3 Steps for Transforming Social Media into Your Best Performing Lead Generator


avatar Jason Foley | Founder

Our founder, Jason Foley, sat down with CEIPAL to discuss advertising on social media. He breaks down three steps to turn social media into your best performing lead generator.

A full transcript of the video can be found below.

Sheila Mulrooney:

Hello everybody. And thank you for joining CEIPAL’s webinar series: Winning Strategies for Staffing Businesses at Critical Times. For today’s webinar, entitled “3 Steps for Transforming Social Media Into your Best Performing Lead Generator,” CEIPAL is joined by Founder of Accelerate Media, Jason Foley, and our very own Jacob Jackson, Marketing and Communications Manager at CEIPAL. Following this discussion, there’s going to be a brief product demo by our CTO Amar. So, thank you everyone for joining. If you have any technical difficulties, just let us know in the chat and for now, I’ll get started. So, before we jump into the webinar, I just want to cover a couple of housekeeping items. So first, each webinar will be recorded and available on demand through CEIPAL’s website. A follow-up email will be sent to all registrants with the recording, the presentation, and any other relevant material. Second, we are going to have the live Q&A following the presentation.

Sheila:

So, all participants have entered the webinar muted. So please enter your questions either in the chat box on the right hand menu or in the questions box and I’ll address the questions to the different panelists. That’s all for me. So now it’s my great pleasure to introduce our presenters for today. First we have with us, Jason Foley. Jason spent his twenties hiring companies to help with various marketing initiatives. He found that most digital agencies are either old school, who just hired a developer or two, or they are a bunch of developers who hire a copywriter and an account rep—but these agencies consistently let him down. And as a result, he decided to start his own marketing company in the digital space focused on delivering results. Twelve years later, Accelerate Media is now a highly successful marketing group based in Rochester, New York with clients around the United States.

Sheila:

Jason, welcome. It’s great to have you here.

Jason Foley:

Thank you.

Sheila:

Our next panelist is Jacob Jackson. Jacob is the Marketing Communications Manager at CEIPAL, where he’s responsible for a range of external facing activities, including public relations, analyst relations, CEIPAL branding, event marketing, and—of course—social media. Jake was able to transform CEIPAL social media into their best performing lead generator, resulting in a 15% overall increase in leads and a 78% reduction in cost per acquisition. In his free time, you can find him on the soccer field or enjoying a nice cup of coffee in a local cafe. Welcome Jake.

Sheila:

Our demo will be given by Amar. He’s going to join us halfway through, but I want to introduce him now. Amar joined CEIPAL in 2011, where he was tasked with building an internal database of the most sought after profiles on the market. Little did anyone realize this database would evolve into one of the most versatile and efficient HCM systems on the market today, CEIPAL ATS. Amar is known for his amiable demeanor and continues to shape the future of CEIPAL in the industry today. So at CEIPAL, we’re excited to hear from such industry experts and with that, Jake and Jason, I’m going to pass it off to you guys.

Jason:

So firstly, I want to talk a little bit about social media presence versus social media marketing. What’s the difference? Because a lot of companies, they hear about social media and they think of how many likes they have, how many followers they have, how much engagement rate they have on their posts and things like that. So a social media presence is those things. It means regular posting, getting likes, gaining followers, direct messaging in your platform. Theme days like throwback Thursday or contests. And that also includes like communities, groups, and even getting a little bit into marketing where you do like promoted posts. So that’s what most people are familiar with when they talk about social media. We’re going to talk today about social media marketing, which is different.

Jason:

It’s different in that we are targeting audiences that you don’t know or haven’t interacted with in any way. We’re going to provide content that’s a lot more geared towards buying activities. So actually getting them to do something that will impact directly profit and ask for more direct engagement that brings ROI. So things like form fills and then getting new leads. And also we can optimize these campaigns for trackable return on investment. So rather then, “Oh, we had a 70% engagement” that’s great, or, you know, these types of things that they are they’re useful, but they don’t, they’re hard to track down to how much you spent to, how much you got in return. A bit of a confession…social media was something that I was very soured on early in my career. We hired various social media “experts” and they talked all about the social media presence side of things. And it was very difficult for us to provide companies good return on investment. Not that not that the presence doesn’t have its place and it can’t work well for, for certain companies. We’ve found that it was very difficult to get the ROI, but the social media marketing side of it is much different. And we’ve seen some of our best return on investment in that side of things.

Jacob Jackson:

Great. So as Jason mentioned today, we are really going to focus on social media marketing, not so much on the presense side, but more heavily focused on how exactly you can turn social media into one of your best lead generators. And just like Jason, you know, if I saw this headline, you know, 12 months ago, I might’ve been a little bit hesitant, but over the last past months I’ve helped create these campaigns from the ground up. I’ve seen what, what they can do.

Jacob:

I’ve seen the leads that they can generate, and I’ve seen these leads convert into actual deals. So I’m a strong advocate now for social media marketing and the many different steps it takes to really pull it all together and drive some great results, which we’re hoping that we can kind of shed some light on these different steps for you today. So you can actually, you know, go ahead and set up some of your own campaigns moving forward as well. So today we are going to focus on the three primary steps you need to do in order to set up these campaigns and actually start some social media marketing for yourself in your own company. First, we’re going to be talking a little bit more about the targeting functionality you have on both LinkedIn and Facebook. It’s a bit interesting because there are some situations where you can do this on LinkedIn, but not that on Facebook and vice versa.

