S: This episode number 120, we’re going to delve into the Facebook advertising strategy. Tactics are great but strategy is where the war is won. Amanda Bond is a Facebook Ads expert and a self proclaimed data nerd. She goes by the name Bond, rather than the name Amanda. She lives inside the trenches, business manager, power editor, events manager, Infusionsoft, Google Analytics, you name it, she’s mastered it. Bond, it’s great to have you on the show.
A: Oh my gosh, thank you so much for having me. I’m super stoked to dive into everything we’re gonna cover today.
S: Of course we’re gonna talk all about Facebook but let’s start with strategy. In the Art of War, Sun Tzu said that, “Tactics without the strategy is the noise before defeat.” I love that quote.
A: Ooh, I love that.
S: Yeah, it’s pretty awesome right? You’re all about strategy. Why strategy with Facebook, and there’s so many tactics and different kinds of ad formats, and putting borders around things, and words to use, and all this tactical stuff and yet you wanna start with strategy which I think makes sense. Let’s talk more about this.
A: Absolutely. I’m just sitting here with my head in my hands being like there’s so much tactical information out there on Facebook. What happens is people, as they’re learning, as they’re consuming, as they’re trying to get up to speed on the platform, are getting such a disjointed combination of information that they don’t know which way is up. I see it time and time again where people are like, “Well, this article tactically told me to do this step-by-step. But then this article’s contradicting that.” I like to slow people down, stop them in their tracks, and say let’s zoom out for a minute and look at why. Let’s create our framework that you can then put your Facebook ads into to make decisions. Because if we’re just consuming tactical how-to content, you actually don’t know how to make Facebook ad decisions. You’re just constantly within the tools and the dewiness of that all.
S: Reminds me of Tony Robbins on stage saying, “Come with me to the common sense corner for a minute and let’s just think about this.” It’s so important like, “Oh well, let’s just implement these three tactics in this order because this person that’s expert said so.”
S: It doesn’t make sense for your audience. It doesn’t make sense for your product or your service.
A: No. The funny thing is though, as humans, we’re doing this to ourselves because the things that are the clickbait-y headlines are these three sensationalist tactics that will get you results instantly. Actually, it will get you results yesterday. Facebook will pay you $72 million in the process.
S: Right. It has to be counter-intuitive as well. It’s gotta be the surprising three things.
A: The thing that you would never think or super simple, yeah. All of those clickbait-y things we’re doing this to ourselves along the way.
S: The three New Year’s resolutions for Facebook that you should never do.
A: Dang it. I’m going off to send an email to Entrepreneur to make that an article right now.
S: I should’ve just pitched that one first. Let’s talk about some of the strategic processes that you put your clients through or your audiences that you’re reaching through your courses, and your trainings, and so forth.
A: Absolutely. I want everyone to picture a funnel. The shape of a funnel, bigger at the top, smaller at the bottom, and I want you to break that funnel off into three pieces. At the opening, that’s one piece. In the middle, that’s one piece. At the bottom, that’s the third piece. Those three phases with marketing foundations are essentially a process to indoctrinate people into your brand, to get them to understand who you are, and then help them make a purchase decision. When I train on Facebook ads, we have coined these three phases; connect which is all about the branding, commit which is essentially lead generation and where most of the trainings out there now fall onto the spectrum, and close which is all about helping people make that purchase decision. Everything that we talk about with Facebook ads can fall into one of those three buckets. The ads that you run in the connect phase of getting people into your sphere of influence, knowing about you, understanding if your brand or your product is a fit for them. The ads that we’re running in that first phase are completely different, and the success of those ads are measured completely different than if we’re in the sales retargeting phase of close. If somebody’s in the connect phase, what’s important to us? Well, it’s important to get them to engage and show up, and actually be there consuming our content. We measure that with things like seeing how large our custom retargetable audiences are. Somebody comes in, they watch a video, well, in connect like check, that’s a success point. But if in the close phase where you’re actually making revenue and sales transactions, if somebody’s just watching a video, that’s a brrrr, x box, because we don’t just want them to watch a video. At that phase, we’re trying to get them to actually make the sale.
S: Right. Makes a lot of sense. This is a three-step system, let’s say that somebody has the cart before the horse, and they’re trying to get the sale without building any brands warm and fuzzy, that sort of stuff. What are you gonna do, come in and you kind of reshuffle their funnel. What would be some of the things that you would do to fix the situation? To change the offer, the landing page, the ad itself, the targeting, probably all of the above.
