Click here to download the PDF version of the transcript.
AMY PORTERFIELD: Well, hey, there. Welcome back to another episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast. This is a bonus episode, and I will be with a co-host, answering your ten burning questions about Facebook and Instagram ads.
Now, we know I am not the expert in this area, but I bet you can guess who is. Can you guess who’s coming back on the show? He is my Regis to my Kathie Lee, Rick Mulready.
Hey, there, Rick.
RICK MULREADY: I’m so glad to be back on here. Thank you for having me back. I always want to be chatting with you.
AMY: It’s always fun. It’s been way too long, and you are such a hot guest on the show. And I’m always getting questions about Facebook ads, and more and more, people are asking about Instagram ads, so I’m really excited that you said we could dive into both of them today.
RICK: Totally, totally.
AMY: Yeah. Now, I'm sliding into this bonus episode, kind of frantic. Like, you had to give me a moment to take a breath, right?
RICK: You were a little frazzled.
AMY: A little frazzled.
RICK: Why were you so frazzled?
AMY: So what happened was today, at the time of this recording, we did our first live training in Momentum, which is my new membership experience. And it was supposed to be an hour long. I went two hours, and I didn't even mean to. And we did some Q and A at the end. And so I was supposed to have a thirty-minute buffer between that live training and jumping on here with you, and that buffer went away in a hot minute. But do you ever have—I mean, you must—you have those days where you're like, “I don't even have time to go pee”?
RICK: Oh, yeah. I mean, yesterday. Pretty often, yeah, because calls go long for one reason. I have terrible boundaries. I’m terrible at cutting people off and just because I want to keep giving, but, yes, I totally know what you’re talking about. Because then, you get, like you talked, you get flustered, and then the next thing, you have to kind of settle into the next whatever you have, a call or meeting or what have you. So, totally get it.
AMY: And you’re such a dear friend, so you let me just take a breath, we chatted a little bit, and then we hit Record. Speaking of you and your boundaries, I don't know if you have terrible boundaries, but I do know you have a huge heart. And guys, this is what will happen. Rick will come to one of my life events, or I've seen this at any live event he's been at, and he'll have this big, long line of people. He's not even a speaker maybe at the event. He has a big, long line of people that are literally in line to ask him Facebook-ad questions or just paid-marketing questions or just any questions about online marketing. And I look over, and he's literally opening up his computer, showing some kind of screen. You get into it with them.
RICK: I did that at your Entrepreneur Experience a couple weeks ago. I did that.
AMY: Okay, did you, where you just started teaching and had a long line of people?
RICK: Yeah. People were like, “Oh my god, we’re so glad that you’re speaking today.” I was like, “I’m actually not speaking.” They’re like, “Why are you here?” And I was like, “I’m here to hang out and support Amy and talk to you guys.” And they’re like, “All right, awesome.”
I mean, some people are very aggressive. They don’t care if you’re talking to somebody. They'll come up, and they will just jump in front of you and just start asking questions.
AMY: Isn’t it crazy? I think it comes from this sense of, like, they’re confused, they need help, they’re like, “This is my chance,” and they just go for it.
RICK: Like, this is my only time.
AMY: Yep. And they forget all their good manners. They just get in there. But you were a trooper. I've seen you many times hold court at random events, just answering questions. So that's kind of what we're doing here. We're holding court, answering questions about Facebook ads and Instagram ads, and I'm so excited. So do you think we should just dive in?
RICK: Let’s do it, yeah. We have ten questions. I mean, we could talk about this for ten hours, but we won’t. But yes, let’s dive into it.
AMY: If we do, then I'll be late to every other meeting that follows.
RICK: Well, you’re going to be super frazzled the rest of the day.
AMY: Super frazzled. Okay, so here we go.
Now, these questions are random. They don't necessarily flow into each other. They're just the questions that Rick and I have heard over and over again. So, well, let's take it back a little bit. Rick, who should be listening to this podcast episode right now? How do they know that this is worth their time?
RICK: Yeah, I really—as you and I started talking about this, this is really for the, as I called it, the online expert, if you will. The course creator, the coach, the consultant. You know, maybe you've got a membership program. You're doing webinars. You're doing challenges, quizzes, that sort of thing in your business. And you're really trying to build your list, and you're trying to make more sales, but you're either not into ads yet because they freak you out and you're scared to dive into them or you are doing some ads right now and they're not quite working out the way that you want them to. This is going to be for you.
AMY: Okay, perfect. All right. First question: What objective do I choose if I want to get people to register for my webinar?
RICK: Yes. So this is one of those questions where I get this all the time, and for me—I mean, I’ve been doing this a long time—so it’s one of those things where we’re so close to what we do, it’s so obvious to me. But I know it's not an obvious answer for most people, right? And Facebook and their language and how they have the objectives in there, it’s not very intuitive, so I get it.
