After taking months to finally get our act together and publish our first video podcast, we've been sure to follow it up with another installment. This week, Inbound After Hours is exploring the exciting world of Social Media Ads. Mark, Andrew, Paul and I recorded this just before a recent long-weekend and thought we'd try a new location in the office.

Let us know what you think and how you're finding the world of social media ads in the comments below.

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In this episode we will discuss:

  • How social media ads present a great opportunity.
  • How social media ads work.
  • When social media ads DON'T work.
  • The problem of most people thinking that paid advertising just means AdWords.
  • HubSpot's social ad add-on.
  • The fact that, one day, your mam will be on Snapchat.

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Show notes and resources mentioned in this episode:

Thanks so much for joining us this week.

Have some feedback you’d like to share, do it in the comments below!

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Full transcript:

- - Hello, everyone, welcome to Inbound After Hours, Episode two. Today we'll be talking about social media ads. I'm lucky enough to be joined by Andrew, Ricky, and Paul. Thanks guys, thanks for joining...

- [Group] Thank you.

- How is everyone?

- Very good, thank you.

- All good, yeah? Another bank holiday... We're all pretty happy. Okay, so, social media ads, let's go straight into it. Because we wanna get home, don't we? Rikki, do you want to start off? What's going off in 2017 with social media ads?

- Well, I think it's the place where the best value is in the market, at the moment, for ads. And it's still quite amazing to me, how many people aren't using it. And I went to a meeting yesterday. We sat for an hour and a 1/2, talking about ads. No one mentioned social media ads once, it's insane. And then when I raised it and showed them some of the stats about how they'd perform versus standard ads, I mean like AdWords, I still think people need convincing that this is a real thing, that can get the money, that can drive leads, that can drive value. I think they still see it as a gimmick.

- It's strange when you look at how much the platforms push them, as well. They make it seem so easy. That's one thing that I was wanting to mention at some point, was they make it seem like, "I'll reach everyone on Facebook "for a pound a day."

- Yeah right. - Surely, I thought a lot of businesses would be like, "I'm definitely getting in on that."

- We still tinge with the same passage as social media, I think a lot of businesses still are. As much as anyone knows you need to do that, there is still that little bit of stigma, from when social media was a personal, thing that you could put pictures of your cat on. And it's just more and more that the free bits that can actually bring you business. Not just the paid. We use the paid, it's a harder sell because it costs, but it's absolutely essential to what we do now. And it is only getting more and more. Because it's where people spend their time.

- Yeah, that's what it's all about, isn't it? A lot of people's attention--

- I know the client you're talking about, Rikki. Because I see the stats you put together through our clients and our data. It's pulled up and shown and well, it just shows people how cheap social media ads are, compared to Google AdWords.

- It's crazy now, if you think about it. If you think about where most people's attention is today, it's on social media. And if you think you can buy a click on Facebook for less than a pound, and that also happens to be the most popular channel in the world, it's backwards compared to something like AdWords. Where the price is rising and rising and it's not that competitive for a lot of people, I do not think.

- From the client side that I work on, as well, I, I'm almost, AdWords is definitely secondary for me, now. If there's some trivial, one's that have been doing it for a long time you know it works and that was good. But new claims, may not, especially with inbound content or just general service pages and stuff. I really lean towards social to get the cheap data in quickly. In sales and contacts and all that, sort of it. And then once you've proven which offer works on social, you can invest in AdWords for the consistent, whatever it is. You know, you know what you can get from that part. But it's definitely it for me.

- Put your content out there.

- Yeah, yeah, once you know what works. And I think content does work better on social then AdWords would. But, I come from a content marketing sort of area, but AdWords is very close to second place now. Last couple of years it's really switched over.

- That's good, that leads on to the next question, Andrew. What else are we doing? What's working for us? What we can share with the viewers now. Some tips and tricks, or things, what we've proven.

- Yeah, so obviously, we're in a marketing agency so we focus on content and premium content, offers, and downloads. So, the sort of things that we'd put out on social media, for example, would be a checklist or something that's quite easy to digest. And social media wants everyone on there. It's still a quick fix for people. In and out quickly, so we try not to push anything too big to them.

- That's the mistake a lot of people make, still pushing the eBook as the only thing to download. And there's nothing wrong with eBooks at all and we still use them to good effect. But I think on something like social media, my attention's short. You want instant gratification from your content. I think a lot of eBooks, I do myself all the time I download them. They go on the desktop. At best I'll skim them. And at worst I never look at them. So you've never got the gratification from the button you've downloaded from. Whereas I think things that work well, like you say, a checklist, cheat sheets, things you can download, that actually action, as soon as you've downloaded it.

