Episode 318: How to build a foolproof social advertising strategy – Interview with Traci Reuter

By | August 16, 2019


– [Announcer] On this
episode of Edge of the Web. – And I believe the most
overlooked piece is the engagements and then one that everybody goes after, that is kind of, it’s
part of why the sentiment, the consumer sentiment, is a
little bit down on digital, is conversions, because most
people get on social ads and all they wanna do is run conversion ads.
– Right. – Engagement ads, engagement
ads in my opinion, and my experience, is the
single most important component of your advertising. Because this is where you build the know, like, and trust factor. – [Announcer] Your weekly
digital marketing trends with industry trend-setting guests. You’re listening, and
watching, Edge of the Web. Winners of best podcast from the Content Marketing
Institute for 2017. Hear and see more at
edgeofthewebradio.com. Now, here’s your host, Erin Sparks. – All right, Traci Reuter, she’s the founder and
CEO of Divine Social, Believes that the
entrepreneurs and businesses can change the world and her mission is to support them along the way. She’s passionate about
helping these business owners build and grow their brands and can actually better
focus on providing value to their customers and positively
impacting the world trade. Is certified in all things related to Instagram and Facebook. And she also currently manages abut four million dollars
in ads spent a year and she also has contributed, was a contributing
author to the bestseller, the ultimate guide to
Facebook Advertising. Let’s see that book real quick. – Oh, here we go, got it right here. – There’s the ultimate guide right there. – Look, yep. – So contributing author
there, 3rd Edition. And she’s also a cohost on the Social Media
Marketing Happy Hour podcast. So, again, welcome to the show, Traci. – Well, thanks for having me Erin, it’s gonna be fun. – Yeah, absolutely. All right there was the
official bio, right? So let’s get into why the heck are you in Facebook advertising? – Haha, that’s a great, that’s
a really great question. And it wasn’t something, you know, it wasn’t something that like
I knew from the, a young age, that this is what I was gonna do. I actually started out
in corporate America. I used to be, I used to
run a sales of a division of a little tiny company called, AT&T, and did that for many years. And we had clients that
range from United Airlines, Motorola, all the way
down to Joe’s Plumbing and everything in between. Now some back story, I was
raised in a blue-collar family that mostly worked in factories but I had this uncle
who was an entrepreneur and I watched him. I watched him build
something out of nothing and I watched him for decades. And I didn’t realize
how much he inspired me until I was faced probably, well gosh, almost two decades ago, I was
faced with a personal crisis that I wasn’t able to
work the 80 hours a week I was working at AT&T, I
needed to make a change my husband had gotten very ill. And so that’s when I dove into
the digital side of things. I went back to my marketing degree, I took my sales degree,
and I started trying to find my way around. Spent a little bit of time feeling like I was groping in the dark. ‘Cause going from offline to online, it’s so different.
– Oh yeah. – I was marketing, you
know, I was marketing online before Facebook so I feel like I’m the, sometimes I feel like the
older, the older aunt. (laughing) Not the grandma, but
the older aunt online. I tell many people that, you know, they were in diapers
when I was starting this. – Exactly, that’s all right,
Traci, you’re among friends. I was literally developing
websites before the internet. I was developing websites
for a bulletin board system. So, I’ve got a rocking chair as well so we can just kind of commiserate there. Keep on going, keep on going.
– There you go, there you go. Yeah and so as I started
diving into digital, I think because of my business background, I realized that as much as I loved social, and it’s still fun it’s so exciting, it was really hard to show
a return on investment. And I’m just a numbers person. Being with my degree and
my corporate experience I just felt like I needed
to be able to show clients that their money was going somewhere and they could get a
return on it predictably. And it turned out, as I was learning
everything about digital, I was really good at
the complicated stuff. I was really good at SEO and I was really good at advertising. But advertising, I remember
the early, early days of Facebook Pay Per Click and when you could take a
dollar and make a dollar, take a dollar and make 10 dollars, and it just became, I’m gonna be honest, it’s very, very addicting. And so that’s sort of the
direction I started to go, but then I had this realization one day that I realized how
much, what my uncle did. My uncle started out with a pizza shop and then bought the mall
that the pizza shop was in and then bought a piece of property and went on to become a multimillion dollar
commercial real estate investor. But the big lesson in that for me was what an entrepreneur, like what a decision to take
a risk to start a business, and build a business, how
that can change their life, their families life, their community.
– Absolutely. – And that’s when I just was like, it was like all the
bells went off in my head that I could serve that community, that I could actually take my superpower and serve that community
and that’s sort of, not sort of, but that’s
how Divine Social was born. It was born out of that desire to be able to take my superpower and partner up with these
amazing entrepreneurs who risk it all, in some cases, to try, to take something amazing
and put it into the world. And that’s why we do what we do. So I’m very, very passionate
about doing things right, you know, not black hat, not some gray area that we’re seeing that’s causing some of the
issues on digital today, but it’s just been an
incredible, incredible journey and it’s been so much fun to be able to get behind some of
these great entrepreneurs. – At the same time, would
you recommend entrepreneurism to anybody that you come across? – (laughing) No! – Yeah.
– It is not for the faint of heart.
– You better believe that. – It is not for the faint of heart. So that’s why, I think
that’s why I’m even, Erin, you know more passionate about it because I understand that it takes a special person to do it
and it is a significant risk. It’s hard on everybody,
their family, their kids, their, like it’s tough. And so, you know, whenever we can find that right partnership it’s just such a, it’s such a cool thing to be able to, to help them to magnify their reach and amplify their impact. – There you go. It takes a bit of grit doesn’t it? – Yeah, it does, yeah it does.
