How To Start Your First Facebook Ad W/ Derek Videll

How To Start Your First Facebook Ad W/ Derek Videll

Gabe Harris:

Today, we are talking to Derek Videll, founder at Social Bamboo and host of the Social Bamboo Podcast with over a million downloads. You can find him on social through @SocialBamboo. I’m really excited to talk to Derek about how you can be able to jump into the Facebook Ad world and use social media advertising to really propel your business. But to also know what you should do to position yourself to scale on these platforms. 

Derek, excited for you to be able to join the show. And like we were talking about earlier, one of your big passions is really helping small to medium businesses jump on social media advertising for the first time.

Actually, before we get into that, what are some of the most common misbeliefs that you’ve seen before people make that leap? Or what do they need to know before they do make that leap?

Derek Videll:

Yeah, so let me first start with people getting started with Facebook and Instagram ads.

Now I’ll probably just start saying Facebook ads for the podcast — I mean Facebook and Instagram ads. Every single time, you run them from the same spot but I’ve had enough people say like “I don’t think I want to be on Facebook”.

So one is that the ads manager is really complex and it definitely is. All the terms, just all the things that you could potentially click is mind boggling. I’ve done it enough times now. I’ve run ads fo many different businesses, including international businesses that I’ll be looking at Italian or French while I’m running the ads, but all the buttons are in the same spot. So I can still click on those systems.

There is a point at which you say, oh, I totally get this now. And all of a sudden you’re like, maybe this is the best way they could set it up, but they definitely don’t make it that user-friendly on the back end to run the ads properly.

And what I mean by that is when you get into ads manager, the easiest way to create them is — they did try to make a simplified version of the ads for businesses that were struggling to get the technology set up — they started giving people all these automatic icons.

Do you want to do the targeting yourself, or you want us to do it? Do you want to us to automate the budget amongst all of your ads, other than you choosing the individual budgets and just a bunch of different options that take away the power. And their goal is to get you sales.

“A lot of people feel like promoting or boosting a post on Instagram or Facebook is going to do something for them. It’s not going to do anything besides get you followers.”

It’s a lot more costly for them to show your ad to a ton of people and then see how a ton of people react and then figure it out themselves over time, versus you just kind knowing how to do ads and tell them who you’re looking for to put in the exact specifications. Promoting a post would be an example of when you’re giving them the most control to do with your money.

So a lot of people feel like promoting or boosting a post on Instagram or Facebook is going to do something for them. It’s not going to do anything besides get you followers. You can definitely boost a post to gain followers, but there are way less options that you do need to choose.

“They’re just trying to get you the lowest cost or ‘like’ basically.”

If you’re ever trying to get sales, unless you tell Facebook and Instagram your objective of the ad is sales, they’re not going to show it to people who are in the market to buy your product. They’re just going to show it to random people that are really cheap to advertise to, often in countries that you don’t even ship to.

They’re just trying to get you the lowest cost or “like” basically. So unless you’re just trying to get likes and follows, you don’t want to do any kind of promoting or boosting post because it’s not going to work to say it in short.

I could give you a 20 minute answer. I have an entire 30 minute podcast of why it’s not going to work, if you’re trying to get sales. But eventually, it’s something you can figure out once you get with your first ad campaign. It’ll all make a lot more sense.

So I would just say, be aware that it should mess with you at first. It’s kind of like when you get to a new college campus and you look around, you’re like, there’s no way I’ll ever figure out all these buildings. Then after a couple weeks, even you’ve got the campus down. Once you navigate it, it’s not that hard.

“People buy if they see your product solves the problem and you catch them at the right time.”

The other myth is that they’re just too expensive and this has been true in ways. But whenever that narrative is being propelled, it gets so many people out of the space that it eventually becomes not true anymore.

So this is really how you catch trends is if you hear something like Facebook and Instagram ads are too expensive and now iOS 14 has made it really hard for businesses to still run their ads and get their targeting down and run them profitably.

And you hear all these ads are leaving the space. The average person will hear that and be like, oh, leave the space. The whole thing is an auction system. It’s based off of how many other advertisers there are. So when you hear people leaving the space, all that means is it’s getting cheaper.

It doesn’t mean people aren’t on Facebook and Instagram anymore. That if your customers are there, end of story. It’s not a matter of “Well, people don’t buy from Instagram.” People buy if they see your product solves the problem and you catch them at the right time and Facebook and Instagram are really good at catching people at the rhyme with how their ad system works.

I actually looked into it just to see if there’s metrics to back this up. I feel like after I was running some ads with some companies getting such good results, I was like, these results could only be possible by way less advertisers in the market.

“Sometimes you have to fail on that first one to even know what to do in the second one.”

So if you type Google, Facebook ads cost, and then what is the website called? It is on the tip of my tongue. Maybe it’ll come to me in a second. It’s usually the first one — Facebook ads cost.

You click on that and it is a live chart that you can look at average cost per lead, average cost per sale, average cost per thousand impressions, Facebook versus Instagram on stories versus regular posts. You can just look at all of them. And I made a reel about this too, but they were just down pretty much across the board and every category. Facebook and Instagram, just all down versus last year.

So a lot of advertisers have led really good opportunities to strike, but I will say that for the last myth here, you could put together a basic copy and basic image and expect it to work. It does require a thinking than what most people put into their first ad campaign. And of course, sometimes you have to fail on that first one to even know what to do in the second one.

