Episode 49: How To Increase Your Leads With Chris Roche

I love getting into it with another marketing agency owner. This time it was Chris Roche, CEO at Catalyst Consulting.

We got stuck into:

  • Why the design of your website should be the last thing you focus on 
  • Facebook is not only for B2C, but also B2B
  • Why you should have a retargeting layer on Facebook and YouTube
  • How to work with a small budget
  • How to divide time between organic and paid ads
  • Why you need to turn ads off during the Christmas period 

And the mega-bonus…

  • Chris’ content creation process.

This is vital insider info for anyone thinking of running Facebook or LinkedIn ads.

Remember to:

Follow Chris on LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/thechrisroche

Follow ‘Mellonie Francis’ on LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/mellonie-francis

Transcript:

Mel:
I get to sit down with Chris Roche, who is the CEO of catalyst consulting, another marketing agency. And this conversation gets deep about LinkedIn ads, ads, in general, how companies need to be thinking about multi touch point lead generation. We also get into, you know, personal brand first company brand conversation, I found this fascinating this conversation between us. And if you are a cm audio, and you are in the mix of that, or you’re in the mix of like, you’re a CEO, and you’re building out your marketing funnel, you want to listen to this, this is an amazing conversation. My question for you was, look, you being in the b2b SaaS space. And so it falls in with the funding crisis going on. And I’ve been watching it like, I love the b2b SaaS base, I love technology, I love what it can do for productivity like you. How is the business sentiment in general, in this business, like, you know, I’m looking at all of you that are in this space, like super focus going, it’s a tough environment for those companies.

Chris:
It is right now the there is a lot of uncertainty. I mean, in the market in terms of just the general stock market, nobody knows what’s going on. But in terms of just you know, venture capital firms, you know, SAS startups, anything, anyone really in that b2b SaaS space, there’s a lot of uncertainty as to what’s going to happen in the next year, there’s a lot of pipelines that are drying up, there’s a lot of knee jerk reactions being made right now, which is where ultimately, you know, you’re seeing things like a tonne of layoffs, you’re seeing people slash marketing budgets, you’re seeing people, in my opinion, just make the wrong decisions. I think what this is going to lead into and for me, where I see the future of SAS marketing, and SAS growth, in general, really evolving into is more of this fractional employment model where for a lot of these very, very, you know, highly skilled areas of the business such as, you know, demand generation, such as a VP of marketing, you know, Chief Marketing Officer, specifically in the marketing field, there isn’t really that need when you’re an early stage company to have somebody full time, especially when you consider the overhead associated with that person. I mean, you’re talking 150 $250,000 a year, on one person, which when you’re in that early stage, it’s very, very difficult to justify. And what we’ve seen is a lot of companies, when things are going well, they hired like crazy, and you saw it, you know, the beginning of 2022, everybody could get a 20 to 30% increase in salary just by jumping company, and everybody was hiring and everybody was moving. And that for us was honestly as a as an agency was a difficult time because everybody wanted to hire that $180,000 market. And nobody wanted to work with a fractional CMO, because they could, you know, everybody was very bullish. And now what we’ve seen, as you know, valuations are down, funding has dried up. And really, companies are forced to be a little bit more frugal and lean with their approach to growth. And that’s really lead into what I think we’re going to see in this next 12 to 18 month period, which is this monumental shift to this fractional employment situation where suddenly, you know, staying lean working with a an agency, working with a specialist working with a contractor is going to allow you to scale very, very quickly without investing in the overhead, meaning you can shift that back into the budget and ultimately get results from that.

Mel:
Yeah, absolutely. We’ve definitely seen a lot of people trying to do in house marketing, right, what I’ve seen every time every SAS company, what they try and do is they compete with agencies to build their in house capabilities. And this, there’s different if you think about the thoughts that we’ve seen also from other thought leaders, as I’ve come across, as they’re saying, they were saying, Yeah, that’s really good. Like, you need to have your in house team and you need to, you know, go and start building on that. And I think but where you’re sitting in that series A and the before precede, and all that, like they should not be going and building this mammoth, this huge team around them when they don’t even know messaging that they need expertise, like true experts. Rather than training up a team for 18 months, it’s just going to slow down and burn out the cash.

Chris:
Exactly, you have, you have kind of two different things that you’re fighting against. You have the the burn rate of how much you’re spending per month, and the cost associated with building a team. And let’s face it for any marketing department, you’re looking at, you know, 30 to 50,000 a month, which is crazy expensive. You know, when you think about results that you can get, then you’re investing in things like a demand generation strategy, which is ultimately going to be a long term strategy, so you’re not going to get results in the first six months. Then you think about the fact that you’re actually as a company, most series A startup Aren’t profitable. So you’ve only got 12 to 18 months worth of runway. So suddenly, you’re making all these decisions that kind of thrown all your eggs in one basket, six months later, it doesn’t work, you lay off your whole marketing department, and then you’re looking to shift. But quite often, you’ve already kind of spent the resources that you have, and suddenly, you’re in a much worse position. So I think, understanding when the right time to build, the internal team is something that a lot of founders specifically CEOs struggle with, because their belief is that by building an internal team, I have the control, and I can really have more insight, and I have somebody that’s dedicated resources to me, but quite often, you don’t need that much attention in those early stages. And that’s where again, you know, we’ve had tremendous success working with series A founders where we just say, Listen, we can take care of all this for you. It’s a fraction of the cost. And we have the expertise, and what we see with one client, and when we test something, and it works with one client, we’re spotting those trends now across multiple clients, so we’re learning from other clients that we can now apply to your situation. And you will, you will never get that with an in house marketing team unless that in house marketer is also consulting on the side, which is a whole different, you know, kind of discussion to get into.

