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Building a Prospecting Pipeline

Listen to today's episode to learn how to build an effective lead prospecting strategy on Facebook and Instagram. Prospecting refers to finding completely new customers - getting people who have never heard of you to buy their first product on your site.

Episode Transcript — Building a Prospecting Pipeline


00:00 Announcer: You're listening to The Spend $10K a Day Podcast, brought to you by the performance marketing experts at MuteSix. This is your source for cutting-edge insight into the world of online advertising. From the team with more Facebook case studies than any other agency on the planet. Here are your hosts, Steve Weiss and Stewart Anderson.

00:26 Stewart Anderson: Okay. We're live now. Okay.

00:28 Steve Weiss: Alright. So, we're live right now, we're actually recording a Spend 10K a Day Podcast on Facebook Live, so if you guys haven't noticed already, there's something abnormal about this episode of the podcast. You have two beautiful men who are actually you're seeing on camera, which is obviously a lot different. If you're not creeped out by now, you're still watching, we have a pretty awesome episode for you.

00:47 SA: I am predicting that most of our audience is probably creeped out. You're also... If you check this out on our Facebook page, this video, you can, you can get any Facebook Live videos generally on a page, you can check this out and see me screwing up the episode at the very start of the video. So, it's always good to see. But today, we are talking about something pretty exciting, how to build a good prospecting strategy on Facebook and Instagram, it's something we get asked about a lot.

01:16 SW: Pretty much every single day. It's almost, "How do I make prospecting work?" How does... This word prospecting, and the word prospecting means is, how do I get someone who's never heard of me, who's never seen me before, who's never actually done anything to engage in my product, how do I magically get them to pull out their credit card and buy?

01:40 SA: Yeah. It's generally an important thing for many businesses, acquiring customers and such, so we understand why a lot of people ask about it. It's obviously gonna vary from business to business, but there are a lot of core principles that guiding an acquisition strategy no matter what the business is. Yeah, I think one of the things you need to do before... Especially before you start spending money, is trying to break down from a top of funnel, middle of funnel, bottom of funnel strategy kind of like, what does that look like from a storytelling standpoint? If you were telling your story to somebody who has never heard of you, and then to somebody who has heard from you or heard of you but doesn't know a whole lot, and then to somebody who has heard a lot about your product but hasn't bought yet, what would you say to all three of those people if you're in the room with them? That's I think where we need to start.

02:35 SW: Yeah. I think elevating on that topic is like what is the customer journey or how someone's gonna buy your product? I think these strategic ways of thinking really feed into a good prospecting strategy. Obviously, I always try and take myself or my family or my friends and just wonder, how would they buy my product? So for instance, are they reading a piece of content first and then googling it, and then they're getting remarked to on Facebook, and then making a purchase? You also have to sell out and say that the first impression or the first time they've seen your product, they're not gonna buy. So, when you say like, "Oh, I wanna be profitable on my first impression or first click from a prospecting campaign," that's probably not gonna happen. That's most likely not gonna happen. If you've never reached a user, if you've never heard of them, in most cases, unless you're an amazing brand that's just as widely known, has a huge amount of brand authority, most likely... In this case, what we're talking about is companies that are just launching on Facebook. A great example of this is actually a brand that we just started working with called Butter Cloth, a brand-new brand on top of Facebook.

03:43 SA: Yeah. I mean they're an exciting company, I think they got some great content. I think you've brought a really good point, talking to people you know and figuring out, "Okay. If I was to sell this product to you, my mom or my sister or my brother, what will be the things I say?" And I think this is also where competitive research comes in, too, 'cause sometimes let's say, you didn't wanna think about like, "Okay. If I was to sell this thing to my family... " What if I just want to figure out the people that are in the market for this right now or would be in the market for this?