There's two primary objectives that confuse people when you're trying to get people to register for your webinar: conversions and lead generation, because people are like, “Wait, I want to generate leads. I want to grow my email list, or I want to get people to register, so I want to generate that lead.” Well, it's not necessarily the objective that I recommend.
So just to clarify between the two, lead generation is the, what they call, the lead ad. That's the ad unit with it that you'll see that a normal-looking ad unit, and you're just going through the news feed or whatever, and then you click the “call to action” button, and the fields that you're asking for—name, email, et cetera—are within the ad unit itself, and it populates itself from the user information that somebody has on Facebook. So it's all right there within the ad units, a very seamless experience. But I don't recommend that one for people wanting to get people to register for their webinar. The objective I recommend is conversions. That's where I want people to click on my ad, go to my registration page, my external page, and then opt in or register for my webinar there.
So the “thank you” page is going to be your conversion, meaning, okay, I land on my “thank you” page. That is your custom conversion, for example, that is tracking the number of people who click on my ad, go to my registration page, and then actually register. So I recommend using the conversions objective for this.
AMY: Got it. Okay, very clear. I totally get it.
All right, number two. What’s the most-effective ad type? I get this question all the time. So should it be an image ad or a video ad or a carousel ad?
RICK: I'm going to say yes to all the above. Everyone hates that answer, but it really is true. It's like you just have to test things out. If you’re like, “Rick, just tell me the easiest ad to get up that I can have some success with,” it’s going to be an image ad. I can go into Canva or PicMonkey or whatever and create an image, and, boom, away I go. But video is going to be super, super effective as well as image.
Any kind of ad type can be effective. It's really about testing to see what's going to work for you and also what's going to not hold you up from doing it. If you think, “Oh, I really should be doing video, but I can't stand video,” all right, then don't start there. Work your way up to it.
Another really easy thing to do, and I know that you and I talk a lot about this, is to do a Facebook Live. Turn the Facebook Live into an ad, and use that as your ad as well.
AMY: I love that strategy.
RICK: Yeah. So it's—I mean, it's not a definitive answer, because there really is no definitive answer. I recommend doing all three: doing an image, doing a video, doing a carousel ad.
The carousel ads, by the way, are those ads that you see with multiple, we'll call them, kind of panels, where it kind of scrolls through, and you can have different images, you can have different videos in there. They can be very effective because they stand out in the newsfeeds. So when you're scrolling through, it's like, “Oh, that's a pretty cool ad. That's kind of jumping out at me. I'm going to take a look at that, stop the scroll there, and look at that.” So the most-effective ad type is just a matter of testing image, video, and carousel. And we can get into more video here if you want a little bit later on, but just really testing all three different types.
AMY: All right. I like this idea of testing because when I think about the ads that are working for us, they really are a mix. So we do all three of those, and there's some image ads that do better than video ads, some video ads that do better than image ads. So you do got to experiment with all that.
AMY: Okay, this next question I really like because for so many years, Rick, and back in the day when I also taught Facebook ads, we'd always—now, this is back, back in the day—we would always say target other Facebook pages; that’s who you’re targeting. So you’re targeting the fans of other Facebook pages. But when it comes to ad targeting, people think that’s the way to do it, but is this a strategy you recommend focusing on?
RICK: It’s such a—yeah. I mean, it’s a great question. It’s one of those things where yes, you still want to be focusing on those, we call them, cold audiences. So when I want to target fans of another Facebook page, they don't necessarily know who I am, or if you're doing it or your listeners are doing it. If you're targeting fans of, I don't know, Wall Street Journal, for example, just throw this out there, people who are interested in Wall Street Journal don't necessarily know who I am or you are or the listeners. So that's cold traffic. Those are cold audiences versus what we call the warm audiences. Those are people who are on our email list, people who are visiting our website, people who are watching our videos, people who are engaging with our Instagram profile or our Facebook business page. Those are warm audiences because they're more likely to know who we are because they're interacting and engaging with us in some way. And so for that reason, when you can, if you have those warm audiences, I recommend prioritizing the warm-audience targeting first.
Then, I recommend creating lookalike audiences from those warm audiences. So if you upload your email list, let's just say. Let's just say your email list is three thousand people. You upload it into Facebook as a, what Facebook calls, the custom audience. And Facebook matches, I don't know, twelve hundred people of the three thousand, cool. I want to make a lookalike audience out of that email list. That's a great audience to be targeting now. So prioritizing the warm audiences, then creating lookalike audiences from those warm audiences, and then getting into the interest targeting or targeting other Facebook pages.
Now, for everybody listening right now, you're like, “Well, Rick, I don't have those warm audiences. I don’t have website visitors or email list or anything like that,” cool. Start with the other Facebook pages. Start with the interest targeting and the cold audiences and to build up those warm audiences. So start where you're at. And if you don't have those warm audiences, that's totally fine. You can build them up. But starting with those cold audiences. That make sense?
