Happy Sunday. Hope you had an amazing new year and are ready to hit the ground running.
I’m personally super excited and ready to take on all the challenges of our second full year.
Last newsletter, I wrote about how I am planning to double our business in 2022. I wrote about all things growth, not just paid social.
Today, I’d like to just talk about my plans for our Facebook ad account in 2022. I’m going to try to keep this short, sweet, and valuable so let’s get right to it.
Going to keep it super consolidated. In prospecting, right now we have 1 Broad CBO by itself, and 1 CBO with 1 interest stack and 1 Broad ad set. We recently paused all of our Lookalikes, and I plan on pausing our interests very soon.
For us, broad continues to be more efficient and less volatile. Things might change, but this is how I plan to move things for Prospecting:
1 Main Broad Prospecting CBO - 70% Daily Prospecting Budget
1 Broad Creative Testing CBO - 15-20% Daily Prospecting Budget
1 Accessory Broad Prospecting CBO - Cost Caps (Everything right now is on Lowest Cost).
I like the thought of the creative testing in a CBO with 1-4 ad sets in there, with min and max spends. I know this is not traditional, but I’m excited to give it a try. I like the thought of keeping it in a CBO to keep the total account daily budget stable. Especially if more than 15% of our total budget goes to testing, overall efficiency should stay in check. If this doesn’t work, I’ll do a more traditional ABO for testing.
I’d also like to consolidate our retargeting more. Right now we have a 7D VC/ATC, a 30D WV, and a 30 Day Video View/IG Engagers all in one CBO with some min spends. Side note: This is not a best practice set-up, but it’s how I inherited the account and it’s been working well so don’t want to mess with it too much.
But I think I’ll try to consolidate it much more.
The ideal set-up would look like:
1 Retargeting CBO w/ consolidated Video Viewers, IG Engagers, Email List Subscribers, and Website Visitors.
In the meantime, I am going to consolidate the 7D ATC/VC and 30D WV into one and see what happens.
Quick note before we move onto creative strategy, landing pages, and testing procedures… This is what I think will work for our account. The proper account structure is very context dependent, and depends on several factors.
Please take what I am saying with a grain of salt. Generally speaking, consolidated is great. But be sure to test what works best for your account.
There are two main reasons I like the Broad only, super consolidated structure outside of all the obvious reasons like maximizing signal and scalability.
First off, it’s a constraint. When we have the option of placing blame on different audiences or bid strategies when things aren’t performing, we can end up spending a ton of time and energy focusing on testing those variables.
In my opinion, those don’t provide long term, scalable solutions. If we constrain ourselves by not even providing the option to test those, we’ll end up being far more creative and solving problems that truly will impact performance, like creative tests, offers, landing pages, LTV, and economics.
The second reason is similar. It has to do with time. We’re a very lean team, and I personally wear many hats. In addition to buying on TikTok, I’m also managing our team, being involved with recruitment, organic social, retention, finance, and e-commerce.
My/ our time is limited, and I want it to go to what will move the needle. I am not saying that media buying is pointless, but there are diminishing returns and I would like as much of our energy and focus to go into big needle movers.
Now we’re getting to the good stuff. As you can probably tell by now, I’m not the worlds best or most technical media buyer. Far from it. But if I were to toot my own horn, I am pretty good at understanding the different levels of awareness of our target consumer and creating strategies to overcome objections, increase conversions, and maximize AOV and LTV.
Aka I’m more of a marketer than a media buyer. But I digress.
I like video in Prospecting. I love Nik Sharma’s concept of Performance Branding. I’ve always called that Reverse Organic, but lately I’ve been calling it Brand First Performance Marketing.
What do I mean by that? The goal of Paid Social is to acquire customers and generate demand for our brand. The goal is not to acquire customers at all cost, or as cheaply of a CAC as possible.
Instead, it is to acquire the right kind of customers, and/or to nurture them into the correct type of customers with content, storytelling, and authentic social proof.
I want to acquire the right customers that buy into our mission and values before buying our products. That’s one of the big secrets to acquiring high LTV customers.
Tactically, what does this look like?
Well we have a pretty well known founder (my mom), so we should lean into some TOF “educational” style videos where she teaches tutorials in under 60 seconds. Done correctly, it provides value to the user and almost makes them forget it is an ad, but of course in the latter half of the video it’s selling the product hard.
Why can this style of ad be so effective? Well, 2 reasons…
I like to think about it with a real estate analogy. Direct response is like getting cash flow on a rental property, and brand building is like building equity over time.
You can make money with one, but to create true wealth you want both. It’s hard to get truly rich without building equity, and it’s no different in DTC. It’s hard to build a great business without a ton of good will and brand equity.
