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02:04 – From barmaid to traffic boss
05:19 – The employee to entrepreneur transition
09:45 – An ever-changing landscape
11:30 – User experience first
15:53 – The biggest recent shift
20:21 – What you want in your ads
27:49 – Will it work for a business?
30:06 – Running with the winners
33:04 – What’s been covered
34:54 – The stuff that gets shared
36:20 – Where Molly gets her info
37:56 – Paid versus organic
41:51 – An event to look forward to
Keep your marketing efforts timely with James’s personal coaching
James: James Schramko here. Welcome back to SuperFastBusiness.com. Today, this is Episode 630. We’ll be talking about how to win on social media in 2019. We’re probably going to have a particular focus on Facebook, because that’s where my guest has been doing a fair bit of work recently. Welcome, Molly Pittman.
Molly: Hello, James. Thanks for having me. Excited to be here. Hello to everybody who’s listening.
James: Yeah. So, it’s our first podcast together on SuperFastBusiness, and it’s such a pleasure. I get to speak to you every now and then, and we’ve got a mutual friend Ezra Firestone, who is very well-known to our SuperFastBusiness community. And you two have been promoting your own product lately, called TrainMyTrafficPerson.com. How’s that been going?
Molly: It’s awesome. We’re actually closing the doors on our second class of Train My Traffic Person today, and it looks like we have a little over 100 students. So, really excited to teach these people what I know about media buying.
James: Yeah, congratulations on that. I’ve been seeing your ads, so I know the social media thing’s working. I like to see people practicing what they preach.
Molly: Yeah, it’s been cool too, because in the past I’ve run ads for other brands, like DigitalMarketer or ManyChat, and this is the first time I’ve actually run ads from my personal brand page. So that’s been a cool, new and exciting experience.
From barmaid to traffic boss
James: Yeah, so let’s talk about that. I think we should just have a very brief back history, because I think some people know who you are. And for someone who doesn’t, you used to be a barmaid, is that right? And then you’ve got a job at Digital Marketer as an intern and worked your way up to basically being the boss of traffic stuff.
James: Is that something to do with it?
Molly: Yeah, so I was a bartender in Kentucky. That’s where I grew up. And I moved to Austin, Texas. I thought I wanted to stay in the spirits industry. But I found this amazing job posting on Craigslist for a marketing intern. And it was just so different from the other listings. It was super personable, like really exciting.
And so I applied, I got an interview, and they ended up hiring 15 of us at the same time. And we knew that at the end, a few of us were going to get full-time positions. And so we went through this three-month process where we learned from Ryan Deiss and Perry Belcher about digital marketing, how to run an online business. We put together these fictitious business plans that we then presented back to them. And really, they were just looking for, you know, who is a good public speaker, who intuitively understood marketing. And so at the end, I was lucky enough to be chosen into a full-time position and I went to work for Ryan.
That’s really when DigitalMarketer became a brand in 2012. And the first thing that I did for Ryan was organic social media, specifically Facebook. And that really piqued my interest you know, into social media, the power of Facebook. I saw that Boost Post button, you know, I was like, what is that? And recently Ryan’s media buyer had left and so I asked him if he would give me a shot. So he purchased some courses, he gave me $1,000 and he said, run some ads and bring me back more money than you spent. And those ads were actually for Ezra Firestone’s Brown Box Formula course, that he published with DigitalMarketer back in 2012.
So that’s when I first met Ezra. And things went great, ended up buying more media, really fell in love with Facebook ads, became the VP of Marketing, as you said, so really oversaw all of the marketing for DigitalMarketer from you know, acquiring the customer to our loyalty program. And amazing experience – I feel like I learned 100 years’ worth of marketing information in five, just from the experience.
In 2017, decided it was time to go out on my own. I tried some agency work, that model, I didn’t love it. I learned a lot, but that just wasn’t necessarily for me. And so nowI’m in a really good place, working with Ezra. We’re producing courses like Train My Traffic Person together, to teach other people how to become media buyers, and also working on some other projects where I’m still able to run Facebook ads and stay in the game. But mostly, I love educating others on this stuff and how it can help grow their business.
