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When to Start Scaling Your Ad Spend

Tune in to today's episode to hear from MuteSix CEO, Steve Weiss, and Senior Campaign Manager, Josh Henry-Hicks to learn the early signs you should be looking out for that tell you it's time to start scaling your ad spend. 

Episode Transcript — When to Start Scaling Your Ad Spend

Speaker 1: You are 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's your host, Steve Weiss.

Steve Weiss: Hello everyone. Welcome back to another episode of The Spend $10K a Day Podcast reporting to you live from the beautiful Los Angeles, California. As usual today we have an incredible show for you. We have Josh Henry Hicks, the Aussie man is in the house. He's one of our senior Facebook campaign managers coming all the way from Australia. His family's been in the eCommerce retail business for multiple generations, so he's lived and breathed retail his whole adult life. He's still not actually an adult, but somehow we talk about his adult life. Welcome. Welcome, Josh. Thanks for coming on, man.

Josh H.: Gee, Steve. Good to be here, and what a sunny day it is in California. Another good one.

Steve Weiss: Yeah, it's sunny every day.

Josh H.: It's beautiful. I love this place.

Steve Weiss: It's such a predictable place we live in. But today we have an awesome topic. So obviously Josh, your expertise is specifically scaling on Facebook and creative. Those are the two things that you always talk about. You're passionate about. You know, we had a great conversation earlier today about what are the signs specifically that relate to seeing the potential to scale a campaign. I know you've had a campaign that you've been working on recently that literally started at zero. You know, you took it on and you had very low expectations, I'd say. You thought you'd spend $300, $400. They had very little UGC assets, user generated content assets. They had no actual pixel traffic, very little. And obviously when you see that there's not a lot of assets, there's no celebrity backing, there was no pixel traffic, there's very little organic web traffic, it makes the job and the life of a Facebook campaign manager a lot harder. I'd say you'd agree you're kind of stacked against each other of trying to figure out what creative is going to hit and how to do it.

Steve Weiss: So talk a little more about some of the signs that you see, because now that you've got them up to spending almost $5,000 a day, which is kind of magical. You had a video that you created that went viral and I think that's kind of mind boggling. But tell me more about some of what you're seeing. What are the key indicators for Facebook and Instagram today? Not six months ago, but today. What are you seeing that indicates that this has legs? We could really scale this baby to the moon?

Josh H.: Well, firstly you need to have a reason to scale, and I always say that to a lot of our clients. You need to have a reason. And that's either a creative, it's either a product, either something you're changing on the site or the funnel. You kind of need that reason and you need that strategy. It can't just be one day we wake up and suddenly we can scale it. That rarely happens. So, you know, in this particular case it was a creative.

Josh H.: We launched a really well thought out creative. Sold the product really, really well. First five seconds, very crucial in creating that eye-catching moment. And really as soon as we launched that particular creative... And these guys were literally spending like $100 a day, $200 a day. So very, very small.

Josh H.: Really straight from launch we saw 10 relevancy scores, which we knew was a really good start. Really, really cheap traffic. So we're talking like 10, 15 cent clicks on this ad. At that point, this is really early days in the spend. We knew that we were onto something. We knew that the relevancy scores were great, clicks were great, and we had a good feeling with the creative that they would then turn into purchases.

Josh H.: Add to carts ended up being quite low. So at that point in time it was really about, "Okay, we feel like we're on a winner here. How do we maximize the potential and how do we do it as quickly as possible?" Because if you scale something over a longer period of time, I feel like there's this gap where you can actually lose out in your return. It's actually beneficial to be as quick as possible and maximize the creatives initial time to market as quickly as possible.

Steve Weiss: What's really interesting is you made a point, that urgency. When you see something hit just because the auction changes and is so like, I guess volatile is a good word, that when something does hit, when you start seeing something out of nowhere... Like right now, picture this. You have a campaign you're running for a new eCommerce brand. They have no prior history and you just see something hit. You see a new video that you'd done and you're like, "Wow, it's getting almost 80%, 90% cheaper clicks than normal." You see that the video's being shared. It's going viral. Those are the traits that you know something is going on.

Steve Weiss: What did you do next? Obviously it was a very... For that ad set you were targeting a really big audience of lookalikes. After you see some of those signs of like, "Wow, this could be something big," what do you do next and how do you sustain that?