– Well, what we’re gonna do here is unpack
for our listeners here a key concept that you brought forth and you’ve been championing, understanding how to
develop the social media strategy for that ideal customer. We really wanted to
dive in because you are, and your organization is strictly a paid social media
advertising agency, right? – That’s correct, yep, that’s all we do. We are, first and foremost we’re social media advertising strategist.
– There you go. – We’re very focused
on the customer journey and how do you architect a process to take people from complete stranger to have them fall in love with you? And it’s very different, right, it’s very–
– And not get creepy and not get stalky right? – Right and not be like
the person who, you know, says, hey we just met let’s get married.
– Yeah. – That doesn’t work, right? And so we are, we’re very focused on that and our platform of delivery is primarily Instagram and Facebook. And so that’s all we do,
that’s all we focus on, and we feel very strongly about some of the things
we’ve been working on. – You know we’re interviewing
a number of agency owners for a long period of time and
we’re starting to see this more and more repeated
that the specialists are deep-diving in a key
platform and very, very, narrowing their focus on key deliverables as opposed agencies that are
doing everything for everybody and tepidly getting
into different tactics. I mean what you’re seeing now is separating the wheat from the chaff that you can’t do everything well, you literally gotta focus,
especially as the more nuanced, and more complicated these advertising platforms are getting. You gotta be able to focus
your full intent, and skill, into a particular area,
wouldn’t you agree? – I couldn’t agree more. I mean in the beginning if
I look back on my journey there was a time where it was like, a client would ask, can you do this, and you’d be like, yes
I can do that, you know, sure I can take care of that for you I’ll do your email. And to be quite frank
we as a team know a lot, well, I won’t say a lot, we
know quite a bit about a lot. But in order to really do what we do well, at a level of excellence, and one of our core values is excellence. The only way to really do that is to shut everything else out. And so it took some maturing on my part, as an agency owner, to be
able to start saying, no. But I’ll tell you when I started to draw the line in the sand, not only did our value go up, our clients results improved, because it’s very, very difficult in today’s digital environment to stay on top of that silo that we’re in let alone trying to stay on top of everything.
– Yeah, yeah. – So it’s definitely been something that I’ve been very thoughtful about making the decisions to do what we do. And there’s a couple of things that I do consider bringing in because it does make sense,
and we consult on it a lot, like customer conversion
rate optimization, like we consult on that, we
consult on funnels a lot, but we consult on it, we don’t build them, we don’t do those things.
– Right. – We know enough to impact
the sphere that we’re in, our zone of genius. – And you have to because, I mean, you’re bringing that
audience with that atmosphere with the imagery, with the
connection that you’re at, you have to be able to
carry that water further into the landing page,
but giving somebody else, as a sign of maturity. And, I mean in the digital agency space there was a land grab for the longest time and I mean web developers
all of a sudden said they were doing SEO, that
was the bane of my existence and I’ve been doing this for a long time. I could not stand that all of a sudden a web design company now has SEO service when they didn’t know what the heck they were doing.
– Right. – And we’ve inherited
such crappy campaigns here at Site Strategics of people, of sites that were launched, (chuckling) site that’s were launched
even with robots, not texts, blocking searches, but, I mean, along with it, I mean, just terrible SEO, terrible content writing on these sites and you just want to go
back to these companies and say, what were thinking? Did you realize you were harming your customer–
– That’s it. – Just because you were trying to grab some additional dollars
and additional service. – It’s exactly right, it’s harming. And we’ve got a client that we’re in the process of bringing on, and when they came to me they said, we really feel like there’s
a huge opportunity for us on social ads, but
we’ve run some campaigns and they didn’t do well. And so, you know, my first
thing is, well, let me see, let me look at them. And so when I looked at them it was like, who ran this for you?
– There you are, yep. It was their webdesign firm that did it. And I said, you know, this is absolutely, the fact that you sold
anything from this ad is a miracle. That tells me that if
we did it right, yeah, we can actually grow
and scale your business. But this is, it was, it’s dangerous, it’s, like it, we shouldn’t, I mean, one of the things I think I read it is how can I make today, how can I make decisions
that I make for my agency, how can I make decisions about our, whether it’s our pricing structure, or the offerings that we have, how can I make sure that it’s a win-win? Because I see too much in the market place that we’re just trying to get land grab and we’re not doing it well. I promise you you can
slap up ads for a client if you’re a web developer,
or an SEO agency, but you will never do
it as well as an agency that all they do is social advertising.
– Right. – Cause it’s totally different, it’s just totally different,
and vice versa, you know. – Yeah, totally.
