Uncover the secrets of driving success with your Facebook ads! Learn from Jon Loomer, a renowned Facebook expert. He provides simple yet effective tips to target and engage an audience that you know will be interested in what you have to offer – all while crafting content that is sure to capture their attention. Take control of your business today by utilizing these amazing strategies for maximum impact!
Rich: My guest today is making his second appearance on this podcast, but it has been too long since we’ve had him on. It was so long ago that actually the podcast was called, The Marketing Agents Podcast. Back then, it was so long ago that we were both clean shaven young men back then. It was actually so long ago that it was episode 25. Because I went back and listened to the introduction, and I introduced it as the Silver Anniversary Marketing Agents podcast. But enough about the past.
He is an accidental marketer, an advertising educator who launched his eponymous website in 2011 after two layoffs. He found a niche in advanced Facebook advertising beginning in 2012. His experience with Facebook goes back to his years with the NBA, when the league partnered with Facebook back in 2007. 2007? I guess that makes sense.
His business is built around educating advertisers on the tools, skills, and strategies they need to succeed. He’s now in the process of adjusting his business and branching to the ever-changing landscape that is digital marketing. Now he’s focusing on more short form video via TikTok and Reels, no matter how uncomfortable that may make him feel.
He’s a baseball fan and a stats nerd who shares his love of the game with his three boys. All I can say is, welcome back to the podcast, Jon Loomer.
Jon: Yeah. Really happy to be here, Rich. I feel like there should be an applause on that.
Rich: I know, seriously. We should have a live audience.
Jon: Yeah. Really happy to be here. Really happy to be back. It’s been way too long, man.
Rich: I know! It’s good to see you and I’m glad we connected. Jen Lehner actually put us in touch with each other and I’m glad she did.
I read “baseball fan” and “stats nerd”, and immediately I was brought back to my days at Camp Bauercrest, when people would be literally doing the scorecard and marking down every single play and every single thing like that. Did you ever get into that? Was that a thing that you got into?
Jon: Marking down, I would say no.
Rich: That’s just a little too inside baseball for you?
Jon: No. No. It’s just that like, there was so much in my head. Watching a game that I’m keeping track of rather than scoring it. I’m not the fan who goes to a major league game with the whole score book and is writing all that stuff down. That’s not me. I’m more looking at what has a player done, statistics, probability, strategy. Who deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, who doesn’t? Baseball cards. I think honestly, probably the thing that got me into the stats side of baseball and ultimately fantasy baseball early on, is just looking at the back of that card. That’s like, wow, why are these stats in italics? Why are these different from these stats and this guy? And these days it’s all game changer if you want to score stuff digitally. But I’ve been a coach for 16 years, so I’ve never had to do any of the game changer stuff either.
Rich: It’s funny that you mentioned the back of baseball cards. Because when I was growing up, my grandfather owned a little shop in New York City, and every year he would bring me and my brother each a box of baseball cards. Back when there were still gum in the baseball card packs. And we had, we never got a full, like every single card in those boxes, plenty of doubles and triples. But it was just a great experience and great memory.
Jon: Amazing. Yeah, I still remember wherever we would go, my brother and I would search out where is the local baseball card shop and go. I can’t imagine most of those exist anymore.
Rich: They are fewer and far between. But if you come to Maine and I know a couple, I’ll point you in the right direction. All right, listen, this is not a baseball card or a memory lane podcast. It’s no surprise to any of the listeners here on The Agents of Change podcast that the privacy changes from iOS14 have created havoc in Facebook’s ad platform universe. So a lot of people have dropped out or they’re spending less. Is there really a way that we can make Facebook ads work for us in 2023?
Jon: Here’s the truth. It should be getting better right now. So yes, the last year and a half was really tough. First of all, we lost our 28 day click attribution. So if anyone doesn’t understand what that means, it means when Facebook reports conversions and gives credit to your ads for conversions based on when someone clicks on your ad and then converts within a certain number of days or views your ad without clicking and converts within a day. Previously it was all the way up to 28 days. If someone clicked on your ad, came back four weeks later and converted on your website, you get credit for that conversion.
