in other blogs in the CBD industry. This will earn you some great links for your website.

In order to find great keyword opportunities, you have to conduct keyword research. You’re in true luck because a few months ago I created a video tutorial on how to do so, and the example I used was keywords for hemp oil.

Once you write your article and promote it, some people are going to visit your website. Offering a lead magnet increases the chances that these visitors will eventually become regular readers.

If you manage to be consistent with your content, inevitably your audience will grow, and the more people read what you give them, the more chances you have to turn them into customers.

Instagram.

You probably already know that an Instagram account is a must-have for business right now. Even though their policy for advertisement is the same as Facebook’s, there are other practises you can put into play.

First of all, you can set up buyable products in your posts. But apart from that, Instagram is a great place to present your brand and the people who represent it.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Happy Friday! When life gives you lemons, make CBD Oil ???? #Organic #CBD #VitaminC

A post shared by Green Gorilla™️ (@greengorilla) on

The CBD industry might include some shady products; giving a “face” to your brand heightens your credibility. It’s a great opportunity to incorporate storytelling into your marketing strategy.

Find people who are using your products, talk with them, go live with them, make posts about their stories with CBD products. 

An important aspect of Instagram success is finding the right audience for you.

In order to find this audience:

  1. Make a list with relevant hashtags.
  2. Use Combin to search for posts that include these hashtags, combined with your location (in case you’re an international brand, skip the location part). 
  3. Go to the profiles of the people on the search results and start following them.

Community Building.

Using communities on Facebook and Reddit is heavily underrated when it comes to marketing-not only CBD and marijuana brands.

This is probably due to the fact that it takes a lot of consistent effort in order to make it work as a strategy. The #1 rule of succeeding in bringing traffic from these communities back to your website, is providing value.

The people who engage in Facebook groups and Subreddits are exactly the people that belong to your target audience. You have to prove yourself worth noticing, and that can only happen through constant engagement with the communities.

Reddit communities about cannabis products:

Facebook groups about cannabis products:

These are some good places to start, but keep in mind that you should give some time to understand the rules of each community. You don’t want to get banned. 

Respect the rules, provide value, gain people’s trust.

You can actually run ads.

Facebook and Google are really popular when it comes to advertising. It’s not strange; people spend endless hours every month on these platforms. 

But Facebook doesn’t create its own content; its users do. People interested in the CBD and cannabis industry, get informed from blogs, publications and influencers.

That means that you can actually pay these blog, publications and influencers to advertise your products.  It requires a lot of manual work to close these deals, but it’s totally worth it.

If you don’t have the time to do all the talking, you can go with the automated option; Native Ad Networks.

They are great because they accept CBD and marijuana advertising.

Some of the best Native Ad Networks are:

Before you go.

I know that since you can't run paid ads for your CBD business, things are a bit harder than they used to be.

It's ok.

This is your chance to focus on your branding and grow organically. Advertising is rented space, and your business needs to be an owned property.

Create content, help your audience, inform people, and be omnipresent. That's the way you'll win!

June 3, 2019 - No Comments!

Webinar: From Messenger Giveaways To Paying Customers

Do you remember Natasha Takahashi?

We interviewed her about a month ago.

Natasha is the founder of School of Bots. Their goal is to help marketers and entrepreneurs learn how to use messenger marketing for their clients or their business.

The thing is that Natasha is a Messenger marketing expert, and her expertise, combined with our latest obsession with referral marketing via Facebook Messenger, gave birth to an idea; create a webinar to help people leverage Messenger giveaways to generate customers.

Webinar: From Messenger Giveaways To Paying Customers.

The webinar takes place on Wednesday, June 12th, 4:00 PM GMT, so make sure to claim your spot!

What you'll learn.

Messenger becomes a marketing Swiss army knife.

Since it’s a fairly new channel, Viral Loops and School of Bots combine their powers (in a true Megazord style) in a webinar that aims to help businesses enter this world stepping on the right foot, and maximize their results.

We are going to cover as much ground as possible on the basics of Messenger Marketing and Messenger Giveaways and take a deep dive into the “Whys” and the “Hows”, through some case studies from successful brands and best practices from field experts.

In addition, we’ll have a detailed journey through Messenger flows for eCommerce and retail businesses that will help you acquire new leads, retain customers, save abandoned carts, and offer stellar customer support.

Why Messenger in the first place?

The webinar is going to start with the obvious; proof that Messenger is the perfect tool to engage with people on every level of your marketing funnel.

We are going to run through Apple's way of booking retail store visits, and other examples of Natasha's clients that utilize Messenger to create personalised experiences for visitors.

As you probably know, live communication with leads and customers plays a huge role in turning leads into customers, or just to provide support to existing ones, so we're going to examine the use of Facebook Messenger to provide customer support in real-time.

In addition, we are going to dive deeper in the cost and ROI of Messenger marketing, and take a look at data gathered from hundreds of campaigns.

Note that during the webinar, attendants are going to receive a special offer.

Why run a Messenger Giveaway?

Marketing a brand in 2019 is radically different than it was 5 years ago.

Referral marketing is one of the top choices of brands spreading awareness for their products, and with Messenger getting in the referral game-thanks to Viral Loops, you'll need to know what are the differences between the new and the conventional way of getting referrals.

We will provide examples that will clear the horizon on that matter, and give you a glimpse from some cases where things went great Messenger giveaways.

How Messenger marketing can help your eCommerce & Retail.

This is Viral Loops' favourite part.

In this section of the webinar, we are going to double down to one of our most successful case studies.

You'll have the opportunity to see how the whole marketing funnel functioned in accordance with a Messenger giveaway, the results of the campaign (Open Rates, CTRs, Conversion Rates, etc.), and all the tech stuff you'll need in order to get inspiration for your own campaigns.

Other uses of Messenger.

In the final act of the webinar, Natasha is going to guide you through all the possible uses of Messenger Marketing for modern brands.

Cart abandonment,  interactive sales, personalised retargeting, receipts & order updates, returns & feedback; you name it.

This webinar is going to rock your world, so make sure to reserve your spot; it's FREE!