Did you know that mastering Facebook Ads doesn’t have to be complex?
To show you, we’ve interviewed three Facebook Ads experts to give you their opinion and viewpoint on how to be successful with Facebook Ads.
From scaling to fine tuning, we hope you enjoy this deep dive.
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When it comes to Facebook Ads, there are only a few people we turn to for amazing advice that works across the board for different goals. Whether you’re in SaaS, eCommerce, or lead gen, you’ll be excited to learn that the recipes these experts will share will all help you hit your goals faster.
Join Our Guests Below:
Dennis amplifies exposure and sales of successful entrepreneurs via systems, analytics, and young adults certified in our digital marketing training. He is also a Contributing Writer for Social Times, Social Media Club, Tweak Yo Biz, Business 2 Community, and Social Media Examiner.
Nuggets Dropped x104
“People always buy based on the why. Not just impulse”
Tim helps SaaS and eCommerce companies achieve growth through paid acquisition. Outside of consulting, he previously managed the marketing channels of AdEspresso (acquired by Hootsuite in 2017). Notable achievements include growing organic traffic 390%+, hosting multiple webinars with 500+ attendance figures, scaling their paid ads, and fully owning/automating their lead acquisition.
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“Get your UVP from researching bad alternatives”
As the Director of Paid Social at KlientBoost, he is a thought leader in PPC and CRO for Facebook and other platforms. He cares about the analytics and metrics that matter, which is making money for the client. His accomplishments include getting a BA in Business and recently his MBA from Cal State Fullerton as well as a Contributing Writer for various blogs.
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“The biggest impact is not from the ad copy, it’s the visual”
Facebook Ads With Dennis Yu
Dennis: Hey, hey.
Johnathan: Hey Dennis, how are you?
Dennis: Good, bro.
Dennis: I’m in the beach. I’m gonna be in San Diego, I go to L.A. all the time. I should catch you part way.
Johnathan: Yeah, I mean it sounds like it’s very close. But you know how it is, it’s like a four hour drive between Orange County and L.A. at any given opportune moment. So, we’ll probably never see each other.
Dennis: I Ubered from L.A. down to San Diego just three days ago, so I know.
Matt: Oh man.
Johnathan: Dang, well that’s quite impressive. But Dennis, you know the name of the game in regards to this podcast. You have the co-host, Matt Nelson, our director at Paid Social, here.
Matt: Hey Dennis.
Johnathan: We’re here to talk about Facebook advertising. And more importantly, everything that you do at BlitzMetrics, the things that you do for your clients, whichever ones you feel comfortable mentioning. I know that you’ve done some case studies and stuff like that, but if anybody’s getting started with Facebook advertising.
Let’s talk about the foundation, first. What do you care about, if you were to say, hey, I really love you as a friend, I’m gonna help you out and not charge you a thing. What would you tell that person to begin with?
Johnathan: Plumbing, all right.
Johnathan: All right, okay.
Dennis: Digital plumbing. All the tracking, all the different tags inside one Google Tag Manager container. Because then you build marketing audiences. You can see the effectiveness of what’s converting or not, you can look at cross channel reporting. You can build audiences that go between email and social and Facebook.
And for this friend, that’s fictitious, that wants to grow their business, if they wanna have success on Facebook, they have to bring something that’s already working. See, Facebook’s an amplifier.
Johnathan: Got it, I like that.
Dennis: So if you put a $10 bill in a machine, you might get $100 back, times 10, you put zero, you put an egg in the machine, you’re gonna get zero back. So Facebook’s the ultimate re-marketing machine because it allows you to build these sequences.
If I consume video A from Matt, then I can show video B from Jonathan and I can, then, show Lenny Page C that features me or what have you. And it’s just building relationships one step at a time and I think people miss that because they’re so caught up in the tools and the changes and the data and all that stuff.
Johnathan: The new algorithms and it’s interesting you say this because in our world, we’re very much direct response. We gotta prove the money. And I know you do, too, but you also talk a lot about the brand side of things and how that can help things out.
So you have this fictitious friend. You’re figuring out the plumbing is now correct. You’re using Google Tag Manager. The audiences are set up. Is there any type of audiences that you see perform differently for different types of business or is it always following a certain recipe of this audience first, then this, and then this?
Dennis: Man, you used all of the words I love, thank you so much. We think about three stages in this funnel. Because we like to eat, let’s just say we have a three-layer cake. We have awareness to consideration to conversion.
Three stages in that funnel. Google and Facebook, they use the same terminology. The brand people are at the top. They build an awareness, they’re entertaining.
Coca-Cola and McDonald’s, they’re about being friends and eating Chicken McNuggets together and getting diabetes together.
Johnathan: Dipping it in the BoostSauce.
Dennis: And at the bottom, people are buying things. Yeah, you have your joint clients. Yeah, 20 piece Chicken McNuggets for $5. I had someone else try it just ’cause I wanted to see the conveyor belt and the automation they have that’s gonna come over to the US.
Johnathan: Oh, no way, okay cool.
Dennis: Yeah, it’s amazing. But as a direct marketer, because we wanna drive sales that come in through branded search and come in through key words that are very obvious that you and I know, we have to drive that initial intent and Google calls that the zero moment of truth and I don’t believe that’s true.
I call it the negative one moment of truth because people have to have heard about your brand, heard it from friends, heard it from somewhere else and then wanna type that into Google. Then, when they see your ad on any channel, decide, you know what, I think I actually believe that enough, I’m gonna click on it.
And so that’s where brand marketing and direct marketing work together. That chasm in the middle is engagement. So how do you do both? Re-marketing.
The $1 a day one minute videos are how you bridge brand marketing and make it effective and measurable and dollar-wise, profitable for a direct marketer.
You can have your cake and eat it, too. Your three-layer cake.
Johnathan: Wait, so let me stop you there for a second. So your Dollar-A-Day strategy is, you’re basically mentioning awareness and then you’re mentioning one-minute videos. So if you put those three things together, is that the main premise of the Dollar-A-Day strategy?
Dennis: You ever play Tic-Tac-Toe?
Johnathan: I have and I usually beat people because they don’t know that you should always start in the middle.
Dennis: That’s right and that’s always your strategy. So in this case, our strategy is, we want three awareness videos on the top. That’s the first row on the top.
In the middle, we want three engagement nuggets. We are sharing knowledge about how you do something. You’re not selling, right.
And then the bottom layer, you earn the right to sell. And what you can do is re-market.
So if you label these boxes, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, then anyone who consumes videos one, two, or three, these one-minute videos, we’re gonna spend $1 a day and re-market them down into the next layer.
So they can consume four, five, or six. Anyone who watches at least 10 seconds of any video, four, five, and six, I’m gonna re-market down into seven, eight, and nine, which is another video.
Or it could be a landing page.
Johnathan: Sure, sure.
Dennis: Or you know, messenger box or whatever. Then I drive them to the website, I wanna ask for their money. So the beauty of marketing on Facebook is that with video, and only with video, can you say, anyone who saw this one video, Jonathan, I wanna show them this next thing in the sequence.
And I’d like to go against 10-second video views because it defaults at two or three seconds. That doesn’t really count ’cause people, they’re still scrolling and they accidentally played the video. 10 seconds means they’re paying attention.
And that means I can, then, show them the next thing. So maybe in an ideal sales journey, they would be 5 or 10 minutes of the long-form video or a landing page that has different components necessary to bring people down the funnel, the eye of the funnel, whatever version of your funnel.
But let’s say we break those into different components and then we allow them to trickle into the news feed and we let Facebook’s algorithm determine what messages should be shown next. What’s your favorite guilty pleasure? Like on Netflix or HBO, Game of Thrones is this weekend, right, the last one?
Matt: Don’t talk about it, I’m still behind.
Johnathan: I actually never got my wife to buy into that so I can’t even talk about that.
Dennis: You know, I’ve never even seen one episode.
Johnathan: There you go, you and I are so alike.
Matt: We’re safe.
Dennis: But I can tell you that, if you watch Game of Thrones, then if it’s HBO, it’s gonna recommend, you might also like this show. If you buy something on Amazon. Like I left my, left my freaking AirPods in the hotel two days ago.
Johnathan: Dude, love AirPods.
Dennis: I gotta buy, I wonder how many hotels, or gyms, that I’ve lost stuff in, like charging cables and things like that. So I go to Amazon and I buy another one. And it says, oh, well people who bought AirPods, they also like this.
People who bought this kind of, and I’m a big fan of popcorn. As in, I have a real movie theater popcorn, not the microwave nonsense. It says, people who bought this kind of popcorn also bought these accessories and also bought this.
That’s the algorithm at work. That’s called a collaborative filter.
It’s the same thing on Amazon, on Apple, on Spotify, on Facebook, I would even argue, Google.
I spent time with Gary, we were both at Pitch Marketing in Visalia and the algorithm determines what’s next.
So if you feed lots of little pieces in these three stages of the funnel. The algorithm knows who is a knee-jerker, wanna buy right away, impulse person, who is a tire-kicker where they need a lot of information along the way, who’s just sitting on the toilet and consuming funny videos but will never actually buy anything.
Johnathan: That’s also Matt.
Dennis: The algorithm knows all that
So if we allow the algorithm to do the work, and we put the ingredients to allow the algorithm to dictate the journey of what the next step is for our users, then we look like we’re amazing optimizers ’cause the ROI looks good, we have our plumbing in place, like we talked about, and then it’s just a matter of stacking more items, playing winner-stay-on.
I know you guys’ client lists are killer when it comes to testing all the zephyr stuff you’re doing, or any of the stuff I’m probably not allowed to talk about. But all the testing that’s going on and we’re just doing the same thing on the Facebook side, we’re just reading things, things that are working well, we find a winner, we put more money on it, and the Dollar-A-Day strategy is, I initially put $1 a day for seven days, so I’m spending $7 on a constant.
Yeah, it’s not much, but if it meets some basic standards, like people are actually watching the first few seconds of it. Facebook’s optimizing to, what they call, a through-play, which is they watch all the way through, just like it sounds.
Or at least 15 seconds, so if I’m getting through-play for three cents on one of these videos and the other videos is up at like 30 cents, well that tells me something. It means that people don’t like it. And the cost of my re-marketing audiences is really high, so I probably need to find another way to do that.
Maybe my intro isn’t very good. Maybe there’s not motion. Maybe I’ve got the wrong targeting. There’s all kinds of things that are wrong. And so as I continue to add more and more tests that I’m adding to this three by three grid, I’m gonna eventually have my greatest hits where I have three awesome things for awareness, three awesome things for the consideration middle phase, and then conversion.
What’s the best way to get them to buy. Is it a sale? Is it a free trial? Is it a compelling story? What is the price, whatever it is.
Johnathan: For sure.
Dennis: And that’s all that you really have to do. Anybody, and we find that it works whether you’re selling insurance or real estate or paper towels or ice cream, whatever you’re selling, it’s the same thing.
We’ve done the same thing for RESBO. The same thing also works for the local dentist. The same thing works for, you know, we sell people’s, you can get your face on a pair of socks at our site. One of our test sites that we run through Shopify. It’s on BlitzGif, you can have your face on a pillow.
You can have your face on oven mitts. And it works for a business like that. What would be in common between a business that ships socks with your face on them versus a high-end luxury real estate agent in Orange County?
Johnathan: Nothing at all.
Dennis: You think nothing. From a content standpoint, nothing.
But from a strategy standpoint, because it’s the same algorithm that’s determining what’s showing up in your news feed. It’s the same algorithm that determines, hey if you’re on Amazon and you buy this, here’s other stuff you might like.
And the more competition there is, the more powerful the algorithm is, the higher the filter power is, because it means more and more stuff can’t be shown. The algorithm has to be smarter about what’s being shown.
And all we do is let the system work in our advantage. In our favor instead of trying to cheat it and play all kinds of SEO games. You know all the different games. The SEO people are the worst when they try to do Facebook ads because they try to play their old games.
Matt: Dennis, you literally just gave us 30 nuggets there, so that was awesome. You mentioned you do a lot of testing to find those top three in each category in the funnel, those heavy-hitter videos.
Once you have that secret sauce and you have those nine videos that are just crushing it for you, at what point do you start to exhaust them and realize, all right, I might need to start switching these videos up again.
And now that they’ve maybe fatigued and what not, what’s your process when you start hitting that wall, there?
Dennis: Man, I probably answered that question 100 times in the last 12 years. Ever since we started advertising in May 2007. But I have a different answer, now.
Johnathan: Ohhh, dun, dun, dun.
Dennis: Now, what I used to say, what I used to say is that, that’s my own Chicken McNugget now.