“You ultimately want to create multiple different ad angles.”

So, I do think even when you run money on Facebook or Instagram unprofitably, the data that it gives you of that audience doesn’t work. Amazing, that audience doesn’t work! I’ll pay the amount of money to stop putting my focus on some people that I thought were my customers.

So the data is really good, even when it’s not profitable, but know that it’s not as simple as if you’re just creating a single image that you’re not going to run any split test with. Let me run this caption versus this caption versus this one, versus this one. Let me run four different captions in ways of selling it, let me do five different images. And then I’ll alter the three variations of the caption and try to find the winning one and deliver them to all these different audiences to test them all.

So you’re testing a lot. You’re not going to be able to find where the profit is, unless you guess the first time, but rarely do us as marketers have our first guest be on all fronts.

So you ultimately want to create multiple different ad angles. And this is where some people can get confused, because they’re like, I don’t know how to make all these different ways to sell my product so that’s where my company comes in is really helping people navigate that part.

Gabe Harris:

Yeah making images, I think that’s a great practice, especially when you’re first starting, because from my experience, video is going to anchor your performance. But that also could be it’s going to anchor your performance because video is so much more complex. It’s really easy to make a bad video.

Derek Videll:


Gabe Harris:

Where images are more of a safety net. It’s more difficult to make a bad image.

Derek Videll:


Gabe Harris:

Cool. So when somebody’s starting out say making five images and just going into images in themselves, is there any place that you recommend for them to do some research, to get some preparation so they know what they’re doing rather than just making an image off of a paint file?

Derek Videll:

Yeah. Do you mean as far as which program tools or what the image should look like?

Gabe Harris:

What program? What should the image look like? Say if I know I need to make five images, what path should I go on? And how much effort should I put forth to be able to make those five images?

Derek Videll:

So for programs, I mean Canva and Photoshop are basically the go-to’s.

If you really know what you’re doing, you go Photoshop. I work with a lot of businesses that are trying to run the ads themselves. I mean their entire company sells rights, they’re solo printers. So a lot of times Canva is plenty good. You really don’t need these complex, crazy art images to get conversions. So Canva is what I use, but if you know Photoshop, might as well do it.

As far as what the image should look like, it depends on obviously what we’re actually promoting. So when people do sales, there’s still so many variables to it, right? Because even a hat, I’ve seen ads sell hats better without the model wearing them, just the hat by itself and a black background and some text, I’ve seen perform better.

There have been times when selling clothing like shirts, I’ve seen that the ads that the person’s actually wearing the shirt typically beat the ones with just a shirt on a white background.

“The main strategy that I like to help people with and what I vouch for as the first ad campaign that every B2C business should run is a social media giveaway.”

There still are so many variables. And that’s why I ultimately don’t see a course by itself anymore for running apps. Just so that I only work with those people where you get the video course to set it up. And I talk to them to make sure all of these differences between industries and products that I know about that could never all fit into one course that wasn’t a hundred hours.

I just tell them what they need to know for a specific business. The main strategy that I like to help people with and what I vouch for as the first ad campaign that every B2C business should run is a social media giveaway.

And it’s not one that you’ve likely seen before where it’s “like this post and tag three friends, share this to your story and follow everyone we’re following” and all the things that people hate to do and run as an organic post that doesn’t really work anymore.

This only really worked like pre 2017, where all those tags of their friends and the “like” and the “save” actually made them think, “Holy cow, we made this person’s giveaway post go viral, because look at all these comments.”

And then they kind of caught on to it that people tagging multiple friends doesn’t necessarily mean this is amazing content we should push out to everyone. In fact, it’s a promotional giveaway.

So it’s not really what we should be putting on the explore page. And now you’re never going to see something like that on the explore page nowadays.

“We run it as an ad campaign, which gives you full control of who you’re showing it to.”

So we run it as an ad campaign, which gives you full control of who you’re showing it to. So very important to consider ads if you’re a local business, because when you do an organic post, I’m from Colorado, if I do #ColoradoDenver, #ColoradoLifestyle, #DenverLifestyle, you know #DenverFamily, it’s going to show to 2% percent more Denver people than it would have otherwise had I not even hashtagged it. It doesn’t really make it go to all Denver people.

So if you’re really trying to attract a local audience, being able to actually put on ads manager, only show this to people who live in the codes, is often necessary for you to have a chance to get sales. Because even if they want to come visit, they’re in a different state, probably not going to happen. So a lot of organic marketing efforts are really wasted for businesses that are trying to get customers from them.

You want to just use more organic marketing to keep up with past customers.

But that giveaway image, I usually just do a pretty simple one where it might just be their product giveaway and to win for our third anniversary. Something like that is how the image works. So I can get into more of how the rest of the giveaway process plays out. But I know that’s the answer to your question. At least right there is just how the image looks.

Gabe Harris:

Yeah. Yeah, definitely. Actually it makes me feel like a “newb” back in 2017 when you used to do all that sharing. So you can be entered in for a raffle. I fell for that one a little bit too hard.

Derek Videll:

Well what do you mean fell for it though? Were you scammed or it’s just like, you didn’t win?

Gabe Harris:

I was spamming my friends.

Derek Videll:

Oh, got it.

