Paid social media is a tough nut to crack, but once you manage to make it work it can become a lucrative and dependable source of traffic and revenue for your podcast and business.
I have never been able to get to the meat of that particular nut, but a recent guest expert on our Strategy and Networking calls AND speaker for next week’s Podcasting for Business Conference Stacy Reed of Stacy Zeal & Co. has – and she teaches other people how to do it too. Stacy is a Strategic Marketing Consultant and Facebook Ads Expert, who teaches CEOs how to make more money, gain their time back, and rapidly increase their visibility to impact the world.
She joined us for an in-depth conversation about the technical and strategic elements of Facebook ads – from what the heck a pixel is, to the different types of campaigns you can run for different purposes.
This was such a rich and valuable conversation, that we decided to run it here on the Company show as well. Listen to our conversation below, or continue reading the blog post!
Tune in to the full episode to learn:
- How to use Facebook ads to grow your podcast and your business
- Everything you need to know about Facebook Pixel
- How to choose the right advertising platform
- The things to consider before running a campaign
- How to choose the best objective for your campaign
- The best practices when it comes to copy & creatives
Don’t forget to join us for our free monthly strategy calls on the third Thursday of every month!
How Stacy Reed Grew Her Podcast Through Facebook Ads
Leveraging Her Marketing Background
It’s interesting because it’s like I’ve always been someone that I want to be able to create something once and then figure out how can I get the most eyeballs on it. My brain does not like to create new all the time.
We’re in a content world, so we have to create new content for sure. But I remember just thinking, oh my gosh, this episode was so good and it did not get as many downloads as I was hoping that it would get or so many people just need to hear this episode.
It’s just so, so good. And then also being an ads expert, my background is in marketing. I’ve been in marketing for eleven years. I led paid social at Zappos, and so I was really immersed in Facebook ads, Instagram ads, TikTok ads, and all the different ad platforms on some of the social networks.
And that’s what I teach and that’s what I talk about in my business. And I really started to think about how I can use ads and podcasts together. Because volume is my specialty. So being able to say like, I want to drive volume to particular offers or to particular things, then I started to think, how can I use what I’m creating on my podcast to then help me to generate business?
Because it gives you the context of how I use my podcast in my marketing because it helps you to understand how the ads come into play.
Shifting Towards Lead Generation
So my podcast is primarily nurturing content. I get a lot of people who love to listen to my podcast. And my goal with my podcast is to nurture people until they are ready to become clients.
I post a lot of content about ads, about marketing strategy, about business strategy, those kinds of things. When I started to think about how I can use ads to amplify this or to accelerate my podcast, I started to think about how I can use it to generate leads, because that’s really what I need for my business.
We all as business owners, are someone who is looking to get brand deals and things like that. This may not be super applicable, and there are other ways you can use ads, but the way that I use them is to generate leads. Where I start with it is using it as a nurture content. But then I started to think, how can I use this as lead generation? What I typically do is I like to create series on my podcast.
So I’ll create, for example, a series about marketing funnels, because that’s one of the things I found. Like, I have a course on Facebook ads, and when I did a promotion last time I found that, I was asking people like, okay, well, why didn’t you sign up? And some people were saying like, oh, I don’t have a marketing funnel, so I can’t run ads.
And I’m like, oh really? I could teach you how to run a market, I can teach you how to do a marketing funnel, and I can show you this. So I created a series of podcasts about key elements of marketing funnels, helping people to understand that they already probably have a funnel if they’re creating content.
If you’re a podcaster, you typically have a funnel, you just haven’t really set it up yet or defined it yet. So I created that series and then I published some of my podcasts. I took those episodes and I just put them into a PDF guide that just says like, hey, here are four episodes that will help you to create a marketing funnel.
Podcast Series as Lead Magnets
I put like a little workbook in there. I pulled something out of my course. I put it in there and then I use that as a lead magnet because now I had to realize that people listen to my podcast and then they become clients. So they like to binge my podcast. They like to consume my episodes. That’s where people go when they are really kind of in that place where they’re like, I want to work with Stacey, but maybe I’m not ready yet.
And I thought, how can I take this nurture content and also turn it into a lead generator? That’s really kind of been the journey for me. It’s like one figuring out running ads to individual episodes. It’s running ads to series and taking those episodes and repurposing that content into a lead magnet.
Those are the ways that I’ve been typically using podcasts. And then I run ads to those things. I run ads to the individual episodes. I run ads to the lead magnets as a series. If you are a business owner and you need to generate leads and you are creating podcast episodes also as a part of your nurture content, you can absolutely take that and put that into a series.
Another lead magnet that I had that did really well, especially when I was just starting out, I had created a private podcast series where I worked with someone who would help me outline each episode.
I used Hello Audio as the private podcast distributor, but then I ran ads to it like running ads to that actual private podcast. Those kinds of things I think are really effective because people are searching for specific information. Especially with podcasts, you can really give people a well-rounded picture.
You can give people one episode, but if you can give people three or four episodes that paint that full picture for them, then that’s really tactful. And then you just use that as a lead generator and run ads to it.