Steve Weiss: I think that's what a lot of marketers are trying to figure out. Is how do you sustain a campaign like that? How do you keep it running and what are some of the bid strategies? Obviously you're doing bidding for conversions. You're trying to get as much virality, as much heat to that specific creative as possible. Rotating that creative into different ad sets. But tell me your thoughts. What is, number one, what do you do next? And number two, how do you sustain that?

Josh H.: Yeah, good question. So, what do you do next? You really need to be as fast as you can, and a lot of that has to do with... I always think, "I've got something that's winning. How do I get this in front of as many people as possible?"

Josh H.: I'm confident if they see the ad they're going to click through, and based on some initial data, the chances of them converting are proportionately higher than anything that we've run previously. So I always think, "Okay, how can I get this into as many people as possible, as quickly as I can?" So, obviously you fill up your remarketing audiences. That's very easy, and you should see immediate success with that.

Josh H.: Really the prospecting expansion of audiences needs to be very, very fast. So, what we'll do is we'll try and launch as many relevant top of funnel prospecting audiences as soon as we can. And that means we'll dig through the data, we'll come up with some strategies on what these audiences are and how they relate to the specific brand. But really it's that part where not only are you increasing your ad set budgets, but you're really expanding those audiences. Lookalikes, interests, really digging into your custom audiences.

Josh H.: It's that process, which I think sometimes can maybe be a little slower if someone's a little less [reactful 00:07:31]. But if you are monitoring your data like you should be, it's being really fast with that and really being as quick as you can.

Steve Weiss: It's also a lot of confidence. I feel like when you're running campaigns on Facebook, a lot of this is about having the confidence to scales, having the confidence to really put yourself out there and say, "Listen, I believe in this. This is something I'm passionate about."

Steve Weiss: I think a lot of early campaign managers... I know I've been buying media for so long and it's just fun for me. But because I used to really, when I saw something hit, I used to jump up and down and get excited, especially on Facebook. So, I think a lot of this is confidence. But what else goes into the mindset? I feel like let's dig into the mindset of what makes a good campaign manager confident enough scale. Josh, what do you think the mindset is?

Josh H.: Honestly, it is that confidence, and for us that confidence comes with just those initial data signs. So you're looking at all your metrics from the full funnel. As soon as you start to see that virality and really that return come through even on a small scale... As you're increasing that, if that is maintaining and sometimes it even actually improves as you scale, that's when you just get that real confidence. Like, "Okay, let's just open this guy up. Let's open the flood gates here." And it is that, and it's super exciting.

Josh H.: It's a great feeling and it's something that doesn't happen for every company, but with the right strategy it can. And I think it just goes back to what you were saying before with confidence. You know, that confidence comes from the data and once you have that confidence, it's really about being bold and actually expanding quite fast.

Josh H.: I think you can be conservative, and I don't think at that particular time when you have something that's winning it is the time to be conservative. It's really the time to be, fortune favors the brave in this case. Often you'll find that the decisions you make to actually be a little bit bolder with your scaling tends to be fruitful.

Steve Weiss: Josh, you are a very bold Aussie. You are a bold man.

Steve Weiss: You said just some really interesting points. For the aforementioned, Kim mentioned the advertiser of the campaign you're running, but obviously one thing to note, there is no discount codes. When we talk about scaling, specifically now what we're looking for is we like to think that we could scale campaigns without discounting. We like to think that we could scale campaigns without there being some type of big holiday sale or some... We want to create a stir. We want to create something out of nothing.

Steve Weiss: I think that the magic of Facebook is being able to create something, a stir out of nothing. There's nothing here. It's just regular ads. You come in there and we come up with a couple of creatives that really disrupt the finger on the news feed and boom. There's something. People are commenting, they're sharing, they're tagging their friends. And that's the magic of a Facebook platform.

Steve Weiss: And I think when you start thinking of your ads, the question is how do you get more people involved? How do you make an ad, or a piece of content, that really makes people... Brings more people in and gets their friends involved. I think that's the way we think of the psychology of marketing. It's everything that goes into social proof is figuring out how to get people a part of the movement, a part of the action.

Josh H.: That's the magic. That's the magic.

Josh H.: It really just was a really well thought out creative. We're looking at video watch time. They're not watching more than nine seconds. It's a 30 second ad. They're not watching more than nine seconds. So it's that nine seconds of well thought out, "Okay, what are the key points we're going to communicate here in this nine seconds?" And that's what's getting them excited.

