How to Boost Your Advertising With Social Proof

No matter how great your ad, website, email or TV commercial, if your audience doesn’t believe you, you’ve flushed your advertising spend down the toilet.

Social proof can help create associations with people, groups or institutions of authority, to convince your audience that your product or service is endorsed.

The effect of this is what we often refer to as “instant credibility”, meaning our brains stop questioning and start believing.

The different types of social proof that are most effective in advertising are:

  • Expert Social Proof: When an influencer in your industry approves your product. This can be via different channels including social media, blogging, etc.
  • Celebrity Social Proof: Typically takes the form of a celebrity using a product or service and then promoting it via social media.
  • User Social Proof (or success stories): Positive stories and experiences shared by actual users of your product.
  • “Wisdom of the Crowds” Social Proof: When many people are using a service, others feel more inclined to follow.
  • “Wisdom of your Friends”. Self-explanatory and even more powerful.

You can find a more detailed description and examples in this outline on Hubspot’s blog.

Some of my favorite variations of Expert Social Proof are the ads used by the tobacco industry in the 40’s and 50’s. The goal was to assure a worried public that smoking is safe by incorporating images of physicians in their ads. The message was that if a physician, with all his knowledge and expertise, chooses to smoke a particular brand, then it must be safe.

“More Doctors Smoke Camels Than Any Other Cigarette”

In his book, Cashvertising Drew Eric Whitman explains how human inertia amplifies the effectiveness of this type of social proof. He describes human inertia as “metaphor for laziness”, which leads people to rationalize without doing their own in-depth research.

The bottom line is that social proof eliminates the requirement of digging deeper – it helps us to justify the decision to purchase a product without further time investment.

Boosting Your Advertising With Social Proof

So much of what was used in the 40’s and 50’s by the large agencies creating cigarette ads is still effective and used in many forms in today’s digital advertising.

Here are some typical forms of social proof you will find on landing pages:

  • Big brand customer logos: If people see several brands they respect it will increase the likelihood of conversion.
  • Short testimonial quotes: You’ve seen these – often under the headline of “what users are saying” these quotes can tip users towards conversion.
  • Video testimonials: The most compelling way to convince users. As explained in my video below these videos, if adjusted for ads, will be the highest converting for retargeting.
  • Media mentions: “As featured in”.

And paid advertising helps us amplify social proof more than ever. Google allows for seller rating extensions, review extensions, customer testimonial video ads, and more.

But before diving deeper into the execution on the advertising side, think about which institution, influencers, industry experts or organizations in your space have a reputation that has the power to reflect positively on your product. How can you build a relationship and make them endorse your product?

Do you have any examples of social proof that you have seen work particularly well in your ads? Feel free to share in the below or shoot me a tweet @reframe_nic

Optimal Optimization – The Ultimate Checklist To Optimizing on Facebook

Optimizing your campaigns is the key to success on Facebook. But how do you optimize properly? I’ve developed a checklist that will help you with optimal optimization.

Is my pixel firing properly?

I’m a huge advocate of tracking as much data as possible and then optimizing based on the data. Make sure you’ve installed the pixel on your landing page so you can optimize.

Have I chosen the right objective to support my goal?

Choosing the right objective from the start is key, as it will later affect your ad delivery and bidding options. If you want to avoid messy campaign structures and inefficiencies, you have to keep this in mind.

Example: If the goal of your video ad is to drive clicks and not just views, you need to select the traffic objective. If you are selecting views, Facebook will deliver your ad to an audience that is likely to watch a video, but not necessary to take action (in form of a click).

So how can you know which one to choose, especially if you’re just starting out with Facebook ads? The rule is simple: To select the right campaign objective, choose the one that’s closest to your current advertising goal:

  • Awareness: Objectives that generate interest in your product or service
  • Consideration: Objectives that get people to start thinking about your business and look for more information about it
  • Conversions: Objectives that encourage people interested in your business to purchase or use your product or service

*Within this checklist we are focusing on b. Consideration and c. Conversions, since these are the objectives I found to be of particular interest to our audience.