Everything You Need To Know About Facebook Pixel
I always recommend that you put your podcast on your site because one, if you’re running ads to a podcast player, your Facebook Pixel is not going to be able to pick up on that because your Facebook Pixel is what you can install on properties that you own.
So, like your website, I can’t go and install my Pixel on Apple’s podcast player. For example, if you’re running ads directly to the podcast player, Facebook is not able to receive those signals to see, like, is this person actually doing something there?
Because your pixel operates like a bridge between Facebook and your website. And so it’s always sending signals back and forth. Facebook is sending someone to your website saying, what do they do? Do they take the desired action? If they do, that’s great.
Then Facebook’s going to say, oh, well, Susan took the desired action, so we’re going to find more people like Susan. If Susan does not take the desired action, which means, going to the landing page and downloading something or whatever the action is, then it’ll also send that signal back to say, like, Susan did not take the desired action.
So it’s like, let’s find people who are not like Susan, or maybe Susan is not in our target audience, so let’s find people who are different than Susan. Facebook is always building a profile of who your people are.
So you want to make sure that your podcast episodes are posted on your site and that you’re actually sending an ad tracker to your site so that you can get an accurate read on the data. SEO also helps.
Taking Advantage of Facebook & Instagram’s Synergy
So because Meta owns both Instagram and Facebook, you actually would just need one Facebook Pixel and that will pick up your signals and send that back to Instagram and Facebook.
One of the great things about running Facebook ads is that you do get two channels in one because you can run the exact same campaign, exact same budget, exact same creative as Facebook and Instagram and Messenger and WhatsApp, because Facebook owns those other channels as well, and it would just come out of the same budget pool.
So you really are getting two channels for one. And what Facebook is going to do is it’s going to show you an ad on the platform that you’re most likely to convert on. You get on Facebook, you see an ad, and then you may see a similar ad from the same person on Instagram or an ad that’s maybe a different variation of that ad on Instagram.
It’s going to show you the ad based on the platform that it thinks that you’re going to most likely to convert on that’s. One of the things I love about Facebook is that you get both Facebook and Instagram for essentially the price of one.
Should you set up your Pixel now?
Right away, because what happens is when you install the pixel. So, as I mentioned, it’s that bridge, right? It’s sending signals back and forth. So whether you’re running ads or not, those signals are always kind of happening.
What people are doing on your website, Facebook is always building a profile, and you can build an audience that says, like, hey, here’s my website traffic. Like, want an audience specifically of people who visited my website in the last 90 days. You can go all the way back to 180 days.
I believe you can say like, hey, let me create a custom audience of people who have visited my website over the last 180 days. Maybe you’re doing some kind of special promotion where you want to make sure that you target your site visitors or people who listen to your podcast.
Because if you’re putting your podcast on your website, that counts as website traffic. You can even drill into specific pages. You can create an audience of people who have visited, specifically my podcast page or individual-specific URLs. Like you can say the URL contains this or contains that, contains that.
When you install your pixel, it starts collecting that data. So whether you run ads or not, I definitely recommend installing the pixel because that means that you have even more data to work with.
If you start in Q2 of next year, you can still target people who visit your website. From today until then. It starts from when you install that pixel.
Choosing The Right Advertising Platform & Understanding Your Audience
I haven’t run across too many niches that I would say don’t work with Facebook ads. But what you have to think about is where are your clients or the people you’re trying to reach making their buying decisions about your type of offer or your type of business.
For example, if you have a podcast that talks to HR professionals, right, maybe your podcast helps HR professionals do their jobs better. They’re probably not making their purchasing decisions about HR-related stuff on Facebook.
They probably were making those decisions on LinkedIn because that’s where it’s a more professional site. It’s where they’re actually in the mindset of business. But that’s not to say that your clients aren’t also using Facebook, and also because think about how I know for myself and a lot of people that I come in contact with.
I use Facebook, I use Instagram, I use LinkedIn, I use Twitter. I use all the different social platforms. But the mind frame that I’m in in each of them when I’m on them is different. When I’m on LinkedIn, I’m looking at more professional things. I’m expecting it to be a little bit more of a professional platform.
On Facebook, there is a little bit more of a social element. Like my Facebook page is all business for sure. So I don’t do business on Facebook and most of my business comes from Facebook.
But when I’m going on Facebook, if you’re thinking about your customers, if you’re helping people with weight loss, for example, are they going on Facebook? Are they going on Instagram to find that kind of information? Are they following weight loss influencers? Are they following those kinds of pages? Is that kind of stuff that they’re actually consuming on that platform? What you want to think about is not necessarily your specific niche.
It’s more like where are your customers and your clients? If you’re trying to get brand deals, for example, you may want to be heavily on Instagram because that’s where a lot of brands are going and looking for content creators on Instagram because that’s where their clients are.
