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.
Creative Strategy And Testing
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…
- It can convert really well to TOF audiences because you’re leading with value, not to mention being rewarded by FB for a good user experience. Expect great Thumbstop and AVG watch time if done correctly.
- It acquires the right kind of customer. A customer that purchases via education is always going to beat a customer acquired through an offer. One thing to note here is that it’s not just education. The customer thinks the ad is just a helpful video, but done correctly we will subtly weave in our brand pillars and emotional hooks into the video without being obvious. So you have the double whammy of education + inspiration.
- Lots of goodwill and awareness will be built from these ads. In addition to all the free impressions gained from folks sharing these ads on their timeline, here is where the reverse organic effect comes in. Prospects will see these ads, have a positive experience, and then remember us and either search directly later on, or tell their friends about us.
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.