Subscribe to the podcast on:

Get Your UGC Trending This Week w/ Rafael Romis

This week, Spend $10k a Day host, Susana is joined by Rafael Romis, an eCommerce brand strategist. Learn from Susana and Rafael as they discuss getting you UGC content trending. 

Episode Transcript — Get Your UGC Trending This Week w/ Rafael Romis

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, Steve Weiss.

Steve Weiss: Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode, the Spend $10k a Day Oodcast coming to you live from Los Angeles, California. Another beautiful day in this amazing city full of traffic and amazing people. So, today's a very special episode. I'm happy to announce we have a new member of our team that I want to introduce you to. Maria Claudio, who is now our CMO, our chief marketing officer. Maria is coming over to us from Facebook.

So, she used to work at Facebook at, at the big Facebook company. She's bringing with her all her little secrets and tactics and all the little insights. Not everything she can discuss on the podcast, but some of the stuff she can. And Maria, welcome aboard. Tell the audience what ... First off, what did you do at Facebook while you were there? Obviously you worked on the ads team, you were a close friend for awhile. You worked with a lot of ecommerce brands. And secondly, tell us what you're most excited for about joining me today.

Maria Claudio: Yeah, thanks Steve. So I was at Facebook the last four and a half years focusing on assisting our advertisers and partners how to best utilize our ad products. So whether that be Instagram stories, anything in the general news feed, dynamic ads, covering verticals ranging from the e-commerce disrupters, which there's a lot of overlap within the MuteSix partner base as well. To live events and ticketing, to financial services, to performance marketing.

So, covered quite a bit of different verticals over there. And I think I'm the most excited about joining MuteSix is, you know, over the last four years just watching the growth and the trajectory, how you guys are helping actually businesses grow a lot in the Los Angeles community, but also globally. I'm the most excited to see what we do with StudioSix, our in house creative studio that's just crushing it with video and creative across the board for various clients. So. I think there's a huge opportunity there for that.

Steve Weiss: Beyond MuteSix and StudioSix, what I really want to get at is you love being in this office, having fun with all these cool people. No, I'm just joking.

Maria Claudio: Of course. Best culture.

Steve Weiss: Cool. So, I just want to introduce everyone to Maria. Today's topic specifically is a really interesting discussion. So we've seen over the last kind of couple months that sometimes when you have an ad account that's been around for awhile, you're testing everything under the sun. You're going broad audiences, you're testing, very [inaudible 00:02:59] lookalike audiences. You just can't get anything working. And the question is, is what do you do when you literally nothing works? You're throwing everything you have at the kitchen sink. From a creative perspective, you're recycling old newsfeed posts. You're opening up more and more audiences, and you have an ad account that looks just crazy. 35 ad sets and tons of different audiences, and there's probably bits and pieces of overlap.

We've been there, we see on a daily basis that sometimes this isn't the best structure. But, we're always trying to come up with solutions to solve complex problems when it comes to Facebook. We kind of fell into this new experiment that we did recently. And this experiment doesn't work for everyone, so we've tested out this specific experiment three times now. And, it worked for one person, but it worked really well for one of our partners. That is using the same exact pixel and just moving over to a new ad account, kind of phasing that old ad account and really trying to go into the auction with a fresh set of perspective from a new ad account. And kind of what I'm curious about, I want to pick your brain, Maria, is why is it that when you have a new ad account, sometimes you see a lot of success really quickly? You see a lot of the images that weren't working in the past, a lot of videos that were working in the past, you're kind of recycling through some old pixel data and you're going broad.

Why is it that you're seeing that there is a little bit of jump in conversions, and we're seeing that across a couple of accounts that we work with. Why does that happen?

Maria Claudio: So, there's a couple schools of thought here. Typically from the auction side at Facebook, they advise you, you know, have more data in the account. The more data the better. So, creating a new account can hurt you. However, devil's advocate to that is if your existing account has a lot of x outs, perhaps some ad disapprovals and kind of have that negative mark on it. By starting fresh, it can jumpstart performance and delivery. Something else that we've seen is kind of A/B testing new accounts versus existing.

