Facebook’s ad platform gives you more control over your ad campaigns compared to any other platform out there. Whether you’re a pizza shop looking for more customers, or an online retail store looking to find more people interested in your products, Facebook’s audience targeting options allow you to reach the right people based on location, demographics, interests, behaviors, and more.
Once you’ve properly installed the Facebook pixel on your website, you can go as broad or niched down as you need to get in front of your ideal audience, ensuring you can increase your reach and boost your sales.
Rich: He started running Facebook ads on the side to help promote his wife’s business, but soon discovered that he had a natural ability for running Facebook campaigns. After he showed so much success on his wife’s campaigns, her competitors – and friends – started approaching him looking for help, advice, or to hire him. He now has over 3 year’s experience in creating, running, and troubleshooting hundreds of Facebook ads.
Unable to keep up with demand he ultimately created his own course so people could master the power of Facebook ads on their own. His branding is so cool that I wish I had come up with it myself, The Ad Viking, and people have been flocking to it ever since. Today we’re speaking to the Viking himself, Andy Bengal. Andy, welcome to the show.
Andy: Well hello there. Thanks for bringing me on the show, I really appreciate it. And hello to everyone else.
Rich: Andy knows full well that I could not pull of The Ad Viking, or any type of Viking-type branding. He’s got this amazing beard that just crushes it and is very noticeable. But as soon as I heard your brand name I said, “Damn, I wish I thought of that”.
Andy: Thank you. Yeah, that was kind of created by a Mastermind group that I’m in from a guy named Phil. We were talking about creating a business and he saw the beard and said, “Dude, you’ve got to be The Ad Viking!” So I give credit to Phil because he’s actually the one that came up with the name and it stuck and it is pretty awesome.
Rich: It is pretty awesome. And I also just want to thank you Andy, because Andy and I got to know each other really well at the Teachers Pay Teachers conference this year down in Nashville, Tennessee. They had asked me to speak on B.A.R.E Essentials and they also asked me to speak on Facebook ads, which I can talk about to a degree, but then when the time came for Q&A I asked Andy to join me on stage because I knew there were going to be some tricky questions that he could answer for me. What I didn’t anticipate is the fact that there was only one mic, so whenever Andy and I had to answer a question he basically had to talk into my chest. And there were some awkward photos that were taking as you can imagine.
Andy: That was a great scene. I really enjoyed it.
Rich: I had a great time. I had a great time all around. Alright, so I gave a little brief, but how exactly did you get into Facebook advertising for your wife and then in general?
Andy: I was an electrical engineer working for General Dynamics. My wife creates school curriculum for schools and teachers worldwide. She started doing very well and asked me to quit my job and start working for her. And at first I was like, yeah, of course I would. Why would I not want to help her with her business? And the main thing was just to help with odds and ends with the business and about a month into it I said, “What about Facebook advertising?” She said she had posted some things but nothing really big. And that was early 2016, I dove in, started reading books, listening to podcasts, webinars, and conferences. As much as I could I just dove all in on Facebook advertising.
I’ll tell you what, I just fell in love with it because of the challenge. It kept me wanting to learn more about Facebook because it’s constantly changing. So it was just something I fell in love with and am very passionate about, and was actually very successful with it as well.
In 2016 we had about 13,000 followers, and right now we’re at about over 53,000 followers on our Facebook page. We’ve built it slowly but without Facebook advertising our business would not be where it is today.
Rich: Now you and I have talked about this before, you believe that a lot of people don’t really understand what Facebook advertising is meant for. So what do you see as the misunderstanding, and what do you think those ads are best utilized for?
Andy: To me it’s getting your brand out there. Most people want to put their items for sale and quickly get quick sales on what they’ve made or promote or what they do. But it’s really creating a relationship with your audience. We put a lot of ads out there that’s free informational, but as well as retarget them with products. Because you have to sell products to keep your business running.
So really we’re trying to get Jen’s face or my face – The Ad Viking, since I started my company this year – giving videos, giving information to our audience to help them understand who you are and what you’re trying to help them with. Because really that’s what we’re all trying to do with our business is help someone. So you’re trying to help someone narrow down and hit the most people and help them – for example, with Facebook advertising – is grow their business and be successful.
Rich: So Andy if I’m understanding what you’re saying is, that for both your business and your wife’s own business, what you’re doing is you’re using Facebook ads in part because Facebook doesn’t give businesses a lot of organic reach and you’re using their advertising platform to just brand yourself and educate your prospects and customers along the way. But then you’re retargeting them when it comes to actually making the sale. Is that what’s going on?