That was changed to a seven day click. And as a result, even if we didn’t have any iOS stuff, even if our customers weren’t on iOS devices, even if they all opted into tracking, it wouldn’t have mattered, our conversions dropped just because of that. And that was tough. All the stuff with opt-outs. I don’t know if this was intentional on Facebook maybe trying to shift the blame to Apple, but I still think that was less the problem than losing that 28 day click attribution. Because everybody was impacted no matter where you were in the world, no matter what device your customers used.
Now they’re bringing back 28 day click attribution. So not everyone has this yet, unfortunately, where you can still view how many conversions happen within 28 days. And that’s a nice little surprise. Like you’re looking at your conversion and say, “Hey, I’ve got 25 conversions.” And then you click to compare attribution, you add a column for 28 day click, and all of a sudden, hey, there are five more conversions, and it’s something really good that you can show to a client.
But I would say the other thing that’s happening right now is, whether it’s because people are leaving Facebook frustrated and for other reasons, the CPMs are going down. In other words, the cost to reach people is going down. This was the first, and I haven’t seen anything official from Facebook or Meta, but I’ve seen it from other sources and from my own personal advertising. Normally your cost just to reach people during the holidays doubles or triples. It didn’t go up a bit. And in other words, competition wasn’t going up. I don’t know what the explanation was for it, but the result of that is, if you stick around, you might actually be able to take advantage of that. It is cheaper to reach people. Some of the modeling and whatnot, the automation that’s happening on Facebook side is getting better. And I think we’re actually going to see an improvement overall.
Rich: So I want to unpack a couple things. You mentioned one is moving.
Jon: It’s a lot to unpack. Yes, I understand.
Rich: Yeah. One is this 28 days to down to seven days. Now just playing a little devil’s advocate, that shouldn’t if I have an e-commerce store or whatever I’m selling, that shouldn’t impact my overall sales. That would just impact my ability to track that it came from Facebook. So if somebody after seven days, within 28 days, went back to my website, bought my log split or whatever it might be that I’m selling. I’m still making the same amount of money. I just don’t know how I got that lead. So that’s frustrating from that standpoint, and it skews our reports. It makes it look like we’re paying more for each successful sale than we actually are. Okay. That’s good to know.
And if I understand what you’re saying, part of the reason why maybe ads have gone down is because of this abandonment of the platform by our competition. And because Facebook ads is an auction, like so many other ad platforms online, there’s less demand and so there’s more supply. And so prices come down just like supply and demand was always taught. So that’s what we’re looking at. As long as other people are too frustrated and they’re not willing to put the time into Facebook or Meta or Instagram ads, the bottom line is, we’re going to see the benefit from that. Correct?
Jon: Yes, that’s right. That’s what we’re looking at right now. I think people who hung around to advertise in the holiday during the holidays saw better results than they’re used to seeing from Facebook ads.
Rich: Awesome. Okay. I want to dive into some of the things that you’re currently doing. But before we go there, tell me a little bit about your business. You do a lot of education. You do a lot of teaching, you’ve got a group. How is it that you are out there surviving in this world right now?
Jon: That’s a lot to unpack, too. So look, I’ve been around business-wise for over 11 years now. And when I started, I was taking on clients and managing their advertising. Honestly, doing whatever they needed me to do, website-wise or whatever, things that probably shouldn’t have been doing.
But eventually, my content started taking off and my list started to explode. Because as you know, managing clients takes a lot of work. So do I want to dedicate myself to this group of clients, or reach a much broader group of people who I can help?
So I made a decision early on to stop taking clients in 2013-ish and focused only on paid-wise in terms of community. So Power Hitter Club Elite is my primary community, where it’s a group of advertisers who have access to a private Facebook group. We have weekly strategy sessions. I have a weekly webinar and I do training that only they can get. So that’s my focus now as opposed to the old school way. But I’m always looking to make some tweaks.