I used to work at Zappos and I led paid social there. We were heavy on Instagram, we were heavy on Facebook. We weren’t doing too much on LinkedIn. LinkedIn was more so for different corporate verticals. We had Zappos at work which was all about making those connections with people who own warehouses so that we can give their people discounts on specific shoes.
If you need steel-toe shoes, for example, you can figure out different facets of your business that may fit on different channels. But for the most part, think about where your consumers or the people who are consuming your podcast, where are they making purchasing decisions about your types of offers and that’s where you want to make sure that you are showing up.
Leveraging the Reach of Facebook
I wouldn’t say it’s not niche-specific because there are a lot of different niches that can work on Facebook and Instagram and there are a lot of different people who use Facebook and Instagram.
Facebook has 2.9 billion monthly active users. If you’re telling me that your people aren’t on Facebook, it’s like, I mean, out of 2.9 billion people, like, you’re telling me nobody and none of your people are using Facebook, okay?
But it’s really about figuring out when it comes to your type of service or your type of product, where are they making their purchasing decisions, and that’s where you want to make sure that you’re showing up.
Things To Consider When Starting with Facebook Ads
1. Your goals and your sales cycle
For example, I get people who come to me and say, hey, Stacey, I started running an ad and it didn’t convert in two weeks. Weeks, and I didn’t get any sales in two weeks until now. Facebook ads don’t work for me.
Well, how long is your sales cycle? My sales cycle is three months. Okay, well, if your sales cycle is three months, why are you expecting people to convert after two weeks? That’s something that you have to understand. People tend to sit on my email list for at least three or four months before they buy from me. That is what I used as my timeframe to measure when I was working at Zappos.
We are expecting people to buy something that day or the next day. We have a very short sales cycle. Either you want the Nikes or you don’t, those kinds of things that we were measuring success based on one or two-day sales cycle. So one, it’s about understanding what your sales cycle is for your particular type of products or for your particular services.
2. Fresh ad accounts don’t have a lot of data
Facebook is always is, the more you run ads, the more efficient your ads are going to be. Because Facebook is taking all that data and putting it into like a container, and it’s saying like, okay, these are the people who convert for are.
When Stacey runs ads, she typically talks about these kinds of things. These are the people who typically convert for her. So they’re building a profile of your people. So you want to make sure that you’re looking at it from a sense of like, facebook ads are a long-term strategy.
They’re not something that you put a dollar in. You’re going to get a dollar right out, right away. But if you are someone who has an email list, then you can appreciate the value of having a lot more people on your email list, especially a lot more targeted people. Because that’s the one great thing with Facebook ads, is that you can really target people.
Like if your clients are small business owners, you can target small business owners. So you fill your email list with a lot of people who are actually in your target audience. If you are someone who also sends your podcast out via email, that means that you get more people who are seeing your podcast, and ask more people who are in your world.
3. How long should you run your ads?
Give it at least three or four months because there’s a lot of testing that goes into Facebook ads to figure out what strategy works, and what doesn’t work. There’s a lot of receiving a whole lot of data. And that’s the great thing about Facebook ads also, is that you get a ton of data. You get a lot more data than you get from just the podcast analytics that you get. You get a lot more data than what you get from organic marketing.
And so if you’re able to actually run some ads, and you’re able to receive the signals and say like, okay, this is working, this was not working, that’s part of the process, is figuring out what works, what doesn’t work.
So give yourself at least 90 days. Give yourself three or four months to really figure out if something’s working for you.
3. How much should you spend?
Facebook ads are very, very flexible when it comes to budget because how they charge you is by cost per impression.
Google ads and some of the other platforms are charging you by clicks. They’re saying you’re paying $2 every time somebody clicks on your ad. But Facebook charges you based on how many thousand people have seen your actual ad.
So it’ll say like, you’re paying $5 for 1000 people to see this. So if you’re thinking about it in that way, and 1000 people is not a lot of people when it comes to Facebook, if you think about there are 2.9 billion monthly active users on this site.
If you’re spending $5 a day and your cost per impression is $5, then you’re only getting 1000 people to see your ad a day, or you’re only getting 1000 impressions a day.
That’s not really a whole lot of people, especially if you’re thinking about how big of a pool the audience is. So I like to tell people I like to spend a minimum of $15 a day. Then that helps you to be able to get some data. The costs are very controlled. You can always turn things off immediately.
4. Increased competition during Q4
In Facebook, if something’s not working, you can just turn it right off. So $15 a day is a minimum that I like to spend because that gives you space to be able to get some data in and get your ads seen by people. Especially during Q4 work, your costs are a lot higher because there’s a lot more competition.
Everybody’s trying to run ads during this period of the year, so your cost per impression is going to be high. It’s going to be a lot higher than it typically would be throughout the rest of the year. You have to kind of account for those kinds of things.
Or what is the cost, what is Facebook charging you to get in front of your people? How much competition is fighting for that audience? Business owners, for example. There’s a lot of people trying to target business owners.
So if there are a lot of people trying to target business owners, that means the costs go up $15 a day minimum, somewhere between two hundred and fifty dollars to five hundred dollars a month if you’re thinking about a monthly budget as a minimum.
