Episode 102 | Posted on

Create Killer Facebook Ad Campaigns that Convert with Cat Howell

Here’s a situation that might sound familiar: you start an ad campaign on Facebook, spend $20 or $30, and see no results at all. Instead of pouring more money down the drain, you turn off the ad campaign and conclude that Facebook Ads don’t work. While that reaction may seem reasonable, the truth is that Facebook Ads can be a successful tool to grow your business. You just aren’t spending enough on them.

Spending too little on Facebook Ads is one of the biggest mistakes that Cat Howell, my guest today, sees while working for her Facebook advertising agency. She’s an incredible Facebook marketer who shares valuable information we can apply to our current strategies. In our conversation today, Cat will use her experience from working with clients like Coca Cola, Amitil, and Contiki to give you Facebook advertising best practices, tips, tricks, and secrets.

In this Episode

  • [00:59] – Cat discusses some of the biggest Facebook advertising mistakes that she sees prospects or clients making before they start working with her. She then discusses her suggested minimum run time and spend for an ad campaign.
  • [03:38] – Cat offers another way to approach ad campaigns, pointing out that it’s important to be willing to spend more on a new campaign.
  • [05:03] – Stephan brings up a real example involving his book The Art of SEO. Cat then talks about the time period it takes to get ad spend down to a more reasonable price.
  • [07:56] – For listeners who aren’t familiar with Facebook’s Audience Network, Cat explains what it is. She also discusses the problem with it, which involves accidental clicks.
  • [10:51] – Typically, Cat would recommend that if you’re launching a brand new campaign, you should leave the campaign on automatic placement (which is Facebook’s default).
  • [12:13] – Stephan returns to the hypothetical example of selling his book, asking Cat about what an effective funnel might look like.
  • [14:57] – Cat illustrates her point through the example of selling clothing through an ecommerce store and upselling to your existing customers.
  • [16:00] – What would be an example of a successful client of Cat’s on Facebook? She discusses a recent case, talking about its ROI. She then offers advice about going for a specific audience.
  • [21:06] – Cat gives an example of niching down to a very narrow target, as she has just recommended.
  • [23:10] – The caveat, Cat points out, is that you actually need to have expertise in the subject you’re going to teach people about.
  • [23:58] – Is there any benefit to being Facebook verified? And does Cat help her clients get Facebook verified?
  • [25:46] – Cat discusses some of the pricing models used in working with online marketing agencies.
  • [29:10] – At Cat’s agency, she uses a combination of all the models she has just discussed, she reveals, and explains that it depends on each client’s needs.
  • [29:56] – Stephan points out that some advertisement agencies are secretive about exactly what they’re doing, meaning you’d have to start all over if you leave that agency. Cat then shares her perspective on this practice, discussing the pros and cons.
  • [35:02] – Cat talks about a client who had been spending $20k a week on email marketing without knowing anything about exactly what was happening.
  • [36:21] – We learn about Cat’s views on the use of videos in advertising on Facebook.
  • [39:11] – Cat discusses the difference between using Facebook Live videos as ads as opposed to pre-recorded videos.
  • [40:43] – Stephan uses this podcast as a hypothetical to ask Cat how to incorporate Facebook Live into a marketing strategy for a podcaster or anyone in a similar situation.
  • [42:56] – Cat responds to Stephan’s question, offering her recommendations for strategies on how to advertise with video in his case.
  • [45:14] – How can listeners find Cat to work with her?


In this episode, we are going to deep dive on Facebook advertising best practices, tips, tricks and secrets from Cat Howell, founder of Facebook Ads Agency Eight Loop Social. Her clients have included Coca Cola Amatil and Cantiki. She manages over $300,000 in monthly ad spend and is an incredible Facebook marketer. Cat, it’s great to have you on the show.

Thank you. Great to be here.

Let’s talk about Facebook. What would be some of the biggest mistakes that you see prospects or clients are making before they start working with you in terms of Facebook advertising?

Good question to lead in with. A lot of mistakes. Probably the biggest mistakes we see being done by businesses or even Facebook marketers as well is the spend. There’s not enough spend going through ad accounts or campaigns I should say. Someone’s launching a campaign, they maybe give it three days, two days, spend about $30 or $20 and then hit the panic button, all hell breaks loose, they turn everything off and are left with the sentiment that Facebook ads don’t work or that funnel didn’t work, or that campaign didn’t work. That’s probably the biggest, most challenging thing I think that most business owners and Facebook marketers together have to face and deal with.