You can direct response your way to 7 and maybe even 8 figures, but to build a generational 9 figure brand, you need that equity.
I am hoping this approach gives that.
Normally when you buy ads for pure brand awareness, you are left negative for some time, hoping to make it back with built equity later on. You need huge pockets and amazing cash flow to support that.
On the other hand, only focusing on direct response it like a snake eating its tail. You’re trapped in a vicious cycle you can never truly break away from. You keep spending and spending hoping for “scale, bro” but you’re left with diminishing returns, reduced efficiency, and rising CACs with each attempt to scale. Why is that?
The reality is that only 1-3% of people in any given market are ready to buy right now. If you’re only speaking to those people, it’s going to be really expensive because your messaging is going to be ignored by 97% of people.
That 1-3% will be plenty of people if you want to build a 6 or 7 figure brand, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. But if you have higher aspirations, you need to find a way to speak to a much larger part of the market. Education and storytelling are how you do that.
Now one important point here is that I am still going to be running these video ads in conversion campaigns, optimized for purchases. If I ran these ads for video views, we wouldn’t have the positive cash flow from conversion campaigns.
One thing I might test out is running a small portion as either video views or engagement. In addition to social proofing the videos, this will allow me to reach the most people while maintaining positive cash flow.
I’ll try to maintain a certain equilibrium of spend so I’m always balanced between direct efficiency and total reach. For example, let’s say our Prospecting ROAS goal is a 1.0.
If the conversion campaigns are performing at a 1.5, I can now take a portion of my overall budget and put it into a Video Views campaign at a negative ROAS until my overall Prospecting ROAS is at a 1.
In addition to these founder educational ads, we will also run some traditional product/ value prop ads, and Influencer/ UGC style application videos, testing whitelisting vs ran from our page on all of them.
Even with the influencer videos, I want to weave in as much education storytelling as possible. I want to acquire customers who are buying into the brand before buying our products. Those are the type of customers who will keep coming back.
We will also run some static ads, mostly to third party editorials. These will have super high CTRs and cheap CPCs because we’re engaging customers where they are at in their journey and level of awareness.
I’ll keep it short for now, but ask me and I’ll rant about why CTR does matter ;).
Let’s get to my favorite subject, retargeting.
This year, I feel like I’ve really dialed in on what strategies work in retargeting. Check this thread below:
To sum it up if you’re too lazy to click on it, most people that make it to your website and don’t buy abandon for 1 of 3 reasons:
Most retargeting ads and email flows just focus on 1 and 2. I like to focus exclusively on 3.
Some of our most common objections are:
I think your retargeting ads need to address your most common objections. Here’s how I’d tackle each of the above objections:
I think nearly all of our retargeting efforts are going to be focused on:
The cool thing here is that you can combine these strategies. For example, right now we are whitelisting an ad that goes to an educational landing page, that then leads to a quiz. It’s doing quite well.
If there’s one theme with retargeting, it’s social proof. You want to make your prospects feel very comforted into buying, rather than sold or forced. Third party publishers and influencers words hold more weight than your own, plus there’s a really cool effect. When you whitelist, for some reason FB shows your ads way more often, so they might show up multiple times from different pages during one session. This gives the prospect the feeling that they’re seeing it everywhere, and everyone is loving your product. If you’ve ever been in EightSleep, Ritual, or Seed’s retargeting funnel, you know what I mean.
We haven’t done a ton of landing page testing. About 80% of our traffic has gone to PDPs this year. I’d like to change that, so building and testing landing pages is going to be a huge focus for us this year. We’re using Builder for this.
A few styles of landing pages that I would like to test are:
If you’d like me to share this process or write a newsletter just about these types of landing pages, please let me know.
We also haven’t tested a bunch of offers. Usually we just run ads for one of two top selling products, and it works well!
One thing I have done is create customized sets based around top selling and highest LTV products. This has been a game changer as well.
I would like to test out an evergreen prospecting offer if I can do it in a brand first way. I definitely don’t want to acquire customers on a discount, but there is a way to create a compelling evergreen acquisition offer. It’s probably done with a gift with purchase offer.
Athletic Greens, Comeeter, and Harry’s are a few brands that do this well, and still maintain a strong brand presence.
I don’t know if you can technically call it an offer, but our quiz funnel will be used a lot more this year as well. We haven’t quite cracked it on Prospecting, but when we do it will be huge. I expect that to be one of our main prospecting “offers.”
I really hope this has been helpful. I want you to see that success in your ad account is largely dictated by what happens outside of your ad account, what type of creatives you run, how you storytell, educate, provide social proof, and overcome objections.
Spend more time mastering that, and less time worrying about what buttons to push. Hit me with any questions of feedback. And check out TripleWhale if you're looking for a tool to help you keep track of your metrics.
Until next time!
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