The Secrets to Paid Digital Ads

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The Secret to Piad Digital Ads Transcript

Matt: I am so excited for today’s episode because I know this is a major pain point for nearly every business owner. Paid digital advertising. How much should I spend? Which platform should I run ads on? How do I get the results I actually want? From Facebook to YouTube, Google Pay per click and every other digital advertising platform in between, it is far too easy to take a step in the wrong direction.

That not only doesn’t bring in new business, it literally costs your company money. Today we are joined by our paid digital advertising pros from Refine Marketing to give us the secrets of paid digital advertising. Hello and welcome back to Midwest Mindset, the podcast that makes marketing easy to understand and simple to do.

I’m Matt Tompkins of two brothers Creative, where we passionately believe every business deserves affordable and effective marketing. We are always just a mindset shift away from success. And this is the Midwest mindset. I’d like to tell you, I’d like to share with you the story of Bob, the business owner, because I feel like this is a common journey we see often, and it doesn’t have to be this way.

As we’re going to hear from Ann Marie Faraday and Matt Falken of Refine Marketing. Our guest today on the podcast to give you the secrets of paid digital advertising. But here’s usually how the story goes. Bob, the business owner, he’s on Facebook, he posts a video and he sees that little blue button that says Boost.

Matt: Post says, What the heck? So he boosts it, spends a couple hundred bucks, he gets thousands of views, but no new business. He thinks, well, I got a lot of views.

Obviously it worked. I just need to do more of it. So now Bob starts spending hundreds, even thousands of dollars, still getting more views, more heart emojis, more likes. But he’s still not getting any business. No new revenue is coming in. So Bob thinks, well, I’m not a social media expert. My nephew, though, he’s on social media all the time. I’ll just I’ll just have him do this. So he gives his nephew thousands of dollars. He says, Go out there, run some ads. And they do. Again, they get a lot of traffic to their website. Even they get more heart emojis, more likes, more views, but they’re still not seeing that bottom line move.

They don’t know why. What are we doing wrong now? Bob is running out of money very quickly. This was money he didn’t have to spend in the first place. And it could put a major, major damper on any business and the success that you’re trying to achieve. This is all too common because paid digital advertising is far too easy, as I mentioned in the open to take a wrong step. These social platforms want you to spend money on ads. They want you to boost posts. They’re not going to give you the roadmap, though, on how to do it effectively.

AnnMarie: I think that what it really requires you to take a step back and look at the entire customer journey and that purchase funnel, if you will, because the content that Bob might be putting out could be really engaging. It could be really entertaining, but maybe it’s not content that’s going to close the sale. It’s all plays a role though, in the entire customer journey.

So I think it’s important to take a step back and think through what are the different steps that we want a customer to take to to learn who we are, to engage with us, to identify that we’re credible, but then also want to make a purchase. And so there are different ways that we can utilize paid media throughout that entire journey to close that sale.

Matt Falcon: Yeah, I think he was knocking on the door. Right. You see the difference if you go from 20 views to 3000 views. So like Marie said, then it’s just about honing in on, okay, am I on the right platform and am I giving the right message to to lead to ultimately value to the business, not just the view inflation.

Matt: Now our guest today, Matt Falcon and Anne Marie Faraday of Refine Marketing are who we partner with for paid digital advertising because it really is a skill set and specialty in and of itself in the world of marketing. And we partner with them because they understand content marketing, which works hand in hand with digital marketing. We have seen too many businesses though, who don’t have the right experts on hand to help guide them through this process, and they end up losing tens of thousands of dollars without any results to show for it. So let’s start off with the basics. What is paid? Digital advertising.

AnnMarie: It can be really anywhere that somebody engages with your brand. So we can use paid advertising to engage people who have never heard of your business before because they’re engaging with content that’s similar to what you offer. They might be searching for something that’s that’s similar to something that you provide. So I would say Google Ads is one great tool for paid advertising. That can be a search ad, that can be a display ad more and more if you’re on YouTube and that little commercial that pops up that 10s before you can watch the content, you’re really there to listen to. That would be considered a paid ad. Social media does a great job of weaving paid advertisements into your newsfeed, into your reels, into your stories. And so there are lots of different platforms, as you mentioned earlier, be it on TikTok and Twitter and Facebook, Instagram.

Everybody is trying to monetize the content that we’re all creating. But I think it’s just figuring out what’s going to be most effective in driving people to your website and engaging with your brand and then eventually in closing that sale. So those are a couple. Do you have any others to add?

Matt Falcon: No, I think that’s that’s a good overview of what paid ads are. I think to your point about finding the right platform, it’s really all about thinking about the behaviors that people are exhibiting on that platform. So everyone’s on Facebook, for instance, right?