AMY: It does. And I love that you're giving another way to target versus just Facebook pages, because I think what you're talking about, for a while that's been working, but still people just go to the I’ll just target other fans. And so these warm audiences, this is exactly how we get our results with Facebook ads. So I'm so glad you're sharing it. Okay, cool.
RICK: Facebook really wants you building up those warm audiences as much as possible so that you can then create lookalike audiences from the warm audiences. But you have to start somewhere, right? You have to start with, “Okay, I want to target those other pages to build my warm audiences so that I can then turn around and create the lookalike audiences.”
AMY: Yeah, okay. That makes perfect sense. So every time you say Facebook likes this or Facebook wants this, my ears perk up because let's just do what Facebook wants so that they can give us the results we're looking for. Let’s just play nice.
So number four. One of the big mistakes you talk a lot about is people don't truly understand their target customer. So what do you mean by that?
RICK: Yes. So you talk a lot about it, I talk a lot about it, there’s the whole concept of your ideal-customer avatar. Most people stop there, though, and they don't get very in-depth on the understanding of their ICA. When it comes to ads, when it comes to Facebook, when it comes to Instagram, to be able to truly leverage the targeting capabilities that you have.
So going back to the previous question, cold audiences. Let's just say that—I love to use the yoga niche as an example. So if I'm in the yoga niche and I want to reach women in between a certain age range, they have an interest in yoga. Yes. Okay, cool. That's awesome. But to really, truly take advantage of the targeting capabilities that you can do on both Facebook and Instagram—and they're the same targeting, by the way—you really have to have a holistic understanding of your target customer. So what other—I'll put you on the spot here—what other brands do you think that somebody who has an interest in yoga might be interested in, as an example?
RICK: Perfect. What’s another one?
AMY: Does it have to be yoga related?
RICK: No, not at all.
AMY: Okay. So Kris Carr. She’s a wellness advocate. So I think she would be a great one. Gabby Bernstein, because she’s all about meditation.
RICK: Yep. See, your initial question of “Do they have to be yoga related?” No, not at all. Kris Carr, Gabby Bernstein, perfect examples that we might not immediately think about for the yoga niche, but totally, that’s where our target audience is hanging out. Our target audience is interested in people like those. Maybe they also shop at Whole Foods, for example. And so that, I call this the holistic understanding of your target customer. Yes, we do need to know for yoga are probably women between twenty-eight and fifty, I'm just guessing, who have an interest in yoga, for sure. But they also probably have an interest, they might have an interest in, like you said, lululemon, Lorna Jane, Kris Carr, Gabby Bernstein, Whole Foods, maybe Yoga Journal magazine.
Now, I throw out Yoga Journal magazine because it kind of leads me to the second point on this is that you really want to be thinking about once you have your holistic understanding of your target customer, really thinking about sub-segmenting your target customer. So when it comes to yoga, you’re going to have the beginner person who has no idea what they’re doing but they’re interested in yoga, or maybe they’ve been recommended they do yoga by their doctor or something like that versus a more-advanced yoga person. The more-advanced person is probably going to be reading a publication like Yoga Journal magazine as opposed to the beginner person. And so that's a very different conversation, wouldn’t you agree, a beginner person versus an advanced person.
RICK: And so we have to be thinking about, I call this sub-segmenting your target customer. And I want to start another example. So at my recent Accelerator Mastermind retreat, one of my members is in the gardening space. And so we did this exercise, exactly what we're talking about here, and we had her break down. So her overarching ICA is somebody who's interested in gardening. And then, yes, she gets into more detail there, and she has a name and all that stuff. But then you could actually break it down further. And we got into, all right, somebody who wants to get into gardening but they have no idea what they're doing. Then there's another person there that is growing plants, like, I think she said, succulents, but is killing the succulents. The third person is starting a garden, and they're seeing some success. They're like, “Holy cow, this is working. I want to know more. I want to be able to build this out, grow this out even more.” And then the fourth person was somebody who wants to start a gardening business. So what we did there was, number one, we identified and we sub-segmented that person who was interested in gardening into four different people within the target audience, which, again, very different conversations to the person who’s killing succulents to the person who has a thriving garden. That's a very different conversation.
And then from there, we looked at, okay, what interests on Facebook might these different groups have? And so my mind immediately went to HGTV, for example. And she was like, “Oh, no, no, no.” I was like, “Oh, okay. Tell me why.”
AMY: Oh, she’s passionate about this.
RICK: Yeah. Oh, she’s very passionate about it. Yeah, so, I don’t remember the name of the page but for the very beginner person who is interested in gardening but really has no idea what they’re doing, she came up with a community on Facebook. It’d be like this one. And then the second one, the people who were killing the succulents but want to learn—maybe that’s like Joanna Gaines or something from Fixer Upper. And then the person who has the thriving garden, for example, might be interested in Southern Living magazine.