Rich: Excellent. But so you’re helping, if somebody’s listening right now and they’re like, I want somebody to run my Facebook ads, that’s not you. But if they’re like, I want to learn how to run Facebook ads better, then they should be checking out something like Power Hitters or Power Hitters Elite.
Jon: Right. And I could also do one-on-ones. So you can book 45 minutes with me at a time. We can actually do it like on a weekly or monthly basis, however you want to do it. But no, I’m not going to take over your ads for you. It’s more of something like you need people or a person to bounce ideas off of or stay on top of what’s happening and changes in strategies. That’s what all this is for.
Rich: Awesome. All right. You teased this in the bio, but this is really what I want to ask you about is, you’ve elevated your game and you’re doing these short form videos. Which is something that I have not really done myself, and our company doesn’t really do a whole lot of, but I’m very curious about it. So how are you using short form videos and Facebook ads together? Can you walk me through that process?
Jon: It’s painful, but yes. I think we need to start before we get to the Facebook ads side of it, I think it’s important to start with the actual strategy of running videos in the first place. Because without that strategy, I think the ads themselves become much less effective.
So yeah. I put off and resisted video, like you, like most people, for a very long time. And I had hoped that I didn’t need to do it. And I just stayed with things that made me comfortable. I’m a writer, I’m a blogger. And eventually got to the point where I have people telling me I need to do this. People close to me telling me I need to do this. And I was like, ugh, I’ve got to do it. And also, I was starting to see things business-wise. I was like, I need to turn some things around that aren’t working quite the way they used to. So I can’t rely on Google sending me insane amount of traffic all the time anymore because it’s not quite as insane as it used to be. So what else can I do?
And I think it started with an acceptance of knowing that I am not going to be very good at this at first and be okay with it. Because I think that’s the biggest fear everyone has, is that they don’t know what they’re doing. And especially if you have a standard, because you’ve been in marketing for a while and if you’re like for me, I’ve been blogging, you’ve been podcasting, you have a certain standard of quality that you’re putting out there. You’ve just got to throw that out the window when you’re starting something new. Yeah, you could hire someone to edit and all that kind of stuff, that’s up to you. But for me, I was like I’m just going to create. It’s going to suck. And actually, that was my first video I think when I committed to this, it’s going to suck and that’s okay, and being okay with that.
And then just committing to a process. So much of it is just creation, consistency, velocity. Because the more you create the more lessons that you can learn from to make it better. So when I committed to this in early October, I was creating two, three videos a day. And I was not able to do it efficiently. Insanely inefficient. And it was taking me a good two hours to create a one-minute video. So I would spend all day basically focusing on these videos. But over time it got better and better.
My point is, I am now committed to publishing one video a day. And I’ve done that for most of the last three months. I’ve seen the impact of that. Some of it you can see in the stats, right? Like yesterday, as I was telling you, I had my best video on Instagram in terms of numbers I’ve ever had. Because I don’t really use Instagram, because I’ve avoided that for years. So I saw that. TikTok has been growing. I’ve seen better engagement on Facebook. All these things are good. But then you start hearing things from clients who signed up for Power Hitters Club or who booked a one-on-one or tell me, I am here because of those videos. Those videos didn’t sell anything. But they’re telling me it’s because of that impact of seeing me every day, a reminder or whatnot.
Rich: Built up that trust factor.
Jon: Correct. So I think it’s important to lay that foundation first. If you’re not creating videos right now, the strategy I’m about to tell you on a Facebook ads point of view, it may not be all that effective. Because what I found was those who watched my videos to the end and who are most engaged are my people. I even created an ad targeting people who watched any of my Reels on Facebook or Instagram, to completion during the past seven days. The only point was an ad asking them, are you my people?
Because I explained it like this. This is an experiment. I’m getting the sense that people who watch these are really my people. So are you? So it is reaching a small number of people, probably a few hundred people at a time, but it’s a rolling seven-day window. And once they’ve seen it to completion, they’ll never see it again. and the response to that is amazing. It’s validation that yes, they are my people. So now I’ve started to use that.