But with a paid ad, you can target just 30 to 35 year old moms if you want, say, right. So you can find your target audience on almost any platform. But when you’re choosing a platform, I think it’s important to think about how people are behaving on that platform and what you want them to do when they see your content.

Matt: I want to put an exclamation point at the end of what Matt just said, because that is so important to consider and most businesses don’t factor this in. You need to know why people are on each social platform in the first place. If they’re just looking for a few seconds of a laugh or an entertainment, they’re swiping on to the next video and your ad pops up in the wrong place at the wrong time. With the wrong message, you can run the risk of turning off or alienating people. They’ll leave them with a negative impression of your business, which is the last thing you want.

AnnMarie: Yeah, absolutely. And I mean, I would say the old school marketing rule that it takes somebody seeing your brand 7 to 20 times before they’re ready to take action. So consider them, you know, maybe taking a few seconds to to watch that video as a win. How can we leverage then

that that those those metrics and to retarget that person again and again until they are ready to make that purchase decision? We love to use first party data in all of our paid ad strategies. First party data would be people who are currently following your any of your social media platforms, people who are coming to your website. And then what we do is we take that data and we model it to find other people that look like them.

So even though that person who scrolled through didn’t make a purchase that day, it’s it’s still a win, right? Like, we know who they are. We know what they like. And we can go find other people like them to continue to get our message in front of again and again and again until they’re ready to to make that purchase. It’s like that annoying pair of shoes that are always show up in your feed and you’re just like, okay, fine, I’ll buy them, you know?

Matt Falcon: So because it’s not just finding other people who look like them, but it’s staying in front of those specific users over and over if necessary. Until you get that.

AnnMarie: We’re hitting them hard on social media. But how can we find them in other platforms, be it on YouTube or when they’re searching for content or they’ve come to your website? And so we now know who they are so we can retarget them with ads across the Internet.

Or maybe we have their email address and we can start sending them emails or better yet, their phone number and we can start texting them. I mean, we don’t want to get annoying, but at the same time, I think the more we can surround them with relevant messages that are timely, the more likely we’ll be able to convert them to a customer.

Matt Falcon: And you’ll know if you are getting annoying because you’ll see your unsubscribe numbers start to start to increase. But we almost never see that. I mean, I think to your point, it’s it’s hard to overemphasize those calls to action.

Matt: Another question that I think business owners ask frequently at this stage in the process is, can I do this myself or do I need to hire an expert? Yes. I highly encourage you to hire an expert you can trust. And trust is the key word there, because I understand and we see this; unfortunately, it feels like it’s the norm. Sometimes we see marketing agencies and gurus and experts, so-called experts, just flat out ripping businesses off, taking advantage of small businesses, taking their money, not producing results, and manipulating the analytics to show all the web traffic in the world. But again, no conversions, no sales, no increased revenue at the end of the day.

So you need to find an expert you can trust. That is key. I highly encourage, especially with specialty niches like this, paid digital advertising. It takes someone with skills and experience that most business owners just don’t have. So hire an expert you can trust. The next question that’s often asked is, Well, how much money should I spend? Am I a business that could even benefit from paid digital advertising?

Matt Falcon: Basically, every company has at least some applications for digital marketing, whether it’s at the lowest hanging fruit of just paid search. Right?

If someone is actively seeking relevant services that your business provides, you want to make sure that you’re showing up near the top of that search engine results page that’s useful for almost every company. But then even if not that, whether it’s a YouTube ad or or Facebook, I mean, we’ve talked about some other tactics already today. I think there’s almost always at least some application for enhancing your voice online.

AnnMarie: And I think there is a misconception that it’s going to be wildly expensive and it doesn’t have to be. I mean, that’s the beauty of digital media, and that’s why we also recommend media like mass media, like TV and radio for certain clients. But the reason we love digital so much is because it’s so scalable. I mean, you can spend $100, you could spend $100,000. I think that what the key is, is identifying what does it cost to get a new customer and then how many customers do you want in a particular month?

And that can help you kind of determine your budget. If it only if you only need one new customer, maybe you only need 100 bucks. So I think but to your point to utilizing professionals who understand where you’re going to get the most for your money, I think is going to save you in the long run because we’re not going to be wasting dollars testing things that we already know don’t work for a particular vertical. But yeah. Any company, regardless of how big they are, regardless of if they’re just starting or if they’ve been in business for 20 years. You know, there are effective ways to use paid advertising anywhere in the journey.

Matt Falcon: I also think it’s helpful to think of a marketing professional as someone that’s there to kind of protect you from Facebook and Google. If you just log on and want to boost a post, create a simple campaign. These tools have come a really long way in enabling really any even moderately digitally savvy person to to do that, right? They want you to spend the money so they make it easy to spend the money.

