If you’re just starting to run ads on Facebook, you don’t have a lot of pixel data to lean into – meaning, Facebook is still learning how to optimize your account, right?

In this episode I’ll share a *trick* we use to speed up the process.

But, be warned – this doesn’t work for EVERYTHING.

Listen closely to learn how to use this strategy + exactly WHO it works for…

Because lots of marketing gurus teach something similar, but the difference is, they’re promoting this strategy for everyone and everything.

That’s not who/what any strategy is for.

(Remember, you and your business are unique. Your marketing should be unique, too.)

Tune into this episode to learn more about…

The strategy we’ve been testing lately on client accounts
Why it’s working for certain campaigns
And when you should test it out for yourself

Then, head over to Instagram (@emilyhirsh) to share your thoughts!

For more detailed information about “how to” lean into the pixel data (once you have it!), listen to episode 156, “Leaning on the pixel data + algorithms.”

Want even more details about what’s working with Facebook ads right now during these crazy times? You can get *instant access* to our Hirsh Marketing Weekly Report (for FREE) at HirshMarketingReport.com!

Key Points:
[2:45] This is a strategy that’s working well with newer accounts / pixel data
[5:20] But here’s the CAVEAT
[8:04] This doesn’t work for everything…
[10:30] And that’s the “theme” with Facebook ads in 2020

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Episode Transcript:

Emily Hirsh: Hello friends, and welcome back to the podcast. I am excited to dive into today’s topic with you guys. It is actually inspired by the Hirsh Marketing Report. So we recently overhauled our Hirsh Marketing Report. My theme of all my podcasts is, “We overhauled this, we overhauled this,” because I was pregnant and crazy, and we were overhauling everything. But my business always grows so much when I’m about to have a baby because of that. I don’t nest like the normal moms, I think, who clean their house and stuff. I do that a little bit. I don’t clean, but I organize stuff in my house. But I nest in my business where it’s like, fix everything, fix all the problems to get it to a place where then I feel like I can have a baby. But it actually makes us grow a ton, because we do a bunch of stuff, and it’s amazing what my team accomplished in the months leading up to, and even when I was having the baby, because of that drive that we had.

So we overhauled our Hirsh Marketing Report to be a lot more comprehensive. It’s probably close to a 15 page document now. Guys, the information in that report you could pay for, to get. So what happens is, every week my ads team all meets together, and we talk about various things, but one of them is what strategies are working? And so we encourage the team to share what’s been working in their accounts. And then that information gets put into the Hirsh Marketing Report at the end of the month, along with some other things. We have a top client, we show you top converting ads, we link straight to them, we share numbers… so a lot of information. So you can get access to that at HirshMarketingReport.com.

But today’s topic, what I wanted to talk about actually, came from one of those meetings and was put into the Hirsh Marketing Report, and that is a strategy that’s working really well for some newer ad accounts or newer pixels for my team. So when you have a newer ad account, your pixel’s probably new, so it doesn’t have a lot of data on it about what type of people are going to take action on the pixel. So whenever you start running ads, Facebook is learning. It’s learning on that pixel what people will convert, what people are going to convert to leads, purchases, clicks, views. And it’s building this data that’s extremely powerful. And so the more seasoned your ad accounts gets, the better it will actually convert. But when you’re just starting out, you don’t really have that data. So you’re working with almost nothing.

And so we’ve had a few clients that we started who, they either had a new ad account [or] they also maybe spent a very little amount, $500 to $1,000 in the past on ads, and so we didn’t have a lot of data. And we had one specific [client] who was an eCommerce client, where it was a newer ad account, and she had only spent a little, I think she was spending $500 a month [on ads] before coming to work with us, and she’s increased that to $3,000, I think, a month now was her budget, so a good increase. But one strategy they did was, instead of setting the objective to ‘purchase,’ they set the objective to ‘initiate checkout,’ just to bring that pixel one step before, to try to get people to take that action, to teach the pixel, “People who are doing that, that’s the end goal what we want.”

And obviously people are going to initiate checkout, a large percentage of them are going to buy. But what it does is, it just speeds up that pixel’s data gathering to teach it what’s working and improve the overall optimization on the account and in that campaign. And I’ve heard this strategy talked about before, and I’ve actually been asked it, and so there’s a very important caveat with it. So it works very well for purchase campaigns. So if you’re running a book funnel, you’re trying to get somebody to buy something… and so e-commerce, physical products, you’re trying to do that, and you don’t have a lot of data, you can bring that step one step closer, which is, initiate checkout, and you can try to see how that works.

Now, here’s where I don’t believe, and we don’t believe, because we’ve tested it, it works the same [for everything], most of the time. It’s still worth testing, but most of the time it doesn’t work the same in the situation where you’re saying, “I want leads, so bring it one step further, and get me landing page views,” because it’s not the same quality people, because then you’re basically just asking Facebook to get you clicks, and they end up, just in our experience, and I can’t fully explain why, because it should make sense, “Get as many people to my page, then some of them will opt-in.”

