In the first few months of 2020, Team Hirsh is finding a few new-ish trends happening with Facebook ads…

The summary?

Facebook wants you to use its pixel data + lean on the algorithms.

Basically, the more power you give to Facebook, the better results you get with ads.

(And this isn’t because Facebook is “taking control of everything!” It’s because the data Facebook has and the algorithms it creates are really, really powerful…)

In this episode I’ll explain how to use Dynamic Creative and optimize your pixel data to your advantage, PLUS…

The Team Hirsh *trick* to generating quality audiences
What to do when you’re first starting out (to leverage your data for later)
And one possible feature that’s coming to Facebook in the near future…

Listen to this short-and-sweet episode + then hop over to Instagram (@emilyhirsh) to ask your questions!

And if you’re ready to take your marketing to the next level, visit HelpMyStrategy.com to apply to work with Team Hirsh!

Key Points:
[1:45] Why leaning on the pixel data is becoming a trend in 2020
[2:46] What is “dynamic creative”?
[3:55] The more power you give to Facebook, the better results you get
[4:48] How to lean on the pixel data within Facebook
[7:55] Team Hirsh agrees, the best converting audiences are the ones where you’re relying on Facebook for the data…
[9:09] Here’s what to use if you’re just starting out (+what to use as you grow)
[11:18] Here’s some upcoming features Facebook is talking about…

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Episode Tracnsript:

Emily Hirsh:

Hey everyone, welcome back to the podcast. Today we’re diving into a fun Facebook Ad episode. I have to give credit to Team Hirsh. We do a weekly meeting for our ads team, and each week we ask the team what strategies are working, [which] are not working? And that, kind of, actually, helps me create content. We also put a lot of that in our Hirsh Marketing Report to share with you guys [go to HirshMarketingReport.com to receive our monthly report about Facebook + Instagram marketing!], because one of the coolest things about Team Hirsh is all of the data and intel that we have from managing millions of dollars in ad spend. And I love to take that and collaborate on it, and then use it to help you guys. That is one of my favorite things that I get to do, and that I get to be at the forefront of.

So today we’re talking about leaning on the pixel data and how I really… we are seeing this as a trend right now, with Facebook and what is working, especially this year. So there’s two main things that my team’s brought to me in the last couple of weeks on these strategy sessions that really show how much Facebook is favoring, wanting you to use that data, wanting you to lean on the algorithms and the pixel data that they have. And so the two are Dynamic Creative and then pixel-specific audiences. So Dynamic Creative is a relatively new feature, but not super new. Like, it has been around, I don’t know for exactly how long. But we’ve been testing it lightly, but then pretty heavily the last two months. And almost across the board, we are seeing that it’s working better in our clients’ ad accounts. Not 100%, but like a lot. It’s almost blowing out of the water the other results.

And it’s basically, Dynamic Creative means you’re letting Facebook choose the creative. So you’re putting in an image and then Facebook is pulling what it thinks it should… it’s basically using the algorithm. It’s the same concept when you have your ad set, and then you have multiple ads in there. But this is actually in the ad itself. So you load different sized images within one ad set. That creates this Dynamic Creative, and then Facebook chooses which ad to show. So you’re loading multiple versions within one ad, and then Facebook’s choosing which ad to show. And we’re seeing that this is working really well, because Facebook is really wanting you to lean into those algorithms, lean into their pixel, trust them. I mean, that’s what also CBO, campaign budget optimization, is. Which is going to be, at some point in 2020… They pushed it back. It was supposed to be end of 2019. But the only way to set up campaigns [will be] CBO, which is, again, very much leaning on their data, their decision of what to do, where to spend the budget, what ad sets to put the budget in.

And so the trend really seems to be moving towards… the more we let Facebook have that power with its algorithms and with the pixel, the better the results. And this is what my team has been seeing in most of our accounts. And so the first thing is that Dynamic Creative. So if you’re not testing that, it’s an option in Facebook where you basically load different versions of an ad within one ad. And if you know what I mean, when you go in the Ads Manager, you have an ad set and then an ad. So one ad that has multiple versions of Creative, and then Facebook’s kind of choosing what to show. And you’re counting on that algorithm and how that performs, versus controlling, “Okay, this ad gets this much budget, and this one, and this one’s $5 a day,” and you’re kind of controlling it in that kind of older-school way.

So that’s the first way that we’re seeing, very much, Facebook favoring you trusting them. The second one that my team brought is the pixel audiences that are converting really well. So if you’re not utilizing these, you should test these in your accounts. And that is taking… So you have events with your pixel, if you set it up correctly. So you have like a lead, or a purchase, or they added to the cart, or they viewed a page. And you can create audiences out of all of those pixel audiences. So my team said, “If those audiences have at least a thousand people, then you can then create a lookalike audience, and those are converting really well.” So basically taking a pixel and creating an audience out of all the different standard events that you might’ve had triggered. So you obviously have to have this loaded in your funnels or on your website for it to work and be triggering that pixel data.

