Noah Kagan is the founder of AppSumo and one of the most influential entrepreneurs in recent years, with a net worth of $150M as of December 2020. Interestingly, Kagan was also one of the very first employees at Facebook and arguably the highest-profile figure to be fired from his role at the social media company.
At the same time, there were many mistakes and reasons for his departure and Noah has most certainly made up for this with some incredibly impressive results. Most of this success can be attributed to savvy marketing and clever advertising strategies.
In this article, we look at some unique marketing strategies from Noah Kagan and advertising techniques that have enabled the guru to stay ahead of the curve.
What Noah Kagan Thinks About Social Media Marketing and Advertising
According to Kagan, too many marketers fail to recognize the importance of having a framework for their strategies. Furthermore, Kagan points out that marketers should position themselves to predict which tactics or techniques will work for their specific businesses.
But how can you spot these trends and implement the right strategies?
Instead of hoping and taking chances, Kagan encourages people to consume marketing and advertising guides. More specifically, it’s just as important to take a scientific and systematic approach to marketing in particular which brings me to the first piece of advice by Noah Kagan.
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1. Noah Kagan on Which Social Media Platforms to Use
While Kagan was fired from Facebook, he obviously uses the platform for social media marketing and advertising. That being said, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn are all effective and Kagan believes that every platform should be used as much as possible.
That’s not to say marketers should use every platform available but rather to explain that Kagan believes in diversity. What’s more, it’s important to master the type of content that performs well on these platforms and know the target market before posting anything at all.
Aside from the actual content, Noah likes to focus on context for his social media marketing and advertising efforts. That is to say, even the most valuable content is limited when the context is wrong. As if that’s not enough, you need to master hashtags in order to increase the reach on most social media platforms and this is especially true on Twitter in recent years.
Either way, it’s essential to monitor the amount of interaction and conversation on each social media network and ensure that people are paying attention to content on a regular basis. Facebook’s new algorithm means that you have to spend some money on the platform to get qualitative views and impressions from both your followers and new eyes. With the right social media strategy, however, you can still generate engagement and increase brand awareness.
2. Taking a Scientific and Systematic Approach to Marketing
When you take a scientific approach to marketing, you use experiments and observations to guide decisions. As a rule, you try to predict and then repeat certain experiments. With this in mind, tweaks and adjustments are often made to the marketing strategy. Moreover, this strategy is then improved and enhanced to scale the business using tried and proven techniques.
As a result, a scientific and systematic approach enables marketers to run tests and make decisions which have a higher probability of working in their favour. Having trackable social media signals will help you craft your objectives for the campaigns.
3. Creating Valuable Content That People Will Actually Miss
The most valuable content will answer a question of some kind and Noah is a big fan of creating this type of “how-to” content. However, when you check the various blogs associated with his companies such as SumoME and OkDork, you will see that this content is also highly entertaining.
For this reason, you should know that Noah advises content creators to create useful content that entertains. Also, Noah says that the content on which he spends most time is always the content that performs the best and so long-form content is usually the most effective.
That being said, the main point here is that creators should spend ample time on their content creation and ensure the quality is not affected by the quantity on show. Start by creating very attractive and marketable headlines; not clickbait but quality headlines and proceed to the body of your content.
4. Using Referral Programs for More Accurate Marketing
Noah Kagan knows a thing or two about referral programs and recently attributed these programs to the immense success of Dropbox. As you know, referral programs are not only common in the world of marketing but also one of the most successful ways to drum up a new business. On the other hand, not every guide is applicable to every industry or business and care should be taken to create a relevant referral program for the business.
While there are many factors and elements to consider for any such referral program, the above mentioned scientific and systematic approach is always beneficial in terms of accuracy.
5. Why Marketers Should Work Backward Toward Objectives
While not every aspect of marketing and advertising needs to be scientific as Jeff Bezos has advised severally before, careful experimentation is always the key in terms of implementing any plan. As with any scientific experiment, a clear goal is required and this objective is essential for any kind of marketing or advertising effort.
Now, that’s not to say marketing or advertising is just about experimenting but rather to outline the first step that this process has in common with scientific experiments.
Knowing the overall objective will enable one to create smaller steps and a clear path toward this end goal. Kagan also recommends using the AARRR funnel which can help businesses have a much greater impact in marketing and advertising.
