Marketing, Success, and Risk-Taking: Mano Guiragossian

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In marketing, nothing is guaranteed. Sometimes, it’s about taking risks and leaps of faith.

In a data-driven world, data doesn’t deliver all the answers. Marketing is an unpredictable and often surprising creature.

Last year, a lot of B2B wanted to de-risk marketing. They pulled back on spending, chopped staff, and counted every dollar.

But that approach only works for so long. At some point, you need to get back in the game and take risks to succeed.

On the Marketing Spark podcast, Mano Guiragossian talks about how he has navigated the risk journey with clients.

You're listening to market mark, thepodcast at delivers insight tools and tips from marketers and entrepreneursin the trenches in twenty minutes or less marketing agencies and marketingconsultants. Two Thousand and twenty has been well interesting, suspect thatmany of us started the year well and saw business disappear and then sawclients start to return to get insight into how our marketing agency has beendoing business. This year, I reached out to Mano Girgasi who heads upEurasian Media Mano offers some great insight on Lincoln about a variety oftopics, so definitely follow him. Welcome to marketing spark. Thank youmark it's my pleasure to be with you today. Among the many things marketingrelated that you talk about on Linkin video seems to be a very common themeand I've. I've really learned a lot from you in terms of how to approachvideo and how specifically to take advantage of yout. So maybe you cantalk a little bit about how you envision video in two thousand andtwenty one. Everyone says that video is king and that we should all beembracing video, but the ball seems to be moving. All the time, what's yourtake on how to take advantage of video next year yeah, so you know when itcomes to marketing. For me, like everything, works and when people saylike videos, King Okay, I agree with them that it's one of the mostimportant formats to do contenting, but it's not for everyone. For example, Ido videos, but I don't do it too much, because it's not the best format. Forme, I do, for example, more written texts than videos, but yeah I mean whenit comes to video. It's really important and it's more efficient to dovideos, because you know when you do like when you shoot a video, forexample, you can like transform it into a written text into graphics and likerepurposed, into different pieces of content and whether, if you are doinglike organic marketing or fate, marketing, for example, for paidadvertising on face book, you can even create more custom audiences fromvideos from people who watch the videos and those stuff so yeah. I really thinkthat video is like one of it's really big because also like people find you more than when they read yourpost like when you are talking with them directly to the comrade, feel yourpassion they interact with you, so I think it's going to stay in two thousand and twenty one. It'sgoing to be big again as platforms are pushing it as well, and a few thingsthat I'm also focusing on is more like doing live. Videos I think live videos is going to be like huge in the next year because, likepeople are staying at home, so they would like, for example, to open yourlife video and engage with you, and especially if you are a big influencer.I think people are interacting with people who who they like for it,especially if it's live so yeah, I think live videos would be huge nextyear. So that's my opinion about videos. What's your opinion about you tube andthe ways that people can take advantage of that platform? You've talked alittle bit about you tube shorts. Can you talk about what you expect fromthat format and how I maybe perhaps best practices in terms of driving youraudience getting engagement? That kind of thing you tube is one of my favoriteplatforms, because you know they like they reward the reward, thegood content in a way like no platform does it. What I mean by that is whenyou publish a content, if it's, if it's really a good content and people areenjoying it, they will keep pushing it for years and use like you will keepgetting traffic on it organically...

...without spending anything on it andthat's really huge, because on social media, for example, on face book inStagra or linked in when you publish a piece of content, it might like keepgetting engagement for a day two or maybe for one two weeks and maximum forone Lont, but after that it will die. But when it comes to you tube, it'sit's not a social media. It's a search engine, it's the second largest searchengine in the world after Google, and it belongs to Google as well so likewhen people are searching for content. That's the first way that they mightcome across your videos and you will keep getting traffic on it and theother way is that there's suggested videos on you tube, which means like ifyour content is really good, you to will keep suggesting it to people. So,for example, for my clients that I do you tube managing to them like theyhave videos before like it's published before a year or two and it still getstraffic. I when it comes to you kep shorts, you know they launch itrecently, it's not available for everyone. Now. I think it's justavailable in the US, or maybe some other countries as well, but they justlaunch it for a small audience to test it. I don't know: Maybe it works, maybeit's! It will find some success. But in my personal opinion I think people arenot on you tube for those type of videos. People are on Youtte to for nowI mean they are used to watch longer videos, and it's not it's not a socialmedia platform. That's why I think, like it, won't be convenient for peopleto watch such videos on Youtte and especially like now, like manyplatforms are doing that including tick tock was the first one and then instarm launched its reals. Now you tube, and maybe we can see in the future, morecompanies doing it. I think so it's not something different. In my personalopinion, it might work, but I think it won't find a huge success. But again noone knows like one of the things I wanted to talk toabout when it comes to. Video is video on link din. You and I are people who,like publishing text. I do. I do some videos. I just don't find that they getthe same engagement when I, when I do them on linked in. What's your takeabout videos on linked in a lot of people, do do them really well likesome a marketer like Chris Walker? Are they effective and if so, what kind ofvideo should people be doing on Lington Yeah? It's definitely effective, andyou know like the engagement you are getting on video. For me, it's morequality engagement than text. Let me tell you why, because when you arething like in your Dash Port, that let's say five hundred people arewatching your videos, they actually watch it. They spent time on it. Butwhen you tak, for example, a written text might get two sand rich on it, butit doesn't mean that those two thousand people spent the same time like theyspent to watch your videos. I mean like reading your text might take from them,maybe one or not even one minutes, but your videos might be three minutes forminutes and if they are actually continuing working this and if they arecompleting it, it means like. You are filtering your audience. You aregetting more quality traffic from video, so if you have a cold to action at theend of your video and call to action at the end of your written text and youget traffic from both tose speces of content, the traffic you will get fromvideos, I think it's more of a quality traffic than the one you will get fromwritten text, because actually those people spent more time with you and thesame way like, for example, everyone tells the audience you get from podcast,ing or more high quality audience for you, because those people are loyal toyou and they are spending more time...

