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You’re Playing a Full Funnel Game, Start Thinking Like It

Today, on the Spend $10k a Day Podcast, Susana is joined by MuteSix's Chief Strategy Officer, Moody Nashawaty. Tune in to learn the 3 things you need to focus on to get scale quickly. Paid acquisition is a full funnel strategy, focus on these 3 things to make the biggest impact.

Episode Transcript — You’re Playing a Full Funnel Game, Start Thinking Like It

Speaker 1: 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 is your host Susana Magaret.

Susana: Hey, spenders. Welcome to the Spend $10K a Day podcast. My name is Susana Magaret, one of the campaign managers here at Mutesix. With me, again, is our chief of strategy Moody Nashawaty. Hey, Moody.

Moody: Hey. How's it going?

Susana: Good. We're back here in Santa Monica talking about our favorite topic Facebook ads. I'm really excited today. Are you excited?

Moody: Yeah. I'm really excited.

Susana: You sound really excited.

Moody: No, no. I'm really excited. Also it's nice. It's really nice outside. Guys, Santa Monica is beautiful. If you haven't been out here come see say hi to our office. Come walk in and see what we're doing here. It would be great to have you.

Susana: Come in at sunset too. You can see the sunset here.

Moody: You can. You can see the ocean from our office. Anyway, let's get back to it.

Susana: So I'm real excited because today we're talking about what really matters when it comes to your Facebook advertising strategy. We're going to talk about the things you need to focus on to get scale quickly.

Moody: Yeah. That's right. You know what? People come up to me all of the time. They're like, "What are those key things I need?" When you're thinking about sports and a coach being able to mentor an athlete and giving them those key things, those key principles or key things to focus on to really make an impact quickly, that's what we're here for. That's what we do. I always look at paid scale in ads. It's a full funnel thing. You have to focus on multiple areas. There's an analogy that comes up all of the time. It's like a triathlon. When you're running an Ironman ... which by the way I did some research. Ironman is ... Did you know it's 2.4 miles of swimming, it's 112 miles of bicycling and then it's another 26 mile marathon?

Susana: Wow.

Moody: So if you ever wanted to run an Ironman, that's what you have to do.

Susana: So yeah. You need some qualifications to get in on that, I bet.

Moody: Yeah. It's crazy. It's absolutely crazy. Anyway, I get this analogy and it makes so much sense. Essentially, when you're looking at a full funnel strategy ... when you're looking at spending dollars on Facebook to earn $5 back and you want to basically scale at a profit, you have to look at the things that matter and tweak them in every single way to line them up to get you that return. The Ironman analogy makes so much sense because it's got three parts. Right? You got the bicycle ride. You've got to swim. And then you've got the run. If you're going to do great and work on your time, there's only so much time you can spend on each part of the triathlon. Each leg you can only get such a great time and train so hard before you're lacking on one or the other things. So with that time, you want to optimize where you focus on.

Moody: With Facebook, the three things that matter, your creative, your media buying and then your funnel. This is assuming you've got a great product. So again three things, creative, then the media buying and then the funnel where they make their decision and pull out their wallet and actually buy. So we're going to discuss those three things today, get a little bit into the details and the weeds of really those ... the biggest lowest hanging fruit and biggest opportunities in each part, where if you focus on just those portions, you can get the biggest impact that matters. Because at the end of the day, you want your conversion rate to be or your roll-outs to be, your return on ad spend to be 5X, at least. It's definitely doable. But definitely not, if these three things are lacking in any way.

Susana: Yeah. So essentially you're finding the points in the strategy to make it more efficient over a bird's eye perspective of the funnel.

Moody: Yeah. Exactly. So the first one is creative. Creative is really important. It's that first instance where someone is getting introduced to your brand. The people, I imagine listening to this podcast, are probably brands that make ... still have a lot of acquisition strategies to do. So they're usually running into cold audiences and they're trying to drum up demand. So when you're thinking about creative, you're looking at a couple things. One if it's a multi SKU product like an apparel company, a shoe company. They sell shirts or sometimes makeup and skincare ... It can sometimes go ... it can fit into that.

Moody: But really we're looking at apparel companies. You're going to want to have, first of all, your unique selling points. The things that ... the why do people make decisions to buy your product. You got to focus on those amazing parts of your product. Is it a really cool jacket? You need lifestyle content really showcasing what that could be. It's got to be a mirror to the audience, so that way when they're looking at it, they're not seeing something that's not ... that's unattainable. They should be able to ... It's almost like aspirational. So when you're creating content for a multi SKU product, you want to think about, first off, the design style of all the imagery. The more impactful or beautiful the imagery is, the more it'll catch the eye, which is really, really important.