- Well and buy an ad here, just let me think what people are on social media? I mean they've already got short attention span. It's one we're mentioning that's popular. People scrolling through and you miss a lot. But when people are on, you think it's, "Oh fuck I'm going to be on the phone for ages." That's really quite time rich for once. If you do fall down that rabbit warren, you gotta invest in it, to get their attention. You're gonna be in it for the long run, I think.

- Definitely yeah, I think just a little tip that we've used and it's a quick win. Now we're talking about checklists. You might have wrote, a 20, 30 page eBook and think, "Bloody hell, I do all this work "and it's a great thing." Like the ultimate guide, to whatever you do. Take that eBook and make it into a checklist. Take your content, just take your sub headings And put in some line, sign dates next to it. Put it in a spreadsheet, export as PDF. And just try and clone that campaign as a checklist and just see how that works. - Or you can break it down into 10 chapter eBooks. And so they're not even books, they're two sides or whatever.

- Or one page or something.

- Yeah, or one pagers, they're much more digestible.

- Yeah, yeah, they work really well. And just to carry on from the question you asked about what worked well for us. So that's the content side on what we know works, for me and ideas about each book. It turns your actual features, where you start to test a lot of the new in mail and Messenger features. So Facebook Messenger app that just launched, I think, in January of this year. We started using those and they're awesome. And we're also LinkedIn and Mailouts. So that is literally an inbox message from an individual, not from a company. As opposed to the normal sponsored content, which would come from Digital 22. This would come direct from me, it's plain text with a link. And we've seen click through rates on those as high as 60%. Which is huge, it's much higher than we'd expect--

- I think Facebook's even better at that--

- In email.

- I think it's the sort of average that Facebook creates or Messenger are like 95% plus.

- I think that's, that's just--

- Because you're not used to getting.

- I'm the expert, if I see something pop up on Messenger or linked in email, it turns out to be a real person and a real thing. And it is, because it's been sent by an individuals account. So I think we're in that sweet spot of early days of adopting.

- Of LinkedIn?

- Like Jim Penn. And everybody will have a go at that. I think that's as simple as when you're setting up your Facebook ad, that you've set them up before, it's an option to go on Messenger and just work your way through. And it's pretty intuitive.

- I think LinkedIn mail's a little bit untainted, because I'm used to getting sales emails through your LinkedIn. And so--

- They're all ads.

- They're all ads to these people's property anyway. So I can welcome a defence on a little bit, on LinkedIn, Messenger, anyway. But Facebook Messenger's, I've still, not to this day I haven't had an ad to come to my Facebook Messenger, personally. I don't know if you guys have. And so when one comes through, I'll be guaranteed that I'll open it. And so if anyone wants to add me, there you go. But now, that's the way it's operated. Saying, and again, from the cost point of view, just such good value. I can't overestimate how good value Facebook is, right now, from ads perspective.

- Think people get, misguided when they say, "Well I've got some budget for paid." And we hear all the time that they're determined to spend it on AdWords. They want to spend it on PPC. And to most people, PPC means Google AdWords. And we've now shifted and PPC does mean that, but also content, social media, and I think people just wanna at least spend X on AdWords and see what happens. Whereas we're saying, "Well leave that, "put it all onto social. "Find out what works, at a cheap cost, "as we need to mention. "And then once you've got a winner, "you can afford to spend the higher "cost per click on AdWords or a bigger spot."

- Has anyone seen today's stats on how many people ignore ads on Google?

- Like, will they click through right away?

- Yeah, I haven't seen one for a while.

- It's still not a high fee. I've seen cover on the average client click through range from ads, well, if you put them all together will be in the 4% or 5%.

- Yeah, I was gonna say about 5%.

- I mean that is better than social because the cost of the type of medium it digested. But it is--

- Don't say that. I mean, you know, like, beating up perps that aren't clicking on an ad. You know when it's gonna happen. Saying, "I'm not clicking, because it's an ad."

- I guess that's the only data it can really test it on. I mean AdWords click through rates, back in the day, again, when AdWords was the thing, the new thing people were testing. Those click through rates were high. Because you're right at the top of the page. People just click them. Didn't expect to see an ad up there, like we talked about with Facebook Messenger. But you could get 35% plus click through on each one.