Jacob:

So we’ll kind of break down all the different, you know, nitty gritty details in regards to how you can target, who you can target, and everything in between. And, let’s face it. I think we’ve all been there before where we’ve had a conversation with a friend or colleague about a product or service, and then all of a sudden, bam, it’s all over our news feeds. Like for example, yesterday, if I was talking to Jason about a new coffee maker, chances are today when I check out my LinkedIn newsfeed or my Facebook feed I’m going to see some ads for coffee makers. So both, you know, it might be a little bit creepy, but it’s also really intriguing. So we’re gonna focus more on the intriguing side of things, how that targeting happens, and how you can actually utilize that type of targeting for your own marketing activities.

Jacob:

Second just like the type of targeting you can do, there are also lots of different options you have when it comes to the actual creatives and ad set up. So whether it’s LinkedIn or Facebook utilizing photos, videos, direct form fills, there are so many different ways you can kind of pull it together with your messaging and ensure that you’re telling who, you know, who you want to target and step one with what you want to target them with for step two. And then step three, Jason’s going to kind of conclude the presentation by talking a little bit more about how you can optimize these campaigns. Like I mentioned, there’s endless possibilities when it comes to targeting and the actual ads you can create, you can mix and match between all of them. And one of the biggest, most important aspects of LinkedIn and Facebook campaigns is making sure you are seeing what works and what doesn’t.

Jacob:

So Jason will kind of walk you through how you can kind of see some success factors and really make the deciding factor on, “Hey, let’s, you know, let’s invest more in this campaign and let’s pause on this other one because it’s not as effective.” So really getting the most bang out of your buck with these different types of campaigns. And with that, I’m going to go ahead and jump right into understanding targeting with LinkedIn. On the left side of your screen you’re going to see a bit of a laundry list when it comes to different targeting options you have on LinkedIn. Instead of reading this laundry list, I’m actually going to jump directly in LinkedIn campaign manager so you can actually see how it looks in the backend so you can get some more insights about how it looks if you actually set up a campaign yourself.

Jacob:

So after this webinar, you can actually jump right into LinkedIn. It’s going to look just like this. You can do some of the things we’re showing you today and actually start testing your own campaigns and move forward that way. So I’m going to run pretty quickly through some of these different features that you have when it comes to targeting. And then Jason’s going to do a quick little overview about the do’s and don’ts about what we see is most successful and things that we’ve tested that haven’t been so successful. So right off the bat, when it comes to targeting, you can see that there is a location focus where you can basically designate a specific location of where you want to target your audience. You can get very broad when it comes to overall countries or continents, but you can also get very specific.

Jacob:

Like for example, if I wanted to target a specific city in New York, Rochester, New York, I can target and make sure that individuals that I am targeting only reside in Rochester, New York. So you can have a lot of fun when it comes to that type of targeting, moving forward with specific ads that you have. But where it gets really interesting is when you get down here to the narrow icon, when you click narrow, you essentially have two primary options. One of them is labeled audiences and one is audience attributes. And this is where the fun really comes from. The audiences is essentially utilizing contact information that you already have. So for example, you’re going to see a few options on the right where there’s list upload, lookalike, other retargeting, and so on and so forth. For example, list upload, essentially what LinkedIn allows you to do is upload your own Microsoft Excel list with contact information of prospects you have.

Jacob:

So hypothetically let’s say we have a list of 5,000 prospects that we want to get our message out in front of. We’ll upload that list on LinkedIn and LinkedIn will automatically match these contacts with current existing LinkedIn accounts. So let’s say I upload a list of 5,000 contacts as much information as I can with first name, last name, you know, their company name and title. The more information I have, the better LinkedIn is going to match that list. What’s also interesting is that LinkedIn offers a lookalike audience option where essentially LinkedIn will take that list that we just created and create a whole new separate list of individual profiles on LinkedIn that they think best match that list we uploaded. And we’ve actually seen a lot of success on that as well, but Jason, will kind of get more in the details as well.

Jacob:

After this section of the presentation. Lastly, before I jump over to the attributes, one of the interesting options you have on LinkedIn is retargeting. So when you select retargeting, you’re going to see a few different options here. You can essentially follow individuals based on specific activities that they perform. For example, if they’re visiting your company LinkedIn page, you can ask LinkedIn to ensure that you’re targeting those individuals that showed some sort of general amount of interest to follow them along, to nurture them towards a specific call to action as a piece of content, white paper, demo, anything in between. And that’s not only just for your company page on LinkedIn, you can also target specific attendees for LinkedIn events that you host as well as individuals that fill in specific forums or had even visited specific landing pages on your website. Then when we get to the audience attributes option, you will actually see a few more specific and more personal types of targeting.

Jacob:

You’ll actually see the option for company where you can actually select, you know, a specific range of industries that you wanted to target, specific followers or connections, or also very specific, you can search company names. For example, if we search CEIPAL, we’re going to see, you know, the company page with about 200, 500 employees. If I select them, I am now targeting the employees of that company. So this is a very powerful tool. If you have a good idea about what type of companies you want to target to get your message in front of, LinkedIn will definitely be one of your best friends in regards to making sure you get in front of those people. Other than specific company, you can see there’s also a few nitty-gritty details, even as specific as the age range or the gender of the individuals, the degree that they may have gotten, or the school that they’ve studied at, or one of my favorite functionalities is by targeting a specific job title. And something to keep in mind is that all these different functionalities and targeting options work together.