Susana: So branding is equally as important as a good product.

Moody: Yeah. Branding is ... A lot of people like to pooh-pooh, oh, branding isn't a big thing. But branding makes an impact. Having beautiful imagery, having a beautiful product, beautiful people wearing and showcasing that product, it totally makes an impact. It's really important. The other thing is you can hack this. You can go and visit your competitors. Go add things to cart, see what ads they're running to you and pay attention to the engagement. So the engagement tells you the clue. How much are they spending? Is there a lot of engagement? Is there little engagement?

Moody: Actually, this is going to changed in a couple months. So Facebook ... I don't know if you heard this. But Facebook is going to release all of the ads of pages running and give it open to the public. So you'll be able to see your competitors exact ads and how they take different shots and showcase different products and you'll see what they're running.

Susana: Do you think that's going to make the space more competitive?

Moody: It could. I think that it's interesting because you can already see a lot of things but having it be so available and easy to do will basically make it so, yeah, more people should ... will be competing having that intel.

Susana: I also think it'll encourage companies to be ... for lack of a better word, more authentic, more genuine.

Moody: Yeah. You got to be careful with your content because anyone can see it now and that means the media can see it. Anyone who might want to take it apart can see it. You can't ... there's no ... which means that a lot of bad advertisers will go away which is great for us.

Susana: Yeah. Not that they were much of an issue to begin with.

Moody: Yeah. That's true. But that means new inventory which is great. I love new inventory, lower CPMs. It's going to be awesome. So yeah, getting creative right, focusing on beautiful imagery. Then the second part of that when you're focusing on single SKUs or even multi SKUs in some ways, there's got to be a salesmanship to it. You got to know the problems you're solving. Even if it's a beautiful shirt, you're solving a problem. Someone's looking for style. They're looking for more than just clothing to wear. They want clothing that represents who they are and who they're trying to be.

Susana: Yeah. Identifiable. It's an identity.

Moody: 100%. So you got to think about that. The other part is what other value points are there to these products that aren't being showcased in your creative? We've been talking mostly about still but video is so much easier to do. You can focus on people wearing the product, using it. Even sometimes the best content is shot from a phone. It looks user generated. It looks native. It looks like something you would show me off of your phone. That has such an appeal to people because they trust it and it looks more authentic. So getting creative right and rapidly testing creative, builds on these principles of really showing the wow and the salesmanship of it, is really, really important. That's one step of it.

Susana: Well, what I really like about what you're saying is you haven't even mentioned discounting yet. I know there are companies out there who are adverse to discounting. However, there's still a lot of sales that can be made. I mean the majority of our clients do make sales without discounting and it's still effective based on branding, based on creative.

Moody: Yeah. You can. You can use discounting. It's something that you don't have to use.

Susana: Right.

Moody: It definitely helps with scale to use. But at the same time, it can cheapen your brand. So there's this line of when is discounting okay and how much discounting's okay. And some people ... the least or the most amount of discounting they'll do is just free shipping, which I don't know if that does anything really, maybe a slight bump, but it's never something measurable.

Moody: But doing first time offers ... That's something I cover later in a part of our ... in our funnel discussion ... is doing first time offers for people allows people to experience your brand and it helps nudge them along to actually make that purchase and make them feel special. They're like, "Okay." It reduces the friction for them to get a taste of what your brand can be. But that also speaks to painting the process or the experience that they're going to get once they've purchase something too. That's another creative angle is how could you show the unboxing experience, what they're actually getting? Maybe it's a creative shot from their point of view so it's ... they can actually see themselves using the product, which is great.

Moody: So yeah, let's segue to media buying. Media buying is the next big part of this. I mean it's everything. It's where you're running the ads and what strategy you're doing. But at the same time there's ... a lot of people like to get lost in over testing and breaking out every single placement and trying to run to the tiniest of audiences. You're not going to get scale that way because you're basically choking up your audiences so small that there's no chance for that campaign to really go.

Susana: Right.

Moody: Sometimes our best strategies are running towards open traffic where it's like ... Our creative is so good, our funnel's so good that it literally appeals to everyone and we can really capture an open audience or really large audiences.

Susana: Yeah. The key to that is having solid creative and solid funnel.

