Deep Funnel Facebook Ads with Bob Regnerus

Should I be using Facebook ads for awareness and lead generation at the top of the marketing funnel or conversions at the bottom of the marketing funnel?  What is the best way to remarket to my leads? 

Chris Casale and Ryan Smith chat with Bob Regnerus about deep funnel marketing strategies, why Facebook is one of the best social media platforms for remarketing and conversions, and which common pitfalls to avoid.  

Coach Bob Regnerus is the co-founder of Feed Stories, a digital marketing expert and author of five books, including the fourth edition of The Ultimate Guide to Facebook Advertising. Since 1998, Bob has helped his clients achieve their goals through digital media and storytelling, and he’s eager to share his experience with you. Bob is a sought after expert in the area of Facebook advertising and deep funnel marketing strategies  

Podcast Highlights

How do I market my business on Facebook?

Ryan Smith: [00:10:10] What are some of the common (questions) that you always sort of have to answer when it comes to Facebook? 

Bob Regnerus: [00:10:15] This is funny. So I put together a whole training for this week. I’m doing it with (an) entrepreneur who published my book. But I held, I held a series of webinars over the previous month and 80% of the questions were this ‘how do I market my fill-in-the-blank business?’ Right. 

Because everyone’s like, well, there must be a secret for a landscaping business or for a direct marketing business or for a CPA practice or for a t-shirt e-comm. Like literally, in the chat box  

I’m looking at these and I cataloged them all. 80% of those questions were all related to how do I market my business? 

So I actually put together training on that and essentially the thing with Facebook, guys, is Facebook is an interruption mechanism.  And a lot of people treat it like a ‘problem aware’ mechanism because Google’s search is very much ‘problem aware’ people. They’re typing in problems into the search engine and they’re looking for answers. 

Well, they’re not looking for that on Facebook. Right. Like, it’s literally a dinner party. They’re corresponding with family and friends, or looking at pictures of food and people and pets. And then here we come along and try to interrupt them with an ad for whatever. And people make this huge mistake of like, hey, ‘buy my product’. They’re just basically interrupting. 

It’s like going to a party, right, that you’re not invited too. You just drive through your neighborhood, see some cars and go run in the backyard while they’re having their party and try to sell them something like you’re interrupting their party. That’s what Facebook is. Facebook is an interruption mechanism. So you have a different job to do it on Facebook than you would on AdWords. 

And most businesses have this assumption that, well, everybody’s ready to buy my product now. Why wouldn’t they? Well, that’s not the case at all. I mean, look, you know, we’re having this digital happy hour, like, literally if I sat down with you guys and the first thing I told you was like, hey, I want you to buy my Facebook book. I want you to buy this $2,000 course I have. Like, you guys be like, ‘Bob, what the hell? Like, we’re just having a beer here’. 

You have to have that mentality of let me make an introduction. Let me get your attention. Let me share with you kind of who I am. Let’s have a conversation and then let’s move towards a sale like we need to determine mutually, like are you a good fit for what I have to sell right now? Am I a good fit for what you need? That’s the way marketing is, in my opinion. 

Too many people think it is. It’s just a math operation. Like I’m just going to jam as much traffic on the site as possible and there’s just so much waste. I just don’t appreciate marketing like that. I think it’s lazy marketing.  

Ryan Smith: [00:13:48] The other part you said I just want to touch on, Facebook creates demand. Google ads, for example, answers demand. They’re going to do a query and people use the Google ads sort of logic with Facebook. And it doesn’t necessarily work that way. 

Bob Regnerus: [00:14:05] No, it doesn’t. There’s very few products where you could do that. The exception, in my opinion, is e-commerce products that you literally watch the video and you understand what the product is and you’re like, I got to have that.

How do you get quick wins with Facebook ads?

Bob Regnerus: [00:16:41] OK, well, the main challenge for any business in that situation is to basically build an audience and build a platform. So part of their challenge is that they’re going to have to make an upfront investment unless they have some sort of list that they could bring into the business, they are going to have to invest in building up an audience. 

The best way I know how to do it is the content. Most businesses, even if you’re like a SaaS, I get a lot of businesses coming in for coaching that are SaaS related, right. They’ve got this new idea. They’re trying to make a market. There is a market available, but they’re unaware of who they are. So what I like to do is lead with content. 