So the point here is that most people don't do this work where you're understanding your target customer, (a) having that holistic understanding, and then (b) can you sub-segment your target customer so that you're having the right conversation with the right person in that target audience, and then also, what are they interested in? because if we're having one conversation to everyone, we're not leveraging what we are able to do on Facebook, Instagram in the best way possible.
AMY: I love this idea of sub-segmenting, and it’s not something that, I think, that we’re talked about on the show before, at least not in this detail. So I think it helps immensely. I think targeting is one of the biggest challenges our students face about who to get out in front of and how to get out in front of them. So, okay, that’s so well said. Thank you for diving into that.
Ooh, this next one’s good because this has been a topic I’ve heard a lot about. Why are ad costs rising?
RICK: Yeah. I mean, they have been for years. I mean, that’s the reality, right? is that ad costs are rising. They continue to rise simply because there are more advertisers on the platform than ever, Facebook and Instagram. And I saw a stat the other day that, I think it was Zuckerberg that came out and said there’s seven and a half million advertisers now. And that was just last week that I saw that, and I was like, “Seven and a half million? The last time I saw that number, it was like two million.” And I don’t think it was that long ago. Then again, first year of my daughter’s life is a blur, so maybe it was like a year and a half ago. Who knows? But seven and a half million people are advertising now on the platform. So more competition, higher ad costs. So, plain and simple, that’s number one.
Number two, especially in the time of year that we’re in right now, we’re in the holiday time. So ad costs are always higher in Q4. And then the other thing I think that people are, I think, starting to take notice of but aren’t necessarily thinking about it is the 2020 election, is that there’s a lot of political advertising going on, and it’s also a hot topic on Facebook. That is driving up costs as well because, again, there’s more advertising on the platforms. So between higher competition in general, more advertisers; the holiday time, here in Q4; and then also, the political landscape from an advertising perspective is going to continue through this time next year.
AMY: Excuse me.
RICK: Totally. Bless you.
AMY: I just sneezed. Okay, I was waiting for the “bless you.”
RICK: You’re like silent until I chime in. So that’s why costs are rising.
AMY: But, okay. So, when I hear this, I know some people are thinking, “Maybe it’s just not worth it.” And I genuinely mean this. Like, should they keep advertising?
RICK: They should.
AMY: Can people just starting their business, can they afford it?
RICK: Totally, yes. Hands down, between Facebook and Instagram, they are still the most cost-effective and efficient way to be growing your business online from a paid-advertising perspective. Hands down. Even with the higher cost, the costs are still good. Now, I’m going to say this, but there's always exceptions to this, but for the most part, gone are the days of the two-dollar webinar registration, for example. Now, with that said, I have plenty of students who are doing really well, and they're like, “Oh my god, my cost per lead is $4.50. I shut my ads off.” I’m like, “What? I would kill for that.” So, yes, costs are rising, all these other things going on, please don’t let—for everybody listening who’s thinking that—please don’t let that stop you from getting into the game.
AMY: Yes, good. I’m glad you said so. I think that's so important. I totally agree.
Okay, number six. What's the deal with campaign-budget optimization?
RICK: CBO, as the cool kids call it.
AMY: CBO. I'm not one of the cool kids. I did not know that. But some people are like, “I've never even heard of it.” So can you back up a little?
RICK: Yeah. Absolutely. So, number one, it’s not new. Campaign-budget optimization was introduced, I want to say, a year and a half ago, a long time ago. But it started to get a lot more attention this year because Facebook came out, I would say, I think it was late spring in 2019, they came out and said, “Oh, this is going to become the default way that you set budgets for your ad campaigns.” And then people were like, “What? Wait, wait. What is this? What are we talking about here?” So what campaign-budget optimization is, as of right now, when we go in to set up our campaigns, we set our budgets at the ad set level.
So, for example, all right, I have a webinar campaign. I have, I don't know, five ad sets, and I want to spend a hundred dollars a day. Each ad set, the way it is right now is we're assigning twenty dollars per ad set. And then the ads start, and then we keep an eye on things, and we start, “Oh, this ad set isn't working. We're going to stop this ad set. We're going to move the budget around manually.” It’s like we're doing the optimizing of the campaigns and of the ad sets. Does that make sense so far?
AMY: Okay, yeah.
RICK: So what campaign-budget optimization is doing is we set the budget at the campaign level instead of at the ad set level. And so, again, if we have a hundred dollars a day and we have our five ad sets, campaign-budget optimization means that we're going to do a hundred dollars at the campaign level, and Facebook’s algorithm is going to divvy up, if you will, that hundred-dollar-a-day budget between the five ad sets, depending on how well they're performing. So it's doing it automatically for you. Does that make sense?
AMY: Oh, okay. Yes.