Josh H.: So it needs, it's all... I'm sure everyone that's listening knows the importance of just that first interaction or that first, they say, thumb stopping moment. And really that's enough. If it's done right, and the product's good, and the landing pages is good, it's enough to scale a business. And we see that time and time again.

Steve Weiss: Who would have thought that, just take a minute to think about this, that something that stops someone from doing what they're doing actually gets them to make a decision? Like Facebook's not a platform just to serve content to. A lot of people are like, "Oh, it's social. People are just browsing, blah blah blah."

Steve Weiss: But no. This is a decision platform. Because of the way you differentiate yourself as a brand, you're making yourself into a decision engine. People will look at the way you put your content in the feed, and make a decision. Not only to like, share, comment, but they'll make a decision to purchase or not. And they might've heard of you before. They might've engaged through email. They might've have seen you on the streets. They might've seen a billboard. But their decision is solely based on the way you portray yourself on a feed.

Steve Weiss: And I think so many advertisers don't realize that they have this one split second to get someone focused and to make a decision. I think that's the magic of creative is that if you can interchange them, direct response creative, that not only gets people to really stop what they're doing and think, but this creative could also help people make a decision. Right?

Josh H.: Yeah. Yeah. For me it's the single biggest factor in scaling a business. A lot of people talk about audiences and campaign structure and landing pages and the full funnel. And in my experience it's that first 15 seconds of a video and it can... We've seen it literally scale businesses from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars just on a good idea and a well thought out first 15 seconds of a video. So, it's a super exciting space to be in. You just need to have the smarts to get that concept right. And obviously having good product helps as well.

Steve Weiss: Let's talk, this conversation about scaling, a lot of it's psychological. A lot of it is understanding and interpreting specific data that comes out of Facebook, and looking at the social signals that come out of the ad, and really just being able to interpret it and make decisions and actions as a campaign manager based on that data. But I think a lot of our listeners and a lot of people who listen to us have had some success scaling campaigns.

Steve Weiss: I think one of the biggest question marks is how do you keep that going? How do you sustain that? Obviously some people have scaled campaigns up, but then it goes right back down. How do you build creative as sustaining and how do you figure out how to do that scale?

Steve Weiss: I think that's what a lot of the people listening to this podcasts are always trying to figure out. It's not only how do you scale, but how do you sustain that five to seven grand a day budget in say, August, when people aren't buying? They're literally not on their Facebook. I think that's the big question I think everyone's trying to figure out.

Josh H.: Yeah. And it's tough. For me it's been about maintaining the rage on the creative. It needs to be constant and it can't be drip fed. Say, "Okay, great. We scaled, and we scaled on concept A. Well, how do we iterate on that?

Josh H.: One of the successful campaigns that we've been running is a product test where you put your product against the test of the competitors, and really looking to show the users that the particular Brand A actually comes out better than the rest of the market. And so, say that works for you. How do you iterate on that? What's another concept that is like that, but is explained to the consumer in a different way?

Josh H.: Really a lot of that comes down to having a sequential ad strategy. So, yes you scaled on one particular idea or one particular creative, but your remarketing can funnel. Just can't get hit with that ad over and over again because they've seen that concept. For whatever reason, they haven't made a transaction. So really it's about making iterations on that particular creative that sell the product in a slightly different way.

Steve Weiss: Whoa, whoa. Whoa, whoa, whoa. You're going into the next episode. We got to hold it back there, Josh.

Steve Weiss: But sequential marketing. We talk about this a lot just as a team. We have 30 campaign managers. We have our team meetings and talk a lot about sequences, about really making people feel like it's personalized.

Steve Weiss: The next episode of Spend $10K a Day Podcast is going to be on sequential marketing. So a little secret is going on.

Josh H.: I like it.

Steve Weiss: But I really, it's been an awesome episode. From talking to you and seeing what's going on in the weeds, I always learn a lot.

Steve Weiss: Josh, thank you so much for coming on. You're going to be on the next podcast as well about sequential marketing. We're going to record another one here.

Josh H.: Bring it on.

Steve Weiss: It's going to be exciting.

Josh H.: It's good to be here.

Steve Weiss: Thank you so much for listening. Today's episode is brought to you by the beautiful weather of Los Angeles. We're surrounded by beautiful weather, and they're sponsoring this podcast while we're in a room with no windows and seeing no sun. There's lots of other people who are having a great time outside.

Steve Weiss: So, thank you so much beautiful weather of L.A. for sponsoring today's podcast. Until next time, another episode of Spend $10K a Day Podcast coming right at you. Thank you so much.

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