Gabe Harris:

I would tag all my friends like guys, I get a chance to get this thing that I’m going to throw away in two weeks. But I would tag all my friends in it. That marketing tool definitely worked, but you don’t see that much at all anymore organically.

Derek Videll:

Well, it’s not like you can just keep tagging them. Everyone already tagged the friend that wouldn’t kill them for tagging them in a giveaway a few times. They’re not like, “Oh, here’s a qualified lead for you.” “Oh, this friend won’t kill me. And here’s my burner account. And here’s my other account.”

There weren’t even real people that should be seeing your giveaway. They’re just the qualification of getting three tags. So yeah, it didn’t often lead to finding the right people. It just tricks the algorithm back in the days.

Gabe Harris:

Now when somebody’s starting out, what would you recommend for them to be able to build out that campaign?

Are you sending them to a landing page, a website, to a lead form ad? Because, all of that may not be native to their thinking. Like, I have to build a landing page? Forget that. I don’t even talk to my developer. What’s like the normal flow that you would recommend if somebody’s looking to be able to build out those type of offer campaigns or just really any offer campaign when they first start?

Derek Videll:

Yeah, so here’s the whole flow. It’s not a lead generation game. Just to clarify for those of you who don’t know when you create an ad, it says “What do you want your campaign objective to be?” and you have 11 options. And one of them is lead generation form. And people like those because it’s their first name and email that pops up with Facebook and Instagram itself. You don’t create your own landing page.

However, the companies that use that are B2C services for the most part: roofers, exterior painting jobs in these home services, mostly lighting for home, things like that.

I haven’t seen that type of campaign work well for B2C, especially e-commerce. It’s just generally geared to find professional services who that works really well for. So other than that, just a conversions campaign.

“The amount of money you have to spend to see “Could I get them to buy something from me?” is way more money than “Can I get them to enter to win something for free?”

But let’s say I’m an artist and I’ve got 12 paintings and I’m ready to see if the world likes them or not. Turn them into prints. And I’m going to launch my store for the first time.

So I’m in a position where I don’t really know if anyone even likes my art. Well, I get comments sometimes, family and friends, but no one really has bought it yet. So now is the time to see if people are actually going to bite the bullet on my $50 canvas.

And I have got these 12 paintings, let’s see if it works. What I would do rather than running individual ads for each one and spending money to say 25% off this painting today only and just seeing if you can get sales, just test it out more to see if they at least like my art style in general.

So that’s part of why I run a giveaway because we’re collecting a lead versus trying to collect a credit card from the ad. And if you’re in the stages of testing your product, the amount of money you have to spend to see “Could I get them to buy something from me?” is way more money than “Can I get them to enter to win something for free?”

Because usually before someone buys something, they need to see that ad seven to 10 times and before they enter for a free opt-in for a giveaway, one to two times.

“Setting up this way accomplishes everything you’re looking to do because when you just run a sale, they either buy it or not.

So it’s a lot easier to collect a bunch of the leads, especially if you’re a business who could use more Instagram followers, more emails, and more Facebook page likes. Setting up this way accomplishes everything you’re looking to do because when you just run a sale, they either buy it or not. They’re not like, “I’ll follow you.” They’re just like, “I don’t want to buy it. Scroll on.”

Okay. They just buy it. So you either get sales or you just literally burn money when you just try to get a sale from the ad.

Hence, when you run it as the giveaway, how it looks is a very simple single image — they basically do the videos too — in this case, and you just say “Enter to win a $250 shopping spree at the grand debut of my art store.”

So the caption might be like, “Hey, for the grand debut of my art store, I’m choosing one lucky winner to win a $250 shopping spree to enter just your name and email.” And the reason why it’s only name and email for one is because that’s completely Facebook ad compliant and you don’t run into any issues.

If you ask for engagement — comment on a paid ad — it often times will get disapproved because they don’t like that. So they do name and email, super quick. We don’t ask for a bunch of steps because if you ask for all these steps, they’re like, “Eh, I don’t want to do one of those” than get a lead.

“I actually ran one giveaway that got 4,900 entries, but 650 of them came from just people sharing it with their friends.”

They’re like, I’ll give you my email. I’ll give you a phone number, all right. Okay. I’ll tag a friend and okay, I’m going to share it to my story dammit. Then they’re not even going to do any of it. Right? So you just rapidly cut the amount of people when you have multiple steps necessary for that first entry. So name and email, that’s it. Everyone will do it.

Next page it says, “Congrats! You’ve got one entry. We’ll let you know or not in the next couple weeks if you won.” “In the meantime, if you’d like to increase your chances to win then follow us on Instagram for an extra entry, you can like our Facebook page, you can subscribe to our YouTube, you can comment on this YouTube video, you can review my podcast, you can share it to your story” because some of them might want to do that. Or, “Hey you refer it to a friend and get more entries.”

The more friends you get entered in the giveaway gives you this viral share component. I actually ran one giveaway that got 4,900 entries, but 650 of them came from just people sharing it with their friends.

“You get your leads on a bunch of sales. You’re probably close.”

So it means I got 650 free leads that I didn’t have to pay for just because setting it up like this gives it a viral share component.