- And that's without Facebook, isn't it? And that's why everyone's saying now, is that gone era, and now we're in a social output. Before people get wise to them, as they have with AdWords.

- First the stats, I'm sure this is all good. I'm sure the listeners will arrange some stats, some outreach stats with our data. So the average cost per lead for--

- I mean your cost per lead on something like LinkedIn or Facebook's gonna be comfortably six times cheaper than AdWords. But you gotta think about, to give bones to that and fairness to AdWords, what solid leads you get from each. So, most social media ads, we're targeting people in awareness or consideration phases. They're downloading a piece of content most people don't AdWords, eBooks, and stuff. The Adworks decision based content. So actually it costs five or six times more, but you're getting someone-- - [Andrew] Like a demo?

- Yeah, it's like right in the funnel. It'd be interesting to do it in our sort of, "Okay, you got six, seven times "more leads through social. "How many of those get to the demo stage? "Is it still cheap to buy that?"

- I think anyone, well I would, from an inbound perspective, I'd rather have those six or seven, to sort of analyse and work with, with the word flow or whatever it is about them. Rather than just sit and wait. Hopefully get off one demo at the end of the month. I might not get it, if I've got no data there. At least you can improve social to see where they dropped out. And it's just work with that.

- It's saturation points as well. Like we all know, because we're an inbound agency about the buyers journey. But at any one time, there's only like 3% of people ready, today, to buy something you're selling on your website. That's why average conversion rates assign around that percentage, all over. And target near the 97% of people who are in awareness and consideration. You do that in social media, so a lot of clients that we've had, they've got as much as they can out of this. Or they've got as much as they can out of PPC or traditional SEMP, you see. Fill the bottom of the funnel, and now that'll continue to keep selling more. How do we do that? You go further back in the buyers' journey. And that's where social ads come in.

- I think it's worth mentioning that they don't have to coexist separately, they're not mutually exclusive.

- No, I would have said that, you know.

- It's a great idea to use social media for that end stage content. Build every day to day's easy, which is traffic to your landing page. And then use that traffic data. And re-target it on AdWords for later stage, do those differing stage offers. And use them in conjunction, and get the most out of both platforms. And it makes your AdWords data better. So you're only showing your ads to people that actually come in on social, at a cheaper rate. And then you know that you really only spend any money on the people that are interested. Right, now, so I'm, I'm gonna throw a curve ball here, guys. So when don't they work?

- Get ready for the balls there.

- Yeah, when don't they work?

- I mean one warning I'd probably have, is a way that people are going. So the nuanced styles with the direct messaging, so Facebook Messenger, I'm sure Snapchat. And you can do a direct message. And then Instagram won't be far behind. LinkedIn you can do in mail. They're actually changing the pricing model on these. Away from pay per click, so you're actually paying for a view of percent. So you're not, you're not, you're basically buying data lists. So that could be a danger to people like you. You rely on the game on page. You're renting your list. Because if you stop paying, it's gone. I think it's still important to build those lists organically. It's something we've been testing with in the last week or so, is trying to build a Facebook Messenger list. Getting people to opt in to our Facebook Messenger, so we can send them organic messages for free. And, which I think's quite important. And it's a bit like the SEO versus PPC. You're gonna get instant, quicker results from Facebook Messenger ads over the long term. If you build your own organic opt in Facebook Messenger list it's gonna be a lot cheaper. So I'd say that's gonna be one negative to come if people aren't doing that. They could form the trap of continually needing to pay for ads on every platform, everywhere, just to be seen.

- Okay then, we don't wanna promote any third party software companies. The last thing we're doing in this podcast about is the software leader use is HubSpot. I know this is a new add on feature there at social media. What do you guys think of that? - Now. - Yeah, I want you to go for it. No, hats off, there's some huge advocates of HubSpot here. And where the platforms are available.

- No, no. So we're actually there.

- So HubSpot's ads, addon allows you to create ads and report an ad site inside HubSpot. And I think, very much, people it's gonna be good. Because when you get into the interfaces of Facebook ads, and in particular, I think that's the most complex, is it? There's a lot of option's. It can be a little bit overwhelming. So what's the price of those like HubSpot ads? Another ones do, is just allowing you to deploy ads on social networks, click, and to cross multi platforms.

- Like posting like an all post.