Johnathan: Okay, there ya go.
Dennis: Instead of the 20-pack, I got the 30-pack, the Dennis sized, it’s not super-sized, it’s Dennis sized. But usually, when ads start to burn out, or the CPA starts to go up, then it could be the audience has been maxed out.
And it could be maxed out because you’re selling Christmas trees and now it’s January. Or you’re only targeting people in a very narrow area, like people who are really hard core about a particular thing, like guns, and well, actually, there’s a lot of them in the US.
Whatever it is, you exhaust that audience, and then you have to expand out to things like look-a-likes, or expand out to interests that are not quite as tight, but are bigger. See the quality, quantity trade-off?
And then maybe dip down a little bit lower. Or maybe it’s, you’re running off a remarketing pool and you need to increase the size of that remarketing pool so you have more to yield down in your DR side.
That’s the traditional way of looking at things. What I’ve found in the last year with Facebook, in particular, is that once the system has figured out what’s converted, if you have at least 50 conversions per week, per asset, which is Google’s system, then you can run untargeted against the entire United States.
Unless there’s certain things, like legally, you have to target 18 plus or certain kinds of restrictions, but once the system knows what’s working, the oxymoron, or the irony or catch-22, is that you can actually run untargeted because if the objective at the bottom of the funnel is conversion, the system will sub-target against whatever target you have unless any targeting you draw around any audience puts Facebook in handcuffs where it can’t go outside of that region that you drew.
Even though, you could say, hey, I’m selling women’s, whatever kinds of stuff. And so therefore you target just women. But maybe there are some men that would buy because some men might want those products, who am I to judge?
Maybe they’re buying it as gifts for their wife. And so I’m just gonna run untargeted. Or, you know what, I really know that my demographic is males, 40 plus, who are veterans and military, and first responders, yeah that might be true.
But there’s also other people. There’s still are other people that are 20, there’s still people that are females, there’s still people that are all walks of life, not quite as high-density, but when you allow the algorithm to draw beyond your area, it can find, the filter power is so strong, it can find those people efficiently at the target CPA that you have.
So when it’s working, you set a manual bid, you duplicate that ad-set multiple times over so now you have multiple audiences, each one is trying to teach as many conversions as possible at your target CPA, if you’ve chosen conversion as your objective, not website clicks, which is how you blow money.
Johnathan: Crazy, I have a quick question ’cause I wanna talk about other things, too, but basically, let’s reiterate the nine boxes, so to speak, of the three videos. So you mentioned at the top, you have awareness. And then the second layer down was the more knowledge-sharing type of videos.
So for the awareness, let’s say that we’re a service-based business, like you and I are in the agency world, what would you recommend those top three boxes of those videos be about? And do they all have to be different or can they talk about the same thing?
Dennis: You want them all to be relatively different. Because you’re gonna create variations against each one to find winners. So we talk about why, how, and what, which is the top, middle, and bottom of the funnel.
So why, I’m just gonna start with why. So a why is, when I was 18, I dropped out of high school, I wanted to be a professional athlete. True story, I wanted to run for Nike. But I didn’t make the world qualifying times. And therefore, people can identify.
Think about how you identify with Rocky or, what’s his face, Harry Potter and all of these stories are around some kind of protagonist you identify with. They go through some kind of challenge and then in the end, they win.
They kill Voldemort. They beat the Russian guy in Rocky or whatever it is.
You understand that’s the part during story, right? So that’s what we’re doing, too, but we don’t have to do Hollywood cinema style million dollar budgets, we use our iPhone. And we interview customers. We interview subject matter experts. We interview our founder. We give stories, ourselves, if we’re an agency owner. Jonathan, you’re the face of KlientBoost, like it or not, right?
Johnathan: I do like it.
Dennis: We’re journalists and we’re collecting the stories that have some kind of, something that happened. Like I was cut off at Whole Foods yesterday and I was gonna get pissed at this lady but then I remembered that everyone is dealing with internal challenges, so I decided I would be kind.
I tell a story, and from the story, I then extrapolate into some kind of mission and value, some meaning, something that my audience will identify with.
Johnathan: And that’s the knowledge level? The second level?
Dennis: Okay, that’s the why.
The why is getting people to identify with you, to like you. You’re talking about shared experiences, things we can believe in.
And so if we are a tribe and we believe that something is important, that the environment is important, or that being able to spend time with our family and go surf at the beach at Huntington Beach is really nice, whatever it is, we believe in certain things, which is really saying, hey, we are the same.
This is our persona, then we also believe that we’re gonna take these particular steps to hit that goal.
So, we believe, means there’s this thing off in the distance that we are, this land that we’re heading to that we believe is very important, it’s so valuable to us. Therefore here are the steps that we’re gonna take and we’re going to equip you with the steps.
Here’s the knowledge on how to get there. Any goals, any mission that’s worth while you can break down into steps on how you get there. The rest, you let be tough stuff. And then when you share knowledge, so let’s say I share a story about, my family’s really important because of this story that happens, I tell the story and then I say what it means, I don’t say what it means.
If I say what it means first, then I’ve robbed them of the opportunity to experience the journey with me. Then, I can give tips on how to become a family, how I’m a family man, how I protect my family. The special ways that I say, that I surprise my wife, with good tips. Or things that I do to make sure my children turn out the way I want.
Or here’s my self pretenses. Well how’d you get it again? There’s all different kinds of how you use certain things. Like, oh that’s interesting.
For example, I can tell you that, yesterday I went through the airport security with nothing but my iPhone, no credit cards, no wallet, no nothing because I left it, I lost it three days ago. How’d I do it? I had Clear, so I just put in my fingerprint. I was also going to Milwaukee yesterday. They didn’t have Clear.
What happens? They bring over the TSA phone and they verify, tell me the cross-street where you live or the color of your roof, and they’re looking at your thing on Google maps.
I’m sharing expertise on how do you get around certain situations. Wow, that’s really fascinating, right? So the why might be, oh let me tell you, I love to travel and to be an entrepreneur and run my agency from all over the place.
You know, I was in Hawaii four days ago and I enjoyed some things in Hawaii. And I can tell stories. And then people wanna know how. How I’m showing, how do we manage our agency. How do we train our people. How do I get through security.
Then the what is, oh and the way we pay for all of this is that we do Facebook ads. And here’s how we do it. And so it’s just naturally from why, how, to what.
Johnathan: I was so impressed.
Dennis: It doesn’t have to follow that sequential.
Johnathan: Well and that was the crazy part I was gonna ask. Because you have three videos in the first batch, for example, so if somebody watches video two, can they watch any video of the next three, for example. Does that story flow together quite nicely that way?
Dennis: Yeah, they don’t have to connect. The idea of why, how, and what, is, there’s many examples of why stories. It could be any customer. It doesn’t have to be, see I give a topic wheel, which is a whole nother thing.
When you think about your brand, what are the other topics that are just outside it?
Self-defense, patriotism, loyalty, honoring America, being a first-responder, the first amendment, second amendment, I mean there’s all these different things. There’s all these different areas of knowledge that tie to the product.
Then, from those areas of knowledge, I try to tie those back to people that have various stories. And so Facebook’s news feed is nothing but a bunch of stories and so I need to get stories in there as one minute vertical videos off of public figure pages that I boost for $1 a day to build re-market audiences.
And those re-marketing audiences sequence to other items that are at that same level or below.
So videos one, two, and three, you can, then, watch any other videos one, two, and three, or four, five, and six. If I re-market down to the next layer and now someone watched video number five, he could watch video number four or six, or he could watch seven, eight, or nine. Which don’t have to be videos, but ideally they are.
Johnathan: Do you exclude Matt from them watching videos one, two, and three once he’s taken that next step? He’s watched at least 10 seconds?
Dennis: No because Facebook knows where people are in the sequence. We’re relying upon Facebook to do the work for us because Facebook, Facebook’s very good at showing you what you actually want to see. You know you claim you don’t wanna see it. People will claim that they don’t like Donald Trump, well then stop clicking on Donald Trump because you’re feeding the algorithm that.
Matt: Dennis, when starting the why section of it, you mentioned that you only like, you recommend doing conversion oriented actions, not optimizing for link clicks. Even on the why step, do you recommend staying with the conversion action rather than link clicks?
Dennis: So the why at the top of the funnel,
Matt: More so video views.
Dennis: I like to go for, for video views or boosted posts, and I know that Facebook says not to boost posts, but it works really well and we spent a lot, it was hundreds of millions of dollars boosting posts. You and I know, Facebook says certain things and their account managers are supposed to say it, but what they say isn’t necessarily what works. The same thing with Google, too.
Johnathan: Yeah, I was gonna say not just Facebook.
Dennis: I mean, yeah maybe eventually it’d work. I mean, I’ll try.
Matt: Are you coughing about CBO? Cough, cough, CBO?
Dennis: CBO is another issue that we’re all gonna be forced to use, later. I think that if CBO is meant, it’s like training wheels for people that don’t know how to set budgets.
Johnathan: What’s CBO?
Dennis: So assuming Facebook does flex-billing. Campaign Budget Optimization, to be able to spread budget between ads set up into the campaign level.
Johnathan: Got it.
Dennis: And it’s something that we can opt into now. And we can, we’ll be forced to do it later, but I think you should just go ahead and do it now. They always give you like a six-month grace period, but you should just go, anytime that’s up, I just go ahead and do it now.
Johnathan: Let’s resist til the last day. Just kidding, that’s what we do with the Google Ads interface, we’re like, all right, we’re forced to know this now. So, cool.
Dennis: And it’s like, Google and Facebook both try to expand the audience because they know that people will micro target too far, there’s three or four different ways. They try to expand the audience.
Now audience expansion on Facebook, I wouldn’t do that, ’cause they’re not very smart about it. But look alike audiences, yes, I would do that. That’s a form of audience. Or exact or broad match, those are all ways of audience expansion. Oh you should add some keywords, too, that they suggest. Maybe, maybe not.
Johnathan: Exactly, so with the Dollar-A-Day strategy, this sounds amazing by the way, and we can make in the notes, too, how you basically can execute that, how you can create an audience to move them through.
I wanted to talk about any other recipes that you find successful beyond the Dollar-A-Day, because my other question, I guess, let me go, really, back quickly to the Dollar-A-Day. If you have budget for more than that, can you increase your budget to more than $1 a day? Is that allowed?
Dennis: Oh, absolutely. We see big brands where they say, you know I have $1 million a month budget and this Dollar-A-Day thing is for small businesses. That won’t work for us.
Oh, yes it will because you initially start with $1 a day on any particular post or whatever it is that you’re testing, and maybe you have whatever, 5 or 10 new ones that you’re testing per day and each of them are starting to spend $1 dollar a day.
And we know that 90% of our stuff, on average, will fail and that’s just how it is. No matter what the industry is. Well, maybe the exceptions are Golden State Warriors. They’re win rate’s way higher ’cause anything Steph Curry incorporated–
Johnathan: Yeah, it’s annoying.
Dennis: It just seems to win.
Johnathan: But good for you.
Dennis: it just seems to go in, you know?
Johnathan: Yeah, I get your point. Wink, wink. We all know.
Dennis: But hey, 90% of stuff is gonna fail. And we don’t know, you and I know ’cause we’re pros, us three, that we put out 10 different adds and we think, oh this is gonna be the winner. And you know what, it’s this other one. And in hindsight, oh it’s because of this reason.
But 90% of our test is gonna fail and that’s why we have the data. And so we put out lots of these things and the ones that win, we’re gonna put more money on. We’ll put another $30 a month per day. And we look at it again.
Then we put another $100 for another couple weeks, and then pretty soon, after four or five rounds of upping the budget, now, we’ve spent $10,000 on this one thing.
We ran a campaign with Infusionsoft. We put $3 million on one ad. One video ad. But do you think we just said, okay we’ll just put it all one ad?
Johnathan: Bet all on one ad, yeah.
Dennis: No, no we initially put, literally, just a few dollars on it. It was good, we put more and we just kept putting on more. And Facebook put a case study about it and Sheryl Sandberg signed the plaque and sent it over and that whole kind of thing. They do that if you spend a lot of money. Just like Google does the same thing.
I don’t know who does better gifts, they’re both very good if you spend a lot of money.
So the thing is that a lot of people will look at these case studies that Facebook showcases and they’ll think, oh I could do that, then they try and it doesn’t work and they’re like, ah it doesn’t work.
Well, what you don’t see is that before we had that one winner that was driving tons of leads for super cheap, for Infusionsoft, they’re now called Keap but they’re still Infusionsoft to me.