– I could do an email sequence, but I guarantee you it won’t be as good as an
email marketing agency. – You’re absolutely right if you, anyway, well, we can put our Post-it on this one. This is not something we can, we could commiserate on–
(voice covers voice) – Strongly about this space. – Well, I mean, let’s get
back to the task at hand. Is focusing on social
media marketing strategy, and developing, I mean in your words, a fool-proof methodology here, but first and foremost you have to be able to identify and define the ideal customer as it applies to your campaign. So let’s talk about that ideal customer. Can you explain the steps to identify a businesses’ ideal customer? – Oh, the steps. Well, I mean, this is definitely something that it surprises me on
a regular basis, Erin. You know we get these clients that are very well-established companies and they say they’re our ideal client, but they, when we start to
dig in they don’t necessarily. I think some of it starts on
just a real basic level, right, with the demographics. Is it men, is it women, is
it children, is it elderly, is it, just the real basic stuff. But then it starts to get
deep into the psychographics and this is something that I think from a social advertising standpoint, going back to the whole topic of data, understanding, like truly understanding your ideal client from a
psychographic standpoint. What are their likes,
what do they dislike, what are they, you know what
podcasts are they listening to, what TV shows are they watching? Like when you start to get into that and you really–
– Right. – Really understand
that then you can build a foundation from there. And some instances are
going to have multiple, but the problem is is when you try to take the multiple ideal client
and lump it into one. That’s when your advertising
is missing the mark, it’s mediocre at best,
you’re coffee is lukewarm, it’s just never hitting the mark. So I think it’s, again,
going back to starting with some of the basics, demographics, and then diving into what
are the psychographics. Just really taking the time to
getting to know that person. And we actually, my goodness, when we take on a new client I have a dedicated person on staff that spends close to 15 hours just researching the psychographics of our client’s ideal prospects. And we end up coming back to them with information they
never even thought of. – There you go. – Yeah, so it’s pretty powerful stuff. – You have to and you
can’t skip past that, the dealer step, that is
crucial, that is foundational, and again, it’s a shocking scenario whenever we hear stories of agencies that don’t take the time to
isolate that information. So you’re talking to
user personas obviously, you’re talking–
– Yeah. – Understanding the sales cycle as well? – Well, sales cycle as well. I mean there’s a couple
of different things that are involved with this. One example that jumps to mind is another client that
we recently took over and one of the things we found when we were doing this
research, you know, and her response was, my ideal client is between
the ages of 25 and 65. Okay, that’s kind of a big jump. And as we started digging in
and really looking at the data, and really understanding all this, she does have, that is, her ideal client does fall into that, but there’s two different clients. There’s the 25 to 40-year-old, and then there’s the 40 to 65 year old, and they have totally, totally different needs, desires, wants. And what’s interesting is
that prior to working with us the client was sending the same messaging to a 25-year-old woman–
– Yep. – As a 65-year-old woman. And as a woman somewhere in between there I can guarantee you that the messaging that
goes to a 25-year-old doesn’t apply to me, and vice versa. So it’s okay to have
multiple segments, in fact, sometimes that’s the key to scaling–
– Yeah. – That’s truly the key
to scaling on social, but you’ve gotta start with
really getting specific. And sometimes we’re afraid to, right, for that whole FOMO, right,
the fear of missing out if we get too specific, we’re
afraid we’re gonna miss stuff, but the opposite is actually true. The more specific you get the
more likely you are to get, to not only capture that business, but capture the business around it. – Do you find that marketers
are afraid of experimenting, actually putting themselves in the space of deciding these particular
key foundational elements? – Yeah, I think it, I think it depends. I think the people that, you know, like I mentioned earlier,
Facebook becoming, Facebook advertising
becoming the new biz op, a lot of times they don’t
have the business acumen to understand how to do this and take a risk.
– Okay. – So I mean I definitely see it there, but I’ve got some peers
that are very, very talented and they get it. Like they have enough
confidence in themselves, they’ve done this enough that they, that they’re actually in a position where they’re leading the clients and that’s something that
we feel very strongly about. That when we work with clients
we’re partnering with them so that we’re, not that we’re
taking a leadership role, and ultimately it’s their business, right–
– Right. – But we have to be confident
that we know what we’re doing so that we can, we can take those risks because marketing is testing. No matter how confident I am right now talking about these strategies, and no matter how many
times I’ve done them and tested them and
they’ve proven to be true, it’s still a test. Because tomorrow something could change and we have to be flexible enough to pivot, so.
– Absolutely, absolutely, and on top
of that as you’re dealing with different business owners and CEOs, you’re also dealing with type A’s that are gonna define themselves and make sure that they present to, not only their own
business owner, but to you, that they know their audience and what you come to them
with is data oriented, provable analysis and a
lot of times they’re wrong in their own assessment
of the consumers right? – So often, so often. I’ve got a client that taught me a lesson, he’s a performance coach, and when we took him on as a client we thought he had his marketing dialed in, we were very, very surprised
to find out that he didn’t. And that happens a lot where
the client on the outside looks one way, right–
– Sure. – And it’s kind of like the Wizard of Oz, you get to see the man behind the curtain, or the woman behind the curtain. But in this case because this client is a very high-end performance coach he sat me down and he said, look, there’s three types of entrepreneurs. There’s the product entrepreneur, that’s gonna be Steve Jobs,
focused on the product, the product, the product,
making sure it’s perfect, making sure everything
about it is the best. And then you’ve got the
customer experience, which would be the Tony
Hsieh’s of the world, right, making sure you know that, well Jeff Bezos could be argued as a customer experience as well, right, making sure that the customer
experience is top notch. And then the third type is
the marketing entrepreneur and that’s going to be P.T. Barnum, right, that’s gonna be a Gary V, those are entrepreneurs
that think marketing all day long.
