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📊33 Using Facebook Ads WITHOUT a Warm Audience

📊33 Using Facebook Ads WITHOUT a Warm Audience


(uplifting music) – [Presenter] Coming up on today’s edition of the Art Marketing Podcast,
we’re talking Facebook Ads. How to get started when you don’t have a warm audience to show ads to. Otherwise known as the
chicken and egg scenario. So the Arts Storefronts team has been growing a bit as of late. We’re growing as a company,
so we’ve been hiring. Now an argument can be made
that we’re growing as a company because we’re getting
much better at what we do. And I think to a large
portion, that would be true. But also, when the fourth
quarter is approaching, artists and photographers out there tend to get real active and rightfully so. Everybody knows this is the
time to be selling art online. So we tend to see a flood of new customers and want to get set up and
ready to capitalize on Q4. So we’ve got to staff
up to meet the demand. Now over the years of
hiring, we sort of evolved our hiring practices
quite a bit to the system that we’re at now. And I think early on, this
is a concept I borrowed for hiring from a guy
named Matt Mullenweg, who, he’s the guy who founded WordPress. Just genius kid, unbelievable
what this guy’s achieved. He wrote a piece for the
Harvard Business Review a few years back on
WordPress’s hiring practices. And I also heard him kind of detail some aspects of it on a
few different podcasts. And I’ll throw a link to the show notes of his Harvard piece, which
I think you should read if it piques your interest. It’s awesome. Now they run this concept
of tryouts for future hires. And so they put their listings out, they screen their candidates
like everybody else does, interviews and phone
interviews and the like, and they narrow down the
list to a few candidates that they basically provincially hire. Provincially.
(chuckles) Provisionally hire. And let’s just say we’ll
use three for our example. You’ve got a job, descriptions out, you’ve been through all that
and you hire all three of them to provisionally start doing the job. They start working on the
job on some sample projects. They get paid in a provisional fashion. Now they do this so they
can formally evaluate any new hires with literally some real on-the-job
experience and training to see if they’re fit, right? You have them doing a real
task that would really be part of their job, and
you get to see how they work and how they communicate. And it’s sort of like, it’s like dating before you get married. And it’s great because it gives both sides of the equation, the
ability to get to know the other person, see
whether or not it fits, see whether or not you want to get in bed for a marriage, a career. And it’s really an amazing, amazing system for a number of different reasons. And at Arts Storefront,
we’ve sort of added a few of our own twist to kind
of make the process our own. And why am I telling you this? Yeah, great, Patrick, ASF’s
growing, good for you guys. Can we get back to the art
marketing tips now, please? Very much. So stick with me for a moment. I’m gonna get you there,
I’m gonna get you there. Now two great things about this process, and there are many more, let me tell you. But two great ones are the following. Number one, when you run tryouts, when you hire in this fashion, number one, this process tends to obliterate your cognitive biases towards people. What do I mean? As humans, and especially
as humans hiring people, we end up having these biases. We are naturally drawn
towards the candidates that we like, people we understand, people we would love to go out and get a beer with after work. They get our jokes, they get us. The conversation is exactly
what you would like. This is a buddy, this is a great person, I really wanna hire them. And it’s in this bias that we
all have I think as humans. It’s so easy to overlook the shortcomings of a potential person,
and you end up getting pulled away from, I think,
what might be a really talented candidate for
the one that we wanna go get that beer with. I mean, I’ve gotten burned
on this so many times in my career and learned this
lesson so hard so many times. Thankfully I didn’t have to
write the checks for those, but I still feel responsible. Now that’s number one. So this process tends to obliterate, to neutralize that particular bias. It’s fantastic at that. Number two, it’s
impossible to really truly evaluate a candidate in a
vacuum in a sample size of one. You have nothing to compare them to. And let’s say the job is we need somebody to write blog posts, right? And so let’s say I’m really, really good at writing blog posts, okay? I’ve been writing them for
years, I know what it takes, I know how long it takes, I
know the right questions are. And you think like, look,
if I put somebody through an evaluation to write a blog post, I’ve done this so many times,
I know all the ins and outs, I’m gonna know right away whether or not this is a good candidate, right? And that’s a bit of a bias too. But what happens? And I understand that perspective. But what happens when
you have three candidates doing the exact same task
at the exact same time? The learnings that come
from that comparison are so totally and completely profound. And not just the quality
of the final product, of the deliverable of the
blogpost in our example, right? But you get to see how they communicate, how quickly do they work, how do they problem solve in real time? Are they comfortable asking
for help when they hit a wall? All of these things tend to emerge, and it’s when you have this ability to have three of these going