Jacob:

So let’s say I’m targeting CEIPAL. So I’m going to be targeting 250, 300 employees, but I really only want to get my message in front of the key decision makers. What I’m going to do is, after I select a CEIPAL, I’m going to select job titles and call out specifically who from this company I want to get my message in front of. Which in many cases might be the CEO, the president, and things along those lines for who I really want to get my message in front of by job title. And last but not least, before I pass it over to Jason, to elaborate a little bit more about what we’ve seen has been most successful and least successful, is these member groups. So what I like to do when I set up a LinkedIn campaigns as well, is that regardless of who you are, regardless of what industry you’re in, chances are you’re going to be a member of specific groups that you’re interested in.

Jacob:

So let’s say hypothetically, I’m setting up a campaign to target recruiters, but I know that they are specifically, you know, IT and Engineering staffing recruiters. What I can do is, I can just search and LinkedIn will populate any relevant member groups and right here, you know, for example, I can see that there’s a member group for “US IT staffing recruiting professionals.” And if you hover over this question mark, you’re going to see how many members within each of these groups there are. In this case, there’s about 800 members. I’ll go ahead and add that to the targeting and I’ll begin to start targeting those 800 members with the message I want to tell. So like I mentioned, there’s lots of nitty gritty combinations you can get when it comes to LinkedIn targeting, but we have seen some areas be a little bit more successful than others. And with that, I’m going to pass it back over to Jason, to share a little bit more about the do’s and don’ts about what we’ve seen on LinkedIn.

Jason:

Thanks, Jake. So a few things that Jake touched on, there’s a lot of options in there, right? So we want to talk about what things we’ve seen success with with CEIPAL and with a lot of other companies and what things we’ve seen our mistakes in setting things up. The first one, and this is actually step one of any campaign, which is why I put it here even though it’s a little bit about targeting a little bit about the ad, but you want to make the conversion metric, it’s going to ask you, do you want brand awareness? Do you want video views or do you want a certain like form fill or, or visit to a website? You want to make it as conversion-based as possible. That’s going to allow you to really analyze your audience – just because an audience engages with it doesn’t mean it’s a good conversion metric for you.

Jason:

So that’s the first thing very important about targeting your audiences. So, you know, you can track ROI back based on what happens with those targeted audiences. Secondly, you want to target as specifically as possible, especially out of the gate. You want to start with very specific audiences that are, that are separated so that you can understand if this audience works for your particular campaign. You may think just by the name of it, audiences is going to be great, but it may be people that are interested in subject cause they’re trying to sell to that group versus it actually being a member of that group. So you want to be very specific when you target. Do upload the contact list. Linkedin is very good at matching contact lists. And then with those contact lists, as, as Jake said, you can match lookalike audiences to those and the same with companies like doing company lists and, and using those as a very good way to target when you know your specific audience. In that way LinkedIn is unique.

Jason:

There’s really not another platform that you can, you can do that on at this level. The other thing that Jake touched on, which is very useful, especially for staffing firms, is filtering by job titles. So you can target very specific range of job titles. You do want to use an exhaustive list, like don’t just pick one job title and assume that it’s going to get everything around that. You want to use, similar job titles to that, and take some time searching on that. The other thing about targeting is you want to test interests, you know, in the don’ts I say don’t lump everything together. So you want to create different groups for each of these different audiences, because you may think just because somebody is interested in something that it’s going to convert well and you may, and some people may have said, Oh, I’ve tried LinkedIn.

Jason:

I’ve tried Facebook advertising and it didn’t work. Well, if it only takes one bad group to make three good groups perform terribly. So if you haven’t separated those different interest groups out in the setup, then you’re going to end up with not understanding your audience, not understanding which audience, which audiences work. And then the last thing, lookalike audiences. We like lookalike audiences, but we, we try to always make sure we’re confident in the source audience first. So test your contact lists first to make sure it’s a good list for you. Then use the lookalike, or, or try and interest group, and then try the lookalike after you’re sure that that particular interest group is a well converting campaign for you. On the don’ts similarly don’t, don’t just accept brand awareness or video views as a super successful campaign.

Jason:

If an agency or, or somebody is trying to sell you, “Oh, we’ll just get good brand awareness out of this,” that is not a good end goal. Even though it could be an ancillary goal, it could be, yes, it costs us this much per lead, but we also got a lot of brand awareness with it. It goes into the equation, but it shouldn’t be the end all be all. And then don’t make assumptions on demographics. That’s something I’ve seen often where people are like, “Oh, I’m sure we want this age group, or we want this, you know, this certain thing,” you know, these campaigns or these, these tools are set up to really allow you to test and make sure things work or don’t work. So it allows you to test a lot of your assumptions just as opposed to just making them. Then another don’t in terms of targeting is don’t let your audience get stale.

Jason:

You know, you, you get a frequency rate on ads. So after they’ve seen an ad, you know, 20 times, you may need to add to that by doing a lookalike audience at that point, or you may need to try to look for other interest areas. Cause that’s one thing about social media and targeting is, there’s a limited group, which is great because you’re hyper targeted. You can’t assume that that group is going to perform indefinitely. It’s going to get stale if you don’t continue to refresh it. And then the last thing is you can exclude audiences and this can be important for performance. Especially if you have users on a platform or you have people that are already associated with your company, you want to exclude them because they’ll click on your ad just as a way to get to your site. So you don’t want to pay for them. And also on social media, you usually pay by view, not by clicks. So even if they’re not paying for those users a waste of money. So these platforms do a really good job of allowing you to exclude certain audiences.