Moody: Yeah. 100%. So when you think about media buying you want to get really clear about why you're making decisions to turn things on or off. So what are your KPIs? Are you the tracking purchases or really, really low intent if you've got a really long sales window and you're generating leads, let's say? You can fire pixels based off of time on site, that kind of thing. But you really want to get clear on deciding how are people showing intent. For the most part, our clients are tracking purchases which is nice because we get feedback quickly. Otherwise, if you can't spend enough to get purchases, then are you looking at just add to carts or visits to the site or ... Those sort of things help you make decisions quicker and are the things that matter. Stop looking at your relevancy score because that's not ... I've had ads that have low relevancy score compared to others but end up becoming the bigger spenders that allow me to scale.

Susana: Yeah. And the same goes for ... on CTR, click through rates.

Moody: Yeah. All CTR and ... Yeah, that's a good point. Sometimes an ad can resonate with someone and maybe the CTR's off or maybe your headline ... maybe you're using click bait headlines and that's why you're generating a high CTR but no follow through, which is something you want to stay away from. You want to give the most meat upfront and really get people excited as soon as you can. So yeah, let's go back to media buying. The next part is looking at your audiences. If you can look at your insights. I know there's a lot of things that were taken away now. So harder to do to look at insights, which means you'll probably have to end up really putting a lot of ideas to test. Just be quick to turn things off.

Moody: But eventually what happens is you kind of know ... you generally know who your audience is. You come to a point where you've done all the audience testing and this is like when you're optimizing a leg in your marathon or your triathlon. You need to think, okay, I've done enough testing here for now. I got other bigger wins that I want to have that I need to go focus on. If you got enough data to be having one percent purchasers and audience is built off your best purchasers, then you're pretty close to knowing who your audience is.

Moody: So one thing you need to do there is try to have the best data to build your audiences. Then once you've decided your audiences, have general tests continuing to go, but don't sit there and try to keep a focus on that. You're going to want to find the creative in messaging that wins to get those people to convert.

Moody: Cool. Then the last thing on media buying is when you're looking at what bidding strategies you're doing. Here you want to, first of all, optimize off of the lowest intent you can to where you're still feeding the algorithm data. So the algorithm needs 25 conversions a week. So if you're not getting 25 purchases a week, then you need to go higher up in the funnel or otherwise stick to purchases. A lot of people are spending time trying to run engagement campaigns and it's like just go straight to purchases. If you really want that ROI and that ROI fast, that's where it's at.

Moody: There's this other strategy where if you're really spending a lot of money, you can do top of funnel engagement campaigns to stir up a crowd and get them really aware of your brand and then you can drive more conversion focused campaigns once you've got that crowd warm. But now you're talking about spending in the millions of dollars a month area and that's very different from what we're talking. We're talking more mid level to small level strategies here. I would focus more on trying to drive those conversions than trying to drive awareness and then a conversion campaign off of that.

Susana: Nice. I mean engagement ... if you're getting purchases, solid purchases then engagement follows or it goes hand-in-hand off the conversion optimization. Is that so?

Moody: Right. That's right. Now I want to get a little bit in to the funnel. So essentially when we're looking at optimizing ... This is the third leg. It's the funnel. It's where everything happens. It's where if you do this right, people will drive to the goal naturally. There's a lot of really good advice when it comes to how you're supposed to think about your funnel. The first one is don't make me think. There's a purpose on why I'm here. I'm interested in your product. I shouldn't have to think to get to buy it. I really shouldn't. I should be directed towards the goal. You should reduce as much friction as possible to that goal and if you can give me a little nudge in that direction, great, all about it.

Susana: Yeah. It needs to be user friendly and it needs to be intuitive.

Moody: User friendly, intuitive. You need to think about the thought sequence that's happening throughout the page. Your whole page is a conversation and it should be outlined as so. When I'm going to a page, do I see key benefits? Do I see it solving my problems and my pain points? Is there social proof on the page? Is there certain things that ... key features or is there ... Am I looking for the way it's styled with other pieces of clothing or am I looking for a size chart? Or am I looking at how do I apply this stuff, if it's makeup? All that information needs to be thoughtfully put to where it is there available when my mind is looking for it.

Susana: Essentially, what all that's doing as well is squashing any doubts and increasing your credibility.

Moody: 100%, 100%. That's it. And that's a science. It takes a lot of time. But there's so much free information out there on how to really get this right. Then look how you feel in your competitors websites and poke around. The products page is where the decision is made. Either you're adding to cart and you're going to check out or you're not. Your product page ... Sometimes we send traffic straight to the product page. It needs to be set up where you can get all of those things and it's almost like a landing page with the amount of information. A product page that just has a button and it ... choosing your sizes and a few detailed shots isn't going to do as well as something that takes the time to really talk about the quality of the fabric or the details. And even the product images, do you just have two product images? Or do you have 10, 15 really detailed shots from every angle? And even maybe a video where someone is walking in the product or showcasing the product. It's really important.

