Facebook's ad platform is constantly evolving. What strategies are the experts using to get amazing results today?
This week on The Inbound Success Podcast, Feedstories cofounder, author, and Facebook advertising expert Bob Regnerus breaks down the specific strategies he uses to help clients get incredible results with Facebook ads.
From using look alike audiences for targeting, to using retargeting to reach warm traffic, to why you should use deep funnel marketing strategies, Bob covers a lot of ground and shares actionable takeaways that anyone can use to improve their Facebook ads results, today.
Check out the full episode, or read the transcript below, for details.
Resources from this episode:
Visit ultimatefb.com to check out Bob's interviews with folks like Ryan Deiss, Brian Kurtz and Perry Marshall, and to get his book
Bob and Kathleen recording this episode
Kathleen (00:00): Welcome back to the Inbound Success Podcast. I am your host, Kathleen Booth. And my guest today is Bob Regnerus, who's the co-founder of Feedstories, a digital marketing coach and author of five books, including the fourth edition of the Ultimate Guide to Facebook Advertising. Welcome Bob.
Bob (00:32): So good to be here, Kathleen. How are you doing today?
Kathleen (00:34): I'm great. Before we start nerding out on all things marketing, can you please tell my audience a little bit about yourself? What it is that you do and how you came to be a Facebook advertising expert?
Bob (00:50): Yeah, I'm think probably very similar to a lot of the people that are listening. I am a serial entrepreneur and I'm the type of entrepreneur who kind of found his way in through corporate channels. So I have a programming background. I, I studied that in college and my first couple of gigs out of college were at big corporations in programming. And this was kind of around 1997, 98. The internet was starting to be something rather significant. So I started getting into developing websites for clients. So I developed my first website in 1998. The first website I built that I got paid for, which was really cool. And I, it was funny, I guess I got my start into internet marketing this way that the client had built the website for actually said to me, Hey, this is great.
Bob (01:47): I love it. We're making sales, you know, this is amazing. Can you help me get traffic to my site? I said, yeah, absolutely. I know exactly how to do that. And of course I had no idea. Right. so I had to go and figure out how to do it, and that was my start in internet marketing.
So I'm going on 22 years plus here of internet and direct marketing like many I've studied you know, the masters. Worked with Dan Kennedy book, Perry Marshall, and Frank Kern, Ryan Deiss. These are all people that I got to know over the years. So it's, it's, it's, it's a constant journey. So I happen to really navigate towards paid advertising. I know a lot of people are really good at SEO and organic and I'm really happy for them, but I find it too much of, I don't want to say this, but I'll say it it's kind of like voodoo.
Bob (02:39): I don't know, Kathleen. One thing works today and then tomorrow it doesn't work. I just kind of gravitated more towards paid because it was, it's a little predictable put in a dollar, make $2, you know, that's kind of our goal here. I have worked on all the platforms GoTo, Overture Yahoo, Google Adwords, but then 2013 came around actually late 2012 and 2013.
I'm like Facebook is becoming a serious player. It wasn't mainstream yet, by any sense of the imagination in terms of advertising, they had a very basic garbage had product, which was right-hand side ads that you would see on a desktop, very low click through rates, very low conversions, but they started doing what are called sponsored stories. And that is the first evolution of what we see in our newsfeed today, which is ads that look like content along with all your other personal stuff. To me, that was a big, big deal.
So, I dove in head first really, really got into that and it really resonated with me cause I'm a big story guy. I really enjoy connecting with people through story and its just a really good media for that. So I, I I've really been in it for seven plus years and I don't think Facebook's going away anytime soon. So I think I have some job security. Yeah.
Kathleen (04:03): Yeah, definitely. And today, are you really only focusing on Facebook ads? Are you working with clients on full funnel ad strategies across the multiple platforms?
Bob (04:14): It's a really good question. I have found. Just, just for me that I, I have focused mostly on two things. I am kind of the Facebook guy in our company and then my business partner, Brandon, focuses on video and video marketing.
So, we, we make, made a conscious decision not to do full funnel stuff because, we have found being specialists is a little bit more, it works better for the way we are wired than to be generalists. And so I'm not disparaging of the agencies or things like that. Just for us, it, it feels like we can, you know, separate ourselves from the competition more, but being really good at a couple of things versus trying to be good in a bunch of things.
Kathleen (04:59): It's interesting because I feel like I could do a whole podcast episode and invite on a couple of paid ads, people and just stage a debate between like, should you do it all? Or should you specialize? And I've probably interviewed an equal number of people on either side.