...listening to you, so the video worksfor sure. Definitely but again it doesn't work for everyone. So if youare good at it of course, do it if you are not so good at it and you mightfind like your best format, for example, you might do photos, you might do. Idon't know audio written text or something else. So, while we're going down the linkedin rabbit hole. The other thing that I want to talk to about is linkin stories.So I haven't used them very much, although last week I did a little bitof experimentation to see what kind of engagement I could get andto be honest with you, it was at best minimal. You know. Maybe I got on onepost I may have got you know twenty five views, but I didn't see the ry andI still don't understand why people would use linked on stories. Itdefinitely would work on an instamus snap chat, but link din strikes me as adifferent beast. You have any thoughts about linked in stories yeah. I didn't spend too much time on it, butI think it works. You know it doesn't work to attract new audience to youlike new followers, maybe for some people it works for that specificobjective as well. But for me I did it for a Er for a like short time. Thesame way you mentioned, like I didn't, get too many views on it, but you knowone thing that I would use a stories for is not to attract new follower butto engage my existing followers and audience and to warm them up. If I'mgoing to sell them, something for example, as I provide marketingservices, for example, I share in my stories someof my studs from my clients like if I work for some clients, I shared somepigs from the dash port to show them the stat that I got for my clients,it's something that I don't like to post about, because it's not a piece ofcontent. I mean I just like to do it in a quick way in a stories. So it's a wayto engageyour followers with you and, at the same time, warm them up toprepare them like to buy from you later in the future. So actually you can useit. I think there's no single feature that I hateon any platform. I like all the features, and if I don't like it, Ijust don't use it. So there's no reason like to hate it. I think I think youcan find some interesting ways to use it and if not, you are not losinganything it's there and it's for free. Well, the other thing that a lot ofmarketers have embraced this year is content. We've all become publishersand brands that were publishing before are publishing even more content andbrands that weren't really into content. Marketing have jumped on the band wegand what have you seen from your clients? And- and maybe you can talkabout best practices as far as making your content stand out, because there'sso much content these days that it's hard for any of it to capture theattention. Any thoughts about that yeah sure so the best way to stand out is toactually like, like B, like be attentive to theaudiences behavior, for example. Now, during the CO with the pandemic, youknow many companies, as you saw, that started posting content about what todo during the Lockton and this stuff. So actually that's smart, because youknow you don't have always to talk about your product, even no matter whatyou say always talk about the customers, problems and then engage with them andbuild that relationship and then start talking about your product. So one ofthe things I'm doing currently for my client is no matter what product theysell. I always for the first like for the first phaseof my content. I always talk about some different stuff which might not berelated to their product, but it will. It would like attract the the righttype of audience to their page or brand, which might buy from them in the futureand, for example, for some of the...

