This is our first of, hopefully many, celebrity author interviews! We’re talking with the author of a the best-selling book on direct response social media.
We were thrilled to get Kim Walsh-Phillips to spend some time using her expertise on using social media platforms. Kim gives us some specific tips that are perfect for the complex, high-trust, large-ticket and long-cycle sales that the aviation industry is famous (or infamous) for. So, aviation social media marketing.
Kim, @KWalshPhillips, is the award-winning Speaker, Author, Podcaster and CEO of Elite Digital Group, a direct-response social media agency. Kim has brought in more than a billion dollars through her clients with her laser focus on increasing their revenue through direct-response marketing. She is author of “No B.S. Guide to Direct Response Social Media Marketing: The Ultimate No Holds Barred Guide to Producing Measurable, Monetizable Results with Social Media Marketing,” with Dan Kennedy. Kim also leads the top-ranked podcast, “Facebook Sales Strategies,” on iTunes. She resides with her very tall husband, who is often asked to get things down from the ridiculously tall cabinets in their house, and their two glitter-and-all-things-pink-obsessed daughters, Bella and Katie, just outside of NYC.
Transcript – Interview with Kim Walsh-Phillips
Paula Williams: Kim, I’m just really excited that you’re spending some time with us today. I know we have a really nichy audience, which is the aviation professionals sales and marketing professionals, and we love your book about social media marketing strategy.
We’ve been reading it in our book club.
Kim Walsh-Phillips: Thank you.
Paula Williams: One of our favorite so far. So people tend to think that social media and Facebook, in particular, is somehow separate from the general rules of marketing. In your book, you make a special point about noting that the six basics of effective marketing still apply even though we may be using social networks, which is new.
Can you tell us more about this?
Kim Walsh-Phillips: Absolutely, so there are six things that really can apply to any type of marketing, and I think that’s what’s so important. People get onto social and they feel like it’s a different place, it’s different a different beast, but social media is not marketing.
And so you want to apply great marketing tactics, so these six tactics could really be applied to any marketing strategy, but we’ll talk about specifically social for the purposes of today’s call. So you want to have a plan, number one, to sell from the very beginning. I cannot tell you how many clients come to work with my firm, and they have been utilizing social media platforms, but never realize how they’re going to sell.
Paula Williams: Wow.
Kim Walsh-Phillips: Never want to come across, yeah, sorry, go ahead?
Paula Williams: I just said wow. It’s amazing to me that somebody would be doing marketing with no endgame to sell their products and services.
Kim Walsh-Phillips: Exactly, it’s incredible because you can’t have an ROI if you don’t plan for it. And for small business that’s even more important. I mean, you’d never want to come across as the used car salesman, balancing on his next skill.
But you do need to ensure you give your prospects a consistent opportunity to connect and do business with you. So before you start doing your next post or your next ad, plan out how those ads and posts are going to turn into a sale to their target audience. And what I recommend is you actually start from the backwards, to the front.
So you first determine what is going to be our offer to get them into a conversation with us. And then how can we drive content to that offer, and then how can we begin to attract the right prospects to us? So you can begin with the end in mind.
Number two, you always want to make sure that you’re giving some time sensitive offer, you don’t ever want to make delaying a desirable option. I mean, automation’s possible, right? You could set up your offers, and you could just let them run forever, but your offers really need to be fresh, new, and ever-changing with clear deadlines.
I mean, one of the people that we look and respect to, Dane Kennedy, he talks about all the time, how Tide literally changes its packaging or its feature or its scent. Every single month, they offered something new, not because the product doesn’t work, but because people get bored. You need a novel type of content.
They want something different, they need something that’s going to drive their action right now. Do the same thing with your marketing, and make it time sensitive cuz if it’s not, it’s going to go onto the do it later list. And if it’s on your do it later list, they’re never going to do, right, we have too many things that we need to get done today.
