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162: How To Stockpile Potential Customers for Q4 Using Facebook and Instagram

Posted by Austin Brawner on September 11, 2018

Today’s episode was inspired by a conversation with a colleague about building audiences and stockpiling potential customers for use in Q4.

Last year, he said he put $10,000 into audience and list building for Q4. He expected he would be able to use those audiences but he had no idea when or the return on ad spend he would get.

He believed if he brought people in, told the brand story and got them in his remarketing and email lists, he’d be able to earn back his investment. Off of that $10,000 investment he made almost $150,000 and basically spent all his Q4 ad spend just retargeting those lists. Didn’t do any prospecting.

This is important because right now is the time you should be thinking about your Q4 strategy. This is the time when the people who are going to have their most success through the holidays are starting their prep. And that’s what this episode is about.


Episode Highlights

  • 8:00 How running engagement ads with the intent of being “social” will help you build an audience you can re-target and warm up over time.
  • 11:00 Why lead generation ads are a great way to learn about your customer while building a more qualified audience for Q4.
  • 13:45 How providing value through Messenger ads could lead to a huge win in Q4 this year.
  • 15:17 The importance of using the “view content” objective in a Facebook conversion ad as you ramp up to Q4.
  • 17:00 Why now is the best time to work on dialing in your lead capture and how a quiz funnel may be the way to go.
  • 18:13 The number 1 thing you can do to ensure you have a stellar Q4.
  • 20:40 For those who are managing accounts or reporting results to others, here’s how to set the expectation for Q4.
  • 22:16 Not sure where to start for Q4? This is what you should be doing right now.

Links and Resources

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Andrew: Well, today's podcast episode, really this flash episode, Flash, it came to my mind and thinking about Q4 and thinking about what we're trying to get into and framing that up. There's a colleague that I have, we were talking about Q4, and he said, "There are people like me that are building audiences at this point in the year for Q4, I've been thinking about it all year." And he said, last year, he put a lot how to time and energy I think he said he put $10, 000 into list building for Q4.

That was his expectation, was that he would be able to use those audiences but he had no idea on the time, on the return on ad spend he would get. He just knew that if he brought people in, told that brand story and got them in his remarketing lists and other places, his email lists, he'd be able to utilize those.

He said off of that he made $150,000 and he basically spent all the money on targeting to those lists via Q4. Didn't do any prospecting. Now you could you know take this as it will in terms of your own strategy, but this is kind of what inspired this particular episode of talking specifically about building those audiences for Q4, stockpiling those potential customers for use in Q4 on Facebook and Instagram.

Austin: This is important because right now is the time that you should be thinking about, we're just right at the beginning, beginning, middle of September. This is the time when really the people who are going to have their most success in Q4, it's the people that are starting now. And that's a lot about what this episode is going to be about.

Andrew: Yeah, totally and, you and I, Austin, have always ... I think one of the things that we've always connected on from a business standpoint and our listeners clearly, I think get as well is, play the long game. If you play that longer game, you will be benefited, you're not going to be ... You obviously have to make money. You have to have that return on ad spend be higher. But if you play the long game, and you nurture your people the right way, you can actually, make more money, I think you can grow in a way that's sustainable, and not just fits a performance.

We're talking about this and how you not worry about it. When you tell people if you say, "Hey, how are you? How's your list building going free Q4?" Maybe they're asking about ROI. How do you position that Austin? I mean, I'm just curious of your take on how you position that with people.

Austin: If you ask somebody how their list building is going?

Andrew: Yeah. Basically like, look, going towards Q4. "How is your list building going?" They're saying, "Well, that's fine. How I'm I going to spend that money while also thinking about making money going into Q4?" How do you position that in terms of trying to sell that to that person to show them the long play and the worthwhile message in that?

Austin: I think the reason it's so important is because there's a feeling right now and it's the truth that costs have been going up in paid social. For the same stuff you might be getting a year ago, it would cost more money right now to run the same ads, because inventory is smaller. And now as you go and move it to Q4, you're no longer just competing against the people who are advertising in August, you're competing against every business who is trying to blow out their ad spend during that time and inventory is smaller. So you can expect that all the cold advertising you're going to do in November is going to cost you a lot more than it's going to cost you right now.

