Dying to know what’s working vs not working today in marketing?

You’re in for a treat today my friend.

My team is in the trenches every day working behind the scenes of dozens of ad accounts with insider intel on the latest marketing trends.

We bring those insights and hot takes to the members of the PDQ in real time through text alerts and a Monthly Marketing Round Up.

Normally that content is strictly available only inside the PDQ… but in today’s episode I’m sharing an exclusive behind the scenes clip from our very first PDQ Monthly Marketing Round Up!

The digital marketing world moves fast, and it will not wait for you to catch up.

Tune in for an inside scoop on what’s working today VS what’s not so you don’t fall behind!

I’m spilling all the tea on what we’re seeing with Facebook audiences, metric tracking, ad creative, and more!What was the most valuable takeaway you learned from today’s episode? Hit me up over on Instagram (@emilyhirsh) and give me all the deets!

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READ THE EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Hello everybody. Welcome back to the podcast. I hope you guys are doing amazing. I am in Colorado and if you didn’t watch my Instagram stories the other day, you missed the moose that literally walked right outside our door or studying glass door. I was freaking out. It was like top five moments of my life maybe. Just kidding, but maybe really. It was incredible. We are in the mountains for the next month. Recording content and getting work done has proven to be a little bit more difficult when I don’t have an office or a desk. So I ordered a card table on Amazon, that’ll be here soon, but I am enjoying myself so much and all the time in nature.

I have something for you guys today that’s a little bit different. I wanted to give you a sneak peek of last month’s Monthly Roundup that we did for the PDQ. So if you’re not inside the PDQ, that is our massive marketing media place, where we are giving you all of what’s new, what’s working, what’s not working information. Every month I do a Monthly Roundup where I basically walk through what we’re seeing and what’s changed in the last month, what’s working versus not working. This is all intel coming straight from my ads team who’s in client accounts, who’s seen it across so many different industries and funnels every single day.

I wanted to give you a little sneak peek recording of last month’s Monthly Roundup, because people are still talking about it. There was so much value. If you want access to this, it’s completely free. You just have to go to notforlazymarketers.com/pdq. PDQ stands for pretty darn quick, and it’s getting marketing information to you in real time today based on what’s working and not working. If you’ve been following the digital marketing world in the last six to 12 months, you know how important that is because it is literally changing by the day. So enjoy the sneak peek to our last Monthly Roundup, and if you want the access to the whole recording, you just have to go sign up and you’ll get access right on our dashboard.

All right, so this is our first roundup. I am very excited for it. The way that I am thinking these are going to go, and of course this is the first one, so we’ll test it out and any feedback you guys have at the end of what else you would want to hear or what you didn’t love, I will of course take because this is our first kind of Roundup that we’re doing. But the ultimate goal with these is that it’s kind of like an update every month of what we see behind the scenes as a company with our client’s ads, with our students, on Facebook and marketing in general and give you that update versus a training. I formatted it like what’s hot and what’s not right now in the last 30 days, and then also what to look out for in the next month and ongoing. So overall, industry shifts and changes and kind of what to be aware of.

I included iOS 15 in here, which is not until the fall, but I think people need to start thinking about it right now. So really just being that place to be where you can get that information so you’re up to date in a very short ,compacted way. We also will have a really exciting invitation for strategic reviews, which is something that is new and we’re only offering to anybody subscribed to the PDQ, not externally. So I’m excited for that. I want to leave plenty of time for conversation and questions if you’re like, “Hey, the iOS updates have done this to my ads. What would you suggest?” or, “I’m struggling with this,” or “I’m curious about this.”
I really want to be, like one of my goals with the PDQ is there so much overwhelm out there right now between Facebook groups, and people’s podcasts, and content that it’s like, what’s accurate? What do I actually need to care about? What do I do in my own business? I’m trying to help solve that because I get messaged all the time by people who are like, “what are you seeing? What do we need to know?” just because of our unique viewpoint as a company where we get to see millions of dollars of ad spend across all different industries, and accounts, and funnels, and have that Intel where a lot of people have one funnel or one business that they have into to, which is hard to stay on top of everything when you’re in that situation. So that’s the goal with the Roundup, with the PDQ as a whole is to be that place to go for accurate, up-to-date, need to know information in the marketing world because it’s changing so quickly that, oftentimes, someone’s podcast that was put out two months ago about the iOS updates is no longer fully relevant because things have changed and shifted. So that’s what we’re doing today. All right.