What would be the ideal minimum run time for an ad campaign to see if it’s working or not and what would be the minimum spend for that time period?

Good question. There’s a couple of ways to approach this. Facebook is not going to properly be optimized for a campaign until it has about 8,000 impressions. That’s when Facebook has enough data to understand fully what you’re wanting out of it and who to go after or the quality of audiences or the types of people to go after so that you get the actions that you’re after whether that’s a video view or a purchase or someone even liking your page. Facebook’s not really going to be optimized until about 8,000 impressions. Initial optimization usually takes place when you hit 500 reach and that’s normally when you’ll get what we call a relevant score. As soon as you reach 500 people, Facebook will give you a relevant score. It’s a pretty good indicator. It’s an indicator anyways around how well you’re doing in the auction process against other advertisers and how well your ad creative targeting is doing. You’re aiming for about 8,000 impressions. The cost behind that can really, really vary. 8,000 impressions could cost you as little as $20 and as much as $300 and that’s going to depend on your CPM, what we call a cost per thousand impressions, your CPM. Another way to approach this is typically, if you’re launching a campaign or a funnel, normally, what you’ll see in the industry is that it will cost you about three to four times more for a fresh funnel, a brand new campaign, than what you’re willing to pay and that’s really, really normal. For example, if you’re wanting to get people to buy your $50 product for $15, in the beginning, when you first launch the campaign, you should be willing to spend almost $45 to $60, $75 on that initial conversion while Facebook optimizes for that. Instead of just launching a campaign and then turning it off after spending $15 and saying this isn’t working, you really have to be willing to put that skin in the game and risk it because it can get costly depending on how much split testing you’re doing and be willing to pay a little bit more for it. That’s really, really normal where it would cost people $75 for an initial conversion and within about two weeks, Facebook will optimize and it’s one of the most powerful algorithms out there. When Facebook knows what you want to get, it gets really, really good at optimizing for it.

Let’s walk through this with a real example. My SEO book, The Art of SEO is $50 retail and I have hundreds of copies of that book in a storage that I could mail out, get somebody on Taskrabbit, help me package and mail these out if I were to sell them for free plus shipping and handling. Let’s say that is $15 for this thousand-paged book. I mail that out for $15, they get this instead of the Amazon price of $38 but it’s a $50 retail. That’s a real world example of something that I could send out to people as a tripwire in this funnel. If I were to do that, you said that I might be spending $45 in Facebook advertising to get that lead who’s going to spend $15 for this $50 book?

Initially, yes.

Over what time period would it get down to a more reasonable and affordable price?

It can go down as quickly as a few days or a week but generally speaking, what you’re looking at and what Facebook will even tell you, so Facebook will say anytime you’re changing anything in an ad set allow two weeks to see what the impact of that change actually is. Usually, you’re looking at about a two-week window.

Facebook will say anytime you’re changing anything in an ad set allow two weeks to see what the impact of that change actually is.

Over that two-week time period, the price might go down from $45 all the way down to eventually at the end of those two weeks, maybe $10, $5 a lead?

That’s ecommerce, right? Typical ecommerce, you’re going to be sitting at around 30% your marketing spend of the cost of goods sold. Can you get it down to $10? Yes. What is that going to require? Well, it’s going to require your landing page to convert really, really well because if your website only converts at 2% like most ecommerce, then that means that in order to get a $10 cost per acquisition, you need to be driving clicks to that landing page for about seven cents or ten cents, I don’t know the math of the top but it’s going to be really low which is very hard to do on Facebook especially if you’re not using placements like Audience Network.

Tell me about Audience Network.

How much do you know? What do you want to know?

Assume that the listener is not familiar with Audience Network at all. They might know the basics around Facebook advertising, they might know retargeting and that you need to place a Facebook pixel to be able to accomplish retargeting but probably not a whole lot beyond that.

