We are joined with Mike Hill, the king of paid online traffic. Samuel P.N. Cook and Mike analyse the evolution of digital advertising; starting from the late 90s all the way until modern times. After listening to this podcast you will have a deeper understanding of what the recent Facebook algorithm update means for your marketing and why you need to take advantage of online advertising platforms.
Guest: Samuel P.N. Cook and Mike Hill
Date Added: Feb 17, 2018 3:26:12 PM
Length: 50 min
Podcast moments that will matter to you:
Introduction of the king of the paid traffic world, Mike Hill
Mike’s 20 year journey with internet advertising
Overview of platforms used for advertising
Changes in digital advertising when Google entered a market
“Cleaning up” Facebook
Becoming a marketer versus becoming an ‘internet marketer’
What to focus on when you're getting started on Facebook or if you're trying to make your Facebook campaigns better
How email connects with Facebook
The American marketing industry
Inspiration versus manipulation
Overview of Facebook videos
Importance of customer intent
Sam: [00:00:16] Hello StoryMatters podcast listener, Sam Cook welcoming you back for another surprise episode on the mentor series. And I say surprise because in the beginning, when we started the series, I did not originally have this guest scheduled but he's been a mentor from afar because I've been introduced to him through the guy who's really mentored to me through paid traffic, learning Facebook ads, and the theory behind paid traffic. And that's a guy named Dave Bass who is actually a coach slash consultant for me on my first product launch - the one that you've probably heard about on this podcast with Bobby McGee that was quite successful.
[00:00:58] Mike is one of the most respected traffic specialists in the internet marketing industry in the United States. He's done a lot of public speaking and is the founder of a very famous group that I'm lucky to be a part of that Dave Bass let me into which is Internet Marketing Superfriends, and also runs high-end paid traffic for his clients.
So I'm going to just launch straight into introducing Mike and letting him tell a little bit more about himself. And then we're going to talk about the topic of storytelling through paid traffic online because Mike is actually a guest speaker at the upcoming StoryMatters Live in 2018 in Warsaw, Poland. So Mike, without further ado, welcome to the show.
Mike: [00:01:42] I'm really grateful to be here. Thank you for having me on the show. And thank you for inviting me to the event in Poland. I'm really excited. Really really excited about going. I think I'm half as excited to come and learn from other story marketers as I am about going there to present. So I'm honored.
Sam: [00:02:00] It's the guilty pleasure of teaching is the ability to learn from all those around you and the audience and other people.
Mike: [00:02:07] Actually.
Sam: [00:02:07] So this is why these conferences are so special. Well, Mike, I learned traffic from afar from you because I worked with Dave and he always, at the beginning, has said you're the king of paid traffic.
[00:02:20] Little bit of background about yourself, tell me where you've come from and where you are right now and the paid traffic world because it's really fascinating.
[00:02:27] I've always said that someone who knows how to do paid traffic really controls the keys to launching and scaling a multimillion dollar product very quickly. And you have that super power which most people don't. So, tell us your background.
Mike: [00:02:40] Sure. First of all, I started on the internet. I'm not the king of traffic. I think, I'm just the guy who's been doing it the longest and that kind of makes me, you know, appear as though I might have the greatest knowledge base. But I want to be clear before I got started on the internet.
[00:02:57] I was unemployed and living in a barn. And I was literally just lost, trying to figure out what the heck I was going to do with my life. And I was completely depressed and I was an alcoholic. I mean, just everything. My life was just shambles. But I saw an ad in the paper for a receptionist.
And I had been dating girls on the internet at the time and I thought it was and nothing's going to take off. Mind you, this is 1998, so I was like innocent and things can be huge. I should really get into this. So I answered the ad for the receptionist position for this internet company which at the time I searched on a hot body, I think it was, and I was like, you know, looking them up.
And they seem to be connected and know what they're talking about. So I thought, "This is a good learning opportunity for me." I was going to invest some of this. You know, one asset I had at the time was time. So I thought, "Well, I'll invest some of my time into learning with these people."
[00:03:49] And I started with them as their receptionist for six dollars an hour and I told them within a year I was going to be running their company. Of course, they chuckled and laughed but, you know, I had big dreams for myself. I was not going to stay unemployed and drunk forever.
[00:04:03] Within six months, I was going to quit because we were there selling ebooks and we were doing it in a way that I didn't like and I didn't necessarily agree with it. It was very incestuous where a lot of false proof-- a lot of social proof generated through edification of others, you know, little warm market advertising which is not bad.
But it wasn't the way that I saw that advertising should be done. I grew up on handshakes and "A man's word is his bond". So, I almost quit and they said, "Don't quit. Why don't you try this thing called media buying." And I'm like, "What's media buying?" And I was, "Well, we'll teach you." And I said, "OK, great."
[00:04:38] So, within a few months I was spending about five thousand dollars a month and I was really good at this media buying thing because it let me just work on my core strengths, which now I recognize, are storytelling at that time. That term didn't really exist in my world. So, I got better and better and better at it. Within a couple of years, I had outgrown my mentors.