The employee to entrepreneur transition
James: And what’s the transition been like going from employment to having your own thing?
Molly: It was interesting because going from employment to agency work, it was different because I had more freedom, but I also felt like I had 10 new bosses, right? So I was leaving in search of this free feeling that I wasn’t really able to obtain immediately, because of the business model that I went into, like, trading time for money and doing agency work. But that really helped me figure out what I did want to do.
And I missed the marketing educator side of what I did at DigitalMarketer, you know? While I was there, I produced four or five courses, started the Perpetual Traffic podcast, which has been going for four years now. What I really loved about DigitalMarketer was getting to teach others and connect with others. And so I really missed that last year.
And so the transition was hard, too. It’s hard leaving your tribe. Like, DigitalMarketer was my family. And so that was really difficult, but it was also great. I learned what I loved to do, I learned what I didn’t like to do, and that allowed me to start this year fresh, and really doing what I love.
And big thanks to you, James, for helping me see that, too. I joined SilverCircle last year, and just getting that time with you and and seeing what you see, right? You can’t always see for yourself what someone else who’s been there before you can see. And just, someone like you, having such an amazing perspective into my life and my career, so it’s allowed me to to make that next step.
James: Oh, that’s very kind. It’s kind of weird. It’s like I’ve been there with you for quite some time. Because if you go back to Brown Box Formula that Ezra put out, when Ezra and I actually sat down and mapped out how he puts together an information product, he actually came to me and said, “How do I make an information product?” And that’s when we pulled up 4MAT and went through the why, what, how, what if? And then he went away and built the modules. And then a few years after that, I was coaching Keith, and we were talking about, “You need a podcast, Keith.” And then next thing, Keith and Ralph and you popped up with Perpetual Traffic podcast. And then four million downloads later, that seems to be doing quite well.
Molly: Yes. You’ve been behind the scenes.
James: Been behind the scenes there, operating it.
Molly: And now we’re finally working together.
James: It’s just great to see that evolution, and I think it’s super instructive, especially anyone listening who has a job. I’ve often said, you probably want to make three times more if you step out from your job to make it all worthwhile, because it is more challenging, although you will find yourself. You know, the experience is enhanced good or bad.
James: What a great background. And I’m glad that you’re enjoying selling your own education programs. And behind the scenes, too, you’ve been helping other businesses and we’ve been talking about revenue share deals and that kind of business model, and it’s a nice future for you, because you’re creating your own destiny and you’ve got these skills and you’re putting them to work where there’s a great opportunity. So I’m sure the big things are coming for you.
And I’m absolutely super excited that in just a few months from now, you’re coming over to speak at SuperFastBusiness Live in Sydney. And that was part of the reason that we decided to have a chat, but we thought we’d give a preview as to some of the concepts that you’re talking about, especially having you just promoted your own course on social media. It’s very interesting for me, you know, what sort of techniques, strategies or ideas or concepts are important for you when you promote your own product, if you’re a social media expert? So I’d love to know what some of those core things would be.
Molly: Yeah, of course, and I’m so excited to come to Sydney. If you have a chance, definitely grab a ticket, it’s going to be fun. And not only will I be teaching just some core information that you need to understand, but I’ll also be showing whatever campaigns have recently worked the best for me. And so that’s what I love to do, and I teach. It’s like, let me give you some best practices, but let me just show you what I’m doing and what’s working, the most recent information that I have. So who knows what case studies I’ll be showing when I come down to Sydney? But I know it’ll be exciting.
An ever-changing landscape
And, yes, in relation to the right now, you know, I think that in social media, you obviously can’t ignore Facebook. And as I said, Facebook ads are really what I first fell in love with when it comes to all of this digital marketing stuff. And what’s interesting when it comes to Facebook, you know, you hear a lot of influencers talk about Facebook always changing and needing to keep up. And that’s definitely true, but I’ve never seen it more true then really the last year. And I know the reason for that is because of what Facebook is going through right now and what they’ve gone through the last year. And I think before you use a platform like Facebook as a marketer, you first have to understand what’s the current landscape of that platform, right? How are people using it?
“In social media, you obviously can’t ignore Facebook.”