6. Setting Marketing and Advertising Goals
AARRR is an acronym of Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Revenue and Referral and Noah recommends this process for setting marketing and advertising goals in particular:
Acquisition – Generating traffic is one of the most difficult aspects for markets but either way, increasing direct traffic, referrals and click-through-rates is essential. Simply it, without focusing on this first step, there is no way to have an impact on a target market. At the same time, it’s just as crucial to have attractive ads in order to entice clicks and action from these visitors.
Activation – If you attain a high conversion rate, you might want to request visitors to sign up for an account on your website. You can also turn these visitors into email subscribers and work on reducing the ‘bounce rate’ for whatever users are not sticking around in the first place.
Retention – As you might have guessed, retention focuses on encouraging users or visitors to come back to your website. In short, the more a user comes back, the longer they are also likely to stay.
Revenue – Reducing the abandonment rate of the cart page is often important and this is especially true when the rate is high. At the same time, improving products or tweaking price plans can increase revenue, while creating repeat customers is a great way to improve cash flow in general.
Referral – Are your customers telling people about your business? Referrals can be invaluable to any business and this also applies to social media. That is to say, likes and shares on Facebook, Instagram Twitter etc can increase the reach and awareness of your brand.
7. Decision Values through Hypothesis
Noah Kagan has built his business by making decisions based on hypothesis. In other words, he has implemented a strategy to nurture high traffic, conversions and click-through-rates on all channels.
A hypothesis is essentially a calculated guess which uses data and research to reduce the risk of failure. On the other hand, business often needs to rely on previous experience when they cannot access the relevant data and information.
For example, when advertising on a popular platform, you could ask the research team to gather advertising metrics such as conversation or click-through rates that might be associated with similar products or businesses in the same industry.
8. How to Achieve and Measure Results Using the SMART Acronym
When it comes to both advertising and marketing, you cannot improve what you do not know. In other words, Kagan insists that it’s absolutely essential to measure results in order to improve performance. What’s more, Noah says that SMART is the perfect acronym to take care of this aspect.
It’s true, various websites and tools can assist with social media marketing and advertising but without the following strategy, many of these tools are not very useful at all.
Specific – Every goal should be ultra-specific and outline the precise numbers or details associated with the overall objective. For instance, if you want to attain a $500k annual turnover, it’s important to break this number down into smaller numbers over the weeks and months of each year.
Measurable – You will need to measure the extent of progress of every marketing or advertising effort. In this sense, you should be able to know when things are not going to plan and then take action in order to get everything back on track. If turnover is $200k midway through the year, you will need to adjust the projected earnings for the final six months in order to reach the $500k target.
Assignable – Who will be responsible for achieving every result in the marketing or advertising plan? You should always know precisely which individuals will take care of every aspect of the plan.
Realistic – When you set or adjust targets, the numbers need to be attainable. Without realistic projections or targets, the business will have a hard time living up to its reputation. After all, every business will only have so many resources or capabilities.
Time – It’s important to place a very specific time on the overall objective and smaller tasks which will help achieve this goal. As a rule, 30-60 days is a good time frame for smaller tasks and working backwards from the solution is often a better way to set this time frame/s.
When it comes to this concept, your best bet is to try Google Ads. The Google Ads platform gives you a very good SMART proposition where you get to set Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic and Time-based goals for your campaigns in order to get some data to start tweaking and improving on to improve your results.
9. Careful Planning and Expecting the Unexpected
For most marketing guides, you should find that careful planning is the key to success. However, there should also be a plan for certain eventualities and a clear understanding of the probability of success. If your conversion rates are substandard, you should expect lower revenue and if you receive more traffic than expected, there should be enough resources to cater for such demand.
10. But Also Do More and Plan Less
According to Noah Kagan, some marketers can also spend too much time planning and thinking as opposed to getting stuff done. When Noah was fired by Facebook, he finally understood that the best way to gain exposure was by creating interesting things. With this in mind, he now believes that the best way to learn is through experience and even failing at one idea after another in order to get there. More specially, Kagan says that failing is the quickest way to improve or solve problems.
On the other hand, Noah also believes that there is never anyone solution to a problem and that failing is often a much safer bet in terms of figuring out what that solution might be.
Social media marketing and advertising is an immense topic but careful planning is important is essential for every strategy and technique.