Susana: What I've seen work really well as well is the user generated photos that get uploaded onto the ... to show how that product's used with other buyers.

Moody: Yeah.

Susana: That's worked really well.

Moody: Yeah. The Foursixty integration, which brings in your Instagram as a feed, and you can literally see how people are wearing that product. It's all just lifestyle shots and that's amazing. Because then it's like in the wild, what it looks like.

Susana: Exactly.

Moody: So yeah. That's really important. The other part of the funnel is now ... What if you say, "Hey, Moody. I've done all the things here. I've made my perfect creative. I've really honed in on my media buying strategies and figured out what to do there and then my funnel I've cleaned up entirely. I still can't get cold people to convert profitably." Well, then you need to add just a little bit of urgency and make them feel special. And this is what we're talking about. Essentially, a pop-up that gives a first time offer is something that's really helpful, followed by a welcome series that's three to five days long and maybe an offer where they can convert after three days of thinking about it. We've seen that really work well.

Moody: There's some tricks there of what to do. But essentially, as long as your offer's strong, your product looks good and all of these things you've focused on, you shouldn't be that far off from profitable campaigns that can actually scale. Not like spending a couple hundred dollars a day. I'm talking about thousands, ten thousand dollars a day. These are the things and principles that go into that scale strategy.

Susana: Wow. Yeah. Wonderful.

Moody: Yep.

Susana: Great. Well, I think we've covered it. One question I have for you Moody is we have all these three things, the creative, the media buying and the funnel. At the ad level, you may say it's easy to see where the issue is in media buying. How can you tell whether it's the creative or the funnel that's not working? Or is working if ... You mentioned that all three are in place but there's still no purchases. How can you tell that it needs ... that urgency needs to be created or that the creative still needs work or that the funnel still needs work?

Moody: Yeah. There's so many different things that could be it.

Susana: I can imagine.

Moody: Let's look at top down. So creative, the first instance ... And the other thing is messaging. What's your copy look like? Does it clearly state the value? Does it match tone to what your audience expects? Another really good hack is to go on your competitor's Instagrams. Get their branding and the way they talk, their branding done. I'm not saying that we want to do that from our strategy standpoint. We're not trying to be other brands but it's just interesting to see how they display value in their messaging. It's a nice thing to either match or you put your own spin on, when it's something that actually resonates with their audiences. That's one thing that's really important for creative.

Moody: So a lot of times people are messing up on messaging. Do they have a video that actually sells the product, talks about the unique selling points? So that's usually my biggest go to. One of the biggest factors is ... are people ... do they have solid video strategies? Because that's the thing that unlocks the next tier and spend is solid video creative. I'm not talking about high design video creative. But creative that actually sells the product well.

Moody: Something that we keep talking about here is that people made TV commercials for 70 years without any information on how those commercials actually did. They looked at Nielsen numbers. They looked at ... Did sales go up last quarter? Yeah. Okay. Let's keep doing it. Let's keep running it. Now we get to see real time the feedback on the creative level. So I urge everyone to keep looking at different ways to display creative. That's the biggest thing.

Moody: So I think that if it's not ... if your funnel looks great ... Because it's not hard to get your funnel right. If you're looking around and your thinking pretty smartly about it. Not hard to get your funnel right.

Moody: Your media buying's not hard to get right either, if you're targeting the right people. You're building solid local like audiences off of good data and you're honing in on the exact audience that you have and you're generally doing simple media buying strategies and just using conversion based campaigns.

Moody: Creative is the thing where people I think have the hardest time. It makes sense. I mean salesmanship is one of the biggest most paid positions out there where you can make the most money because it's so difficult to understand that. Connecting and resonating with your audience is so difficult. So that's the one thing we're really focusing on here is building a creative team that understands how to drive a response. I bet that the biggest thing that's going on out there on media ... on either internal media buying teams or at other agencies is that no one's looking or testing creative enough.

Susana: Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. It's the first thing that people see. And it's also the hardest to get that first click as well. So there you have it. These are the three things that you need to get on to get scale.

Moody: Got to get scale. These are the biggest things. These are the things you need to focus on. Thanks everybody for listening. We'll catch you later.

Susana: Thank you. And if you are interested in digesting more of Mutesix, go to and check out our goods and send us a message if you have any questions.

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