And so, obviously, last year, as most of you guys know, Facebook, all of the Cambridge Analytica stuff came out, right? Zuckerberg went in front of Congress. And there’s been a lot of public scrutiny towards Facebook the last year. There’s been a lot of trust lost from the public towards Facebook in the last year. And people that really don’t understand how the platform works – that you’re using Facebook for free, but yes, they are collecting your data to show you the most relevant ads possible, that’s a concept that most of us understand, and it’s the world we live in day to day – but the general public doesn’t understand that, right? And we really came to find that out in the last year. And so because this happened, it really forced a lot of shifts on the platform that matter to us as marketers.
User experience first
And so Facebook has, in the past, optimized their algorithm or crafted their algorithm, built their algorithm, however, you want to look at it, to provide a great experience for the end user, but also to make Facebook money, right? That’s the goal. Facebook is a business and they make money through advertising. And because of the recent events, because Facebook needed to earn this trust back from the public, they’ve really had to shift their algorithm to completely emphasize the user experience. And the user experience isn’t our experience as marketers. The user experience is, you know, the person who has a free Facebook profile that is using Facebook every day, right? The general population. Because, if they start to have a bad experience with Facebook, they’re not going to use Facebook, or they’re going to log in half as much as they used to, which means half the revenue dollars for Facebook, right?
“The user experience isn’t our experience as marketers.”
So in the last year, specifically in the last three to four months, Facebook has made some huge shifts that have optimized towards this user experience more and more, and that’s really changed the strategies that we need to use as marketers to run successful campaigns. So, I can go into that more, James, if you would like, but that’s really the premise behind where Facebook is right now, and it’s so important to understand as a marketer. Because as I said, a lot of the strategies that worked a year ago, definitely strategies that worked two or three years ago or in 2012 when I started are not going to work now. And it’s because Facebook’s had to really change their whole model to satisfy the public and to really earn that trust back.
James: Yeah, I’m very interested in that. It certainly sounds like good common sense to make your platform more user-friendly. Reminds me of that book, Simplify, which says you should make things easier to use and more useful, which is a great idea.
James: It kind of reminds me of Google, actually. I think Google have put so much focus on making search results valuable, that people keep using Google and it became the dominant search engine and they can make all their money selling ads around those searches. So, good business idea.
So what does that actually mean for how you approach that as a marketer, then? If they’re focusing on user experience, I guess that some of the clues might be, they’re interested in which content is attracting people versus repelling people.
James: Does this affect whether you have calls to action on their platform or away from their platform? Or what type of content you’re putting?
Molly: Yeah, well, yeah. So the first thing is, you have to keep the user-experience in mind more than ever, right? And a few years ago, Facebook released something called the relevance score, very similar to Google’s quality score. It’s a score out of 10 – 10 is the best, one is the worst. And the higher your score, the lower your costs are going to be, and the more reach you’re going to get. And so the two things that I’ve been hearing from people, especially in the last year, is, “Oh my goodness, Facebook’s getting so expensive.” And, “Molly, why won’t Facebook show my ads?” And yes, Facebook’s getting more expensive, it’s you know, Google gets more expensive every month, right? That’s the nature of a platform. It’s going to get more expensive, but it’s especially going to get more expensive if you’re running ads with a low relevance score.
So any ads that are super direct response, especially to a market that doesn’t know you, they’re simply not going to work, right? It’s going to stand out as an ad, someone’s going to mark it as spam, multiple people are going to mark it as spam, there’s going to be low social proof. So Facebook’s going to charge you three to four times what they would charge an advertiser that has a relevance score of nine or 10 to show that ad, right?
And some of the first ads that I ran on Facebook were super direct response. They were for Ezra’s Brown Box Formula. It was basically just telling people they should buy this course. And it worked then, because Facebook didn’t have a mechanism to decipher a good ad from a bad ad. And so the rolling out of this relevance score has been very important.
The biggest recent shift
But the the biggest shift over the last three to six months has really been around social proof. And so the relevance score is decided by a pretty complicated formula that takes into account the number of shares on your ad, and also the number of reactions and comments. It’s also weighing in the negative reaction. So if someone’s marking you as spam, or hiding your ad, that’s going to be a mark against your relevance score. And they’re also factoring in the click-through rate of your ad benchmarked against other people who are targeting the same audience.