And then to still run a sale again once the giveaway is over. After two weeks of collecting leads, I say “All right we’ve got 5,000 entries. Here’s the one person who won. For the 4,999 of you who lost, thank you so much for playing. As a consolation prize, you can get 25% off my entire art store over the next week to say thank you for entering.”

And then hey, if you get sales or if not, then I know that people like my art style. Or maybe I still need to put out some more paintings, but I can see that a lot of people entered. They wanted it for free.

I didn’t really get that many people to bite on the bullet, but hey, if you get a lot of people, then you’re really on to something. You get your leads on a bunch of sales. You’re probably close.

Just keep coming out with more paintings, but it’s a lot more forgiving than trying to run it to get them to buy and they didn’t buy. “And now I spent $5,000 and just burned it”, “And I sold one painting for less, what do I do now?” is often what happens for these people trying to test brand new waters.

Gabe Harris:

And then they come to the realization after one test that it doesn’t work and it’s time to do something new.

Derek Videll:

Exactly. So if you want to even get people to enter at all, then it’s like, all right, our targeting is either way off or maybe try to make some art that is around pop culture.

Let’s make some Star Wars ones, because these will sell. I think it is smart, which most artists are not willing to play this game. And I don’t blame them. I get it.

When it comes to art, it’s hard to really make anything like what you want to create that day. Same with music. It’s hard for artists to go like, “All right, what does the mainstream want?” without then all of a sudden, not sounding like themselves. So it’s difficult.

I think the artists that say, “Hey Game Of Thrones is popular right now. Let’s make a shirt that says ‘I drink and I know things,'” boom, we have a million dollars off that shirt rather than one version of a Picasso design and seeing if people like it.

It’s a lot quicker path to getting a bunch of sales if you just make what the market is talking about rather than just whatever you want to make in art. But for a lot of artists that kind of ruins the entire reason they got into being an artist. So I get it when they don’t want to play this game.

But yeah, that’s how you could adjust your offer to the market.

“There’s plenty of people that will follow you for years before they buy something.”

I’ve never had an artist get no entries. I always see artists get tons of entries because there’s plenty of people who like at least one painting that you’re doing.

So it usually ends up in a ton of leads and then the sales are hit or miss, but at least just keep coming out with some more designs.

And now that these people follow you and they’ve given you their email, they’re on Facebook, they’re on Instagram, they’re on email. Maybe they love your art. They don’t have any blank wall space right now, but they follow you.

So in a year later, all of a sudden you came out with a new art piece that would be perfect for their bathroom and they’re looking for a piece for there. Now you have got them.

So a lot of artists too, can’t expect people to just buy it right away. There’s plenty of people that will follow you for years before they buy something. So audience accumulation through this giveaway model is very beneficial for that reason too. Because when you just say “buy this now,” it’s like, hopefully you got a blank spot and it’s a good time for you financially and everything. Otherwise, you’re just not going to get the sale.

Gabe Harris:

Yeah. That’s one thing that I noticed a lot of people aren’t aware of, just the wide spectrum of people who interact with your ads. Somebody could be ready to buy right now, where a lot of them may be ready to buy six months or a year or two years down the line.

If you don’t have some type of communication with them after that process, you’re not optimizing your leads or you’re not optimizing your advertising as best as you can.

To add a question to that, this is probably one of my most hated questions. What would you recommend for somebody who’s just starting out for advertising spends?

Derek Videll:

Yeah, so it’s like a hated question because there’s so much grace to it. With my particular giveaway model, I basically say $10 per ad set. However, many ads you do is the simplest answer, right.

When people are promoting and posting stuff, there’s plenty of answers that you can give. But to understand this conceptually, I would say that when you spend $10 a day, Facebook and Instagram will say, “What’s the best way we can spend this $10 a day?”

“Usually if you’re not able to get the ad results with a smaller budget, going to the bigger budget doesn’t fix it.”

They’re actually really picky with who they show it to. If you come right out of the game and say $50, they’re going to say “All right, well we’ve got 50 bucks. So some of these people that we’re unsure of, hey we’ve got to spend the 50 bucks, show it to them too.”

Usually if you’re not able to get the ad results with a smaller budget, going to the bigger budget doesn’t fix it. So that’s why I actually do vouch for $10 per ad set, just as a kind of unanimous rule across with whatever campaign run at a minimum.

You could definitely say 25 is fine as well, but I still like 10 a day and let them warm up for two days because if that’s not getting results, it’s hard for a higher level to actually get you results.

If you can’t get it at the $10 per day to swing some traction, cranking up to $50 a day is not a problem.

Gabe Harris:

Yeah, actually I think that’s one of the bigger misconceptions about the 50 conversions a week that people think, “Oh, if I just like 3x my spend, I’m going to get 50 and my cost per lead’s going to go down.” Rarely I’ve seen that as the case.

Derek Videll:

Yeah. You’re just opening up where you’re like “All right, I’ve got some more money. So find some more people.” And obviously those people are going to be like, he’s mostly matched your criteria.

When you’re running a small budget, they’re like “All right, these all check out because we had a whole day to wait for him to show up to spend our 10 bucks.”

So if you just kind of think about it like that then you’ll know more with your ads as you see them rather than being like, “I have got to ask an expert ‘how much per day?'” Right. There’s no answer that exists. You just have to understand this concept.

Gabe Harris:

Yeah. I just know if you ask any experts how much that you can spend, that expert is probably just giving you a number off the top of their head. And $10 sounds like a good place to start.

