You're listening to “Financial Advisor Marketing”—the best show on the planet for financial advisors who want to get more clients, without all the stress. You're about to get the real scoop on everything from lead generation to closing the deal.
James is the founder of TheAdvisorCoach.com, where you can find an entire suite of products designed to help financial advisors grow their businesses more rapidly than ever before. Now, here is your host, James Pollard.
James: Last week's episode was about five mistakes financial advisors make with social media. I want to do another five mistakes episode, but this time I want to talk specifically about Facebook ads.
I've been running Facebook ads for over a decade now and I’ve learned a lot. I've been through platform changes, algorithm changes, account changes, and more. I’ve had losing campaigns, winning campaigns, and everything in between. I've spent hundreds of thousands of dollars, but potentially over a million dollars at this point of my own money. I've managed multiple millions, that's for sure, and I share examples of my ads all the time. [01:09.1]
I even give step-by-step instructions for campaigns inside my Inner Circle Newsletter. If you're listening to this podcast episode expecting step-by-step instructions, I'm sorry, but you're not going to get them here. Facebook is a visual platform and I can't really show you anything visually in audio content, because this is an audio podcast. If you want examples of real campaigns that you can model for your business, I encourage you to subscribe to the newsletter. In the September issue, for example, I revealed one of my most successful Facebook ad campaigns ever. It's a two-parter, which has been knocking it out of the park.
But don't worry, I'm not going to leave you hanging. At least, not entirely. I recorded a 42-minute video titled “How Financial Advisors Can Run Profitable Online Ads”, and you can get it for free over at TheAdvisorCoach.com/ads-training. That's “the advisor coach [dot] com [slash] ads [hyphen] training”. All you have to do is opt into my email list and you get immediate access to that video. [02:07.2]
It is 42 minutes where I outline some big picture things that can help you. I also explain the philosophy behind winning ads. Anyone can give you tactics, but advisors can't succeed on tactics alone. Philosophy is what enables you to make decisions for your specific situation.
Now, let's get into the mistakes. Mistake No. 1 is boosting posts. This, it's just hella dumb. Hear me clearly, do not boost your post. It is a way for Facebook to make money from people who don't know what they're doing. If you aren't the actual—how can I say this? If you aren't inside the Ads Manager, then you are not doing it correctly.
Only create ads where you can control the targeting and all of the other stuff. Boosting a post does not give you that level of control. If you don't know what I'm talking about, when you post content on your Facebook page, you will see a blue button on the lower right side of your post that says, “Boost Post.” It's made to be as frictionless as possible, so Facebook can easily suck money out of your bank account. [03:11.1]
Now, Facebook is incentivized to make your ads work well, and we'll talk about that later, but boosting posts is typically done by people who don't know what they're doing anyway and they're going to give up on Facebook ads anyway. I know that's a cynical way to look at it, but it is what it is.
I understand the reason why boosting posts seems attractive. Facebook has made it more difficult for people to see your content from your Facebook page. The organic reach isn't as high. The idea is that if people who like your page can't see your content, then you can pay a little bit of money to make sure they see it.
However, it's much better to choose your targeting from the Ads Manager, because success comes from putting the right offer in front of the right audience, and I would rather control the audience and potentially get in front of new people, instead of showing my ad to people who already like my page. Again, the big takeaway here is that you should create ads from the Ads Manager, not Boost Post. Boosting posts is one of the silliest, easiest-to-avoid beginner mistakes that people make with Facebook ads. Please, please, please do not boost your post. [04:12.7]
Mistake No. 2 is not matching ad sent. I called this the pepperoni pizza rule. If you are offering pepperoni pizza, you should talk about pepperoni pizza. You should not talk about the history of Italy, how spaghetti originally came from China or how hard your grandmother worked to smuggle her recipe into the United States. Talk about pepperoni pizza.
The biggest reason or one of the biggest reasons why marketing doesn't convert is because either the offer sucks or the audience sucks. For example, you might be offering something that people don't want. People aren't as inclined anymore to opt in to email lists for little cheat sheets or guides. That stuff may have worked in 2014, 2015, but it doesn't work as well anymore. Can it still work? Yes. Can you cut your loan with scissors? Yes. But I would rather have a lawnmower. [05:01.8]
Think about my offer from earlier. I offered a 42-minute video called how financial advisors can run profitable online ads over at TheAdvisorCoach.com/ads-training. I offer that with the hope that you will be enticed enough to join my email list. Am I offering you a little checklist? No. I put some serious time into creating that video and I'm giving it away for free. Don't think that you could just slap something together and make it work. It's a literal 42-minute video where I'd tell you exactly what to do with online ads and give you an overview of the philosophy of why my ads work better than other people's.