- I guess a bit like Hootsuite, at one point. Where you can put your message on and post it across the various platforms. HubSpot ads isn't there yet, but it makes it lots of fun.

- Yeah, we've trialled it, and run a few ads through it. And it is great for tracking ROI. And obviously HubSpot's great at collecting ad content data. And once they've started doing things on your site, you can tie it back to the ad, very quickly. You can do it without the ad on just a bit, takes a bit of set up, but we just found from agency side, we do trial test a lot of things, and push the boundaries really, so, it was a little bit limited for us. And not as many options available in the app. It's not a bad thing, because you could argue that keeping it simple is often the best way to get the best results. - That's our schtick, as well, isn't it? Helps with it, keeps it--

- Plays into the favour within you tool, you know, keep it simple. Usually it works for them. I think, especially from our guys that do the paid ads, coming from an AdWords background, with all the solves in the world, all the analysis, jumping into HubSpot is like, "Well, where's my stuff?"

- Where's my marketin, Where's the supporting solution?

- You just type your message, add your picture. Why don't you do a blog?

- Connected to a London page and hit.

- And then hit live, "I've done my app." So I think that she's absolutely brilliant for most HubSpot users and marketers in house. And I would definitely advise giving it a go, just from an entity perspective. We need to try and do the other bits as well.

- What's the cost of that?

- It's $70 or 50 BPS a month or so. It's not expensive. I think it's worth it for the analysis. A mighty analysis tool for us. And where most other analytics platforms fall down, like give data ticks or the individual network side platforms. It'll tell you numbers of conversions, which is great, but obviously I've been with something like HubSpot. And the add on, you'll actually be able to click that number and see who the people are. And you'll know what happened. You can ask a salesperson what happened with John so and so? It just merely takes your data from the list of people. Which we find really useful.

- And find the full journey.

- Yeah, you can find the full journey.

- Okay, I mean, you mentioned some of the challenge there. We've got some new ones out there. And we've got Snapchat, Instagram, still quite new.

- We're still have the ad, didn't we? We still moved across a good ad for an eBook. And it had on the Instagram post a link to download them and that structures your post. So that's a cool way to get your ads up. Because you don't see that. I've not seen that, seen it once, about a week 1/2 ago. I've not seen it since and I've not seen it before. So that's a nice ad feature on Instagram.

- If you do a regular Instagram post you got your picture, you got your text you can't actually hyperlink, coming through to a blog or through to an eBook. And the only way to do that ad--

- Yeah, is to pay.

- Yeah, which is obviously--

- We have the blue CTA, sort of, button.

- Yeah, yeah.

- I quite like those, I think.

- These worked on me. I have seen some local ads, actually, on Instagram. For the, I can't remember what it was, but it stopped me scrolling. And I did have to put my book down. Maybe because I'm a marketer, I was quite interested in it, but yeah it did stand out. It worked quite well.

- I think if you stick to, sort of, the basic rules that we abide by, for ads, in terms of making sure it's going to a relevant person, the product you're trying to sell. A treatment would be semi interested in.

- When visual product maybe failed, It's obviously great for that.

- Don't you think that's a big step for an Instagram. Because it's, "Oh, check out this. "All the buyers, cool picture of it," linked in the bio." Well I'm not gonna go up to your profile until you buy it up to another, to download it and then open it in one, with that button there. It hit max, everyone else is all them stepped away. And you're just marching straight in.

- Are we doing much testing on Snapchat yet? Everyone trying to be Jason Swank, they're all shouting about something?

- I can't use Snapchat.

- I'm aware now.

- Another curve ball here.

- I'm not the demographic, not only for Snapchat. It is interesting.

- It should be.

- It should be, I do use it.

- You should be using it.

- I think the interesting thing with any social network like that, is one day Facebook was that young, trendy, kid site. And then Twitter was that young, trendy, kid site. And then Instagram was. And slowly, as the early adopters moved through that phase, other people wanted to do it. And I think there's every sign that Snapchat will move into that phase. And one day your mom will be on Snapchat. She's right there, out on Facebook. And I think that day'll come, so. I know we're talking about paid from an archive perspective. If you can build your audience, they'll lead. I think that will work.

- And that's key on Snapchat, as well, isn't it?

- It is.

- You gotta have strong, organic tactics, content. Otherwise, you're just not gonna get any contacts.

- And as far as an ad, there's no scrolling. It's just, you've off your friends list. They've got the opportunity, of jumping into people you actually want to hear from. So you don't have the opportunity to just like, appearing in from this remote. You've got to organically, you have to build it first and get them to follow you.