And within the year I had been running the company as precast and within two years I had outgrown everybody in the organization's ability to keep up with where I was in my vision. So, I recognized that and I was like, "OK, I got to go do something else."
[00:05:13] So I quit and I started becoming a consultant for people who wanted to scale their business by focusing on conversion. And really, you know, what that boils down to is, you know, James's conversion is an element of figuring out the foundation of the story and understanding the narratives.
All of these keywords that you hear now, they've always existed in marketing. They just don't have great terms that you can wrap your head around in a framework for stability and a framework for growth.
[00:05:39] So we did all of that. It was successful with everybody that we applied this model to. And, you know, once it was successful and their conversions were high on websites. Buying traffic became a simple fact of a wonderful cause, right? The cause being, you know... Because it's working. We can go out and buy lots and lots and lots of traffic by maintaining that story line all throughout the consumer experience.
So, you know, what went from spending a couple thousand dollars a month in ads, now, my agency spends between a million and a million three, million four - depends upon the month, right? And the advertisers - guys have great days, some guys have bad days. And we do pretty well. We're very very pleased with where we're at and we have shifted our company and our business now into helping those who want to truly help awaken the world to their greatest story and truly embrace empowerment marketing. And we have left behind I'd say-- I want to say 90 percent of inadequacy of marketing because I still see that it ends up being a portion of some of the campaigns in some way, shape or form. But for the most part we've managed to move everyone into another different way of advertising that we feel uplifts the world. And it's been rewarding our company in spades ever since.
Sam: [00:07:00] So, Mike, you just basically took us on a 20-year journey in about five minutes where you started advertising online in 1998. What media were you buying? What platforms were you on at that point?
Mike: [00:07:13] I was buying banners, at first. And then I was buying pop-ups and banners because pop-ups were a big thing back then and you could buy a pop up for, I don't remember, five dollars per thousand and when you-- or you could buy a banner for twenty dollars per thousand. There was a...
There's always these little opportunities that exist, right? So I was always looking for those opportunities and figuring out a way to buy at a lower cost.
Sam: [00:07:35] And what-- What was that off of Yahoo! or which search engine was that off of?
Mike: [00:07:40] We did a lot of buying with Yahoo!. I did a lot of buying with AltaVista which was the old search engine. I don't even know if they are around any more. I did a lot of buying from what we called Tier-3, Tier-4 websites, you know, smaller websites.
[00:07:53] I actually specialized in the late 90s on fighting traffic that nobody wanted. There was a ton of what we called mp3 traffic back then where everyone thought that it was worthless.
So they're like-- these people who want to steal music aren't worth any money that they never buy anything. Well, I recognized right on. Well, if they weren't buying anything, there's money to be made in just moving their people from one person to another.
[00:08:15] So I became intermediary - selling clicks - instead of selling products. And I think that that's overlooked a lot that we try to be the end goal, final answer, for that consumer when in reality their good value just being the relationship broker.
Sam: [00:08:33] So you started back in the wild wild west of online banner ads buying. And then, Google came in. And you obviously jumped into Google. What changed in advertising when Google came in? And what was your experience learning that medium and when did you get there?
Mike: [00:08:52] So Google came on the scene in the late '90s but it really didn't take off for a while. You know, for a while, there was overture - go-to at the time - and then it turned into overture.
Google changed everything when it's started basically selling Penny clicks. It really began getting a lot of attention from its simplicity as a search engine and all the others were highly complex search engines, meaning they have the experiences complex. Google was the only one that said, "OK, here's a search box. Go."
[00:09:19] So I started gaining in popularity and selling really cheap traffic - cheaper than we can buy and Go To which at the time was, you know, up to a dollar or two dollars per click or up to fifteen dollars a click for keywords like debt consolidation. So the Go To's traffic quality and search quality had diminished because of it's partner relationships.
So it introduced Google now that brings in higher quality traffic lower cost everyone rushed over to Google the same as did we but we weren't really in the search game and Google was really more of a search game at that time. We were still buying banner ads and banner ads and pop ups for the most part so we didn't actually start working on Google which did change the search industry back in the early 2000 era.
We didn't jump on Google until after Google had started banning everyone. All of these shady marketers and getting rid of everybody who was using the you know the teeth whitening blogs and whatnot.
[00:10:13] Once Google decided that our way of marketing which we call ethical marketing if you will. I actually bought ethical marketing to start the whole thing but that's another story for me at the time. Once the ethical marketing became popular in their mind's eye. That's when we jumped heavily into Google.
Sam: [00:10:28] Yeah. So, one of the things that I think is really interesting for... I'd like to do a short history of traffic because I think it's important for people to situate themselves where we are right now. Google, as I understand it, started out really cheap and also a lot of money was made with people, you know, marketing unethically on Google.