We had dozens, maybe even like 100 different videos that we made, all different ways to try and get people to do a free trial, or talking about how email is difficult or all the different things that small businesses have with marketing automation. But it was just this one where Natalie was taking this piece of paper that had an email icon on it and ripping it in half and saying, email I’m breaking up with you.
Johnathan: That was it.
Dennis: And so that caught their attention, that was the one. ‘Cause it caught their attention and then it talks about how Infusionsoft became, in time and this sort of thing. You should try a free demo now. And it was a 15 second video ad. And it killed it on Instagram, and just in general, getting people’s attention.
But we would have never have known ’cause we tried all these different ways, things with the founders of Infusionsoft, all kinds of cool tips on how you get into the inbox. Whatever kinds of stuff, but it was that one that won it and we never would have known.
And that’s the thing that every time you see a marketing winner, ’cause all you hear about is winners on the podcast and conferences. You just hear about, it’s like, wow I lose all the time. What’s wrong with me? All I do is get, why is it that all these other people are winning all the time and I lose all the time? It’s because they don’t talk about their losses.
I lose all the time. Somebody asked me on a podcast a couple days ago, oh so Dennis, when was the time that you felt like you were successful? At what point did you become successful and then everything was happy and rainbows and unicorns after that? And I said, never.
Johnathan: Still not to this day.
Dennis: And I’ve been doing digital marketing for 23 years. I have 70,000 hours of experience in digital market. You hear the 10,000 hour rule? I have 70,000, not 17, 7 0 and I still don’t feel like I’m a winner or successful.
Or maybe it’s impossible or what have you. And so we all need to adopt that mentality of we’re always testing, we’re always humble and let that data tell us what’s winning instead of, oh I think this one’s better. Okay, let’s put $1 a day behind it and let’s see.
Johnathan: So get really cute about it. There was this one quote I read, maybe a week ago or something like that, and it’s basically what you’re saying. It’s the last thing to show from planting a tree is it’s fruit, right?
And so, like you’re saying, everybody’s showing their fruit at the conferences or on the podcasts, but to get to that point, they had to go through a lot of patience and trial and error it seems like. That’s incredible.
So I know that we’re coming close to the time, are you okay to stay with us a little bit longer or you have a hard cut-off?
Dennis: Yeah, let’s do it. No, we’re great.
Johnathan: Let’s talk about some other recipes. We talked about the Dollar-A-Day, is there anything else you can share with us in regards to campaign structure, optimization routines, anything like that that you have found to be more of a recipe for you?
Dennis: Yeah, fewer ad sets.
Johnathan: Fewer ad sets, interesting.
Dennis: Broader targeting.
Dennis: Yeah. I mean, even the guys that are spending $100,000 a day, fewer ad sets, larger audiences because we wanna let Facebook do the work for us.
All too often, especially with the little guys who don’t have enough budget that you can support getting to 50 conversions per ad set per week at the bottom of the funnel, this is how you can tell when someone is a beginner.
They’re a total noob if they think all about targeting. It’s all about the targeting, no it’s not. The limiting factor is always be creative and the limiting factor in creative is one minute per video. One of my friends, Matthew Januszek, he’s the CEO of Escape Fitness. They’ve been making barbells and fitness equipment for 24 Hour Fitness Lifetime.
That’s one of the players. And the guy’s fit. He’s about to turn 50 and I worked out with him recently and I said something like, just for fun, you know what, I worked out as hard as I could yesterday for four hours and I don’t have six-pack abs. Your whole thing’s a scam.
Well, it takes time and it takes a process and it’s like you said, it takes a while to make fruit. You can’t just plant the seed and then dig up the seed the next day and see if there’s any fruit and then the next day you dig it up again. Okay, there’s a little root coming out of the seed now and then a week later, there’s a leaf coming out.
No, you can’t just keep digging up the thing everyday. And that’s what happens on Facebook is that advertisers, they make an ad and then they look the next day and say, it didn’t convert.
Wait a minute, we gotta trickle everything through our digital plumbing, through the different stages from awareness to consideration to conversion. And whatever the normal lifecycle is for people to make a decision.
What’s the lifecycle on average for dating to marriage? Maybe 12 to 18 months, something like that, it takes time to build a relationship. You can assess the different stages along the way and what kinds of videos may feed people along, but Facebook is about building those relationships at the top of the funnel all the way down.
That means simpler structures, longer time periods, larger audiences, so that you can see what’s working according to the standard assessment, so top of the funnel I’m looking at video views, middle of the funnel, I’m looking at things like leads, and messenger, chats or people signing up for events like webinars or watching a video for, a longer video that’s maybe five minutes, or reading a blog post which could be website clicks ’cause if you’re sending people to website in the bottom funnel, it works as a conversion.
Your ROI, it’s getting the phone call, whatever it is that’s a conversion. And that simple three-stage funnel usually means most people need three campaigns. Maybe they need more.
So with Delta Defense, we have more than that because there are multiple stages in conversion, there. But generally, you only need a few campaigns. Within each campaign, you need just a few ad sets and the limiting factor is always being creative.
So if your three by three is working, then everything else should work if you set the right objectives, if you understand when to turn things on and off. You don’t have to come in and touch things all the time.
We’re not saying you can’t go and adjust bids and budgets and all that, but a sign of someone who’s a novice is they’re in there turning knobs everyday. And every time you turn a knob–
Matt: Algorithm can never stop optimizing, yeah.
Dennis: Yeah, it resets the ad rank. So, can’t do that.
I mean, yeah if you have something you wanna test, go ahead, don’t be afraid to make a change. But don’t be making 20 changes per day thinking that’s, somehow, a sign of you being a smart optimizer. That’s the gardener that digs up the seed everyday. Why are you doing that?
Johnathan: No, this is incredible because I think so many people get obsessed. We have our own recipes. It’s not as broad as what you just mentioned and we prioritize our audiences, too, but we have seen things on Facebook, basically mimicking what you’re saying from a success standpoint of being a broader targeting.
And actually, similarly, would a target CPA bidding on Google when you go more broad, as well, too. But like you said, we don’t give enough credit to the knowledge and the brains behind what Facebook and Google does, sometimes, too and that can hurt us.
Johnathan: That’s crazy. Anything else we’re missing that we haven’t asked you, Dennis?
Dennis: So this is something obvious but everybody misses.
Johnathan: Let’s talk about it.
Dennis: Facebook is about people. It’s about people sharing what they’re doing and building relationships and maybe even wasting time.
One of my bosses is Jeff Weiner who’s the CEO of LinkedIn. And he made a joke ’cause he was kinda pissed, ’cause LinkedIn is a social network and he said, well Facebook is where you go to waste time and LinkedIn is where you go to invest time.
And I thought, oh that’s really clever. But another way of saying that is, Facebook is where people have in between moments. Google is where people go where they’re ready to buy something.
13% of people who go to Amazon.com buy something in that session, absolutely insane. ‘Cause when you go to Amazon, you’re ready to buy something, right? But when you go to Facebook, are you ready to take a particular action? Or are you just kind of, you know, the high school cafeteria, you just kinda wanna see what’s going on, right? It’s your news feed.
And so because of that, and it’s because of what people wanna see what other people are doing, it’s National Enquirer, inquiring minds wanna know.
Then if you have stories of people doing things in one minute, and maybe it’s entertaining or humorous, or whatever, it might be, why stories to catch their attention, it works best when you have a personal brand at the top of the funnel. And you can have a multi-page strategy.
You have public figure pages, it could be Tim Schmidt as a public figure page, or Kevin, or you, or me, or whoever, and then you can re-market from that to the central brand page. The company page, you can have many pages.
So when you think about the Golden State Warriors, on the outside you have all these stories that are being told by different players, by their families, by top fans, that can be coming from the Warriors, but it also could be coming from public figure pages, which are people.
They look like people, but they’re actually business agents. And then we can re-market between all these different audiences. And we’ve done a test, Jake Paul, you and I know him, he literally took the same things that worked on the USCCA page, and he shared that traffic conversion live in front of a thousand, on stage.
And he shared the page, we had this piece of content on, what would you do in this situation, a guy comes to you and it’s an aggressive situation. You’re at the gas station, this guy comes up to you, hey dude, can you give me 20 bucks? Oh, uh oh, and we had it from the USCCA Facebook page, the company page, and then we took the same content and we shared it from the Tim Schmidt public figure page. We shared it from some other instructors. And it performed better. The same content performed better. Why, why do you think it performed better?
Johnathan: ‘Cause it came from a person.
Dennis: ‘Cause it looked like it came from a person. Do you guys ever follow WWE or would you be willing to admit to that?
Johnathan: I can not admit to that, but it looks like Matt did. I didn’t grow up in this country, actually.
Matt: Stone Cold Steve Austin guy.
Dennis: Yeah, man, classic. So we had WWE as a client for a few years and we’re doing some stuff, running ads for the John Cena page, promoting WrestleMania and merchandise, pay-per-view. And we were doing the exact same strategy.
There were things that we were doing off of the central WWE company page, but then off of the John Cena public figure page. Now, most kids, and most people, I guess it’s safe, you could say fake wrestling, they probably don’t know the difference between profile and a public figure page.
But these people were commenting saying, hey, John Cena, can I get your phone number or whatever it was and, of course, I’m running the ads, but I can see people are trying to message me. And I’ll just reply back, Oh Alex, I would love to spend some time with you and chat with you for five minutes, but I’m getting ready to go work out now, I hope you’re feeling good.
I’d just reply, and then I made some young kid’s day. They didn’t know it’s some old fat dude who’s actually replying instead of John Cena, but I’m sure that kid told all his friends, oh John Cena replied to me.
Johnathan: You’ve gotta give yourself more credit, Dennis. You were previously an aspiring Nike athlete. Not some old fat dude.
Dennis: I was, shoot. I ran a half marathon in an hour and 10, way back.
Johnathan: Dang, okay, wow.
Dennis: I can’t even run one mile at that pace now. I can’t even run one mile in eight minutes now. Back in my day we used to walk up hill both ways.
But the thing is, people wanna engage with people. They wanna build that personal relationship.
When we were doing this for Nike, we had 2,000 pages because we had the central Nike Facebook page, but then we had all the athletes in Nike Basketball, Nike Basketball Japan, Football, we had all these, thousands of these. And we did some tests.
What do you think did better? LeBron James as a public figure page, Nike Basketball, or the central Nike brand, when we’re launching a new shoe?
Matt: LeBron James.
Johnathan: Steph Curry.
Johnathan: LeBron, LeBron.
Dennis: Steph Curry’s Under Armor.
Johnathan: Yeah that’s true, dang.
Dennis: Yeah, LeBron. Yeah, dang them. But why do you think LeBron did better than Nike Basketball? And why did Nike Basketball do better than the central Nike brand?
Johnathan: Because they’re all subsets of the bigger part.
Dennis: Yeah, ’cause people wanna engage with people. Okay, so fine, if Nike replies back to you, or you see a message from Nike, it just doesn’t feel like you’re talking to a person, versus you see LeBron James post a simple behind the scenes thing about how he, dancing or whatever it is, or some thoughts he has. That’s really cool, right?
Johnathan: That is cool.
Dennis: It could be the same content he’s talking about, this new shoe. He could be talking about, let’s see, do you think LeBron James actually drives a Kia? Come on. But you see on his page, you see him in the Kia.
He’s talking about how he likes the Kia, okay. I’m thinking, how much were you paid to say that? But it’s way more believable from his public figure page than it is from Nike or from Kia.
Johnathan: Yeah, no you’re absolutely right. That’s really interesting.
Dennis: That’s what people don’t get
Johnathan: That makes a lot of sense.
Dennis: the key to conversion is, a lot of people think, because they’re direct marketers, and believe me, all of our clients are direct marketers, too. Meaning we have to drive sales to pay for our advertising, right? Yes, I wanna make money, totally get that.
But, what do you think’s gonna work better in terms of convincing people. See, direct marketers think it’s all tuning landing pages, yeah I get that, what’s the buzz and what’s the copy, what’s the in, like all those things that you do for landing pages, yes, get that.
But what’s the real thing that turns, that really makes it happen when it comes to conversion? It’s that subconscious identification of, yes I believe, I will do whatever because I just mentally believe. People believe in Apple products, they believe in their favorite brand. They believe in McDonald’s, even though, whatever.
So if we have content that really ignites you, and this is what brand does. When you’re thinking brand and you’re thinking emotionally, you’re not thinking logically. You’re either left brain or right brain. You’re either drinking water and it’s going down your esophagus or it’s going down you’re trachea and ends your air.