When you’re running ads on Facebook, Facebook has a lot of property, it’s got a lot of what we call real estate. That includes mobile newsfeed and 80% of people that access Facebook do so from a mobile device. Mobile has one of the highest real estate of all the placements. It’s got Instagram, because Facebook owns Instagram, that has a lot of real estate as well. It has a massive user-base there, it’s got desktop newsfeed, it’s got instant articles, it’s got right hand column that shows you those little ads on the side and it’s got in stream videos now, that’s a new placement where your ads are essentially rolling out as part of videos that are playing inside of Facebook and it also has what we call Audience Network. Audience Network are third-party placements, so those could be like gaming apps or any kind of app, very similar to what you would have on Google, how Google has this massive inventory. Facebook has its own third-party inventory as well and they’re typically made up of apps. The problem with Audience Network is that, I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced this but you’re checking out some kind of app or some kind of website and this pop up comes up, this ad popup and you accidentally click on it because you’re trying to scroll or you’re trying to do something else and you accidentally click on this ad even though you didn’t intend to. That’s usually what happens a lot with Audience Network. You will get very, very high clickthrough rates, very cheap clicks, however, the quality of the clicks are very, very low because it’s unintentional. What you’ll see is the bounce rates are very, very high with this placement for that reason. They’re getting better at this so they’re trying to fix this. They just announced this like a week and a half ago, they’re really trying to clean up their act around this especially on the reporting side but it’s still very unintentional clicks. It works really well if you’re a publisher or you’re monetizing through advertising, you’re selling advertising space on your website so traffic is how you make your bread and butter, Audience Network really works for that. However, it can be a bit hit and miss when you’re running certain types of conversion based objectives or campaigns because of the reasons I mentioned.

Got it. If you know how to navigate Audience Network in terms of getting the ROI, it could be a great opportunity. But for somebody who’s not that sophisticated, they could end up losing a lot of money on their ad spend buying a lot of wasted traffic.

Exactly. Typically, what I would recommend is if you’re launching a brand new campaign, a brand new ad set, your placement takes place at the ad set level, is if you’re brand new, just leave it all to automatic placement. Just leave it as Facebook has its defaulted automatic placement. But what you want to be very aware of and very careful of is where your budget starts feeding out to because you’ll find that normally Facebook will feed its budget or your budget into where the most real estate is. That will be mobile or Instagram or Audience Network. What you do is in your reporting column, next to your reporting tab, there’s a little thing called breakdown and you click on that on the right hand side and you just click on placements and it’s going to show you where your budget is actually feeding into. Just keep an eye on that. If you find that all your budget is going into Audience Network and you’re not getting any conversions, then that’s a pretty good sign that you need to split out that ad set. Split it out to desktops so other placements can get a fair chance or just remove Audience Network altogether from it. But if you’re just getting started out, use all the placements initially, just keep a close eye on it.

Okay, got it. Let’s go back to that hypothetical example where let’s say I’m selling my $50 book for $15 and I have an ad cost of let’s say $10, we get it down to per lead or per purchase of that $15 deal, how do we make this really valuable in terms of moving them down the funnel and upselling them on things? What would a funnel look like that’s very effective? This is just a trip wire and then we offer a core product of some sort and we keep further monetizing that lead. Walk me through a hypothetical scenario.

It’s going to depend on all sorts of different—whatever you’re selling on the backend is ultimately going to impact what that funnel is. If you’re selling a $10,000 thing or if you’re selling a $200 thing that’s going to fundamentally change the funnel that you decide to or you choose to run on the back of that trip wire but normally, what you would see is you’d be selling that trip wire and a part of that, you then have some what we call retargeting stacks where you’re retargeting the people that purchase that and you’re doing that in combination with your email marketing and essentially pushing them into your primary offer, whatever that might be. I think also, one of the things to consider with that specific type of trip wire because sending someone a book is a little bit different to typical online marketing trip wires that we see these days where it’s mostly information products. The trip wires are delivered immediately and in many cases, it’s consumed in a very short space of time whereas if you’re sending someone a book, they’re realistically not going to have that book or certainly not have finished that book within at least a week or two. That’s probably a fair estimate. You may want to consider that with your targeting stacks where you go, well, I’m just going to prewarn them, build affinity, an authority with them, continue to build that relationship for the space of a week or two and then at the two-week mark when I think they have consumed my content and there’s that trust and they like what I have then, I start to go into a pitch where I invite them to purchase into my upsell or cross sell, whatever that is.

That’s a great point. You want to deliver something that they can consume quite quickly. If you send them something really daunting like a thousand-paged book, they may never get through that and it might be harder to move them to the next stage of the funnel.