That was kind of when the gold rush for Google was SEO which was trying to manipulate their search engine, and then obviously buying really, really cheap clicks where someone is actually going in to Google and telling you exactly what their pain point is or their problem which is hugely exploitable I guess you'd say.
You saw Google come in and clean that up. Why did Google clean that up? And from a perspective of a business owner, you tend to get mad, but explain why Google did clean that up and why that is so important for the platform?
Mike: [00:11:20] No absolutely. So the Google and Facebook both recognize the same thing as do politicians and everyone else in power. You can abuse your audience a little bit and they'll take a little bit of abuse but eventually, you're going to have to pat the dog, right. You're going to have to be like, "Oh man, I'm sorry guys and here's a new cage for you. And here's a bunch of other stuff and I'm sorry to use these analogies.”
[00:11:44] But there-- You know, when you look at these large organizations who do this, it's actually in the truth, right. They needed to generate revenue in the beginning to be able to grow. And I've seen this multiple times, or less 20 years, with multiple business entities who are purchased by larger organizations but they were using not great tactics in the beginning to get the foundation and get their their income base set.
So, Google realized, "Man, we're going to live. We need to start cleaning house and all this, you know, crappy marketing because consumer opinion of our property is poor and we have a really bad consumer experience. And if we're going to last, we need to create a positive consumer experience. And that's their business, their business model. Most people think that the business model is all about profit like, "I spend a thousand dollars a day with Google. What're they going to do without my money?" Well, they don't care about your 1000 dollars, or your 10,000 or your 100,000 dollars a day.
[00:12:34] What they care about is that they have a positive consumer experience that results in more people using their engine even if they give everything away for free. They know that there's more money in the long-term game. I call it the Disney Play which is the 40-50 year model of revenue. So they had to change or they would lose everyone and they'd be out of business.
Sam: [00:12:54] And I think that's really important for people to understand right now because the big news as of early 2018 is the Facebook algorithm update and we're getting a lot of questions about that. And Mark Zuckerberg was in the news for... And actually in their quarterly earnings, their time on site for users has gone down and their share price is hard.
But what Mark Zuckerberg's decided to do is to clean up the news feed and get out of there some of the things that make Facebook a stressful experience. I know my little sister who lives in New York City was not a big fan of the election result and she was just getting angry looking at Facebook - all the news and different things that was on there.
[00:13:38] And Facebook's now decided to clean that up and say, "We don't want a lot of viral clickbait type news content on the platform anymore." And a lot of people who are advertisers were confused and wondering, "Well, what does this mean for me as an advertiser on Facebook.
[00:13:56] So put it in context from what you've seen in terms of performance of campaigns and stats but also the bigger picture as Facebook relates to what Google did.
Mike: [00:14:06] Yeah. Well, Facebook's done this before. You know, they've cleaned house a few times and people have a tendency to become upset when their campaigns are-- or when their accounts are turned off and they don't understand why. The reason why they get upset is because in truth they actually do understand why. We know when we're being not great humans - when we're doing things that are outside of the acceptable social agreement that we have with one another.
And when we do those things, even though everyone when-- where we do them and everyone's doing them, we feel less guilty about it. But when we-- because we're like, "Oh, well everybody's winning. It's just the way that it is." Well, that's not the way it is supposed to be. Maybe the way that it is. [00:14:44] But then when those corrections come, we have to just recognize when know we weren't being really great people at the core of our message, right.
We're using scarcity tactics or we're using a non-positive consumer experience 'cause we're trying to control and trap and manipulate, you know. Those type of things will end up biting us in the butt, you know, heavily. [20.0] So, as for what to expect from this change, this chip won't be the last change. It's not the first change but I can tell you right now what's going to happen to these costs are going to go up. Becoming a more seasoned and calculated marketer is going to become hypercritical.
[00:15:23] Facebook has been talking about a storyline. Two years ago, I was in Ireland at the EMEA Facebook headquarters and they're talking about reverse story arcs and literally teaching all of the agencies that were there for that "How to properly tell story on Facebook" and have it result in more sales. I don't see a lot of that in the general internet marketing community.
[00:15:50] Even though I have a very large internet marketing group, I actually don't participate much in that community. I try to guide the community to become marketers instead of internet marketers. And that's going to be the biggest challenge for everyone. It's this the easy button that they've been conditioned to believe is the answer. Those who have been conditioned of course will have to reframe and understand that no longer exists and that will no longer serve them because costs are going to go up as these people who have been organically entering the news feed are going to be removed. They're going to now look to pay for that reach.
[00:16:21] You mentioned political headlines, right, and things of that nature. Some of that will still show up in the newsfeed because it will still be posted from friends and family, right, and the things that friends and family interact with. What will disappear are a lot of page commercial messages or page messages that were being shared but weren't necessarily of benefit to the end user. So, those people are now going to have to those pictures that have organically-- and I have many friends that have five million plus fans on their page and they get many many clicks. They're--
[00:16:54] Now, this impacts them the most. They're now going to have to play. And guess what, those guys have money. They have a lot of funding. So when that funding comes in from Fortune 500, Fortune 100, and these funded startups, it's going to increase and inflate the costs. So now, the overarching storyline that you have for your brand is going to become hypercritical because you're going to have to think about what's called a multi-touch system. Right?