– Yep. – And he said to me, it’s like look, I am not a marketing entrepreneur, I’m a product guy. And that was so helpful for me because from that point on
I started asking my clients, if you had to put yourself
into one of these three where would you go? Because that helped me take
on a stronger leadership role as a partner with my clients because if they tell me that
they’re customer experience, or they’re product, and they’re not telling
me they’re marketing then I know that they, their brain doesn’t work like my brain does–
– Right. – Because all my brain
thinks is marketing. I think marketing at the grocery store, I think marketing everywhere. So I think that helps too. Like I just felt like that day that he explained that to me was such a pivotal moment
for me as a agency owner, both doing business development and really serving our clients ’cause I could step up and
be a stronger strategist for our clients who don’t necessarily, I mean they know enough about
marketing to be dangerous, but I know that I know that I know that I’m not gonna lead them wrong. – Yeah, you gotta match
toe-to-toe with them and that’s why they’re hiring you. So again, getting back to the
foundational approach here, of defining your ideal customer, taking in and getting
input from the C-levels, and getting input from
those key decision makers is critical, but also getting into that psychographic segmentation, that’s where your marketing
artistic standpoint comes in is that you have to, you have to be able to
break out personality, opinions, attitudes,
interests and hobbies. These are things that are
not demographic in nature, these are assumptions,
these are potential risks, and if you go at it with a marketing
experimentation standpoint you’re not betting all the chips on one particular psychographic you’re gonna test these things out, right? – Yeah and so this is where, this is really where
the data side of things comes into play and it’s what, I think it’s what’s so attractive, still, about Instagram and Facebook. And I think soon to be LinkedIn, LinkedIn’s not quite there yet, but what’s so attractive about all that is you can really, you can test all of
these different things, you can test all of
this and that allows you to be able to like concurrently be testing maybe 10 different psychographics at once so that you can spread your
risk across all of that until you find a winner and then you can start scaling from there. – There you go, so this is gonna get us linkage into our next thought regarding the engagement content that is tied to those
psychographic elements. Again, the demographic is there
you’ve got it pinned down, the psychographic elements,
now you talk about message to market matching,
right, so unpack that for us. – Yeah, so one of the things that over the last several
years of doing this, working, you know, running
millions of dollars of ads with a couple of pretty
big brands as well, is I’ve broken out a strategy that I call, the three pillars to
successful social ads, and the three pillars that I believe every successful brand needs, is they need to be
building their audience, we just talked quite a
bit about that, right, building out your audience. The second, and I believe
the most overlooked piece is the engagements. And then the one that
everybody goes after, that is kind of, is part
of why the sentiment, the consumer sentiment is a
little bit down on digital, is conversions. Because most people get on social ads and all they wanna do is run conversion ads.
– Right. – Now engagement ads,
engagement ads in my opinion, and my experience, is the
single most important component of your advertising. Because this is where you build the know, like, and trust factor. One of the things, I think
that was coined by Bob Burg, who’s an author, he’s
written a couple of books, the Go-Getter, the Go-Giver,
like a couple of those, right? So he says, all things being equal people do business with people they know, like and trust.
– Right. – I used to teach my sales team back at AT&T that all the time, right? You’ve gotta do business, people are going to do business with you if they know you, they like
you, and they trust you. Well, there’s one key component that Bob, he indirectly mentions, and I
think it’s called, remember. So people, all things being
equal, people do business with people that they know,
like, trust and remember. And this is where digital can do, digital advertising can do a job that no other form, in my opinion, can do it as well. And that is staying in front
of people on a regular basis especially if the sales
cycle is long, okay? Now you’ve gotta understand, first and foremost as a business, what is the average
length of time it takes from somebody’s first touch
until they actually purchase? And the stats are something
like 2% of all people purchase the first time they see an offer. – [Erin] Right. – So what do you do with the 98%? It’s like, what do you do with them? And I see so many people that are only doing direct response, leaving so much money on the table, they’re literally lighting dollars on fire and that’s when I come back
to this engagement campaign. And the engagement campaign
is designed and architected to give people value to help them build up their level of trust,
their level of like, right, their level of knowing,
and then ultimately, the level of remembering. And we like to follow along with Eugene Schwartz,
Five Levels of Awareness, I mean if you’ve never read,
Breakthrough Advertising, even if you’re not in
advertising, read it, it’s a great book. But the five levels of
awareness essentially are taking people from completely unaware that they have a problem–
– Right. – To all the way to the top where they know that they have a problem, they know about your solution, and they’re just waiting
for the right timing. And so we craft these engagement campaigns that are value-driven only there, and they’re not asking
for you to buy from them they’re just delivering value so that you can then
remarket to those people to help push them through
to that ultimate goal which is usually to purchase. And so what we’re finding, and I’ve got some really
interesting case studies I can pull one up, I can’t share it on my screen–
– No, that’s all right. – I can walk you through it
’cause we just did a campaign, this is fascinating. We did a campaign knowing that a client was gonna have a big launch. And we really pushed hard
to put out really good, and this is the key, congruent,
congruent engagement content that would lead naturally into the offer.
– Okay. – And so we ran these campaigns and they were just video view campaigns we weren’t asking the
prospects to do anything except consume. And so the idea was to
create fresh audiences that were highly engaged. So when the launch happens, what we did, and I love all my team
members in the reporting, I’m gonna turn my head here so I can read the numbers to you. But we had two campaigns
and one was called, was going after all of
the client’s warm traffic, all of it, right? Website visitors, email
lists, fans, all of it, and we excluded that
fresh engaged content, we excluded it, okay? And then we ran a second campaign that only targeted that
fresh engaged stuff. So check this out. We spent, let’s see,
we spent 3400 dollars, on the warm traffic, okay,
not the fresh engaged. We generated 829 leads at $4.10 a lead, and we reached 125,000 people.