Especially important for designers, freelancers or agency owners: If your goal is to get new leads, you could select the “Lead generation” or “Conversions” objective.

Once you’ve chosen a Facebook campaign objective, you’ll have different delivery optimization options, depending on what you selected.

Ad delivery optimization lets you tell Facebook what results you’d like to get. Based on this information, Facebook will auto-optimize your campaign, so that it will reach the right people. Every Facebook campaign objective has different delivery optimizations options and supported ad types.

For example, you will be able to choose from the following when selecting “Traffic” as objective: Link clicks, landing page views, daily unique reach and impressions. Make sure to think about these optimization options!

We all know the “conversion” objective (*only thing to mention here is that you have to pick a conversion type that happens about 50 times per week per ad set, otherwise FB will not be able to optimize properly), but when should you choose other objectives? Below is a quick outline of other relevant objectives you might consider.

When to choose the “Video Views” objective? Video views ads are great for targeting cold audiences as they’re engaging and help to increase brand awareness. Note that you can also promote videos with other Facebook campaign objectives, such as “Conversions”, “Lead generation” or “Engagement” (see bonus tip below) *Bonus tip: For recent campaigns, I tested the video views objective against engagement. In several tests, I was able to reduce cost between 25-40% and increase 10-second video views by 20-30%. Therefore, I recommend the engagement objective over video views. However, make sure to run split tests from time to time in order to validate this theory.

When to choose the “Engagement” objective? With the “Engagement” objective, FB will show your ads to people who are the most likely to like, share, and comment on your post at the lowest possible cost. Remember that this objective is automatic when using Facebook Boosted Posts to amplify your Facebook post’s reach.

When to choose the “Traffic” objective? Select the “Traffic” objective when your goal is to lead people to your website or blog, and there are no specific actions you wish them to take. For example, if you’d like more people to read a blog article or read a case study. you can use the “Traffic” campaign objective.

Important: When analyzing your campaign at a later point, make sure to select columns that align with your objective. E.g. if you select “Lead Generation”, you will need to look into the number of leads generated, at what cost (CPL), the lead conversion rate, etc.

Can my landing page be optimized further?

As I mentioned in class – you are making a promise in your ad and you need to keep it on your landing page. Just as important: When potential clients see your ad and click to the landing page, does it have the same type of language, similar colors, and the same vibe? My tip is to write your landing page copy and then pull pieces of it into your ad so it feels like a seamless experience.

After you have driven some traffic to your landing page, make sure to check your conversion rates (% of people who took the desired action vs. the total number of people that visited page) If your conversions rates are too low, think about adjustments you can isolate and test. You can find additional, technical points on the checklist below: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/landing-page-checklist

Am I compliant with FB terms or conditions of use?

Stay on top of FB terms or conditions of use. They get updated frequently, so make sure to stay on top of them instead of waiting until your ads get disapproved. https://www.facebook.com/terms.php

Is there too much text in my ad image?

The most frequently violated policy is too much text in the promotion image. Less than 20 percent of the image used to mean you’re in the clear, but lately, any amount of text might cause Facebook to show your ad to fewer users — and, if this is the case, they’ll tell you that during the ad setup phase. If you are working on ad creatives without setting up an ad, make sure to use Facebook’s text overlay tool: https://www.facebook.com/ads/tools/text_overlay

Is my budget too low?

FB requires you to meet a minimum budget to help deliver your ad consistently. Minimum budgets are calculated as a daily amount, but apply whether you’re using a daily or lifetime budget. If, for example, you’re using a lifetime budget for an ad that’s going to run for five days, the budget must be five times the minimum daily budget. (*FB usually gives you a warning)

Most of you will use automatic bidding (lowest cost bid strategy), without a bid cap. This allows to bid as much is needed to spend your full budget. It’s also the least time-consuming form of bidding. Should you, however, look into max bid caps or cost target, you can troubleshoot as explained.