A: All of the above. The common theme with me is I tell people, “Pump the breaks.” Usually they go so fast and hard in the Facebook ads. A lot of us aren’t ready for it but they’re being told that they are. When people get ready to start running ads, I want them to pause and take a step back and think of their sales process first. The three stages that I just described, connect, commit, close which is branding, lead generation, sales. You have to have a system in your business to put people through that sales process before the ads come into play. In this case, ads are a tool to amplify the systems and structures that you already have working. If they’re not working, if those structures are broken, what’s gonna happen is you’re going to break them faster with Facebook. Let’s say we’re pumping the breaks, you’re thinking about running Facebook ads, so here’s a few questions that I’m gonna ask you first. First, we’re going to look at the three steps backwards. Look at the tiny little output on the bottom of that funnel. We wanna start there. We want to figure out who is actually becoming a customer because if you don’t have sales yet, you can pay up to for a lead, or what you can pay up to to acquire a new customer and still be profitable. Before you dive into Facebook ads, unless you have a lot of money for experimentation, you want to make sure that your sales process is working and converting. I say sales process and not funnel because a sales process can look vastly different than what people equate to sales funnel in their head. It could be a sales call, or through a webinar, or through an email sequence, or maybe you have a physical sales team that goes out. Whatever that sales process looks like, that has to be sound before ads happen. The way that we know it’s sound is that we calculate the earnings-per-lead, meaning we want to understand how much one new lead into this framework is worth to us so that we can figure out how much we’re willing to spend to buy that with Facebook ads. If you’re not familiar with that calculation, earnings-per-lead is just simply taking your total revenue that you’ve generated through that sales process, and dividing it by the number of people that come into that sales process, not the number of people that have bought. That’s your cost to acquire a customer but we wanna understand what a lead is worth so that we can reverse engineer how we spend on Facebook ads.
S: Great. But everybody is calculating earnings-per-click or looking at EPC and not looking at earnings-per-lead.
A: Exactly, or earnings-per-customer. We wanna go as deep into the funnel first to make sure your business can sustain Facebook ads. Because when you start with Facebook ads, you pay one of two ways in terms of your lessons, and your learning. You either pay with your time and you’re doing due diligence, and massive split testing, and hustling, and getting on the phone, figuring it out or you pay with your money and you’re hiring experts or you’re just putting more money into getting results so that you can take that data and analyze it. I like to say to people, “You choose which one you wanna go with and then we move forward.” That first bottleneck when people start running Facebook ads is not having an earnings-per-lead that is high enough to actually support ads. I’ve seen people with $6 earnings-per-lead that are paying $10 per lead. In my head, I’m like, “Oh my god. That hurts my heart.” You’re paying $4 to acquire a lead and you’re not profitable on that. Things that we need to do is just really dive into that sales process, like really dive in to make sure that your products solves the need, that it’s delivering value that people are getting results that it is something that will have a demand attached to it. If we create products that nobody wants, if we create services that aren’t becoming customers, once you add in the Facebook ads layer, it’s just going to exacerbate the problem even more so.
S: Right. Let’s say that somebody is selling the wrong kind of product or service, they could keep pumping all sorts of Facebook ad dollars into this funnel and it doesn’t actually deliver an ROI.
S: Let’s say that, I don’t know, the system is let’s say take me as an example.
S: I’m selling an online course. It’s an SEO audit course which I actually am.
A: Love it.
S: I’ve been using Facebook as a lead generator, getting people to sign-up for a webinar and then offering a discounted price for this course on the webinar towards the end. If I were instead to not jump them directly to this phase of like, “Hey, sign up for this webinar. It’s gonna be really valuable.” But maybe send them to a blog post instead or whatever. That would potentially help sell this course or not. But what if I’m selling the wrong course?
S: What if I should be selling a membership site and that membership site includes access to all six of my courses and not just the SEO auditing course?
A: Exactly. I’m gonna give you a tactical way that you can figure that out. First off, you have to ask yourself are you generating sales? Let me just fire through the questions with you. Are you generating sales with this product already?
A: Perfect. Are you as the course owner, do you know how much revenue, and how many leads you’ve brought into the pipeline? Do you know your earnings-per-lead by heart like crossing fingers that maybe you do?
S: Not off the top of my head.
S: It’s all there. I just don’t have the numbers off the top of my head.
A: Okay, perfect. What we wanna do is figure out where you’re at with those earnings-per-lead and then make a conscious decision to increase that. Here’s a really tactical, step-by-step way to do that is reach out and start having conversations with the people that are in the purchase consideration area of your funnels. They’ve watched your webinar and they’re on the fence about what to do next. For me, what that looks like is I love Facebook Messenger voice conversations. That’s just my preferred method to do it. Yours might be phone calls or Zoom chats, something like that. But reach out to the people who are in that purchase consideration and have sales conversation with them. Ask them about their business, ask them why they’re considering your product or why they attended that webinar. We recently did this with the last launch of our program, The Strategy System, and we initiated 300 conversations in Messenger chat. Out of 300, 150 of them, about half of them turned into full fledged sales conversations. Get this, what happened was I didn’t have the sales page. That was a beta launch, fully written. But as I was having these sales conversations, I was pulling out the words that people verbatim were saying, and then adding them to the sales page. Literally, they were telling me exactly what they needed and how they needed that support. We turned around and structured it based on that feedback. The results of that have been bananas, because now people are like, “You get it. This is my problem. This is what I’m struggling with.” They have that relationship built with you now in that close phase, that sales retargeting phase, where they have the information that they need to make a decision. If your earnings-per-lead, if that number isn’t that high, it’s usually because we, as sales people, aren’t doing a good enough job allowing people to understand what our product accomplishes and allowing them to see themselves accomplishing that result. Really dive into that process and when I tell people, they’re like, “Yeah, but I just wanna automate and go to evergreen webinar.” My response is like, “Cute. But you gotta put in the work to get to that point.” Now that I’ve went through that process with the strategy system, we have completely revamped the sales page, completely revamped the structure of the program, guess what, it’s actually a lot less information that people are wanting and that gives them a quicker result. Our team is actually working less to deliver them a better result because we went through that process. Take time to do that. Once that’s clear in the close phase, what we do with ads is really fun. In the close phase people are gonna say, yes or they’re gonna have objections. They’re gonna say, “No, it’s not for me, because XYZ.” We try and figure out what that XY and Z is so that we can put it into an ad and serve it up to them to take it out of the background, the shady area of “Oh, we don’t wanna talk about that but we know that people aren’t buying because X.” We just slap it right in front of their face and be like, “We know that you’re thinking this. Here’s how we’ve overcome it or how other people have overcome it and seen results,” or ,“We know you’re on the fence because you’ve visited our check out. Why don’t you hop on a call with us?” Here’s a get on a call Facebook ad in their timeline.
