Navigating Facebook and Instagram Ads for Small Businesses, Despite iOS Updates

Are you a small business owner struggling to make the most of your social media ads? Do you find yourself lost in a sea of confusing updates and ever-changing algorithms? Fear not, my friend, because in this podcast episode, we sit down with social media expert Andrea Vahl to unpack the good, the bad, and the downright ugly of Facebook and Instagram ads.

One of the first things we learn from Andrea is the importance of having a clear strategy when it comes to social media advertising. Sure, it’s easy to just throw money at an ad and hope for the best, but that’s like playing darts blindfolded. With Andrea’s help, we explore how to define your brand identity, target the right audience, and create content that actually resonates with people.

But let’s face it, even the best strategy can be thrown off course by the dreaded iOS updates. We’ve all heard the horror stories of businesses losing their entire ad accounts, or having their ads suddenly stop performing. Andrea assures us that there’s no need to panic, though. By staying on top of the latest updates and adjusting your strategy accordingly, you can still succeed in the ever-evolving world of social media.

Throughout the episode, we also get to hear Andrea’s insights on the latest trends in social media advertising. She discusses the growing importance of using casual video in Facebook and Instagram ads. Andrea provides tips and best practices for creating effective video ads, including keeping them short and attention-grabbing, and ensuring they are visually appealing and relevant to your target audience.

In conclusion, social media advertising can be a daunting task, but with the help of Andrea Vahl, you can navigate the waters and come out on top. From defining your brand identity to adapting to iOS updates, this podcast covers everything you need to know to create effective Facebook and Instagram ads for your small business. So grab your earbuds and take a listen. Your business (and your bank account) will thank you. And don’t forget to share it with your fellow small business owners who could use a little help in the social media ad department.


This transcript is automatically generated by Descript.  Any errors or omissions are unintentional.

[00:00:00] Jeff Sieh: Okay, here we. Hello folks. Welcome to Social Media. News Live. I’m Jeff Sieh and you’re not. And

[00:00:05] Grace Duffy: I’m Grace Duffy. And this is a show that keeps you up to date on the world of social media. And today’s the day we invited Andrea VA to join us, and she’s excited you are here for the pre-show. You heard about this excitement about advertising on Facebook and I.

[00:00:22] Again, and Andrea’s seen a lot of improvements with Facebook and Instagram ads lately, and she’s excited and she’s gonna share that excitement with us. And so we invited her to tell us why. We’ve also come to learn about how to get your ad campaigns to reform. She’s got a lot of content on her blogs about how to do this processes.

[00:00:42] We’re gonna dig into those a little bit today so that your campaigns can get up and running faster, easier, and more cost effectively again, and. , that’s what you’re interested in doing. Okay. It’s like our friend here, Jim, you’ve come to the right place. And then with reports heading into 2023 telling us that businesses were looking to diversify their social media spend, Andrea’s here to get us pumped about Facebook and Instagram ads again.

[00:01:05] So Andrea, how are you today?

[00:01:08] Andrea Vahl: I’m good. Thank you so much Jeff and Grace. It’s exciting to be here again. It’s been a while and thank you for inviting me back to your sh show and, and just I’m excited to talk about Facebook ads cuz, like I was saying, they are performing better than they have in a long time and I’m seeing better tracking, better optimizations.

[00:01:28] I think has really gotten its act together in terms of the type of learning it’s able to do, the way your ads are served. And it’s, it’s not less confusing. I will say that it’s still confusing, right, to set up a, a good ad campaign, but it’s very, very possible. I’m getting opt-in costs for some clients, like as low as 50 cents back.

[00:01:52] Wow. You know, I. it, it’s like crazy. I to see that Wow. Kind of opt-in cost again for some of my clients and and even clients long, long performing clients that are getting like, lead costs of like half of what they used to be even like six months ago. So it’s really, really beautiful. Well,

[00:02:11] Grace Duffy: we’ve got a ton of questions for Andrea, Jeff, that’s right.

[00:02:13] And I wrote, but everyone in the audience please drop your questions in. You’re the ones running Facebook ad campaigns and Instagram ad campaigns. So talk to us about what are your pain points, what are your questions? And we will bring them up on the show. We’ve got a ton of stuff to get through, but we wanna prioritize you and what you wanna know because we are here for you.

[00:02:33] Jeff Sieh: Yes. And by the way, I want to introduce you to Andrea because as you can tell, she’s super smart about all this stuff. I, she’s been doing it for years. She, she knows the confusing lingo that Facebook and ah, meta is. But she is a Facebook and Instagram ads expert and is the co-author of Facebook Marketing All In One For Dummies.

[00:02:51] And her newest book is Facebook Ads Made Simple. She Speaks and. All over the world and has managed over 6 million in ad spin for her clients. She’s also a standup comedian, which is it’s just, she’s, she’s just funny. So she, she’s, you love her and you can learn And her latest passion project is The Late Starters Club podcast.

[00:03:12] Where she shares inspirational stories of those above a certain age who decided to go for their dreams. So it’s an incredible podcast. Make sure you check it out. Make sure you give her a rating review because it really does help podcasters out and share it with your friends because it’s kind of a newish podcast.

[00:03:28] So go check it out. Yeah, listen to it. Give her a rating review. And she and we’d all appreciate it. So, Andrea, thank you for being here today.

[00:03:35] Andrea Vahl: Yeah. Thank you. Thanks for the shout out to my podcast. I have been loving my podcast too. It’s super fun. Just started in October and it’s been amazing. So that’s great.

[00:03:44] And yeah, fun to see you at Pod Pod Fest last week. That’s right. And

[00:03:48] Jeff Sieh: then podcast coming up and your neck of the woods. So I’m excited about that. I’m also excited about our friends who sponsored the show, Ecamm, so you can find out more about them at slash Ecamm. I don’t know if you know this or not because I’ve talked about it all the time, but it’s really easy to create a podcast with Ecamm because you have the separated audio tracks.