In the book I talk about an article strategy, which is for somebody who’s more comfortable writing things. So it’s essentially driving traffic to your blog. What I prefer, though, is video. That’s kind of the company that I founded with my partner Brandon. 

Video is really the way to communicate these days, especially for people who are absorbing your content on mobile devices. So I prefer what I call a video strategy where we’re going to build up an audience of people. We’re going to essentially lead with content and let that filter and sort our audience. So somebody that let’s say you put a one minute video together in the news feed and it costs you like $0.25 to get somebody to watch half of that 30 or that 60 second video. Like, that’s a reasonable prospect, in my opinion, somebody who essentially spends 30 seconds watching a video. 

So what you’re able to do is build up an audience of those people and then you start to share more and more content with them and you move them down your funnel. So the way we describe it in marketing is top of funnel people are cold. They don’t know who you are. 

People who essentially raise their hand and say, ‘I’m interested in this topic’, become middle of the funnel. And then once they start to hit your sales process, maybe they hit an order page or a consultation, a free trial, something like that. They go bottom of funnel, and that’s where we try to close the deal. 

So you just got to understand where people are at in their process. I call it deep funnel marketing. Give them the right content at the right time, and you’re going to get a much better response once you kind of eliminate the waste at the top of the funnel. 

What is Deep Funnel Marketing on Facebook?

Bob Regnerus: [00:19:00] So deep funnel is essentially, I believe most marketers they underestimate the length or the depth they need to go with a prospect before they’ll make a sale. Now, it may be just that most of the people that come to me are again selling the products that are a little bit more expensive or more complex. But think of anybody in the service business, right? I mean, essentially, you’re in the business of trying to sell trust. 

Well, how can you sell trust after one or two meetings? I mean, you can’t, right? Somebody is not going to make a decision to give you there something very valuable to them, either it’s money or time or some piece of their business. 

Think of it like you’re an agency. Right. I’m going to turn over my account to you if I don’t know, you know, they need to know you. So it’s a process of going to the market and calling out to people through content, saying, hey, you know, this is our area of expertise and these are things that might be of interest to you. 

So you’re just trying to get a sense of like who’s in the mindset? Right. Again, this is not Google, so they’re not typing, ‘How do I find a Facebook marketing agency,’ right? That’s that’s bottom of funnel stuff. Right. Like we’re OK with that. 

But what about the people that are just casually thinking about it? They haven’t searched on Google and all of a sudden, like, you put something in front of them, like is your eight, seven reasons or ‘7 things every agency should be asking you before you hire them’. Just something simple like that or an article or a video like that. 

Well, somebody who engages with that content all of a sudden is thinking about, well, maybe I’m in the market for an agency or hadn’t thought about it. And I think it’s time. But then once they’ve kind of raised their hand and said, yeah, I’m kind of interested. 

Well, now it’s a process of nurturing, right. We’re going to put content in front of them for however long they need in order to kind of make a decision. But we’re giving them off ramps along the way. So it’s not like, well, you got to watch these next five videos before you can move to the next step. 

You give them content, you give them an off ramp. Right. The off ramp would be ‘I’m ready to have a conversation now about doing business together’, but you kind of nurture them along and then you’re moving them towards some sort of sales process, whether that’s a webinar, a phone call, a sales letter, all kind of the traditional things that that we’re aware of as marketers to close people. And then we move them to that point. 

And then once they’ve watched our sales presentation or engage on a phone call or whatever, then we have a bottom of funnel retargeting where we’re answering objections, where we’re showing customer proof testimonials. We’re trying to close that sale. 

So different advertising at different parts of the timeline, the journey that they’re on, that’s what deep funnel is.  

Chris Casale: [00:22:22] How do you know, as a business owner, how do you increase the level of engagement that you’re seeing on ads you’re placing on Facebook? 

Bob Regnerus: [00:22:31] create content that people will actually want to share. See, that’s the difference between like a Google ad and a Facebook ad. A Facebook ad that’s trying to get a sale will not get shared unless it’s like a funny video for an e-commerce product. You want to put out content that people are willing to share. 

Bob Regnerus: [00:25:43] Here’s the cool thing Facebook knows people who like to read and then they know people who like to watch. So I’m a big advocate for having content written blogs and content through video like just don’t pick one. Maybe you’re more comfortable with one and like, go ahead, pick one. But I love doing both. 

So I’m doing video ads and I’m doing content ads. I love reusing like I’ve got a ton of stuff on my blog. That’s really good training stuff. People love to read and they love to bookmark that stuff. Like if it’s a value. I absolutely love that. 