Mel:
But I guess we’re clients, the reason they still spend more money is because they don’t trust agencies, right? I mean, that’s the core of it. I mean, how many times have I spoken them saying, you know, I mean, I like your mail, but you know, I’ve been burned so many times and all these promises. And so they’d rather spend more because they trust like, okay, that person that I’ve hired, who’s an employee is going to do a better job than me wasting money? And do you know what, when you look back, and you know, your your journey, right, but 12 months, is that 12 months now into your full agency suite? Or how long has it been just over just over 12 months. So I think what happens, and you would have probably picked this up when I started agency, you know, like three years ago, the first three, four months that clients could pick up, I mean, you kind of are testing on them, what your hypothesis is, to a large extent, or if you’re freelancing, before you do your agency, there is a range of clients, sometimes you’re testing on. And I think at that stage, if you’re like, kind of charging really low and learning, but there’s some people getting burned, but they know they’re getting a really good deal, when you’re being really transparent that I’m testing on you, you’re my early stage client, the relationship can be transparent and quite obvious, and they don’t walk out going, I dealt with a professional agency, and this was my experience. But what happens is people come in there and charge these clients with really high fees, because they’re starting off and they need that injection of capital to hire the next team. And the clients are paying out of their nose and trusting this situation, and then they get burned. And all the other agencies after that are now having to do a longer funnel cycle to prove out that they’re the ones.

Chris:
Yeah, I just think whenever you’re looking at hiring an agency, look at their past results, ask for introduction to clients look at, you know, the kind of content that they’re producing, are they drinking their own Kool Aid? You know, if they’re talking about going on podcasts? Are they on podcast, you know, doing that, like, how are they actually promoting themselves, because it’s very easy to bullshit your way through and sorry, to swear on this, but it’s very easy to kind of bullshit your way through a sales call. As you know, if you’re starting off and like, listen, I can charge five grand a month, I could charge 10 grand a month, like you can get your way through those calls, but actually delivering on those results, asked to talk to a client that’s been with them for 12 months. Because again, the retention is where you can see the success. And that’s where with us, you know, we’re very proud of our retention rate. You know, we have clients that, again, we work with stars, we have clients that have paused contract fields, because they’re raising money, or they want to reduce the ads, and we’ve had those situations. Overall, we’ve had tremendous success with the way that we’ve been able to communicate and work with clients as an extension of that team. And I think if you go into it with a mentality of how can I ultimately be an extension of that team that will put you in a strong position rather than this client agency kind of mentality because it leaves you one step removed, which to me, you’re not investing in their success. You’re only investing in your own success.

Mel:
Absolutely. One thing I love about you and your company is your website, right? I think you’ve done a sensational job at putting your website together. I love the drawings. I love how clean out how clear you were articulating your steps of research, discovery, testing, confirmation, scaling, optimising like it really grabbed me and it tell me about like, I guess that’s what you would also bring to your clients as well is that what you’ve got going on is something that you would be able to bring to your client is what that’s how I judge. Like, if I like my, if you like my LinkedIn content, yours is probably going to be similar because it’s going to have a similar framework or whatever. So that’s something for me that really stood out With you tell me about your, you know, proposition to the market, how you became so clear, and how you came up with those designs like someone listening on and thinking, you know, I need to rebrand I need to reposition. What are your tips to getting something that clean and clear that you’ve got here on catalyst? consulting.com?

Chris:
Yeah, for me, it was very much, you know, how can I? How can I deliver the message of what I would in a, in an introductory call with a potential client? How can I do that as simply as possible? Marketing is a very noisy space, there’s a lot of people giving advice, there’s a lot of good advice. And there’s also a lot of very bad advice with marketing as well. So I wanted to differentiate from typical SEO blog posts, we’ll do graphic design, you know, we’ll do whatever else for you. You know, for me with Catalyst, I came from a sales and marketing background prior to this. So I was the chief revenue officer, I oversold marketing, I haven’t, you know, a lot of background in running paid ads prior to starting catalyst. So when I run digital advertising, it’s always to generate revenue and pipeline, it’s not on brand awareness campaigns, we run brand awareness campaigns, but we’re always looking to tie it back to revenue as quickly as possible. And that’s where, again, when we started, Carlos, I want that to be very clear, we’re taking companies that don’t know how to scale, and we’re teaching them how to get predictable, scalable, and repeatable results, so that they, you know, if they put $1, into this machine, they’re gonna get five out, and then they’re gonna put $10. And you can start to scale up from that. And obviously, it’s not quite as linear as that. That was a very kind of simple way of looking at it. But I want to teach clients how to be able to do that, so that they can ultimately scale their marketing with us. And then we can ultimately have that success with them. So when I was putting down the website, that was all I was thinking is how can I keep this as simple as possible? And how can I show the difference between the way that or the marketing agencies are talking about that, and the way the unique perspective that I have on digital advertising?

Mel:
Yeah, awesome. So if someone is redoing their website, right, would you recommend that they, okay, they can go with a marketing agency. But say they’re still like kind of figuring out their messaging, and they’re doing their discovery, because the clearer they are with their messaging, the better and the more damage you can do as they come to you with that being clear. So if they were like, say, putting together a website, and it wanted to look as good as yours, for example, would you say to them, like, you really need a good copywriter? The crux of it? Like, is that how you started, like, if I went down to your process of copy first, you know, you maybe put it together the draft, but then a copywriter comes in and actually goes and gives it a nice brush, and then the Designer comes in and you did you instruct the designer, like walk me through the in depth of the process that you use to develop something, I think pretty well class.