5. How much of your revenue should you allocate to marketing?
But what I also like to tell people about budgets is that you have to start to look at your marketing and create an expense line for your marketing. A percentage of your revenue should be allocated to marketing.
For example, with me, I follow the Profit First System, which is a great book, teaching you how to balance your money and stuff like that. When I started to look at that, and when I started to do that, I allocate how much I pay myself as a percentage. I allocate how much profit I want to have as a percentage.
I figured out what my expenses are based on, what percentage my expenses are of my revenue, and then I figured out, okay, what’s left for me? I allocate about 5% of my monthly revenue to my marketing and to my ads, because that is a percentage that works for me, meaning that I can spend that and still be able to pay myself, still be able to make a profit, and all that kind of good stuff.
If you’re someone who’s making $10,000 a month, $20,000 a month in revenue, $500 might not actually give you enough volume for you to actually be able to see something that’s working, especially if you’re making 20 to 40k a month, $500 is really not just going to be a drop in the bucket for you.
If you’re just starting out and you’re really trying to play around and figure out what’s going on here, then yeah, $500 $250 a month actually is a good budget for you. But if you’re making over $10,000 a month, then you really need to start allocating a percentage of that revenue to your marketing. So that way you can actually give it a fair comparison.
Your Objectives & How They Affect Facebook Ads Billing
First off, what are impressions?
Impressions are more so just how Facebook is going to bill you. That’s when they’re billing you a certain dollar amount for a thousand impressions.
Regardless of how you set your campaign up, they’re still going to charge you by impressions, and based on the objective that you could what you’re talking about is our objectives. Essentially, Facebook has been able to bucket its users based on their behavior.
It can say, like, Alexandra is more likely to become a lead, or Stacey is more likely someone who’s going to make a purchase. Or Megan is more likely going to be someone who’s just going to double-tap and keep scrolling. She’s not going to leave the platform. She’s just going to like, comment, and share, and then she’s going to keep on scrolling.
So it’s able to kind of bucket people that way. And then that’s what’s going to determine your objective. When you select a lead generation objective. For example, Facebook is going to show your ad to people who are more likely to become a lead. Or if you pick sales, it’s going to show it to people who are more likely to make a purchase.
Even can go just traffic where it’s like people who are more likely to just go to the landing page, let it load, and then they don’t actually sign up for something, but they actually do go to the landing page.
Selecting Your Objective
So there are so many different objectives that you can choose. I typically use a lead generation objective when I’m running ads for my podcast because that’s my goal. My goal is to generate leads. And the way that I structure my podcast on my website, I have lead magnets in there.
So I’ll say, for example, when we were talking a little earlier, I’ll take a podcast series that I have. I just did a series on funnels, on marketing funnels. I took that. I took all four episodes and they were published in the podcast land, right? So you can go to my podcast player and you can find the episodes.
But I wanted to make it easy for people to say, like, I’m interested in marketing funnels here. Just give me all your content on marketing funnels. So I created a little PDF that just has a link to each episode in there. And I have like a little workbook that goes with it as well. I run Lead generation ads to that because I want people who are more likely to sign up to become leads.
I rarely use a traffic objective because I don’t want just people to go to my website. I want people to actually go there, stay, wait for it to load, and actually sign up for something because my ultimate goal is to get people on my email list, email, especially if you’re a podcaster.
I get most of my downloads when I send out an email saying, hey, I have a new podcast episode that comes out. And so my goal with my business is to grow my email list exponentially because I find that most of my revenue comes from my email whenever I’m doing any kind of promotions. So that’s why I typically use a lead generation objective.
What are the factors that cause ad price fluctuations?
But if you think about lead generation is going to cost less than sales because sales is a higher objective, a higher purchase intent. So Facebook is going to charge you more for your cost per impression for sales than they are going to charge you for leads.
Traffic is going to be even less expensive to run because people are just going there and they’re just checking it out doesn’t require a commitment. The costs are going to fluctuate based on the time of year, based on how much competition is for your audience, based on the objective that you use.
All of that stuff kind of goes into the factor of cost. And Facebook doesn’t actually tell us specifically like, oh, we charge this for lead generation, we charge this for sales. They don’t tell us how much they’re going to charge. Those kind of things do impact the cost.
The Objective Showdown: Leads, Traffic, and Sales
My ultimate result is I want people to consume my podcast and want to be on my email list. That’s why I run lead generation campaigns. And I also have things that are like pop-ups on my site that say, would you like to join our email list? I’ll send you my top five episodes.
All of the things on my site are set up to really kind of collect leads because that’s how I feed my business. That’s how I make sales from leads. If you are trying to get a brand deal and. Your brand deals are coming from how many downloads you get or how many listeners you get.
So because my objective is to get leads, that’s why I set my pages up the way that I do to really kind of get those people onto my email list. And then I have like a welcome series that comes behind us, like, oh, thanks so much for listening to the podcast. Here are my top five episodes, top five downloaded episodes, or things that I think are most relevant to anybody who lands on a particular page.