And along those lines, give them very, very clear instructions on what you want them to do right now. You want your audience to click over to your website? Tell them that, click on this link and now, call this phone number, go to the top of the page, read it, fill out the form below it.
It sounds ridiculous If you split test this telling them versus not telling them, I’ll be willing to bet you the clear instructions will win every single time. People want to be told what to do. Number four, there will be tracking and measurement, you’ll never know your ROI in social media marketing unless you track it. This is response advertising! It needs a call to action.
We have a lot of fun at my company, but [LAUGH] so I always say my number one thing is In God We Trust, everyone else bring data. [LAUGH] Okay.
Paula Williams: Right.
Kim Walsh-Phillips: You need to be able to measure, and if anyone, any marketer, any digital professional, every marketing staff person, if they ever tell you, we can’t measure each social media post, I don’t know how well this did, I’m not sure what this is doing for us.
Do not work with them anymore until they can because everything you do on social media can be tracked and measured, and only if they can, should you be engaging into it. Very, very, very important because results rule period. So number five is results rule period. You should only be scaling up your marketing up or down if you are seeing the results that work.
And so what we recommend is you start very, very small. You begin to scale up and only when you see things work, do you engage in them. Gary Vaynerchuk is very popular when it comes to social media, that I really, I’m cautious about the advice that he gives.
Cuz I find it to work really well for a big marketing, big companies, huge marketing budget and can throw money at a lot of different channels. I don’t love his philosophy of trying the newest media or getting ahead of the curve, because what you’re doing is you’re spending a lot of time and energy going into uncharted waters and trying to see if you get an ROI.
Believe that you should spend your time in the social media channels that we already know, are going to produce the results that you’re looking for. And then the final rule for marketing is that branding should be a by-product of effective direct response marketing, not the other way around, so branding is great, okay?
You want to make sure your brand’s consistent, every social media page looks the same, has the right colors, your messaging is on point. You’re always putting across that one big idea you want to be known for as a company. Maybe what you’re excellent at is customer service or maybe it’s the ongoing relationships with your clients, or that you’re able to get your customers the most cutting edge technology when it comes to making their aviation purchase.
But you still have to get at some point for them to do something, whether it’s give you a review, give you a referral, provide an email address to you, get on the phone to have a conversation. There needs to be a plan of how that engagement and awareness is going to turn into a conversation about sales, or else, you shouldn’t be on there in the first place.
Paula Williams: That makes perfect sense, and that ties in really well, ABCI does a social media survey of aviation sales and marketing professionals. So if you can look at where are your competitors and where are your prospective customers already spending time, that really ties in especially to that 0.5.
So I’m glad you’ve mentioned that, and that’s so important not to just be chasing the latest shiny object.
Kim Walsh-Phillips: Yeah, it could be so tempting, right, cuz as marketers, as sales professionals, as entrepreneurs, business owners, we are very much enticed by shiny objects. [LAUGH]
Paula Williams: Right.
Kim Walsh-Phillips: It’s hard to stay on point, but yeah, with a plan in place, it becomes much easier
Paula Williams: Fantastic, so let’s talk about Facebook as a research tool. The demographics of our insiders, target customers, are generally 45 plus, males, 16 plus, caught up years of college. Higher than average instances of military experience, average income of 75K, and they drive 4 year old cars, right? So I found all this out using a technique that you demonstrated at a GKIC event last year that just absolutely blew me away.
It’s in the Audience Insights section of Facebook. Can you talk a little bit more about Audience Insights and some of that fantastically scary research that you can do?
Kim Walsh-Phillips: Yeah, sure, so it has been for a long time, since there was direct mail, that large companies could purchase lists of people based on their behaviors.
The whole business behind Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes is really just a lead generation company, and they’ve been doing that for a very long time. And big companies like Comcast or Bank of America have been able to purchase that data cuz they have to buy these lists of at 100,000 people.
