In this episode of the podcast, Facebook guru Laura Betterly shares Facebook marketing ideas, tips, secrets and knowledge for maximizing on Facebook ad space. We talk about how to roll out advertisements, how to start conversations, and perhaps one of the most powerful tools Facebook has to offer: retargeting.
- Find Laura’s website at www.LauraBetterly.com
- We talked about using www.LauraBetterly.com, www.SiteScout.com and www.AdRoll.com
Transcript: Facebook Marketing Ideas That Work – With Laura Betterly
Welcome to the Project Ignite podcast. This is your host, Derek Gehl, and today I’ve got a pretty special guest. Now I met this incredible woman for the first time quite a few years ago at one of my seminars. We reconnected a few years ago in a mastermind group that we were both part of. This mastermind group was packed with very successful online entrepreneurs. But when she got up and spoke, I was blown away by her knowledge, her strategies, everything that she was sharing. I could see that she really thought about Internet marketing in a different way. She got to a different level than the majority of the people in that room. Today, we’re gonna dig deep into a topic that she is an absolute expert and industry authority in. This topic is probably the largest source of cheap, targeted traffic that I know of at the moment. Facebook.That said, I’d like to welcome Laura Betterly to the show.
Laura, thank you so much for being here.
Thanks for inviting me. You mentioned that I first met you at one of your events, so you know I’m a bit of a fan. My husband loves you too, so when I said, “I’m doing Derek’s podcast!” he was like, “what?!” So for us, we’ve been following you since you were Cory’s success story. And I know you passed all of that on, but for us in Internet marketing, you’re talking about the Godfather, you know? The founders of Internet marketing. Maybe we’ve taken things on a different tangent, but none of this would be happening without you and your predecessor. We’re honoured.
I’m very flattered. But that said, what you’ve done over the past decade is pretty incredible as well. Now, you’ve got a pretty amazing story. I started digging into that, and going pre-Internet–how did you go from a guitarist in a punk band in New York in the 1970s and 80s to now taking a company public and being an industry authority with multiple businesses. How did this all happen?
Well the simple answer is that as an artist I didn’t starve very well. Getting done, playing a gig at 4am surrounded by drunks, and having to fend for myself, and then I make $20 for the evening. It just wasn’t my thing. I still play, though, and I worked in the music business and spent a lot of time backstage at Madison Square Gardens years later for a bunch of different gigs, but I just woke up after that and got an accounting degree. Total about face. I don’t necessarily practice as an accountant, but my time in public accounting gives me a BS barometer when I’m looking at numbers. It gives me a realistic view of what’s working and what isn’t.But accounting wasn’t really fulfilling for me, as an artist. We did it all in ledgers. We had to make sure that debits equalled credits, and blah blah blah.
In the 90s, I actually computerized my company. And that was my first business, computerizing businesses. I’d take people from hand systems and computerize them. It was really profitable, because the hardware and the software was tens of thousands of dollars. And then I’d roll everything in by hand, and do all the training. So it was very profitable. But at some point, as PCs and software started to advance, my business wasn’t needed anymore. So I took some time off, had a few kids, and then reapproached everything in the late-90’s. I took my love of music and my numbers and marketing and started the company that developed the first dual mp3 player for DJs. We had a free player, and 6 million downloads, and we travelled the world with that. During the dot com boom.
The good old days. So that’s what got you online. So what’s happened in the last 15 years? You’re everywhere right now, you’ve done tons of product launches recently with some huge names, you’ve become a local marketing expert, and a Facebook marketing tips expert – where do you find the time?
You know, I’m a geek. I just like to do this stuff. But I’m really good at predicting markets before they happen. So you know, ‘99, 2000, 2001, we do the whole music biz thing. And that was huge. But after I left, just because it became too corporate for me, I did an analysis of what really made money with PCDJ. It wasn’t the software. It was renting out the email list to DJ lifestyle brands. That’s where the real money was. So with all the people I know in the dot com world, I had a friend with a software company that had a really big email list called WinXP. And this was before the canned spam laws, there were no laws about email. I asked how much it would cost for me to buy his list, and he told me, $250,000. I didn’t have $250,000. So what I did was find someone else that wants to buy the list who would pay me in a copy of the list. What I wound up doing was finding someone with a similar list, and I brokered a trade between the two and wound up with copies of both lists and the largest database in the country.