– Wow. – So okay, great, all right. Now, this blew my mind. So the fresh engaged stuff,
we only reached 26,000 people, so less than a quarter, right, like maybe 1/8 of that audience. We spent 2600 dollars,
so we spent not quite a thousand dollars less,
but we generated 1,003 leads at $2.59 a lead compared to the $4.10. Now, granted we did spend money
on that engagement campaign but we spent very little because we were spending
something like a penny a video, like we were taking
advantage of that traffic and we were only retargeting
people who were highly engaged. Now think for a second
about the user experience. We didn’t ask anything from them, we put something of
value in front of them, in their newsfeed, right,
we interrupted them, but we interrupted them with something that was gonna make their life better. And then we only came back with an ask of the people who actually showed an interest the first time, and saw a dramatic, a dramatic, like if you look at
the reach to conversion it’s dramatic the difference
between the two of them, not to mention the cost. So we just continue to see this. That the companies, the
businesses, and the brands, that really invest in
this engagement pillar, that I call it, we’re seeing them win over and over and over again. Not just, not just, Erin,
here’s the cool part, it’s not just before, I get really excited about this–
– No, go for it, go for it. – It’s not just the engagement
content before the ask. The example I just gave to you that was serving up engagement content before we ever asked them
to do anything, right? So think about it this
way, that would taking, you know, taking someone on a date a few times before you asked
them to marry you, okay, right, so that’s the, we
call it free engagement. Now the second time we use
this engagement content, that’s really powerful,
is sometimes those people that go through the
pre-engagement and get the offer, don’t take the offer.
– Right. – So we architect out a series
of post-engagement content, some touches after the fact. We come back with things
like testimonials, frequently asked questions. One of the things that
helped my sales team, back in the day at AT&T excel, is we were amazing at
overcoming objections before they ever came up. And so we’ve been
incorporating that philosophy into our client campaigns so that somebody goes to a webinar, somebody gets an offer
to purchase something whether it’s on an e-commerce store, we have video content,
and we have image content, we have advertisements that
are overcoming objections before they ever come up. And that post-engagement content is also helping to mop up
all of that 98% of the people that aren’t buying the first time. – Right.
– It’s super powerful. – So what you’re delivering
is buyer’s journey content, you’re providing your brand as a utility to be able to understand more of what the consumer needs to know to be able to make a buy, make a decision. So no longer are you trying
to push for that upfront ask, that strong arming, that we
know time and time again now, in the savviness of the digital consumer they’re not just not gonna bite, that is 2% or less type of
engagement in that space. And you’re coming alongside that consumer and advocating on behalf of them to be able to make a decision. And it’s not just a solution of, hey, this is the brand, this
is where you should be, because sometimes it doesn’t fit that particular demographic, or that particular, that
particular psychographic. What you’re serving is useful information for them to be able to trust the brand, to a much greater degree, than they’ve ever
experience before, right? – Correct, correct, and the other thing that we’re doing with all this is that we’re taking into consideration the client sales cycle. And this is super important because if you’re at, let’s say you’re a sub $20 e-commerce brand–
– Right. – Your sales cycle is very short. But if you’re selling a high-ticket item, if you’re selling an info
product, or a course, or consulting, or you’re an agency, your sales cycle tends to be very long. We had one client that came to us and the thought his
sales cycle was six weeks and after we really pushed
him to get that data, and to work with us on that, we discovered it was eight months.
– Oh, wow. – So eight months, and so what, we had to get very creative for how could we stay in
front of these people to help, number one, make sure they
didn’t forget about them, you know during that eight-month period.
– Sure. – And number two, architect a process to shorten that eight-month period. And so that, you know, that’s
a big deal too especially, gosh, when you start talking
about social advertising and becoming cashflow positive, and if you’re not gonna
become cashflow positive for eight months, like, wooo, you better be, you better be well-funded–
– Absolutely. – And that was very, very
eye-opening to that client. And I think that’s, there is a big divide, there’s a big gap between
people who are solopreneurs, they’re building a business,
they’re maybe making, maybe they’re at that
300K or less in revenue versus brands that are
a million, two million, five million, like there’s
a very big difference with how they understand their numbers and their sales cycle. And so that’s usually one
of our first questions before we even take on a client, is do you know your sales cycle? And it’s shocking to me
how many people don’t know and they don’t know their
client lifetime value, they don’t know those things. And a lot of agencies, or freelancers, or (mumbles) don’t even
know to ask those questions. Some of them do, there
are plenty that are, there are plenty of good ones out there, but there’s a lot more that have no idea, they don’t know this stuff at all. – And that brings me to
really, I think bring me to the foot of the client themselves. And cautioning against clients really steering their own story, and painting their own picture because a lot of the
times they don’t know, they don’t know their own
audience, they think they do. They think, you think
they think that they know their customer sales cycle,
or the psychographics, you really, you know you
want their contribution but at the same time, I
mean, it’s a cautionary tale to just take the information
from the horse’s mouth and put an entire campaign around the clients perspective
of themselves, right? – Yeah, I mean we always value, obviously, what the client, you know
the client’s experience. And you know we’ve got one
client I can think of that, we actually, she’s our
only client that writes her own copy.
– Oh wow. – And we let her write her copy because social copy is
actually very different, usually we don’t allow
our clients to do it, but we let her because
she knows her demographics and her psychographs so
well, we then polish it and make it work for
social, for social ads, but she’s a unicorn. You know most people–
– Yep. – They know their clients fairly well, but they don’t know them as
well as they think they do. And part of that is because
as a founder, or a CEO, or a business owner, you’re
trying to do everything and I don’t care what business you’re in. It happened to me recently. I did a video, I did a video not long ago and I said, I think I need to have my marketing card stripped away, ’cause I looked at my own
funnel and it was horrible, I couldn’t believe how bad it was. I’m like, I should be, like, I hope my clients didn’t
see this, you know, but it’s like, well no, that’s
not your zone of genius. We’re always better for other people than we are for ourselves and
I think that’s why, you know, whether it’s, you need to bring in an outside–
– Yeah. – Consultant, or an agency, or a coach, like we need, that’s why
we have mirrors right? Erin them mirrors–
– Exactly. – Just show us our reflection, so. I think it is important. It’s, I do believe that especially for, in the case of e-commerce clients I do think it’s really
helpful if the founder has got in the trenches and has run their own traffic for awhile,
or somebody at their C-level, in that group. Because I do think that’s
really, really helpful for them to kind of understand
the nuances of the platforms. I find that my favorite clients are the ones that have
a working knowledge, and have been in there
and then when we take over they really can see, like whoa, look at what we’ve been missing, like I didn’t know that I didn’t know that.