S: What would be an example of preempting an objection? What would be an objection that somebody would have for, let’s say, the strategy system, your program. How would you preempt that or kind of put it in their face and say, “Actually, we’ve solved this one.”
A: Great question. I know a lot of people have the objection of like, “It’s too expensive.” That’s common for no matter what business you’re in. People are saying, “It’s too expensive.” I challenge you to go a little bit deeper with them because typically, ‘it’s too expensive’ is a guise for something else. It could be a guise for like, “I haven’t prioritized this in my cash flow, in my expenses. It’s not a priority for me.” Okay, if it’s not a priority for you… Then we could kind of counteract that and say, “What is it causing you to not do this?” And perhaps, show a case study of numbers saying, “Okay, by investing the amount now, here is the results that somebody had with it. If you don’t do that, here’s how it could possibly affect your business in another way.” That one might be an extreme example, but another thing could be like they don’t believe that they will be successful because they’ve got burnt by Facebook ads in the past. They might have hired another ads manager or two or five and had a bad experience. We then bring it to light to say, “It’s not really your fault because the information out there is so disjointed. You just learned about how to get 10,000 fans and how to do lead generation.” Then way over in that other corner there’s like, “Okay, here’s how you make sales.” If you don’t understand the system, of course, you couldn’t have communicated to your ads manager in a way that they got results. Let’s solve that and give you the macro view that you need.
A: Instead of it just being something that you don’t talk about, every piece of feedback from people, in my mind is just ones and zeros. It’s just data to pivot. I love that word pivot. It’s just data to then help people make a decision that is in alignment with their goals. Of course people still say no. I wish we could get 100% conversion. But at least it helps people who are on the fence, who aren’t really talking about those objections publicly to you, to see it from a different perspective. Those are the close ads that we focus on first. When people go through our program, when we work with people, they’re not allowed to focus on their branding until that process is dialled. Until their earnings-per-lead have grown to be able to support ads, we keep them hardcore focus in that little spot.
S: Yeah, makes a lot of sense. Part of the process of preempting or going head on to the objections that the prospect has is to incorporate social proof into the landing page. You might take a testimonial, a video testimonial, incorporate that into the landing page, and make sure that you’re using a testimonial that talks about the objections. The best kind of video testimonials is just one that’s like, “Oh, Bond is amazing. She changed my life. She changed my business. It was so incredible. I signed up with her strategy system. I implemented it and now we’re making 10x what we were making before. Now I own a yacht,” or whatever. That’s all great but it would be better if that happy customer client said, “I was actually pretty concerned about signing up with this system because I didn’t have the time. I didn’t have an expert on my team to implement this stuff. Frankly, I didn’t have the budget. All my budget was allocated for the year, for marketing, so this was a real stretch.” That would help to set the stage, “Ahh, that’s me too. Yes, I totally relate to that.”
A: Yes. Yes. Even bringing that ad, bringing that video into ad format – people are gonna see that video when they land on your sales page or maybe you’ll send it to them to through email. But we can always ad that video as a Facebook ad so that they’re seeing it when they should be; when they’re in purchase consideration and have possible intent to buy all on the platform that they hang out on so that you don’t have to worry, “Oh shoot! They’re not clicking the sales page,” or “Oh shoot! They’re not opening my emails.” We can still get it in front of them to help them make educated decisions by using Facebook ads in conjunction.
S: Right. What happens if they don’t take action? They watched some of the video and it’s a Facebook ad, so they’re not going to the landing page to watch the testimonial video, but they’re watching it inside of Facebook. They watch, let’s say, 75% of the video that shows some intention there but then they don’t take action. You do retargeting to go after those people?
A: Yes. With the video custom audiences on Facebook, you can target anyone who’s watched at least three seconds of your video from your Facebook business page. I say business page because a lot of people use a personal profile or they post in Facebook groups. But it has to be a video on your business page and it goes from 3 second iterations, to 10 seconds, to 25% of the video viewed. You can create specific audiences of those people and then serve them up the next action you want them to take. Like you said, let’s say people watched 75% of that video testimonial but didn’t click to the land or the sales page, well, we could put another ad in front of them that says, “Hey, we noticed that you are interested. Why don’t you book a call and let’s talk one-to-one?” Or, “We noticed you’re interested. Why don’t you start a conversation with us here in Messenger?” It just allows you to kind of monitor what people are or aren’t doing in the sales process and get back because they are showing intent, just like you said.