RICK: So the algorithm is kind of taking that optimization over for you. And so early tests, when we started playing around with this, they were terrible. It's like, no, we got way better results when we optimized ourself. And then it started to get smarter. So then Facebook came out in the spring and said, “This is going to become the default way that you set your budget for your campaigns.” We're like, “Wait, you're not going to give us a choice?” And so in the fall, here in 2019, for some people who were using campaign-budget optimization, it switched over and it was the default way that you set your budget. And so people started to freak out a little bit because, “Wait, I don't understand this,” and “Wait, I've not heard great things about it.” So it didn't switch over for everyone. However, in mid to late Q1 of 2020, it's switching over for everyone. And so it is going to be the default way that we set our budgets for our campaigns.
So again, just to recap, we're going to set the budget at the campaign level, and then Facebook will automatically divvy up, if you will, the budgets based on the number of ad sets that you have and which ones are performing the best.
Now, out of the gates, one ad set might be doing better, another ad set might not be performing well, really kind of keep an eye on it because, again, the Facebook algorithm, not to get too technical, but the platform, we have to remember, is very dynamic. People are logging on and using Facebook and Instagram and then not, and they’re off it, so it's a very dynamic, fluid auction, if you will. And so Facebook is going to be delivering the budgets to the ad sets based on how well they're performing. So maybe one ad set’s not performing well today, but then tomorrow it does really well. So Facebook will dynamically start allocating budget towards that ad set or ad sets.
And so finally, and I know we're getting a little bit technical here, the last thing is Facebook will still give you the ability to set a minimum or maximum ad spend budget per ad set. Does that make sense?
AMY: Okay. Yeah.
RICK: I know I’m getting a little technical here. But so even when we say, “All right, I want to spend a hundred dollars a day,” that's at the campaign level, well, at the ad set level, you can still kind of do what we do now and assign a budget at the ad set level, so if I have five ad sets and my budget is a hundred dollars a day, I can say, “Well, I want at least each one of these ad sets to be delivering fifteen dollars a day,” or something like that. So that way one ad set, you’re kind of forcing the algorithm to deliver towards that specific ad set.
RICK: Did I completely lose you there?
AMY: It was a little bit—you didn't lose me. It was a little techy, but I know it's important that we know this stuff. If we're going to be running our own ads, we got to kind of just—and if that was confusing to you guys, click that little fifteen-second back button. Click it back a few times, where you could hear him talk about it again. I think if you hear it twice, it kind of starts to sink in. But it was important, so I wanted to make sure we brought that up.
Okay, this is a great one. Number seven: How do I know my ads are working? I feel lost when looking at all the numbers.
RICK: It’s like the million-dollar question, right? And this is the one where people will look at it like, “All right, my ads are going. I have no idea what I’m looking at.” And I kind of laugh there because it’s hard. It really is hard, and I call it an art to be able to kind of paint the picture, if you will, of “All right, what am I looking at here? How do I know if things are working?” And so we’ll try to keep it high level because we could do an entire episode on just this.
But first and foremost, when, let's just say our objective, going back to question number one, is the conversions objective. So we want people to click on our ad, go over to our opt-in page or registration page or what have you. We want to know, what is the cost per registration, cost per lead? What is it costing us for someone to click on the ad and join our email list or register for the webinar? So what's our cost per lead? First and foremost, that's what we want to know. And so from there, then you can start to look at other stats, things like what is your landing-page conversion rate, meaning what percentage of people who are clicking on my ad, landing on my landing page, and then actually converting? For that number, I'd like to see at least 20 percent are converting. Now, that’s not for a sales page; that is for a free opt in, a webinar, video series, what have you. So percentage of people.
And if you're using something like Leadpages or some other kind of landing-page tool, most of them will tell you, right in there in the tool, what the landing-page conversion rate is. If you don't have—if you’re like. “No, I want to calculate the numbers myself. I want to do this,” Ads Manager will give you this information, but not in a—you actually have to calculate it yourself. So what you would do is simply take landing-page views divided by the number of leads that you got. And so that's going to give—or no. Leads divided by the landing-page conversion, and that'll give you your percentage.
So if your landing-page conversion rate’s low, let's just say it's like 8 percent, something’s going on there because if people are actually clicking on my ad and going over to the landing page but they’re not converting, that’s a challenge, and so that’s something that I would focus on. I’m like, “All right. How do we increase that landing-page conversion rate?” And one of the first things I would look at, not to go down a rabbit hole, but one of the first things I would look at is the consistency between the landing page and the ad, because we want to make sure that people feel like, “Oh, I clicked on this ad, and I'm in the right place on the landing page.”
So landing-page conversion rate; cost per lead, or Facebook will say cost per result. You also want to be looking at what your click-through rate is, meaning, “All right. What's my link click-through rate, too? What percentage of people who are seeing my ad are actually clicking on it?” And so for that one, I like to see at least a 1 percent click-through rate.
