How to test with a purpose using audience, creative, and copy structures⎜ Brighter Click ⎜ EP 226

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This is a podcast episode titled, How to test with a purpose using audience, creative, and copy structures⎜ Brighter Click ⎜ EP 226. The summary for this episode is: <p>On Episode 226 of the Crossover Commerce Podcast, Ryan Cramer talks with Colby Flood, Founder/CEO of Brighter Click. They'll cover how to test your social media ads with a purpose using audience, creative, and copy structures.</p><p>---</p><p>Crossover Commerce is presented by PingPong Payments. PingPong transfers more than 150 million dollars a day for eCommerce sellers just like you. Helping over 1 million customers now, PingPong has processed over 90 BILLION dollars in cross-border payments. Save with a PingPong account <a href="https://usa.pingpongx.com/us/index?inviteCode=ccpodcast" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">today</a>! </p><p>---</p><p><strong>Stay connected with Crossover Commerce and PingPong Payments:</strong></p><p>✅ Crossover Commerce @ <a href="https://www.facebook.com/CrossoverCommerce" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">https://www.facebook.com/CrossoverCommerce</a></p><p>✅ YouTube @ <a href="https://www.youtube.com/c/PingPongPayments" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">https://www.youtube.com/c/PingPongPayments</a></p><p>✅ LinkedIn @ <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/company/pingpongglobal/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">https://www.linkedin.com/company/pingpongglobal/</a></p><p>---</p><p>You can watch or listen to all episodes of Crossover Commerce at: <a href="https://usa.pingpongx.com/podcast" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">https://usa.pingpongx.com/podcast</a></p>

Ryan Cramer: What's up, everyone? Welcome to my corner of the internet. I'm your host, Ryan Cramer and this is Crossover Commerce presented by PingPong Payments, the leading global payments provider, helping sellers keep more of their hard earned money. Welcome back, everyone, once again, to another episode of Crossover Commerce. I'm your host, Ryan Cramer, and this is my corner of the internet, where I bring the best and brightest in the Amazon and eCommerce space. If you're new to this show, what does this mean to you? How does this all tie back to you, the listener or the watcher? Well, that's a great question, watcher or listener. Every episode on here, we bring the experts in the Amazon and eCommerce space who are service providers, sellers, thought leaders, who are going to help you grow in a certain aspect of your business, whether it be sourcing logistics, product ideation, copywriting, advertising, marketing, growing internationally, payments, you name it, we are going to cover it in each and every episode. I bring on guests, which I call at the end of every episode, friends of the show, who come on and go through each topic that we want to cover on a day to day basis. Because every episode is live, you get to engage with our guests as well. If you're watching us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Twitter, you can ask questions to every one of our guests. Just let us know where you're listening from, give a thumbs up, or give us a hello in the comments section below. Again, it's really easy. Just send that off. We see those kinds of comments and we'll bring them up on our screen. If you're listening to this, you missed out on the live op show, catch the live shows, but if you don't have time, we understand, you catch the replays on all of your favorite audio podcast formats. That can be on Amazon Music, Spotify, Apple Podcast, we're on all of those. Just search for Crossover Commerce podcasts or you can just of course, go to usa. pingpongx. com/ podcast for all of our past episodes, transcripts, to key takeaways, so on and so forth, resources that we talk about in every episode. This is actually episode 225. Thank you for joining, and for those who are new to the show, welcome for the first time. If you're a past listener, welcome back. I love having guests on this show. This is why we do it so often. So much content coming your way. That's my passion. Hopefully, we can bring it to you, but every episode is presented by PingPong Payments. Wearing the shirt today. PingPong Payments is helping more people keep more of their hard earned money, saving time, money, and effort, when it comes to international payments, whether it be paying for suppliers, manufacturers, sourcing agents, VAs. If you're in an eCommerce or business industry, you need to check out PingPong. It's going to help you in an aspect of your business, saving more time, money, or effort. How that happens, let us curate a custom plan for you in helping with that. It's free to sign up. Just go, again to our website, usa. pingpongx.com/ podcast, to check out the podcast, but of course, sign up for free. There's no skin off your back, but help put more money back to your bottom line. That being said, every episode here, we have great guests on, in different aspects of the space. My background is so unique and fascinating. If you don't know my background, I've been in anything from sourcing... sourcing logistics, that's the one I haven't been in. I don't know where that came from. I've been in direct- to-consumership, I've been in SaaS, I've been in FinTech. I have this breadth of expertise in my background to be able to help get people to understand where a company might be coming from. I used to live in the east coast in the North Carolina area, Virginia area, and I'm excited that our guest is coming from this area. It's almost like a bond that the west, not west coast, east coast has. I'm really excited about our topic today, and just connecting with this individual. We talked beforehand. We're going to be discussing today, our episode, let me pull up the content here for those who are listening. We call today's episode, How to Test Your Social Ads With a Purpose Using Audience Creative and Copy Structures. Super intuitive. I'm really excited to pick the brain of this individual. His name is Colby Flood, and he is the CEO/ Founder of Brighter Click. Without further ado, welcome to Crossover Commerce, Colby, of Brighter Click. Colby, thank you for hopping on Crossover Commerce today.

Colby Flood: Yeah, Ryan, thanks for having me. Episode 225, this is a good run you have going here.