Jacob:

Great. So now I’m going to transition a little bit more so on the Facebook side of things, when it comes to targeting options. Just like before, I’m actually going to jump directly within the Facebook business manager. So we can take a look at how this targeting works. I’m going to work a little bit more quickly through Facebook, just because there’s so much overlap between the two platforms. But one of the things we hear a lot is when it comes to B2B companies, a lot of business owners and marketing managers assume that, “Hey, it’s B2B, there’s no place for us on Facebook.” That, you know, I, I strongly disagree with that, we’ve seen proof otherwise. It’s definitely worth exploring and testing out because Facebook does lead to a great amount of cost-effective leads. It’s just that you have to get a little bit more creative when it comes to the overall targeting.

Jacob:

Just as you know, everyone on this call probably knows too, LinkedIn as a much more business oriented social media platform where there’ll be, you know, focusing more-so on their day-to-day business lives. Whereas on Facebook, it’s more so focused on a personal life basis where instead of talking about the recent promotion I got, I’m sharing pictures of the new puppy I got. It’s more-so focused on kind of personal attributes rather than very career oriented things. And as we can see the targeting aspect of things too, you can see that the targeting that Facebook offers is actually more-so focused on a personal basis rather than company or job title and things along those lines. You still can of course, target by job title and things along those lines when it comes to Facebook, but much more-so it’s more heavily focused on kind of like the interests and behaviors of the users rather than the career that they actually perform on a day-to-day basis.

Jacob:

And one thing to kind of add on to that as well. We’re all, you know, we’re all people, right? Regardless of if I’m the CEO of a huge company or just an everyday user walking down the street – people use Facebook and they’re going to be on Facebook. So if you target correctly, you’re going to get your message in front of the right people, not only on LinkedIn, but Facebook as well, and really nurture your messaging to get in front of the right people, to eventually generate qualified leads in great amount of numbers. So a little bit different than LinkedIn, how we kind of saw how it broke up as audience and audience attributes. Facebook allows you to kind of be a little bit exploratory where you can type in different interests and it kind of shows you which category it’s really under. So for example, if we’re looking for a recruiter, if I type in recruiting we can see some job titles.

Jacob:

We can see employers of certain organizations. We can see schools and interests. Many times there are some high-level interests that we might not even think about. Believe it or not recruiters sometimes, you know, they, they will probably say on Facebook that one of their interests and hobbies is recruiting and we’ll see that within the interests as well. There’s also third-party publication sites such as, you know, recruiting blogs, people, people like, you know, seeing news and seeing news on their Facebook and LinkedIn profiles. So many times they will follow relevant pages or blogs or things along those lines, which you can directly target the followers of within these campaigns to get in front of the right people. And as you can see as well, there are a few different age ranges, gender, some demographic specific areas and, one of the areas I wanted to kind of call out again, before I pass it over to Jason for kind of like a Facebook debrief of do’s and don’ts, is really focusing on the excluding factor that Jason just touched on. Within both LinkedIn and Facebook, you can exclude audiences and you might be wondering, you know, why would I want to exclude specific people?

Jacob:

Well, when it comes down to things like Jason mentioned, many times on these campaigns, you’re either paying for people to click on things or even just view things. So you want to make sure that your campaigns are optimized as much as possible and getting in front of the right people. So in doing so, what you can do, which is a very common factor to help optimize these campaigns is that you can exclude by company and especially on LinkedIn, it’s very helpful and easy. You can exclude not only by adding your own personal company, because you don’t want to pay for your own employees to see these ads that you’re hoping to get in front of prospects, but you can also include your primary competitors to ensure that your competitors aren’t going to see your ads, your content, and your messaging on their LinkedIn newsfeeds as well. So that’s just another way where you can kind of optimize your targeting to make sure you’re getting and spending your money in the most optimal way. But with that, I’m going to pass it back over to Jason, to talk a little bit more about the do’s and don’ts when it comes to Facebook.

Jason:

Thanks, Jake. So similarly here we want, we want it to be conversion-based right. So we want to set our objectives conversion-based. We also don’t want to lump our audiences together, right? The same way we want to make sure we’re testing our audience segment by audience segment. Now, because we can’t do as much with Facebook in terms of uploading lists or you can upload a list, but it often won’t match it because Facebook usually has a personal email associated whereas LinkedIn is able to match a business email at a, at a much higher rate. So Facebook’s a little harder to upload lists for. So for that reason, spending a lot of time searching for interests and the other thing you can look for is, is competitor pages, if they’re following competitors or, or maybe a certain, if you know, big pages that have large followings on Facebook, it has to have a pretty large following to be there, but you can target based on those followers of those pages – for Facebook.

Jason:

So those are some of the, and it takes some time, but if you spend some time and investing in searching those interest groups, searching the, the different Facebook pages that exist in that segment out there you can do some, some good targeting there. The other thing I didn’t put on the slide, which I thought it was Jake was talking is retargeting. If you have, let’s say you have a job posting out there. You could put cookies on those pages and then retarget those, those job postings or other visitors to your website. You can retarget very, very cost-effectively in Facebook. It’s much cheaper than it is to retarget on Google, on Facebook. And then beyond that you have lookalike, so you can take existing customers, existing candidates, and then match them with lookalike audiences. So if you have a couple thousand in there, it can identify people who look like them, or you can use website visitors for lookalike audiences the retargeting groups you could look for retargeting.

Jason:

So those are, those are, some of the ways that you can use things to do in Facebook, the things you don’t want to do… lumping the audience together. We talked about Facebook has like a little monitor of how big your audience might be. Don’t let that overly worry you. Try to run the campaign. Sometimes it’ll say, “Oh, there’s only 500 people that you’ll reach,” and then I’ll look two days later and the reach will be 10,000. So those estimates are often not accurate. So, so keep your audiences small to start and see what happens and then if you need to expand them, you can expand them. Facebook, especially with a lot of the heat they’ve taken lately and some of the legislation – there are a lot of like starts and stops. They got a lot of checks and balances.