[00:04:06] Makes it really easy. That’s what we do for our show. And if you have a Mac, it’s a no-brainer to get the software. If you have any questions, you know, shoot me an email or comment under the show and I’ll do my best to answer. And if I. Ecamm has an incredible community where they can answer your questions.

[00:04:20] We’ve talked about their community here in the past. They’re just spectacular. And 4.0 just rolled out, which is incredible. It now doesn’t just do isolated audio tracks, it does isolated video tracks. If you have Max Silicone, which means I have separated, like I have Andrea separated, I have Grace separated and I can repurpose it on all the ticky talks and all the things because it is so amazing.

[00:04:40] So, make sure you guys to go to slash Ecamm and check them out. All right, Grace. Let’s get going. Cuz I know Andrew’s gotta leave right at like right at the end. So we gotta, we gotta, okay. We’re gonna, we’re gonna pick

[00:04:52] Grace Duffy: your brain. Yes, yes. So Facebook and Instagram ads in 2023.

[00:04:56] Despite frequent controversies, countless reiteration, profitability challenge, and privacy battles, Facebook still remains a marketing powerhouse. It’s one of the founding platforms that continues to survive, and it’s better than ever. So tell us, Andrea. What is exciting you about Facebook, Instagram ads.

[00:05:16] We covered this a little bit at the beginning, but here for the podcast audience, tell us what is excited, what is getting you excited about them?

[00:05:22] Andrea Vahl: Yeah, so the, the, the performance has improved quite a bit with Facebook ads and Instagram ads, and that is because Facebook has gotten better with their machine learning, their ai, and if you have the Facebook pixel installed, you’re going to get better results on your ads, and that’s always been true.

[00:05:41] During that period where Apple iOS rolled out and messed everything up, it was just really, really terrible. And Facebook has finally gotten things back dialed in, and what I’m seeing work right now much better is wide targeting in a lot of cases. Mm. So wide open targeting with. Like very few keywords or, or pretty broad, broad keywords with large audiences.

[00:06:07] And I used to never recommend that. I used to always say, Hey, dial in your interest. Put your keywords in there. You know, dial that in to your customer avatar. And right now what I’m seeing is put some, you know, put some demographic boundaries on it. Obviously if you are working with only women in the 35 to 55 year old range, you wanna put that boundary on it.

[00:06:27] But otherwise you can think about keeping a lot of it wide open or pretty wide. Keywords and Facebook has taken away a lot of keywords actually that used to work really well. And, and even some that, I don’t know why they took away, but they did. And so now, now we are left with wide targeting. Wide targeting is oftentimes outperforming lookalike audiences from what I’ve seen.

[00:06:51] So, and sometimes you have to recreate the lookalike audiences from, from where they were at before. I’m just noticing some weird glitches that are happening there. So what that leaves us with, We don’t have to focus as much on the audience targeting. We can focus a little bit more on the creative targeting.

[00:07:10] So that’s a cool thing because that’s gonna save us money and hopefully get us better results and allow us to dial into that creative that’s performing best.

[00:07:19] Jeff Sieh: Awesome. So, we have a question like right off the bang and, and I love it. Keep your questions coming because I wanna, you know, I always say this is like freak insulting for us cuz your questions are what I need.

[00:07:29] So, vena goes, one of the biggest questions I get from new clients is what is the minimum ad spin that will work with the Facebook algorithm? So you’re talking about kind of doing this broad net, like how much do we need to start spending before we can really kind of dial it in and, and like, you know, really.

[00:07:45] Andrea Vahl: right. So that is a huge question, and I think what people worry about is that, or think is that they have to have a big budget in order to be successful, and that isn’t necessarily true. What you really need is that pixel to be kind of trained to the types of audiences that are opting in to. your offer or buying your product.

[00:08:09] what that means is you wanna get that pixel installed earlier. If you can do conversion API the conversion API implementation, that’s gonna be your best bet because you’re gonna get the best reporting, best information. Facebook’s gonna get the best information from the types of people who are opting in.

[00:08:27] So, in terms of budget, it varies so much. Between industry because, and what you’re advertising, because it’s gonna be very different for example, I have a client that is a law office, And their lead cost is a hundred dollars. So that means that in order to get significant results, I need to have a spend that’s probably over thousands of dollars.

[00:08:55] In order to see what’s really working with that. . Whereas if you’re advertising a lead magnet that’s really, really broad, like good for pet owners Then that lead cost might be really, really low because that market’s really wide. So, you have to kinda get a baseline for yourself.

[00:09:15] and understand from there how significant the results need to be for you to feel good about making a decision about what is really

[00:09:25] working. for you

[00:09:27] Jeff Sieh: So I wanted to just ask real quickly, you mentioned that conversion API and some people may not be mm-hmm. familiar with that, right. Is that something that you can set?

[00:09:35] Does Facebook walk you through setting that up on your own? Or is that something where I need to go, I need to hire Andrea to set this up? Or me? No, like, so talk

[00:09:43] Andrea Vahl: about that a little bit. No. Yeah, so there’s a, a few different ways you can get that installed. And some are easy, some are harder. So, the easy ways is sometimes your, the, the tool that you’re using has a very easy integration.

[00:09:57] If you’re using something like Shopify, that is a very easy connection point. Facebook walks you through it very easily in their integration partners, in the events manager area, in your ads manager. So that would so. If you have WordPress mm-hmm. , you can do it very easily. It has some other partners that are easy to integrate with, but if you have sort of a difficult website, if you don’t have ability to add code to websites, okay, you might, you might need you know, your website developer to help you out with that.

[00:10:32] And in some cases it’s not really critical because if you aren’t making. . It’s better if you are having a lot of purchase decisions that are being made on your site. If you are like a realtor or something like that where you’re just sending them more for maybe lead generation. Mm-hmm. , you know, you a lot of times then the Facebook pixel will suffice in that tracking.