S: Yup. I wanna get back to this idea of starting a conversation in messenger but before I do, I just wanna clarify something that’s really important. If somebody does a Facebook Live and they do it with their personal profile account, they can’t boost that, they can’t spend money advertising, getting that Facebook Live video out to the world to the audiences that they care about, only if it’s on their business page.
A: Exactly. I’m shaking my head from side to side massively here. Only on the business page. That’s so important because I know that a lot of businesses when they first get started don’t get a lot of traction on their business page so they continue to use their personal page as that amplifying hub. I really encourage people to take the time to put some thought into that business page because that’s the only place we can access Facebook ads. The beauty of it is now Facebook, within the last few months, has given advertisers the ability to retarget, get in front of the people who have engaged with the page but don’t actually like it. Let’s say you have a post, and you post it on your Facebook business page, and then you share it over to your personal profile, anyone who likes, comments, or shares on that business page or personal profile has now entered into your custom retargeting audience for page engagement. That audience stays available for you to market to for one year. That’s not available on the personal page. I highly recommend that you start thinking about how to create and cultivate more engagement over on the page because it’s more exciting now that we can remarket to them than ever before.
S: Yes. Do you call it retargeting, or do you call it remarketing, or do you use those two terms interchangeably?
A: It’s fascinating. I used to just refer to it as remarketing. I was on a separate podcast where their audience was a lot of social media managers, and digital marketing specialist, they all call it remarketing. I kind of use them interchangeably now. I say, at one time, each way and then people know what I’m talking about. That was a fascinating discovery as I’ve been kind of sharing some of these information.
S: Yeah. For our listeners who are not that familiar with remarketing, retargeting, why don’t you just quickly define it and give a quick use case?
A: Cool. Remarketing, retargeting, essentially it stands for reminder marketing. When the people get a reminder when they’ve already had an interaction with the brand. They get a reminder when something’s already on their calendar. Remarketing and retargeting are commonly thought of as website visitors and then you can serve ads to people who have visited your website. A year ago, that’s the only way that we talked about retargeting, when you had a Facebook pixel which is just a simple little piece of HTML code that goes on your website, that sends information back to Facebook. Now, Facebook’s allowing us to take the data that they have on their platform, alongside of the actions that people are taking on our website. We can do reminder marketing to anyone who’s visited our website or is on our email list and they’ve added new ones. Anyone who’s watched our videos or engaged with our business page or Instagram business profiles. There’s a few other fancy ones like people who have RSVP’d Yes or No to an event that you’re hosting on your business page. It gets really, really ninja, some of the things that you can do with reminder marketing.
S: Oh, that’s cool. How long does the Facebook pixel, the remarketing last for, is it one year?
A: The Facebook pixel, the code that you have to install on your web property is…
S: If you wanted to track somebody and build your retargeting, remarketing list, but you don’t do anything with it until you finally are ready and you’ve been collecting all that data for, let’s say, the last year.
A: Yup. It’s 180 days on your web platform using the pixel. It’s a year on anything that happens on Facebook. Your video viewers stay around for a year where you can retarget them. The beauty is, let’s say somebody was on your website four months ago, and then they came back, that restarts the timeline of six months.
S: Right. Awesome. This is such a valuable asset for anybody who’s even thinking about doing Facebook advertising. They can start building a list of people who are visiting your website and go back all the way 180 days even if you’re not close to being ready to start advertising it.
A: Yeah, absolutely. Even if you don’t even have your website built out and it’s just a coming soon landing page, get your Facebook pixel on it. When you launch within three months you have people that have already come on over there. You can be like, “Hey, we’re live. Ready to rock.”
S: Yep, awesome. Let’s go back to this idea of starting a conversation in Facebook Messenger. Let’s say that they watch 75% of the video that shows real intent but they didn’t click through to the sales page. Now you have another add and you’re inviting them into a conversation in Messenger. What sort of stuff do you say in Messenger? Do you automate it with a chatbot? What does this look like?
A: Sure. I’ll speak to the one that has been working so well for us. What we do is on the sales page we have a button to initiate a conversation or if they’ve interacted with our content. If they’ve interacted with our sales retargeting content, they’re gonna see an ad that says, “Click here to see if you’re a fit and talk to Bond.” What happens is that integration is a ManyChat integration that we use. It’s a specific URL that ManyChat gives us that when they click on it, that links our business page to their Messenger. I have it to send out two messages back to back. The first one is, “Hey, we’re so excited that you’re here. I can’t wait to tell you about strategy,” that’s the first one. The second one, I actually have queued up to do a little bit of a human touch, so it pauses for a second so it looks like it’s typing, and then a voice message comes out. The voice message is pre-recorded. It’s just myself saying, “I’d love to know a little a bit about you and your business first.” For us, I have a decade of sales experience in the corporate world and in the advertising world. I like to leave it open-ended so I can learn about a prospect first to see if it’s a fit then I’ll invite them to actually have a sales conversation. For me, it’s just a little bit of discernment. I won’t tell everyone about the product but I will tell people who the product’s right for about it. All I do is I ask them about their business, what it looks like, and what their goals are. Because for my program, The Strategy System, we need to make sure people already have an existing sales funnel that they can optimize. If they’re just in the ideation phase, I’m like, “Cool, super excited that you’re there. Here’s a few quick tips. Let’s stay in touch because you gotta do these things first before the program applies to you.” Now, we have people that we can follow up with in six months, or three months, or whatever the case is.