04:10 SA: If I go online and I search on places like Yahoo Answers or other places where people talk about things, what are they saying about this type of product or the problem that this type of product solved? What are the resources that are out there online for people? Is it... And as you said, is it content? Is there a lot of content out there that gets people into a funnel? If it's a widely sold product, if it's a type of clothing or something like that, look at the other clothing providers in that space that are offering similar products. What are the things that they're leading with? What are they promoting the most? It's gonna tell you a lot about what's selling at their stores.

04:44 SW: Yup. What is the solution to their problem?

04:46 SA: Yeah.

04:46 SW: What specific solution, I think that's really the most important thing. What solution are you providing to the market? Once you figured out that solution, now there's a lot of ways of messaging or talking about that solution, so for this episode, we're gonna talk about top-of-funnel strategies. Number one, publishing. Publishing is huge. We live in a day and age where you can reach out to a four business entrepreneur magazine, any of these various publications and say, "Hey, I wanna pay you money to write about this topic."

05:17 SA: Yep.

05:18 SW: And they are more than happy to take your money and write about that topic. And that's hugely valuable 'cause now you have what you call a presale page, a form of social proof to run as a Facebook ad, as a Taboola ad, as a Google ad, you could take this form of social proof and really use it to build your brand.

05:38 SA: Yeah. I mean it's leveraging the brand of somebody else to build credibility for yourself, it's a fantastic strategy. It's a really smart thing to do, top of funnel, and you can take all the traffic that comes from those sites, build on it, just around them.

05:49 SW: Yup. So, number one, if you're looking for a new top-of-funnel strategy, you're probably running a lot of direct linking to your store, you're running a lot of dynamic product, ads, a lot of video, start really thinking about how do you do publishing. How do you start direct linking to content and then re-market using like a Sniply all the people that are coming to that specific content piece. Number two, let's talk about bidding strategies. So we have this thing where we seize in creatives when we do top of funnel. We'd like to actually run both paper engagement campaigns, PPE, video view campaigns, not at large scale but when we wanna seize in creatives top of funnel, we believe and we also see from other data that someone who has engaged with an ad or 20, 30, 40 people, we get shares, comments that usually converts better than someone who's never seen an ad before. So it's really important to seize in your creatives top of funnel and then transfer those post IDs that already have engagement to all your new prospecting audiences.

06:55 SA: Yeah, I agree. I think we should probably talk about audiences as well, bidding audiences. I mean if we're talking about the mechanics when I am putting together a prospecting strategy, if it's a new brand it's obviously tougher. You don't have existing data to go on your own. There's no pixel data; you can't create a lookalike off of purchasers. You're coming up with your initial list. You're gonna focus a lot on interested demographic targeting. You'd be doing a little bit of guessing, but if you want to quickly get to the point where you can use your own data to create audiences, there's certain ad units you can use that are gonna make it easier. Video views top of funnel, you can create video retargeting. That's a great way to build a remarketing audience initially from a prospecting campaign. Steve, talked to me a little bit more about, you're one of the best Facebook ad guys in the world, what would you say is the best audience strategy if you're building your initial targeting criteria?

08:00 SW: So again, wow, Stew, I'm blushing. [laughter] See it on camera. That's pretty. A Lot of things to be really good at in this world, you could be the best at playing basketball or changing tires but I got chosen, my Captain Planet skills is being the best at Facebook. Go figure. But as far as to answer your question, Stew, initial strategies as far on the audience side, we have number one, obviously publishing. We have number two, seasoning our creatives, and then I think 2A is which audiences do we target when we launch a product. Facebook has one of the strongest ad algorithms on the planet. On the planet. Taking in billions and billions of requests at a second and figuring out what goes on what newsfeed. Amazing. I Think Facebook's gone to a point where you don't need to be razor-sharp in your targeting to really see an impactful converger. I know it's important, obviously it's important. Everybody say, "Oh, targeting's not important." But at the same, don't be very strategic with your targeting immediately once you launch a campaign. Obviously if you don't have any other data, you don't have any audience data, you don't have any e-mails.