on concurrently or more; but at least two, two to
three to four, whatever. You’ve got that going on
concurrently all at the same time. It’s amazing, like it just… I mean, just going through this last week and it just punched me in the face a couple of different times. I was just like, whoa, whoa, whoa, profound learnings, profound learnings. So it’s amazing. But let me take it out of this context and let me give you an interesting example to take it a step further. Let’s say the job I’m
hiring for is to show up at the Academy Awards
and enter the building. Not like break in, like
you’re officially invited. So the prompt would be
hey, here’s a location, time and the date. Ready? Go. Task is easy enough, right? But the question becomes how
are they gonna go about it? The job, the deliverable
is to enter the award show. But how are they gonna go about it? So what’s gonna happen
next in this scenario? These three candidates
need to pick their outfits and their jewelry,
their date for the show. How are they gonna get to the venue? What is that car gonna look like? How are they gonna exit the car? How will they pose the cameras? And how will they work the red carpet? And then ultimately, yes, how
do they get into the building? And so when you look at that, there’s lots of room for
style, for panache, for nuance. Lots of room in that task when
you break it down like that. Lots of room for
creativity, lots of room to show themselves, show
what they’re made of, show what they’re into,
show what they understand. And personally, I hate
Hollywood award shows and watch none of them. I do remember one though
where the star in question, I can’t remember what her name is, her and her husband rode her bike, rode their bicycles with her dress on, and her husband pulled
right up to the red carpet, thought that was awesome,
that always stuck with me. But the point is you never
know what you’re gonna get until you see it all go down, and then especially have
the ability to compare it to what the others did. And again, the learnings are profound. They just become profound. So how do we apply that to marketing? Where am I going with this story? Let’s talk about the
chicken and egg problem, and let me define it. You’re an artist, you’re a photographer, you’re planning on running
ads on Facebook and Instagram. You’re just getting started though. You don’t have a large warm audience. You don’t have a ton of website traffic that you can remarket
to, or a huge email list. You’ve listened to my previous episodes, you’ve tried to create LTV audiences, you’ve scraped together, cobbled together family, friends, everything you’ve got, you’ve thrown in the kitchen sink and the audience is just too small. You can’t even really show
ads to it, it’s too small. So you can’t stick
starting with warm traffic. Like, everybody should
start with warm traffic and then move on to cold. So that becomes the
chicken and the egg thing. Which came first? I wanna show my ads to warm traffic, but I don’t have any warm traffic. How do I get the warm traffic? The chicken and the egg. So obviously you have to start
advertising to cold traffic so you can build this warm audience. And so obviously that usually means what we call interest
targeting on Facebook. You put in interest,
people that like this page, people that are interested in art, people that are interested
in landscape photography, you’d play around with
these interests in Facebook and you come up with an
audience, a cold audience, an audience of people
that do not know you, have never met you, that
you are gonna be able to show your ads to. So what I’m gonna give
you today is a framework for how to think about this and a tip you can use to
get where you need to be faster and cheaper, faster and cheaper. Now for some of you, you do
have a good sized warm audience. So how will this episode help you then? Well, we can apply the tryouts framework that I mentioned in
both of these situations to absolutely great advantage. Now regardless, in the
chicken in the egg situation, we’re already rolling, your
big picture goal is the same. Sales, ultimately sales. But the path for both of those
starts with Facebook fans and Instagram fans and
followers and email addresses. So yes, your primary goal is always sales, but there’s some steps along
the way to that eventual goal. And so for both of you guys, whether advance or otherwise, some of the initial goals are the same. So you’re trying to get more attention. You’re trying to get more
audience to build your list that you can eventually sell to. So with interest targeting on Facebook, a quick word on interest targeting. Let me start here, and then
I’ll finish up with a tip that you can all use
no matter where you are in your Facebook ads journey. So for some of you, the interest targeting is really straightforward. Patrick, I paint cats. Awesome for you because you can go out and target all the rabid cat lovers of which the interwebs, Facebook and Instagram is stacked, easy. For some of you, you might
photograph urban destruction. You just got back from a month in Detroit photographing all those
abandoned buildings, which is so sad. How do you target that on
Facebook with interests? Much harder for you, right? In either case, these are the crosses that we all have the bear as our individual artists
or individual niches, and we’re gonna be better than others, it all balances out in the end. In either case, you play
with the various interests you can target on Facebook. You use your best judgment and
