There’s a whole lot more to Facebook ads than just “boosting” a post. Just throwing money at Facebook isn’t the answer. Your business should have an end goal, and then a strategy in place for how to reach that goal, including where within that process to use Facebook ads. Otherwise, you’re just wasting money.
You first need to understand how Facebook ads work, and where in your personal business funnel it makes the most sense to leverage them. You could use them to warm up your audience before sending them to your webpage or landing page, you could engage people on your email list, and you can even use Facebook ads as part of a retargeting campaign, too.
Rich: Kamila Gornia, founder of Heart Behind Hustle, is a powerhouse business and marketing strategist for passion driven coaches and experts who want to amplify their income and impact in online group programs. So they can scale into multiple 6-figures and lead in alignment with their purpose in their life.
She’s an unapologetically edgy, attitude redhead who values real results and keeping it real. Kamila is on a mission to help other passionate, driven entrepreneurs to spread their unique message to a broader audience with online marketing – o as she calls it – “blow up and scale up”.
From growing her very first website at the ripe old age of 12, to 40,000 views in under 5 months, to running a successful wellness blog with over 45,000 monthly readers and 100,000 page views per month, and selling it later for thousands, Kamila has “street cred” when it comes to creating consistent revenue streams with effective marketing, list building, and paid traffic campaigns.
Today she’s packaged up everything she knows from 10 years in the digital game to help small businesses with heart behind their hustle grow their fans, followers, and funds, with her tried and true strategies, with killer coaching services, and sought after e-courses. Kamila, welcome to the show.
Kamila: Thanks so much for having me, Rich, I’m glad to be here.
Rich: We’re glad to have you because we’re going to be talking about Facebook ads, and this of course comes at a very opportune time because it was only a few days ago that Mark Zuckerberg said that everything is changing and brands and companies will probably not see a whole lot of visibility in the newsfeed. Before we get to that, how did you first get involved with Facebook ads?
Kamila: I actually first got involved with Facebook ads for clients. So I was working in a marketing agency at the time – social media marketing agency – and funnily enough it was a startup and I was basically the only social media person so I kind of had to figure everything out on my own. I was the first person to suggest Facebook ads because I think they were only around for maybe a few months at the time and I thought why don’t we experiment a little and get you out in front of more people because you obviously want to sell more product.
So I experimented with it, it was fun, it was easy, and clients really liked seeing the super increased reach and traffic that they were getting as well, so it kind of started from there.
Rich: Ok. Now there’s a lot of people talking about Facebook ads, and we’ve all heard that everything in our business would be perfect once we started investing in ads on Facebook. However, a lot of people – a lot of small businesses and entrepreneurs – are just not seeing that happen. Maybe it’s the plan. How do we nurture these leads once they’ve clicked on a link?
Kamila: Yeah, that’s a really good question. So I think a lot of people because they hear so many experts talking about Facebook ads they think that need to just jump right into it. I actually tend to disagree because just jumping into Facebook ads is not going to be the magic ticket. It’s not going to be the magic wand that’s going to fix everything for you and your business, so just putting money into a Facebook ad campaign isn’t magically going to get you more clients if that’s what you want in your business. Sure, it can get you more traffic potentially, maybe if you do it right. But a lot of people are just like, “Ok, you know what, I have $100 I’m just going to boost a bunch of posts and I’m going to see what happens.” When boosting posts is not always necessarily the best option, but they think that they’re doing Facebook ads and when they don’t see results they’re confused about why that’s happening.
Well before we actually move into that we need to understand that first of all you have things in place to actually support you, which is how we make sure that you’re not wasting your money. So that typically happens before you even run the ads. But then once you have the ads running, to make sure that these people have a place to go, and then there is the specific nurture sequences or automation in place to actually get these people from being just a lead to being a client. And then what are these people even seeing, making sure that you have experimented and tested a couple different things that people are seeing that are prompting them to click on that link or that page or whatever it is, and then engaging with it and moving on from there. So I just wanted to say those things first because I think a lot of people approach it from exactly what I shared before.