So what’s hot and what’s not? That’s where I’m going to start. I was going to separate them, but they kind of got mixed. In the what’s hot I was saying what not to do, so I was like, “all right, it’s going to go all in one and I’m going to share these things.” So first of all, one of the biggest things to pay attention to is since the iOS updates, especially in the last 30 to 60 days, is Facebook ad costs, specifically CPMs, which means it’s Facebook itself usually because they’re charging you more for your impressions on Facebook, are up across the board in most cases.

I will say an interesting thing is we have a handful, maybe four or five, of clients who are brand new with brand new ad accounts and they’re crushing it with $2 cost per leads. We’re like, “what is going?” on to the point where we actually tried, in a few accounts, some brand new ad accounts to compare it. We’re still testing that, but I think that’s a positive thing for you if you haven’t run ads, because it used to be where people were like, oh, if you haven’t run ads and you don’t have data, you’re going to spend one or two months getting that data and trying to get the cost down. But we’ve seen in multiple occurrences, some of my team is just like mind blown, super low cost per lead in brand new ad accounts where these seasoned ad accounts are not seeing that. So that’s just like a side note interesting thing. I’m not exactly sure why. I think it has something to do with the iOS pixel data on these super seasoned accounts is a little bit messed up right now with the algorithm.

Across the board though, costs are up. A lot of people know this, a lot of people are struggling with this. So what are we successfully doing to combat it? I want to walk through some of those things. The first thing is an increased frequency, like this is the number one thing that you can do, which is exhausting sometimes, but an increased frequency in creative refreshes and up-leveled innovation in the creative being used. In the last 60 to 90 days, if there’s one thing you do it’s this. In most cases for our clients, we’re refreshing ad copy and creative on a weekly basis because, unfortunately, the ads just don’t hit that place where they stay steady for a long time. They’ll be launched, they’ll do really well, and then they’ll start to go down. You’ve just got to constantly be refreshing creative. Specifically, an uplevel in innovative creative is the ads that are doing the best are Reels and memes that aren’t overdone, but you can still do a meme that’s still catchy in the feed.

Videos, creative videos, the entire platform as a whole is moving over to prioritizing that. We put this in a hot take, but Instagram is definitely in massive competition with TikTok. Align yourself with the platform’s goals. Their goal is to be better than TikTok, to be more relevant than TikTok. so they’re prioritizing all of that in ads and organic. If you’re seeing expensive ad costs, this is the number one thing that you can do is up-level the quality of your ad creative and the frequency that you’re putting it out there, and you will be favored in the algorithm. I say when in doubt with an ad just to launch new copy and creative, because it works almost every time to at least bring the cost down for a little bit. So that’s one thing we’re doing. We as a team to pivot to this have had to increase the level of support on the creative side for our clients, because it’s absolutely necessary these days for that.

The second thing to combat these higher ad costs is interest and demographic based audiences versus lookalikes. Now this is not a blanket statement, that’s really important. When you hear people say this you’ve got to test it in your own account because we can literally see one thing in one account work one way, and then the opposite in another account. All of these updates are opportunities for you to test and play in your own account. In some cases, we’ve seen interest and demographic based audiences start to do better, when it used to be the opposite six months ago. This is most likely due to people in those lookalike audiences opting out of being tracked and the quality of the lookalike audiences potentially going down.

So that means finding pages that people follow, specific demographic information, which is still going to be based on and found from Facebook’s algorithm and their data of their users, which is still intact, right? People can still be tracked on the Facebook app itself. It’s when they leave the app that the tracking is being lost, and that’s a lot of times what lookalike audiences are based off of, so the quality of them potentially has started to go down. If you haven’t tested interest and demographic audiences in a while, test them in your account and see, because it used to be the opposite of this. Literally six months ago, lookalike audiences were like a goldmine because it was Facebook’s algorithm finding people that are similar to your email list or whatever. But in some cases we’re seeing the opposite now. Definitely test though, because it could be different for you in some accounts. We’re still seeing lookalike audiences do great, so it really just depends, but it’s worth it to test.