Andy: Exactly. So we try and really draw them in to her website and my website, and on the website have information about who you are and your products. And then now that you’ve captured them to your website, now you have their Facebook ID and you can retarget them with more information, more product, and that’s been very effective for us. So this way we’re not just slamming them with product information or “buy our products” purchasing things. Give them a good full journey into what Out of This World Literacy is and The Ad Viking.
Rich: Alright, that makes a lot of sense. So what are some of the things that you’re seeing out there that are keeping people from succeeding in Facebook ads?
Andy: Really the first thing is the pixel. I notice when I go to a lot of different websites it’ll be all supplements or a fitness trainer or churches, they don’t have their Facebook pixel installed on their website. And that is the foundation to advertising. If you don’t have that pixel installed properly on your websites, you don’t know if your ads are even working.
If you are paying for advertisements on Facebook, you don’t know if they’re effective or actually not working at all because your pixel is what attracts everything that’s happening with your Facebook advertisements. So if you don’t know the numbers and you don’t know exactly what your ads are doing, you’re just really wasting your money.
The foundation to Facebook advertising is installing your pixel properly on your website.
Rich: So if people are just getting started– or it sounds like you’ve discovered a lot of people haven’t been doing this right – the pixel is a snippet of code. And either you or your developer needs to install this in a way on your website that it appears on every single page that you’re interested in. Correct?
Rich: And if I understand correctly, certainly we can use Facebook ads to drive traffic to our website and then we’ve basically dropped a pixel on people. But also, if they’re just coming to our website through any manner – because they have our business card or they found us in search, or whatever the case may be – we’re still able to retarget them using that Facebook pixel, correct?
Rich: So they don’t need to come through this ad necessarily to see that. How time intensive is it to get that pixel installed?
Andy: It’s actually really simple, for some. If you don’t know where the pixel is on your Facebook Ads Manager, yeah, it can be kind of difficult to find. Each business has their own Facebook pixel, you copy that code and you can paste it onto your website whether it be WordPress or whatever.
You want to track not only people visiting but maybe if they look at an item and put it into their cart but don’t actually purchase, now you can run an ad to them and remind them they have an item in the cart. And they then hopefully purchase then after seeing those ads.
Rich: So what I’m understanding is the pixel is not just kind of a binary switch, somebody came to my website or they didn’t, you can also track certain types of behavior. They were interested in this product but not necessarily this product, they took this action but they didn’t take that action. And based on what pages they visit or specific actions they take, our Facebook retargeting of them could be different with a very specific message that’s tailored more to them and their behavior.
Andy: Exactly. Because it’s proven about 90% of the people that visit your website do not purchase something. So if you don’t have your pixel installed correctly, you never knew those people that visited your website. And if you have it installed, now you can retarget them with some new advertisement, whether it be that product again or some more information, It’s a matter of again getting your brand in front of them so they remember, “Oh yeah, that’s right, I looked at this pair of Nike shoes and I forgot about it but today I saw it on Facebook”, so they go back in there and shop for it and make the purchase.
Rich: It’s funny, I know a lot of people get skeeved by the fact that websites are following them around, but there have been so many times where I’m like totally psyched that somebody reminded me that I had something in my shopping cart or something that I was looking at online, maybe a vacation house or whatever. So I think people have just come to expect that out of ads, and we’re almost letting them down if we’re not retargeting them because then we’re putting all the work on their part to remember that.
And the other thing I’m hearing from you is, there’s multiple audiences and I want to kind of get into this. There are different audiences that we can target on Facebook who have not necessarily ever been to our website. And I want to talk about targeting in just a sec. And then there’s this other group of people who have been to our website and we might show them different ads because they’ve already shown an affinity towards our brand. Correct?
Rich: Alright. So tell me a little bit about how we can go about targeting people that haven’t necessarily visited our website. We’ve got an ad we’re trying to promote – whether it’s an ebook – and we’re just trying to promote awareness of our brand. What are some of the steps that you go through with your own businesses or your client’s in terms of targeting that ideal audience?
Andy: Yeah, because really the targeting is one of the most important things when creating Facebook advertising. First is creating good ad copy and a great product, but then knowing how to target to people – because there’s so many options when it comes to Facebook advertising – but again Facebook really is one of the easiest platforms to advertise because you can select so many different audiences or people to target your avatar.
So inside the audience, when you create an audience, I like to pick – for instance my business The Ad Viking – we’re looking at trying to target small business owners. That’s the huge audience, the big umbrellas, would be a small business owner. So this way I can see trying to get those ads in front of business owners so that they can learn how to do Facebook advertising if they’re not doing it already.