[00:10:54] Jeff Sieh: Hmm. Gotcha. Gotcha.

[00:10:57] Grace Duffy: Alright, so there was this interesting article from entrepreneur Magazine, and it was all about growing a business using Facebook ad strategy. And I love entrepreneur because it’s like that to me. It’s almost like the every man’s , every woman’s resource for, for business, right?

[00:11:13] Because it’s not as the specific journals that we read for, you know, our social media. So this is a quote from this article. It says Every ad campaign costs a percentage of profits. Of course the cost should be account Should account for an acceptable loss. Unfortunately, many business owners and entrepreneurs unfamiliar with optimization strategies, Facebook ads can quickly envelope the profits and budget and marketing budgets, correcting marketing losses about identifying a campaign’s leaks or weak points.

[00:11:42] The only way to identify ineffective ads is to compare ads Still, it is only possible to identify and correct potential errors if you know the right design, implementation, and measurement strategies. And so, Well, you’re here to talk to us about Andrea is these designs, implementations and measurement strategies.

[00:11:59] But you know, what worked before may not be working. Now, if Facebook and Instagram ads aren’t performing like they once did, how can we write this ship as, as entrepreneur, put it and get our Facebook ads on track? And how do we go about starting to identify these leaks and weak, weak points that they identify?

[00:12:16] Andrea Vahl: Yeah. That is one of the biggest problems that most business owners have is they don’t know how to read the reports. They don’t know how to take a look and identify like the, the kind of flow of their funnel so they can see where things are going wrong. Where are people dropping out, and why are we getting the results that we are at the.

[00:12:39] At the bottom end, you know, so the first step is getting your tracking in place, right? So you know for sure that you are actually tracking your lead cost, properly tracking your sales, properly, tracking things like add to cart. And if you like, again, like I said, if you use a tool like Shopify or something like that, that’ll automatically track those purchase markers there.

[00:12:58] But for people who are using some sort of legion technique, you wanna make sure you’ve got the right pixel in place so it’s tracking properly. So what you wanna look at, what I. Kind of think about this as, as like a waterfall strategy. Like, and the first part of that waterfall is your, your cpm, your cost per thousand impressions.

[00:13:21] So you know, if your CPM is high. Because that’s what Facebook uses to mm-hmm. bid basically. If your CPM is really high, that’s gonna trickle down to the rest of your results. So it’s gonna be really hard to get a great lead cost when it costs so much to show your ad to a thousand people, right? So if it’s costing like $50 or a hundred dollars to show your ad.

[00:13:46] A a thousand people, you know, and only 1% of those people are opting in, you’re gonna get a high lead cost. So looking at your stats and being able to analyze them is a big, big step. And so for those business owners who are looking to advertise on Facebook, you need to get the right training, or otherwise you’re just flushing a bunch of money down the w drain.

[00:14:05] Right? You know, you, you just, you know, you might as well either pay someone to do it right for you or. , understand that you’ve gotta get the right training, and I definitely suggest even if you pay someone, you still get the training so you know exactly what’s going on. You can read those reports yourself.

[00:14:21] So, like I said, it’s not, it’s not simple. Facebook doesn’t, you know, Facebook tries to make something simple, but like, I think the boosted, the, the boosted post is too simple. That’s not gonna give you good results. And, but then you know, the better, the better strategy is setting up your ads. Optimized in the ads manager, but that can, that can feel a little daunting as well.

[00:14:44] Right.

[00:14:44] Jeff Sieh: So back to this quote from the Entrepreneur magazine. It says, it’s only possible identify in correct potential areas if you know the right design, the implication and measurement strategy. So you mentioned, you know, you need to know this yourself. So let’s say Andrea all is like, You can’t book her anymore.

[00:14:59] She’s full. She can’t take any more clients because she’s just, you know, their stuff she’s doing is so great. So what should somebody who needs help with this look for? Because I kind of feel like Facebook or meta strategists and gurus are almost kind of getting into that. Remember seo and it’s still that way.

[00:15:16] Like seo, there was a lot of snake oil out there. Mm-hmm. where people were like, yep. You know, so what do businesses need to look for to know that these people really know what they’re talking about and like it’s, it’s okay to invest with this person or this agency. ,

[00:15:30] Andrea Vahl: right. For sure. I would take a look at the, the articles they’ve put out there.

[00:15:34] I would take a look at you know, kind of what they’re, what they’re publishing, if they’re speaking, you know, things like that, that kind of are markers that they are a true expert. And one thing I like to caution people against is getting involved with someone who is, is just talking a bunch of lingo and not coming down to where you need to understand what’s happening.

[00:15:56] Mm-hmm. , because I, you. I, that’s a big pet peeve of mine. I don’t like when people are like the CPOs and Ccpm and the CBO and the blah blah blah, and the, you know, and I, I’m like, just speak English, you know? Right. What are you talking about? And it’s okay if you know those acronyms and it’s okay if you’re like, you know, speaking with other people who know those acronyms.

[00:16:15] But sometimes I feel like some agencies are just using it to. Seem as cool as possible with and keeping everything as right, you know, guarded and, and inaccessible as possible. So, I would say work with someone you’re, you know, who look, who is a true expert in the field and has put articles out there, put, you know, written good content and you feel comfortable with, and who also doesn’t talk down to you.

[00:16:39] Jeff Sieh: Yeah, that’s, that’s key. Yeah. Yep.

[00:16:43] Grace Duffy: So big thing for people following the news out there is that there’s a sense of things like the iOS 14 privacy up data privacy measures from Apple EU restrictions, and then, then internal changes within meta have made performance, marketing’s, job performance marketers, jobs a lot more difficult cuz it’s kinda just what’s out there.

[00:17:05] This is the news. We don’t always listen. I don’t think they always have the proper context, but tell us real time, real world, actual someone that’s digging in the ditches and building those trenches. Could you tell us what it’s been like for you and your clients and what adjustments have you had to make to accommodate for these big

[00:17:23] Andrea Vahl: scaries?