you come up with some groups that you think will dig your art, that you think is a good cold audience, that you think will like
what you’re putting down. It’s trial and error though. It’s trial and error. Now as a way to give you
a leg up on this process, a clever little hack, if you will, is to apply our framework,
our tryouts framework that I went through to our
Facebook audience selection. This works regardless if the audiences are cold or warm by the way. Now in principle, we’re gonna go into the Facebook Ads Manager and we are gonna select a
few different audiences. And so our targetings,
we’re gonna be on Facebook and Instagram, but we’re
using the Ads Manager, the same product; and what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna select a
few different audiences, we’re going to use the same creative. So the same ad copy and
images and landing page, and we’re gonna run that ad unit at all three of these audiences
at the exact same time with the exact same budget. And at its simplest, you run one campaign with three different ad groups. The ad groups have the
three different targetings that you picked. And with each of the
three targeting options, you’re gonna put the exact
same ad in all three groups. We run all three at the
same budget exact same time. Why? For both reason, number one and number two above, from tryouts. You don’t want your
biases to get in the way. You think these guys are
more apt to buy my art, this particular targeting,
whatever it may be. I wanna have a beer with these folks. They’re just like me, I’m
gonna show my ads to them. That group of course will win. That’s what you’re saying in your head. Will they, though? Will they? What if the other group does? Running your ads in this
fashion will shore up. It’ll cover your six, it’ll eliminate your blind spots and biases. It’s amazing, it’s profound. That’s number one. Number two, we measure how they perform doing the exact same task
at the exact same time, just like our tryouts. We combine the metrics Facebook gives us with the metrics our site gave us. So for Facebook, it’s engagement. It’s engagement up front, right? It’s reactions, likes,
comments, shares, page likes, Instagram followers, and
Facebook gives you all that data. Then on our sites, we’re gonna
measure the email capture. Are we capturing their email addresses? Are they getting on our list? And eventually, if you’re
there, are you selling? We run all of those at the same time, and we see how they do. Just like our tryouts for the job, we’re hiring these Facebook audiences to do a job too, so let’s
see who does the job best. Let’s see who wins. Let’s hire the best audience for the job, and then go all in on that one. Go all in on that one. And you’ll be blown away by
what you learn when you do this. Most people don’t do this. They just throw one audience in there, combine a bunch of audiences in there and they say we’ll just see how it goes. Oh, it’s cold traffic,
oh I didn’t do anything, oh I’m done, right? That’s what happens more often than not. But when you have three of
them running concurrently, you’re setting yourself up for success because you’re giving yourself the ability to have one of them win. You have the comparison,
the ability to compare. The one, the two, the three, the cream will rise to the
top, if you will, right? So it’s an incredibly
powerful technique to use, and it’s very easy to do. Now let’s get to the tip that we can use to even further level us up. Momentum and social proof
are powerful things. Not to be ignored in the world of Facebook and Instagram ads. Not to be ignored. The more reactions and likes and shares and comments you have on a corresponding Facebook or Instagram
post will make your ads more effective and cheaper. Your ad unit will go further
and farther for cheaper when it has that social
proof baked into it. How many times? How many times in this
podcast have you heard me talking about the Facebook comments and what I learned in
the Facebook comments and the fact that I’m in the
Facebook comments all the time? A lot, right? Now why would I do that? Why? I mean, I’m supposed to be CMO over here and I have underlings dadgummit! Why wouldn’t I just lay the
comment moderation burden, the social moderation
burden on an underling or an overseas VA? Why don’t I do that? I mean (chuckles) my wife
who’s also in marketing, and she runs analytics for an agency, she sees me responding
to these things sometimes and she’s like, what are you doing? Guy, we get interns to handle
the social moderation piece. Why are you wasting your time on that? She needles me on this all the time. I scoffed back at her and I smile. The social proof, especially,
especially early on in the life of an ad unit
is absolutely everything. The more that you have,
the quicker you get it, the cheaper and more effective
your ad unit becomes. Not enough people talk about that. It’s powerful. We invest tremendously in our ads, and it’s my job, it’s my job to make them as cheap and as effective as possible. So I do it myself. I do it myself and I enjoy it. Additionally, I find the feedback to be extremely valuable learnings; notwithstanding the
battles from time to time I tend to fall into with some trolls. Sometimes I get defensive on posts. I need to work on that. I am working on that, I am working on it. But anyway, in our current situation, let’s talk about what most people do, then let me lay out this
tip, this tactic, this hack on how I recommend you go about this. So what do most people do what? Most folks often do is create
what is called a dark post. They create the post, the