Rich: So hold on before you go any further. I just want to ask a couple of clarifying questions. So when you were like getting your sea legs onto you, so to speak, you were publishing two or three times a day. Were those Facebook Reels specifically, or were they also TikTok or were they also Instagram? Or are you repurposing different stuff for those three platforms?
Jon: Very good question. So I started with TikTok only. Over time, and this is probably the right approach, once I started feeling more comfortable with what I was doing – and keep in mind, I am not the kind of person who is editing my videos within TikTok. So I was editing it separately. So this wasn’t necessarily a video that had to be on TikTok. It didn’t have the TikTok watermark on it or anything like that. So I just exported a version on my desktop and then sent it to TikTok, sent it to Instagram Reels, sent to Facebook Reels, sent to eventually YouTube shorts. I took another version to put it on a square canvas and I sent that to LinkedIn. And I also take some of my short form videos that don’t have screen share and tutorial stuff that you can get value out by listening to it. I’ve turned those into quick one minute podcast episodes. So that I’d say was more beginning November-ish, when that was pretty much the full approach.
Rich: And this is all organic, correct? You’re not, at this stage of your process, you’re just putting out this content without money behind it?
Jon: Early on for the first two or three months, I was running some TikTok ads as well. So that I stopped doing as the risk of a TikTok ban increases. Because I just don’t want to invest too much financially in something that I might lose.
But yeah, I was starting from scratch. And the TikTok ads, by the way, for anyone who hasn’t done them, so much like Facebook ads that you’ll feel right at home by doing it. So that’s the first thing is, once I realized that it was so much like Facebook ads and I felt comfortable doing it, then I started running those. Now that was pretty low, $20 to $40 a day budget kind of thing that I was doing.
Rich: All right. Okay. So you built this up and now people are seeing your videos. Did you throw any money behind at this earlier stage? Did you throw any money at Instagram or Facebook, or is this still you were just getting people used to seeing your face in these Reels organically?
Jon: I have to go back and find when I eventually did it. But I don’t think I was running any ads on Facebook or Instagram until I got really comfortable with it, and until I started hearing from people the impact that these videos were making. Then it was like, okay, I need to amplify that a bit. And this helps a little bit because Facebook has changed the requirements and placements and things.
So what I would do is I would take an existing Facebook Reel/Instagram Reel and publish it only to those placements that were that 9×16 aspect ratio. So I did start doing that as well. I don’t think I have one of those running right now, but I did get some money behind that eventually as well.
Rich: Okay. All right. So at what point did you decide that you’re going to do the, ‘are you my people’ video? And then and if you can, because you’ve got a lot of content, like when I think about trying to create three videos a day, I am a little bit scared. And when I think about a business like a seed company or a real estate company or something like that, I’m like how are they going to create three Reels a day?
So I guess one question is, how can people come up with that much content? I’m sure that might be a barrier to some people, at least in their mind. And how would you recommend that they overcome that?
Jon: First of all, I would, when it comes to that barrier, there are many different ways you create video that’s valuable to your potential. I unfortunately to do things the hard way. But I think it’s also partially because of what I think is valuable, like for me as a user who, if I want to learn about Facebook ads, what’s the most.
The best way to do that. Is it just me talking to you about Facebook ads or is it me showing you something? So if I want to show you something, next thing I know, okay. I’m doing a screen share with a screen flow. I’m also like, oh I, I improve my mic. I don’t just want to use my iPhone mic. So I’ve got my separate mic combining all that stuff.
So it all takes time. But there are a lot of people who are plenty popular. Who offer value, who all they do is turn that thing on and record, right? And you can get that out there. Take 10, 15 minutes tops. They maybe edited a little bit up within the app and you got something. Or if you got multiple people on your team, they can all create video. Not necessarily the everyday spread out that response.