So we started mailing, and we started making money. I’d go to the movies and come home and we’d have made $30,000. But the problem was that I was getting shut down. Even though we had permissions, we kept getting shut down. So I did up a story about a single mom who was trying to do some ethical email marketing but kept getting shut down by Internet service providers. And that wound up on the cover of the Wallstreet Journal. I put a different spin on it because I made a joke about it. What happened was, the reporter said, “some people say that all commercial emails are spam, what do you say to that?” And I said, “well then call me the spam queen.” And I laughed all the way to the bank after that. We closed so many deals in the following months. I got to speak in front of the Federal Trade Commission and actually help draft the canned spam act. But we realized in 2002, that with blocking and filtering, it didn’t matter. You had to change the way you did email. That was when my partner became certified for Google for pay per click. And so we used AdWords. That agency grew to the point that we took it public. Going Public is so interesting, because you hear so many wonderful things about it, but the reality is that the banker is always going to give you ten dollars less than you need, he’s going to short your stock so that he owns you, and then the note converts. So I walked!
I have a similar story as well, selling my last company to investors. It was private, but it’s a totally different game.
They’re sharks. They don’t care about you. It’s dollars and cents. What really sucks is that everybody could win and be profitable at something like this, but there are certain groups that don’t feel like they’ve won until they’ve annihilated their competitors. That was why I walked.
So I started Yada Yada Marketing in 2007, and I had this list of stuff to do as a startup. But I never changed over the health insurance, by accident, and six months later, I wound up in the hospital for a month, I needed tons of surgeries. No health insurance. My net worth dropped to -$400,000. We lost our house, it was terrible. But I made it, and everything has worked out just fine since then. But it was interesting because, you mentioned local marketing, the reason I got really good at local marketing was because I had to fire all of my technical personnel and learn it all myself. In doing that, I realized that there were local businesses that I frequented and wanted to continue frequenting but I didn’t have enough money. So I bartered.
I went to my favourite restaurant and said, “I’ll get you to the top spot on Google. Feed us.” It was a solution to the problem. I’m a hacker, I always try to work the system to make sure everyone wins. I was generating a ton of leads just with my posts, and a friend of mine sent me a Ryan Deiss video. I got on his email list, and he had a product called Social Media Money Systems. Remember that? It was a huge launch. I was totally broke, and I watched the presentation to buy the course, and there were three options. The third option was to buy the course, to get group coaching, and to have two one-on-one consultations with Perry Belger. I bought it.
My husband couldn’t believe it, but I knew that it was going to pay off. I had my first conversation with Perry, and he was having a communication problem, and I gave him the solution to fix it. Four months later he flew me to Austin and I met Ryan. I said, “Ryan, if you really wanna know what I think is smart…” and I gave him my SEO info and said that mobile was going to be big. I wrote it all out for him, and it wound up as the perpetual traffic formula, and he hired me to do all of the coaching. I showed him how I predicted everything, and said, “mobile is the next thing”. And I was so right. So they wanted to start a project, they put me on their health insurance, they were such wonderful people. But the product was a hit.
It was massive.
But the point is that I didn’t approach the situation with the intention of creating this massive thing, it was more like, I need to get my hair done this week.
And then after that, last year was the Traffic Genesis. And that’s Facebook.
It’s really more than Facebook, too. They added a ton of content on making conversions.
Traffic is useless unless it converts into something. When we looked at it, we realized we couldn’t just teach traffic because people will fail. And Andy is such a pro, you know. When he started talking about this, the first draft included helicopters. Really? [laughs] But he’s so inspiring because he’s so good, but he’s also so smart. So it’s a ton of fun to work with both of them.
So let’s dive into the topic of the day, Facebook. I’ve been really looking forward to this interview because right now Facebook is really near and dear to my heart, as I think it is for most people in the world of Internet marketing. Let’s start at the beginning. So Facebook is huge, but every single day, I get tips for the latest and greatest strategies to get huge amounts of traffic for just pennies a click. And in the Internet marketing space, you know you need to sift through the hype to find the truth. So from your perspective, what is the truth? Where does Facebook sit?
It totally depends on the market. There’s no Holy Grail. There’s no fix. But the fact is that most of your customers are hanging out on Facebook. If you know how to target those guys, Facebook is a big deal. Everyone can slip up here, though, newbies and seasoned marketers as well–there’s one well known marketer that I consult for that I’m always having to say, “no! Don’t do that!” You can’t hit people on Facebook, in a family environment, just shouting, “buy my stuff!” It’s about conversation – you have to develop relationships with potential customers. If you develop that relationship, they’ll follow you. If you betray them with schlocky, low-class whatever, it won’t work. You have a family, right?