It’s just kind of for example, ecommerce, we’re talking about this like a week and a half ago, if you’re selling someone some clothing, you’re selling clothing through an ecommerce store, and you want to run an upsell campaign to your existing customers because we all know it’s much easier to upsell or cross sell or resell to existing customers than it is to a cold audience. What you have to consider is how long is it going to take for them to actually receive the product and use the product before it makes any sense for me to show an upsell to that product. Because if I show an upsell to them as soon as they purchase, they may not appreciate the need for that upsell yet.

Really good points. What would be an example of a client that is really crushing it on Facebook, very successful, and you helped them get there with that funnel and with the ad campaign?

We specialize in three verticals, we specialize in ecommerce, we specialize in coaches and online courses and we also do a lot of brand work. Which one of those would you feel would be most relevant?

Let’s start with coaches.

Coaches, okay. Recently, we helped a coach, he teaches people holistic health and we helped him make about $350,000 from a high ticket program and the ad spend behind that was about $3,000. That was a [censored] good ROI.

That’s amazing. Great outcome for you client, wow. What was the ticket price, if I could ask?

That one was high ticket. That was $10,000 program.

Wow. That’s a fantastic ROI. Great job. That $3,000 ad spend, was that over the course of a month or a few months or a couple of weeks? How did that roll out?

It was a launch. It was probably about a month and a half and obviously it was supplemented with email campaigns, email marketing and I think the really big key with this and when we work with clients inside of the agency, one of our prerequisites is unless your name is Tony Robbins or Gary Vaynerchuk or you’re really well-known and you have a big brand and big following and community, it’s very, very hard to gain traction when you’re trying to be everything to everyone at once. Typically, if you’re new to the space or you’re launching, by new I mean you’re obviously not a Starbucks employee, stepping out behind the counter going, “Hey, I’m going to teach people how to build seven-figure businesses.” I mean new as in you haven’t sold that knowledge or expertise in an online information format before. What you’ll find is that niching down or finding a specific audience that you can go after is really, really key. I’ll give you an example of that using a recent client that we’re working with. She’s ran a very, very successful ecommerce store and she has done it for a client as well so she’s extremely adept and skilled at helping people build very, very successful online drop shipping businesses. We’re helping her to roll out and launch her own online program. You would think on the surface of it, everyone that wants to have an ecommerce store, that’s the target audience. In reality, that’s really not going to work, that funnel and that marketing, it’s really not going to work because you’re essentially trying to be everything to everyone at once. Because when you actually break it down, that audience itself is made up of a lot of different subsets. It’s made up of biz opp people, people that are after these opportunities, business opportunities. They’re trying to figure out is it drop shipping? Is it affiliate marketing? What is it? I just know that I want to leave my job, I want to have my own business and I’m not really sure if it’s ecommerce. There’s those people. There’s people that are already in it. They’ve already launched an ecommerce store, however, they’re struggling to scale or they can’t get the revenues. There’s people that are Amazon sellers and those guys are getting bent over at the moment, from the fees with Amazon. They have their own unique pain points, needs and wants. When we broke it down, there’s almost like six or seven personas or subsets within that audience. When you go after one of those at a time, it doesn’t mean that you only have to ever go after one but you need a specific funnel certainly for each one, your marketing just skyrockets because then you can specifically talk to the Amazon seller about their specific pain points, their specific needs which are fundamentally different to the biz opp individual who’s just looking for a work at home opportunity, easy, no massive investment upfront type of thing. It’s probably the single biggest thing especially with this launch, with this client that I gave you an example of, was that he was very niched down. He spoke to a very specific subset of the population and usually, when you do that especially if you’re new in the space, you can do amazing things with it.

What would be an example of that person niching down to a very narrow target? What would be an example of him targeting a dentist who wants to get into ecommerce? Give me an example.

For that client example I gave you, he was targeting doctors. He had picked a very specific niche. What you do is when you map those out, you actually have to test it out. You wouldn’t just pick one out of the thin air. If you knew right away or if the other ones were not in integrity, then you’d have your answer. You actually test it out and you can do that with digital marketing because it’s real time data, it’s real time testing. Within the space of a week, you can get a really, really solid idea of which persona or audience subset is going to work really well and it’s not only that, it’s going to be more scalable for you. With that ecommerce example for example, the Amazon sellers, that would be a niche. That itself is a niche, a bizopp is a niche whereas the existing ecommerce Shopify owners is a niche. There were also influencers in there. She worked with a couple influencers. A lot of influencers out there have massive communities but they don’t know how to monetize them. They create merchandise and they don’t know how to set that up, they don’t know how to source it or white label any of it. That’s a persona as well. Those are all what you call niches.

