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AUDIO - HSP #248 - Jeff Bullas
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VIDEO - HSP 248 - Jeff Bullas
• How to build a blog that attracts over 5 million visitors a year without paying Google or Facebook a cent
• Content marketing
• Digital marketing
• Email marketing
• Digital marketing trends
• Social media marketing
• How to convert traffic to leads and customers
I am a blogger, author, strategist and speaker and work with companies and executives to optimize their online personal and company brands with digital, content and social media marketing.
This blog is about all things to do with “Social Media Marketing”, Content Marketing and Digital Marketing. This includes Twitter, Blogging, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and email marketing.
Its focus is to assist business in “getting found online” in a digital world and making you visible and successful on a crowded web.
I have spent most of my career involved with Information Technologies, Telecommunications and the Web Industry.
Howard: It is a huge order for me today to be interviewing the number one rock star that I've ever heard of in social media, Jeff Bullas, down in Australia, and this podcast has to take you into the future because I'm podcasting you Wednesday at 3:30 and it's already Thursday morning at 9:30 there. Everyone listening to this is already a day into the future. How are you doing, Jeff?
Jeff: I'm doing great, Howard. How are you?
Howard: You know, I knew you were the most amazing guy in the world. I knew you were an amazing guy when I ... I follow you on Twitter and you have 380,000 followers. I mean, us dentists, we're doing good if we've got 100 or 200 or 300. If we just took the K off your 380 followers is probably what everybody has listening to you.
I was visiting my brother down in Sydney, Australia and I've always known this thing about the most successful people: they always make a religion out of availability. I said, "This guy is on all the lists I've seen, on the Wall Street Journal, whatever." Anybody talking about social media experts, you're always on the list. I said, "I bet you if I call him up and say I'm an American, big fan of yours, and I'm down in Sydney visiting my brother, is there any way I could meet you?" There was just a chance you might say yes, and you said "Yeah." You met me and met my brother for breakfast and I just think you're an amazing man.
Jeff: It's great to be here.
Howard: What could you tell dentists from your level of 380,000 to a dentist trying to build up his social media? What would you say to a dentist? Do you think a dentist ... You're talking to several thousand general dentists right now and maybe some orthodontists and oral surgeons or whatever. Do you think social media is worth their time and effort to build their dental business?
Jeff: Social media is part of the equation and it's really important to understand that it's not about just about the shiny new toy of social media. Everyone sort of jumped on the bandwagon, built their Facebook Likes, but there are some things that have really changed over the last couple of years and that's that Facebook actually has reduced its reach organically. In other words, they want you to pay to reach your audience.
There's been some things that have really changed on social media over the last fews, but I leapt onto social media seven years ago and it was basically the Wild West. You could build reach on Facebook and there was what I call the "Facebook Like Frenzy." Everyone was building up their Facebook Likes. What Facebook allowed you to do was to actually post something on your page and your fans would all receive it in their news feed or timeline, would receive your update.
That has changed. Today the art of using social media is moving from what I call a "free model," an organic model, to more a paid model. So the game has changed. That's what I think everyone has to understand and to reach your audience on Facebook now means doing targeted Facebook advertising. Then, you still have other channels like Twitter, which I use a lot as well, which actually still provides quite an organic reach, but I treat social media much more as what I call "Top of the Funnel Brand Awareness."
Will they discover me? They engage with me because I provide content that adds value and then I move them from what I call the "Top End" of the sales funnel right into the sharper end where they can become leads and then hopefully those leads convert into customers. Social media, you've got to be very careful that you don't just treat social media as this brand new toy, leap in and just go frantic. It really is important to understand how it's evolved and where it's going.
Howard: Okay, so let's start with Facebook and I do like your funnel. By the way, if you guys ... We have a marketing department and it's a huge department of all of one person, Julian. Whenever Julian has a question or whatever, I always answer everything else the same, I just say, "Well, go to W-W-W dot Jeff Bullas dot com. J-E-F-F B-U-L-L-A-S dot com."
One I like about your website is you have the specific ... All your blogs or comments or articles on your website are answering a specific question. It's almost like an FAQ list of social media. Would you agree with that or disagree?
Jeff: Yeah, I agree. I basically create "How To" blog posts that actually answer a whole range of issues that I believe that most people are trying to work out. For me, it's creating a mindset that actually says "Okay, what are the biggest challenges that people are having at the moment with social media, digital marketing, and email marketing?" Anything in that digital marketing space, so I try to put myself in their shoes and also think with what I call a "Beginner's Mind." You're really going to be thinking about what people are going to be asking and what are their questions, what are their doubts.
Howard: Okay, let's just start with the 400 pound gorilla Facebook. Isn't Facebook really bigger than Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, all combined?
Jeff: Yes it is. It's huge and Facebook is still the 800 pound gorilla. It needs to be ... But what you've got to understand now is that Facebook ... Using Facebook needs to be a targeted advertising model. Try to use it to get organic reach, get them to Like my page and then that person is going to receive my updates. It's becoming less and less [inaudible 00:05:52]. In fact, the organic reach of people following your page is going to be pretty close to zero these days.
Howard: Whenever they take it public, it's money is the answer, what's the question. The minute one of those guys goes public, it's all about their earnings per quarter.
Jeff: That's right, they've got to basically pay the shareholders and I totally get that, it makes sense. You've got to realize how the game is played and then you've got to get good at it. If you don't really understand Facebook advertising and some of the special words that are being thrown around like "retargeting," I would recommend that you get hold of a really good Facebook advertising expert that just specializes in that area and get them to do it for you.