But when we’ve tested this, sometimes it’s given us poorer quality. So it’s like, “Yeah, we got more people to our page, but we actually didn’t get more quality opt-ins or quality applications.” We actually tested this on my application funnel, which we run as a conversion campaign to take the first step of the application, but we tested it as a landing page conversion, and it didn’t work. It actually brought in poorer quality leads. My thinking, and our thinking behind that, my team’s thinking, is that, that is because you’re kind of asking for a different thing, right? People who just click to see a page really fast, or view a landing page, aren’t necessarily the same type of people who are going to actually convert and sign up for something, or in my case apply, or maybe it’s sign up for a webinar.

And so I had someone ask me a question, which was, “Should I change my objective… If I haven’t gotten a lot of leads, should I change my objective to landing page views to try to get more leads?” And so my answer is actually, “No.” I mean, you can test it, with a small budget, test it. But in my experience it’s brought poorer quality leads. Where it works really well is when you can actually just move the pixel one… you still have the same objective, right? So initiate checkout is still a conversion objective, but landing page view is not a conversion objective. That’s just landing page view, “I want people to view my landing page,” which is why it probably doesn’t work.

Let’s say you have a retargeted ad that, you have people come into a webinar and then you’ve got a retargeted ad. You might be able to try, initiate checkout. But here’s the thing, you know that audience, you’re working with that retargeting audience. So what this really works for is cold traffic, straight to a physical product. So we have influencers who run book funnels. And so that’s cold traffic to an $8.99 book or whatever. Initiate checkout is still a conversion objective. It’s getting us purchases, and it’s cutting the cost tremendously. But it’s also quickening the amount of data that we can get for those clients on their pixel, to be able to get it out of that learning phase and show it what converts, which then it becomes a snowball, and it starts converting faster and better. And this has significantly reduced, this cost per purchase, for this one e-commerce client, just by implementing this strategy.

So the key here is this. And so, other people are teaching this, but they’re saying you can do it with anything. The objective has to say the same. So if you move the pixel one step before, the objective has to stay the same. So if it’s a conversion objective, it has to be a conversion objective. It doesn’t work to say, “Conversion objective, change it to a landing page view.” It might work, it might work for you. We’ve tested it a few different times, and it hasn’t worked that way for us. It’s been lower quality leads for whatever reason, when you change that objective, lower quality leads. But if you keep the objective and just move it one step further on your purchase campaigns, it will work. And overall, what this tells us is just, using… To me, when my team was sharing this strategy, it’s just, again a reminder, which is a constant theme, of how important it is to season that pixel, to trust that pixel, to use that pixel’s data.

I recently did an episode [episode 156] about retargeting audiences and using audiences based on your pixel’s data. So you can create audiences that are people who have completed a lead, a lead conversion, or purchase conversion, or initiate checkout, and you can create all these different audiences of those standard events in your pixel, and then you can create a lookalike audience of that. And those are some of our top-performing audiences. But this just is another reminder that Facebook really rewards you when you support its data mining, basically, of your own account and seasoning that pixel and getting it to learn who’s responding to it, and that’s why those audiences also do well.

So that’s kind of the theme for 2020 is, really a lot of things roll out on Facebook with campaign budget optimization, dynamic creative, all of those that the central part to them is that they want to rely more on the machine, machine learning and Facebook and trusting its algorithms, and not trying to control it. And this is kind of that, too. Try to build that data on your pixel, because it will help your account in the long-term. So it’s a quick strategy today for you guys. But I thought it was a really interesting one, a really strategic one that my team thought of, and that they tested across at least five or six different accounts, that it showed that it worked in the physical product space, or straight to a product basically, straight to a purchase page, but didn’t work if it’s for a webinar and shifting that. And I thought that was the interesting part, because that’s where it can get confusing when people teach it as only just one way to do it, right? So I wanted to have that differentiation for you guys.

So thanks so much for tuning in. If you, of course, want these strategies implemented in your own business, you can go to HelpMyStrategy.com to apply to work with Team Hirsh. One of my favorite things about what we offer is the data and the intel and strategy that we can offer clients, and the reason why we’re so good at it is, we have constant collaboration around it. So every single week, the team meets and has these discussions where they’re all sharing strategy ideas that are working on their account. And I have 10 ads managers who all have five clients. There’s so much intel. So when you come in as a client, you get that shortcut to all of that data. You get instant access to all of that, that one person or an in-house team just could not access, which is why we’ve got people who have massive in-house teams hiring us to audit and come over and take over their ads, because they just can’t keep up with this level of strategy that we are able to have.

So go to HelpMyStrategy.com, apply to work with Team Hirsh, and I will see you all next time.