You're going to have to recognize the fact that your prospects to your ad, let's say, four times per month, if you have a decent media spend. And over the course of six months, that's going to be 24 times they've seen your message. You're going to have to think about whether or not after a certain time period depending upon the volume of your market cap, whether you have enough proliferation of your storyline to be able to keep your audiences entertained and if you've got them liking your brand.
[00:17:43] So, it effects you in two ways. One - you're going to have to get smarter. Two - you're going to have to end up paying more if you have enough smarts.
Sam: [00:17:53] So, Mike, if you were listening to this as a new marketer, you know, everyone looks at audience targeting. They look at testing different windows of conversions. What is the most important thing to focus on if you're getting started on Facebook or if you're trying to make your Facebook campaigns better. What's the number one determinant of success in Facebook ads right now?
Mike: [00:18:18] I will give you the answer but it's not right now. It's always and ever. Right? So... And Facebook has shared this and I could find the document for you. But the number one thing that's going to impact your return on investment for advertising is your market reach. You know, that's the number one thing - do you have the greatest reach? Now, I think it's a factor of, like, 22 times impact on return on investment.
So if you're the biggest guy on the block when you spend at-- when you spend money, you're going to make more money, right? Second factor is creative to an 18 times return. Right? So 22-- I think I'm quoting these from memory so they are-- I'm probably just slightly incorrect here but 22 times return for market penetration. Second thing is creative. Does your creative rock? The next one underneath that at four times return is your targeting. Right? So as you can see, your creative has way more impact than your targeting.
[00:19:13] And in fact, in many of our campaigns, I don't target at all. I want the algorithm do it. The algo that they have is so great. I just say, "OK. I'm going to make my creative. I'm going to let the creative naturally find its target audience and then I'll let the algo do its job." When I'm not fighting the algo? It does a better job for me.
If I'm not attempting to manipulate the algo, it does a better job for me all my whole job as an agency and your whole job as an advertiser get your customer down. Know the journey and articulate the storyline so that when they can and when to interact with the ad you're going to get the right user automatically matched to the right ad you're going to pay less.
Sam: [00:19:51] Wow. It's great to hear someone confirm what we've been finding in our own is we've been spending less and less time on Facebook audience targeting and we've simply been putting together what I call 'monster lookalikes.' We'll take a video that starts to get video views and we do lookalike audiences of all the different touch points on the video, all the different touch points on our funnel and then we just put them into one big monster lookalike audience and let the algorithm choose from all those people based on our creative.
Mike: [00:20:26] Yeah we have. We have campaigns where we don't even do lookalikes anymore just because we don't want to limit the algo at all. And we found him and then is, remember we're talking about 20 to 30 thousand dollars a day in media spend. Is it the same at 200 dollars? Probably not. Right? Especially if you're spending 200 dollars and attempting to make a 2000 sale that's not going to work.
[00:20:53] You know? You need to feed the machine more information. So you don't attempt these strategies if you have if you have, you know? We always like to say 5 to 10x the, 5 to 10x the product cost times the media spend per app. Right? So if your if your product cost is one dollar you only have to spend ten dollars on an ad in order for you to make sure that it makes sense. But if you if your product cost a thousand dollars, well you're going to spend 10000 per ad for it to hit statistical significance.
[00:21:13] So you're going to have to, this gets a little complicated but you're gonna have to make sure that you're spending against your against your target. And if you're if you're doing what I'm saying you have a thousand dollar product and you're trying to sell it on Facebook you're going to have to, you've got everything that I'm saying throw out the window when you get hyper targeted. You go in your little clothes super tight niches and then you're going to need to do that. Does that make sense dude?
Sam: [00:21:37] Yeah. It certainly makes sense and I think, you know, for us we help people sell some higher end products, we really like the look alike to help you know to provide a layer of filtering for the leads.
[00:21:52] But what we're finding on our Facebook ads is if the video speaks to your ideal client and right away basically calls them out with the with the beginning, the hook, as we call it in the beginning, then they will keep watching and they will tell Facebook who they are on and Facebook will go find more of them and it's brilliant when the creative feeds the algorithm with these lookalike audiences.
Mike: [00:22:16] And it really is. And it works exceptionally well. I'm sorry I start thinking about what we're doing instead of thinking about what someone else would need to do. So yes the outlays are going to be important and even more than that, not more than but well it is kind of more than, you're targeting the campaigns.
You have to have your retargeting campaigns set up intelligently so that you are really leveraging the entire storyline, right? From first point of contact the second, third, fourth, fifth. Don't let it be, don't let it be some accidental second touch point because they happen to see your as a second time. Right? Be intentional with each year touch and think about that section of ads that's going to take place.