So there’s a lot going into this relevance score, but the most important part of the score is the social proof, and especially your shares, and your share to reaction ratio. And what I mean by that is, if you have five shares and you have 10 reactions, that’s a 50 percent share to reaction ratio. And anything above 20 is pretty good. And if you can get up to like, a 50 percent share to reaction ratio, that’s really successful, and your campaign is going to have really low cost, and you’re going to get a ton of volume.
And this is very different from what I would have said a year or two ago, right? Because Facebook used to be way more about split testing and testing different copy variations and testing different creative variations and having, you know, 20 to 30 ads and an ad set to make sure you find that one variation that your audience loves the best. But the issue with that now is that when you’re testing so many ads, your social proof is now distributed across 20 to 30 ads, right? And so that causes an issue, because say you got 100 shares, those are now distributed across 20 different ads. So your share to reaction ratio is lower, and just the amount of social proof that you’re getting is a lot lower. So the strategy that we’re finding that’s working on Facebook is very different now, because we’re really having to play into this social proof game, right?
And so to give you an example, an ad campaign that I ran earlier this year, this month, it’s January, I ran it from the second of January till the 13th of January. So it ran for 12 days. And we were able to generate over 50,000 leads for a little over $1 apiece, and this was pumping into a very profitable funnel. And all that I did to make this campaign successful was my targeting was really awesome, which I talk about on the Perpetual Traffic podcast and all of my courses. I go through a very thorough targeting research process to ensure that you’re finding interest that other people in your market wouldn’t think to target. So that allows you to scale, that allows you to bring your costs down.
But instead of testing 20 to 30 different variation of ads within those ad sets, all I did was pulled two ads from last year, that I’d run for this particular brand, that had the most social proof. So I sorted all of the ads from last year by page post engagement. And I found the two that had the most social proof that were still promoting this offer to generate these leads. And so instead of creating new ads and testing all these different variations and essentially putting ads out into the ether that didn’t have social proof, I just launched with these two ads that had the most social proof from last year.
And this campaign came out with so much volume and at a lower cost than I’d ever seen leads for this brand. And the reason for that purely came back to social proof. Because that is what Facebook is looking at first to decide what you’re going to pay for your traffic and the amount of reach that you’re going to get. And by the end of these 12 days, these ads, one of them ended up with 10,000 shares and 20,000 reactions. The other ended up with 8000 shares and 11,000 reactions. And the reason for this is really something to keep in mind, now that this strategy has really changed.
First off, you want to be very personal, right? So before with Facebook advertising, most of our ads would, you know, sort of look like ads – we would put borders around them; we would use professional images. We would write sort of more robotic ad copy. Now it’s way more about blending in and looking like a Facebook post from a friend, because those posts are the posts that people are going to engage with. They don’t look like an ad. They look like something that someone wants to share. So you either need to tell a story or be super conversational, or you need to give something of value in the ad that the market wants to share.
So for example, this campaign that I just told you about, this was for a docuseries about the ketogenic diet. So it’s something very timely, people are really interested in keto right now. It’s January, right? So the interest is even higher. But also, this offer is that they can watch the docuseries for free within this certain amount of time. So there’s also something of really high perceived value here.
And the ad, both of the ads, but the ad that works the best was using a three minute and 20 second video in the ad. And it was a trailer for the docuseries. And the trailer in itself, standalone, had a ton of good information in it, that you could just watch that three and a half minute video and get a lot of value from it.
So even though we’re asking someone to go over and opt in to watch this docuseries for free, someone would see this ad in their newsfeed and it’s not only timely and interesting to them, but the perceived value is really high. Someone could learn something just from watching this video, so people are willing to share it. Does that make sense? It’s like, wow, this is something that my friends would like to see. So I want to share this with them, even though it’s an ad, right? That’s completely different from an ad that’s like, “Hey, you want to buy these keto products that I’m selling? The keto diet is great.” Right? The offer to watch the docuseries and to share this trailer has so much more value upfront, it’s really going to allow us to get those shares and those reactions that we’re looking for.