Sometimes I have lead generators on there where I’m like, hey, get the companion guide that goes with this series. So if I do a series, I always create some kind of worksheet or something that goes with it that includes a link to each episode. And on there, I have a pop-up that says, like, would you want the companion guide to go to this episode? Add your information here and I’ll send it to you.
So it really kind of depends on what is your objective as a business with this particular episode and that’s going to determine how you set it up.
But you might want to do a traffic objective because you want people to just kind of go to your website and really need them to become a lead, but you really want them to go to the site.
Maybe they want them to listen to your podcast player on your site. Or they go to your site, they see your podcast player, and you have your buttons down that says listen on Apple. And they go and listen on Apple. Really depends on what your business objectives are.
Say you have a digital product, for example, that you’re promoting in your podcast episode and you have some sales checkout or something on your page. Then you want to run some sales objectives because then it’s going to get people to your site who are more likely to complete the purchase.
If you have a podcast episode about how to plan your week, and then you have a planner that goes with it that you can buy, like a $10 planner or something that goes with it, you should definitely put that on your landing page, on the page of the podcast player where people go to on your show notes, I guess I should say.
For that case, I would probably want a sales objective because I want people who are more likely to become sales to make a purchase rather than someone who’s just going to become a lead or just go to the page and check it out.
- If growing your list and growing your opt-ins are the most important, you’re going to want a lead generation campaign.
- If you just want to make those sales and maybe your sales cycle shorter, it’s an easier buy for people. You’re going to go with the sales objective
- If downloads and show growth are your goals, then you can take the least expensive option, which is going to be the traffic campaign on Facebook.
Boosting Posts: The Biggest Mistake You Can Make
That is something Facebook asks me to do all the time.
It makes it so tempting. It’s like, don’t you want to boost this post and get 600 more people to see? It just goes perfectly with the objective conversation we were just having. One of the objectives that you could also have on Facebook is engagement.
Engagement is likes, comments, and shares. And honestly, engagement doesn’t pay the bills. Y’all, I don’t care how many people like it, I don’t care how many people share it. I want to know, did someone become a lead? Did someone make a sale? Did someone come into my marketing ecosystem somehow?
So when you’re boosting a post, the objective is engagement. You cannot change the objective there. When you’re boosting a post, Facebook is just going to show your creative to people who are more likely to comment, like, and share.
You also are limited in the audiences that you get to target. When you go to boost a post, you have very limited options for the audiences that you can show this to. You can show it to people who are similar to your followers, you can show it to maybe demographically like people who live in a certain area.
Why Ads Manager is Superior
But when you’re building ads in Ads Manager, there’s a whole Meta Business Suite there that shows you how to run ads. That’s where you can see insights for your organic content. There’s a ton of information in Meta Business Suite. That is the platform that you go into and you run ads from. And in there you can run ads to custom audiences.
Custom Audience Targeting
For example, if you do have an email list that has over 1000 people on it, you can upload that email list directly to Facebook and say, hey, show this ad to people who are just like the people on my email list, or show it to my people on my email list.
Because maybe people are competing for your audience’s attention. Especially during Q4, people who are sending emails are going to go from sending one email a day to two emails a day or three emails a day.
Advanced Audience Targeting
So as we move through Q4, you can run ads directly to just your email list. Or you can create a lookalike of your email list of people who have similar behaviors and habits. You can create more custom audience instances. You can retarget your website traffic.
So if people are kind of like, say, if you decide you want to run ads with each of your new episodes, which is a lot, I would say, to do, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that. But let’s say that you have a really great episode and you want to make sure that your customers or your clients in your world see it. You can do that.
You can run ads for people who follow you on Instagram or people who have interacted with you on Instagram. But when you’re boosting a post, you’re very limited to the amount of audiences that you can choose because it’s very limited on the objective and it’s just a low lift and a very cheap, like, kind of dip your toe in to get yourself going with ads.
I always recommend that you avoid boosting posts because like I said, I don’t care how many people like the post, I want to know how many people are actually going to the landing page and consuming the content.
Best Practices For Call To Actions & Creatives
Call to Action
So call to action is the easiest. So I’ll talk about that first. Facebook does have an actual call to action button that says Listen now. That’s the one that I use when I am running ads directly to a specific podcast episode. I’ll say listen now. That one’s really good you can use.
I mean, Learn More is a little vague. I always tell people with the call to action buttons, you are limited to what Facebook gives you. So, like, Facebook is only going to give you a certain I think maybe it’s like ten or 15 options that you can choose from.
But I say pick the one that’s closest to the one that you want people to actually do. Because what I learned when I was working at Zappos and we were spending millions of dollars, so we were doing a lot of testing. One of the things we were testing was Shop Now versus Learn More.
Literally 90% of the time when we were running these tests, if we wanted people to get more purchases, this is for people that hit Shop Now for the ads that say Shop Now than the ads that say Learn More.