♣ If you’re using a bid cap (maximum bid cap), increase it. This is likely to increase delivery, since it allows FB to bid more for you. Make your increase, monitor the results and adjust again as needed. You should think of your bid cap as something that needs to be monitored and adjusted based on results, not as a perfect amount you can find and then use indefinitely. ♣ If you’re using a cost target, change it. You’re more likely to be experiencing performance issues if your cost target is too low (not competitive). If that’s the case, increase it. Aim for an amount that’s as low as possible while still getting consistent delivery.

Most of you will use automatic bidding, but if you would like to dig deeper, please check out the link below: FB Bidding

Where in the funnel is the audience I am speaking to?

Understanding where in the funnel your audience is will have an impact on many things: Your messaging (e.g. avoid aggressive, salesy ad copy in the awareness stage), your bidding and your analysis of performance metrics.

Check which of the 3 stages your audience is in: Awareness (cold audiences at the top of your funnel), Consideration (warm audience in the middle of your funnel) or Decision (hot audiences at your low funnel).

Cold audiences are people who have never visited your site or interacted with you in any way. You haven’t served them a video or anything like that. Because you have no idea who these people are and what you can offer them, you show ads to cold audiences using lookalike audiences or only an interest.

Tip: For a cold audience, share something that doesn’t require much time or effort from the user. share content that says hello and explains who you are. A blog post or video can offer value quickly without asking for anything in return.

Warm audiences are usually that engagement retargeting group. These people might not have visited your site but may have downloaded a PDF so they’re on your email list. They’ve encountered you somehow, watched 25% of your video, any of those things.

Tip: Think about the content you’d share with someone who has met you but isn’t ready to sign on the dotted line yet. They’re not a stranger, but you wouldn’t hand them your business card and say, “Hey, let’s get signed up and go.”

Your hot, bottom-of-funnel audiences are people who have been to your site. Sometimes, you put extra parameters on the audience to make sure they’re really engaged. For instance, you can create a retargeting audience of people who visited your site but only those who visited a certain number of times.

Tip: Content for the hot audience will be focused on selling because that audience already knows who you are and what you offer. You’re at the point of deciding to do business together. With this audience, you can talk about how you do things and how you can help (in more detail). Although the content is salesy, it doesn’t necessarily feel that way to the prospect because you’re dealing with people who know who you are.

But how do these stages affect your bidding? When you understand your audience and have it segmented based on where they are in the funnel, it’s easy to make informed decisions about what to bid. The logic is always, the further down the sales funnel that person or group is, the more you should be bidding on them.

Double check your audience targeting

This goes along with my previous point on funnel stages and the level of awareness your audience has. Determine what kind of audiences you already have. For instance, do you have an email list, and if so, how large is it? How much traffic does your website get? With this information, you know what data samples you can use as a starting point for retargeting. You can create a lookalike audience based on your email list or people who submitted a lead form on your site.

If you don’t have any audiences start targeting interests first and build your audience from there. If you do have these audiences, you need to find out whether they contain enough data for retargeting. And if you discover you have a treasure trove of data, you can dig into all of your different audience options.

Once you are setting up your targeting make sure to double check your audience layering (AND, not OR). Always make sure to check your audience insights once you have collected enough data with ads. Everything else is explained in class. Make sure to follow my 5-day launch plan, then use the breakdown reports and optimize your targeting.

Am I using creative sequences?

That’s the fun part. The idea is to create different visuals that tell a convincing story with the intent to pull your audience through your advertising funnel (from cold to hot lead).

Think about your ad creative, what story it tells and how it aligns with the different funnel stages listed above.

An example could be to warm up a cold audience with a video as a first touch point, then retargeting that audience with a lead magnet to establish credibility, before targeting them with more aggressive visuals & copy after they visited your site.

Facebook Advertising Acronyms & Metrics

Whether you are a beginner at FB ads or an advanced marketer, it’s a good idea to review their metrics and definitions on a regular basis.

If you are just starting it is key to understand them in order to analyze the performance of your campaigns. However, if you have been working with FB ads for a while, I recommend reviewing their definitions from time to time, because Facebook likes to change them from time to time.