And the results seem to vary quite a bit. I think it depends on the specific product or service that you're advertising. So I definitely think it's a good strategy since it is working, and to continue testing that way. But, definitely be mindful that all results are the same as anything. You have to just continue testing and iterating to really find that sweet spot. But, I think potentially there was just bad history on the account. So by starting fresh, you're kind of jump-starting that. And then, Steve, would love your thoughts on seasoning ad accounts. When you start fresh, there's no data, you're still in this learning phase. So how important is it to, from your experience, and I can give my opinion, too. To get as much data in the account as fast as possible, what have you guys seen to kind of drive that success?

Steve Weiss: It's interesting, the whole learning phase ... When it first came out I was just questioning. I was like, you guys are just doing this to make people spend more money, like flat out. Literally the 50 conversion mark, it's just spending and officially to wait for 50 conversions on one ad set. It's just no one does that. They scale when they see social signals that recruit that dictate that this ad set will scale. And I feel like it was always there, like the learning, the "learning" was always there. I've talked to multiple people on the news feed team, multiple people across Facebook. There's nothing proprietary learning, learning failure is always there. It just wasn't actually in the user experience in the ad account. So, I always felt like they put it there because it was a revenue driver.

It would make people kind of focus more and more on spending inefficiently on specific ad sets. I'm kind of in the weeds on a couple of our partners, kind of not. Obviously I can't mention anything proprietary, but my opinion on learning is kind of mixed. I feel like there's advantages to having a brand new account, and there's advantages to having some type of learning in an older account. Obviously, you said something which is really interesting, which I didn't really think about. Which is, if you do have a lot of old ads that were flagged, if you do have a lot of stuff that was taken down the auction, negative feedback, maybe it might make sense to actually consider starting a new ad account. Just because when you go into the auction, you already have a black ball against you.

You're already kind of going in the auction with a slightly higher CPM bid, knowing that you have a bad user experience to tie to this person, to this ad account. So, that makes sense to me. But I guess what doesn't make sense is that ... I've talked to multiple friends who also have large ecommerce brands, and they also have tested out this strategy of building a brand new ad account. And, I guess what I don't understand is why is it that sometimes you see a lift when there is no data. Facebook is now recommending on their client teams to go very broad. Broad, broad, broad, broad, broad. And I guess an auction is getting stronger and stronger, so the argument is always while the auction's getting stronger, even though CPMs are going up. So kind of stronger auctions, stronger algorithms should I say, but higher in the auction.

So to answer your question, I personally think there's gotta be a healthy mix between the two. I think that you need to have an ad account with history, just so you have a basic understanding of the product market fit of your brand, and have some specific pixel history on the pixel. And on the flip side, you know you can't beat a horse dead. If you have a lot of ad disapprovals and you have a lot of stuff in that ad accoount that you're not proud of, that really inhibit user experience, I think you always got to talk about do my ads experience make a better user experience inside of Facebook? I think that's a big question I think a lot of companies have to ask themselves, because that's how Facebook's thinking about it. When they look at advertisers, they don't care if you're spending $1 million or $20. If you're creating a bad user experience, you're off the platform. You're out. So, I think that's something I always think about. Are my ads creating a good user experience?

Maria Claudio: Yeah, I totally agree. And I think that brings us to a good point of the most important thing when you are designing for Facebook or Instagram is thinking about the user. And I even take a step back of it, would I like to be shown this ad? And I have noticed that the algorithm is getting better, the ads are more relevant, especially with my personal feed. Just from over the last six months I've noticed quite a bit of change. And I think that could be essentially why these new brand new ad accounts are working well. Even if the product isn't misleading or it's not a poor user experience, if it is potentially getting flagged by a lot of x outs, people might not like the creative. It might be a male product accidentally targeting women, and it's not relevant to them. So they're getting a bunch of x outs.

So, I think it is definitely worth testing these new accounts. And just from what I've seen, this whole needing to get as many conversions as fast as possible potentially could have been a thing of the past. Essentially since the algorithm is getting better, I do still think it is important to get as much data as fast as possible, just to kind of get out of that learning phase. I know that poses a problem, especially in the ecommerce space for higher ticket items.

Steve Weiss: Yeah.

Maria Claudio: So that's a constant battle that I think Facebook knows is a reality. And as they're pivoting into luxury and more high end products and want to really up level what's being sold on Facebook, that's something that they need to think about as they're changing the algorithm.