Chris:
So it’s it for me, it was a little different, because I didn’t at the time have an in house sales team that I could talk with I was sales. So I really went from, you know, I’m having conversations with potential clients, I’m testing my own messaging through sales, and I’m seeing what’s resonating. So if I’m in a position where I’m looking to redo the website, first thing I’m doing is gonna go and talk to sales, and receive and get recordings of calls. And I want to have those conversations with account executives with STRS figure out when they’re seeing certain messages to potential clients, what’s piquing the interest because those messages, ultimately I want to use them in all of my marketing. But now I know what’s going to hit home the fastest, and what really is going to kind of press it until it hurts with potential buyers. And again, this isn’t going to be every buyer. But if I can find what my ICP is going to most quickly resonate with and highly resonate with. That’s the type of topics that I want to have on the website. Once I’ve got the topics, then I’m going to copy. And again, I’m looking at the way that I can structure this, how can I put these out? You know, there are some people that say, you know, you should be AV testing, you should be testing all this copy. I think if you have a good conversion rate with it, you can tweak it, but I wouldn’t spend too much time with that. And then the last thing that I would focus on is the design. Because for me, yes, the design of our website, you know, again, I like it, I think it’s great, it’s not something that again, was there wasn’t a tremendous amount put into the design, it was more than a copy and the messaging that we wanted to put across. So I would focus on that as the last I don’t think is the most important component, I think you can have websites with great copy that will convert better than websites with great design and you know, not great copy. So that’s the process that I would go through. But it all stems from talking to your sales reps and Account Executives because they know what’s resonating. And if you can go and talk to past customers and ask them you know, why? Why did they want to join you? You know, why did they end up you know, working with you? Currently, I’m actually putting together a course for to teach digital marketers how to launch their own marketing firm and I built a landing page for that. And when people submit the form, I asked them, you know, what does success look like for you? You know, if you want to sign up for the course what does success look like? And the answers that I’m getting the value at each entry you know I can now use that turn that into messaging, I can put that on the landing page, because I’m seeing these common traits. And if you can set up that kind of feedback loop ahead of time for redoing the website, your website will will convert phenomenally higher when you actually launch it.

Mel:
I love that. I love the depth of that. We started doing that thing, you know, why did you sign up to us on each form? And it was funny, because the reason that I saw it was coming across was it they said because of Mel, right? So there was saying, because I saw Mel because of my personal brand. But when you went on my website, there was nothing about me up until recently, it was just like, This is my website, this is my personal brand. So we recently, just as you were saying that it was just linking up, like we brought in everything to do with me, like there’s a video like I’m talking to you now on it, you know, like, I’m like, if that’s what you want to buy, like, we’ve got to embed that that’s the differentiator for us that you’re like, you know, you you’ve experienced that somewhere, you’ve and then you’re coming to the website, you’re expecting the same thing, and you’re not getting it. So we will you know, we weren’t catching the conversion, because we were just like, oh, this is a different, it was almost a different experience, like is this associated with Mel, you know, like, and I was so busy focusing on my personal brand over there. Yeah, there was a disconnect for sure.

Chris:
I must admit, I’ve had the same thought with mine, because again, so much of our traffic is dependent on my personal brand and the content that I put out there, I’ve had the same thought of do I need to make this more about me. But at the same time, as we scale, not every client is going to work with me, some clients are going to work with other members of my team. Now again, I’m still very heavily involved. But it’s that fine balance of growth, you know, compared to you know, personal Brandon, there. There are pros and cons of both. It’s something that again, I’ve been very much heavily debating for the course. Absolutely, that’s all me that’s going to be my face everywhere. You know, my family, my life, your V, you know, everything that we’ve played with Catalyst trying to teach people how to do that. But for Catalyst I’m trying to, I’m trying to make it more than just me right now. Which is is a hard hurdle to get over.

Mel:
Yeah, yeah, I tried to do that for so many years. But now, what I’ve decided is yes, you’re going to, you’re going to experience all of me on the website, because at the end of the day, you put what you think is going to convert what’s going to get them in. And then if you trust me, like, if you’ve got that much credibility, I’m going to have the team behind me that makes me you know, like, I’m going to hire exactly like me, I’m going to train them to be exactly like me, like, if you like me, my team is not going to be anything, you know, worse. Because, yes, you but then you know, and what you can do, I reckon in like, if you want me, me, like there’s a different price package as you scale. And that’s what I’ve seen other agency owners do, like, that’s a different level of consulting as a totally different service. But hey, my team is trained by me. And they, you know, they’re overseen by me. And if you trust me and your brands big, big enough, you’re gonna think the team’s top class. But I think there’s a lot of marketing that needs to be done as you transition, don’t you think? To get people convinced that the team’s a great, and then you need to focus now on focusing on the team’s personal brand? Like, how are we going to revamp all of them? How are we going to consistently get content out there? That’s a whole different world of if I’m going to pull like I want to pull back from just sharing LinkedIn tips. And I want to start sharing, like what you were saying, like my life of as a business owner, as entrepreneur, as someone, what am I doing in Bali? What are the opportunities, and just turn into a totally open book about stuff, but then you still need your thought leaders and experts that are then, you know, they’re, and they’re going through their journey of becoming experts, and sharing on those platforms, because you’re now taking potentially away from the con, that regular content of LinkedIn, or whatever it is that you’re talking about, and turning into more of a personal brand, which is great, I think, for the business. But I think then you’ve got to have your team ready to do the same stuff.

Chris:
Yeah, I think it’s a fine balance with trying to encourage your team to produce content, or do you just hire people that already produce content? You know, for me, what I found is, when a client is working with catalysts, they are very comfortable transitioning away from me, and I’ve had that conversation with our clients. Now I’m saying, Listen, you know, you’re getting phenomenal results. I’m currently, you know, meeting with you every two weeks. You know, what are you comfortable? If you know, somebody else is meeting with you now. And if you have an issue, here’s my cell phone, give me a call, you know, answer anytime, day or night, and then we can go from there. And I found almost transitioning people after the fact has been a lot more easier for me to kind of make that that transition to internal team members. However, I don’t know how scalable it is. And honestly, you know, it’s not something that you could do if you had 100 person agency, but I don’t and I have no interest in getting to that point to be quite frank. You know, I just, I’ve seen I’ve seen clients, I’ve seen that companies that have scaled to that size. And I think maintaining the profitability that point is extremely difficult. I think maintaining clients trying to compete with smaller agencies becomes very, very difficult. And whereas I still have that agility and ability to make, you know, changes very, very quickly, when you become this mammoth agency, you’re kind of set in your ways, and it’s very difficult to do that. And you constantly have to be pushed to find new ways to try and, you know, attract new people. Whereas, you know, we’ve seen a lot of success with, you know, staying agile and having a lean option for teams.