Austin: The reason why when I talked to people about why they should be building their lists right now is because you don't want to be competing against Macy's, Amazon, all of these retailers, they can spend a lot more to acquire a customer than you during Q4. It's better to compete right now for attention, capture people and then basically, you open up a wide funnel, and then you close it during Q4 rather than what a lot of people end up doing, which is not planning for Q4 and then being like, "Well, we got a huge Q4, let's spend as much as we can and then that leads to a lot of overblown ad budgets and not very much success.

Andrew: Right, exactly. So let's talk about some of these tactics that you can use on Facebook and Instagram. Let's think about, here we are in September and we are thinking about how do we start to build towards Q4? What are some of the tactics that you can do to start to build audiences that you can then use for remarketing during the harder times? The first one to me, that's a major big one is running engagement ads. So getting people familiar with your brand, utilizing different types of creative and running them for page post engagement. Because then you can use engagement, custom audiences under Facebook, custom audiences.

So you're able to create a group of people that have engaged with you on Facebook and on Instagram. And it's basically not as much of a commitment as an email. But it is a commitment in terms of them engaging, they're seeing what you're doing, and then you're not just trying to target interests or target even lookalikes, in that case, you're targeting those people that have already previously engaged with you.

Austin: Sure. So it's a slightly warmer lead, if you're going to call it one way. It's a slightly warmer than cold, but not as warm as some other audiences, custom audiences that you could be using.

Andrew: That's exactly right. That's exactly right. So that's the first one is trying to build out engagement custom audiences. And as you're trying to, get to them, the major things to answer are like, what value are providing them? What are you telling them about your brand, or about your company or about your service that is going to hook them and make them interested? So, why do they care, basically? And some of this may be, you're trying to basically make them aware of who you are. But some of this may be tied too to differentiation.

Andrew: A lot of people during the holiday season are thinking about outside of themselves too. So how can you tie potentially a social good idea into that? "Hey, here's what we do, here's how our products are made." Maybe you start there, maybe you start, then in week two or three, you're messaging to that same group of prospecting audience. So you could be utilizing lookalike audiences and targeting them with page post engagement ads, where there's a photo album of the way those products are made. And maybe in week two or three, you're talking about, here's how we source them. Here's a social good component, here's how we donate the money during the holiday season. Here's how we give back. So by the time the holiday comes, or Black Friday comes, they know and they're familiar with you. So that's using those tactics of engagement, custom audiences one I really like.

Austin: What other ads are you running right now? And where are you running them to? Besides these engagement, custom audiences?

Andrew: Another one to me is a lead ad. So lead ads is another one where Facebook has the ability for you to run an ad to people and they can actually fill out a form right on Facebook and they can become a lead and there's ways for you to connect those leads to go with Zapier right into your Facebook custom audiences and you're able to utilize those and that's, fairly easy. You're able to say, "Hey, here you go, you can put them in your email, you can put them in and you can connect with Zapier, a lot of those things together.

So lead ads is another one that I really, really like. Because it finds people that are likely to want to submit a lead. So maybe they're not ready to commit, maybe they're not ready to go to your landing page and put in their email address, which is another idea that we'll talk about, maybe a lead ad is an easier thing for them. And you can ask them a question. That's something that if you do lead ads, I would recommend. So not just setting up a lead ad to say, "Here's who we are, we are X company and we sell this product, click here to learn more about us or to be alerted of deals." That's nice. But maybe you want to ask them a question, "What motivates you about X?"

If you're somebody like Mark Aruda who's a friend of ours, with constantly varied gear, Mark would say, "What workout routine to use in the morning? And the reason for that is that qualifies that person a little bit more. And it takes basically them putting in some manual information. So you can source out who's a good leader who is not. But lead ads are going to find those people are likely to kind of submit their information to be interested to communicate with you. So that's another one that I would utilize.

Austin: Besides lead ads, there's also messenger ads, what are you doing on the messenger ads side right now? Again, very similar in the sense that you're getting some ... You have the ability to follow up, what are you doing on the messenger side ad right now to be in Q4?