ad unit in Ads Manager, and it’s essentially a Facebook post. The ad is a Facebook post essentially. And when you create it in Ads
Manager, it’s a dark post. It only lives as an ad. It can only be seen by people
who are in the ad targeting. The minute you turn the ad
off, poof, that post it’s gone, it floats into the ether. It will never be seen again. And so most folks do that. They run a dark post. And in addition to that,
in addition to that, go back to my note here, the minute you turn
that off, okay, so yeah. The minute you turn that
off, it’s gone, right? Okay, so we know that. Now again, what most folks do, using our example of the three
different targeting groups, is that they go in, they
create, let’s just say, this one campaign with these
three different ad groups, our three different targeting, and then our three different ad units. They create it, create it, create it. Now that’s three different ads on Facebook they need to pay attention to. In addition, if you’re
running on Instagram, let’s just say that’s three
additional posts on Instagram. So now you have what is
effectively six posts. Three on Instagram, three on Facebook to keep our examples simple, that you have to keep an eye on, that you have to monitor, that you have to respond to comments to, that you have to put in
emojis on and all of the rest. And so what happens is it takes more time to charge up the social
proof because you’ve got six individual ad units. So what do I recommend you do? The tip, the hack, the
tactic, if you will? Here it goes. You create an organic post
on your Facebook page. It’s live and living
on your Facebook page. You can then use that post as the ad unit. And yes, you can do this boosting post, or you can do it in the Ads Manager. I’m talking about the Ads Manager. So you create that
organic post, it’s live. And by the way, this is
gonna get a little technical, don’t worry, just sit and listen. I’m going to make a video walking through all of this step-by-step. So for now, just listen, roll with me. So you make that organic post. You then go into Ads Manager and you turn the post, which
has a post ID into an ad for your first targeting group. Then you go into the
second targeting group and you use the same post. That same post ID as
the ad for that group. You then go into the
third targeting group, and you use the same post. So now what you’ve done,
now what you’ve done is you have that same ad. Instead of having three, you have one. You have one post. It both lives on your
organic Facebook page, and it also lives in those
three different ad groups. And so you’ve got one post that is now collectively grabbing
all that social proof and that attention. You don’t have three, you
just have one to work on. And so what happens is it
gets charged up quicker. Once you have your winning targeting, you can shut off the other two and ride the winner. And all of the social proof
that that ad unit gathered in those other ad groups, other ad groups that they’re targeting which we’re no longer using, it has all the charged
up social proof on it. Now that covers the Facebook piece. What about the Instagram piece? You can do the exact
same thing on Instagram. Yes, it will be a separate
post from Facebook and have its own set of social proof, but the same principles apply. Instead of six ads, you now have two ads. Now this works too, by the way. It doesn’t matter what kind of post it is. It can be a link post or an image post or a video or a carousel. Works on all of them, doesn’t matter. But Patrick, but Patrick,
I’m gonna be having an advertising sale and
I don’t want that post to live on my Facebook page
after the sale is over. Fine, don’t worry about it. Once the sale is over, delete the post. The tactic still works. Now if you wanna take it
a step further even, good. Email your list about
the fourth quarter sale. And instead of sending them to your store, send them to the Facebook post. What? Why would I wanna do that? You wanna do that so you
can use the free audience that you have, i.e., your email list, to charge up that post with social proof before you turn it into an ad. Your list is small? Great, fine. Ask your family and
friends to like, comment and share the post. Hey guys, I’m having my biggest
sale of the year coming up. It would mean the world to me. Could you just like
this post, charge it up with some social proof for me? It would really help me out. You don’t even have to do
that through MailChimp. Like email 20 friends and just said, guys, huge favor to ask. I’m turning this thing into an ad. Could you charge this
thing up with some comments and likes and shares? Your family will do that
every time, it’s an easy ask. It’s a very, very easy ask. All you have to do is send
them a URL and just say hey, would you please give
this thing some love. I’m gonna turn it into an ad. Now what some of you
out there are saying is hey, Patrick, great. I know all of this already. I’m spending thousands
a month on Facebook Ads. Tell me something I don’t know. This podcast is becoming a bit boring for an advanced ad marketer like me. Fine, touche, touche. You likely know then as an
advanced Facebook marketer that when you get a
really good-performing ad, you can run that ad sometimes
for months and months and even years. I’ve had ads that have worked for years and continue to perform
and continue, are live now. So when you take that concept
and you think about it for a minute, so like wow,
so I can create one ad, really, really charge
it up with social proof and then just continue to
show it to cold traffic and warm traffic for
potentially months to come? Yes, you can. So let me give you an