Mel:
I agree. I agree. I mean, I look at, you know, I’ve, I look at Chris Walker, Garrett, we’ve all come on the podcast, and, you know, all 100 Plus teams, I think, when I talked to Chris, he must have been a 10, arr. And Gareth was that 35, arr. And all within, you know, this b2b space, super fascinating watching, and I think, from the bottom of their heart, that’s what they desire. And I think if you desire it, you can make it work because you feel, you know, successful in it. But it I reckon it would be over, it would just be so overwhelming, you know, running an agency with services, and imagine that many clients, you’d have to have such strong systems to support you. But look at what you’re doing. And I think what I’ve seen all of them is go into courses or go into something that’s not selling time. And I think all of us know that that’s probably the secret there is, if you really, you know, how many people end up coming in and saying, No, that’s too expensive and walking out. And they all they just want their team trained, you know, and, and you could just open up a proposition that is right there. That’s not your time, which is the most valuable thing you’ve got in this world. And you could offer that. So I think that’s the most intelligent way, like what you’ve just said to scale. I think.

Chris:
For me, that’s, that’s my big goal for 2023 and 2022. And to be clear, to be clear, I want to make sure that, you know, my background prior to starting cannabis, it’s not like I’d never, I wasn’t new into the agency space. Just to be clear, I ran a software development firm, we got to 3 million a year arr. So I’m very familiar with scaling agencies. But I’ve also grown a team to 25 people doing three and a half million a year. And that for me, wasn’t it, I didn’t enjoy it, I didn’t have the same level of control. And ultimately, I left you know, to start my own agency to be a smaller, you know, to have more of that consultative approach that I can have with a, you know, a handful of clients that you know, handpick clients that, you know, come in, I can be very selective. Now, I love working with the clients that I have, and ultimately, the results that we get a phenomenal because of that. And that’s really been my goal with kind of starting catalyst. So when you look at now, you know, getting into 2023, what I’ve proven out with Catalyst is you can go from zero to a quarter million dollars a year, in 12 months, it’s not difficult with a marketing agency, and I am not the best marketer on the planet. And I know that so if if if I’m a marketer that sat there thinking, I want to start my own agency, I don’t know how to do it, you know, that’s why I’m putting together this course to teach people step by step what I did, because if I can do it, anybody can do it. And I was consulting with a actually a marketer today, who again, has their own consulting firm, they’re looking at jumping full time into it. So I just don’t have the confidence to go full time. I don’t know how to systematically acquire clients. And I’m sat there, and we’re working with that, when I’m explaining exactly how to do that. And now we’re starting to work with each other. And I’m starting to have now more of a hands on approach with other agency owners, where I’m working with them helping them scale, because that, again, that’s something that I’m very passionate about is helping people scale because some people want to get to 100 employees, I just for me, I don’t have a desire I’ve done it’s 25 it’s not for me, you know, I like having a small team that’s lean, and mean and effective. And that’s really my goal. So 2023, you know, the course coming out, it’s, that’s the entire focus of that second revenue stream. And if we, you know, scale massively because of that great, but like you say, I’m not selling my time anymore. So it gives me a lot more freedom to be able to do what I want to do, which is working with the best clients and ultimately spending time with my wife travelling with the RV, you know, being able to do what I want and having more financial and time freedom because of that.

Mel:
I hear you, I hear you. Amen. to that. Amen to to that. I had some questions that I had pre written to make sure I definitely get into it with you with one of your Firstly, I want to know about your content process. So whoever ends up coming up on my show, and if they are a content creator, I always like to get into understanding. What’s your process? Are you talking to yourself on those videos like or is someone else on the other side? You know, your short videos that I’m always seeing on LinkedIn, like, what’s the process?

Chris:
I got a great story. I’m producing content. So if you’re if you’re looking to start content, I’ll tell you this story and this should inspire you to be able to go out and build your own content funnel. So I knew for me that podcasts were A way to have the pillar content because ultimately, when I come on as a guest, as a podcast, I am put in the position to be able to answer questions and really be the thought leader, you know, that’s why I don’t have my own podcast I don’t want as a guest. And I found that I wanted to go on all these podcasts, all these marketing podcasts. But, you know, a year ago, 18 months ago, nobody heard of me. So nobody wanted to have me as a guest. So I would sit there with my podcast like this, and I had this my microphone. And actually, for many of the videos, you’ll notice that this, the actual wire is unplugged. And I would sit there, and I would record myself as if I was on a podcast, basically answering the questions that I wanted to talk about. And I would record it and I would edit them up as if I were on a podcast. And then I would share them with people who had podcasts and say, Hey, here’s a recent interview with me on this podcast, would you be interested me having come in on yours? And I had like a whole PDF. Here’s examples of topics that I talk on. And they’d say, Yeah, let’s have you on. Next thing. You know, in the last 12 months, I’ve been on nearly 50 podcasts, we have all this content has been created, I now have cameras behind, I’ve got lights in the corner, you know, we’ve got the two angles that have been coming out. So we’ve got all of this system that we’ve now created. But it all started off with me literally sitting here talking to an empty microphone, just to be able to create some kind of content. And now when I sit there, and I do different types of content, now I do the long form podcast, I do YouTube videos, where I sit and talk to a camera that could be 510 minutes long, I have the Tick Tock style ones where I’ve got the side angles, we just find the you know, if we document, everything that I’m doing, we can get great content from that. And yeah, you’re right, when I’m sitting and talking, I’m just talking to the camera. But I have complete confidence doing that, because I’ve been producing content for the last 12 months now where I don’t really get nervous doing it anymore. And where people write scripts, and they have all this thought process out, I have a topic and I just run with it. And I’m very comfortable talking on certain topics for a very long period of time and a lot of detail. And I just have that, basically muscle now trained to be able to do that. But you only get that by building it over time. Again, it’s like going to the gym, you’ve got to you know, really start building the foundations. And then from there, you can get very, very good at building content, and anyone that wants to start, go out there, do it, test it, record some videos, they’re going to be horrendous. If you look back on my tic tock, the first couple of videos, they’re awful, but you’ll get a good laugh out of them. So go ahead and start doing it. And as you get as over time, you’ll get better and better and your content will increase in the quality as well.