[00:17:24] Yes. And the huge thing here is attribution, right? People really wanna know that their ad campaign is working and what, what is working in their ad campaign. And it’s, you know, it’s a whole different world than it used to be when you’d like buy a something in the, buy an ad in the yellow pages or put up a billboard and you’d be like, well, hope that works.

[00:17:44] You know, . Hmm. Like, it’s like now everything is so nice and trackable, which is sometimes good and bad, right? Because we are losing, we’ve lost some tracking, but there is this modeling that Facebook is doing to get better. And I’ve found actually that the modeling is doing pretty well and that’s why I think Facebook is, is Im improving in their results.

[00:18:07] So what I would say is really understand like how you are going to. that those actual results. And so tho that can come from a whole different funnel, separate from organic, right? So you’ve got the ads going to their own landing page and the, you know, that the only way someone is getting into that funnel right, is from the ads.

[00:18:33] You’re not sharing that page with anyone else. It’s being tracked separately in the back end of your email system, your crm, you are. You are then tracking what happens to those leads. Are they opening emails? Are they buying stuff? Are they, you know, are they reaching out? Are they active? And, and so that’s a really good way to track.

[00:18:55] And, and just making sure you’re tracking in your own system as. and not leaving it just to Facebook to track. So how are you gonna do that? Could be tagging, could be u T M codes. It could be, you know, and that’s, those are the Google, right. Really long Google links. Mm-hmm. that, you know, push, push that information back into your data database so that you can say, Hey, where did that.

[00:19:20] Person that contact originally come from, we’re gonna look at that, that, that, that tag or that, you know, whatever we’ve pushed in there to see so we can say Yeah, for sure. And that’s one thing like I’m doing with realtor clients, for example, we’re they’re able to then track, hey, we got 12 deals for sure from our ad campaigns last year, and we know.

[00:19:42] That resulted in X amount of business. So we know that our, we’re profitable and that’s what the name of the game is here. Cuz it’s not just a money drain that you wanna just keep. Right. Throwing it, you know, hoping, yeah. Hoping that it’s gonna work.

[00:19:55] Jeff Sieh: So, really quickly I wanted to go back to a comment Chris’ comment, DBA Death by Acronyms.

[00:20:02] See what I did there? I did see that. . But so one of the things in kind of that same vein is, you know, especially with you, I know you’ve trained clients in the past and now this like fire hose of, like the Apple stuff got turned off, you know, where you can’t track stuff. So how should we, as the business owners, or users, like change.

[00:20:23] Are targeting and measurement goals in light of those changes? Like what should we, you know, before it was kind of easy and you could, you know, look and see Yeah. How should we readjust what we’re thinking and like knowing that some of those, that those data points are gonna be there. Like what do you tell people?

[00:20:37] Like, okay, this is what you really need to look at now and Right. You know, to measure success.

[00:20:42] Andrea Vahl: Right. So I think it’s, it comes back to, I don’t think this part has changed dramatically. I mean, obviously we’ve got different measurements in place, but I. Always with our marketing and what people don’t always do is to really understand.

[00:20:57] Where their, where their cost per acquisition is, or how much they can afford to spend on acquiring a new lead or new potential client. And so, you know, it’s gonna be a function of how much, what are your conversion rates to buying that certain product? What’s your product point, price point? So if you have a thousand leads come in and 2% of those leads buy, you know, you’re gonna.

[00:21:23] 20, right? Am I doing my math right? No. Never do

[00:21:26] Jeff Sieh: math on live tv. Never, ever. I

[00:21:28] Andrea Vahl: know, I know. It’s so bad. I have my, yeah, so, so you get 40 clients, but, you know, so how much can you afford to spend based on based on your product price point, taking into account, how much does it cost you to. Make that product or whatever.

[00:21:45] So you’ve gotta know a lot of math in order to make this all work. And, and that’s where I think marketers get a, or businesses get a little tripped up, is they’re not tracking some of this stuff in the, the level of detail that it really should be tracked so that they can make good marketing decisions on how much they can spend on each ad.

[00:22:07] Jeff Sieh: Hmm. That’s good. Yeah. Being, I mean, even if it’s something as little as, like you were saying is doing, learning how to do UTM codes where you can track it like, like the landing page. Yeah. That can give you a huge insight of just Yeah. Something simple like that.

[00:22:20] Andrea Vahl: So Right and right, and, and just doing, like even just doing a small test, like saying, okay, we’re gonna test this particular funnel.

[00:22:28] We know that when we send Facebook traffic there, we’re getting like, say, $10 per lead. And then you. , 10% of those people go to mm-hmm. , go on to the next page and then, you know, and just really like spending some time seeing how people progress and then finding out, hey, why didn’t you buy, or whatever it might be.

[00:22:48] Right. And, and seeing if you can improve those numbers in, you know, in a small way. Cuz if you’re tracking all the way through the funnel, you see a lot of people drop out at the ad to cart, what does that mean? You know? Right. And how can you improve that experience? Mm-hmm. ,

[00:23:02] Jeff Sieh: those are all great tips.

[00:23:05] Grace Duffy: We have a great question here from our friend, Chris Stone.

[00:23:08] He says, what do you say when client to clients who are distracted by all the new shiny objects and advertising? We’re talking about AI tools. We’re talking about chat, G B T, and and then get them intrigued. You’re excited about Insta or Facebook ads again, when it just seems so old school, because guess what?

[00:23:25] Yeah, Facebook is tried and. So it sings old school. I know when there’s all the, and we had a question earlier, we kind of skipped over it, but it was just like, there are a lot of, also a lot of advertising options, like Oh yeah. TikTok and, and you know, all the newest things. Right? So how you get them into Facebook.

[00:23:41] Yeah.