So, on the other hand, if you don’t already have posts that have a lot of shares, or maybe you feel like your offer isn’t strong enough that it’s going to get a lot of shares, another example that I have – and back to your question, James, how I ran the ads for this current launch of this product that Ezra and I are selling – so this was a bit different, because we were getting people to sign up for a webinar, right? Which has value but not as much as getting to watch 10 hours of free information on the keto diet. And so we didn’t have as much to work with there from the value of the author. But what we did have is that we had a personal brand. So these were being run from my page.
So instead of running ads that said, “Hey, let me teach you how to scale Facebook ads in 2019. Here’s everything you’re going to learn. Show up Thursday, can’t wait to see you there.” These ads told a story. So one of them, for example, talked about the story I told you all, of being a bartender and then working for DigitalMarketer and then going out on my own and what this meant to me, and how I wanted to teach other people the skills to have a similar experience that I did. Well, people loved that. They shared that, they reacted, they congratulated me, they encouraged me. So our relevance score was a 10.
And even though that ad didn’t come out of the gate with a ton of social proof, it was built to really aggregate that social proof. And the ad creatives were not professional photos that I had taken by a top photographer. They were mostly photos that Ezra and I have taken together over the last year that we never meant to be ad creatives, right? Like, we never took those pictures saying, oh, we’re going to use these in ads. They were super personal photos that you would expect to see on, you know, a personal profile. And so people shared because of that, too. They engaged because of that.
I even had a guy, he wrote this big comment on the ad about how the ad was so authentic and it felt so native that he got to the end of reading my story and he was feeling guilty because he didn’t remember meeting Molly and adding them as a friend on Facebook. Like, he thought that this was just a friend of his that was posting that he saw in his news feed. He didn’t even realize it was an ad. And so he wrote about this comment about how he felt guilty that he didn’t remember me. And then finally he realized it was an ad.
And so, just to give you guys another example of really how to play into this need for social proof can also be done through storytelling, even if it’s not coming from a personal brand, I have a client called Panda Planner, they sell notebooks. And you know, it’s kind of hard to sexy up a notebook or a planner, right? Like you could go to a store and buy a planner, what sets your planner apart? And so what we did that worked really well is, we sent out a survey to buyers and we asked what their life was like before Panda Planner and what it was like after Panda Planner.
And so we made sure that we were gathering testimonials from different avatars. And so for example, we had this one testimonial from a mom who before Panda Planner had forgotten her son’s birthday. Like, she was super disorganized. She had like, forgotten her son’s birthday, she was stressed out. And then she found Panda Planner and like, her life really came together, and she was able to feel more organized to run her family.
So instead of running an ad that was just talking about the features and benefits of Panda Planner, I just ran an ad telling her story in quotation marks. I mean, this is like, eight paragraphs long, just telling this huge story and using personal photos that she had taken at her home of her with the planner. And again, it works so well because it feels like you’re hearing from an actual person, and people want to comment, and they want to share.
“As we move further into 2019, your marketing has to be more native than ever.”
And so that is the biggest thing to keep in mind with Facebook ads. As we move further into 2019, your marketing has to be more native than ever, right? And it’s not just about running traffic to a blog post first or giving value first, it’s about showing up in the news feed as a friend, right? And really building that relationship so that they do want to engage with your posts, because that’s going to give you the relevance score that allows you to keep your costs down, allows you to get that reach that you want. So it’s a very different landscape than it was a few years ago. But I think that’s what, you know, that’s why this stuff is fun. And that’s why I’m in business. So I’m grateful for it.
James: Yeah, that’s amazing. You may very well be the easiest podcast guest I’ve ever had in the last 630 episodes. I’m just sitting back, drinking my coffee, enjoying the content.
Molly: A Molly rant.
Will it work for a business?
James: One question that comes to mind from all of that, and I’m just going to recap that in a sec, it’s sounding to me like this would favor someone’s personal brand or personal Facebook page versus a business, or can you still make this work as a business?
