Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing & More with Pam.
My guest today is Matt Brodie from Brodie Agency, a digital marketer, and he does all paid advertising. In 2020 he decided to branch out on his own, and that’s when he started his agency.
Today we talk about paid media, and what does it take to run successful Facebook ads.
In this episode:
- What are the most common misconceptions about Facebook ads and paid ads in general?
- How can businesses, including small businesses, achieve their goals with paid Facebook ads?
- How can marketers leverage different optimizing objectives to run Facebook ads?
- What makes running successful Facebook ads difficult?
- What is the proper approach to Facebook ads, and what is the hidden reality businesses should pay attention to?
- How can businesses and marketing departments use Facebook ads to perform research and testing?
- What is the role of the copy and design in terms of running successful Facebook ads?
- What are the benefits of hiring a professional to do paid ads?
- How important is the budget size for successful Facebook ads, and how should businesses advertise on a small or limited budget?
- What is the optimal time for running a Facebook ad?
- How can Facebook ads be used for sales, and how for awareness campaigns?
- How can marketers learn about pay media, and where should they start their journey?
Quotes from the episode:
“If you’re not selling something in demand, no ad will magically make it work if people don’t want what you have to sell. People have to want what you have to offer.”
“It’s not necessarily so much that you require a large budget as you require the acquisition of data. There is a correlation inherently with that, between how much budget you need versus time. If you’re working with a small budget, it’s going to take longer to build data, and then it’s going to take you longer to optimize.”
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Big hello from Portland, Oregon. Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing & More with Pam. I have a super unique guest today, Matt Brodie from Brodie Agency, and he will be talking about paid media. Again, paid media. It’s not something that it’s my forte, and I don’t make a lot of pay effort, so I am excited, super, super excited to have a conversation with Matt about paid efforts.
So let’s get started. So Matt, welcome to my show!
Matt Brodie: Thank you. Thank you for having me. I’m excited to be here. I’ll be honest. This is the first podcast that I’ve ever been on. So you’re popping the podcast cherry, if you will, so thank you.
Pam Didner: All right. So, uh, we started working together on my client’s paid media effort, but I don’t know you that well. So can you tell our listeners a little bit about your experience and what you do specifically?
Matt Brodie: Sure. So, yeah, I mean, I’m a digital marketer. Getting a little bit more specific, I do all paid advertising. Right. That’s kind of the difference between you and me.
Anywhere that anyone sees an ad – whether in their Facebook newsfeed or before a YouTube video, in their inbox, email, or on Google – when they’re searching for things anywhere paid ad is placed digitally is what my expertise is in.
I went to college for marketing, and I was just always kind of interested in the area. And, you know, eventually, I found my way into working at a digital advertising agency where I worked there for about two years and got to see the ins and outs of it and worked with hundreds of different clients. So it gave me a lot of perspective into what businesses do, what works, and what doesn’t. From there, I’ve just kind of been hooked. In 2020, with the pandemic, is when I decided to branch out on my own. That’s when I started Brodie Agency.
Pam Didner: I see. So, uh, we kind of follow a similar path. You work in a big agency for a while, and I work in a big enterprise for a while. And I also left to stand on my own feet. So right there, there you go. So can I ask you a specific question about Facebook pay ads? Many small businesses do Facebook paid ads. Is it true that, um, you do pay ads, then people will come?
Matt Brodie: I mean, I will say off the bat. No.
Pam Didner: I am very happy when you said that. Even though you are doing that for a living, you are very honest.
Matt Brodie: Well, the problem, I think, is there’s a misconception that you just turn on Facebook ads, spend some money, and you’ll see your return. Um, and that’s just not the case, and it’s not realistic. Especially Facebook has a simpler product from Facebook ads, which boosts posts that I think many businesses – small business owners – utilize. They’re an effective form of advertising that’s pretty cheap, especially if you don’t know a lot about it. But your options are limited, and it’s, you know, it’s not going to be something that you could scale to where you’re living off of running ads for your business by boosting posts,
The long and short of it is that it’s not something that is, it is just as simple as turning on and walk away and spending some money, and you’re going to make $5 back for every dollar you spend. To achieve that level of success, it takes, you know, a lot of optimizing, a lot of time, a lot of understanding of what you’re doing, and frankly, probably a pretty good investment up front to build some, some data.