09:08 SW: Number one, target people in locations. Number two, target interests. Interest, obviously, people who like your competitor brands. I like to go very open initially and then I like to narrow it down, so I'm always a big proponent of targeting locations, doing as much open audience targeting as possible if I have nothing to build lookalikes off of. So I've had a lot of success over the years, kinda allowing Facebook to find the people most likely to do the conversion action that I want whether that's watching a video, whether that's engaging, whether that's buying, whether that's viewing content. I've had a lot of amazing success getting Facebook to actually find those people most likely to do those actions.

09:50 SA: It's a really, really good point. I think it's a lot of thing. Even experienced marketers miss out a lot on that, 'cause the natural tendency of marketers is to want to control. They wanna be precise. Like, "Oh man, I can set all these criteria and have a very specific set of targeting parameters." And the way that Facebook works is if you over-select, if you're overly targeted in your criteria, you're likely to get worse results; you wanna actually keep it relatively open. I think, not to mention the specific clients 'cause we can't, but we have a client whose market is New York City and it's a specific area or a specific type of person in New York City. And so what we recommended to them is the best thing that you can do to get good results is not to actually go beyond just targeting people in New York City. If you're staring out when we're getting baseline data, the best thing to do is actually set open open targeting in the New York City area and not go deeper than that, and results improved.

10:54 SW: Yeah, I think that goes back into the the main premise of the topic is to use Facebook to its best advantage.

11:00 SA: Exactly.

11:00 SW: Number one, publishing. Number two, obviously audiences and conversion objectives. And obviously in that is allowing Facebook to do its work. I think number three, when you're launching a product that's never... Has no priority in this data is you wanna get that product as many hands as humanly possible. So this, I always like to say what kinda price testing can we do to really launch this product? Split testing, discounting strategies whether it's "buy one get one-half off," that's worked a lot better than saying "here's 30% off." So number three, I always like to say if you're running a lot of top of funnel, and this podcast episode is pretty... I always say we act like we're saying this is a new product but this is, a lot of these strategies and principles can be applied even if you have current existing product and just wanna do prospecting more efficiently. But number three is price testing. Always be very thoughtful about the impact that discounting has across your whole funnel because it really does have an impact.

12:05 SA: Yeah.

12:06 SW: Especially now with dark post not being dark anymore. [chuckle]

12:09 SA: Yeah.

12:10 SW: So always be very thoughtful there, but I think we've seen is that we've had a lot of success on prospecting by just changing up our price testing strategies. Remember, people get numb to seeing the same thing, the same discount, so maybe what you do is you come out with a new product or some type of new price testing strategy. Buy one get one-half off, 20% off. Or, I don't know what that is. I'm not a big proponent of always doing that, but that could be one way to bring new people into your funnel. Remember, when we say prospecting, I always think of what creative ways can I bring new people in my funnel that might have seen my ad but didn't actually engage. So, I didn't get you the first time with whatever crazy things I was doing on the newsfeed so this is my second shot, and I gotta figure out what type of creative is gonna disrupt you on your phone while you're using the bathroom or while you're driving your car, wherever you're at I gotta figure out how to disrupt you. You know?

13:02 SA: Yeah. I think the other thing that a lot of people do poorly with discounts, 'cause I think we probably mentioned a dozen times on Perry's podcast like, don't discount often. Save your discounts for very, very specific times or for very specific tactics. A lot of people lead with discounts, which I think is a really, really bad strategy. They hit you with 20% off your first order immediately. And yeah, I mean, is it gonna work sometimes for some people? Yeah, of course. But what usually happens is, sometimes when I see those ads and I've never seen an ad from somebody before, and the first thing I'm seeing is, "Hey, come shopping, get 20% off your first order." I was like, "Well, I don't even know what you sell."

13:44 SW: No, no. And I think...

13:45 SA: And it's like, why do I even want 20% off? But the other bad thing is, if it doesn't work, where do you go from there? There is nothing unless you wanna discount more. If that discount doesn't work, you're out of luck.