This offer also wouldn't work if I offered it to people who either weren't financial advisors or weren't interested in running online ads. I have to have the right offer for the right audience. If you're a financial advisor who is a generalist and you're trying to run online ads to no avail, and you wonder why your ads aren't working, it's probably because you're missing the right audience part, because you're not appealing to anyone. [06:01.0]
I guarantee you that if I tried to run ads for a video that said how to run profitable online ads, and I ran it to a large group of people. It wouldn't do as well. I'm helping a specific group of people, financial advisors get more clients and I'm one of the best in the world at it. That's what makes it enticing.
But back to ad sent, the pepperoni pizza rule. Matching ad sent is when your ad and landing page look similar. If your ad has pepperoni pizza, your landing page should have pepperoni pizza. I've seen some ads that go off on a tangent and seemingly have nothing to do with the landing page. When people click on the ad and they go to the landing page, they're confused and rightfully so. If they're confused, they do nothing, and then financial advisors wonder why nobody is opting into their email list.
Now, the reverse is also true. The ads might be fine, but then they send people to this landing page that doesn't look like the ad at all. Maybe the ad is good and the ad promises something cool, like a retirement checkup or a 40-page PDF about questions to ask a financial advisor. But then when people click on the ad, they go to a landing page that talks about stuff like how long the financial advisor has been in business, how he loves what he does, and how he spends time with his golden doodle on the weekends. [07:15.2]
No, stop doing that. Remember, pepperoni pizza, pepperoni pizza, pepperoni pizza. If your ad talks about questions to ask a financial advisor, what should people see immediately after clicking on your ad? Something about the right questions to ask financial advisors. And I do mean immediately, because if people don't see it right away, they're going to bounce.
Let me just put it to you this way. Some of my most successful ads have had the exact same headline on the ad and on the landing page. The exact same one, word for word, the same darn thing. That's not a coincidence. [07:49.8]
Hey, financial advisors. If you'd like even more help building your business, I invite you to subscribe to James' monthly paper-and-ink newsletter, “The James Pollard Inner Circle”. When you join today, you'll get more than $1,000 worth of bonuses, including exclusive interviews that aren't available anywhere else. Head on over to TheAdvisorCoach.com/coaching to learn more.
Moving on to Mistake No. 3. Mistake No. 3 is using the wrong objectives. I could do an entire episode about this topic alone, but I’ll try my best to give you the gist. Facebook will optimize for whatever you want, whatever you tell it. For example, if you select video views, Facebook will show your ad to people who are most likely to watch you a video, because it is optimizing for video views.
I've had people run video ads and then complain to me that they're not getting many clicks. That's because Facebook isn't optimizing for clicks. It's optimizing for video views. If you want more clicks, then you should select the clicks objective. It seems obvious, right? It's like people who order iced coffee and then whine and complain that it should be hot. And yes, that actually happens. I talk to Starbucks baristas. They say it happens all the time. Hello, you ordered an iced coffee. If your ad is set to video views, you ordered video views. You didn't order clicks. You didn't order impressions. You didn't order form fills. You ordered clicks. [09:14.4]
Now, you would think this will be obvious, but it's not. People will do the Reach Ad expecting a bunch of traffic, or they will do the Conversions Ad expecting a bunch of clicks. If you want traffic to your website, set clicks as your objective.
Now, here are some quick rolls of thumb. If you are building up your pixel and your pixel should be installed on your website, that's day one stuff, you should run ads with the Clicks Objective, so you're just building up an audience. This is because you want to get clicks to your website so you can build up your pixel for retargeting and retargeting has its own host of issues.
Retargeting is dying, but there is a certain way that you can do it. I've revealed that to Inner Circle members. I plan on keeping them updated in the future. Retargeting sucks for a lot of reasons, but it's also awesome for a lot of reasons and I'm not going to get into that here. But you're building up your pixel. If you are trying to set appointments or get people to opt into your email list, or to just do something, then you should set up that thing as a conversion and run ads with the Conversion Objective. [10:17.0]
Now, I want to warn you, these ads probably will not work well in the beginning, because, again, you're building up your pixel, you're training the Facebook pixel. It knows what type of person is most likely to set an appointment with you or what type of person is most likely to opt into your email list. As you get more conversions, your pixel will become smarter. It will become more effective.
Facebook knows a lot more than you. Facebook has all sorts of predictive analytics, which can put your ads in front of people who are most likely to convert, but it needs data to do that and you get that data by running ads and burning a little bit of money at first. It's like a plane. The longer it flies, the more efficient it becomes because it's burning off the fuel. It is losing weight. The more you train your pixel, the smarter it gets. [11:06.4]
One of the most powerful weapons you can have is an online advertiser. It’s a well-trained pixel, because it's something that can't be copied. It's unique to you. Facebook will find people who are most likely to join your email list or set appointments with you. It cannot be knocked off by your competitors, but the way you build it is by using the right objectives.