Ryan Cramer: I was going to say, 220... Maybe it's 226. I don't know what it is. I lose track after like 200, right?

Colby Flood: I would say, 200 and more, that's a good show run.

Ryan Cramer: Yeah, it's only been around less than two years, so we're on a good pace here. We're just going to keep pumping out content, talking to people like yourself, so thanks for saying," Yes," to this show. You've been on other people, I call friends of the shows' podcasts as well, so I'm really excited to be, it was introduced to you through them. It's all a big networking game, in any industry, right? Thanks for coming on today and spending some time in my corner of the internet. For people who don't know you, which they will need to at the end of this episode, tell me a little bit about your background, Colby, and how we got to where we are today.

Colby Flood: Yeah, for sure. My name is Colby. I founded Brighter Click. We're a paid social agency that works with eCommerce companies, with Facebook and Instagram ads. I started working in house as a marketer and then went the freelance route and spent a few years doing freelancing, doing a lot of different things, website design, email marketing. When you start out as a freelancer, you fall in that trap of trying to just do it all, and then really tailored it down to paid social ads and fast forward a couple years later, here we are. We're a team of seven and we grew 300% last year, and just working to keep that pace up this year.

Ryan Cramer: My man, that's awesome. Congrats on the growth. Obviously, not every business... I heard something yesterday. It was super depressing on a podcast. It was 85% of new businesses don't succeed, so I don't know if that's true or not, if they pulled that out of nowhere, but if that's true, that's amazing to be successful. You guys started in 2020? 2019?

Colby Flood: Founded it in 2019. Yep.

Ryan Cramer: Okay, so pre- pandemic. It's like a chapter in history, pre- pandemic era, and then, we're going to be dinosaurs and this is part of the prehistoric era or something like that. So, why social ads? Why super competitive agencies working with influencers, things like that? Why social ads? What was the opportunity for you that you saw?

Colby Flood: Yeah, it was something that, when I started doing it, it just kind of clicked for me. It was something I really enjoyed doing, saw a lot of opportunity for eCommerce businesses in specific. I know email marketing is a great avenue, but so is paid social. So, we've enjoyed guiding clients through the paid social space.

Ryan Cramer: Who's the best customer for you? If I'm listening to this and I'm an entrepreneur starting out direct- to- consumer? Are we talking about marketplace seller? What's an ideal person that would need Colby's support and help?

Colby Flood: Yeah, that's a good question. We primarily work with direct- to- consumer businesses, mainly clothing and apparel companies, but we do have eCommerce across the gamut that have their own store so that we can do proper tracking. Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, platforms like that.

Ryan Cramer: Do you have a favorite preference? Are we going to put you on the spot if I say, which one's your favorite to work with?

Colby Flood: Platform- wise or client- wise?

Ryan Cramer: Yeah. Let's say platform- wise. I won't say client because that's just...

Colby Flood: Yeah, I was going to say... Shopify.

Ryan Cramer: Shopify. Okay. I'm curious. Everyone says Shopify. I used to build my website on Magento. Very, very archaic. I broke my website multiple times. It is very not user friendly. Why Shopify? What's so unique about Shopify, why everyone opts into Shopify? What's so cool about it?

Colby Flood: I will say this for clarification first. If we're just talking website design, I much prefer Webflow, but if we're looking at eCommerce... Shopify, they always seem to be ahead of the game. When iOS 14. 5 came out, they were one of the first platforms to integrate conversion API tracking onto their platform. They're beginning to build out good UTM tracking on their actual platform, so you can do things like Google Analytics would, but on Shopify's platform. They have great app integrations. We have partners like Recart, who is an SMS app on Shopify, and a few other ones as well. We just like the ecospace. We always see good results and good things coming out of Shopify's area.

Ryan Cramer: Well, they're continuing to grow. I know they come up with all their reports and what's exciting for us in our industry at PingPong, obviously eCommerce growth, good for everyone. I think you continue to see that. They recently, or I forget, there's things like Etsy and a lot of other businesses that saw growth in 2021. There's a lot of recap for 2021 that are kind of coming back to fruition. What was it like for you guys as you're helping survey the social commerce space, as well as eCommerce space? Any surprises, anything that stood out to you over the course of last year that really stood out that you can share with people?

Colby Flood: Yeah. I think the biggest one, if I'm answering your question right, is just all of the updates we had with tracking and with situations on Apple and where data was going and understanding, is Facebook over attributing or under attributing, and at the same time, making sure we focus on the key point, which is marketing and not Facebook ads, is the best way to put that right. Make sure we're really still focusing on sharing that message. I'm going to go and tell you, too. I know you said you're familiar with the North Carolina area. We're going through pollen and starting out, so there may be times where my voice goes a little bit in and out because I'm struggling on my end with that.