And, and one of the arguments I've always heard for specializing is that, you know, as you've kind of mentioned, these platforms are getting incredibly sophisticated in terms of their capabilities and that really to truly master them, it almost as a full-time job, you know, just staying on top of everything.
Bob (05:36): Well, I, I, you know, I maybe, you know, I kind of glossed over a number of years, but I think like other entrepreneurs, Kathleen, I had my up and down cycles. I, I barely survived the crash in 2008. I actually had an agency that was well-staffed. We had about 15 people working for us and we were banking on continued growth.
And a lot of our clients are information marketers, especially in the real estate niche. And of course, 2008 was the great crash. Many of our clients quickly ran out of money and when they ran out of money, they could stop, you know, they stopped paying me and formed a whole cycle. So I had the pleasure number of years ago, laying off a bunch of people that I call friends. And so I didn't want to live through that again.
Bob (06:25): And so just part of the way I'm wired, I, I enjoy having a smaller company now. That's more specialized and doesn't have so many moving parts purely, purely a personal choice. I have friends that are running agencies that are six figures, seven figures, and even eight figures. And they're doing amazing.
I think it's just kind of, I think you really have to pick the way you're wired and what, what, you know, I tried to develop my business now more towards the lifestyle I want. I'm, you know, I'm in my early fifties, I coach high school basketball. Like my kids who are both in college, so I'm just making different choices. And again, I think everyone's got to make their own choices as to what makes the most sense for them. And for me right now in my career, those things make the most sense to me.
Kathleen (07:15): I can totally relate as somebody who owned her own digital marketing agency in the same timeframe, 2008, 2009 that was some angst ridden years. So let's, let's talk about Facebook and you know, you and I chatted a little bit before we did the podcast about how I feel like my audience is pretty experienced. And they tend to know, you know, they, they tend to know the basics.
And so I would, I would be willing to bet if I were a betting woman, that the majority of them have done some Facebook advertising, you know, they, they know the one Oh one level stuff, but, and I'll speak for myself here. That's, that's me too. I've managed teams that have done Facebook ads. I could run Facebook ads on my own, but I'm not a Facebook advertising expert.
And so I selfishly want to dig into is for somebody like me, who understands basically how it works, what are the things that I need to know to really take it to the next level, especially like Facebook today and how it's functioning now and the ad types that work the way you rotate in creative and just all the, you know, I guess call it two to three Oh one level.
Kathleen (08:31): Things that, that really result in great performance on Facebook. I know that's a broad question. So I'm going to allow you to kind of take that where you want to take it. Yeah.
Bob (08:41): Well, it's really interesting. Facebook now is very much a mature media. You know, think of where Google was about 10 years ago, where it's, it's, it's a wide swath of beginning advertisers, middle tier advertisers and high end advertisers. You know, we're talking big brand companies with big budgets and things like that.
So one of the things that is different now and is difficult for a lot of advertisers, just the fact that there's just a lot of money flowing into Facebook and you and I happen to be recording this on an amazing day here in the U S it's election day. We have no idea what's going to happen by the time this airs, you know, who knows what's going to be going on.
Kathleen (09:22): Right. Probably best for all of us that we're in this room. And we can't be watching the news
Bob (09:27): Safe in our bunkers, listen to podcasts, not the news, but one of the big, you know, what I'm talking about here is the environment. So for about 30 days, give or take a couple of weeks, we have seen just record high CPMs. The cost of advertising has been just massive.
Kathleen (09:48): Well, and we're coming into black Friday, cyber Monday.
Bob (09:51): Yeah. that's coming up, but I have noticed more spending this cycle than I did in 2016. And then certainly during the midterms of 2018 just the highest CPMs we've ever seen. But yeah, so this other thing that we have going on called COVID has shifted a lot of money into the e-commerce space.
So a lot of your traditional big box retailers who kind of always rely on foot traffic into their stores are now heavily investing in their e-commerce sales, because they know people are not going to go to the stores in droves. So I have seen really since, you know, kind of August here political spending, and now here we are, the elections will be over. The politicians will leave, but you're right.
There's going to be a huge influx of cash into the ad auction specifically for e-commerce. And I saw a commercial, I think it was two weeks ago. Target said black Friday is now right.
Kathleen (10:53): Well, prime day has already happened. I mean, I feel like it's sort of like how stores put Christmas decorations now out in August, I feel like the same thing is happening with holiday deals and sales. Yeah.
Bob (11:04): It definitely is. And stores have lost a lot of money and they are going to try to make it up. So they are pumping money into advertising and trying to make that happen. So the biggest thing that people are probably facing and, you know, the clients that come to me for coaching are like, Hey, my costs are through the roof.