Another example is my wife. So she writes curriculum for teachers and the main interest we’re trying to target is teacher, but also then breaking it down further and narrowing it down to maybe grades 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, that’s her ideal customer. Well then you want to narrow that search down to those people. And that’s how you can start bringing in new and cold audiences to your platform.
Rich: I was going to say you target small business owners, that seems like a pretty broad category, almost too broad for Facebook’s sake. Do you narrow that down for your own business in any way, and, do you create different groups of small business owners – and I don’t know what all the groups on Facebook are – but are there certain types of groups you might go after like certain age groups or certain demographics? Or do you basically just ay I’ll show this ad to everybody, and then anyone that goes to my website I know is a warm lead?
Andy: Yeah. Small business owners is like and 80 million people audience. It’s huge. I think it’s even more than that. But then I can narrow down to, like Gary Vaynerchuk, it breaks it down and narrows it down a little bit to people that follow him. Maybe Amy Porterfield, maybe a Rich Brooks, so this way it kind of narrows down and Facebook sees those people that follow Rich Brooks, Amy Porterfield, Gary V., and kind of targets more of those people as well. So you can really narrow it down as far as you want. Or when you are starting a new business just put it really broad and let the Facebook algorithm – which has developed tremendously in the last couple years, really the last year – it’s leaps and bounds to what it was just a few years ago, and the algorithm will see who’s starting to interact with your ads and they will then start targeting those type of people with your ads.
So they really do a lot of the legwork for you. So you kind of take two different options and a real wide range of people, or kind of narrow it down and really be specific with your ad.
Rich: And do you ever run ads side by side so you can create the same ad copy or an ad image and then with one try a really broad audience, and then you’re like, but I really want to see if Amy Porterfield fans are more receptive to this type of advertisement?
Rich: Ok, so that is something you’re doing?
Andy: Yup, you have to do that, otherwise you don’t know. I mean you can see the analytics and see how well the ad is doing. But if you’re not doing and A/B test, you’re missing out.
Rich: Yeah, because I’ve heard from different people, some people love the artificial intelligence that powers the Facebook algorithm. And then some people just don’t like to leave it to chance and they really want to take control with that.
So you mentioned a couple of big groups like Gary fans, tiny micro groups like the Rich Brooks fan group. But one of the things I’ve heard about groups and targeting on Facebook is because of GDPR, because of Cambridge Analytica Snafu, and for other privacy issues, that some of the targeting on Facebook has gone away. What’s been your experience with that?
Andy: Yeah. The big thing is Mark really wants his platform to be a family friendly place to go. And that’s why he’s really cracked down on a lot of those things this year. I’m really actually proud of him for getting up out in front of Congress to explain to our government what Facebook really is, because it has a misconception with it.
But anyways, with the audience what they’re trying to do is keep people’s profiles private. For example, if I create an audience for anybody that’s gone to my website, once you create that audience, usually it will tell you how big that audience is. But if its people that are directly related or have gone through your website, they don’t show the size of that audience for privacy reasons.
Also with the email list, it creates an audience with your email list but they do not show the actual size of that audience. Because after speaking with some Facebook reps they said you already know the size of that audience. If you have a 50,000 people email list, you already know how big that is and you don’t have to show that number on Facebook, because it’s trying to help with privacy.
Now you can still use those audiences, just because it doesn’t show the size it doesn’t mean you can’t use them. You can still use them and target those people with ads.
Rich: Ok. So we’ve talked a little bit about finding the right people – we’ll call it “cold audience” – the small business owners in your situation, “cold audience”, you don’t have any experience with them and you’re targeting them. What lessons have you learned when it comes to retargeting an audience on Facebook? So somebody who’s come to your website, they’ve watched a video, they’ve interacted with your website at some point. How are your ads different, what are you learning about that audience, what are you doing with that audience that’s different than a cold audience?
Andy: The cold audience, again you want to really learn to feed them some information. Videos work really well, because you’re trying to sell your personality, you’re trying to sell who you are. And we spend about 80% of our ad spend on a cold audience, because you really need to bring in new people to your business. Because if you’re not bringing a new audience in, you’re going to have a hard time growing.
So once we get them down through the funnel from clicking on an ad and getting them to the website, now we can start targeting them with a little more information, more nuggets that are going to help them more, but then also some freebies, and also giving them some sales on products to help kind of push them to make a sale. That’s worked very effectively.
So yeah, once they get to our website, then we can retarget them with different as. And honestly without that retargeting, if you’re not retargeting, you’re losing out on many sales. We’ve done some tests where we don’t run the retargeting and the sales do change – not dramatically – but you do see a big difference in sales. They do go down because you’re not retargeting these people and reminding them of your product and what they’re interested in.