Mel:
No, I love Yeah, exactly. So exactly how I start with my clients that we manage their personal brand is, we’ll be there at the beginning. And we’ll ask them questions. So they’ve got someone like, you know, kind of giving them interaction. But as they go into their, you know, fourth month, six month, they’re able to now they’ve got that muscle trainer, love what you said, and they’re able to go and be like, yeah, just send me the questions, they’ll just jump on and record it. And then they become, you know, like, really like an animal about it. You know, like, Yeah, let’s go like really fast, boom, boom, oh, because they’re already a thought leader in this space. They don’t need I hate scripting. It makes me nervous makes me feel like I’m gonna get it wrong. I think it’s like, if you’re talking about thought leadership content, like the style you do, like it’s all inside, it’s just training that muscle.

Chris:
It is. And it’s the first couple of months, it’s pulling the information out. Because I have that with my clients we do. We’ll do like podcast editing for for my clients, because a lot of them with demand generation that leans into that personal brand. So if clients want to start their own podcasts, we’ll do all the editing for them just again, take that off their workload, because that’s the biggest barrier we see is, you know, hey, I want to start a podcast. But I don’t want to do the video. And it’s I will take care of that for you. And then again, we’ll sit down and we’ll interview them for the first couple of ones, we’ll get them. And then but yeah, like you say, a couple of months into it. They just sat there with a microphone that having a great time, they sent us a 30 minute clip, is that right? We’ll knock this out, send that to you. And you can just share that as much as you want now.

Mel:
Exactly, exactly. Okay, so that second question, here it is, that was good to learn about that. Because I was super curious. I want to know about you’ve got this angle where you say, we should focus on consumption of the video ad. So instead of the CTR, and you have a pretty strong viewpoint on that. So I really want to explore that and reveal that a little bit more for people listening or watching this segment here. So here I am, I put out an ad, right? My usually I’m always looking at, okay, CTR, how many people click through. But instead, you’re saying let’s focus on the consumption of that instead? Does that only sort of work in your mind like in video because in video, we can see the consumption of that how would that work for like image ads or others? What are you looking for? Like just you know, the visibility because we don’t understand how you retain that or how you actually what was the consumption of that except for maybe a like or whatever it is?

Chris:
Yeah, I was actually back up one step further. So when you’re, when you’re running ads, and you’re looking at this And when we talk about, you know, running ads for consumption or for reach or for visibility, rather than a click through rate, we’re actually talking about how to educate without leaving the platform. So it’s how can we how can we have people on the platform, understand our message and feel that they’ve got value without having to leave the platform, when we talk about click through rates, that’s the percentage of people that are going to click on to the landing page. So for instance, you know, an example of something where we might look for click through rates would be like an ebook download or a PDF download. So you run an ad, right? Here’s a report on how to, you know, what marketing agencies are going to do in 2023. Here’s a four page, you know, ebook download, somebody clicks the landing page, 5% of people are going to click on download it. And from there, you know, that’s the goal of that ad, the difference between consumption and click through rate is that we’re not gating our content. So we’re not holding our content hostage in exchange for contact information, because of the fact that honestly, if I want your email, I’m just gonna go to zoom info and find it. For me, there is no value in contact information anymore. And anybody that is running marketing for contact information, either hasn’t heard of zoom info, or doesn’t know how it works to be completely transparent, it just, it doesn’t work. If your only goal is to build these lists, just go and build a list, you don’t need to run ads to be able to do that. Whereas if you have that, let’s say, four page, ebook, download, again, top marketing trends for 2023 will use for the example, if I take that content, and I repurpose that into a video, and I sit there and it’s, you know, recording like this. And we said, hey, here’s the four tips of, you know, marketing concept 2023, and I run through them, that allows me to educate a much larger percentage of the people that are going to see that ad. So again, that’s when we talk about really that consumption, we could also take that same PDF, and we can now turn that into a carousel ad. So when you talk about images, we can have top four marketing trends for 2023. Trend one, slide one, slide two, trend two, and you could run through like that. And you could look at again, how many people are clicking through the carousel. And obviously, you make sure you have the first one stay the same, because otherwise the order gets messed up, which I’ve seen people make that mistake, I see big companies make that mistake. And it’s an expensive mistake to make. So make sure you have that in order. But again, you’re focusing on how you can get that message across without leaving the platform for the fact that not only is the platform that you’re marketing on going to reward you with lower CPMs. Because Facebook doesn’t want to Facebook, Facebook doesn’t want to take people off Facebook, LinkedIn doesn’t want to take people off LinkedIn, it’s all about retention. So if you can keep people on the platform, that ad is going to have a lower CPM. And then when you look at things like consumption rates, you might have a 75% of people that see your video, watch the video, you might have a completion rate of 12%. Whereas when you look at the click through rate, maybe you’ve got a click through rate of 2%. And maybe you’ve got a conversion rate of 5%. And then from there, maybe 10% of people actually ever read the PDF download. So it’s a much lower percentage of people that ever get to the point of consuming the information, despite the fact you have their email now. And that’s really my opinion on that consumption model. And if you can keep it in platform and focus that ads on that you can educate a much larger audience and much more cost effectively, which allows your budget to be basically spent in other ways or be able to increase the frequency of what type of content people consuming.

Mel:
Got it? Well, your b2b market, I see that you also talk about Facebook ad spend on your on your page. A lot of people have the opinion that Facebook is for b2c, you know, that’s where it predominantly live. So what, whereas people say, you know, LinkedIn is where you’ve got your B to B segment, and you can really niche in with job titles and so forth. What’s your view and like, you know, how are you then utilising Facebook to win?