Where if they’re suggesting something that is say 2, 3, 4, $500 a day and you’ve never done ads before, I think you’re more likely to get pissed at than thankful to them.

Derek Videll:

Absolutely. I mean, after 20 to 30 bucks, there’s 20 to 30 bucks of ad spend, I’m already tweaked off, usually. There’s already patterns starting to plot to cases.

It can take a little bit more than that. Where a pattern plays out to the point that you’re completely turning off an ad, but lots of people need to do that small spend and you realize, “Oh, we have a broken link.”

It’s better to just get slow for the sake of you making sure everything’s actually set up properly technically, rather than send it and all of a sudden all these people just run to your website and then you get broken link messages or whatever. You just let them warm up at the beginning.

Gabe Harris:

Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. And I guess I know we are speaking about Facebook. I use the word Meta, I don’t know if I should use the word Meta. I kind of feel like an idiot saying Meta instead of Facebook.

Do you have any opinions about should people still be starting on Facebook now? Or do you recommend TikTok for anybody on their first go around?

Derek Videll:

For paid ads. So talking Facebook and Instagram. When I say Facebook again or Meta, which they probably would like us to switch to. It’s short, I like it. And it hopefully, more directly encompasses Facebook and Instagram.

Because every time I say Facebook ads they are like, “Yeah but I’m on Instagram.” I’m like, all right Instagram ads, they are like, “Well what about Facebook?” Like, same thing. So yeah, we’ll say Meta ads. Let’s go ahead and switch that right now.

“Meta ads versus TikTok ads.”

Meta ads versus TikTok ads. This is more down to your type of product. If your product can be sold to an audience of people under 25, and I know there’s a lot of people that are over 30 in everything that are on now. There’s plenty of that. Definitely the generation that is still obsessed with it though and cannot get off of it is still under 25.

So it still is going to be more geared toward them and the thing you’ve got to know, the main difference between Instagram and TikTok, when people go on TikTok, they want to be entertained and they’re actually slower moving than they are on Instagram. They’re more likely to watch a three to 10 minute video on TikTok than they are on Instagram.

Cause on Instagram, they’re like “All right, let me check this while I’m waiting in line for my coffee.” You don’t pull up TikTok when you’re waiting in line for your coffee. Let me shoot to Instagram. “All right, no DM’s and five posts. Got it. There’s my coffee.” A lot of people quick check it throughout the day.

“I could probably watch four hours of TikTok easily than watch four hours of Netflix in a lot of times.”

It’s not the end of the day. Do I want to Netflix or Instagram? But people actually ask, do I want Netflix or TikTok? I could probably watch four hours of TikTok easily than watch four hours of Netflix in a lot of times. Actually, the feed is really good. It’s also pure entertainment, which makes it easy for businesses to get over there.

So for me selling the consulting services, I don’t even want to mess around it. I’ve seen enough other people in my space, try it and then not be running them anymore. I’m sure there’s some way to do it. But the problem with it is you have to create something from scratch.

It would be maybe like, “Oh, I made some new challenge on TikTok.” Not in your control, right? There’s definitely these crazy marketing campaigns that have the potential to go completely viral on TikTok. It’s not nearly as much in control as when I teach people to run a giveaway. It’s very cut and dry. Put the image here. Here’s your three format. Here’s the four formats for captures, the exact formats for the image.

It’s something that I can give a business owner that has no marketing experience or even graphic design experience and still get results. For me to suggest, “Are you good on camera or are you pretty creative with editing?” “Are you adjusted to TikTok?” “Have you been on here long enough to understand how ads actually work and what a general TikTok should be and what the feeling of the platform is?”

“On TikTok in general, it requires a lot more creative process. It’s a lot harder for me to recommend what everyone do.”

And just your mindset of being on the app, how you were just purely trying to get entertained. If you have, so examples of products that have done real well on TikTok, the sunset lamps that just shine a really cool sunset light on your room and you can change the colors on it because a lot of these kids are living at home with their parents, it’s like their room is their space.

It’s just selling products that improve their room and thus also improve their ability to make TikToks because now they have a cool light in the background. Those did really well. The LED strip lighting around the room, it did super well on there. I don’t think that would do well on Instagram. But that would do very well on TikTok.

So there’s certain product differences where there would be some products that you’re like, huh, I don’t know which one, but on TikTok in general, it requires a lot more creative process. It’s a lot harder for me to recommend what everyone do.

“You can maybe get cheaper cost per impressions on TikTok because way less people have figured it out.”

If you’re really creative, if you have a brilliant idea for it, if you really think there’s a good plot for your product, you can maybe get cheaper cost per impressions on TikTok because way less people have figured it out. So less competition over there.

But I mean, again, you’re making a TikTok. You’re not making a single image ad that just says 25% on it. You’re going to have to make some kind of video. And it can’t feel like a professional video. It has to feel like an organic video that still has a professional level of trust.

There’s a lot of variables on it. And that’s why I don’t think you’re going to see a lot of TikTok ads courses out there that aren’t really bad, at least. I haven’t even seen one because I don’t think anyone has realized, unless you’re making TikTok ads for candles, TikTok ads for yoga products — unless it’s specific — it would be very hard for someone to make a TikTok course that would teach how to run ads for everyone because the creative is most of what you’re doing here.