That’s one of the things that I took as a learning for myself. And I teach that to my students in that the call to action button should be as closest to the action that you want people to take. So if it’s listen now it’s listen now if it’s download download.
So, for example, when I create a lead magnet with my funnel series, the Call to Action, there is download because I want people to download or sign up or something like that.
I do make it so that people have to go through a landing page to be able to actually get that series so that I collect the lead. So that’s call to action buttons, you’re limited to what Facebook gives you.
But pick something that’s as close as possible not to say that Learn More doesn’t work because Learn More does work. It can work. So if you do want people to go to your landing page and check something out, learn more is probably like the default.
If I don’t see anything else that fits, then I’ll pick like, learn more or something like that.
One of the things you have to think about with Creative is that with our attention spans, right? Our attention spans are about 2 seconds.
At this point, TikTok is probably making it even shorter. It’s really hard to capture attention on social. Very crowded landscape. But what you want to make sure that you’re doing is infusing messaging within your creative.
That’s the first thing I talk about when I talk about creating ads, what is the message that resonates with your listeners that will bring them in to listen to this episode?
I was talking to someone who also does like, podcast production, and she runs ads to her podcast, but she was saying, I just run ads, saying like, hey, here’s my podcast. Go subscribe to it. And she was like, well, why are you running ads to specific episodes?
And I said because I want to get people in a specific mind frame. If I’m sending ads to one of the podcast episodes I ran ads to why now is the perfect time to run Facebook ads. I want to capture someone who is right on that cusp of thinking, like, should I be running Facebook ads right now, or should I not be running Facebook ads right now?
Rather than running ads to my podcast, which is Roadmap to $1 Million, which I am going to test, I am going to test running ads just specifically like, hey, here’s my know subscribe, blah, blah, blah.
I am going to test doing that. But I wanted to make sure that the messaging was connecting with people who are right on the fence about whether should I be running ads right now. Should I not be? That’s what I will say about Creative is that you want to make sure that you’re infusing that messaging.
With the funnels series that I did, one of the ads kind of the message that was, you already have a funnel. You just don’t know that you have a funnel because a lot of people think that they don’t. But I’m like, if you’re making sales, you have a funnel.
Funnels are just a way for to move people from “I have no idea who you are to please take my money.” That’s what it is. What is that journey that people go on to actually buy from you? You already have a funnel.
You just haven’t defined it yet. And that’s a way to stick out. Because if I just say, like, hey, download this, listen to this episode about funnels, it’s like, well, why do I need a funnel? Well, what if I already have a funnel? It’s just a little vague.
So you want to make sure that you’re infusing that messaging, you’re using the language that your customers use, your clients use, or your listeners use.
You want to make sure. For example, I use the example of, like, soda versus pop. Some people say pop, and some people say soda. If you know your clients are soda people, then you want to say soda, because if you say pop, they’re going to be like, well, what is that? Then it’s not going to resonate. Those kinds of things are definitely helpful when you think about messaging.
For creative, I like to use a mix of still images and video.
In my course. I teach people how to actually structure their video ads because video definitely helps to bring in a lot of builds that know, like, and trust. You can pull, like, clips from your podcast. Maybe there’s a really interesting message in there that really kind of hooks people.
You can use that if you don’t record your podcast. For video, for example, you can use still images and then maybe put a caption over top of it or maybe pull a caption out of what you said, something that really grabs people’s attention.
But it should be very specific. It shouldn’t just be, hey, listen to my podcast because it’s the greatest thing since Life spread. It should really talk about who is your podcast for, and who benefits most from your podcast. What are the things that you talk about? Who is it really for?
Like, my podcast, for example, is not for people who are just starting out in business. I’m not teaching you, like, marketing one on one. I’m not teaching you what is a landing page or what is a lead magnet.
I teach people how to take their business to the next level. I teach people who I already have something working. They’re like, I have something that’s working. I’m making sales, but I’m really trying to scale it and take it to the next level.
That’s who I talk to in my ad. Creative, keeping in mind who you’re talking to and what they care about, is the best way to figure out what you actually should be saying in your actual ad.
Graphics versus Copy: Which Has A Bigger Impact?
Honestly, the copy is the most important.
Yeah, I can give you an example that literally just happened to me recently. And this isn’t, like, specific to a podcast, but this is just to illustrate the difference. I just did a live webinar earlier this week, so I was running ads for my live webinar.
I had given myself a two, three-week runway to run these ads, and I’m glad I did. And that’s what I teach my students and the reason is because the first week these ads were doing were crap. They were not converting. They were just like the click-through rate was very low.
I wasn’t getting a whole lot of leads. I was just like, what is happening? And I got frustrated, and I just was like, oh my gosh, what’s going on here? To kind of step out of the frustration and say, like, okay, what is the data actually telling me?
When I was looking at the data, the first thing I like to look at is my click-through rate. If people are not clicking on this ad, then they’re not going to have the opportunity to go to the landing page and actually fill this out.