This is where really the tracking comes in and having an expert kind of tracking template and making sure that you’re understanding where your money is going and what that is accomplishing on your back end of your website. That’s what protects you from just wildly overspending because Facebook made it easy and you’re seeing a lot of impressions and clicks. If you have that tracking in place, you can make sure that you’re making a sound investment.

Matt: Now I understand entirely. That is, it is easy for me to say find an expert you can trust. Hire an expert you can trust. But how do I actually do that, Matt? Well, let’s get into things you should be looking for with a paid digital advertising specialist. And really, anybody in the world of marketing, you want to be able to trust them and to build trust with a company that maybe you’re not familiar with personally. It all starts with honesty and transparency.

AnnMarie: One of the key foundational pillars of our business is, is really providing transparency into your analytics. The first thing that we ask a customer, I mean, obviously beyond what is your business objective is do you have Google Analytics on your website?

And then can we take a look at what that is and what’s going on in the back end? Because we want to be we want to bring our customers along with us on that journey so that they can be part of the decision making process throughout. We take a very conservative approach when we are utilizing paid advertising because we want to make sure that we’re understanding what’s working before we tell our client to put more money. So you’re.

Matt: Multiplying it? Yeah.

AnnMarie: Yeah. So it’s like, what are the tactics that are working? And we will actually show you on the back end the analytics that support that and really illustrate and educate them on how you get back to that return on investment. How are we how am I going to prove to you that the money that you put in, whether it’s 100 or 100,000, is generating more income for you? And that’s like the key component of us working with a new client?

Matt Falcon: Yeah, I think a helpful step if you’re vetting a marketing professional would be to ask for a sample of what reporting will look like and if that report is full of a bunch of stuff that you don’t understand, that’s a good sign right there that, you know, things aren’t maybe totally transparent. Yeah. So it’s really it’s not that complicated, right? Like, you should be able to get a report that is meaningful and demonstrates ultimately I gave this amount of money via management or hard costs. And this is what I’m getting and I think it’s actually valuable.

Matt: Being transparent is not something that I think many marketing agencies like to do, at least not fully transparent, because when you are fully transparent and you are genuinely honest, that includes telling customers, Hey, I made a mistake. I mean, we’re human. There are going to be mistakes.

You’re going to collect data and figure out what is working and what isn’t working. So you can right the ship. I think what our clients appreciate is if there is a mistake or if there is a new way of doing things, that we’re transparent and honest with them about it so that you can correct that and improve the services you’re delivering to your clients.

AnnMarie: We want to make sure our clients understand that of their total marketing budget. What part of that is a management fee and what part of that is actually going into Google or Facebook?

I think there are a lot of other marketing businesses in this business that will just kind of lump everything together and the client doesn’t really know how much of that’s going to the agency to run the campaign versus actually going into the market to find new customers. And so I think that’s another big red flag that clients need to be aware to ask that question.

Matt: That’s a good point.

Matt Falcon: Yeah. Any time. I think you should be able to request either an invoice that’s broken out by that that line item or to see the actual invoices from Google or Facebook or whoever, because it’s super important to understand how much of your money is actually going towards that.

Matt: This one is surprising, but it is kind of a red flag. If your marketing agency or your marketing expert is not willing to give you a monthly at least, or even a weekly standing appointment for them to review all your analytics, all the numbers with you so you fully understand where your money is going, how it’s working, what isn’t working, and what the next steps are. That is a giant red flag.

That is a giant red flag. If they’re just sending you a report, a PDF that’s 50 pages long and not giving you the respect or the time to go through it in detail.

AnnMarie: As a business ourselves, we’ve tried to come up with a standard format of a report that we can deliver to every single client because it’s easier for us to do on a monthly basis. And what we found is that’s just not realistic. Every single one of our reports is custom based upon that business’s key performance indicators or KPIs. And really also where they are in their business. Are you are they the owner of a countertop company and they don’t necessarily want to get in the weeds of how many impressions were delivered on every single platform?

Or maybe they’re the marketing director of a larger business that that’s really important to them. So I think it’s working with your marketing partner to determine like, what do you want delivered to?

Matt: It’s important as we talk about digital advertising to understand it is not a content marketing versus paid digital advertising strategy or options here that we’re talking about. You need both and they both complement and support each other in many different ways.

Matt Falcon: One of the big differences I think, is the audience that you’re reaching. So this doesn’t apply across all platforms. But take social media, for instance, right?

Anything that you post organically to your social media is basically going just to the people who already follow you, maybe some hashtag traffic or something, but essentially it’s people who are already familiar with your brand have made the decision to follow you and expect to get some kind of helpful.

Content out of out of that following you with the paid, it’s often your first introduction to a new person. So the messaging can be really different with that is a big critical difference there on the social media front.