Sam: [00:22:56] Yeah and that's such a critical point. Is the the thing that we're seeing on e-mail, e-mail marketing used to be the way to bring people through your entire customer journey and we still do e-mails because once you have people in your system e-mails still a tool and we're still getting clicks out of it but we replicate the entire e-mail journey on Facebook where you can put those same videos and the same copy you'd put in the e-mails on Facebook because a lot of people like me don't spend a lot of time in their inbox anymore.
[00:23:26] You're on Slack. You're on some other kind of internal messaging system and e-mails more kind of like your mailbox used to be where you go collect your junk mail and and sort through the one or two offers you wanted to take a look at. So you have to be really careful to not just rely on e-mail but replicate it with Facebook.
Mike: [00:23:45] And when it came out it was a novelty that people grasped onto because it was something new that they thought would help optimise their lives and just like you said now it's just another nuisance. So the ads on Facebook become a really great way to continue that communication thread and especially if you're making your communications engaging and entertaining.
Sam: [00:24:08] So Mike, one of the things that I love about bringing you to this conference is you're an example of someone who is at the top of the game and traffic. Everyone looks to for advice seems consulted with some of the top experts out there. But you also kind of went underground out of the internet marketing space for a while. The speaking circuit. Talk to me about your thoughts on the American marketing industry and why you have been so scarce and why you're excited to come come out and speak at our conference.
Mike: [00:24:41] Sure. So we actually did this twice. I left the internet marketing world and went into just agency world first in 2000 because at that time it was Jonathan, the Boulder Summit and really good guys who really wanted to help.
They wanted to help people but I just it was time for me to find a new path and a new energy, so I left that space and then eventually in 2004 I think I came back. Yanik Silver invited me to go to one of his undergrad marketing seminars. I went not like I really missed these people. These are really good people too in this space.
[00:25:17] So I ended up leaving because you know I just, it was time for me to try something different, let's say that. And then when I came back, I was like, oh this is cool. I like these people and I, you know what really led me to come back? I saw a product. I bought a product well let me rephrase this. I came back.
I went to Yanik's event. I was like, oh this is cool let's buy of course. Because at the time I had a staff of like six or seven people in my office at my agency. I was like let's buy a product and we can give it to some new people and they can learn how to run some Google ads for us. GDNF ads about the product, it cost like two grand. I looked at it and I started laughing. I'm like this is this is crap. What is this? This is this is a 2000 dollar product.
[00:26:01] And they're like yeah this is it. I'm like this is nothing this is so fundamental and rudimentary this doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of what someone would need to know. So I that's when I decided, all right I'm going to teach people how to make a really great product.
And so I created CPS Tsunami which took me a long time of course of a couple of years to get my crap together because I had a full time job being an agency guy and essentially I did that product and it was very well received. It was it was 18 hour course of just everything you needed to know to be able to run a CPA program.
[00:26:32] And then after a little while I ended up leaving again after a really set product I got disenfranchised because people are still trying to use this product that I created to try and bring goodness into the marketing world for bad stuff. And I'm like, you know what? Forget it. I'll just come back and another time again.
I started Internet Marketing Superfriends around that time frame too so that I could try and move people into the into the light and teach them how to be a force for good. But again and that worked really really well. I mean that's a great community and everyone's amazing in there. But it wasn't really part of my heart's desire. I wanted to do something a little bit different.
[00:27:09] So I took some time and I stepped back and I spent more time with my family because my agency pays all my bills. I don't need to sell information products to make a living. You know, I make my money through my agency. So now I'm coming back in again because, you know we have our you know, our passion which I've been talking to you about my Conscious Marketing Academy.
And you know to teach people to be able to with specifics strategies like you're teaching and I present I'm so excited to be connected to you and working with you because it's not often I find someone who's so perfectly like minded in this in the importance of storyline in advertising.
[00:27:45] So now I'm coming back and I'll be speaking again. I've got like two or three speaking engagements booked this year and yours is one of them. And I'm very excited to come back because I feel like I still have, I know I have a tremendous amount to share.
And I think that by working with people like yourself we can bring it in a way that people will find consistency in that message and they'll be able to actually have a plan to get from where they are now, using inadequacy marketing to where they want to be, using the power market.
Sam: [00:28:12] Yeah and one of the things I love about your approach Mike is you're so good at this. You perform at such a high level and you're an example of someone who does it at the highest ethical standard.
[00:28:23] And one of the things I'd like people to take away from this is you don't need to trick people or manipulate people to be successful and paid traffic. In fact, I always like to say inspiration is far more powerful and enduring than manipulation. Because you can get away with manipulation a few times but your brand can survive it in this online world.
Mike: [00:28:44] Very true. As social as it is you're gonna get roasted pretty quickly. There are plenty of case study examples of this. If you try and manipulate the people too much, you know?
I mean many brands do it at a very light level and they don't get roasted but when it's taken too far you can see the net of that in the comments. But more than that, you lose the faith of your audience. The trust of your brand is not there and people leave because your brand is not destined to last. And why do something if it's not going to last?