Rich: Yeah, I think a lot of people have heard so many promising things about Facebook ads that they feel that as long as they’re paying for Facebook ads and if you throw money at it, of course it’s going to work. But as you say, that’s not necessarily the case.
I like your point of making sure that things are in place. Can you give me some concrete examples of what you mean by that? If a client comes to you and says, “Hey, my Facebook ads or my boosted posts aren’t working for me, what should I do differently?”, what are you going to take a look at, what are you going to try and make sure they have in place?
Kamila: Perfect. So the biggest thing that whenever someone is saying, “Hey, I’ve been running Facebook ads and they’re not working”, the first question I ask is, “what do you want to happen?” You’ll be surprised by how people don’t actually know what they even want to happen. They say they want more sales. Oh really, so what exactly does that look like, how is the person going to buy the things from you? So since I work with coaches it’s like, how is someone going to enroll in your program, how do we know that’s happening? If they saw your post, is it fully connected to that sales mechanism that you have in place? Typically the answer is “no”.
So being very clear on what do you specifically want to happen and how are you tracking that. So if it is that the person wants to potentially get people on the phone to enroll them into a program – for example – then we would make sure people have a very clear path for making that happen. So if somebody sees your ad for example and it’s for a free guide that you created, we want to make sure that they’re getting into your email list. And it’s not that they’re just getting that first welcome email, that’s only going to be wasting money because if you’re hoping and wishing that somebody is going to reach out to you to talk about your program on their own is wishful thinking. That doesn’t happen. We need to do marketing to make it happen.
So having a nurture sequence, for example, is something that would be a good step. Having several emails in place that are actually talking about different areas of who you are, what the program is. There are a lot of different ways to approach this, so having basically a sales funnel, and then not waiting to move them to the next stage and actually telling them what that next step is. So if it is, “Hey, here’s this program, apply to be considered” or if it’s just, “Hey, I’d love to talk to you on the phone and here’s how to get that scheduled”, or if it’s, “Hey, buy this product”, you need to make that clear. A lot of people are waiting for weeks before they decide to pitch something to people and that’s a mistake because are always the hottest when they’re first getting into your list, so this is a very important time for you to actually maximize the fact that they’re interested.
So it’s just having these sequences and automations and stuff and focus on getting people and making it very clear and easy, don’t assume that people are going to know what to do, you have to make it clear to them.
Rich: I think you made a lot of good points, and probably the best one is just to start with the end in mind. I think we’ve gotten to a point now where so many businesses are savvy in Facebook ads that it’s not just about taking out Facebook ads, you really have to assume that everybody understands that channel and it’s just one of many channels you might use to get them there.
So again like you said, it’s understanding what your ultimate goal is, and saying something like, “I want more sales” is a little bit too broad, a little bit too generic to be really successful with and you kind of have to hone down that message.
So with that in mind, you talked a little about automation, and I’m guessing what we’re talking about is some sort of email marketing auto drip system. Let me ask you, what are some of the first ads that you often run to get people into that funnel? And then, do you have a set number of steps that you think are most effective along those funnels?
Kamila: Good question.
Rich: Thanks! I’m totally off-script at this point, I’m just having a conversation now.
Kamila: Awesome. So you know, in terms of the ad, there’s a couple things that I typically like to do for clients that I’ve seen work time and time again, and it kind of depends on how much the client is willing to expand and create content. Because for ads, very often you have to create some new content, too. So something that we typically do – here’s one way of approaching this – you can be very direct. So you can be creating an ad that’s literally driving traffic to a landing page where somebody can sign up for a lead magnet, or a webinar, or a challenge, or something like that that’s direct. These people typically don’t know who you are though, so it’s a cold audience, it’s a very simple funnel. So that’s typically the first thing that we would test. Sometimes this works really well, especially if it’s a live campaign then it can work pretty well.