Where did you first meet your wife?
Well she was VP of Finance at my last company.
Where would you meet up when you were dating?
I haven’t actually had to do that in so long. We’d probably have met at an event or a club or something.
Well, when you meet someone like that, the first thing out of your mouth isn’t, “come home with me,” is it?
No, definitely not.
It would be like, “can I buy you a drink?” Or something. But how many marketers go on Facebook and ask people to marry them before they’ve dated? Or to go home with them before they’ve had a conversation? You’ve really got to approach it like that. It doesn’t need to be a six month conversation. But the market is flooded, and you need to do this. Everyone has a personality. It’s a conversation. If you help someone and add value and show your personality, you have a follower. And that follower becomes a customer.There’s one other thing I want to say too. So you have a pretty substantial email list, right?
What’s the highest open-rate you’ve ever gotten?
Ever? Or maybe over the last year–25% or 35%?
That means that 75 out of 100 people don’t open your email. It sucks, but it’s the truth. If you upload your list to Facebook, though, you can communicate with those people there. That’s part of the conversation. It’s, here’s some value, and you can bring that online. You’re maximizing your points of contact with those who are potential buyers.
Absolutely. Before we get into some actual strategies, I want to touch on what not to do. You’ve already alluded to this–when Facebook started out, you could just throw a broad ad up, pay per click, but they don’t do that anymore. Right now, the biggest complaint is, “my account got shut down.” So what are people doing wrong that’s causing this?
Well there’s a couple things. One is making unrealistic claims.Lose 20 pounds, make money in your sleep, that stuff doesn’t work. You’ll get shut down. All of those things are missing the point there, though. If you’re going to go broad targeting, you need a very engaging photo or content to gain likes on your page. If you’re going to sell something, then, you promote it to people that already know you. There’s so many tools, too, like PostPlanner. I personally do my things with humour, but that’s just my personality. You’ll never find Ryan Deiss doing that.
So to highlight the point there, because I don’t want people to glaze over that there – if you’re going to advertise on Facebook, you need a two-step approach. You can’t just be pushing out ads at people that aren’t connected and then drive them to purchase. You have to encourage likes, and then the next step is to give them an offer. So when you say that, do you mean you’re getting them to like your page? Or content on a website?
Both. Let me add one more thing. Facebook has the ability to give you a code that you add to your website. And what that does is create a cookie called retargeting. Now, that person is in your list. That list is almost as important as your email list – because those people have gone to your website and at least checked it out. So if someone lands on your page, you can retarget them with an ad. I like to call that digital stalking, but you don’t need to get creepy with it. When we did the Traffic Genesis ads, we called them boomerang ads, we put up a big campaign to prove that after you watch our video, we’ll be everywhere. “See? Retargeting works.” If you have very little money, you should just do retargeting. It’s the highest converting traffic you’ll have because they’ve already shown interest.
You know I’ve been around the Internet business for a long time, and before retargeting, if someone came to my website and then left, there was nothing I could do about it. I couldn’t say, “sorry, can I help you? Here’s a coupon.” Now I don’t lose that traffic because I can retarget them.
Yeah. Let’s talk about retargeting a bit more to clarify as well, there’s kind of different types of retargeting. So we can go into our Facebook ad account and use the pixel and create a custom audience essentially. Are you just using custom audiences, or are you also using a third party to go out and spread ads across other ad spaces?
Yes, we do that too. There’s SiteScout, AdRoll, PerfectAudience, there’s a whole bunch of them. And then of course, the Google content network. Google is lightyears ahead of any of these other technologies, but their rules are pretty tough. That’s why we use services like SiteScout. But their mark-up is massive. So if you can be Google compliant, that’s the way to do it. Because if you have a small site, you’re starting out, you can at least close that loop of individuals that express interests.
I’ll give you one other hint as far as this goes. If someone went to your page and did nothing, don’t send them to the same page. Send them somewhere else.
Give them something new. Right. Now, with your experience on Facebook, there’s different business models. How do you approach Facebook differently depending on your model.
Well Facebook has this new ad, the multi-product ad. So if you’ve got a few different products, you can do three pictures to a pane that take you to different URLs. For e-commerce, it’s perfect. I’ve seen some really great examples. I think that information has to do with trust. If you’re selling information, before anyone is going to buy that information, you have to create trust. You have to do that with great content, conversation, and great lead magnets.
