I talked about these four conference attending goals; connecting with people, meeting new people, ingesting content and learning things, and then helping people and teaching things, turning that on its head and being of some service to other people. Those are the four reasons that I went over last week and I wanted to go through those with you this week and talk to you about what that looked like for me in San Diego.
The weather in San Diego was just absolutely beautiful, as usual, it always is. When I first got there on Wednesday it was a little rainy, but by Wednesday afternoon it had cleared up and it was absolutely beautiful for the remainder of my time there and that just made the place even more delightful.
The venue is the San Diego Convention Center and this time the host hotel was The Manchester Grand Hyatt. Although, this conference spills over into multiple hotels, that was the host hotel. Really nice and just up the street from the Conference Center. Everything is within walking distance of the marina and the Gas Lamp District. It’s an amazing venue.
I got to ride in Pat Flynn’s Tesla, which was super cool. He put it in insanity mode and it is really fast – that’s all I can tell you about that. It was kind of an amazing thing.
Conference Goal: Connecting with People
The four things that I talked about, the first one was an opportunity to connect with my friends and the people that I know and people that I’m getting to know. I just had that in spades.
One of the highlights of the conference for me was I got to sit down with Ray Edwards and his son for almost an hour and just chit-chat. Ray Edwards from the Ray Edwards Show and his son Sean is also on that show. That was just really special for me because Ray and I have become really close over the last couple of years and I feel like I know his son.
You know this podcast feeling that you get, you feel like you know these hosts. That’s the same for me, just as it might be for you. At least I hope you feel like you know me. I got to meet Sean Edwards and he’s an amazing guy, incredibly intelligent, and just delightful to talk to in person. That was really super cool.
I got to connect with all of my Green Room Mastermind buddies. In fact, if you follow me on Facebook you probably saw a picture of the six of us at Seasons 52.
It’s usually the one time in a year that we get to sit down and have dinner together, whoever is here, and this is maybe the first time that we’ve all six managed to come. Last year Leslie was having a baby and one year I was in Japan. This year we were all there and that was really special at the end of the conference, a really nice way to cap off the trip.
Conference Goal: Meeting New People
The second thing that I mentioned was meeting new people. I mentioned Sean Edwards already, that was really a highlight of the trip for me.
I also got to meet Amy Porterfield for the first time face-to-face and talk to her a little bit. It was a real treat because, as I may have mentioned before, I was leading the podcasting track and she was on a panel with a bunch of really heavy hitters in the podcasting space, and I was able to talk to her a little bit as I introduced the panel. We told a lot of funny jokes to warm the audience up. It was just a really cool experience and fun to even briefly spend some time meeting Amy.
There’s a long list of people that I got to meet for the first time. Not just people who are super famous. One of the delightful things about a conference like this is you get to meet people that you’ve really never heard of.
For me, there are two sides of it. There’s the speaker side of it where I get to hobnob with all of these amazing famous people. Then there’s other side of it where I get to meet all of these up and comers or people who are trying to get started, people that are where I was five or seven years ago. That’s really a neat thing, too.
One really cool example of that, if you listen to Podcast Answer Man at all you know about a month ago he had Sarah Stahl on his podcast. It was a podcast about whether or not you should give away your valuable work for free and what the true opportunity cost of that was. He live coached Sarah, who is trying to really get her business to the next level, on the call. I got to meet her on the aircraft carrier.
The opening night party for this conference is always on the USS Midway, which is a really neat kind of thing where you have 3,000 marketers partying on the hangar deck of an aircraft carrier. It’s a really neat experience. I got to meet Sarah and talk to her about her adventure. It was really cool.
So a lot of fun and really was able to check both of those checkboxes for reconnecting with people I’ve known for years and meeting new people that will move into that group of people that I’ve known for years. Check and check.
Conference Goal: Consume Content and Learn Things
The other thing that I was able to do was consume an enormous amount of content. For a lot of time I was in the podcasting track. That’s really good for me because I’m a podcaster, so listening to talks about podcasting is very helpful for me. I was able to take away a lot of that.
There were also really good keynotes throughout the conference, including Michael Stelzner’s opening keynote where he always talks about his takeaway from his industry wide social media survey that he does at Social Media Examiner every year, just a fantastic keynote there. Chalene Johnson was on the stage for the closing keynote.
It was just a really super amount of content and I was only able to scratch the surface. One of the cool things about Social Media Marketing World is that you get the recordings of all the talks, so I’ll be able to go back and listen to those on the virtual ticket, which is a super great opportunity for me to learn more stuff that I wanted to know but I couldn’t be two places at once so they were talks that I missed.
There were two big takeaways from this that you’ll be hearing about.
One is the importance of live video. I’ve thought about doing live video for a long time and couldn’t really figure out exactly what I wanted to do. In talking it through with some people at the conference, in hearing some talks about what’s going on with live video and how it’s best done, I will be doing a weekly live video where I’ll briefly recap what happened on the podcast, talk about a topic, and then answer any questions that come up on the live stream.