You know, how do we get, how do we get a stance here? How, how do we like quell the rising cost of advertising? I'm pretty sure that's what most people are fighting right now. The, the answer to that is, is, is it's multifaceted. Number one is, one of the things that we have found that is working quite well is, is really giving Facebook is much ... How do I want to say this? We want to give them as much, ability to target as we possibly can.
Bob (11:55): So really creating really good high value look alike audiences. It's probably a basic strategy at this point, but I've seen this mistake so many times is that people aren't modeling their best audience. Facebook's look alike audience is just that. It is a model of people that are just like a particular audience.
And I find too many people still relying on interest based targeting versus lookalikes. I was at a meeting at Facebook headquarters a number of years ago. And even then this was true. They said, you know, we know we know your customers better than you do.
Kathleen (12:37): They probably know the customers better than the customer knows themselves.
Bob (12:41): That's scary. And you, you really know that by looking at your own newsfeed, but the moral behind that story is we used to think our edge is that we would be able to dial in the targeting much better by knowing their interest and the, these pages they like and things like that. I have just found over and over that it's much better to spend time on creating a better model.
So, you know, in the book we talk about this ancient concept it's called RFM recency frequency money. And the idea here is, is that we should be creating sub list of our customers. The people who've bought most recently from us, the people who buy frequently from us and the people who spend the most money and making a smaller subset of our customers and using that as a lookalike audience.
And we find over and over that model beats like modeling your entire customer base and it, by far beats you know, just trying to do interest based targeting the more dialed in and the more you let the optimizer or Facebook's AI do targeting for you the better off, I think you're going to be from that standpoint. I don't know if you've experienced the same thing working with your team.
Kathleen (13:54): Yeah. I mean, I'm in a new role, so we're just getting started with Facebook advertising here, but I think it's certainly in previous situations, I've I found that to be true. Yeah.
Bob (14:05): And, you know, so kind of building on that that that's, that's really kind of a cold strategy is, is it, you know, if you, if you can't model your customers, the next best thing to customers is, is modeling an email list. You know, most of us are collecting email addresses and at least have kind of a non-buyer list.
That's another good strategy is to do that. I'll get back to what to do if you don't have either of those, but I, I, I want to shift towards the idea of you know, what do we do kind of first, I think, and I see this mistake over and over, and this is why I'm bringing it up. People placed too little emphasis on retargeting. I think everybody's concept is, Oh, I'm going to go to Facebook and I'm going to go find a bunch of new customers.
Bob (14:53): And I think that's just flat out wrong. The idea of going after cold traffic is, is great, but you, and I know this and probably people listening is that cold traffic is the hardest to convert and it's the most expensive to convert. And, and quite frankly, if you don't have things dialed in right away, you lose a lot of money and you lose a lot of confidence. So one of the big mistakes I see people making is they, they they're putting too little effort into their retargeting.
Retargeting of course, is the technology powered by the Facebook pixel. It's simply the ability to reconnect with visitors to your website or people who engage with your app or your content on the Facebook platform. And again, it's, I, I see it too often to not talk about it, but the idea is people who are already somewhat familiar with us are much likely to do business with us and somebody who doesn't know us at all.
Bob (15:48): I know it's elementary, but why do so many people make the mistake while they think because their product is better than all the other products? They think everyone is their customer. They simply go out to the cold, unwashed masses, and believe that their offers will convert. I really prefer to leverage warm traffic first.
I like to hone my offers there and get that to convert to my warm traffic. And then if I can prove it at that level on you know, spending much less money and getting it optimized there, then I feel more comfortable going to the masses and try my offer there. I, I just think it's an elementary mistake that too many people gloss over
Kathleen (16:32): Now let's talk offers for a second because having spoken with lots of different ads experts, I've heard, you know, varying opinions on the best way to structure a Facebook ads funnel. I've heard several people, just absolutely passionately evangelize that you, you can't have just bottom of the funnel ads that you need to have your top of the funnel awareness level content to kind of draw people in. And then you, you know, you go from there.
Then I've also had like, you know, at least one guest who's talked about like the progression of how you update your messaging. This was one of my earliest interviews. He talked about how if people see the same ad messaging too often, it stops working. And so he had a fairly elaborate, but I thought very wise and effective process for making sure that after a certain number of touches, he like rotated in new creative. So I'd love to just get your perspective on that kind of broad topic.