Chris:
Yeah, I think there’s anyone who’s saying b2b is only for B. Sorry, anyone saying that? Facebook is only for b2c doesn’t run b2b ads very well, for the fact that they just don’t understand the power that Facebook has LinkedIn. Yes, there is easier demographic targeting, if I want to target CMOS of 50 person company, SAS companies, I can do that very, very simply with LinkedIn. So as a cold layer, as a cold audience, LinkedIn is phenomenal. However, LinkedIn is more expensive than Facebook, you do get higher quantity higher quality leads or higher quality traffic through LinkedIn. I agree with that. And for you know, for us with our clients, the initial two platforms we’ll set up with a client is typically LinkedIn and Google ads, you know, those are the two very easy, low hanging fruit channels that we can set up. But if you’re not setting up retargeting on Facebook, retargeting on YouTube, retargeting on Instagram, if you’re not testing different demographic interests and targeting on Facebook to try and see if you can drive cold traffic and drive awareness in the wrong channels on Facebook, then you’re missing a huge opportunity. And in my opinion, most people that say Facebook doesn’t work is because they’ve not cracked the system, we’ve been able to do that they’re not been able to produce a profitable campaign with Facebook, LinkedIn is a lot easier to do that. Yes, for me, better marketers and b2b can go after Facebook. And we see tremendous results with our clients on Facebook, and we run LinkedIn, and Facebook and we run cold traffic on both. And we can see that the cost per opportunity and the cost per qualified opportunity quite often on Facebook can be lower than it is on LinkedIn, despite what everybody’s telling you. But it really depends on the audience that you’re targeting, the audience has to be on Facebook, just like your audience would have to be on LinkedIn, just like your audience could be on Reddit or Twitter or whatever, wherever that is, you know, they have to be there to be able to target effectively to, but with tools like Clearbit, you know, with tools like enriching that data, you can very, very easily set up those audiences in Facebook and test that as a B test versus LinkedIn.

Mel:
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, I’ve heard the clear bit mentioned a few times as to you know, click cleanse your data through. Do you think that you’re saying cold layer, as well as your retargeting like, you’re saying, it’s absolutely stupid. If you’re not having the retargeting layer, at least on your Facebook, on YouTube, but you should at least do that. If you can’t buy really a top quality leads over there. Okay, then, but at least have a retargeting layer on those specific platforms.

Chris:
Yeah, absolutely. If you’re putting a lot of emphasis onto driving qualified traffic to your website through Google ads, through LinkedIn, through organic, you know, through personal brands, through the founders brand through, you know, organic content on LinkedIn, whatever that is, if you’re driving traffic, and you see you’re, you know, every month your website brand growth metric is increasing and more people are heading to your website. You don’t want that to be the last time that people ever hear from the brand you don’t want them to drop off afterwards. And yes, you can set it retargeting on LinkedIn. But when you look at the ability to retarget Facebook is so much more cost effective. And now you know it’s going to the right people. So as a retargeting layer, that’s the low hanging fruit for Facebook for me, you know, if you have a limited budget, and you only want to allocate maybe five 10% to Facebook, set up the retargeting layers, you can do it with Google with with performance backs, you can do it with YouTube, you can do it with Instagram, you know, set up those small retargeting layers, so that the moment is somebody hits a high intent page on your website. And that could be a landing page, that could be something you’re driving traffic from Google ads, the moment somebody hits that high intent page, they’re being constantly served content now on all these different platforms to try and drive a conversion, because those are the people that are in buying mode that you can go after very, very aggressively.

Mel:
Talk to me more about low intent and high intent. Right? It’s very much there on your website, as well. And what when someone is actually trying to decide their market is trying to decide is this low intent? Or is this high intent? Like, what is the framework there? To decide that you would put on them?

Chris:
Yeah, I would look at it from the channel that they came from. So with all of our Google ad accounts that we work with, we set up different, different campaigns, we have, you know, branded campaigns, we have non branded high intent, or we might have competitor campaigns, just you know, for to keep it simple. With the high intent. We’re looking for people that are typing in marketing, attribution, software, marketing, attribution platform, you know, podcast, editing software, whatever that is. It’s the Toka modifier, that software platform, whatever your kind of other examples of that, that shows the high intent so that somebody is actively searching for a solution. Really, when we talk about high intent, we’re talking about people who are actively in buying mode. So who wants a solution today, who is solution aware, but maybe isn’t brand aware, those people are actively going out, going out to try and find something. And not to get too into the weeds with this, but we’re finding now that Google and Bing aren’t the only ways that people are actually searching for things now people are searching on Tik Tok. Now people are searching on YouTube. So when you talk about this kind of like high intent, demand capture, people just say, oh, Google ads. Yeah, that’s not true anymore. There are so many other examples of where that demand capture could be. However, it’s important to know that at any given time, maybe 2% of your market is most likely in buying mode. And I would bet a large amount of money that right now with the recession, it’s less than 2% it’s probably closer to half a percent 1% You know, with hiring freezes, and purchasing, freezing, you know, nobody’s making any moves right now. So for the other 99.5% there, what you would what you would classify simply as low intent, you know, they’re not really interested in buying today. And that’s where we lean into more of that demand generation of how can we educate them over the next six to 12 months, so that once they’re ready to buy, once they’re ready to make a purchase, they don’t go to Google and type in podcast editing software, they go straight to Riverside, you know, that’s the example. It’s how you can build that demand early early on, so that they’re not searching later on, they already are solution aware and brand aware. So that then they’ll come straight to the website, they’ll submit a request a demo a buy, they’ll go straight through the self service, you know, attribution model, self service buying process. From that, that standpoint, that’s how you can target what you would perhaps classify as a low intent, you know, idea of who someone is in the market. Apps. Okay,

Mel:
got it. So, yes, there’s 2% of people that are doing high intent activities. And yes, you should be right there in front of them, if you want to capture that. But really, the reality of the situation is, there’s not many people really there, you won’t get enough volume, just relying on that, I’ll just capture only the 2%. Like you won’t grow exponentially as a company. If you just focus on that.

Chris:
It’s extremely saturated. It’s you hit a point very, very quickly. And again, if you’re a series, a SaaS company that said, hey, I want to spend 10,000 a month, just put it all in Google ads, don’t even bother with LinkedIn and other things. Because you don’t need to generate that demand. Because honestly, you can do pretty well, just capturing that 2%. But if you’re a SaaS company saying, I want to spend 50,000, or I want to scale to 10 million in the next couple of years, that’s when you start to have the long term investments of generating that demand, as well as the short term benefits of just capturing what’s already available. So it’s I have clients come to me all the time, say, hey, we only have this, what should we do? Should we do these three platforms? Absolutely not stick it onto Google ads, get some wins, see what’s working. And then you start to actually increase the efficiency, where suddenly you’ll find that whilst 10,000 was good for the first couple of months, you only need 5000. Now to actually get the same results. Now let’s take that 5000 and put that into LinkedIn, and see how we can start to educate and warm up basically, the entire market or the other segment of the market to be able to go on and ultimately have them come through, you know, later on down the pipeline.