What’s the greatest skill you can have as a Facebook advertiser?

Bob Regnerus: [00:27:32] I was able to have a conversation with the head Facebook engineer, like the guy that was in charge of all the people that coated the algorithm that decides what ads to get shown. He was there and he was talking with people. And we had a conversation and he said this to me. 

He said, hey, here’s what I want to tell you. We are better than, meaning Facebook, ‘we’re better than you at finding your audience like we could target better than you can. We can bid better than you can. But the one thing that we can’t do better than you is develop creative. That’s still on you’. 

So 80% of your effort and 80% of results is related to the creative that you choose. What I aim to do in my training, in my book is I teach people that 20% of like what dials what switch is, what levers do you want to pull so that you’re maximizing the leverage of the artificial intelligence that Facebook has in place. 

So choosing the right campaign objective and targeting the right audiences and building better and better Lookalikes in the model, audiences like get that right and then spend all of your time developing creative that captures attention and gets people to take action. That’s the greatest skill that you could have as a Facebook advertiser. 

And really what separates good Facebook ads from bad Facebook, as is having great media, whether that’s an image or a video that captures attention and connects with people and having ad copy that gets them to do what you want them to do. That is the art of it all. That’s the first thing. 

What gives the greatest ROI in Facebook Ads?

Bob Regnerus: [00:29:07] The second thing is this, is that most people are starting a top of funnel cold traffic. And that is not where you want to start in chapter three of the book, like right at the beginning. I start with retargeting. 

If you are if you are advertising to humans, which is most of us. Right. Some of us, maybe you’re advertising to robots, but if you’re advertising to a human, you should be retargeting. Facebook is an absolutely viable medium for any business, even a Google business, if you focus in on retargeting first.

And this is a huge mistake…I do a lot of audits, guys…I have a lot of people coming in for coaching who have had done a shoddy effort at retargeting. And that is the thing that gives you the greatest ROI, the greatest return on investment, literally spending a dollar to make $10, $20. I’ve got a client in the e-commerce space where he’s spending $1 making $110 on retargeting. 

“Spend some time developing middle of funnel and especially bottom of funnel retargeting first, get that in place even before you place an ad. Get the pixel installed, alright, and get your bottom of funnel retargeting. Then get your nurturing in place (middle of funnel) and then start scaling to cold traffic.”

Every business has some traffic coming in organically and so you could absolutely benefit from this,bBut most people are totally missing the boat on nurturing and closing people. And all they want to focus in on is ‘I just want to get new business in,’ and that is absolutely the backwards way to do it, in my opinion.  

Common mistakes that affect a Facebook ad campaign

Bob Regnerus: [00:43:11] Yeah, so having a poor audience is a big deal. Facebook has made it pretty easy for us to reach cold audiences with Lookalike Audiences. Be careful how you build those audiences. I see a lot of mistakes for people like using the wrong model. 

So if the best model that I teach is use a model of your current customers, right. That just makes sense. But we create Lookalikes of all these different things to create a lookalike of your customers. 

Now, if you don’t have a large customer list, ideally you want about 1,000 as a minimum, then go with the emails. And the best emails are not just people that opt in for your front end. If you have things down the line where people have like, you know, they’ve opted into a webinar or something like that, those are good emails to use. 

But model something that is representative because modeling is essentially what Facebook is doing. They’re saying, hey, we know basically everything about all our users. We know what they do on Facebook and then we know how they behave off of Facebook. 

So you really help out your out the A.I., or the optimizer we call it, by putting a good model together and using Lookalikes. Now, there’s instances where you can use interest based things and things like that. But I say, hey, spend time on your ad creative and use a really good Lookalike Audience.

One Final Takeaway from Bob Regnerus 

Bob Regnerus: [00:50:11] Yeah, I think it really gets down to this is think of advertising as a conversation. I mean, we’ve spent an hour together and certainly like we’ve developed some rapport, a level of trust. Like you vetted me, I vetted you guys. 

Think of that very much like your audience. How can I mimic that for all the people that are going to be pulled into my world that that I’m going to try to serve, that I’m going to try to make money off of. But again, more importantly, I’m trying to serve that. That’s the way I build my business. 

So I think if you can shift your mindset towards conversations, you’re going to be a way better Facebook advertiser than if you’re just thinking about transactions. That’s probably the one thing that I would say. 

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