And finally, I’d say you can also hire someone to do all your editing. So I have not done that yet at this point. I might eventually. I think I will eventually. I could simply just record this stuff, put it in a folder, let somebody else edit it all up, because the editing is what takes so long.
Rich: This video funnel process you have, in a way it’s to help you say, “are you my people?” But that’s actually a very good way of looking at it. It’s like, who are my best customers out there? Who are my best prospects out there? Whatever I’m going to sell, whether I’m going to sell training, or whether I’m going to sell a widget or a timeshare, whatever it is.
Walk me through how you set up your Facebook ads so that you continue to whittle down that audience, till you basically get to the bottom of the funnel, and you have somebody who is going to buy anything you have to sell because you’ve run them over.
Jon: As I was saying, I started to realize that these videos were making a tremendous impact. But it wasn’t linking them to anything, they weren’t going to my website. And that was intentional, and it still is that I don’t do that.
But I was making an emotional connection with people. And as a result of that, I really want to isolate those who are watching my videos to completion. Because it’s not just that you’ve watched my videos, like these are a minute long. So if you’ve watched 10-15 seconds, that means nothing to me. If you watch the whole minute, that tells me you’re engaged. And Facebook does not, unfortunately, offer a great way of creating audiences of anyone who’s watched any of my videos during the last seven days all the way to completion. I have to individually select every video I’ve created in order to do that. That’s what I do. And they don’t offer the ability to say, hey, it doesn’t just have to be recent, target anyone who’s watched any of my Reels to completion, but like three of them, during the last 30 days. That’s what I would love to do, but it doesn’t exist.
And because I can’t do it based on frequency, that’s why I end up whittling it down to seven days. Because if you watched a video once, three months ago, that doesn’t mean a whole lot. So recency is important. So I create an audience of anyone who’s watched any video. So I have to select the video every time I publish a new one, during the last seven days. They see that first ad, “Are You My People?” Hopefully they watch that video because that, I also see that as a funnel, right? So maybe they will watch the video to completion by accident, and they get that ad and they ignore it, they skip it, whatever.
So then I create another audience of the people who watched that video, “Are You My People?” to completion, and now I put them into a purchase funnel for that one where I’m telling them about Power Hitters Club and about one-on-ones. And then if you engage with those videos, you’ll see other videos in that funnel.
So it keeps getting smaller in terms of the audience I’m going after and hoping that I can focus on those who are most engaged. Instead of just sitting back and hoping that algorithm finds the right people.
Rich: That makes a lot of sense. So I’m just trying to also think about this. Because you are in a specific niche where you’re doing training, and if you happen to run a small grocery store or something like that, high end grocery store, you could be creating Reels that talk about some of the meats and cheeses and olive oils you have coming in there and start to build up an audience. And maybe even try doing some of these same techniques there about trying to get people in the front door and ultimately showing them a video. An “Are You My People?” video, but for your store, retail shop, whatever it might be. I feel like this is transferrable to other types of businesses, not just training or groups or things like that.
Jon: It’s a matter of, okay, who’s going to be most open to this deal that we have going on? So maybe we’ve got this big sale that’s going on these cheeses or something, and who’s going to respond to this video? And a good place to start would be the people who’ve been watching your videos in the first place. So you don’t need that middle ground of the “Are You My People?
But maybe you have membership program or something as well for a grocery store. And so how can we isolate those people who are most engaged with us on social media? And instead of just saying ‘everybody who follows us’, which come on, everybody who follows us doesn’t necessarily care about our stuff. But if they’re actually watching our videos and watching them to completion, that’s one good indicator of how connected they are to us.
Rich: Yeah. And your method makes a lot of sense. I’m thinking of if you had a Whiskey of the Month club and you’re doing shorts that kind of talk about all these different types of whiskeys or how to enjoy them, whether they should have an ice cube or water or any of these sort of things. And you start to find those people who… because there’s a million people out there that do what we do. There are other Facebook advertisers, there are other agency owners, other podcasters. But the bottom line is there’s people out there who respond to the way that we speak, the message that we do, our ethos, whatever it is. Those are our people. And your methodology helps identify those people using video, short form video, and using ads. And I think that’s a very creative way of having those people self-identify, too. So just very smart process.