Ryan Cramer: Let's take a pivot. I'm from Indiana. When I moved out to Virginia and North Carolina, didn't have any allergy issues. When I moved back though, that's when I developed it. It was weird. I think the east coast ruined me. I don't know what it was out there, but it ruined me. So now, I have constant allergies, seasonal allergies, things like that. The pollen, it's March 3rd as the time we're recording and doing this difficult time of year. It was 65 degrees yesterday. It snowed outside today, flurrying. I don't know what's happening in this world, but it's not normal, and I hate the seasonality, so no worries here, Colby. In that regard, you talked about tracking. We've talked with people on this podcast before. It's hard to track now because of different attributions you said on Facebook, it's changing. Apple phones, which is more the majority of the market, more than 50% of the market now. They have now the ability and if you're not an Apple phone user, I didn't know what this meant until I bought an Apple phone for the first time this year of you have the ability app to app, website to website, to deny tracking privileges per each platform, per each app. Super intuitive. First time they've been doing this on the iOS, I forget the update. I should know this list by now because we talk about it all-

Colby Flood: 14.5. It's ingrained in there.

Ryan Cramer: It's 14. 5. I was going to say, it's probably seared in. It's like a tattoo. It's seared onto your body somewhere. 14. 5. Why is this such a big deal to people and recap for me, why that's such a big detriment, a bad thing for people in your space.

Colby Flood: Yeah. It's a big deal for the business owner because you need to understand what platforms are working for you and what are not. You can still use blended ROA. You can understand how your marketing is doing all in all, but if you don't understand where your customers are coming from and what platforms need to have certain percentages of ad spend, it can definitely be difficult. For the Facebook marketer in specific, it can be difficult because you're not sure which campaigns, which ad sets, which ads could be performing well, which can affect you as a marketer making conscientious decisions, but it would also affect the Facebook algorithm, because if it does not see attributions going to campaigns or ads that are working, it may start to under serve those or believe that they are low performing, in which could affect your ad account score. There's a couple of things that we've started doing to combat that. One is, make sure your server pixel is installed so that you're tracking that way. The second is use offline events. iOS 14. 5 said," You can't use your server or browser pixel to track," but I don't believe it said anything about using custom audience uploads, which is offline events. So, a quick win for anybody listening, use Zapier. They say," Zapier makes you happier." Connect your Shopify, your WooCommerce, your BigCommerce store to Facebook using Zapier, and every time a purchase goes through, send it to offline events. So, if your online events didn't catch it, ideally your offline events would. Of course, UTMs to use things like Google Analytics, because we love Facebook. We love their marketing, but you never want to let a student grade their own test. You want to make sure you have another point of truth, whether it's Shopify, Google Analytics, or something like Triple Whale, for third party tracking.

Ryan Cramer: I was going to say, I think a lot of people run into where to attribute success. Obviously with Facebook, they'll say," Oh yeah, of course it was this." Look at the drive, follow people around. A lot of people used to do it with their cookies and it was harder through Apple and the 14. 5, but then obviously, Google's cutting back a little bit more on Google tracking, but you said UTMs is a good way to do that. I know people use promo codes. What are, you said a couple offline events. Are there other ways that people are trying to get creative in terms of either last click attribution or first click or some sort of event or landing page specific purchased only through funnels? How are people getting creative that you are seeing?

Colby Flood: Yeah. All of the above. I know in the software space, which is a little bit off of what we're talking about here, but you can even try to have things like radio buttons or dropdowns understanding where people came from by asking them on the purchase or during the conversion. Landing page specific, if you can build out those specific landing pages for your Facebook or for your LinkedIn campaigns or wherever you're running campaigns at. UTMs work very well, and I think Google Analytics gets under considered for how much you can actually do with that. When you're using UTMs correctly, you can use flows to understand specifically which ads people clicked on before they purchased, or if they clicked on your Facebook ad and then served a Google ad and then purchased. There's a lot of things that you can really do with Google Analytics, if you properly set up UTMs in your account.

Ryan Cramer: How are you guys helping enhance that process? What's unique about Brighter Click that is going above and beyond and helping people, like you said, with our title today, I can even throw it up here again. How to Test Your Social Ads With the Purpose Using Audience Creative and Copy Structures, how are you guys helping in this arena?

Colby Flood: With tracking or with the...

Ryan Cramer: Let's talk about tracking. Yeah, let's go tracking first.

Colby Flood: Yeah. That's one thing we have rolled out. Like we talked earlier, was the Zapier connection with the offline events. We have seen good opportunity with that. We are working in clients, Google Analytics as well, so that we can make sure we have that kind of second point of truth, and then one thing we're in the process of actually rolling out or looking at is something like Triple Whale, so that we can have a pixel that is separate from Facebook, separate from Google Analytics, so we can actually see what is happening on their website. We love to be able to help clients understand where their sales are coming from, even if it's not coming from us because we want their businesses to grow. With things like Triple Whale or Google Analytics or Shopify, we can see what avenue, is it their organic social? Is it their Twitter? What is actually driving sales for them? We use all of those tools and then we send comprehensive emails every Friday, letting our clients know what we did in the week behind and what we learned from it, what we're planning to do in the week ahead, any opportunities we're seeing on their website, and then just their overall account data, and really focus on leading with education with that, which I guess is what we're looking at today with testing with a purpose, because that's all about education. You have a purpose and there's a reason behind what's going on in your account, so you can really see what you need to do more of and what you need to do less of.

Ryan Cramer: Yeah. When I hear the word testing, I think a lot of people freak out or pause. They don't, they don't want to waste. I think when people hear testing, they hear wasted ad spend or a black hole of, where are my funds going to go? How important is testing even in this ecosystem of what's going to contribute to a success or click a purchase? If people think, if they're not testing constantly of, hey, has this campaign ran its course? Hey, is this image driving incremental lift? So on and so forth, how important it is to constantly be tweaking, editing, and also, just learning what's successful and what's not.