I’m going to try to do that every Monday night at 9:00 PM Central Time. We’re going to give that a try and see how that works. That starts next week. If you’re on the mailing list, I’ll be sending out an email about that later this week so you’ll know how to tune into that. You can also go to LateNightIM.com/live and that will take you to the information that you need in order to find that.
The other big takeaway for me through the learning that I got at Social Media Marketing World was the importance of Facebook groups. This is something that I’ve been thinking about a lot for a long time. I finally bit the bullet and created the Late Night Internet Marketing Community Group on Facebook. It already has over 100 people in it and I’d love it if you would come and hang out with us there.
It’s a simple laidback thing where we’re just going to hang out and talk about what’s going on in internet marketing. We’ve already had some cool exchanges in there. We usually have a topic of the day and that sort of thing. It’s not a group of 30,000 people, it will probably eventually be a group of a few thousand people where I hope that we can get to know each other and have some sort of ongoing exchange during the week between podcasts and help each other out with business problems and so forth. If you’re interested in that, I’d love to have you. Just click on the join button and I’ll approve your request to join the group.
It is a private Facebook group, which means that I control who gets in and who stays in, and everything that you post in there doesn’t show up all over Facebook. If you’re curious about the rules between public, private, and secret Facebook groups, maybe we’ll cover that in another episode. It’s a really nice compromise with some amount of privacy but easy to access and find if you’re on Facebook.
Checkbox number three, I learned some things and I made some decisions about stuff that I’m going to implement in my business. That checks my third checkbox.
Conference Goal: Helping People and Teaching Things
The fourth thing was I’m privileged that I can help at the conference and give answers to people to help people. A lot of times I’ll do adhoc coaching, and I certainly did that at the conference, I answered some people’s questions. After podcasting sessions they would have questions about podcasting. I talked to some marketers about their digital products and what they might do to have better conversion rates and so forth. All just because I enjoy paying it forward.
What better environment than that to do that sort of thing where someone can come up and ask you a question about what’s going on, you’re there anyway so you can answer it. You can’t do that for everybody, but certainly I did it as much as I could while I was at the conference and I was able to check off that fourth checkbox.
So, Social Media Marketing World was a huge win for me. I will be back there next year. I’ve already booked my hotel room for the conference, which will be February 28th through March 2nd in 2018.
The cool thing is they’ve created a new level at Social Media Marketing World that is more affordable, a content creator level. It doesn’t get you into all of the cool parties and stuff, but if you want to go learn stuff and hang out with the kinds of people that are at Social Media Marketing World, meet some of these speakers and famous people that you’ve been following online, you’ll be able to do that more affordably. I’ll have some more information about that on the podcast at a future date.
Just a really successful trip for me and I just couldn’t be more thankful to be involved in something as awesome as Social Media Marketing World 2017.
Late Night Tech Tip: Facebook Pixel
The next thing that I wanted to talk about was a conversation that I was having in a private Facebook group. You know that I’m working on this 100K Factory project where I’m creating an ecommerce store, because I want to get good at Facebook advertising and it may also result in another income stream for my online business. I’m actually pretty excited about it. It’s a very interesting thing from a marketing standpoint.
100K Factory, at least in the beginning, relies heavily on Facebook advertising, which is something that I’m really interested in. One of the things that comes up is the use of a Facebook pixel. I thought for our tech tip today we could talk about what is a Facebook pixel. Maybe you’ve heard this term or maybe you’ve noticed a thing that the Facebook pixel makes possible. Have you ever noticed when you go visit a site, like let’s say you visit Harry’s Razors, and then you go back over to Facebook and all of a sudden Harry’s Razors ads are in your Facebook feed? Have you wondered how that happens?
It turns out that if you’re an advertiser on Facebook you can get this little snippet of code called a Facebook pixel and you can put that on your website so that if people visit your website they are cookied with this Facebook pixel.
Conversion pixels are something that have been used in marketing, particularly affiliate marketing and other advertising, for well over a decade or longer. The Facebook pixel is kind of cool because it’s a super smart pixel and there are a lot of things that you can do.
Once someone visits your website and does whatever they do on your website, maybe they browse a particular product, maybe they look at particular content, maybe they opt-in and reach a thank you page or they purchase something and reach a receipt page or some kind of transaction page, or maybe they abandon your cart. A Facebook pixel can keep track of all of that and knowing those things will allow you to understand all kinds of different information in advertising.
The obvious thing is retargeting. That’s this idea that someone visited your website and now they’re back on Facebook and you want to target those people that have already been on your website with Facebook ads because you know they have some sort of interest in your product.
Maybe they were on your website and they weren’t quite ready to buy, maybe they were on your website and they got distracted by a ringing telephone. You can target them by use of this Facebook pixel and you can tell Facebook, “Go find the people that are targeted with my pixel and serve ads to those people.” That’s really cool.