Now, there's always exceptions to this. Like I had somebody recently ask me “Well, I had a 0.85,” or whatever, “but the rest of the stats were really good.” I was like, “Cool. Keep that going. Even though it’s not 1 percent, it’s not far off.” But if you have a 0.07 or something like that, that’s not very good. So you want to—and when it’s low like that, the question is, okay, why is it low? The thing I would look at is, “All right. How are my ads speaking to my target audience? What’s the messaging? What’s the hook? What’s the image? All that stuff. And am I targeting the right audience? Am I speaking to that audience?” And this goes back to, we talked about earlier, the whole sub-segmenting of your target customer.
When you do those things, it’s going to increase all of these stats here that we’re talking about. And so I would focus on those first few stats that we're talking about right now: the cost per result, the cost per lead; the landing-page conversion rate; and then your click-through rate on the link click-through rate. Link click-through rate basically just means the click-through rate for the people who are clicking on your ad and going to your landing page. Now, again, there's all kinds of other stats that we can get into. But to try to keep it very simple for right now, focus on those first few stats, and that's going to give you a good picture right off the bat, whether your ads are working or not.
AMY: So good. I love that you gave specific numbers and where to look, because this is a question I get asked all the time. So if you're feeling overwhelmed, just start there with exactly what Rick said. You could always add to it later, but just don't overwhelm yourself in the beginning.
RICK: Yeah. Could we just speak to that one real quick?
RICK: Again? So I didn’t give a cost-per-lead number, and there's a reason for that. And I know that you and I talk about this a lot. Just for, like, going back to question number five is ad costs are rising, so it's going to cost you a little bit more. But I feel like so many people ask what other people are getting. I recently did a podcast episode about this very thing. When people ask, “Well, what what's your cost per lead? What's your cost per lead?” and they're trying to compare other people's numbers to their numbers, that's a really slippery slope because—
AMY: It happens all the time.
RICK: Yeah, like the numbers are really going to vary. I'm in a different niche than you are, and the gardening niche is a very—it's very different. And when we start hearing, oh, so and so in the gardening niche is getting a two-dollar cost per lead for their webinar, and my leads are six dollars, but I'm in a completely different one, oh, I must be failing. Well, no, that's not the case at all. Number one, you're in a different niche. Number two, just because you have a slightly more “expensive” cost per lead isn't necessarily a bad thing. If you're higher lead costs are the ones who are actually converting into sales and the numbers are working out, I'll take that all day long. So just be really careful, guys, for when you're looking at your stats and stuff like that. Yes, we can talk about benchmarks, but what other people are getting and so forth, that's kind of irrelevant to what you're doing in your business. So establish your own benchmarks and run your own race when it comes to your ads.
AMY: Okay. Such great advice. I love it.
All right, number eight. We're getting into the homestretch. What's the deal with video? So I keep hearing—I always hear how important it is to be using video. I talk to my students about this. So on Facebook and Instagram, is that still the case?
RICK: For sure, 100 percent. And especially, especially, and I would say, it’s been this way for a little while, but never—so many people are accessing Facebook and Instagram from their mobile device, from their phones. And so we have to be creating our ads, especially our video, with mobile in mind, first. And so we’re talking vertical videos, we’re talking square videos, we’re talking Instagram Story video ads, videos for Facebook stories. Looking at the opportunities for where people are consuming video on the platforms and creating videos specifically for those areas, 100 percent you should be doing video.
Not only that, going back to the targeting and building those warm audiences, video allows you to build engagement audiences. So you can build audiences based on how long people are watching your videos. And so let's just say you have a two-minute video, and someone watches 75 percent of that video. It's a pretty engaged person right there. Awesome. I want to build an audience of those people who are watching a specific percentage of that. And then you can turn around and build lookalike audiences out of those people. And so there is a ton of benefits when it comes to video. Number one, the platform, Facebook and Instagram love video. Instagram Stories, Facebook stories, create for the mobile experience, you can do engagement audiences. Then, obviously, you can tell stories and capture attention on video unlike you can with an image, right? So 100 percent, be doing video.
AMY: Okay, great. When I saw that question on the list, I'm thinking, “I hope he doesn't say video’s not important anymore,” because I’m thinking, “Holy cow, we're doing so much more of it than normal.”
RICK: Totally, yes.
AMY: Okay, great.
RICK: And Facebook Lives, right? And I didn’t mention that. And that still hasn’t changed.
AMY: Okay, cool. All right, question number nine. My ads always get disapproved. What am I doing wrong?
RICK: Do you hear about this a lot in your group?
AMY: Yes, a lot.
RICK: I know I get ads disapproved. We all get ads disapproved.
AMY: We do. I do, too. Yep.