Next step is Mistake No. 4. Mistake No. 4 is not using Dynamic Creative. This one tip is typically the difference between having a mediocre ad and a massive winner. At the ad level, Facebook gives you an option to turn on something called Dynamic Creative and I'm going to read this verbatim from Facebook. It says, “Provide creative elements, such as images and headlines, and will automatically generate combinations optimized for your audience. Variations may include different formats, templates or audio based on one or more elements.” [12:04.0]
Once again, Facebook is smarter than you. It knows more than you. It's not a coincidence that the people who fail on Facebook also have big egos and think they know everything. One of the reasons I’ve been so successful with Facebook ads is because, more often than not, I let Facebook take the wheel. Over the long term, Facebook is incentivized to perform well for me, to perform well for you. If my ads do well, I’ll be profitable and I will want to continue giving Facebook my money. If my ads don't do well, then I won't give Facebook any more money. Does that make sense?
Just so we're clear, Facebook wants you to make money. Look how much money they make, how much revenue they make compared to 2012, how much more they're making now. They're making so much more money because they're getting better at ads. They're reach is getting better. They're reaching more people. They're reaching the right people. That is what is happening. They will try as hard as they can to make your ads profitable. If your ads aren't working, chances are it's because of something you did or you didn't do. [13:02.5]
In order to make Dynamic Creative work, you need to upload multiple creatives. You cannot do it with just one headline or one image, or one creative, I should say. This means multiple images. This means multiple headlines. Now, you could run it with just multiple images and you could run it with just multiple headlines, but the more you can give Facebook to work with it, the better.
Facebook will show the precise right headline and/or the precise right image that a specific user is most likely to click on. If you have Headline No. 1 and Joe is most likely to click on Headline No. 1, then Facebook will show Joe Headline No. 1. If Mary is most likely to click on Headline No. 4, then Facebook will show Mary Headline No. 4. The same is true with images. If you have an image on the beach and in the forest and you want a bike and you want to train, and somebody really loves bikes, Facebook will show that person the image of you with the bike. If somebody really likes trains, Facebook will show that person the image of you in a train or on a train or whatever. That is how Dynamic Creative works. [14:08.6]
If you have Netflix, you may have noticed that the movie images and television show images, they're different for different users, and if you've never noticed this before, then here's what I want you to do. Pick two or three movies and take a picture of the cover images. Then ask a friend or family member to log into his or her account and take pictures of the same movies. Chances are the cover images will be different.
Netflix studies your behavior and makes predictions about what you are most likely to click. Facebook does something similar inside Dynamic Creative. Facebook will show the best combination of images, text, and headlines to each individual viewer. It's kind of creepy, I'm going to give you that, but it's very powerful.
Finally, Mistake No. 5 is giving up too soon. Like I said, it takes time to build your pixel. It takes time for Facebook to learn about you and how people interact with your ads. It takes time for the algorithm to figure out how to serve you effectively. [15:08.5]
Also, most ads are going to fail, especially in the beginning when you don't have any winners yet. You don't know which images work well, which headlines work well, or even which offers resonate with your audience. You might have to go through five or six different offers before you find one that works and that's a headache, I understand. Just because you spend a few hours or even a few days creating an offer does not mean your market is going to respond to it.
Even big companies like Coca-Cola have failures. If you've never heard of new Coke, you might want to google it. They spent millions of dollars testing and marketing it only to have it fail. You cannot give up after spending 100 bucks and getting no results. Your commitment or lack thereof is what is going to separate you from everyone else, and that's not just with Facebook ads, either; that's with all marketing.
To recap, the five mistakes are boosting posts, which is hella dumb. Say it with me. I swear, I swear—that I will never, that I will never—Boost Post on Facebook, Boost Post on Facebook. Thank you so much. Yay, yay, that is wonderful. [16:12.1]
Then you have not matching Ad Sent using the wrong objectives, not using Dynamic Creative and giving up too soon.
There are so many more mistakes that I could cover and maybe I’ll continue this list in the future. I don't run a Facebook ads agency. I don't run Facebook ads for financial advisors. I have no dog in this fight. I have no Facebook ads management services to sell you. I am just a guy who has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of my own money and I'm telling you what I’ve learned.
If you want to watch that free 42-minute video about how to run profitable online ads, go to TheAdvisorCoach.com/ads-training. It goes into more detail and it's better than this podcast episode, because I can show you on the screen, how to do certain things and the philosophy behind successful ads. You can see inside my ads account. I think I take you … I know I take you into my LinkedIn ads account. I think I take you into my Facebook ads account as well, because these strategies can work on multiple platforms. If you check it out, I hope you enjoy it, and I will catch you next week. [17:14.2]
This is ThePodcastFactory.com