I think this is a big disconnect that I see a lot where people come from search advertising, and they employ the same strategy on Facebook. If someone is searching for something specific, it’s a lot faster to take them over the line to sell. It’s not the same on Facebook.
Absolutely. With search, you’re channeling already established interest. That versus just finding someone because they fit a criteria. In search you’re answering a question, and on Facebook you’re starting a conversation.
I think that’s where people fail, because they think, well it’s pay per click. But it isn’t. It’s a different kind of thing. Can you tell me a little bit about creating ads, how you display them, and how you create good ads for Facebook? It’s hard. I’ve tried video ads too, but I found they didn’t work as well.
It totally depends. I tried a video ad that did really well, but it was pretty hair-brained. During the Traffic Genesis launch, we struggled with Mike and Andy as the gurus, and how to position me, a middle-aged lady with pink hair from Florida, as someone that they respected. So Andy came up with this idea, he said, “come into the studio, and slap me.” And I said, “no, I’m not doing that.” But we did, we had to rehearse it, and we got one done and someone in the office turned it into a loop of me slapping Andy. It did really well!
And to that point, video does work, but there needs to be some kind of instant intrigue to stop a person in their scrolling. Let’s go back to the standard ads, the 20% taxed. How do you maximize that?
Well what’s the purpose of an ad? It’s like the purpose of a subject line. You want people to open the email, get someone to click. The purpose of an ad is the same thing. You want to give information, but also have a bit of intrigue and mystery. You don’t want to have too much of a disconnect, but even if it’s just using a photo of yourself instead of a stock photo. For words, I use a tool called Canva, it’s online. Then I have a tool that I use, a 5x5png grid, that I can overlay to account for my 20% tax. I work with some of the other big Facebook gurus, and asked if they’d ever done it, and they hadn’t!
I’m looking forward to using that for sure. The upload, download, upload, download, when it doesn’t fit, it’s a pain in the ass. Now, let’s talk about targeting. People get on Facebook and they get excited because they can target tons of people, but… You know, I’m gonna go on a tangent here. I’ve lost a Facebook account before. Tons of people get banned. I’ve heard that Facebook has a different approach to compliance than Google. I’ve heard that Facebook’s team is quite small, and that most punishments handed down are algorithmic. So if you put something up and after awhile it gets shut down, I’ve been told it’s actually an algorithm shutting it down.
I believe the source is accurate. How old is the account? If it’s a newer account, you have to throw a lot of softballs because they’ll just throw it out. They look at how many ads have been approved or disapproved. If you’re going to test ads and copy, don’t go producing it all, because if you make 60 ads and they all get disapproved at once, you’re done. The second thing is yes, it is algorithmic. So you’ll find your ads will run for awhile and then will get shut down. That’s because someone on the compliance team has pushed the button and shut it down. From what I understand, it’s about once every 90 days that a human will look at your account. Keep in mind, that those humans that look at your account, have discretion based on their opinions because it isn’t black and white. So then you’d have to go back and forth with compliance and ask for reviews. But you also have to realize, that if you have a human reviewer that’s having a bad day, he’s going to be declining a lot of stuff. So if something happens, and you get shut down, step back, don’t take it personally, and don’t assert you did everything right. But it is possible to get accounts reinstated. It’s not like Google where I have to pay $5000 for a new account. Because Google bans individuals, not businesses. They built up on the backs of affiliates, and then they turned on them and banned them for life.
But a lot of the language is up for interpretation. You kind of have to play the game.
So I was speculating, I was running a campaign. I’d spent about $10,000 on this campaign and was advertising broadly and aggressively. But I think that if you’re broadcasting far and wide, and enough people hit that “I don’t want to see this” button, that’s essentially a spam complaint.
I’ll take it one step further. Facebook now has something called a relevance score. 10 being the most relevant. You can take the same ad and copy and landing page, and based on your target audience, it could be a 0 or a 10. It really has to do with the right audience. There are so many ways to find your perfect audience. If you have a retargeting list, you can create a lookalike list. This is where Facebook will look at all of the characteristics of one list and create another one like it. If you do it with people that have already bought, it can be amazing. Have you ever used audience insights?
Okay. Audience insights is crazy. So if you have an audience, you can run insights, and it’ll tell you how much they make, where they’re from, and what else they like. These are all other things to test. There’s lots of big data stuff that’s all been melded in. From a marketing standpoint, that’s huge. How you can do this well is just start with one ad. If your relevance score is low, just shut it down and start with something else. Don’t just turn the volume up without testing it.