The Facebook advertising area is what I call a little bit of a minefield because it evolved so rapidly. Also, there's a lot of people spending ... Like at the bottom of each of your posts is this lovely little thing that says "Boost this post." Right? I wouldn't mind betting that Facebook is making ... Must be 70 or 80% of its revenue from that sort of stuff.
The effectiveness of that can be pretty minimal so I would recommend strongly to anyone who wants to use Facebook is stick to being a great dentist, create great content around what you do and add value to your prospects and customers, but hire someone from outside to do it well.
Howard: So you're saying when you do make a post on Facebook and it says "Boost this post," that that's not really a good return on investment?
Jeff: No, generally it's not for clicks through your website, it's just Likes. A lot of people go and see it, then they Like it, then really nothing much is happening. The reality is you've really got to get really specific and use the right targeting methods. You want people coming through to your website and you want them to gauge you on your own property, right? Which is your own website or blog. Basically, you want to make sure that you use Facebook and email to drive traffic to your blog.
I use what I call a "Traffic Model," which is ... There's three types of traffic, right? One is you can pay for traffic, and that's using ads on Google, it's ads on Facebook, it's ads on Twitter, and the list goes on. The other part is you can earn attention and that takes a long time, so for example, it's taken me six years to build a Twitter following of 380,000. That's important to understand. Twitter is also very good for organic traffic, so I send out a Tweet, it links to my site, people visit it. Great.
Also, you can earn authority with Google, that's what I call "Earned Authority" with Google. In other words, Google ranks your content, starts indexing it, it says "Okay, your content is so good and your authority on search is so great, that will actually put you on page one." That, again, takes use. Essentially this is a [journ 00:09:04] that should be done along with your paid targeted advertising on Google or Facebook or the other social media channels.
The purpose would be the paid or [runned 00:09:11] traffic is to drive them to your website or blog, where you can get them to actually subscribe and become leads, in other words, and then you can reach your customers with your email list whenever you like. Otherwise, you're at the mercy of the changing algorithms of Google search or the changing science of Facecbook ads.
Essentially what you're going to be doing is bringing the traffic to your owned properties, such as your blog or website, and convert them into leads and then nurture them through content to then turn them into customers. You've got to think of this holistically.
Howard: Basically, do you know of a firm that these dentists can be calling that specialize in small businesses like a dental office to be doing their Facebook marketing campaign?
Jeff: We've got some here in Australia, there's some in the US, so not off the top of my head but I'd be happy to find them. I could send that through to you later if you'd like.
Howard: Okay, yeah. That would be fantastic. Everybody has a budget and the number they throw around in dentistry is 3% of collections should be spent on marketing. I've always noticed that the average dental office is doing about 790,000 a year, so say 800,000 and the average dentist there is probably paying about 3%. I always notice that the office that is doing a million, a million two, a million five, they're always closer to 4 to 6% in advertising.
Everybody has a budget is what I'm trying to say. Would you recommend ... What is a bigger, better spend: Google ads or Facebook ads?
Jeff: Okay, test it. There is no, basically, one answer to that. It depends on your offer, it depends on how good of an image you're using on it, it's how good your conversion rate is when you bring them to the landing page which is where [inaudible 00:11:20] made an offer on the ads like "Get a free teeth cleaning service from us" or "Come and get your teeth cleaned for free" and of course once you give them the offers, you've got them in a chair and you've got them in your mercy.
You can upgrade them there, of course, and I'm sure a lot of you are doing that. What you need to do is actually run some different tests. In digital marketing, what you can do now is you can actually do A-B spec testing, in other words, can have a landing page that comes up once and another landing page that comes up and you can see which landing page works well. In other words, one that says "Subscribe to our list and download our free e-book," that's what a landing page will be doing.
Howard: I know you're a genius because in MBA school, they always taught that marketing is just measure, measure, measure. The funniest joke in all of marketing is that you always know when you don't have a degree in marketing, because you'll have a perfectly great ad that's crushing it and you'll have a need to change the ad.
I had dinner the other night ... I had dinner the other night in Australia actually, with one of the other ladies speaking with me and she's a dental consultant and her husband is a dentist in Florida and they've been running the same ad in their small town little newspaper for like a decade.
It's something simple like, "Missing teeth? Call blank." That's all it is, just this little ad, and so many other people have asked her, other dentists, like "Well are you ever going to change that?" She goes "Why would I change it? Every time I run it, it's like $300 and it gets in like 5 new patients for an implant consultation." She goes "You don't fix what's not broken." [crosstalk 00:13:02]
A lot of people, they think that productivity is just being busy and they've got something perfectly working and they have to take ... It's why dentists are so brand loyal. All the dental manufacturers will tell you that dentists are very smart, they've got eight years of college. They average one of them, and if they start using your product and there's nothing wrong with it, they're still using it ten to twenty to thirty years later, even though all these other companies are saying "Hey, try my version, try my brand" and they're like "Why?"
It just all comes down to measure and a lot of times the biggest mistake in business is to project your own thoughts on the people and you're not the people, you're not the market, so you just measure everything. That was a great answer. Let me ask this. How does one ... I bet you there's at least 2,500 dentists listening to you right now who have never, ever placed a single Facebook ad or Google ad one time in their life. Do you want to walk them through that or would your advice say "Dude, no. You don't get it. You've got to find someone to do it for you."
Jeff: I would highly recommend stick to what you do well and hire someone who really knows their stuff because it is a little bit ... It's quite a minefield, like I've been in this space for a while and it just keeps changing so rapidly that it makes your head spin. Facebook keeps changing how it does it. Some of the most effective is an area worth looking at which is found to reduce the cost of ads and also because they're very targeted and they're also content driven.