The other, for example if somebody wants to have a free webinar that they’re running because that’s their sales mechanism, it’s the same webinar and they’re running the ads for that, eventually you’re going to get tired of seeing that same ad for the webinar. Even if we change up the images and positioning, it still can get a little bit dry. So another way to approach that is we will create some ads that are focused on getting cold audiences to warm up first before we then hit them with these related ads. I don’t really do this for clients anymore, but that’s what we used to do and I do for myself.
So it’s really understanding who is seeing these ads, so there’s always the warm and cold audiences. The warm audiences are typically going to perform better because they already know who you are and they’re aware of their problem typically – not always – and they’re just more receptive. So getting them to lead to a client is theoretically supposed to be faster, the timeframe is supposed to be happening at a much quicker rate versus somebody that’s never been introduced to you and then getting on the webinar and buying.
So that’s another way to kind of look at that. So a lot of times especially recently, the trend has been going towards doing more story-based ads, so sharing versus direct response. Instead of, “Here’s this webinar I’m doing, sign up now for courses x, y, and z”, now people are a little bit more jaded from that so they want to hear stories, they want to feel emotion when they see ads. So sharing something in a story format and then potentially moving them into an article and pixeling people, and then you can send the actual ads to people who have visited one of your pages. So at that point they’re already familiar with who you are.
Maybe it is doing a livestream or a video on Facebook and then running ads to get more views on that and then you can retarget people to an opt-in generating ad. There’s a lot of different ways of approaching this, it really depends on specific strategy and what the campaign looks like in general. I think with evergreen campaigns you have more flexibility versus something that’s like, everything has to be done by this date because it’s live. There’s less wiggle room, if you will, from that sense.
Rich: I love this idea of moving from the direct marketing approach to more of a story-based ad. Can you give us an example of one wither you’ve run or you’ve seen out there that you thought was effective?
Kamila: Yeah, for story-based?
Rich: Yeah, just because I like that idea and I do agree that depending on how savvy your audience is in the ways of Facebook, that they may have seen if not your ad too many times, ads like yours too many times. So if you could separate yourself from the pack, there’s more of a chance people are going to sit up and take notice.
Kamila: Yes, absolutely. Let’s say that you’re doing a webinar and you’re going to talk about whatever as you would, create a landing page, have a couple bullet points, “You’re going to learn this and you’re going to walk away with this”, and it’s very focused on the person. So instead, a way to basically shift that into a story is, why are you talking about this, has something happened in your life that supported you in wanting to talk about this. So typically we can come up with a story that either happens to us or to a client that we worked with, basically going through that hero’s journey in not quite as much depth. It’s basically sharing a quick snapshot of your story, so that’s the most basic way of doing it.
Something that I’ve seen people do, too, is sharing very vulnerable shares, just sharing like, “Three years ago this happened to me and it was very…”, so anything that’s a little bit more behind the scenes and vulnerable tends to work really well. The way that I like to look at this too is if you’re scrolling through Facebook and you stop at somebody’s post because it sounds like something you’re going to see someone [inaudible] on this post, that‘s a good indication that that might potentially work well in an actual ad copy for the ad. Which is interesting because that’s not what used to work, it’s not how things used to be, it was a little bit different before.
Rich: Right, and especially now with the shift of Facebook we might see that that would work better because you’re going to see more people, or it will be surprising if actually things change because people are so overwhelmed with people’s personal stories so they’re looking for a direct marketing ad. I guess we’ll have to keep on testing.
Kamila: Yeah, I think it really depends on the audience you’re talking to, and I think because I talk to entrepreneurs it’s a little bit tougher I would say because entrepreneurs are a lot more savvy and they’re used to seeing these so most ads still are direct response-oriented. Stories are not as often shown – at least for me – in my newsfeed, but if you’re talking to someone who uses stories all the time it’s really going to come down to experimenting and testing different things and seeing what actually works. That’s the only way you can see what resonates for your audience.
Rich: Absolutely. So you mentioned a few things. You mentioned Facebook pixel, an for those of you who don’t listen to the show regularly, you can include a pixel in your code and Facebook then knows if someone has visited your page, and then you can target them specifically. And we also talked about email. So those are 2 ways obviously we can follow up after somebody’s taken that leap off of Facebook through whatever ads to a landing page or sequence. Do you have a preference for one or the other, or is there any other methods that you use to kind of keep this conversation going and following up with thee leads?