Bob (17:33): Well, here's where you can nerd out a little bit. So I, I have developed over time and this is, this is not top secret, but this is just something that I've developed and other marketers do this now. I call it deep funnel, marketing, others have different names, names for it. I really adhere to a principle that Eugene Schwartz talked about in 1966 and his book Breakthrough Advertising. It's basically the customer awareness timeline. And I, and I detail this in the book.
Anytime you're going out to the market, people are at various levels of awareness. Most of the market is unaware of who you are and what you offer. That's, that's just a fact. So as you, as you think about that, and as you move to the right of the timeline, the next stage is problem aware. This is really where a lot of Google advertisers really live and it's, it's actually a difficult adjustment for somebody who's good at Google to shift to Facebook.
Bob (18:32): It's because people who advertise on Google are instinctively aware about people's problems. Google is a problem solving mechanism. So when you go advertise on Google, there are people that are actively looking for solutions solution, where it happens to be the next stage of the awareness journey.
And the idea is, Hey, I know you have this problem and I do a better job of detailing that problem, agitating that problem, and offering you a solution to that problem. That's, that's where a lot of advertisers are living, unfortunately, who advertise on Facebook.
I see too many people running problem aware and solution aware ads to cold traffic. And that's a huge, huge mistake because only, Hey, here's what I'd like to say. Facebook is an interruption mechanism. Facebook is like a, it's like a anniversary party. You have a bunch of people over and today would be outside.
Bob (19:29): We wouldn't be indoors. We'd be outside in the backyard. There'd be family and friends there. We're celebrating the day. You know, we're laughing with, with our friends and family, and here comes a vacuum cleaner sales button, and they're screaming from the, you know, they're walking to the park.
They're like, Hey, buy my vacuum cleaner. Well, you are an unwelcome guest. You're a pest at that party. Too many Facebook advertisers act like that. I know it's a funny example, but the idea is we're interrupting people who are looking at pictures of family and friends. I mean, that's essentially what Facebook is.
We are interrupting them. And when somebody is at the unaware stage and you are interrupting them with problem aware solution, where ads, you are going to waste a lot of money and you're going to have really low quality scores and in turn and have really, really expensive ads that don't convert.
Bob (20:19): I think too few advertisers don't think about how to time their content. So, okay. If I'm going to interrupt somebody in the Facebook timeline, or what do I need to say to demonstrate my ability or to agitate a particular problem they have, or offer up a particular service or anything like that, you have to have different top of funnel content when you're interrupting them the first time, then once they've signaled to you that they're interested.
And this is really key that the pixel really powers this. You know, I look for signals like this, they visited my landing page and they fill out a form or they watch a one-minute video. They put in their Facebook newsfeed and they watched 100% of it, meaning, Hey, they were engaged for a full 60 seconds. To me, that's a signal that, okay, they've moved beyond the unaware stage.
Bob (21:14): They're now either problem aware solution aware, and they're on their way to our solution aware or your solution aware. That's when you can start to offer them more. What I would call middle of funnel, nurturing type content, credibility, boosters, like testimonials, demonstrations you know, FAQ's those types of things.
And then when they move down the funnel further, like they view an order form they watch a webinar or they've been on a call with you or something further down, well, now we're their bottom of funnel and they're very much aware of your solution and they're really narrowing it down to you or somebody else or worth you or nothing. Then you really want to target your ads towards that mindset.
And I think too many people try to shortcut it and they're really misfiring on where their customer's awareness level is that, and that's where there there's big pockets of waste in their ad account because they're not adhering to where the customer is in terms of their customer awareness journey.
Kathleen (22:14): Yeah, it's interesting. I think that makes so much sense. And I think I know that I know that in the past I've made that mistake of sort of having the set it and forget it mentality with my ads and not recognizing that the customer is on a journey and the ad needs to go on that journey. The ad set needs to go on that journey with them.
Bob (22:34): And I don't know, Kathleen, the type of clients that you work with. I tend to work with clients that have much more complex or higher price products and services. Okay.
Kathleen (22:41): I don't work with clients anymore. I'm in house now. I've been out of the agency game for awhile.
Bob (22:48): I think this is another thing too, is the level of complexity in your product and the length of the buying decision makes a big difference too. You know, we mentioned e-commerce and I, and I have a lot of clients over the years who do e-commerce and it's really, it's kind of like the product that sits at the checkout counter before you go out where you don't have to do a lot of thinking.
These are the types of products that the Harmon brothers, right? They work with Dollar Shave Club. And some of those like, Hey, I just saw a video. It entertained me. It's a product that I think is cool. I'm going to buy it. There's, I mean, there's obviously retargeting things involved, but it's really just like, Hey, the product is cheap enough or it's simple enough that I don't need to think about it.