You can’t breath and drink at the same time. And the same thing, you can’t think logically and think emotionally at the same time.
Branding forces you down the emotional path. And that’s why we need to start with that because then people will buy off that instead of, the minute they’re calculating price and features and logistics, now they just pushed over to the rational calculus. Facebook works because it gets people to buy from the other side. From the emotional side.
Johnathan: I never thought of that.
Matt: We’ve talked about in the past, it’s great for those impulse purchases. It’s just phenomenal at it.
Dennis: But even big purchases. Like surgery. One of our clients is a cosmetic surgeon and he’ll sell a $50,000 job because of these stories where these women want to be accepted or beautiful, comparing against these other women. High society women or what have you.
People always buy based on the why. Not just impulse, $10. Big decisions people make impulsively. They don’t think they do, but they do. You know there’s always two reasons when people buy?
There’s the real reason, and then there’s the look good, rationalized reason, oh I got this car because it’s got better gas mileage and safety ratings. No you didn’t, you wanted to get a sports car and you didn’t like the old one, and whatever.
Or my mom, she bought, Nordstrom’s has their semi-annual sale and she justifies how much money she saved. That’s your rational reason, but what’s the real reason you bought all those things for Nordstrom? So we’re catering to the real reason people buy, but we’re also giving them the fake reasons so that they can feel good about it.
I have some friends who have bought private jets. And they tell me how it’s actually saved them money to buy the jet versus how much it costs to rent the jet and all that, and I’m like, no dude. It’s costing you tons, there is no justification. You’re doing it because you can.
Matt: ‘Cause you want the jet.
Dennis: Yeah. Don’t try to rationalize to me why you fly in first class. I’ve flown a million miles in first class. Can you believe that? Crazy. I’m about to get five million miles.
Matt: I’m still trying to convince Jonathan to get me one first-class flight.
Dennis: Do the upgrade. Do the thing where you buy coach and then play the upgrade game, put all your miles one air.
Matt: I’m gonna do that next time.
Dennis: But I sat next to these people in first class, hundreds of times, and I ask them, so you’re here in first class. You could sit way back there for way cheaper. This ticket is $700 and the one back there, $200. Yes, the meal is nice, yes the seat is bigger, but why are you in first class?
You know what the answer was?
Matt: What was it?
Dennis: Because I can. And it’s not because, oh I’ve got, I’m flying international, I’ve got a big meeting that’s for millions of dollars and I need to have the sleep, or because I need to get off the plane faster. I mean sometimes you have someone who’s really tall and big and need to sit in first class.
But most of the time, 90 plus percent of the time, I’ve asked the question. How many people, I am in a weird position where I get to ask that question, ’cause I’ve flown first class.
As an American Airlines employee so I got, I didn’t pay. And so this gave me such a window into the world of why people buy. And they buy because of the, because of what it means to them.
Matt: The emotion, that still does–
Dennis: Because I’ve worked, yeah, I’ve worked hard for 20 years and built this company to be the CEO, and so I deserve to fly first class. Oh, okay, that makes sense to me. You’re telling me, you know I grew up poor, and I always had wanted to have these different things.
My parents could never afford these things and now that I have money, I always make sure that I order guacamole when I go to Chipotle. Because I can afford it now. Or whatever it is, where it’s like they’re making the statement, yes I ordered guacamole.
Matt: Yeah, that’s my favorite meme. When it shows Leonardo DiCaprio just throwing the money off, the yes I want the guac. Cool, well–
Dennis: That’s what we have to appeal to the emotional side.
Matt: Yeah definitely.
Dennis: That’s what works on Facebook.
Matt: Yep, plainly that. Emotional side, those impulse buyers just really telling that story and people wanna have that sense of belonging.
Well Dennis, this has been awesome. You get another nugget for all that. Looks like we’re out of time here, but thank you so much for being on with us today.
You’ve dropped so many nuggets and super excited to even start testing some of these. And hopefully people got a lot out of it and I know they did.
Dennis: Awesome. Thank you Matt and Jonathan, this was awesome.
Matt: Cool, thank you so much.
Facebook Ads With Tim Chard
Tim: Hey this is Tim.
Johnathan: Hey Tim, Jonathan over here at BootSauce. How are you?
Tim: Hey, I’m doing well, nice to hear from you.
Johnathan: Yeah, you as well, and thank you for making the time. Our listeners don’t know this, but you’re actually in Maine, the state, on vacation and we are the ones pressuring you into being on this episode, so we wanna thank you for your time.
Tim: Thank you, yeah that’s right, I’m in a remote cabin overlooking a beautiful pond.
Johnathan: That’s amazing and there are people in that pond, I heard, too, huh?
Tim: Yeah, some dude’s fishing. He’s gotten a little bit close for my liking, but yeah, it’s a beautiful, peaceful place to talk about Facebook ads.
Johnathan: Awesome, I love that. I love that. So for the people who are listening, watching, reading, for that matter, wanna give a little quick intro about you because we worked together in the past when you were at AdEspresso. You were the marketing director there.
Now, you’re the agency director over at Bell Curve, which is, in my opinion, one of the sexiest designed agency sites that I’ve seen out there, too. And you guys focus a lot on Facebook ads, is that true?
Tim: Yep, that’s true, we do a lot of ads, but primarily one of the, well not primarily, but I would say one of the largest drivers is Facebook and Instagram advertising. For all the clients we work with. Lot of start-ups, lot of e-commerce and that.
Johnathan: Yeah, super cool. So, I wanted to get your opinion, your thoughts, your recipes, your tactics, obviously what we call nuggets here on the show.
If I were to approach you and, let’s say that I’m a good client, depending on how you guys measure fit, how do you guys get started with setting things up, research, really curious for our listeners’ sake.
Tim: Yeah, sure, so basically, if a client were to come to us and we decide we are a good fit, we audited it, we assessed potential for scale. We really have a kick-off call where we go through a product market big questions, where we ask, what their customer acquisition cost is?
We’ll help them with that, if necessary, based on their lifetime value and margins. And we’ll go through all their previous efforts. Have they advertised, successfully, before? What are their learnings in the past? And then we’ll just really kick it off from there.
Really, our north star metric with all of our clients is determining a customer acquisition cost. And from there, we’ll switch over to, really, and this I’m not sure if other agencies do this or not, but we do what’s called a Value Prof Sheet, which is really our guideline for almost all of our advertising.
So we essentially look at their product, we think of all the bad alternatives that exist in the market today for that, and we use that to ideate what the actual value profits are.
So, for instance, if you had a, let’s see, what’s a good example of this? Maybe I’ll use one of my own clients. So one of our clients, Autumn, it’s audio books but for publication, as it is right now, people only have newspapers to read.
So if you are hard of sight, you can’t, you’re only option is to have a friend read it out loud for you, therefore the value prof is, yeah, that’s kind of the flow.
And essentially, what we break it down to, is we try to narrow it down to four value profs. So four distinct value profs so that we can create four distinct ads. With the idea being, let’s not micro, there we go, let’s not micro-split that ad and this is something I used to do, in my opinion, incorrectly.
AdEspresso is a huge, huge flow testing tool. And I used to just go into ads and just right off the bat try to make campaigns with ridiculous amounts of ads and for multiple reasons I can dive into, why that’s a bad idea. What I’ve found from what works best, sync to ad.
So really multi-variate testing to start things off and I know you guys are all about that ’cause when we worked together, you did the same thing with our adwords landing pages. But, same approach, so we’ll see what kind of angle hits hardest for a particular segment. And then we’ll get more granular with testing from there.
But that’s pretty much how we start things off with creating ads for a client.
Johnathan: So this is amazing that you said that because on our side, what we call, we call this award chest of ads. So we have five angles. We have a testimonial, a benefit, a feature, an FAQ, the most frequently asked question that can be answered in the ad, and then a competitor comparison.
But it doesn’t need to be a competitor that we actually mention in the ad. And then we launch that. And then, like you said, you don’t spend a lot of time on the micro-stuff. You don’t necessarily change an emoji in the copy of the Facebook ad.
You wanna have more, bigger things that you’re competing against, and then you can start making iterations after you see the individual winners in the ad set, is that correct?
Tim: Yeah, right on the money. And actually, what you just said is another great idea.
Competitor ads, those have been one of the number one winners for all of our clients.
Comparing a big competitor, yeah.
Johnathan: Okay, I like that.
Tim: Yeah, so surprisingly, same thing. We had a client called Tovala, like a smart oven, and comparing them to Blue Apron was, by far, their number one driver of performance. And I think it’s because, obviously, it anchors the person to pay attention. By approaching them with a name they do know as opposed to this new start up that they’ve never heard of.
But yeah, I love what you just said about breaking it down, because then you could also say, you could have a video testimonial, an image testimonial, that you can get granular, but I learned the hard way of the old school way, which was, I think at one point, I split tested CTAs on the ad.
Not a good idea. That’s far down the funnel, far down your development process.
But very cool, all right. One other thing, then I’ll kinda go into management from there after. So we start with kick-off from those ads, we see what wins, obviously we can test more. But also, organizationally.
So I don’t know what you use for managing advertising for your clients, we use Airtable. And what we do is, we call it a growth log.
And basically, we map out the test and we say, okay here’s the test impact, here’s the results, is it running right now, is it not, and that keeps the account managers focused, it keeps the client happy, and it also keeps everybody in, you know we have this Rolodex of all your previous tests so you never lose track of whether you’ve done something or not, so that’s something that I’m not sure if other advertisers are doing that or not.
I’d love to hear or meet with anyone who hears this, I’d love to pick your brain and see how you use Airtable. ‘Cause I’m kinda new on it, but it’s definitely exciting.
Johnathan: That’s super cool.
So you do that, you’re testing the different things from that perspective, and then you’re tracking your experiments, too. Let’s say that you guys inherit a client, for example, that has a customer acquisition cost that’s too high.
You do an audit, you find some potential low-hanging fruit, so you make those adjustments, and they’re happy with the customer acquisition costs now. But the next step is now scaling.
You mentioned that and eluded to that earlier. That’s tough, how do you guys go about that to even figure out what angle you wanna approach and yeah?
Tim: Yeah, actually I love that and that’s one of the biggest, difficulties, I think, pretty much every start-up faces, which is this idea of growth. Yeah, growth versus efficiency.
So, do you wanna hit target CAC, ’cause if you start scaling up, you’re gonna see your customer acquisition costs likely rise unless you’re continually doing these tests that we’re talking about. And those tests, of course, are a huge investment of resources, sometimes they don’t work.
So for me, I always ask a client, or a company, really what we’re talking about is, do you want profitable advertising, right now? Do you wanna be hitting an effective CAC, or are you looking to grow? Because right now, we can easily see it with data once we hit a certain level of spend that we start hitting this friction.
Facebook ads, as you know, is even more volatile, where pushing the spend up 2X can sometimes quadruple the customer acquisition cost. So I try to frame it as, if you’re gonna have growth as a goal, —
— if growth’s the goal, then that’s when this Airtable situation becomes much more fun because then we can propose, what we think are the biggest levers to move the needle.
Because what happens is, a lot of people wanna just throw a bunch of stuff and see what sticks. And instead, we like to be a lot more methodical.
Like, okay, well we know this worked for this client in your industry, so let’s try the testimonial ad, for instance, and let’s invest the resources to make really kick-ass testimonial ads instead of just trying to change a bunch of headlines and hope for the best.
But yeah, feel free to guide me more if you wanna poke more on that. I also find it interesting in tasting. So this is what I’m still trying to figure out, and you’re very experienced, too. I do notice that some clients want to aggressively scale.
So I’ve had some clients come to me who wanted to quadruple their ad spend, and when you’re already spending close to six-figures, you’re already approaching that 100k limit, quadrupling is actually no easy feat, whatsoever, and I notice there’s always a pressure with investment, with investors especially, ‘Cause a lot of our clients are VC backed to accelerate, and to be honest, this is something I still haven’t quite resolved, or determined.
I just make it clear to people that all we can do are the tests to see if we can lower CAC at a higher level of spend. The other thing I would say, and perhaps this is the, I don’t know if you’re gonna give me a chicken for this,
Johnathan: I’m ready.
Tim: Is looking at the first time impression ratio on look-a-like audiences and also the frequency of the look-a-like audiences. So you can look back on a time window and see that as your frequency begins to increase, your CAC will often increase as well.
And AdEspresso did a whole blog post on this. So I think that’s kind of, for me, to help anchor people is, hey if you’ve been hitting your 1% look-a-like, and it’s at a frequency of three, to think
Johnathan: There you go.