S: Right. The power of these open-ended questions is that you can start a conversation and keep it going.
S: This is applicable not just to Facebook but like LinkedIn, all sorts of other platforms. You can even use The Nine-Word Email approach of Dean Jackson’s and do this via email.
S: For example, what’s your core business is a great open-ended question that I learned from Kent Littlejohn for starting conversations on LinkedIn with people who are already in your network.
A: Ooh, I love that one. The follow-up one that I ask people is that, “How do you monetize that?” For me, in paid traffic, I’m definitely interested in how people are creating revenue and what that structure looks like. For me, that open-ended next question is amazing. I’d love to hear how you monetize that.
S: Yeah, awesome. You use many ManyChat for automation. It’s a chatbot. I use that too. It’s very inexpensive too.
A: Very inexpensive. Really great tool. We don’t use it as robustly as we could because I believe, sometimes in scaling the unscalable, I still want to have those conversations with people because of the insight that it gleams. I’m not in a place where it’s like, “Okay, we’re gonna automate all of Bond’s conversations now.” We use it where applicable but it’s still a very manual-intensive process for us and that’s okay with where we’re at with our business now. As we continue to scale and grow that might not be the case or somebody takes over that role from me. But it’s so cool to talk to people because they’re like, “Oh, my gosh. Is this really you?” When I voice message them back. Because they’re not expecting that. They’re all expecting automated emails that are canned responses. Surprise and delight in your sales process to go along with the fun ads that you’re putting out there. Stop making it so cookie-cutter of what everyone else is doing. Most people, you’re in their cold audience. They show you an ad for a webinar and then poof, they disappear off of your Facebook timeline forever. What we like to encourage people to do is to create that experience on Facebook using tools to surprise and delight like, “Okay, sign-up for a webinar.” Let’s put a cheeky day of reminder ad in front of them. The day that that calendar appointment is supposed to happen so that they remember because people get busy. “Hey, did they watch the actual webinar?” “Awesome. Send them to the next step,” which is either a sales call or a sales page. If they didn’t watch the webinar, let them know that that’s okay. People get busy. Here’s your chance to get the replay even if they’re not opening their emails. When you understand the three steps; connect, commit, and close. Zoom out when you think about what is the next action I’m trying to get people to take as they move from the top end of that funnel into the bottom. We can literally create ads to accomplish any of those things. Whether you’re doing a Facebook live weekly show in the connect phase to bring new people into your world, where you then mention an opt-in or lead magnet that they can grab. But then you might have only mentioned it once or twice in 15 minutes. We can still show that lead magnet to the people that watched, hey, at least three seconds of it, they can get a follow-up to get that lead magnet which then kicks off the sales process on their end.
S: Yep. I like it. Alright. You don’t fully automate that process of conversing with a prospect. You use it kind of as a market research tool to find out things like their objections and tease out the unspoken objections that aren’t so obvious, that sort of stuff.
A: Absolutely. Don’t get me wrong. We will automate it at a point, not necessarily automate it, but systematize is the word that I’m looking for. My next vision for it is it’s not me that’s replying but there is still a human there.
S: Right. Are you using, like in a voice message, the person’s name?
S: So that they know that this is not pre-recorded, canned material?
A: Absolutely we’re doing that. That’s where you get people shocked like, “Oh my gosh. I didn’t think that you would actually respond.” Most people aren’t expecting that. They’re expecting a bot.
A: I’ve been an Infusionsoft user since the start of my business, but I’m gonna maybe drop some jaws right now, we send a grand total of one email on cart open and the rest was accomplished through Facebook ads. We actually didn’t have a marketing sequence coming through email. It was all sequentially set-up through Facebook ads. We did it with an event actually. Launch of a new product’s gonna come out, “Hey, RSVP to this launch event on Facebook.” People can mark interested, going, or not interested, or not attending, whatever that one is. We could retarget people who said yes. Within the first day of somebody saying yes, I serve them up an ad that said, “Awesome. I’m stoked you’re here. What’s gonna happen is I’m gonna follow you around your newsfeed for the next few days,” and I showed a tutorial video of how I was going to do that. I actually showed them how to set up the audience for seeing the video that they were seeing in that exact moment.
S: Wow, that is so cool. That’s like showing them how the sausage is made while it’s being made.