The third thing, this one’s important if you haven’t done this yet, recreating if you have audiences that were created in your account prior to the iOS updates, you’re going to want to recreate them. And also when you can, now using actual emails, so like when you export a CSV file of emails is now going to be like the number one way to make lookalike audiences because your pixel data is being lost. So for example, if you used to say everybody who signed up for my webinar by landing on the thank you page was my audience that I then created a lookalike audience from, well, if they opt out of tracking, they’re now not going to be in that audience. However, if you use the actual email file of all of those audiences, they will be, and then your lookalike audience is just a little bit more complete. We started to notice that, and also even going back and kind of recreating past lookalike audiences to get fresh ones really helped. So using emails as the foundation. Then if you have good audiences and maybe they stopped converting in the last couple of months or last month, try to recreate them and see if that helps with the ad cost and the ad performance.

Then number four, this one’s also based on each account, but in the past year, dynamic creative has been a winner. It’s been something that has converted better than just doing the individual ad variations, which is where you choose the ad post IDs. But we’ve started to see that some dynamic creative is not performing as well. Just like with lookalikes versus demographic based audiences, test this in your account because you might be surprised. I feel like in my own account, if I have a Reel that does really well or video, and then we’re putting it in dynamic creative and it’s not being favored, I think that hurts us because we already know that those ads probably convert the best, and then we put it in dynamic creative and mix it with images or whatever other versions are, I think that it potentially impacts the results. Also, you don’t really have social proof with dynamic creative, so you can also try a blend of both where you initially tested with dynamic and then an ad that starts to take off you take that post ID so then you save all the social proof.

So trying to be a little bit creative with this and not being afraid to like, just try what works in your account, because in some ad accounts we’ve seen that not using dynamic creative is actually better than using it. We’ve also seen the opposite, but this is happening more and more today that dynamic creative isn’t working as well. It might go back. My theory on it is that Facebook really wants you to use dynamic creative, so I think their algorithm is a little messed up right now because of the iOS updates and I think they’ll improve it over the next couple of months. So it’s potentially a temporary thing, and then in two months I’ll be like dynamic creative is the way to go. That’s why we’re doing these because it changes so frequently, but right now it’s definitely worth it to test with how wacky the algorithm is on Facebook as they figure things out with the iOS updates and their loss of data.

Then number five, getting creative and focused on your funnels. So at the end of the day, the only way to overcome higher ad costs is two things. You get your cost per lead down with a different strategy, potentially. One I shared this week is maybe you go ebook and then on the thank you page is a webinar, or you do a PDF opt-in and then the thank you page is a webinar. Because if that front end opt-in is going to be less expensive, significantly less expensive, and then you get people registered to that webinar, you’re kind of making up for that more expensive ad costs. So that’s something to test out. I’ve seen people start to test this more and more. The second thing is, if ad costs are going to go up from now on, you’ve got to increase your average cart value. You might have to raise your prices a little bit. You might have to figure out how to get more bang for every purchase that you get.

I believe the businesses that do this well are going to be the ones that have much more sustainability, because you’re not able to say, “oh, let’s just wait this out until ad costs go down.” This is the new reality. What we’re seeing inside Facebook right now is the new reality because the iOS updates are rolled out. This is the way it’s going to be. So the two biggest drivers are you have the best ad creative and you have the best backend strategy. What’s happening off that ad is now like I’ve been saying, you know, 10 times more important. Start thinking if you’re really struggling with expensive ad costs, and I’ve had people reach out saying I was getting $7 webinar registrations and now they’re at $30.

Well, one, better ad creative is the first step. Can you get it down with increased ad creative volume and quality? Two, what could you do on the front end? Should you test a basic PDF download or something that’s going to be cheaper than a webinar registration, and then put all those people into your webinar funnel and put it on the thank you page? And three, do you need to raise your prices a little bit? How do you increase your average cart value? How do you increase the revenue you make from every purchase? Because you’re having to potentially pay a little bit more and work a little bit more for every customer that you bring into your business. That’s a natural response that business owners are going to have to have to all these changes.