Tim: Hoping I could get the chicken.
Johnathan: Well it’s funny because you just proved that with actual data that supports why people need to have, I would say, better expectations of, like you said, we can grow your volume, but we need to have a conversation on the flexibility of your CAC, your Customer Acquisition Cost, or your overall profit.
Because if we talk about overall profit, then, yeah, we’ll be really great friends, but if you wanna have a certain profit margin, the percentage, we’re not gonna be great friends. And this is why, and then you can prove it with that impression frequency and things like that, that you mentioned.
The thing that we’ve found, like you said, you exhaust almost these audiences where there’s fatigue. And if there’s no different call to action because you’re so focused on the direct response right then and there, whether it’s e-commerce for a sale, or SAS for a trial or a demo, you can show and you can prove that math which is, thank you, because I don’t think we’ve ever used that to that degree.
‘Cause we have a decent amount of clients that say, hey we just wanna scale. I’m like, but there’s a science and there’s an art to this and we can show you the science, but if we don’t think about the art, meaning, how do we create other combinations of campaigns and call-to-actions, where we go, maybe, higher funnel.
Like saying, hey, instead of a demo or a trial for your SAS company, let’s go after this e-book. Let’s go after this webinar, let’s go after something that has additional value or a calculator, or something that’s almost marketing engineered to be driving value.
Then we can actually have a lower cost-per-conversion on that and then add that together to the email capabilities we have of the re-marketing capabilities we have, now we can push them down to the trial or demo.
So the only way that we really found out to scale, systematically, regardless of what kind of company it is, is to create these other, I hate to use the word funnels, because they are at the end of the day, but I also don’t like funnel marketing, in general, because I feel like there’s a lot of persuasion and stuff like that in it, but that’s literally what you have to do.
Because, like you said, you can’t exhaust what you’re already doing with the same call-to-action again and again.
What are your thoughts?
Tim: Yeah, and actually, yeah, yeah. The one idea there, too, outside of the traditional, there may be others that talk about it from a podcast, but something I’ve been experimenting with, and I still haven’t really determined it’s usefulness all the way, or practicality all the way, is this idea of prospecting first re-targeting.
And that’s kind of a Bell Curve, one of the founders has tried to coin that term, but the idea is, you advertise on LinkedIn and those leads, those people click over engaging blog posts, not a direct response. Something that will get people from LinkedIn to click. And you know who they are, this is great for SAS. And then you re-target them on Instagram Story, let’s say.
That worked for one of our SAS clients. The LinkedIn ad, from a direct response perspective, bombed, but yet, all the sudden, the re-targeting on Instagram Story ads seem to suddenly have a spike in leads, so I think that’s getting into this idea of creativity, as well, and that would be a pretty big test and it’s hard to isolate that.
But the same could apply to Snap Chat. Snap Chat, you get clicks for 19 cents a pop. Now, a disqualified click, that’s hard to say, but what you can do is, with that cheap traffic is re-target it on Facebook and Instagram. And chase after the sale there.
Johnathan: Yeah, no I think your thought is correct because I think a lot of people, I think a decent amount of people know about this, but then when it comes to execution, they fail pretty hard and the only reason why I say that is because all they’re really lacking is one, let’s say, a minimum amount of commitment from that visitor that came from LinkedIn to read that blog post, whether that be 30 seconds on the page, or anybody who bounces as part of that audience.
So I know with Google Analytics you can do that black and white very easily. But then they also don’t exclude audiences from each other, which is kind of ironic. How do you expect that?
But your point of you’re courting somebody before you go for the jugular about get down on one knee and ask them if they can marry you, you take that approach first and it’s beautiful. You can even do that with like I said, higher funnel offers where you still get their email address and you get some point of conversion.
But you can also do it without just seeing them being on the blog post. So I think you have some traction there.
Tim: Yeah, yeah and as your audience might know, you can create custom audiences out of UTM parameters so you can actually make an audience that just is, I clicked on your LinkedIn ad and target that separately on Facebook.
Johnathan: Yeah, I like that.
Tim: Oh yeah, a chicken.
Okay, so let me see where else I can take this. So scaling, what I was talking about, we could probably talk all day about that, as well, or even more. Something I’d be curious to ask you, maybe, and we can discuss this.
When somebody comes to you and they say, hey I wanna really high return on ads, and like, I’m an e-commerce business and I want, I find a lot of people want these simple figures that generalized figure.
Do generalized figures really exist, and then two, is it really customer acquisition cost, which incorporates lifetime value? Or do we just do return on ad spend, and that’s something I still haven’t made up my mind yet.
I wasn’t sure if you had an opinion there on how you tend to operate with that question.
Johnathan: Maybe if I had dropped something that’s equivalent of a nugget, just give me a chicken cluck, cluck with your voice, maybe, if I earn it?
Tim: Oh yeah, okay, sure, sure.
Johnathan: I think when that conversation happens, it’s always gonna be a balance of not just one metric. It can’t just be one metric because you can get a high ROAS, I can get you a 30X ROAS, but I’m only gonna bid on your branded keyword, for example. Or I’m only gonna go after your custom audiences that have already hit the cart but didn’t check out.
But then your volume’s gonna suck, right. So it has to be a balance of ROAS and conversion volume and then, same thing with customer acquisition cost. It’s also the conversation of profitability. So they have to be able to understand and it’s up to us to educate them and set the expectations of, how do we explain as you go from really, really hot traffic to colder traffic, how do we warm that up?
So there is that point of the prospecting that’s necessary to be able to do that to kind of like create these net-new fans that weren’t part of the situation before.
So I always ask, at the end of the day, when we do our quarterly business reviews with our clients, we ask them, what kind of business impact is this making? ‘Cause we can see ROAS, we can see conversion volume, but we might not be able to see the profit.
We also don’t know, necessarily, the profit margin considering ROAS is not ROI, so give us that feedback. Can we get a deeper understanding of what we’re actually helping you guys with? So that uncovers new things.
Tim: [makes chicken noise]
Tim: That was my turn, man. That was good.
Johnathan: I’m going back to you. Thank you. But yeah, is that how you guys approach it, too?
Tim: Yeah, and I also try to, I guess it’s worth all clients thinking about this, ’cause sometimes I have e-commerce clients come to me and they’re like, well we don’t know our customer acquisition costs, can you determine it for us?
It’s like, well whoa, this is a big conversation. ‘Cause we need to know your margins, we need to know all this stuff. The energy invested in that is energy that we could be investing in actually running tests and determining things for you. Of course, that could be of some service, but that’s something I tend to steer away from ’cause it involves a lot more than advertising.
Johnathan: Right, absolutely.
Tim: But yeah.
Johnathan: It totally does.
Tim: all right, let me see what else there is. Yeah, so trying to think. Let’s see, I’m going through some of my old CACs and seeing if something can jog my mind for different ideas.
Johnathan: Maybe I can spur it. So, you guys are doing these tests, you’re able to scale. I know you guys do more than just Facebook and Instagram. Are there certain recipes that you guys get to point?
Obviously, you’re using Airtable to track your experiments, the win and loss ratio, are there certain things, either for SAS or e-commerce that are like, yeah this is almost a law that we can make internally because it works again and again? Is there something like that that you guys have or use or is it all free for you guys to choose and be creative about?
Tim: Oh yeah, no, great, great, getting to share. So yeah, recipes, so for instance, I always, for e-commerce, I always test product photo styles. Once I find a winning engagement.
So maybe for you all, you use testimonials. You drive product testimonials or you try a lifestyle picture of somebody holding it up as a testimonial. And I’ve seen stark differences there.
Other things I do is, choosing moms. Mom’s are the big ones, you can target parental demographics on Facebook for different age ranges. And you might find that tailoring the copy, if your product can work for a mom or newlyweds or all these niche demographics, if you can think of tailoring your product for that, that can be a go-to as what I use.
Johnathan: Biggest take away here, just target moms. That was the most important nugget.
Tim: Yeah, this interview is over, just target moms.
Where was I, also.
So then another one would be, obviously, videos. We tend to try to just do, we more or less just do 30 second videos. So we use Animoto. In bulk of dividable, promo, whatever that is. 30 second videos that just go through and run through the product that we created a framework around.
And obviously, you can check these out if you check out an ads library of one of our clients, for instance. And I would say, other things that aren’t as much recipes are maybe giving things some spice. There are things we always do, so in essence, they’re a part of the recipe.
It’s thinking about tangent dental, I’m not really sure how to pronounce that word, but if you know the value prof that is not directly associated with the brand, so to give you an example, that company I mentioned before called Autumn, the audio book for publications.
We were going at it thinking, oh well just keep targeting people who care about these publications, who care about reading, maybe people who run and they wanna listen, all about, hey, people who listen or who like these news articles. And instead, we randomly just thought of wait, why don’t we think of positioning this as a tool to learn English for people in foreign countries?
Johnathan: Oh crap, wow.
Tim: As in okay, let’s twist it on it’s head and it’s been really successful. In fact, it was our highest performing, lowest CAC ad set for the last month for this client. And it just is this idea, Yeah, yeah, I’m not sure what to even call that. You’re basically trying to think about your product in a different way.
Johnathan: There’s a word I’ve used in the past, and of course now I’m blanking on it, as well. So, for example, we have one client who is very much republican, they’re audience is republicans, second amendment kind of stuff, and funny enough, the additional audiences that overlap are Harley Davidson people, for example.
So we can actually make something that’s specific to them but might not have anything to do with the core persona of an audience, too, and that worked out really well. And it’s like pick-up trucks, and we can go like, outdoor grilling and do-it-yourselfers. I’ll think,
Tim: Oh I see what you’re saying, yeah.
Johnathan: Yeah if you can take the wheel, I’ll keep thinking of what I called that type of audience. But yeah, I agree with you.
Tim: Yeah, and so I guess it’s this idea that, well I liked also what you’re saying, too, about you have your audience segment and then you try to find those affinity (ancillary* haha) audiences. What else are they into? And try to target the copy and creative around that. So I’m not really sure what you call it, either. We need a term for it.
Johnathan: Let’s just call it affinity*, I think it started with A and so I’m gonna give you that. Let’s just call it that, affinity* audiences.
Tim: And I got some more gems. So re-targeting offer ads. So I’ve been finding that, I’ve tested various windows for offer ads but only on the Facebook placement, not Instagram. And that by and large free commerce almost always kills it. I normally do seven days.
And I experimented with 14 days, with 3 days, with 30 days and with the offer ad, the person gets notification if they save the offer to go use that offer. So Facebook basically helps you out beyond that initial click.
Johnathan: That’s cool.
Tim: That’s a little gem. Other ones is, I try to, I guess this is more of a testing thing that I do. I try to optimize for different steps of the funnel. That’s kind of later on. I wouldn’t ever recommend somebody start off with that. But as you know, Facebook recommends 50 purchases per event you’re optimizing for, and graphics–
Johnathan: Is that per week? What’s the time frame on that, I forget, myself?
Tim: I believe that’s per week. I believe that’s per week.
Johnathan: I think so too, yeah.
Tim: Which is, yeah which is pretty intense, especially when you’re going after purchases depending on the price point.
So they always say, oh try to do a higher funnel event. But I would say, obviously, test that, because I’ve gotten it handed to me when I’m like, oh I’ll go optimize for Add to Cart instead of purchases, I get a bunch of 50 cent add to carts and no purchases. So I would say maybe the take-away there is, just test it and take that 50 conversions per week with a grain of salt. I’ve had it work and I’ve had it not work.
Johnathan: So this is–
Tim: And also, maybe, a final thing, oh go ahead.
Johnathan: I was gonna say, real quick, on that note before you go on to the next one was, another guest on another segment of this podcast episode, Dennis Yu, was talking about Facebook is getting better and better, and actually Google is, too, on being able to run things without a lot of oversight.
So if you can hit that 50 conversions of sales or of demos or of trials a week, you can actually start lessening your targeting and it can actually start doing better and better, whether it’s look-a-like, or custom audiences, or saved audiences. So but you brought up a good point because obviously, don’t leave anything unwatched.
Because if you do change the goal, the objective, the campaign from a sale to an add to cart, obviously, like you mentioned, you have a lot of add to carts, but for some odd reason, they’re not going into sale as much as you had hoped. So that could be a way to fix, if you don’t have 50 conversions a week, that problem.
But there might be something different that’s being a bottleneck or an issue as to why those add to carts are not turning into sales and so that’s a way that you can actually spearhead and go faster, in regards to getting Facebook’s help optimizing what you’re doing.
Tim: [makes chicken noise]
Johnathan: Bawk there it is.