Sam: [00:29:13] Exactly. And I think the internet is such a, it's a growing maturing place and what you do online, it's hard to erase.
[00:29:22] You know your reputation online is, it's you know, in Europe you have the right to be forgotten on search results. But even then you know it's you know, what you do up there has a digital thumbprint and it's always searchable and you know, people can find it and people talk about it and it's not worth it to sacrifice it.
And one of the things that you know I've really seen from you Mike is speaking out against people who go for the short term gain or try and push the edge or try and treat people in a way that's not consistent with you know how we'd all like to be treated.
Mike: [00:30:00] Yeah I think David Hawkins does a good job of explaining what you're talking about in his book 'Successes is For You'. It's a bit of a you know, he's a metaphysical guy spiritualist but he talks about the fact that the underlying intention of your business needs to resonate with the messaging of the business.
And if your intention is incorrect, if your intention is just to make money, you're going to have marginal true success in your business and in your own in your life. But if you set the footprint intent and everything comes from that footprint intention of changing lives or doing better or solving a specific problem, then all of your marketing messages. I mean that's why it's his book starts with why.
Why take this growth in you know why based and passion based marketing. And unfortunately it can sometimes become deafening because it's becoming so popular that everyone's hearing it. And that may lose its potency but I promise you if you start with it always operate from the assumptions you're going to get caught. Everything you do no matter what. And then it's really easy to make really great decision, you know?
Sam: [00:31:01] Yeah. And that's where I think you've been so successful at what you do and people respect you so much and you're you're really kind of leading the way and in just telling people to tell people better stories. Help people believe a better story about their life with the message you put out there and use this amazing medium to connect with people and show them something different is possible.
And people get so cynical about advertising but I can think of so many ads or interactions with a new idea that I never would have thought of that changed my life and it's great to see you not just preach how to do that but actually marketing people who you know, who have positive impact and I know that your filters very strong for who you work with.
Mike: [00:31:45] It is yeah. We kind of have to be. I want to address one quick thing you mentioned cynical nature towards advertising. I had that for awhile too and I want to be sure that I mention this the world is a reflection of your current conscious mindset. Right?
So when we have, when I encountered people who have a cynical view of advertising I help them to recognise and see that advertising is everywhere. And it's not bad. Advertising moves and changes the world. And it actually can be a very positive force for good when channeled correctly. We get to decide how we view advertising.
We get to decide which ads we see and I encourage people all the time. If you don't like it, hide it in your feed, comment about, it complain about it so that you don't...I mean when I say complain I don't mean like you know don't be verbal in your community bitching about something that you see, I mean complain to Facebook and and report things. You have the ability to influence the advertising landscape as an individual. All of us do.
[00:32:48] And if we don't exercise that that right in that ability, then we pray that we become a victim to it. So you know, start hiding friends, people, and ads that don't resonate with the worldview that you want for yourself that you want for your children and then you'll start seeing advertising differently because all you'll get will be advertisements that resonate with you.
And then all of that negativity can go away and that will free you to not have to do what on how you view advertising and how you need to use advertising. Right? You can't simultaneously hate something and beat it and love it.
Sam: [00:33:26] And one of the things Mike I really like about that is. I remember after the last election I hid a bunch of things in my newsfeed and my experience with Facebook has become a lot better and now obviously Facebook's trying to clean it up on their level so that people don't even have to do that. But I think I've got such a better experience as a result doing that.
And also as you as you know is an advertiser your relevance score in Facebook, your quality score on Google, how they view you depends on how people rate the experience that they have with you. So it just doesn't make sense to not try and make it a great experience for someone online with your ad. Most people who see you're out are never going to buy anything. The question is can you leave that person better off as a result of your ad even if they do nothing with it?
Mike: [00:34:18] Absolutely. You bring up a really good point. So Facebook looks at ad relevance and they look at the user interactions and the comments and likes and shares and things of that nature and Google actually even looks at and Facebook does it too, but Google's predominantly, they're more on it than Facebook is. Facebook or excuse me Google will look at time spent on site as well as did that person continue their search behavior pattern? So if I if I'm searching for storytelling did I go to your website Sam and then I did I end up continuing on the other links in the journey or did you give me the answer that I was looking for and having and trapping me or asking me to you know forcing me to an optin without giving me the ability to navigate and get my answer is one surefire way to make sure that I continue my search behavior because you're not giving me what I want without putting a wall up so it's really important that you have an open conversation, instead of a gateway conversation with your ad consumer especially on Google but you know that just follows everywhere.
Sam: [00:35:25] Mike, last thing I'd like to get your comments on is video.
[00:35:30] Facebook has made it very clear from what I've read that everything is going towards video and in fact, Gary Vaynerchuk has this great talk where he says there's such a gold rush right now on Facebook.