[00:23:42] Andrea Vahl: So what you tell ’em is you’ll be like, okay, here’s what we do. We’re gonna chat G B t, ort. Tuck ads, and then we’re gonna, you know, , we’re gonna, we’re gonna make a reel and then we’re gonna go, you know, go out. No, we’re gonna go in Reddit and we’re gonna Yeah. So , so the, the reality is, I mean, I think what you really have to I think it does make sense to diversify and test for sure.

[00:24:07] I’m advising all my clients to that. I’m advising people who are running ads for clients to diversify and test. But the reality is Facebook still has close to almost 3 billion monthly a average daily users or monthly users. They just surpassed 2 billion daily users, far more than TikTok, Reddit, all those, all those sites.

[00:24:30] So, I mean, I think it makes sense to test and why not do a little. a little test on, I’m testing, I’m gonna be testing Pinterest here, Pinterest ads this weekend. Mm-hmm. , I’m gonna be testing some TikTok ads coming up, so it does make sense to test. I’m te I’m running Google and YouTube ads as well and seeing, hey, where are we landing with these costs?

[00:24:50] And a lot of times Google’s driving super cheap traffic, but Facebook’s actually driving the leads. So, you know, that’s, that’s what you have to track. And it’s just a matter of how, how much the client wants to fractionalize their. . Mm-hmm. . Yeah. And if they don’t have a big budget, that’s the other thing too.

[00:25:09] Sometimes they’re like, I got a hundred dollars. I wanna advertise on all the platforms. I’m like, no, that’s .

[00:25:14] Jeff Sieh: That don’t work. Yeah, I get that. Well, I think the thing is testing and things change. That’s the other thing is, is that’s one. You know, we went back to like, how do you know a guru is like really somebody you should invest in.

[00:25:25] Yeah. And it’s like that they’re testing stuff. They’re not just sitting there going. You know, just regurgitating stuff from, you know, 2008 they actually are going mm-hmm. And, and trying new things. So, mm-hmm. . So let’s see. Let’s go, let’s go ahead and move on to the next section because I wanna make sure we have plenty of time for this.

[00:25:42] Grace I gonna talk about these, these structuring Facebook ad campaigns because it has changed a little bit. And I, you know, Andrea, as you can tell, she tests things. She dives in, she’s doing all these different things for different types of clients. So I really wanna dive into the best way to structure these, these.

[00:25:57] Grace Duffy: Absolutely. And you had a really great article on your site, Andrea. It was Facebook advertising, how to structure your Facebook and Instagram ad campaigns, actually. So give us the overview of this on our show today. How should businesses structure their ad campaigns to maximize on returns, which is what we’re all interested

[00:26:15] Andrea Vahl: in doing.

[00:26:16] Yeah. And, and one thing that is definitely, that definitely happens with Facebook is sometimes they give you bad advice. Shocking.

[00:26:27] No, what I know. So what I the way I like to. Especially start with my testing campaigns is definitely start your campaign with very limited focused tests. So you are using what’s called adset budget optimization, and that’s your dedicating that budget at the ADSET level to each different audience to start, oh, there’s my cat.

[00:26:54] I didn’t shut the door Cat video. There we go. I know Cat Cam . So you’re structuring your adset budgets with their own budget. It might be like, say $10 a day and you’re testing each different audience. Maybe you have. Three different audiences. You’re testing at $10 a day, and then below that you’re using the same exact creative, same exact image, same everything.

[00:27:19] So that at the end of this, like say four to five day period, when you’re running that test, you’ll know which audience is, is performing the best. And you might test like, let’s go totally wide, let’s go. Look like audience. And then maybe let’s try interest a few interests like, but also fairly wide too, and see which audience does the best during that time.

[00:27:40] Now your budget’s gonna depend a little bit on like, again, your opt-ins, what you’re advertising and stuff like that. But that’s a great way to start. And then you’re gonna move on to testing like your creatives from or from there. So then you’re going to say, Hey, let’s pick the best performer from that first set of audience tests and now we will.

[00:28:05] A different image, couple of different images, and maybe a video and see how that goes. And at the end of this 10 day period, you’re gonna have the best audience and the best creative in there. And then you can start scaling up from there. And, and I am a lot of times still scaling in an ADSET budget optimized Campaign where I’m just adding to that budget.

[00:28:28] I’m just, you know, scaling that vertically up. Sometimes what people do is they do move those and start a campaign budget optimization structure where then Facebook gets to decide where the budget is being spent and you know, you’re kind of leaving it up to the Facebook algorithm to then. Pick your best ads, but if you’ve tested those ads, you’re usually only putting the best performers in that campaign budget optimized ad.

[00:28:58] Gotcha. Or yeah, scale campaign is basically what that, what that would be.

[00:29:05] Jeff Sieh: So, so I wanted to, before I kind of dive into some what you just said, I wanted to ask, you mentioned like 10 days. Is that what you. before you make changes. You let something sit for 10 days before you go and, and tweak it again.

[00:29:16] Andrea Vahl: Yeah, I definitely let something sit for a good few days. And again, it depends a little bit on the budget. Mm-hmm. , because you wanna have significant results. Again, if you’re coming back to that lawyer campaign where it’s. You know, a hundred dollars per opt-in, you’re only spending $50 a day. You’re not gonna get significant results at that point.

[00:29:34] So you always wanna know your own baseline for what the opt-in costs are coming in at. So, but I don’t usually te, I don’t usually turn something off after a day or two, cuz it takes a while for the algorithm to kind of settle down. Mm-hmm. and. . And sometimes I’ll notice that something’s just a dud right out of the gate.

[00:29:54] Like maybe the CPM cost is really high for some reason, and it’s super expensive to get that thousand impressions. And then I’m g saying something weird as quirky is going on here and let’s relaunch, for example. So I like to at least give it a good few days. Depends a little on the budget, but for sure you need, you need to get some significant results.

