Larry Kim, a successful entrepreneur and founder and CEO of Mobile Monkey, has spent over a decade mastering digital marketing. You may be familiar with his work in PPC, but did you know that Larry is crazy-awesome at PR, too? He’s been able to land spots on national TV sharing his expertise in marketing and tech, and generates countless valuable links for his brand by being a “unicorn in a sea of donkeys.” (More on that soon, I promise.)
An expert on Facebook Messenger chatbot marketing, AdWords, Facebook Ads, entrepreneurship and start-ups, he founded his first company in 2008. (WordStream sold for $150m in 2018.) His latest entrepreneurial venture, Mobile Monkey, was founded in 2017 and is now the world’s most innovative Facebook Messenger marketing platform.
Larry recently hosted an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) about entrepreneurship, start-ups, growth marketing, SEO, AdWords, Facebook Ads, or chatbots and messaging on Facebook Live. Here are the 10 top Q&As for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Q. Looking back, would you have done anything differently before you founded WordStream?
A. “I would have wanted to get a core group of people on board before founding WordStream. For example, finance, customer support, and operations.”
Larry has shared his experience getting started before—in fact, he was interviewed for the Twitter Business blog not long ago. He told Twitter that one of the main challenges in a startup is finding people who are equally passionate about your idea and excited enough to take the jump with you.
“This gets easier once you have a few wins under your belt,” he said. “But in the early days, it can be hard to convince people who are comfortable at their current job to embrace your crazy idea.”
Q. What are some tips on integrating email marketing with chatbot marketing?
A. “Use your existing email list to build up your messenger subscriber list. Add a click-to-messenger ad because they send people into a conversation with your business in Messenger. And include a link at the bottom of your email.”
In Facebook Messenger Chatbot Marketing: The Definitive Guide, we learn that you can use email and chatbots together, but there’s a key advantage to chatbots. While business emails expire on average 4%/month due to people changing jobs, etc., Facebook IDs tend to last forever. You can better retain your audience if you can get them to subscribe to you in Messenger.
Q. What’s with all the unicorns?
A. “I love unicorns. You need some way of making your content or brand more memorable. I realized early on you need some type of funny metaphor or gimmick so people remember who you are.”
Which brings us to…
“Be a unicorn in a sea of donkeys.”
Q. What does “be a unicorn in a sea of donkeys,” mean?
A. “Donkeys are unremarkable campaigns. Unicorns are the best marketing campaigns. So if you are a unicorn you are the top one percent of a particular marketing channel.”
Larry’s ability to reverse-engineer an algorithm is legendary. And while he was with WordStream, he had access to a massive treasure trove of advertiser account data that enabled him to crack the algorithms for AdWords, Twitter Ads, and Facebook Ads. In each case, he found that the advertising platform gives preference to advertisers and ads that are relevant, engaging, and high quality. Google doesn’t want to serve its searchers a dumpster fire of bad ads—that doesn’t help solve their problem.
His research has shown that average simply isn’t good enough; sorry to say, but the online landscape is a sea of average donkeys. You have to provide an exceptional experience to get noticed. Be like Larry. Be a unicorn.
Q. How is Mobile Monkey different from other chatbot providers?
A. “We are very committed to great software quality, experience and support. We also educate others on how to be successful because we are invested in your success.”
You can learn more about Mobile Monkey’s features and what it offers marketers in this article on ChatbotTech.io.
Q. What does Mobile Monkey provide other chatbots don’t?
A. “We feature natural language processing in 30 different languages. We have a very sophisticated A.I (artificial intelligence) set up. And the user interface is easier to use than other platforms.”
AI is becoming more and more important in marketing—in fact, you may already be using it! Artificial intelligence helps us automate repetitive tasks, analyze larger sets of data, gain insight into wider swaths of the customer journey, and more. Already, 80% of business and tech leaders say AI boosts productivity. Chatbots like Mobile Monkey, for example, allow you to engage prospects and customers, build your list and generate more leads without having a team on it 24/7.
Q. Do you have any tips to retain customers if you are an agency?
A. “Properly set the expectations. Nothing is ‘get rich overnight,’ it is a two-year journey with each other. For pricing, eliminate month to month because those users have the highest turnover. Do a special deal for six months or an even better deal for a year. Lastly, be picky on your target market. The best customers are the ones with a lot of budget to spend.”
See which 3 tools Larry recommends to help you better understand your online audience here.
Q. Best way to rank a website?
A. “Google ranks your website two ways. One is link-based scoring system and the other is click-through engagement rates. If your website is getting several clicks, Google will continue to bump up your website in the search results.”
Larry shares 11 battle-tested ways to increase your organic click-through rates in this post on the WordStream blog.
Q. What would you do differently with Mobile Monkey that you didn’t do with WordStream?
A. “I would focus more on brand marketing. Your success or failure as a company is usually determined by how popular your brand is in the first place. For example, a new shoe will probably sell faster if it is Nike. Focus on building your brand early on.”
As Margot de Cunha shared on the WordSteam Blog, “Back in 2007, when Larry Kim was just a one-man band settling into his usual spot at the Panera Bread in downtown Boston to build WordStream, the last thing on his mind was personal branding.” Margot got Larry to share some great advice on shifting focus and how he used personal branding to shape his career—and his company. Read more here: 6 Larry Kim Approved Strategies to Build Your Personal Brand.
Q. Should you use a chatbot for agencies?
A. “Yes. Chatbots can reduce the price for FB advertising.”
In one of his columns on Inc, Larry talked about the benefit to using Facebook Ads that send to a Messenger chatbot. “Facebook Ads that send to a Messenger chatbot get 4x-50x better ROAs,” he wrote. “Mobile-friendly ads convert about 3x to 5x times more than desktop ads. Most Facebook Messenger users are on mobile. The ability to show ads through Facebook Messenger is a boon for businesses vying to gain more visibility with potential customers.
Facebook Messenger ads not only raise awareness of your brand, but also create a customer record in your Facebook Messenger marketing platform that becomes a direct line for personalized communication.” Read more on Inc.
Don’t stop now! Larry’s just getting started…
Chatbots are an entrepreneur’s ticket to capturing those leads and turning them into customers. Join Larry Kim on his upcoming Free Marketing Agency Growth Accelerator Summit here and learn how to land huge clients, command higher retainer fees, and implement business strategies to turn your operations into a power-house of performance-driven PPC, SEO, CRO, Social Media Optimization and Marketing Automation!