I think we’re turning a corner with Facebook because they’re giving us the ability to really fine-tune our targeting.
And there’s different ways to scale it. You won’t go from $10 to $10,000 overnight. You can optimize on the sale or conversions, and Facebook will find that for you if you do it right.
I breathed a sigh of relief when they introduced the relevancy score. Before then we were kind of just firing into the dark, wondering if people wouldn’t find us relevant.
Something you should look at other than the relevancy score is to add positive and negative feedback in your Facebook reports. You can have a score of 10, with high positive feedbacks, and high negative feedback. They won’t tell you who, but they’ll tell you where it is.
We’ve had so much good content here. I hope everyone is taking notes. I want to bring us back to the path we were on. So we’ve talked about ads and targeting, now let’s talk about sales process. We’ve talked about building relationships. What does that look like from a sales process standpoint?
I think you’re talking a basic ascension model here. Start out with “hi, my name is”, and you push good content on the site. If you want everyone to see your content, you have to pay to boost it.
And from a business standpoint, I like that I can pay. It’s reliable. Free and reliable doesn’t exist. So when we spoke earlier, you said you’d seen some really cool stuff that’s working well on Facebook. And I’ve been waiting.
Probably the easiest way to start engagement. Micro-commitments. One yes. It’s basic ascension. On the thank you page, there’s a $7 offer. I can tell you that one buyer is probably worth 100 non-buyers. That’s what’s interesting. Most people want to know more about themselves. So if you give them a, What’s Your Marketing IQ? survey, something that you ask and they will answer, if it’s done well and thoughtfully, they’re committed. So when you say, give me your email and I’ll give you the results, it’s pretty easy. You can put together a good interactive thing. If you’re asking those questions, that’s kind of a conversation in itself.
Yeah. I really like the idea of a micro-commitment, too. You mentioned a $7 or $1 offer–are you talking about a transaction or an opt-in in terms of micro-commitments?
Any interaction is a micro-commitment. Before you ask anyone for money, they need to say several yesses. It’s easier to have someone agree with you on something if they’ve already said yes a few times. That puts them in a frame of mind where they’re more likely to enter into a transaction. And do this ethically. Have a really kickass product. I once did an auto-webinar and then forced myself to go to sleep so I could say that I made money while I slept. But it felt terrible! Be true to your personality. Everyone has something to offer to others.
Exactly. Even if someone is just offering a story, everyone has something to offer. So one more thing I want to highlight there was your strategy for engagement. Give people something that will teach them about themselves. And once you commit to that process, you’re committed. I just want to point one thing out here. People put up these things, these long forms, and say, fill this out! People don’t want to do all of that. Have one question. People hit submit, then take them to another.
Exactly. You want to break it up. Don’t show people right on one page how deep the commitment goes. And you don’t want to go too far, you know
Yeah, it has to be reasonable. Okay. Last question. In Facebook, what tools do you use to make your life easier? I use Buffer to schedule my posts.
Buffer is great. It really is. I use one called Snip.ly. It is so badass. So let’s say you’re creating really great content. And on your website, you want to link to something else like the Huffington Post. You want to circulate an article. So Snip.ly gives you a URL, it takes you to that Huffington Post page, but on the bottom, it retains your opt-in. So they get the traffic, but you get all of the opt-ins.
You’re leveraging – that’s huge. I love that.
And then Post Planner, which schedules and plans everything, and it lets me see what’s engaging. So you can schedule certain posts and pull in RSS feeds. One mistake you can’t make though is if you’re posting and people are engaging, you need to answer them. Otherwise, you’re not having the conversation.
We’re running out of time here. But wow. I think we’ve just covered more how-to, good-stuff, here, than all the spam in my inbox. How can people find you?
Well my website is LauraBetterly.com. On there is links to everything that I’m working on, and my newsletters. On Facebook, I’m at Facebook.com/LauraBetterlyLive. If you email me, or send me a direct message, I will answer you.
Thank you so much for your time today and all of your generosity.
Thank you. I really am so honoured that you asked me. There you go.
Thank you everyone for listening to the Project Ignite podcast. I always try to bring you real people using these strategies in real life. No fluff, no hype. If you don’t want to miss an episode, head over to our podcast page and subscribe there. We’ve also got a ton of free resources available there. And we’re up on iTunes as well. So thank you everyone, we’ll see you next time.