AnnMarie: In terms of resources, it’s hard to say like what percent, but I would say that they definitely both need to coexist because you’re organic content is what’s going to establish credibility. We might be able to pay for a click, right? We can pay to get a customer to your website or we can pay for somebody to find your social media profile. But if there’s not great content there, to then capture that person’s attention and establish you as a credible expert in your service or the products that you offer, then that was a waste of money.

So I think one of the things when we start, people will hire us for a paid campaign and the first thing we say is, whoa, like let’s take a step back. Let’s look at your website. Is this even a place we want to send people and that and like and that that really is a testament to their organic content building, which takes time.

And it’s hard to whip all that up. So people will come and say they just want to pay for all this traffic. But like I think that that’s a waste of money if you haven’t spent the time and effort in building that foundational organic landing page.

Matt: I like to use this analogy that paid digital advertising. It’s like your paycheck, all right? As long as you’re working every week, you’re going to be collecting a paycheck. Just like as long as you’re running these effective ads, you’re going to be producing results.

You’re going to be making money and content, organic SEO content, blog articles, podcasts, video content, even content on social media, your content marketing strategy that is like real estate to your investment portfolio. It takes much longer for it to pay off, but once it does, the return is far greater than anything you could ever pay for. You need both. You need a weekly paycheck and you need a long term investment strategy. Continuing that analogy with your marketing call.

AnnMarie: On Friday or a prospective client call and they said, We need SEO, we just want you to come in and like fix the back end of your website. And I was like, Great, you know, we can definitely do that. It’s kind of like a one time thing. We’ll come through, we’ll kind of clean everything up for you.

But then I was like, How are you doing? Any paid ads? And she’s like, Well, no, we don’t want to invest in that right now. And I’m thinking, it’s going to take a really long time for people in Google to organically find your brand new website without us just paying a little bit to show up. I mean, I think that you can get there a lot faster if the proper benchmarks or best practices are in place. If you just put a little dollars behind getting it.

Matt Falcon: Yeah, the opportunity cost of waiting for your organic only strategy to pay dividends I think can be a lot higher than the cost of just investing in the.

Matt: The last question I want to address here is a big one, and that is how much should I spend? How much money should you spend on paid digital advertising.

Matt Falcon: And start small, especially on on social boosting a post you can get some decent response for 50 to $100, right? And so that’s what we like to recommend too, is just starting conservatively, finding what works and then building from there so you don’t have to go in with $100,000 investment.

You can go in at a number that makes you comfortable identify what’s working. That goes back to the tracking set up and then reinvest from there.

AnnMarie: It also comes back to, though, what is the value of a lifetime customer to your business? I mean, if if the value of a lifetime customer is a couple hundred bucks because they’re buying some gizmos or gadgets from your retail site, that’s that may not require as much. If you’re looking to $100,000 a new B2B client. Yeah, I mean, that’s that’s going to take a lot longer, a lot more nurturing. And what is that sales cycle? And so I think that those are all things that you need to take into consideration.

But what we love to do is go through the exercise of like, how do we take that lifetime value and back into all the way to the cost per click and how many clicks you need to get to your website to then convert a lead. How many times do we need to get rid of that lead to get them to be a customer?

And then how many purchases do we need that customer make to get that lifetime value? That’s where we start geeking out over return on investment. But and that to your point, Matt, is where the the analytics need to be in place in order to get to that point. And that’s where I think working with professionals that know how to implement all that is, is really valuable.

Matt Falcon: Yeah, that’s how you avoid just throwing stuff at the wall, right? Yeah, just burning money like is making sure that everything that you’re doing is trackable and you can really tie the value back to your bottom line.

Matt: And that’s just one of the many reasons why I recommend you find an expert you can trust. And that is key. That is crucial because marketing is foundational, it’s fundamental. Your business will not grow without effective marketing, and that marketing can come in many different forms.

There are many different ways to get to the same end goal, whether that be organic content you’re posting on social media or SEO content you’re posting on your website or paid digital advertising. Like we’ve talked about today on the podcast, it may just be referrals going to a networking group or talking to your grandma who loves spreading the word about your business.

Grandma Nola loves to promote all of that is marketing. It’s just different tactics to accomplish the end goals for your overall marketing strategy. And that is why it is so important that you do it right. You can’t afford to miss with your marketing.

You just can’t afford to miss. It’s going to cost you far more money in the long run than simply doing it right from the start. And we hope you learned a lot. Took a lot away from this podcast here on Midwest Mindset, on paid digital advertising.

I appreciate Matt and Marie of Refine Marketing. They are experts that we trust. I know you can trust them too. We have their link and all the details to contact them in the show notes.

Thanks so much for joining us here this week on Midwest Mindset and we’ll see you on the next episode.