Andrew: On messenger your ads, one thing you can do is you can get them to essentially subscribe. So you can say, "Comment below, or click here to have a conversation with us." But for me, it's really getting them to subscribe. It's saying, "Hey, comment below if you're interested in finding out about the great deals that are forthcoming." Then you can do a broadcast basically to those people once your sale is live. That's a tactic that I think is interesting, that I've done before that I know other listeners to podcasts have done. And so that's a way that you can utilize messenger ads somewhere along the funnel of building out those audiences. I know you've been having a lot of conversations to about messenger ads. One thing everyone wonders is, how do you see messenger ads and email kind of relating to one another in Q4?

Austin: Well, really, they relate to each other, because they're both low-cost channels of being able to reach people who've raised their hand in a way to say that they're interested in more information. Your messenger list using mini chats, something like that is going to be very similar to your email list. It's one of those things that you will want to build up and then by providing a lot build up, provide a lot of value, value, value. And then around the holidays around the Black Friday time, it's another way to notify people around your sales, around new products, opportunities to buy during the holidays.

So the idea is that you want to build that up. When you look at a good email open rate, maybe 30%, is a solid email open rate these days. That's still 70% of people who aren't opening or seeing your emails. So messenger is another way for you to get in front of those people and send them a broadcast message during the most impactful time, like, "Hey, the sale is going to be over in 24 hours." That's a really relevant, impactful message you could be sending to somebody who might be very interested in purchasing before the sale ends.

Andrew: Totally. Right. Exactly. You've kind of brought it together like that. It's just interesting for me to hear. Now, one other thing you could do is you have obviously a great website, you're an e-commerce company, you have a website that talks about the products you have, that talks about your mission and why you exist. Another thing that you can do during this period of time is just actually utilize conversion ads, optimizing for a page view. So not optimizing for a conversion to different prospecting audiences, and sending them to your site and ensuring that you have potentially a pop up on the site, or you have some way to do an email capture on the site that does help to capture email.

So you're just sending traffic to the site, not necessarily utilizing traffic as an objective with Facebook or Instagram, because traffic is proven to kind of drive clickers and it's not as good. I actually really like utilizing conversion because it's going to find converters, and then optimizing for that page view. So it's a little bit farther up the funnel, but it's still quality under somebody that might buy and then sending them just to your site, sending them to your homepage, sending them to your about us, sending them to your best sellers. To me the more exposure to those audiences, the better and then if you can have that email capture on the site, you're obviously going to be much ... You're going to be able to utilize those audiences then via the Klaviyo automatic sync if you're utilizing Klaviyo.

For somebody that has that on the website, also like a landing page with some sort of pop up or something. What do you see really doing well there for people lately?

Austin: Well, for one, when you say somebody has one, has a pop up or something, a lead capture on their website. The first question is figuring out how well it's performing. I've worked with so many different companies that have ... They're like, you talk to me and say, "Oh, yeah, we're capturing leads, we got a pop up." And then you look at the performance of it, there's a huge difference between the high end which I see around, 11 and 13% of emails being captured and the average which is down around 2%.

So this time of year, you can focus on improving your lead capture, improving your pop ups. Maybe you put together a quiz funnel. That's one of the things that is extremely effective, can be extremely effective with certain types of products. A quiz that asks people a couple of questions relevant to answers that they want, gives them some sort of results and you capture leads that way. I've seen as high as 12 or 13% lead capture through quiz funnels. That's one way to go about it. Ultimately, we're getting to a point right now where everything is ... Everything that we are implementing as a marketer is becoming easier except creating quality offers.

The amount of technology that's coming out and making the actual implementation of whatever we're doing easier, it's continually increasing, and everything is easier and easier to do. But spending the time on creating equality offer is exactly the same as it has been for the last 50 to 100 years. So just spending the time to create a quality offer is the best thing you can do and then find ways to deliver that offer, make it easy for people to opt-in.

Andrew: Totally. So a couple of things too that you can that you can do, I think that's super helpful, by the way, and other things that you can do too heading into Q4 for me and these audiences are right now, how are you talking to previous visitors? 180-day site visitor. That's a website custom audience, you can create ... You could do a even a top 25% website custom audience 180- day talking to those people. You could do a 180-day engager. You could do ... People that have basically come into your galaxy, maybe a 180-day video view to 95%. Maybe you've run some video ads, or maybe you've run some video Instagram story ads, you can create video view audiences off of those, and then, talking to those people.