Jason:

So don’t, don’t get easily frustrated by that and you just gotta kind of work at it and figure out what what’s the, the issue that they came up with today and go in and, and figure out how to get the campaign to restart. Also Facebook has an option to automatically expand your audience. You don’t want to do that to start. You want to make sure – the audience you’ve selected works. And then if you’re sure it works, you can try letting them expand it to see how that affects performance. But these companies are in business to make money for themselves. So giving them free reign usually doesn’t end up the best for you.

Jacob:

That’s great. We’ve got step one down. We now have a brief overview about how exactly we can set up these targeted campaigns on LinkedIn and Facebook. Now we can get to more-so kind of like the the fun visual side about, you know, we now know who we’re going to be targeting with these campaigns. Now let’s focus on what we’re actually going to show these people.

Jacob:

So both LinkedIn and Facebook both have different options about how you can set up these campaigns. Really quick I’m gonna run through some of these options and then show some real world examples of campaigns that we’ve actually set up ourselves. So on LinkedIn, you can see a few different options of just single images, carousel images, videos, and then you have two options when it comes to kind of direct messaging. One of them being messages where you can actually send in a LinkedIn InMail with a few sentences and the call to action to whoever your target audience is. So many of us on the call probably have seen this happen to us before, where you’ll see a little notification pop up in your chat, in the lower right corner. And it says, LinkedIn InMail, it’s essentially a message targeted towards you with some sort of product or service.

Jacob:

There’s also a conversation ad option where you can have the conversation set up between that message you’ve sent out and these users. Essentially saying, Hey, you know, I’ve got this product or service, or you’re trying to send out some sort of piece of content, there’s two different call to actions that you can select. And essentially an automated AI bot will kind of continue the conversation with these individuals that will lead them to specific call to actions and workflows that you prepare to ensure you kind of get them to the right piece of content that they’re looking for. And similar to LinkedIn, Facebook also offers a wide range of different types of ad formats, such as imagery, video content, carousel, which I’ll show you in a second, as well as collection, which is essentially a group of different items that you can kind of really optimize on a mobile experience type of a format.

Jacob:

So real quick, here’s actually some real world examples of some campaigns and some ads that we’ve set up in the past. The LinkedIn example on the left, you can see that this is actually a campaign we generated on the CEIPAL side where we were using a piece of high level content, which we’ve seen has been extremely successful. And for this this specific piece, it was a white paper on AI in the recruiting industry. And what’s cool about LinkedIn and Facebook is that you can actually directly correlate form fills within each of these platforms, instead of having an image or a URL where someone might click on it and then be redirected to a new tab on a different website, you can keep it all with these platforms, which we have seen to be extremely successful. And one of the best parts is that, you know, nobody likes filling in forms, but when it’s directly within these platforms, a lot of this content is already pre-populated based on your LinkedIn or Facebook accounts.

Jacob:

So there’s less to fill in. It’s more streamlined and it’s a better user experience for the individual on the Facebook side. What’s interesting is that a lot of you on this call are actually registered and attending this webinar because of a social marketing campaign we set up on Facebook. Many of you may have seen this ad pop-up, which may be the reason why you registered and are listening to Jason and I talk today, which is pretty interesting. There’s some size differences when it comes to Facebook and LinkedIn, but there’s also kind of a range of different types of media that you can kind of really take advantage of, A/B test a little bit, which Jason will talk to soon when we talk about optimizing campaigns. But last but not least, here’s an example of what a carousel ad is. You saw it on the list that I just shared the last slide, but essentially the carousel slide is – it allows you to set up an ad with multiple images. You’ve probably seen these on both your LinkedIn and Facebook feeds before, where the images actually work together in some way, shape, or form. And each image has a direct call to action to drive more traffic to those sites. And with that, I’m going to pass it back over to Jason to talk a little bit more about the do’s and don’ts.

Jason:

Thanks Jake.

Jason:

So the thing about ad content is, and this it comes to all ads, you want to make sure that they benefit them. On the don’t side, don’t be all about yourself, right? So, so we want to always think about the ads that we’re creating. Think about the user, what is the use case for them that they will want to engage with your ad? So that takes some brainstorming. You know, Jake mentioned a couple for us one of the things that’s worked well is, is “What does recruiting look like post COVID-19?” Right? So that, that’s the question. A lot of people are asking. So we put together a piece of content based on that, that they answered those questions and we put that out there because it benefits the users. And then as you engage with your target audience, they tend to trust you more and then you can, you can do better things with them.

Jason:

So that’s the first and the most common mistake that ads that the people do with ads is they, they don’t make it about the user. They make it about themselves. Secondly, don’t be clever, be clear. People like to “get” things they don’t like to “receive” things. “Get” converts better than “receive” on almost every ad we’ve ever done even though it sounds less refined. It’s just people like plain language. As Jake said, using the in-app form fills over landing page, somebody gets to a landing page – they trust Facebook at least to a degree and LinkedIn, they’re on that platform, so a form fill there is not – you go to a new webpage, now you’ve got to develop a level of trust with the company. Do you want to give this company your email? So the conversion rate is going to be much higher if you can use the form fill on the site, as Jacob said.