[00:30:16] Jeff Sieh: Gotcha. So I, I wanted to go back to your blog post cuz you mentioned there’s, you know, two types of. Facebook and Instagram campaign structures. And you know, one of ’em was, I think you ca you even talked about it a little bit, advantage campaign budget optimization, and the other one was the ADSET budget optimization.

[00:30:33] So once again, those are those acronyms like CBO and abo. So can you talk a little about those two?

[00:30:38] Andrea Vahl: Yeah. So in, to make matters worse, Facebook has brought in a new thing. So it’s ad set budget optimization where you’re setting the budget at the, at the ad set level, which is where the targeting is and things like that.

[00:30:50] And then there’s campaign budget optimization where you’re setting it at the top level, and then all the budget you set at that top level is optimized by Facebook not always correctly underneath. to the elements underneath. Facebook also introduced this thing called Advantage plus Shopping.

[00:31:08] Advantage Plus. Mm-hmm. is kind of a new thing that they introduced recently. Not everyone has access to Advantage Plus shopping, but this is Advantage Plus shopping is solely for e-commerce. Okay. And it is basically like a real top level. Budget that you set, and Facebook is doing all the machine learning app optimization underneath those campaigns are working really great for e-commerce right now.

[00:31:33] So if you do have that, that, and if you do have that available and you’ve got an e-commerce store, a catalog, you can use those you can do use that optimization. But yeah, the, there’s two, you know, two basic structures and and when you’re in that testing phase, the asset. optimization is the best cuz you’re dedicating that budget to each of those audiences and then you’re going to get a more fair comparison.

[00:32:00] Cuz what happens is sometimes Facebook decides like right out of the gate, oh, we spent 10 cents on that campaign, we’re done with it. . Mm-hmm. , right? And you don’t get any real results from it. You don’t really un, you know, know if that one actually did well. And so you wanna kind of control that a little bit.

[00:32:18] Jeff Sieh: Yeah, man. All these names like Advantage Plus shopping. I know. It sounds like something my optometrist has like to get me on their eyecare plan, you know, advantage. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Come on, Facebook. Anyway. And so, Venice, like her rule of thumb is to wait seven days until you know, there’s a, if you, and to see if there’s a dud or not.

[00:32:37] So I thought that was really, that was good. So, 1, 7, 7 to 10

[00:32:40] Grace Duffy: days seems reasonable though. Yeah. Seven to 10 days is enough time to to know. Right,

[00:32:43] Andrea Vahl: right.

[00:32:44] Jeff Sieh: For sure. For sure. So, you also talked about in that article you plotted a 10 day split testing plan. Can you kind of just. Generally, well, we’re gonna point people to the article, but kind of generally talk about that split testing plan because I think it’s super smart and a lot of people may overlook something like this.

[00:32:59] Andrea Vahl: Yeah. So what happens is that people test like one or two things and then they’re like, well, Facebook ad ads didn’t work for me. Nope. You know, or they’re setting the campaign up incorrectly and they’re putting all the images and all the, and changing like a bunch of different things all at once. So you wanna approach your, your testing.

[00:33:19] Plan very systematically. And so what that is, is dedicating that budget to each audience, like say just as an example, $10 a day to each audience if you were, you know, and then you really know which audience at the end of that time period worked well. And like if you did, you know, . Yeah. So it’s just a really systematic, structured way to test, and it often takes lots of different images in order to get a winner.

[00:33:47] Like sometimes I’ll have this huge difference between one image and another image. One will be like $12 per lead, the other one will be $3 per lead. And so when you can get like, you know, Whatever that is. 60% better results. I don’t know, math. Oh my God, why am I still trying to do it? ? No . But when you can get that kind of improvement in your results and be able to scale that up, that’s where you can really find what’s working.

[00:34:15] And you wanna cha you wanna also pick very different things to test. Cuz sometimes people are like, oh, I’m ne vary the color of this like banner. And I’m like, no, you wanna test like something that is big text only add. Big, you know, you, you in a big picture or maybe a stock image and like something else, or are, you know, they’re like really test different looking images in order to give yourself the most information about what’s working, what can work.

[00:34:47] Jeff Sieh: Gotcha. So, and I said her name wrong, vena. Sorry, vena she goes, it seems like brighter images perform better. Yeah. And that kinda leads to my next question, like how much money should. , you know, we, our budget allocate to like this testing stuff. Like do we, do we throw a lot of money at At the beginning?

[00:35:05] Yeah. And then like bring it back down or, or how do you usually run that? .

[00:35:08] Andrea Vahl: Yeah. So usually it’s a little bit of like, what’s your overall marketing budget? And if you don’t know that, sometimes it is like, you know, based on the product price, like how many products do we think that we can safely sell or that, that we could sell.

[00:35:23] If we had this kind of results in the beginning, you know, if we knew that our lead cost was. $5 per lead. And then the product cost was a thousand dollars. Like how does that, you know, just doing a little math to figure out what your overall budget is. And then sometimes it really is kind of this iteration testing period.

[00:35:42] It depends a little bit about on, like, do you have, is it like a launch where you have a hard deadline? You know, and you don’t, you can’t necessarily ramp up your testing for months. I mean, you might, you might start. Building up your leads with some different lead magnets for sure. But it’s not like during that promotion period you have a fixed end point.

[00:36:02] It’s not like product’s always on sale, so, right. So I, you know, sometimes people have a rule of thumb of like 20% of your mar overall marketing budget. You would lead, you would start with testing. I like kind of having this approach that you’re testing kind of all the time. Okay. You know? Yeah. You’re, you’re kind of like saying, okay, let’s, we’ve got some winners here.

[00:36:26] Let’s take a look at the commonalities on what these winners are about. Like could we add another image that is very similar to this one and get the same results and then lower overall costs. So I did that just recently with a client where we noticed this pic, this darker image was actually working well and it was just this dark image of.

[00:36:50] Person in a hallway. And so I went out and found another dark image of a person in a hallway, kind of very similar. And so we launched that lowered our overall cost because we now have two really good winners in there.