Bob (23:33): I tend to attract those that are in the more complex markets. So we have more complex problems itself. It usually involves higher prices or a lot more thinking involved. So you have a lot more nurturing time in between, and it really takes a little bit more money and a little bit more patience to be able to work in that situation.
Those that have that type of staying power do find success though because they're willing to go to those lengths to move and be with the customer as they shift from being unaware of me, to being aware of me and making a decision to buy.
Kathleen (24:10): What about ad formats? So specifically, you know, there are so many different ad formats now from, you know, sponsored content to stories, to videos, to you name it. You know, and that's, that's just on Facebook and I'm sure I've missed, oh carousels. I'm sure I've missed so many, but what have you seen in terms of effectiveness?
Bob (24:33): Well, it's interesting. I wish I was more creative. A lot of these new formats involve a high level creativity, and there's some cases where those big agencies just have an edge over me. I am really a proponent 80% of the time when you're starting out, you really need to focus in on the mobile newsfeed and two secondary to the desktop newsfeed. I, I prefer going into a market and make things much more simple.
There are so many placements and there's so many types of ads and designs that you could do that we, we get. I think we get stuck quite honestly, I think becomes overwhelming. So what I prefer to do is, is, is simplify things for people and say, Hey, let, let's do something simple. Let's try image ads and video ads in the mobile newsfeed. And I do know about mobile newsfeed, because 90% of our traffic to most businesses is going to be on the mobile side.
Bob (25:36): Okay. So I like to start there. In fact, you could live there for a very long time before you need to start branching out to other forms. Now, again, it's probably a function of the type of coaching clients that I have and the type of clients that come to us where, where some of those newer formats and more exciting formats are probably more appropriate.
But you know, just realize that you really want to mix those placements and those types of designs to the type of environment and market that you're going after. I think certainly if you're in a market that skews a bit younger you probably need to have a lot more attention to types of like stories and things like that. One of the fortunate things is that we can hit both Instagram and Facebook through the same ad interface.
Bob (26:25): And you, you need to have some differences between those, you know. Instagram prefers, you know, shorter videos, square videos. Facebook tends to like, you know, profile videos like four by five, seven by 16 format works well, or the landscape 16 by nine works well. So I think part of it, Kathleen is really just I don't like people to get confused or overwhelmed by the number of choices they have.
A lot of what Facebook puts into their system is, is what big advertisers are demanding. And I think part of what they do is as they deliver new products, new placements, new formats, they're, they're trying to create extra space to show ads, but the, the stalwart, the the steamship, whatever that drives Facebook's ad engine and drives most of the response still, in my opinion, is the newsfeed type ads.
Kathleen (27:21): And when you start a new campaign how many different variations on the creative do you start out with? Cause I'm a big believer in, you know, like testing and you can learn a lot, but I feel like, I feel like you could spend, you know, all your time just coming up with a million variations. So what's your personal approach to that?
Bob (27:42): It's a really good question. I think it's actually become simpler. If we are going after cold traffic, let's say we've, we've kind of here's what I, here's what I'd like to have and be armed with. Okay. as I mentioned before, I like to start with warm traffic. So what we do is we usually go and testing kind of three variations of an ad. I do not like to mix like images and videos in the same ad.
So what I prefer to do is develop three different videos with kind of three different messages first. So we'll kind of test those. And then what we do is we keep the same primary texts. So I'm assuming a lot about what people know about Facebook ads, but essentially there is a primary text that you see below your page name, there's the media, and then there's a headline and there's a call to action button.
Bob (28:35): So to keep things simple in our minds is we will test images first and we'll really evaluate click-through rates and just kind of see you know, how are people clicking through? And then we'll also on a video. See, like how many of the videos are, you know, getting engagement all the way through Facebook gives you, you know, how many watched it for 15, or I'm sorry, 25%, 50, 75, a hundred percent. So we'll evaluate videos that way, but I don't like evaluating images versus videos.
So we'll do a video test and then we'll also do image test. You know, I like to do three. I think when you get past three, I see, I see too many inconsistent results. So you could run an image test on one day and, you, you, you think you have a definitive result and the very next day Facebook will decide to put its impressions on another image and it's really arbitrary.
Bob (29:33): So I find that three doesn't confuse the optimizer too much. And if when, once you run it for several days, you start to see some consistency. There's usually going to be a clear winner. There's going to be somewhere in second, and then there's going to be a laggard. Usually what you're going to find is that one is one is a clear winner and one is a real laggard.