Rich: When you’re retargeting somebody, do you still have some of those controls and filters that you do when you’re targeting a cold audience? So like can you take everybody who’s visited your website and still put those layers of sophistication on them? Because I’m sure there’s people who will visit your website and might not be an ideal customer for you, so there’s no point in advertising to them.
For example we have an Agents of Change website for our annual conference and for the podcast, and one of the most popular pages on the website I’m embarrassed to say, are Top Restaurants in Portland, Maine. Portland, Maine is famous for its restaurants and for some reason we often rank right below Yelp and Trip Advisor for places to eat in Portland, Maine because we wrote an article years ago about it, which we regularly update. Quite honestly, I don’t need to retarget the people who are coming to Portland, Maine or just doing searches on restaurants in Portland, ME, because they’re not my target audience.
So are there ways to segment that out, or to segment certain things like maybe I only want to target people within a certain age group or certain gender, can I do that with my retargeting? Or is it simply just somebody came to your website or they didn’t?
Andy: Yup. And that’s all under when creating an audience in Ads Manager. You can create audiences based on how long they’ve actually been on your website. It could be as far as 10 minutes or a percentage. It could be also for page views.
So for instance they go into your website and they visit this restaurant page, you can actually…ok, let me start over… If you have your pixel installed properly on each of these pages, you can then go into your audience and exclude anybody that’s visiting that restaurant page. So this way you’re not wasting your money on ads to those people that are not interested in your website and your business at all.
So you create audiences based on people coming to your website but you can also exclude people that have visited certain pages or not spent that much time on your website, as well. And you can retarget people that have been 180 days ago to your website, or just the last 6 days. So you can really narrow it down to days, the amount of time people spent on your website, if they’ve clicked on certain pages. And again that’s the beauty of Facebook advertising, there’s so much control that you have over your Facebook advertising that you don’t have on any other platform.
Rich: Alright, one more question that I have for you. What type of ads are you running, or are you running multiple types? There’s the typical ad that we see, the sponsored ad that’s in the middle, which tends to be an image with some text. Have you also been experimenting with video ads or lead ads or any of those other type of ads on Facebook? And what are the results that you’ve seen using these different ad types?
Andy: Video ads is one of the cheapest ways to get your brand out there on Facebook. I ran the numbers the other day and saw that it’s 1.47 billion users daily on Facebook. And video views, it’s very cheap – less than $.01 – to get a 3 second video view. So those are great ways to get your brand in front of people with videos. And Facebook loves videos on its website, it gets a lot more interaction, its gets more people staying on their website, so videos are great for a cold audience.
We’ll run just single images carousel ads, they’ve worked very well. So if you have multiple products you can create a carousel ad which you then can put images of multiple products on an ad.
But as far as campaign objectives, usually I use conversions, that’s one of our top campaign objectives. The other is traffic. Facebook will take your ads and try to get the most traffic to your ads and bring them into your website, or TPT site, or wherever you’re trying to sell products on.
Rich: Alright. So this has been great. I certainly have more questions but I know that you’ve got more answers. You’ve got a brand new website, you’ve also got an online course. Where can people find out more about The Ad Viking online?
Andy: If you go to theadviking.comI have my course on there, a bunch of information about Facebook advertising. The beauty of the course if you do purchase is you get to join the Viking Clan, which is a group of people that have purchased, and I’m in there helping them with their ads and also giving advice, tips, and any advice that Facebook comes out with. It’s a great group and we have a lot of fun in there and kind of just share different ideas and things that are working for them as far as advertising. So that’s just a nice little perk after purchasing the course. You get a lot of hands on experience and help with your ads.
Rich: And you don’t need to have a beard to join the group.
Andy: You do not need a beard, no, it’s not a requirement but it is a nice feature.
Rich: I think you should actually be sending out fake beards to anybody who takes the course. I’m just throwing that out there, use it or don’t’ use it, that’s completely up to you.
Andy: That’s a great idea, I’m going to think about that.
Rich: I want a free one if you do end up doing that. Andy this has been great, thank you so much for your time and I appreciate your expertise.
Andy: Thanks, Rich, for having me.
Head on over to his website to check out what The Ad Viking is working on in the world of Facebook ads. And if you want to head down the path to Facebook ad domination, definitely check out his online course.
Rich Brooks is the President of flyte new media, a web design & digital marketing agency in Portland, Maine. He knows a thing or two about helping businesses grow by reaching their ideal customers, and to prove that, he puts on a yearly conference to inspire small businesses to achieve big success. You can also head on over to Twitter to check him out, and he has added “author” to his resume with his book!