You don't you don't realise how much of an opportunity is there because 95 percent of big brands are still spending most of their money on television budgets where they can't measure the return and that's where they're putting all their production value and all that amazing video talent that they can bring to bear. He said when they switch to Facebook that's going to change the game in terms of cost per click and the the flight to quality in terms of ads and it's really an arms race on Facebook for making better quality videos that connect with your client. What how do you see what Gary V. says and what are your thoughts on what people should do to get ready for taking advantage of this great opportunity we have right now so that when the brands come over there they're going to survive?
Mike: [00:36:31] Yeah. So. I have to be careful because I'm very passionate about this subject. So first of all video is everything. I literally have an office in California. I have a specific directive and we just hired two more video guys yesterday. And I have an initiative to have five more guys in that office before mid year. And I'm taking the other divisions of my company and putting them into an atrophies states.
[00:37:03] I'm not going to focus on them and I'm only focusing on more video, more creative people, more fun. And we are an agency but we're actually a video creation shop is what we're becoming because we have to be because everything else is going away. So I do think that the only thing that really matters is video. Yes you want to have a multi modality, you want PDF downloads and you want the audio and you want to know all the long taxes and all that happy stuff but really... The video is the only thing that matters.
[00:37:39] I mean you can get away without doing other stuff and just make great videos. I will say one thing. Gary is right about the fact that once the Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 come on board their budgets will eclipse every other thing. I've seen it happening when I’ve consulted for a new startup about 10 years ago. They had me in there we're working the algorithm and figuring out how to make the platform faster and better.
It was me and them and they analyzed PhDs and I'm not educated, I didn’t go to college. I hated school but it was me and these Ph.D. is trying to figure out how to get the best algo. They had all these theories and concepts. Long story short at the end of the day I was kidding but we were able to do an amazing job until the cell phone came in. Once the cell phone companies figured out they could advertise online it was “game over” and I could not afford to compete against them. That same thing is going to happen on Facebook the moment that the Fortune 100 and 500 figure out or ancient they figure out that once they properly reallocate the budget. I believe the only reason they're not there now - is politics. I think that there's a whole lot of politics involved once they get past the political barriers and are able to move a lot of their budget from TV to online. This is where I disagree with Gary. I know they can quantify.
[00:38:54] They can spend a million or six million dollars in a Super Bowl ad and they can say they see the inherent lift in their online sales from that Super Bowl app. They know that that's coming out. They can quantify TV to a point that makes us look like you know babies. What happens when they can quantify that online even more. Oh man.
I mean forget it. You're talking about rates going up at least 500 to 1000 % over what they are now and it will be. It's going to be a short window. I mean really we're talking about maybe a three year window of opportunity for people to really get it and then it's going to be just like TV. Good luck getting on TV. You know I mean you can and reminisce space. But you get what I'm saying right now.
Sam: [00:39:34] Yeah it's it's going to be to the point where I believe the window we're in right now is the time to establish a brand before the big brands get online.
Mike: [00:39:46] Absolutely hands down. And now you mentioned earlier that you talked about the gold rush of the Google. That was actually harder. It is way easier now to make money than it was in the 2000 era. You know it was. Yes it was cheap. But at the same time now with the algos being what they are.
[00:40:06] Anybody who can tell a great story can come online and make a killing by just being a genuine and authentic individual and a great storyteller or as before you actually had to you know you had to work because there were so many snakes in the den.
Sam: [00:40:20] Yeah I think I think it's really fascinating to see the similarities between the Google transition because every single piece of real estate online that has been searched has now been uncovered and people are competing fiercely for that traffic and Facebook.
Sam: [00:40:36] I think what's stopping a lot of people who put a lot of money on the Google search is they don't quite understand that it's not at all Google and that you know what is working creatively on Google is not going to work on Facebook and they're just trying to wrap their heads around that and we teach at our workshops how to meet someone at the beginning of their hero's journey or their customers journey and connect with them before they even understand they have a problem or at least if they know they have a problem they certainly don't know what the right solution is and you just connect with people a lot earlier in their let's say levels of awareness. If you want to get a scientific consumer...
Mike: [00:41:20] it's called consumer intent and you're actually meeting them at the at the beginning and a consumer intention ladder. Microsoft used to have her MSA needs to have a consumer retention thing you could put in a keyword and determine the consumer's intent behind that specific keyword.
So yeah grabbing them earlier. I mean it's already proven that you can grab them while they're thinking hash get a new TV before they get to the point where they're LCD versus LED versus plasma versus you know brand comparisons. They're going to buy that brand that they first found at the beginning of that journey provided that that brand is comparable to the others that when they reach the end of their selection criteria process.
Sam: [00:41:53] Yeah and that's that's where Facebook offers this huge opportunity is in the ability to target people who don't even know that they need you yet and that the pool of people that can enter your funnel is so massive because they're at the top versus in Google they tend to be much farther down the decision cycle and the level of awareness. If it were Claude Hopkins scientific advertising they already are a solution wherein there shopping around versus there are problem where even problem unaware on Facebook.