When you get your Facebook expert in your town or in your country, it's best to say "Okay, what's this Facebook retargeting?" Okay, so when I ask that question, "How come I use Facebook retargeting, is that a good thing to do?" That's maybe a question I would get them to ask of the digital advertising company that they end up hiring or when they start actually asking around and seeing who's good.
Howard: So what does that mean, Facebook retargeting? What does that mean?
Jeff: Okay, Facebook retargeting means that you can load a cookie onto your blog or website and the client might visit it because of implants or it might be a teeth cleaning or it might be teeth straightening or teeth whitening, it might be a blog post. What happens is that cookie then will follow them around the web so when you do advertising later, what will happen is, and you've seen it when you're browsing, suddenly this ad pops up which has go to do with a topic that you looked at on a site a week ago.
Essentially then that content, that marketing or advertising, then becomes relevant because that person was looking for that particular type of information and now that ad is following them around, if you start running those sorts of ads. Essentially that becomes, as you know that if you get advertising that's relevant to what you're looking for, that becomes a much more powerful type of advertising rather than an irrelevant one.
I don't want to hear about Victoria's Secret. Well, most days I don't. It's about retargeting, in other words it's a cookie that essentially, to put it simply, follows them around the web and will actually allow you to target them with relevant ads based upon the content they were seeking when they visited your site.
Howard: You're saying that since I've been sleeping with two cats for the last five to ten years, that I should visit ... That if I visit Victoria's Secret website, when I'm logging onto Dentaltown little scantily-clad women on the side?
Jeff: Yeah and your wive will know what you've been doing.
Howard: Okay. Ryan, make myself a note that after this podcast to go to the Victoria's Secret website. I want to ask you another thing. Dentists keep asking me and you hear it around that people are saying do content marketing. Have you heard of that term, content marketing?
Jeff: Yeah, I've been a content marketer for seven years so yes, I have heard of the term, yes.
Howard: What is a content marketer?
Jeff: Okay. A content marketer is a term that's evolved over the last few years that started ... One of the terms that was used before that was a term called "In-bound Marketing." I remember reading a book by David Meerman Scott and it was called "The New Rules of Marketing and PR." He said that really what you need to do is you need to attract customers to you, rather than be ... And that's called in-bound marketing.
Instead of picking up the phone and cold calling and chasing your customer, which is what we call out-bound marketing, and you know what, I've been on the tech industry, I've done business development, I've done cold calls, and most of us hate doing cold calling. Also, it's becoming less effective, so that's out-bound marketing. When I read this book, I went "Wow, if I created really good, valuable content, people might just actually start contacting me and I track them to me." That's called in-bound marketing.
The parallel term with that is content marketing, in other words it's content that attracts. By adding great valuable content, you actually attract potential customers to you because you build credibility and trust. As dentists, we know that we're delivering great service but no one knows that. What do you do? That's why blogging and creating content is really valuable to your community, or potential community because they will start reading if they discover you, whether it's through paid or whether it's discovering you through a Google search or clicking on a Tweet or a Facebook link or a video.
They'll discover you and say "Oh, wow, this guy or this woman really knows what they're talking about. This dentist really knows their stuff and they're actually helping me understand what I need to do to get my teeth straightened or my teeth whitened." Essentially, what you're doing is your attracting the customer to you so it is the power of content to attract the customer to you by creating that credibility and trust about your brand.
It's about giving away free stuff continually that builds that online credibility and trust because online no one knows who you are, you are defined by your content. End of story. Whether it's your videos, whether it's your images, whether it's your blog posts. You are defined online by content. That's it.
Howard: I want to say something to the listeners here. The founder of Facebook is Mark Zuckerberg and his dad is a dentist, Ed Zuckerberg, a really handsome short, fat, bald dentist, just like me. I asked Ed to do an online [inaudible 00:19:57] course on social marketing for Dentaltown and he said "You know, I really don't want to waste your time because it changes so fast." He goes "I put the course up and then in a year, he's like "I probably wouldn't have said anything I said."
What's funny is I ask you "Do you want to explain how to do this?" And you said "It's changing so fast, that I don't want to do it." I would just tell my listeners that damn, Ed Zuckerberg, who's son owns Facebook doesn't even want to try to edumacate you on this, on online [inaudible 00:20:26] courses because it's moving so fast and he's on a podcast interview and he's a great guy, he posts on Dentaltown. Then same thing with you, you don't even want to walk them through this because it will all be different.
I'm going to ask you another question that we hear. You said this changed so fast, back in the day with Pinterest, everybody was telling the dentists ... One thing about dentists, we know for sure that about 88 sometimes 89 or 90% of all appointments are made by the moms. Dad seldom makes the appointment for the kids. When Dad comes in you said "I'm filling out your kid's insurance form, when was your kid born?" He never knows. If you say "When your kid was born, was there a Christmas tree or a pumpkin or a ..." You know, they have no idea.
It's a woman industry, really dentistry is a woman's industry. Mom's making all the appointments and they said Pinterest was 98% women and that on your dental office website, you've got to have the Pinterest page because that's where all the moms are. Then, later, Facebook ... Didn't Facebook buy Instagram and wasn't that kind of a play against Pinterest, or was it kind of Facebook's own Pinterest? Is any of that stuff true or was it true years ago or not true anymore?
Or would you recommend having a Pinterest page to find moms and is Pinterest now dead because Facebook bought Instagram and that's kind of the Facebook equivalent? Did anything I say just make sense? Was there anything in that, what I just said?