Jon: This is something process. And it’s really just taking something that I used to do, that I’ve done for years, but it was really connected more to website traffic. Who is the most engaged on my website? Who’s looking at three different pages of my website? Who’s playing the podcast player on my website? All of these various things, and just trying to apply that to video as well.
And I think one thing we’re talking about here is the connection is so important. If you’re speaking to them, people all of a sudden feel like they know you. And that’s really what is so important about the video side as opposed to, oh, I’m just going to share these links all day, which is what I was doing for a long time. People don’t know you as well anymore. It’s the video, it’s the podcast. It’s those things that builds that emotional connection that you can build it off of.
Rich: You’ve been doing short form video for a while; we’re obviously talking about that today. And I’m sure a lot of people who maybe had said, “I’m never going to do that”, are now thinking maybe I should be doing that. What’s one piece of advice that you would like to give yourself from the past that you’ve learned since you started doing short form video that you wish you knew when you first started?
Jon: Man, honestly, it’s just create and don’t worry about it being perfect. Because honestly, this goes back to it’s silly, because my whole business was built around something very similar. My first product, I didn’t know I had a business. I was just creating content. That’s all I was doing. And when someone would tell me, “You should create a product”, I’d say, “I don’t know how to do that.” So I just didn’t do it. And eventually all I did was send out an email that had a PayPal button on it, and that was the first product that I ended up creating. Just create something. It’s not going to be perfect. Stop feeling like it has to. Be easier on yourself. It’s a process. And honestly, the process is part of what makes this great.
So those who listen to you and watch you aren’t going to be all that critical. Your audience is going to be small in the early going, and they’re going to be there for support. But it’s really worth it. But you have to start somewhere.
Rich: I remember seeing you speak on stage years and years ago at a very early Social Media Marketing World, and you were taking people through this process, and you were experimenting. And I think that’s been one of the hallmarks of your whole career, from what I can see from the outside.
It’s just like you love to experiment, try things out, and you’re not worried about messing things up. You just want to see what that evidence leads to. And I think that’s brilliant. I wrote down some notes from what you said today that aren’t just about digital marketing, they’re about life. And I’m using my own words because my own shorthand is like, “you’re going to suck at first, be okay with that.” “The more you create, the more lessons you learn.” So that’s absolutely true. And there’s so much research into that. And then time can be difficult upfront. You’re going to be spending a lot more time on this stuff at the beginning, but after you start to build up those skills, it’s going to be a lot more efficient. So I think those are great lessons no matter what you’re doing.
Jon, this has been awesome. It was so good to catch up with you. If people want to learn more about you, if they want to check out your videos, check out your groups, where can we send them?
Jon: Start at jonloomer.com. You can find just about everything there if you want to go community-wise or not. But beyond that, if it’s on TikTok it’s @JonLoomer, on Instagram it’s @JonLoomer. Facebook, I decided to be different, it’s @JonLoomerDigital. But you could find me, it’s not too hard these days.
Rich: Awesome. And that’s J O N L O O M E R, for anybody who’s just listened to the podcast. But we’ll have those links in the show notes. And Jon, great catching up with you, man.
Jon: Thank you so much. I appreciate you, Rich.
Jon Loomer is on a mission to empower anyone with the skills necessary for success in digital marketing. Whether it’s through his educational videos or diving into TikTok and Reels, he never stops innovating – making sure all aspiring business owners stay ahead of the curve! Check out his website or more info on his membership community, or connect with him on TikTok, Instagram and Facebook.
As President of flyte new media and founder of the Agents of Change, Rich Brooks brings over 25 years of expertise to the table. A web design and digital marketing agency based in Portland, Maine, flyte helps small businesses grow online. His passion for helping these small businesses led him to write The Lead Machine: The Small Business Guide to Digital Marketing, a comprehensive guide on digital marketing strategies.