RICK: So it happens to everyone. For those of you guys who are listening, you're not alone if this is happening to you. It stinks. I'm so sorry that it happens. But especially, we kind of go through periods of time where there is a higher rash, if you will, of disapprovals and so forth. We've kind of been in that period for the last couple of months where I've had ads disapproved. I know a lot of students that have had ads disapproved here, but unfortunately a lot. And again, this comes back to Facebook is trying to protect the user experience. They want it to be a positive user experience at all costs on the platform.
And so some of the biggest things that—so number one, make sure that you review Facebook’s ad policies before you do any kind of ads. Always be reviewing them. I don't mean every day, but if the last time you reviewed policies was six months ago, that's not soon enough. You should probably be doing it once a month at least, just to kind of keep up on what's allowed, what's not allowed. Facebook does make changes to it without announcing it. So what was allowed, I don't know, a couple weeks ago or whatever, maybe it's not allowed right now. But you just have to kind of play by their rules.
The biggest thing I see people doing is making promises, using language that you're insinuating that somebody’s struggling with something or has a problem or—we can't do that. And again, these things I'm talking about right now, they’re nothing new. It's been this way for a long time. But Facebook has just very recently, past couple months, been more so cracking down on these things. And that's the biggest reason I see when, like if I have students, they post or whatever, and they're like, this is getting disapproved. You know, I'm not Facebook policy by any means, but I can usually pick out pretty quickly it's the language that they're using. It's the promises. Facebook hates the what they feel like the “work from home” kind of niche. They think, oh, you can't promote that. Well, it's like, well, it's not what we're promoting. But there might be some language in there that Facebook’s algorithm or even the people that are reviewing are picking up on that is getting disapproved. And so those are the biggest things. You can't be making false promises. You can't be insinuating that they're struggling with anything like that, shortcoming. You have to be really, really careful and always think about how can you speak to the positivity? How can you speak to the transformation that's available to the person reading the ad?
AMY: Okay. Because I was going to ask you, why do you think some ads get disapproved? But right there, you just explained it. So, okay, really helpful.
Let’s see here. Number ten: Do I need to run ads when I’m not launching? If so, what kind? Such a good question. Hit it.
RICK: Yeah. I want to hear what you think about this.
AMY: Okay, so, yes, yes, and yes. You should be running ads when you’re not launching. As for what kind, I don’t know.
RICK: Well, I mean, so this is one of those things where people think that they only need to be or they probably only “should” be running their ads during launch time. So it’s like, “All right, cool. I got a launch coming up. I’m going to start my ads nine, ten days in advance of the webinar,” or what have you. “I'm going to run my ads for cart open, and then, boom, we're going to close, and my ads are done. And then I'm not going to run ads again until the next launch.” Obviously, that works. It's a great strategy.
But the better strategy is to be consistently running ads, building your list, building engagement audiences, like we've been talking about here today, on a consistent basis. What that's going to be doing, number one, you're building your email list, which you absolutely should be doing.
Number two is you're building those warm audiences with your video content, for example. So people who are engaging with that video, build those engagement audiences so that you can create those lookalike audiences. So those are two huge things.
The third thing is that Facebook loves when you do that because you're consistently running on the platform. Of course they like that. But you're also going to be rewarded when you do your launch because if you've been consistently running your ads, your costs are going to be better when you do your launch because you've been consistently running ads as opposed to not running ads, not running ads; all of a sudden, spike in your ad spend for your launch, and then you come back down at the end of the launch; you're not running ads anymore. Obviously, you can still be successful with that, but your costs are going to be a little bit higher when you do that.
And so when you can be consistent running your ads, building your email list, building those engagement audiences, your costs are going to be lower overall when you do a launch. Also, when you're running ads consistently, Facebook’s algorithm likes that, and your costs overall are going to be improved as well. So I highly recommend not just running ads when your launching. Run them consistently. You don't have to spend a lot of money to do it. And I'd be running list-building ads, video ads, building those engagement audiences up, and that is really one huge way for how you win on Facebook and Instagram today.
AMY: Amen to that. Such a good way to wrap it up, although I’ve got a bonus question. Can I ask it?
RICK: Sure. It’s your show. Of course you can.
AMY: Okay. So, if you could share just one tip for getting ads to work, like just one tip for getting ads to work—
RICK: One tip?
AMY: Yep. —what would you say?
RICK: Holy cow. We just went through ten things.
AMY: I know. So, like, what if you had to just choose one thing?