Colby Flood: Very important. There's two things I'll add to that. One of the first things I tell people in the sales process is, testing is not synonymous with no sales. We're not just going to test just to test. The second thing is, you really want to make sure that you understand that some things that make sense in marketing cannot make sense in Facebook. By that I mean, there's things like first time impression ratio and audience fatigue and audience burnout to where, yes, we understand that, that ad works. Ad creative CR- 1, naming convention works, but over a certain period of time, that ad is going to burn out to where it's no longer working anymore because it's been served, and the cost, CPC and CPM are going to rise and your click throughs are going to drop. Having that constant testing mindset of always looking for new opportunities with audiences, with creatives, and with copies helps because you do need to refresh things, especially if you're wanting your own ads, 12 months a year for years on years. You need to constant be looking for new things that you can put out, new things you can learn about your account, and trends change. Just because something looks good today... What 10 years ago, websites looked one way and now they look completely different. So, things do change and that affects the ad space or just how we talk with customers as well.

Ryan Cramer: How often are you tweaking? Do you do this as a part of the service? Or how often are you telling people, this is how... Maybe a monthly or every other week? How often are we reevaluating and adjusting?

Colby Flood: Yeah. Ideally, we're running some sort of split test every week. Now, we'll have the higher purpose. We like to break it down. So, you have your senior media buyer mindset, you have your media buyer mindset, and your junior media buyer mindset. With the senior media buyer mindset, we like to have our purpose testings of what personas are we going after? What specific messaging are we going after? And then our media buyer mindset of how we're strategizing that, but ideally, we have split tests running every week so that we can continue to optimize as we go.

Ryan Cramer: Is that all in house that you're testing? What's-

Colby Flood: 100%.

Ryan Cramer: Are there... I was going to say, if I'm listening to this and maybe not using Brighter Click, is there a way to set up campaigns, whether it be in Facebook or Instagram or I don't think you guys go outside of those two, correct? Facebook and Instagram.

Colby Flood: Correct.

Ryan Cramer: So, we'll stay in those two lanes. Is there a way to, in that ecosystem, change out different copy analytics? Is it friendlier? Is it more difficult to understand what's working, what's not, since I'm not in there day to day basis for a customer. Is it easy to AP test within those two?

Colby Flood: It is. The best way I would say to look at it is test one thing at a time, have as few variables as you can so that you can prove causation to what you're testing, and let's just say, we're looking at today, testing audiences, we're looking at testing creatives, and we're looking at testing copy. Turn it into a roadmap or a plan, and that's what we do at Brighter Click. For the first seven days of your account, focus on testing audiences. Set up two to three campaigns. Each campaign is going to have three to four ad sets, and at the ad set level, that's where you're choosing your audiences and you can take it even a layer deeper and say, campaign one is going to be persona one, campaign two is going to be persona two, campaign three is just going to be Facebook audiences, like wide open targeting, lookalike audiences, things like that. You're going to run those and you're going to run very similar or the same type of creative to those audiences. So that once again, as few variables as possible, and at the end of that testing, you're going to go through and you're going to understand what audiences performed well and what didn't. Cut off the ones that did not. Going once again, a layer deep, you can combine some that performed okay, but not the best, and then you can keep the ones on that did perform well, and that's when you start changing out the actual ad. For three to five days, you can test out copy or messaging purposes. At the end of that testing, you're now going to have your best performing audience and your best performing messaging, but you also want to translate that to what you're going to need to do on your website later down the road. Now, you have good Facebook ad and then you can look at it for good website copy in the future, and then keep going with that testing iteration. Then go into what is your top performing creative styles and then go into, what is your top performing headline styles, and then go into, what is your best served landing page. Is it the homepage, collection page? And we can definitely unpack all of that and look at themes and structures that we use for different parts of the testing.

Ryan Cramer: No, absolutely. I think we can do that. My question to you is, how often do you take what's already in place, maybe customer avatar, if you will, offsite or on a different platform and apply it to a platform like Facebook or Instagram? Is that a no- no in the space or do you feel like that is helpful beginning spot? I don't think you want to replicate it because they're different users, different avatars, I'm assuming, but how important do you put that notion when you're building out campaigns?

Colby Flood: Yeah, that's a good question. One of the first things that we do when we bring on a client is, we actually have a client onboarding form and we give them space to explain to us what their customer personas look like. To quickly answer your question, we do test it. Sometimes we do find that Facebook audiences, without really focusing on specific persona, do perform well. Sometimes we find that the persona audiences also perform well. It's how you target them on Facebook. When we ask clients about their buyer personas, we want to understand things like their pain points and what the product solves, but that's for the messaging. We want to understand what is the key breakdown in terms of age, their income level. We want to understand what their behaviors are like, what type of devices they're using, but the key things for targeting that we really want to look at is, what are their media outlets? What publishers are they looking at? What brands do they follow? Either competitors of this company or not competitors? What social media channels or pages are they looking at? What job titles do they have? So that we can use those types of things to use interest based, targeting on Facebook and understand. It does perform better more often than not. It really just depends on how well you line up your messaging with your audience to make sure you are serving the right ad to the right people.

Ryan Cramer: How are social media ads doing overall, since you're working with them? Are they continuing to still drive incremental sales and growth or even recently because of, I know externalized factors are kind of difficult to put in play here. Have you guys seen an increase or decrease in performance over the last couple years, do you think?

Colby Flood: Over the last couple years, I would say we've seen an increase in cost per click and CPM, which can increase your CPA.

Ryan Cramer: Sure.

Colby Flood: That is with competition. TikTok is super inexpensive right now, because it's not a saturated space, but we have seen a slight increase in CPCs and CPM over time, which can increase your CPA.

Ryan Cramer: Do you feel like that's a huge turnoff for people of, I'm going to go where it's a lot cheaper and try to be in front of a trendy audience or maybe more established, you have more data on people, you can get more analytical deep and whatnot? What's kind of the play at pros and cons of both, do you think?

Colby Flood: Yeah, I think the pros and cons would be... Let me answer it like this. I would say a multi- channel approach is always your best option. Even though at Brighter Click, we only serve Facebook and Instagram ads, having a multi- channel approach is always a good route to take, so you're not putting all your eggs in one basket. Is that a North Carolina phrase or is that a everywhere...

Ryan Cramer: No, I was familiar and grew up with it, too, but no, all the eggs in one basket. This is really random. You're not like the woman who is like, put the feather in the cap on the wheel of fortune, if you're talking about trending things right now. We'll verify that it is a phrase that is commonly used because a lot of people clearly don't think that, that's a common phrase, like put the feather in the cap or put all your eggs in one basket. Verified. You heard it here folks. Moving on from that. I'm curious, with all the tweaks that... In going back to pros and cons, I know you guys only work with Facebook and Instagram. Is it difficult to target customers, and I've talked with agencies about this before, there's so many different variables and places of which consumer, so me as your audience, can get distracted by. Stories. You got posts, you got just search functionality, you have paid ads, all these different places where people can go in these rabbit holes, if you will. It's hard and almost impossible to constantly be in front of those people. You have people like me. I go through my stories and click through, in that I get the idea of what the day looks like on my feed, if you will, not going through posts, but you have other people who get distracted by other areas, so on and so forth. Facebook, same thing. Groups, you have people that you know. It's like a million different places you get distracted, but TikTok is only one area. It's like one fire hose. It's just a constant stream. It's just going up and down and you can't really diverge. What's the tricky nature of which you have to be selective and how to capture everyone on a one stream platform like TikTok.

Colby Flood: Yeah. With TikTok, we don't dive into that space, so not too sure on that one. What I can say best placement wise with Instagram and Facebook would be is, we mainly focus on Facebook news feeds. We focus on Instagram news feeds, and then really focus on driving Instagram stories and the new surface that they are pushing now, which is reels. In Mark Zuckerberg's post... It's so bad that I keep up with when he posted things, like it's a news break, but Mark Zuckerberg's post in early Q1 of this year, he shared what Facebook and Instagram are going to be focusing on in 2022. Three of the things that I paid attention to at least were, algorithm updates, commerce tools, and reels. Reels is going to be one of the main priorities of Instagram for the whole year, which makes me think back to when stories became a thing when they were trying to take market share from Snapchat, and they successfully did that. They're going to be doing the same thing with reels now. What does that look like? They're going to push organic creators to make reels by rewarding them with mass exposure, which opens up a lot of advertising space through reels. If we're looking at Facebook and Instagram, I would say focus on those specific placements or as they call, surfaces. News feeds, Instagram stories, and Instagram reels, as that becomes a new spot.

Ryan Cramer: Great. Reels are supposed to be obviously, short form content, max 30 seconds? Am I correct on that still?

Colby Flood: 15 to 30? Yeah, I would have to look.

Ryan Cramer: 15 to 30.

Colby Flood: Yeah.

Ryan Cramer: TikTok, I know announced... Again, I'm not proponent of TikTok one way or another, just looking at the market space and how it's evolving, they announced that your videos can now be up to 10 minutes long, which, oh my God. If we had a problem with people getting sucked into one part or another, 10 minutes per potential content, good luck keeping attention for that long, is all I have to say, but people can get creative. They can do a little bit more. They can have a little bit more creativity with that. Do you guys promote more short form content in terms of video capture and maybe unboxing experiences and things like that versus, hey, preach at me, tell me about product X, Y, Z. I know inaudible has a little bit of a meaning behind it, but how do you guys really push in terms of the content that you find successful?

Colby Flood: Yeah, that's a good question. If we're looking at creative and specific, I'll take that in a two step approach. We like to create categories based on what is the actual content style or purpose, and then what can we do with that? For eCommerce businesses and namely clothing and apparel companies or ones similar. We break it down by saying we have lifestyle photos or videos. We have flat lays or just the product, the in studio shots. We have lifestyle flat lay combos where you take it and make it look like a catalog, user- generated content, both image and video. We have photo video mixes. GIFs where everything stays in the same spot, but the product changes colors by cycling through the different versions of the product, performs very well. Testimonials, look books, and then PR content. So, we take that approach first, and then we definitely go into within that, what type of content or video like you're talking about, can we do? We like to keep it with the reminder that people like to buy from people. People really want to know what your brand mission is, who is behind the business. So with that, we'll look at some of our messaging purposes or opportunities that we look at, which is Founder Story always tends to perform well. We have a couple of businesses that have been killing it with Founder Story content. Brand mission, once again. There's one company called, Great Wrap, that is in Australia that we work with. We run ads for their brand mission and for their founder story, and they always perform well. And then, one that does not get talked about enough, I believe, which we have seen great success with is PR content. If you get featured on channel nine, channel 10 news, your local news, where you are, we've taken and run creatives where it's just that news listing. It's a minute, two minutes long, which is long, but it's just that, unedited, nothing about the product other than what's in that feature. The copy matches exactly what the news outlet put out. The headline is just the news outlet's name, and it drives... We ran one for Great Wrap and it had 7, 000 likes. It had 3000 comments. It had tons and tons of shares. Really creating that viral content through PR content has been a great win as well.