Tim: That’s the weakest chicken. I don’t know how to make a chicken sound.
Johnathan: Yeah, we’re human, that’s okay.
Tim: Yeah, yeah we’re humans. We’re really bad at the whole chicken thing. Yeah, maybe one other thing, too, I’ve been finding is, so we have a spy in one of our clients and one of the cool tactics that I work with them, and I’ve tried to test it on other ones, sometimes it’s hit or miss. It’s not consistent enough where I’d say we do this for everybody.
Like I mentioned about parental demographics and new parents, there’s also in-a-relationship. So if your product could be a gift or some sort of activity for a couple, I think that’s a great angle to always attack. Especially around certain times of the year, like Christmas and Valentine’s Day.
Or, I wish you could, Facebook luckily isn’t creepy enough that you could target a significant other’s birthday. But it’s definitely a good angle to score.
Johnathan: It’s bound to happen. I mean, that would be such, I would actually be happy about that because it would give me a ton of ideas based off of their interests and activity and it would be a no-brainer. Hopefully, let’s cross our fingers.
Tim: Yeah, Facebook’s removed so much. They removed income targeting. They’ve removed, you can’t exclude certain things. I don’t believe you can exclude new parents, for instance.
Meanwhile, SnapChat is very creepy, going through creeper land. They have all the data logic, Experian, all the data.
Johnathan: They have to.
Tim: Not to call out SnapChat too hard, but yeah.
Johnathan: We’ll bring you back for that episode, we’ll talk about what we can do over there, too.
Tim: Oh cool, cool.
Johnathan: Tim, this has been super, super amazing and super helpful. I love your angles of what you guys do, how you go about it, how a lot of the stuff is similar, but the Airtable thing, we gotta level-up our crap over here. That was a great nugget.
Super thankful and we’ll definitely let you know and hit you back up for future episodes.
Tim: All right, man. Thank you Jonathan and have a good rest of your Tuesday.
Johnathan: Enjoy the rest of your vacation, my man.
Johnathan: All right, bye.
Facebook Ads With Matt Nelson
Johnathan: All right, so we basically have our own director of Paid Social here on the Facebook Ads episode. His name is Matt Nelson, Hi Matt.
Matt: Hey, how’s it going?
Johnathan: Good, man, how are you?
Matt: Super pumped to be on this side of it this time.
Johnathan: Yeah, before you were just a side co-host. Now you’re actually a guest.
Matt: I feel more special now.
Johnathan: Good, good. You know the rules of the game. The more nuggets, the better. Obviously, we don’t want any fluffy nuggets, we want some real good, hearty ones.
So, when it comes to Facebook ads, you were on the Dennis episode, or the segment within that episode.
Some things we were talking about that kind of overlap with some of the stuff that we do, but if you were to explain to somebody who has never run Facebook ads before and you were giving them like, here is the blueprint for getting things set up correctly, where would you start?
Matt: So, starting off, I’d figure out what is your product and what type of campaign should I run. It’s important to know what you sell, what you do.
So, for example, Facebook has so many different types of campaign optimizations, so if you sell e-commerce products, you need to make sure that you get your pixels set up and all of your events set up so that you can optimize towards purchases or add to carts, if you don’t have enough purchase pixel information.
So making sure that all of your pixel events are set up and then, therefore, knowing what to, then, optimize for when you start setting up those campaigns.
Johnathan: Got it, number one. There’s the first nugget. Getting your pixel installed, make sure that that plumbing, is that accurate?
Johnathan: And then depending on what type of events or what type of triggers you wanna be tracking depends on the type of business you are, so you gave e-commerce.
E-commerce is probably one of the more advanced one. I’m imagining apps could be pretty advanced, too. Okay, so sorry, continue.
Matt: Yeah, and then, so once you have that initial plumbing set up, you know your pixel and all that stuff, I’d then start setting up your re-marketing audiences, which, in Facebook’s case, are called custom audiences.
And you always wanna start with custom audiences, first, because going back to the PPC temperature thermometer, they are the hottest audience. They know who you are.
Johnathan: Most attractive audience.
Matt: Most attractive, yeah.
Johnathan: Very good looking people.
Matt: Definitely, it’s like looking at an audience of people like me and you.
Johnathan: Oh, you could have just stopped with you and then not said me, but now, okay here’s another nugget.
Matt: Whoop, yeah.
So basically a custom audience is some known audience to you, whether it’s re-marketing off of your site visitors, it could be a list of your own customers that you upload because you know them, it could be your email subscribers. People known to you.
So they have the most intent compared to just simply targeting an interest off of Facebook. So you always wanna start with them because they have the most intent to purchase.
Johnathan: To convert.
Matt: or whatever your offer is. Yeah, your biggest intent to convert.
So you wanna always start with your custom audiences. If you know you’re a small business starting out, you don’t have a ton of budget, and you know you have a little bit of Google running and you’re like, I’ve never tried Facebook before, I would start with just doing custom audiences off of re-marketing, just to get a feel for it, see if you can convert some of those users on Facebook and start letting that pixel start capturing that information.
Johnathan: Got it, got it.
Matt: And start learning.
Johnathan: A lot of the cross-platform, not just related to Facebook, but even Google, even LinkedIn, if obviously your audience is on LinkedIn, always start with re-marketing.
It’s like a no-brainer, it’s gonna make you the most money the quickest. Well, not the most money, but basically, it could have the best ROI potentially for you on the return on ad spend. But the volume might not be as high.
Johnathan: So what’s the next step, after that?
Matt: So, say you’ve now exhausted your re-marketing audiences and you’re like, hey, it’s time to start, it’s working pretty well, let’s start throwing some fuel to this fire and start really prospecting going after new people.
So the first step I would do, there, is create, what they call, look-a-like audiences on Facebook off of your lowest funnel users, which are your customers.
If you’re a brand new company and you don’t have, say you only have 10 customers that just started out, you don’t have enough to make a look-a-like off of customers, start slowly moving up the funnel to that next step, next step, and creating look-a-likes there, which could be a lead list.
It could be people who’ve signed up for a free trial and sometimes, you have to start off with just simply website visitors, but you slowly build that funnel over time by making a look-a-like off those website visitors.
Now you get more people who have filled out a request, so now you have a bunch more emails, now make a look-a-like off of them and just slowly build out that plumbing so you can have a more robust re-marketing funnel and more audiences to, then, target with look-a-likes.
Johnathan: Yeah, I like that.
So basically, you guys listening, the first step was building out these custom audiences, which are people who are on your website, but they might not have taken the action, yet, so you’re re-marketing to them on Facebook to get them to come back and take that action.
The next step, after that, was look-a-like audiences, which are basically a mirrored version of the people who’ve already taken the action that you like on your site. So either they bought something, they added the cart, they might have signed up for a demo or they sign up for a trial, or they are actually paying customers, if you’re lead-gen or software.
And then you’re basically going up the funnel from here, you start at the bottom because that’s the action that you care most about, so Facebook can find other people who match, which is why it’s called look-a-like audiences. And then that goes out to building your look-a-like audiences.
Matt: Yep, and Facebook basically takes those users, which are your customers, and finds people exactly like them, like Jonathan said, whether it’s based up on their demographic information, their browsing behaviors, and it just tries to find people exactly like them because they’re gonna be more likely to convert than someone who’s just Joe Schmo, random person.
Johnathan: Yep, don’t wanna target him.
Johnathan: Okay, cool, so look-a-likes, I know there’s percentages. What are your thoughts on, we talked about this earlier today, too, actually with another client that we’re looking at. What are your thoughts, how do people understand that and what do they do with it?
Matt: Yeah, so when you create a look-a-like in Facebook, they give you the option of creating a 1% all the way up to a 10% look-a-like. And so what that means is that it’s the percentage of the population that you’re targeting.
So for example, if you’re only in the US and you create a 1% look-a-like of your customers, it’s gonna find the closest 1% of the US population to your customers and basically mirror those.
And then, as you slowly scale that up to 2%, 3%, all the way up to 10%, that list size is getting bigger and bigger ’cause it’s a higher percentage of your core target you’re trying to mirror. But, then again, it’s further away from the audience you’re trying to mirror.
Johnathan: Right, right, right, there’s more variety in it, then.
Matt: Yeah, and so when you’re thinking of creating your look-a-likes, always start off with 1% ’cause it’s the closest match to your actual customers.
But once you’ve exhausted your 1%s, you know, you’ve already been running ads on your 1%s for a while, it’s been doing really well, but you’re trying to take that next step, then you go start creating your 1 to 3%s, or your 1 to 5%s.
And like I mentioned, you’re getting further away from your core market, but there’s still, a 3% of the US population is still pretty close to who your targeting. And the one cool thing about that is, say you create a 1 to 5% look-a-like, that’s 4% more than a 1%. It’s a huge audience.
And so what Facebook does, because there’s more audience to pull from, one benefit they give you from that is something called, it’s a CPM, that’s basically how Facebook charges you.
Yeah, cost per thousand impressions, that’s how they charge you. It’s not like you’re bidding on a keyword, like on Google, and so the larger your audience typically is, they benefit you with a smaller CPM so you’re actually, you’re paying less to serve your ads to these people which is always nice.
Johnathan: I like that, but it doesn’t guarantee that even as you grow the audience size, that performance still follows, right?
Matt: Yeah, typically, typically as you scale it, your percentage or your look-a-like, your audience size, you might have a lower conversion rate because you are getting further away and sometimes that cost benefit of the CPMs does balance that out and sometimes it works better, but, don’t just go crazy broad off the bat.
You definitely wanna build up your pixel and start testing it, but that is one of the benefits of a larger audience is getting that low CPMs.
Johnathan: Love that, so we understand look-a-like. There’s another type of audience that we talk about, too. What’s that one called?
Matt: The last one is called a saved audience. And this is where you basically tap into Facebook’s ability to target based on interests, demographics, and anything of the like.
And so you can target anything from age, gender, job title, household income, people interested in Nike shoes.
Johnathan: That’s me. Not you, you have Adidas on today.
Matt: Yeah, that’s true.
Johnathan: Actually, you have Vans on today. I approve of Vans.
Matt: Adidas shorts.
Johnathan: Okay there you go.
Matt: But you can basically target anyone, pretty much so many different types of interest based targeting, which is really cool when you’re trying to hone down your target market.
But you always wanna typically start there last, because at the same time, they’re the lowest threat, or lowest intent to purchase. They’ve probably never heard of you, even if you sell, like you’re a sports shop that sells Adidas apparel.
Just because you target people interested in Adidas doesn’t mean they’re gonna buy your stuff. They’ve probably never heard of your brand, they don’t know who you are, so you do need to, you always have to keep the PPC temperature thermometer in place you just, then typically go there last.
Johnathan: And really quick, on that too, because I know people listening might not have heard about that before, we basically have created this scale of, it’s basically different smaller scales within Facebook, within Google, but overall, it talks about how when you have warm traffic, you can go for the jugular and ask them to buy, you can ask them to sign up for the trial, ask them to sign up for the demo, or get a consultation depending on if you’re a lawyer, an e-commerce shop, a software provider, it doesn’t matter.
As you get colder traffic, which is kind of what Matt talked about in regards to, you were talking about custom audiences being the hottest, look-a-like being kinda warm but not the hottest, and then saved audiences usually being the cold. It’s okay to target those people.
But you need to consider how the offer matches, your call-to-action matches the intent of the temperature to actually convert. So as you go from hot to cold, you can’t have the expectation of everybody still wanting to buy. You need to actually maybe have a discount or other things like that that you could use to your advantage.
And that’s not to say that you can’t be successful with saved audiences. One really cool part about Facebook is that you can, depending on your product, you can really play off of the impulse buying of people.
Where we have clients that literally sell t-shirts with dog faces and stuff like that. Which it’s like a random product and people have never heard of them, but if you can target people who like that kind of dog, for example, people do anything for their animals and so we just, saved audience, targeting people who are interested in that type of dog, sales just come in because it plays off of that impulse buy.
Now, that doesn’t work with every product. You have to have the right product that makes sense, but saved audiences still can be a very powerful audience to work with.
Johnathan: Yeah, no that makes sense. I mean, there’s always, we are almost at the point where we wanna make this a law, internally, but then there’s those additional aspects where the rule can be broken, so that’s good to hear.
All right, so we talked about the objectives of the campaigns, the type of campaigns, the audiences, what’s next?
Matt: So now that you’ve created the plumbing with your pixel and you’ve got that implemented, you’ve got all your events set up, you know what type of campaign you wanna create because you’re an e-commerce company and you wanna sell, so you start with choosing your campaign objective, which almost all the time, 99% of the time would be conversions.