A: Exactly. A little bit of a meta there. I’m showing them how to do it as I’m doing it. Then, I continue to go through the process. I would explain, “Okay, this next step in the process, what I’m doing here is letting you know that you’re meant to be here.” I use three different case studies of people, quick case studies, only a few sentences each of people who had success with our specific framework. That was the second ad that they saw so that people could self-select, “Hey, that sounds like me or mmm, that’s not so me.” Then after that, we had authority building ads that came out. That actually showed me teaching and training on these topics on authority site like a Facebook live I did for Entrepreneur Magazine. That was a checkpoint in our sales funnel that was happening only through Facebook. The last one was just starting to see the testimonials and get them ready for cart open. We actually, in this entire process, we only spend about $112 on ads. Our cost to initiate a sales conversation was less than $1 because people were hungry for the next piece of content. It didn’t feel like a marketing play. It felt like they could anticipate the next part of the sequence. The next part of the sequence because we teach marketing is that we help them to see how they can use it in their business. Let’s say you sell baby educational toys or something along those lines, what you want to help people see, use cases of your product or you want to teach them something. Let them know it’s coming so that they actually look for you in their timelines. If you can create that feeling of enjoyment of finding your videos, it is insane how low your costs can go down.
S: Very cool. Do you incorporate webinars into this whole process as well, like evergreen webinar, or live webinar?
A: We are at the point where we’re going to be adding that into the mix. We’re officially re-launching and keeping it open and evergreen after this. That’s coming. It’s just gonna be the same process that I described before is figuring out what the best way to present that information is and what the best process is for the sales side before we scale that up. We’re gonna focus heavily on that same structure of getting people into a conversation. Actually, I was the gatekeeper the last time. We only invited a certain number of people to join the program. This time because we went through the process, we know what people need, we’ve restructured the program to scale better, and actually use less bandwidth for the team. Now we’re starting to open it up where people can just buy directly from the sales page.
S: You’re actually launching this next week, the Strategy System?
A: Yes, absolutely.
S: Give me the quick pitch. How much is it and what do you get?
A: Okay. Let’s do it. The Strategy System is the three-step framework to turn attention into revenue on autopilot using Facebook ads. We teach three sequences. We teach a connect sequence where we’re positioning the product all the way from the start so that when you actually get to sales retargeting, people are just clicking buy like maniacs. We teach you to do lead generation to the right people at the right time so that they’re open to your marketing messages. Then we help you implement a sequence for sales retargeting to get the most people to become customers. It’s those three sequences. Once you have that set-up, it actually becomes a system that is self-sustaining where leads come into the top of the pipeline and customers come out to the bottom. We actually had customer that we’ve worked before say, “How are the ads doing?” I hadn’t checked them for four days because I knew that the process works once it’s set-up. I check them two seconds later, I’m like, “Yep, they’re doing the exact same as they have for the last 12 weeks that we’ve been running them.” That’s the Strategy System. The regular price is $9.97 as you go through the immersive experience and get that set-up for your business. When we go to relaunch, we’re gonna be relaunching it at $7.97 for that five-day cart open period on February 21st.
S: Awesome. What’s the URL for that? At the end, we’ll also recap with your contact details and everything, but what’s the URL for this Strategy System for those interested.
A: Yup. We can go to theadstrategist.com/stradegy. The one challenge with that is, it’s AD in the middle, like adstradegist, instead of AT.
A: Yeah. Exactly.
S: So if you’re really good at misspelling, then this will be easy for you.
S: Alright. The three steps here or the three phases that we talked about in this episode, the connect, commit, and close. Let’s say that you have a favorite ad format for each of those steps, what would that be for each of the three?
A: For me? What my favorite ad format is?
A: Ooh, that’s a good one. My favorite connect ad formats are video view format.
S: I would’ve guessed that.
A: Yup. Video with wide views optimization for connect. It’s actually a text based post with page post engagement objectives. Most ads look like ads. What we have coined of the term called Facebook ads stealth mode where it looks like it’s coming from a friend because there’s not the ad image, the typical 1200 x 627 pixels or 628 pixels, I never remember that one is, with the headline. It doesn’t look like that. It actually looks like a post that your friend posted. The way that you can create those is either just write in a post on your Facebook page or going into the backend of ads manager to a menu item called page post. In that page post, you can just create a status post. Once that status post is done either on the backend or on your page directly, if you click, there’s a little timestamp underneath of it once it’s published. Once you click that timestamp, it’s gonna put up a permalink. A URL for that specific post. There’s I think 12 or 13 digit string of numbers, you’re gonna take that string of numbers and then when you create your ad, instead of putting in the ad creative and actually creating it right in Power Editor or Ads Manager, you just say, “I’m gonna use an existing post,” then you input that ID. What happens is now, you have your page post engagement objective. You can actually use it for conversion objectives which is bananas which is also my favorite format for the commit phase. It looks like text. It doesn’t look like an ad. Those are my favorite ones to do for page post engagement objectives with text style ads and connect. But it’s my favorite to do conversion objective for leads or complete registration, whatever standard event or custom conversion you use, with just text and the link highlighted in that text. Our cost for conversion has went down so much because we use stealth mode, because it doesn’t look like an ad. People are paying attention to more of the copy before they dismiss it because it’s an ad.
S: That is so counter-intuitive and genius. I love it.
A: Oh, thank you. Thank you so much. The last one in close phase, I like to mix it up in close phase. I’ll have regular ads that just have the headline. One that we’re having fun lately is right hand column because it is undervalued in terms of CPM because not many people are clicking. Your click through rate is usually about a third of what the newsfeed is. But the cost to deliver a thousand impressions is usually a fourth of what you pay for the newsfeeds. There’s cost advantage to that and it is converting recently. We have been having some fun experimenting with those right hand column ads and the videos if you’re putting testimonials there. We experiment with some text-based ads there as well. We just have a lot of fun in the close phase.