14:00 SW: You really have a good question, nah, not question, a good topic of interest is the expectations. I think expectations are so important. Now let's say that that customer has bought from your 20% off co, well, the next time they see you in the newsfeed, they want more discounts. You feed them one discount, they want more. There's always an appetite for more and more discount, so I think don't be scared to not discount especially with Q1 coming up, Q1 is not a discount season.

14:28 SA: Nope.

14:28 SW: People have spent all their money on Black Friday, spent all their money in the holidays. We're gonna do a full episode of Q1 strategies but remember, you want people coming into your funnel who see you the first time and not seeing a discount. Those are the users that are gonna respond even more, even more when they do see a discount 'cause then they're gonna see, "Wow. This company never discounts and I see a discount now. This is amazing."

14:54 SA: And you can use the bottom funnel. So if you have somebody who's in there and they're coming back to the website a lot, you just need one little nudge to get them over the line. Then maybe you're just like, "Okay, well, hey, let's throw you 10%, 15% off," and they're like, "Oh, okay." Boom. Credit card out and they've bought. Sometimes, I would even say that's not even the tactic to use, but it's like you can't lead with discounts is a really... I think for the vast majority of companies out there, it's just not a good strategy.

15:21 SW: Cool. So we're gonna do a quick recap. Prospects and strategies for 2017, 2018 I suppose, but number one, publishing, direct linking to articles that you get in trustful news sources. Number one, very important. People get numbed, they're being hit with direct response, direct response, direct response. Great way to bring people in the funnel whether it's Facebook ads, Taboola ads, Outbrain, Revcontent, etcetera. Number two, price testing, making sure that people who are seeing your ad are seeing unique versions and varieties of how your product is being sold. Number three, conversion objectives. Telling Facebook to run PPE, Pay Per Engagement; or video view ads to new content that you're launching. Seasoning, we call seasoning your creative. Make sure that you're getting engagement from people who engage. And maybe these people who engage, maybe they don't click over but they engage and they're bringing a form of social proof to your product.

16:16 SA: Yeah. Awesome. I think that's a pretty good list of items if you're out there looking to either be more efficient with your existing marketing efforts, prospecting for new customers, or you're starting a new brand and starting prospecting from scratch. This will be a good start, and it'll help you get better results. Steve, anything else to add before we jump off?

16:37 SW: Just a couple more audiences that have been very impactful for us this holiday season. I always talk about some of the audiences that our team has gone to convert. Number one, Instagram audiences. So now creating Instagram audiences out of your Instagram account or building audience data off other people's Instagram accounts, that could be easily shared with your account. We've done that where we worked with other influencers who have a very niche demographic and we've built audiences off their accounts, they're sharing with us. People who've engaged on Instagram, very important. Instagram engagers. People who are fans of Facebook profiles, just fans, you could build audiences now on Facebook fans. Those are couple audiences that we've actually gotten some good success with, just engagers and audiences on both Facebook and Instagram this holiday season. I really think that prospecting is gonna be the most important topic and we can see a lot of evolution of prospecting. I think that over the next year, we're gonna see a lot more tools coming in to the market of being able to measure your success on your prospecting campaigns down funnel. I think right now that it's very difficult to understand if you're doing a good job top of funnel, if you have great content, it's just really hard because those top-of-funnel campaigns just aren't profitable yet.

17:54 SA: Yeah, it's a good point. Again, lots of information, lots for people to work on. This has been another episode of Spend 10K a Day. We're gonna be back again. Our next topic to be discussed is strategies for Q1, Q1 of 2018 is coming up and it's gonna be time for people to keep selling after this holiday season. We're looking forward to seeing you again next time.

18:14 SW: Just because it's Q1 doesn't mean we're gonna stop all the fun. The fun just keeps going [chuckle] and going and going. Thanks, guys. Have a great one.


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