...brands. We do some funny memes, forexample, which attracts the right type of audience for them. So, for example,if we are selling a fashion product, let sell- let's say we do funny memesabout fashion, so only people who are interested in fashion products wouldunderstand those memes and engage with it and in this way, like we attractedmore people to the page and brand, but we didn't sell them anything yet and inthe second stage, will start like introducing them our brand or talkingabout our features and products so yeah. I think everyone is talking about theirproducts, but no one is like producing engaging content. I'm talking aboutbrand specifically, so no one is like producing content, which is liketalking to the audience's problems and what they face in their daily lives.Everyone is busy talking about their own product yeah, it's easy to be product focusedbecause we're all desperate to attract the attention of potential prospectsand really start to deliver value in termsof how they may be able to help them. So that's really great inside. I dowant to ask you about. I do want to ask you what it's been like to run anagency this year and how you how it's been different to work with clients andvice versa, but maybe we could start by giving me an explanation of what youragency does yeah. So currently we work with ecommerce businesses, and we have some personal brands that we work with. Wemanly provide face book advertising services to help those brands generatemore leads and sells through face book advertising and on the other side, wedo content marketing like content strategies, distribution systems orsocial media managing. So, basically, those are the two main services weprovide and if our relationship with the Clint is successful, we offer themmore services like email marketing and you tube management as well. So, but mainly, we start working withthose two services face book, advertising and content. On the otherside, I do some consulting as well. I help people who are willing to start anew youb channel to like give them insights about you tube how to leveragethe algorithm, how to start their channels the right way so to get theirvideo suggested by you tube, more and those stuff. I also provide likeconsulting services for personal branding, true content, how toelaborate social media to produce content and et ce yeah. So basically,this year was a little bit hard to work as an agency, because you know clientsare looking for more safety. I mean before before the pandemic like before this economic situation. People like we had many. We had an amazinggrowth in the economic for the last, maybe ten years a so people were liketrying to test different stuff. If you, if you like, tell them that you havepaid this much and they would pay it, for example, if you ask them for alet's say for a payment, they would like do it just to test it and testyour services, but now they are more like not willing to take risks becauseof the economic situation, but they are like trying to go for something whichis like where they have guaranteed results and that's really hard inmarketing, because you can't guarantee anything in marketing like you have toalways test something. You have to lose money. You have to do different stuffuntil you find what's working. So that's been one of the hardest thing toconvics, like business owners or brands to do it because of the risk they willface. But I mean, when you educate yourclients about it, when you tell them that mark that's how marketing worksand you explain them everything and you...

...have to build this trust with them. Forexample, we started like providing processes through Pidias. We starteddoing more than or cos with them to show them what we have done fordifferent brands or what we can do for them. We started offering some freetests to them, so they will be like more. They will feel that safety inthem to work with us, so it sounds like you've got a lot ofpeople who previously would have jumped into market. You would have been happyto launch campaigns and become a long term client, but now there's maybe someskepticism. Perhaps they want to see examples of our Y they're looking forresults of looking for fast results, because every marketing dollar countsthese days. So how has it been to actually turn prospects into customerslike? How long does it take and what are the things that you've had to do toensure people that they're going to get good service, that their marketing isgoing to work and if they make the investment they're going to get our lie?Yeah, you know it depends on the client, for example. I have clients that Iclose them within two or three days, and I also have some clients that Ihave been like this negotiating with them for months and after that day,like start working with us, so it depends on the client, but the averageis if it's a new client, it's from one to two weeks for us and at the sametime it depends on what the services they will take from us, for example,when it comes to something which is simple, and they don't have like DickPayments to do for us. It doesn't require a lot of thinking from them, soit would be faster. But if it's something for long term, for example,we provide face book advertising for e Commerce, businesses, and there arecompanies that we have been working with for over like a year now, and theyinvest like monthly ten to twenty thousand dollars in aspens. For thosetype of clients, it would take a little bit longer because they are, they arelike going to a little bit of risks. They are investing more money and ourfees are hire for those clans. So it requires a lot of thinking for them alot of negotiations, so for those clients it would take longer. But ifit's something, for example, I get too many consulting clients, so I canconsult them. inters of content and personal branding. Those clients won'ttake to look like they like they ask a few questions and how the program willgo and do what about about the sessions and those stuff, and it would take afew days to them to consider that now. I know you get asked this questiona lot, but you've got a very interesting background. Your personaljourney is really fascinating, a lot of challenges and ups and downs. Maybe youcan give me a snap shot of where you come from and and where you're at now,because it's I find the personal stories to be the most interesting,because entrepreneurs come from these days, come from anywhere and everywhere,and even the fact that we're talking and we're doing, this podcastdemonstrates that we live in a global economy where connecting with peoplehas been easier than ever. So I'd be interested in a little bit about youand and where you're at now yeah, so I was born in Syria, I'm Arminian, but Iwas born in Syria and in two thousand and fourteen I had to emigrate fromSyria to Armenia because of the war, and I came here to our Mina now I'mliving in Armenia as well, and when I came here in Armenia it was too hardfor me. I didn't know English English is is not my native language. I used tospeak Arminian and Arabic in Syria, so I came here. I had to learn a newlanguage. I didn't know anything about marketing. I had to go work for threefor six months, just to learn marketing and then, when I got into the marketing world, I started working forone of the agencies here in Armenia and there I learned everything and after Ihadd like great results there. They...