– Right. – And those are the most fun. The ones that have like
no clue whatsoever, hand it over and still have no clue, those aren’t as fun to work with because they don’t really understand the benefit of bringing in an expert. – Well, they also don’t have the buy-in is that they can easily
dismiss Facebook advertising because, I don’t do
Facebook, all of a sudden now you’re up against that
wall that nothing sticks as much as–
– Right. – Because they don’t understand the data, they don’t understand the marketing tool, and then whenever you bring them the data then it’s anomalous to begin with, right? – Right, right, we’ve had
that conversation many times where it’s like, yeah,
so you don’t do Facebook, and you don’t do Instagram,
but your customers do. And like, or, you know, not all the time is the founder the ideal client. Sometimes–
– Right. – Sometimes it is, but, yeah, that can definitely be
challenging sometimes. – So I, steering away from
just taking the founder’s story and actually marrying up the data, what are the next steps in the foolproof social advertising recipe there? – Well the next step, I mean, the next step really is the
conversions, it’s the asks. Ultimately this is what
makes social ads so powerful. Is to be able to generate a
return on ads spends, right? If you can, we really like clients that we can invest a
dollar in advertising, we can make a dollar or more out, those are the best ones right? And so the thing is is that
it’s getting harder and harder to generate good return on ad spend. And so if you look at our formula, the three steps to successful
social advertising, it’s the audience, right, so it’s building your audience, it’s having your engagement campaigns, and then it’s the conversion. And so one thing that we always do is we always make sure that
while we are perfecting, discovering new audiences
and expanding on that, while we are really dialing
in the engagement campaigns, we always have the conversion campaign running out of the gate because if not, what we’ve seen happen, we’ve
learned this the hard way, but what we’ve seen happen is the client’s just not getting a return. And so you always have to
make sure that there is some, you know, whatever the KPI is that you’re measuring success with, that that’s out there and running. So conversions is very, very important. It’s what I would say, 90%, 90% of the advertisers
on Facebook are doing and that’s all they’re doing. So that, that doesn’t
go away in our formula, it’s definitely, it’s always there because that’s, you know, that’s
what makes this lucrative. It’s the, it’s when you
can marry that conversion, those conversions campaigns, right, the traditional direct response.
– Right. – Hey, signup for my webinar, hey, here’s this great opt in, hey, buy this product, like, or hey, you left us in your shopping cart come back and get it. Those are conversion
ads and if you can take that direct-response style conversion ad and you can marry it with
what I just talked about, with expanding your audiences, and providing incredible value, those two things, those first two pillars, that’s branding.
– Yep. – So if you can see, oh go ahead. – No, I mean, you’re
also building that trust. And I was gonna ask you, we
have to mature our thought beyond just the dollar
in the bucket mindset, is that the trust that you’re
building right there is, again, a bit abstract
to so many businesses and so many companies that
hire digital marketers. But this is where you’re
building momentum. If you can continue to bring
good utilitarian content, and good valuable content
without the ask, right, those two–
– Yes. – Are key performance measurements, right? – They really are. And you know what, so I don’t know if you’ve ever listened to Gary V, Gary Vaynerchuk–
– Oh yeah. – Talking about he believes
in the future, right, in a very short future we’re
gonna have these big brands, the Madison Avenue brands, right, the Nike’s, and Adidas,
and the Coca-Cola’s, and the, United Airlines, move their ad dollars from
traditional TV networks and move them over to social advertising. And it’s gonna be harder
for people like us to be over there. So we’ve been hearing that
and I’ve had the privilege to run traffic and run, and set strategy, to also set strategy for
a, not a brand that large, but a pretty, a fairly large brand in the arts and crafts space. They partner with Martha Stewart and they’re sold in
Hobby Lobby and in some, in just some big spaces. And part of the reason
I developed this process was through (mumbles), through their, they have a deep enough budget and I know most smaller companies won’t have this kind of budget, but I watched what happened, when they continually, for two years, invested just in the first two pillars, that’s all they did and I kept saying, why aren’t we doing
conversions, we’re losing money, and they didn’t wanna do it. And, you know, I’m the first person, as I get more mature,
I’m very quick to say, I made a mistake, or I was wrong. And so I was wrong in pushing this client to do conversions. I mean I think they would
have been making money, but what I saw is by continually
putting their ad dollars, and I’m talking about, it wasn’t that big, it was like maybe five to 10K a month, which is for some businesses that’s huge–
– Sure, yeah, yeah. – Five to 10K a month,
they were consistently, for two years, focused on
building their audiences and just providing value and that was it. Now, today that client has, oh my gosh, we’ve hundred x’d their ad spend, and they get, they get
a return on ad spend, meaning every time they spend a dollar they get money back, right? So when we send someone
to their company blog, not to their store,
just their company blog, they make on average eight to $10–
– Holy crap. – Every time we send somebody there, yep. Now Erin I was just at
a conference last week, I was at a natural foods conference–
– Right. – Natural food products
conference last week and somebody from the
front of the room said, you will never convert
traffic on un-blogged traffic, don’t waste your time and I sat in the back of the room going, shut up you’re not the speaker. You know, when you speak you can be the one to talk about it, but I really believe it’s because this, this particular CEO was, he
really understood the value of a highly-engaged audience and that’s really where we
developed this philosophy and we’ve been testing
it over and over again on big brands, small brands,
and it just continues to work. Because, here’s the thing, tactics are always gonna change, right? That’s why the beginning
of our conversation talking about we only focus
on Instagram and Facebook is because tactics change daily.