I love that. It’s so powerful to say that I’m going to target, for example, Shopify website owners and give them an offer to expand their business in Amazon or people who are looking to leave their job and become an entrepreneur, biz opp sort of people. One of the easiest ways to break even is by selling on Amazon. You don’t have the cost of building your own ecommerce store, and all the customer service and everything, a lot of the logistics are handled for you by Amazon, you just pay a larger percentage, here’s how you do it. I could see how this could work really well.

Obviously, the caveat to all of this is that you actually have to know how to do that. You can’t just say I’m going to teach Amazon sellers how to go to Shopify if that is not something you have done. I know we say that but actually there’s a lot of people out there that are doing that. What happens when you don’t do that is you’re then essentially trying to psychologically outspend your audience with your funnel which is just going to be exhausting.

Is there any additional benefit that you get from being Facebook verified? You’ve got that blue check. Do you get better prices or higher click through rates or fewer returns? Any benefits to Facebook verification?

No. Not in terms of your advertising but in terms of authority or credibility building, absolutely. It’s just like what I’ve seen on Huffpost or I’ve seen on Forbes’ type of stamp. Whether or not your audience actually knows what they’re looking at, that’s a different question. If you’re targeting digital marketers, then obviously, if they see that, they’re going to know what that is and they’ll be impressed whereas if you’re targeting 60-year old women, they’re not going to know what the hell that means. That credibility factor doesn’t really do anything at that stage.

Do you help your clients get Facebook verified or have you successfully gotten any client Facebook verified?

That’s a good question. I have honestly never even really given it much thought. I myself am not even verified. So no, the answer is no to that. I think we just never really thought of it or bothered with it. There’s been no need really.

I just recently got Twitter verified because I’m not Facebook verified yet, either. We’re in the same boat there. It’s pretty cool having that blue check with my Twitter profile.

That’s awesome. Congratulations.

Thank you. Now, I have to get the Facebook one so I can complete the set.

It’s like notches on your boat.

Let’s talk about how somebody would work with an agency or Facebook advertising expert typically, it’s a percentage of ad spend that is charged or sometimes it’s a set fee, sometimes it’s hourly. How does it typically work from your experience, how do you guys work, what are the ranges of percentages or rates that you’re seeing in the marketplace?

There’s a lot of different ways to work with clients and to work with agencies and there’s may different pricing models. Typically, what you’ll see sort of at that [00:25:58] level is what we call the agency model where the agency takes a parentage of ad spend. That’s probably the more traditional agency pricing structure and certainly what you would see some of the bigger agencies that are working with big brands big budgets are doing. That model isn’t really the best for an entrepreneur because the incentive for the agency isn’t really to get results, it’s actually to spend more money. The more money they spend, the more money they will make. It’s a little bit skewed in that sense.

You gave me that example of your client getting $300,000 in revenue with a $3,000 ad spend.

We wouldn’t have made any money. $300. Absolutely. Exactly for that reason as well, that you don’t necessarily—for example a lawyer doesn’t really need to spend that much money on Facebook ads in order to make a lot of money and he’s not really scalable. In order for him to scale, he needs to open new branches. He can’t go and put $100,000 budget behind his campaign, he’s just going to be completely overwhelmed and just a waste of money. That model is not really the best if you’re an entrepreneur. What we tend to see in the market for coaches especially people who are selling online programs is either a revenue share model where the agency will come on board and take a cut so click the ticket on the revenues or the leads that are coming in and that model is really, really good for both parties because the incentives is shifted now where the agency wants you to get more sales or they want you to get more leads. The more leads or sales they get you, the more money they make. That model is really good for both parties. It’s not going to work for everyone, that model, for sure. The other one that we see is normally, set up and retainer. Retainer fees is very, very common, where the agency just charges you a management fee to look after your ads. That may be combined with a sort of rev share or ad spend share percentage as well, especially if you’re scaling. If you’re a store for example spending $10,000 on ad spend per month and the management of that campaign is fairly minimal, once it’s up and running and it’s going well obviously there’s still work involved but once you start scaling as a business and the agency gets you up to $100,000 a month ad spend, that’s almost like a full-time job for the agency at that stage. The agency will protect themselves to make sure they’re not stuck on a $2,000 or $5,000 a month retainer if they’re having to dedicate full-time staff to your campaigns and they do that by also leaving in sort of a cut of web share or cut of ad spent percentage there.