Jason:

Making sure everything is in sync. What that means is your message and your creative, your call to action – they all need to make sense together. And on the, on the flip side, it said avoid randomize ads, right? So like Jake talked about the carousel and in terms of making something in sync – probably for a recruiting agency, a carousel doesn’t make a lot of sense, right. But if you’re doing ads for a restaurant where you want to show menu items, then it makes sense, right? So you want to make sure everything just makes sense to be in sync. Also, you want to make sure that your placements, that you’re doing, that the ads make sense, right? You can put a static ad in the video feed, but it’s not going to convert very well. You need to have the video to be in the video feed. So you’d want to uncheck video if you don’t have a video to show.

Jason:

And then the other thing about ads, just like with your audiences, you want to separate them and test different content, different content formats, in different language, on the ads. And you want to do that systematically, and I’ll show you an example of that later, where it’s important that you understand first that the audience works, then which ads work best with this audience, and to ultimately achieve what your best formula is for return on investment. And then with Facebook in particular, videos work very well. So if you can come up with an interesting video or something that grabs attention, they tend to engage better than static content on that medium.

Jason:

On the flip side, in terms of ads, you want to look at where the ad shows and make sure you don’t just blend in. You always want your ad to stand out a little bit. You don’t want to have, if you’re in a blue background, you don’t want to make your ad blue. Don’t let them automate the placements which I touched on before and stay away from the randomized ads, which again, where they often will serve what they feel is best, which is many times not best for you. So make sure you’ve thought everything through and don’t take the lazy way out of just saying, “I’ll just throw a bunch of stuff together and see what sticks.” Then the last thing is letting your ads get stale. You’re going to have, on these social media platforms, you’re going to have a finite audience. So you want to make sure that after a certain amount of time, you can see how many times they’ve seen ads. If you’re your audience on average, you want to get new content in front of them. And even if you don’t have new content, per se, you can just refresh it by getting some new images so that if they’ve seen an image 15 times, you put a new image out with your ad, they may pay attention to that ad again. So those things are very important in terms of understanding how to make content work.

Jason:

Now, the importance of this, this next slide is about, now optimizing your campaign. So here, we’re going to talk a little bit about that, that setup that I had talked about. So if you look at the picture on the right, these are groups and they’re set up separately. We could’ve very easily just put all these groups together when you go through and your setup, but by setting it up as lookalike for the website, lookalike for leads we’ve received, we set an interest group and then limited that interest group by the job title. And then we have another ad set that’s website retargeting. So that’s retargeting people that have already been on the website. So each of those audiences have a good chance of working, but we don’t know which one’s going to work best, especially when it comes to those, those lookalike audiences. So by separating those out, at least out of the gate, we can then understand, oh this one converts at this dollar per conversion. And this one coverts at this dollar, perhaps later to simplify, you could combine a couple of audiences, but out of the gate, you want to make sure you’re separating them out.

Jason:

And then below that you see the, the ads. So again, and you probably want to, don’t want to do this out of the gate. You want to first understand which audience works with with one ad, because it’s going to get too complicated if you try to do them at the same time, but probably within a week or so, you’re going to understand which audience is best. Then within that best audience, or maybe the best two audiences, you can then test three or four different ads. And you can see when you’re, you’re getting a specific registration, you get a very specific cost per registration, right? So you’ll see the different ads you get. You’re ranging here from 40 to 10. So you combine those two factors. You’re talking about a 4x cost here, and then a 4x cost on the, the audience targeting level. You can be talking about something where you’re like, “Oh, this platform is completely ineffective versus this is the most effective cost efficient platform I can use for finding new leads,” right? So it’s really a lot about how you set them up and understanding what works and what doesn’t work with your audience.

Jason:

So at the end of your first thousand dollars, and I would say maybe it’s maybe it’s three, four or 500 to figure out which audiences are best and another 500 or so to figure out which ads are best, but you should know at the end of that what your, your best audiences are. You should know what your best ad content types are. You should know what your best placements are. So you’ll be able to look at that in a separate place in the backend, you can look at the placements. And so with Facebook, you know, you have Instagram, you have newsfeeds, you have sidebar different places. So you can actually look at what performed best there. And with those, you can say, all right, here is what I think I can get as my cost per acquisition of, of whatever it is, whether it be a company you’re looking for or, or a lead you’re looking for. So at the end of the thousand dollars, if you set it up right, you should be able to have solid numbers for all of those, all of those things.

Jason:

And then the other thing that’s important about setting it up is picking the right objectives and goals and metrics. So you want to make sure that you’ve got everything tracking properly. And so to do that, we suggest using Google tag manager, you know, you may not manage your website yourself but your web manager can just put Google tag manager on your site and it’s very easy to make sure that the tracking you want is in place. Also an integrated CRM is highly helpful. So hopefully if your company has those, you can integrate them directly into Facebook, get these forms to fill directly into your CRM for, for automated follow-up and those types of things.

Jason:

Last slide, I think budget and timing. This is, again, going back to starting set up. Don’t jump into the campaign budget optimization. And this goes to the next thing you want to the budget according to your audience size. So if you do the campaign budget optimization at the top level, you can, then when you split out your audiences, you can’t say, okay, I only want $20 to do this one, $50 to this one and $80 to this one based on the size. And the reason you want to do that is you could, if you had them all at 80, you could be showing one group, you’re showing your ad a hundred times a day. And the other is only getting shown your ad once a day. So budgeting, according to the size is very important. And then in terms of not doing the budget optimization out of the gate, again, maybe later once you’re sure of your audiences and stuff, let Facebook spend away, but out of the gate, you want to control that, that spending to make sure you’ve got the right targeting done.