Jeff: I'm going to polish it, right? Okay. Pinterest is predominantly female and the numbers are in the 80s, I think. 80% from my last little bit of research a couple of months ago. Yes, Pinterest ... It's very visual and so a lot of the moms and the ladies are actually ... That's where they pin really beautiful images, whether it's about the home or whether it's about food or whether it's about fashion. All those sorts of things.
Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook bought Instagram for a billion dollars when they only had nine employees and that was about four years ago, because it was mobile-centric. In fact, Istagram...
Howard: It was what centric? [crosstalk 00:22:44]
Jeff: It was a mobile app, that's what it was.
Howard: Oh, mobile phone app.
Jeff: That's all Instagram was initially, it didn't even have a website but Instagram now is approaching about 400 million users and is very, as we know, it's driven by images and photos. What's really important to understand is that Mark Zuckerberg understood the future of the social web. It's now the social and mobile web.
Understand that 75% plus now of Facebook's advertising revenue comes from mobile.
Howard: What percent?
Jeff: That's 75, 76% of all Facebook's advertising revenue comes from mobile advertising.
Jeff: Understand that part of what you need to also get good at is what we call "Mobile Content, Mobile Advertising" because the trend on the social web is very much in the mobile space. What you also have to keep in mind is that in the next five to ten years, another 3 billion people are going to come onto the internet. Now, they are mostly from developing countries and they're going to be using their mobile as their primary screen.
We used to talk about mobiles as the secondary screen, but now it's becoming the primary screen. What you've got to understand is the use of images and mobile to actually reach your audience and get them to convert from engaging with content and then, again, converting them into those email leads and then turning them into customers.
Howard: For a dentist website ... So you're doing these things and I really love one of your blogs and by the way, if you're listening to this, if you want to learn about marketing, you just go to W-W-W dot Jeff Bullas dot com, B-U-L-L-A-S. What is Bullas? Is that English or ... Bullas?
Jeff: It's actually ... The original name is Spanish, so it's actually a name of a town in the Highlands of Spain so regional heritage from the 1600s is Spanish.
Howard: By the way, I've been to Australia several times, my brother lives in Sydney, I've lectured to their dental association maybe every three to five years since like 1990. I'm telling you, that is the one ... Sydney, Australia is the only city I ever lecture in and ask myself "Why am I going back home to Phoenix?" My brother's down there and I live in a boring suburb of Phoenix. I could go lay out in the middle of my street naked and no one would know it for three days. It's so boring.
Then at my brother's place, you walk out to the street and it's bar, band, bookstore, oh my god. Sydney is just a ... One week there is about equal to a year of living in the suburbs of America. It is just the coolest city. I want to ask you this, this is fair. Is going to your website learning about marketing or is it learning about social media and digital marketing, because if this dentist is sitting here thinking "Okay, I'm going to spend 3% on marketing," what would you be telling ... Would he learn from your website "Well what about the flyer? What about the Yellow Page ad? What about a billboard? What about all the kinds of marketing?"
Or would you say that you're mostly a digital marketing, social marketing, or would you just ... What would you say to that?
Jeff: I concentrate on digital marketing which involves all the different disciplines in that space, and the reason I do that is because most people, a lot of people, end up doing flyers and billboards and that for years and that's fine. The principles of marketing ... In essence, a lot of the principles haven't changed like the art of writing a good headline, the ability to add value, but I concentrate on the digital marketing piece because that's where most people have really struggled to understand what I call this internet revolution, this digital age because it's disrupting almost everything.
I don't have to look at what's happening to the taxi industry with Uber and AirBnB to understand that digital is basically disrupting almost everything. For me, the challenge I would say 90% plus of businesses do not get digital marketing. My mission basically is to inspire and educate people and brands to win in a digital world because that is where we're moving rapidly. We're already there.
A lot of us are getting a little bit older and we've been in our industry for a while. The biggest challenge for us is not actually embracing new ideas, it's letting go of the old ones. It makes me think a little bit of what I call the Men in Black movies where they have the neuralizer and they hold it up and they go "Okay, I'm going to erase your memory." So the biggest challenge for most of us is letting go of the old stuff that no longer works.
Howard: You know why I am so excited about interviewing you and pushing this out? There's 205,000 of us on Dentaltown, I've got about 125,000 on Facebook and about 6,000 on Pinterest, 14,000 on Twitter, 5,000 Google+. The reason I'm so excited about this is there are 2 million dentists around the world and look at the difference between AIDS and dentistry. When poor people were faced with AIDS, and they wanted to lower their rate, the government went in there and totally used every form of marketing they had.
They had radio and TV and billboards and print and social workers, and they went crazy advertising it like "Hey, hey, you guys are going to kill each other if you keep having unprotected sex." They curbed it and brought it down. Now we look at dentistry. There's 2 million dentists around the world and most dentists practice in countries where all forms of advertising are illegal as far as print and flyers and signage and all that, but the loophole ... Like Hong Kong.
You've been to Hong Kong because it's right next door to Sydney? In Hong Kong, a dentist isn't allowed to do direct mail, they're not allowed to put a sign out on their door. You could have your license taken away but having a nice patience newsletter and mailing it to everybody within a mile of your dental office in Hong Kong, you'd lose your license. It's that way in so many countries. The only way we're going to bring down dental disease is around this loophole that all those laws are about print and billboard and signs and all that, but they're so archaic laws that they're not even aware of Facebook and Instagram and all these different things.
I think if we're going to fight dental decay and obesity and diabetes, we need to fight it just like we fought HIV, which is massively advertised. No offense to you, but Australians are very conservative about ... Dentists in Australia are very conservative about advertising compared to the United States.