Well, all of that data that those companies buy is generally coming from credit card information. When you make a purchase with your credit card, it’s not just showing up on your transaction report, when you look online or on the paper payment or bill statement. It is also being sold to data mining companies, unless you opt out of it which very, very few, I think, it’s actually 1% of people do.
Paula Williams: Right.
Kim Walsh-Phillips: Yeah, so when you make a purchase, everything is tracked from, I just bought this specific book, I like to buy Yoplait yogurt. Or there’s a television show that I like, all of that is being tracked about me, and it’s being sold. Now, again as consumers, we can find that incredibly creepy, right?
But as a marketer, it’s amazingly effective because now we’re not just throwing the spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks, we are able to pinpoint our exact message on our exact prospect. Okay, because we can now access this data inside of Facebook. Facebook has partnered with data mining companies, Axie, an example of one, that polls information from credit cards, and now you can pull the exact person that you are looking to reach.
So yes, you can poll people based on their education, what kind of car they drive? How long they have been married? What aged children do they have? What’s their net worth? What are their are interests? What is their purchasing behaviors? What’s amazing is that you could even, we just saw this facet today, you can even find someone who is traveling to somewhere.
So how would you use that, yeah, if you’re going to a conference, and let’s say you were going to attend an event. And this is one of my favorite strategies, so let’s say you’re going to go to some networking event or a conference or an expo. Whatever you’re going to attend, prior to attending, maybe you want to be established as an authority.
Now you don’t even need to be an exhibitor at that event. Maybe you’re going to be networking at that event, and you want people there to already know who you are and perceive you as a celebrity or industry expert. You could simply take one of your blog posts, create an ad for it or a post, and you promote the post.
And you promote the post to people who are fans of the organization who is putting on that event. So let’s say you are going to go to a travel, let’s say, Robb Report is going to have a big travel expo, so you are going to a Robb Report travel event.
And you would target Robb Report, and then you would target people who were traveling to the exact location you were visiting. And then you could geo target the ad, so it would only show to them the area that you were targeting, okay. And use custom landing pages for those people.
Paula Williams: That’s fantastic. That is so cool.
Kim Walsh-Phillips: I know, right? So you’re not wasting money going after a million different people, you’re actually only targeting the people that you’re looking at. Now, it goes even in a level of, this is even creepier, but again, this stays amongst us as marketers. Businesses can now buy, it’s called a beacon or get a beacon from Facebook.
Now, a beacon is a device that tracks the mobile phone of Facebook users, okay? And so if somebody saw your ad, and the facility has a beacon, you will know if the person who saw your ad actually went to the place where you were targeting, okay. Physical, actual location, so if you were targeting, let’s say there’s an Expo Hall again on targeting people where travels at Expo Hall that are fans of it.
I will be able to tell if those people actually were at the event, and saw my ad, or how many of them did.
Paula Williams: That’s fantastic. See, the world’s largest aviation trade show, is in Orlando in November. So everybody who is going to the NBAA convention in Orlando in November, should be listening to this, and taking notes, because this is just gold.
Kim Walsh-Phillips: Yeah, and I mean, you could do the same thing with targeting employers, so let’s say there’s a certain individual that makes sense for you, so we’re talking about let’s say maybe your profile. Again, if you’re going to say 16 years of college, higher than average, this is a military experience.
Average incomes, so maybe we’re going to put in there, we want $75,000 income. We could say, that they had military in there, and maybe there’s a major employer in our area that would make sense to target. You can target that employer ahead of time or if you’re trying to work out a great deal with somebody, I’ve done that for, if I want to become a guest columnist in a publication, I’ve targeted the employees of that publication-
Paula Williams: Wow.
Kim Walsh-Phillips: Prior to pitching them, yeah. So Ink Magazine and Forbes, prior to having conversations with them, they were seeing my content online because I was targeting their employees.
Paula Williams: That’s fantastic. Yeah, that’s really, really great and really usable too. What are the misconceptions, I think that happens especially in aviation is that our customers are sometimes very, very tiny, tiny niche less.