Kamila: Yeah, I mean email is my favorite, if I’m being honest. I feel like every year there’s going to be that person that says, “Email is dead”, and I think people have been saying that for 5 years now. Email is not dead. Email is alive and well and you just have to be good at it. Don’t spam people and share value, that’s really what it comes down to. And some people are of course still not going to open the emails, and that’s always been the case. I still think that email is #1, it’s still an asset that we’re able to build, and we’re able to move from one platform to another whether we use active campaign or fusion software or whatever is irrelevant, because we own this asset. So that’s always going to be my #1.
Something that people have also been using are Messenger bots. You might have seen people subscribing to a Messenger bot from some business page and then getting the updates in that way. So I think that’s something that should still be treated as an experiment. I don’t love it because it stays on my Facebook, so Facebook can stop that at any moment if they think that people are abusing it or whatever, so that is not ideal. So there are a lot of people talking about “you have to use Messenger bots only and forget the email list and it’s not going to be effective in the long term”, which I think is crazy, personally. But that’s also an option and I think it’s something where you could potentially use in addition to email, especially for people who aren’t paying out on Facebook, I think that’s something else you might want to consider doing.
Rich: Some people will obviously fall by the wayside, so you have any suggestions on how we can kind of re-engage with them once they’ve stopped responding?
Kamila: Yes. So this is where Facebook ads are really great because we can create a custom audience in Facebook. So custom audiences are basically – I mean there’s a lot of different ways to do this – so we can make it to where somebody visited this particular page and then we can target people because they saw this particular page. It could be people that have visited or saw a portion of your video or the entire video. It could also be people that have joined your email list. Then there’s different platforms that allow you to do this, you can do it manually or you can just go for the entire email list.
I like doing Facebook ads to my audiences, my actual email list. So just because they’ve been added to your email list doesn’t mean that you have to stop targeting them and only keep focusing on people that have never heard of you before. That’s the whole point of nurturing, make sure that they really know who you are and make sure they’re still sticking around. So even if somebody unsubscribes from your email you can still show them ads especially when you’ve collected their email address so you have it as a .csv file, upload it to Facebook and literally you can be following them around on Facebook whether it’s new valuable content, whether it’s another free gift that you have.
If somebody has disengaged from the emails that they’ve been receiving from you you’re typically not going to be sending them offers – like paid offers – because they’re already disengaged, you need to just engage them in some way. Typically that’s going to be from valuable content, videos, free gifts, stuff that is attached with a pitch so when they wonder why they signed up for this in the first place, oh that’s why, this person really knows their stuff.
Rich: And pro tip: you can go – we use Constant Contact – you can go in and see all the people that unsubscribed from your list. You’re not allowed to email them but like you said, you can export the unsubscribes and target those people on Facebook with a retargeting or remarketing ad and ask them to come back or give them some information or whatever that might be. I have noticed this works better in B2C than B2B because a lot of people have not used their business email to sign up for Facebook, they use a personal email, but something definitely to keep in mind nonetheless.
Kamila: Yeah, we definitely use it for everything, I think it’s a really good practice. That’s why you don’t have to freak out when somebody unsubscribes from your email, because it’s not like they’re gone forever. They can very well come back especially when you have this asset of a .csv file and then you can target them for a little while.
Rich: Absolutely. Because we send out an email for every single episode of the Agents of Change and I know some people have unsubscribed because they subscribe to iTunes and know when a new episode comes out. So I lose those people, but of course when the conference comes around then at least I can target them because I have their emails and we can certainly advertise to them using Facebook.
Kamila: Yeah, absolutely.
Rich: What are some of the mistakes that you see marketers making when it comes to Facebook ads or when it comes to following up on these leads and perhaps not nurturing them?