So warming them up along with previous customers, how are you talking to those. So, kind of those lower funnel options. Even something like your email open or a non-buyer. Maybe they've opened emails in the last 365, but you haven't heard from them in a while. Maybe you exclude those that have been to the site in and last hundred days, but they're on the email list and they're not there. I know, that's some of the work that you do to Austin and helping people clean that up of active email, openers and active email participants.

But utilizing those, not only that are in the prospecting side, so utilizing interesting and lookalikes etc. For like we've talked about with messenger ads, and getting them to engage, getting them to this site on a lead ad, getting them to your site, to have a conversation with you, or maybe check out some of the products you have. But then talking to those people that are much lower in the funnel too that you are already probably paid for, to bring back over and getting them familiar with not only more of what your brand is, but maybe what some of the deals are that are going to be happening along that time. And just getting you top of mind for that is a really big part of what it's all about.

Austin: Exactly. 100%.

Andrew: For me, I think another big one is, as you talk about this, as you know, what value you're providing them, how can you make them aware, as we talked about earlier, that kind of social good component. A big one here is expectations too. Which is how do you set an expectation?

I had a gentleman that as a colleague of ours, Austin, and he said, "I'm trying to figure out, I know, I want to do this, leading into Q4, but it doesn't have a direct response revenue component as much right away. So it's harder to prove on a real-life standpoint. So how do I build that to show them? How do I build a report even to show them? And for me, it's being able to one be able to say, "Hey look, I need you to trust me during this period of time and I will show you how we will spend less in Q4 talking to prospecting audiences, because we're going to spend more on these people that we have spent time now bringing into our site."

So that's a really big part of the reporting side, is being able to look in that longer time window of even a five to six month window, of between now and the end of the year of what that is, and what those audiences were able to do for you in the long term.

Austin: I think a good place to start with that report is to start looking at your actual reach and look at what your audience size is in email. Looking at engaged versus not engaged. One of the things Andrew you mentioned earlier was, warm people up who might not have opened up emails, it's a great time to send quality content to your list. So you're not just hitting them in November. I think a good place to start is to get an idea of what your reach is, of your audience's, warm audiences, and then work on growing that right now. If you need to provide a report that shows, "Hey, this is where we're at. We're going to try to get to this larger audience by the time Q4 hits, and then we're going to try to ... " It's kind of like fishing, right? You want to go and be spreading your net all the way around. And then by the end, you want to close it up in Q4. So that's kind of the way I think about it.

Andrew: Yeah, I mean, that's what we call the Austin Fishing Method, it's the AFM, will patent that, trademark that-

Austin: It's just patented right now, actually it's trademarked.

Andrew: Exactly. But the Yeah, I completely agree. And I think a lot of that too is playing that longer game too and that's what we're really talking about. So hopefully, your gears are starting to turn on what's possible. Hopefully, we've given you some good ideas here of building that long term play and thinking about what are ways that you can change your game and not be focused on the buy, buy, buy, but focused on mission building, focused on brand building and getting those potential customers into your galaxy and into your different lists. So that is all that I have for today and I really appreciate you checking out this episode.

Austin: No, and I think for us, what our plan is this year is to deliver just-in-time content related to Q4. Again, this is the beginning of September. This is when you should be working on your audiences. This is when you should be working on growing, thinking about this sort of stuff. As we progress, we're going to be rolling out episodes and trainings over the next couple of weeks that are relevant to what you should be doing right now. So when you get into October, late October, then we're going to go in a nitty gritty email strategy, because that's when you're going to be thinking about what's the stuff we should ... What is the actual tactical implementation when email should be going out, when messenger blast be going out? That sort of stuff. So that's the goal and hope you guys enjoyed this episode, we will talk to you guys very, very soon.

Andrew: Well, today's podcast episode, really this flash episode, Flash, it came to my mind and thinking about Q4 and thinking about what we're trying to get into and framing that up. There's a colleague that I have, we were talking about Q4, and he said, "There are people like me that are building audiences at this point in the...

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