I mean, when I was down there, I had dinner with a lot of dentists. There was a couple of dentists at the table that said they don't believe in it and I said "What do you mean, you don't believe in it?" And they said "Well I think it cheapens the profession. You should find your dentists by asking your best friend at church or next door neighbor or your cousin. You shouldn't be on Facebook." He said the word "Facebook" as if it were some kind of blasphemy.
I'm really excited and I really think that the more dentists listen to legends like you, who have crushed it in the big [B to C 00:30:26] world and bringing those lessons down to the little bitty dental B to B world, that the 2 million dentists through the use of social media, digital media, can get around all the laws, all the baloney recommendations that just make people lose all their teeth and cry, it would really make a dent in the cities.
I want to ask you this because I know that people are wondering. Should they be advertising on Instagram or is that even possible? Is Instagram something you can advertise on to build your dental office?
Jeff: Instagram started introducing and testing different types of advertising models to see what works and what doesn't. What you're going to find is that Facebook, that owns Instagram, is going to be rolling out advertising on ... It's started already, rolling out advertising on Instagram. Again, if you want to be part of that is to get someone who understands how that works and works well, and get them to do some tests for you.
The reality is that social media marketing is going to move towards much more of a paid model, not only but it's going to be a very important component going forward, of how to actually use social media.
Howard: You also said advertising on Twitter. I was not aware that there is advertising on Twitter. How does advertising on Twitter work?
Jeff: You can do a variety of different things. You can do promoted Tweets, you can run ads that actually boost your following, you can do all of that. There's about three different types of ads on Twitter. I would suggest though that Facebook has gotten more granular, targeted information about your potential customers, so you actually...
Howard: Who does?
Jeff: You can actually get better targeting with Facebook that you would with Twitter.
Howard: So you'd be more targeted with Facebook than you would with Twitter?
Jeff: That's right.[crosstalk 00:32:16]
Howard: And when you say Facebook, that's the same as Instagram because it's owned by the same company?
Jeff: Well, the ads on Instagram will be different to Facebook, but basically the technology that will be rolling out will be backed by the same sort of information and technology. Facebook's a monster now in terms of its technology to actually do advertising so it's going to be using all it's got at its disposal.
Their competitor is actually Google, and one of the reasons Google started Google+ was actually to catch more information about people because, as you know, with Google search, Google doesn't necessarily know a lot about you compared to what Facebook does. When you go to Facebook, what you do is you're going "How old are you? What university did you go to? What are your friends? What are your interests? What's your preference?"
The list goes on and on and on. Facebook, very clever, what they did is they built ... You become basically the customer, but you provide the information. Essentially, they're using your information to target you.
Howard: What was the original ... Google had a chance to buy that back in the day, didn't they? Do you remember what the year and the number was?
Jeff: I can't remember. [crosstalk 00:33:33]
Howard: They passed on it early on in the game and I bet Sergey Brin and Larry Page have gnashed their teeth more than once on that deal.
Jeff: I'm sure they did.
Howard: A lot of dentist websites have a Google+ page, or it has the little red G. Is that effective? Do you think that helps a lot?
Jeff: I have been experimenting with it for years and essentially it drives no traffic to my blog. It can help because Google does put up some Google+ results, pages on Google+, into their search results. I wouldn't be spending a lot of time on it. In fact, Google themselves actually announced they're maybe going to break it up into Google Hangouts and images and, in other words, Google+ hasn't really been the success they were hoping for to actually take on Facebook.
For me, I really wouldn't be spending too much focus on Google+. It's a little bit of what I call a [inaudible 00:34:33] principle, a way to work out what sort of advertising works best and then focus on that, not go around and do everything on social. Otherwise, that's all you'll be doing, you won't be doing any dental work. Essentially, work out what works and focus on those platforms that really do drive traffic and work.
Howard: The funniest Facebook meme I've ever seen in my life is "Hey, you want to learn how to make money on Facebook? Delete your account and go back to work." I love that joke. Also, let's talk about this. Didn't Google buy a blogging site too? Don't they have a blog? Don't they own a blog site?
Jeff: Yeah, it's called Blogger dot com.
Howard: Blogger. If a dentist is going to ... Say you're an oral surgeon and you want to write a blog about when you should pull your wisdom teeth or say you're an orthodontist and you want to talk about different types of ortho or bleaching or bonding or whatever. Would you recommend that they have a separate blogger site on Blogger dot com or would you put that blog on their website?
Jeff: The blog's going to be part of your website. End of story. What's great about blogs is that they actually add value to your domain authority, in other words your domain name. It might be called "John Dentist dot com" and you might have something like a back slash blog, in other words it's part of that domain.
What you need to do is make sure that if you have a blog, it needs to be part of your website domain because what a blog does is as people read it, as they share it, as it gets discovered, as it gets linked to by other websites and by people and other bloggers, what happens is that then becomes ... You build authority on that blog, which is connected to your website which means that you build up the overall authority of your website for Google, because Google is ranking and indexing you all the time.
The better the content you create, the more people that connect to you, the more authority you gain as a domain.
Howard: Do you think the company Google is ... Now they changed their name. What is it? Alphabet or ... What's the name of their company now?
Jeff: They started a different rebranding thing and I haven't actually looked to closely at that, it's sort of like a while rebranding...
Howard: Do you [crosstalk 00:37:04] think that Google is indexing your content you create on Facebook and Twitter? Or would they not be allowed to do that from Facebook. [crosstalk 00:37:12]
Jeff: They do collect social signals, so they do index Twitter a fair bit. There's a new relationship ... They were working with Twitter a few years ago but that relationship ended and now they're actually working again with Twitter, which means that Twitter gives them access to their whole stream of Tweets which Google is indexing and measuring.
