How to Scale Your Campaigns, Your Products and Your Business
A very successful businessman, NR, once told me that he has many businesses because he knows many of them will fail. He always recommended having 10 products to sell at any one time, with the expectation that only one would succeed. The same goes for your campaigns, the channels you use, and so on…
So, the million-dollar question is: How do you scale?
We get asked this question daily. It’s the question on everyone’s lips at every conference. On every call. At every dinner…
“It’s going well, but how can we scale?”
Usually, we are talking about a campaign that is working well… but sometimes it applies to an entire business.
What does scale mean?
To me, scale means to do more of what is working and get more in return. That might be getting more leads, more sales, more revenue.
Of course, everyone is looking for a magic button that will get 10X your current results.
Sadly, I can tell you there is no such magic button (and boy have I looked!). But that doesn’t mean it’s not possible.
There are two ways to scale… the first is the easy way: going for the low hanging fruit.
I bet you’re already doing it, and it’s not to be sniffed at.
But, you will eventually reach a glass ceiling, having exhausted all efforts, but hungry for more.
The second is more difficult. It takes longer, costs more at first… but, as long as you have ideas, you have scale. And this is where you find longevity.
Traditional approach to scaling
If you have a winning campaign… or product… or business… then all that low-hanging fruit is easily within your reach: Invest more into what is working and increase your returns.
This might mean:
- Reaching more people by increasing budgets on ad platforms for those winning campaigns.
- Having more people view what you are trying to sell by increasing click through rates; for example, improving ad creative or lift notes.
- Boosting conversion rates on pages with clever tactics, proven “conversion boosters” and design changes to make converting an easier process for the customer.
- Increasing bids to beat out competition and have your ad show to more people.
But here’s the problem: say you increase your click through rate to a lofty… 5%. 95% of those who saw your ad were not interested… So how do you go about getting their interest?
You show them something different. Something that speaks to a different demographic, emotion, or idea.
The Art and Science of Horizontal Scaling
We can see this method of scaling in action, across The Agora. We call it the franchise model.
Instead of having one enormous business, churning out newsletters from Baltimore, we have multiple businesses, many groups, in many locations around the world. They are organized into ‘franchises’, grouped by their ideas. It means we are able to talk about many different ideas and with many different people across the globe.
For one, it’s less risky. If the economy collapses in one market, we have other profitable markets to turn to.
Smaller businesses are also often more nimble, more provocative, and quicker to respond to market conditions. This means that they can be more focused on a small number of big ideas. We’re even seeing our bigger businesses breaking out into smaller imprints for these very reasons.
This approach may ultimately cost more in the short-term, but the benefits over the long-term far outweigh the initial investment.
The long-term approach: Create new campaign ideas
The same goes for our campaigns.
All too often, our businesses are reliant on one, maybe two campaign ideas or lead magnets to bring in all the leads, all the sales, all the renewals… and this is risky… like trying to sit on a one-legged stool… it’s going to fall over.
As marketers, the easy thing to do is to think of all the ways to scale this success – and by all means we should.
Finding new channels, new lists, new ad formats, improving copy, they’re all viable and advisable ways of scaling success. But they are short-sighted.
Our marketing efforts shouldn’t end there.
Instead, we need to use the findings from the successful campaigns to create new ones, with different ideas.
First, looking at the products already being sold by the business. What’s working? Why? What are the key themes? Are these themes all covered by your campaigns?
Look at the search terms reports in Adwords. Listen to customer calls. Read comments on Facebook ads and in editors’ inboxes… Get to know all your customers problems… and solve them, one by one. Campaign idea by campaign idea.
This might mean investing in copy, or taking time to pull together some previously published, good-quality content and creating a free report, or a new premium.
Remember, your campaign is successful because perhaps 5% of your audience are engaging with the one big idea you have out there.
All these additional efforts and investment is to find other ways of engaging the remaining 95%.
The bottom line is exactly what NR spoke about: Scale horizontally, create many new campaigns with different ideas, different lead magnets or premiums. Expect many to fail. But where you succeed, invest aggressively until they reach their glass ceiling.
Create multiple ‘hooks’ into each idea
But you don’t stop there.
Next, create multiple hooks into the campaign by slicing and dicing your audience. This isn’t just new ad copy, this is delving into how your customer thinks and feels and creating copy around that.
- Their varying demographics. Men, women, 45, 55, 65, 75 years old.
- The current state of their finances or health;
- Active investors
- Retirement planners
- Wealth protectors
- Investing beginners
- Unhealthy or frail
- Worried about the cost and effect of later life care
- Active and healthy lifestyle
- Inactive, unhealthy lifestyle
- Worried for their family’s financial future
- The many emotions or sentiments;
- Self/wealth protection
- Fear and uncertainty
Create ads and landing pages around each and every problem, emotion or worry that could compel someone to take action.
Use current affairs to your advantage
While we want to be proactive and set the direction of the conversation with our reader, we also have to remain current.
Using advertorials is a quick and easy way to tap into more mainstream ideas or news and attract short-term ad hooks to bring readers to our content, and then push them through to a promotion. They allow a quick turnaround, and their mainstream or “current” nature will amass more traffic. Plus, they tend to be preferred by ad platforms because they are more platform compliant.
Scaling just about anything…
You might be thinking “we don’t have this problem”.
However, from experience, I know you do.
I challenge you to find it.
Look at: the campaigns you have live on the ad networks, the lead magnets you are using, the premiums on offer and the top lift notes across the business.
I can almost guarantee you have one winning idea in every one of those areas… and not much more.
It’s not supposed to be easy. But it will be fruitful. The diversity alone will be great for your business.