Pam Didner: Yeah, I 100% agree with you. If you will, I did some experimenting with, uh, Facebook pay ads, which was about three or four years ago. And I tried to launch kind of like a physical workshop in Portland. Right. And so, I wanted to see if people will be within the Portland area or the Seattle area. If I do Facebook pay ads, will people come to my workshop? And, uh, I spend close to $3,000 to do optimization. And I got probably about 15 attendees that pay.
So if you calculate that, it’s almost like $250 per attendee in terms of registrants. The workshop itself is about $399, but I paid $250 literally to just get one person to register, which is quite a bit of money. And if you take that cost per acquisition–$250 per person– and then if you want to, all of a sudden increase your number of the attendees to your workshop, say to a hundred, that number goes up substantially.
So my walk away from that experiment is the cost per acquisition, especially down to the funnel where people will buy–not just like the impression, not just the cost per like a lead that comes to your website. I’m talking about the cost that people will convert and buy. If you take into that detail level, the cost per acquisition is substantially higher.
So, and I have not done any kind of Facebook pay ads ever since. So that leads to my next questions. What are some of the hidden realities and challenges that people need to know before doing Facebook paid ads?
Matt Brodie: Sure. Uh, you know, I’d say one hidden reality that people will come to find is that they take a lot of time and require a lot of attention. It’s not something that you can set and forget. It’s also not something that you can just set up a Facebook ads account and start running ads on if you don’t know what you’re doing. Because there are so many aspects of the Facebook ad platform, all the different objectives correlate to the different objectives that a business might have – whether if you want to drive conversions, purchases of a product, leads for say, maybe you’re a roofing company. Um, or if you’re just, you know, looking for top-line website traffic.
So there’s, there are different optimizing objectives that you can leverage on Facebook and knowing how to utilize them and optimize towards them effectively and efficiently is not something that anybody’s born with. You have to learn that. Um, so I would just say that that’s one hidden reality that people will come to realize pretty quickly, especially in light of there being gurus out there that make it seem like anybody can learn Facebook ads. And anybody can do it and make a killing from it. Um, they take a lot of time and frankly, it could be a full-time job in and of itself.
Pam Didner: One hidden reality is that it’s very hard to run Facebook pay ads as a small business owner. It’s not something they can take on and do. It’s better to work with an expert or know how to do that well on that platform. Is that correct?
Matt Brodie: Yeah. You know, I think the key is doing so efficiently. Right. As you said, you could run your campaign, but you may have an incredibly high cost per acquisition versus, you know, if you pay someone who knows what they’re doing, of course, that requires an investment to pay someone. But if they know what they’re doing and are good at what they do, they can drive down those costs per acquisition. Then they could wind up paying for them.
Pam Didner: Got it. So what do you think about creative and copy, and how important are they in running Facebook ads.
Matt Brodie: This is a double-edged sword. Um, I’ll say it’s incredibly important, right? The ad has to be well put together. It has to be attention-grabbing, and it has to make you stop scrolling through your feed, and that’s done through copy. But more importantly, than copy is the content of the ad. If it’s a video that it’s, you know, a compelling video, it captures your attention in the first few seconds.
But with that, there’s a little bit of a caveat to that at the end of the day, regardless of how good the ad is, and even regardless of how good you are as a paid media buyer and driving efficiencies, you’re only going to be as successful as what your product or services are. Right. If you’re not selling something that’s in demand, if people don’t want what you have to sell, there’s no person who’s going to magically make it work on Facebook. There’s no ad that’s going to magically make it work. People have to want what you have to offer.