– Right. – Strategies, overarching strategies, are things that are ever green, and this particular
strategy, this concept, this customer journey, this
really adding value to people, the know, like, trust and remember, these strategies will go the distance. And then within that you
can change the tactics as the platform changes,
it’s really that simple. And that’s why we’ve just seen this over, and over, and over again with every client we work with. It’s been pretty remarkable. – Well, were do you find those clients that have that level of maturity,
understanding engagement, and not going for the gold all the time as a key factor of
success because it’s great to be able to preach to
the pews of marketing, right?
– Right. – But it doesn’t have traction nearly as much as you’d like in the annals of the decision makers. – Well, I mean honestly it comes back to, it comes back to, again, what
we were talking about earlier, having the maturity to
say no to certain things, it starts in the business
development conversation. And I think part of
that is because I know, I have a unique background in that I did run a sales division of a Fortune Ten company–
– Right. – So I have a sales background so I do all the business
development for my company. And so in those early conversations I paint the picture of
this, of this philosophy and either you’re in or you’re not because that’s how we do it, you know, and so I do think it comes, you know, if you’re listening and
you are an agency owner, or you’re growing an
agency, or a consultancy, it starts with you really being confident. And I think some of my
confidence comes from we just continue, I get someone that’s willing
to take a risk with me, we test it, it works, you know my confidence keeps getting stronger
and stronger to the point now you couldn’t talk me
out of this if you tried. So I think it does come
down to being really, really clear–
– Yep. – With how you do things
and it’s gotta be a win-win. – And you’ve gotta push
away from distractions and trying to dabble in other areas that are not your core strengths. And to the same degree as that project, that product entrepreneur, I mean they focused on their product and so social agencies by and large. And they’ve gotta be
able to be able to bring different levels of marketing engagement. That’s the only way to be able to deepen the relationship
of your brands’ customers. – Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. And–
– What, go right ahead. – It just, if you start
with the end in mind, right, which is a win-win for you and the client then you can’t lose. You know you always, it’s when it’s, It’s when it’s a win for the client, or a lose for you, or vice versa, that you’re just, you’re
not gonna be able to show up as the best version of yourself. You know whether you’re
designing websites, or you’re doing social ads, or you’re–
– Right. – Doing SEO, you just have to be able to know that you are, you do have the client’s
best interest in mind and that should come across, you should be able to convey that. And have a strong leadership in what it is that you’re doing, so. – Well, we could certainly
go on into the hours here talking about this information, and these type of concepts. These are the core concepts of strong digital marketing strategy. You know, there’s certainly
the recipe for success here, but would you just let the listeners, the digital marketers out there, know what are the key
steps that you’d recommend just getting started into unfurling the engagement content sale as opposed to just trying
to get that conversion. What should they be looking at right now? – Yeah, so I would start, again, it goes back to, I love the
book if you haven’t read it, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People–
– There you go, yeah, yeah, yeah.
– By Stephen Covey. Great classic book, and he talks in there about beginning with the end in mind. So one of the ways we decide what types of engagement content to use is we always start with
what the ultimate goal is. It’s when you slap up any content that this does not work, okay, and I have a very, very good friend who runs probably 10 times
more traffic than I do and she and I had this debate and it came down to the fact that it didn’t work during the times that they didn’t have congruent content. So start with the end in mind and start working backwards. So if the ultimate goal is a consultation, or if the ultimate goal is a purchase, what kind of content, like
what kind of information would somebody need to know, and we’re gonna get one
step closer to buying? Is it helping them with
a problem solution? What does that look like? And then from there
one of the things we do is we go through the
client’s existing assets and we start digging around to see like, is there anything that
they’ve already done that talks about these kinds of things that we can repurpose. Quite often we can’t and so then we really instruct the client to create something
whether it’s an article, we prefer video, ’cause video
just works so well these days. And creating some, it’s
almost like a bridge, right? It’s a bridge from I
don’t know who you are, to, oh my god, that was so
amazing, I wanna know more. I think back to when Amy Porterfield first came on the scene, like, gosh I feel like
I’m aging myself again, literally she was a nobody. And I remember getting
on her first webinar and it was so valuable that
I was like, take my money, take my $47 for your class. And so we know how to do
that as marketers, right? We know how to create
a very valuable webinar to then make the ask. Now, what if you took
a piece of that webinar and pulled it out, that
was super valuable, that was teaching something and you put it before that?