Because we sell high end, complex products usually in a business-to-business situation. So we have very, very specific client list, and one of our clients has a potential market as an example of 67 people. Now there’s a misconception that you have to have thousands and thousands to make Facebook advertising work to you.
But how can someone like this with a teeny tiny universe of prospective buyers, leverage Facebook?
Kim Walsh-Phillips: Sure, so what I would say, I mean if you’re talking with a list that small, you can obviously get the contact information for all of your prospects. And then you can upload that list to Facebook, and you can actually target them.
As long as your list is over 20 people, you can target it. And what I would be saying in that situation is you don’t need them to opt into anything because you can get their contact information. I would be using that as an opportunity to position yourself as an authority or expert.
Again, so they are seeing your contents at the same time where you’re doing your phone calls and outreach. So if I was going to do that I would say, okay, we’re going to do a FedEx direct mail campaign. We’re going to send some shock and awe, and it’s going to be followed up by a phone call the afternoon of the morning that they get my shock and awe package.
And I might say I’m going to do that over the course of three days. Two weeks to prior to doing that direct mail, I would be making sure that they were seeing my content ahead of time because Facebook can be use as a nurture campaign. So perhaps you tell stories on day one through three, you’re going to see a post about a success story you’ve had with one of your customers.
And days five to seven, maybe it’s an article that you wrote, maybe eight through ten, it’s another success story. And you’re showing them all of that content as though you were emailing them, but you’re not because your position’s on Facebook. So that way you’re the authority cuz now you have an article, and experts are great things, and so you’re now an author.
I would be seeding my market ahead of my big mail campaign or ahead of my outreach program by using Facebook as my resource.
Paula Williams: That’s fantastic. That actually is a really wonderful a campaign idea, that kinda goes step by step. I know a lot of the folks that have been using Facebook in the past, at least myself personally anyway, have sometimes done good things accidentally on Facebook because it’s new and because we’re experimenting and things like that, but that really makes it methodical.
Kim Walsh-Phillips: Yeah, and having a system in place, then we’re doing things because they’re important instead of urgent. It’s much easier to follow. It also gives you a baseline because then now we can say, okay, this step worked, but this one should be tweaked. So systematizing ahead of time of course will help you to scale your results very quickly.
Paula Williams: Right, that’s fantastic. We did have a client that sold a business jet from a contact that originated from a Facebook post. So I know in a lot of cases, people think of Facebook as business to consumer marketing and also maybe the smaller retail products. But can you tell us more about how you could use Facebook as small steps to a larger sale?
Kim Walsh-Phillips: Sure, so yeah, when you’re building out your Facebook campaign and you’re going to a large scale sale, you want to again think about it as a, how would I build that relationship out? Similar to dating, really, you’re dating your prospect, to turn it into a conversation, that first date, to turn to another conversation, eventually to ask them to marry you or to make the purchase.
So step one, what would you want them to think about you if they saw you from across the room, right? So how do you want your profile set up, in a way that establishes yourself as an expert? What kind of content do you want to provide? What social proof can you show?
These are all the things you’re setting up to your house before you invite them in. And then you begin to share content that’s incredibly valuable to them, establishes you as the authority or expert, it’s always step one. Step two is to ask for their contact information because, you want to own that.
You don’t want Facebook to be the only place where you talk to them because, then if something happens to Facebook, either the company itself or they kick you off, let’s say, you never want to make that your only channel. Plus, why keep paying Facebook to contact someone when you contact them for free if they’re on your email list or a direct mail list.
So get their contact information by offering an incentive that works. As another tip on that one, never make you offer for the first time on Facebook, right? Why do I say this, right? Because then you’re testing Facebook and the offer at the same time. And that does not work because you don’t know which piece is working and which isn’t.