Gabe Harris:

To add to that I’ve actually had on TikTok, terrible luck and I call it branded content.

So typical content you’ll see on Instagram, they flop on TikTok. The influencer selfie style, I never would’ve guessed, but those do way better than branded, which completely shocked me. And it’s a whole new learning curve on that platform.

Derek Videll:

So you are doing just a front facing TikTok to the camera is what you’re saying?

Gabe Harris:

Mm-hmm. If like an influencer, a little bit of whatever is trending. There may be a particular scene that’s trending and the person is using that scene to help sell the product. But it’s a normal TikTok influencer video that you see where they’re endorsing the product. But every time that I’ve done an ad that works well on Facebook and this has to do good on TikTok, it always flops.

Derek Videll:

It would be very hard to have a piece of creative do very well on all three. I mean obvious to be run as an Instagram reel ad, but on TikTok, people are like, “Oh ad go away.” Their tolerance on TikTok is very low.

Even though I told you their attention to watching content is higher, they tend to be like, “This is the end of my day I’m watching Netflix. I can skip the ad. I’m going to do it immediately.” That’s like, you’ve really got to blend in over there.

“Multiple channel platform strategy is the only winning strategy for any e-commerce business doing over 10K a month consistently.”

On Instagram they’re just so used to the ads at this point, they’re just like, “Oh, it’s a company advertising. I’ll hear them out a little bit more.” They’ve slowed down with the ads. So I mean, it’s good. But that’s why multiple channel platform strategy is the only winning strategy for any e-commerce business doing over 10K a month consistently.

Or most of us for that matter will likely have a few platforms down and in their repertoire. So it’s just kind of good to know what the differences are. And it’s hard to really figure that out without doing some posts on them and then also being a consumer on them for a while. And that’s the biggest trap.

I think anyone in online marketing nowadays faces this. Oh, what reel should I do? I don’t know. Let me see what’s trending and viral right now. And I’ll pay attention to what I’m doing. I have like ADHD hardcore as do a lot of entrepreneurs. So I’m just like on TikTok, oh yeah, looking for viral trends right now. Better not get caught up in looking at viral trends too long. It’s kind of hard to do.

Gabe Harris:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I always tell myself when I’m scrolling deep in the abyss that I’m actually working right now. Anyways, yeah going through all those songs can be a big waste of effort. But yeah, dude really, really interesting.

Actually you kind of gave me a little epiphany there too that maybe TikTok is not the best place for ads right now because people are just not ready for it. But as the platform matures, I imagine that there’s going to be a slowly gradual shift where people are more likely to interact with ads like they’ve been on Instagram. Instagram’s been around for what eight, nine years now?

Derek Videll:


Gabe Harris:

Something longer than that?

Derek Videll:

I think 12.

Gabe Harris:

Holy shit. Excuse my language. So we just may be at a point where branded isn’t going to work just because the platform isn’t mature enough.

There’s probably going to be a time where people on TikTok are going to interact with ads. It may just not be predominantly right now.

And it sounds like if you’re looking to get your company on these paid social platforms, Facebook or Meta is more of a go-to tried-and-truest place to be able to test your product up.

Derek Videll:

Instagram is a lot easier to work if you don’t have a marketing and technical background, a content creation background, sales background. All of these things are a lot more permittable to be bad at on Instagram. I won’t say bad, because they’re very important, but you could be more okay at them.

But to do well on TikTok, the platform is made based off of the post flops or what’s viral.

There’s more of an in between for people with followers because then they’re going to have that base layer of people who sees, even if it’s not a viral post. But even then TikTok is going to put it very low on their feed, on their friends’ feed of “I just want to see posts from people I follow right now.” It still is in order of, the most posts in order. So when it flops over there, it really flops and there’s just a really big gap.

So unless you can cross that gap at times, even if you cross it a couple times, I went viral twice on my personal page in 2020 and I gained 17,000 followers from it. And nowadays I see people go viral and not getting nearly as much, but that’s kind of why being early on platforms is good.

“The cool thing with TikTok is that if you post an amazing post with zero followers, you still have a solid chance to go viral.”

The one thing that’s different is that people are going on a follower frenzy because they’re like “We follow people.” So I like your post, I might as well follow you too. They just almost hit the “follow” button with the “like” button when the app is new.

But that account got screwed because my two viral posts had nothing to do with social media marketing. It was me just doing a trend. So now when I post on anything business, it just dies immediately. So I started on this one.

But the cool thing with TikTok is that if you post an amazing post with zero followers, you still have a solid chance to go viral. If it honestly deserves to go viral, with zero followers, TikTok will still probably pick it up.

On Instagram, probably not going to get picked up unless you have enough followers to acknowledge it.

So, that is the one thing that is harder to get started on. But that’s why I really like doing things like running the giveaway because we’ll get as little as 500 followers if they don’t want to spend that much.

I’ve seen people get you know seven or 8,000 from running this giveaway model just because it’s an entry step. And now you don’t have to create content to get people to follow you. Where they’re like, “Wow, that reel was so amazing. I have got to follow.” It’s hard to make reels that make people be like “I’ve got to follow them.”

“Now you have a thousand followers who live in your town rather than a thousand followers who live throughout the world.”