[00:37:03] Jeff Sieh: So, back back on that same, sorry, Grace, I’m gonna this is, oh, go ahead. Fascinating to me.

[00:37:08] So what do you think moves the needle more when you’re testing? Is it changing out the images or changing out the. .

[00:37:15] Andrea Vahl: Yeah, I, I’ve definitely yeah, that’s a hard one. I, I don’t test as, as many variations of copy as I should. Mm-hmm. , I really, I think the image is the bigger lever there. The big old bigger needle mover.

[00:37:29] Mm-hmm. , if you want to put it that way. So I’m focusing a little more on images, but I just actually launched a campaign where we had some really. Text, although I think, you know what, I think that was still the images there. So I, you know, the images really make the biggest difference. So if you have limited budget, focus more of your attention on that rather than the nuanced copy, right?

[00:37:51] I think you can always improve your copy and kind of refine it and, , you know, test it kind of thing. But the images are

[00:38:00] Jeff Sieh: the bigger needle, more, that’s what’s gonna stop the scroll. Right. That’s what’s gonna get people to like stop and like pay attention. Yeah. So I think that’s really important because you know it, I mean, it depends on your client, but a lot of times they’ll really focus on like, I gotta craft the words perfectly and like just whip out the image.

[00:38:13] Okay. Cuz that was a craft . Right. You know? I know. Anyway go ahead. Sorry Greg, I interrupted, but you, you have the next one. No, absolutely.

[00:38:20] Grace Duffy: Well, I. To skip to this part, cause I think it’s very important. You mentioned this already about where you have a lot more, you, you have a lot more leeway when it comes to creativity and testing different things.

[00:38:29] Mm-hmm. , the advice we always hear is create ads that don’t look like ads. Easier said than done, I think maybe. Yeah. Can you tell us what this means when it comes to Facebook and Instagram? Specifically? When it comes to our advertising? How do we create ads that don’t look like.

[00:38:45] Andrea Vahl: Yeah, I’ve been looking at that a little more, just especially because I’m curious about it and because you asked that, you sent those questions to me and I was like, , I’m gonna see if I can figure out what’s working.

[00:38:56] So, you know, I went and looked at a lot of different, what you can do is, that I love doing, is you can go and see on any page what ads they’re. So you can go to any competitor page, any big page, any big marketer page, and you can go look at their page, transparency sh section. Sometimes it’s on their about section.

[00:39:18] Sometimes it’s in the left column and you can see page transparency, or you can just go to the ads library and do some searches too. But you can go see what. people are running and see what feels like it’s working. You can’t tell exactly what’s working, but you can tell when an ad is working that because it’s been running a long time.

[00:39:38] Mm-hmm. . And unless the people just like burning money, I don’t know that that could be true . Right. I don’t know what they’re doing. But usually ads big marketers are. You can see if they’ve run, been running an ad for a couple of months, you know that it’s working and I’ve seen a mix. So, the ads that don’t look like ads are basically really casual images.

[00:40:00] Something that looks like like a, you know, I’ve seen like pictures of their baby pictures of wedding pictures, and I’m. , this wedding has nothing to do with what you’re talking about, you know? But it did get me to stop the scroll cuz I was like, do I know those people? And then I’m like, oh, this is an ad , this is, and I, I sort of get annoyed by it when it has absolutely nothing to do with the, what they’re actually advertising.

[00:40:25] Like if they’re, you know, , whatever, advertising. Mm-hmm. , you know, digital marketing strategies with their wedding photos. I feel like that’s a little creepy. So so that you’re using your baby to sell your product, but maybe, yeah. So the, the other thing that I, another. . Thing that I’ve seen is really casual videos.

[00:40:48] You know, people for a long time talked about user, user generated content, right? So that would be like a really casual video of your client sitting in their car saying, Hey, I love your product. Or, you know, or even you sitting in your car really casual. And I’ve seen those ads that seem to work really well.

[00:41:05] I think. I haven’t done a lot of testing on, okay, let’s use a casual image versus one with, right, with a lot of big, bold text and bright colors. But in my experience, I’ve, you know, I definitely see a lot, a lot of more ads in general that have those, that big text, bold, colorful type of stuff that is trying to get our attention.

[00:41:28] While you’re scrolling really fast. And so I think it, I think again, it all comes down to testing in your industry, what, what you think your clients are gonna respond to. And yeah. Right. You’re gonna use your wedding photos. I think I, you, you should get the okay from that.

[00:41:43] Jeff Sieh: That’s funny. , don’t use your, your neighbor’s kids pictures.

[00:41:45] That’s a big, I thought what you said though was genius because I’ve been using it ever since. They like started letting you see. What companies are running their campaigns and diving in, that’s a huge way to learn what’s working. I think that’s, that’s a great piece of advice. Yeah. The other thing is we were just both at Pod Fest and I remember sitting in, it was How to Grow your podcast organically.

[00:42:04] And they were talking about Facebook and Facebook ads and one of the things they said that was really, really working like it, like 10 x their subscribers was actually going in and using those casual images instead. , they said, instead of making your, you know, your audiogram for your podcast or whatever, your clip from your podcast look like a Facebook ad, make it look organic.

[00:42:23] Yeah. And he said he saw incredible results. So, we’re trying that with guys and, you know, not just having like, you know, those really produced looking things, but like picture of guy on a surfboard and some of that stuff to see if that’s gonna make a difference. So I think that’s really interesting test to that.

[00:42:36] Yeah. So, one of the things that this, oh, this is a great question. By by my friend Chris, and I wanted to bring this up. He goes, , have you been able to get learnings from Facebook ads and your clients, and your clients applying them to other parts of the business? So like seeing what’s, you know, what branding, you know, pivots work or copy for blogs or any of that kind of stuff from learning from your Facebook ads?