Um, I like to test that first and then we rotate in. So every time we have a loser, we'll throw a new one in and we'll try to beat, you know, and just see if we can move that up the totem pole. I like to kind of find three different pieces of media that work well. And then we start to test the primary text. Um, other thing that people really, really need to test is your primary texts.
Bob (30:18): Maybe you don't realize, but you only see three lines. Okay. So we used to think direct marketing. We need to test headlines well in Facebook, we need to taste, test the media first, and then we need to just test the first three lines of our text. So I spend most of my time really working on the first three lines of my opening primary text paragraph. Now, the other copy is definitely critical that we found the most impact is from, from trying variations of the first three lines. And here's, here's something just that I have found. And, and I pass this along.... If you are able to tell a story or, or engage kind of, and create an open loop in somebody's mind, then you get them to engage with the rest of the text involved in the ad. So I start with images. I'm sorry. I start with videos. Then I test images. Then I test primary text.
Kathleen (31:20): That's super helpful. And that makes me kind of think of another question, which is how long do you let a test run? Because I do feel like I hear frequently from marketers, like, Oh, I tried Facebook advertising and it didn't work. Or I tried LinkedIn advertising, you know, like I hear this about all the platforms and I'm always interested in like, is it that they didn't try long enough? Is it that when they thought it wasn't working, they should have just started new creative? Like how long do you go before you come to the conclusion? Like this channel just isn't working for me.
Bob (31:54): Yeah. There's two things that are always constantly battling for me. Number one is I have this statement and it's, it pretty much always rings true. The way something starts is the way it ends. And this is really true on Facebook for me is that if, if, if one particular piece of creative runs out in front, it's generally not going to get beat by something else.
Facebook is, I mean, it's weird, but you know, Facebook is really smart. You know, the, the, the people that are creating the ad algorithm are really, really smart. The machine, the algorithms are really, really smart. So it's very rare that we will see a test run out to a lead and then retreat back later. We're always to let that run long enough so that it has some, statistical relevance. In general, there's always this rule of like 200, like you need 200 actions or 200 of anything to really make, make sure.
Bob (32:54): I tend to break that more often than not just, just going by the first, first observation. I, I have found that if you let something run a couple of days and it's just way ahead it's never going to get caught by the other two iterations. So what I like to do in that instance is declare that winner.
And again, I'm not just spending $5 a day. I think, you know, you, you need to spend a couple hundred dollars on an ad before you can really make a call. It's not a hard and fast rule Kathleen, but I, I prefer, I feel much more comfortable calling a winner when I spend at least a couple of hundred dollars. So I'll follow the rule of 200 in terms of the monetary side of things. And I feel really comfortable kind of declaring a winner after Facebook's had at least a couple hundred dollars to spend.
Kathleen (33:40): All right, this is the perfect segue. Let's talk budgets. Oh yeah. Everybody, I'm sure you get this question with every single new customer that you sign. I remember I got it when I had an agency. How much should I be prepared to spend with Facebook advertising?
Bob (33:57): So there's, there's always a two part answer. The first answer is retargeting can be very, very inexpensive. I have some clients that are running very simple. What I call nurturing campaigns for $5 a day. Okay. They're coaching clients. They have a simple funnel. They don't spend a lot of money. They don't get a lot of traffic. They can put their retargeting out and nurture clients or nurture their prospects for $5 a day.
However, if you are going to go and scale and go cold traffic, you need, you need to be prepared to start spending $5,000 a day. Like I said, the cost of traffic is going up, and it's going up for everybody. And of course, you know, we're, we're, we're giving you tips and tricks and we're trying to teach you how to be most effective to reduce, you know, reduce your cost, increase your response and things like that.
Bob (34:48): But it really comes down to a couple of things. Number one is, what's the conversion rate, you know, what's the normal conversion rate of your site. You know, how many people do you need to drive to that site in order for them to generate revenue for you? And, the second factor then is how much can you afford to spend to convert a customer?
So the question, is a great question. We always get it. And we, we always have to kind of analyze each business individually, but it really comes down to conversion rates and, and margins. The more margin you have, the easier it is to be an advertiser. If you, if you have really tight margins and really tight windows to convert people, unfortunately it's going to be really difficult for you to make Facebook work. Because again, there, there was an expense.
Bob (35:39): You know, Facebook is not just going to give you customers, you really gotta work at it. So I, I would encourage those that have small budgets to really focus most of their time and money on retargeting. It's going to be really effective. It has the greatest return on ad spend. I have, I have an e-commerce client where we started, we only ran retargeting for three months, but that client was getting 15 to one, 25 to one, 40 to one return on ad spend during that time.