Mike: [00:42:25] Well you bring up a really good point and this is something we've seen with an advertiser who we you know we started at five hundred hours a day and spent 300 hours a day and spent an hour at 25000 a day. We've watch that Facebook ad campaigns that say that Facebook's algos says oh OK this person which they know you. It's so intimately. It should scare the hell out of everyone.
But you know this person is going to need this thing within six weeks or six months so we're going to get to show them your ad because our algo is determined that this person will be looking for your product within you know within X time as you've already indicated but then make sure you have your Google campaign set up because we've watched our Google campaign go from you know no spend to almost on par with our Facebook spend due to the fact that we're raising awareness of the brand and of the end of that that need that Facebook pre you know a premeditatedly determined they were going to have. So those two actually shouldn't have to play together or you're just leaving a ton of money on the table and feeding your competition. All of your. All of this work you've done.
Sam: [00:43:31] So you're telling me that on Facebook I'm creating this awareness and I should be doing keyword searches on story matters and story matters live our conference coming up because people will be suits searching for that. And if I don't put those paid ads there I'm missing them opportunity.
Mike: [00:43:48] Yeah you need to hit the entire consumer intent ladder right all the way from storytelling all the way up to know your specific brand title and you should be also looking at GBN for those specific broad match modifier keywords as well. So what happens to consumers Facebook the new TV. Right. So for this generation at least you know for the younger generation the teenagers that snapchat Snapchat the new TV. So for everyone over 18 no Facebook is the new TV.
So they're getting all their influence from those video as they're watching on Facebook and then where TV used to create that awareness of brand and of desire. Now it's all FB right. And then they move over to Google and that's where they'll start looking at all the different search results. So let's say they don't click on an ad specifically because they have they don't like the top three as it come up on on Google or whatever it might be they click on one of the sites that has information regarding storytelling and then yeard your banner ad exists there.
[00:44:47] Oh yeah. I have recognition that there's pattern recognition there. I remember seeing that ad on Facebook or watching that video. Now they might click on the banner ad and not necessarily in a search listing. So you have to have a nice wide array of you know those image ads on on Google as well as dynamic ads which look like native ads under them so have to do it all in conjunction and then you can really get the most return.
Sam: [00:45:12] Yeah I think it's really important to have all of it work together and understand you know an expert like you who can map out a strategy and this is why people would want to come I can't wait to sit in your workshop myself and see the story matters live conference you teach in this stuff for two hours. So for me just to kind of summarize everything because boy we cover a lot of ground and it's great to talk to someone who's knows way more about this stuff and has been doing this for a lot longer than me. So if you're listening to this and you want to know what steps to take next.
Well first things first focus on the story because I think Mike brought that home which is all the technical stuff in the world without good creative that connects with the Avatar is not going to is not going to help. The second thing is understanding when you have this story in your ideal customer is getting putting your priorities in the right place which is video creative on Facebook. But then once you spark that demand mapping it out the entire customer journey through Facebook and Google with remarketing.
[00:46:17] If you're asking yourself how the heck am I going to learn all this. Well Mike's actually going to be teaching at our story matters live conference in July 12 the 14 July in Warsaw Poland. The first day as a VIP day with people in our mastermind and also people who buy the VIP tickets. The second day is going to be sort of like a TED talks or marketing or story talks from marketing where Mike's going to be one of the featured keynote speakers as well as some case studies from our community and the other speakers are going to be people I know you know James tramcar very well Mike who's going to be there with him talking on content marketing and then Pep Liah the world's foremost teach on conversion rate optimization. And then finally Ryan Spanker who's the man who taught me our video marketing style.
So the last part of this is going to be the third day we're going to have two hour workshops where we're going to keep the group small and people can rotate through workshops and if you want to sit there for two hours have Mike teach his system and you know give some checklists and ask him questions.
Sam: [00:47:24] It's a perfect opportunity to get interaction with Mike on this so…
Mike: [00:47:27] we'll make sure giving road maps to for everybody so we'll actually have printouts that will show exactly what I've given you verbally. We'll have the entire mind map. I love mind maps.
Sam: [00:47:37] Yeah. No I really looking forward to seeing that and we'll be putting that together on a take home pay packet for people who goes so... Well Mike thank you so much for taking us through that.
[00:47:49] And thank you so much for your great summary of the high level and some of the details some things takeaways that if people know what they're doing they can go implement right away like some of the things I heard
Mike: [00:48:03] I should be doing which will go to you taking notes.
Sam: [00:48:05] Yeah exactly.
[00:48:06] The other thing is just really looking forward to meeting you in person and spending some time with you in Warsaw this summer. It's really awesome and I can't wait to spend that quality time with you and 140 of members of our community who get those tickets while they're available.
Mike: [00:48:23] I can't wait. I'm really excited. Thank you so much for having me.
Sam: [00:48:26] Thank you Mike. And thank you story matters podcast listener for joining us for another episode on unpaid traffic and Storytime with Mike Hill and if you found this helpful please go to iTunes and leave your reviews or other people who are like-minded storytellers can hear about this and join the community.
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