Even my successful reels are like 13,000 views or something, probably three followers. So to be like, “Oh, we’re going to get a thousand followers from reels,” it’s really, really difficult for businesses.

For influencers to look a certain way, maybe it’s not that hard to get a thousand followers from a few posts. But otherwise if you’re a business trying to make reels about your product and then for people to be like, “You know what? They have four followers. I’m going to be number five,” it’s really hard to get started over there with very little followers.

So that’s why I always recommend run this type of giveaway at the beginning because you can have zero followers to begin with and end with 500 to a thousand. And the only people who followed you are your exact target market.

If you’re local, they all live right by you. Now you have a thousand followers who live in your town rather than a thousand followers who live throughout the world. You have people that enter to win a giveaway based on, “Hey, I want their product.” Not “Cool posts, cool reel idea, I like how you did that dance with your product in front of you. That was cool.”

“I didn’t follow you on that reason. I want to win your product, I want to own your product. I’ll follow you.” So it also gets it really started with the right people.

Gabe Harris:

That’s a big thing. Oh man, we can do another podcast on just qualified people who follow you because that is very real.

So with TikTok ads, I have a client where we’ve been paying for TikTok followers. It’s like 20 cents for a new follower. Every organic post that they do is only 200 views. That does not matter at all.

Paying for views or paying for followers like if you’re doing an acquisition campaign or a giveaway campaign, those are more qualified. But I would steer clear of paying for followers. From my experience that just never helps out organically in the long run.

Derek Videll:

They’re too far away from the end goal you want them to do. So yeah, they’re very likely not going to be people who would also buy because TikTok is trying to get you followers at the cheapest cost. Cause that’s what that is set up to do.

So they just are like, “All right well, these people in India really like your stuff and it’s just the conversion rate makes a little cheaper to advertise out there.”

So they’ll show your ad out there. It’s literally what would happen. For me in the ad space, India has a lot of avid entrepreneurs that just love entrepreneurship out there. So whenever I promote, if I would run it just automatic world, the whole thing is going to India for sure because they love entrepreneurship. And then they’re just not as expensive to advertise to as America or something.

Gabe Harris:

Yeah. Oh man, that speaks a lot of truth. You can get a lot of people in other countries, comment on your stuff if you don’t control that targeting. Cool man. Well that sounds great.

Ad Review: Coffee Shops

Now we’re going to a part where we talk about creative. So I’m going to give you — hopefully you are a caffeine addict like I am — three different video ads and I want you to rate them on which one you think is going to get the best results for acquisition. And hopefully these are brands that you are familiar with too. All right. Let’s go.

Peet’s Coffee Ad

Gabe Harris:

I’m not going to say my opinion, but I am a frequent at Peet’s. By the way, you’re in Denver, right?

Derek Videll:


Gabe Harris:

Or you’re in Colorado or is it bad to say Denver? Or are you actually in Denver?

Derek Videll:

I’m 20 minutes South of Denver. So Castle Rock. Not a lot of people know about it though.

Gabe Harris:

Yeah. Yeah. I just say I’m in San Francisco when I’m not. All right. So we got the second one, which is Starbucks. All right and this one purposely had no sound so if you’re listening on audio only, oops.

Starbucks Ad

And then the last one we have is the Coffee Bean.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Ad

Derek Videll:

Did that one have sound, the actual ad?

Gabe Harris:

No sound.

Derek Videll:


Gabe Harris:

Maybe I should have said that prior, but yeah, that one had no sound. And if you want to see one again, just to get context, totally cool. And last one is Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. We saw that. Start that over again. No sound.

Derek Videll:

Anything going on in the bottom right of that ad?

Gabe Harris:

No, we can play it again.

Derek Videll:

Just have your video over it. Yeah. Okay. Doesn’t look like there is anything.

Well, which one is going to get the best cost per acquisition? Probably the Starbucks one because they’re going to be able to run it to an audience of people who are interested in Starbucks because Starbucks is big enough.

Their own audience of people is already interested that you can just run it directly to them and they already had the brand recognition and the ad was just very simple. It was just kind of a reminder that you can buy a coffee from us.

The first one had a high cringe factor, which actually does lead people to watch it to the end because they are like “What is going on right now?” Whether I wanted to buy it after was definitely hard to say. I mean, that “so smooth” it was just kind of cringe how it sounded and the ad didn’t do great.

But it was actually talking about how smooth the coffee is. And they’re just trying to at least own some kind of positioning that this is very smooth coffee.

“Because the ad’s goal is to purchase the food or drink item on the spot, unless I have the emotion of, “I want to drink that right now” it would be very, very hard for me to buy it right now.”

The Starbucks one didn’t do anything apart from just show coffee, flash and forth between two different brews. One of them was a black coffee. The other one had cream in it. So whether you like black coffee and that image makes you salivate or you look at a coffee with cream in it and that makes you salivate. It did it for me because now I need coffee. That would do better because it made me salivate.

So because the ad’s goal is to purchase the food or drink item on the spot, unless I have the emotion of, “I want to drink that right now” it would be very, very hard for me to buy it right now.

It’s like Peet’s Coffee, I’ll consider that someday. Right. But the Starbucks one made me, “I need a coffee now that I saw the cream swirling in that coffee.” I’m like, “I need some French Vanilla in my life.”

But the first one with that Peet’s Coffee, I think it will get really good watch time because people would be like, “Wow, that was cringe but I had to watch the whole thing.”