Ryan Cramer: So lots of engagement there. Really interesting. If that's me, if that's a local company and I... Do I target that just to my local audience? Because channel nine, channel 10, maybe not mean anything to me here in Indiana or wherever they might be. You know what I mean? Is that just a localized focus they can do if it's a national PR or a media outlet? Maybe that's when you do the wide casting net, local news, maybe keep it more local targeted in that case or what's the play there?

Colby Flood: That's a good question. I would say test it broad stream. With Great Wrap, they get Melbourne news outlets and we run that across all of Australia, and just thinking back to my Facebook newsfeed in specific, there's times where I see non- ad creatives that are news listings from Indiana or from New York or things like that and I do consume them. I would say as long as the attention grabbing stuff is there, I would say run it across the country.

Ryan Cramer: Gotcha. Obviously, content in terms of that, when stuff trends like that, what's a good way to monitor success or really capitalize on it's upward trajectory? Obviously after a while, it evens off and keels off and maybe will start to lose off on its steam and momentum, but how quickly do you have to turn around as a business or a brand to really capitalize on momentum. Something that might be trending, how do you re- content and utilize that to get the most exposure out of it as you possibly can? Is there a window you have to operate in and a max length of time that you have before it probably loses any trendiness or capability of success in that regards?

Colby Flood: Yeah, I would say if we're looking at things like TikTok trends, dance trends, things like that, very quickly.

Ryan Cramer: Dear God.

Colby Flood: That's-

Ryan Cramer: Is it a nay, that crosstalk. I don't know.

Colby Flood: Very, very quick. If it's content, we'll just say that you own in the sense of PR content, news listings, things like that, it's really more so up to when does your audience burn out from that creative? And it has the same type of life cycle that any other type of creative were had. We saw creatives for PR content with Great Wrap run for about two to three months with no issues going on. Now, that's much longer than a normal ad would run. That was a pretty good time, but as long as it's not trending in terms of the news, I would say you have a good amount of time. Our news cycle and our TikTok cycle, a week to two weeks, and you're out of the loop at that point.

Ryan Cramer: What about a product specific trends? Example, not a dancer, not a phrase or whatever goes around social media for doing something at a location or anything like that. Well, let's talk about product trends or service trends, something that is going to be relevant in the news or gosh, I'm just trying to think of an applicable thing. For example, when people in a lockdown, it was like work from home products instantly became almost out of stock. Something where you can capitalize again, for purposes of what's happening at world, your customer instantly becomes more wide ranging. How do you monitor situations on a localization level, but then also on maybe a national or international level where you can take advantage of, hey, they talked about this product, or if I'm a food company and all of a sudden, now this is a trend in Europe and people want to take advantage of that here in the United States, how do I kind of flip it over and try to take advantage of that wave then?

Colby Flood: Yeah. Great things that you can do is use tools that can show you what Google searches are happening, and you can see the quantity of those Google searches. Use social listening tools so that you can see what is being talked about on TikTok, what is being talked about on Twitter, so that you can really stay ahead of those opportunities and also, not come into it too late. Really listening to the customer, that's the most important thing. Using tools that are out there, free or paid, so that you can understand where people's attention, time, energy, and money is going to.

Ryan Cramer: Have you ever done campaigns where you've tried to target media outlets to get the attention of a buyer or an editor or something like that, where it's, hey, look at this" product" and/ or get featured on certain things, whether it's been picked up in PR, just ideas like that. Do you get that analytical or that kind of, not manipulative-

Colby Flood: Granular.

Ryan Cramer: I'm trying to... Yeah, granular is a good word.

Colby Flood: Manipulative is not the word.

Ryan Cramer: That's a negative word. We're going to talk about granular and very focused targeting.

Colby Flood: Put me on Capitol Hill. Yeah, definitely. What that comes down to though is, you have features. We work with one company. They've been featured in Forbes. We'll just use that for example. We can use things like Forbes as targeting, or we can understand what Forbes' viewers or readers are also taking a part in.

Ryan Cramer: It's a customer subset, yeah.

Colby Flood: Exactly. Same thing with any MSNBC or any news outlet. When you're targeting people, you want to understand your buyer persona and you want to understand, are they reading Martha Stewart's magazine? Are they reading Southern Living? Are they reading the New York Times? Definitely. If you're featured... Now, this is not eCommerce and specific, but with B2B companies, if you have a brand partnership with a brand and you can target or use that brand as one of your interest based targetings, of course you would, and your ad needs to directly call out that you have that partnership, because that's that link of trust. That's that link of understanding of who you are. I would say definitely. If it's within the Facebook, LinkedIn, TikTok interests that are allowed, and we're seeing those get trimmed down over the past three to four weeks, but if it's the ones that are allowed, definitely use the ones that you can to your advantage.

Ryan Cramer: Is it ever okay or good to recycle content on one platform to another?

Colby Flood: Yes and no. Yes, because you do want your brand to be the same across platforms, but people consume email very different than TikTok. I would say, you definitely want to have your brand style guide, your brand Bible, and if you can, translate it across platforms, that's great, but even within Facebook, Instagram, they're in the same ads manager, we sometimes see that we want to run separate content from Facebook and from Instagram. So, yes and no. I think TikTok will be a great opportunity to say," If you're already crushing it on TikTok, start putting that content on Instagram reels placement," because it is the same essentially type of consumable content, but just keep that in mind.

Ryan Cramer: I thought that was a no, no. Again, correct me if I'm wrong. Instagram doesn't reward video potentially from TikTok or vice versa. I don't know if it was the logo you need to have either scratched out, but then obviously, at the end of every video and TikTok, it does that whole, here's my username and it has a TikTok logo. I thought it was suppressing those kinds of video content. Is that correct or am I mistaken?

Colby Flood: That may be, so I get a little bit outdated on the organic side. We stay specifically with the paid social, so that would be with the ads that you run.

Ryan Cramer: I guess they don't care if you're paying for it in that regards, but... I muted myself there. My apologies. Colby, going into the other aspects of audience creative copy structures, what's already new for this year that maybe has taken you aback or surprised you, that you didn't think that this would be prevalent to have to worry about, or maybe take advantage of this year? I'm curious about 2022. What's the shocking thing for you that has either impressed you or taken you back in a good or a bad way?

Colby Flood: Specifically for audiences and for creatives, I would say looking at the audience updates that happened about three to four weeks ago, and excuse me. Let me clear my throat. These allergies are... Facebook announced about three to four weeks ago that they were doing some interest based updates to allow for user privacy, which is totally understandable. It was things like heart foundation and LGBTQ opportunities there. We understand people want their data privacy. The thing that we've noticed on Facebook and Instagram targeting with that is, you can create an ad set today and it could have 1.2 million people in it, and you need to make sure that you're monitoring that over the days and weeks to come because these interests are falling off, these opportunities for targeting. So, that 1. 2 million size audience in three weeks, you may only be able to target 600, 000 people and you can actually see that number change in your ads manager. We have somebody in house who, one of their key roles now is to go through accounts and make sure that the number we marked in the naming convention for that size is still accurate. All that to say, we're getting to a point to where, like I said earlier, some Facebook things don't make sense for marketing. You want to start targeting broader audiences because your audiences are depleting more and more based on targeting capabilities. I would say, focus on running the three to five million, five to 10 million size audiences, although we've historically wanted to stay on the lower end, one to two, one to three million. Definitely look at those broader audience opportunities, so you can continue to drive without having just astronomical CPMs and CPCs as you're pushing.

Ryan Cramer: Where does this go this year in terms of that, if that's a trend that, like you said, specific natures of which you can target, which again, data's always good and a bad thing. It's good because it can provide relevant products or services for people who are in market for that service or product. As a marketing person, we all know that's the positive and the really beautiful thing about data. The negative is also on the back side, what you can do with it and how to be specifically targeted based upon your beliefs or anything like that. Again, with keeping it in a broad scope, if you are on the race or national level, anything of that sort. It's not really localization. It's localization in probably the most bland way, I'll call it. It's not very helpful in that regards. People are taking that out of the context. You said certain categories, to clarify... I'm just asking for clarification. That's what Facebook is no longer allowing people to do, correct?

Colby Flood: They're taking out things like the LGBTQ. They're taking out things like American Heart Foundation or things like that, that have to do with people's health, that have to do with people's mental health.

Ryan Cramer: Oh, okay.

Colby Flood: Things like that, yes.

Ryan Cramer: Okay. Was that an issue or is that something that just people advocated to not be allowed anymore? I'm not as well versed in that new movement. I'm learning for both myself and everyone out there who doesn't have a pulse on the Amazon, or the, geez... social media advertising space.

Colby Flood: Yeah. I think it more so turned into not being targeted like that. Kind of how you have to have specific rules with job applications and things like that. Just not separating people and segmenting people out like that, which, like I said, totally understandable. As marketers, we learn, we adapt, we evolved. If you came into Facebook seven, eight years ago, it was a free range of open up a drop shipping store, target whoever, and do whatever. It's really just looking at now, how do we change how we target? I believe that's how it started and that's the movement behind it.

Ryan Cramer: Yeah. I just wanted to make sure nothing drastic came-

Colby Flood: Not Cambridge Analytic at 2.0.

Ryan Cramer: Right. I was like, did I miss something in the news?

Colby Flood: Not like that, yeah.

Ryan Cramer: There's a lot going on. There's a lot of life events I don't want to be personally having to put in my book again as another chapter, but that's a different story for a different podcast for a different time. Colby, in the last couple minutes I have with you, as you guys are growing, what do you want to accomplish? What are your goals that you see coming out of this business that you guys want to say," Hey, I've achieved my goals. We've helped people reach X level." What are those business goals for you that maybe people can associate with or really conceptualize a business on your end?