...promoted me to lead the marketing teamin that company, and I worked there for three years. I led over a temper peopleteam there and, after that I decided to launch my own agency after, like I hadmore than three years of experience in the area, and I had amazing results andpassed her like we did over a million dollars in sales for differentcompanies, and we know what's interesting, like in two thousand fromtwo thousand and fourteen to two thousand and seventeen. I didn't knowEnglish. I didn't know anything about marketing and after that, to now all myclients, like ninety percent of my clients, are from the US, Canada andthose countries, and it's really interesting like I live in Armenia andI don't have clients from from Armenia I or with people like from the US andCanada. As you mentioned like be thanks to the Internet, there are, there areno limits. Now you can work with everyone and wherever they are so yeah.Basically, that's briefly about me. I had like a lot of challenges. It's hardlike I had some financial issues because of immigrating. I immigratedfor three times before of because after war and those stuff, but you know nowwe are living in the Internet work and there's nothing impossible. Like youhave the chances to learn everything for free, you can do a lot of tests forfree. You can communicate with with a lot of people like the same way wecommunicated through comments on Lickin, like you, can just go on linking orface book in Stagra on any social platform, and you can just communicatewith different people and have some insights from their like from their experience, builtrelationship with them or even like partnership with them, and then youstart your business. So basically, the Internet was the game changer for me,because I didn't have too much money before so. It was the reason like Icould start my business at no at low cost or no cost at all. That's a reallyinteresting and inspiring story. I'm really happy that you've, you foundpersonal and professional success. One of the one of the last questions I wantto ask you is just maybe talk about your approach to linked on, becauseyou've got a very solid presence. Your content is great, you've got lots ofconnections and obviously it's working for you. So what is your approach tothe Linkin? How do you leverage content comments? How do you make connectionswith people? I'd be really interested to know your personal approach yeah. So I will tell you my personal approach,but you know it again. It depends on on your goals and your business, so youmight have to change it a little bit when you. If someone is listening andwants to apply it for themselves, they might, they might have to change it abit, but the concept is the same like the only thing I do want lick in iscommunicating with people like social media is a platform where you have tocommunicate with people. If you are there just to self your product, itwon't work. So what you have to do is like to continuously produce contentand provide value to the audience through it and not just sell yourproduct. For example, you know my content, there's nothing that I write,which sells something from my product. I just talk about marketing. I justprovide value to people and then once I start communicating with them or likeknowing them better, no their business and this stuff, I maybe start likeoffering them my services. So the first thing you have to do is to providevalue through your content without selling anything, and you can just, forexample, do some Sais in the comment section. For example, you add some coldto actions. Those are okay, because it's not like hard core Sais. You cando that, and the other thing is that I communicate with people throughcomments. I engage with their content...

...because people are always willing togive back. If you engage with their content, they would come back andengage with yours as well, which will increase you rich and the more peopleyou reach like the more potential clients you might have in the future.So that's. The second thing I do is that I engage with different people andyou can divide them like into three types of people you engage with. One ofthem are people with a big presence on Linkin. So if you comment on theirposts, they might not reply you, but they have too many people in theircomment section and like big percentage of those peoplemight see your comment and come visit. Your profile and engage with you aswell, and the other type of accounts are the average accounts like they might nothave too much engagement on their posts, but again they have some sort oftraffic there, so you can engage with them and those people might again comeback to your profile and engage with you and there's a lot of potential topartner with those people, because they are in the same level as you. So theymight be interested to work with you, for example, and the other type ofaccounts are the accounts with low influence, for example, not in lowinfluence, but they don't have too much engagement on their posts. So those areagain people that you have to support again. They might come back to engagewith your content and actually they might reach out to you to help them in something. So those are the threetypes of accounts I engage with and the third thing to do, which I don't do ittoo much, but I'm like planning to spend more time on it is to communicatewith people through D. MS, so you don't have just to comment on their posts orlike it and that's it, but you have to also dm them and message them as whatthey do and communicate with with them and build that relationship. That'ssomething I don't do too much now, because I'm not finding the time for it,but I'm definitely willing to spend more time in it. That's great advice, because I thinkeverybody should be looking to leverage linked in and there are a lot of thingsaround best practices and how you write, content and comment and engage withpeople and accept connection invitations. So I really appreciatethat insight. Men O work. Can People find you on the web yeah so actually the best place islinked in it's where I mostly active I'm on every social platform I haveface book. Do you can connect with me on face book in Stagra Linkin? I alsohave a podcast where you can listen to my interviews with different peoplefrom different industries. It's called the perspective podcast, so yeah, ifyou have any questions, feel free to reach out to me, and let's talk aboutthat thanks for listening to another episode of marketing spark, if youenjoyed the conversation, leave a review and subscribe by, I tunes oryour favorite podcast APP. If you like what you heard, please rate it for shownotes of today's conversation and information about Madam Visit MarketingSpark coblone. If you have questions feed back like to suggest a guest wantto learn more about how I help to B Company Fractional Smo and Sultanadviser, an email to mark marketing spark on a.

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