even more advanced one, a more advanced way,
and this is a little bit out of the realm of
possibility if you’re just getting started, but
I wanna give something to the advanced folks. And conceptually, I think it’ll ring true. So Facebook has a global audience. In many cases, that global
attention in isolation is way, way, way cheaper
than the domestic attention that we normally chase. So normally what do you do? Normally, and I’m speaking specifically about the majority of our customer base; normally you’re gonna run your ads targeting the United States and Canada because that’s where your art buyers are. You’re selling to the Western world. Maybe you throw the UK in there. But let’s just say you’d
pay to run your ads in those countries, right? And when you run those ads,
you get your stats back from Facebook, and let’s
say the cost per engagement on the ad; and let’s just
say the cost for engagement is a combination of reactions and comments and shares and page likes, it pencils out to $1 per
engagement, let’s just say, to keep the math simple. So that’s what you’re paying
running your ads to Canada and the United States. $1 per engagement to charge that post up. Okay, great. Well, what if you created
an additional ad group then and you target one of the
other English-speaking or not English-speaking
countries in the world? What if you create an ad group
and targeted, say, Romania or Macedonia or Brazil or Croatia? You could give it a $50
budget and just let it run. Guess what happens. The ad marketplace in those countries is nowhere near as competitive as it is in the US and Canada. So what ends up happening is you can end up spending, let’s
just say 50 bucks, 50 bucks, and instead of the $1
per engagement we got showing our ads to Canada
in the United States, you end up getting $0.10 per
engagement or even cheaper. So you could potentially create
your organic Facebook post, create your ad unit and
use your same targeting. Instead of Canada or the United States, put Bulgaria, Croatia,
Romania, Macedonia, wherever, and run it for 50 bucks. Run that first. And what ends up happening is
you’re left with an ad unit that potentially has 10s, 50s, hundreds, sometimes even thousands
of comments and reactions and likes and shares on the post, and you got that all done for 50 bucks. Now you have an ad unit that
is completely charged up with social proof that you can go and show to your domestic audience in
Canada and the United States and try to get those sales. So that’s way overkill for somebody that’s just getting started. That’s like what? What are you, crazy? That’s just way out there. I get that, and that’s okay. But you understand, it puts
in perspective that principle. It puts in what you’re
capable of achieving when you charge up one of these ad groups. So let’s sum it up. Run tryouts with your
Facebook ad targeting. Guard against your cognitive biases and let the data guide you. So do that, run them concurrently. See who the winner is. You’re going to be in a
significantly better position if you do this, especially
when you’re getting started. And it’s easy, it’s easy to do. Combine your social proof on your ads by running the same ad
unit in your various different ad groups; and
you’re absolutely going to lower your cost and increase
the efficacy of your ads. You’re just going to. Most importantly, get rolling. The fourth quarter is
coming, and we want your art and photography to be top of mind as the credit card starts
sliding out of the wallet. It’s coming. Now for the show notes, I owe you a video detailing this task and
I’m gonna provide it. The Ads Manager is just incredibly buggy and annoying interface. Oftentimes, when I’m
attempting this tactic myself, the thing just likes to derp out or error, or it won’t go through. So there’s gonna be
some steps in the video that we’ll show you that
are gonna mitigate things and prevent you from
throwing your keyboard across your studio in anger, frustration, and potentially even (mumbles) perplexing. Get everything, the video, the links, the Harvard Business Review, anything else that I’ve mentioned. You could fire up Google
on the Internet machine, search for the Art Marketing Podcast. Or, or, you could pull your phone up, open the Messenger application,
search for Art Storefronts. You can get in our chat bot
and you’ll find it there. And I wanna close out by saying the fourth quarter is
coming, it’s game time. For those of you that have
been sitting on the fence, I don’t often go for the hard close in the podcast here, but
for those that are sitting on the fence, there’s still time. You could still join Art Storefronts. Get your website up,
get ready, get rolling. Put into place some of
our marketing tactics and likely sell more
art than you ever have this fourth quarter. We provide a complete business solution for artists and photographers. At the core of which is a
website that will increase your conversion rates and really help you to sell more art this fourth quarter. So if you’re interested in that, there’ll be a button in the post. You can request a demo, talk
to our lovely sales folks, and they’ll help guide you. And as always, thanks for listening. Q4 is upon us, giddy up,
and have a great day. (uplifting music)

1 thought on “📊33 Using Facebook Ads WITHOUT a Warm Audience

  1. 00:54 – You never what you are going to get until you see it all
    07:18 – The chicken and egg problem
    09:24 – A word on interest targeting
    13:19 – Momentum and social proof are powerful things
    23:11 – Let's sum it up

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