Social Champ is honored to have Dennis Yu on board this time for an interview.
Dennis is the CTO at BlitzMetrics, a digital marketing company which develops software and tools for young adults and businesses to help them accomplish to be successful in the marketing world.
He has also served Yahoo as their Technical Marketer for more than 3 years. He’s an internationally perceived lecturer in Facebook Marketing. He has spoken in 17 countries, crossing over 5 continents, including keynotes at L2E, PubCon, Conversion Conference, Gultaggen, and Marketo Summit. Dennis Yu is the co-author of “Facebook Nation” – a textbook taught in over 700 colleges and universities. He’s a regular contributor to Adweek’s Social Times column.
Hello Dennis Yu, Social Champ is glad to have you for the interview today.
How did you start your career as a marketing guru?
Dennis Yu: I am someone who has always believed in automation because I am a lazy person; I don’t want to do the same things multiple times. I remember when I worked in America Airlines, one of my jobs was to produce the report, and I found a way to automate myself. That’s what I have always done.
If you look at what happens in marketing, the majority is just repeating one thing which is not worthy of your time. If 90% of your time is spending on assembling reports, boosting posts or posting on multiple networks, then certainly by getting those stuff out your way, we can spend most of our time interacting with clients. and if you’re an agency or in consultancy, then that’s really where you get the value.
I’ve always thought since founding BlitzMetrics, that the sole purpose was to help other people that are trying to help their clients. We are an agency where you can use our tool, and we can automate more things. It is for those who also may not be that trained and use a professional like me for their marketing assistance.
As a CTO, can you tell how this tool is helping startups to achieve marketing goals?
Dennis Yu: BlitzMetrics is technically a marketing tool, but we think of it as a smart assistant. Our tool is able to look at all the stats on performance. How many likes, comments, and shares you have, how much revenue, what’s the CTR, what can our system learn based on a simple rule to care things like making recommendations.
The main purpose of the tool is to help in remarketing on different networks, whether that person is available for the next 24 hours. We are not selling our tool on packages because we want people to get results. If you provide seem-less, transparent, easy user-experience then the tool becomes invisible. It’s less about tool and more about you connecting with contacts. You have lost in a software game if people are thinking about how you navigate procedurally through the process. If you optimize tool to tool usage, you often sub-optimize user experience.
We are trying to figure out what that intersection is, so we can serve marketing specialists, agencies, and consults and trying to replace them. Our gain or underlying client’s gain doesn’t have to come at their expense or our expense.
What’s your opinion about Internet marketing? How it helps a brand/ product to flourish in the market?
Dennis Yu: I have been in this place for 20 years, I have seen everything come and go, and nothing’s truly new.
When you look back at internet marketing you see nothing has changed, the core strategy is you’re sharing a message, story, and problem’s solution. Majority of people buy things emotionally and justify rationally. People will make a decision on rationality whether its direct market, internet market, or network market.
Being a Facebook influencer and a marketing specialist, what do you think about current social media status?
Dennis Yu: Google and Facebook are two giant contexts, and all others are small. We are going to focus on how certain social fit together and where things are going to change, as things become more competitive, the algorithm gets smarter.
The algorithm of Google is ranked in billions of pages, the same is for Facebook, where there are billions of statuses and checks-in on Newsfeed. The amount of content being produced exponentially is beyond the ability of us customers to consume it. I remember at Yahoo, one of the executives said: “Our goal is to index the world’s information.”
Increasingly, over the years more tools will come out, they promise automation without any efforts. You could use a social media management tool like Social Champ to automate the posting, but you still have to focus on creating amazing content. When you build a content library in the right structure instead of focusing on just to post, that’s how you are going to get the best arc line.
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What are the metrics that indicate a campaign is a success or a failure? How would you use those metrics to make success in your next campaign?
Dennis Yu: Want to know how to measure the success of your Facebook campaigns? You have to use something that is called the standard of excellence.
You are going to have three points in your funnel: awareness, engagement, and conversion. For the first point in Awareness, you want your audience to stay for 15 seconds for your videos, you need to have “newsfeed stopping power.”
Now Engagement, you need to drive people to your website and get their email address. Now, this point revolves around your cost per click and bounce rate.
At the bottom of the funnel is Conversion, so what does it cost me to get a customer through email, through display ads, through having a booth at the conference, or maybe through sponsoring things. The cost contains the cost of labor, tools, maintaining a website as well as the cost of SEO. I’m going to take what that true cost by how many sales I got and I can calculate the CPA (Cost Per Acquisition).
The idea of having benchmarks across awareness, engagement, and conversion is really just saying you need to have business goals.
What were the moments you cherished most and was a wonderful experience?
Dennis Yu: I remember one time when USA Today reporter called me saying they would love to get my perspective on the story of Russians buying ads to support Donald Trump and put Hillary Clinton in trouble.
I was so excited as I get to be in USA Today again, and thirty minutes later, this reporter sent me an email informing me that she actually found my co-founder Logan Young, is actually an expert and he will be interviewed. I felt “Oh man!” but then I realized it’s really cool since I am his mentor and there is nothing more you want to see as a mentor than to see your people succeed. Then you just stand back as a coach and says, “Wow, that’s a great job!”
What’s your most successful marketing campaign so far? What was your role, and how did you work together with other teams to achieve your goals?
