Will Scott will be speaking on Facebook at the Engage Conference, which will take place March 9, 2017 in Portland. For more information, or to purchase tickets, please click here.
Will Scott - SEMpdx Engage 2017 Speaker

1) Please give us your background and let us know what you do for a living.

First, Todd thanks so much for having me back to Engage, formerly known as SearchFest. I always really enjoy the conference and my time in Portland.

So let’s start with what I do today. Today, I head up search influence a national online marketing company with a focus on local businesses, particularly local service businesses. We work both direct and as a white-label provider to national marketing companies.

Today, Search Influence is nearly 90 local employees and another hundred contractors all of whom are focused on optimizing the potential of our clients, especially their revenue generation. And, or course, as CEO I’m super-focused on optimizing the potential of our team, too.

What’s really interesting is Search Influence started with a focus on SEO and as time has gone on we’ve learned that really it’s about marketing. We choose to work in digital, not because we don’t believe that billboards are profitable, but because it’s what we know best.

So my background. Search Influence has been operational for 11 years. In that time, both directly and through partners, we’ve served thousands of customers with some element of their online marketing.

Prior to Search Influence I ran the technology for a firm that put Yellow Pages online. Some of our readers may remember that in the old days when we wanted to find a business, or to learn about a certain business, and how to contact them, we would look in a book which was delivered on a regular basis to our homes with lots of great information.

I put my first website online in 1994. At that time, I was still completing my undergraduate degree in architecture. People often wonder what relevance architecture has to online marketing and I like to think about a quote from one of my professors who suggested that architecture is finding the solution to an equation with an infinite number of variables.

Going even further back, throughout my life I’ve really enjoyed being in front of crowds teaching and performing, and I think it stems back to my time as a child when I would perform around New York in various productions and commercials

We are really lucky at search influence to have assembled a great team who is as committed as we are to doing great work at a budget that is affordable for the local business.

2) How can a local brick & mortar business generate positive ROI on Facebook?

We don’t work too much with brick-and-mortar retail. Most of our customers are service businesses. Of those who are retail, they are typically bigger ticket items like cars and jewelry.

Very early on in our existence at search influence we recognized the importance of being able to demonstrate to our customers the value of their ad spend.

In the Yellow Pages they often use what they referred to as metered or remote call forwarding numbers (RCF) to track the actual leads generated by a Yellow Pages ad. So, way back in 2006, I commissioned a developer to build a system that would allow us to dynamically change the phone numbers on a website. in addition to phone number replacement, the system we built actually tracks all manner of referral data that might be interesting to a marketer or merchant trying to understand the value of each lead.

Now, 10 years later there are a number of systems ranging in price from less than a hundred to thousands of dollars that will do many of the same things for you. At the time, it was pretty revolutionary and we still include our slimmed-down lead management product, LeadSNDR, with every one of our direct engagement.

So how does this relate to ROI on Facebook? Well, with LeadSNDR we know the origin of each and every lead, and if we are tagging the URLs that we use in our advertisements, and even track it back to the campaign and ad level.

So for us, Roi tracking it’s in our DNA. it’s something we’ve been doing since long before most were thinking about it. And as the quote that cell as it often attributed to Wannamaker says 50% of our marketing budget is wasted if only we knew which 50%

With LeadSNDR we are able to know what’s working and what’s not very clearly and if it’s not working we stop doing it.

3) Can a business succeed with Facebook Ads if they don’t have the bandwidth to regularly update their organic Facebook presence?

Success on Facebook is very little about organic these days.

There’s a funny chart from Jay Baer of Convince and Convert which show the correlation between, actually in the inverse correlation between Facebook stock price and Facebook’s organic reach.

While we believe it is important for a business to be present in Social organically, and to develop a community, the greatest success we see is using Facebook’s demographically targeted add capabilities to be in front of the right buyer Persona at the right point in their customer Journey.

Facebook’s targeting goes far beyond most people’s understanding. We think of it on the demographics such as age gender location and some likes and interests. There’s much much more.

In addition to those demographic elements, Facebook allows you to Target income levels lines of credit intention to buy certain items and much deeper data than most marketers take advantage of.

With the combination of incredible targeting and a good creative, it is possible to drive right leave stream from Facebook without ever even updated ones organic. We don’t, however, recommend it.

Ever since we first discovered amazing targeting capabilities of Facebook, I’ve been a big fan. No pun intended.

As a technical person who came to serve as an search extension of web development I was always skeptical about online advertising. Facebook taught me the value of behavioral targeting and the impact of a well-placed ad.

With the right content targeted to the right persona at the right time in their buying journey Facebook is a fantastic top of funnel tool, and sometimes even deeper in the funnel reinforcing the value of doing business with the advertiser.

That said, we really believe in content. In fact, the majority of our contractors are focused on content and we’re even building a platform to make it easier for marketers to engage in content marketing called UpScribed.

I can’t wait to learn from everybody a Engage, and most particularly my co-presenter Marty Weintraub. Marty and I have been presenting together on the value content and social and driving those business connections for years and he is one of the smartest marketers I know.

Regardless of how far we grow, it’s important to recognize that there is still much learning to be had…specially in the realm of meeting the buyer at their point of need the right information.

Please come up and say hi if you meet me at Engage and feel free to reach out if you share my love of the insidious beast that is behavioral targeting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *