Today Is the Day to Double Down on Your Advertising

53 min listen

Today’s guest is Traci Reuter, founder/CEO of Divine Social, and co-host of The Social Media Marketing Happy Hour podcast.

Divine Social has a passion for supporting businesses in growing their brands through authentic, meaningful social advertising.

Traci has an uncanny gift for looking at any business’s mission, vision, and message, and mapping out the right strategy to get their brand in front of the right people at the right time.

With 25 years of experience in sales and marketing, Traci knows her stuff when it comes to high-level marketing strategy.

Combined with her tactical knowledge of social advertising, Traci can write the recipe for any brand’s success, and she’s here today to share some of her greatest secrets behind mapping out your own powerful social advertising strategy.

Show Notes:

  • Find out why it’s time to double down on advertising
  • Learn why Traci believes there are three main types of videos you should be creating
  • Learn how you should be putting most of your effort into one of those videos
  • Bonus for Ecwid listeners: The 3 Pillars to Successful Social Ads

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Jesse: Happy Friday, Richie!

Richard: Happy Friday, Jess. They fly by.

Jesse: They sure do. It’s another social distancing e-commerce. Happy hour, I guess. The reason I mention the happy hour, actually, I was jumping ahead here because we always talk about the idea this show is that if we were at happy hour talking to other entrepreneurs about e-commerce and about strategy, that’s what we like to do. So that’s why I’m pumped about today’s show.

Richard: Because we actually have another fellow podcaster here with us today. It is going to be good. Plus, she really likes getting into the strategy and the psychology of it, and we sometimes get a little lost in tactics. So that’s going to be interesting to get to learn from her today.

Jesse: Yeah, so for people out there listening, if you’re ready for some social media strategy, just e-commerce strategy in general, let’s bring in our guest. Today’s guest is Traci Reuter, the founder, and CEO of Divine Social. And also, I hinted at it, the co-host of the social media marketing Happy Hour podcast. Traci, how are you doing?

Traci: Great. Thanks for having me.

Jesse: Of course. Yeah. And it is Friday, it’s happy hour day a little early on the West Coast, but yeah.

Traci: I’m on the East Coast, it’s pretty darn close to happy hour right now.

Richard: I listen to your show; I sometimes wonder if happy hour is going on any time.

Traci: Well, just as a side note, we have only ever been live at an actual happy hour one time. And then another time, we actually did drink quite a bit of wine. But that’s it for the entire four hundred episodes. They’ve all been with water or smoothies or something healthy.

Richard: That’s good. All right. So we won’t get lost down the rabbit hole for people that are trying to figure out what they’re talking about. So one of the things. A lot of Ecwid customers are just getting started. Now, we have plenty that are making thousands, hundreds of thousands, and some of that are even into the millions. But what we’d really love to learn from you is just maybe the way they should be looking at social in general. And then we’ll get into how that can turn into ads, but just how they should be thinking about their customers and the customer journey.

Traci: Yeah, yeah. I love talking about that. I co-host the social media marketing Happy Hour, but my agency is actually paid social. So we focus on paid ads and all the different social platforms, the biggest, of course, being Facebook and Instagram. And some days we wish that wasn’t the case, especially lately. I think every day, my whole team feels like Facebook hates us, but it’s not entirely true. We’re just a little bit dramatic. So it’s hard when you’re in marketing, and you’re trying to make a living on some of these platforms, especially right now.

But the conversation always comes up like how does social play into paid social, and how does it all work, and does it matter? And if we’re going to talk about Facebook, specifically Facebook and Instagram, it absolutely does matter. And I’ve done several videos on our YouTube channel talking about being a good social citizen and how that plays into your actual ad success. I mean, we can talk about that because being a good social citizen does play into the customer journey.

It’s about providing value, putting out content that people really care about, showing up on a regular basis, like just being even if you’re a company, being a good human, being human, and using social media. That way, it actually really will impact the success of your ads when you really want to start scaling them.

Richard: Yeah, I love that you say it like that, like being a good human. Because sometimes, when people mention, like add value, it’s sometimes hard to get your mind around. What does that actually mean? Does that mean I’m supposed to be sitting there with a whiteboard and like, OK, here’s how you use it. Do you know what I mean? Like you’re a teacher adding all this immense value where sometimes adding value is just, wow, there’s other good people out there doing good things.

Traci: Or making somebody laugh. I think about one of our biggest clients. We were just getting ready to launch TikTok ads for them. And they’ve been having really great organic success with TikTok. They’re an e-commerce brand in the arts and crafts space. So, like, if you walk into Michael’s or Hobby Lobby, you’re going to see them. And one of their best videos they have on their TikTok feed is just hilarious. It’s just funny. It’s not a product demonstration. They’re not selling anything. It’s just really, really funny.

And sometimes we have to know that it’s OK. Like not every single post. Now it’s different. We’re talking about putting money behind it. Right. But every single organic post doesn’t have to be like you don’t hit a home run with it. You don’t have to, like, try to get an Academy Award with a repost you put out. You just have to be human sometimes. The other day I got stuck watching it because it just cracked me up. And sometimes we just need that. More than ever, right now.

Jesse: Yeah. Now, that’s great. That’s good. It sounds like a low bar. Just be human, right. Like, be a good human. OK, yeah. And now you’re on social media, and everybody has a social media profile of their own. What do you want to share? Yeah, there’s the baby pictures and stuff like that. But like we share good things and make people laugh, be who you are, and that’s a good place to start. If you’re listening, do some good stuff out there.

Traci: And part of the reason I say that is because there are a lot of people that we’re all entrepreneurs, we’re all business owners. We are not running nonprofits. I think we can all agree we’re here to make a profit. We have to be profitable. I have a client. I love this. Their philosophy in their company. They call them the triple bottom line.

The first one is to make an impact. It’s how many people can they reach and impact with their message? They actually sell books there. They do have books. So they’re not traditional e-commerce, but they have e-commerce as well as info products. Number one bottom line is, how many people can we impact? Number two is what’s our profit? How profitable can we be? And number three, which I love, this is how shiny are the eyes of our team. Basically, what that means is if they impact people and they make a profit and everybody around them is burnt out and run into the ground, they’re not successful.

A lot of times, we go into our marketing, so much pressure to win and succeed and to be profitable that we almost become a little manipulative in our social post because we’re trying to squeeze out as much juice. Every lemon is possible. And if we could just take a deep breath and keep that first, let’s just show up as a good human. That’s actually one of the things, qualifying points, to work with us is you have to be a good human, or we pass because there’s a lot of that.

We saw that these last several months with what’s happened in the world with people like all of a sudden are running funnels for hand sanitizer. It’s just stupid. Like you could argue with me that you were trying to serve the greater good. But let’s be honest. Like, we were just trying to make a buck, right? Not that there’s anything wrong with it. We all want to make money. We just want to show up well.

Richard: Well, especially right now in the direct to the consumer world, you can do things. We’ve talked about Amazon on this show, and I know you know about Amazon as well. And why not be in all places if you can, like, be in front of your customers as many times as you possibly can. But we want to do and be what gigantic corporations are afraid to do.

We can actually be human beings. We don’t have to be this big corporation behind the board. And so being human to making people laugh, they don’t have to be afraid of that stuff. Not only will it make them appear more human to other people, but we need laughs right now. There’s a lot going on that people are feeling them, feeling human, makes them connect, and makes them want to be with you even more.

Traci: Oh, my gosh. Yeah. And the storytelling. Now is the best time ever to start telling stories. You know, Amazon can’t tell that story. They can’t tell those things. I am fully guilty, I’ve got my account that’s hot and on fire on a regular basis. Every day I’m like, gosh, I got to stop. I got to break that habit. Amazon, I’ve worked with so many businesses that build their entire company on Amazon, and they don’t own the customer relationship.

If you don’t own the customer relationship, you don’t own the customer journey. You can’t control it. You can’t guide it. You can’t direct it. You can’t be a good human in it. I’m constantly trying to be mindful, and I’m starting to do this. It took this virus to make me do this where I stop and go. Let me go find a website. Let me go see if I can buy direct from their website and stop this madness.

Richard: Someone’s sitting there right now, and they’re starting their e-commerce store, and they’re listening to the Ecwid E-Commerce Show, and they say, well, this sounds great, I will just be a good human, make people laugh. What’s the strategy like? When they break out their whiteboard, and they somewhat think out as a group, what is our social media strategy, and how does paid relate to organic? How should they be thinking?

Traci: Yeah, it’s a great question. So the first thing is, I think we’re alluding to it is to start by building your store. I can’t stress that enough. Start by building your own store and really resist the temptation to get that easy traffic from some of these. I mean, we could do a whole show on that. Right. So the strategy, here’s how we break it out. And this is actually the methodology we’ve been using for the last five years, and I call it the three pillars to successful social ads. But it can apply to organic social. It can apply to most of your marketing. You could probably even apply it. It’d be a little harder to do it to email marketing, but to social and to paid social.

It’s essentially three pillars or three buckets. You always want to be thinking about growing your audience. So audience building is number one. Number two is going to be engagement. And number three is going to be conversions. And it’s important to understand that conversions are number three for a reason. When we operate, we don’t operate from that perspective of I want to be a good human. I want to add value. I want to show up with transparency. I want storytelling. I want my brand to have a personality. If we don’t start from that point, we tend to start straight at that conversion piece. So all of our social organic posts buy my stuff, buy my stuff, buy my stuff. In our ads, we only show up to buy my stuff like there’s nothing else. If you think of those three buckets, audience building, engagement, and conversions, those three together, when if you think of it, the sweet spot is in the middle.

So the first one is audience building. So audience building is going to be a lot. Audience building is really important. This is if you look at the customer journey, so just google customer journey, you can see everything. It typically starts at awareness and ends at advocacy. Somebody who’s like a raving fan of yours. Well, in order to even start a customer journey, like there’s actually a point before, it’s like when people are unaware, completely, and utterly unaware, they’re not in your ecosystem at all.

So your social ads, your social posts, you want to have some that are very specifically designed to bring new people into your ecosystem. Use the analogy of a campfire. If you’re not stoking the fire, if you’re not putting wood on the fire, the fire is going to go out. And so audience building is incredibly, incredibly important. And most people overlook that, especially when it comes to paid social. It’s very much overlooked on the social side, but it’s crucial. But that’s getting new video viewers, getting new fans on your page, getting new people to engage with your stuff. That’s audience building is very, very important.

Jesse: The way you look at it from a strategy-wise is, OK, you have a store, but you’re thinking kind of Facebook and Instagram first. Right. So the audience can be in a lot of places. But you’re specifically talking about like. Yeah, start posting on your Facebook page on your Instagram, which whichever works better.

Traci: Start showing up, start putting some information out, show some behind the scenes, show some history behind the company. You show what makes you different, what’s your unique selling proposition. Start showing that Facebook and Instagram, and I get asked this question all the time. Should we go somewhere else? Should we jump ship to YouTube ads? And the answer is depending on how big you are; if you’re just getting started, start with Facebook and Instagram. The world is still there. I don’t care how many times Mark Zuckerberg bumps his head when he wakes up in the morning; it doesn’t matter. It’s still the best place from an e-commerce standpoint to build a brand.

Once you start getting into scaling, then depending upon what you’re doing, we want to start talking about some other platforms, but Facebook and Instagram. So start posting. From a paid social standpoint, a lot of newbies are not going to think to do this. But one way to do really good audience building on the cheap, if you will, is to have a video ad, to have a video ad where you’re testing out your targeting. You’re trying to find the sweet spot of your audiences where it’s really designed not necessarily to sell but to basically introduce what you do to some new people. And that’s a way to start the audience building. And I like to go down the rabbit trail. I think the secret to a lot of our client successes, especially the ones that we’ve scaled from small to really big, has been the investment in audience building, which is very, very counterintuitive for a lot of people.

Richard: Everyone’s trying to sell things, so I’d imagine so. I have a question for you relating to that. So even though you’re trying to build a new audience, the metrics that you’re going for on Facebook. So are you basically referring to when you would go for video views as opposed to going for conversions on your website when you place that ad?

Traci: If I have a limited budget, I’m just getting started, and I’ve got this great video that we’ve produced to introduce people to what we’re doing. I’m probably going to run it as a video of the campaign. Every objective in the Facebook platform, it is basically asking Facebook, hey, put this ad in front of people who are going to do this specific thing. So a conversion campaign is like putting this in front of people who are going to buy for me. A video of you is put in front of people who are going to watch this video.

There are two very different things. And asking somebody to buy before they know anything about you unless you have a very impulse type product, you’re going to start paying a really expensive cost per conversion. Facebook is a place for discovery. It’s not a place for intent. If you want to go intent-based, go over to Google and do that over there. So you’d run this video, you’d run it as a video of your campaign. And essentially, your goal is to get as many eyeballs as possible watching your video, because now what you’re doing, you’re getting cheaper, you’re getting cheap video views, and you can start building audiences of people who consumed your video, and you can retarget them with a conversion campaign you don’t want to. Most people don’t propose marriage on the first date. And yet we do that as marketers. We do it as e-commerce business owners. We do it all the time. And sometimes it’s good to test it. But it’s almost always more expensive if you go and you do it that way.

Jesse: Makes perfect sense. It does make sense. And I think we’ve said that in different ways. And hopefully, people are listening like, all right, no, here’s somebody else that said it in a slightly different way. We didn’t set this up before the podcast. This is how you do it. You have an audience first, and it’s cheaper to build an audience than it is to get that sale. But obviously, of course, you want to sell. This is all a way to get the sale, but you need to build an audience first.

Traci: If you’re really bootstrapping it on a shoestring budget, you could take a couple of hundred bucks a month and put a video of your campaign together. While you’re trying to get your store straightened out, you’re trying to get out all the stuff that you need to do to have a good conversion experience. You could be building audiences in the background while you’re getting all that stuff together. Because so often I see people who are there waiting until everything’s perfect. And then by that point, they’ve spent so much money, and they’re so desperate for a sale, and they have no audiences to put it in front of when they could have been using all that time. They can just slap up a good video, put five, 10, 15, 20 bucks a day on it, and they could have thousands of people that they could be retargeting to. So it’s a huge thing to do for sure.

Jesse: For sure. Now, when you say slap of a good video, are you talking like, for everybody out there listening, do they have to have a fancy camera? Or you can just pick up your phone and make a video, and how much are you editing it? And I’m saying this to try to get people to pick up their phone and make a video. Now, what do you need to do here to get this video going?

Traci: Money love speed. You can quote me on that one. Money, love, speed. And so don’t worry about being perfect. I think perfection sometimes in this business is the kiss of death, and overproduction can be the kiss of death. You know, people spot that sort of thing. It doesn’t blend into the news feed. We’ve got some clients that have very highly produced videos that do amazing. And then there’s that one that they use their camera, and the lighting was just OK, but it crushed it. As a marketing professional, this is all we do; I can’t tell you how many times we think, oh, my gosh, this is going to be the best thing ever, and it isn’t.

And you just don’t know what’s going to perform, and you’re better off, if you’ve got a product that you’re selling, turn the camera on, tell a story about it. If you’ve got a cool founder’s story, turn the camera on you, or have your kid or your neighbor or friend turn the camera on you. Just start telling the story. I mean, think about Shark Tank, right? Like that’s what people love so much about Shark Tank. It’s not just a negotiation. It’s the story.

People love the stories behind those entrepreneurs that come out that try to get funding. We don’t want to lose sight of that. We’re running content on a social platform. A lot of people don’t put money; they don’t put ad dollars behind that type of content because it’s not a conversion campaign. However, that’s a mistake because what you’re doing by putting some money behind it is you’re amplifying it, and amplifying content is the fastest way that I know to build audiences quickly.

That’s how every one of our clients, when we started running their ads almost five years ago, their max budget was like fifteen hundred dollars a month and today it’s five hundred thousand a month. And we spent the first probably three years really building audiences, building audiences, creating engagement. They were making money. They wouldn’t stick with us for that long if they weren’t making money, but it wasn’t to the degree that they are now.

Jesse: So it took some time.

Traci: Yeah, it took some time.

Richard: I love the idea of doing that while you’re building out your store, too, because it’s getting your voice out there. It’s like almost when Star Wars goes into a theater back when we used to go to theaters. It’s not like they just said it’s in there and go today. There’re wrapped buses, and there are billboards, and there’ve been ads on TV, and they’re building this anticipation. Yeah, a lot, a long time.

I mean, sometimes a year prior to the launch. And a lot of people, even though I know this already, I keep sometimes forgetting that when you’re doing an ad, it doesn’t even matter. You can have one as your mom could only like your Facebook page. And it doesn’t matter because they’re not even there. It doesn’t mean don’t build that over time. Like, of course, you want to build that over time. Right. Because then you can retarget those people who like that page, and there are all kinds of different ways. So in these campaigns, after you do these and you’re just going for video views, do you then remarket to the people who watch those videos?

Traci: Oh, yeah. Yeah. The way we look at audience building is it’s a couple of things, right? So it’s new fans. Maybe we’re running depending upon your budget. You might be running a campaign to get legitimate fans. And the worst advice I’ve ever heard, and I just have to say this is you don’t want to run campaigns to get fans into cheap countries just so you look good. Like that will actually hurt you. That will hurt you long term. So whenever you run a like campaign, you actually want to run it to people who would actually be fans of your business, like you want to run a legit campaign. So new likes are audience building. So that could be new Instagram followers. That could be new Facebook fans. Video views are audience building engagement, post engagements, people commenting, liking, sharing, that’s audience building, and then website traffic, people that click over.

Because sometimes, if you have a limited budget, you may still put on that video in the text, the copy of your ad. Put the link to your website so they can go. If they want to go find out more, they can. So those four things we constitute audience building. Any kind of ad that we can do that’s ballooning up, ballooning up. We call that level two traffic. Level one traffic is people that have never heard of you. That’s truly cold traffic. They don’t know who you are. They know nothing about you. That’s level one. We measure long-term success for our clients by the growth between level one to level two. And that’s just what I said. Video viewers, new fans posting, website traffic. If we’re constantly feeding that fire, we’re going to have an inferno down the road, which is what we all want.

Anything that falls into that category, we can then retarget, and sometimes we retarget it right into a conversion campaign. Sometimes the customer journey is longer depending upon the price of your product. And I think about a great e-com business, Chilipad. If you’ve heard of Chilipad, it’s changed my life. A middle-aged woman gets hot at night when you sleep, so it’s nice to have something that can calm me down. And they’re amazing e-commerce, amazing e-commerce advertisers, but it’s an expensive product. And so there’s that stage in between that and audience building. And they’re not our client, although I wish they were.

But there’s a stage between audience building and conversions, and that’s the engagement piece. How do you keep somebody engaged with you when they’re not ready to buy it? And so often, we give up on, we think, our social post. It didn’t sell one hundred units. So it was a failure. No, not everybody is going to buy the first time they see it. In fact, it’s like two percent of all people buy the first time. I used to run a division of AT&T back in the day, pre-Facebook, and the sales team worked for me. And we had a rule we knew that people buy at 12:00, 12:00 midnight, 12:00 noon. If I meet you and it’s 1:00 PM, and you’re not going to buy until twelve o’clock, what do I have to do to get you there? And it used to be like an average of seven touches to get somebody to buy.

Now it’s like the average adult gets hit with over four hundred marketing messages a day. So if you think that you’re going to convert somebody on the first try, that wasn’t possible twenty years ago or rarely possible twenty years ago. It sure as heck isn’t now. What we do is we actually build up advertising. Funnel is taking this whole customer journey based on the price of your product. Chilipad, the reason I brought that up is because they are an expensive product. People typically don’t buy right away, and so they do a masterful job of having engagement content along the way to keep. Oh yeah, remember, you want this, and you want this.

And, you know, they use testimonials, and they use all these different strategies to get somebody like me. Last year was like; I can’t take it anymore. And I finally bought it. It worked. Yeah, but it took months. It took months before I was willing to pay that because it was “who pays fifteen hundred dollars for a mattress pad?” I still think, if it wasn’t so amazing, I think I was nuts.

Jesse: So that makes sense. It’s a more expensive product. If it’s a 30 dollar product, you probably don’t need these multiple levels. They’re going to make their decision and move on with their day. But yeah, with a more expensive product, they get introduced. This is the second pillar of yours, the engagement. What type of videos or content is different from that first one? What is the difference between that type of content?

Traci: A lot of it’s going to depend on the size of a company that you are. So if we’re talking about a new startup, if you’re smaller, it’s probably going to be maybe part two to the first video. So maybe it’s a follow-up. A lot of times, that first level audience building video, it’s often going to do double duty. It’s going to be audience building and engagement together because that’s just how it works. But a lot of times, if you have more budget, then probably your first video will be more brand, it’ll be more introducing the brand positioning, the brand telling the brand story. And then the second video will be something that’s a little bit further down the process.

So now they’ve met the brand. Now, it might be more problem-solving. It might be more talking about the unique selling proposition. It might be solving, hitting some pain points, and solving some problems. It’s moving them to that next step in the customer journey. I love how many people are getting into entrepreneurship these days. But most of us never studied business, and we don’t even know what the customer journey is. You don’t even know that there’s a consideration phase. You don’t even know that these things have it. And so you don’t even think about it when you’re creating your social strategy.

You’re just trying to get people to buy from you. So sometimes you have to slow down and really think, what does it look like for somebody that now is aware of my product, but they don’t think it’s going to solve their problem or they don’t think it’s going to meet their needs. What information would I want to tell them at a cocktail party or what I want to talk to them about if I could? To help them understand why they want to move to the next stage of the customer journey.

And that’s really a lot of time. That’s how we help our clients come up with what that content should look like. So it could be a video. We heavily, heavily do video ads, but sometimes do blog posts. We try to hit people in all the different areas. Some people like to listen; some people like to watch, some people like to read. And so we try to have a good mix if the budget permits it. If your budget doesn’t permit it, stick a video. It’s not going to let you down. Yeah.

Richard: So in that particular case, instead of going for video views, are you now switching the goal of that ad?

Traci: Yeah. Again, it’s going to vary, but a lot of times, we might want to now get a traffic campaign. We want them to click on the site; we want to get them on to our shop. We want to get them looking at some stuff, and we might switch it up. A lot of times we’ll test it because sometimes we’ll try to send people to the shop, but they’re not ready yet. It’s not really getting us the result we want. And so in that case, we might switch it back to a video view campaign because we want those people to watch more.

Sometimes we could do a reach campaign. So a reach campaign is essentially saying, Facebook, we want to reach as much of this audience as we can. And so maybe we’re not actually trying to; we already know they watch videos because they watch the first one. Now we want to make sure we get the message in front of them. We’re not so much concerned about whether they watch it again? We just want to remind them of who we are. So, you know, that’s where an agency like ours or having somebody in-house who really knows their stuff can start to experiment to see what’s going to move the needle at that stage because that’s really what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to guide them and lead them through that journey.

Jesse: Got it, and I get there’s not like the perfect answer for all scenarios. Yeah, “it depends” is always the answer in marketing, and I get it.

Traci: Think about what you want the person to do. I know ultimately we want them to buy, but sometimes that. We want them to buy, but sometimes your budget isn’t big enough, right? You’ve got to have the 50 conversions for the algorithm to really learn. And if you’re not spending enough money, you’re not going to get that, and you’re not going to ever get the full power of the algorithm behind you.

So you kind of have to think like, what do I want these people to do? Knowing that some are going to buy. Like our client that I mentioned already, that we scaled to five hundred thousand over the last four years a month ad spend. We convert online campaigns for them. It’s crazy. So it can happen high up in the funnel, but sometimes it doesn’t. And so you have a plan for that whole process.

Jesse: Now, we talked a little bit about audience, talked about engagement, I believe it was the second one. And now we’ve been hinting at it. We do want to sell stuff. So how do you shift up the different campaigns you’ve been working on? And again, it depends. But how do you get them to buy?

Traci: Yeah, well, I mean, the conversion campaign, that’s the fun, right. We all want to see the money come in, the cash register going. But this is now going to be way more product heavy. Typically, it’s OK at the beginning top of the funnel to have more storytelling. But as you get further down the funnel, you get further down the process. You really need to be your product, the hero. Sometimes we use video. Sometimes, we’ll use a 15-second video if your product can be demonstrated. It depends on what your product is.

We ran traffic for a while for a supplement company, for a kid’s supplement company. And we did a lot with animated GIFs, showing no additives and non-GMO, using an animated gif to show the features of the product. Sometimes it’s just the product image itself, a good, clear, large product image, a lot of times in lifestyle situations. So it’s not just on the white product page. It is not something like that. Usually, at that point, most of the time, you are really targeting people who have been engaging with you at some point.

And so there’s got to be a compelling call to action for them. Whether you’re using a coupon code to get somebody on your email so you can get them their first offer, whatever it is at that point, the conversion campaign, that’s it is what it is. It’s conversion. And we can use all sorts of things. We can use all sorts of different creative assets. You can use dynamic product ads with your catalog. I mean, there’s so many different ways to do conversions. I don’t want to get too geeky because I will.

But it’s pretty simple. I mean, if you just really say, OK, look, I got three things I need to do. I need to build my audiences. I need to engage with them, and then I need to ask them to buy. And if you think that way, it’s going to dictate how you create content for your organic, and it’s going to really help you get the most out of your paid social. It’s huge.

Richard: Just real quick, I’ll forget this one. A lot of people have said the algorithm, if you’re doing an organic post and then you have a link out to a website, they suppress that as opposed to if you don’t have the link, maybe you’re just talking about it in the video. One question is, do you see that to be true? Have you seen that from an organic standpoint?

Traci: I haven’t seen that they suppress it. I mean, let’s just be honest. Facebook wants you to keep people on Facebook, so they do reward that. I don’t know that they suppress that necessarily. We’ve got clients that post links all the time.

Richard: Well, and the reason I’m asking that if you see it in organic is because no matter what, I could still imagine since they get paid for ads. Oh, they probably don’t care at all when it comes to the paid ad, or at least a lot less. Thinking that out, maybe you are just going for likes. If you have your logo or you have something in there, maybe they look it up, maybe they don’t, or you’re just going for video views in the beginning. And then maybe you’re getting more engagement moving on. But when you’re going at least in, I can imagine any of those phases.

If you have your link to your website, you could still end up, like you said, getting a conversion, even though you’re not going for conversions. Yes, because of the links in there, they thought that video was funny, whatever, they click. And just to learn a little bit more about you. And who knows if it’s priced right and it’s something they need, they might just get it right away. But if you’re paying for it.

Traci: Yeah, put your link in. Absolutely. The bigger your budget gets, you’re going to want to test taking it in and taking it out, things like that at the beginning. Absolutely, the thing is, with your organic, if you’re relying on organic-only, this is the biggest challenge, and I’ve been around for a while. There is a time where your business page would get a tremendous reach. You put up a post, and people would see it, but it’s very, very low.

Our client does a half-million dollars a month in ads, which is not the biggest e-commerce business out there by far. They have a seven percent engagement rate on their page, and that’s with over one point five million fans. So seven percent of one point five million people see an organic post from them. If they only relied on organic, they would never have the sales volume that they have. So that’s why I think it’s important to invest in social media as soon as you possibly can because you’re just going to accelerate your results, which is what you’re trying to do. You put all this money and effort, and time into building your store. It’s going to be a slow boat to get there if you just do it all organically.

Jesse: And seven percent is good.

Traci: It’s amazing! Yeah, I probably didn’t say that. Seven percent is mind-boggling. Amazing.

Jesse: I agree. You are downplayed now that is usually you’re looking at maybe one to two percent of people who follow you, like you, actually see these posts. So you do have to pay at the end of the day. Mark Zuckerberg, if you’re listening, we’re helping you out here. You do have to pay for social ads. That’s just the way it is. Yeah. Going back to you, you had these three phases, the third phase, the conversion part. The thing that strikes me is that that part is easy. If you’ve done the initial steps like if you’ve built the audience, which is probably the hardest part, you get them engaged.

And now the conversion part. The behind the scenes is all the different remarketing. You’re marketing to video watchers, people who visited the site. People who are followers. These are all options that are hidden in the Facebook Ads Manager. But the conversion part is the easy part. Here’s the product. Here’s a price. Maybe it’s a lifestyle shot. Maybe there’s a coupon. If you can afford the coupons, that’s to get them to buy. But that was easy. You did all the hard work ahead of time in the beginning.

Traci: It’s funny that when you’re just getting started, people always ask how they should manage their budget with this. Our big clients, the ones that got big budgets, they’ve got a lot behind them. We’re running eighty percent of their budgets to audience building and engagement and 20 percent to conversions. And so often when we take over a client that’s been running ninety percent conversions and maybe 10 percent the other two, it’s usually bumpy, I’m not going to lie. And I always tell them, it’s going to be bumpy for a little bit. They don’t like that shift. They want the money coming in.

But once we flip that, we flip that, and we really start just pumping up the number of people coming into the ecosystem on a regular basis. That’s when we start to see the magic begin to happen. And it takes a little while. But 80/20 is how we do it, even for some of our smaller clients, if they can buy into our philosophy and hang in there with us. But that just goes to show that our methodology works, and most of our clients have been with us for three-plus years. So it really works.

Jesse: Yeah. The 80/20, I get it as I run the ads for Ecwid. Well, that’s tough because you really want to see these campaigns with these great cost per acquisition numbers at the end. But I can tell you that at Ecwid, on our Facebook advertising campaigns, there’s a lot of campaigns that are the first touch, the cold traffic, level one, whatever you want to call it, the numbers are not good at all.

Traci: Nor should they.

Jesse: They’re not going to be.

Traci: Yeah, we actually have key performance objectives for each stage of traffic. So the performance objective, the KPI on cold traffic, should not be conversions. We shouldn’t be judging success on that. And it’s hard when you’re small. It really, really is. And that’s the fun part for us. And we work with a business, a growing income business because we can start to educate them and help them understand what the KPIs are while they’re making a profit. And then they can start making big company decisions with smaller budgets and get to that big company that is faster.

Jesse: Yeah, look at the blended number; I guess we’ll just remind everybody. Look at the blend.