What model do you use at your agency?

We use a combination of all of the ones that I’ve just told you about. We also have another one where we lease funnels to clients as well but the best model really, really comes down to the circumstances of the clients and things like the health of their existing campaigns or funnels or if they even have those in place, the extent or the amount of work that the agency will need to do and also the hunger of the clients, how much ad spend are they committing to and how much do they want to grow, how aggressive do they need to grow. It’s kind of a client per client basis because of that.

I get it. One thing that I find sometimes is that a Facebook advertiser or agency will hide what they’re doing behind a black box and they’ve got some proprietary IP that they’re protecting or whatever. You can’t see exactly what they’re doing and targeting and if you leave that agency, you have to start all over again, you have no idea what they’re really doing. You could see some of the ads that they set up but you don’t see the audience targeting and that sort of thing. I really have a problem with that. I get why the agencies are doing it but that’s not in the best interest of the client by any stretch. If I were the client, I’d want to have access to all the audience targeting and all the different campaign set up and all that data right there in fact even in my own account. I own that instead of the agency. What’s your take on that?

Are there agencies that are doing that without disclaiming that or being transparent about that?

They’re transparent about it. That’s what we’re doing. We learned a lot from working with other clients in XYZ space such as working with big celebrities or info marketers what have you. We’ve got some proprietary methods and that’s our stuff so we don’t expose that. Then you’re going to take it or leave it. Is that common or is that unusual? What’s your position on that? Is that good or bad for the client?

That’s what we probably call a lease funnel model. We actually use that in our agency and I help agencies rule out lots of different pricing models as well because I work with agency owners and freelancers. Now, there’s pros and cons. The pro is it’s usually much cheaper for the client because the agency owns the assets. Especially if you’re in the lead generation space, the agency is able to reuse funnels, or reuse specific funnels that were ran for perhaps different funnels. The costs are usually cheaper for the client. If you want to own that stuff—here’s the way that I look at it and this is actually an analogy that one of my team, Anna, has come up with which I really love. I know you’re going to appreciate this because you’re also an agency owner and you have your really big agency so you can probably understand this but when we get clients that come to us and they basically say to us, “Look, I want to build $100,000 a month business.” And we say to them, “Awesome. What do you have in place? What’s been going on?” Then there’s nothing. They don’t even have campaigns or they had a campaign but nothing’s converted, there’s no funnels, nothing like that. Essentially, what they’re asking us is as an agency, our job is to get passengers for their bus but what you’ll find is that most business owners and entrepreneurs, they don’t even have a bus yet so we can’t even get them passengers, we need to build them a bus. There’s two options here. Either we build you your own bus and you will own that bus and obviously that’s going to cost you money because we’re basically building your business at this stage or you can borrow, you can lease essentially one of the buses that we’ve kind of built already, you’re not going to own that bus, that’s ours and you’re leasing it from us but it’s much cheaper if you do it that way. That’s normally how that pricing model works. Is it the best for the client? As long as the agency is open and transparent, the client actually understand what they’re getting into then actually, yes, it works for the client as long as the client understands that there’s potentially going to be a situation in the future where, “I’m not going to own this, so I need to be prepared for that,” otherwise, they will typically find that if they want the agency to build that bus, it will cost a lot more money. You’ll find that most people will opt for that, the lease version, because they’re only thinking about the short-term financial outlay instead of the long-term potential repercussions of it.

That’s why people eat fast food and all of that. Short-term thinking. But I get it. I appreciate that your agency offers both options. If the agency only provides the black box sort of model and they’re up front and say, “Look, this is how we do business. Take it or leave it.” If you ever leave you start all over from scratch and you’re paying a minimum of $5,000 a month just in management fee. That’s a tough pill to swallow.

Yeah but you have a choice. I worked with a client at one time, he was spending $20,000 a week for email marketing and he had no idea. He was just transferring $20,000 a week and he had no idea who the emails were going to, what was being said in the emails, nothing. It was completely black but he was prepared to do that because he was getting leads. For him, yes he came to us because he started to realize, “This is potentially risky and I need to have my own team just in case.” He was getting leads and he just kept saying, “As long as there’s ROI, honestly, I don’t really need to know this stuff. As long as they’re sending me leads then I’m paying for it and I understand that that’s the way they want to work.”