Colby Flood: Yeah. We want to continue to be education first. That starts with our team members, and we ask... I always say, I don't know if I can legally say, require. We ask that our team members take a paid or free course that we provide in their field every quarter so that they can continue to grow in their realm, and then we take that knowledge and translate it to our clients. We lead all client communication through education. Our goal with clients is to continue to be that education resource. That not only helps them drive revenue for their Facebook ads, but for their business in total, and we have client count and Brighter Click revenue goals and things like that, but our biggest goal as a company is to continue that education first opportunity. We want a product, ties out into a software for marketers, both in- house and freelance, to use. We want to build out universities so that people who are not able to afford courses,$ 500 courses or$5, 000 courses, and take so that they can further their skills as a freelance marketer or as a business owner. We want to turn it into a full university to where it has accreditation behind it, to where people can see that, that was a course that they completed and they have skill with that. With digital marketing, there is no one way to learn it. With Facebook ads, there's thousands of teachers and there's thousands of different ways to do it. It can be intimidating as a business owner to hire out somebody because there is no one accreditation for that, not saying that we think there should only be one accreditation, but we want to help bring consistency to paid social and also, give people the opportunity to learn something that they may not be able to afford if it has to be a paid course. So, we want to help people further the business and further their careers as well.

Ryan Cramer: I love that. That's such a cool ambition that you guys have, and I'm excited to just learn, watch from afar and inaudible watch you guys grow from that regards. If I'm a person listening to this and I'm loving what I'm hearing, Colby, what's best way that people can get in touch with you, follow you guys, or just engage with your company or you yourself?

Colby Flood: Yeah, of course. You can visit brighterclick. com. You can email me personally, Colby, C- O- L- B- Y, @ brighterclick. com or just connect with me on LinkedIn. Colby Flood on LinkedIn.

Ryan Cramer: I was going to say, I know we have your profile and I'm going to put it in the comments, too, so everyone can watch it and check it out. Just an easy click. We put both in the social links already, but if you're listening to this again, check out the show notes. You're going to be able to click and check out brighterclick. com. It's a one page website. It's super easy to read. I was like, where's the rest of the page? Nope. One form. Pretty easy. You guys are pretty straightforward, pretty easy to read. Follow you on LinkedIn. We posted those links as well. Hey man, friend of the show now, I'm going to say, thank you so much for hopping on. I love... Best of luck in the allergy season. This sucks this time of year and it really does take a toll on you when you are on calls all day, and you're just bone dry. It's just really tough on you, physically and mentally, too. I hate it. My wife is like," What's wrong with you?" I'm like," I've been talking all day, but also, allergies. Also, we have to do this for a living, man." The education, are you guys starting a podcast or anything like that, I guess on that side, or are you guys just going around speaking about things like that on different podcasts?

Colby Flood: That's the long tailed approach we'd like to do. We're starting by going and speaking on podcast, ideas to create our own podcast in the future, and then look at building out those education opportunities on our website as well.

Ryan Cramer: Amazing. Well, hey, best of luck, man. Congrats on all the success thus far. It's been super informative about, obviously, I was, 14. 5. Is that it? Did I get it right? Oh my gosh. All right. I'm going to have like, if you get a tattoo, that would be a funny tattoo to get, something that's changed your life for the dramatic world in which we live. Thanks so much for teaching our audience and educating further on some of these big things that, to grow your business are going to need to be aware of. So, definitely appreciate you hopping on today.

Colby Flood: Yeah, I appreciate you having me on here.

Ryan Cramer: Awesome. Thank you so much. Thank you everyone else. Thanks, Colby, and thanks for everyone else who came on Crossover Commerce today. This was episode 226. I got it confirmed. I was at 226 at Crossover Commerce, where I bring on the best and brightest in the Amazon eCommerce space. You got that obviously from Colby today. Go ahead and check them out. Brighterclick. com for more information and just connect with Colby, again on LinkedIn. All those links are in our common section below, or show notes, floating around here somewhere depending on where you are watching or listening to us now. Go ahead and check them out, follow him, great content that he posts out there as well. Quick note, if you guys, I put a banner up earlier, if you aren't already aware, PingPong payments will be at Prosper Show coming up here in the next couple weeks. Coming up quick. It is the 3rd of March and if you're watching this, that means it's 11 days till you'll be able to see us at Prosper Show in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay. We're at booth 532. I jokingly am going around LinkedIn and posting that we are neighbors with certain businesses, so if you are attending or have a booth there, I call myself a neighbor of yours and you will find us there going around doing podcasts like this live, but also engaging with top service providers and leaders in the Amazon eCommerce space. We hope to see you there. If you are going, come by and say hello, and just see a friendly face. Other than that, though, that's it for this week on Crossover Commerce. We'll catch you guys next week as we have a couple more episodes leading into live shows at Prosper Show, but thank you, Colby, and all of our guests that we had this week. It's been a good one. So with that being said, we'll catch you guys next time on another live episode of Crossover Commerce. Take care.

DESCRIPTION

On Episode 226 of the Crossover Commerce Podcast, Ryan Cramer talks with Colby Flood, Founder/CEO of Brighter Click. They'll cover how to test your social media ads with a purpose using audience, creative, and copy structures.

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