Molly: Yeah, you can absolutely make this work as a business, just like Panda Planner that I was talking about. That’s a brand, and they’re selling a planner. It’s a commodity, right? Like, it’s really hard to put personality behind that or to differentiate, but all we did was separate out our avatars, so that we knew we were speaking to moms, we knew we were speaking to spiritually-minded people, so that we can make sure our targeting was really on point there.
But then we just asked for their stories, right? So as a brand, if you feel like you don’t have something personal to share or a story to tell, all you need to do is gather the stories of your audience. So like James, for example, you could absolutely interview someone from SilverCircle, asking what their story was, and then pick the juiciest ones, the people who have had the biggest transformation, and that can be your ad copy. Because people want to relate to other people.
“People want to relate to other people.”
So whether it’s your story or whether it’s the story of your customer, that’s what people are relating to now, versus just being told to buy something or being told why products or services are great. I think consumers, they’re just more advanced than that now. They want more than just to be told to go buy something because it’s the best on the market, right? They want to be on the social media, to be social. And I think Facebook’s finally coming around to that.
James: Right. So, I mean on our SuperFastBusiness page, yesterday I actually put a post that was story-based. It was about a rusty old key that I found in my toolbox, and the story of this car that I bought when I was 12 and how that changed my future. It’s quite long, and I can see from all the people reached and the engagements and shares, etc., that this might be the sort of thing that would lend itself to being a good ad.
James: The end call to action is that I now create the same sort of learning outcomes for people with the live event, and that they should come along.
Running with the winners
James: When I woke up today, yeah, we’ve been making sales from that post. So is it a matter of looking for what’s organically going well and then crafting something around the same themes? I think that was the clue you gave before, is you’re looking back through your archive and picking winners, rather than chucking up your ad account with maybe sort of speculative things that lower your average.
Molly: Yeah. I mean, it can be both. So it could be going to your Facebook page and looking at the organic posts that have had the most reach. Like, that’s definitely a way to go about it, and I would for sure turn that post you’re talking about into an ad.
And it’s also just having this mindset when you’re going to write ads. So, for example, when I went to write the direct sales ad for Train My Traffic Person, so this ad was to retarget everyone who had signed up for the webinar and who had shown interest in the course but who didn’t purchase. And before, I would have said, “Hey, you forgot to buy Train My Traffic Person. This is why it’s awesome. Go buy!” Right? And now, I sat down and I wrote the story of, “Hey, last year I partnered up with my friend Ezra Firestone, because we noticed that there was nothing on the market that was truly a mentorship. And because of my experience as a media buyer, this is what I wanted when I first started out. And so I wanted to provide this for other people. So last September, we started our first class of Train My Traffic Person. I had 67 people from different industries. Here are the results some of them got. Here’s why I loved it. Don’t forget to go join.” So you see how different that is than me saying, “Hey, don’t forget to buy Train My Traffic Person. Here’s what you’ll learn.” Like, this was a direct sales ad, but I was just telling a story about why I created the product in the first place, right? And it just sounds so much more conversational.
But when I talked about sorting, you can definitely sort your page and look at the organic posts that have had the most engagement. But you can also do that in your ad account. So I did this for Ezra’s company BOOM. And what was interesting is that the ad from last year that had the most social proof on it was actually a Messenger ad that he had been using at the bottom of the funnel, where someone could click on the ad, grab a 10 percent off coupon in Messenger, and go buy. But what was interesting is he’d only ever run that ad at the bottom of the funnel. And I was like, wow, there’s all of this social proof – why don’t we try this to cold traffic? And it’s working really well, because it already had all of that social proof on it. Facebook sees it as valuable. Now they’re distributing it for a really cheap cost out to a cold market.
So you know, it’s whether it’s an ad or an organic post, either of those can be turned into an ad moving forward and show you that that would make a good ad.
James: Yeah, nice. And it’s good that you can see those details on there.
What’s been covered
So, little bit of a recap. We’ve been talking about how Facebook is trying to earn our trust again, after Cambridge Analytica. They’re focusing on usability, especially relevance, and they’re now scoring that out of 10, it’s going to affect your reach and your cost. And it’s developed from shares and reactions, especially negative reactions, and you’re looking for ratio above 20 shares to reactions, is that right? And 50 is amazing?