S: Wow, that’s great. You mentioned just really briefly, in passing, that Facebook ads manager, and the Power Editor. I wanted to get your opinion on what should our listeners and their team be using, ads manager or Power Editor?
A: Okay, great question. I actually reported on this for social media examiner news when the announcement that Power Editor and Ads Manager were merging into one. That was back in July, I believe. Since then, no changes have happened; Power Editor still exists, Ads Manager still exists. The difference right now is that Power Editor allows you to do a lot more bulk style actions to make you faster at setting up campaigns. If you’re a Power user, if you have multiple funnels, or campaigns, you’re an ad manager, or you’re just running a lot of traffic, Power Editor is the way to go. I’m hoping that when they do or if they do actually merge, that we get those same duplication abilities within Ads Manager. But right now, if you’re just getting started, Ads Manager is perfect. They’ve actually started to look more similar anyways. If you know how to use Power Editor, you’ll know how to use Ads Manager and vice-versa. If you’re just getting started, feel free to just stay within the Ads Manager side of it because you’re likely doing less duplications and just setting up a few more basic campaigns.
S: Right. But if you’re hiring somebody to help you with your Facebook advertising and they’re using Facebook Ads Manager instead of the Power Editor, that might be a clue that they’re not all that sophisticated.
A: That’s a great point.
S: Yeah, cool. Let’s move on to another topic. There’s a lot of misinformation about nets Edgerank. What’s that secret Facebook algorithm doing? How is it rewarding and not rewarding advertisers based on certain criteria?
A: I freaking love this question. The one statement that boils my blood more than anything is Facebook breach is dead. I’m like, “Hmm, no. You’re just doing it wrong.” What happens is Facebook wants to reward the people that are relevant. That’s it. What happens is as marketers, people all of a sudden forget to be relevant. They forget to be social. They start getting into this market-y, market-erson type of mindset where they get really technical, or they get awkward in their copywriting. What happens is engagement goes down. What we need to do is we need to realize that Facebook rewards engagement. They reward relevance. How do you do that? You just create that. Our post that gets more likes, comments, shares, clicks, views, engagements of viewers on videos, whatever that post format is. If it’s a video, getting people to watch it, it’ll serve up more in the timeline. I have a great example today. I thought I was being cheeky because we’re getting ready to start sending some weekly emails with weekly blog post trainings to my community and email lists, so I was like, “Oh. I will put up a landing page. I’m just gonna post on my Facebook page. Drop a comment if you want to receive some weekly ad value bombs.” It blew up in terms of engagement. I have a small 4000 person page and the reach of that post is more than already more than 100% of the page. Because what’s happening is people are liking, they’re commenting, they’re responding, they’re sharing it. It’s getting a lot of engagement in such a short time period that Facebook goes, “Ding, ding, ding. This is relevant content. Keep serving it up.” What I like to share with people is we’ve created something that feels like manufacturing algorithm rankings. I call it just engagement looping. When you post on your Facebook page, if there’s crickets on that post, well, it’s gonna stop being served up to your audience because Facebook would rather use that newsfeed inventory in another way, in a way that keeps people on their platform, because that’s their goal. They just want people to hang around so that they can sell ads, so that they can remain a competitive platform.
S: Right. That would be actually more expensive to drive clicks outside of the platform to your own website than it would be to keep people inside of the Facebook ecosystem.
A: Absolutely. Unless you can manufacture that engagement. Unless you can get a post that has so many comments, likes, and shares, that they’re also being served up to a wider audience and then people are clicking through, because clicks are still engagement. Facebook does reward clicks, but if people are only clicking, then they’re gonna slowly serve it up less if it’s organic, or its gonna cost more if it’s paid. Here’s the tip and trick. When you publish a new post, it’s kind of like an Instagram pod where if you have some employees, get an employee to go and leave a comment. Like the post, comment, and then you as the page respond back to that comment. You can actually manufacture those first few hits moments after posting it whether it’s organically or with an ad that could possibly start the snowball effect. What you’re really looking for here is does that snowball effect pickup and keep rolling? If the answer is yes, then the copy’s good, the hook’s good. If the answer is no, you have to keep iterating on your content style. The style of content isn’t actually resonating with people.
S: Right. Are there some ways to kind of manufacture in a way or at least incentivize this kind of engagement behavior, like saying, “I’ll give you something cool, a free mini course or something just say I’m in in the comments.”
A: Yes. I’m saying that very cautiously because Facebook did release an update where they are penalizing engagement baiting, meaning if you’re saying like, “Like this post,” or, “Tag a person named Sarah in this post.” However, because they have the bots that are able to respond from those posts, I haven’t seen that work negatively against the algorithm yet. But I do want to caution people, don’t be spammy with it. Make sure what you’re offering, people are wanting. Don’t just try and say, “Here, comment and get it,” as your only tactic to create engagement because if that ever does drop, you need to be focusing on other ways, other questions that you can ask, open-ended, turning your Facebook page into a community forum where people help and ask each other, and return to over, and over again. Don’t rely on just one tactic. Remember to zoom out and look at the macro view of the three steps.