Pam Didner: Yeah. So how do you know that? Is there any way to do some sort of research and assume that you are building a brand new product and you don’t know what the demand is out there? And is there any way to use the Facebook pay ads or Facebook advertising to test it?
Matt Brodie: So you can certainly utilize Facebook as a means of testing may be demand for a product or service or a particular idea. But I would say that before you get to the point of spending advertising dollars, there’s probably some research that you can utilize and leverage upfront, just to even see if it’s worth it. Even trying to test, for example, if you’re a drop shipper and want to look at running a new product on Shopify, um, you know, you can look at what’s trending on Alibaba or AliExpress. You know, you could look at Google Search Trends to see what people are commonly searching for what maybe is getting an uptick in search volume, an in-demand product in the now.
So there’s a lot you could do beforehand, but you will learn pretty quickly. Maybe not so quickly, but over time, running on Facebook ads, if something’s going to work on it, assuming you’re doing it correctly and you’re doing it efficiently. You have good ads, um, if the product sucks at the end of the day, it’s not gonna be successful.
Pam Didner: That’s not going to work. And another thing I will ask you specifically is, do you need a big budget to run Facebook pay ads? And also, how long should you run the ads before you can see the results? I know these two questions are generic. But I want to get some thoughts in terms of, “Hey, do we need to run ads?” I know that you can run a boost ad for $5 a week. Right. But if you want to do it systematically, you want to show the results. Do you have a range of the budget you might, and also a specific length of time?
Matt Brodie: Yeah, so it’s, it’s very situational. I will say though, that—
Pam Didner: A range, like I said, the range of the price—
Matt Brodie: It’s not necessarily so much that you require a large budget as much as it requires the acquisition of data. And so there is a correlation inherently with that, between how much budget you need versus time. If you’re working with a small budget, it’s going to just take you longer to build data, and then it’s going to take you longer to optimize. So, you know, you could launch what winds up being a successful campaign with a budget of 10, you know, $20 a day.
And, you know, slowly, gradually with that $10-20 spend a day accumulate data from people that clicked on the ad and went to the website, maybe took some action on the website. Um, and over time you’ll have enough people that have, you know, maybe filled out a form, fill or added an item to their cart that you could then leverage that data to build lookalike audiences or retargeting segments.
So you don’t need a big budget, but you need, if you’re working with small budgets, you need time. When, you know, when you’re running a hundred dollars a day or $500 a day or a thousand dollars a day, you can generate the data that’s required to build a lookalike audience or retargeting segment much faster.
Pam Didner: So, like, If you want to set up a Facebook paid ad and run a good period of time, let’s assume you need to have a budget daily. And depending on what that is–let’s assume it’s $20–then if you run it for a whole year, the budget needs to be around $7,400. Is that right?
Matt Brodie: Yeah. You know, I mean, blanketly, yes. But, the budget that you start with for testing is always going to be small. The purpose of advertising on Facebook is if you’re going to spend a dollar, you want to make at least two back, three back, four back, five back that’s the whole goal is to be for every dollar you spend on your ads to be making some money back. Um, so if that is happening, if for every dollar you spend, you make five back, spend as much money as possible. Right? Who cares if you spend a thousand dollars a day if you’re making 5,000 back.
And so you could start with spending $10 a day to accumulate learning, and then after two months, you see that you have some success, and you see some profitability. So now you go to $20 a day and then $30 a day. And as long as you continue to see the return, you can continue to increase the budget. It’s all relative when you compare that to, let’s say you’re not selling a product, you’re just trying to drive awareness—
Pam Didner: See, that’s another thing, right? If you drive awareness is very hard to quantify your ROI by placing ads on Facebook.
Matt Brodie: But if you’re, if your whole objective is to drive awareness, you don’t necessarily care about selling anything, then yes, you could have a pretty set daily budget, and it doesn’t necessarily matter how much it is that you spend. Obviously, the less you spend, the fewer results you’ll see. And the more you spend, the more results you see, but that’s pretty much up to you. The issue of budget and spend and scaling mostly has to do with conversion-oriented campaigns.