Interesting. Well, there’s all sorts of business models out there. I would love to talk with you about the use of video in advertising on Facebook and what you see as the best practices and the mistakes to avoid? Are you doing a lot of video-based ads or is it more just images and driving the click through or landing page, the traditional Facebook advertising?

It’s an interesting one. I don’t think that there’s like yes, you need to do videos or single image works best, I think it really comes down to your audience. We’ve tested this really extensively across our own funnels, our clients’ funnels, my own funnels. It’s a funny one. Sometimes video, normally video, especially seven months ago, the big sweet spot strategy was to run video at the top of your funnel. Essentially, the aim of that would be to build a custom audience of people that engage with the videos. Maybe they watch 10 seconds or 25% of it and then you retarget them with your direct response, with your offer. That was a really big strategy and it still is very much so at this stage and what you’ll find is that video can be kind of funny where it will sometimes get you really big clickthrough rates or sometimes it will have horrible clickthrough rates. Whether or not you use video, it really comes down to the main question of what is the objective at the stage of your funnel. Are you trying to drive people to a website? Yeah. Test that video but I would actually test that out against a single image because at that stage, your main thing is which one of those is going to get me the cheapest best clicks to my website. Is it actually to build a custom audience? Then, obviously video is the way to go with that. It really comes down to the objective that you have there. Does Facebook have a sweet spot for video? Yeah. It still has a really big sweet spot for video. Typically, what you’ll see is because of your CPMs will be a little bit lower, your cost per thousand impressions. It’s very similar to what we’re seeing now with collection ad formats. Any time Facebook rules out a new ad format, it always seems to have a sweet spot for it. I think that’s just purely because it’s trying to get market adoption for it and it’s trying to get us to use those ad formats. You’ll typically see lower CPMs, cheaper results with those types of ad formats. Facebook very much still have a sweet spot for that because it’s trying to take down YouTube and television, which is good for us.

Whether or not you use video, it really comes down to the main question of what is the objective at the stage of your funnel.

Speaking of video, what about livestreaming, Facebook Live? This is an important distinction, if you do a Facebook Live from your personal profile, you cannot boost that, you cannot advertise that Facebook Live but if you do it on your page, you can. What sorts of results might you expect to doing a Facebook Live-based ad campaign versus just a prerecorded video that you upload?

I use this strategy quite a bit. The problem with me is I swear too much and they keep shutting  me down. It’s very difficult because when I do Live, I just express myself and I’ll drop swear words and Facebook just disapproves everything. It’s definitely a strategy all over because Live videos are videos on steroids because they have the social proof, the comments, the likes, the shares, the engagements from peers and that is peer pressure and peer pressure, social proof, is one the most powerful psychological consumer behavior hooks that you can have for any type of marketing. People want what other people want. People want what other people have. Having that just in itself helps lower costs, it helps increase conversions, it just helps with the whole funnel in general.

Live videos are videos on steroids because they have the social proof, the comments, the likes, the shares, the engagements from peers. Click To Tweet

One thing they do that I see a lot is that people on these Facebook Lives say, “Give me a wow if that’s a yes that you’re doing this all the time or give me whatever you’re doing half the time.” That shows a lot of engagements, very, very clever way of doing the impromptu survey and getting them to like and wow on the video while it’s going on.

Yeah, engaging the audience.

Can I explore a hypothetical here? I have my podcast, Marketing Speak, and I would like to use Facebook lives and advertising to drive more people into my podcast to get subscriptions and listens and all that. How would you incorporate Facebook Live from an advertising standpoint? I see some people using BLive or other similar technology to record their podcast episode but then the whole episode, you’re kind of in a fish tank being watched all the time and I like to refer back to notes and if I need to mute the microphone and cough in the background or whatever, I just don’t like doing audio podcast in front of a video. I don’t do Facebook Lives typically while I’m recording the podcast episode but maybe there’s an opportunity to record something at the beginning or at the end like tv appearances and I’ll do Facebook Live before I go on set and I’ll say, “Hey, I’m at the studio of K, ABC, or whatever in such and such city and I’m about to talk about XYZ on the morning news and I’ll tell you how it goes at the end.” That gets the interest drummed up and the social proof of stuff on TV. Wow, that’s pretty cool without me having to worry about what I’m doing during the tv appearance, I’m not secretly Facebook Living it or whatever, I’m just doing my thing in the moment like I am in the podcast interview. I’m interviewing you and I’m not thinking about what’s happening on Facebook right now. My question would be what strategy might you recommend to a podcaster such as myself or frankly, anybody that has that kind of scenario where they’re going to do a TV appearance or whatever and you could use Facebook Live to augment that but when you’re in the moment, you’re in the moment, you don’t want to Facebook Live that because otherwise, that will take your attention off of being in flow.