But if you have that, then you can create those audiences. And the lookalike audiences of those original audiences are doing really well. Again, because it’s Facebook data. So the audiences that that originates from is from your pixel firing in various scenarios with those standard events. And then you’re saying, “Go find me more people, lookalike audiences, go find me more people just like those people.” And then those are considered cold traffic, people who don’t know you, and you’re targeting them to your funnel, to your webinar, to your challenge, to your launch, whatever. Those are doing really well for a lot of our clients. But my team said the caveat is that it has to be a minimum of a thousand [people]. So like a 100, 200, 300, 400, the lookalike audience is not strong enough for it to be a good targeted audience. And so that’s one thing my team noticed, because they’ve tested both.

So part of our process now is, when a new client comes in, we’re checking all those audiences. So we’re just generating those audiences in their Ads Manager, if they haven’t been generated yet. And then generating those lookalike audiences. And so with this, too, it’s like, “Well, the best converting audiences are the ones that you’re relying on that pixel data. You’re relying on Facebook to create the audience, find the people.” And we’ve seen that for the last couple of years, that lookalike audiences obviously do really well when you leverage Facebook’s data that it has on its users. And that is something we’ve seen. But then specifically being strategic with these pixel audiences, which also means being strategic with setting your pixel up correctly, so that throughout your funnel you have the right standard event on each page.

So you have lead, and purchase, and add to cart, or initiate checkout, whatever those relevant events would be. If you have those set up, then you’re gathering data so that eventually, if you don’t have it yet, you’ve got an audience of a thousand people once you have hit that level of traffic, and then you can create those lookalike audiences. And this is kind of where ads get better and better as you kind of snowball, because you’ll have more and more data on your pixel, and then it’s easier to create those lookalike audiences, which makes targeting easier, and makes it easier across the board, to run those ads and have that data. So when you’re just starting out, you don’t really have that. You have to use interest audiences and audiences that you’re kind of coming up with yourself. But make sure, as you grow, that as soon as you have the opportunity to leverage the data that you’re building on that pixel, you leverage it and you create those lookalike audiences for all those different scenarios, and then test them. Test them in your funnel.

So I wanted to talk about leaning on the pixel data and the algorithms and how we are seeing, between CBO campaigns, Dynamic Creative, and leveraging the Facebook pixel, this really strong trend that what Facebook wants you to do is lean on them more, give them more control. But also it’s not just about the control. It’s about leveraging the data that they have. And so Facebook’s algorithms are incredibly powerful. Like, don’t try to outsmart them. Let them work with you. I see a lot of people get mad, like, “Oh, I don’t get organic reach,” and like “Facebook’s algorithms suck,” and try to kind of outsmart and outwit the algorithms. And it won’t work. If you go with the algorithms, and you use them to your advantage, and you really kind of let Facebook… trust them a little bit, with choosing the winning ad, or using your budget strategically, it normally works. Like not 100% of the time, because that’s why we do testing and we see this. But my team has reported for the last couple of months across the board, I’d say like 90%, we’re seeing Dynamic Creative working really well. Sometimes we do see it convert higher than the other way of doing it, which is breaking it out into multiple ads, versus one ad with multiple versions within it.

And then leveraging that pixel. Which, I’ve always talked about that. That’s not a new thing. But I thought that that thousand audience [requirement] was interesting. That’s kind of the cutoff where my team felt like, if it wasn’t at least a thousand, the lookalike wasn’t strong enough to actually target. So I thought that was an interesting piece. But again, using the pixel data, leaning into those algorithms, and trusting Facebook a little bit, is kind of the direction we’re going in with the changes they roll out, the things that they roll out. Some upcoming things they’ve talked about rolling out, too, is letting you, within an ad, test different copy and different sizes, and letting the algorithm choose that. So that might be a feature that comes out at some point. And again, it’s just like that theme of, how do we let the algorithms choose the winning ads? And the winning ad sets? And spread your budget out that way?

So if you’re not already doing this, if you’re not already testing Dynamic Creative or leveraging pixel data, make sure to set yourself up so you can do this. Because this is the trend we’re seeing in 2020. It is working well for us. And I’m so grateful that we have so many clients that we get to test this out on, and then all the clients benefit from this data, because we have these meetings as the ads team, and we talk about what is working and what’s not working. And so all of the clients benefit from that intel within my team. It’s the coolest thing.

Just kind of like, harvesting that data is something that I’m always working on, because we have such an advantage, especially in this space of digital products, influencers, and what’s working. We even audit some really big accounts. I don’t publicly offer this, but we audit some really big companies’ accounts who have massive in-house teams, and have hired us to come in and audit what they’re doing, because they want our intel. But then we get even more intel, too. So we’re seeing their accounts, we’re giving them advice, but we’re learning ourselves, too. So it’s so cool. It gets me so excited. It’s one of my top reasons I love what I get to do, because then I get to share that with you guys, with our students, and our clients benefit from it. And so we’re really strategic with how we kind of harvest that intel and share that and spread it.

If you want to work with Team Hirsh, if you want access to that intel, like directly in your account and that kind of advantage, I believe it’s a really massive shortcut. It’s one of the biggest reasons we’re so sought-after as an agency, is because people want that shortcut. The shortcut to the best targeting, to the best strategies, to what’s working, what’s not working, because it changes so fast. So many additions. It’s very overwhelming for a lot of people. So you can go to HelpMyStrategy.com to apply to work with Team Hirsh. Thanks so much for tuning in today, guys. I hope you enjoyed this short and sweet episode about Facebook pixels, Dynamic Creative, all of that, data, algorithms. And I will see you all next time.