Improving Creative and Click-Through Rate
What I realized was that the click-through rate, and that’s an indicator of creative. So your click-through rate is an indicator of is this creative resonating with this particular audience? It wasn’t resonating because my click-through rate was at, like, 0.5%. And I like to have a click-through rate of about 1% or higher.
To me, if you’re at 1% or higher, that’s 1% is about average. Anything higher than 1%, that means you’re pretty good. What happened, though, is that I’m not filming these ads again. I’m not going to reshoot these ads. Okay? But what I did is I literally just changed the copy. I changed the headline because one of the first things people see is the headline.
I was looking at my analytics to see like, okay, which headline? Which creative is actually performing the best? I went through there, and I took out some headlines. Reformatted that a little bit, and literally with the exact same creative and exact same audiences, that click-through rate went from 0.5% to 3%.
The Power of Copy Changes
Then I see people were actually signing up for the landing page, and I started to see the leads come through. Just because I changed the copy. I didn’t change anything about the video that was running. There was a still image running also. All of that was exactly the same. The only thing I changed was the headline.
And I think I judged the copy just a little bit on the body copy, and that made a tremendous impact. So I would definitely say don’t get too tripped up on the actual creative.
The images that I use are literally just like from photo shoots that I’ve done, like business photo shoots. It’s not necessarily a headshot. I use more of a lifestyle image. So there’s one image that always converts.
For me, for some reason, it’s just me sitting on a couch with my laptop, and that one just converts. Every time I run it, it converts. So I use that image in all of the different campaigns. I run it till it stops working until I start to get to that point where I’m like, okay, people are sick of seeing this image. Then I will stop using it.
But I just changed headlines, I changed copy, and all that kind of stuff. So I would definitely say copy is the biggest indicator because the creative and the graphic is going to cause people to stop scrolling.
The headline is going to also cause people to stop scrolling, but that body copy is what people are going to actually look at to determine whether they actually want to click on the ad and go to the next page.
And I teach in my course, I teach people how to use Chat GBT for copy to really kind of get headlines and body copy at least giving you a starting point, because that’s the thing, sometimes people are kind of lost because they don’t have a starting point.
But if you’re going in through Chat GPT and saying like, give me some Facebook ad headlines that can help you to get some really good inspiration for what you should be posting, and then you start to run some things.
And the more you run stuff, the more you actually see the data and you can say, like, oh, this headline is working really well on this particular ad. Let me actually take this headline and apply it to some other ad.
Should you use emojis in your copy?
Creative or adding emojis to headlines also helps, really, because it kind of helps to make it stick out from the feed. I use emojis in my body copy also, and Chat GBT, sometimes they go emoji crazy, so you might have to rein it back in. We don’t need an emoji after every single word.
So sometimes you rein it in a little bit, but emojis are good, and that’s if your audience when I talk to my people, I use emojis so it fits with my brand. If you’re someone who does not use emojis, don’t just throw a bunch of emojis in there just to stick out.
You want to make sure that it’s on brand for what you’re talking about with who you are and how you present. But using emojis, those kinds of definitely helps to make things stick out.
But I would definitely put more emphasis on the copy instead of getting yourself tripped up with like, I’m not a good writer because I don’t think of myself as a good writer, but I just go to Chat GBT. And it can give me a starting point, and then I can take that, and then I can judge it up and make it my own.
Should you personally appear in your video ads?
Yeah, so I have a client, who argued that people did not want to see her in her videos and in her ads. She argued me down. I said, let’s try it.
So we literally had the same exact video script. One of her talking, just talking to the camera. It was her doing a voiceover. So she had somebody do stock stuff. Like it was stock photos, b-roll style.
Yeah. So we had like a video without her in it at all. And then we had a video where it was like a combo, where it was like some visual, and then it was cut to her talking and stuff like that. And literally, the video of her just talking to her people was always performed the best.
That’s why I tell people I’m like, I get that we’re like introverts and stuff like that. So maybe just use a still image of you. Like use a nice photo from a photo shoot that you may have done from a business photo shoot, or if you have some really good clear photos.
That’s the thing. I just want to make sure you can take photos on your phone own, but just make sure it’s very clear it’s sized correctly. But the image that converts best for me is literally just me. Like I said, I’m looking at the camera. I’m sitting there like sleep.
Facebook Ads Library as a Resource
And honestly, what you can do is if you go to Facebook’s Ads Library, you can see anybody’s ads that are running. You can search for one. If you know your competitors are running ads, you can go.
This is a part of Facebook’s page transparency, the whole Cambridge Analytica, whole scandal thing. From that, they have made things more transparent. So you can see any page that’s running ads. You can go to their page, you can see the ads that they’re running.
Or you can go to Ads Library then you can type in my name and you can see my business page and you’ll see the ads that I have running. Or you can do that with your competitors.
You can do that to get inspiration. I just taught a workshop to some restaurant owners earlier this week, and we were just going through and looking at local small businesses. So we were looking at ads for like, Yard House and Red Robin and Olive Garden and some of these bigger brands who have these big budgets for just inspiration, right?