So it’ll probably get a good ad impression cost or the cost per thousand impressions will probably be good on that one because everyone is watching it to the end. And Facebook and Instagram usually tend to like lighter blue colors that it uses. These are on Facebook and Instagram, right?

Gabe Harris:

Yeah. We stole them from Facebook ad library.

Derek Videll:

Okay, sweet. So the first one I like, because it tries to position the coffee in some way that it’s smoother than the other coffee that you have at home. Right. There’s actually some kind of market to it.

I mean, if they run it to their past customers, they’ll probably do fine. Doesn’t even matter what the ad says. If they’re running to past customers, they are likely to buy.

The first two serve random awareness ads where it’s not a strong call to action of “Get this much coffee for this deal” or whatever. They’re kind of just reminding people that they exist. So they might be a retargeting campaign and knuckle ad campaign, which would also factor into my answer of if it’s going to work or not.

“I don’t think the third one would work, even though it almost had the most potential with the raw video file that they had which was really good.”

And then the third one, that one had the best deal by far where it was really easy to watch, but it didn’t say anything. It wasn’t clear what was going on. Where do I go? How do I take action?

It just had the company’s brand at the bottom left. So if you read that, cool. I mean you always see what brand it is just from who’s running the ad. It didn’t make me salivate and actually want coffee right now.

It was like, “Oh, those beans look cool” like really nice HD camera shots of beans coming in and everything, but they didn’t get that pouring with the steam coming out and then you add the cream to it. And I just want to see the cream in there and that’s what makes me feel like I need coffee right now.

So they don’t really have that much of an emotional appeal in it. And then the call to action was not clear. So I don’t think the third one would work, even though it almost had the most potential with the raw video file that they had which was really good, and I think with maybe a couple more shots added in there.

But I bet the Starbucks one was the one that probably won on the cost per acquisition, just because it was real simple. And they’re just past customers at this point.

Gabe Harris:

If you haven’t heard of Starbucks, you have been living underneath a rock and you have no taste in coffee or you just do not like coffee. Actually, I’ll take that back. If you like Starbucks, this is going to throw a little shade. You actually do not like coffee, but that’s a different discussion.

Derek Videll:

I get what you’re saying, I gotcha. But yeah, I know when you have black coffee there versus somewhere else, someone will tell the difference.

Gabe Harris:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. But if you do pour enough cream, it all evens out eventually. One other thing I thought was interesting about pizza ads, and actually I hate these commercials. Do you ever see the ones where they say “free, free, free, for free, free, free, free” throughout the entire commercial? I hate those.

Derek Videll:

Yes, I have.

Gabe Harris:

I absolutely hate them. Ah, they’ll go through a commercial and all they’ll say is “free, free, free” or they’ll continue it because they just want to get one thing in your head that whatever they’re selling is free. I hate that. But I think it works.

I don’t know, but I was tied in between the Starbucks and the Peet’s with you as well. Starbucks brand is so strong that all you need to be able to do is show a product and people will buy it from them.

Derek Videll:

But it activated my sudden want for coffee that the other one’s did not. So it accomplished that very basic fundamental thing of does the ad make them want the product or are we just showing them that, “Hey, we’re coffee”? Did we make coffee, show them that we’re coffee and that you can buy from us right now? Were they all accomplished?

Gabe Harris:

Cool. Awesome. Awesome man! Look, great stuff. And if people are looking to be able to grow their Facebook ads or their Meta ads, or just looking to be able to grow their knowledge just in general, where can they be able to find out more, Derek?

Derek Videll:

Yes. So the best way is to just follow me on Instagram @SocialBamboo_ and then check out the bio. In there, you’ll find whatever I got going on at the time.

So if you catch this interview in the future, if you’re doing something else, that’s my freebie. But you can get my fee, it is called Instagram ads course in there. My title is Meta ads course though. But yeah, that’s a free course and that will show you the exact flow of the ads that I recommend. Does it go to the ad, the page, and then the landing page or where does it go through?

And just the exact flow is all illustrated throughout that course and explains what this image should be. Like, the targeting, all the basic setup is covered in this. It’s cool too, because it’s free. You can kind of know what it would take.

So, if you’re also curious, how much do I need to know? How much work is this actually going to be? It’s a very easy ad campaign to run compared to the other ones that you could do. Not compared to one that won’t work though.

So like yes boost post, much easier. Not going to work though. This is the easiest campaign that I can also say gives you a very high chance to be profitable and gain a lot of followers. Grab that from my bio. Otherwise, shoot me a DM too. Whatever you thought about this, feedback is always appreciated.

Gabe Harris:

Awesome. Well, Hey Derek, man, thank you so much for your time! I have definitely learned. And anybody who’s listening, Derek definitely knows his stuff, especially about ad inventory.

He was saying some things that took me a couple of years to even be aware of. So great stuff on your part, Derek man. Thank you so much for your time and look forward to chatting later.

Derek Videll:

Absolutely, man. We’re about to record my interview on the Social Bamboo podcast. So if you guys want to continue to the conversation, we’ll link that next one below where I’ll be asking him the questions.

Thanks for listening to our podcast on how to start your first Facebook Ad with Derek Videll!

Watch the video here:

Listen to part 2 on Derek’s podcast.


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