[00:42:59] Andrea Vahl: Yeah, I mean, that’s a great, that’s a great strategy. I haven’t I haven’t done that a ton, but I do think it levels. You’re writing for sure, because if you’re writing and seeing that the click through rate is really good on that copy. Mm-hmm. like, I’ve definitely like seen. Kind of feed off of each other where we’re like, Hey, that was a great way that you wrote that.

[00:43:22] Let’s put that on the sales page and just kind of cross pollinate that, those ideas. For sure. I think that one thing that Facebook ads can do for you is really understand what your market response to. So it’s, you, you know, what we do a lot of times is say, okay, let’s. , these different lead magnets with these different topics and see what gets us the best opt-ins.

[00:43:46] So we might do like a quiz versus a, you know, here’s a cheat sheet versus a e e guide or something like that. Mm-hmm. . And then really know what’s getting the best response so that we can promote that in other places and hopefully, you know, give people what they want essentially. So, .

[00:44:07] Jeff Sieh: That’s great.

[00:44:08] That’s a great idea.

[00:44:09] Grace Duffy: So the most crucial part of any ad, of course, is the offer, right? Getting them to click or do whatever action, the call to action, calling them to the action, right? Yeah. So what is the secret to getting users attention in this regard? What makes ’em click on an ad right away? Because we don’t wanna keep serving them ads.

[00:44:26] We want them to click on that first one and be like, I love that wedding photo. Click on it, right. or and then also, I guess, it, the second part of this is do you have a formula or a format that you use to create really great offers because you can go wild with this kind of stuff.

[00:44:45] Andrea Vahl: Yeah. And I think it, again, comes down to like, what is, what are the pain points that people are talking about?

[00:44:52] What are, what are you really solving? For your clients and really leaning into that quite a bit. So, the other thing that’s working really well, and I don’t, this is kind of not, it’s a little bit tangential and I just like popped in my head. The other thing that’s working really well is kind of these really long form.

[00:45:12] Ads that are really more of a story based ad. Mm-hmm. . And that has been really interesting for people because it, it gets them reading the story. We’re kind of hardwired for stories. And it could be a story about like your. Journey and how you came to offer this or what, how this helped you, or it could be a really long testimonial story.

[00:45:35] So I’ve done both of those types of ads for, for clients and and so that way when they get to your landing page, when they get to your offer, they’re already like a little pre primed. , you know, and so you want to you know, get them excited about that offer to click over and give you their name and email address, because I think for sure people are way more picky about what they subscribe to, where they, you know, where they’re putting their information in.

[00:46:04] And so you wanna look at that landing page conversion rate to make sure that that offer is good. So how many people are hitting that page, and then how many people are then subscribing, and if you’re doing your ads right, You should see at least a 30% conversion rate for a free thing. Mm. So you may not see, you may not see like the price, the right price point because mm-hmm.

[00:46:29] maybe it’s costing you a lot to get. People over there, or maybe they’re not clicking through, maybe. But if you’ve got a good free thing, you should see a good conversion rate on that. And if you’re not seeing at least 30% conversion rate, you wanna come back and say, okay, could we test something else?

[00:46:46] Could we make this landing page better? Or could we make this offer more compelling? Mm-hmm. somehow. And what, what, you know, can we draw out more of the pain points? Can we draw out more of the transformation someone’s gonna get after they get. Get this thing, you know, what are they gonna get from

[00:47:01] Jeff Sieh: it? I think that’s genius.

[00:47:03] I mean, especially like making sure your landing page, a lot of people neglect that, like, you know, yes. Because they’re coming from mobile or there’s something like that. You, you really gotta dive into the, the landing page. Unfortunately, we are like, Right at the end. Like, Andrew’s gotta run, but it’s, I mean, this is, you know, I could pick her brain for another hour.

[00:47:20] You guys have some, I’ve had some great questions and, you know, Aveena says, she goes, I’m a sucker for story ads. Like, yeah. So even me too, diving into that, we could have a whole show just on Andrea talking about that. But I wanna give Andrea enough time that you guys can find her. Yes. Find out what she’s doing.

[00:47:37] All this stuff that she’s offering her podcast, all this stuff. So, Andrea. You take the rest of the time, you need to talk about what you got going on and where people can find.

[00:47:46] Andrea Vahl: Yeah. Thank you so much. This has been so fun. Thanks everyone, for all your questions, great questions coming in. You can find me for most things, including some standup comedy, A n d r e A v a h, and that has my blog post there.

[00:48:06] You can also get connected to my late starters podcast. There, which is late starters if you wanna go directly there. And that has some really amazing inspirational interviews and top tools and tips there as well for people starting something new and exciting in their forties, fifties, and beyond.

[00:48:25] And then one other thing I’ll just plug here. Next week on February 15th, I have a half day training on your Facebook and Instagram ads funnel. And that’s over it’s on my. Tab on my page, or you can find slash half day workshop. Is that right? Half day workshop, I think .

[00:48:49] Jeff Sieh: So make sure go.

[00:48:51] You guys go over to, if you’re, once again, if you’re listening to the on the podcast, it’s andrea It’s a N D R E A V. , A h Make sure you guys, yep, go check her out because she is amazing, as you can tell from the show today. We’ve got some great comments. Gary says such a great show today.

[00:49:07] I appreciate the wisdom. Gary, thank you for being here and your comment you appreciate all you do for the show, Gary. And then Avena says, thank you so much for this. You are the best, Andrea, we love you. So she brought her fans with her. Appreciate you guys for watching. Thank you so much. Let us know some shows that you would love us to do, what topics we talk about.

[00:49:27] We got media kits coming up at the end of this month because you guys asked for that. So let us know what we could do to help you guys out. As always, we appreciate you. We appreciate our sponsor Ecamm, for making this show possible. You find out more about them at slash.

[00:49:42] Make sure you go check out Andrea’s podcast and we will see you guys next time. Bye everybody. Bye

[00:49:46] Andrea Vahl: everyone.

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