Jason:

And then looking at the timing of ads. So we wanna make sure that we’re looking at 2:00 AM. You know, you, you probably, if you’re running a online gambling establishment, 2:00 AM’s a great time to show your ads. If you’re looking for the best candidate to be a CEO, it may not be the best time at 2:00 AM to look for that, that particular candidate. We’ve talked about making sure that you’re not over targeting with the same ads. And then the last thing I would say is, is work within their system. Understand their system. People get frustrated very easily and they’re like, “Oh, I know Google I’m used to that.” You’ve got to take each system for what it is, and to learn how to work within it, to get the best results out of it. I think that’s it for my slides for now.

Sheila:

Okay, great. Thank you, Jason. And thank you, Jake. That was a really good presentation. We really appreciate it. So instead of having a demo today we just, we had a very active audience, both in our chat function and in our Q and A function. So we’re just going to hop straight into the Q and A, Jason and Jake, just to put you guys on the spot because I really want to make sure that we get through as many questions as possible. So with that, I am just going to jump right in. So our first question is from our chat and it says, “Out of all the campaigns you’ve run, which do you think were the most successful and which were the least successful and why?” So a big success story that you’ve had and a total flop of a failure that you’ve experienced. And what were the key lessons Jake or Jason, whomever wants to take that?

Jacob:

Yeah, I’ll take a quick stab at it and then pass over to Jason, if he wants to add onto it. So in regards to what we found is most successful, I found that top of funnel content seems to be very successful when it comes to these campaigns. So rather than pushing, you know, a high detailed, free demo at these, you know, individuals before they may not even, you know, they might not even know who you are or what you do. It’s better to more-so focused on the high level stuff that might be something they’re interested in. Like the artificial intelligence report we shared – that was probably one of our most successful campaigns that we’ve ran. As well as kind of like what Jason just said, it’s all about timing as well. Our best performing campaign was actually a webinar replay on the impact of COVID-19 on the staffing and recruiting industry. So, you know, think about relevant events, think about what people actually want to read and learn about and utilize that within your campaigns, because it’s going to lead to a lot more leads, even if, you know, even if it’s super top of funnel, you’re starting to create that relationship and then you can just nurture it moving forward. But at the end of the day, you want to create these relationships with, with people. So if it’s a top, top funnel piece of content in order to do that, then that’s what you’ve got to do.

Sheila:

Jason, anything to add?

Jason:

I think maybe just two rules of thumb. I think usually the targeting is really going to impact – if you can find it – and then there’s some times you just can’t target the right audience and you just wait, if you don’t think you can get the right target, it’s probably not going to be hugely successful. And then the other side is you need to have – you know, it probably needs to be a position or something you’re selling that, that can justify the cost, right? It’s going to have a certain, you know, $40, $60 cost per conversion. So you’ve got to make sure you’re selling something that can justify that cost in the end, or it’s just not going to be able to be a successful campaign.

Sheila:

Okay. Picking another question out of our chat here. So Jason or Jake, what would you recommend is the best way to target potential clients in a certain geographical area? So if you’re working within a specific location, how do you make sure that you’re targeting within those parameters? Jason or Jake, yeah.

Jacob:

I’ll just start it off. Within both LinkedIn campaign manager and the Facebook business manager, one of the, I think it’s actually the first option you have when it comes to creating these campaigns, it’s based on location. And you can get very great… like I showed, you know, like the default was United States, but you can get very, very specific. Like I searched a specific city in Rochester. And honestly, if you tell your LinkedIn campaign, I only want people within this location and then get to the whole aspect of, “Hey, I want these companies with these job titles, yada, yada,” LinkedIn will read that and only target those specific parameters within that primary location that you set. So 100% you can get it very geographical focused and both LinkedIn and Facebook allows you to do that.

Sheila:

Great. Perfect.

Jason:

And may I just add just, you gotta be careful, you don’t get too small. Something like Facebook in particular, they just won’t even show your ads if your audience is too small. So you can sometimes use area’s a little bit larger than a very fine, you can get as fine tuned as you want, you just have to make sure it’s going to show your ads to the level you want.

Sheila:

Good advice. Okay. So Jason, I think this is directed toward you just based on the presentation. So do you think that social media presence, as opposed to social media marketing, is a straightforward waste of money, or like, what do you think? How much should people invest in social media presence as opposed to marketing?

Jason:

So I do think that the presence is important for a company. I think in terms of having good staff, good culture those types of things, that’s important… credibility of the company. So it is important to that degree where, where heavy investment becomes questionable, I think, is when you start talking about some of the campaigns that go on boosting posts, starting to focus so much on engagement and, or a fixed number of likes, you know, we had a client where we drove 20,000 likes in a month period, legitimate likes, and they followed them. And we were checking everything back to the ultimate subscription to the site. And it was like the worst ROI we’ve ever seen, even though it was a quote, “successful presence campaign”, It wasn’t a successful ROI campaign. So just balancing that is important.

Jacob:

Yeah. And to piggyback off of that as well, when it comes to social media presence, you can do a lot of good work organically. You don’t even need to spend money. If you organically share content, use the relevant hashtags, tag specific individuals on webinars or content that you create that kind of social media presence can be built on organically too, which does not have a cost factor. It just takes some time to build that up.

Sheila:

Great. Okay, cool. So the question from our chat – so based on your experience, what works best: LinkedIn image or message ad campaigns? So I think a static image versus an InMail campaign, what’s more effective. Jake, Jason.