‘Cause you’re trying to optimize towards that event. If you don’t have enough of the conversion event data, like we talked about, sometimes you have to reverse engineer it, so you’d wanna start with traffic.
‘Cause you wanna get people to go to your landing page. Just to have some people start taking those actions and then, over time, switch it over to conversions.
Johnathan: Sorry, we talked about the pixel, we talked about the audience, we didn’t talk about the objective. So you’re on that right now. Keep going, sorry.
Matt: Yep, definitely.
So you choose the objectives. Like I said, most of the time, it’s conversions ’cause you’re gonna optimize towards a specific action you want users to take.
Facebook, they have so much data on user behavior on Facebook, so they, if you’re trying to optimize for people who purchase, for example, they look for people, first, who typically have done purchase events in the past, who have clicked on ads and went through the process of converting, rather than just serving your ads to people who just view ads but never click on them.
The algorithm basically helps you get to the core customer that you would want.
Johnathan: We don’t give it enough credit, in my opinion. Everybody we talked to, too, for this episode, like Dennis was saying it too, eventually just take off targeting. If you have enough conversion volume, it just figures it out.
Matt: We haven’t gotten there, but it’s true.
Literally, if you’ve fed the pixel enough information over time, you literally can go broad because the pixel now has, say you’ve gotten 10,000 customers already, and they know that they have the demographic information, they know these users really well, so it’s essentially a broad look-a-like and they just go and just try to find those users for you and it’s pretty crazy.
Johnathan: And Facebook knows what your goal is, what your target cost-per-acquisition is, and all that kind of stuff and it’ll adhere as much as it can, obviously, okay that makes sense.
Matt: Yeah, so once you’ve chosen your campaign objective, it’s time to create your ad sets. And your ad sets is basically where you set up the actual targeting.
So where, like I said, if you need to start with you know, your custom audience starting with re-marketing or your look-a-likes, so on and so forth.
So you build out, you choose your audience. And from there, too, another really important part of setting up those ad sets, outside of the targeting itself, is now you can choose the placements you wanna put them on.
And so, historically, in the past, three plus years ago on Facebook, people would just be like, all right, I’m just gonna only serve on the news feed because it knows it does, that’s what does the best when I look at my breakdown. But there wasn’t really the ability to optimize your creative for specific placements.
And so you’d create an ad, you’d serve it to all placements, and it just looks funny, depending on the placement of your ad. Facebook now has the ability, when you create, when you choose your placements, you could create one ad, but then customize it like 12 different times for all the various placements.
So typically, you’d wanna start with all placements all the time, and optimize your creative per placement so that it looks really pretty. And Facebook, once again, benefits you with a low CPM because you’re not trying to focus on one specific place where the auction might be higher.
You have the benefits of these cheaper auctions and now that your ad creative is optimized for those specific placements, your performance is a lot better so you’re not seeing these super high CPAs and right hand column, for example, and stuff like that. Typically, they’re on par, if not lower, than your account, as a whole.
Johnathan: Okay, interesting, ’cause before we talked about granularity, having one audience per ad set. Almost like one, not necessarily one ad per ad set, but you’re right, the different placements they have different pixel dimensions.
Some of them might actually allow video, some might not be allowing that, they might be static, and now you’re saying there’s an option that you can use to make one creative customized to all placements.
Matt: Yeah, rather than having to create an ad for each one, or an ad set just for Instagram Stories or an ad just for right hand column and what not, you can customize it per placement and within one ad.
It’s really cool and it’s, like I said, it benefits you on a CPM basis so you’re not paying outrageous CPMs and costs just to serve your ads. And then, the performance is not as bad anymore because now you can actually have pretty creative for each placement. Which, to me, has been a huge game changer as far as performance for a lot of our clients.
Johnathan: Okay, cool, awesome. I’m gonna give you a nugget.
Johnathan: I’m slowing down, you’re talking so much good stuff and I’m forgetting to hit the button, so, keep going.
Matt: Yeah, and then on the placement side, one of the newest things is that, if you have video creative available, I know not every company has video creative available, but if you do have video creative available, one placement that’s typically forgotten amongst a lot of advertisers is stories and stories, like I said, as long as you have the creative available, it’s a really good place for really cheap auctions to serve your ads and get your message out really quick.
Hook them when they’re scrolling through the stories. And really engage with your audience and get them to take an action.
As long as you can hook them within those first couple seconds, if you have the creative available, it is really, really cheap to serve your ads on Instagram and Facebook Stories.
And so we see a lot of clients that have the creative available, take advantage of that. Because the auctions are so low.
Johnathan: Are you able to create on Stories, I don’t know, but I know on News Feed you can, where the depth of how long they watch the video that you can create another audience off of them?
Matt: Yeah, yep. Adding on to what Jonathan was talking about
Johnathan: First a nugget, continue.
Matt: Yeah, so if you have videos, and this doesn’t go off of just stories, but like you said, the News Feed, too just videos in general, people have watched those videos and not everyone takes an action.
Some people might find it interesting, they watch it, they don’t click, and most people start with re-marketing off of people who’ve clicked. That doesn’t mean that there’s not, people who watch those videos still showed some level of intent.
So like Jonathan mentioned, you can create audiences off of your video viewers from any of the videos that you’ve placed, whether it’s an Instagram Story ad, whether it’s this particular Story that you have in the News Feed or video that you have in the News Feed, you can create audiences off of them and re-market to those users.
And you can create anywhere from a three-second video viewer to re-market to them up to a 10-second video viewer, which if you have enough video views, I’d always recommend 10 seconds just because they’ve taken a little extra time–
Johnathan: There’s higher intent.
Matt: Higher intent, always comes back to that, being intent.
Johnathan: Okay, cool, awesome. What else were you missing right now?
Matt: Yeah so we’ve talked about the ad sets, or the placements, we’ve talked about the targeting, the last step on the ad set is then, setting up your bidding, per se, I know you don’t bid on your keywords, but there’s auto-bidding where, basically, Facebook will then go and say, I’m gonna find you as many people and get you as many conversions at the lowest possible cost and just, you give Facebook the reigns to do it.
There’s also cost-cap bidding where you can set a target CPA and this target bid and let Facebook do it’s thing, but if you don’t have that pixel data, you know we’re talking to a lot of new advertisers here, I would never recommend starting with that because you haven’t ran ads yet.
You don’t know what your actual CPA is. So for example, you’re like, oh 10 bucks, I’m willing to pay 10 bucks per lead. But when your actual cost per lead is 30 bucks, Facebook won’t serve your ad traffic because it knows it’s not realistic, cost-wise, to get that CPA.
So always start with automatic bids and then, if it makes sense, now you’ve gotten that data, start, over time, switching it to target CPA and start chopping it down over time. So now you know your CPA’s 30 bucks, well let’s try to go for 28. See if we can slowly chop that down over time.
Johnathan: Not from 30 to 10, that might be too aggressive.
Matt: Yeah 30 to 10, everyone’s gonna be like, I want a $1 CPA, let’s go for it.
Johnathan: Yeah if you keep chopping it down to, just for you guys, any math nerds listening, you have to balance the volume aspect of how many actions you want people to take, or sorry, how many actions total you want, and then also the cost per that action.
So if it’s a cost per sale, you also have sales volume, those gotta be in balance, because you can effectively continue to lower your cost per acquisition, if you wanted to, but at some point, you’re gonna be sacrificing your volume.
Matt: Yeah, so if you were, you did your auto targeting, or auto bidding and you have a $30 CPA, you’re like, I want a $15 CPA, you’re still gonna get some traffic.
They’re not gonna just cut off cold turkey, but you might go from, let’s say, 100 conversions down to like 10, for example, and so yeah, you hit your CPA goal, but now you only have 10 of these.
Johnathan: From a business perspective you might not do much more.
Matt: Exactly, exactly.
Johnathan: That’s it.
Matt: And so it’s gotta make sense.
Johnathan: I like that, awesome, what’s next?
Matt: So, we’ve pretty much set up the plumbing. It’s time to create those ad creatives. We’re setting up the ads for you.
And so Facebook, they have a ton of different ad varieties that you can create. If you have the ability, I’d always recommend starting with video. People just are drawn to videos. It’s more engaging than a static image.
Doesn’t mean that static images can’t be successful, but just people like video and Facebook benefits you if you have a video once again with lower CPMs ’cause they typically have higher engagement rates. And so you do get those cost benefits with video. So I’d always start with video.
Johnathan: And it’s not to say, ’cause everybody says, oh my God, it’s the year of the video, but that was the last three years, and so it’s not because we’re saying video for the sake of video, it actually performs better in a lot of cases, too.
Matt: I would say 8 out of 10 times, video does perform better which are good odds.
Doesn’t work there every time, but it’s pretty good odds. If you’re a blackjack player, there you go.
But yeah, so the options you have available outside of video and static images, they have just standard News Feed ads, which could be a video or a static image, but those are typically either the rectangle size you have, or the square and you can put some text above and a headline below. And those are, pretty much, the highest volume types of pieces you get serving on the News Feed.
After that, you can then do carousel ads, which are the ones that you can see that people swipe through. You can do that, both, on Facebook and on Instagram, which is really cool. And if you can’t do video and you want some sort of ad that has better engagement, carousel typically always have better engagement than a static ad because there is that swiping feature.
People can scroll through it. And so I’d always use carousels if you have the ability to. Which, as long as you can cut up a square, if you can cut up one static ad, you should be able to cut up three. Yeah, so I’d do carousels, as well.
Then there’s canvas ads, as well. Those are the ads that they create more of an experience rather than simply clicking on ad going to the landing page.
Facebook has, you click on the ad and a little thing will pop up and it creates more of an experience for you. If you’re an e-commerce, you have more products being shown and whatnot, and so it’s a little more engaging from a user experience point of view rather than sending straight to the landing page right off the bat.
And then there’s also the Instagram Story ads, like we talked about before, on a placement side and so, those are pretty much the big three that are used all the time and like I said, if you have video, use video, if not, carousel ads, if you have static ads.
Johnathan: Or do all of the above. I mean, you have resources, try them out, right.
Matt: Yeah, try them all. And it’s good, too, for example with re-marketing, if you have a video ad and to bring them in you have people who have clicked on your landing page, also the video viewers, re-market them with your lowest funnel offer.
Johnathan: With a really hard offer.
Matt: Yeah with a really hard offer, but with a static ad that highlights the benefits and features which goes into my next slide.
My next thing is, what we do at KlientBoost is we create what we call a war chest of ads. And that’s not individual sizes, that’s all the cool stuff like video carousels and stuff, but what we call war chest are different types of ads that all have different messages to serve to the users in different sets of the, or different aspects of the funnel depending on where they’re at.
What we typically build in our war chest are benefits and features of the product you’re offering, having ads specific to that, and you can put that on the image or talk about it in the video, but it could also be as simple as an image of the product and on the text above, you’re talking about the benefits and features.
Next, are testimonials from other users, clients, customers. And those are really, really powerful, especially with re-marketing. ‘Cause a lot of people might find your product really cool, really interesting, they’ve clicked, they’re kind of into it, but they need that extra little push to get them to convert and so having seen that testimonial, having that social proof is the next kind of step just to push them over the edge and take that action.
And then, another one is awards and recognition. If you’ve won some really cool award that your industry takes, sees really highly or just adds that next level of social proof, always create ads that highlight that awards and recognition.
Johnathan: You got an award at the Christmas party, right?
Matt: Let’s not talk about that one.
Johnathan: We’ll skip that.
Matt: It’s not today ’cause today I’m looking pretty fly, but I have won Worst Dressed two years ago, I should have won it last year but Johnathan was nice and gave me a year off of winning that one.
Johnathan: We passed the torch to Luke, he got that one instead.
Matt: And then, also your overall, you need value proposition. If your product is different and it sets you apart from the competition, you wanna highlight that and you wanna tell the users what separates you and sets you apart, so you do wanna highlight that in the ads and that can get people to take that next step.
And then lastly, numbers and stats to support why you’re a great choice. For example, you’re some health product and you’re trying to get people to get buff like me, I’m not buff at all, but you have some sort of app that 53% of users hit the goals or weight gain goals they’ve gotten within 30 days.
Johnathan: That’s a pretty low percentage, isn’t it?
Matt: I don’t know 53%, I don’t know.
Johnathan: That’s like a coin flip.
Matt: Half the time it works.
Johnathan: Okay, cool, so if you do it twice, you’re pretty set.