Steve Weiss: Yeah. Like I've always heard, and then the conversations kind of evolving to talking about this. The magical algorithm, that there isn't a lot of magic in this world. There's Disney and there's the Facebook algorithm. Those are the two things that we could count on for magic. But this magical algorithm, you have developers who've developed code on top of developers, on top of developers on top of developers. Even the developers are developing the code right now. They really don't even know how the algorithm works. So it's always interesting when you talk to someone there. I think it all goes back to the one commonality of social signals. Facebook is looking for social signals that someone is going to do an action in the future, and they're going to put an ad in front of someone that they think is most likely do the action that you you want from the control room.

The control room is obviously behind the computer. I think that the algorithm is getting smarter because it's starting to read social signals a lot better. But I think you as a human being or you as an ad manager have to start reading social signals. I think that I always meant to our team that social signals are key. Like literally, you have to be posting organically, you have to be reading the comments. You have to be looking at the type of people that like your products, even on Instagram and Facebook. What I used to do is I love digging into people who would actually comment. And people who liked my page, I literally would love to just learn the demographics. Just see, just so I can kind of get in their head and really understand their psyche of why they make an action. So I think there's two fold. There's number one, Facebook algorithm is getting stronger. But number two, you have to really pick up on the social signals and really apply those social signals to your business.

Maria Claudio: Yeah, I totally agree. I think the behavioral economics behind it, any campaign, any customer base is really important to really understand who your customers are. And the more you understand, the better the ads will be targeted to them, the better the creative, the more likely they are to buy the product. To go back to kind of the black box of the algorithm, just kind of insider's tip-

Steve Weiss: Whoa, whoa, wait guys. Insider's tip. It's coming. It's coming.

Maria Claudio: So a lot of advertisers have this theory that everyone on the auction team knows everything behind the black box, and they're just not sharing it. When in case, that's not the truth where there's so many components of the auction, that not one person knows the whole thing from start to finish. Because there's all these components that have been built on top of the code, and it keeps changing and is modified. So there's not one gatekeeper at the end of the day. It's a ton of gatekeepers collaborating together, and there's a lot of pieces that go into it.

Steve Weiss: I always have this mental picture of a little dungeon inside Facebook's headquarters with an old wizard sitting there in his pajamas. And he's the one who's made the ... He's the magical wizard who's made the algorithm, and he just comes out once a day and updates it with his little iPad, too. That's not how it works. I think it's kind of interesting that I think from a ... It makes a ton of sense from an economical perspective of just the people working on it.

You don't want anyone having an unfair advantage over anyone. I think Facebook does an incredible job of democratizing the auction. I think that some people used to say, "Well, I'm going to go to Facebook and get a deal because I'm gonna put down $1 million." Well, the reality is they're not doing that with anyone. And that's why I personally really appreciate Facebook as a business, because they're not ever going to let someone who has a ton of money dictate the rules of an auction. It's kind of why I've always been a big proponent and big believer in what Facebook story is, because they've made it an equal playing field for so many people and who've made people's dreams come true.

Maria Claudio: Yeah, I totally agree.

Steve Weiss: Cool. So before we go, Maria, I want you to say one thing that you miss about Facebook.

Maria Claudio: So over the last four and half years, I've made really great relationships with the people there and they're some of the smartest people in the industry. I do miss that, I still am in touch with a lot of them over there. But, the caliber at MeetSix is just as good, if not better. So it's great to come here and kind of have a very smooth transition working with some of the brightest people in the industry.

Steve Weiss: Well, that's a great answer. I was expecting snacks.

Maria Claudio: We have pretty good snacks here, too.

Steve Weiss: We do have good snacks. All right, cool. So, we're going to wrap things up. Whenever I talk to Maria for an extended period of time, I always learn something from her. She's one of the smartest people that I've had the pleasure of working with while she was at Facebook, and I always just appreciated just how thoughtful she thinks of answers and how well she communicates. I feel very fortunate to have her onboard here in MuteSix, and we're going to be doing some more podcasts with her. Picking her brain, and a lot of Facebook ad and Instagram ad related topics. So, stay tuned.

Get in touch with us.