– Right. – Right, so start thinking it that way, moving backwards, begin
with the end in mind and start moving backwards and providing just value
that you could literally, that content you’re putting out there is going to make someone’s life better, whether they ever bought from you or not. Putting that good-will
content, that is congruent, where you wanna take
them and that’s the key. – And it certainly aligns with
what Google is looking for from websites, that they’re
actually providing content that benefits the consumers
as opposed to a constant, you know, bait and, not bait and switch, but a constant ask in the space. If you’re developing content and you’re giving that
content away for free, that’s gonna be useful,
it certainly does help beyond the website algorithm
changes that we’ve seen recently in Google. All right, so there’s
the final lessons there that we want to impart to our
digital marketing audience. We always wrap up with our interview with a couple quick questions, Traci. First and foremost, what bugs you about your industry right now? – I may have alluded to it
a few times on this call. I mean I think it’s, I think right now there’s so many people that, you know, Facebook became the biz op
of the last couple years and, which I think in some
ways it’s really exciting that people can start a
career in digital marketing, but it really bothers me when people are just
calling themselves an expert when they don’t really
understand what’s happening and I see a lot of businesses that are getting burned–
– Yep. – And so drives me absolutely crazy. But at the same time I think those people that are out there trying
to learn and get better, I mean they should have
the opportunity to do that. And so it’s one of those things that I’ve got a love-hate
relationship with that. (laughing) So I admire, I admire
the people for trying, but it’s like, golly,
just know your limits, know when you’re in over your head and do what’s right by the client. – Hey, but it tees up new business for you whenever they figure that out, right? – [Traci] Yes, it sure does. – Well, conversely, what excites you about your industry right now? And it can’t be the same question, or the same answer. – Yeah, no, I think there’s
a tremendous opportunity, I’m super excited for the businesses that are gonna get this concept, that are willing to take a portion of their advertising budget
and invest it in branding. Because we’ve really never
seen these smaller companies take a branding play on social ads, right, and branding is not your logo, and it’s not that stuff, it’s like actually getting
your message out there. And I think there is
tremendous opportunity before some of these, you
know, Madison Avenue brands start to have an influx
on the social platform. I think there is a window,
I think it’s tremendous, and the people who get it and
really take advantage of it are going to absolutely crush it. And I’m excited for some of my clients that are starting to do that, so that’s fun for us. – Very cool, very cool. Well, we certainly wish you
all the best in the world for your career and what
you’re doing for your clients. You’re speaking the
truth, speaking the gospel and it’s the no BS pursuit here. You’ve gotta be able to
provide credible content for your brands as well as be able to give away some engagement content and build that trust that we so need. There’s a level of
maturity that’s happening, the consumers are savvy,
they’re on to the immature plays and you have to build that relationship however long that sales cycle is. You gotta be able to give
before you get, right? – Yep, it’s true, its true, and the people that do that, the businesses that do that, they are gonna win. So, you know, I hope we see
more and more of those brands that are gonna be here for the long haul, be able to make those
kinds of investments, to make those kinds of strategic moves and really reap the rewards for it. – Absolutely.
– It’s fun to watch. – And if you’re a business out there that is continually
focused on just the ROI, let’s talk about ROO,
return on objective, right, you’re trying to get trust out there. You can measure trust, you
can measure that engagement, you can measure time on page reading, you can measure those factors, just don’t go for the almighty dollar when you haven’t built the bridge to be able to connect to your client. – Yep, that’s right. – All right, well, we certainly appreciate
your time today, Traci. We wanna make sure that
all of our listeners know where to find you. Now on Twitter it’s Traci Reuter, on Facebook it’s Traci Reuter Social, Linked in is, Traci Reuter, Instagram is, Traci Reuter, and YouTube is, Traci Reuter. You almost got the the brand complete. What happened to the
Facebook Traci Reuter? – Well I have it it’s
just my personal page. (laughing)
– Oh, okay. – Damn, we weren’t supposed
to be giving that away. (laughing)
– Been doing it a long, long time. – All right, well we wish you
all the best in the world. Thanks so much for talking to us today and contributing into this space and really kind of giving us the skinny on exactly how to create that good core formula of success. – My pleasure, thanks for having me, Erin. – You’re more than
welcome, more than welcome. All right, thanks for listening to, edgeoftheradio.com and make sure that, make sure that you
listen on a regular basis to some of the older shows as well because we are always looking back and just valuing our
engagements with our guests. We certainly wanna give a
shout out to our colleagues at Site Strategics including
Jacob Mann on the wheel here. We also certainly want
to appreciate our guest, Traci Reuter, and she’s unpacked a lot of great information here on the social advertising
formula for success here. Make sure to check out
all the must-see videos over at edgeofthewebradio.com, and that’s edgeofthewebradio.com. And we certainly want you to know about some changes here coming up in July. We’re gonna be moving our
streaming, our live show, to Monday’s at 3:00 p.m.,
is that correct, Jacob? Aahh, got cha (laughing). – [Jacob] That’s correct. – And on top of that we’re
gonna be breaking out our new sections outside of
the regular interview podcasts so you can get a quick
bite of the Edge News as well as dive into the
interview as well as you deem fit. And we’re gonna be
talking to a good number of people here in the near future. We’re talking to Joe Pulizzi
here next week, right? – [Jacob] Ah yeah, next week, I can’t can’t remember if next
week’s Monday or Thursday? – I think it’s Monday.
– Okay. – July 1st is our Monday.
– Yeah, that’s our first Monday, right? – And I better be prepared.
– Okay. – I can’t have a long weekend.
(laughing) – [Jacob] Good thing it’s
before the 4th of July. – I’m saying. All right so everybody
over here at Site Strategic thanks so much and be sure
to like, rate, and review, our podcasts, or our YouTube videos, and much more over at Facebook. Certainly wanna have a
feedback on how we’re doing for you, our audience, and if you wanna us to talk to somebody that we haven’t yet, give us a shout. We’d be happy to get
’em in our cross hairs and get ’em on the show. So for all of us over at
Site Strategics, and Edge, thanks so much. We’ll talk to you next week. Do not be at peace (music
covers voice), goodbye.

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