Dennis Yu: One of my favorite moments this past year was working with Ashley Furniture. Michael Melaro and his team were awesome to work with, and it showed how modern marketing is supposed to behave. I first met them at Social Media Marketing World, two years ago and told me they are spending millions of dollars on the Facebook but they aren’t sure what is working or not, Cost Per Engagements was 27 cents, driving people to the website, pushing videos and sales promotions.
By working with them, we are able to get the content of the goals and targeting organized, get their plumings setup which is their tracking and because of their efforts, their 1-minute videos, we were able to drive their CPEs to pennies.
Facebook allows you to track offline conversions too! Sounds creepy but it’s so cool that we can track people as they go between different channels, who have been to the website, who are fans on Facebook, who have watched video on Facebook.
If you are an agency, tool provider, SAAS vendor, you must produce content that teaches, it should be educational. Everything sums up to 3Ps, People, Process, and Platform. You need to train people and build relationships. Know the importance of networking offline and online. For the process, you need to document everything, create training material and How-To guides. And then the platform is your software. When you have all three of those, when those come together, that is when you know you are going to win.
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How do you manage them when things don’t workout and goals are not achieving?
Dennis Yu: If you want to be honest, it happens all the time that things don’t work out and goals are not achieved. The first thing you need to do is to figure out in a checklist way, what exactly is wrong?
There is a difference between actual performance and perceived performance. The odds have you competently executed the marketing campaigns and did proper SEO, but the client doesn’t understand what you did. Usually, the issue is an educational one, maybe the client’s expectation is very high.
For example, one day they hired you, the next day want their brand to be the first link on Google. It might be possible that you probably did screw up. And if you did, then find out what went wrong, was the person not properly trained? Did you not have a proper scope? Or maybe miscommunication between the client and your team lead to a disastrous campaign.
If you are able to identify what is wrong, understand the case, and resolve those issues.
Who has been the motivation for where you are today?
Dennis Yu: I would be not where I am today without multiple mentors. There are folks like Albert V. Casey, former CEO, American Airlines. He taught me how you can run an organization, how you buy and sell a company, and how you prepare for a meeting.
I was the paper tiger, I used to get good grades, ace tests, but I didn’t know how to work with people, and I didn’t have any real job experience.
A mentor is critical in helping you bridge that gap. You can work hard as much as you want and hustle, but the reality is, success is when you have someone who is helping, and it is nothing to be ashamed of.
A mentor open doors for you. And then the door opened at Yahoo, then onto Facebook and that is how we started!
The best advantage of having a mentor is that they only open the door and doesn’t babysit you, letting you experience the ups and downs of the real-time world. In a mentor relationship, it’s not one-way handout welfare, what are the things that you can do to mentor others but make sure its a two-way street and they respect you.
What marketing AD plan would you suggest to a SAAS startup willing to spend around $100 per month?
Dennis Yu: If you are a SAAS startup, and you only got 100$ a month, run 1-minute videos on Facebook, boosting for a dollar a day, that will allow you to run fourteen different ads for a week, 1$ is spent on each video for seven days, that is 7$ x 14 videos. That is how you will be able to test your campaign.
What you are going to do in those 1-minute videos? You are going to have “Why” video by your founder that why he started this company? An Interview with your customer, like “I have been using Social Champ, it has reasonable plans, starting from $10 a month. And I like this particular feature the most.”
An interview by your employee, like “I really like working at Social Champ, they treat me well, I was a college kid, but they give me an opportunity, mentored me, and now I am able to advance, and now take care of my family.”
An interview with an industry expert, like maybe you can go to someone who is expert at Facebook Ads, or maybe you interview someone at a conference, and that video will be really helpful for your audience too because of the experts’ advice.
For instance, if I am casually hanging out with Mark Zuckerberg, and talking about absolutely anything, it is quite normal. But when the audience will see those pictures, they would know that this guy is someone important. Since he is having lunch with Mark Zuckerberg. That can be used as implied endorsements, associating yourself with other people and groups.
If you have that tiny budget, the best thing you can do is building authority by amplifying 1-minute. Once you get to know which of your 14 videos are performing better than others, then put more money on them in the next cycle.
Have you used any tools to manage social media marketing? Name your favorite tools for marketing?
Dennis Yu: My favorite tool for marketing is Facebook Business Manager. Why? Because it put everything inside a single ecosystem. You got Facebook Ads, Analytics, Ad accounts, posts, moderation, and custom audience inside this ecosystem.
Having said that, Social Champ is an awesome tool. Being super easy where you can schedule content, post across multiple channels, it’s super simple too. Although people confuse simplicity in tools with being non-productive. The fact is the more complex a tool gets to use, its functionality reduces. Since people are not able to use it effectively disturbing their ROI.
Another favorite tool I have is LeadsBridge that allows you to connect custom audiences with Facebook.
I think the social tools landscape is only going to increase, in terms of complexity and the number of tools it allows you to cross-post, create ads, optimize, and make reports.
Avinash Kaushik, the analytics guy, who now works at Google, says that for every dollar you have, you should spend 90% on people, and 10% on tools.
Thank you so much, Dennis Yu, Social Champ wishes you all the best in your future endeavors. Thanks for enlightening the audience with Facebook Adverts, Marketing Efforts, Social Media Strategies, and Digital Marketing Tips & Tricks.