S: Right. Instead of saying, “Just type into the comments I’m in and we’ll send you a Facebook message with the log in and details for this free course or the free thing that you get.” You can actually use ManyChat to manage all that but instead of I’m in, say something that had an impact in your business in 2017 that was an online marketing technique or something and if you that then you’re gonna get the cool thing. Then have ManyChat respond to that with the login and all that.
A: Exactly. Creating genuine engagement, not clickbaity type things.
S: Right. I’ve also seen people on Facebook lives just kind of do impromptu surveys or polls and saying, “Click the wow if you’ve done this once,” or “Love if you’ve done it twice or three times.” That gets all these engagement things going across the screen while they’re doing the Facebook live. I’ve seen that and that works.
A: Yup. Absolutely.
S: Also, I’ve seen people posts things like, “If you want this cool thing, a free course.” or whatever, and it’s really a valuable thing, “you gotta do four things. You’ve got to like this post. You need to post an insight for interesting comments. You need to share the post and a comment tagged to people that you think will benefit from this.”
A: Exactly. This is an instance of, “Do what I say not, what I do,” because I’ve definitely done that in the last little while but just always double check Facebook’s Terms of Service and the Facebook Advertising Guidelines, because you just wanna make sure that you’re compliant with going through those things. There’s a few things that you need to say like this, “Contest isn’t endorsed by Facebook.” Just make sure that you’re not doing that engagement baiting. But like I said, I am guilty of it too.
S: Okay. Speaking of terms of service and certain policies that you have to abide by with Facebook, on the landing page itself that you’re driving people to, you have to have certain disclosures, disclaimers, links, and so forth. What are some of those things that you have to include on the landing page?
S: Yeah, that’s a great tip. Some sort of message at the bottom on the footer that says, “We’re not affiliated with Facebook,” or something like that.
A: With that one, like I said, this is another case of, do what I say and not what I do. Because I personally haven’t put the disclaimer for Facebook on the bottom of them but I believe there is verbiage that request, especially in contest format. That’s the one that I’m very clear on that if it’s contest format, that people are opting into, you have to say that it’s not affiliated with Facebook. But I would double check so I’m not gonna make that statement here so factually.
S: Okay. What I’ll do is I’ll include a link in the show notes to the Facebook Terms of Services. You listeners can peruse over that. I’ll also include other links to the various tools, and resources that we talked about in the episode like ManyChat for example, and into the show notes of marketingspeak.com. Just to wrap up, Bond, why don’t you share one thing that would be kind of your ninja best tip for folks that we haven’t discussed already.
A: Dang it! I’ve been giving up my good ones. I normally go with engagement looping or stealth mode. Those are my two biggies right now. I think what I’m gonna share is ad sequencing. We’ve talked about a few times in this podcast where you can use a custom engagement audience or you can create a custom retargeting audience from your website traffic. When you zoom out and look at the three steps of that system from a macro view, I want you to ask yourself, what actions are people taking that can then signal they’re ready to move on to the next action? Then you can create Facebook ad sequences that accomplish that. For example in connect phase, when somebody watches a video that you have that shares what your business is about, what’s the next thing that we can show them in sequence? Anyone who watches at least three seconds of that video maybe we’re putting it out to some cold traffic to bring new people into our pipeline. After that video, they’re immediately going to see an ad that lets them know that they’re the type of people that belong in this community, this product is for them. Once they’ve interacted with that ad, maybe three days later, we’re gonna send them a testimonial. We’re gonna see those testimonials for our product they’re gonna start talking about in two weeks from now. We can actually create sequences where we target cold traffic just about that first video and then the next sequence of events happen automatically. It takes a little bit of time to plan it out because you need to figure out what the trigger is for each thing and the timeline for it. A trigger is made with one of two ways. Somebody watches a very specific video or somebody lands on a very specific URL. With your ads, if you can get them to take that step, you can actually start serving up ads sequentially without ever having to do anything else. That keeps your pipeline full on the top, and keeps a lot of lead generation predictability, and customer acquisition predictability within your business.
S: I love that. That is so cool. It’s very unique. I hear people talking about email sequences, “Okay, I set up in campaign builder and Infusionsoft all these different sequences, and triggers, and tags, and so forth.” But who’s doing it on Facebook ads?
S: I love it. I love it. Awesome. Where would people find you? Let’s give them the URL again to The Strategy System so that they can sign up for that if that fits them.
A: Perfect. You can find me as Amanda Bond on Facebook. I always send you there first instead of my website, facebook.com/theadstrategistt, because as soon as you come on over there and say, “Hi,” welcome to my retargeting audience. You can find out more about The Strategy System, the three-part system that we’re talking about on how to turn attention into revenue on autopilot using Facebook ads over at the adstrategist.com/stradegy.
S: Awesome. Thank you, Bond. Thank you, listeners. I hope you will implement some of this amazing stuff that you learned in this episode. There is a checklist of action items to take that we’ve created from this episode. That is available at marketingspeak.com, as well as the show notes and full transcript of this episode. We’ll catch you on the next episode of Marketing Speak, this is your host, Stephen Spencer, signing off.