Google is looking at all sorts of signals on the web to make sure that it's capturing content that people are valuing, because what Google is trying to deliver up to is great experience. Google is about delivering to you a fantastic experience so Google search continues to remain relevant to you because we know how good Google is in terms of delivering up what we call great content easy to find, because it does a great job at indexing it with its technology.
Howard: The one thing I don't understand about Google is you can be in a small town in the middle of nowhere Kansas, you can be in Eloy, Arizona, population 5,000, and Google a Mexican restaurant in Eloy and it'll find it in like .001 second, but it can't figure out that my email in my inbox that I just inherited 5 million dollars from a Nigerian prince and if I just give him my bank account ... How does Google not know that?
That just blows my mind. You know where the only Mexican restaurant in Eloy is but you don't know the Nigerian prince is not legit. I always thought that was bizarre. True or false: Some people say that SEO, search engine optimization, that if you have ... Since Google owns YouTube, your website should have YouTube videos because part of their search engine optimization algorithm is looking for YouTube content and that if you have YouTube videos on your dental website, that would help your search engine optimization. True or false?
Jeff: Sorry, can you start the question again and just clear it up some?
Howard: Well they say that the search engine optimization algorithm from Google, when people are searching for like a dentist in Phoenix or whatever, that since Google owns YouTube and a video, a one minute video, has a million times more ones and zero digits than say your little 600 word blog on cosmetic dentistry ... That if you have a bunch of YouTube videos on your website, that that's a lot more ones and zeros to index and that will really help your search engine optimization with YouTube when local people are trying to find a dentist.
Jeff: Well, YouTube is actually the second biggest search engine in the world and the research does show that it's easier to rank high on YouTube than it is to actually rank on Google search. What you need to be doing is, yes, creating videos that have keywords and phrases that would rank for them, they might be "teeth whitening Phoenix." Make sure you are actually creating videos that are optimized for search engines, including Google.
It is important to be creating content in a variety of media and YouTube optimization for search is actually really important to do. That means actually using keywords and phrases not only in the headline but also in the description and also categorize it. When you create videos, it's not about just whacking up a video and hoping Google is going to find it, you've got to make it easy for Google to find you or make it easy for the search function within YouTube to find you.
Don't worry too much about the zeros and numbers and digits, just be using the key phrases you want to be found for and create YouTube videos about that. Yes, that is very, very important.
Howard: Okay, true or false: LinkedIn. A lot of dentists say they'd rather spend their social media time on LinkedIn because people on LinkedIn are more likely to have a job and dental insurance and be able to come to your office than say someone posting on Facebook who's just showing that they're eating a pizza at the mall.
Do you think a dentist should have a LinkedIn account because they might be finding higher class, higher educated, mostly employed people who most likely have benefits? Do you think LinkedIn is a social media marketing place for dental offices?
Jeff: I think it's essential for any professional and for offices to have one, and typically LinkedIn works best if it's actually about the person, so LinkedIn should be one of your top five accounts to have. You should have a Facebook account, a Twitter account, Instagram account, a Pinterest account, and a LinkedIn account. I'm not saying necessarily in that order, but yes, LinkedIn is essential.
In terms of advertising, the numbers show that it is quite an expensive form of advertising. I haven't heard a lot of people spouting the huge benefits of advertising on LinkedIn, but again, it's another brick in the wall in terms of what you're doing online to actually be seen in a variety of places.
I remember a story ... I was invited to speak in Italy a few years ago and over dinner one night, I said "Look, you don't know me, you just basically contact me via email and then you ask me to come and speak." I said "Why did you invite me?" And they said "Because we saw you everywhere."
The challenge for you is to create such a presence online that you become ubiquitous, in other words to be in as many places as possible because some research shows that if you're seen once, your trust factor is like 3 or 4%. If you're seen in three to five different places, such as it might be a billboard, it might be online, it might be on LinkedIn. If you're seen in three to five places, your trust and credibility in people's minds goes up to over 55%.
LinkedIn is part of the puzzle. I would encourage anyone to actually be on there, do some publishing on there, but I wouldn't call it one of the top ... It wouldn't be the top one.
Howard: What did you mean when you said "LinkedIn is more about the individual than the business," as opposed to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest?
Jeff: Most of us have a LinkedIn personal profile which is essential in today's digital age, everyone should have one of those, especially if you're a professional. Most of us today are, we're in the knowledge industry. You can have a corporate one, but I don't know whether you'd need to do that as a dentist.
I do know some bigger corporations have LinkedIn corporate profiles, but the most important one is I wouldn't try and splinter it too much. I'd really just stick with a personal profile that profiles you as the expert.
Howard: I'm sorry to re-ask this question because my brain's the size of a walnut but I still don't get what is the difference between Instagram and Pinterest. You said both of them ... I totally get the difference between Facebook and Twitter, I mean Twitter is 140 characters, but Instagram and Pinterest ... It's just photo sharing, isn't it? What's really the difference between Instagram and Pinterest and why would you recommend both? Are there any really [crosstalk 00:44:32].
Jeff: Pinterest is a bit more desktop-oriented, not just mobile, and Instagram is essentially pretty well primarily mobile.
Jeff: Instagram is also growing much more rapidly. Pinterest I think has only got about 60 or 70 million people on it, so it's still large, but I would put Instagram as a platform where I'd be playing more than Pinterest.