RICK: All right. So if I had to choose one thing, it's probably going to be one that most people don't want to hear, because it's not tactical; it's not a strategy. But this is the key to getting ads to work, and that is the mindset around your testing, because when you go into ads thinking, “I'm going to make this work. I'm going to figure this out. I'm going to do what I can. I'm going to test and continue to test until I figure it out,” you are going to win. It's the people who go into ads with the mindset of “I'm going to go in, and I'm going to set some stuff up, and I'm going to test this out.” And then it doesn't work. “Oh, this doesn't work. Facebook ads don't work. They stink. I'm going to give up.” You know? You have to be willing to test. You have to be willing to continue to learn, to continue to try new things. And again, this is not a case of you have to spend a million dollars to figure this out. It’s getting in there, playing the game—and Facebook and Instagram ads are definitely a game—and just be willing to go along for the ride and testing things out and have a strategy for what you’re doing. Because if you don’t, if you don’t have that mindset of “I’m going to figure this out,” the first time you hit a roadblock or a speed bump in the process, you’re going to give up, and that is not going to help you at all. And so it’s the people who have the right mindset of “I’m going to test until I find a sweet spot here, and I’m going to continue moving forward. I’m going to figure this out,” those are the people who are going to win.
AMY: Yes. Amen to that. That's how we got into Instagram ads. So we use a lot of Instagram Stories, so IG Story ads, and they work really well for us. But we had to experiment. In the beginning, they weren't working as well. We weren't really sure of the type of content that was going to work. Should it be me on camera? Should it be images? So we played around to kind of find a good mix. And so all the strategies you taught, I just want to point out, they work for Facebook ads and Instagram ads. I know we didn't speak specifically to just Instagram ads, but we're talking a little bit more holistically here about knowing if your ads are working and making sure you're testing, and like you said, getting the right mindset to be patient and try this out, try new things. You never know. What works for me might not work for you and vise versa.
RICK: And what worked for you two months ago might not work today and vice versa. Things that didn’t work for you a couple months ago, like, “Oh, I’m going to try this out,” boom, it works. But most people who don't have the right mindset would be like, “Oh, that didn't work two months ago, and I'm done with that. I'm not going to try that again.” But we have to remember, the platforms are always changing.
And you're right. We didn't speak specifically, do this on Instagram. But everything we've been talking about today has to do with both platforms. I really look at when we're talking about advertising on Facebook, we're also talking about advertising on Instagram. And really, frankly, what we're seeing is we’re seeing a lot higher percentage of ad spend moving towards Instagram when we're letting Facebook’s algorithm automatically optimize. So we're seeing that, and there's just massive opportunity between the two platforms. So everything we've been talking about today has to do with both platforms.
AMY: Okay, cool. I'm glad you clarified that.
Okay, before we let everybody go, one of the things I think is really important is if that you were running your own ads or you're just starting to explore in this area or if you already are getting some traction but you want to get more, then you've got to make sure you stay on top of what's working and you stay in the know. And you have a free masterclass where I know you're sharing some things that you've never shared anywhere else, and they’re the things that are working right now, right? Can you tell us about this masterclass?
RICK: Absolutely. Yeah, totally. So this is a new one. I've actually updated it this year because I know that we've talked about a training on previously when I've been on, but I've actually updated the training since, for that reason, Amy, is because things keep changing. The platforms keep changing. Things are always coming up. That's what's working, what's not so important anymore, that sort of thing. So I do have this free masterclass, and it is all about—it’s the basics of getting your and creating a winning and effective Facebook and Instagram ad for your online expert business. And so I call this Facebook and Instagram Ads 101, how to create Facebook and Instagram ads that are actually going to be winning for your business, effective, and profitable. And so I share a three-part strategy in there, and I also share a lot of mistakes that I see people making, why I feel like they're mistakes, and then how to avoid them so that people are not making those same mistakes. And so I break that all down in this free masterclass.
AMY: Awesome. I can't wait. Who do you think is a good fit for this?
RICK: Actually, a lot of the people that we talked about that today's episode is for, so the course creator; the, as I call it, the online expert; the online educator. You’re a coach or consultant. You're doing webinars, membership program, that sort of thing. And you're doing list building and so on. And so this training is for you. If you've either not done ads for whatever reason—and a big reason I hear is that Facebook and Instagram ads are intimidating, and they make me want to pull my hair out and all this other stuff—this training is for you. If you've not yet done ads, and you're looking to get started. Also, for the person who has been doing ads but not getting the results that you really want, then this training is for you.
AMY: Perfect. So guys, go to amyporterfield.com/foundations. That’s amyporterfield.com/foundations. You can sign up for free. I highly, highly, highly recommend this training. And everybody in my audience who has gone through it has been raving about it. So I 100 percent recommend it. Go now. Do not wait. Amyporterfield.com/foundations.
So, Regis, thanks so much for being with me today.
RICK: Always fun chatting with you.
AMY: Always a good time.
RICK: Thank you, again, for having me back on.
AMY: I'm so glad that we got to be together today, and I can't wait until you come back. So thanks again.
RICK: Absolutely. Thank you.
AMY: All right. Bye, guys. Thanks so much for tuning in. Go check out Rick's masterclass. You're absolutely going to thank me for it later. You're going to love it. All right, guys. Have a great day. I'll see you again soon—or talk to you again soon. All right. Bye for now.