Kamila: I think the biggest mistake that I see entrepreneurs make specifically is boosting posts and thinking they’re going to get sales form that. People might not know that this actually means that you’re asking for engagement on a post. And yeah, engagement can be a click, but it can also be a comment, it can be a ‘like’, it could be “read more”, it could be literally anything. So that’s the biggest thing. Just because you’re boosting posts doesn’t mean anything is really going to happen. Your business is probably very well not going to grow at all unless you have a very specific strategy associated with that. So that’s #1.
I think the second thing is not using retargeting and remarketing. That’s such an inexpensive way of engaging people, whether it’s people that are already on your email list – like we talked about just before this – or somebody that has visited your site but didn’t opt in, or somebody that has seen a video you did and maybe they watched 25% of that video which means they’re probably interested, especially if it’s a longer video, but they haven’t opted in or purchased a product. Well that’s a really impactful way of getting your stuff in front of these right people and it’s not expensive. The potential audiences are very small and you’re being very specific. You can run these campaigns without spending very much money every day and can get really incredible results from that, so huge ROI on those.
And when it comes to nurturing, I think the biggest mistake I see is that they’re using Facebook ads, somebody sign up for the opt-in, and then they get 1-2 emails and then they’re just dropped to the newsletter list, which I think is a mistake because these people were not properly warmed to what you even have to offer, they haven’t been introduced to what’s going on. So it’s as if you’re going into a party and then you’re injecting yourself in somebody’s conversation and then you’re shocked about why you don’t understand what’s going on in this conversation. Of course you’re not going to understand, you don’t even know who’s talking, you don’t know who the host is.
So having several emails in a nurture sequence that aren’t just pitching, there should be some emails that are very directly focused on the call to action and then what you want people to do next. But also making sure that you’re giving them value, you’re sharing your story, you’re telling them client results, maybe you’re talking about the program you want to enroll people into. Just continuing to give them value in the way that’s going to grow their interests, and then putting them into that next phase, whether that’s the main newsletter list or whatever.
So how many emails really depends. I know people – especially their focus on getting phone calls – the email nurture sequence can be anywhere from 14 days, to 30 days, to even 90 days. So it really depends on what you have going on and how you want to structure that. But the moral here is they’re pretty long, it’s not just going to be 2-3 emails and you’re done and hopefully they’re going to sign up. You just keep going with that.
And I think the other thing, too, is varying up what you’re actually putting in front of people because sometimes people are going to sign up for a particular opt-in. Let’s say I’m doing an opt-in about Facebook ads and some people are signing up for the Facebook ads stuff, but we don’t know if they actually are interested in investing in my Facebook ads course, or so they want to do coaching. So after they’ve gone through an entire sequence, maybe it’s a good idea to see what are they interested in if they haven’t invested in that next step.
So is it that they’re interested in more business strategies or was this just a thing that was an addition to that? Is it that they’re interested in creating programs or whatever it is that you tend to focus on in your business? So asking them questions, surveying them, that’s definitely going to be a good way for you to segment these people and then talk to them in a more relevant way that they do take the next step.
Rich: That’s great. Now I know a lot of people are going to want to dig a little bit deeper. I also know that you have not necessarily moved on from Facebook ads – because you’re obviously still doing them – but I know you have a lot of other things going on as well. Where can people find out some more information about that and get to know you?
Kamila: Yeah, so I have the company Heart Behind Hustle, so that’s probably the best way to find me and just learn more about business strategies and marketing things and stuff like that. If you are interested in more Facebook ads-related things, just go to heartbehindhustle.com/facebookads. And then I do have a resource that you can check out all about Facebook ads, because we have been doing them for a long time and we did used to do them for clients as well, so that should be very helpful for you. There’s a lot of resources on using Facebook ads properly, how to make them be high converting for you and your business, and kind of moving on from there.
Rich: Awesome. Kamila this has been great, I appreciate your time and all your expertise that you shared with us today, and thanks very much.
Kamila: Yeah, thank you so much for having me.
Kamila Gornia loves to teach marketing strategies to businesses to help them grow. Check out her website for more valuable tips and ideas.
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 just added “author” to his resume with his brand new book!