- You got to choose to open the content, as well, right there really.

- Yeah, you do. Or you ask them and it goes straight to inbox, if you like. And bypass it all, which is, obviously appealing. I think if you got your phone open, on a I, you're on an I vessel, you can go on a chart and look at the top downloaded apps. Snapchat's ahead of Twitter now. Snapchat's ahead of Instagram now. Snapchat's ahead of Facebook now. It's a real thing, it's build. And I think people need to get involved with it. And that's an interesting thing for people to go and do, as like a monthly thing, is just, "What are people downloading? "Where is people's attention these days?" I think that, for me, makes quite an interesting read. And it's almost just like all the E coverage football's have. What social media's got your most attention?

- So that's how we went for rose-ec.

- Cheers, I mean, we started here.

- That's how we got Snapchat and we do it. But yeah, it's a challenge, because it's a completely different interface.

- The interface is still tricky for me. I don't mind, I'm in there. We've said it, and we know what it's like.

- There's no profile, there's no feed.

- Just for logic sometimes. I don't know where I am. I don't know how to get back to where I was, so I just close it.

- It's bizarre, like I do all the Snapchat count. And I can get by with the one with the better way, but one I'll swipe might not be someone I like. I've never seen the screen before in my life.

- I've seen those dark filters, Ricky.

- Tell me that was an accident. A face swap, in the obvious.

- Because I'm on it, it's really fucked up. - No I haven't come that far yet. Definitely. - Anyone else here? Any other tips, hints, tricks, anything we can help the viewers with? - Yeah, wanted to not say this. I'm not gonna say it by saying it. Is that the obvious thing about, we've been told for the past couple of years, "Get into it, do it. "Do more of it. "Do Facebook, don't be shy. "Do things like this." We've not even touched on video, in ads, in Facebook. That's how all the bad book. Just have a go, if you've got inbound and you're blogging. If you've got a good blog, share it. If it's an audience you think's relevant put bits of, you know, a small portion. And just see what happens. And once you're in there, once you're doing your first compare. You can create an audience, which might take a little while. You can clone and duplicate that. And you get the ball rolling there. And you can just switch out your created. And you're on there and you just know, you just, it's just quicker there, so I would say, "If you've not done it, "have a go in a very small way. "And don't worry about the results too much, "just to get into it. "And if you are doing it, obviously, "have a go with things with Messengers. "Looked at LinkedIn email, import your "HubSpot database, who you're targeting. "And do all that sort of good stuff "and use the on AdWords, as well."

- How much, should we try with Andrew? If you was watching? Could you get 5,000 BPS?

- I think there's a lot more there.

- Marketing managers, would be probably most like the person who does this and this. You know, when you've got spare budget, but you know when you're gonna spend it on another car. Like, one that you're not gonna get your money back. Or you buy another day of this, to give to yourself so you have to call. By doing these sort of things, that you just know don't work, but you do them because likes them all like that.

- Or you've always done them. - Or you've always done, I don't know, magazine or bill of order.

- Say like, "Don't send your next leaflet."

- And you stick up with you on that. It's hard to say what to spend, because it ranges from 100's of pounds to millions. But try and take up some you get, that you have that's not working, and stick it on. And like I say, the best performing media at the moment, it's a no brainer for me.

- Because they donate it until it's working, probably. We could kick ourself, we didn't do it sooner.

- And that's a good sign.

- This is a good sign, itself. Okay, anything else? Anything else we missed?

- I don't think so.

- I think it's pretty interesting.

- Thank you, and now we just wanna thank everyone for the questions from the last session. Thanks for that. Thanks for your comments and feedback. We tried to improve the different backdrop today.

- And the jazz festival.

- And the jazz festival downstairs.

- Always helps dim the audio.

- We're here because of the noise. So thanks for joining us again. What we got, what we got next week?

- I'm not sure next week. I think it's open for the viewers to send it and let us know what you'd like us to talk about.

- I'd like to talk about video though.

- I can do that.

- Because what we do now, the podcasts and the other video work.

- Let's do that.

- Sounds good.

- Okay, agreed. We'll talk about online videos. Any other questions please put in the comment box. And any feedback, it really helps us. What else have we got? Please share, please share this episode. And that's it, for you guys.

- Fantastic, have a good weekend everyone.

- Cheers, take care, happy bank holiday, bye bye. 

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