Jacob:

I think it’s pretty situational based on what you’re trying to accomplish, what kind of call to action you’re trying to do. Like recently we hosted an event and anywhere you can get really personal, I think the, I mean, regardless you want to get personal with the messaging. But I think you can get a little bit more personal when it comes to LinkedIn messaging and things along those lines. We’ve seen success from both. I think it really comes down to what you’re trying to accomplish. And I think regardless it’s worth testing out both you know, that that’s the third step that we reviewed too, the whole optimization and A/B testing aspect of things. We’ve tried to test everything. I highly encourage everyone else to kind of test some of these, these different areas from the do’s that Jason covered, because sometimes things that work great for us might not work as great for specific, you know, a different product or service or industry. So it’s hard to give a yes or no answer to this one, just because I think it’s so situational, but Jason, I’ll pass it over to you. If you have any feelings on that one.

Jason:

Yeah. That’s absolutely, the answer is both. Whichever performs better and it’s not that expensive to figure it out. And the piece of content you’re offering one may work better in a direct message or one may work better in just showing them a picture that they can visualize it better.

Sheila:

Yeah. That makes a lot of sense.

Jason:

It’s not expensive either. I mean, you, you, with a hundred bucks, you can figure it out, maybe maybe $200. But it’s not that expensive to figure out, which is better by testing. You make sure you use the, make sure you use the same variables and make sure you’re using the same audience. And as you know, don’t, don’t change more than one variable, but just keep out of the other variable the same, let them run and see what works best.

Sheila:

Great. Okay. One more question from our chat functionality. And then I think we have a couple in our Q and A, and then we’ll close out. So the last one from our chat… so how can we decide our budget when we’re doing paid marketing for Facebook and LinkedIn? So what are the factors that you should consider when you’re creating a budget for one of these campaigns?

Jason:

Oh, I can take this Jake if you want.

Jacob:

Sure.

Jason:

For me, it’s always a math equation, right? Because you’re, you’re what is a lead worth to you? And you need to determine that and that’s going to be determined by other areas that you have. If you’re running Google ads, if you’re doing, even if you’re paying a call center to make outgoing calls, like what is the cost per lead that you get, or per pool of leads that you get? And so then it becomes a math equation and going backwards, right? So what is my cost per lead on Facebook? And so, so once you understand that, is it better or worse than other things? And then it becomes a percentage of the overall budget I think. So to me, budgeting is always a math equation and, as a marketer, it can bother me to say, well, I think it’s $10,000 we’re going to put towards this. Which I realized, boardrooms often want to do, but it usually should be what percentage of your budget is it that goes into it based on the effectiveness of it.

Sheila:

Yeah, that’s fair. But there are a lot of questions about budgeting in the Q and A as well. So glad we’ve covered that. Okay, cool. So, sorry, let me get one more question here. Okay. So here, this is an amalgamation of a couple of questions, but how, how would you approach using a really different or eye catching content on something like LinkedIn? So there’s this idea of like a LinkedIn bomb where essentially someone like takes a Snapchat video of themselves and introduces themselves and then runs that as a campaign. In your experience, does that kind of, does that sort of more fun content, does that convert better? Does that work better? How do you guys feel as opposed to just like a static image with thought leadership, how would you guys approach that?

Jason:

It’s going to depend on the product, right? If the product blends well, or even the audience you’re looking for or the culture of the company you’re trying to represent, right? So that, that may work great for one company and may be a horrible option for another. Again, it goes back to just test it. Hardest thing we, it’s great that they got good at ideas because we usually run out of ad ideas before we run out of audiences. So, so getting fresh content, you’re probably going to use all those ideas eventually. Oh, we try this now let’s try that. And so just, just keep the ad ideas running, test them out. Once you get one that works well, test the next one, ’til it beats it, and then test the next one until it beats that.

Jacob:

Yeah. And that’s the great thing about both Facebook and LinkedIn. When you set up and run these campaigns you can really see which ones are being effective or not. You see who’s clicking on it, who’s filling in these forms, who’s interacting with the content, and everything in between. And what’s great is, you know, when you set up these campaigns, like Jason said, just make sure that the audiences are the same. If you change one little thing of the audience, you know, the, the ad’s going to be going in front of a different set of people essentially. So it’s just making sure that the targeting is consistent with these ads. When you A/B test creatives is really important, because that’s going to be the answer to your, to your question for everything, whether it’s personal video, static images, long form video, short term video the, the answer is going to be with the numbers, the numbers don’t lie. So set up these A/B tests and you’ll have your answer depending on which way, you know, whichever one seems to be more effective is your answer on, “Hey, I’m going to invest more on this campaign type and maybe pause this other one for a bit,” and vice versa.

Sheila:

Great. Well, I think that’s a…

Jason:

Jake made me think of one thing, if it’s okay. And we never do this ourselves. Facebook has an A/B test function and we recommend not using that because they lock you into too many things. So you actually want to set them up yourself to be your own audiences, just do them yourself. Here’s the audiences with the same ad. Then here’s this larger audience that I’m sure works with the different ads. So, so do the testing yourself versus using their built-in function. It’s a terrible function. I don’t know why they built it.

Jacob:

And it’s very, self-explanatory too, like as a user, when you set up these campaigns, you’re going to see the numbers right in front of you. So you’ll be able to come to the conclusion pretty quickly without their automated A/B testing. So, yeah.

Sheila:

Great. Well, Jason, Jake, I think that’s all we have time for. So to all of our attendees, thank you so much. We’re so glad you chose to spend an hour with us today. Jason and Jake, thank you. That was really informative. As we said before, there will be a recording that will be sent out to all of the registrants along with the PowerPoint presentation. If we didn’t get to your question, or if you desperately need to reach us for anything, please feel free to reach out at contact@ceipal.com and we’ll get back to your email. So once again, Jake, Jason, thank you so much. To all of our attendees, thank you and stay safe and stay healthy, everyone. Okay. Bye.