Matt: Yeah, if 75% of the time, your product beats your competition, or whatever, highlight that in an ad, show that how many people can take that step and how much easier it is.
Johnathan: And the thing to keep in mind, here too, is that the call to action, that doesn’t change. It’s still the same focus that you’re trying to achieve, it’s just different angles of your product or your service that you’re highlighting with these angles, the war chest.
Matt: Say you have all these things in re-marketing, like you said, and so these people who just need that extra push, you need value propositions, that can them a push over there. If you’re asking for a purchase, a demo for example, numbers and stats, oh shoot, that’s really cool, I want that. Or awards and wow, they’re recognizable. So yeah, like you said,
Johnathan: J.D. Power.
Matt: The offer does not change, it’s literally just the messaging on the ads that changes. Which is really cool. So now you have all your–
Johnathan: There’s another, a lot of nuggets in there, we’ll just do it once.
Matt: Cool, so yeah, you have all these cool ads now and you wanna create them, so natively, if you just go create ad in Facebook, say it’s your first time, it creates, you create your ad once in that ad set, and that ad now has it’s unique post ID.
If you were then to go, say that ad you want amongst all of your ad sets, you create it a second time and you know, you go to create ad and you rebuild it and it’s exactly the same, same image, same copy, everything, post it now, again, and now that post, even though it’s an identical ad, same image, same copy, everything, it now has a second post ID.
So essentially, if you’re building ads natively, as they have it in Facebook, you’re basically creating multiple pieces of a pie, even though it’s the same pie. And so if you were to, then, say serve your ads, the same ad 10 different times in 10 different ad sets, people are liking, commenting, sharing your ad post, but if you do it that native way, you’re splitting the social proof 10 different places.
So if somebody in ad set one likes it, someone who now sees your ad from ad set 10 will not see that like. Only those people in ad set one. So what we do to basically combat this and put all the social proof into one ad is something we call dark posting. Which, back in the day, that was called an unpublished page post where you basically create one post ID and then boost it across all of your ad sets.
And so when you do it that way by creating one post ID and then boosting it across all of your ad sets, you have that identical ad but they’re all going to the same post ID, not 10 separate ones.
So if someone from ad set one likes, comments, and shares, someone from ad set seven will now see all those likes, comments, and shares. So you start getting that accumulation of social proof and what typically happens here is you get that social proof snowball. Everyone likes that viral effect.
That’s what makes Facebook so cool is seeing all that social proof, all those likes, comments, and shares and dark post really helps push it over the edge and if you can accumulate all that.
Are you gonna be more likely to convert if you see 100 likes or 7 likes? It just adds that social proof. However, one thing to be careful of that, if you’re dark posting, is if you have a product that might be kind of in a gray area, a little, I don’t know not scandalous but, what’s the word I’m looking for?
Johnathan: Let’s not give any examples.
Matt: But just say it’s a little bit of a gray area kind of product where you might get some negative social proof on your ads, I’m sure you guys have seen those internet trolls going on just talking smack about your products or whatever, you don’t like those types of people, but if you have a product that lives in that gray area, you get a lot of that social proof, if you dark post, you’re now accumulating that negative social proof that much faster.
And if someone sees a negative comment, they might be more likely to post a negative comment. So I would be wary with dark posting if you live in that gray area.
Johnathan: If you have to reset your ads quite often.
Matt: Yeah, you might have to reset your ads quite often if that’s the case and you just don’t want that to happen to you, so I would keep an eye on those comments.
Johnathan: Cool, I like that. One thing that just make me think of it, too, so when you do the war chest of ads, you can have different ad types, but the actual visual and the messaging can be different, too, depending on the angles that you talked about.
Then, the call to action being the same, and the reason why you, then, dark post, putting in the ad set, is that one, it kind of aggregates that social proof, but also, we don’t know if a custom audience campaign and a look-a-like audience campaign, we don’t know which ad of that war chest is gonna perform better.
So it’s gonna, over time, start showing us which one actually is working and performing better and therefore, you can pause the underperforming ones and take it from there, too.
Matt: Yeah, it does definitely speed up the testing process, kind of like what you were saying by helping push that social proof faster to the various different ad sets.
Johnathan: I think another person, another guest on the episode, his name is Tim from Bell Curve, he was saying, too, don’t waste your time split testing little emojis in the copy or doing these small things. Go more broad, more aggressive and so when he said that, I was, I think he was actually giving me a nugget with his voice, like, ker, ker, ker or whatever he was doing.
But I was talking to him about the war chest of ads, too and like, this allows us to actually have a starting point that has a lot of different angles and they’re different enough that we should get some traction of some sort.
Matt: Definitely, yep and like you said, different angles and different images, different copy and you kind of led me into the next point, when it comes to optimizing your creative.
You know you’ve launched your initial set and let’s say that your product and, or your features and benefits is what’s performing best and that angle just seems to work better than everything else. But now you wanna take that and make it better.
What will typically give you the biggest impact, when it comes to testing, isn’t the copy that you write on top, it’s the visual. That’s what people see first all the time when they’re scrolling through their feed is that visual, like oh, that pops out at you.
So if you keep testing the copy above but it’s the same image every single time, those users are gonna experience what is, we call, ad fatigue, because even if the copy’s different, they’ve already seen that image. They’re like, I’ve already seen this.
Johnathan: They’re not gonna read that again.
Matt: They’re just gonna swipe right through it. So if you wanna make the biggest impact on your testing, always test the creative. The image or the video, it could be even, hypothetically the same video, but change the thumbnail.
It could be, literally, be as easy as that. If you have lack of creative and you’re just trying to test it. Just make it visually different so that it just re-peaks that user’s interest and gets them back and you could, sometimes, keep the copy the same.
Not to say testing your copy is not important, but if you’re prioritizing your tests, I’d always start with image first to pretty much mitigate that ad fatigue.
Johnathan: What are your thoughts on, and I know that a lot of people don’t have, if they’re e-commerce store, they wanna get purchases, right they wanna get sales.
So you don’t have a lot of freedom in split-testing your call to action, but I’ve seen a lot of times where on landing pages, I don’t know about Facebook ads, that that also has a pretty big impact, or at least the wording of your call to action that you’re using, even if it’s the same thing that you’re wanting them to do.
Matt: Yeah, on the Facebook ad side, since they have already set CTA buttons, it can be a little difficult with changing the wording. So on the landing page side, you could have the same meaning on the button and change it. It’s a little harder on the Facebook side.
But with that said, you still have some options. For example, let’s say you’re trying to promote an e-book, there’s an option for learn more, which that’s what any book does. It learns more, so that could be your base CTA button. But there’s also one that’s download. So which, that’s basically where you’re trying to do is learn more by downloading our free guide.
So you do still have a couple options with trying to test some of these, some of these CTA buttons. Or let’s say you’re promoting a free demo, for example. That could be sign up, sign up for a free demo, but they also have one for get offer, to get your free offer, so there’s still some wiggle room to test your CTA buttons.
Johnathan: But it’s tight though, it seems tight.
Matt: But it’s a little tighter, but there’s still some options available for that.
Johnathan: Cool, awesome, so ad optimization, check. What’s next?
Matt: So, we’ve already talked about optimizing, I would say let’s go back to expanding and trying to scale. I think that’s a good place.
Johnathan: So if you’re following these nuggets that Matt has been talking about, you’re structurally set up in a pretty sound way and now people, they’re starting to get the data come in, they’re getting their sales, they’re getting their leads, now they wanna get more. That’s where we’re at right now. They wanna get more BootSauce.
Matt: Yep, so I don’t know, you guys might fall in this bucket, but I see, frequently, that people are like, hey this is working really good, let’s just double the budget ’cause that means I’m gonna get double the leads. Never do that. Never do that because the Facebook algorithm does not work that way.
Say you’ve been optimizing over time at a certain spend threshold and the learning phase is already done, which is Facebook’s algorithm has learned what works and what doesn’t.
If you double that budget, it’s been optimizing these last, ever since you’ve been running for a certain cost, so if you double that cost, now everything changes, which options it chooses to go into, which users to serve to.
So typically when you double that budget, your CPA usually will fly through the roof so that would be the last, I would never start when you’re looking at scaling by doubling the budget.
Johnathan: Tim was saying the same thing. A lot of people think like, oh yeah, let’s just add some more money to this, but it doesn’t work. You’re always gonna have your cost per acquisition, it’s gonna creep up no matter what. You can, sorry, go ahead.
Matt: No, but it’s true. You can’t just double the budget and assume you’re gonna get the same amount. It’s not like there’s a certain, it’s not like in Google Search where you might have a campaign at your certain budget but it’s limited by budget and it’s working good, you can simply just unleash that budget.
It’s still the same amount of people searching but now you’re just getting more of those searches. It’s a little bit different this way. So rather than just doubling your budget, I would always start with, let’s create some new campaigns.
Let’s say you’ve just started with look-a-likes, let’s increase those percentages of look-a-likes, or let’s now introduce some saved audiences. Let’s try to create a more robust re-marketing funnel.
For example, maybe you’re only serving to your, to the people who’ve been to your site or clicked on your landing page and then didn’t convert. Now you have those videos that you’ve created. Start doing some video reviewers ’cause that’s a huge audience that’s just being, that’s just sitting there that you’re not using. So I’d always create and prioritize new campaigns, reaching new people, rather than just simply doubling your budget.
Matt: And with that said, too, say you have your look-a-like campaign and now you’re moving into your saved audiences, you still want to exclude those look-a-like users from those saved audience campaigns, you know the messaging might change over here, but there might be some overlap between the users in a saved audience with users and your look-a-likes. So you always wanna keep them separate.
So if you have a 1% look-a-like running here and now you’ve launched a saved audience, exclude the 1% visitors, or the 1% users from the saved audience so you’re keeping those audiences separate and you’re not, essentially, going into auction against yourself and then rising your CPMs and your costs.
Johnathan: Okay, cool man. I like this, a lot. There’s a lot of things that we actually learned right now. Anything else that the listeners should know about?
Matt: Yeah, some cool tools, if you’re trying to think of, I actually don’t know who my target audience is. Where should I start, what should I do? There’s some cool tools, one of them is free, it’s Facebook’s Audience Insights.
So basically, you can take a look at people who’ve liked your page or your converters and basically get some demographic and introspace information off of your users for free based upon Facebook’s data.
You can see everyone who’s liked your page, you can see what pages they like, who are their favorite people, what type of things they follow, you might see some commonalities and things like, hey people who like Mark Cuban, for example, that makes sense because I envision Shark Tank investing, I don’t know how I’d sell this investing product, or whatever it is.
You might find some cool new audiences that you can, then, target and reach, which is really cool.
Johnathan: I forgot what the name was for another segment, but we called it–
Matt: Oh, ancillary audiences?
Johnathan: Yeah, ancillary audiences.
Matt: I totally forgot about that one. Let’s go with ancillary audiences for scaling.
So let’s say, going back to the Adidas example that I was saying that you’re a retailer of Adidas shoes, you’ve already targeted Adidas shoes because that’s what you sell. People who are interested in Adidas shoes.
But what do people who like Adidas shoes like? So an ancillary audience is something that’s very similar to your product, but slightly different.
So it could be people interested in soccer. Now you’re trying to sell your Adidas soccer cleats. Or it could be people that like basketball, you’re trying to sell your basketball stuff. It could be, literally, people who are interested in cross-fit, it’s stuff that’s very similar to what you do, but different. If you have yoga classes, or you’re a local yoga instructor, you could target people who like Lulu Lemon.
Johnathan: Or if they’re vegan, things like that, too.
Matt: Exactly, yeah, exactly.
Johnathan: Cool, awesome.
Matt: Pretty much it.
Johnathan: So that’s a free tool.
Matt: Yeah, so that’s also a free tool right there, too.
So the Audience Insights, and there’s some other cool tools that can help you find stuff, some cost other money.
Oh another cool idea that if you run Google Ads in addition to Facebook ads, you can take a look at your Google Audience Insights and take a look at what types of folks convert on the Google side and they give you, basically, different interests and market and types of markets, and market infinity audiences that they fall into that your converters actually fall into
So if you’ve been running Google for a while and it’s time to launch on Facebook, take a look at your Google Insights and see what types of interests they’re in. And then target those interests on Facebook, so that would be a good place to start, as well.
Johnathan: Cool man. Well thank you so much for your time and sharing all this knowledge with us.
Matt: Awesome, I’m super excited.
Johnathan: Appreciate you.
Matt: This has been fun.
Johnathan: All right. We’ll get you back on another show in regards to things Paid Social but we’ll wrap it up.
Matt: Sweet, hope you guys enjoyed.