Howard: Okay, and again, true or false: Some dentists are saying that if you hire a consultant or hire an expert to build you a Wikipedia page about Jeff Bullas and list all your accomplishments and everything so you have a page on Wikipedia that really looks for a [inaudible 00:45:15] when someone is Googling a dentist and you're the only dentist in Parsons, Kansas who has a Wikipedia page. If you do have a Wikipedia page, that Google gives you a higher authority because you have a Wikipedia page. True or false?
Jeff: I've been on Wikipedia and someone did that for me, and Wikipedia decided to actually pull it down because it looked like a resume or something they said. I didn't see it affect my Google rankings at all, but again, it doesn't hurt. So if you can get a Wikipedia page, it's not something I would put as my top three things to do once we get off this call. Yes, it's another brick in the wall.
Howard: Okay, well, we're 45 minutes into this and I've only got you here for about 15 minutes left. When they get off this, I'm going to put your own words in your mouth, when I get off this podcast, what should the first three things they do if their goal is "I would like to get more new patients in my town at Eloy, Arizona and I'm just a regular good ol' boy general dentist?"
Jeff: Okay, if you want to get traction fast, I would do Facebook advertising and do it well.
Howard: Earlier we agreed that that would be the dentist not doing it but finding someone else. Okay, what about this piece of advice? This dentist is sitting there and she's 35 years old and she's like "I don't really do Facebook, but my assistant, I see her checking it every 15 minutes and she tells me she checks it before she gets out of bed and she checks it laying in bed going to night and sets it on her nightstand." Is it good advice just to give that task to that dental assistant and say "Look, you live on Facebook. You do the Facebook ads and marketing for our office?"
Jeff: Short answer? No.
Howard: It's just too complicated for that?
Jeff: They're not going to do it well. They might boost a post and spend $200 of your money on a credit card and they might get a lot of Likes and it looks good ... What essentially most of that will be will be a vanity metric, "Ah, gee, I've got 200 Likes, people" ... But no, get clever, get smart, get targeted, right?
Howard: Get clever, get smart, get targeted, and then you'll email us? You say you might know of some firms? A lot of fans of this show are in Australia. In fact, I was trying to fix you up with Derrick Mahoney because I was having dinner with him the night before and he said he wanted a social media expert. I said "Well I'll ask Jeff Bullas tomorrow at breakfast." Did you ever meet Derrick or did you guys ever contact?
Jeff: Yeah, I caught up with him and his clinical manager, so we had a chat and we did catch up. We did.
Howard: Good, but if you have any names of any firms that would help us do that, like say a lot of the fans of this show are in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, basically the English-speaking world because my Farsi is just not up to speed enough to do a podcast in Farsi. Anything else then, Jeff? Anything else you'd want to talk about or...
Jeff: I just think for people that ... You've got to understand that we live in a digital age so you're going to have to change your thinking in a lot of ways. I would encourage all of you to actually realize that you've maybe got more unlearning to do about the past and embrace this new social mobile web because that's the future and if you don't do that, you might find that you'll be disrupted by a young startup out of college that will know how to use digital marketing and create something that adds real value to the client.
For me, what I've realized is the importance of content to actually add value to my readers and then that turns into opportunities. What's really important to understand is that you're basically going to give away free content and, as you know, on your side you give away a lot of free content. That principle stays the same whether you're a small town dentist or whether you're a big town corporate dentist. The reality is still the same.
You want to basically continue to build that credibility and trust with your clients by adding value to them and that will just continue to do that because online you are defined by content.
Howard: I think it's interesting how the world turns because I'm almost 30 years out of school and when I opened up, I was a renegade because I was buying an ad in the Yellow Pages and all the older dentists thought that was very bad image. Instead of going into a medical dental professional building next to a hospital, I went in a retail setting next to a grocery store, Walgreens, Pizza Hut, and they thought that was a joke.
I was crushing it because I had a visible retail location and was in the Yellow Pages and was doing direct mail to every house in my zip code every quarter. I was crushing the old guys because they didn't get it. What's funny now is that to you young dentists out there that are under 30, when I got out of dental school, I had never seen a cell phone, I'd never seen a computer, a laptop, social media. None of this stuff even existed and that's what makes me want to try to live to be 80 the most, just to sit there knowing that when we're 80, from the difference of your phone nailed to the wall to an iPhone, I just wonder what the hell it's going to be in 30 years.
In fact, that will be my last question for you is where is this game going? Are you brave enough to think of where this will be in 10 years from now?
Jeff: I think there's some exciting stuff happening with virtual reality that's going to transform education, marketing, and a lot of industries. It's going to transform, potentially, travel. Virtual reality is a lot of big dollars pouring into that because Facebook actually bought Oculus Rift, virtual reality headset technology company, for 2 billion dollars about a year ago. Essentially, that's going to be, I think, a huge area and whether that could even be used for diagnosis down the track, I don't know.
Virtual reality is going to be big. The other one that is going to be big too is what I call "The Robots are Coming." What I mean by that is that your marketing is going to be driven by a digital marketing automation platform down the track. That allows you to do digital marketing at scale, and that's the other real thing you've got to keep ... I've just implemented over the last 12 months a digital marketing automation platform that's allowed me to quadruple my email list and also double my income just by automating my marketing.
We'll need [parts 00:52:09], they're really important. Virtual reality and digital marketing automation platforms, they're the two to keep an eye out for.
Howard: You said it was Oculus Rift, or just Oculus, where's that ... Oculus dot com. What was the second one? What was the second website you said?
Jeff: Digital marketing automation platform, so it's about...
Howard: Is that digital marketing automation platform, is that your company or another company?