And so we, we lived there for several months, kind of build up their cash stores and to give them confidence before we went out to cold traffic. Um, just know that if you've limited focus on retargeting, once you're at a cashflow or revenue space where you can afford to invest in cold advertising, then you go ahead and scale outward to that.
Kathleen (36:32): Great. Well, I feel like I could keep asking you questions about Facebook all day long, because this is such a big topic. But we are running out of time. So I want to switch gears and ask you the two questions I always like to ask all of my guests, the first of which is we always talk about inbound marketing on the podcast because we're the inbound success podcast. Is there a particular company or individual that you think is really setting the gold standard for what it means to be an inbound marketer today?
Bob (37:00): Yeah. I mean, I, I want to mention a couple people. I'm really fortunate to be friends with Ryan Deiss. Ryan and I were in the same mastermind group before he was Ryan Deiss. What I really appreciate, and I did an interview actually for this book. Ryan's one of the co-authors in the book. He contributed a chapter. I was really proud to have him in the book. But what he's done with Digital Marketer, he talks about in an interview I did. He kind of this promoter, but he's really a humble guy. And what I really like is they, they really lead with content.
They, they understand kind of the needs of marketers and they've done a really good job of niching their content and offering things to people that make it really easy to engage. They lead with education and they have really good people that are kind of working to educate the marketing community. So, you know, no matter where you go on their site, there's, there's ways to engage with them. There's there's tools. There's just all kinds of goodies that you can get from them. I think they over-deliver on their content and that's really, what's made Digital Marketer such a huge company. And then of course, the Traffic and Conversion Summit, probably the biggest marketing conference in the world at this point.
Kathleen (38:19): I just had to laugh when you said you knew Ryan Deiss before he was Ryan Deiss because I know Ryan Deiss. You know, he's not my best friend or anything. I don't know him that well, but I know him and I find it hard to believe in my head that he didn't just exit the womb as the Ryan Deiss that he is today, because like, he just seems so fully baked.
Bob (38:36): So I just had to chuckle when you said that he's, he's a good guy and a great family guy. Yeah. I also, I do want to talk about, obviously I wrote this book with Perry Marshall. Perry of course, he's been around forever. He's kind of the first person that introduced Google Adwords to the marketing community. But even Perry kind of for a while, kind of went through a wall with his lead generation. And just recently we worked on a project where he did a, a five day challenge. So challenge funnels of course are kind of all the rage and we kind of think, well, those don't work anymore. But Perry just recently did a five day challenge. He, he did it of course, to re-engage some unengaged people on this list.
Bob (39:26): We, we got about 500 people re-engage and the cost of that was about $3 50 cents to kind of get somebody enrolled, but we rolled that out. Perry's team rolled that out. I should say rolled that out to cold traffic generated 2,500 new leads into the company for the same amount of money. So about $3 and 50 cents a lead. Now the normal lead, like people are happy around nine or $10 a lead in, in this space. And so that absolutely broke kind of this paradigm where we thought we knew all the tricks really, really took was somebody who really knew how to execute that idea. David Nadler, who's also in the book with me, brought the idea of the challenge funnel to Perry and, you know, together, they put that out there. So those types of things to work, and they're not just tips and tricks, like when you really have value behind something those structures really work.
Bob (40:28): So a challenge funnel is really good. And I'll just mention one more. I, I have a particular client that I'm, that I'm helping, who is just doing quiz funnels to the Nth degree. You know, these are not just like buzzwords and hacks. They really, really work. He's got a quiz funnel in the lead generation space, and it's just, it's just converting better than anything he's ever tried. So, you know, I think all of us, you know, listening to this podcast cast and following some of these people, these ideas that are out there, they're not just like, they just don't work for a little while.
They can continue to work for years and years. We maybe lose favor with it because we're always looking for the next thing, but I I'm afraid that we let ideas kind of pass too quickly. And we forget about some of the things that really really work, especially in non marketing spaces, but, I'm just really proud of Perry to kind of go, Hey, you know, I don't know everything, sought out somebody to try something different and absolutely smashed for him. So I'm really proud of him.
Kathleen (41:35): That's a great story. And I think those are three really fantastic people to check out. So thank you for that. Second question. And I think this definitely applies in the field that you're in. I always hear marketers saying, gosh, you know, how to, how can I keep up with all the changes that are happening in the world of digital marketing? It changes so quickly. You know, I feel like I'm overwhelmed. So how do you personally stay up to date and keep yourself educated?