Traci: And cash flow is an issue, right? You’ve got to know your numbers. I can’t tell you how many income clients we work with. They don’t know their lifetime value. They don’t know their cost per acquisition. They don’t know, they just say, I want 3xROAS. And it’s like, OK, based on what? We want 3xROAS too. I want 3xROAS, and I want to be five foot ten and one hundred and five pounds. But based on what? I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but sometimes 3xROAS is the wrong metric to determine the success of your business on top of the funnel.

Richard: It brings me back to that marriage analogy in the beginning, even though you want the sale quote-unquote, let’s just say that; you don’t want to sell them on marrying you. You want them to want to marry you. Not like I’m going to twist your arm, you are going to marry me. No, you’re putting stuff out there like, wow, they’re a good person. Back to the human conversation. They’re funny. They care about people. They’re doing good things. Wow. That probably back to the way you’re talking about. The funnel is what leads to by the time you finally get to conversion; they already want you, they’re wondering why you haven’t asked already.

Traci: What are you waiting on? We like to say that we are the ad funnels that we’re architecting an intentional plan to get these people to fall in love with you. Like we are intentionally architecting this process so that these prospects fall in love with your brand because we’re not just trying to get one sale. We’re trying to get repeat sales. We’re trying to get cross-sell. We’re trying to get different categories that are in your store. Like we’re trying to take people from completely unaware to raving fans. I think maybe that’s the reason why we’re so big on this is; it comes back to my background running a sales division.

I’ve got this unique position where I have a marketing degree, I run a marketing agency, but I have a sales background, and I know sales psychology and how it works. And so our clients that can have the intestinal fortitude, if you will, to like say, yeah, we’re going to do this, and we’re going to make this happen. We’re going to commit to this. We’re going to have a big picture view of our business, and they reap the rewards. We see it over and over again. And it’s fun. It’s really fun. I like talking strategy because tactics change, but the strategy doesn’t.

Jesse: Very much so. And speaking of strategy, this podcast can probably be live in, say, mid-October. So everyone’s listening to this live. They’re like, yeah, it’s been October. Hopefully, Jessica’s right with this schedule. This 2020 online shopping season, there’s a lot of projections out there; this is going to be a big one. So for people out there listening, they already know about these three stages. What you know, what can we do to help kick start them? This is going to be a great year for e-commerce.

Traci: Yeah, it really is. I wish in a perfect world you were listening to this in September because I would say, crank up your audience building budget really, truly. And it’s not too late, like in October. It’s not too late to do that. But I would definitely say I would probably, our clients, if I look at how they have their budget, I’d say probably at least sixty percent of their full year’s budget gets spent in the final quarter. So keep in mind that it is going to be more competitive. It’s going to be more expensive. Things are changing this year.

I would definitely, if you can, if your budget is limited, I would definitely go hard in audience building right now. If you don’t have an audience-building campaign up, got one up. I think one of my favorite books, it’s a classic Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, begin with the end in mind. What are you going to do? You have a holiday bundle already decided. Like, what are you selling? Like, what’s going to be your offer and then back up. OK, so that’s that’s where I want to send people to.

Then what do they need to know to get to that point, and what might they need to know before that? And what are they thinking in their lives or what’s happening that could make them want my solution or whatever the product is? That’s what you’re going to create your video around and get it up and put as much money as you possibly can, build audiences from those video viewers, and then retarget the heck out of them come holiday time. But that’s what I would do. I would go hard on audience building, audience building, and engagement.

And if your budget is limited, just utilize that video, that video campaign to do both. Right. It doesn’t have to be funny. Don’t try to be like the next Poo-Pourri or Squatty Potty, but educate, demonstrate, inform; those are important. Tell your story, tell those things, and put as much money as you possibly can. I would say, obviously, you have to make good decisions. You have to steward your company’s money well. But do more than you’re comfortable, I guess. I want to say, put it all on black, but that’s not fair. I would be wrong to tell you to do that but definitely do. I would do more than you’re comfortable. If you’re comfortable with putting five thousand dollars in, put six.

Jesse: Yeah, makes sense, I like the extra push here, and I’m with you a hundred percent. We’ve talked to a lot of different people. People are gearing up. This is going to be a big year. People don’t want to go out and shop. They’re still going to be buying presents. They still need it. It’s still the holidays. So, be prepared. And yeah, ad prices were probably going to be a little expensive. You’re going to wish you had built this audience previously.

Traci: Yeah, well, let me just add. If you feel like, gosh, I just don’t have the money this year, it’s been a hard year for us. We’ve been very fortunate. Most of our clients are in the creative spaces that we’ve in. Our clients have thrived this year. But if you’re in a tough situation and you can’t do that, I just want to encourage you to get a plan to run ads. 24/7, 365. Because the biggest mistake that you can make is to not show up year-round, not be building that audience, not be engaging with them, and then suddenly show up in the fourth quarter every year asking people to buy from you. It’s not a good human.