The other piece is the tracking that’s lost with iOS updates. So now that all the updates have been rolled out, it’s really interesting how it varies in each ad account, how much data is being lost. But we’re seeing about 30 to 50% in a lot of accounts lost their tracking. So under reporting on the actual leads, webinar registration, purchases, whatever it is. We definitely saw that happen. We also found out from a Facebook contact that on July 1st everything was officially rolled out on Facebook. So now, whatever you’re seeing in your tracking is the new normal. That’s what to expect moving forward. All their internal updates are done. I do think they’re going to continue to improve their algorithm in terms of dynamic creative and those types of things, but until then you have to adapt.

So how are we combating this tracking and this loss of tracking? One, this is something that we have done before iOS updates since I started, because Facebook actually was never fully accurate with it’s tracking. They used to actually over-report a lot of times. And so it’d say you have 120 leads and you actually have 105. We have always had, when we can, a separate funnel for Facebook ad leads. That means if you have a webinar funnel, you duplicate that exact funnel with a different URL. That way you can tag those leads when they sign up for your webinar as a Facebook ad lead. So then there’s no arguing, then you know exactly how many leads you have coming in from your Facebook ads. No question that they maybe came from Instagram, or they clicked on an email, or whatever, because you only use that URL in your Facebook ads. This is something that we’ve done for probably three years, and it’s really helped us through this because now we have the accurate data.

Now, it doesn’t help when optimizing your ads because you then don’t know which ones are doing well. You have to go off of cost per click and CPM and assume that you know it’s working well, but it does impact the optimization when you have these issues. But this is a way to, for sure, get accurate data because there’s no arguing that if you only use the link inside of your ads and then you tag those leads, then that’s how many leads you have. There’s no ambiguity around it. The reason I also like doing this, no matter what, if you’re having tracking issues or not, is then you can see in six months from now, let’s say you have a lead buy. You’re able to see that their initial point of contact came from a Facebook ad six months ago, which is extremely valuable to have that.

I recommend doing this no matter if you’re having tracking issues or not, but it has really helped us combat the iOS issues. It’s something we have all of our clients, we won’t run their ads without implementing this, because then there’s too much question around the actual accuracy of it. Then all of our students in our program also, we help set this up because it’s so critical. Now, in some cases when this isn’t possible, especially with e-commerce, with SLO funnels. Sometimes when you have multiple products, you can’t make a bunch of different duplicate funnels. So when that’s not really possible, we’ve definitely pulled in Google analytics and UTM codes to pair with Facebook’s. We’ve got a process to create that, to help with that tracking, to have another place for that tracking. If it makes sense, it can be a beast to set up, but it does help with that too.

We have a client who has a ton of digital offers, but it’s kind of like e-commerce because it’s just going straight to a bunch of digital offers and she can’t duplicate every single funnel. It wouldn’t be viable for that. That really only works for a lead gen or a webinar type of funnel where you can duplicate that first step. You tag that first step and you have that separated. So Google UTM codes and Google analytics is another option as backup, and then you can look at other softwares that can support that. There are lots out there. This is why we’re building our own, that I’ll hint at that won’t be ready for a little while, but there definitely are softwares that can help. I haven’t found one that we’ve tested that was really easy to use and simple. A lot of them over-complicate things. It’s hard to set them up. So it’s a need and the industry, coming soon from Hirsh Marketing. Now I want to dive into what are we looking forward to in the next month, before we do our next Monthly Roundup and the overall marketing current state today right now, and what to keep in mind over this next month.

All right you guys, so that is what I have for you today. I want to mention that if you want to get access to this entire recording of the Roundup where I also dive into what the Instagram changes mean and lots more, go to notforlazymarketers.com/pdq. We will be doing another Roundup at the end of August. Every one happens on the last Thursday of the month and you have access to that recording for the entire month. So if you want access to July’s, go get access right now at that link. Then you’ll also be there for August’s Roundup.

I have one more quick thing to mention, and that is this Thursday, I am doing a live training about the two keys you need in your business, in your marketing right now to survive these times. I’m seeing a lot of people saying things like “it’s my webinar funnel,” or “it’s Facebook ads”, or fill in the blanks, whatever. Really, it’s that most of these business owners are missing these two key components to their marketing. They might be simple, but most people are missing them. So if you want to register for that free training, you can go to notforlazymarketers.com/keys. It’s happening this Thursday, and I will see you guys there.

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