“If someone’s sharing an ad, that must be a damned good ad.”
Molly: Yeah, that’s a great metric to look at, to see, because it’s easy for someone to react to a post or like it, but if someone shares it, it’s like, someone sharing an ad, that must be a damned good ad. Right?
Molly: So sharing is the most powerful lever.
James: Well, it’s like in the old days, maybe even before your time, people used to clip out some of the ads from the newspaper that were for, like, those sunglasses or something, and then hand it to their friend. It’s the old ads disguised as news advertising thing. Seems like that’s slightly shifted now to ads disguised as stories.
To ensure your targeting is spot on, extract the best from your past database to see what’s likely to win. Make it very personal, tell a story, blend it in rather than try to stand out. It should be so valuable that people want to share it. And docuseries are working really well, and that’s because they’re standalone value. Personal photos, of course, are going to work well. I mean, these things are all great.
We’ve talked on this podcast, actually many times, about documentaries. I’m a huge fan of them. I’ve had one on the homepage of SilverCircle for probably five years. And I’ve been doing them for clients for about seven. I think they’re the best way to sell – they’re educational, they’re interesting, they’re not overtly direct response, they’re more edutainment. And now that people consume videos, I’m not surprised that we’re seeing videos perform well in ads.
The stuff that gets shared
That sort of leads me to another question, is, what does get shared? Video gets shared. What other things are we seeing get shared the most?
Molly: Yeah, definitely video, because it can have standalone value. Like I said, that three and a half minute video trailer that was in the Facebook ad had standalone value, even if you didn’t click over to the landing page to sign up for the docuseries. So you know, video, just because of the perceived value from the consumer, and definitely longer ad copy that tells a story or just sounds very conversational, is conversational. That’s definitely what gets the most shares.
Or something controversial, too. So for example, Ezra ran an ad about why you don’t have to wear eye shadow, and he’s selling cosmetics. So this was reaching a market who cares about makeup, and this ad had a ton of social proof on it, because people were arguing about whether or not you should wear eye shadow. So, controversial stuff also does really well from a social proof standpoint. And it doesn’t have to be controversial. Like, you don’t have to make anyone mad, right? Just pose a question that you know your market is going to have different opinions on, or it’s going to spark their interest. That will also generate a lot of social proof for you.
Where Molly gets her info
James: Yeah, nice. So that’s the sort of content that works. I was wondering, where do you get your info from? When you know about these ratios and solutions and that, is it just from testing the field? Do you have it inline into Facebook? Do they publish this stuff?
Molly: Yeah, both. You know, doing a lot of testing, I realized this social proof thing last August or September, because campaigns that I had been running just weren’t working anymore. And I was hearing across the market, people were just having trouble using the strategies that they’ve used on Facebook to work. And so the single thing I could draw all of this back to, what was still working were campaigns that did have high social proof, and that were using ads more like the ads I’m discussing here. Also, ads that are more positive.
So that is something that Facebook screens for, and they have the technology even to scan an image that you’re going to run as an ad and identify it as positive or negative. So if you have kids crying in your image, Facebook’s going to know that negative and they’re going to give you less reach. If it’s children that are smiling, they’re going to give it more reach, because they want positivity on their platform, especially after recent events. But yeah, I’m getting this from experience. And I’m also getting a lot of this information directly from Facebook. And no, they don’t publish most of this stuff. But just from discussing with different partner managers and contacts that I have, most of it’s just saying, “Hey, this is what I’m seeing. Am I on track here?” And they’re like, “Yes,” or “No,” or “Here’s what you’re missing.” So yeah, I’m gathering info from multiple places.
Paid versus organic
James: And what would you say is your focus between the paid and the organic campaign? You’ve talked a lot about the paid ads. Is there still a place for just content? I mean, people like me, for example, we’re publishing quite a lot of video content. That seems to be well received and shared. Do you put some focus on that too?
Molly: Yeah, definitely. Especially because the organic focus allows you to produce the content that you can then use in ads. So, you know, it’s not just focusing on organic to get that free organic traffic, it’s also forcing you to produce assets that you can use in ad campaigns.