Mel:
Got it. So if they don’t have the full, full budget, Chris, then and they only have enough to maybe do one platform. How would you work with that in terms of retargeting Facebook, would you just wait until they’ve got enough budget to then go in and you know, play with those play with the channel.

Chris:
Honestly, retargeting on Facebook can be so cost effective, it could be as small as 300 bucks. And I have a client right now that we’re literally spending a couple $100 a month and we’re hitting frequencies of six. And I want to increase it so badly. Because I know that we’re getting results with it. But we just can’t, they just don’t have the traffic to be able to do that. It’s it’s the the video that we’re doing has a CPM of like $17. So it’s crazy, cost effective. It’s got great engagement, and like the video is killing it. And we’ve had, we’ve had other videos that have gone viral with this client, like it’s a really cool product. So it kind of sells itself once you get it in front of people. But we just can’t increase the budget. So it could be literally as small as $500 that you decide to allocate to retargeting on Facebook, and Instagram. And you may find even with that the frequency is too high. If you only have 10,000 website, visitors a month that are coming to your website, even then you may find that that’s too large. But don’t be afraid to start off with small budgets and see how that works. Just be very, very aware of the frequency because the last thing you want is like a 20 frequency where you just absolutely inundated these people because then it gets annoying. And then you have kind of the negative effect of retargeting.

Mel:
Yeah, absolutely. And it’s, it’s a great point that you make with the frequency. So anyone listening on, like, if you don’t know what that means, we’re talking about how many times that ad is being placed. And there is an actual place where you can click on any platform, which shows you that this particular ad has been watched already seven times on average by the same user. So we’re always as marketers, very careful about, you know, don’t do ad fatigue is what we kind of call it where they just seeing the same crap again and again, and it just damages your brand. So, you know, if your audience is really small, you’ll actually get to the frequency very quickly. So you know, when you work with an agency, they’re constantly looking at that and making sure that they’re not that not that you’re not getting ad fatigue on your audience. So again, just a quick clarity on that. Yeah. Awesome. Um, law last final point. With Christmas coming up. You made the point and I really agreed with it. Use the first two weeks, you know, all your ads and then you know, take a break because you know, people are in a relaxed mode, the mind frame is different. Is there any point or is there anyone that you think should the run Any kind of ads on that break, or would you just say put everything on the first two weeks of December.

Chris:
I think when you’re when you’re looking at a marquee budget of a Christmas, you should accelerate your budget in the first two weeks the platform and it’s not a certain industry, the platform that it doesn’t apply to as much as Google ads, or Bing Ads, anything that’s search related. Because if people search less, you spend less automatically, you know, in terms of just the way that the platform’s work. So I don’t think you have to necessarily accelerate the budget on search. Because on Christmas Day, if somebody wants to search for a demand generation agency, and they want to submit contact information to my form, I’ll take that all day long, it doesn’t matter to me when they want to submit the form. So with that high intent stuff, yes, you can leave those ads running in terms of the educational content in terms of LinkedIn ads, Facebook ads, if you have very large budgets that you’re running on there, I would definitely dial that back a cell accelerate in the first few weeks, taper it off over the next two weeks, kind of getting towards Christmas, for two reasons. First of all, the competition levels of just getting in front of people’s eyes over that period is just very expensive, because everybody is trying to get in front of you. I mean, everybody’s ran out bidding to get a new Instagram news feed because everybody’s trying to get in front of you before you make those impulse decisions. So you’re not competing with just other marketing aid agencies. In this example, you’re competing with, you know, people that are trying to sell treadmills you compete competing with people that are trying to sell dog beds, you know, you name it, you’re competing, because people are trying to get in front of your, you know, it’s that time they want to get the, you know, eyeballs on their ads. So you have increased competition, and then secondary. So secondly, if you’re in a situation where you’re sat there going, well, you know, our pipeline, I don’t think our pipeline should be affected by Christmas or q4, you’ve never worked in sales. And if you’ve ever tried to close a deal between Thanksgiving and Christmas, it’s virtually impossible. You know, I’ve been in sales for a long time is the worst two weeks to try and close the deal. So when you think about the why that is, is because of the frame of mind that people are in where a lot of people are already checked out ready for Christmas, right now, you know, a lot of people, you know, with 2022, it’s been a great year, for a lot of people, there’s also been a lot of layoffs, there’s been a lot of stress, we’re going through a recession, a lot of people just kind of want this year to be over. So a lot of people are just checked out, honestly. So for me, I would just use that common sense of are people realistically in the right frame of mind to learn more about this, you know, $50,000 ACV product that we’re trying to sell or this very expensive software solution that we sell to VPs of marketing? Are they really in the frame of mind to learn about it right now? Or are they more likely to come back in the new year with a clear head, you know, a fresh start to the year ready to really make those decisions. And that, to me is my approach. Not everybody agrees with it. But I’ve also been in sales a long time. But I see this time and time again. And I know personally to back off a little bit in terms of when I push people to make sales. And I do the same thing with our marketing.

Mel:
Yeah, no, I, I kind of I kind of really agree with that. And that’s why I was kind of like, Yeah, but you’re right, maybe Google search. And if there is anything, it would be just brand awareness, but you’re saying that it’s going to cost a lot to have that brand awareness as you compete over there for everyone. With everyone else. It’s,

Chris:
it’s more expensive. The only thing that I do think is quite a large opportunity is to be posting organically over that time, because I posted recently, actually, before Thanksgiving, talking about how you should basically accelerate two weeks in November and then back it off over Thanksgiving. And somebody came back and said, Well, I get the most engagement on my posts over Thanksgiving. I said you’re missing the point. I’m not talking about organic posting, I posted on Thanksgiving day. Yeah, I scheduled it a week before I’m not on my phone on Thanksgiving. I’m not interested in doing that. But again, if you look at even at my scheduling over the, you know, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, I actually increased the frequency of my own posting organically because I knew people gonna be spending time with the phones. So again, it’s but it allowed me to get in front of them organically. So I do think there’s the opportunity to I wouldn’t stop posting organically, I would just be aware that if you are going to run ads, your cost per 1000 impressions is going to increase.

