Test, Target, Track: Experimenting With Paid Social Media

On this episode of Proposify BizChat, I talk with digital marketing consultant and expert, Mike McGrail. Mike cut his teeth in the industry after landing a job post-university that varied between traditional and digital marketing. He’s watched digital marketing grow from infancy to industry-standard, and made the decision early on to learn as much as he can about it. His expertise in social media marketing has helped his clients build more meaningful relationships with their customers, and evolve with digital changes and trends. Mike now runs Velocity Digital, a digital marketing consultancy that he started in Scotland in 2012.

29 minutes

What it’s about

Most people are aware of a few of the standard things they need to do market their business online, like having an email list and a blog. But Mike McGrail believes paid marketing is a necessity, even for a company that’s primarily inbound, because it can amplify your content to engage with a wider audience, taking your business to the next level.

Mike points out that previously, you could use Facebook and Twitter organically to build an engaged audience, but over time reach has been significantly reduced. Where organic reach of a Facebook business post was 55-60%, now it’s at about 2.5%. If those numbers don’t scream that paid marketing has become critical to reaching your target audience, I don’t know what does.

In this interview, Mike talks more about why you need to experiment with paid social media, and what qualities and soft skills you need to look for when hiring great marketers on your team.


Learn as much as you can

Social media platforms are constantly updating to ensure optimal use. Because of this, social media marketers have to grow with the changes, quickly learning the newest ways to best reach their audiences.

“Even since 2008, 2009, 2010, social media has changed in so many ways from a marketing perspective, but also in our daily lives as non-marketers and as business people,” says Mike. “That’s why it is not only important to learn but to test, experiment, and measure as you learn.”

You need to own your brand name on Google

It’s not just social media that you need to be tracking and measuring your brand on. You also need to protect your brand name on Google and AdWords, and one of the best ways to do that is to make sure you’re bidding on your brand terms. You need to be in control. AdWords can be complex, so you may need to hire an expert to help you monitor and get the right results.

Try different avenues, but don’t waste your time

Your goal as a marketer is to reach as many people as possible and show them the value your product can deliver. There are some obvious choices when it comes to the platform you share your content on, like Google AdWords, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, but there can be opportunities in other avenues that people are generally too quick to rule out.

Mike says the key to trying new platforms is to make sure you don’t waste your time or your budget. “Budgets can only go so far, time can only go so far, and ideas can only go so far, so people should never be tempted to be everywhere all at once. I think you should chunk out things and test,” says Mike.

Mike recommends creating a test period for new or different marketing channels that allows you to see if you’re reaching your targets. “If you can do them all well, that’s gotta be key, because you can otherwise end up wasting your time and not getting the results that your company needs or your clients need,” says Mike.

Don’t leave your social media audience in the dark

You’re missing out on the full value of your social media followers if you only interact with them in their respective platforms. Mike suggests one way to gain a bit of ownership of your followers and learn more about them is to connect, share, and encourage engagement with your brand.

This might mean pushing them to your website and using calls-to-action to download lead-magnets by leaving their email. Once you have their email, you can start engaging with them directly, but Mike warns not to abuse this privilege.

Hire people with hard and soft skills

When it comes to hiring a team of marketers, obviously you want the best. Mike says for him, it’s all about getting people with both hard and soft skills who can adapt to the needs of the company. “They need to learn the industry, and they have to be really flexible. Getting the right blend of soft skills versus hard skills can be very difficult,” says Mike.

Adopting some aspects of Rand Fishkin’s “T-Shaped Web Marketer” model has allowed Mike to hire employees who have general marketing skills, but also one or two other areas they’re specialized in, and then incorporate those soft skills into their position. Mike says a well-rounded marketer like this can be really valuable when you start to match them with other T’s.

Show notes

Check out Velocity Digital:

Velocity Digital

Mike’s Blog

Check out Mike’s one-minute videos

Test, Target, Track: Experimenting With Paid Social Media

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