So, for example, I just recorded with Sunny Lenarduzzi on Perpetual Traffic last week about organic YouTube. And we came up with a strategy for me, Molly, building a YouTube presence and what that looks like organically. And what I realized is that all the videos that I’m going to need to shoot there, I can also use on Facebook and in Facebook ads, right? So in my opinion, the two go interchangeably. Because, any of the posts you make on your page, just think of that as a testing ground for, “Ooh, this worked really well. Like, this would make a great ad.”
James: Yeah, actually I used my key story as an email and an Instagram post, a Facebook post. And I could quite easily make a video about it or even a podcast. Certainly, our videos are going to six different places.
James: The short ones, we even set up our own channel. There’s a sister show to this in iTunes called SFB TV, and that’s just short videos at this stage. And there’s like, two a day coming out. And that seems to be getting well received. So I think when it comes to social, we got to think multiple platforms.
Molly: Yeah. And they’re not loving the content because they’re watching it on Facebook. They’re loving the content because of what you’re saying, right? And so that can be distributed across you know, as many platforms as your market is hanging out on.
James: Yeah, and it’s building an audience, but the audience is collected from the the places that people are hanging out.
The big surprise for me actually was, the place that took off the most for the short videos was LinkedIn. And when I think about it, I’m guessing someone who is watching LinkedIn is in the kind of environment where a one-minute video is kind of quite appreciated. It’s short and punchy and it’s a good distraction from whatever else they’re supposed to be doing, whether it’s cold prospecting in the direct messaging or whether they’ve got a job and they’re looking for a new one.
James: But I’ve got a massive amount of views.
Molly: Yeah. And there’s just not as much content on LinkedIn, right?
James: Yes. It’s a bit dry.
Molly: As you see on Facebook or Instagram. So huge opportunity there, for sure.
Well, you’ve been so generous. I appreciate you taking the time out. I know you must be pretty busy. You’ve got your own product there, which is finalizing the next day. And then of course, you go into training mode at TrainMyTrafficPerson.com.
I’m really excited about you coming over to speak at SuperFastBusiness Live. Thank you. I also appreciate your suggestion about the SilverCircle case studies. I feel, in a way, when I feature my own students on even this podcast, it’s a great sense of proof of what results people are getting, which is something I do make sure I do. And Kelly Exeter, the lady who helps me write my books, definitely suggested I should have a series around people doing six figures a month, because that’s the theme of our next book.
James: And refine those thoughts with your idea and her suggestion, which was more or less the same. You should look out for a series of SilverCircle members featured, and the success they’re getting, and I’m sure they’ll all extrapolate into campaigns on social media.
Molly, you’re always interesting to learn from and and also very easy going on the podcast host. I appreciate that.
An event to look forward to
Molly: Thank you. Thank you for having me on, James, and all of the work that you do. I think you’re in the background behind a lot of things you see coming out in this industry. I know you are, and of course the work you do publicly. So I can’t wait to be down in Sydney. Australia is my favorite place to speak. Aussies are just fun and great and laid back. So I can’t wait to meet a lot of you guys there.
James: We’re looking forward to it. This events actually going to be a little bit smaller than some of the huge events you’ve been to, but very intimate. A massive proportion of our attendees are already making $100,000 or more, and even a good chunk of them are making more than a million. And we have a nice dinner and drinks, sit down and chat. So you really get to know the other attendees. I like putting on these special events.
Molly: Yeah. Speaking of docuseries, I was at a mastermind last weekend just for people who produce docuseries, and there were like 20 people there. And I agree, the small group, it’s more than networking. Like, you walk away with friends. And I really appreciate that model.
James: Oh yeah, you can meet a hundred people, but you can’t meet 1000 or 2000 people.
James: It’s a different type of event. And there’s a place for all of these. There are events running now with 25,000 people. But that’s not going to be the same experience.
All right. Well, thank you so much. And you have a nice rest of the evening, wherever you are, and we’ll catch up with you in just a few months.
Molly: All right. Thanks, James. See you soon.
James: That was Molly Pittman. And, wow, what an absolute expert.
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