Mel:
I did say was the last question. But organically, I’ll have one more organically this page. Right? So when you’re advising clients on that strategy of organic versus paid, what is you know, what is it that you’re expressing as to how to divide that time to produce organic to you know, ads? Do you think do you share the belief that you know, you do organic first get your crux of your content? Right? And then you should go into ADS? Or do you have a view that go into ADS, experiment, learn really quick, get data, you know, and then develop your strategy.

Chris:
It depends on if you try to do it yourself or if you’re working with a client, like a company like myself, like if you’re going to hire catalyst to run your paid ads. We don’t need to test an experiment, you know, for the first six months to see what’s going to work we know It’s gonna work. That’s why you hire us. So we can work with you on paid ads, what we’re going to tell you what we want you to create. So we can run that. And the type of examples of content and the type of content, we want to push out through paid ads. Now, organically, most of the time when I’m advising clients, organically, it’s personal branded content. It’s not a blog post, it’s not posting happy thanksgiving on the company LinkedIn page. To me, there’s just no value in that. I just don’t, I don’t really align with just that type of marketing, I think it’s lazy. But when we talk about creating a personal brand, I would absolutely I’d be testing messages all the time. And I do that myself, I’ll test certain types of videos, I’ll do meme style, they’ll do more tick tock style, then I’ll test a couple of text posts. And it’s the same type of content, but I’m ultimately seeing what format works, I’ll test different messages to see how that resonates. So there’s a lot of testing that I personally like to do with my personal brand to see what resonates with people. And ultimately, which are then getting actually really back to when people come into our website and say, Hey, I’m actually working with Catalyst, I saw Chris’s LinkedIn posts, or which LinkedIn posts was it Oh, it’s a wider picture of him and his wife and his dog on Thanksgiving. Yeah, right. Like, that’s a, it was great that that happened, it wasn’t expected. But that was great that that happens to be the one that brought people in. So you have the ability to test a lot with that, specifically, in terms of like, should I test organic and then go into paid, the way that I view paid marketing is that it’s a way to guarantee the delivery of your best performing organic content. So for instance, as a company, if you have a case study that shows exactly how, you know, you’ve helped this, this company that’s in your ICP, you know, for us how we’ve helped this series, a company, you know, go from $3 million a year to $10 million a year in 2022. Well, we produce that case study, I could run that as a paid ad to my entire market, because that allows me to show, you know, the best performing pieces of content. So you can look at paid as a way to guarantee the distribution across your entire ICP of your best performing content. Again, if you look at it more of a way to generate emails, it’s not going to work. But if you look at it as a way to guarantee the delivery, that’s where your perception on the metrics that you should measure for success will change. And ultimately allow you to see right and pushing this content out, we’re getting a tonne of engagement from the CMO of all these companies, and we know that they’re a good fit, and they’re in our ICP. So we know it’s a matter of time until they now reach out to us, message me on LinkedIn, submit a form on the website, and we start to have those conversations with them.

Mel:
A great, but if your organic content is shit, and will come to you and they say, you know, like, here it is, this is what you’re dealing with. And you know, go and run it. Would you would you say at that point, then, look, you’ve really got to actually ramp up your game as to what you do and how you do it. And why you do it. So well before we go out to the market and put some we won’t

Chris:
we won’t run shit content for ads. It’s, it’s, it’s yeah, it’s pretty simple with that. Yeah, no, we will, we won’t run those. But if somebody comes to us and says, Hey, I’ve got a 27 page case study that I want to run as an ad, say, great, the content is there, the format and the medium is not. So now instead of us running that as a 27 page PDF download, where you’ve got to type in your, you know, name, email, social security number, you know, mother’s maiden mother’s maiden name to get that downloaded to your you know, to your email, instead of going that approach. What if you sat down and you interviewed that client and you ask them these five questions on a zoom call. And then from there, we’ll chop it up for you, we’ll put meme style on it, we’ll put subtitles on it. And we’ll run that as an ad. And it’s the same content, only. It’s now 90 seconds long, because our editors have chopped this down, we’ve got rid of all the pauses. So it’s not just you know, wasting time. And we can now run that as an ad. And then we can set up retargeting from those videos. And we can start to do other case studies in that kind of format. Most of the time when a client comes to us with really, really bad content, or when they haven’t run paid ads before or they just don’t really know how to do that. The content that they have, the the actual content is there. They have the case studies they have the interviews they have the type of messaging that we should be delivering. It’s just the distribution sucks. So that’s how we can get you know, how do we take that blog article that you want to push out? And you’ve been trying to get SEO on for the last 18 years? And it still hasn’t got a single hit? You know, how do we take that? And how do we put that content, which is actually to be fair, it’s pretty decently written, and the content is amazingly still applicable? How can we take that and now put this into a paid ad that’s ultimately going to drive awareness to your product or service and ultimately start to build that brand affinity? That to me is the key to working with early stage companies that don’t have like you say, an in house marketing team and they don’t have the wherewithal or the really the capacity to onboard a team like that.

Mel:
Amazing. I’ve really enjoyed the chat, Chris and I think so many people will get so much value from CMOS to CEOs So, within your space with outside of b2b Look, we’ve had such great conversations about how to do it right how to do ads, right? How to think about personal branding, organic first page. Super cool, in depth conversation. So thank you so much for sharing so openly your thoughts, your frameworks, and you know how you’re producing content. And I’m super glad that we’ve been introduced to each other’s network. So I’m looking forward to continuing to connect and share on LinkedIn with each other.

Chris:
Yep, it was a pleasure. I really appreciate it.

Mel:
You’re listening to innovative minds.

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