You can extend that idea with the pixel. You can say take a look at all the people that have visited my website recently and serve my ad to people that are demographically or psychographically like those people. Take the Facebook pixel, I notice that most of my visitors are men between the age of 30 and 40, great, let’s run an ad campaign and now that Facebook knows that I want it to target ads at people that look like the people that are tagged with my pixel.
You can also do some more sophisticated things, like running dynamic product ads where you change the ad that you present somebody based on the actual pages that they’ve visited on your website. Maybe you sell high end products and low end products, and this person visited the high end product page. You can give an ad specifically for that as opposed to just a generic ad for your website.
You can also do crazy stuff, like understand something called cross-device conversions. You’re advertising on mobile, they see your ad on the phone, but they make their purchase on the computer. You can understand those kinds of things, too.
With this pixel you can optimize ads better, because what’s happening is Facebook is offering up ads, people are clicking on those ads, and then they’re gone (theoretically), but Facebook is still able to track their behavior on your website and so Facebook knows whether that kind of visitor, whether it was a 32-year-old man or a 75-year-old woman, whether they stuck around on your website, bought something, opted-in, they’re able to understand whether or not that particular visitor converted and so they can refine who they show your ads to in the immediate future to increase your return on investment on your ads.
That’s one of the neat things about Facebook, they want to increase return on investments on your ads. Why is that? Well, 1) so you’ll advertise on Facebook, and 2) so you’ll spend more money. The more money that you make advertising on Facebook the more money you’re going to spend advertising on Facebook. They absolutely know that, it makes total sense, and it’s one of the magical things about Facebook advertising that your interests and the interests of Facebook are actually very well aligned and they’re going to do everything they can to make that possible.
In order to get the Facebook pixel code on your website, it looks similar in structure to the Google Analytics code, it’s a little script. What’s nice is there are some plugins in the WordPress plugin directory, if you happen to be running WordPress you can absolutely get one of these plugins and put your Facebook pixel code directly on the website. Then when you’re running ads to your website or to a particular article you’ll have better audience insights and analytics immediately just by using the Facebook pixel, and you’ll be able to do lots of more sophisticated things.
That’s sort of the simplest way to explain it. It enables a lot more capability for the ad platform and it enables you to do a lot more sophisticated things. That’s super cool.
If you’re using something like Shopify, which I’m using for the 100K Factory experiment, they have an easy way for you to add the Facebook pixel. Although, I’m told for some advanced conversion capabilities that doesn’t work exactly right and so you may choose to add the Facebook pixel manually, which is what I’ve done in 100K Factory. You just go in and edit the HTML code directly, like we used to do in the old days, fire up a text editor and edit that right in.
The Facebook pixel is really super cool. I hope that has helped you and it’s been totally demystified. If you have additional questions about Facebook advertising, I’d love to answer them for you, or at least give you my opinion. Come on over to the Facebook group, that’s where we can answer some of these questions. We can have a whole discussion about Facebook, really cool stuff.
April Amazon Commissions Opportunity
The Amazon affiliate program is in the news again this month. You’ll remember several episodes ago I talked about how they changed their entire commission structure. Now as a follow on to that they’re offering a special promotion for April, which is a super cool promotion; fixed 12% commissions on their Native Shopping Ads.
The Native Shopping Ads are these boxes that you’re used to seeing of products with a picture, a title which is a hotlink, and then the number of stars and the price and whether or not there’s Prime shipping. Usually these are in an array that is three of four wide.
It’s really cool for them to offer a 12% commission, that’s a pretty generous commission. My attention was called to this not by Amazon actually, but by my friend Lynn Terry over at ClickNewz.com. She’s someone we definitely need to get on this show. I’ve been friends with Lynn since 2008, the year after I got started in affiliate marketing.
She talks about the impact of these site-wide ads on her niche blog. In addition to her internet marketing blog at ClickNewz.com, she has a niche blog on low carb eating. She was talking about the power of Amazon and how many sales she makes on Amazon, which is quite an impressive number on that niche blog every month, so she is very excited about this promotion from Amazon and has installed these ads site-wide.
I thought I would call your attention to that, super exciting time for Amazon affiliates. If you’re not using site-wide ads, I definitely recommend that you give that a look.
In case you’re not familiar with these, I guess there are two things that are really cool about them.
One is that these are contextual ads, so they understand what the page is about at some level and will try to present an ad that is relevant to the content. They’re like Adsense in that way and they change depending on what the content is.
The other thing that’s really cool about them is that the design of the ad is a responsive design, so the array will expand and collapse depending on the platform that you’re on and it should work pretty well with most themes.
Wrapping Things Up…
That wraps it up for this episode of the Late Night Internet Marketing Podcast. I hope you have an absolutely fantastic week.
I hope you think about my call to action from Episode 132, which was to figure out some way you can do something conference-like. I hope I’ve motivated you and you’ve seen how much I got out of Social Media Marketing World. I’d like to encourage you to go do something like that, if not halfway across the United States or wherever you’re from then maybe in your local area there is something for you that you can get something out of.
Until next week, I hope you get a ton of stuff done.