Bob (41:59): Yeah, I'm real careful too. I mean, obviously putting a book out and coaching clients and things like that, I don't have the same type of space and time anymore to be educated. So you know, I, I'm a friend and business partner, Perry Marshall, but I still read his email. So Perry is the person I follow. The second person I follow is Ryan Deiss.
I think Digital Marketer distills a lot of the good ideas that are all around kind of our, our world. So I do follow Digital Marketer. And then I also follow Brian Kurtz. Brian Kurtz is founder of Boardroom. He retired from that. Brian, I follow Brian because he, he talks at a kind of a a really fundamental level. And so what I, what I get from Brian, he sends out an email once or twice a week, and it's really about principles type stuff.
Bob (42:52): I, I didn't say it or maybe I did say it I'm a high school basketball coach, so I really value fundamentals. I really love to be successful that you have to master the simple things. And so at this point in my career, I just really value people that, that teach fundamentals versus tactics and hacks. You know, those things, like I said, hacks only lasts for a little while with fundamentals last for a long, long time.
And I was really careful by the way in my book too, to make it a lot of fundamentals versus tactics, because a book about Facebook is going to go, it's going to go irrelevant real quickly. Right. You know, that screenshots are going to be out of date and things like that. So I was really careful to put a lot of fundamentals. They know it. So that's the type of people I like to follow these,
Kathleen (43:38): You know, that story really resonates with me. And as you were telling it, it, it reminded me of something that I had almost forgotten about, which is, I almost never talk about my kids on the podcast, but my stepson, many years ago, we were going on a like a skiing, snowboarding vacation. And he broke his arm right before we left. And he was basically told like, look, you really can't go and do all that. But he was so heartbroken.
And what we figured out was, we were like, well, you, maybe you can't go on like those black diamond slopes that you're used to going on. He was a snowboarder. But what if we enroll you in like private snowboarding lessons and the person, and they focus on the fundamentals with you, like you really nail how to carve a turn. And he was so mad at us.
Kathleen (44:27): He was like, lessons, I'm too old for that. Like, this is waste of time, but we were like, we're not going to let you just go down the mountain with this broken, like he had a cast on and everything, but, and it was funny. He went kind of kicking and screaming and he, it helped that he had a really cute girl who was his teacher, but I will say, like, he really did learn the fundamentals.
He really nailed like the turning and this and that. And I remember it was like in the year after that, that he became a really phenomenal snowboarder and he actually went on to teach snowboarding. So I just, like that came back full force when you told that story. And I had, I had forgotten about it.
Bob (45:05): Fundamentals are boring. Like I coach 16, 17 year old boys. Like they all think they're going to go to the NBA and, you know, they're, they're not they would much rather scrimmage and do all the fun stuff in practice. They don't want to do the things that really make them better. But those, those that really master that and do that end up being our best players and they have really rewarding high school careers, and some are lucky enough to go play in college.
Fundamentals are boring. I, I get it. Nobody wants to dribble a basketball or, or practice passing because we all think we're past it. We were like that as marketers. We think we all heard the terms and we've all done it. But I I've seen enough. I've gone inside enough Facebook ad accounts of supposedly really expert people. We all have blind spots.
I guarantee, you know, I have people come in and help me out and we just all have blind spots. I think, I think we're all to kind of pushing our, our, our, our fame too far or our egos too far. I think we all have blank spots. We have spaces that we can improve on. So I value fundamentals and I, and I love when people call me out on, on really simple things. Cause I, I just think we all have blind spot.
Kathleen (46:20): Well, I think that's the perfect note to end on. I totally agree. So Bob, if somebody has been listening to this episode and they want to learn more about you or what you do or connect and ask a question, what is the best way for them to do that?
Bob (46:36): Thank you very much. I would love for them to visit ultimatefb.com. That's ultimatefb.com. It's it gives you a link to go get the book. But I have I have 10 interviews on there. So I do have interviews with Ryan Deiss and Brian Kurtz and Perry Marshall and others.
All people who helped me kind of put the book together. And so I was really proud to get them on camera, just like you and I are talking, and get them to tell some stories that maybe few people have heard before. So ultimatefb.com is a great connection to me and to all that I have to offer.
Kathleen (47:14): Fantastic. I will put that link in the show notes, and that brings us to the end. So if you're listening and you enjoyed this episode, please head to Apple podcasts or the platform of your choice and leave the podcast a review. That would be incredible. And if you know somebody else who's doing kick ass inbound marketing work, as always, tweet me at @workmommywork because I would love to make them my next interview. Thank you so much for joining me, Bob. This was great.
Bob (47:39): Fantastic discussion. Thank you for having me.
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