I think personally, what I would do is I would use tools like OBS. OBS is a free tool that you can download.

Open Broadcaster Software.

You can actually screen share your desktop screen. If you’re comfortable, what I would recommend is you just zone out people that are on the Live or maybe you aim to have one episode where it’s slightly more interactive without you having to check comments, maybe you’re just asking people questions but without it being a video. Instead of it being your face or somebody’s face, you just have a slideshow up and it slideshows the name of whoever it is you’re speaking to, a photo of them and the theme of that podcast. I would basically run that as the top of your funnel and I would retarget anyone that viewed or engaged with that video depending on how long, if it’s an hour-long video, I would just do those engaged with 10 seconds or maybe even 25% of that video and I would retarget them with a lead ad that then triggers once they opt into that triggers with the link to the—is that on iTunes, is that where you’re offering your podcast?

It’s on iTunes, it’s also on Google Play and some other places too. I would be into that, doing OBS and just being audio only. Maybe my guest will be willing to be on video. I’m not on video myself, that’s not ideal for a social proof standpoint and my brand positioning. Although, I guess I could have a picture of me. But I like that idea of using that as top of funnel and doing OBS thing. Very cool. I know we’re out of time here. I wanted to end with how can our listeners take the next step with you? Clearly, you’re a ninja at this stuff and some of the listeners are going to want to work with you. What would be the next step? Where will they go? How would they get some time with you or your team to consider working with you?

I’m pretty active inside of the Facebook group called Facebook Ad Hacks. That’s just a free community where I share a lot of insights and strategies. Otherwise, if you’re trying to get directly in touch with myself and my team, just go to cathowell.com, that’s probably the easiest thing.

Awesome. Very good. Thank you so much for sharing your brilliance with our listeners. Listeners, go to marketingspeak.com for the shownotes of this episode and action item checklist of things you can do from some of the nuggets that you learned from Cat. Cat, thank you so much for sharing all these great stuff and we’ll catch you on the next episode of Marketing Speak. This is your host, Stephan Spencer, signing off.

Important Links:

Your Checklist of Actions to Take

☑ Focus on “mobile real estate” by utilizing social media ads. The number of mobile users now far exceeds the number of desktop users.

☑ Reach a minimum of 8000 impressions so Facebook Ads can understand my audience’s data and optimize my campaign.

☑ Be ready and willing to spend more than my normal ad budget when I am launching a campaign. I have to gain impressions first before I can finally make conversions.

☑ Run my ads for a longer duration to see better results and impact from my audience. If I’m throwing an event, make sure to launch my ads several days in advance to spread awareness.

☑ Make sure that my landing page is optimized to convert my target audience. Consider page speed, layout and mobile responsiveness.

☑ Don’t try to be everything to everyone all at once. Find a specific audience that I can focus on and go after on a personal level.

☑ Create a detailed persona profile if I’m targeting different sets of individuals.

☑ Test my market to get a solid idea of which persona or audience subset is going to work really well and be more scalable.

☑ Make it an objective to have an ad that can get me the cheapest, best clicks to my website to get a return on investment.

☑ Find an ad agency that understands my needs, knows how to approach my target audience and has my best interests at heart.

About Cat Howell

Cat helps businesses and entrepreneurs find success through Facebook ads. Having built and scaled a highly successful FB ads agency (Eight Loop social) to one that generates over six figures per month, Cat subsequently launched The Academy and FATC to help freelancers and agency owners bypass the costly and lengthy learning curves involved in building out a FB ads business – from enrolling clients through delivery and agency processes.

She also had the privilege to have worked with hundreds of clients – including brands of the likes of Coca Cola Amitil and Contiki, as well as grassroots startups and well-known influencers her team at Eight Loop Social – one of the world’s most recognised and top FB ads agencies – has one of the highest industry ROI rates!

Collectively, she manages over $300K in ad spend per month and have been able to take clients from zero to generating over six figures in revenue/mth in a matter of months.

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