Some metrics are self-explanatory and some are what some digital marketers call “vanity metrics” (irrelevant metrics). I’ve excluded these metrics in the list below.

This post is the first in a series on Facebook advertising that will provide you with super-actionable tools, checklists and hacks. Be sure to keep an eye out for future posts. (posts will be announced via Instagram & Twitter @reframe_nic

Performance Metrics

  1. Results: The number of times that your ad achieved an outcome, based on the objective you selected. E.g. if you are running a campaign with a traffic objective, your result metric would be website clicks
  2. Reach: The number of people who saw your ad at least once. Reach is different to impressions, which may include multiple views of your adverts by the same people. Your reach can be affected by your bid, budget, audience targeting or relevance score.
  3. Amount Spent: The estimated total amount of money you’ve spent on your campaign, ad set or ad during its schedule. Amount spent lets you see how much you’ve spent compared to your maximum budget during the time period that you’re looking at.
  4. Conversions: Conversions are customer-completed actions, like purchases or adding to a cart on a website.
  5. CPL (Cost per Lead): You will see this especially when you’re running a Lead Ad with Facebook. It tells you the cost to acquire a lead for your business. You calculate the CPL by dividing the total cost of your ad by the total number of leads that you obtain

Delivery Metrics

  1. Frequency: The average number of times each person saw your ad. This is the most under utilized Facebook advertising metric. It helps to build awareness and recall by showing your ad to people in your audience multiple times. Always check frequency along with your results and relevance score to make sure people don’t see your ads too often.
  2. Reach VS Impressions: Reachis the total number of people who see your content. Impressions are the number of times your content is displayed, no matter if it was clicked or not.
  3. CPM (Cost per impression): That’s cost per 1,000 impressions to be exact. To calculate cpm, first you want to divide the total number of impressions that your ad delivered. Then you take that number and divide it by the cost of your ad. So if you spent $100 on your and ran 250,000 impressions, you would first divide 250,000 by 1,000 to get 250. Now divide $100 by 250. Your cpm is $.40.

Engagement Metrics

  1. People taking action: Number of people who took an action that was attributed to your ad.
  2. Post reactions: The number of reactions on your ads. The reactions button on an advert allows people to share different reactions to its content: Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad or Angry.
  3. Link Clicks: Difference between Clicks (All) and Link Clicks: Link clicks are the number of clicks on links to select destinations – for example clicks on an image, clicks on a CTA button, clicks on a URL in the text description of an ad. The metric Clicks (All) includes link clicks as well as clicks on other parts of your ad (e.g. someone clicks on your page’s name, someone likes your post, clicks to expand a photo, etc.)
  4. CTR: Percentage of times people saw your ad and clicked through. Important: Impacts your Relevance Score! Fun fact: CTR across all industries on FB is only 0.9%
  5. CPC (All): This is a term that defines the average amount that you will pay for each click on your ad. You can calculate CPC by dividing the total cost of your ad by the total number of clicks to your ad.
  6. Event Responses: The number of people who responded Interested or Going to your Facebook event, attributed to your ads.
  7. Negative Feedback: A score based on the number of times people hid your ad or chose not to see ads from you. Your ad’s negative feedback level can be low, medium or high. If your ad gets a lot of negative feedback, it means people have indicated they don’t want to see it anymore.

Other Terms

  1. Audience Network: Network of mobile app and mobile web publishers who’ve been approved by Facebook to show ads in their apps. It’s one of the placements you can select for your ads.
  2. Placements: A placement is the location where your ad is shown. Ads may show in Facebook’s mobile News Feed, desktop News Feed and right column. Ads may also show on Instagram, Audience Network, Instant Articles and Messenger

If you are looking for a more expansive list of Facebook terms, you will be able to find it on this list provided by Facebook.

Also checkout this list of metrics that have recently been updated by Facebook (*definitions and terms in my list above are updated)

Next up I will share a list of Facebook hacks that have helped me efficiently boost performance across several accounts I am currently managing. Stay tuned & follow on social media @reframe_nic