It’s like, hey, I don’t care about any of you until I want to make money from you. We said at the beginning, none of us are nonprofit or ministry or whatever. We’re a business. Show up. And I think that’s really, really important. It breaks my heart when I see these e-commerce businesses that have huge budgets in the fourth quarter and then go radio silent for the next nine months because I think that’s a huge mistake. And if we could help them build that consistency throughout the year, they would see some of the growth that some of our other clients would have, and then you wouldn’t have the spikes that you probably are having with holiday sales.

Jesse: So, yeah, it makes perfect sense. Don’t launch your first advertising campaign on Black Friday.

Traci: Oh, my God, no. Not on Black Friday. Take your money, go to Vegas, do something different.

Jesse: Yeah, that’s the best way to advertise, but if you’ve already been doing it. That’s another way of looking at it.

Traci: That’s a great point, Jesse.

Jesse: Yeah, awesome. Richie, we’ve learned a lot here from Tracy. I hope everybody’s listening as well. Do you have any last questions here that you think where we’re missing? What else, what am I missing?

Richard: I don’t really know if this would be a question is more as a noticing what’s been going on in the world, the environment we’re in right now, learning from Traci right now, and making a statement and seeing if she agrees with the statement. And that is keeping in mind that a lot of the people that are listening to this show are just getting started. And it might even seem like a lot to say fifteen hundred bucks to some of these people, I would guess. And I’m wondering what your thoughts are on if while everyone else is going for conversions, don’t sweat it. There’s going to be so many people online this year. You’re just getting a start. You’re hearing this in October. Just keep going for the video views. There are more people online.

And if you’re funny, back to our comment a few minutes ago, put your link in there, and maybe even do something zig when everyone else is zagging and say, you know what, we’re just getting started. This is crazy in this world. Everything that’s going on, if you’re interested, take a look. Here we are. We’re trying to build it, and you know what I mean. Just like don’t overthink it too much. Just start doing the advertising and start at the top, be human, recognize what’s going on. Don’t be afraid to say what’s going on. Stand for something and put your link in there.

Traci: I would agree, that’s not bad advice at all. There’s a lot of pressure on e-commerce business owners to just make the fourth quarter everything. And especially as we hear how this is probably going to be a record-breaking e-commerce season, e-commerce is just going to continue to grow. This isn’t going to get any better. And what do they say? Like, when’s the best time to plant a tree, 50 years ago or today? So you haven’t been advertising if you haven’t been building audiences for the last six months of the last 12 months, don’t sweat it. Start now. And if this isn’t your year to go all-in with your ad budget, that’s OK. Build your audiences. If your store’s not perfected, if things aren’t where it needs to be, you’re going to roll out a whole new product line. Who cares? Get the videos going with a link to your store and really focus on taking that cold traffic and turning them into that level to move building out those audiences.

In our reporting to our clients, I have a specific tab that specifically shows the growth of level two traffic. How many people in this last week or this last month did we move from “Never heard about you” to “Engage with you on some level.” And if that number is growing, we know long term the health of the client’s business is going to be really strong. So just don’t put so much pressure on yourself. But if you’re a big company and you haven’t been putting as much in there as you need to shame on you, wake up, put some money in. Let’s make it a good season. Two different messages for two different people, I guess.

Jesse: Now, that’s perfect. Tracy, this has been great. Now for people listening, if they are interested in hearing more from you, if they’d like to work with you, how can they get in touch with you?

Traci: Yeah, so a couple of ways. I actually have a mini-course. I have a three pillars mini-course. It’s a video. I walk you through the three pillars, the audience building, the engagement, the conversions with some worksheets. You can get that on my website, our agency website. It’s So you’ll go there, you can get that link there. And then if you want to talk some more, I’ll do this for you because I know this audience, and we work with e-commerce all the time.

If you’re running three thousand dollars or more in ads and you want me to look at your stuff to see how you might shift to this three pillars strategy. I don’t want to look at it to give you the nitty-gritty on whether or not your bid is correct, but how your strategy should shift. If you’re running at least three thousand dollars or more. And I’m happy to start out for your audience, you guys, especially because Richie was a listener of my show. I’m happy to do it right. I’ll do a fifteen-minute analysis. I’ll go in. I’ll walk you through where I think you can make some shifts. You can email my personal email, email me directly at I guess that would apply if you wanted to hire us too or talk to us about hiring us; just email me directly. It’s the best way to do it.

Jesse: All right. Now we’re listening. You have to have your next steps. Get working on the cold audiences. If you want to talk to Traci, you know how to get hold of her. You know there’s the course. Richie, what else am I missing here?

Richard: That’s it. Ready to get to work.

Traci: Let’s do it.

Jesse: Exactly. It’s the holiday season 2020. We’re going to turn 2020 around. It has not been the best year, but the end of the year is going to be fantastic. All right. Thanks very much, Traci.

Traci: It’s great to be here.

Jesse: Thanks very much.

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Easy to use, affordable (and a free option if starting off). Looks professional, many templates to select from. The App is my favorite feature as I can manage my store right from my phone. Highly recommended 👌👍
I like that Ecwid was easy to start and to use. Even for a person like me, without any technical background. Very well written help articles. And the support team is the best for my opinion.
For everything it has to offer, ECWID is incredibly easy to set up. Highly recommend! I did a lot of research and tried about 3 other competitors. Just try ECWID and you'll be online in no time.

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