So I suggest you always, always test if it’s an offer, if it’s an lead magnet. First, if you have an email list, with your email list. If you don’t have that, if you’re simply starting out, then reach out to a couple people that you know and send it to them, personally and see if they respond to it, at least to be interested enough to opt in.
Or contact some people you know on LinkedIn, and say, I’m not telling you anything, I just want to check out before I post this [INAUDIBLE] online, would you be one to take a look at this? And get some feedback. Always research it prior to putting it online because you can’t pull apart.
You can’t optimize a Facebook campaign if you’re running an offer that you don’t know works. I’ll give you an example, so it’s for a different niche, but it’s a client who we got, it was a high end product, 62 people raised their hand online. And said that they would be interested in purchasing this product.
62 people, nobody actually did, none of them, but they, come to find out, they had never even though we had gotten different information, they had never tested this before. And now we don’t know what was wrong, right? I can’t say it was Facebook because I don’t know if the offer ever would have converted.
So then we got into their email, and we tested the offer, and then nobody of the thousands of people on their list took advantage of it. So it was not Facebook, right? It was the offer, and so now we know, now they’re testing a bunch of offers with their list first.
And then we’ll go back into Facebook cuz we know we had the right targeting, we had people who had raised their hands, we just didn’t have an offer that would convert. So then we can separate each step and optimize it if you do it that way.
Paula Williams: Right, that’s one of the problems that we have in with aviation social media marketing, is that we have such small audiences that it’s hard to do really good testing.
But one thing that you can do, is reach out to the other members of the insider’s circle, because they’re really, really good at picking each other’s stuff apart [LAUGH] in a friendly way before you go spend money on something. So that would work really well before you did an offer on a Facebook or other social media advertising.
So that’s fantastic. Let’s talk about some of the services that you offer that might be particularly interesting to aviation sales and marketing professionals.
Kim Walsh-Phillips: Well, sure, so what our sweet spot is is showing people how to do this themselves, effectively, doing it with them, or doing it for them.
So what does that mean? We have programs that show you how to set up an effective Facebook campaign funnel, utilize that along with LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, utilize social media channels to get in ROI. A few workshops where we will do with you just brand one of those last week, it had several companies attend.
And they were able to fully launch their campaigns and bring these in the door before they left. Then the final piece, which is how most companies utilize my firm is that we’ll actually go into whatever funnel you have now, not inside of social media. And create a social media compliant and effective campaign, so we are able to utilize social media to drive people to see you as the authority and expert, give you their contact information, and then become a sales conversation.
That’s what we’re focused on, not the fluffiness of clicks or likes or no, those things are important, but only if they are producing ROI, so our campaigns are completely ROI and metric focused.
Paula Williams: Fantastic, that makes perfect sense, and once again, I know our group is really loving your book.
And anybody who’s listening to this who may want a nice introduction, we highly, highly recommend the book, and you can find that on Amazon. Unless there is someplace you’d prefer to have people go find that?
Kim Walsh-Phillips: No, that’s great. If they just want to check out a free chapter of the book, you can go to nobschapter.com.
And The No BS social media book, we’ll give you lots of bonuses and perks, but you’ll see that link inside the book itself. So Amazon is fine, or you can get a sneak peek at No BS Chapter. And, Paula, so that we make sure that the folks come through to you, to contact us.
I think, it probably would make sense if they are interested in talking to us further about product program services maybe go through you? Do it that way?
Paula Williams: Absolutely, yeah. We’ll certainly put links on the transcript of this podcast on our website. And we’ll also be sharing some information in the insider circle about how better to take advantage of some of the things that we talked about today.
Paula Williams: Yeah, I think that would be wonderful, so you could make those introductions and connections that work for everyone.
So thank you so much for joining us. I really enjoyed the conversation, and I look forward to seeing what people do with their social media in aviation. I hope this is going to be a really evolving thing over the next couple of years. I think it’s long overdue for aviation.
Kim Walsh-Phillips: Thank you so much for having me, it’s a complete pleasure.