Jeff: No, no. That's basically the trend that's emerging. Basically, used to be I'd get million dollar software that allowed companies like IBM, Adobe, or creating big marketing automation platforms. Essentially, what's happening now is that the small end of town can use platforms like Infusionsoft, Marketo, Entrepot, Hubspot. These are all digital marketing automation platforms that allow you to actually do marketing at scale and measure.
They can measure your effectiveness, in other words, what's your open rates on emails, what's your conversion rate from a lead to a sale. All those measurements will be done from those platforms as well. Also that means you'll be able to do the [inaudible 00:53:26] set at scale, in other words you don't have to do it manually. You're seeing the rise in what I call "cost effective small to medium business" digital marketing automation software.
Howard: Now you said you were going to help me set up mine. Can you send me another email Howard at Dentaltown dot com? Then I'll reply to you and bring back in my president Lori [Zalowsky 00:53:44] and say "What's the status?" because said you would be for hire to teach me how to do that.
Jeff: Yeah, that's right. I was just waiting for your person to speak to my person.
Howard: Okay, yeah. [crosstalk 00:53:58] Would you mind sending me an email on that?
Jeff: Yeah, I will.
Howard: Do you still have that email, the original one?
Jeff: I think I have your original email so that's fine.
Howard: I only touch every email once. When I read email, I reply, forward, delete, I just can't have 45,000 emails in my deal. I'm not smart enough. I just saw that Oculus dot com. That is pretty neat, it's like a pair of goggles on your head. You think in the future, these dentists might be taking online continuing education classes with these goggles on their head?
Jeff: Absolutely. That is definitely going to happen.
Howard: Wow, that is totally exciting. The next time I visit my brother, can I ... Last time we went out and had a boring breakfast and coffee. Next time, can we go out in the evening and just kill about 400 beers with Derrick [Mahoney 00:54:50]?
Howard: We ate across the street from the opera house and Derrick, he was just so fun to have dinner and drinks with. That guy has more personality in his finger than I've got in my whole body. Thanks for making a religion out of availability. I could not believe that the guy on all the top ten lists of every top ten list I've ever seen in social media, like say any list I've ever seen of the top ten social media experts in the world ... Your name is always on there and I cannot believe that you said you'd meet me and my brother for breakfast.
You're adorable, you're a genius, and your metrics speak for itself. How many Likes do you have on Facebook?
Jeff: I've got about 36,000, so I don't really chase Facebook Likes. It's no longer that big a deal.
Howard: But the Twitter following... [crosstalk 00:55:40]
Jeff: Yeah, Twitter following is great because that actually is my secret source. Twitter is still very organic, in other words I get a lot of traffic from Twitter. In fact, it's about 75% of all my traffic from social comes from Twitter.
Howard: That's the difference between Facebook and Twitter because you could build up 10,000 Likes on Facebook but post something, and your 10,000 people who Liked your page don't see it.
Jeff: That's right.
Howard: On Twitter, you built up a third of a million followers and if you send out one Tweet, all third of a million followers see it, right?
Jeff: If they're online and they're on the stream, yes they all see it. That's important. I've noticed a lot of people getting much more interested about Twitter. Starting this December, I've mapped out a course on what I'll be calling potentially "The Twitter Traffic Machines" so I'll be teaching people to grow their followers and use Twitter to create traffic and attention online.
Howard: Are you interested in any of these 2 million dentists around the world as customers or would that help your business at all?
Jeff: Well, I think what I'll be able to do is help them with online education, basically how to market their business. [crosstalk 00:56:47]
Howard: Well, do you want to put a course up on Dentaltown? We put up 350 classes, courses, most of them are an hour, some of them are two to three hours, and they've been viewed over half a million times.
Howard: If you've got a course and you want to put it on that, let me know. Like I say, what excites me is if the 2 million dentists can get around all their local advertising and if we do what the first world did on AIDS prevention to these countries with [inaudible 00:57:21] AIDS rates, if we treated decay like that ... Because you can't wait for the Australian Dental Association who thinks if you're marketing, you're probably also doing drugs or something else.
Howard: Many countries will just take your license away. If you educated the 2 million dentists, and they were out there sharing the information about dental decay and it's contagious and if you have gum disease, don't kiss your baby and all that, we could really make a dent in dental decay and gum disease.
Jeff: Absolutely. I'm happy to help with that mission. I've just come back from India after speaking at a conference there and the potential to transform the world from your office in your own city or from your home office is pretty exciting and that's what excited me right from the get go. I said "Wow, with this social web, I can reach the world and make a difference."
I think if we all embrace that, we can all make a difference in our own nation. I think that's something that continues to excite me and I just continue to look forward to the next day.
Howard: You know what blew my mind the most? I can still remember like 15 years ago when I went to India for the first time, you know what blew my mind the most? In my walnut brain, growing up in Kansas, we all learned that Indians were mostly Hindus and they were vegans and I just thought of this country of people eating fruits and vegetables and hardly any meat, and just the healthiest eaters in the world. My god, those people eat more snacks than anybody I know!
You couldn't go over to a [inaudible 00:58:55] house without the mom and the grandma bringing you trays of cookies and snacks and wafers. They may be vegan, but they eat enough sugar for enough dental decay for half of Asia.
Jeff, thank you so much for your time. I think you're a rock star. Your numbers speak for themselves. I cannot believe that I scored an interview with you in the little old world that [inaudible 00:59:15] street. Thank you so much for your time.
Jeff: It's been a pleasure, Howard, and have a great day.
Howard: All right, you too, buddy. Bye bye.
Jeff: Okay, bye.