You can take a look in there and see inspiration because it doesn’t necessarily mean that something is performing really well. If you go to someone’s business page and you go to page transparency you got to find it.
Caution: Only use these ads as inspiration
But going to the Ads Library is a lot more straightforward because then you can just type in somebody’s name. You can even type in topics. You don’t even have to type see somebody specifically their ads.
You can say like, restaurants, and it’ll pull up all ads that mention restaurants. You can do podcasts and you just search in there. But I just want to make sure you caveat to say just because something is running does not mean it’s performing, does not mean that it’s actually getting someone meeting their business objectives.
So use it for inspiration, but don’t take it as this is what I have to actually create.
More on Stacy Reed
I have a course called Maximize with Ads. It is all about how to run your own Facebook and Instagram ads.
I have always been an in-house marketer, meaning I’ve worked for the brands that I’ve been doing marketing for and I love to be able to work with people who want to build their own in-house marketing teams or have people on their team that actually can have multiple skill sets.
That’s really who the course is for. It’s for you if you want to run your own ads, if you have a team, you want them to run ads for you. And it’s really for the specifically like online coaches, online service providers, consultants, people in that kind of space who need to generate leads and who need to generate sales.
Because I really want to make sure that the course is very focused on what we have on what you actually need. And now I’m actually working on specific strategy cards for different niches. So strategy cards specifically for podcasters. This is what I’m doing on my podcast ads. Here’s how you recreate that.
I’m also creating some for people who do sales calls. So it’s like how do you actually move people from a Facebook ad to an actual sales call? Those kinds of different things are actually on our roadmap.
In October, we’re doing a big refresh of the course and putting a whole lot of new awesome stuff in there, especially for podcasters. I’m starting to attract a lot more podcasters and people who like me are just, hey, like, I love what I do and I love creating content, but I also have a life and I also don’t want to be having to talk about having to share the podcast episode that came out three months ago.
That’s really good. That’s still getting some downloads. I want to be able to amplify that and light that thing on fire. And so that’s really who the course is for. And we have support also. So we have actually office hours.
Right after this. I meet with my students and they can come on and ask me questions. We have a Facebook group where there’s a bunch of people in there who are not poo-pooing ads. They’re like team ads. Yes, we love ads off of it. And so that’s what the course is all about.
I have a podcast called Roadmap to $1 Million. It. Comes out weekly. We post episodes every Tuesday.
You can also find me online. My name all around these internet streets is @stacyzeal.co that’s also my website as well, Stacy Zeal & Co. and that’s where you can get access to the course.
So if you go to https://stacyzeal.co/maximize you can watch my workshop, where I go deep about Facebook ads and the strategy and my framework and all that kind of good stuff.
And you can really kind of learn what is the process, what does it look like? What do you need to have in place? First, we talk about funnels, we talk about messaging, all that kind of good stuff.
So I would definitely say start by watching my workshop and that’ll actually lead you into grabbing the course. I love it.
There is little that is more inspiring than getting to learn directly from experts.
If you’d like to continue this conversation with Stacey, you can next week at the Podcasting for Business Conference, where she will be giving an even more in-depth presentation on how to strategically use Facebook ads for your Pod guest.
It will be a presentation that you should not miss, and I hope that we see you there. You can register for your ticket here.
“Facebook ads are a long-term strategy. They’re not something that you put a dollar in, you’re going to get a dollar right out, right away.” – Stacy Reed
“I always recommend that you avoid boosting posts because like I said, I don’t care how many people like the post, I want to know how many people are actually going to the landing page and consuming the content.” – Stacy Reed
Make sure to check out our free Monthly Strategy Calls!
Learn about what other business podcasters are doing
- Structuring an Episode For Effective Ads with Heather Osgood
- Podcast Promotion that Feels Good with Alexandra Cohl
- The Philosophy of Podcast Promotions with Deirdre Tshien
About Stacy Reed
“Stacy Reed is absolutely obsessed with taking online brands to new heights through strategic marketing. As a Strategic Marketing Consultant and Facebook Ads Expert, Stacy teaches CEOs how to make more money, gain their time back, and rapidly increase their visibility to impact the world with their brilliance.
She’s had the incredible opportunity to lead paid social efforts for big names like Zappos, UGG, Steve Madden, Adidas, Crocs, and many more generating over $150 Million in sales across channels like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, and more.
With over 11 years of marketing expertise under her belt, Stacy loves sharing her knowledge and helping online brands maximize their marketing strategies. Her ultimate goal is to teach you how to scale your businesses to a remarkable $1 Million and beyond. Stacy hosts the Roadmap to $1 Million podcast, where she shares actionable insights on all things business and marketing. She has also been featured in Business Insider, The Baltimore Sun, and Peacock’s Podcast Network for Comcast’s Founding in Color Season 2.
Stacy is on a mission to give you the strategies, secrets, and expert support you need to grow your sales and impact the masses without sacrificing your life. So, if you have a big vision and you’re looking to skyrocket your business, check out her Facebook ads course Maximize With Ads and follow her podcast Roadmap to $1 Million.”