Pam Didner: On a separate note for marketers who like to grow their pay media knowledge and experience, how would you suggest they start? If this is something that they can do on their own? What is your thought on that?
Matt Brodie: Yeah. You know, I think it helps to work at an agency just because, you know, from my experience, you wind up working on so many campaigns in such a short period of time and campaigns with different clients who are in different industries. So you see a lot very quickly, um, and that helps. But, you know, on the other side of that is you’re also only exposed to the agency way, which, which may not necessarily be how things kind of operate in the real world.
Um, I’d say you can teach yourself. A lot of what I know today is a result of me teaching myself. The only thing with that is that you have to be cognizant of people trying to sell courses, gurus out there who are claiming that they have the strategy that wins on Facebook or any paid media and that they’re selling it to you.
So, you know, you have to think of it, “if you have such a strategy, that’s so great. Why are you selling it to me? And why are you paying for an ad to try to sell it to me?” So I would just say take things with a grain of salt. Try to find free information. A lot of it is available online. If you just Google things about how to run paid ads. Many videos on YouTube are quality, and many of them may be from gurus who have courses, but just take it with a grain of salt.
You know, you might watch a 10-minute video and find a minute here in a minute there that has quality content in it, despite the fact that they’re a guru that’s trying to sell you something.
Pam Didner: That’s good to know. Very, very good. So, a couple of things I learned today by talking with you, and I want to do a quick summary for my listeners.
Number one is if you want to run the Facebook pay ads and do it on your own, the chances are you can, but there is a very steep learning curve that you have to overcome. It’s nice to find somebody who knows the platform well have that in-depth knowledge to work with. And I 100% agree with that. When I ran my first ad, I worked with somebody specifically to get that done.
Another thing is for any kind of pay ads, um, the product is very important. Whatever you are selling: the product, the quality of the product, the services that you offer, it is very, very critical along with the copy and the creative. You need to pay attention to that, especially if you want to run the pay ads. Your content needs to be very much top-notch before you even want to invest money in that.
Another thing that you share with us is in terms of the budget. And the budget can be small and big, but it uses that dollar from the perspective of acquiring the data and then using the data to optimize it.
Another takeaway, the last one is, if you want to grow your knowledge you can take a course, but, um, you also can, uh, make an effort to learn on your own, but the most important thing is to have an opportunity to do it and be in the trenches. Anything else you wanted to add in terms of my takeaway, Matt?
Matt Brodie: Those are spot on. I think that the last one is, is it? It’s like anything you have to do it. You have to try it. You have to get in there and spend some money, run some ads, see what works, see what doesn’t, all while, you know, continuing to do research and study. But it’s like anything, you know, practice makes perfect?
Pam Didner: Yup. I 100% agree with you. It’s great to have you on my show. And I have one silly question I want to ask you–actually, you can choose to answer either one of them. What is the most useless telling you have, or do you have a ridiculous go in your life?
Matt Brodie: Hmm, I’ll go with a ridiculous goal.
Pam Didner: okay! Share with us.
Matt Brodie: Starting the agency that I did just in 2020, you know, right now it’s very small. It’s very boutique, but I’ve, you know, I could see it in my head. Like there’s no reason why this can’t be a million dollar a month, $10 million a month agency. And you know, it’s, it’s farfetched from where I am right now. Um, but I’ve always pictured myself as running a business and running a business successfully. And that being how I kind of make my mark on this world. So this is having success so far, and if I, if I can grow it to such a scale, that that would be, that would be my ridiculous goal.
Pam Didner: Okay. Very good. So I wish you the best of luck. A couple of years down the road, you can come back to my podcast and share your experience and journey with us and tell us how you are doing with your ridiculous goal.
Matt Brodie: I would love to. Yeah.
Pam Didner: Thank you so much, Matt, for joining us, and so happy to have you on my show.